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Ukraine: We All Get the Tyranny We Deserve


Ukraine: This place feels familiar. I’ve been here before.

Or maybe it just reminds me of another place. Was it Iran, 1953? Guatemala, 1954? Was it Congo, 1961? Chile, 1973? Maybe it was Iraq, 1990. Or Iraq, 2003. Or Libya, 2011. Or Syria, 2013. Or Vietnam. Or…..

Something seems so very déjà vu. Some regime that is not sufficiently open to the embrace of “Western love” and then there are mobs and then the US government and the UK government and their allies suddenly see the need to “do the right thing” and help the public rid themselves of a corrupt ruler and enjoy vibrant, sunshiny democracy. (No matter that this man was actually elected.)


The problem is, you can only believe that the West truly cares about the people of Ukraine and their democracy if you have zero historical memory. Or if your analysis of all of these events comes from news organizations that don’t ever really, fully do their jobs.

The US corporate media never changes its spots. After being tricked and lied to on Vietnam, the first Gulf War, the Iraq invasion, Libya, Syria, and just about everything else, it once again takes the US foreign policy establishment at its word that it only wishes to do the right thing. The right thing. It bears repeating.

We’re told that the U.S. and its allies are just thrilled about people going into the streets to overthrow corruption and excesses by financial elites.

Yet, when people tried that in….the U.S.…the police were there in force to shut them down. Occupy looked a bit like the Ukrainian uprising, except that the US establishment was desperate to crush it. (For the ultimate in this, see our exclusive report on a suppressed FBI investigation into plans to use high-powered snipers to kill Occupy leaders….no, this is not a joke.)

Also, as with Iraq (Saddam), Libya (Qaddafi), Syria (Assad), etc., the West has a long history of getting rid of leaders who exhibit any streak of independence. Their dislikability is not the issue. The West has shown it doesn’t mind tyrants at all—provided they are our tyrants. It left those above-mentioned fellows alone, it did business with them….until it decided not to. Meanwhile, there are the charming rulers of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Gulf mini-monarchies and the like. (Here’s a nifty list of dictators the U.S. especially loved.)

In the case of Ukraine, one thing is clear: awful guy #1 (Yanukovych) was made a better offer for rescuing his plummeting economy by awful guy #2 (Putin) than by the West (awful guys #3-10). So he did what he had to. He took the better deal. Plenty of people in his country have objected to his turning to Moscow, for a lot of different, self-interested reasons. But one could argue that he made a prudent decision. One could also note that it’s not unheard of that smaller countries try to maintain close and friendly relations with a more powerful and aggressive nation next door (Canada and Mexico, anyone?)

A Stand Against Corruption?

One of the more popular media themes has been the blatant corruption of the Ukrainian leader. But before we trash Yanukovych for “enriching himself,” take a look at the splendor in which the American president resides, and look at how comfortably our Bushes and our Clintons live after leaving the White House. Everybody benefits from the endemic corruption of the global system….except for the people whose labors actually sustain it.

Recently, the debate about Ukraine has begun to move on to whether the opposition to Yanukovych is driven by civilized people or dangerous neo-Nazis and fascists. The problem with this debate is that, even in a best case scenario, with a clean slate of rosy-cheeked “reformers” in place, you’ll have a new government that must turn to the West, further isolating Russia and goading Putin to lash out.

And then there’s this little thing: everything, pretty much, is about money. And not just Yanukovych’s hankering for the finest gold toilet fixtures. The battle with Russia, like coming battles with China, and like just about every intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere, is for control of energy supplies—the greatest source of wealth in the history of the world.

It’s worth noting that the Middle East is not the next big thing when it comes to energy supplies. The former Soviet Union is. And after that, it’s the Arctic—where guess who is the West’s biggest competitor? Why, Russia.

Who blocked the impending coalition invasion of Syria? A wily Vladimir Putin.

So you can recognize Putin for what he is—another egomaniacal tyrant —and still recognize that he provides an essential balance to what would otherwise be an unchallenged superpower hegemony.

If Putin and Russia continue to be surrounded and marginalized, the world will become ever more hostage to the whims of the Wolves-of-Wall-Street class that drives the energy industry, which in turn drives the policies of the White House, Downing Street and other similar addresses.

Ultimately, it is us, the citizens of the West, who lose big. In allowing uncontested victories by this unelected alliance operating putatively on our behalf, we the people marginalize our own interests. We also ensure that we ourselves never break free of our own political corruption—and remain unable to inaugurate our own real, functioning democracy.


