The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
I guess it's a done deal, huh?Crimea and Sevastopol are now officially part of the Russian Federation, the Kremlin said in a statement, citing today's signing ceremony involving Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of Sevastopol.
Crimea is an autonomous region within Ukraine with a majority Russian-speaking population. It has its own parliament, but the Ukrainian government had veto power over its actions.
But with political instability and demonstrations rocking Ukraine in the past several months, President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed out of office and observers charged that Russia saw its chance to annex the strategic territory. A hastily called referendum Sunday resulted in 96.7% of the region's voters saying they wanted to become part of Russia, according to the Crimean Electoral Commission.
The United States and other Western powers have said Sunday's vote was illegal and placed sanctions on more than two dozen Russian officials and their allies in Crimea.
For complete coverage of breaking news, go to CNN TV, CNN.com and CNN Mobile.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
But back to Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, et al, were very active in Ukraine prior to the overthrow of Yanukovych. Nuland wasn't just passing out cookies. She was threatening Ukraine's richest man to put pressure on the government. Here's what Steven Pifer was suggesting
According to this Financial Mirror dot com - EU abandons Ukraine pact, Washington pushes for sanctionsRinat Akhmetov, the wealthiest oligarch, has been fairly close to Mr. Yanukovych
I think it would be useful if Mr. Akhmetov was using his influence with President Yanukovych to encourage him to negotiate in a serious way to find a solution.
If there was some threat that there might be financial or travel sanctions on Mr. Akhmetov, that could be a useful lever
That's the way they operate.In the meantime, a website quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Washington and Brussels had agreed to introduce immediate sanctions against Yanukovich and leading oligarchs, in the case of a crackdown on the protests on Maidan square.
According to the website Censor.net, one of the media which were recently raided by the police, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has not only warned told Yanukovich about the sanctions, but also named the people who would be hit in the first place.
Reportedly, those named were oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, founder and President of System Capital management and ranked as 47th richest man in the world with a fortune of $15.4 bln, Vadim Noninsky, owner of Smart Holding Group, with an estimated fortune of $1.9 bln, and the brothers Andriy and Serhiy Klyuyev, rich businessmen and politicians from Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions.
As the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Andriy Klyuyev has allegedly used his power to secure multi-billion contracts for members of the Yanukovich family.
According to Censor.net, these oligarchs are targeted because they control the MPs of the Party of the Regions. The U.S. reportedly wants the Party of the Regions to vote in favour of four demands by the opposition:
1. The calling of early presidential elections (normally elections were due in 2015);
2. Calling early parliamentary elections;
3. Freeing former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from jail and restoring her citizen’s rights;
4. Opening court cases against police and special force members who took part in the crackdown on protests.
Reportedly, Nuland said that the non-compliance with these requests would put at major risk the foreign activities of the companies DTEK and Metinvest. DTEK is an energy holding and the largest private company in Ukraine. Metinvest is a holding company of mining and steel assets. Both are owned by Akhmetov.
Nuland reportedly said that the companies had moved assets to Europe, that their markets were in Europe and the United States, and all their representatives had property abroad.
The US assistant secretary of state also met with Akhmetov, which signalled that Yanukovich was no longer seen as a valid interlocutor, censor.net wrote.
Apparently as a reaction, Akhmetov declared that he favoured Ukrainian rapprochement with Europe.
Please note that the article is dated December 16, 2013, long before Yulia Tymoshenko was freed. And you want me to believe that the US DOES NOT have a puppet government in Kiev. Please!!!
And those "empires" collapsed because they grew to large through massive land grabs, not from the size of the military. How ridiculous. We are not imperialists. We defend those that can't defend themselves, sometimes. No one else on the planet steps in to defend anyone unless we beg like dogs for them to do so.
Why are China and Russia joining forces? Why would they want to attack us? The Cold War was for economic advantage not war. We would do far better to concentrate on what made us great which wasn't arms but commercial trade.
Massive land grabs???? Ummm that means a massive military to defend trade routes and economic interests in those regions... same as now without direct ownership of the Empire... more a lease plan... We are VERY much Imperialists, our forces never leave a nation we 'help' and our corporations are the modern day eqiv of the East India Tea Company.
So the rationale for a military spending as much as most our allies and all our major enemies is to be the Policeman of the World????
Would YOU fight and die for Darfur????
And for the record, no, I don't want to police the world, but the rest of the world EXPECTS us to. European countries RELY on it. They couldn't fight off a band of gypsies, tramps, and thieves.
