Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ukraine, BRICS, future, end. Crazy talk, right?

The last blog post covered the importance of Ukraine. This one unfolds the plan that the Putinic Circle has for all of mankind. This will seem crazy, until you reflect on what has happened since 1991.

In the nineties, we in the US and Europe anticipated decades of unprecedented peace. The Soviet Union, slavering devourer of half of Europe, contributing to the delinquency of fledgling third world countries and scheming evil empire, had fallen apart like one of its many hastily poured concrete apartment blocks.

But, like many of the previously anticipated strings of peace decades, the first one was squandered. Rather than look forward, we sighed and started to wind down. The Cold War is done. No more Mutually Assured Destruction hanging over us. In the U.S., the biggest news that decade was the President receiving some extramarital genital stimulation while on the clock.

Meanwhile, Russia was forming the ex-Soviet states into a loose confederation, and seeing actual capitalist activity starting to occur. However, this activity was oddly "carpetbagger" in its nature, where people like the robber barons of Soviet anti-Western rhetoric came to life. This wasn't apparent at the time: we perceived what we wanted to.

People of means, who may have acquired those means in an unsavory way but maybe not, were collecting industrial assets. That's the way it should work, right?

But the acquisition of these assets was roped off for a select few. Oil and gas, steel, paper, mining, aerospace... all of these things that had been built with the intention of outpacing the West were being bundled into portfolios for exclusive investors. This was discussed in the previous post.

That activity created the oligarchy that we see today. Now, in the first years of the 21st century, we saw what we thought was a Russia finally entering into the economic compact of nations, to take a proper place therein. We weren't paying attention much, of course, at that time.

That was not happening. At the same time that we were heavily preoccupied with a semi-fictional war on terror, Vladimir Putin was planning the future of Russia, and using Russia's military in key places across western Central Asia in order to secure pipeline routes.  These were required in order to bring oil and gas from that region to European customers that could pay with hard currency. Industry and government working hand in hand to serve the purposes of a few... hmm, what's that called?

We were lulled into complacency by the mild Mr. Medvedev, seeing reforms slowly moving across Russia. We knew Mr. Putin was the real power holder, but we were seeing what wanted to. However, as we see now, all of these reforms could be rolled back almost overnight.

Back to the Russian "robber barons": most of the shell holding companies owned by the billionaires of Russia were created "offshore" through western banks and legal mechanisms. These holding companies are like empty shopping carts. The Russian assets they were filled with were secured by aforementioned dubious means, to the sound of grumbling, squawking smerds in Russia, some of more articulate of which were silenced for good. Only "smerds", this was becoming crystal clear: not a population whose will should be represented. Again, we in the west saw what we preferred.

Then, in the last few years, in the twinkling of an historical eye, we see the autocratic totalitarian streak that ran through the Soviet era reconstituted full force. People being murdered here and there in KGB-ish style. We see a large part of the Russian people embrace the long missing strong leadership embodied by Mr. Putin. We see the gas fields of Asia under fascist Russian control. We see a mechanized land army destroying chunks of European cities in Ukraine, changing borders.

Now, in the present: Putin has discarded any and all pretense, driven by the inspiration of nationalist thinkers who see Russia rightfully at the center the world as a dominant power. A plan had arisen from this.

And now, the plan is accelerating.

First, the BRICS bank will be created. Ukraine is a real pain at the moment, a problem, but will be brought to some "workable" arrangement with sufficient control.

This bank will allow the Oligarchate as well as shady elements within the Chinese establishment to launder any monies as needed. This network of capitalist reserves will fund various "projects", including those that deliver arms and other assets into the most capable anti-Western hands. Also, this is likely a bank without true audits.

Iran will assist in identifying and fortifying those elements in the Middle East that will best lead to the establishment of a Caliphate strong enough to impose borders that assemble the assorted squabbling ethnicities into more amenable bins. Iran will cover all with their newly built nuclear umbrella. Israel well shriek, but it won't matter, because it's all held in a state of "next move is final checkmate".

