Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Double, double, toil and trouble… the cauldron of Kiev

Ashton, Nuland, Lagarde 3

Photo Caricatures by Bryan Hemming using Photoshop

Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble …

Trying to figure out what’s really happening in Ukraine, from what passes as news these days, is akin to putting a giant jigsaw together. We’re constantly left with pieces that don’t seem to fit. Bits of sky that look like sea and bits of sea that look like sky. For all the confusion they create it’s become almost impossible to rely on corporate media outlets for our information. Truth is, they no longer present an accurate reflection of the world in which we live. A world where opinion masquerades as fact, as fact turns out to be fiction.

Forming anywhere near a real picture involves sifting through myriad articles, stuffed with industrial quantities of government-approved propaganda and disinformation. Western spy agencies don’t just hoover up shiploads of meaningless webjabber to justify their existence, they spew it out too. The sort of wild speculation spitting from our TV screens is the stuff that used to have us exiting bars in a hurry. It’s even worst with politics. Expecting a grain of truth from a politician is as pointless as panning for specks of gold in dirty bathwater.

The corporate media has been particularly eager to jump to unsubstantiated conclusions over events in Ukraine. Though we don’t see any reports of the very recent fights between Ukrainian oligarchs from a majority of Western journalists, dissident forces defending Donbass from attack were swiftly blamed for downing MH17. Yet, coming up to nine months later, we’re still waiting for one shred of evidence to back the continuing accusations. It’s the same with the snipers in Maidan Square. Allegations have been made suggesting the massacre was initiated from within the new coalition. Allegations first brought to the world’s attention by none other than the Estonian Foreign Minister. However, in common with most Western news outlets, the Ukraine Prosecutor’s Office has shown a marked reluctance to investigate those allegations. So don’t expect to find much about either in the corporate media. Our news is being filtered for inconvenient truths and sanitised of facts before reaching us.

We’ll probably never know exactly when, but there are strong indications the late summer of 2013 as the most likely time Victoria Nuland, Catherine Ashton and Christine Lagarde began honing the finer details of a plot to subvert the democratically-elected president of Ukraine. One thing of which there is plenty of proof, all three women were speaking with one voice by the end of that year.

It wasn’t a plot they alone conceived, but one the three women were uniquely positioned to carry out, having one particular advantage in common. And shared gender isn’t it. Though they trumpet the superiority of Western democracy and values to others, not one of the three women, promising to deliver ‘more democracy’ to Ukraine, had ever been elected for anything by the people of any nation, anywhere. They all belong to a new breed of politician, a breed not subject to the whims of the ballot box. Having not been elected, they cannot be unelected.

Ukraine became an independent democracy on December 2nd 1991. It hasn’t been a happy transformation. The country has suffered constant unrest fuelled by wholesale corruption, accusations of electoral fraud, and a failed economy from the beginning. Much of the unrest has been exacerbated by powerful outside interests with commercial and strategic ambitions.

On its own admission the US has financed subversion by opposition groups in Ukraine to the tune of $5 billion since independence. All under the umbrella of fostering ‘more democracy’. A good deal of that money hardly touched the tarmac before being shipped straight out to the off-shore accounts of corrupt politicians and oligarchs. The US is also known to have been behind the Orange Revolution of 2004.

According to neo-con doctrine, like many other democracies, the voters of Ukraine had fallen into the habit of voting for the wrong sort of democracy. To bring the right sort of democracy would need a few adjustments. The first of which would have to be a radical change of regime. That had to be done speedily. Though elections were due to take place at the end of 2014, going to all the fuss and bother of waiting was not an option worth risking. More democracy is not won by putting things to the vote. ‘You can never vote for enough more democracy’ might as well have been the slogan. Truth is, you’ll never be able to vote for anything meaningful at all, if the neo-cons get their way.

The new governing body proposed by Nuland and Ashton would be different. Touted like a brand new detergent, ‘more democracy’ was going to bring cleaner and brighter politics to Ukraine. With new improved financial aid – promised by IMF boss Christine Largarde – in the pipeline, the Russian shackles holding Ukraine back would be broken.

