THE NEXT ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE LOOMING POST-MULTIPOLAR SYSTEM

The Next Economic Crisis and the Looming Post-Multipolar System

Written by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront

The Impending Crisis

At one time, specifically during the post-World War 2 Bretton Woods era, it looked like as if the capitalist model could be indefinitely sustainable and avoid plunging the world into major world conflicts. That era began to come to an end during the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, and came to a complete end at the end of the Cold War which ushered in the era of the so-called “globalization” which took form of unbridled competition for markets and resources. At first this competition did not show many signs of trouble. There were many “emerging markets” created as a result of the collapse of the Soviet bloc into which Western corporations could expand. However, the law of diminishing returns being what it is, the initial rapid economic growth rates could not be sustained and attempts to goose it using extremely liberal central bank policies, to the point of zero and even negative interest rates, succeeded in inflating—and bursting—several financial “bubbles”. Even today’s US economy bears many hallmarks of such a bubble, and it is only one of many. Sooner or later the proverbial “black swan” event will unleash a veritable domino effect of popping bubbles and plunge the global economy into a crisis of a magnitude it has not seen since the 1930s. A crisis against which the leading world powers have few weapons to deploy, since they have expended their monetary and fiscal “firepower” on the 2008 crisis, to little avail. The low interest rates and high levels of national debt mean that the next big crisis will not be simply “more of the same.” It will fundamentally rearrange the global economy.

The Once and Future Multipolar System?

While the 1944 Bretton Woods  conference sought to re-establish a global economic order that was destroyed in the Great Depression, the formation of the United Nations served a rather different aim. The UN Security Council, with five veto-wielding permanent members, meant that for as long as these five countries abided by its rules, there would be five spheres of influence and therefore also five relatively exclusive economic zones. British leaders in 1945, for example, hardly desired the dissolution of their empire; records of wartime discussions between FDR and Churchill show the two clashed repeatedly over the tariff barriers separating British colonial possessions from international trade.  That which became known as the “Iron Curtain” was a feature, not a bug, of that system—Churchill himself wanted one for his empire, after all. However, is the apparent multi-polar system of today any more viable than the one which appeared to emerge after 1945?

“We have always been at war with Eurasia”

The post-WW2 multipolar world did not come to pass because the French and British empires collapsed and its newly independent states became aligned with either the United States or the USSR, and the PRC was in no shape to exert much power outside of its own borders since it was recovering from decades of civil war and foreign occupation. Seven decades after WW2’s conclusion, however, one can readily see that the era of US and European economic dominance is giving way to a multipolar world in which Russia and China are once again capable of standing up for their economic interests.

However, a return to genuine multipolarity does not appear very likely. Russia and China need each other too much to risk conflict by pursuing their own separate and mutually exclusive economic spheres of influence. Rather, we can expect a gradual merger of the two, with Russia playing the leading role in certain geographical areas (for example, the Middle East and the Arctic), while China in others. When it comes to the US and the EU, the situation is slightly more complicated.

Welcome to Oceania, Citizen

While George Orwell imagined the future of Russia (Eurasia) and China (Eastasia) as imperial entities unintegrated with one another, a prediction that does not appear to be coming true, the establishment of Oceania, governed from the United States and UK playing the role of “Airstrip One” seems to be looming every closer. Only the status of Europe remains unclear at this point. The European Union is still unfit to shoulder world power responsibilities, it has barely weathered the last economic crisis, and the next one could easily be the final nail in its coffin. It certainly does not help that the United States is attempting to thoroughly economically dominate the European Union in order to deal with its own economic problems. Reducing European exports to the US and expanding US energy exports to the EU is very high on the list of White House priorities, to the point of risking trade war. Europe’s behavior following the US unilateral JCPOA withdrawal shows that the Europeans are incapable to oppose US power, even if it means defending important economic interests.

On the other hand, and in response to the Trump administration increasingly brazen attempts to subjugate Europe in political and economic terms,  France and Germany are pursuing efforts to establish a solid EU “core”. This “core” would boast a European army, a concept whose popularity has grown in recent years, and be capable of collective action in the event of a crisis even if it means shedding the less well integrated eastern and southern EU members or at least relegating them to second-class status. However, it remains to be seen whether anything viable can be created before the next crisis topples the European house of cards and leads to power struggles over the political and economic alignment of the individual European states.

Hybrid War Forever

Once that process of coalescence is complete, proxy wars will continue over certain parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, even Latin America, as the two power blocs will struggle over vital markets and resources, using the full array of military, political, economic, cyber, and information weapons that we have seen used in Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela. This hybrid warfare will be accompanied by a level of official propaganda that will make the current “Russiagate” reporting pale in comparison, however, at the same time, the rhetoric will be considerably more heated than the actual level of hostilities between the two nuclear weapons-wielding power blocs. Instead, that propaganda will be used to justify internal political censorship and repression, on a scale even greater than we have seen used against the Yellow Vests protests in France.  Deprived of the ability to expand into ever new territories, the West will gradually sink into stagnation , poverty, and domestic disorder. At that point, the world will be in a state of a genuine bi-polar Cold War, a war of political and economic attrition whose outcome is currently impossible to predict.

