Dear Pundita, I stayed up all night reading every link you listed on Ukraine in all your posts, INCLUDING the ones on the World Socialist Web Site and about a million other articles on their site. You were right, if you look past the commie insults they have a lot of news about other parts of the world and US government activities that never make it into the US mainstream news reports. But I think you missed their Dec. 23 article. It gives a lot of history about the power struggle in the Ukraine. From everything else they said, which includes talking about what Stratfor says, I am pretty sure the people at the World Socialist website wouldn't agree with you that the State Dept. was a dupe of the European Union. The article puts the plan to isolate Russia on America. The article also tells a lot about why Kuchma got on the outs with Washington.
[Signed] Sleepless in St. Louis again"
Dear Sleepless Again:
Pundita is pleased to learn that her opinion doesn't march in lockstep with Stratfor and a bunch of Trotskyists. Well, nobody held a gun to State's head, that's for sure. However, Pundita sticks with her thesis that any plan to hem in Russia originated on the other side of the Pond.
However, this is a high stakes poker game. What would happen to the banking systems in West Europe, if the oligarchs pulled out their rainy day money and put it in local banks?
Of course not all the banks the oligarchs use are European owned; come to think of it, many of them are branches of American banks. Oh but that's right I forgot--the really big number crunching computers are owned by OPEC, BIS, and NASA. So maybe the State Department and their European counterparts overlooked a few details when they sat down to play poker with the Kremlin.
As to how long it would take for heads of state to speed-dial Putin after the first wave of electronic transfers got underway--about 12 mintues. 11-1/2 minutes to pray and the other half to lower their voices below the pitch of castrato.
Moscow holds so many high cards in this situation that this is why Pundita suspects our State Department didn't have a clear idea about what they were meddling with. The EU3 did know the score; they knew that any plan to isolate Russia was a bluff. The bluff was so dangerous that it would take the threat of force of arms to even come to the poker table. That's why the EU3 and their satellites needed the USA involved in the game.
Earth calling State Department: countries on the other side of the Atlantic have been machinating against each other for thousands of years. Their lack of perspective about each other is matched only by their knack for cooking up plots that explode or collapse from sheer complexity.
So, we here in 21st Century America need to wise up, if we don't want to be spattered by exploding plot goo. Doesn't mean we should shut ourselves off from Europe; we couldn't do that even with the will. But the State Department, White House and the Congress need to look first to history when Europeans bring them ideas. Just as there used to be a Taster, who tasted food before it was served to the king, so the US Secretary of State should consult a Historian. This should be done every time a European ally presents a winning idea for how to handle matters that got their start during the Roman Empire or earlier.
Thank you for sending the Dec. 23 WSWS article, which throws more light on why Kuchma fell from grace in Washington. What's interesting about Kuchma's fall is that he had put Ukraine on a fast track to joining NATO. He had adopted democratic liberalization reforms. He was doing just about everything the White House wanted.
Yushchenko and Yanukovich (and Kuchma) are connected with oligarch clans. That's not saying anything; virtually every FSU citizen connected with big business and involved with high-level politics is connected with an oligarch clan. But the more that comes out about State's involvement in Ukraine, the more I ask whether the controversies that suddenly arose around Kuchma had more to do with clan jostling than anything else. In that event State, White House, Congress, and the American taxpayer were swept up into Eurasian clan politics, which we know virtually nothing about.
Please get some sleep. Learn to take geopolitics in stride, for if it's not one mess it's another, and a solution always leads to another problem. Think of what's happening today as Scarlett O'Hara's Tomorrow. We're settling things the Roman Empire put off until tomorrow. To think in smaller bites of history, the post-Cold War generation will do the best they can to deal with the problems the Cold War left behind; that generation will in turn leave unfinished business for the next generation to deal with. Ever thus.