Problem was Ukraine didn’t have any Russian shackles holding it back. As subsequent events demonstrated – though not covered widely by the Western media – Russia’s financial support was the only thing keeping Ukraine together. The country was surviving on Russian credit. It was Ukraine’s own shackles that were holding Ukraine back. If the Ukrainian people were shackled to anyone, it was to the vampire oligarchs draining the country of its wealth. Russia couldn’t be held responsible for them. However, if any one nation can be held responsible for deliberately stoking the fires of unrest, it is the USA.

In order to turn an imperfect democracy into an unacceptable one, the US encouraged the formation of unholy alliances between the discontented, the very greedy and the nihilistic; alliances that embraced criminals, thugs and neo-nazis. It wasn’t hard in a country filled with the poor and downtrodden, broken by a succession of corrupt and inefficient politicians who had stripped it bare. The problem with keeping them all on the same side came as soon things started to go wrong. And things went wrong very soon. Almost immediately after the Western-backed coup seized power on February 22nd, demonstrators took to the streets in Southern and Eastern Ukraine in protest. Though the West had praised the Maidan demonstrations for exercising their democratic rights, demonstrators in Eastern Ukraine were condemned for exercising their democratic rights. More democracy for some inevitably results in less democracy for the rest.

Despite growing indications the coup did not have anywhere near the universal support claimed, the West went on peddling a fictional narrative, even after an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to join Russia on March 16th. After a year as part of the Russia Federation, according to all independent polls, almost exactly the same percentage are happy with the decision they made. Nevertheless, as far as the US and the EU are concerned, too much ‘more democracy’ everywhere is not as good as less ‘more democracy’ in selected places, it seems. In typical Orwellian Newspeak, less means more and more means less, more or less.

To show exactly how ‘more democracy’ works, the new coalition in Ukraine decided to impose it on the reluctant population of Donbass by force. The civil war that ensued has claimed more than 6,000 lives, so far, many of them civilian. With a jingoistic US egging things on, from the safety of a distant Washington, that war threatens to escalate into a global conflict, which could culminate in thermo-nuclear confrontation and destruction of the planet. Who could have allowed things to get so far? Justifiably, a finger can be pointed at three of the most powerful women in the world.

Victoria ‘let them eat cake’ Nuland

 “As every good propagandist knows, you don’t present events with any gray areas; your side is always perfect and the other side is the epitome of evil. And, today, Nuland faces almost no risk that some mainstream journalist will dare contradict this black-and-white storyline; they simply parrot it.” Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com

There could be few more blatant examples of propaganda than that demonstrated by Victoria Nuland on December 10th 2013. In a carefully stage-managed photo-op on Kiev’s Maidan Square, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs began handing out biscuits, or cookies, to crowds of demonstrators calling for change. It was a gesture worthy of Marie Antoinette, as biscuits hadn’t made the list of things the demonstrators were demanding. Had they known the high price of ‘free’ biscuits, they might not have been so keen to wolf them down. Another piece of the neo-con global jigsaw had been hammered home. And we all know what happens when you do that.

If nothing else, Nuland is well-practised in the art of deception. No sooner had the crumbs been swept away than Maidan Square began to flow with blood. Investigative journalist Robert Parry details some of Nuland’s latest attempts to deceive the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Nuland’s Mastery of Ukraine Propaganda.

Victoria Nuland was appointed to her new post of Assistant Secretary of State on September 18th 2013. She quickly showed how keen she is to stamp her own mark on the office. Not three months passed before she made her theatrical entrance to Maidan Square. For someone so eager to bring ‘more democracy’ to others, the career diplomat has never had much patience with democracy herself, having not been elected. Nevertheless, should the Republicans win the White House in the next US presidential poll, she will probably be in line for the powerful position of Secretary of State.

A highly-ambitious woman from a family background steeped in neo-con politics, Nuland is no stranger to controversy or war. It should come as no surprise one of her previous posts was principal deputy foreign policy adviser to unprincipled Svengali and warmonger Dick Cheney. Nuland’s two-year stint with Cheney began in July 2003, coinciding with the highly-questionable invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

No less controversial is her husband, Robert Kagan. Kagan was co-founder of the right wing Project for the New American Century (1997-2006), which, less than coincidentally, was set up to promote the US invasion of Iraq. Kagan has been described as “the chief neoconservative foreign-policy theorist” by conservative Andrew J. Bacevich, who served in the US Army from 1969 to 1992, reaching the rank of colonel. Now a political scientist, Bacevich is an ardent critic of the US foreign policy of perpetual war.