Advertisements

Lavrov’s interview for Zvezda network

April 22, 2019

Lavrov’s interview for Zvezda network

 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview for Glavnoye with Olga Belova programme on Zvezda network, Moscow, April 21, 2019

http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3622162?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw_languageId=en_GB

Olga Belova: Mr Lavrov, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview today. Thank you for your time. We are recording this interview on the eve of the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, so if you would allow me, we will begin with this subject, since it is currently making headlines. Against this backdrop we cannot fail but to recall the events that took place five years ago during the 2014 election in Ukraine. Since then the question of whether Russia had to recognise the outcome of the 2014 election resurfaces from time to time in the public space. What will happen this time around? Does recognising this election make any sense? We understand all too well that Russia has many formal and moral reasons to break up all contacts with the Ukrainian authorities.

Sergey Lavrov: Five years ago when the presidential election was called in Ukraine, it happened in the aftermath of an armed and anti-constitutional government coup that, for some reason, was carried out within a day after the signing of an agreement between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovich. Moreover, foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France assumed the role of guarantors under this agreement that was also proactively backed by the US. But the next morning the opposition announced on Maidan Square that they had seized power and had formed a government of victors. This is when they began splitting their people apart. This agreement was signed on February 21, 2014, and if we recall its text, the first paragraph sets forth the need to form a “national unity government.” Instead, they established a government of victors, and started treating everyone else like losers. They put forward multiple requirements that ran counter to the interests of a significant part of people in Ukraine, including minorities such as Russians and Russian speakers. All this brought about serious problems and triggered a referendum in Crimea as a response to the threats made by nationalists to expel Russians from the peninsula and attempts to take over the Supreme Council building by force.

Let me mention one more event. In mid-April, that is before the election was called, but after the referendum in Crimea, Geneva hosted a meeting attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, yours truly, EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and then acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrey Deshitsa. At this meeting we agreed on a one-page declaration, and its key provision consisted of supporting the intention of the Ukrainian authorities to implement federalisation, that is to decentralise the country with the involvement of all regions. A representative of the new Ukrainian government that came to power in Kiev following a coup signed this document, guaranteeing federalisation with the involvement of all regions of the country.

But this commitment was instantly forgotten. Against this backdrop, when people started to state their intention to run for president, President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko was saying on every street corner that he was a “president of peace” and would settle the conflict in a matter of two or three weeks. It is for this reason that Western capitals, Paris and Berlin, urged Russia to refrain from making a statement rejecting the election outcome. We did refrain in order to give them a chance.

In early June 2014, President-elect Petr Poroshenko met with President of France Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Russia Vladimir Putin, when they all attended celebrations of the allied Normandy landings. The very fact that Vladimir Putin took part in this meeting, proposed by France and Germany, attested to Russia’s commitment to peace in Donbass and protecting the rights of those who were firm in their refusal to accept an armed coup. We proceeded from the premise that Petro Poroshenko was primarily elected for this promise to resolve the problem peacefully. With this in mind, I would refrain from stirring up the past on this particular matter.

By the way, during the Normandy format meetings that followed, Petr Poroshenko proved that he was not a “president of the peace,” and was forced by the developments on the ground to sign the Minsk Agreements. Russia also believed that it was unacceptable for him to consistently fool his people, while also lying to his curators abroad, since they were irritated by Poroshenko “getting out of hand.” I am talking about the Europeans represented within the Normandy Format, namely France and Germany. When the Minsk Agreements were signed everyone let out a sigh of relief, considering that this created a clear path to peace, especially since the UN Security Council approved the Minsk Agreements, thus implementing them into international law. However, in this sphere as well Petr Poroshenko proved to be very apt in dodging responsibility, turning for protection to the US administration which does not encourage Ukraine to abide by the Minsk Agreements. The Europeans found themselves in an awkward situation.

This was a look at the past, but coming back to your question, we have seen electoral programmes released by Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. We see how they approached the run-off. I have the impression that what matters the most for them at this point is to attract voters by some kind of a constructive agenda in order to secure victory. This is what their efforts are all about. I would rather not draw any final conclusions on what Vladimir Zelensky’s policy will look like if he is elected president, which is a done deal as far as observers are concerned. I would refrain from paying too much attention to declarations coming from his campaign. We have to wait for the second round results when they will have to deal with real things instead of campaign slogans and propaganda. Only then will we understand what this person as president thinks about the millions of his compatriots who speak Russian, love the Russian language and culture and want to live according to their values and the values of the winners in the Great Patriotic War, instead of being guided by values that extoll Roman Shukhevich, Stepan Bandera and other Petlyuras.

