What is happening right now in Ukraine may not just be another conflict that will rumble on for a few years and then slowly end in a messy compromise after tens of thousands of people have been slaughtered. It is sad to say that such an outcome might well be a best case scenario. What seems increasingly likely is a major confrontation between the US and Russia .
Ever since the demise of the Soviet Union , the US has pressed ahead with an agenda to secure global economic and military supremacy. Despite agreeing with Russia not to, NATO has expanded into a number of former Warsaw Pact countries and is continuing to develop an anti-ballistic missile defence system across Eastern Europe .
Putin is not Yeltsin, who allowed Wall Street and well-placed Russians to loot the economy after the fall of communism. He has given Russians a sense of national pride, reined in the influence of the got-rich-quick oligarchs and stood up to Washington over Syria . He also regards Iran as a strategic geopolitical asset worth playing hardball over.
Washington requires compliant leaders who will acquiesce to its needs and demands. Putin does not fall into that category. The neocons are targeting Russia . All roads to Moscow are through Ukraine , a major transit route to European markets for Russian oil and gas. It also possesses fertile agricultural lands – formerly known as the bread basket of the Soviet Union – and an industrial heartland in the east that is strategically linked to Russia . Washington knows if Ukraine’s economy is de-linked from Russia , Moscow will suffer. Control over Ukraine is vital to Washington’ s aims, which at the same time also include de-coupling Europe from Moscow in terms of trade and energy to weaken Europe and ensure its dependency on the US .
When the previous government in Ukraine turned towards Russia for financial support last year and rejected a US/Europe loan package Washington’s financial-corporate cabal was in danger of losing out. For example, Monsanto and Chevron have big plans for Ukraine’s agriculture and energy sectors. After having ploughed five billion dollars into “democracy-enhancing” institutions in Ukraine , Washington decided it was time to call in its investment and get the groups it had funded onto the streets of Kiev to help instigate an old-fashioned CIA-backed coup to get rid of a non-compliant leader.
US corporations now have access to Ukraine , the IMF has set out a financially lucrative package for the country’s creditors – while Ukraine’ s economy is “adjusted” (plundered) accordingly – and the Washington-backed regime in Kiev is attacking the eastern, mainly Russian speaking area of the country, which does not recognize the Kiev government and wants independence. Kiev has called them “terrorists” and is in effect ethnically cleansing the region. Some 750,000 have subsequently fled over the border into Russia .
Early on in the crisis, Moscow moved to protect is Black Sea naval base in Crimea , from which Washington wanted to oust Russia . Crimea was given a referendum whether to return to Russia (it was a part of Russia but was given to Ukraine in the last century). Crimea voted to be part of Russia .
The US hypocritically interpreted this as Russian interference and aggression, as Moscow moved to protect its naval base. This interpretation conveniently ignored Washington’s ousting of a democratically elected government in Kiev .
Since that time, the US has sought to demonize Russia. It has slapped sanctions on Moscow and without a shred of evidence accused Moscow of having a hand in the shooting down of the Malaysian commercial airliner over Ukraine. There is intense pressure on Putin within Russia to militarily intervene to stop Kiev’s killing of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. In the meantime, Washington is now moving troops into Poland and could make Ukraine a de facto member of NATO, whereby if Russian troops enter the country or Russia militarily intervenes in some way, NATO troops may be called in. T he proposed ridiculously named Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) will allow for this. It sets the US on a path towards direct military conflict with Russia in Ukraine .
RAPA would produce significant buildups of US/NATO forces in Poland and the Baltic States and authorize substantial US intelligence and military aid for Ukrainian military forces. H owever, in the event of Moscow and NATO going head to head in Ukraine, Russia’s conventional forces would be more than a match NATO. And this is where the real danger lies. In the face of impending defeat, the US might play the nuclear card. The US now regards nuclear weaponry as part of a conventional war scenario. This doublespeak is based on the notion that a nuclear weapon exploded underground, for instance, would have limited impact on civilians. Unlike during the Cold War, nuclear weapons are now seen has having a pre-emptive strike role, not a weapon of the last resort, and some in the Pentagon feel they could now win a nuclear war with Russia as they perceive Russian technology to be run down.
To build up anti-ballistic missile systems and expand NATO in Eastern Europe was provocation and madness enough. Then to even contemplate ousting an elected government on Russia’s doorstep and backing a military attack on the east of Ukraine, targeting ethnic Russians, has shown Washington to be as reckless and as it is arrogant.
Washington’s game plan is to destabilize Russia and bait Putin into taking military action. Given that both the US and Russia have similar size nuclear arsenals, Washington is gambling with everyone’s lives on the planet.
The US requires ownership and access to Ukrainian resources, Russian resources and Central Asian resources. In the absence of leaders who are ready to acquiesce, military force is applied. It happened in Sudan, Yugoslavia , Libya , Syria , Iraq and is happening in Ukraine . Washington has 800 military bases in over 170 countries. It continues to wage wars throughout the planet and encircle countries with bases and missiles. The world needs to wake up to Washington’s madness.Tags: Europe
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This post was written by Colin Todhunter