Russia economically subjugates northern Europe with a combination of energy deals and military demonstrations, along with promises of security. Europe sees how quickly Russia could move in militarily. The cities of Europe are valuable, valuable economic clockwork engines that can't be smashed even a little. Yeah, all that hands across the ocean stuff is romantic, but it doesn't stop speeding tanks with systems that blind pilots.

Europe ditches NATO, looking to Russia to supply security. The wolf is guarding the henhouse.

Now, Ukraine is a problem because it is a mechanized force's magic carpet into the soft belly of Europe. This is an important point. But it's also a demonstration area that will show how much of a European city just a little of the mechanized army can destroy.

Meanwhile, note how each of the oil producing  countries outside of the Middle East that the U.S. depends on are "infected" with an insurgency or rogue element of some sort. Nigeria has Islamist fanatics. Venezuela it's pro-Cuban factions. So all of these oil centers have receptacles for BRICS backing funds that will help them neutralize pro-American factions.

Then, suddenly,  the unified Islamist contingent will bring southern Europe under its military control, as the wolf holds open the door for the foxes, at the same time the wolf militarily subjugates any remaining European regimes that require it.

Security agreement? What security agreement?

Russia, the allied Caliphate, India and China now have de-facto control of all of Europe, and all of Asia. Brazil has de-facto control of South America.  China has also chipped away at Africa and Oceania, establishing de-facto dominance there.

European books and historical records are destroyed to make way for a new, improved history and culture. People are taught a new reality.

This is the plan of the "New Axis" for the next three decades. Ambitious? Yes. Science fiction? Maybe. Read a little about "Eurasianism", it worked out splendidly for Genghis Khan.

Dramatic? I will not say. Why I worry about this should be clear: should it happen, it is the end of artistic freedom, of human expression, of freedom of belief and the beginning an endless era where vast majority of humanity is reduced to utter slavery.

Possible? You decide.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ukraine's Multi-Dimensional Importance

There are many things that are clear about the nature of Ukraine prior to the ouster of their President Yanukovych. One of the clearest is the extent to which the government economically sapped the people, requiring bribes and kickbacks at every stage of any business deal of significance, and the other is the extent to which the Yanukovych and Putin regimes were identical.

It's extraordinary how quickly we're learning all of this: the billions of dollars spent on the Sochi Olympics, with the obvious errors and cost overruns being something a source of humor, but also an indicator of how deep the corruption runs.

Then, the well documented rise of dubious oligarchs who somehow procured portfolios of Russian businesses despite living in a society where investment capital was nonexistent was mirrored in Ukraine, and even amplified.

Almost incredibly, these people seem to have no sense of duty to their foreign customer base, their local customer base or, with minor exceptions, any sense that they need give back at all to the society that they stripped of its commercial value.

We don't understand what it is like to live under a totally corrupt government. The police coming up and demanding money because you are in a public place. If you have a job, you need to bribe landlords to keep your place, along with extortion level rents-- and if your address is in a nicer neighborhood, you just might be visited by goons and asked to leave. If you own a business, the rules have been crafted so that every single transaction has some bribe or kickback involved. There is no judicial branch to appeal to: they're all in on it. There is no "congressman", "councilman" or news outlet to write to. They're all in on it.

This is the situation that precipitated the revolution in Ukraine, and it explains the behavior of all the people involved. If you were one of the thieves, you saw the jig was up and you ran. If you were one of the victims, you couldn't take it anymore. If you were retired, getting a pension, you were maybe upset by the upheaval.

This sort of revolution in Russia is what Putin fears most: that the Russian people that have been fleeced just can't take it anymore. They start to protest en masse, and the minor, then major, regime functionaries see that the jig is up: they stop following orders and go with the tide.

The grab of Crimea raised Russian's hopes for a while: at least someone else was getting fleeced, even better to the surprise and embarrassment of the snooty and foppish EU, and especially the arrogant and conniving anti-Russian US.

Over it all, their President commanding a podium on the world stage, confident and forceful: not like the clowning Obama or the flustered Merkel!

