Paul Craig Roberts
June 29, 2014
The Cold War made a lot of money for the military/security complex for four decades dating from Churchill’s March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri declaring a Soviet “Iron Curtain” until Reagan and Gorbachev ended the Cold War in the late 1980s. During the Cold War Americans heard endlessly about “the Captive Nations.” The Captive Nations were the Baltics and the Soviet bloc, usually summarized as “Eastern Europe.”
These nations were captive because their foreign policies were dictated by Moscow, just as these same Captive Nations, plus the UK, Western Europe, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Georgia, and Ukraine, have their foreign policies dictated today by Washington. Washington intends to expand the Captive Nations to include Azerbaijan, former constituent parts of Soviet Central Asia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
During the Cold War Americans thought of Western Europe and Great Britain as independent sovereign countries. Whether they were or not, they most certainly are not today. We are now almost seven decades after WWII, and US troops still occupy Germany. No European government dares to take a stance different from that of the US Department of State.
Not long ago there was talk both in the UK and Germany about departing the European Union, and Washington told both countries that talk of that kind must stop as it was not in Washington’s interest for any country to exit the EU. The talk stopped. Great Britain and Germany are such complete vassals of Washington that neither country can publicly discuss its own future.
When Baltasar Garzon, a Spanish judge with prosecuting authority, attempted to indict members of the George W. Bush regime for violating international law by torturing detainees, he was slapped down.
In Modern Britain, Stephane Aderca writes that the UK is so proud of being Washington’s “junior partner” that the British government agreed to a one-sided extradition treaty under which Washington merely has to declare “reasonable suspicion” in order to obtain extradition from the UK, but the UK must prove “probable cause.” Being Washington’s “junior partner,” Aderca reports, is an ego-boost for British elites, giving them a feeling of self-importance.
Under the rule of the Soviet Union, a larger entity than present day Russia, the captive nations had poor economic performance. Under Washington’s rule, these same captives have poor economic performance due to their looting by Wall Street and the IMF.
As Giuseppe di Lampedusa said, “Things have to change in order to remain the same.”
The looting of Europe by Wall Street has gone beyond Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Ukraine, and is now focused on France and Great Britain. The American authorities are demanding $10 billion from France’s largest bank on a trumped-up charge of financing trade with Iran, as if it is any business whatsoever of Washington’s who French banks choose to finance. And despite Great Britain’s total subservience to Washington, Barclays bank has a civil fraud suit filed against it by the NY State Attorney General.
The charges against Barclays PLC are likely correct. But as no US banks were charged, most of which are similarly guilty, the US charge against Barclays means that big pension funds and mutual funds must flee Barclays as customers, because the pension funds and mutual funds would be subject to lawsuits for negligence if they stayed with a bank under charges.
The result, of course, of the US charges against foreign banks is that US banks like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup are given a competitive advantage and gain market share in their own dark pools.
So, what are we witnessing? Clearly and unequivocally, we are witnessing the use of US law to create financial hegemony for US financial institutions. The US Department of Justice (sic) has had evidence for five years of Citigroup’s participation in the fixing of the LIBOR interest rate, but no indictment has been forthcoming.
The bought and paid for governments of Washington’s European puppet states are so corrupt that the leaders permit Washington control over their countries in order to advance American financial, political, and economic hegemony.
Washington is organizing the world against Russia and China for Washington’s benefit. On June 27 Washington’s puppet states that comprise the EU issued an ultimatum to Russia.The absurdity of this ultimatum is obvious. Militarily, Washington’s EU puppets are harmless. Russia could wipe out Europe in a few minutes. Here we have the weak issuing an ultimatum to the strong.
The EU, ordered by Washington, told Russia to suppress the opposition in southern and eastern Ukraine to Washington’s stooge government in Kiev. But, as every educated person knows, including the White House, 10 Downing Street, Merkel, and Holland, Russia is not responsible for the separatist unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine. These territories are former constituent parts of Russia that were added to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic by Soviet Communist Party leaders when Ukraine and Russia were two parts of the same country.
These Russians want to return to Russia because they are threatened by the stooge government in Kiev that Washington has installed. Washington, determined to force Putin into military action that can be used to justify more sanctions, is intent on forcing the issue, not on resolving the issue.
What is Putin to do? He has been given 72 hours to submit to an ultimatum from a collection of puppet states that he can wipe out at a moment’s notice or seriously inconvenience by turning off the flow of Russian natural gas to Europe.
Historically, such a stupid challenge to power would result in consequences. But Putin is a humanist who favors peace. He will not willingly give up his strategy of demonstrating to Europe that the provocations are coming from Washington, not from Russia. Putin’s hope, and Russia’s, is that Europe will eventually realize that Europe is being badly used by Washington.
Washington has hundreds of Washington-financed NGOs in Russia hiding behind various guises such as “human rights,” and Washington can unleash these NGOs on Putin at will, as Washington did with the protests against Putin’s election. Washington’s fifth columns claimed that Putin stole the election even though polls showed that Putin was the clear and undisputed winner.
In 1991 Russians were, for the most part, delighted to be released from communism and looked to the West as an ally in the construction of a civil society based on good will. This was Russia’s mistake. As the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines make clear, Russia is the enemy whose rise to influence must be prevented at all cost.
Putin’s dilemma is that he is caught between his heart-felt desire to reach an accommodation with Europe and Washington’s desire to demonize and isolate Russia.
The risk for Putin is that his desire for accommodation is being exploited by Washington and explained to the EU as Putin’s weakness and lack of courage. Washington is telling its European vassals that Putin’s retreat under Europe’s pressure will undermine his status in Russia, and at the right time Washington will unleash its many hundreds of NGOs to bring Putin to ruin.
This was the Ukraine scenario. With Putin replaced with a compliant Russian, richly rewarded by Washington, only China would remain as an obstacle to American world hegemony.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
This article was posted: Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 6:46 am