In order to understand why Ukraine’s President Voldomyr Zelensky doesn’t want the dirt about Joe Biden to become public, one needs to know that Hunter Biden’s boss and benefactor at Burisma Holdings was, at least partly, Zelensky’s boss and benefactor until Zelensky became Ukraine’s President, and that revealing this would open up a can of worms which could place that former boss and benefactor of both men into prison at lots of places.
First, the falsehoods in the press have to be documented here, since this article will go up against virtually all U.S.-and-allied reporting on these events. And, in order to do such a thing, the bona fides of my main sources need to be presented:
Naked Capitalism is, as the article about it at Wikipedia, says, the blog of Susan Webber, pen-named “Yves Smith,” who “graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She had 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., and Sumitomo Bank. She has written articles for the New York Times, Bloomberg, and the Roosevelt Institute.” “The site has had over 60 million visitors since 2007, and was cited as among CNBC’s 2012 top 25 ‘Best Alternative Financial Blogs’, calling Smith ‘a harsh critic of Wall Street who believes that fraud was at the center of the financial crisis’.” “The New York Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson cited Naked Capitalism as one of the ‘must-read financial blogs’ she reads regularly.”
Her blog is widely respected amongst both scholars and experts in the field of finance, and is among the top go-to sites for trustworthy investigative news reporting in their highly complex field. So as to be able to achieve this high degree of respect, day in and day out, for decades, she carefully selects and relies upon the expertise of a small team of investigators, one of whom is Richard Smith, who has done around 200 articles for her site. One of these was dated 21 May 2014 and headlined “R. Hunter Biden Should Declare Who Really Owns His New Ukrainian Employer, Burisma Holdings”, and it reported that the U.S. Vice President’s son had become “a new member of the board” and that this “Ukrainian energy company has retained the counsel of the vice president’s son and the Secretary of State’s close family friend and top campaign bundler.” Since these men were being paid by the corporation’s owner, Mr. Smith researched extensively to find out who that was, or they were. He reported “what one careful Ukrainian journalist dug up in 2012”:
“Burisma changed owners last year
: instead of Zlochevsky and Lisin, the company was taken over by a Cypriot off-shore enterprise called Brociti Investments Ltd. Pari and Esko-Pivnich” and a “third company was already waiting for them in the same building – the above-mentioned Ukrnaftoburinnya,” and “The Privat Group is the immediate owner. This company was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky some time ago, but he later sold his shares to the Privat Group,” which “is a conglomerate controlled by the ferocious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky,” who “is one of the oligarchs charged with holding down the Eastern provinces of Ukraine,” and who “is far too ebulliently Jewish to look like a neo-Nazi. A US connection with Kolomoisky might play well in circles keen to counter Russian complaints that the interim Kiev regime is dominated by ‘fascists’.” Those quotations are from Mr. Smith’s article, but the following is not. Examining the documents myself, I note especially that at their end is the conclusion: “Thus, Ihor Kolomoisky managed to seize the largest reserves of natural gas in Ukraine.” This was the conclusion of the “careful Ukrainian journalist,” which was actually not one but a team of three, who were employed at a Ukrainian non-profit, the Anticorruption Action Centre, which specialized in tracking down the actual persons who controlled corporations and which had a particular focus on finding “Offshore fronts for Yanukovych.” Yanukovych was the democratically elected Ukrainian President, who took office on 25 February 2010. So: this non-profit was an anti-Yanukovych organization, writing more than two years into his Presidency, on 28 August 2012.
A certain historical background is essential here; and this, too, goes up against American ‘news’-reporting and will therefore be linked to articles that, in turn, link to ultimate sources that are of unquestioned reliability on each of the particulars that are in question: There was a coup in Ukraine in February 2014, which is portrayed in the West as being a democratic revolution (but was actually a coup hidden behind anticorruption demonstrations, and that was entirely illegal), and it replaced the democratically elected President by a ruler who was selected by Victoria Nuland, whose boss was Secretary of State John Kerry, whose boss was Barack Obama. Nuland had been originally a protégé of Vice President Dick Cheney, and then of Kerry’s immediate predecessor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama assigned Nuland to carry out his plan for Ukraine, which plan was to turn its government away from being friendly toward its next-door neighbor Russia to becoming instead a satellite of the United States against Ukraine’s next-door neighbor. Consequently, fascists, and even outright racist-fascists (nazis), people who came from the groups that had supported Hitler against Stalin during World War II, were installed into this new government, such as the co-founder of the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy. (The CIA instructed that Party, which was Ukraine’s main nazi party, to change its name to “Freedom Party” — Svoboda — so as to become acceptable to Americans; and Paribuy and his colleagues did it, in order to help the U.S. Government to fool the American people about what the U.S. was doing in Ukraine.)
