‘Fighting in Ukraine is all about oil and gas’
RT:What do you think of the expansion of US sanctions on Russia? Obama said they will have, as he called it, more of a bite. What impact will they have?
Michael Hudson: I do not think they will have much impact. He was 45 minutes late for his speech because his speech writers, I think, were re-reading Orwell’s “1984” to learn just what “double speak” really meant. It is very significant that Obama began by talking about the Malaysian airplane because on Tuesday Antony Cordesman, the famous American international security advisor, reiterated what the CIA has said that “we don’t know who shot down the airplane, we don’t know because the Ukrainian government in Kiev is refusing to turn over the audio tapes of the talk with the airplane, and is blocking the UN crews from going there.”
At the beginning Obama tried to prejudice the issue, and the story really begins not just on Tuesday and not even with Ukraine, but earlier this year with Greece. Greece was subjected to European austerity, it was told to sell off half of its gas rights, but then Russian Gazprom was the largest bidder. This was to be half of the privatization that Greece was going to do. The EU under pressure of the US said “Oh, never mind, you can't sell your gas rights to Russia.” So basically all of this fight is about oil and gas, and when Obama says “we are not fighting a new Cold War”, that’s a double speak for “yes, we are fighting a new Cold War” and just like American recent words, it is all about oil and gas.
The US is basically saying to Ukraine what it said to other countries “sell us our mineral rights or you are going to look like Libya, Iraq and Syria, if you keep the rights to yourselves, we are going to say you are not a democracy.” A democracy is a country that sells its mineral rights and agricultural land to American investors – that’s American definition of democracy. “If you don’t do that, we’ll impose sanctions on you”.
RT:What kind of impact will the sanctions have on its partners in Europe, countries like Germany?
MH: It is not going to have much, because the Germans are very divided. Germany is of all European countries Russia’s major trading partner, and Germans have said “we are going to lose tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of jobs if we obey America”. There is already 52 percent of Germans saying “we don’t want to follow America into a new Cold War, we want to do [what we've been doing] ever since Adenauer”. Adenauer was a genius in the1950s; he always spoke western and led eastern economically. And Germany is still doing that. It sees what America does to Russia, it doesn’t want to lose its market and the very thought that somehow American gas exports can offset Russian’s means that Europe will have to turn off its lights, living in the dark for 5 years while America builds up the shipping capacity to sell its fracking and gasification of Europe. The Germans know that this is impossible; the Europeans know that this is impossible. I have talked to UN officials and they said “Well, we have to give lip service to the Americans, but we have no intention of following what they are doing”, and if Obama presses this, he is going to lose Europe and the entire American mechanism there.
RT:Why is Obama putting the blame on what's happening in Ukraine solely on Russia?
MH: Because his speech writers put into his hands a speech that is saying that he has turned over the foreign policy to neo-cons, and the neo-cons are all Russia-haters from way back. Obama thinks that the American people are going to believe that it is all black and white, so he calls them separatists, he doesn’t call them federalists. There is no recognition that what they have been fighting for, for the last year in eastern Ukraine is among other means to stop the fracking. They did not want fracking, they did not want their water polluted, and now, today, Vice President Biden said he called Poroshenko in Ukraine and said “We will give you 7 million dollars to rebuild Donbas.” Rebuilding Donbas means “Bomb it the hell, put the people out and put in our gas fracking that my son just joined the company in, so that we can begin fracking in Ukraine and use all of its water essentially for fracking and cut off Crimea”.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.