Before we get started, some words of wisdom. Confucius say, “person with popcorn ceilings is always acting.” Confucius further added as an addendum, “when popcorn ceilings get soggy, actor’s acting sucks.” I admire Confucius. Always have. More than the Buddha even. Confucius had a sense of humor. The Buddha just likes to mess with people’s minds.
With that out of the way, on to the title. Follow the money. Always. So, let’s follow the money in the case of Ukraine. A trail is already unfolding before our very milky eyes. In my earlier post And The Loser Is……? here, I said, quite coherently unless you’re Texas special ed, in regard to Western sanctions against Russia, “if the West follows through, it’s not too funny when you take someone’s money, as dirty as that money may be. IF. That’s a big if. As we saw in Cyprus, the Russian Oligarchs were given a back door through London branches of Cypriot banks.”
I further added, “are these sanctions just window dressing and will another back door be given…yet again? We’ll see.” I think we’re beginning to see. In fact, there appears to be not only a back door, but also a front door and side door. There’s so many openings in this shoddily-erected House of Cards, the only thing keeping the Swiss cheese edifice standing is Plebeian delusions. Money, ultimately, protects money…meaning accumulated wealth bands together and bails each other out at the common man’s expense. From a publicity and public relations perspective, anything that appears to contradict this maxim is pure diversionary propaganda. And people love their propaganda.
Okay, what the hell am I talking about? Well, despite tough economic talk towards Russia from the West and levied, feckless now I’m sure, sanctions…it appears, behind the scenes and right out in the open, it’s all talk; propaganda delivered to create an illusion of tension when actually it’s pretty much business as usual. Per this Wall Street Journal article, we find that despite the alleged Ukrainian crisis, the German conglomerate Siemens and Putin’s Russia are still friends…as they have always been for the last 161 years. That’s a long time to be friends through such thick and thin, wouldn’t you say? This per the linked article:
Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country recently was ousted from the club of the world’s most developed nations, received a vote of confidence from the chief executive of one of Europe’s biggest companies.
Siemens AG SIE.XE +0.99% CEO Joe Kaeser met Mr. Putin at his official residence outside Moscow on Wednesday. The executive told the Russian leader that Siemens will continue making long-term investments in Russia, the country’s Interfax news agency said.
Mr. Kaeser, as part of a group of business representatives, reaffirmed the German company’s intention to invest €1 billion ($1.4 billion) in its Russian operations, Siemens said. The visit was planned after Mr. Kaeser met with Mr. Putin in October and was part of continuing discussions over Siemens activities in Russia, the company said.
Mr. Kaeser also met Alexei Miller, chief executive of OAO Gazprom, GAZP.RS -13.62% to discuss business opportunities, Siemens said.
“In politically difficult times, it is important not to break off dialogue,” a Siemens spokesman said.
Russia has been hit by sanctions from the West and was excluded from the Group of Eight leading nations after the country annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea…..
more at link
Don’t you love it when friends don’t let friends drive drunk? Bonds like that are hard to break. Such loyalty. It brings a tear to the eye. But wait, I thought Putin and Russia were to be punished for their imperialist transgressions and vainglorious campaign to resurrect the Soviet Union. This doesn’t seem in keeping with that. In fact, it belies all the tough talk…especially Merkel’s posturing since Siemens is a German company, afterall. Or is it? Is Siemens really a German company? I don’t think so. Most uber-corporations these days have no nationality. They’re transnational with a loyalty and allegiance to shareholder profit first, last and only.
Maybe part of that billion dollar deal Siemens is maintaining with Russia will be to build one of these:
Siemens to Provide Wind Power for US Nuclear Weapons Plant
German engineering firm Siemens has won a contract from the US federal government to build a wind power facility for America’s last remaining nuclear weapons plant.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded Siemens Government Technology a 20-year construct for the construction and operation of a 11.5-megawatt wind farm for the Pantex plant, situated near Amarillo in Texas.
The wind farm will be situated on 1,500 acres of lands to the east of the Pantex nuclear weapons plant and will come equipped with five 2.3 megawatt turbines.
The new facility is also set to be the largest wind farm ever commissioned by the US federal government.
According to the company, the plant will generate enough electricity to satisfy the energy needs of 3,500 households and will provide US$2.9 million in annual cost savings throughout the life of the contract. The farm is expected to provide over 60 per cent of the Pantex site’s annual power needs.
Wouldn’t that be special? Even Nuclear Armageddon can be “greened.” God, I love this world. Really, I do. “Let it roll baby, roll…let it rolllllll…all night longgg.” Let what roll? Oh, I don’t know–let me see. How about greed, avarice, exploitation, profits, perpetually concentrating wealth and last but never least, BULLSHIT. Yes, bullshit rolls. It flows too. It does so many things besides stinking. It makes great fertilizer, so keep that in mind when, and if, the oil ever runs dry and that wind-powered Nuclear Armageddon doesn’t come home to roost.