On 12 May 2014, Burisma Holdings announced, “Hunter Biden Joins the Team of Burisma Holdings,” and reported that, “Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R Hunter Biden as a new director. R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”
Promptly, Burisma’s website started presenting Burisma as if if were a Ukrainian-American if not outright American corporation. Devon Archer, shown there, was a business-partner of Hunter Biden. As the Washington Examiner reported, on 27 August 2019:
At the time, Hunter Biden, now 49, and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry, co-owned Rosemont Seneca Partners, a $2.4 billion private equity firm. Heinz’s college roommate, Devon Archer, was managing partner in the firm. In the spring of 2014, Biden and Archer joined the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of a U.K. money laundering probe. Over the next year, Burisma reportedly paid Biden and Archer’s companies over $3 million.
Subsequently, both Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were removed from Burisma’s board and replaced by a four-person board, which mysteriously had included ever since May 2013 (which still was after Zlochevsky no longer controlled the company) Alan Apter, of Sullivan & Cromwell, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Renaissance Capital. Apter now became the “Chairman of the Board of Directors”. Here are the other three Directors: Aleksander Kwaśniewski was the President of the Republic of Poland from 1995 to 2005 when it was being taken over by America, and when Kwaśniewski was also a member of the Atlantic Council (NATO’s PR arm), and of the Bilderberg Group. Joseph Cofer Black was the Director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (1999-2002) and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002-2004), while President George W. Bush was lying America into invading Iraq, and Black subsequently became the Vice Chairman at Blackwater Worldwide (now Academi), which the Bush Government hired to train and arm mercenaries to help conquer Iraq. (Blackwater/Academi is owned by Erik Prince, the brother of Betsy DeVos of the Amway fortune, who is the Trump Secretary of Education, and Prince also is a personal friend of Trump. Obama’s Government also hired Blackwater/Academi to kill independence fighters in the Dnieper Donets Basin, where Burisma owns the drilling rights for gas.) And the fourth Director is Karina Zlochevska, whom the site identifies hardly at all, but is actually the daughter of Mykola Zlochevsky. In other words: Zlochevsky probably does remain as a minority owner of the company, and she represents his interests there.
Virtually all of the Western press simply alleges that Mykola Zlochevsky owns Burisma Holdings and brought Biden on board and was his boss; however, I have never seen from any of those ‘news’-reports any evidence or documentation that it’s true — nothing like the sources that Richard Smith relied upon and linked to documenting that this was Kolomoysky’s company. Nothing, at all.
This is important — is it Zlochevsky or Kolomoysky? — because Zlochevsky was associated with the prior Government of Ukraine and its President Viktor Yanukovych, whom the U.S. Government had overthrown in an operation that started in 2011 and that ended very successfully in February 2014 with the American Government’s Victoria Nuland on 27 January 2014 telling the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine to get “Yats” Yatsenyuk appointed to run the country as soon as Yanukovych becomes successfully overthrown — which happened less than a month later, during February 20-22 — and Yatsenyuk then received the appointment on February 26th to run the country, just as Obama’s agent Nuland had instructed. Zlochevsky fled the country, because he had been politically allied with Yanukovych, who also fled the country. Obama’s Government constantly tried to get Zlochevsky prosecuted for alleged corruption, but Zlochevsky had sold the company to Kolomoysky even before Obama took over Ukraine. It’s not at all clear that Hunter Biden had ever so much as just met Zlochevsky.
Joseph Biden, as is well reported in the press, instructed the new Ukrainian Government to fire and replace the General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who had failed to prosecute Zlochevsky, and this action by Joe is reported as indicating that the senior Biden granted his son’s employer no favor but instead the opposite — that Joe insisted upon Hunter’s boss’s prosecution.
For example, James Risen, of The Intercept, which is owned by one of the financial backers of the overthrow of Yanukovych, Pierre Omidyar (see this and this and this and this and this and this), headlined on September 25th, “I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.”, and Risen reported that:
The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase – not lessen — the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.
Risen reported there that V.P. Biden’s “anti-corruption message might be undermined by the association of his son Hunter with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.”
