The drama continues on the other side of the world in Ukraine. The drama, actually, at this point is scattered elsewhere, with lots of noise around this part of the world. Looking at a TV for a bit, I see that CNN, the infotainment operation formerly a news network, has shipped off infotainment celebrity Anderson Cooper to Kiev to do live remotes, for that on-scene Breaking News action. It’s interesting to notice that in all the “on scene live reporting”, I haven’t seen him interview any locals. Does that not strike anyone as odd?
But then, after about ten seconds of thought, the thought pops up: it’s just theater. It’s not serious journalism. I will say I haven’t spent much time staying with that. There’s not much point. But what I did see looked like Anderson Cooper playing infotainment celebrity creating a TV show where the “news” consists of setting up on a hillside with a view somewhere and interviewing a parade of assorted “experts” about what they think is going on, and generally reporting the standard narrative on this as it has been running in the American news media.
That basically follows the narrative tossed out by our government here in the United States.
it goes something like this, to review: The people of Ukraine rose up against a repressive dictator and Russian domination to demand change and freedom and democracy and links to the EU and US to be part of our free enterprise and success and prosperity and so on.
The actual reality is different, considerably more complex and messy. As I’ve mentioned in the last couple of notes here. I’m pointing you to people who know much more than I do in links below. I’m not a news source, but I can try to direct you to research. This stuff does matter, as it seems like polticial idiocy and madness is again determined to start a war, and in this case fools don’t seem to understand they might be playing with lighting World War III.
As seems to invariably happen, anytime there’s a chance to get some wartime fun started, Senator John McCain gets into the action, barking furiously. He’s a strange case, one to examine all on his own, as McCain always seems to have had this odd characteristc of sometimes being a fairly stable, respectable, fair reasonable guy with a principle or three; then, sometimes, seemingly losing his mind.
One artifact of the public political barking and posing over the past few days was Senator McCain growling about the situation in Ukraine, at least the part with Russia getting involved, being, according to McCain, due to Obama’s “feckless” foreign policy, not being a strong and mighty leader, essentially not being the kind of president that the American neocon culture wants, showing the world who’s boss. The reality is more a matter of the word “feckless” indeed being applicable to President Obama, but not the way McCain and some others would apply it, but, rather, being feckless in being unable to deal with the neocon types who have been manipulating American politics and government with their megalomaniacal lunacy for decades.
The news reports of the day are saying that Secretary of State Kerry is now actually in Kiev, doing the posing, making some sort of appearance to “honor the dead” of the people who died in the protests and violence in Kiev.
Part of the narrative is that the now missing President Yanukovich, who was democratically elected but was supposed to be the evil dictator, was responsible for the deaths of protesters in the chaos in Kiev, guilty of mass murder in repressing a popular uprising. People who are paying attention with some depth of knowledge of the region (again, read all the linked items) suggest that, while things are unclear, it looks very possible, even very likely, that the people in the crowds who died by being shot were not shot by Ukrainian police, or military forces, but shot by snipers who were deliberately trying to shoot people, not to repress and quell a people’s revolt, but to provoke the crowds to riot in outrage. The term agent provacateur comes to mind. That’s murky stuff, the realm of covert intrigue.
What does seem very clear at this point is that the US government has very definitely been actively meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine, the stuff of trying to get what the neocons like to call “regime change”, trying to get Ukrain to align itself with “the west”, essentially meaning the EU, and by association, the US government, under the control of the neocons who think the natural role of the United States government is to be an empire ruling the world.
I should interject something here. Getting into that subject area is the kind of thing that will get some people twitching about it all being “conspiracy theory stuff“, whether they’re people who are some sort of conspiracy theory stuff enthusiasts, or a flipside opposite of dismissing everything as crazy conspiracy theory stuff. The neocon cult in American politics and government is hardly some hidden obscure secret society, the bastards are right out in the open. They even have a formal organization with a website, for god’s sake, The Project for the New American Century, a bunch who plainly say that they think the United States government is some natural right proper ruler of the world.
You can find the neocon attitude on display now among all the crazed chatter on Fox News and from Republican party politicians barking, like John McCain, that Obama is a weak and ineffective leader who has allowed “Russian aggression” and “weakening our national security” by not showing that pesky Vlad Putin who runs the world.
