Look, I’m not an obsessed conspiracy theorist who labors in a grandmother’s basement day and night until he can connect every news item to some American grand scheme for world domination. (Laughing) I’ll offer my previous post as partial evidence. Most people who meet me would say I’m a rational guy who likes to ask simple questions. I suppose the problem is that my questions may be difficult for others to answer.
For instance, I’m examining the events unfolding in Ukraine and keep asking myself, “Why Ukraine, and why now?”
Given the countries in the world where democracy has flatlined and lives are lost, how did a country with a longstanding problem with its economy and corrupt government suddenly become a flashpoint in deteriorating US-Russia relations?
If Ukraine did not play host country to pipelines which carry Russian natural gas bound for the EU, would America act any more or less passionate about the besieged nation?
What makes the West so sure that Russia is responsible [or “created the conditions“] for the missile strike on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, when the Russian and Ukraine national armies possess similar missiles and launch capabilities to what the Ukraine rebels have?
Why did President Obama spend less than 10 percent of his time during his July 18 remarks to the press acknowledging the loss of life on MH17, and devote the overwhelming majority of his talk time blaming the Russian government for this tragedy?
Why has Washington remained silent about the acts of terror committed by Ukrainian right-wing extremists and the loss of civilian lives in Eastern Ukraine?
If American citizens, seeking a different form of government, were being killed in Latin America, would the US close its eyes?
The answers appear to be rooted in a fight between America and Russia over who will run the gas and economic development show.
A recent Reuters article proves that I was wrong about Ukraine’s status as a used-up ho, although we’ll still see more blood flow. The news agency reported that Ukraine’s parliament gave a puzzling but generous gift to American and European energy companies: 49 percent ownership of Ukraine’s gas infrastructure, wrapped in emergency legislation that’s supposed to address the fallout from Russia cutting off Ukraine’s gas.
You know what this means, right? America obviously won’t own Russia’s gas, but the former will effectively become an intermediary through owning Ukraine’s pipes, and then charging Russia for use!
While we’re on the topic, I’ll remind you that Ukraine’s inability or refusal to pay its gas bill resulted in the cutoff. Plus, Ukraine will now buy gas from the EU at USD 365-370 per 1000 cubic meter. (Laughing) That’s a big change from the $280 they used to pay Russia.
But that’s not all…
Russia’s hedge against a limited set of gas transport options to the EU led to the South Stream pipeline project’s genesis — which will bypass Ukraine and require the geographic cooperation of six Eastern European countries including Bulgaria. In what can only be interpreted as an attempt to thwart the project, Bulgaria was strong-armed by the US and EU into withdrawing its support for South Stream. For your information, US Senators John McCain, Christopher Murphy and Ron Johnson were a part of the pressure team. Bulgaria’s decision isn’t rational to me since the country gets most of its gas from Russia. Of course Russia has to be pissed. The US would be pissed if it were in Russia’s shoes at the moment.
The game seems clear — attempts are being made to contain or reduce Russia’s gas dominance while boosting the strength of US energy companies.
“Freedom” and “democracy” for Ukraine appear to take back seats here — all that matters now is gas, economic leverage over weaker economies, and a possible geographic lever to finish up the Syria civil war.
Speaking of wars, the Ukraine chaos can become much larger, and Russia may feel compelled to jump in the fight. I’ll rap about that later…
song currently stuck in my head: “chora tua tristeza” – lalo schiffrin
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