However, none of that press says Kolomoysky owned the company and was its boss. The presumption there is always that Zlochevsky needed to be prosecuted — not that Kolomoysky did. Kolomoysky is simply being written out of the picture altogether — whited-out from it
Also as is typical, the New York Times reported, on 1 May 2019, that Mykola Zlochevsky is the “owner of Burisma Holdings” and that “Mr. Lutsenko initially continued investigating Mr. Zlochevsky and Burisma, but cleared him of all charges within 10 months of taking office. The prosecutor general reversed himself and reopened an investigation into Burisma this year. Some see his decision as an effort to curry favor with the Trump administration.” For some mysterious reason, that article not only says that the replacement Prosecutor tried and failed and now tried again to prosecute Zlochevsky but that “Some see his decision as an effort to curry favor with the Trump administration,” though, actually, it was the Obama Administration that had been pressing Ukraine’s Government to prosecute Zlochevsky, who wasn’t Hunter Biden’s boss and didn’t control Burisma and was associated not with the 2014 Obama-installed Government of Ukraine but instead with the Government that had preceded it and was the last of all Ukraine’s democratic Governments, having been democratically elected by all of Ukraine including the two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that broke away from Ukraine when Obama in February 2014 overthrew the Government that those two now-breakaway regions had voted for, by over 75% in that 2010 election.
Since 2012, the Ukrainian prosecutor general had been investigating oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of the oil and natural gas company Burisma Holdings, over allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. In 2014, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden, joined the board of directors of Burisma Holdings. In 2015, Shokin became the prosecutor general, inheriting the investigation. The Obama administration and other governments and non-governmental organizations soon became concerned that Shokin was not adequately pursuing corruption in Ukraine, was protecting the political elite, and was regarded as “an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts”. Among other issues, he was slow-walking the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma – to the extent that Obama officials were considering launching their own criminal investigation into the company for possible money laundering.
In March 2016, Joe Biden threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that if he did not fire Shokin, that the US would hold back its $1 billion in loan guarantees. “I looked at them and said, “I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.” Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” Shokin was dismissed by Parliament later that month.
Shokin claimed in May 2019 that he had been investigating Burisma Holdings. However, Vitaliy Kasko, who had been Shokin’s deputy overseeing international cooperation before resigning in February 2016 citing corruption in the office, provided documents to Bloomberg News indicating that under Shokin, the investigation into Burisma had been dormant. Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma Holdings was criticized as a conflict of interest in a New York Times editorial, though Amos Hochstein has claimed to have never seen coordination between Joe Biden and his son on the matter.
And here is from Wikipedia’s Article on “Burisma Holdings”: History Burisma Group was founded in 2002 by Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky and Nikolay Lysin [uk]. Now it is owned by Mykola Zlochevskyi [uk], who was minister of natural resources under Viktor Yanukovych. Zlochevsky returned to Ukraine in February 2018 after the corruption investigations into his Burisma Holdings had been completed in December 2017 with no charges filed against him.
So, the myth that Zlochevsky was Hunter Biden’s boss and benefactor at Burisma isn’t only in the ‘news’-media that are controlled by U.S. Deep State that controls the CIA, which controls America’s major ‘news’-media, but it is also in the Web’s main encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which is not only edited by the CIA, but also, to some extent, written by the CIA.
Furthermore, the CIA was the ‘whistleblower’ that made the impeachment-charge to the Democratic Party head of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff, who is the lead proponent of impeaching Donald Trump so that Trump can then become tried in the U.S. Senate, which then would possess the power to replace Trump and make President the current Vice President, Mike Pence, which Democrats, for some unexplained reason, seem to hope will happen. As Reuters reported on September 26th, “The whistleblower is a CIA officer and was assigned at one point to work at the White House, two sources familiar with the probe into his complaint said. The New York Times first identified the whistleblower as a CIA officer, which Reuters confirmed.” That report also asserted:
The call occurred after Trump had ordered a freeze of nearly $400 million in American aid to Ukraine, which was only later released. Before the call, Ukraine’s government was told that interaction between Zelenskiy and Trump depended on whether the Ukrainian leader would “play ball,” the whistleblower said.
The report said Trump acted to advance his personal political interests, risking national security.
“I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute ‘a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or executive order,’” the whistleblower complaint, dated Aug. 12, said.
The same CIA whose lies had ‘justified’ America’s invading Iraq in 2003, and invading Libya in 2011, and invading Syria starting in 2012 (and extending there up till at least 2018), is now ‘justifying’ congressional Democrats to replace Trump by Pence if they possibly can.
And Kolomoysky might be one of the world’s biggest thieves. On 19 April 2019, Graham Stack reported for OCCRP, a U.S.-and-allied-funded nonprofit anti-corruption investigatory organization that
“‘Large-scale coordinated fraudulent actions of the bank [PrivatBank] shareholders and management caused a loss to the state of at least $5.5 billion,’ [Valeria] Hontareva [former chair of Ukranie’s central bank] said in March 2018. ‘This is 33 percent of the population’s deposits … [and] 40 percent of our country’s monetary base.’ … By the time regulators took over PrivatBank, the $5.5 billion had already been transferred to banks in Austria, Luxembourg, and Latvia. From there, the trail goes cold. … This account is based on a forensic audit by Kroll, the U.S.-based corporate investigation and risk consulting firm. The report … is based on PrivatBank’s own records and was obtained exclusively by OCCRP. … Ukraine nationalized PrivatBank in December 2016, saddling taxpayers with a $5.9 billion bailout.”
There’s nothing that Zlochevsky was even accused of which exceeded tens of millions of dollars in losses. In Ukraine, that’s tiny.
Furthermore, the estimable and reliably accurate Moscow investigative journalist John Helmer reported on 19 February 2015 that “In March 2014, days after the ouster of Yanukovich in Kiev and the installation of a new regime, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) started investigating Zlochevsky. According to the evidence it presented to the Central Criminal Court between March and December of 2014, and according to Justice Blake, who assessed the evidence, there is no mention of Lisin, Deripon, Burrard or Kolomoisky.” Obama’s people (there via the U.S. regime’s lap-dog UK) were targeting Zlochevsky, certainly not Kolomoysky, who was instead on their team.
Zelensky, prior to becoming Ukraine’s President, had been the star of a popular comedy series on Ukrainian television that was telecast by Ihor Kolomoysky’s 1+1 Media group. On 19 May 2014, Forbes published a shockingly honest article, by Vladimir Golstein, “Why Everything You’ve Read About Ukraine Is Wrong”, which mentioned, about Kolomoysky, that,
His business holdings include the largest Ukrainian media group, “1+1 Media,” the news agency “Unian,” as well as various internet sites, which enable him to whip public opinion into an anti-Putin frenzy. Andrew Higgins of The New York Times published a story with the headline, “Among Ukraine’s Jews, the Bigger Worry is Putin, Not Pogroms,” which praises Kolomoisky for adorning Dnepropetrovsk with “the world’s biggest Jewish community center” along with “a high tech Holocaust museum.” Higgins notes, however, that the museum “skirts the delicate issue of how some Ukrainian nationalists collaborated with Nazis.
Kolomoysky himself had become installed by the Obama Administration’s Ukrainian agents as the Governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine where his approximately $5 billion financial empire was based, and which in its north extends into the Dnieper Donets Basin where Burisma owns the drilling rights for gas. As this last link indicates, that Basin “is the major oil and gas producing region of Ukraine accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production and according to EIA may have 42 tcf of shale gas resources technically recoverable from 197 tcf of risked shale gas in place.” That article, from the investment-oriented website Zero Hedge, sums up:
In a nutshell, Ukraine (or rather its puppetmasters) has decided to let no crisis (staged or otherwise) or rather civil war, go to waste, and while the fighting rages all around, Ukrainian troopers are helping to install shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which was bombed and shelled [by the Obama-installed Government] for the three preceding months, according to local residents cited by Itar Tass. The reason for the scramble? Under peacetime, the process was expected to take many years, during which Europe would be under the energy dictatorship of Putin. But throw in some civil war and few will notice let alone care that a process which was expected to take nearly a decade if not longer while dealing with broad popular objections to fracking, may instead be completed in months!
Ukraine’s bombing of that region (for examples, this and this and this) was in order to clear the land for a massive fracking operation. However, it turned out that not only Kolomoysky’s operation with Shell in the Dnieper Donets Basin in Ukraine’s far east, but also the Ukrainian Government’s own gas-exploration operation with Chevron in western Ukraine’s Olesska field, were uneconomic; or, as I headlined about them on 16 December 2014, “Ukraine’s Two Big Gas Deals Are Now Both Dry”. It seems that if Hunter Biden is to become a billionaire, it won’t come from Ukrainian gas. (Nor, of course will it have come from Zlochevsky, which the news-media would have it to be.)
As was reported on 20 May 2014 by Israel Shamir at the website of Paul Craig Roberts, under the headline “The Ukraine in Turmoil” (and his article there was the first comprehensive and accurate summary of what had recently happened to Ukraine):
These people had brought Ukraine to its present abject state. In 1991, the Ukraine was richer than Russia, today it is three times poorer because of these people’s mismanagement and theft. Now they plan an old trick: to take loans in Ukraine’s name, pocket the cash and leave the country indebted. They sell state assets to Western companies and ask for NATO to come in and protect the investment.
They play a hard game, brass knuckles and all. The Black Guard, a new SS-like armed force of the neo-nazi Right Sector, prowls the land. They arrest or kill dissidents, activists, journalists. Hundreds of American soldiers, belonging to the “private” company Academi (formerly Blackwater) are spread out in Novorossia [Donbass, the far-eastern region that became independent after Obama’s coup], the pro-Russian provinces in the East and South-East. IMF–dictated reforms slashed pensions by half and doubled the housing rents. In the market, US Army rations took the place of local food.
