In the midst of this latest "Ukrainian Crisis" (fanned by the frenzied Neocon/US State Department globalists), I am reminded of a very solid volume I read in 2015, during what was back then the latest Ukrainian Crisis: Frontline Ukraine, by Prof. Richard Sakwa (he’s son of a Polish WW II officer). Here (below) is a review of that volume by the distinguished author, columnist, and well-known traditional conservative, Peter Hitchens of The Daily Mail. I believe Hitchen’s review and Sakwa’s study continue to have relevance for us today.
Hitchens highlights some of the major points of Sakwa's very detailed and researched volume. And interestingly, many of the points addressed are still very current in this present crisis.
The very simple conclusion that may be drawn from what is occurring is this: our foreign policy elites--Neoconservatives and their zealous followers in both the GOP and the Democratic Party--see Russia as a major obstacle in the continuing imposition of economic and also political control over countries which have heretofore not acceded to their hegemony (i.e., Russia and Hungary). Using NATO as a strategic shell and Ukraine as its frontline player, the neocon/globalist combine seeks to:
(1) prevent an economic disaster for the US of a functioning Nordstream II pipeline, which would give Germany and potentially other European countries, a climb off ramp from economic domination by the US (specialist Mike Whitney has written conclusively on this topic);
(2) eventually impose politically a pliant government in Moscow, which has become the chief stumbling block in preventing Neocon globalist hegemony as well as the realization of "the Great Reset" around the world. Russia, like Hungary, has expelled CIA-infested and Soros-sponsored NGOs which in many locations around the world have incited "color revolutions" to install favorable client governments;
(3) lastly and more concretely, use the "false flag" projection disinformation strategy to accuse the Russians, or more specifically the pro-Russian secessionists in Lugansk and Donetsk republics, of violent attacks against Ukraine (on civilians, schools, all the usual claimed targets), while in fact it is elements of the Ukrainian forces, with American encouragement and technical “advisors” embedded, who are responsible for the shelling and the attacks across the cease-fire line.
Just listen to the braindead Biden essentially mouthing this propaganda line. If warfare breaks out it will be because the US State Department and our agents have impelled the Ukrainians to launch such "false flag" actions, literally forcing the Russians to react and thus producing a conflict, into which the US and NATO can pour support and take various measures, economic and financial and, eventually, military against Russia.
Recall that early in the John F. Kennedy administration there were solemn promises that "American combat forces will not go to Vietnam." Then came the false flag Gulf of Tonkin incident, and US forces did go in in force...and we know what happened. Back then we were actually opposing a form of Communism, NOT a nationalist country that stands in the way of Great Reset globalist hegemony, as Russia is doing today. So, from that perspective we did have arguably a rationale for opposition to what was happening, even if badly reasoned and poorly executed.
Let me be clear, I do not claim in these present comments that Vladimir Putin is some great conservative hero. What I am saying is not a direct defense of him in that sense...that is not my object here. The question of Putin's beliefs, his Christian faith (or lack of it), and whether he is defending traditional Christianity, is for another discussion. Rather, my present concern—which should be the concern of all patriotic Americans--is essentially what Russia represents in the context of global geopolitics, as it, in fact, is in opposition to the plans and devices of proponents of the universal Great Reset and the continuing, and perhaps final, success of the machinations of Western elites and the Neocons. That essentially is the crux of the matter and what is occurring in that region of Europe.
What we are witnessing is what our foreign policy elites have always done for decades...think of the bogus "Iraq WMDs" and the now-proven-false reasons for intervening in the Balkans (with the result that we engineered a Muslim Islamist state—Kosovo—right in the middle of Europe). Can we actually trust the American foreign policy establishment to tell us the truth? -- the same establishment that foisted off as an undebatable certainty that "Russia had sabotaged" our 2016 elections...that Trump was a "Russian stooge"...that the Russians were paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American boys in Afghanistan...that the Russians had sabotaged Vermont's power grid...and on and on; all of which were blatantly false, total disinformation, in most cases to favor the elites and Neocons of the Deep State? With such an inglorious record, can we trust our Intelligence agencies, the CIA, and yes, the FBI?
If so, then I have an oil well in my back yard, right beside a gold mine, that I will sell you cheap (sight unseen, of course) for just a measly one million dollars.
As I write this the Bidenistas and the totally in-lock-step GOP elites (in some cases worse than the Left on foreign policy) are now confidently, with absolute certainty, telling us that the Russians will "invade Ukraine within a few days." Of course, these are the same voices that informed us with appropriate seriousness that a Russian invasion would definitely take place this past Wednesday, February 16--remember Biden’s solemn assurance telling us that? If our clients in Kiev, prodded enough by us can provoke enough violence, shoot enough missiles, plant enough bombs then perhaps the Russians will indeed have to intervene...this is exactly what our State Department elites desperately desire.
But bear in mind if this should occur who we are talking about and what the essential and fundamental issues actually are. If serious conflict does erupt the blood will be on our hands, that is, on the hands of our foreign policy establishment in Washington and its minions in Western Europe.
