Thousands have come out in Ukraine to protest the suspension of EU association and police brutality. While people are driven by emotion, bigger geopolitical players may hijack their aspirations for democracy, geopolitical analyst William Engdahl told RT.
RT: Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich is now facing many protesters saying they want him to sign that deal with the EU. He says that will come with economic damage for the country. What are his choices now?
William Engdhal: First of all I think it’s quite right about the economic damage with the special association with the European Union. This was a Washington agenda and has been for more than six years. The EU is simply acting as a proxy for Washington to essentially strip Ukraine from Russia and weaken and isolate Russia even more. So the geopolitical stakes are huge in this.
The Ukrainian police made a colossal blunder, the same as Milosevic made back in Yugoslavia, and the same blunder that Bashar Assad made at the onset of the protests in Syria – and that is to react with state violence, because that is exactly what the opposition was hoping and praying for: that they would lose their cool and give a red flag for the protesters to come out on mass. And that’s precisely what has happened.
RT: Surely, isn’t there a genuine belief that the EU is better for Ukrainians? Otherwise we wouldn’t see hundreds of thousands of them protesting right now.
WE: There’s a genuine belief in many children in Santa Claus, but that doesn’t mean Santa Claus exists.
Quite seriously, the protesters… people get on the streets out of
emotion, not out of reasoned logic in most cases. In Tahir Square
in Egypt the emotion was freedom, democracy –and that was
manipulated by the backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi, et
all, to bring the Brotherhood into power and discard the
legitimate student democratic protests.
I suspect that the same networks that created the Orange Revolution back in 2003/04 and that is the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, various front organizations of the US State Department are quite active in this protest and are trying to steer it and build it in a very professional guided way. Another kind of color revolution if you will, mark two for Ukraine.
Hopefully the government starts responding a little bit more intelligently. The head of the national police has apologized for the excessive use of force and violence, but it’s going to take much more than that.
RT: And what do you make of the fact that European MPs have been seen talking to opposition members here actually in Kiev? Is that in effect may be them stirring up trouble and perhaps even an attack on the country’s sovereignty? Should they actually be doing that right now?
WE: No, the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament among others and she made a blatant intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, Ukraine, several days ago, hailing European Union membership for Ukraine etc. So this is major push by the West, by NATO essentially, to create chaos in Ukraine and weaken the ties with Russia.
RT: Where does that put EU-Russia ties now because they are very important trading partners and they’ve got a lot to lose here, haven’t they?
WE: Well they do, and I go back to my initial statement, this is not about the EU as EU, this is Washington acting through the cat’s paw of the European Union, trough political networks in Brussels and so forth. And Cameron and Hollande’s government in France; Merkel to a limited extent because the Germans are much more sensitive about good relations with Moscow.
But this is a geopolitical agenda, it’s much bigger than Ukraine, it’s much bigger than tens or hundreds of thousands of protesters on the street.
I think sober heads have to prevail in this situation and rationally discuss what’s at stake. If there was police violence, they should be punished for it. The population should realize Ukraine has a huge problem, I know from Ukrainian friends, with state corruption, with business corruption on all levels, they should begin addressing that as well. But it’s not going to happen because if the opposition comes back in, they’re as corrupt as the people in there now. It’s just different left-handed corruption versus right-handed corruption, I suppose.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.