Since I leave early tomorrow for Oklahoma Cty on a 12-hour drive to the College Wrestling Nationals,
I'll have satellite radio, all the regular AM/FM, and of course my brothers and sisters here at dp that I read but don't text while I'm driving.
The wrestling community is very conservative, so after each of our six sessions,
we'll pile into the local pubs and grills for NCAA basketball and political bull****.
I'm convinced we can come together as a Nation and still have a difficult election.
Patience, planning, preparedness and then forthright action should be our outline .
Chemists Have Solutions .
Here's some more on the puppet government in Ukraine
Washington's Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin - Forbes
Looks like they are getting ready to do to Ukraine what was done to Greece.Washington's Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin
Ukraine’s interim prime minister, Arseniy “Yats” Yatsenyuk, may prove to be arsenic to the beleaguered nation.
“Recall the phone exchange between the Ukraine ambassador and Victoria Nuland (Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs) that got leaked out, where she basically said ‘we want Yats in there.’ They like him because he’s pro Western,” says Vladimir Signorelli, president of boutique investment research firm Bretton Woods Research LLC in New Jersey. “Yatsenyuk is the the kind of technocrat you want if you want austerity, with the veneer of professionalism,” Signorelli said. “He’s the type of guy who can hobnob with the European elite. A Mario Monti type: unelected and willing to do the IMFs bidding,” he said.
Mario Monti was a centrist Italian technocrat who passed an austerity package that called for increased taxes, pension reform and measures to fight tax evasion.
Over the past several weeks, Ukraine has been battling political infighting between pro-Russian Ukrainians and pro-Europeans. The fight stepped into high gear in the fall when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych decided to tilt towards Moscow instead of Brussels in a trade deal. Last week, Yanukovych left Kiev and headed to an undisclosed location, believed to be holed up in a Russian Naval base.
After Yanukovych and the political opposition agreed to an orderly transition toward new elections, the opposition shattered the agreement quickly and took strategic positions around Kiev. Many voices in the Western press say the country could break apart.
Despite these ominous signs, Ukraine Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt hailed the current crisis as “a day for the history books.” Most of the mainstream media have leaned decisively in the anti-Yanukovych camp.
Ukraine’s new 450-seat parliament approved the appointment of the former Central Banker Yatsenyuk on Thursday by a vote of 371 to 1. Oddly enough, earlier this month, the pro-Western Yats trailed behind popular opposition leaders such as former heavyweight boxer Viltali Klitschko and the leader of the nationalist, Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok. But Yats had friends in high places and while he does not have strong support of the electorate, and would have no chance of winning an election, he is pro-IMF austerity and apparently the bulk of parliament is as well.
“Yatsenyuk was saying that what the Greeks did to themselves we are going to do ourselves,” said Signorelli. “He wants to follow the Greek economic model. Who the hell wants to follow that?”
Also today, Yatsenyuk promised to implement “very unpopular measures” to stabilize the country’s finances. The government said it needs $35 billion to support the country over the next two years. His language in a news report broadcast by Bloomberg today indicates he is heading toward a potentially destabilizing austerity campaign:
“The treasury is empty. We will do everything not to default. If we get the financial support from the IMF, the U.S., we will do it. I’m going to be the most unpopular prime minister in the history of my country,” he said. “But this is the only solution. I would never promise any kind of huge achievements. First and the most important issue is to stabilize the situation.”
He also said that, “We want Russia to have transparent and fair relations with Ukraine. We want to be partners with Russia…we strongly believe it will never intervene with a military force in Ukraine.”
Under the brewing divide-and-conquer political crisis lies Ukraine’s economic problems. The Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, is down over 16% year-to-date, a record decline against the dollar.
It is unclear the kind of measures Yatsenyuk will tolerate, but it appears austerity is the path forward. That includes a regimen of tax increases, interest rate hikes and further currency devaluation.
Yanukovych resisted the International Monetary Fund’s demand to raise taxes and devalue the currency. Yatsenyuk doesn’t mind. For economists who think austerity is a disaster, Ukraine is on a path to ruin.
“We saw this in the 90s and what the IMF did to Russia with Yeltsin. They’ll do that to Ukraine,” said Signorelli. Remember Slobodan Milošević in Yugoslavia? After the IMF finished with Yugoslavia it was only a matter of time before the separatist movements gained traction,” he said. “I think things in Ukraine can get really really bad.”
Like I said, a puppet government.