Will the American public fall for this continuing Neocon disinformation and latest advance in implementing the Great Reset? How many disasters...how many lies and how much disinformation...how many dead American boys...how many billions of taxpayer dollars...must be expended on the altar of the powerful globalist elites, the Neocon/Big Business arms dealers and the frenzied Left who despise the growing anti-secularism and revival of a very traditional Christianity in Russia (as well as in Hungary) which stands athwart their road to domination?
Here is a summary passage from Sakwa’s volume, followed by Hitchen’s review:
The unbalanced end of the Cold War generated a cycle of conflict that is far from over. An extended period of "cold peace" settled over Russo-Western relations, although punctuated by attempts by both sides to escape the logic of renewed confrontation. This is what I call mimetic cold war, which reproduces the practices of the Cold War without accepting the underlying competitive rationale. Structurally, a competitive dynamic was introduced into European international relations.... At worst, the revanchists in the post-Communist countries of Eastern Europe, encouraged by neoconservatives in Washington and their vision of global transformation on a global scale, fed concerns about Russia's alleged inherent predisposition towards despotism and imperialism. The Trotskyite roots of US neocon thinking are well known: the fight now was not for revolutionary socialism but for capitalist democracy--to make the world safe for the US. This became a self-fulfilling prophecy: by treating Russia as the enemy, in the end it was in danger of becoming one. NATO thus found itself in a new role, which was remarkably similar to the one it had been set up to perform in the first place---to "contain" Russia. (p. 5)
THE DAILY MAIL.com (UK)
05 March 2015 4:11 PM
A Review of 'Frontline Ukraine' by Richard Sakwa
By Peter Hitchens
You might have thought that a serious book on the Ukraine crisis, written by a distinguished academic in good clear English, and published by a reputable house, might have gained quite a bit of attention at a time when that country is at the centre of many people’s concerns.
But some readers here now understand that publishing, and especially the reviewing of books, are not the simple marketplaces of ideas which we would all wish them to be.
And so, as far as I can discover, this book…‘Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands,’ by Richard Sakwa. Published by I.B.Tauris …though it came out some months ago, has only been reviewed in one place in Britain, the Guardian newspaper, by Jonathan Steele, the first-rate foreign correspondent whose rigour and enterprise (when we were both stationed in Moscow) quite persuaded me to overlook his former sympathy for the left-wing cause (most notably expressed in a 1977 book ‘Socialism with a German Face’ about the old East Germany, which seemed to me at the time to be, ah, excessively kind).
Mr Steele’s review can be read here:
I have said elsewhere that I would myself be happier if the book were more hostile to my position on this conflict. Sometimes I feel that it is almost too good to be true, to have my own conclusions confirmed so powerfully, and I would certainly like to see the book reviewed by a knowledgeable proponent of the NATO neo-conservative position. Why hasn't it been?
But even so I recommend it to any reader of mine who is remotely interested in disentangling the reality from the knotted nets of propaganda in which it is currently shrouded.
Like George Friedman’s interesting interview in the Moscow newspaper ‘Kommersant’ (you can read it here http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/01/20/2561), the book has shifted my own view.
I have tended to see the *basic* dispute in Ukraine as being yet another outbreak of the old German push into the east, carried out under the new, nice flag of the EU, a liberal, federative empire in which the vassal states are tactfully allowed limited sovereignty as long as they don’t challenge the fundamental politico-economic dominance of Germany. I still think this is a strong element in the EU’s thrust in this direction.
But I have tended to neglect another feature of the new Europe, also set out in Adam Tooze’s brilliant ‘The Deluge’ – the firm determination of the USA to mould Europe in its own image (a determination these days expressed mainly through the EU and NATO).
I should have paid more attention to the famous words ‘F*** the EU!’ spoken by the USA’s Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, in a phone call publicised to the world by Russian intelligence. The EU isn't half as enthusiastic about following the old eastern road as is the USA. Indeed, it's a bit of a foot-dragger.
The driving force in this crisis is the USA, with the EU being reluctantly tugged along behind. And if Mr Friedman is right (and I think he is), the roots of it lie in Russia’s decision to obstruct the West’s intervention in Syria [and its opposition to the Great Reset]. Perhaps the key to the whole thing (rather dispiriting in that it shows the USA really hasn’t learned anything important from the Iraq debacle) is the so-called ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’ of 1992, named after the neo-con’s neo-con, Paul Wolfowitz, and summed up by Professor Sakwa (p.211) thus: ‘The doctrine asserted that the US should prevent “any country from dominating any region of the world that might be a springboard to threaten unipolar and exclusive US dominance"’.
Note how neatly this meshes with what George Friedman says in his interview.