With her unapologetic stance on various military debacles, Nuland has demonstrated she is not afraid of making mistakes. That making the right mistakes can forward the ‘right sort of democracy’, even more rapidly, seems to be one of her beliefs.

But it was her secretly recorded and leaked phone call with Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt that first alerted the world as to what was really being tossed into the witches’ cauldron at Kiev. Thanks to a clear breach of security (the pair of conspirators didn’t even have the sense to talk over a secure line) we were gifted with another key piece of the jigsaw. Particularly humiliating for European leaders must have been to hear a senior US politician for foreign affairs, dismiss any concern for its major partners in NATO with a no-nonsense “Fuck the EU!” Diplomacy isn’t her strongest point.

In the phone conversation, a clearly elated Nuland sounds more like a mafia boss fingering a mark than an international diplomat. She refers to Arseni Yatsenyuk as ‘Yats’ and Vitali Klitschko as ‘Klitsch’, as the two casually ping-pong a few names across the table. In an effort to bring ‘more democracy’ to the world, they were musing which pawn might serve US interests best as leader of Ukraine. The conversation comes over as both sinister and cynical. It is very scary indeed. But Nuland was not the only plotter to be caught in a highly embarrassing phone call.

Catherine the ‘not so’ great Ashton

Another preacher of ‘more democracy’ for others, who seems to have little confidence in democracy when push comes to shove, is Catherine Ashton. The title says it all. Baroness Ashton was elevated to the House of Lords by Tony Blair in 1999 for the sole purpose of joining his first government. She has never been elected to parliament, or any other public office, for that matter. What she had done to deserve such a reward remains a secret between Blair, Ashton, and a large section of the British press, I suspect.

Despite giving such an early signal of his own disdain for democracy, and numerous signals since, Blair only officially emerged from the neo-con closet a short time ago when he slavishly praised President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at a conference on economic development in Egypt. Announcing that “democracy is not on its own sufficient” the Middle East peace envoy neglected to alert his audience to his paid role as economic advisor to Sisi. He went on to emphasise that “you need effective government taking effective decisions.” Since taking charge in 2014, following a coup d’état preceding questionable elections, the Egyptian leader has proved himself to be so effective in crushing dissent, he has been accused of serious human rights abuses. Rumours are circulating that Blair is being eased out of his role as Middle East peace envoy amid allegations of conflicts of interest.

Her growing lack of enthusiasm for democracy hasn’t prevented Ashton enjoying its abundant fruits at the taxpayer’s expense. After leaving her job as the European Union’s foreign minister in December 2014 she continues to be the second highest paid female politician in the world grossing €400,000 ($425,000 approx.) annually until 2017. Only now she doesn’t have to lift a finger to get it.

In class-conscious Britain few, if any, of her neighbours would have gambled on the Lancashire lass, born into a working class family, becoming a baroness. Even fewer could’ve imagined her being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace. So few, they would easily have found themselves completely alone in the largest of crowds.

Long before the Ukraine debacle, many had been astounded by the dizzying heights Catherine Ashton had reached. An article in The Economist in 2010 questioned her qualifications for the high-profile position with the EU. Her complete lack of talent and charisma had the corporate hacks fumbling for something good to say about the baroness. In typical compromise she was politely labelled ‘The Quiet Diplomat’. Perhaps the world would be a far better place had she continued to do the sort of nothing that merits such an accolade.

On the outer orbits of the internet, there is speculation that Ashton worked undercover for MI5 during her early years. Her meteoric rise to the top, along with her Saul/Paul conversion from professional CND activist, protesting against the installation of cruise missiles at the US air base at Greenham Common, to professional neo-con supporting US wars around the globe, lends some credence to the theory. Unfortunately, for the people of Ukraine she was neither quiet, nor diplomatic enough, in her final year as chief European diplomat.

In her latter-day role of old-fashioned believer in elevated status and lover of ridiculous handles, she took the title Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, for her seat in Westminster’s upper house. When added to her official appellation of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs of Europe and Security Policy for the European Union it must have made her one of the most pompously-labelled Brits in history. She might as well call herself Empress of Hoity-toity for the impression it created among people who heard it. But it is not only Ashton’s fixation on pompous labels, sounding like something from the pages of Harry Potter, that must’ve caused titters in the corridors of  Westminster, while eyes rolled in Brussels.

