Saturday, February 8, 2014

F**K the EU Tape

This is one of those odd stories that an American hasn't heard much on, or grasped to any degree.  So I'll try and keep it simple.

Weeks ago....the EU....with various enthusiasm from France and Germany in this episode....sent up the flag, and went into the Ukraine with a big deal for a commerce treaty of sorts.  No one will today say the reason for this drive, the precise reason for the timing, or the expected outcome.

What European journalists will say was that the Ukraine was going to get an open door for selling goods and agriculture products within Europe.  Maybe down the line in a decade....another step or two, and maybe an eventual invitation to join the EU.

Well....what happened as the treaty was put and discussed.....the Ukraine President and personal staff said that the Ukraine wasn't ready for this type of environment.  The precise logic and reasons didn't make much sense.  What occurred next was the Ukrainian parliament woke up and said....what the heck is going on.  The primary party stood by the President, but the opposition groups all were fairly upset.  There's no logic to turning down a deal like this.

So for at least five weeks....there's been some tension in the capital....protests....opposition meetings....European leaders coming and going....and talks.  German TV news has covered this nightly.  US news?  Barely a whisper.  I doubt if there's been more than  five minutes of mention on prime-time CNN on the whole thing.

This past week....a US delegate showed up in the Ukraine and had some talks.  The US has virtually no interest in the EU treaty, or the Ukraine.  There's no oil....nothing of value to drag the US into any discussion.

Suddenly in the last forty-eight hours....things got peppy.  The US official called up a high-ranking Ukrainian offical (who is against the treaty), and simply laid out some US priorities in this whole affair.  The chief comment?  "Fu*k the EU".  It's a direct quote.

How do we know of the precise quote?  Well....this dimwit state department diplomat called up on a unsecure phone and talked as if no one was listening.  After months of NSA bugging talk.....they didn't ever consider the thought that the Ukrainian version of the NSA, or some Russian NSA group, or some German geeks....would hack into the call and record it.  Then they put it on YouTube.

The State Department is kinda stuck now.....having to explain why someone would suggest standing against the EU treaty deal, or why being anti-EU is so good.  Added to the anti-Europe slant that some have felt from the US for a number of months.

Last night, it was an interesting experience.  The F**K the EU topic made number two on the nightly state-run ARD news episode at 8PM. Number one was the opening of the Olympics.  So about four minutes into the news piece......this F**K the EU episode starts up.  The moderator.....went word for word....and did the entire quote.  The US government government agency controlling TV productions....would have quickly fined the network for 'dirty words'....but the Germans?  Germans will tell you bluntly.....there are no 'bad' words that cannot be used on TV.
So they ran through five or six folks.....of EU distinction or German government officials, and did a simplified three minute piece over it.

Between the Snowden stuff, the NSA solutions to make the Germans happy, and this F**K the EU comment....I'd take a humble guess that US relations are at the lowest point since 1945 within
Europe.  It's hard to say where we might twist and turn.....making some positives and getting things to an improved state.

As for the hacking into the call?  If I were the State Department.....I'd ask who was this person that we had to chat with, and the odds that they are some favored friend of the Russians who has everything taped for use at a later time.

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