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  • Bruce

    It IS the Right Thing: another halfascist BS (Bush Shadow) 0bamanable PNAC attack! Nuland lebensraum, Please!! Stop Poppy!!!

  • skeptonomist

    Putin’s actions are no more egomaniacal than those of the Western powers who keep trying to push into the former Soviet republics. Russia is acting in its material interests and the Western countries are acting in theirs. The USSR was never out to take over Western Europe and neither is Putin. Putin is being personally demonized in the standard way it is done to any foreign leaders who oppose the US will.

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  • oldman67

    Full Spectrum Dominance by William F. Engdahl. Read this book to understand why those who are going to have their loved one maimed and possibly killed in the next war started by the U.S. should at least know the reason. If a nuclear war starts where does everyone think those who are responsible for starting the war will be? Safe and deep underground in either bunkers or in one of the many underground complexes with food and supplies to last for months while those above ground most likely are killed. ” What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmark will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy.” Henry russia an adversary because Putin refused to being made what Zbigneiw Brzezinski termed a ‘vassal state of the American Empire? The militarization of the Eurasian corridor by the U.S. military is an integral part of Washingtons foreign policy agenda of behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants and to surround Russia and Chins with military bases, listening post and drone bases. Washington sources openly admitted the purpose of AFRICOM is to counter the growing presence of China in Africa.

  • bionic mosquito

    Very good, clearly written post. I offer only one thought for consideration:

    “The battle with Russia, like coming battles with China, and like just about every intervention in the Middle East and elsewhere, is for control of energy supplies—the greatest source of wealth in the history of the world.”

    Vietnam wasn’t about oil. Afghanistan?

    The greatest source of wealth today is in control of the population. Skimming wealth via central banking, taxes, regulation, etc. – through the preferred method of regulatory democracy (as long as it’s “our” guy) or a dictator of some form (if it isn’t). Of course, energy is a necessity in a
    modern economy. But control 7 billion people and you will have energy and much, much more.

    • Gary

      Afghanistan had lots of minerals in its mountains and those poppy flowers the CIA likes so much. It also borders with the ex-USSR and would be a useful base -if they could ever get the fire under control.

    • Gary

      Vietnam borders with China and that was during the time of the Domino Theory, and the dominos were falling regularly back then. Anyways, I think you’re both right, by and large and it is a very good article.

  • Gordon Johnson

    Now, let’s be honest. There are no clean hands here. We have certainly been provoking conflict in Ukraine. And in Syria. These ‘civil wars’ are not coincidentally located in essential territories between Europe and energy reserves. Europe is energy poor, and bankrupted by welfare state policies, but unready to accept the consequences and relinquish the first world. The result is manufactured ‘civil wars’ to secure pipeline routes in order to get the energy to Europe.

    The US is working either reflexively to help an upcoming competitor under the illusion that the EU is still within its imperial grasp, or as a client state to the EU, or as corporate branches under the same overarching ownership. Take your pick, or mix and match. All of these have some truth. But pointedly, interfering in these foreign countries is not in the interest of US citizens and IS in the interest of Europeans.

    Meanwhile Russia’s hands are far from clean. Russia obtained Crimea by means of genocide against the tartars in the 18th & 19th centuries, and it has continued right to the doorstep of the 21st C.

    Ukraine, whose name in Russian means ‘near the edge’, shares cultural and ethnic roots with Russia. Despite this, Ukraine in the last 250 years has become thoroughly dominated by Moscow. Ukrainians are treated by Russians as second-class, are the but of jokes, and suffer a glass ceiling in Russian Society. Furthermore, Russia murdered a huge percent of the Ukrainian population under Stalin by way of forced famine. Some estimates rise as high as HALF the population died this way in the 1920s and 1930s. And Ukrainians have otherwise been brutalized by Russia, and even denied the degree of self-rule afforded to other Soviet Republics. Russia views Ukrainians and the Ukraine as their property, to do with as they please regardless of the desires of the Ukrainians.

    More recently, Ukraine wanted higher transit fees in return for delivering Russian gas to Europe, in the ‘Gas Crisis’ of 2008. They made the point that they own the delivery infrastructure, and could arrange to connect it to other gas sources (Turkmenistan via Baku-Georgian pipeline, Middle east via Turkish-Syrian pipeline). The result was Tymoshenko in prison, Ukraine forced to accept Russian Military bases throughout their country, and a signed treaty citing Russia as the sole provider of Gas to the Ukrainian gas transport system – but they did get a small raise in transit fees.

    It was a deal worthy of the Godfather.

