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Promoting democracy?

Stop! Thief! Stop! — The Looting of Ukraine

Anne Williamson Jul 30, 2014

Kiev’s hastily assembled, post-coup coalitions couldn’t hold, and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk threw in the towel last Thursday. On his way out, news stories said, the PM expressed his “disappointment with Ukrainian parliament’s decision to reject a bill that allows the government to hand over up to 49 percent of the country’s gas transport system to investors from the European Union and the United States.”

In other words, what the US and the EU have got themselves up to in Ukraine isn’t so much a demented, madhouse mirror set of policies built on bluster and gross deceit as it is a high-powered burglary.

Ukraine should craft attractive terms to facilitate foreign investment, especially of those technologically-advanced energy companies capable of locating and developing whatever energy assets Ukraine does enjoy. But what does foreign ownership of 49% of the nation’s functioning gas transport system have to do with energy exploration and development?
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The Rise of the 'Petro-yuan' and the Slow Erosion of Dollar Hegemony

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett Jul 31, 2014

Yuan Dollar

For seventy years, one of the critical foundations of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s most important currency. For the last forty years, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s dominant role in international energy markets. Today, China is leveraging its rise as an economic power, and as the most important incremental market for hydrocarbon exporters in the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union to circumscribe dollar dominance in global energy—with potentially profound ramifications for America’s strategic position.       

Since World War II, America’s geopolitical supremacy has rested not only on military might, but also on the dollar’s standing as the world’s leading transactional and reserve currency. Economically, dollar primacy extracts “seignorage”—the difference between the cost of printing money and its value—from other countries, and minimises US firms’ exchange rate risk. Its real importance, though, is strategic: dollar primacy lets America cover its chronic current account and fiscal deficits by issuing more of its own currency—precisely how Washington has funded its hard power projection for over half a century.  

Since the 1970s, a pillar of dollar primacy has been the greenback’s role as the dominant currency in which oil and gas are priced, and in which international hydrocarbon sales are invoiced and settled. This helps keep worldwide dollar demand high. It also feeds energy producers’ accumulation of dollar surpluses that reinforce the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier reserve asset, and that can be “recycled” into the US economy to cover American deficits.
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In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is The Thing To Do

Sheldon Richman Jul 29, 2014

Stop

The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States — no matter who the president is — cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it, things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will prevail.

The foreign-policy “experts” in both major political parties, and the intelligentsia generally, think otherwise. No matter who holds power, we can expect the opposition to complain that the chief executive poorly anticipated and thus improperly responded to world events.

If this charge weren’t so ominous, it would be comical to hear Republicans berating Barack Obama for failing to be “proactive,” for repeatedly being caught by surprise, and for not exerting “American leadership” to keep the world’s hot spots under control and, most important, in harmony with “American interests.”
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Veteran US Intelligence Analysts to Obama: Provide Evidence or Stop Lying About Malaysia Plane Crash

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Intelligence on Shoot-Down of Malaysian Plane

U.S.–Russian intensions are building in a precarious way over Ukraine, and we are far from certain that your advisers fully appreciate the danger of escalation. The New York Times and other media outlets are treating sensitive issues in dispute as flat-fact, taking their cue from U.S. government sources.

Twelve days after the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, your administration still has issued no coordinated intelligence assessment summarizing what evidence exists to determine who was responsible – much less to convincingly support repeated claims that the plane was downed by a Russian-supplied missile in the hands of Ukrainian separatists.

Your administration has not provided any satellite imagery showing that the separatists had such weaponry, and there are several other “dogs that have not barked.”
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WHAT?

A Peace and Prosperity Blog


Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Exposes the CIA’s Ongoing Cover-Up of Torture War Crimes
Former US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson discussed in detail, as a guest Sunday on Background Briefing with Ian Masters, a “major cover-up” in progress, with the US Central Intelligence Agency altering a still unreleased Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture.
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Another One-Sided Israel Vote Scheduled Today In Congress
It has been only a few days since Congress re-affirmed its support for the Israeli government's assault on Gaza, in which nearly 1,500 Palestinians have been killed.
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Abolish the CIA: Does Ron Paul Hate America? Daniel McAdams on Jay Taylor Show
RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins Jay Taylor again to discuss Ron Paul's recent column on ending the CIA, as well as claims that Ron Paul and RPI are anti-American for resisting the latest neocon push to war with Russia. And...look who's calling Ron Paul a Soviet apparatchik!
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Robert Higgs: The Many Costs of War
The deaths, injuries, and property destruction of battles are obvious costs of war as is all the money spent on weapons, soldiers, and other expenses directly related to battles. Less well understood by many people are the many other war costs, including costs imposed on people who may never be near a battlefield but just live in a nation at war.
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Eric Margolis: ‘Blame for this Bloodbath Sits as Much With the US as it Does With Israel’
International affairs writer and RPI Academic Board Member Eric Margolis, interviewed Monday on the Scott Horton Show, concludes regarding Israel’s military attack on and invasion of Gaza that “the blame for this bloodbath sits as much with the US as it does with Israel” and that the US government could end the war “in a minute” if it had the “political will.”
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