Neoliberalism is a new form of hybrid global financial authoritarianism. It is connected to the Deep State and marked by its savage willingness in the name of accumulation, privatization, deregulation, dispossession and power to make disposable a wide range of groups extending from low income youth and poor minorities to elements of the middle class that have lost jobs - Henry Giroux, on smirkingchimp.com (last week)
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 we, 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. - Russ Baker, 'We All Get the Tyranny We Deserve', smirkingchimp.com
After watching an initial segment on Chris Hayes' ' All In' last night, wherein he "blamed Russia" for what was going on in Ukraine (like all the right wing mouthpieces at FOX, as well as other pseudo libs at MSNBC) I turned to my wife in an aggravated state of despair and said: "Even Chris has now been bought out. He's so terrified of losing his MSNBC gig that he won't even go near the deeper political story of how the neocons instigated a coup in Kiev and incited the current crisis." My wife replied, "So you believe he'd lose his job if he went there?" And I said: "For sure!" to which she responded "So much for the free country." (I also reminded her that Comcast had taken over MSNBC, the same bunch that just pushed for a merger that will likely slow many of us on the net.)
Again another day of propaganda from the Neoliberal corporate media. Anyone looking for a scintilla of truth or accuracy would be hard put to find it. First there was Martha Raddatz on ABC News yapping about "Putin the bully", then the scene switched to John, aka 'Lurch', Kerry, posturing in Kiev for the State Dept. Neocons, then on NBC we beheld former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, expressing incredulity at the extent of "anti-American sentiment" he beheld in Russia during his stint there..
What is he, a nitwit, or just plain ignorant? Has he never heard of the 'Shock Doctrine''? Author Naomi Klein gives the key information in her book: 'The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism' (2007). But you know, a dedicated Neolib politico or hack would ignore such a book because it exposes too much of what his or her shtick is about - and no Neolib wants to know. Anyway, in her chapter on the Russian capitalist "experiment" (pp. 282-87) she documents how a cabal of gangster capitalists under the IMF and the "Chicago gang of Milton Friedman" attempted to brutally re-make the existing Russian centrally planned economy into a Neoliberal free market outpost of the West. The process was long and painful, entailing first getting rid of Mikhail Gorbachev - who through his glasnost and perestroika did far more than Reagan to render the world more peaceful, never mind the propaganda.
Klein makes no bones about the fact that the Friedman "school of economics" was responsible largely for the ideological ruthlessness that laid waste to Russia in the early 1990s. They only needed (Boris) Yeltsin to help dissolve the former Soviet Union.
Economist Joseph Stiglitz (p. 283) called Russia's pro-capitalist market experimenters "market Bolsheviks". As Klein put it (ibid.):
"However, where the original Bolsheviks fully intended to build their centrally planned state in the ashes of the old, the market Bolsheviks believed in a kind of magic: if the optimal conditions for profit were created - the country would rebuild itself- no planning required."
Newspapers, magazines from the period (which I still have and can peruse anytime) depict horrific suffering by ordinary Russians as they had to beg, borrow or steal to survive - thanks to the Neoliberal market barbarians. Is this being an "American traitor" to reveal this, probably something most Americans don't know? Nope, because one can't be a traitor to an economic paradigm he never accepted in the first place and is in fact an aberrational economic-political mutant that has no relation to the nation or its Constitution!
The sad facts? After only a year of Neoliberal thuggery and "market therapy" millions of Russians had lost their life savings when the ruble lost nearly all its value. And yes, they rightly blame Neoliberal capitalism as hatched and cultivated in the US of A for their plight. Why wouldn't they?
In fact, I ought not have been surprised that the only places one will find the real backstory are in the Left-most recesses of the web - places like www.smirkingchimp.com and http://firedoglake.com/
These are places where the last bastion of REAL patriots, aka REAL Liberals (not Neoliberals) go to get a heads up on the news. The REAL News. Not the crap and propaganda spouted by the mainstream media. If you aren't visiting those sites too then you aren't getting the real lowdown on the Ukraine. You're only getting what the Neoliberal masters of PR want you to see.
But I perhaps write too fast. If one watches MSNBC one might catch a glimpse of the truth - even if the thread isn't pursued by the host, as in the case of Chris Hayes' interview of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.) two nights ago. In that interview, for example, Col. Wilkerson not only gave the proper historical background and how the Neoliberal Market priority helped to propel it, but also how the neocons still ensconced in Obama's administration helped engender the immediate crisis. As he observed, after Russia was promised (in 1991) that NATO would not go one inch further to the east...
