Opportunism, Economy and Wars


Since my last post regarding proxy wars [00]
last year, nothing has fundamentally changed to the better,
wars got intensified and worse, even spread further.

While proof-reading this text, I found Peter Hitchens’s article A Plea for Restraint on the Ukraine Tragedy [01] which very well discusses reasons of going to war, as well as the difficulties of writing an unbiased article.

Please excuse my clumsy English and my apology in case I unintentionally misrepresented a fact. This article cannot reflect all touched issues completely and simply outlines the events to my best knowledge with citations added.

The article also focuses on the driving and greater power of a conflict, i.e. the US and the EU regarding the Ukraine conflict, Israel regarding their conflict with the Palestine people and the Islamic State regarding Syria and Iraq. Hence the argumentation might seem biased, however, I feel it is more important to question the currently stronger and more aggressive force, than their opponent.

The Wars Continue…

It seems like the wars continue as planned, i.e. perpetual wars as in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four [99].

Libya is far from being stabilized [30].

Egypt is back to it’s military leadership, former general Sisi is president now.

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)

Syria was under attack by so called rebels or freedom fighters, payed and partially trained by western governments and certain Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Quatar.

One sunni group named ISIL/ISIS, lead by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, separated itself from the Syrian plot, attacked Iraq [53] and suddenly became the richest terror group [60]. The splinter group even produced an annual report [54], revealed investment highlights, acting like a cooperation applying for more investments. After crucifying too moderate Syrian rebels, they declared their Caliphate [55] and became the single dominant terrorist force in Syria and Iraq. They elaborated on invading Spain [56], seized 88 pounds of uranium in northern Iraq [57], renamed itself to Islamic State (IS) and asked for immigrants [58].

They are hiring and while being more powerful than Al-Qaeda, their competition might become an issue for the west [59]. Now they have to feed a population of around 8 million while being responsible for a landmass greater than the UK. It also seems that future financial support from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries may dry out, due to their own new regulations for private donations [61].

Quite a ride for just one month. The question arises, who is paying for their blood oil and gas? How will they blackmail our society with their military and radioactive surplus while under financial pressure? Or are they just a welcome distraction to our economic problems and an enabler for our leaders to get even more involved in the wars? An excuse to even further restrict our civil rights?

Israel and Palestine

Israel ignores it’s responsibility of being the greater power in the ongoing war with Hamas. Both commit humanitarian war crimes towards the people living in Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel. Both leaders seem to share one common goals, maintaining the status-quo. Hamas seems to defend it’s leadership to stay in power and to remain relevant [45]. Israel doesn’t pursue a one- or two-state solution [08], but continues the land grab via their settlings, Lebensraum [09].

One simple solution would have been to never have intervened actively in this conflict at all, while standing up to our values. Well, we already have meddled with this conflict, hence one might suggest to install a demilitarized zone controlled by Arab and Western military serving the people of Palestine and Israel, while punishing any breach proportionally.

Neither Hamas, nor Israel would have used disproportional forces in response to the death of the Palestinian and Israel teenagers, if their primary goal was to save lives. Both sides uses Rockets and ground troops, violating humanitarian laws and accepted death of many civilians. Neither side values [Palestine] people’s life more than their political agenda.

It should be the burden of the stronger power, Israel, to come to senses and stop it’s current disproportional atrocities to the people in Gaza [46]. Only then trust could be build and peace exercised, sadly that they seem not to pursue such goals [08]. One Israel leader tried, but sadly Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by it’s own people [48]. It would be interesting to learn, why they didn’t continue with the peace process. Maybe they understood the killing of Rabin as the people’s public vote? Rabin’s democratic elected successor, Netanyahu, seems to support this claim [49]. If they continue to operate above the law [50], judging them is futile [47].

The War Reached Europe

The wars finally reached Europe, again.

Western governments were not satisfied with Ukraine’s decision to reject the exclusive association agreement between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine [41].

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is not only a trade agreement between the two parties, but also covers the area of Common Security and Foreign Policy (CSFP) as well as Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), see [42, page 3/5]. While Ukraine has to follow all of the agreements rules, it has no voting or veto powers until it becomes a full member of the EU. Hence the EU association violates Ukraine’s sovereignty [19].

Further more, the security (CSFP) and defense (CSDP) provisions of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement [42, page 3/5] are indirectly violating the US promise made to Shevardnadze not to expand the NATO towards Moscow after dissolving the USSR [18], [36]. Indirectly, since all EU states are affiliated with NATO and following her lead, while Ukraine must follow the EU lead now. Maybe these details also clarify why the EU association is exclusive and an agreement with another non EU block is not compatible.

The EU and the US supported and planned the Euromaidan [10] uprise [11] exercised by national socialists [10] and naive ordinary folks, where the next democratic election was only a few month away!