No laughing matter in reality, the world of childish fantasy Ashton inhabits was further exposed in the phone call she had with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet shortly after the Maidan Square massacre.

Paet had just returned from Kiev. Most likely recorded by the Russians, the conversation appears to reveal a desire in Ashton to ignore the unpalatable consequences of the coup, which she had conspired towards, in favour of concentrating on the rosy future for Ukraine that only existed in her vivid imagination.

Having also recently returned from Kiev, from her tone, Ashton had taken the call expecting good news. An openly dismayed Paet was not in the mood for pleasantries. Saying his impressions were “very sad” he made it very clear the new president Arseni Yatsenyuk – Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt had imposed on Ukraine – was sure to be unacceptable to people in Eastern Ukraine. He warned, “…it will really end badly…people from the eastern part of Ukraine will really wake up and… and… and start to demand their rights…” Paet had been informed by Dr Olga Bogomolets, who was in touch with sources close to the new government, that the coalition wasn’t to be trusted. She told Paet “all these guys had dirty pasts”. Politicians and journalists were coming under pressure. There were “uninvited visitors during the night”. Journalists told Paet of a politician being beaten in front of parliament by the “guys with the guns”. This was a clear reference to Right Sektor thugs armed with guns, staves and baseball bats who had been filmed swaggering about Maidan Square. There is a sense of Ashton getting impatient with the bad news, as she tries to hurry Paet along, repeatedly saying “yeh” to everything. Falling short of dismissing Paet’s observations as irrelevant, in the greater scheme of things, she moves the conversation forward to her “big meeting” with Olli Rehn and the other commissioners, where they had discussed “finance packages” and, “…how we get money in…quickly…how we support the IMF”. Paet slips in a mention of Poroshenko, who he believes has most support on the streets. There is a moment Ashton comes across like a playing card queen from a Lewis Carroll story. When Paet delivers the shocking news there is growing evidence Yanukovych wasn’t behind the Maidan shootings; that people from the “new coalition” were responsible, Ashton can only say “Gosh”. The schoolgirl response deserved a “gosh” of its very own. Olga Bogomolets had told Paet the snipers had fired indiscriminately, picking off policemen, as well as demonstrators. Even more disturbing, Olga said the “new coalition” didn’t want to investigate the charges. Ashton brushes the suggestion aside without explanation. In a final attempt to get Ashton to understand the gravity of the mess, Paet said: “It really discredits this new coalition.” Though many observers had predicted what might happen, it was an outcome Ashton hadn’t expected. Nor had the chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Christine ‘la la’ Lagarde

A couple of weeks after Victoria Nuland took up the reins of her new job at the Harry S. Truman Building in Washington on September 30th 2013, the second highest paid female politician in the world, Catherine Ashton, was pictured on Facebook with the highest paid female politician in the world, Christine Lagarde, boss of the International Monetary Fund, at IMF headquarters in Washington: https://www.facebook.com/EUatUN/posts/639028242786670

In light of subsequent events in Ukraine, and Nuland’s very recent appointment, it would take a long stretch of the imagination to think the three women didn’t take the opportunity to meet. After all, they were all in Washington at the same time. And, touted endlessly by the western media as the three most important women in the world, they must’ve had plenty to talk about. If the corporate media ever had wind of a meeting then, and we can assume they must have, they certainly aren’t going to tell us now. No matter, we can deduce for ourselves the three women must have engaged in discussions involving Ukraine over the following couple of months. With what we know now, not to have done so would’ve revealed a complete lack of foresight and planning. So, maybe they didn’t, after all.

Another highly controversial figure, who had shot to the top against all odds, the unelected politician Christine Lagarde resigned her post on the Vigilance Committee of the Dutch banking multinational ING not long before the crash which led to the group’s $13.4 billion Dutch government bailout in 2008. Just enough time had elapsed to avoid accusations of what some might describe as a criminal lack of vigilance. She was appointed France’s Finance Minister by Sarkozy in 2007 in time to help bring about the country’s recession of 2008. Taking the quickest route from one disaster to another it was a short step to becoming head of the International Monetary Fund in 2011.

