[Marxism] WSJ, UNAC leader on Ukraine

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 24 09:48:22 MST 2014


I pasted below the lead article in today's Wall Street Journal (all of it
as it's probably subscriber only).
The theme of the article is Washington's supposed eagerness to not piss off
the Soviet Union and to get the latter's cooperation as the EU and IMF
moves in to take control of the Ukraine.

That could all be horseshit, of course, i.e. rather than an eagerness to
collaborate, it's Washington's way of seeing: "we won, you lost, but we
won't rub it in your nose publicly if you play nice. And if you dare move
troops in there'll be hell to pay."

BUT

To focus ONLY on assessing Washington's strength and tactics misses a big
part of the picture.

For instance, below are the concluding paragraphs of a contribution by a
UNAC leader to one of its discussion lists.

Nowhere in the email is there any admission that Ukrainians have any
legitimate grievances against its rulers and their sponsors; no recognition
of any worker/left participation in the protests; and no recognition of
Russia's capitalist nature (and the person in question is not from WWP or
PSL).

Yes, the US is our main enemy. But Lenin, while fighting his own main enemy
(the czarist regime), ALSO found time to denounce the Kaiser and German
capitalists. UNAC would say that's a diversion from fighting the enemy at
home, which means they support one side of an inter-imperialist war.

Andy


>From the unac list:

"The recent upsurges in Venezuela and the Ukraine go even further.  In
these countries the US has actually encouraged destabilizing street
demonstration to try and get more compliant neo-liberal governments in
power.

"In my opinion, this is what is going on in the Ukraine today.

"I think we in the antiwar movement have to understand that the main power
in the world that is causing war and destabilization is the only power that
has troops in 120 countries, uses drones and special operations forces
around the world without regard to borders and economically undercuts any
country that will not follow their direction.  That country is the US.  It
is the main imperialist power in the world.  We, in the belly of the beast,
have a special obligation to oppose it."
Wall Street Journal, 2/24/14
 Middle East News<http://online.wsj.com/public/search?article-doc-type=%7BMiddle+East+News%7D&HEADER_TEXT=middle+east+news>
EU,
U.S. Rush to Stabilize Ukraine After Ouster West Moves to Forge Massive
Bailout Without Provoking Russia
  By
Jay Solomon,
 Vanessa Mock and
 Stephen Fidler
 Feb. 23, 2014 8:32 p.m. ET
The Obama administration worked Sunday with the European Union to forge a
much-needed financial bailout of Ukraine, but also extended an olive branch
to Russia by inviting it to join the effort.

The U.S. response to the removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
drove home the delicate balance the White House is seeking to strike as it
tries to cement Ukraine's future with the West without provoking a Russian
intervention in a country it has long considered a strategic ally.

Although the Ukrainian opposition's success in ousting Mr. Yanukovych
suggests the West has gained the upper hand for now, the West has
studiously avoided a declaration of victory out of recognition that doing
so could fuel Russian President Vladimir
Putin<http://topics.wsj.com/person/P/Vladimir-Putin/6409>'s
determination to bring about a reversal.

"It's not in the interests of the Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or of
the United States to see the country split," President Barack Obama's
national security advisor, Susan
Rice<http://topics.wsj.com/person/R/Susan-Rice/7113>,
said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," outlining one potential danger.

Addressing another, she added Moscow would be making a "grave mistake" if
it sent armed forces into Ukraine to try to restore a compliant government.
"It's in nobody's interest to see violence return and the situation
escalate," she said. Though Russian officials haven't suggested that the
Kremlin might respond militarily, some Western officials fear the
possibility given Russia's military intervention in the former Soviet
republic of Georgia in 2008.

Mr. Obama and other senior U.S. officials held extensive discussions with
Mr. Putin and his top aides over the weekend in an effort to support a
peaceful political transition away from Mr. Yanukovych, a close Putin ally,
according to senior administration officials.

U.S. officials, in particular, sought to work with Moscow to fashion a
multibillion-dollar International Monetary Fund rescue package for Ukraine.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov --who discussed developments in
Ukraine with his American counterpart, Jacob
Lew<http://topics.wsj.com/person/L/Jacob-Lew/6182>,
on Sunday--didn't rule out supporting the IMF. But he said Moscow had placed
on hold its own $15 billion assistance package for Kiev.

"The fund has the experience of supporting countries in difficult
situations and they have a well-established set of tools to help in such
cases," Mr. Siluanov said Sunday at a G-20 finance ministers' meeting in
Australia. "Naturally, the IMF experience could help."

In what some Western diplomats see as a troubling sign, though, Moscow
recalled its ambassador to Ukraine for "consultations," Russia's foreign
ministry announced late Sunday.

