Tag Archives: Russia

The Ukraine crisis, sponsored by US hegemony and war profiteers, by Aaron Maté

Ukraine certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the security of U.S. citizens. From Aaron Maté at mate.substack.com:

If Biden can interrupt NATO expansion and war profiteering, the US-Russia standoff over Ukraine can be resolved.

New US “lethal aid” for Ukraine, courtesy of US taxpayers and their weapons industry beneficiaries. (U.S. Embassy in Ukraine)

The US-Russia standoff over Ukraine has sparked bellicose threats and fears of Europe’s biggest ground war in decades. There are ample reasons to question the prospects of a Russian invasion, and US allies including France, Germany’s now-ousted navy chief, and even Kiev itself appear to share the skepticism.

Another potential scenario is that Russia draws on the Cuban Missile Crisis and positions offensive weapons within the borders of Latin American allies. Whatever the outcome, the crisis has underscored the perils of a second Cold War between the world’s top nuclear powers.

If the path forward is unpredictable, what got us here is easy to trace. The row over Ukraine is the outgrowth of an aggressive US posture toward Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago, driven by hegemonic policymakers and war profiteers in Washington. Understanding that background is key to resolving the current impasse, if the Biden administration can bring itself to alter a dangerous course.

US principles vs. power constraints

Russia’s central demands – binding guarantees to halt the eastward expansion of NATO, particularly in Ukraine, and to prevent offensive weapons from being stationed near its borders – have been publicly dismissed by the U.S government as non-starters.

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Russia’s Red Line, by Patrick Lawrence

If Russia adheres to its red line it will have benefits far beyond Russia. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

It is absolutely necessary that Moscow holds the line for the sake of a new security order in Europe and a sustainably stable world order in our time.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, with President Vladimir Putin in 2017. (The Kremlin)

“They must understand,” Sergei Lavrov said in one of his many public statements last week, “that the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward.”

The Russian foreign minister has repeated this thought almost ad infinitum lately. He speaks, of course, of the Biden administration and the diplomats who bear its messages to others.

Here is another of Lavrov’s recent utterances:

“We are very patient… we have been harnessing [burdens] for a very long time, and now it’s time for us to go.”

I do not know quite what Lavrov means by “harnessing burdens.” I suspect it is a translation problem, and he said something closer to “bearing burdens.” But it is perfectly clear what he means when he says it is time for Russia to go: He means it is time to advance beyond the status quo, move on from post–Cold War security arrangements that have allowed NATO, in the name of the Atlantic alliance, to aggress toward the Russian Federation’s western borders more or less at will since the Soviet Union met its end.

All that Lavrov, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have said and done since the Ukraine crisis re-erupted late last year indicate one simple, hard-as-granite reality. In consequence of the many pointedly provocative moves the West, notably the U.S. and Britain, have made in Ukraine over the past year, our planet now has a brand-new red line etched upon it.

I hope Russia draws it in the deepest scarlet. As a diplomatic tactic, red lines are not very often advisable: They tend to paint the painter of the line into a corner. This one is absolutely necessary if we are to see a new security order in Europe. A new security order in Europe is essential if we are to achieve a sustainably, stable world order in our time.

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World Boris Johnson Posing as Churchill on Ukraine Is Slapstick Example of War-as-Distraction, by Finian Cunningham

Boris needs something huge to divert attention from his own rank hypocrisy. Ukraine doesn’t really fit the bill. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Boris Johnson attempting to start a war with Russia partly over an illicit birthday party is a descent into deplorable and gutless slapstick.

The old dictum is truer than ever that stoking conflict in some distant land is an effective distraction from domestic political woes. But in the case of British prime-minister Boris Johnson, the ruse descends into farce.

Johnson is counting the days until his Conservative party finally gets rid of this train-wreck of a leader. Lies, incompetence and scandals ooze from Downing Street under his watch. Even Britain’s Tory press has given up on its loyalty to Johnson who is now seen as an irredeemable election liability for Conservatives.

That’s why Johnson’s “warning” to Russia this week of “severe consequences” if it invades Ukraine sounds downright comical. His attempt at showing political spine abroad is belied by the image of his reputation at home resembling a wobbly jelly.

Johnson claimed with a straight face that the British intelligence was “clear” that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine and install a puppet regime in Kiev. He went on to say that Britain was “leading” the way among NATO allies for inflicting dire economic costs on Russia. This is in spite of the ropey British story being rubbished as not having a shred of credibility.