Supporting the Coup D’Etat was admitted by US’s Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in her speech to the US-Ukraine Foundation [13], she emphasizes the 5 billion USD investment in Ukraine’s EU aspirations [14]. Further cooperate US interest has been documented [15], even Joe Biden’s son joined [16] the board of largest Ukraine gas producer [17]. Victoria Nuland, also emphasized the US weight in this Ukraine enterprise with her infamous quote Fuck the EU [12].

Besides the US, the EU also supported the Euromaidan, e.g. EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Heavy resistance against the Kiev government raised in Crimea and south-east of Ukraine by separatists, labeled as pro-Russian by the West and soon to be called terrorists by the Kiev government.

Crimea became part of the Russian Federation by public vote [20], which was heavily criticized by the west and it’s inclusion is still disputed. The West called the latter an annexation, claiming the preceding election was not legal. Crimea was punished by the Kiev government, they have been taken off water supply, etc. It should be noted that Crimea was given to the Ukraine by Khrushchev/USSR [32] and Ukraine’s relation with Russia were always close during the USSR period, up until the Euromaidan putsch. Ukraine always benefited from lower gas prices from Russia, and was even offered a no questions asked loan from Russia before the putsch [33], avoiding the exclusive EU association. Even after the putsch, Putin did not immediately void the loan as negotiated with the previous Ukraine legitimate government, but froze it until their upcoming elections, allowing him to force the Ukraine government to a more Russian friendly policy [34]. Due to Kiev’s continuous push towards an exclusive EU association and the worsening escalations with the separatists, the Russian loan was no more mentioned. Instead the IMF offered a load assuming Kiev’s EU association.

The separatists in the south-east of Ukraine were not as lucky as their Crimean comrades. Today they are still under attack by Kiev’s military [23] while refusing to give up their right of self determination. The separatists militia seems to consist partially out of professional ex-Soviet, ex-Russian soldiers. If not supported by Russia directly, their experience might be one reason why they were not eliminated by the not so well performing Ukraine soldiers. The latter also might hint to Kiev’s reasons to hire a private militia [44]. It is unclear whether the whole population in those regions supports the separatists, however, 110,000 civilians fled Ukraine for Russia instead for Kiev [24]. One reason for Kiev’s desperate violation of humanitarian rights in the south-east and its refusal to let go, allowing a Ukrainian federation, might be one requirement of the IMF credit. It states: not losing control over east of country [21].

Within all this turmoil, CIA director Brennan of the US visits Kiev, pleasing himself with a cultural vacation [43].

The resulting chaos lead to the ongoing conflict and tensions with Russia, western media only offers a one-sided view [22] and its propaganda [21]. Of course, In war, the truth dies first.

Russia is being blamed for not only supporting the opposition, but also for having the sole responsibility and ability to end this conflict and for not doing enough to end it. No western leader strongly forced the Kiev government to stay out of the disputed regions and to finally start a political process to solve the self afflicted issues. On the contrary, the EU even went on signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement [41] instead of withholding it’s signature to press Kiev to a humanitarian solution.

In western media, people were even made believe Russia might annex other eastern countries and the NATO exercised it’s readiness in Poland [35] and other countries surrounding Ukraine [36].

Sanctions were imposed against Russia while support for the Kiev government continued. Russia’s reaction towards US and EU sanctions may be described as non-violent but consequent. Instead of answering the sanctions tit-for-tat, Putin first pursued his approach towards an IMF- and SWIFT-banking alternative with the BRICS [25] as well as closing deals with alternative trading partners like China [26] not using USD. Russia also engaged in trading goods for oil with Iran [27], similar to India and China during the US and EU sanctions against Iran in 2013 [28]. These alternatives were designed to gain more independence and to diversify the current monetary monopoly of the IMF and SWIFT.

It might be noteworthy that these actions hollow the power of the US petrodollar, since they simply offer to close deals using other currencies. The latter might be understood as an even bigger long-term threat to the US and the EU economy than the Ukraine enterprise was assumed to gain for them. In contemporary history attempts to utilize alternative currency ended not well, see Iraq’s Saddam Hussein [29] and Libya’s Gaddafi [30]. Both dictator committed horrible atrocities, however, none of these humanitarian crimes were the reason for removing them from power, but maintaining the status-quo of the [currency] powers are. Further, none of their successors is known to have followed humanitarian rights by the law, to put it mildly.

Despite all the sable rattling, and calling for sanctions, no western oil company retreated from it’s engagement in Russia [38], and hence somewhat defy their government plan to sanctions [37]. Even more interesting, Putin did not simply kicked them out in retaliation, yet [40].

Why does the EU participate?

