Paul Craig Roberts
February 15, 2014
In a number of my articles I have explained that the Soviet Union served as a constraint on US power. The Soviet collapse unleashed the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony. Russia under Putin, China, and Iran are the only constraints on the neoconservative agenda.
Russia’s nuclear missiles and military technology make Russia the strongest military obstacle to US hegemony. To neutralize Russia, Washington broke the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements and expanded NATO into former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire and now intends to bring former constituent parts of Russia herself–Georgia and Ukraine–into NATO. Washington withdrew from the treaty that banned anti-ballistic missiles and has established anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s frontier. Washington changed its nuclear war doctrine to permit nuclear first strike.
All of this is aimed at degrading Russia’s deterrent, thereby reducing the ability of Russia to resist Washington’s will.
The Russian government (and also the government of Ukraine) foolishly permitted large numbers of US funded NGOs to operate as Washington’s agents under cover of “human rights organizations,” “building democracy,” etc. The “pussy riot” event was an operation designed to put Putin and Russia in a bad light. (The women were useful dupes.) The Western media attacks on the Sochi Olympics are part of the ridiculing and demonizing of Putin and Russia. Washington is determined that Putin and Russia will not be permitted any appearance of success in any area, whether diplomacy, sports, or human rights.
The American media is a Ministry of Propaganda for the government and the corporations and helps Washington paint Russia in bad colors. Stephen F. Cohen accurately describes US media coverage of Russia as a “tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles.”http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37635.htm
As a holdover from the Cold War, the US media retains the image of a free press that can be trusted. In truth, there is no free press in America (except for Internet sites). See for example:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/12/us-press-freedom-index-2014_n_4773101.html During the later years of the Clinton regime, the US government permitted 5 large conglomerates to concentrate the varied, dispersed and somewhat independent media.The value of these large mega-companies depends on their federal broadcast licenses.Therefore, the media dares not go against the government on any important issue. In addition, the media conglomerates are no longer run by journalists but by corporate advertising executives and former government officials, with an eye not on facts but on advertising revenues and access to government “sources.”
Washington is using the media to prepare the American people for confrontation with Russia and to influence Russians and other peoples in the world against Putin. Washington would love to see a weaker or more pliable Russian leader than Putin.
Many Russians are gullible. Having experienced communist rule and the chaos from collapse, they naively believe that America is the best place, the example for the world, the “white hat” that can be trusted and believed. This idiotic belief, which we see manifested in western Ukraine as the US destabilizes the country in preparation for taking it over, is an important weapon that the US uses to destabilize Russia.
Some Russians make apologies for Washington by explaining the anti-Russian rhetoric as simply a carryover from old stereotypes from the Cold War. “Old stereotypes” is a red herring, a misleading distraction. Washington is gunning for Russia. Russia is under attack, and if Russians do not realize this, they are history.
Many Russians are asleep at the switch, but the Izborsk Club is trying to wake them up. In an article (February 12) in the Russian weekly Zavtra, strategic and military experts warned that the Western use of protests to overturn the decision of the Ukraine government not to join the European Union had produced a situation in which a coup by fascist elements was a possibly. Such a coup would result in a fratricidal war in Ukraine and would constitute a serious “strategic threat to the Russian Federation.”
The experts concluded that should such a coup succeed, the consequences for Russia would be:
— Loss of Sevastopol as the base of the Russian Federation’s Black Sea Fleet;
— Purges of Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine, producing a flood of refugees;
— Loss of manufacturing capacities in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov where
contract work is done for the Russian military;
— Suppression of the Russian speaking population by forcible Ukrainianization;
— The establishment of US and NATO military bases in Ukraine, including in Crimea
and the establishment of training centers for terrorists who would be set upon the
Caucasus, the Volga Basin, and perhaps Siberia.
— Spread of the orchestrated Kiev protests into non-Russian ethnicities in cities of
the Russian Federation.
The Russian strategists conclude that they “consider the situation taking shape in Ukraine to be catastrophic for the future of Russia.”
What is to be done? Here the strategic experts, who have correctly analyzed the situation, fall down. They call for a national media campaign to expose the nature of the takeover that is underway and for the government of the Russian Federation to invoke the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 in order to convene a conference of representatives of the governments of Russia, Ukraine, the USA, and Great Britain to deal with the threats to the Ukraine. In the event that the Budapest Memorandum governing the sovereignty of Ukraine is set aside by one or more of the parties, the experts propose that the Russian government, using the precedent of the Kennedy-Khrushchev negotiations that settled the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, negotiate directly with Washington a settlement of the developing crisis in Ukraine.
This is a pipe dream. The experts are indulging in self-deception. Washington is the perpetrator of the crisis in Ukraine and intends to take over Ukraine for the precise reasons that the experts list. It is a perfect plan for destabilizing Russia and for negating Putin’s successful diplomacy in preventing US military attack on Syria and Iran.
Essentially, if Washington succeeds in Ukraine, Russia would be eliminated as a constraint on US world hegemony, Only China would remain.
I suspected that Ukraine would come to a boiling point when Putin and Russia were preoccupied with the Sochi Olympics, leaving Russia unprepared. There is little doubt that Russia is faced with a major strategic threat. What are Russia’s real options? Certainly the options do not include any good will from Washington.
Possibly, Russia could operate from the American script. If Russia has drones, Russia could use drones like Washington does and use them to assassinate the leaders of the Washington-sponsored protests. Or Russia could send in Special Forces teams to eliminate the agents who are operating against Russia. If the EU continues to support the destabilization of Ukraine, Russia could cut off oil and gas supplies to Washington’s European puppet states.
Alternatively, the Russian Army could occupy western Ukraine while arrangements are made to partition Ukraine, which until recently was part of Russia for 200 years. It is certain that the majority of residents in eastern Ukraine prefer Russia to the EU. It is even possible that the brainwashed elements in the western half might stop foaming at the mouth long enough to comprehend that being in US/EU hands means being looted as per Latvia and Greece.
I am outlining the least dangerous outcomes of the crisis that Washington and its stupid European puppet states have created, not making recommendations to Russia. The worst outcome is a dangerous war. If the Russians sit on their hands, the situation will become unbearable for them. As Ukraine moves toward NATO membership and suppression of the Russian population, the Russian government will have to attack Ukraine and overthrown the foreign regime or surrender to the Americans. The likely outcome of the audacious strategic threat with which Washington is confronting Russia would be nuclear war.
The neoconservative Victoria Nuland sits in her State Department office happily choosing the members of the next Ukrainian government. Is this US official oblivious to the risk that Washington’s meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine and Russia could be triggering nuclear war? Are President Obama and Congress aware that there is an Assistant Secretary of State who is provoking armageddon?
Insouciant Americans are paying no attention and have no idea that a handful of neoconservative ideologues are pushing the world toward destruction.
NOTE: I have received an email from Moldova, a country bordered by Romania and Ukraine with cities on the Moldova-Ukraine border, that Moldovans are paid 30 euros
per day to pose as Ukrainian protesters. I would like to hear from readers who can confirm this report and/or provide a media source in support of this claim.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.