Twelve months after Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, on February 12th this year, the IMF boss finally got round to announcing IMF was very close to reaching an agreement to bail-out Ukraine’s war-damaged economy. But hang on a moment, surely Ukraine wasn’t at war a year ago, so it didn’t need a bail-out for its war damaged economy.

Interestingly enough, on April 3rd a year ago, the same Christine Lagarde, had been reported by Forbes magazine as saying the Ukraine economy “had hit a brick wall and was heading for disaster” before Russia issued Ukraine a $3 billion loan. “Without the support that they were getting from this this lifeline that Russia had extended a few months ago, they were heading nowhere,” went her reassuring message.

Little more than a month before that statement, in a webcast broadcast by the IMF on February 27th 2014, Christine Lagarde was quoted as saying: “The Ukrainian authorities informed me today of their request for support from the IMF. We are ready to respond and, in the coming days, will send an IMF fact-finding team to Kiev to undertake a preliminary dialogue with the authorities. This will enable the IMF to make its usual technical, independent assessment of the economic situation in Ukraine and, at the same time, begin to discuss with the authorities the policy reforms that could form the basis of a Fund-supported program. We are also discussing with all our international partners – bilateral and multilateral – how best to help Ukraine at this critical moment in its history. In that regard, we are encouraged by the many statements of support that have been expressed.”

So far, Ukraine has received only $8.2 billion of the promised $17 billion loan, wrote Tomas Hirst in Business Insider on December 10th 2014. If that wasn’t enough, he went on to write: “Such is the scale of the problem that European Union ministers were reported to be considering petitioning Russia to roll over its $3 billion loan to Ukraine, despite EU sanctions against the country over its role in supporting the rebels.” Oh, the irony. Read   more: http://www.businessinsider.com/imf-ukraine-faces-bankruptcy-over-15-billion-bailout-2014-12#ixzz3T7YBsOas

On February 12th this year, Christine Lagarde told a press meeting she hoped a ‘new’ bail-out for Ukraine would be worth $17.5 billion once other Western donors had ‘chipped in’. To emphasise her less than confident tone, an article published in the in The Economist on February 12th 2015 paints a picture somewhat at odds with the firm assurances Nuland, Ashton and Lagarde had given previously. Seems as though the IMF is no longer quite sure, who is going to provide the promised cash. According to The Economist, the IMF announced it would now probably grant Ukraine a new bail-out. If that is true, Lagarde must have been lying through her back teeth when she promised the opposition money before Yanukovych was toppled. The IMF certainly didn’t have enough money of its own to promise. It didn’t even know whether it could raise the money. But that didn’t stop her from peddling the same lie this year.

There are echoes of the promises of financial aid Catherine Ashton spoke to Urmas Paet about in the famous phone conversation. In that conversation Ashton actually suggests the IMF needed support, rather than Ukraine. The most important point about this is that things might have turned out rather different in Kiev had the full facts been known by the demonstrators in Maidan Square. Instead they were lied to.

The reality is the IMF has offered the same money twice. It has yet to cough up half the money promised first time round. Some observers believe Ukraine will be lucky to see $5 billion. This is a trick the IMF has played time and time again; over-inflated figures for public consumption, followed by failure to stick to agreements and promises. If latest reports are true, most of the loan will go to oligarch bankers who have been promised $4 billion by IMF chief spokesman Gerry Rice. John Hemlar writes on his blog on Dances with Bears “According to the latest IMF staff report, the Ukrainian banks are now in a worse condition than they were last June. This is because the cash provided by the IMF and the World Bank through the NBU and the Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) has disappeared from bank balance-sheets and left the country”.

If we needed any more proof of Lagarde’s unrepentant mendacity, a recently published Bloomberg report said: “Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said Feb. 16 [2015]. Political bickering in Kiev has halted $17.5 billion of emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund.” Elena Popina added “Ukraine hasn’t been able to access IMF funds since [last] September.”

Natalie Jaresko, a former a former U.S. State Department officer was granted Ukrainian citizenship in order to become the country’s finance minister. Jaresko knows a lot about finance, having been involved in insider deals and other questionable activities when she ran a $150 million US taxpayer-financed investment fund. Robert Parry writes more on this in consortiumnews. Recommended for the Ukraine job by none other than Victoria Nuland, she also worked closely with the IMF in her role at the US Department of State.

