Conflict in Ukraine – an attempt at explanation

Image: Cottonbro
Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

By MIKE WHITNEY*

To control Asia, the US launched a war of total annihilation of the Russian state

Was there a justification for Russia's invasion of Ukraine? Yes, there is. Russia was being directly threatened by what was happening in Ukraine. So she told Ukraine to stop what it was doing or else suffer the consequences. Ukraine chose to ignore these warnings. Then Russia invaded. That's basically what happened.

Ukraine does not have the right to do what it wants on its own territory when it and 50 other countries signed treaties [at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summits in 1999 in Istanbul and 2010 in Astana , in Kazakhstan] agreeing that they would not strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of others. This is what is called “indivisibility of security”. In practical terms, that simply means you can't put artillery pieces and tanks in your garage and point them at my house. That would just undermine my security. The same logic applies to nations.

Otherwise, we would have to conclude that John Kennedy had no right to challenge Fidel Castro for putting nuclear weapons in Cuba. But he only had that right because Castro's action put the United States at risk of nuclear attack. Under that principle now enshrined in international law, Castro could not improve his own security at the expense of the United States. The current case is no different. Vladimir Putin has every right to defend the security of the Russian people. And indeed, this is exactly what rational people expect from their leaders.

Let's say I hold a gun to your head and threaten to blow your brains out. But you quickly grab the gun and shoot me in the leg. Who is to blame for this incident? If you think I'm responsible, you're right. The victim, in this case, simply reacted in the way that would best ensure his own safety. This is called self-defense, which is perfectly legal.

That same pattern can be applied to the security of Russia, whose “Special Military Operation” is a preemptive step to ensure its own national security. Russia has no projects on Ukrainian territory, nor does it want to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs. Russia's objective is to end the threat to its very existence that was created by Washington. It was Washington that encouraged NATO to cram Ukraine with lethal weapons. It was Washington that supplied arms to right-wing extremists targeting ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. It was Washington that persuaded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to abandon the Minsk Accords and develop nuclear weapons. It was Washington that staged the coup in 2014, which replaced a democratically elected president with a puppet of the United States. And it was Washington that did everything in its power to isolate and demonize Russia when it responded to provocations entirely authored by the United States. In short, it was Washington that held a gun to Russia's head and threatened to blow its brains out.

If people fail to see the obvious, it's because they've been brainwashed to such an extent that they can only believe that all this noise only started when Putin's tanks crossed the border. Even the most avid network TV propagandist CNN do not believe in this nonsense. The crisis began with the relentless accumulation of armaments, accompanied by one calculated incitement after another. Russia was deliberately and repeatedly provoked. Anyone who has followed events more closely would never dispute that.

By the way, Putin never spoke of overthrowing the government in Kiev and replacing it with a Moscow-backed puppet. His plan aims at the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. Those are his only goals. He wants to destroy the weapons that NATO and the United States left there to ignite the conflict, as well as eradicate the Nazi militants who present themselves as sworn enemies of the Russian Federation.

Is this irrational? Do you think the United States would act differently if Mexico allowed Al Qaeda and ISIS cells to operate openly in Guadalajara or Acapulco? They would bomb and wreck the entire region without batting an eyelid. Would you also call this an “invasion”? Washington would probably call it a “Special Military Operation”, just as Russia calls its “Special Military Operation”.

The problem here is not what Russia is doing. The problem is that a different standard always applies when it comes to the United States. What I would like is for people to develop their own critical thinking skills – ignoring this hysterical neighing from the media – and make up their own minds about the matter.

Russia did what anyone would do, reacted in the way that best ensured its own security. By definition, this is self-defense. She has shaken off the threat of major damage or death, and is now in the process of re-establishing her own safety. Ukraine chose to ignore Russia's legitimate security concerns, and now Ukraine is paying the price.

Here is an excellent summary of the events leading up to the Russian operation, presented in an article on the website World Socialist: “The media narrative that presents the invasion as an unprovoked action is a manipulation that hides the aggressive actions of the NATO powers, in particular the United States, and their puppets in the Ukrainian government. (...). In Europe and Asia, the United States pursued a strategy designed to encircle and subdue Russia. In direct violation of its earlier promises – which the Soviet bureaucracy and Russian oligarchy were delusional enough to believe – NATO has expanded to include almost all major countries in Eastern Europe except Ukraine and Belarus.

