We previously published a review of this book, but we were impressed by this review and consider the book worth mentioning again.
Zbig’s Grand Chessboard and How the West was Checkmated, is a long title for a book, but this book could have no other. In an outstanding example of collaborative writing, it provides an incisive account of the strategy elaborated in the nineteen-nineties by Zbignieuw Brzezinski for ensuring permanent US domina-tion of the world, strategy which is being implemented today. Neither academics nor journalists, Natylie Baldwin and Kermit Heartsong are among a growing cohort of political writers and analysts who are passionate about contemporary history.
Natylie Baldwin focuses on Zbigniew Brzezinski, an academic who has occupied high level political positions going as far back as the Carter administration. The plan Zbig published in 1997 (The Grand Chessboard) explains why Ukraine should be separated from Russia, as is happening today. This strategy is based on a turn-of-the-century theory by British historian Halford Mackinder that he who rules the Eurasian heartland rules the world (see http://www.voltairenet.org/article187947.html
by Alfred McCoy).
Thanks in part to this book, contemporaries will become aware of both the heartland theory upon which America’s post Cold War policies are based, and the rationale for those policies as expounded by Zbignieuw Brzezinski and the Neo-cons who are highly influential in the Obama government. As the US ramps up its threats against Russia, the nation that geographically dominates the Eurasian heartland, it is important for Americans to understand that these threats are part of a plan intended to ensure that America continues as the unchallenged world power of the twenty-first century.
Zbig and other neo-Conservatives took Mackinder’s geopolitical insight about the Eurasian heartland and married it to a political theory by two German political philosophers. Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss claimed that men are evil and need to be dominated, and that the best way to do this is to unite them against a common enemy. That is why the disappearance of the Soviet Union failed to yield a peace dividend, but was promptly followed by the creation of another enemy, Muslim Fundamentalism. Americans wondering what they can do to bring change to their country need to be aware of the long-term nature of the Neo-Conservative project, which Baldwin spells out in detail.
In the second part of the book, Kermit Heartsong places the Ukrainian takeover within the long-term plan to carve Russia, which spans nine Eurasian time zones, into several small states ruled by compliant leaders. Details of US involvement in a series of color revolutions starting in the nineties and intended to de-link Russia from its ‘near abroad’, according to Zbig’s Grand Chessboard theory, make Ukraine part of a master plan that is never mentioned in the media from which most Americans get their news. After reading this book you will know that Washington politicians are neither ignorant nor stupid, but driven by the conviction that America’s ‘exceptionalism’ entitles it - and even requires it - to rule the globe, justifying America’s key foreign policy goal, which is to prevent any other nation from rising to superpower status and to use every means, both military and diplomatic, in pursuit of that end (see The Wolfowitz Doctrine).
The most troubling part of this plan is the deliberate decision to embrace Nazi methods, starting most visibly with the use of Neo-Nazi thugs to unseat Ukraine’s democratically elected president. Svoboda and Right Sektor leaders, whose heroes fought alongside the Germans, assassinating Poles and Jews during World War II, could never sit in any European parliament. Yet the followers of the World War II nationalist Stepan Bandera occupy ministerial posts in Kiev, accounting for the Poroshenko government’s bellicose attitude toward the mainly Russian inhabitants of its Eastern provinces and Ukrainian Jews.
The last part of this remarkable book contrasts the West’s anti-Putin propaganda to the realities of the joint leadership of the BRICS countries by the Bear and the Dragon (Russia and China), as they cooperate to transform the Eurasian heartland into the world’s new economic hub, edging out the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency, upon which the American empire rests.
I hope this primer for understanding the twenty-first century will be translated from Lisbon to Vladivostok.