Perhaps Christine Lagarde gave away the deepness of her involvement with events in Ukraine unwittingly in a speech she gave at the Washington Press Club as early as January 15th 2014. In that speech Lagarde referred to a meeting of the G7 scheduled for later that year. The only thing was there was no G7 scheduled for 2014. But there was a G8 meeting scheduled for June 4th and 5th 2014. That meeting had been due to take place in Sochi, Russia, and was billed to include Russia as the eighth member. The decision to exclude Russia wasn’t taken until March 24th, citing Russian ‘intervention’ in Crimea as the reason. As the coup in Kiev hadn’t even taken place at the time of Lagarde’s January speech, the Crimeans had no reason to secede from Ukraine. Yakunovych was still in charge of all Ukraine, including Crimea. He didn’t flee the Ukrainian capital until February 22nd. The Crimeans wouldn’t vote to secede from Ukraine until March 16th 2014, a full two months after the Washington Press Club speech. Nobody could’ve known, or predicted, such a complex series of events unless … unless … unless they were very good at numerology.

More pieces of the jigsaw come together

With their snouts firmly fixed on Europe, and almost everywhere else on the planet, Victoria Nuland and Baroness Ashton are no strangers to each other. September 2012 saw them involved in discussions with Iran negotiator Saeed Jalili over the country’s supposed nuclear arms ambitions.

So firm has their friendship become that, asked by the press for her reaction to Nuland’s “Fuck the EU!” statement, Ashton refused to be drawn, saying by way of explanation Nuland is “a friend of mine”. Perhaps Ashton needs reminding, though she may not have been elected to represent the people of the European Union, she is being paid a massive salary to represent them. To the best of my knowledge she is not being paid to represent Victoria Nuland. We should be very wary Ashton’s friends. And, by the cut of their jib, we should watch out for the friends of their friends.

A friend of your friend …

It is almost exactly one year since Eliot L. Engel and Robert Aderholt nominated Catherine Ashton for, what would have been the crowning moment of a surreal career, the Nobel Peace Prize. The two congressmen nominated the baroness along with Hashim Thaçi, first prime minister of Kosovo, and Ivica Dačić a former prime minister of Serbia. Apart from his peace efforts, a Guardian story of 2010 reveals Hashim Thaçi also to be known for “smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe” according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime. Ivica Dačić is neither a stranger to crime. In his former position as Minister of Police in 2008, he admitted to meeting with Rodoljub Radulovič several occasions. ‘Misha Banana’, as Radulovič is known in the underworld, has links to organized drug smuggling. We might be forgiven for wondering what was behind the honour the two American congressmen wanted to bestow on this shady threesome and what other connections they might all have had in common.

Speaking before the House committee on foreign affairs this year, Victoria Nuland took the bold step of accusing Russia of invading Ukraine for the first time. At the same hearing Congressman Eliot Engel, who met President Poroshenko in February, accused Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, of spreading “lies, lies and more lies”. Engel is an enthusiastic supporter of US interfering even further in Ukraine. Nuland and Engel work so closely in tandem they could qualify as a double-act. Their names appear in the same news stories, speaking on the same issues time and time again, see here, here and here.

Republican Congressman Robert Aderholt is a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He serves on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Washington. In her role as Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs it was only natural for Victoria Nuland to be invited to testify before the same commission on Ukraine. As early as 2007 the commission’s interest in Ukraine had taken Aderholt to Kiev to talk to President Viktor Yushchenko in an effort to discuss the country’s political situation.

Toil and trouble …

To assume Nuland, Ashton and Lagarde were alone in the plot to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine would be naïve. All along the way they have been encouraged and supported by a cabal of prominent members of the Senate and Congress, who control politics through unelected proxies and NGOs, even when not holding government office. That the three women have not been elected means that cannot be unelected. While we can get rid of those we elect by not electing them next time round, our politicians have discovered new ways to remain in power through these proxies. In the US it has become possible to have both the Republicans and Democrats in power at the same time, just by shifting a few chairs about.