In 2014, the United States orchestrated a far-right coup in Kiev that overthrew a pro-Russian government that opposed Ukraine's membership of NATO. In 2018, the United States officially adopted a “great power conflict” preparedness strategy with Russia and China. In 2019, he unilaterally withdrew from the Medium-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prohibited the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Preparations for war with Russia and arming Ukraine were at the heart of the Democrats' first attempt to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

Last year (…) the Biden administration recklessly escalated provocations against Russia (…). The key to understanding this movement is the US-Ukraine Charter of Strategic Partnership signed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on November 10, 2021.

The Charter endorses Kyiv's military strategy from March 2021 onwards, which explicitly proclaimed as a military objective to "take back" Crimea and separatist-controlled Donbass, thereby scrapping the 2015 Minsk Accords, until then the official roadmap. to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. (...)

Washington also explicitly endorsed 'Ukraine's efforts to maximize its status as a NATO Privileged Opportunity Partner, to promote interoperability', ie its de facto integration into the Alliance's military command structures.

Ukraine's official non-membership of NATO is and was, for all intents and purposes, a fiction. At the same time, the NATO powers exploited the fact that Ukraine was not officially a member of the Alliance as an opportunity to fuel a conflict with Russia that did not immediately escalate into a world war.

The United States was fully aware that fascist forces in Ukraine would play the main role of shock troops, both against the Russian military and against any internal opposition from the population (…). Its representatives ― from the fascist Svoboda party to the neo-Nazi Azov battalion ― are now deeply integrated into the Ukrainian state and military, and are heavily armed with NATO equipment.

It will be up to historians to discover what promises the Ukrainian oligarchy received from Washington in exchange for its pledge to turn the country into a death camp and launching pad for war with Russia. But one thing is clear: the Kremlin and the Russian General Staff could not help reading this document as an announcement of an imminent war.

Throughout 2021 and in the weeks immediately preceding the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly warned that Ukraine's integration into NATO and its arming by Western powers constituted a 'red line' for Russia, and then demanded 'guarantees of security' by the United States and NATO.

Nevertheless, the United States scornfully rejected all these demands, and NATO staged one major military exercise after another on Russia's borders (…). In the weeks leading up to the war, the Biden administration ― while insistently warning of an imminent Russian invasion ― made no effort to prevent it. On the contrary, he did everything he could to provoke her.” (“The November 2021 United States-Ukraine Strategic Partnership and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, World Socialist Web Site, March 10, 2022).

So what can we take away from this summary of events?

We can see that Washington has done everything in its power to undermine Russia's security, with the explicit aim of drawing Moscow into a war in Ukraine. That was the goal from the beginning. Washington knew that NATO membership for Ukraine was one of Putin's "red lines", so the establishment of US foreign policy decided to use Putin's red lines against him. They decided to make Ukraine a member of NATO in all but name, which (they supposed) would be provocation enough for an invasion. That was the plan. And the plan worked.

Last year saw a steady flow of lethal weapons into Ukraine; heavy weapons that can destroy tanks and shoot down planes. At the same time, Ukraine's combat troops and officer corps received regular training from NATO advisers. They also engaged in frequent joint military exercises with NATO units, whether in Ukraine or elsewhere in Europe. (At least 10 more such joint military exercises were scheduled for this year alone.) Over the past 12 months, NATO specialists have been almost constantly on Ukrainian territory, while its troop control system is already fully integrated into the Alliance. “This meant that NATO Headquarters could issue direct commands to the Ukrainian armed forces, even to its separate units and squadrons.”

In addition, “Ukraine's airfield network has been optimized and its airspace is open for flights by strategic, reconnaissance and fighter aircraft. drones Americans who carry out surveillance of Russian territory”.

In summary, “Ukraine's non-membership of NATO is (largely) a fiction”, as the article by the World Socialist. The country was stealthily integrated into the Alliance in all respects except a formal declaration of membership. As a result, Russia faced a hostile army and its entire military infrastructure on its southwestern border, posing an existential danger to the nation's survival. In Putin's own words, "NATO's military infrastructure is a knife to our throat."

So Putin's analysis is essentially the same as ours, namely that Russia is acting in self-defence. Putin just took the gun that Washington was pointing at his head. This is wrong? Should entire populations live in constant fear in order for the United States to move forward with its geopolitical agenda, uninterrupted?

No. Every country has the right to basic security and protection from the threat of violence. Russia is no different from anyone else in this regard. And when these basic security concerns are ignored by puppets in propaganda T-shirts (like Volodymyr Zelensky), then countries are forced to take matters into their own hands. What other choice would they have? National security remains the State's highest priority. From all over the state! It is unfortunate that the "guarantor of global security" is also (in the words of Martin Luther King) "the greatest purveyor of violence to the world today". But that is a sad irony of our current condition.