The new Kiev regime had dropped the last pretence of democracy by expelling the Communists from the parliament. This should endear them to the US even more. Expel Communists, apply for NATO, condemn Russia, arrange a gay parade and you may do anything at all, even fry dozens of citizens alive. And so they did.
The harshest repressions were unleashed on industrial Novorossia, as its working class loathes the whole lot of oligarchs and ultra-nationalists. After the blazing inferno of Odessa and a wanton shooting on the streets of Melitopol the two rebellious provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms and declared their independence from the Kiev regime.
And then, to top it off, there is the brilliant pewreport blogger, who, on 27 July 2014, headlined “USAID to Help Young Biden: The Burisma File”, and that anonymous person succinctly laid out the use of the U.S. Government to enable the families of some of its top officials to join America’s aristocracy, the billionaire class. It’s something that Trump himself is intimately involved with and exploits, but if America’s national and international police-agencies such as the FBI and CIA are trying (first with Russiagate, and now with Ukrainegate) to replace him by Pence in order to enable another friend of Obama to become installed (like Hillary was supposed to have been) as President and Commander-in-Chief, then this struggle between the agents of America’s Democratic Party billionaires versus those of its Republican Party billionaires could end up having consequences that no one is predicting.
Furthermore, the superb investigative journalist for The Hill (which I consider to be America’s least-biased national news-medium), John Solomon, headlined on September 26th, “These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden’s Ukraine story”, and he reported that, “Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative.” Clearly, Joe Biden as a public official was nothing at all like the objective and purely public-serving, non-partisan, and above-board, person that he claims to have been, and he was instead extremely partisan in his blatantly imperialistic demands upon what he and the rest of the Obama team pretend had not become a U.S. satellite-state on Russia’s border.
It’s also important to point out here that Zelensky’s predecessor, Poroshenko, was not Obama’s first choice to win the 25 May 2014 Ukrainian election that followed the February 2014 coup and installation of Yatsenyuk to run the country on an interim basis. Yatsenyuk was supposed to run it until that election (after which Yatsenyuk still continued long in office, and Obama pushed as hard as possible for President Poroshenko to continue Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s policies). Obama’s first choice — and the planned winner — in the 25 May 2014 election, was an intense hater of Russia, Yulia Tymoshenko. Yatsenyuk had actually been her agent. Kolomoysky was perhaps her main financial backer. But she lost the election to Obama’s second choice, Poroshenko. Kolomoysky was enough of a supporter of Tymoshenko so that even after he returned to Ukraine on 16 May 2019 just prior to the latest Presidential election, he backed her even above Zelensky. But above all, he opposed Poroshenko, because Poroshenko had been forced by the main lenders to his Government to fire Kolomoysky as governor of Dnipropetrovsk and to nationalize his bankrupt PrivatBank due to Kolomoysky’s having been looting from Ukraine’s Government too much money via his bank and via his minority ownership of the Government’s gas company. Obama had wanted that money to go toward the war against Donbass, not into Kolomoysky’s pockets. (However, America’s Democratic-Party propaganda ‘non-profit’ Public Radio International gave a positive spin to Obama-team-member Kolomoysky even at the time of his firing by Poroshenko on 28 March 2015, saying of him, “He offered $10,000 bounties for captured pro-Russian insurgents. ‘People understand that this person came here to ensure stability,’ said Stanislav Zholudev, a local political analyst.” The euphemism “captured pro-Russian insurgents” was actually referring to their corpses — Kolomoysky was paying only for their corpses. Maybe for Obama-ites that’s “stability.” Kolomoysky was already paying the nazi Azov Battalion more than that per pro-Russian corpse, and now the Trump Administration wants Kolomoysky to be prosecuted for financial crimes instead of Zlochevsky to be prosecuted, and so Zelensky is being pushed one way by Democrats, and the opposite way by Republicans.) Kolomoysky has many enemies. The main holders of Ukraine’s debt are unknown, but besides Russia which had lent to the pre-coup Government (and were thus trying to get their senior money that’s owing from Ukraine to be paid to Russia before the newer creditors get theirs), the major creditors were said to be the IMF, America’s Franklin Templeton Fund, and Blackstone Group, the World Bank, and a group of mainly American billionaires “and private Eurobond holders” who are represented by the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges. The U.S. Government and EU countries were also said to be indirectly such holders via their ownership shares in the IMF and World Bank, but also perhaps more directly. (If Trump were a decent President, he’d be publicly pressing for the exact numbers on all of this.) Kolomoysky’s siphonings from Ukraine’s Government were at the expense of all of them. The pressures upon Poroshenko to halt it were mounting. And, so, Kolomoysky was fired; and, now, to the extent that Zelensky has to satisfy Kolomoysky, Zelensky (who publicly said of Kolomoysky “He is my business partner”) needs to resist some of the demands of the U.S. regime and of many other billionaires. Without their continued support, Ukraine’s Government will collapse in the short term instead of only (which is inevitable) in the long term. It’s no longer just a question of the Ukrainian regime’s war against Donbass. The change that Obama wrought is permanent, and Trump dithers back and forth about how to deal with it. He apparently has no strategy on that.