Olga Belova: You said we need to wait for the president-elect to take actual steps. Everyone realises that it is imperative to sit down and talk no matter what happens. What should Kiev’s first actions, statements and steps be so that, to use your words, Moscow “gives them another chance” to a peaceful resolution of the situation?

Sergey Lavrov: Most importantly, the new or old government should be able to talk and reach agreements and to respect international law and Ukraine’s international obligations. Such obligations include an international legal instrument which is the UN Security Council resolution, which approved the Minsk Agreements. A direct dialogue between Kiev, on the one hand, and Donetsk and Lugansk, on the other hand, lies at the core of these agreements. This will be the key to success. To reiterate, we heard about the plans to continue the settlement in the election statements, in particular, on the part of Mr Zelensky and his staff, but this time with the involvement of the United States and Great Britain and without direct dialogue with the proclaimed republics − DPR and LPR.

When contenders for a post make such statements, they will then be somehow tied in with such a position in the future. I hope that life will make them realise that there’s no alternative to implementing the Minsk Agreements and, in any case, that there’s no alternative to direct dialogue with the people who represent an enormous part of your nation, if you still consider them to be such, of course.

Olga Belova: We see that so far no one has been talking to them, and there’s no direct dialogue with the republics. Recently, the DPR published the foreign policy concept which shows a certain dualism: on the one hand, there’s a commitment to the Minsk Agreements and, on the other hand, the Republic of Donbass recognises itself as an independent state. What does Moscow think about the dualism of this document? What is your vision of the future of that region following the elections?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t see anything unusual here, because these republics proclaimed sovereignty five years ago, in May 2014, responding to what we just talked about, namely, radical nationalists who came out with strong anti-Russian statements and launched an attack on the language, cultural and religious rights of ethnic minorities. It started a long time ago. These republics responded by declaring independence. Let’s remind our Western colleagues, if they ever take any interest in these unpleasant facts from recent history, that these republics did not attack the rest of Ukraine. The rest of Ukraine declared them terrorists. This, of course, is a stunning phenomenon in modern diplomacy and politics.

The rest of Ukraine was represented by the putschists who seized power in Kiev and launched an attack on millions of their fellow citizens demanding that they submit to illegal authorities. So, as I understand it, independence was simply reaffirmed in these doctrinal documents adopted in Donbass. But after this independence was declared five years ago in May − returning to what we think about the then elections and the election of Poroshenko solely because he proclaimed that his goal was immediate peace and an immediate agreement on resolving the Donbass problem by way of talks, Russia talked these republics into agreeing to a political process.

Political and diplomatic efforts were interrupted by the military actions of Kiev, which did not respect the truce and ceasefire agreement. There was the August offensive which ended badly for the Ukrainian armed forces and, most importantly, claimed a huge number of human lives, followed by the January offensive in Debaltsevo. Only after receiving a rebuff, did Petr Poroshenko sit down at the negotiating table. That’s how the Minsk Agreements were signed.

I was in Minsk and saw how the leaders of the four countries spent 17 hours at the negotiating table taking short breaks, mostly talking between themselves, and sometimes inviting us as experts to clarify certain fine points. It took considerable effort to convince the leaders of the DPR and LPR who were present in Minsk to give the go-ahead to the Minsk Agreements. We did it. We convinced them to once again demonstrate their willingness, even determination, if you will, to achieve peace with the rest of Ukraine.

Unfortunately, the way the current Ukrainian authorities see our efforts is disappointing. Despite provocations, we will push for these agreements to be implemented. We are a country that is capable of reaching agreements.

Olga Belova: That is, if I understood you correctly, Moscow is still capable and willing to continue to influence the leadership of these republics? Are we going to push them to sit down and talk as best we can, or not? I’m asking this because the leaders of the republics have made it clear that they have parted ways with Kiev.

Sergey Lavrov: You said there was a dual decision to reaffirm independence and commitment to the Minsk Agreements. To a certain extent (I will not frame it in terms of a percentage), this is the result of our influence on them and our call for them not to follow the example of the Ukrainian authorities which break down and trample upon their own promises. We will continue to exert this influence. We have long been calling, above all, the Germans and the French, to realise their responsibility for Kiev’s behaviour, because the Minsk Agreements involve, above all, proactive steps on the part of the Ukrainian authorities. The Contact Group is the only format where Donetsk, Lugansk and Kiev sit down at one table with the representatives of the OSCE and Russia. It took an inordinate amount of effort to create it, primarily because Mr Poroshenko began to back pedal shortly after the Minsk Agreements had been signed, and refused to maintain direct dialogue with the republics. But we forced our Ukrainian colleagues do that. Although in practical work − the Contact Group meets every month −  and even more often than that the Ukrainian government outwardly sabotages everything that was agreed upon, be it security, separating forces and means, the political process, coordinating the formula for conducting elections or providing this region with a special status in accordance with the Minsk Agreements. There is an open and blatant sabotage. We need to understand how the election results will affect the Ukrainian delegation’s activities in the Contact Group, and what kind of people will be delegated there.

