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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/19/15

EU Reeling Between US and Russia

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Reprinted from Sputnik

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Minsk 2.0 agreement de facto shows that Germany and France, the leading European powers are trying to break away from the "American Chaos project."

Washington has certainly succeeded in permeating an already embattled EU with a little extra -- what else -- chaos, by pitting the "West" against Russia.

The Obama administration -- infested with neo-con cells, those ghosts inside the machine -- have always believed that a package of Western sanctions plus a Saudi-unleashed oil price war would be enough to bring down the Russian economy, thus "changing its behavior" on Ukraine, and in the best scenario provoking regime change in Moscow.

Well, it's not working. Minsk 2.0 -- as fragile an agreement as it is -- de facto shows Germany (assisted by France), the leading European powers, trying to break away from the American Chaos project.

The Empire of Chaos does not want a lasting agreement on Ukraine -- and will do everything to torpedo Minsk 2.0. NATO's strategic imperative remains clear; force Moscow into a war in Ukraine to exhaust it economically, prevent a EU-Russia economic/trade partnership, and eliminate Russia as a global competitor to the US.

The oil price war, for its part, is also not going swimmingly anymore. Neo-cons are actually desperate; they've seen how the Saudi strategy is killing the US shale oil industry.

Now they are not saying out loud they want an oil price rise to help Russia; but rather to keep killing Russia with low prices while the US reaps the gains by imposing a protectionist tariff. As the neo-cons see it, this way they will also kill Saudi Arabia and Iran. And this scheme was not even concocted by notorious Russophobe Dr. Zbig "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski.

Don't You Step on My Loaned Suede Shoes

If geopolitically and in the energy sphere the Empire of Chaos is facing trouble, all's fine and dandy in the realm of disaster capitalism. Thanks, once again, to the IMF.

The IMF in Ukraine has been perpetrating the same devastation recently unleashed on Greece or Ireland, or across the Global South as a whole since the 1970s. Dreaded "structural adjustment" still applies -- complete with an array of savage privatizations starring Western "investors" embedded with local oligarchs. That includes, of course, land grabs facilitated by IMF loans.

The $17 billion IMF loan that was miraculously produced on the eve of Minsk 2.0 not only allows the oligarchs in Kiev to keep prosecuting -- by proxy -- an Empire of Chaos war against Russia. It came with a key conditionality; Ukraine must imperatively be ravaged by hardcore biotech farming. And what a fabulous agricultural prize; Ukraine is the world's third largest exporter of corn, the fifth largest exporter of wheat, with a deep, rich, black soil where anything, literally, can grow. The winners, predictably, will be the usual corporate GMO suspects -- from seed producers Monsanto and Dupont to farm equipment dealer, Deere.

Michael Hudson has conclusively tracked this path of turbo-neoliberalism run amok; and yes, just like in the recently orchestrated run on the ruble, "finance is the new kind of warfare," with "finance and forced sell-offs in a new kind of battlefield."

Legally, IMF head Christine "look at my new Chanel" Lagarde, also currently involved in perpetuating Greece as a "debt colony" (in the words of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis) would not know how to justify the IMF making billionaire loans to a Ukraine plunged into civil war, and on top of it completely broke.

But Madame Lagarde actually does not run the show; secretive Masters of the Universe in the Washington/Wall Street axis do.

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)

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