Zelensky might fear that if he complies with Trump’s request, then his own major benefactor, Kolomoysky, could end up in prison somewhere; and Trump might fear that if he presses Zelensky on that (as he did not do but Democrats say he did), then the entire Deep State — not only Democratic Party billionaires, but also now Republican ones — will become Trump’s enemies, and his 2020 re-election chances will therefore go to zero. Consequently: Trump will probably abandon the matter, and the till-now-unsupported and maybe unsupportable mere assumption, that Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian benefactor was Zlochevsky instead of Kolomoysky, will continue to be asserted virtually everywhere throughout the U.S. empire, for as long a time as the matter continues to remain in the ‘news’. Of course, if that turns out to be the case, then Joe Biden will continue to be portrayed in this matter as having been a crusader against corruption in Ukraine, instead of as having been the aspiring founder of yet another billionaire American dynasty.
Basically, the new Russiagate charges to replace Trump by Pence, Ukrainegate (as those charges were presented by the CIA ‘whistleblower’ on August 12th and published on September 26th), represent all of the Democratic Party’s billionaires, and many of the Republican Party’s ones, as well. It’s the pinnacle of the Obama-versus-Trump feud, because it represents the Democratic Party’s position on what was Obama’s top international achievement — his conquest (via a coup) against Ukraine. Trump refuses to condemn Obama’s coup against Ukraine, but if he cared about the truth, he would, and the worst that could happen to him then would be that, for once in his life, he’d be fighting for truth, and not just for himself. Apparently, that’s too big a leap for him to take.
What’s especially pathetic in all of this is that whenever the U.S. Government overthrows and destroys a country, it’s trumpeted as reflecting America’s standing-up for rule-of-law and opposition to corruption, and for support of democracy and protection of human rights; but whenever Russia or a nation that’s friendly toward Russia resists control by the U.S. and its allies, it’s portrayed as being a dictatorship and an opponent of democracy and of human rights. So, go figure.
Author’s note: first posted at The Saker
The hegemony of knowledge and the new world order: U.S. and the rest of the world
In today’s world, knowledge and technological advantages determine – to a large extent – differences in the management of international policy. The increase in a country’s intellectual power directly defines an increase in its economic power, thus changing its position in the international competition for dominance.
The power policy, first in the agricultural age and later in the industrial age, was characterised by military and then economic hegemony, while the power policy in the information age gradually reveals the characteristics of knowledge hegemony at both the scientific and intelligence levels.
The hegemony of knowledge in contemporary international relations manifests itself specifically as unequal exchange in international trade, exploitation of high-value information and various conditions related to technological production. Hence, we see the transfer of polluting industries from privileged to poor countries: energy-consuming and high-intensity activities.
Western culture and values are disseminated vigorously, through the so-called soft power in information and mass media, and take on obsessive and oppressively hypnopedic forms.
Developed countries have patents in the use of outer space, as well as in the development of deep sea resources and in the production of environmental resources that pollute, while developing countries can only sigh as they look at other’s oceans and satellites, which fly around, do reconnaissance activities and monitor them.
The resources of the great and deep seas – which should be shared by mankind as they belong to everybody like the air, the moon and the sun – are instead exploited by the developed countries. On the contrary, they freely and ‘democratically’ share with the wretched ones only the evil consequences of environmental pollution.
With specific reference to sanctions and armed interference in international relations, the technique of violent and conscious bullying is adopted: whoever is militarily stronger imposes the validity of their interests, also at legal level.
The root cause for generating knowledge hegemony lies in the polarisation of the intellectual status of the nation-State. Western developed countries have already crossed the threshold of an information society, while developing countries are still struggling to climb towards industrial civilisation from the most primitive and closed state of existence. Although developing countries hold most of the world’s natural and human resources (just think of Africa), they are far behind in science and technology. Just look at the continental histogram of the 207 Nobel Prizes in Physics from 1901 to 2017 (winners are counted by country of birth except for the Algerian Nobel Prize winner Claude Cohen-Tannoudji , who was born when Algeria was a French territory):
Source: Nadua Antonelli <<Africana>> XXIII (2017) page 12
If they have no means to study, even the greatest and most brilliant brains cannot make discoveries or file patents, looking only at the sky and the earth.
