Published on March 2nd, 2014 | by Todd Smekens0
Ukraine: When Oligarchs Involve Themselves in International Politics
Ukraine Yet Another Example of Oligarchs Meddling in International Politics
MUNCIE, Indiana – For those gathering news and information from television or newspaper, you’re missing out on being informed by truth seekers versus script writers. Here is a hint – we now have more power and control over our lives than ever before in history since we possess the power of knowledge and information at our finger tips.
While we are still a country that builds things, we’ve become a country which acquires information at amazing speed and then packages it and sells it to others. The Information Age came quickly at the end of the Industrial Revolution just as the boomers were reaching retirement. Simultaneously, the financial collapse of 2008 hit ending mass consumerism and living beyond our means. It was also the collapse of the Middle Class which saw their wealth plummet and bankruptcies flourished. Despite everyone hitting a wall at the same time, Wall Street continues to receive monthly injections of free cash by our treasury, while Main Street has been forced to live through forced austerity.
Families must make do with less while we continue funneling billions to the Oligarchs. Local governments must shrink their services and/or sell off parks, public schools, and other assets (privatize) to the Oligarchs.
Ringing a bell? Not yet?
Those who are part of the Information Age rode the wave of the new generation by feeding the second largest segment of our population, millennials, with endless downloadable data. We now have new Oligarchs like Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Pierre Omidyar of eBay and Larry Page of Google, and many more just like them. These information tycoons have become financial successes overnight.
Meanwhile, across the country, our school systems cannot add coding classes into their curriculum. Well, that’s another story.
In 2013, Jeff Bezos acquired the Washington Post so he can shape his own message. However, he’s also under the microscope because of a recent article in Salon revealing his Orwellian surveillance practice of watching his employees every movement and even telling warehouse workers which routes to walk to be more efficient. Productivity demands placed on the workers have been excessive.
Also in 2013, Pierre Omidyar provided $250 MIL to fund a new media group from the ground up. He hired Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill to start and recently added Matt Taibbi. All strong journalists who have a knack for holding the government and financial sectors accountable.
Two other billionaire tycoons, Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen, provided venture capital for Pando Daily magazine blog which focuses on Silicon Valley with equally credible journalists aboard. These Oligarchs have been at the center of a heated argument between Pierre Omidyar and another billionaire investor, Carl Icahn, recently Icahn has a problem with eBay and PayPal serving under the same corporate structure. Icahn is claiming many conflicts of interest. It’s been playing out on Twitter and the blogging world.
While these arguments have been good reads, this is where it starts to get really interesting. They all have their own political views and now own media companies. They all confess independence from the newsroom, although, some may have more influence than others.
But, more recently, the journalists employed by them, have been arguing back and forth on Twitter and through articles here, here and here. While it reads like ego bashing and defensive maneuvering, the context of the argument is incredibly important – the rebel forces in Ukraine and now heated conversations between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.
Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire owner of eBay and PayPal (Peter Thiel founded), and financial backer of First Look Media, has a strong adversarial role with the U.S. government by virtue of his first hire being Glenn Greenwald who owns the Edward Snowden stolen NSA documents about how the US government is spying on citizens and leaders across the globe.
Well apparently, Pierre was involved with the United States in funding the “opposition forces” in Ukraine which overthrew the duly elected president and staff. The group who led the “peaceful” protests turning violent, has since been labeled a “neo-fascist radical extremists” by more than one source.
While the ousted president has taken refuge in Crimea, under the protection of Russian military, the political rhetoric/diplomacy is now heightening between Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama. Obama claims the U.S. is merely concerned for the regions democracy and the Ukrainian citizens wish to join the European Union. Putin claims the Ukrainian people favor alliance with Russia. Meanwhile, tanks, planes and ships get moved to strategic locations.
From my perspective, and shared by many sources outside the mainstream media who contrive nationalistic sound bytes of patriotism, are the people of Ukraine voted democratically for their existing government, but the Ukrainian president was not pushing hard enough to join the EU opening up Ukraine to do business with Oligarchs from the West. According to journalist Mark Ames with Pando:
According to the Kyiv Post, Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network (part of the Omidyar Group which owns First Look Media and the Intercept) provided 36% of “Center UA”’s $500,000 budget in 2012— nearly $200,000. USAID provided 54% of “Center UA”’s budget for 2012. Other funders included the US government-backed National Endowment for Democracy.
According to their website, the Center UA is a “non-government operation (NGO)” whose goals are “to promote civic initiatives aimed at strengthening the influence of civil society on the government; to promote projects in various sectors, aimed at the development and preservation of democratic processes in Ukraine; to develop projects concerning European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine; to create permanent discussion platform for representatives of civil society and government.”
Their website fails to mention the goal of overthrowing “wrong” government leadership. We should also note that a goal of Pierre’s is to increase government transparency and accountability.
In the United States, we are told that we have to wait to have elections, and throw the bums out to the street, but if on foreign soil, all we need to do is put money into the right hands and voilà, end of the problem.
Also in America, we have a congress that has an approval rating of 14% which is lower than the overthrown government in Ukraine. Maybe we need Pierre to set up a NGO in this country and set up a coup.
Is it any wonder that Vladimir Putin rode a Harley from Moscow to Crimea to show support for Ukraine – very symbolic don’t you think?
More concerning is our Oligarchs setting up NGO’s in foreign countries which become front groups for social revolutions against government leaders who aren’t friendly to Western imperialists. In order for them to do business the way they prefer, the Oligarchs simply use their money and government connections to make changes under the guise of it’s “good for the people”.
Just look at the economic disparity in the United States after 40 years of wealth extraction from Middletown USA to the Oligarchs. How beneficial is “trickle-down economics” for 99% of the people? We don’t need to surmise or theorize how ineffective trickle-down economic policies work – we have experience of how it shifts wealth from the bottom 99% to the top 1%.
Despite the best efforts of Oligarch owned media sources to keep us from learning the truth, the message spreads rather quickly because of the internet and our new information age. Is it any wonder the U.S. has become such an intense surveillance state. Why are the Oligarchs in this country nervous? Why are the government leaders in this country so nervous that they have to spy on its citizens, and now create ways to control the internet by letting Comcast – an Oligarchic monopoly take control and limit who gains access and who doesn’t?
Oh wait, this is another story – starting to see the connection? Not yet?
Once the billionaires accumulate their wealth from the free flow of information, they immediately use that wealth to limit competition and prevent the free flow of information. They don’t want “free markets”. They want to retain their power and control.
In my humble opinion, our government/Deep State has a guilty conscience. They know how easy it is to overthrow other governments and they’re scared it may happen here once enough people learn the truth. Period.
In case you think Ukraine is just one example of how Oligarchs and their political puppets help manufacture coups, here is a list of leadership which met similar fates as Viktor Yanukovich, president of Ukraine, compiled by Professor Ismael Hossein-Zadeh explaining the possible guilt associated with our heightened security state:
- Hugo Chavez and his successor in Venezuela
- Castro brothers in Cuba
- Rafael Correa Delgado in Ecuador
- Bashar Al-assad in Syria
- Evo Morales in Bolivia
- Mohammad Mossadeq in Iran
- Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala
- Kusno Sukarno in Indonesia
- Salvador Allende in Chile
- Sandinistas in Nicaragua
- Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti
- Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.