‘Corruption’ as a Propaganda Weapon’ by Robert Parry; one snippet of a long, link-laden essay, in which he also posits regime change targets among the BRICS nations. Dunno how Jacb Zuma surviving a recall fits in.
“We are now seeing what looks like a new preparatory phase for the next round of “regime changes” with corruption allegations aimed at former Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The new anti-Putin allegations – ballyhooed by the UK Guardian and other outlets – are particularly noteworthy because the so-called “Panama Papers” that supposedly implicate him in offshore financial dealings never mention his name.
Or as the Guardian writes:<b> “Though the president’s name does not appear in any of the records, the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage.</i> The documents suggest Putin’s family has benefited from this money – his friends’ fortunes appear his to spend.”
Note, if you will, the lack of specificity and the reliance on speculation: “a pattern”; “seemingly”; “suggest”; “appear.” Indeed, if Putin were not already a demonized figure in the Western media, such phrasing would never pass an editor’s computer screen. Indeed, the only point made in declarative phrasing is that “the president’s name does not appear in any of the records.”
Michael Hudson’s ‘The Commanding Heights’, a couple bits about financial rule changes as war by other means (my words, not his):
“The New Cold War strategy is basically an attempt to force other countries to privatize their economies to follow neoliberal policy. The aim is to open their economies to U.S. corporations and U.S. banks.
The IMF rules change was to mobilize the IMF basically as an agent of the U.S. Defense Department, with a side office on Wall Street. All of a sudden it’s become clear that the IMF is not an international institution for global economic performance. It’s an arm of U.S. Cold War diplomacy, one that’s moving far to the right very quickly under the Obama Administration. [ snip]
“When the austerity plan demanded by the IMF since 2010 didn’t help Greece, they joined with the rest of the Troika (the European Central Bank and European Union) in 2015 to demand that Greece agree to sell off its islands, sell off its ports, sell its water systems, sell everything in the public domain. After that demand had been made on Greece in the summer of 2015, it was Ukraine’s turn.
The number one punch against the Ukraine by the IMF was to impose austerity on the pretense (its junk economics) that Ukraine could pay its foreign bondholders with income taxed out of its domestic economy. When this made things worse, the World Bank and USAID came in. The U.S.-appointed finance minister fingered the agricultural land, gas rights and other natural resources that Ukraine could sell off to American and European investors – but not to Russians.
The idea is that if American investors can buy the key infrastructure and commanding heights of the Ukrainian economy, it can pry Ukraine apart from Russia. Ukraine played a key role in the Russian economy. Much Russian military and space industrial output was produced in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.”
(I just discovered I’d posted that in a comment on another diary, but…it’s good enough to repeat. ;-)
Some like Richard Smith’s ‘panamapapers – Why Critic Craig Murray Needs the Scorecard Before He Can Name The Players’ at Naked Capitalism believe that the #PanamaPapers publications so far weren’t evidence of ‘leaving the West alone’ was that Poroshenko was named, because: Biden’s son. My belief is that there will soon be a coup by NGO, given neo-Nazis not under his or Nuland’s control, corruption is still epic, and Hunter and Co. find more neoliberalization just what the doctor ordered. Craig Murray visited the diary, and Yves was pretty cranky at folks on the thread in general. She did leave me, however, unscathed. whew. ;-)
‘The Forces Behind the Attempted Coup in Brasil’ by Mark Weisbrot of cepr
And this just in: moar PanamaRed! “Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility; Disclosures show how havens such as British Virgin Islands hide links between big business and relatives of top politicians” at the Guardian.