What’s more dangerous? A Pakistani/Afghani wedding party and/or sheepherders tending their wooly flocks, or an industrial conglomerate corporation aiding fellow tyrannical Oligarchs in building nuclear weapons more efficiently at the common man’s expense? If you chose the latter, you’re wrong. Again. See, ten out of ten drone operators (like dentists and fluoride toothpaste) surveyed overwhelmingly proclaim that blowing Stone Age people back to the Stone Age is preferable, superior even, to the idea of blowing up True Terrorists (another one for HBO…there’s so many) like Siemen’s management team and its shareholders. Roll Tide. Let’s Roll. Such fun. I wonder if the mythologically-minded Pat Lang believes drone operators are brave and noble servicemen putting their lives on the line and thus worthy of a complete military funeral…taps, spotless uniforms and polished shoes included? I bet he does. “Good job on that wedding party, son. I hope your hemorrhoids get better soon. Get up and stretch your legs between long-distance sheepherder kills. That might do the trick…that and more roughage in your diet.”
Yes, of course, back to the money. As you may or may not have noticed in that Wall Street Journal article linked to above, it mentioned Siemens will also be working as a partner with Gazprom, which let’s face it, is pretty much the entirety of what Russia has to offer the world besides the convenient threat of global nuclear annihilation and young, prepubescent virgins for a fair price (you must read this linked sex trafficking article). Asia Times crack investigative reporter persistently snapping at the heels of Evil America, Pablo Escobabble, had the following to say in a recent article he penned, free of charge, for Gazprom–a State Capitalist corporation in Russia which also happens to be one of the world’s largest companies and certainly the largest natural gas provider in the world:
Why the EU can’t ‘isolate’ Russia
Demonized 24/7 by the sprawling Western propaganda machine as a ruthless aggressor, Putin and his Kremlin advisers just need to play Sun Tzu. The regime changers in Kiev are already mired in a vicious catfight.  And even Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Petrovych “Yats” Yatsenyuk has identified the gloomy times ahead, stressing that the signature of the economic part of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU has been postponed – so there will be no “negative consequences” for industrialized eastern Ukraine.
Translation: he knows this will be the kiss of death for Ukrainian industry, on top of it coupled with an imminent structural adjustment by the International Monetary Fund linked to the EU (maybe) bailing out a bankrupt Ukraine.
Asia Times Online’s Spengler coined a formulation: “A specter is haunting Europe, and that is the specter of a Russian-Chinese alliance at the expense of Europe.” The alliance is already on – manifested in the G-20, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. There are military technology synergies on the horizon – the ultra-sophisticated S-500 air defense system is to be unveiled by Moscow, and Beijing would absolutely love to have it. But for the real fireworks, just wait a few weeks, when Putin visits Beijing in May.
That’s when he will sign the famous $1 trillion gas deal according to which Gazprom will supply China’s CNPC with 3.75 billion cubic feet of gas a day for 30 years, starting in 2018 (China’s current daily gas demand is around 16 billion cubic feet).
Gazprom may still collect most of its profits from Europe, but Asia is its privileged future. On the competition front, the hyper-hyped US shale “revolution” is a myth – as much as the notion the US will be suddenly increasing exports of gas to the rest of the world any time soon.
Gazprom will use this mega-deal to boost investment in eastern Siberia – which sooner rather than later will be configured as the privileged hub for gas shipments to both Japan and South Korea. That’s the ultimate (substantial) reason why Asia won’t “isolate” Russia. ( See Asia will not ‘isolate’ Russia, Asia Times Online, March 25, 2014.)
Not to mention the much-anticipated “thermonuclear” (for the petrodollar) possibility that Russia and China will agree payment for the Gazprom-CNPC deal may be in yuan or rubles. That will be the dawn of a basket of currencies as the new international reserve currency – a key BRICS objective and the ultimate, incendiary, new (economic) fact on the ground.
Escobabble’s positively giddy with this news. I think he’s been snorting some of his product. Maybe they don’t care, Pablo, because they’re part of the deal and the stern public rhetorical admonishments are just poorly-executed Kabuki for an audience too dense and distracted to discern the quality of the embarrassing performance.
What does the West, specifically Obama and Merkel who are the most vocal mouthpieces, have to say about this? Nothing, really. What are they going to do about it? Nothing, really…except help in any way they can in enabling Gazprom’s shareholders to “earn” a profit. No sanctions or boycotts against China for trading with the enemy. We should take it then that Putin and Russia’s militaristic advance in the Ukraine is not really the threat it’s been touted to be in the MSM? Yes or no? I’m going with yes. Obama, Merkel and their sycophantic minions are going to continue to say no until the day they and you die…and maybe even after that.