But with that grab, Putin wrote off Ukraine. If he could cause the rebellious country to fall apart, so much the better--  volunteer mercenaries wanting adventure might assist with that, they would be equipped. So, some eager beavers were given the opportunity to field such a force, and equipment staged near the border with Ukraine for their ready use.

This is what happened: it was planned well in advance, the core units were trained, more recruited. As an garnish, an inspiring story involving historical precedent and privilege was spun and wrapped around the whole plot.

People in Ukraine have experienced some real hardships. Many of the people in the East above 40 are not highly educated. Farmers, factory workers, miners. They were trained under Soviet rule not to expect much, but to expect at least something along the lines of welfare no matter what, and this runs through that demographic.

This is the key, you see: in the Soviet "workers paradise", everyone was supposed to own the means of production. If that was so, then their 'slice' was auctioned off at a bargain price, or maybe not even auctioned but simply "transferred" through corrupt clerical sleight of hand to a cunning oligarch.

Putin has identified the US as having the purpose of thwarting Russia: the U.S. wants Russia to have zero advantages in his view, and the U.S. strives to ensure Russia is marginalized, inconvenienced and disrespected.

It seems this way because Russia is a corrupt state and acts as one, where the U.S. is much less so. The U.S. prefers to work with countries that share the same sort of notions of reciprocal regulation, open investment and commerce, where Putin's Russia will put up with what they have to, but not because  they think it's a good idea. For example, foreign investors in Russia being arbitrarily dispossessed of their businesses through specific machinations of the bureaucracy is ok, if that's what the leadership wants and thinks they can get away with it.

What has happened iin Russia and Ukraine is truly frightening: people have been bribed, threatened, violently injured and worse so that a cadre of billionaires, are mentioned in the sanctions, could have their businesses for cheap and expand their portfolios. This is the way they operate, it is what they know and they want the whole world to be that way. No anti-trust mumbo jumbo, no FINRA, no SEC: just straight ahead ultra hostile no bounds set acquisition. They have amassed the wealth to be able to operate that way with impunity in Russia, and irritates them it's not like that everywhere!

So of course they see  U.S. as making up rules that make it hard for them to do what they want, just to irritate them. This is what an egomaniac would think.

Understand, then, that Ukraine is currently a battleground where this amoral, self-serving clique of billionaires wants a cozy pocket of corruption to operate in. Thanks to these Russian military adventurers, the attempt is is being made to carve this out of the eastern portion of the country. At the best, they will achieve their aim. At the worst, they will be a constant source of disruption for the government in Kiev unless they're completely defeated.

Russian arms and fighters will continue to be pumped into this situation unless the Ukrainian army can close off the border securely. Then, without resistance from the people actually living there in Donetsk and Luhansk --poor people, battered people, people who stand to lose everything-- the billionaires' henchmen will continue to have their way.

It doesn't seem hopeful: the city of Donetsk is built to hold a million people. It is an valuable economic asset. Even if all the non-combatants leave the city, the occupiers will force the Ukrainian army to destroy portions of it, which they already have. The night fighting equipment, stealth aircraft, the armed drones, the laser guided munitions that the U.S. is able to bring to bear in narrowly targeted strikes are not in Ukraine's arsenal.

Instead, both sides are using "Grad" (Hail) systems, aptly named multiple rocket launching systems, artillery, and air ground rockets that saturate an area with explosives. The sorts of things you aim the best you can and hope you don't hit the wrong things. The most useful platforms are those in the air, but the Russian occupiers now have support from sophisticated anti aircraft missiles.

Russia is acting as much "within the rules" as it thinks it has to-- that is, as much outside the rules as can away with. All the other countries involved are acting within the rules because they are the "keepers" of the rules, but also because it's comfortable.

It's coming down to this battle being fought in the hearts and minds of each Ukrainian involved: will they take arms and which side? Will they hide, and if so can they report intelligence on social media-- but for which side? Or will they leave, and for where?

Each decision inches the vector of history this way and that.