America and the rest of the West are totally out to lunch on everything related to Ukraine. Our behavior has been utterly shameful, and our judgment about the situation and its consequences is so at odds with reality that it’s unbelievable.
While no one can predict exactly what the new world order will look like, there are some major clues. In retrospect, it’s obvious that if America doesn’t wake up pronto and whip a 180, we will regret the outcome perhaps indefinitely. Yes, there is even the possibility of Armageddon, as a bereaved loser cries that if we can’t survive, no one else will, either.
Starting points are everywhere you look. On Bloomberg there have recently been two opinion pieces by well-regarded American intellectuals. One is a Chinese scholar who holds a chaired professorship in political science, specializing in Chinese foreign affairs, at a highly rated college in the U.S. The other is a retired Admiral who is a former supreme commander of NATO. In his retirement he serves on the board of a well-known business school and holds a senior position at one of the country’s leading venture capital firms. After reading these pieces, my only hope is that it is deliberate propaganda. If our leading intellectuals actually believe what they’re saying, I think America’s in deeper trouble than I ever imagined. Unfortunately, I believe these scholars have far too much integrity to deliberately misrepresent the truth. Here is a hint as to why I was so dumbfounded and frightened by what I read… And here’s why every American should wake up and pay attention!
Let’s start with the major point of the Chinese scholar:
“At the strategic level, the Sino-Russia partnership has done irreparable damage to China’s ties with Europe…once Russia fired the first shot, European nations saw China as complicit in Russia’s aggression.”
A complicit China means “irreparable damage to China’s ties with Europe… Simultaneously, Washington’s unwavering support for Ukraine has once again demonstrated its indispensable role in Europe’s peace and security.” This sounds like simplistic childish propaganda from someone who has no clue whatsoever about the relevant issues.
Russia’s aggression was in part a response to eight years of war against Russian provinces in eastern Ukraine. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), there were over 50,000 casualties in those eight years. These casualties were the consequence of the shelling of Russian provinces by western Ukrainian forces.
Notably, these casualties occurred despite two agreements – Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 – signed by E.U. nations as well as by Russia. Ukraine violated both Minsk Agreements- not Russia nor the other E.U. nations that co-signed the agreement. Yet, the Western media narrative continues to blame Russia as the arch nemesis in this entire debacle.
The Minsk agreements were a series of international agreements which sought to end the Donbas war fought between armed Russian separatist groups and Armed Forces of Ukraine, with Russian regular forces playing a central part. The first, known as the Minsk Protocol, was drafted in 2014 by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, consisting of Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with mediation by the leaders of France and Germany in the so-called Normandy Format. After extensive talks in Minsk, Belarus, the agreement was signed on 5 September 2014 by representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group and, without recognition of their status, by the then-leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). This agreement followed multiple previous attempts to stop the fighting in the region and aimed to implement an immediate ceasefire.
The agreement failed to stop fighting, and was thus followed with a revised and updated agreement, Minsk II, which was signed on 12 February 2015. This agreement consisted of a package of measures, including a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, release of prisoners of war, constitutional reform in Ukraine granting self-government to certain areas of Donbas and restoring control of the state border to the Ukrainian government. While fighting subsided following the agreement’s signing, it never ended completely, and the agreement’s provisions were never fully implemented.
Amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine in early 2022, Russia officially recognized the DPR and LPR on 21 February 2022. Following that decision, on 22 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Minsk agreements “no longer existed”, and that Ukraine, not Russia, was to blame for their collapse. Russia then invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
U.S. Goads Russia Into Inevitable Ukrainian Invasion
Recently Angela Merkel (during an interview debuted on a German news organization) said that the E.U. never had plans for honoring those agreements. Their only purpose, according to Merkel, who herself was a signatory, was to buy time to arm Ukraine to the teeth in preparation for a war with Russia.
With a hint of sarcasm and conjecture, I might assume that nobody in the Western media has access to Google translate. Angela Merkel’s brazen comments about the European Union’s covert agenda in regard to the Minsk Agreements never made it to a major news outlet in the West. The vexing question here is to wonder why one of the most prominent European leaders of this century was silenced outside of Germany. The clear implication is that the West all along was planning to goad Russia into a war.
I have authored a number of books which clearly state that resource scarcities are the most important existential threat the world is imminently facing. In this context it’s clear that the West wants to see Putin taken down and resource-rich Russia to be divided up into territories. This would give the West much easier access to those resources. There are a number of neocon articles that have made exactly this point. And apparently, they are not trying to hide it. The well-traveled and respected journalist Joe Lauria summed it up nicely in a 2016 opinion piece for Consortium News:
“With its vast natural resources, Russia has been the big prize for the West for centuries, and is still today in neocon-driven Washington.”
Putin Took The Bait
Goading Russia into war with Ukraine was about the only thing the U.S. was able to do that was not utterly ham-handed. For a number of years Putin had worried that if Ukraine joined NATO, his country would be surrounded by NATO affiliated countries with the possibility that Russia would face nuclear arms in every direction.
Pay attention here folks: The only thing Biden had to do to prevent the War in Ukraine was to affirm Putin’s request for assurance that Ukraine would remain neutral, i.e., not join NATO. Jeremy Sachs, arguably the most renowned economist of this century and someone who has devoted most of his life to the developing world – holding major positions at the U.N. and having an institute at Columbia University – has said in a number of interviews that he phoned the White House imploring them to cede to Russia’s requests. This implies that the U.S. should keep its promises in regard to the affirmation that Ukraine would never be a NATO member. Biden denied Sachs’s request. And that denial left Putin without a choice. And the rest is history.
There is little doubt that the U.S. calls the shots in NATO, which in this case meant preparing Ukraine for war. The goal was to wreak havoc on Russia in the hope of engineering a regime change. The sanctions on Russia were prepared long before the U.S. refused Putin’s last request, which ensured a war that would serve as an excuse for massive sanctions that, along with the war itself, were designed to cripple the Russian economy.
However this plan backfired on Biden and NATO. Instead of crippling the Russian economy, the sanctions boomeranged back onto the United States, now desperately trying to avoid a recession. America’s allies in Europe have paid a dear price as the sanctions sharply raised the price of oil and other goods. Notably, Europe’s largest vertically integrated nation, Germany, is on the verge of being deindustrialized by high energy prices. Russia’s economy, on the other hand, is predicted to grow in 2023, largely the result of higher prices for natural resources, while inflation remains at a relatively tepid 4%.
Curious to learn more? Stay tuned for Part 2 & 3 of this article- available soon!