About 80 per cent of science and technology staff and their achievements are concentrated in developed countries. The knowledge advantage gives developed countries the right to set the rules of the game and of communication for all global knowledge production and dissemination. In particular, the developed countries’ knowledge advantages in the military and high-tech media enable them to expand their influence on the civil and military fronts and achieve their strategic objectives.
Developing countries wander between traditional society, modern industrial civilisation and post-industrial civilisation, and are often challenged and oppressed by the third party’s hegemony of knowledge.
The new economy created by the information revolution is still a ‘rich-country phenomenon’, the core of what is called ‘advantage creation’, under the cover of ‘competitive advantage’, or rather: competitive towards those who cannot compete.
The country leading the information revolution is the United States, which is the biggest beneficiary of these achievements. The digital divide highlights the status of the US information superpower. In the global information sector, in 2000 the central processing unit production in the United States accounted for 92%, and software production for 86%.
IT (Information & Technology) investment in the United States was 41.5% of global investment, Microsoft’s Windows system accounted for 95% of global platform applications, while the US Internet users accounted for more than half of global Internet users, and 58% of all e-mail goes through US servers.
E-commerce is worth 75% of the global total and US commercial websites account for 90% of the planet.
Currently, there are almost three thousand large-scale databases in the world, 70% of which are in the United States. There are 13 top-level domain name servers in the world and 10 of them are located in the United States.
The above figures far exceed the share of US GDP, which is 28% of the world total. The United States is far ahead of all countries in the world, including the other developed countries. The leading position in information technology allows the United States to control the basics in the field of information with its strong economic and talent advantages, as well as to master the actual rights, and to set standards and formulate rules and regulations.
The status as cradle of the information revolution has brought enormous wealth and development benefits to the United States. Since the 1990s, the development of information technology and the rise of the related industry have become an accelerator of further economic advancement in the United States.
In the growth of US GDP – from 1994 (the beginning of the Internet) to 2000 – the share of the information industry in the value of the country’s total output has caused the economy to rise from 6.3% to 8.3%, and the contribution provided by the information industry development to the actual US economic growth is estimated at 30%.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the United States – with its strong national-global power and the relative hegemony of knowledge/information – was already ready to build a new world order.
Knowledge is also the soul of military hegemony. Since the 1990s the United States (after the USSR’s demise) has taken advantage of its absolute leadership in information technology to vigorously promote a new military revolution and equip its armed forces with a large number of modern sophisticated weapons, especially cyber weapons: an overwhelming advantage in the conventional field, clearly overtaking the Third World, as well as its Western allies.
The US superiority in equipment ranges from one to two generations (i.e. from 15 to 30 years) over developing countries and from 0.5 to one generation over allies. All this has established the hegemonic status of the United States as the world’s number one military power.
Gulf Wars II (1991) and III (2003) (the first was the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-88), the Kosovo War (1999), the Afghanistan War (2001- still ongoing), and the Iraq War (2003-2011) were four localised wars that the United States fought to establish a new world order after the Cold War. During those events, the US hegemony was strengthened on an unprecedented scale and its attempt to establish a new order made substantial progress.
Moreover, backed by strong military advantages (scattering the planet with its own bases and outposts), as well as economic and technological advantages, those events ensured that the United States had and still has a leading position in the world, thus making the White House a planner and defender of the new world order. (1. continued)
Hardened US and Iranian positions question efficacy of parties’ negotiating tactics
The United States and Iran seem to be hardening their positions in advance of a resumption of negotiations to revive a 2015 international nuclear agreement once Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi takes office in early August.
Concern among supporters of the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program which former US President Donald J. Trump abandoned in 2018 may be premature but do raise questions about the efficacy of the negotiating tactics of both parties.
These tactics include the Biden administration’s framing of the negotiations exclusively in terms of the concerns of the West and its Middle Eastern allies rather than also as they relate to Iranian fears, a failure by both the United States and Iran to acknowledge that lifting sanctions is a complex process that needs to be taken into account in negotiations, and an Iranian refusal to clarify on what terms the Islamic republic may be willing to discuss non-nuclear issues once the nuclear agreement has been revived.
The differences in the negotiations between the United States and Iran are likely to be accentuated if and when the talks resume, particularly concerning the mechanics of lifting sanctions.
“The challenges facing the JCPOA negotiations are a really important example of how a failed experience of sanctions relief, as we had in Iran between the Obama and Trump admins, can cast a shadow over diplomacy for years to come, making it harder to secure US interests,” said Iran analyst Esfandyar Batmanghelidj referring to the nuclear accord, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, by its initials.
The Biden administration may be heeding Mr. Batmangheldij’s notion that crafting sanctions needs to take into account the fact that lifting them can be as difficult as imposing them as it considers more targeted additional punitive measures against Iran. Those measures would aim to hamper Iran’s evolving capabilities for precision strikes using drones and guided missiles by focusing on the providers of parts for those weapon systems, particularly engines and microelectronics.