" a series of Presidents came in who not only went further to the east - pushed by Lockheed Martin and others, who wanted to sell weapons to eastern and central European countries - but hinted at Georgia and Ukraine."
In other words, the Neoliberal capitalist weapons market PUSHED the expansion of NATO to Russia's doorstep - even trying to entice the capture of two former Soviet states via weapons sales as NATO members. And the idiots in the U.S> wonder why Putin and Russia are going ape shit? What are they? Well Col. Wilkerson has the answer for that too:
"Anyone who knows Russian history .....could have guessed that President Putin would move into the Ukraine once we had formed a group there, led by the NED and its affiliates - which effectively pulled off a coup.......If I were Putin I'd have done exactly what Putin did. And anyone who says they couldn't predict this is either a fool or lying"
Well, then we have a hell of a lot of lying, fool politicos and media. But why be surprised? They are convinced, following the work of PR master Edward Bernays - if they all speak with one voice and repeat it over and over again, they will get Americans to believe THEIR baloney that Russia started it - when as Col. Wilkerson said, the U.S. Neocons started it. Putin merely responded to their provocation - though Obama (a Neoliberal at heart) refuses to acknowledge it.
The point is everyone, politicians and media are in on the game, to connive and deceive the American people that Neoliberal democracy is true freedom, when it is merely an ersatz freedom. It means the free spread of markets - any kind, including weapons, and water-air destroying natural gas fracking - without regard to human security or welfare. Why do you think so many Neolibs also want to cut Social Security and Medicare?
The entrenched pseudo-freedom of Neoliberalism explains everything from the recent Comcast takeover of Time-Warner e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-comcast-45-b-merger-will-rampant.html
to the disastrous West Virginia coal cleaner dump and pollution of water for over 300,000 e.g. http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-neoliberal-business-model-to-blame.html
to the humping for the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to hijack more American jobs to low wage notions e.g.
This is why it is so critical to always portray Neoliberal "democracy" (what I regard as an oxymoron) as the only legit form. Make your freedom real based on MARKET choices, but forget personal ones - they only exist to the point you choose one brand of toothpaste or fried chicken over another.
This is also why they want the Ukraine pulled into the fake Market domain of Neoliberal capitalism. They also made it appear as if the Ukrainians themselves chose to "rebel" against the Kiev gov't of Viktor Yanukovych, not that the neocons started it. This is why it's also incumbent on the alert and aware citizen not to swallow the neo-Cold War codswallop being peddled that Putin and Russia are "playing the long game" and are intent on "re-assembling the old Soviet state into a new Russian empire". This is the sort of recycled, 50's style paranoid bullshit I'd expect from brainwashed Neolib degenerates who are so aware of their own violations of sovereignty they would concoct them for others to provide cover. As for these new U.S. sanctions, don't look for the Europeans to back them, not when they stand to lose their natural gas supplies from Russia!
Something to take to the bank: If it's coming from a Neoliberal source, don't believe it!
See also these critical adjunct articles!
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.
So the US leadership is supporting the creation of One Nation Under God in Ukraine. As one of the key groups involved in the militant overthrow of an elected government has stated in its party platform, “a system of the dictatorship of the Nation with regard to the socioeconomic interests of the people” needs to be implemented (more below).
Isn’t that what the military in Egypt proclaimed in its coup to oust another elected official, Morsi?
The American press is fond of patting itself on the back for upholding the first amendment to the US Constitution, that being, among other things, freedom of the press. But that does not mean the freedom to obfuscate, ignore facts and curry favor with the US national security apparatus in whatever covert or overt form it takes.
If too many people get sucked in by the current, distorted media coverage of events unfolding now in Ukraine, then there's a good chance life will get very ugly for a lot of innocent people, since one of the logical end points is the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone in power knows that's a potential reality, but the urge to demagogue the Russians is presently overwhelming honesty and caution.
In 2003, using the false pretexts of weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda to manipulate an American public still angry about and fearful from al-Qaeda’s attacks on 11 September 2001, the administration of George W. Bush ordered the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq – perhaps the worst war crime since those committed by Nazi Germany during World War II. The invasion precipitated an incipient civil war between the Sunnis and Shias, give rise to an anti-American insurgency, caused a massive destruction of property, cost Iraq the lives of least 100,000 innocent men, women and children and forced the displacement of at least 4 million people from their homes. (Thus far, Putin’s intrusion into the Crimea has caused nothing like that.)
France, Germany and Russia ended up on the right side of history when they opposed America’s invasion. But, none of them threatened economic sanctions against the U.S. for its brazen violation of international law. Their feckless behavior brings to mind the observation made by an Athenian in Thucydides’ “Melian dialogue:” “You know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”