The question arises why the EU takes part in this enterprise?

Russia and Europe share a common history and culture.

Russia is a reliable trade partner for all times to the EU. Even during the cold war, it fulfilled its contracts and delivered natural gas to Europe.

While partaking in the Ukraine conflict, the EU distances itself from Russia. The sanctions hit the EU more than Russia, since many current business deals were voided and future deals may not be realized in such climate. Even though Russia promised to deliver gas during this conflict, it was discussed whether the EU shall purchase liquid natural gas (LNG) from Canada and the US. Some EU countries were even blamed by the US to be too soft with the sanctions, while still continuing purchasing goods from Russia they otherwise cannot have [37], like rocket engines [39].

While US companies and organizations continue their trade with Russia, European governments and companies are being punished for doing the same. French bank, BNP Paribas, got punished by the US with a $10 billion fine for money laundering [62] for their Mistral Sale To Putin, which they are willing to fulfill [63]. Similarly, the Deutsche Bank is threatened to be fined for its significant operational risk by the NY FED [64], even though it is not so clear whether this is related to Germany’s slowness regarding more sanctions towards Russia. While having the illusion of living in a free country, I hope they won’t slam me on the side for elaborating on all of this.

The EU associates itself even stronger with US cooperate interest via TTIP and what-not-economic-and-legal-deals they are about to sign, or already have signed. Instead of maintaining sovereign countries conducting trade following their respective law, the US and the EU become so tightly bound, that it is hard to telling them apart. It has to be emphasized, that these trade agreements are also capable of defining a country’s policies. Any individual or corporate member is able to sue participating countries to comply with the trade agreements, hence may even override the will of it’s people, override democratic legitimized policies! It cannot be in the interest of anyone country to have their self determination removed by a non democratic legitimized institution.
Such unification shall only happen if the people explicitly legitimize it by a democratic vote. Then they may also simply become one unified country.

The bigger a unified entity or country becomes, the higher the risk of becoming centralized and remote is. Installing a centralized government and removing powers from self-governing states is in strong opposition to the best known working democracies, a federal [02] parliamentary republic [03] combined with direct democracy [52] like Switzerland has implemented.

A centralized government bears the risks of:

  • People loosing interest due to too distant, far-away government. Lack of identification.
  • Governing bodies don’t reflect their remote people’s will, misrepresenting them.
  • Governing bodies inertia increases, becoming more of a planned economy [04] than a decentralized flexible one [05]
  • Insufficient control points leads to a higher risks of a take over
  • It eases [corporate] lobbying due to the unified attack surface, making it cheaper to pay for laws.

Sounds familiar?
While China for example became more decentralized [05] and hence successful, the EU started to regress into a more centralized system [04].

The Ukraine crisis may simply show the fate of the US and the EU in advance, where one becomes a victim of ones own creations.

The EU did not distance itself from corporate interests, it even signed the association treaty with the Kiev putsch government while the same commits atrocities to their own people, i.e. separatists.
The EU is guilty of taken part in the Ukraine tragedy and it’s many civilian losses.

Personal Note

The EU once claimed its goals were to establish peace, wealth and stability.
Nowadays it seems she lost its sovereignty and became the tool for cooperate interests and is not shy of accepting civilian casualties to pursue her goals.

Maybe these wars are a result of lobbying corporations to quench their greed.

Maybe they are a result of a strategic game theory.
Either to maintain our system, keeping our leaders in power to lead the herd, or to guarantee the survival of people of selective systems due to the limitation of resources.

Even though the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few, the ends justify the means not, if the means violate the ends objectives, if the means defeat the ends overall purpose, including the actor’s ethical stance.

Whatever the reasons might be, we need to confront ourselves with the quest of our survival, may it be a question of limited resources or of parties concentrating their powers to maintain their leadership.
Whatever the question might be, ethics must matter, i.e. how we survive.

Ethics is not just important because of it’s intrinsic values, but because of it’s integral property to society and long term survival. In other words, How can we guarantee our survival, if we violate our social contract and harm other societies?
We can not, the abused societies may one day treat us as we have treated them. See the discussion about Consequentialism [06] and The Quest for Justice in The Republic [07].

The attempt to rationalize, morally excuse and to justify atrocities for a so called greater good has been tried by the best propagandists. One extreme example are the Himmler speeches in 1943 [51] where he tried to reason and excuse the killing of Jewish people for the survival of the German empire.

As a citizen of Germany and the EU, I feel ashamed and express my condolences to the victims of the Ukrainian tragedy and strongly oppose these actions. The same goes for our involvement in the Yugoslavia- and Syria-Conflict, see [00].

Updated 2014-07-24: Typos, grammar and added citations and text: [62], [63] and [64].