Now, there are dozens of fascinating things in Professor Sakwa’s book, and my copy is scored with annotations and references. I could spend a week summarising it for you. (By the way, the Professor himself is very familiar with this complex region, and might be expected, thanks to his Polish ancestry, to take a different line. His father was in the Polish Army in 1939, escaped to Hungary in the chaos of defeat, and ended up serving in Anders’s Second Corps, fighting with the British Army at El Alamein, Benghazi, Tobruk and then through Italy via Monte Cassino. Then he was in exile during the years of Polish Communism. Like Vaclav Klaus, another critic of current western policy, Professor Sakwa can hardly be dismissed as a naif who doesn't understand about Russia, or accused of being a 'fellow-traveler' or 'useful idiot'.
He is now concerned at ‘how we created yet another crisis’ (p xiii).
But I would much prefer that you read it for yourself, and so will have to limit my references quite sternly.
There are good explanations of the undoubted anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies of some strands in Ukrainian politics. Similar nastiness, by the way, is to be found loose in some of the Baltic States. I mention this because it justified classifying the whole movement as ‘Neo-Nazi’, which is obviously false, but because it tells us something very interesting about the nature of nationalism and Russophobia in this part of the world. No serious or fair description of the crisis can ignore it. Yet, in the portrayal of Russia as Mordor, and the Ukraine as Utopia, Western media simply leave out almost everything about Ukraine that doesn’t appeal to their audiences, the economic near collapse, the Judophobia and Russophobia (the derogatory word ‘Moskal’, for instance, in common use), the worship of the dubious (this word is very generous, I think) Stepan Bandera by many of the Western ultra-nationalists, the violence against dissenters from the Maidan view ( see http://rt.com/news/ukraine-presidential-candidates-attacked-516/). The survival and continued power of Ukraine’s oligarchs after a revolution supposedly aimed at cleaning up the country is also never mentioned. We all know about Viktor Yanukovych’s tasteless mansion, but the book provides some interesting details on President Poroshenko’s residence (it looks rather like the White House), which I have not seen elsewhere.
The detailed description of how and why the Association Agreement led to such trouble is excellent. I had not realised that, since the Lisbon Treaty, alignment with NATO is an essential part of EU membership (and association) – hence the unavoidable political and military clauses in the agreement.
So is the filleting of the excuse-making and apologetics of those who still pretend that Yanukovych was lawfully removed from office: the explicit threat of violence from the Maidan, the failure to muster the requisite vote, the presence of armed men during the vote, the failure to follow the constitutional rules (set beside the available lawful deal, overridden by the Maidan, under which Yanukovych would have faced early elections and been forced to make constitutional changes).
Then here we have Ms Nuland again, boasting of the $5 billion (eat your heart out, the EU, with your paltry £300 million http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2013/dec/218804.htm)
which the USA has ‘invested in Ukraine. Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.’
It’s worth noting that in this speech, in December 2013, she still envisages the supposedly intolerable Yanukovych as a possible partner.
Other points well-made are the strange effect of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, which has created the very tension against which it now seeks to reassure border nations, by encouraging them, too, to join, the non-binding nature of the much-trumpeted Budapest memorandum, the lack of coverage of the ghastly events in Odessa, the continuing lack of a proper independent investigation into the Kiev mass shootings in February 2014.
Also examined is the Russian fear of losing Sevastopol, an entirely justified fear given that President Yushchenko had chosen to say during the war of August 2008, that Russia’s basing rights in the city would end in 2017. The ‘disappearance’; of the ‘Right Sector’ and ‘Svoboda’ vote in recent elections is explained by their transfer to the radical Party led by Oleh Lyashko.
Professor Sakwa also explores Russia’s behaviour in other border disputes, with Norway and China, in which it has been far from aggressive. And he points out that Ukraine’s nationalists have made their country’s life far more difficult by their rigid nationalist approach to the many citizens of that country who, while viewing themselves as Ukrainian, do not share the history or passions of the ultra-nationalists in the west of the country. [….]
He points out that Russia has not, as it did in Crimea, intervened decisively in Eastern Ukraine to ensure secession. And he suggests that those Russian nationalists are acting in many cases independently of Moscow in the Donetsk and Lugansk areas. Putin seeks to control them and limit them, but fears them as well.
In general, the book is an intelligent, well-researched and thoughtful attempt to explain the major crisis of our time. Anybody, whatever he or she might think of the issue, would benefit from reading it. It is shocking that it is not better known, and I can only assume that its obscurity, so far is caused by the fact that it does not fit the crude propaganda narrative of the ‘Putin is Hitler’ viewpoint [of the Neoconservatives and McCain and Lindsey Graham].
How odd that we should all have learned so little from the Iraq debacle. This time the ‘WMD’ are the non-existent Russian plans to expand and/or attack the Baltic States. And of course the misrepresentation of both sides in the Ukrainian controversy is necessary for the portrayal of Putin as Hitler and his supporters as Nazis, and opponents of belligerence as Nazi fellow-travellers. The inconvenient fact, that if there are Nazis in this story, they tend to be on the ‘good’ side must be ignored. Let us hope the hysteria subsides before it carries us into another stupid war
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