At The Financial Times: The New Cold War is alive and well! a comment by Victor Serge IV (Revised 08/19/16)

After the treatment of Jeremy Corbyn, as part of the rise of The Populists in Western political life as indicative of The Rebellion against The Elites, as characterized by the writers at The Financial Times, The Brexit Vote and the attendant manufactured political hysteria, the editors and writers at that newspaper demonstrate in every issue  that it is a propaganda tool of an utterly corrupt Corporatist politics. Read my selection of  excerpts from four ‘news’ articles and one editorial that provides the empirical evidence that this newspaper is a purveyor of  New Cold War propaganda. The excerpts from the  five essays featured here are part of a pattern of that propaganda featuring Putin as The New Stalin.

Headline: Russia plays a dangerous hand in Ukraine conflict

Sub-headline:West should make clear aggression is not in Putin’s interest

Ukraine and Russia stand once again on the brink of open war. After weeks of elevated violence in the separatist Donbass, Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused Ukrainian forces of armed incursions and plotting “terrorist” acts in Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. While a border shootout seemingly did occur, its circumstances are murky. Ominously, Russia appears to have exaggerated the incident as a pretext for renewed military threats.

For now, it seems unlikely Mr Putin would really want to risk fresh conflict, with all its dangers of broader escalation. After all, in his geopolitical stand-off with the west, some things seem to be moving in his favour. Turkey, after its failed coup, is again veering towards Moscow. In the US, Mr Putin has a Republican presidential candidate — albeit a currently faltering one — who has praised him and suggested Moscow should be allowed to keep Crimea. The EU has been rattled by the Brexit vote.

With parliamentary elections looming next month, however, Mr Putin might have decided some military theatrics were required to distract domestic attention from a stagnant economy and cast himself once again as the nation’s irreplaceable defender. His manoeuvrings, including troop build-ups in both Crimea and Donbass, may be aimed, too, at distracting from celebrations on August 24 marking 25 years since Ukraine’s independence declaration from the Soviet Union.

Here is a news item, dated May 28, 2016, from Ukraine Today :

Headline:Ex-NATO Chief Rasmussen is now Poroshenko’s new advisor

Sub-headline: And this assignment was not left unnoticed by Russia

‘Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been appointed as a new advisor to the Ukrainian President. Petro Poroshenko signed the relevant decree on May 27.

Rasmussen, who also was Danish Prime Minister, has already confirmed the fact.

Read also: Former NATO chief Rasmussen says Russian attack on Baltics ‘highly probable’

“I’m pleased to accept the appointment, and I will do my utmost to promote security and reforms in Ukraine, and strengthen the Ukraine-E.U. bond. I look very much forward to working with the Ukrainian authorities”, Rasmussen posted on Facebook.

The ex-NATO Chief described the situation in Donbas as “alarming”. But, he said, at the same time Ukraine need to continue to carry out reforms, including the fight against corruption. “In that respect, reinforced ties with the E.U. are essential”, he stated.

Rasmussen is known for his support for Ukraine. In August 2014 Poroshenko awarded him “for significant contribution to the development of cooperation between the state of Ukraine and the NATO, important support in defending the sovereignty, independence and integrity of Ukraine”.

Moscow has already called this assignment “an enemy act against Russia”.

Read also: NATO Chief Retires: Rasmussen steps down from military alliance

“Ukraine is drifting towards NATO. The country is a stepping-stone (for NATO) against Russia, and it will be used if we or Ukraine itself don’t oppose”, Russian official Leonid Kalashnikov said in an interview with Interfax.

Kalashnikov added, “entering NATO would be a suicide for Ukraine”.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen was NATO Secretary General from 2009 to 2014. He was replaced by Norwegian politician Jens Stoltenberg.

There can be no doubt that Rasmussen is now Viceroy of Ukraine and in full control of the puppet government headed by Poroshenko!

Headline: Russia ups the ante in Ukraine with eye on G20

In Ukraine’s restive east, artillery explosions ring out and international monitors record dozens of shell bursts every evening. The ceasefire between Kiev and the Russian-backed separatists is fraying badly.

Signs of a flare-up in fighting began in July and Ukraine and its western allies are observing a more worrying development: a build-up of conventional Russian forces in Crimea and along the countries’ shared border.

Russia has positioned military units with thousands of troops to the north in Bryansk, to the east near Rostov, to the south in Crimea and to the west in the separatist Moldovan region of Transnistria. There are signs they are preparing for fighting.

Last week, people in Crimea began posting online about a large deployment of artillery and tanks in the north of the peninsula and within range of Ukraine. The internet there was temporarily shut down.

Ukrainian intelligence agencies say a Russian air defence regiment has been embedded with the separatists in Donbass. Launchers of the type that fired the Buk missile that downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014, killing all 298 people aboard, are again being deployed.

‘“Preparations for conventional conflict between Russia and Ukraine are accelerating, and the likelihood of open war is increasing rapidly,” the Institute for the Study of War, a US think-tank, wrote in a report last Thursday. On Monday that appeared to move a step closer. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, vowed that “exhaustive measures” would be taken against Kiev in reprisal for what Russia called an attempted terror attack by Ukraine’s defence ministry.

“These are very, very clear signals from Russia that say they are willing to escalate and to push boundaries,” says Kathleen Weinberger, a Russia and Ukraine expert at the ISW. “We’re seeing reports of big military convoys being sent into the separatist areas, Russian troops being sent to the border and a lot more naval equipment in the Black Sea — including some of their most advanced subs, which have quite powerful ground attack cruise missiles.”