Eliot L. Engel is a Democrat whereas Robert Aderholt bats for the Republicans in Congress, but the way both men work with Nuland, one might think they all wore same political colours. More prominent supporters of the Ukrainian coup leaders are Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry. Both leading Democrats made very public visits to Maidan Square to engage in encouraging a revolution designed to lead to the overthrow the legal government of a foreign state. It might come as a shock too many, who receive all their news from the corporate media, but along with another visitor to Kiev, the Republican senator for Arizona John McCain, the three men could be accused of having had more personal interests for wanting regime change in Ukraine.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, has joined the board of a Ukrainian gas producer with a close friend, who just happens to be Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson. See below for details. On the other side, John McCain, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Commitee, is funded by weapons manufacturers like Dillon Aero who receive lucrative government arms contracts. The Arizona senator netted $176,300 from defence contractors for supporting air strikes on Syria in 2013, more than any other senator. This might explain the his eagerness to bypass Barack Obama in order to send arms to Ukraine without presidential approval. See below for details and links to McCain’s shady web of business contacts with east European nations.

As can be seen by its open support for nations run by vicious dictators, corrupt politicians, criminal mafias, oligarchs, bankers, global corporations and illegal juntas all over the world, the US government is no longer in the business of spreading democracy, it’s in the business of undermining and destroying it, both at home and abroad. With prospective president Hilary Clinton firmly in the warmongers’ camp, business is looking good. The rest of the world is expendable, as are the 99% of Americans being excluded from this new American dream.

There are those in the west still naïve enough to believe a politician is someone who stands for election in a democracy. Not so, Nuland, Ashton and Lagarde have done away with the old-fashioned concept of considering a popular mandate essential to acting on behalf of nations in matters of war. The blatant hypocrisy of these 21st century armchair Boadiceas is breathtaking. Though brave enough to send other mothers’ sons to ‘fight for democracy’ in other people’s lands, none of the women have ever had the courage to test their popularity at the ballot box in their own countries. That they talk as leaders of a ‘West’ that doesn’t exist as a single democratic entity should ring alarm bells everywhere. Who exactly are they speaking for if they are not speaking for the people of Europe and the US?

The answer becomes obvious. They are speaking for the 1% at the apex of an increasingly incompetent Western sociopathic kleptocracy. Unless their objective has been chaos, this band of lunatic criminals has failed at everything to which it has put its hand. Judged by results, the 1% have failed as bankers, in the war on drugs, in bringing democracy to the rest of the world, in the fight against climate change, against terrorism, in solving the debt crisis and on, and on, and on… the list of their colossal bungles is staggering. Yet, as though mentally deranged, they seem to count every failure as another step on the road to success. It is definitely time for change.

Copyright © 2015 Bryan Hemming

 Additional information regarding potential conflicts of interest in Eastern Europe

Secretary of State John Kerry has shown a keen interest in the Ukraine over the last year, as has a member of his family. Having visited Kiev in shortly after the Maidan Square massacre last March he was back early February this year. Another visitor to Kiev with family interests in Ukraine is Joe Biden. Sadly, the US Vice President had to cancel a planned visit to Maidan Square on his last visit to Kiev in November 2014 due to fears for his security. Both men are Democrats. According to The Wall Street Journal edition of May last year “Vice President Joe Biden’s son [Hunter Biden] and a close friend of Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson [Chris Heinz], have joined the board of a Ukrainian gas producer controlled by a former top security and energy official for deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.”

On the other side of the house Republican Senator John McCain has not spoken of any plans to visit Ukraine in 2015. McCain has tenuous links arms businesses supplying arms to the world’s trouble spots including other states at odds with Russia.

McCain is recorded recently as saying the next country to watch after Ukraine is Moldova. Moldovans should take the warning extremely seriously. The maverick Republican has been linked with supplying arms to the KLA in Albania. McCain’s connections with shady Eastern Europeans, including Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire metals dealer, go back years.

Before his fortunes changed dramatically, Oleg Deripaska was well-known for entertaining world politicians on his luxury yacht. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson, were guests of his in 2008. Baron Mandelson’s position in the EU led to accusations of a conflict of interest. McCain’s friendship may have soured with Deripaska after the virtual collapse of the Russian oligarch’s companies, and for his loyal support of Vladimir Putin. In another effort to bring democracy to the world McCain urged Obama to arm ISIS in 2013.

Another friend of Moldova turns out to be Joe Biden. Biden is also a friend of Montenegro, known for its corruption. Formerly part of Yugoslavia, Montenegro lies on “the Balkan route”, chiefly recognised in the criminal world for the opportunities it offers in the illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and humans. Its heroin trade alone is estimated to be worth $20 billion per year. Moises Naim of The Carnegie Endowment labelled Montenegro a “mafia state.” Biden is a staunch supporter of the Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s desire for Montenegro to join NATO.

