Saturday :: Nov 27, 2004

Rush-in Roulette?


by pessimist

The first 'shots' of the New Cold War were fired this week. The battleground was the Ukraine, and the armaments were the votes of the Ukrainians.

I wrote earlier about how Bu$hCo - accompanied by the Democrats - were busy manipulating the Ukrainian presidential election as they have done in other former-Soviet bloc countries. What I wasn't then aware of was that this specific incident of interference in the internal affairs of yet another sovereign nation was intended to counter the influence of Russia, whose goals for the country aren't in line with Bu$hCo-led NATO.

Ukraine parliament calls election invalid

Ukraine's parliament declared the country's disputed presidential election invalid Saturday amid international calls for a new vote, fueling what has become a political tug-of-war between the West and Moscow over the future of this former Soviet republic.

The election has led to an increasingly tense tug-of-war between the West and Moscow, which considers this nation of 48 million people part of its sphere of influence and a buffer between Russia and NATO's eastern flank. The United States and the European Union have said they cannot accept the results and warned Ukraine of "consequences" in relations with the West.

The most well-known analogy to this situation is Cuba. Parked just off the coast of the United States, Cuba's government is not to the liking of the United States, while for many years it was the dependent of the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell, there was wide-spread speculation that it was then time to invade Cuba and oust Castro and impose the same sort of freedom and liberty for multinational corporations as we are failing to do in Iraq today.

Vladimir Putin is no dummy. Having just recently failed to come to an agreement with the EU, he's somewhat on the defensive as far as the rest of Europe is concerned.

UKRAINE CHANGES RUSSIA-EU SUMMIT AGENDA

It seems that the current Russia-EU summit will lead to a new cooler period between the two parties in the next six months. Ukraine-related tension with its two key partners, the EU and the U.S., weakens Moscow's position in international affairs.

The positions assumed by Berlin and Paris do not give Moscow any reason to hope for understanding from "old" Europe. The regional interests of both the key EU countries and its new members are now at issue. Analysts say that this time Moscow will not succeed in dividing the EU into "new" and "old" members, as was seen with regard to Yukos and Chechnya.

When taken in conjunction with the old files - the Yukos affair, Chechnya and Russian democracy - Ukraine makes the summit's agenda extremely tense. The recent deterioration of relations between Russia and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] will only add to the strained atmosphere. This has occurred owing to the latter's excessive involvement in democratizing regions where Moscow traditionally tries to project its influence.

This is a situation where I can see Ol' Pooty-poot borrowing from American history and declaring that Russia bans all activity by foreign nations within its sphere of influence a la the Monroe Doctrine.

But even if he doesn't make such a declaration, it's clear that the Russian government sees things as if they had issued their own version of the Monroe Doctrine, and that Ukraine clearly lies within that sphere of influence since it borders Russia.

On a strategic level, this indicates to me that Bu$hCo is losing confidence in securing the southern route for the transportation of petroleum from the Caspian Sea south through Afghanistan to Pakistan and a warm-water port. By looking west instead, it would be possible to tie into existing pipelines and have a reliable delivery system without all of the political problems that Afghanistan and Iraq represent. Key to this would be a stable pro-multinational corporatist government in the Ukraine, which would allow the US in particular to have a base of operations with which to protect this delivery system.

We know how we reacted when the Soviets were building up in Cuba just offshore. Is it so hard to imagine that Russia would feel this way about US forces just over its border?

The net result of such actions by Bu$hCo might well push Russia closer to China, especially since they have a history of cooperation from the Soviet years, however rocky that relationship was. In addition, Russia - again from the Soviet years - has had a relationship with India, the main discussion partner with China over the creation of a Central Asian power bloc which would hamper Bu$hCo designs in the region. Adding Russia - and its nuclear balistic missile arsenal - to such an alliance would make this power bloc most formidable.

It is desirable that the saner heads of the EU take a role in ameliorating this crisis, as seems to actually be the case:

A European Union envoy Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot said new elections were the "ideal outcome" for the standoff between Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was declared the winner by the Central Elections Commission.

Asked if new elections were the only solution, Ben Bot answered: "Yes."

The EU is in a most favorable position to assume the diplomatic leadership role that Bu$hCo scormfully disdained, while China is in a position to assume the economic leadership role that Bu$hCo squandered. It might well be time for the UN to consider departing our shores, as American conservatives have desired for many decades, and move to Geneva. The diplomatic capital of Europe could well become the diplomatic capital of the world. The symbology of such a move would be massive in the minds of the rest of the world's nations. It would demonstrate without a doubt that they day of the US calling all the shots is ended, and a new diplomatic era begun.

It would only be recognizing the facts of the current situation. Bu$hCo has cut the world loose to become economic targets of opportunity for the multinational corporatists, and it would only make sense that the rest of the world seek cooperation in defending themselves from such predation. Leaving the UN here would only make a mockery of the truth.

Should the UN move to Europe, it would have earned renewed respect for having demonstrated an independence from domination by the United States. It might then have enough influence with Vladimir Putin to get him to back down from his defensiveness, and to renew the efforts just terminated to reach an agreement with the EU over issues vital to both.

Such issues won't be in the interests of Bu$hCo, though. We can expect that they will do all they can to prevent this from happening - not excluding resorting to war.

It's not too late to edjimacate Bu$hCo that they aren't any more likely to succeed where Napoleon and Hitler failed.


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pessimist :: 4:44 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!