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Ukraine Mounting Tensions, World at Boiling Point Exacerbated by News Media

Politics / Mainstream Media Mar 04, 2014 - 10:37 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


The tensions in Ukraine continue to mount. Russian reports wrestle with Western ones, which are solidly aligned in demonizing Russia while concealing hard facts underlying a Western-engineered coup. I'm afraid independent writers in the West (and Russia too) submitting balanced opinion will find few venues available to them now; fewer friendly editors courageous enough to brave censure at the hands of our Western version of the "state-controlled" press. "War fever" - induced by major papers, AP, Reuters, etc., - infecting both conservatives and liberals - means McCarthyism II will no doubt be resurrected and enforced in short order. Dossiers from NSA Utah will help sort critics and dissenters from patriots.

A brief summary of recent Reuters headlines revealed Vladimir Putin "has invaded," or rather "is planning to invade," or rather "will invade," or rather "is about to invade" Ukraine. The editors at the Washington Post state: "What the Russian leader misunderstands most is that the center of gravity for the former Soviet Union has shifted west." ["Putin’s catastrophic error in Ukraine" Mar. 3]. The New York Times leading editorial lamented: "There was a lot to criticize about the way President Viktor Yanukovych’s government was thrown out in Ukraine and hurriedly replaced with an interim team," but the editors emphasized: "Yet none of this justifies Vladimir Putin’s cynical and outrageous exploitation of the Ukrainian crisis to seize control of Crimea, nor any other power grab he may be hatching." ["Russia's Aggression" Mar. 2]. The Guardian thinks: "Mr Putin's 'near abroad' policy is characterised by proprietorialism, zero-sum thinking and opportunism" ["Ukraine: Putin's Crimean grab" Mar. 2].

But whereto markets go from here, investors ask? The Times of London Justin Webb provided a solution: "Obama’s best weapon could be economic - using the fracking boom to kill Russia’s energy industry" [Mar 3]. Don't worry, assures Gideon Rachman at Financial Times, "Russia is in no position to fight a new cold war" [Mar 3]. Spiegel Online International spoke of EU monetary jitters over Ukraine's dwindling reserves, capital flight problem and uncertain financial future in light of this week's IMF "fact finding mission" to Kiev, but asked: "Will it be enough?" ["Economic Woes: The Uncertain Future of Ukraine's Finances" Feb 28]. Meanwhile, Rupert "Adam Smith" Murdoch's Wall Street Journal can't resist being "a real man" about matters: "Vladimir Putin's Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean peninsula by force on the weekend and now has his sights on the rest of his Slavic neighbor. The brazen aggression brings the threat of war to the heart of Europe for the first time since the end of the Cold War. The question now is what President Obama and free Europe are going to do about it," say the editors who hark on to categorically define history: ". . .former President Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed in a popular democratic uprising." ["Putin Declares War - Will Obama and Europe let him get away with carving up Ukraine?" Mar 2].

On the other side of the world at Asia Times, however, writers think differently and do worry. "What matters is that Kerry demanded virtual capitulation by Russia under the shadow of US retribution, and that's being plain dishonest and unrealistic. Nor can Kerry say there is no blood on his own hands" ["Ukrainian blood on Kerry's hands" M K Bhadrakumar, Mar 3]. The ever-perspicacious Pepe Escobar opined: If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a bull, this is the red flag to end all red flags . .  NATO's ultimate wet dream is to command a Western puppet Ukrainian government to kick the Russian navy out of its base in Sevastopol." ["Carnival in Crimea" Feb 28].

Headlines from Russia (March 3):


  • Russian Defense Ministry dismisses Ukraine ultimatum reports as ‘total nonsense’ 
  • Ukrainian servicemen on the territory of their military unit located some 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Simferopol, Crimea's capital, March 3, 2014. (Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko)
  • Kerry's threats vs Russia unacceptable, West sides with neo-Nazis - Russian FM
  • Training in hand combat among opposition fighters from the nationalist organization "Right sector" in a camp on Independence Square in Kiev. (RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)
  • Arms, 400 kilos of explosives seized from Kiev radicals on Crimean border
  • 12 videos showing why South-East Ukraine fears and stands-up to radical nationalists

RIA Novosti:

  • 3 South Ukrainian Cities Want to Join Crimea - Lawmaker
  • Ruble Dives to Historic Low, Stocks Crash on Ukraine Fears
  • Russia Says Ukraine Action Aimed at Protecting Human Rights
  • Russia Enlists Chinese Support on Ukraine Position
  • Russia Conducts Live Fire Exercises in Baltic
  • Russian Parliament Speaker Plays Down Talk of War in Ukraine

The Voice of Russia:

  • USAID got Maidan coup up and running – media

"The US online whistleblower magazine Pando has leaked documents suggesting the American government, in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), could have played a role as force multiplier in the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych, having funded a host of opposition groups prior to the revolution."

  • US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

announced Monday that the House is considering “assistance to Ukraine in the form of loan guarantees.” Cantor also said the House is seeking options on sanctions against Russia.

  • Moscow does not consider its goal to return Viktor Yanukovych to power,

but continues to consider him a legitimate president of Ukraine, said Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin."

* * * *

I believe Tom Engelhardt writing at Asia Times supplied the best diagnosis and prognosis:

"Take a look around and you'll see a world at the boiling point. From Ukraine to Syria, South Sudan to Thailand, Libya to Bosnia, Turkey to Venezuela, citizen protest (left and right) is sparking not just disorganization, but what looks like, to coin a word, de-organization at a global level. What is more or less absent - effectively missing in action - is outright war." ["Missing in action in world at boiling point" Mar 3].

Exacerbated by news media, world at boiling point.
Exacerbated by news media, outright war?

Look around you to find the answer.
Or wait.
Or pray.

By Michael T Bucci


(c) 2013 Michael T Bucci. All Rights reserved.

(Note: responses to emails might be delayed or not met.)

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle (UK). He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.

© 2014 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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