To be sure, there is no discernable appetite in either Washington or Tehran to adjust negotiation tactics and amend their underlying assumptions. It would constitute a gargantuan, if not impossible challenge given the political environment in both capitals. That was reflected in recent days in Iranian and US statements.
Iranian Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that agreement on the revival of the nuclear accord was stumbling over a US demand that it goes beyond the terms of the original accord by linking it to an Iranian willingness to discuss its ballistic missiles program and support for Arab proxies.
In a speech to the cabinet of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, he asserted that the West “will try to hit us everywhere they can and if they don’t hit us in some place, it’s because they can’t… On paper and in their promises, they say they’ll remove sanctions. But they haven’t lifted them and won’t lift them. They impose conditions…to say in future Iran violated the agreement and there is no agreement” if Iran refuses to discuss regional issues or ballistic missiles.
Iranian officials insist that nothing can be discussed at this stage but a return by both countries to the nuclear accord as is. Officials, distrustful of US intentions, have hinted that an unconditional and verified return to the status quo ante may help open the door to talks on missiles and proxies provided this would involve not only Iranian actions and programs but also those of America’s allies.
Mr. Khamenei’s remarks seemed to bolster suggestions that once in office Mr. Raisi would seek to turn the table on the Biden administration by insisting on stricter verification and US implementation of its part of a revived agreement.
To achieve this, Iran is expected to demand the lifting of all rather than some sanctions imposed or extended by the Trump administration; verification of the lifting; guarantees that the lifting of sanctions is irreversible, possibly by making any future American withdrawal from the deal contingent on approval by the United Nations Security Council; and iron-clad provisions to ensure that obstacles to Iranian trade are removed, including the country’s unfettered access to the international financial system and the country’s overseas accounts.
Mr. Khamenei’s remarks and Mr. Raisi’s anticipated harder line was echoed in warnings by US officials that the ascendancy of the new president would not get Iran a better deal. The officials cautioned further that there could be a point soon at which it would no longer be worth returning to because Iran’s nuclear program would have advanced to the point where the limitations imposed by the agreement wouldn’t produce the intended minimum one year ‘breakout time’ to produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
“We are committed to diplomacy, but this process cannot go on indefinitely. At some point, the gains achieved by the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) cannot be fully recovered by a return to the JCPOA if Iran continues the activities that it’s undertaken with regard to its nuclear program…The ball remains in Iran’s court, and we will see if they’re prepared to make the decisions necessary to come back into compliance,” US Secretary Antony Blinken said this week on a visit to Kuwait.
Another US official suggested that the United States and Iran could descend into a tug-of-war on who has the longer breath and who blinks first. It’s a war that so far has not produced expected results for the United States and in which Iran has paid a heavy price for standing its ground.
The official said that a breakdown in talks could “look a lot like the dual-track strategy of the past—sanctions pressure, other forms of pressure, and a persistent offer of negotiations. It will be a question of how long it takes the Iranians to come to the idea they will not wait us out.”
Wendy Sherman’s China visit takes a terrible for the US turn
US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, had high hopes for the meeting in China. At first, the Chinese side did not agree to hold the meeting at all. The reaction had obvious reasons: Antony Blinken’s fiasco in Alaska left the Chinese disrespected and visibly irritated. This is not why they travelled all the way.
So then the State Department had the idea of sending Wendy Sherman instead. The US government actually needs China more than China needs the US. Sherman was in China to actually prepare the ground for Biden and a meeting between the two presidents, expecting a red carpet roll for Biden as if it’s still the 2000s — the time when it didn’t matter how the US behaved. Things did not go as expected.
Instead of red carpet talk, Sherman heard Dua Lipa’s “I got new rules”.
That’s right — the Chinese side outlined three bottom lines warning the US to respect its system, development and sovereignty and territorial integrity. In other words, China wants to be left alone.
The bottom lines were not phrased as red lines. This was not a military conflict warning. This was China’s message that if any future dialogue was to take place, China needs to be left alone. China accused the US of creating an “imaginary enemy”. I have written about it before — the US is looking for a new Cold War but it doesn’t know how to start and the problem is that the other side actually holds all the cards.
That’s why the US relies on good old militarism with an expansion into the Indo-Pacific, while aligning everyone against China but expecting the red carpet and wanting all else in the financial and economic domains to stay the same. The problem is that the US can no longer sell this because there are no buyers. Europeans also don’t want to play along.
The headlines on the meeting in the US press are less flattering than usual. If the US is serious about China policy it has to be prepared to listen to much more of that in the future. And perhaps to, yes, sit down and be humble.
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