Forget the phony Washington narrative. US made a target of Ukraine and that - not Russia - is what got the ball rolling
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Consortium News
Among honest and knowledgeable people, there really isn’t much doubt about what happened in Ukraine last winter.
There was a U.S.-backed coup which ousted a constitutionally elected president and replaced him with a regime more in line with U.S. interests.
Even some smart people who agree with the policy of going on the offensive against Russia recognize this reality.
For instance, George Friedman, the founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, was quoted in an interview with the Russian liberal business publication Kommersant as saying what happened on Feb. 22 in Kiev – the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych – “really was the most blatant coup in history.”
Brushing aside the righteous indignation and self-serving propaganda, Stratfor’s Friedman recognized that both Russia and the United States were operating in what they perceived to be their own interests.
“The bottom line is that the strategic interests of the United States are to prevent Russia from becoming a hegemon,” he said.
“And the strategic interests of Russia are not to allow the U.S. close to its borders.”
Another relative voice of reason, at least on this topic, has been former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who – in an interview with Der Spiegel – dismissed Official Washington’s conventional wisdom that Russian President Vladimir Putin provoked the crisis and then annexed Crimea as part of some diabolical scheme to reclaim territory lost when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
“The annexation of Crimea was not a move toward global conquest,” the 91-year-old Kissinger said.
“It was not Hitler moving into Czechoslovakia” – as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had suggested.
Kissinger noted that Putin had no intention of instigating a crisis in Ukraine:
“Putin spent tens of billions of dollars on the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The theme of the Olympics was that Russia is a progressive state tied to the West through its culture and, therefore, it presumably wants to be part of it.
So it doesn’t make any sense that a week after the close of the Olympics, Putin would take Crimea and start a war over Ukraine.”
Instead Kissinger argued that the West – with its strategy of pulling Ukraine into the orbit of the European Union – was responsible for the crisis by failing to understand Russian sensitivity over Ukraine and making the grave mistake of quickly pushing the confrontation beyond dialogue.
While the comments by Henry Kissinger and Stratfor’s Friedman reflect the reality of what demonstrably happened in Ukraine, an entirely different “reality” exists in Official Washington. (Note that both interviews were carried in foreign, not U.S. publications.)
In the United States, across the ideological spectrum, the only permitted viewpoint is that a crazed Putin launched a war of aggression against his neighbors and must be stopped.
Facts, such as the declaration in September 2013 from a leading neocon, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, that Ukraine was “the biggest prize” and an important step toward ousting Putin in Russia, do not fit into this story frame.
Nor do the comments of neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who was caught in a pre-coup phone call, handpicking Ukraine’s future leaders and discussing how to “glue this thing.”
Nor her public statements about the United States investing $5 billion in Ukraine’s “European aspirations.”