Opposition protesters guard a barricade near Independence Square in Kiev on February 21, 2014 Photo credit: © AFP, Piero Quaranta
WASHINGTON (VR)– While many are horrified and transfixed by the flames, death, and horrors occurring in Kiev today, it is important to remember that nothing happens in a vacuum. Events local, national and international impact how social or political movements happen.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who has a long and distinguished career in academia, journalism, and politics, believes that the U.S. has played a key role in fomenting conflict in Ukraine. The former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy for Reagan says that the seeds have been sown for many years.
"It all originated, I think, with the National Endowment for Democracy. The explicit purpose of that organization was to support dissent
and protest in former areas of the Soviet empire, and when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 the neo-conservatives in the United States grabbed hold of the institution and used it to advance their agenda of American world hegemony. So, they turned it into recruiting Eastern Europe for NATO and recruiting former constituent parts of the Soviet Union and Russia itself into NATO members such as Georgia."
The tactics used by these neocons were many, according to Roberts. Much of the action occurred through the device of NGOs, and they included the use of rhetoric, propaganda, and money.
"These organizations operate under a cloak of ‘human rights’ or ‘education’ or ‘teaching democracy’, but essentially they are American fifth columns, and they're designed to spread dissent within the territories in which they operate and try to align those territories with the West. So, that's been going in the Ukraine for some time."
Roberts says that there is no question about U.S. involvement in Ukraine.
"We know for a certain fact, because we have the recording of the Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaking to the American Ambassador in Ukraine describing the plot to take over the country. They've drawn up a list of who the American appointed leaders will be, and we know for a fact that many of the protestors were bused in and paid in order to swell the crowds."
Roberts doesn't doubt that some of the protestors were sincere, but says that a number of extreme elements joined the mix in a way which became toxic, and produced a situation in which all parties included Washington lost control.
"The whole thing was directed toward the overthrow of an elected government!"
As to the agreement between Yanukovych and the opposition, Roberts is doubtful that it can hold. No group, in his opinion, has enough power or authority to enforce any agreements. He also warns that what is going unnoticed in much of the West are the dangerous international military overtones and where they could lead.
"What we are risking is a great power confrontation.
The various Russian strategic thinkers have already said that NATO bases in Ukraine would be a serious strategic threat to the existence of an independent Russia. So, if Ukraine moves into the EU and then NATO bases are on their way, there's no doubt whatsoever that southern and eastern Ukraine are going to split off, and I just don't believe the Russians are going to give up their naval base on the Black Sea. So, if the Americans push too hard, and by Americans I mean Washington, of course, it's going to be a great power confrontation. Very, very serious thing... I mean what in the world do you think Washington cares about democracy in Ukraine? They don't even have any in the United States! We have a police state that spies on everybody, the whole world. The media is a propaganda ministry. It's worse than it ever was in the Soviet Union. People have no idea of what's going on and what they're told about the Ukraine is a fabrication."
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(Voice of Russia)