And what about the deal the U.S. Congress pushed through in record time as alleged “aid” for Ukraine. It looks to me like a cleverly, or not so cleverly, disguised bail-out for Russia since Ukraine owes Russia so much money. Wow, isn’t that amazing? Perhaps Putin should be U.S. President afterall. He’s gotten a normally partisan, bickering, stalemated Congress and Executive to come together in record bipartisan time to stuff Putin’s pockets and his wealthy friends’ pockets flush with cash at, get this, U.S. taxpayer’s expense. Don’t you just love how this works? Democracy at its finest. Just when you thought we couldn’t get much higher on Pablo Escobabble’s eight ball, we do. It’s as though there’s no ceiling to any of this and we can go as high as we like. It’s great. Isn’t it? This CNBC article reveals the Three-Card Monte that is the aid bill to the Ukraine.
$3 billion for Ukraine to go straight to…Russia
As Western leaders prepare a bailout package for embattled Ukraine, they face a startling irony: Thanks to the almost bizarre structure of a bond deal between Ukraine and Russia, billions of those dollars are almost certain to go directly into the coffers of the Putin government.
As CNBC has reported, some aid money is bound to go into Russia as a result of energy trade and other economic factors. But the situation is actually much more acute than just that: An existing agreement between the two countries makes an immediate, direct transfer from Ukraine to Russia legally enforceable…..
more at link
And perhaps you’ve been led to believe that Putin hates all things the West, including the IMF. Sorry, no, that’s not the case. Putin is actually quite fond of the IMF. How could he not be? Like a dog is man’s best friend, the IMF is the Oligarchs’ best friend. IMF Demands Ukraine Pay 50% More for Russian Gas by Tom McGregor.
Russian President Vladimir Putin loves the Washington D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ukraine government has agreed to receive an $18 billion (US dollar) IMF loan by forcing Ukrainians to pay 50 percent more for Russian natural gas consumption.
According to the BBC News, “The IMF says a key part of Ukraine’s reform programme will focus on the country’s state-owned energy company, Naftogaz, which imports gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom.”
Putin is supportive of Sen. John McCain’s (R.-Az.) legislative efforts as well. Sen. McCain introduced a bill to provide the Ukraine a $1 billion loan to Kiev, if the Ukraine government agreed to pay much higher rates for natural gas from Russia energy giant, Gazprom.
As reported by the BBC News, “A cut in energy subsidies to consumers has been one of the conditions of an international rescue deal and on Wednesday Ukraine’s interim government agreed to raise domestic gas prices by 50% in its effort to secure the IMF aid package.”
Nevertheless, Putin returned the favor by banning Sen. McCain from entering Russia. The Kremlin believes he can do a more effective job helping Moscow interests by staying in Washington and slamming his fellow Republican lawmakers and calling them, ‘Wacko Birds.’
Now, considering all of the above, go back and read Moon of Alabama blog and Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis and tell me the message therein is not nuts and/or duplicitous. Lang’s blog is selling fear (this post is a prime example) and MOA is painting Putin as some innocent rube being chastised and bullied by the Big Bad West. It’s an erroneous perspective. Why is it being disseminated as the alternative since it’s the alternative media? Should we ask Stratfor and its ilk? All these dots. When you connect them, they paint a prominent pile of bullshit…that provides fertile sanctuary for further concentrated wealth to take root and flourish.
Nuclear war is not an option. Money doesn’t destroy money, and money surely doesn’t destroy the Goose that keeps on laying those Golden Eggs. Nuclear war kills the Golden Egg-Laying Goose (read exploiting the plebes), therefore it’s verboten among the Deciders. Lang, from that link in the preceding paragraph, says the following after opening up his can of Scare Ass (similar to Whoop Ass):
I agree completely. Bear baiting is a sport that should not be indulged in.
An additional worrisome factor in this emerging situation is the apparent effort to make tactical nuclear nuclear weapons “more usable.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B61_nuclear_bomb
Nuclear weapons can not be used against another nuclear state without risking escalation to mutual annihilation and the use of such weapons against a non-nuclear state would simply be mass murder. The only justification for the possession of these true Weapons of Mass Destruction is as deterrent. pl
Don’t worry, PL. No chance of it. It’s off limits–but scaring the hell out of people with the possibility is encouraged. Don’t Bait The Bear. Yeah, right. Whatever. More myth. There is no Bear…just the illusion of one. But Putin, Russia and the WWON (World Wide Oligarch Network) thank you for your volunteer work. Without you and others like you, they couldn’t pull it off.