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View Diary: With Friends Like This... (288 comments)

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  •  More for Forbes and Truth-out: (2+ / 0-)
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    gerrilea, aliasalias

    FORBES: 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Pessimistic About Ukraine
    by Mark Adomanis

    [ ] The IMF wants its pound of flesh

    It is possible that a committed and generous response from the IMF would be able to overcome the sort of economic pressure that Russia is going to deploy. But the IMF’s statements so far all suggest that it is going to demand painful austerity measures in exchange for any aid. One can understand why the IMF is making such demands (Ukraine’s economy is inefficient and uncompetitive) but governments that undertake radically unpopular economic reforms don’t usually last very long. If the newly installed Ukrainian government becomes popularly associated with painful austerity then it’s not hard to imagine that government rapidly losing popularity. There’s a reason that no Ukrainian government has ever directly tackled the issue of natural gas subsidies: because natural gas subsidies are extremely popular among the Ukrainian public. While it is fair to say that Ukrainians generally want a more open and honest economy, there’s actually very little popular demand society for radical neoliberal reform. The region’s history strongly suggests that if neoliberal inform ends up being imposed anyway that there will be political hell to pay.
    truth-out: Ukraine: "Go West, Young Man" (or Dr. Strangelove's Revenge)

    by Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers

    Having suffered a generation under Stalin and his successors, Ukrainians will now be able to compare that to the hand of IMF central planners. Who needs a military thrust when a new round of shock therapy and austerity will do the trick more deftly?

    Yanukovych is the kind of kleptocrat that neoliberals promised would enrich the post-Soviet states, except he committed the unforgivable sin of refusing to implement an EU/US-counseled austerity program. The aim is to transfer public wealth into the hands of private individuals who will be steered by the "Invisible Hand" (that of the sponsors of today's color revolutions) to seek their gains by selling what they have taken to Western investors. Finance is the new mode of warfare, and we are seeing a grab for what military invasions in times past aimed at: land, natural resources and infrastructure monopolies.

    •  And just what does your reply have to do with (5+ / 0-)

      my original comment about the opinion piece you posted as "additional reference material"?

      Worse, the first piece you reference says nothing whatsoever that could back up your diary's hypothesis - perhaps you should revisit the source for your quote.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

      by serendipityisabitch on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:06:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, would it be fair to say that I've included (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        analysis and opinion from sources that support my contention regarding the IMF and US meddling in the Ukraine.

        You of course reject all of it; I have no problem with that.

        But hey, getting back to the issue at hand.  What's your opinion about the causes of the current situation in Ukraine and about what the US should do about it?

        Are you of the opinion that the US has been meddling in their internal affairs and engaging in a destabilization campaign?  Or do you think the US has just been supporting freedom and democracy there?

        What's your take?

        •  No, I don't think it would be fair to say that. (3+ / 0-)
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          erratic, Hey338Too, fcvaguy

          The issue presently at hand is not my opinion of the causes of the situation, but your tendency to cherry pick sources and quotes and call it support for your theses.

          You may be absolutely correct. I don't know that, and neither do you; not enough solid data available.

          Given some of your previous writings, you might as easily make the case that the US is merely a pawn of the IMF and Russia in their campaign, as tools of the global corporatist elites, to take over more and more of the production capacity of the world. Given Putin's wealth, it would be no great stretch to see him as one of the players in that consortium, if it indeed exists.

          Once you allege this type of thesis, there is no assumption too far fetched to fit into it.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:50:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you call sources like Forbes and truth-out (1+ / 0-)
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            (which are kind of different, don't you think) "cherry-picking," then that's your opinion.  You are entitled to believe anything you like.  I can't do anything about that.

            Now, and again, about this:

            Are you of the opinion that the US has been meddling in their internal affairs and engaging in a destabilization campaign?  Or do you think the US has just been supporting freedom and democracy there?
            That's really subject of the diary.  Any comments on that?
            •  Hi Ray! (5+ / 0-)

              I have found your references to the US "meddling in their internal affairs" and "engaging in a destabilization campaign" interesting, primarily because it seems to present a binary choice for some very subjective actions - either the US is doing it, or it isn't.

              I agree that the US is funding pro-democracy groups in the Ukraine, and elsewhere around the world, and that US diplomats have been (and likely still are) apparently in conversation with opposition leaders in the Ukraine. Is that meddling? Is it a destabilization campaign?

              And if it is, according to your definition, what's the impact? How significant is it as a factor? I can see good reasons for the US to be engaged with political groups (including opposition groups) in countries around the world. There are certainly US actions that I would consider inappropriate, unacceptable, or illegal. But it's very hard to form an opinion on the issue without specific information about what the US involvement entails.

              •  Hi erratic. The diary nor my comments show that (1+ / 0-)
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                I'm seeing this issue as an either/or, or black and white, or binary manner.  There is nothing in the diary that indicates that.  It is a nuanced opinion that recognizes that we live in a very complicated world.

                I'm not sure if what you are labeling as "binary" points to your disagreement with my conclusion or my characterization about the US being involved in a destabilization campaign in Ukraine that has very little to do with spreading freedom and democracy.

                This is an opinion that's shared by many, many observers and commentators.

                Other people don't share it and believe that the US is benevolent and acting to promote democracy in the Ukraine.

                I for one would not insist that the people who hold that view, which disagrees with mine and that of others, are seeing the issues in a binary manner.

                I clearly covered this approach in the diary...

                The fundamental question I have is that even if we put the issue about destabilization aside, is it fair to say that the US encouraged Ukraine to take certain steps which anybody who knows the history in the region could conclude to be antagonistic to Russia?

                And if so, is it fair to assume then that there was a possibility that Russia would react this way?

                And if so, now that Russia made her move, what is the US prepared to do to help her friend, Ukraine, in this dire moment resulting from Russian aggression?

                Are we just going to say, "Oops, sorry we led you to believe we'll do something about it if the whole approach we were taking back-fired; you'r on your own now!"

                Hence, the title of the diary...

                •  Hi Ray! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  My reference to a binary choice concerned what I perceived as an "is it or isn't it?" framing of the question of whether or not the US was "meddling in their internal affairs" and "engaging in a destabilization campaign". My comment agreed with you on the existence of US influences on current Ukrainian affairs, and then brought up an issue that I don't feel has been clearly covered - what was the extent of the US influence, what actions were taken - how significant is it as a factor?

                  To answer your questions,
                  1-I believe that anyone involved in Ukrainian politics (including the US) is well-aware that Russia is a powerful neighbor with significant interests and assets in play. Those participating in Euromaidan were primarily protesting against increased Russian influence in Ukrainian politics. I can't speak specifically to your "certain steps" unless you specify them.

                  2-Yes, a military response by Russia to protect their assets in Crimea and other areas of influence in Ukraine was a possibility. That's been communicated pretty clearly in articles I've read since the beginning of the protests. I'd consider it general knowledge.

                  3-At this point, pretty much what we're seeing - speeches about how unacceptable Russia's actions are, talks of threats, and negotiations with the Ukraine, Russia, EU, UN, and so on to try to stabilize the situation. No military action by the US or EU, even if Russia tries to take "their" half of the Ukraine (which I consider unlikely). If there's a drawn-out combat with significant casualties, escalating threats of air support.

                  But I think Russia's a lot smarter than that - they would definitely win a large-scale invasion of the Ukraine, but it would be expensive and destabilizing for them. Russia's in a position now where they can negotiate a good outcome for them in Crimea, and retain their key influences over the Ukraine - they've lost Yanukovych, but they still have trade and political influence.

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