The downing of MH17, killing all 298 passengers, still plays well with Western audiences psychologically habituated to the myth of Putin as political monster, a given in a Western Press in thrall to the imperatives of NATO and Western National Security States. Yet the ‘guilt’ of the Russians has yet to be demonstrated by empirical evidence, a small stumbling block!  The long quotations from a report by Institute for the Study of War, founded by notorious Neo-Conservative Kimberly Kagan, and its hireling Kathleen Weinberger can leave no doubt as to the why of  bellicose prediction of this essay: that have yet to materialize as of August 18, 2016. Yet we expect those developments monetarily?

Headline: Putin accuses Kiev of armed Crimea incursion

‘Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukrainian forces of a “criminal” incursion into Crimea, in an escalation of the conflict between the two countries that began when the peninsula was annexed by Moscow in early 2014.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday that it had foiled “terrorist acts” prepared by Ukrainian military intelligence against infrastructure in the territory, with the aim of disrupting Russia’s parliamentary elections due on 18 September. Kiev has denied the allegations.

In response to the alleged operation, Mr Putin said he was pulling out of international peace talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He said he was no longer ready to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, and German and French leaders in the so-called Normandy format, which has been used for negotiations. Mr Putin hinted at a possible meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China early next month.

“Under these conditions, meeting in the Normandy format, especially in China, is meaningless,” Mr Putin said at a press conference. “Apparently, the people who seized power in Kiev and continue to hold on to it, instead of seeking compromise, instead of searching ways of a peaceful settlement, have moved on to the practice of terror.”’

The deadly political melodrama continues to play itself out with claims and counter claims of the protagonists, yet the culpability, duplicity not to speak of the mendacity of NATO, the E.U. allied to American support of President Obama, Victoria Nuland, Samantha  Power remain unmentioned in one more piece of New Cold War propaganda.

Headline: Russia pledges to take ‘exhaustive measures’ against Ukraine

‘Russia plans to take “exhaustive measures” against Ukraine in response to what it called an attempted terrorist attack in the annexed Crimean peninsula earlier this month, but will not go as far as suspending diplomatic relations with Kiev, the country’s foreign minister said on Monday.

Sergei Lavrov said Russia would provide evidence supporting its version of the incident in which a Russian soldier and a security services officer were shot dead near the disputed border with Ukraine.

“In addition to what you see on television, we have incontrovertible proof that this was a diversion that was planned long ago by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry with the goal of destabilising the situation in Russian Crimea,” Mr Lavrov said.

Mr Lavrov was speaking after a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. At a joint press conference Mr Steinmeier called on Russia and Ukraine to refrain from hostilities. “We do not have a clear picture of those events and await the results of the Ukrainian and Russian investigations,” he said.

Details of the shootings, which took place in the northern Crimean town of Armyansk, remain murky. Several local bloggers reported a shootout on the night of August 7, three days before Moscow made its accusations. Russia arrested nine men it says were Ukrainian “saboteurs”, but relatives of one of the men suggested that he had been abducted. Ukraine has denied the men were its agents and said the arrests were an attempt to cover up a drunken weekend scuffle between Russian military and security officials. Footage of the scene shown on Russian television showed a full moon — even though the last full moon was on July 19.’

The above further evidence on Putin’s intransigence, via Lavrov.

Headline: Donetsk faces a creeping Russification

At an electronics store in Donetsk, stronghold of the Russia-backed separatists who control Ukraine’s breakaway east, Vasili declines payment of 100 hryvnias to install the internet on a mobile phone.

“We don’t accept hryvnia any more, only roubles,” the shop assistant says, explaining that they exclusively use the Russian currency now on orders of the region’s separatist leadership.

A short distance away in Makiivka, a conversation with factory worker Marina underscores how Russian money has become the de facto currency.

The steel plant where she works is one of the few in the war-torn region that was once Ukraine’s industrial heartland that continues to pay salaries in the national currency. “We immediately exchange it to roubles as you can’t buy anything here in hryvnia any more,” she says.

Two years after the Ukrainian conflict erupted — when Russian-backed rebels seized government buildings in scores of towns across the country’s Russian-speaking east and set up their own breakaway republics — the Donetsk and neighbouring Lugansk regions have not (unlike Crimea) been annexed by Moscow.

The Russians held back, perhaps fearing further western sanctions — although many say it was more Moscow’s reluctance to shoulder the cost of a densely populated region and its hundreds of thousands of pensioners.

August 19,2016: I didn’t comment on the above ‘news story’ as I had to really thing about what would be relevant to the issue of ‘creeping Russification’ yet a publication founded in 1888 by James Sheridan and Horatio Bottomley, at the height of the British Empire, ought to take care when making that charge, in sum, of cultural/economic imperialism, when that Empire made such ‘imperialism’ in such far flung places as India , South Africa. Not to those inextricably linked by both geography and linguistic/cultural similarity.

On the question of Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as some kind of objective arbiter, there is this from NATO:

‘The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) is an important partner for NATO. The OSCE establishes the principles that govern international relations in the Euro-Atlantic area and embodies a comprehensive approach to human security. The two organisations play complementary roles in building security and maintaining stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. Both support the principles that underpin the European security order. Both also acknowledge the need for a coherent and comprehensive approach to crisis management, which requires the effective application of both military and civilian means.’

For some insights on the questions raised in these Financial Times excerpts look to two videos featuring ‘Ray McGovern, retired analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, Vladimir Golstein, associate Professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University and James Jatras, a former U.S. diplomat and policy advisor and analyst for the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate.’ Under the heading of Russia and US elections.


Victor Serge IV


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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