These people are fucking lunatics.
It probably should also be said that even discussing this whole subject of the Ukraine drama and how it has become a huge international drama of geopolitics is likely to draw some simplistic ideas out, basically people framing the whole thing in the form of asking “well, so, whose side are you on, anyway?“. The larger point is the whole problem is laid out in that kind of thinking, or non-thinking, really, going along with the manipulations pushing people to line up and take sides and psych them up for a good old fashioned real live shooting war.
I did at least catch a few slight glimpses of what does appear to be some credible reporting of reality sneaking through the American news, like on the CBS Evening News, in terms of the complications of the situation and history in Ukraine. Basically, as I understand it, speaking broadly, the western region of Ukraine has a genearl culture that is a bit more sympatico, shall we say, with the rest of Europe. This, presumably, is an area where notions of aligning Ukraine with the EU is more popular, and probably the seat of hopes of US government to get themselves some “regime change” going that will get Ukraine involved with the European and US governments, and banking and finance, and then into a military connection with NATO against Russia.
The ugly side of it is that apparently, as has been said by more than one person with credibility, that includes an ugly undercurrent of a culture of people who actually, in earlier generations, sympathized with Nazi Germany and even fought against the Russians (in the form of the USSR) in World War II. There is now a culture of what are basically described as severely nationalistic Ukranians, fascist, even neo-Nazi, and, it appears from a range of sources I regard as credible, essentially hijacking the “revolt”, and what the American government probably hoped for as a friendly new regime.
Meanwhile, in the eastern areas, and the south, in Crimea, it appears reasonable to say the culture is much more Russian, and not just sympatico with Russia, but definitely wanting to stay close to Russia. On top of that, part of the drama circles around a basic fact. It’s reported that the only warm-water port of the Russian Navy is on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine, specifically the Crimean territory, which was once part of the USSR, and is now leased by Ukraine in a long term agreement with Russia. All things considered, let’s just say that a move by Putin and Russia to move some Russian military into the Crimea region to stabilize security around there, where they have that sole southern naval base, and apparently a very large cultiurally Russian polpulation, might be not quite the aggression and invasion by a badly behaving neighbor nation with evil intent that so many are presenting it as being.
What’s being talked about in sunny positive terms as “interim government” in Ukraine, of a people’s uprising against oppression and embracing freedom and democracy, is, from what I can gather, actually a state of chaos and mob rule, and the mob rule is looking to be dominated by the most armed, aggressive, and nasty characters (is that a surprise?), which, evidently, consists of those ultra-nationalistic neo-Nazi fascist types I mentioned.
All in all, again, most of what we’re being told, especially by polticians in our own government, is complete bullshit. And that complete bullshit is looking more and more like cranking up the war machine and beating the drums to get a start on World War III.
I came across this item reporting on the appearance of US Secretary of State John Kerry-
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday condemned Russia’s “incredible act of aggression” in Ukraine and threatened “very serious repercussions” from the United States and other countries, including sanctions to isolate Russia economically.
“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation.”
Kerry, however, added that Russia still has “a right set of choices” that can be made to defuse the crisis.
“It’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President (Vladimir) Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations,” Kerry added.
Kerry said U.S. President Barack Obama told Putin in a 90-minute phone call on Saturday that “there will be serious repercussions if this stands. The president … told Mr. Putin that it was imperative to find a different path, to roll back this invasion and un-do this act of invasion.”
Kerry said G8 nations and some other countries are “prepared to go to the hilt to isolate Russia” with a “broad array of options” available.
“They’re prepared to put sanctions in place, they’re prepared to isolate Russia economically, the ruble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges,” Kerry said, as he also mentioned visa bans, asset freezes and trade isolation as possible steps.
I emphasize some of the quotes in bold.
Evidently Kerry was making the rounds of the Sunday TV political yapfests, and also turned up on Meet The Press on NBC-
Now you’ve called this an invasion. So what are the costs?
SECRETARY JOHN KERRY:
Well, we’re now discussing all of the options. This is an act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of its pretext. It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century, and there’s no way to start with that if Russia persists in this, that the G8 countries are going to reassemble in Sochi. That’s a starter. But there’s much more than that.
