Tuesday, February 17, 2015

America's Interventionist Legacy: Failed States

America's Interventionist Legacy: Failed States

by Stephen Lendman

Wherever America intervenes, failed states follow. Pro-Western stooge regimes replace sitting governments. 

They fail to provide essential functions, services and/or responsibilities required of sovereign independent ones.

Failed state examples include Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Haiti, Honduras, Somalia, Yemen and Ukraine. Syria's government maintains power despite having lost control of much of its territory.

Wikipedia lists the following characteristics of failed states:

"Loss of control of its territory, or the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein."

"Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions."

"Inability to provide public services."

"Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community."

"(W)idespread corruption and criminality."

"(I)nvoluntary movement of populations" creating huge numbers of refugees.

"(E)conomic decline."

The Fund for Peace maintains an annual "Fragile States Index." Characteristics include:

"Mounting demographic pressures."

"Massive displacement of refugees, creating severe humanitarian emergencies."

"Widespread vengeance-seeking group grievances."

"Chronic and sustained human flight."

"Uneven economic development along group lines."

"Severe economic decline."

"Criminalization and/or delegitimization of the state."

"Suspension or arbitrary application of law; widespread human rights abuses;

"Security apparatus operating as 'a state within a state.' "

"Rise of factionalized elites."

"Intervention of external political agents."

Chomsky argues "we should have little difficulty in finding the characteristics of 'failed states' right here at home."

He calls America an out-of-control hegemon waging permanent wars on humanity under the pretext of "anticipatory self-defense" or "preventive war."

Attacking any country it calls a threat to national security - real or invented. International, constitutional and US statute laws don't matter.

Might makes right when America says so. Ultimate doom may be humanaity's legacy if this monster isn't stopped.

It operates under what Adam Smith called the "vile maxim of the masters of mankind: All for ourselves and nothing for other people."

It's willing to risk global war to achieve its objectives. Rogue state ruthlessness defines US policy. William Blum calls them "worse than you imagine."

"If you flip over the rock of American foreign policy (throughout) the past century, this is what crawls out:"

"invasions, bombings, (subversion), overthrowing governments, suppressing (popular) movements for social change, assassinating political leaders, perverting elections, manipulating labor unions, manufacturing 'news,' death squads, torture, (chemical), biological (and nuclear) warfare, (radiological contamination), drug trafficking, mercenaries," police state repression, and war on humanity writ large.

"It’s not a pretty picture," says Blum. "It is enough to give imperialism a bad name."

Ukraine is the latest example of rogue US policy. Its seriousness can't be overstated. 

It's Obama's war. Using Ukraine's military as proxy forces to advance America's imperium throughout Eurasia.

Minsk resolved nothing. Ceasefire is temporary at best. It's largely (though not entirely) holding in some Donbass areas but not all.

The Colonel Cassad web site says it has "one foot in the grave." Chances for peace are virtually nil. It's just a matter of time before resumed conflict. Perhaps more intensely than before.

For sure, instigated by Kiev on Washington's orders. US military, intelligence and other elements direct war policy from Kiev.

US heavy weapons continue pouring into Ukraine. NATO planes arrive regularly with shipments. 

Kiev conscription continues despite thousands of Ukrainians refusing military service. Mobilization readies for resumed conflict at  Washington's discretion.

On Monday, Putin, Merkel and Poroshenko discussed issues related to Minsk by phone. A Kremlin press release said:

"They discussed among other things the issues related to the ceasefire, the pullback of heavy armaments by the conflicting sides and the situation in the area of the southeastern town of Debaltsevo."

They agreed on "concrete steps for OSCE (observers) to monitor" conditions on the ground.

Fighting for Debaltsevo continues. Resolving it isn't included in Minsk terms. Both sides remain firm.

Kiev considers the city a major military asset close to Donetsk. Ukrainian propaganda depicts ongoing conflict as a heroic last stand.

Thousands of Kiev troops are surrounded. Effectively defeated. Rebels promised safety in return for surrendering and laying down their arms.

Standoff continues. It's just a matter of time before Debaltsevo falls. How many more Ukrainian soldiers will die waging a futile battle remains to be seen.

DPR parliament Speaker Denis Pushilin was clear and unequivocal saying "(w)e do not have the right  (to stop fighting for Debaltsevo). It's even a moral thing. It's internal territory."

On Tuesday, AP said both sides "failed…to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line…"

Kiev military spokesman Anatoliy Stelmakh blamed rebels for Ukrainian violations.

RT International reported sniper fire on Friday attacking its camera crew about 14 km from Debaltsevo.

Casualties were avoided. "We came under fire. Everyone is alright," said correspondent Roman Kosarev.

RT's Arabic journalist Anna Knishenko said they were fired on when trying to leave Uglegorsk.

Ukrainian snipers are everywhere, she said. Clearly identified press representatives are targeted.

RT correspondents were repeatedly attacked last year. Fyodor Zavaleykov was wounded in Mariupol.

Other attacks occurred in Kramatrosk, Lugansk, Donetsk, and Chetnukhino. RT is one of the few news services reporting from Donbas. Perhaps the world's most dangerous place for journalists today.

Tuesday's Wall Street Journal headlined "Ukraine's Truce Fades in Fight for Key Town."

Saying ceasefire in Debaltsevo "lasted all of 40 minutes." A sign of things to come.

Heavy fighting around the strategic railway town "has become the biggest challenge" to fragile agreed on terms, said the Journal.

Western officials blame Putin for what's ongoing. Despite his urging both sides to end fighting.

Rebels keep battering Kiev forces. Even The New York Times admitted they "lost on the battlefield."

One Ukrainian soldier called conditions "a meat grinder. We didn't even pick up the dead, just the injured," he said.

"There's no way out. It's a double encirclement." The area was cut off for days.

On Monday, 20 Ukrainian soldiers managed to escape. They avoided death or injuries driving two vehicles across fields. No one else got out on Monday.

Debaltsevo reflects the struggle for Donbas sovereignty. One Ukrainian soldier said "(s)ooner or later (full-scale conflict) will start again."

"It's just a temporary ceasefire, not peace." Before fighting ends, Ukraine may be destroyed altogether.

It's already bankrupt. A failed state. With virtually no financial resources except IMF funds with strings.

Ukraine is "broke," economist Michael Hudson explains. It practically exhausted its foreign reserves waging war it can't win.

It "destroyed its (Donbass) industrial export and coal mining capacity…" It's deeply in debt nearing insolvency.

According to Hudson, "Ukraine must meet conditions that seem almost impossible."

It must comply with odious IMF terms amounting to turning Ukraine into a hollow shell. Looting it for profit.

At the same time, IMF chief Christine Lagarde says funds won't be released without cessation of conflict.

Hudson believes Ukraine may be "the first step in the United States losing Europe. It may end up splitting European economic interests away from NATO…"

Playing America's game amounts to shooting themselves in the foot. How long will they "acquiesce to this sacrifice," Hudson asked?

At what point will internal interests override Washington's? Hudson said Putin told Merkel and Hollande they had two choices.

On the one hand, join with Russia. Create a prosperous economic zone combining Moscow's raw materials with European technology.

On the other, support US-dominated NATO's Eastern European expansion "and draw Russia into war that will wipe it out."

"Could Obama's neocon strategy backfire and lose Europe," asked Hudson? Will EU leaders act in their own self-interest and avoid WW III?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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