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Moscow to Washington: “Remove the Nukes on Our Doorstep and Stop the Eastward Push”, by Mike Whitney

Ask anybody who criticizes Russia’s stance on NATO and weaponry on its doorstep in Ukraine how they’d feel if Russian or Chinese weapons and troops were stationed in Mexico or Canada. From Mike Whitney at unz.com:

“There arrives a moment of truth when the West either accepts our proposals or other ways will be found to safeguard Russia’s security.” Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna negotiations

Here’s a simple way to test your understanding of the current US-Russia standoff. All you need to do is answer one very-basic question about the nature of the conflict, and that answer will determine whether you understand what is actually going on or not. Here’s the question:

What is the source of the confrontation between the US and Russia in the Ukraine:

  1. Russia has amassed over 100,000 combat troops near Ukraine’s eastern border and is threatening to invade.
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Empire by expanding Russia’s territory beyond its borders.
  3. The western media has concocted a fake storyline about a “Russian invasion” to divert attention from Moscow’s reasonable demands for legally-binding security guarantees that address the pressing issue of hostile foreign armies (NATO) and nuclear missiles on Russia’s doorstep.
  4. None of the above.

If you picked Number 3, then pat yourself on the back, that is the right answer. (Please, see: “There Is No Russian Invasion Threat To Ukraine”, Moon of Alabama; Quote: “The story of Russian preparations for an invasion of the Ukraine is made up from whole cloth.”) The current crisis has nothing to do with the fictitious “Russian invasion” that was invented to conceal the real issue. The real issue is Russian security and the demands that Russia has made in the form of two draft treaty agreements. The western media– in concert with the Intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the Biden administration, and the US foreign policy establishment– have done everything in their power to prevent the American people from reading the contents of these draft treaties for fear that they will see that Russia’s demands are both reasonable and appropriate. Russia isn’t asking for anything more than any sovereign country should expect. As FDR famously said, “Security for one, is security for all.” We support that sentiment and we think the American people do too.

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Stop the Neocons From Starting a War, by Eric S. Margolis

There is still time to stop the many idiots within the U.S. foreign policy establishment from doing something incredibly stupid in Ukraine. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

Amid surging tensions over Ukraine, the head of Germany’s navy had the courage to voice Europe’s fears over this totally unnecessary, contrived crisis.

In a speech to an Indian think tank, Vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schonbach proposed the Western powers ‘respect’ Russian leader Vladimir Putin and accept that Crimea would remain in Moscow’s hands.

The German admiral’s remarks produced a major uproar in Washington and tut tuts in Europe where hatred of Russia has become a state fetish.  Most aggrieved were the British and Americans who deeply fear an alliance or at least entente between Germany and Russia that might undermine US domination of the continent.

Germany, Europe’s leading military force and mainstay of NATO, has hollowed out its military power.  Thanks to unqualified female defense ministers, Germany’s armed forces have degenerated into parade troops.  Armor and aircraft, once hallmarks of German military power, have become feeble toys, lacking in munitions, spare parts and capable crews.

Polls show Germans have very little interest in confronting Russia.  Memories of World War II are still raw.  Today’s Germans live in a nation that was 50% destroyed by US and British bombing.  Millions of Germans come from families driven out of eastern Europe. 

There is not a lot of sympathy for Ukraine’s current government that was installed by a US-financed and stage-managed coup in 2013-2014.  Germany’s US-dominated media and government support Washington’s hard line on Ukraine but many ordinary Germans and French don’t agree. 

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The Globalist American Empire Would Rather Risk Nuclear War Than Admit Its Own Arrogance, by Revolver

Unfortunately we have to turn our attention to a slithering group of invertebrates known as neocons, because they may pitch us all into nuclear Armageddon. They dream grand dreams of global domination and love sending other people’s kids off to wars, although most of them have never fought in one. From Revolver at revolver.news:

The United States is on the brink of a war in Ukraine, and most of the country hasn’t even noticed.

WASHINGTON — President Biden is considering deploying several thousand U.S. troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an expansion of American military involvement amid mounting fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, according to administration officials.

The move would signal a major pivot for the Biden administration, which up until recently was taking a restrained stance on Ukraine, out of fear of provoking Russia into invading. But as President Vladimir V. Putin has ramped up his threatening actions toward Ukraine, and talks between American and Russian officials have failed to discourage him, the administration is now moving away from its do-not-provoke strategy.

The discussions came as the State Department ordered all family members of U.S. embassy personnel in Kyiv to leave Ukraine, citing the threat of Russian military action, and authorized some embassy employees to depart as well, according to senior State Department officials who briefed reporters on Sunday. [NYT]

Sounds very serious. Yet right now, this is the New York Times front page.

The NYT squeezed the story into the bottom left, below perpetually-unchanging narratives about COVID and stories about Joan Didion and the latest prestige TV show.

