Mr. Smith, however correct he may be about the failure of the New York Times — and the MSM, fails to dig deep to the real truth: Russia is not suffering economic collapse. It is the West which is now collapsing! Only people who have not done their homework are investing in the American dollar, which at the moment seems to be soaring as those in fear rush for false safety. But let’s just wait till the curtain rings down, because it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!
If you have not yet read this article (among others, for instance by Jim Willie) I recommend it to you:
I also highly recommend the following interview where I believe Leuren Moret nails Putin’s modus operandi perfectly: Alfred Webre: VIDEO – Leuren Moret: Putin Plan-HAARP the Fukushima radiation out of Russia. BRICS saves world from $collapse
International papers will cover America’s role in the world honestly. Only our best paper willingly blinds itself.
by PATRICK L. SMITH
January 21, 2015
Thanks to D.
Distortions, lies and omissions: The New York Times won’t tell you the real story behind Ukraine, Russian economic collapse.
Vladimir Putin (Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan/Photo montage by Salon)
A note arrived a few days ago from one of my best informants in Europe. He had just met across a hotel dining table with a senior German executive, and the topic quickly turned to the crisis in Ukraine and the sanctions regime Washington has imposed on Russia.
I can do no better than give you the pertinent passage in the note:
“… I spoke … breakfast time in Europe… with the head of one of the largest companies in Germany. This declaration was one of the first items he mentioned. I took notes—because it is one of my clients—and here is what he said: ‘It is urgent for Europe to bring Obama and the people making the decisions behind him back to reality. If not, this will spiral first into a financial collapse, which will slam into all of Europe, and then who knows where it goes after that? Everywhere, far-right nationalist forces are building. Look at the last U.S. Congressional elections, and think what is coming. Will America ever have had a more nationalist Congress? Le Pen would be right at home in this crowd. The course we are on now is folly. Can’t they see that?’”
I wish I could say the German exec’s question is a good one, but the grim answer is too obvious. They can see nothing in Washington. We witness the single most reckless, destructive foreign policy this administration has yet devised, comparable in magnitude to Bush II’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry wanted Middle East peace to stand as their legacy on the foreign side. Now they propose restored relations with Cuba as the bronze monument. Forget about it. The devastation of ties with a global power, the dissolution of Ukraine and very possibly the ruination of Europe’s barely beating economic recovery will be what we live with after this administration makes its exit.
I am awestruck as news of recent events unfolds. Ukraine is more than an economic, political and military mess: It is a major humanitarian tragedy now. As the German CEO wants to know, how can we possibly arm neo-Nazis in Ukraine while right-wing extremists and anti-immigration atavists rise all over Europe?
The body blows the State Department and Treasury are dealing Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis—as precipitated by State, of course—would be irresponsible under any circumstances for the risks they carry. In the current global environment, this starts to shape up as monomania.
Thoughtful readers point out that this is a standoff between two nuclear powers, and, indeed, this has to be on our minds. But for the moment, and thank goodness, that is in the background. The very immediate menace is a global economic calamity that could make the 2008 crisis look like a blip on the chart.
Last week Fitch, the credit-rating agency, downgraded Russia’s status to BBB, putting it a few notches away from junk status. This is hardball, we had better recognize: You cannot shove the world’s No. 8 economy into the gutter and expect it to land there alone. A lot of suffering beyond Ukraine’s borders, where it is awful enough already, is frighteningly near.
Before I go any further: No, you are not reading much about this in the American press. You can read about it in the German press, the French press and elsewhere on the Continent, in the Czech press, the Russian press (obviously), some of the British press, and even the Chinese press. But all those journalists and all their readers are in a propaganda bubble, the world’s greatest newspaper wants us to know.
It is crowded inside the propaganda bubble and lonely here outside of it, it seems. To this topic we will return.
* * *
At year-end I predicted in this space that one of two key relationships stood to fracture in the course of this year: These were either Europe’s ties with Russia or America’s with Europe. I continue to think the latter would be the breach that will leave us all better off.
In my read Washington has drastically overplayed its hand with the Europeans from the first round of sanctions onward. Now those overly courteous Europeans are at last taking the kidskin gloves off. We had hints of this before the holidays, when Matteo Renzi, the Italian premier, said at a European summit in Brussels, “Absolutely no to more sanctions.”
Now François Hollande asserts that, no, Moscow has no desire to annex eastern Ukraine, no, there is no need for more sanctions, and yes, sanctions now in place must be lifted if, as Hollande and other European leaders continue to anticipate, what you may read notwithstanding.
This is what it sounds like inside the propaganda bubble, where people such as Renzi and the president of France live and breathe.
Alas, you never know whom you are going to bump into inside the bubble. A couple of weeks ago Heinz Fischer, Austria’s president, rejected sanctions—past and to come—as well as the E.U.’s association deal with Ukraine. The latter, of course, is the holy covenant at the heart of the Ukraine crisis:
“The approach that more and more sanctions should be implemented against Russia until it is weak enough to forcefully accept the E.U.’s own political objectives is a mistake,” Fischer said in an interview with Wirtschaftsblatt, Vienna’s financial daily. “A serious crisis in Russia and an economic collapse would only create more problems.”
And on the E.U.-Ukraine pact: “It was recognized only at the last moment that it was a real ordeal for Ukraine to choose between the E.U. offer and the [comprehensive bailout] offer from Vladimir Putin, which was better suited to the realities faced by Ukraine in the fall of 2013. Ukraine needs to be free to build its own relationships with both Europe and Russia.”
With these kinds of comments in view, it emerges now that Europeans have been seduced. Beginning with the Danes at yearend, they have one by one complained that the intent was never to devastate the huge economy next door but to win Russia’s cooperation in Ukraine.
Washington’s ambitions have been grander from the first. This is the context of Victoria Nuland’s infamous “F the E.U.” remark last February. And we now witness the love act as Nuland and her colleagues at State seem to like it. Rough sex after the seduction, let us say.
The same disregard Washington displays toward Europe seems to be the case in Ukraine itself. The news coming from Kiev starts to make Greece look like the Klondike. The economy shrank 7.5 percent last year and will recede at least as much this. No one knows. It could shrink as much as 10 percent.
Here is what Roland Hinterkoerner, a thoughtful analyst at RBS Asia-Pacific, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Hong Kong outpost, had to say about Ukraine in a recent economic report:
“The country is clinically dead…. There is nothing government or the central bank can do to stop the decline. The population is being pushed further and further into poverty. Food prices are up 25 percent and rent, electricity, gas and water by 34 percent…. This is the picture of a Ukraine that is looking an economic collapse in the eye. But its government is still attempting to channel money into the military to fend off the big bear’s aggression…. The danger for Ukraine is not Russia. It is its own demise….”
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