    • FransSusan

      In simple terms, this mess is just business as usual!

    • edwardrynearson

      if you acknowledge that the empire resides above the US and the EU then things clear up

    • traveler

      If Europe is broke, what do you make of the US? And no even a small welfare system in view anywhere in this sorry country.

  • Fullblad

    I love this man’s mind. Baker cuts through the B.S. to get at the truth behind events like a hot knife through butter. I would add to this excellent commentary that behind the opposing “players” sits the one world financial cartel with a plan “A” and “B” depending on the outcome. Of course the cartel would prefer their western managerial class to succeed as witnessed by their allowance of the destabilization programs to begin with. The cartel shows all the patience in the world as it works towards it’s ultimate goal, using the names of the U.S.of A, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, IMF, World Bank, etcetera on it’s subsidiary’s business cards. Just remember the cartel considers us all as occupying their planet.

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  • John Redman

    WhoWhatWhy? What happened to WhereWhen?

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  • hp b

    Pay no attention to dancing Israelis on Kiev roof tops sniping both sides. (wink wink )

  • Cloudchopper

    Of course the media never changes its spots. They would get in trouble with the rulers.

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  • dishatin

    Depth and intellect; but what can we do right here at home? My heart goes out to the people of the Ukraine irrespective of all else. It has always been and incredibly still so, the innocent who get decimated physically, economically, psychologically. I sit incredulous that in the 21st century,
    U.S. foreign policy smacks of nothing more than a continuation of U.S. foreign policy instituted by the Dulles brothers and global business and energy elites wield all the power. with the exception of the brief beacon of the Presidency of JfK. We are not our government and our government is not us. The Ukrainian people are stuck between tyrants and energy coroporations. I pray for them. It is their nation. Let the people decide.

  • Lujack Skylark
  • edwardrynearson

    I really like this article Russ.

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  • buster

    America, Britain, Mainland Europe barring the ex Russian orbiting countries, and of course Russia itself, have little primary resources. Russia, and it’s near arctic coastline has abundance.
    American, capital need to control those resources, for the benefit of the Americans, and their supra national corporations, now and in the future. The future is going to be about primary resources, who has them and who controls them.
    Our resources world wide are finite, we in the west, have persued production for profit, at an ever increasing rate. Our ecology has become destabilized, cutting down of the rain forest, pollution of the seas and the species found within it. air pollution, nuclear pollution, CO2 pollution from fossil fuel use.The slowly increasing warming of the planet is leading to a retreat of the ice caps, and the release of methane gases trapped in the sea beds.
    Whilst at one and the same time, we have allowed corporations to do as they please with no social or moral conscience. They have circumvented the laws of the land with impunity, without fear of prosecution. They foist on the public unsafe food and medication. The media, constantly mis inform and dis inform the public in myriad ways. and this is democracy? Well I ask you is this your and my democracy?
    The corporations avoid any and all responsibility when it comes to pay for their acts which cause death and destruction to people and their environments, Bopal,Gulf, Exxon, Torrey Canyon, Three mile Island,Fukushima, the list is endless, the suffering immense, the cost very slight to these same corporations, hey are they working in your interests or theirs?
    America, now is pushing Russia, to command the resources re the Ukraine, where next maybe Russia, herself?

  • pawan

    It must be a kind of depression to live in the US and know all these facts. I am from Czech and I dont like how the US is spreding its hegemony here and there. You are looking to fight someone but is funny to see the US reaction when facing someone strong(er) like Russia, China or Iran then US is only able to treaten. Then the only word Obama knows is sanction them, so stupid mindset.

  • Mdost

    When you repeat idiotic statements such as Putin – the egomaniac, you marginalize your work. I stopped reading after that sentence. The guy in a scope of 20 years lifted broken country and made it more livable on the level with Europe, major world wide corporations are registered in Russia, free healthcare, etc etc..I would suggest you watch Putins tele marathons, especially one from 2014 on you-tube – and when make a judgement whether he is egomaniac or not. Egomaniacs are currently in a White House, hardly in Kremlin.

  • russbaker

    Yes, and next they will start doing tough reporting on…Stalin! And….Bush. Best to stay away. ;-)

    • SadPuppy

      I’m a promoter of anywhere the truth can be found, do you have any coding probs on this site? Do you have a hack prob? I noticed irregularities in Contact and following posts? like “A Rumination on the Bilderberg Group”

  • Sarrah Goldblume

    “God’s Chosen People at Work”

  • J R Smith

    I love it when someone else says exactly what I think. You couldn’t have it more right.

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