European governments, in joining the U.S. in responding to the fast-moving
events in Ukraine, revived plans to offer a large aid package to the
country, but continued to insist funds would come only with pledges of a
major economic overhaul.

European officials said a trade-and-aid deal with Europe--which Mr.
Yanukovych walked away from in November, triggering the turmoil on the
streets in Ukraine that culminated in his ouster--could also be resuscitated
and signed with a new government as early as next month.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, canceled a trip to Asia
and decided to travel to Ukraine Monday for two days of talks. "She is
expected to meet key stakeholders and discuss the support of the European
Union for a lasting solution to the political crisis and measures to
stabilize the economic situation," a statement said.

The uprising against Mr. Yanukovych, and his fall, marked an unexpected
victory for Washington and Europe in their escalating competition with Mr.
Putin on the geopolitical stage.

   U.S. and European officials have increasingly voiced concerns that
Moscow was making strides in its efforts to keep Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad in power. Secretary of State John
Kerry<http://topics.wsj.com/person/K/John-Kerry/7196>and European
diplomats rebuked Russia last week for blocking efforts to
force a political transition in Damascus. Russian officials have said that
Mr. Assad has enough support within Syria that the possibility of him
staying in power can't be dismissed.

Mr. Putin thumbed his nose at Washington last year by providing political
asylum to Edward Snowden<http://topics.wsj.com/person/S/Edward-Snowden/7461>,
a former U.S. government intelligence official who leaked thousands of
classified documents exposing U.S. spying technique.

U.S. officials accused Moscow this month of leaking intercepts of a
telephone conversation placed by a top State Department official on Ukraine
where she harshly criticized the performance of the EU. Russia has been
silent on the allegations.

Still, the Obama administration maneuvered itself delicately in Kiev this
weekend as the uprising against Mr. Yanukovych gained strength.

American diplomats touted the role played by Vice President Joe
Biden<http://topics.wsj.com/person/B/Joe-Biden/6352>and Mr. Kerry in
pushing Ukraine's ousted leader to cede to early elections
and allow a peaceful transition. But it was the foreign ministers of
France, Germany and Poland--not Mr. Kerry--who actually brokered a political
deal between Mr. Yanukovych and his opponents.

Ms. Rice and other senior U.S. officials took pains on Sunday to stress
that Ukraine didn't mark a major Cold War-style victory for Washington and
the West over Moscow. Rather, she underscored President Obama's commitment
to continue working with Mr. Putin in areas where there are shared
interests.

"We have to be very pragmatic about our dealings with Russia," she said.
"There are areas we can cooperate with them."

The Obama administration will need to decide how forcefully to participate
in the political transition playing out in Kiev.

Ukraine's parliament, after it took steps to weaken Mr. Yanukovych's
powers, released on Saturday his staunchest political foe, former Prime
Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed on corruption charges in 2011.

The 53-year-old became a darling of the West following the "Orange"
revolutions that gripped Ukraine and other former Soviet republics in the
mid-2000s. Officials say Washington had grown wary of Ms. Tymoshenko due to
widespread allegations of corruption surrounding her government.

A senior German official said Chancellor Angela
Merkel<http://topics.wsj.com/person/M/Angela-Merkel/5351>had spoken to
Ms. Tymoshenko on Sunday morning and urged her to protect the
integrity of her country, to reach out to the Russian-speaking regions.

Ms. Merkel, according to the official, greeted Ms. Tymoshenko, who was
released from prison on Saturday, with the words "welcome to freedom." She
also invited the ailing Ukrainian politician to undergo medical treatment
in Germany if she wished to, the official said.

An EU official said a summit with Ukraine could be convened as early as
next month, during which the stalled trade deal with the country could be
signed.

That pact could come with a large aid package that could exceed the almost
EURO 20 billion ($27.5 billion) over seven years that EU officials had
previously considered tying to the EU political-and-trade agreement. "This
is now a very conservative estimate," the official said. "Given the current
circumstances, we expect member states to give much more. We hope to have
more news on this in the next days."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, however, that a
bankrupt Ukraine would be too big a burden for Russia or the EU to bear.

In Sydney, IMF managing director Christine
Lagarde<http://topics.wsj.com/person/L/Christine-Lagarde/6594>said
economic reforms "need to be started, at least," for the international
community to help. The fund wants a hefty, but phased-in increase in
natural gas prices, a currency depreciation and significant cuts in the
government's budget, all of which are politically controversial.

--Ian Talley contributed to this article.

*Write to * Jay Solomon at jay.solomon at wsj.com, Vanessa Mock at
vanessa.mock at wsj.com and Stephen Fidler at stephen.fidler at wsj.com



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