[News] Ukraine and the grand chessboard
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Apr 18 20:04:20 EDT 2014
*Ukraine and the grand chessboard*
By Pepe Escobar
April 17, 2014
The US State Department, via spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki, said that
reports of CIA Director John Brennan telling regime changers in Kiev to
"conduct tactical operations" - or an "anti-terrorist" offensive - in
eastern Ukraine are "completely false". This means Brennan did issue his
marching orders. And by now the "anti-terrorist" campaign - with its
nice little Dubya rhetorical touch - has degenerated into farce.
Now couple that with NATO secretary general, Danish retriever Anders
Fogh Rasmussen, yapping about the strengthening of military footprint
along NATO's eastern border: "We will have more planes in the air, mores
ships on the water and more readiness on the land."
Welcome to the Two Stooges doctrine of post-modern warfare.
*Pay up or freeze to death*
Ukraine is for all practical purposes broke. The Kremlin's consistent
position for the past three months has been to encourage the European
Union to find a solution to Ukraine's dire economic mess. Brussels did
nothing. It was betting on regime change to the benefit of Germany's
heavyweight puppet Vladimir Klitschko, aka Klitsch The Boxer.
Regime change did happen, but orchestrated by the Khaganate of Nulands -
a neo-con cell of the State Department and its assistant secretary of
state for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nulands. And now the
presidential option is between - what else - two US puppets,
choco-billionaire Petro Poroshenko and "Saint Yulia" Timoshenko,
Ukraine's former prime minister, ex-convict and prospective president.
The EU is left to pick up the (unpayable) bill. Enter the International
Monetary Fund - via a nasty, upcoming "structural adjustment" that will
send Ukrainians to a hellhole even grimmer than the one they are already
Once again, for all the hysteria propagated by the US Ministry of Truth
and its franchises across the Western corporate media, the Kremlin does
not need to "invade" anything. If Gazprom does not get paid all it needs
to do is to shut down the Ukrainian stretch of Pipelineistan. Kiev will
then have no option but to use part of the gas supply destined for some
EU countries so Ukrainians won't run out of fuel to keep themselves and
the country's industries alive. And the EU - whose "energy policy"
overall is already a joke - will find itself with yet another
The EU will be mired in a perennial lose-lose situation if Brussels does
not talk seriously with Moscow. There's only one explanation for the
refusal: hardcore Washington pressure, mounted via the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO).
Again, to counterpunch the current hysteria - the EU remains Gazprom's
top client, with 61% of its overall exports. It's a complex relationship
based on interdependence. The capitalization of Nord Stream, Blue Stream
and the to-be-completed South Stream includes German, Dutch, French and
So yes, Gazprom does need the EU market. But up to a point, considering
the mega-deal of Siberian gas delivery to China which most probably will
be signed next month in Beijing
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits President Xi Jinping.
*The crucial spanner in the works*
Last month, while the tortuous Ukraine sideshow was in progress,
President Xi was in Europe clinching deals and promoting yet another
branch of the New Silk Road all the way to Germany.
In a sane, non-Hobbesian environment, a neutral Ukraine would only have
to gain by positioning itself as a privileged crossroads between the EU
and the proposed Eurasian Union - as well as becoming a key node of the
Chinese New Silk Road offensive. Instead, the Kiev regime changers are
betting on acceptance into the EU (it simply won't happen) and becoming
a NATO forward base (the key Pentagon aim).
As for the possibility of a common market from Lisbon to Vladivostok -
which both Moscow and Beijing are aiming at, and would be also a boon
for the EU - the Ukraine disaster is a real spanner in the works.
And a spanner in the works that, crucially, suits only one player: the
The Obama administration may - and "may" is the operative word here -
have realized the US government has lost the battle to control
Pipelineistan from Asia to Europe, despite all the efforts of the Dick
Cheney regime. What energy experts call the Asian Energy Security Grid
is progressively evolving - as well as its myriad links to Europe.
So what's left for the Obama administration is this spanner in the works
- still trying to scotch the full economic integration of Eurasia.
The Obama administration is predictably obsessed with the EU's
increasing dependency on Russian gas. Thus its grandiose plan to
position US shale gas for the EU as an alternative to Gazprom. Even
assuming this might happen, it would take at least a decade - with no
guarantee of success. In fact, the real alternative would be Iranian gas
- after a comprehensive nuclear deal and the end of Western sanctions
(the whole package, not surprisingly, being sabotaged en masse by
various Beltway factions.)
Just to start with, the US cannot export shale gas to countries with
which it has not signed a free trade agreement. That's a "problem" which
might be solved to a great extent by the secretly negotiated
Trans-Atlantic Partnership between Washington and Brussels (see Breaking
bad in southern NATOstan
<http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-03-150414.html>, Asia Times
Online, April 15, 2014.)
In parallel, the Obama administration keeps applying instances of
"divide and rule" to scare minor players, as in spinning to the max the
specter of an evil, militaristic China to reinforce the still crawling
"pivoting to Asia". The whole game harks back to what Dr Zbig Brzezinski
conceptualized way back in his 1997 opus /The Grand Chessboard/ - and
fine-tuned for his disciple Obama: the US ruling over Eurasia.
Still the Kremlin won't be dragged into a military quagmire. It's fair
to argue Putin has identified the Big Picture in the whole chessboard,
which spells out an increasing Russia-China strategic partnership as
crucial as an energy-manufacturing synergy with Europe; and most of all
the titanic fear of US financial elites of the inevitable, ongoing
process centered on the BRICS-conducted (and spreading to key Group of
20 members) drive to bypass the petrodollar.
Ultimately, this all spells out the progressive demise of the
petrodollar in parallel to the ascent of a basket to currencies as the
reserve currency in the international system. The BRICS are already at
work on their alternative to the IMF and the World Bank, investing in a
currency reserve pool and the BRICS development bank. While a tentative
new world order slouches towards all points Global South to be born,
Robocop NATO dreams of war.
/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of /Globalistan: How the Globalized World
is Dissolving into Liquid War
/(Nimble Books, 2007), /Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the
/(Nimble Books, 2007), and /Obama does Globalistan
He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com./
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