John Kerry and Joe Biden share their interests in the security of Moldova and Montenegro. In fact, they share security interests in the security of a host of former communist states that either border, or are close to Russia.

According to Erwan Fouéré, former EU Ambassador in Macedonia, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has turned Macedonia into a nightmare with his serial abuse of human rights, widespread government surveillance, repression and attacks on press freedom. Sounds like a familiar story, with other nations ripe for US intervention. Right on cue, John Kerry recently stated “Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Transnistria; they are on the line of fire.” Indeed, all are in the crosshairs of Victoria Nuland, Joe Biden, John McCain and John Kerry. They want the vassal states of EU to accept membership for them without question. We could add Belarus, Albania and Armenia to the list. The neo-con plan is to get them all into NATO. “Fuck the EU” because Europe only matters in relation to the US. Merely a stepping stone to world hegemony Europe must do as it is told.

For further reading:

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault published in Foreign Affairs by John J. Mearsheimer

Nuland: The Message Beneath the Vulgarity posted by Patrick Smith at Foreign Policy In Focus

The New American Order Tom Engelhardt writes for Nation of Change

A Family Business of Perpetual War by Robert Parry of consortiumnews.com

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8 comments on “Double, double, toil and trouble… the cauldron of Kiev

  1. greg maybury
    June 11, 2015

    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/05/22/the-mh-17-propaganda-war/

    Great piece Bryan, I PU on this via your comment on Rob Parry’s recent article. I’ve included a link to a piece I penned recently that you may or may not have seen. I’d say we’re on the same wavelength. Best, GM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      June 15, 2015

      Hadn’t seen that particular piece, Greg, thanks for the link. The cynicism of Western governments and media regarding MH17 has been breathtaking.

      I am amazed by the patience of the families of the victims involved, particularly those from Holland and Australia, where media coverage appears to have done little more than endelessly repeat the official narrative. Not only have the lives of their loved ones been taken, but now the victims are being disrespected by continually being used for propaganda purposes without any evidence being produced to back up the claims being made. To use the lives of the dead in this way is despicable.

      If evidence exists, and the finger pointers know what happened, as they have been claiming is the case since the beginning, then show us the evidence. If they don’t, then come clean.

      There seems not even one politician from these two countries with enough decency to stand up and demand the results of the investigation be published in full, for the sake of the families, if nothing else. Until that is done they will not be able to come to terms with their losses in a proper and diginifed manner.

      The way journalists from the corporate media have exploited the tragedy, showing complete disregard for the families’ feelings, borders on the sociopathic. And then to scream and shout because someone has the temerity to question their methodology is pathetic. Quite obviously, they haven’t given so much as a thought to those who died. This overriding lust to wring out as much profit from regurgitating the same old lies is nothing short of sickening.

      Like

  2. colltales
    April 2, 2015

    Great caricatures too. Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vaska
    April 1, 2015

    An excellent and timely article that should get as much exposure as possible. Thank you for the good work you’re doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      April 2, 2015

      Thanks, Vaska. It’s not something I particularly enjoy, as I have other writing projects I’d much rather be getting on with. I started getting more involved due to the mainstream media’s active role in supporting yet another unjustifiable war that should never have happened. The lies and distortions I see on TV and online made me ashamed.

      Having given up commenting on newspaper sites, after realising the pages were being invaded and occupied by the 21st century version of fifth columnists, I felt the need to try to do something else, however small.

      As for all the leading journalists betraying soldiers, who die in battle on a daily basis, they sicken me. Lied to, and tricked into war, the soldiers and their families, deserve much better.

      But worst of all is to see innocent civilians our governments are so willing to sacrifice as collateral damage to achieve their selfish goals. As the mainstream media has done its very best to keep photos and videos of the dead, dying and horribly injured from public view, they must shoulder a large part of responsibilty for those deaths. Proof exists that many journalists have been complicit in the atrocities by covering up the truth and spreading lies. Their day in court should also come.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Vaska
    April 1, 2015

    Reblogged this on vaskaxtumir and commented:
    An excellent new summary and analysis of the last 12 months in Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

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