Special to Times of Oman
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington's stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine's poor people.
Before anything approaching stability and legitimacy has been obtained for the puppet government put in power by the Washington orchestrated coup against the legitimate, elected Ukraine government, the Western looters are already at work. Naive protesters who believed the propaganda that EU membership offered a better life are due to lose half of their pension by April. But this is only the beginning of their suffering
The corrupt Western media describes loans as "aid." However, the 11 billion euros that the EU is offering Kiev is not aid. It is a loan. Moreover, it comes with many strings, including Kiev's acceptance of an IMF austerity plan.
Remember now, gullible Ukrainians participated in the protests that were used to overthrow their elected government, because they believed the lies told to them by Washington-financed NGOs that once they joined the EU they would have streets paved with gold. Instead they are getting cuts in their pensions and an IMF austerity plan.
The austerity plan will cut social services, funds for education, layoff government workers, devalue the currency, thus raising the prices of imports which include Russian gas, thus electricity, and open Ukrainian assets to takeover by the Western corporations. Ukraine's agricultural lands will pass into the hands of American agribusiness.
One part of the Washington/European Union plan for Ukraine, or that part of Ukraine that doesn't defect to Russia, has succeeded. What remains of the country will be thoroughly looted by the West.
The other part hasn't worked as well. Washington's Ukrainian stooges lost control of the protests to organised and armed ultra-nationalists.
These groups, whose roots go back to those who fought for Hitler during World War II, engaged in words and deeds that sent southern and eastern Ukraine clamouring to be returned to Russia where they resided prior to the 1950s when the Soviet communist party stuck them into Ukraine.
It looks like Crimea has seceded from Ukraine. Washington and its Nato puppets can do nothing but bluster and threaten sanctions.
The White House has demonstrated the impotence of the "US sole superpower" by issuing sanctions against unknown persons, whoever they are, responsible for returning Crimea to Russia.
Washington's stooges in Kiev can do nothing about Crimea except bluster. Under the Russian-Ukraine agreement, Russia is permitted 25,000 troops in Crimea. The US/EU media's deploring of a "Russian invasion of 16,000 troops" is either total ignorance or complicity in Washington's lies.
The people themselves in eastern Ukraine are in the streets demanding separation from the unelected government that Washington's coup has imposed in Kiev. The United States has lost Crimea for appointing Ukrainian oligarchs, against whom the maiden protests were partly directed, to govern positions in eastern Ukrainian cities. These oligarchs have their own private militias in addition to the police and any Ukrainian military units that are still functioning.
Washington is on to seize the initiative in eastern Ukraine. The oligarchs Taruta and Kolomoyskiy have been put in power in Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, and are carrying out arrests of Russians and committing unspeakable crimes, but you will never hear of it from the US media. Washington's strategy is to arrest and deep-six the leaders of the secessionists so that there no authorities to request Putin's intervention.
If Putin has drones, he has the option of taking out Taruta and Kolomoyskiy. If Putin lets Washington retain the Russian provinces of eastern Ukraine, he will have demonstrated a weakness that Washington will exploit. Washington will exploit the weakness to the point that Washington forces Putin to war.
The war may be nuclear.
The author is the former US assistant secretary of the Treasury and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.