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What Brought Biden to the Table? By Ted Snider

Is the Biden administration backing off on Ukraine? Has there been an outbreak of sanity? From Ted Snider at antiwar.com:

No one knows whether the recent talks between the US and Russia will produce results. But they happened. And they have led to the promise of further talks. What, after a quarter century of Russian cries, brought Biden to the table?

The US long ago left its place at the table. Diplomacy has yielded its seat to military pressure and economic sanctions. America now always insists on the need to use force: Putin only understands force; Iran only responds to sanctions. Antony Blinken himself, America’s top diplomat, has said that “force can be a necessary adjunct to effective diplomacy.” “We must supplement diplomacy with deterrence,” he added. “Words alone will not dissuade the Vladimir Putins and Xi Jinpings of this world.”

He’s wrong, though. Diplomacy has consistently worked with China; it accomplished the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran when sanctions, sabotage and threats failed; it has worked in the many arms controls agreements with Russia, and it has worked, when honored, with North Korea.

The US thinks the world only respects force and not reason because the US only respects force and not reason. They assume of others what they discover in themselves. The US long ago exchanged diplomats for torturers and arm twisters, whether it is the torture of military threats or the arm twisting of economic strangulation.

If diplomacy has failed the US, it has failed for only two reasons. Either they have broken promises that were showing promise, as they did with Iran, or they have not engaged in diplomacy sincerely, demanding that the other country make the core concession the US demands without being willing to make the core concession the other country desires.

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UKRAINE CRISIS: German Navy Chief Resigns; Britain Spreads Fears of Russian ‘Coup’ & Wider War, by Joe Lauria

Tell the truth and you’re gone; tell lies and you can probably start a war. From Joe Lauria at consortiumnews.com:

The German admiral’s frank remarks contradict the war hysteria being drummed up by the U.S. and Britain, Joe Lauria reports.

Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, the head of the German navy, has resigned after saying talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was “nonsense” and that Russia was merely seeking “respect” for its security concerns in Europe.

“It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves,” Schönbach told a meeting of a think tank in New Delhi on Friday.

“My minister asked me what does Russia really want?” the vice-admiral said.

“Is Russia really interested in having a small, tiny strip of Ukrainian soil to integrate into their country? No. This is nonsense. I think Putin is putting pressure on it because he knows he can do it. And he splits the European Union. But what he really wants is respect. He wants on a high-level, respect. And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. So if I were asked, it is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves. Russia is an old country. Russia is an important country.”

Schönbach also acknowledged that “the Crimean peninsula is gone. It will never come back. This is a fact.” That contradicted NATO’s official position.

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Iran-Russia Hit Maximum Strategy, by Pepe Esobar

A lot of countries on the receiving end of U.S. hostility are making common cause together. From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:

Three ain’t a crowd: The Iran-Russia summit this week, concurrent with RIC military drills in the Sea of Oman, in advance of a Xi-Putin meeting in two weeks, suggests a rapidly-advancing strategic vision for the three Eurasian powers.

The official visit to Russia by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, at the invitation of Vladimir Putin, generated one of the most stunning geopolitical pics of the 21st century: Raisi performing his afternoon prayers at the Kremlin.

Arguably, more than the hours of solid discussions on geopolitical, geoeconomic, energy, trade, agriculture, transportation and aerospace dossiers, this visual will be imprinted all across the Global South as a fitting symbol of the ongoing, inexorable process of Eurasian integration.

Raisi went to Sochi and Moscow ready to offer Putin essential synergy in confronting a decaying, unipolar Empire increasingly prone to irrationalism. He made it clear at the start of his three hours of discussions with Putin: our renewed relationship should not be “short-term or positional – it will be permanent and strategic.”

Putin must have relished the torrents of meaning inbuilt in one of Raisi’s statements of fact: “We have been resisting the Americans for more than 40 years.”

Yet, much more productive, was “a document on strategic cooperation” between Iran and Russia that Raisi and his team presented to Russian officials.

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Anonymous Officials Claim There’s An Evil Russian Plot Again But The Evidence Is Secret Again, by Caitlin Johnstone

Recycling propaganda from the government is not journalism. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Major western news publications are running a story about a sinister plot by the Russian government, and — you may want to sit down for this — the sources of the report are anonymous, and the evidence for it is secret.

The New York Times reports that according to anonymous individuals within the US and British governments, Russia is currently plotting to topple the existing government of Ukraine in some way using some method and then somehow install a puppet regime that is sympathetic to Moscow using some sort of means. What specifically those means and methods might be are not revealed to us in this very serious news report.

“The communiqué provided few details about how Russia might go about imposing a new government on Ukraine, and did not say whether such plans were contingent on an invasion by Russian troops,” the Paper of Record informs us. “British officials familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the intent was both to head off the activation of such plans as well as to put Mr. Putin on notice that this plot had been exposed.”

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