…you just don’t invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests…
The people of Ukraine are fighting for democracy, they’re fighting for freedom, they’re fighting to have their voices heard and not be governed by a kleptocracy, by a tyrant, by someone who puts their political opposition in jail, somebody who robs the country of its livelihood and future.
And they spoke out against snipers from roofs who were killing thing, they kept on marching and fought for their freedom. Now they have the opportunity for that democracy.
To repeat myself, all of this stands out as just absolute, utter, complete blatant bullshit, and I don’t know how people can even take it seriously for a moment without breaking up laughing at the staggering irony. It was just a little over a decade ago that Senator John Kerry, like most of his colleagues at the time, voted to officially approve the plan of President George W. Bush (and the full neocon brigade) to go to war against the nation of Iraq (without Congress actually declaring war), because of the supposed immiment threat of a nation that had not attacked us, because of non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” that were the scary bogeyman of the moment.
Do people learn nothing?
Many people here in the US do, fortunately, recognize the staggering, astonishing, blatant irony and hypocrisy of all that, although it might be an indicator of things that the ridiculous posing and theatrics continue rolling right along, complete with the reinforcement of almost all of the “news” coverage. As I’ve said, that does include the towering insanity of the neocon Republican types barking that Obama must be severely criticized for what basically amounts to, if they spoke plainly and honestly, saying that Obama is terrible and ineffective at being a tough-guy ruler of a military world empire. At the same time, in the bipolar stupidity that pervades American politics now, people who still convince themselves that Obama is a good president and all they wanted to think he would be try to rationalize things that are not especially rational, and many seem to buy into the “Ukranian people rising up against oppression and tyranny to gain freedom and democracy” nonsense just as much as the neocon megalomaniacs.
Stay with me a minute here; the following might seem like a digression, but it’s not.
I found myself earlier today sititng in the waiting room of a doctor’s office as I waited for someone who was there as a patient. The impressions the place the made were unavoidable, even as I pondered how many people would even think about them, or even notice.
The room had no windows, nothing to even indicate there was a world outside, never mind actual natural sunlight, or fresh air. The stale dead air was accompanied by the only light, from an array of fluorescent bulbs spreading their bleak dead lighting. What felt like endlessly recirculated stale air in a big sealed box had, like many American buildings, an extra tinge to the atmosphere of the vague aromas of outgassing synthetic materials and assorted chemicals.
The senses were also treated to a television sitting in the corner, on for no apparent reason, as the only other people present seemed oblivious to it, while the speaker poured forth the endless bleating of the television spectacle called “The View”. That was gruesome. There was an entire segment, between stretches of commercials selling you shit you don’t need, when, I swear to god, there was not an instant of quiet. There was always at least one person chattering at any given moment, often two or three simultaneously.
Sitting on a table next to me, I found an assortment of garbage reading material, and when I sifted through, I found an issue of Time magazine with a cover story that had a certain irony: “The Mindful Revolution“, subtitled “The science of finding focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture“.
That was a strange bit of irony as I pondered the scene and reflected on the experience of what is supposedly a place of health and healing, that was such a profoundly unhealthy place.
Then came the appearance of what was immediately obviously a salesman, presumably pimping pharmacueticals or expensive medical equipment, who then proceeded to make arrangements to provide lunch for everyone in the office, discussing menu selections to provide lunch for around 20 people in the office. The superficial fake friendly salesman charm meshed somehow with the kind of superficial fake friendly compassion of the front desk staff of the medical practice, who then, oince the patient moves on, return to their main concerns, yapping about whatever trivia and personal topics seem to hold their attention as more important than caring for people’s health.
At this point you might ask, how does all that relate to the situation?
On the face of it, nothing at all. Backing up for a wider view, it starts to have a certain kind of aroma in common, in getting a sense of people getting so used to pretending, accepting the dishonest and dysfucntional as normal, even desirable, maybe even ideal, that they start to disappear up their own asses, lost in delusion. The same people who could sit in the middle of the scene I just described and chatter about ‘”the greatest healthcare in the world” with a straight face might often be people who can glance at all kinds of madness and seriously think it’s about “freedom and democracy” and “national security”.