You may still ask: why would the United States go to so much trouble urging Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine, when in the end it will be the Ukrainian people who will suffer the most and see the country likely to become the stage for disruptive military operations and NATO's bloodies in the coming years? What is the strategic objective here?

See how political analyst and former member of the European Parliament, Nick Griffin, sums it up in a recent article in Unz Review. He says: “The fundamental targets of NATO warmongers in this crisis are not (…) Russia, but Germany and China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). They want to keep Germany down and China out. The failure of this double endeavor will mean for the United States to become an isolated island, a belt of rust, thousands of kilometers away from the central economic bloc of the world. (...)

It will also spell the imminent end of the dollar as the world's financial reserve currency. (…) NATO's aggression against Russia is not born of confidence, but of fear. In just three decades, we've gone from the 'End of History' to the imminent end of the Dollar Empire. (...)

The effort to force Russia to go to war in Ukraine (…) is not, in fact, about promoting the geopolitical interest of the Dollar Empire, but about its very survival.

[That's why] they are really desperate for war.”

(“Ukraine implementing the Minsk accords and ending conflicts is really the last thing the US and UK want, says former member of the European Parliament”, Unz Review, February 19, 2022)

Griffin is right. The war in Ukraine is not about Ukraine, it is about geopolitics and, in particular, the sustained erosion of Washington's power on the global stage. That is why we are faced with this miserable attempt to crush Russia, on the way to encircling China. It is pure desperation. And it got even worse after the February 4 summit between Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two leaders announced a new “system of global governance” that would unite Europe and Asia through “infrastructure connectivity”, high-speed rail and collaborative distribution of energy resources. Russia and China have become allies in the biggest free trade project in history, which is why Uncle Sam is doing everything he can to rock the boat.

Here's another excerpt from an article by Alfred McCoy in counter punch: “In a historic 5.300-word statement, Xi and Putin proclaimed that 'the world is undergoing substantial change', gestating a 'redistribution of power' and 'a growing demand for … leadership'. After denouncing Washington's ill-disguised attempts to maintain hegemony at all costs, the two sides agree to 'oppose (…) interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states carried out under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights. '.

To build an alternative system that fosters global economic growth in Eurasia, the leaders plan to merge Putin's projected 'Eurasian Economic Union' with Xi's ongoing trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to promote 'greater interconnectivity between the Asia-Pacific and Eurasia regions'. Proclaiming their relations 'superior to Cold War-era political and military alliances' – an oblique reference to the strained Mao-Stalin relationship – the two leaders asserted that their entente has 'no boundaries… no 'no' areas for cooperation'. Strategically, both parties are vehemently opposed to NATO expansion, any move towards Taiwanese independence and 'color revolutions' such as the one that toppled Moscow's Ukrainian partner in 2014.”

(“The Geopolitics of the Ukrainian War,” Alfred W. McCoy, counter punch, March 11, 2022).

How does all this relate to the war in Ukraine?

Well, it goes to show that Uncle Sam is trying to destroy Russia so he can project power into Central Asia and keep Washington's grip on global power. Who will control Asia, the most populous and prosperous region of the coming century? That is the question guiding Washington's actions in Ukraine.

Simply put, Washington's plan is to crush Russia first, then move on to China. This explains why the United States came to impose the most pervasive and perverse sanctions ever. The gloves are off, and we are beginning to see that Washington is engaged in a scorched earth campaign to strangle the Russian economy, crash Russian markets, cut vital oil and gas revenues, freeze offshore reserves, seize privately owned assets, shutting off the flow of foreign capital, torpedoing multi-billion dollar pipeline projects, blocking access to capital markets, throwing the ruble off a cliff, demonizing Russian leadership and removing Russia from the community of nations. At the same time, the United States has increased the flow of lethal weaponry into Ukraine, while the CIA continues to advise and train far-right militants, which it will use to launch an anti-Russian insurgency.

It should be clear by now that Washington's approach to Russia has changed dramatically. The ferocity of the current strategy suggests that we have moved from occasional skirmishes to a war of total annihilation of the Russian state.

*Mike Whitney is an American journalist specializing in geopolitics and social analysis.

Translation: Ricardo Cavalcanti-Schiel.

Originally published on Unz Review.

 

See this link for all articles

10 MOST READ IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

______________

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS