An uncommon analysis of US foreign policy regarding Ukraine
March 19, 2014
|John Kerry shakes the hand of the new, unelected leaders of Ukraine.|
A lot of people have been talking about Ukraine. Most of the talk has been regurgitation of talking points from corporate media controlled by the East or West. In order to understand the US's policy in the region, I think it's important to frame it properly and some of the important context is not being talked about at all.
The US used to complain about China's "manipulation of currency". You don't hear this talk anymore. Why? The US is actively manipulating currency (and gold, but that's another topic). The dollar has been continually inflated through quantitative easing in order to keep bankers happy, keep Wall Street happy, and keep exports up. The power of the dollar comes from it's tie to oil. Oil is traded in dollars. This forces countries to keep reserves of US dollars. This is a very unique position for a currency to have and keeping this advantage is THE top national security priority of the US. If the petrodollar is successfully overthrown, the dollar will immediately collapse. Some OPEC nations that were talking about trading their oil for other currencies (thereby challenging the petrodollar) include: Iraq (for Food in Euros while also supporting the Gold Dinar), Libya (for Gold Dinars), and Iran (for Euros and Gold - They began talking about trading oil for gold with India in 2006. When did anti Iran rhetoric get stepped up? Oh... 2006! What a coincidence).
Unlike Iraq and Libya, the US was unable to get its troops into Iran for a number of reasons. The next tool to apply pressure would be sanctions. The only problem is that Iran has been dealing with sanctions for a long time now. It's not been effective. So what does that leave? Negotiations.
As some of you may know, the sanctions against Iran are being dropped in a move spearheaded by the US. What does the US get in return? Well... the biggest thing their getting is Iran forgetting all that nonsense about trading oil for Gold or anything that's not the dollar. Petrodollar crisis temporarily avoided - check. But what does this mean?
|Proposed pipelines feeding Europe|
Assad is a horrible leader. A thug. But this is not why the US, Israel, and the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc.) were actively fighting against Assad. The true motivation behind attacking Assad was attacking their proposed natural gas pipeline. Both the Syria/Iraq/Iran pipeline & Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Iraq pipeline are attempting to send natural gas into Turkey (and from Turkey, to the rest of Europe. Qatar and Saudi Arabia did not like this competition and sought to take Syria/Iran out of the picture.
Prince Bandar, the former head of Saudi Intelligence, and Qatar conspired to use radical islamist to foment a civil war in Syria. Those foreign fighters in Syria? You can mostly thank Qatar and Bandar. Prince Bandar took a calculated risk in the hopes that, with Israel's help via AIPAC, they could ensnare the US into the war and stifle Syria's pipeline plans. Unfortunately for them, it seems the Obama administration found a way to duck the will of Israel without openly defying AIPAC. Kerry's flub of an answer was not a mistake. His SOLE job is to field questions like the one he got from Margaret Brennan. That 'flub' was a way to back out of a confrontation with Syria without facing the wrath of AIPAC.
Bandar, Qatar, and Israel's failure to draw the US into Syria (and hopefully Iran thereafter) resulted in some repercussions. Bandar and Qatar have been using jihadists (Wahabbi & Salafi) as political tools. But they are dangerous political tools. The Gulf States already have to worry about democracy driven challenges to their power. Now, Bandar and Qatar have increased the size, influence, and power of islamists, who are also a threat to their power, and have nothing to show for it in return. This is why Bandar was fired and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE pulled their ambassadors from Qatar. Qatar and Bandar played a dangerous game and lost. And now the world has to deal with their mistakes.
|Dilma Rousseff, Dimitry Medvedev, Manmohan|
Singh, Hu Jintao and Jacob Zuma
Also, the World Bank and IMF, which are able to effect global economies through loans tied to neoliberal strings is going to be challenged by BRICS's World Bank. Using such a mechanism will allow BRICS to better counter the dollar's dominance and position as the global reserve currency.
And finally... Ukraine
The US is able to clearly see the threat to the dollar and the collapse of the dollar is the collapse of the US and many other economies that are backed by the dollar. BRICS plans must be stopped. So how is that best done? To kill the dragon, you must chop the head.
The most active force within BRICS pushing the dollar confrontation forward is Russia. China is, no doubt, a huge power, but it is more focused on home, dealing with corruption, and traditionally avoids imperialist machinations. Russia, on the other hand, is an experienced Empire that craves the glory it once tasted. Russia currently sees much of its income from its natural resources. It supplies one third of Europe's natural gas through a pipeline that traverses Ukraine. In 2006, Russia removed some of the subsidies it was giving to Ukraine for natural gas. This move was ill received and Ukraine decided to take the gas they needed from the pipeline traversing their country. This caused Russia to cut the pipeline and get the gas to Europe through less efficient, more expensive routes.
Now that Iran is on the way to possibly aligning themselves more closely with the US, their proposed pipeline to Turkey means trillions of dollars. Iran has the second largest reserves of natural gas in the world (after Russia) and they are on their way to being sanction free and supplying Europe with its gas.
Iran's ability to take business from Russia is a happy thought for the US, especially if the US is able to control Iran. This will also sever some of the ties that exist between Russia and Europe and further isolate Russia.
The simplistic narratives being offered by the media about Ukraine, or nearly any other topic for that mater, is a dumbed-down smokescreen for the real drivers of policy. Corporate media will not inform you, they will only misinform you. Please pay attention to what is happening in the world. It is the only way you have a chance at gaining an accurate narrative. Always know your source and recognize the bias and the reasons of bias in their reporting. It takes a bit of work, but you have a shot at finding truth - a rare commodity these days.
If you're a nation and you plan on challenging the dollar, know that the US is going to suddenly be interested in bringing 'freedom' to your country.