Olga Belova: Indeed, now everything depends on how the presidential election will end, including the situation in the Kerch Strait, which was endlessly brought up in the first part of the campaign, before the first round. How harshly are we ready to respond if another provocation is made, especially considering that NATO has declared its readiness to support Ukrainian warships if they undertake another breakthrough?

Sergey Lavrov: Morally and politically – maybe they will support it. But I do not see a situation where NATO ships will join these adventurers for a military provocation. I do not foresee such a situation, and, considering the information that we have, I have reason to believe that this has already been decided at NATO.

Olga Belova: So all the support they will be getting is just words?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably, as it was the last time, a condemnation, and once again they will come up with some new sanctions. As we have said many times, we have no problem with Ukrainian warships passing from the Black Sea to their ports in the Sea of ​​Azov. The only condition is to comply with the safety requirement for navigation along the Kerch Strait. It is a complex stretch of water, which is quite shallow and doesn’t go in a straight line and requires compulsory pilotage as well as coordination when it comes to the weather conditions. All ships — and there are thousands of them — stop at the entrance to the Kerch Strait, report to the channel operators, pilotage, recommendations, and, depending on the weather forecast, move on to the Sea of ​​Azov, as was done before Ukraine’s warships last November. They passed smoothly without any incidents.

In November 2018, Petr Poroshenko, obviously during the election heat, tried to create a scandal to have reason to appeal to the West again, complaining of Russia harassing him, and insisting on more sanctions. He is better at it than many others. So the warships tried to secretly pass through the Kerch Strait, trespassing into our territorial waters – the part that was Russia’s territorial waters even before the referendum in Crimea. What they did actually boiled down to probing the limits of those who ensure the security of the Kerch Strait and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

I must note that among the numerous arguments our opponents seem to forget is the fact that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea actually implies a so-called unimpeded passage through the territorial waters of a foreign state, including military vessels, subject to several conditions. One of them is the mandatory fulfillment of security requirements, which in this case was grossly violated. The second is that a coastal state cannot allow military ships to maneuver through its territorial waters. That is, you either pass complying with the rules or you violate the Convention. What they did was military maneuvers, trying to hide from our border guards. This much is clear to all without exception. I have no doubt about it.

That we have nothing to hide can be confirmed by a very simple fact.

In mid-December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to allow German specialists to observe the process to better understand what the hitch was and to study the conditions for passing through the Kerch Strait. Vladimir Putin immediately agreed. We reaffirmed the agreement and asked for their names and dates that would suit them. They made a pause, and then suddenly my colleague, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, said at a meeting in January when I reminded him of this that they wanted to bring French experts along.

I said that was new, but I was confident that our President would also agree to French specialists being on this study tour. But after some time, the Germans sent us the concept of their visit, which was not a single visit at all but involved establishing a kind of permanent observation mission, which would be associated with the OSCE mission in Donbass, and would also include Ukrainians. All of them would be staying in our territory doing I do not know what.

Olga Belova: You mean they actually wanted to come and stay there?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, they certainly wanted to stay. The Germans are usually very punctual and precise people. When Angela Merkel asked Vladimir Putin whether their experts could come and see, he said yes… Apparently, after that, they consulted with their big brothers.

Olga Belova: So they just thought it would be a good reason to enter and station their ships there?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, but this is an absolutely hopeless story. At the same time, I can assure with all responsibility that if the Germans and the French still have an interest in visiting and seeing it firsthand, so as not to rely on the gossip that the Ukrainian side spreads, they are very welcome.

Olga Belova: You believe that Russia will not directly clash with NATO ships in the Kerch Strait because NATO will not have the courage to sail there.

But there is another place where Russian interests clash with those of its Western partners, which is Venezuela. Will Washington decide to stage a military intervention there? What do you think of this? If yes, how far is Russia ready to go in this region? Are we prepared for a direct and tough stand-off in the region that would culminate in a peace enforcement operation against those who don’t want this, provided that all legal formalities are complied with?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t want to bring up this scenario. I am convinced that Washington does not yet completely understand that its line regarding Venezuela has become deadlocked. They believed that the people of Venezuela would rebel against the incumbent government from the very outset, that they would be disappointed with the government’s inability to ensure the normal operation of the socioeconomic sector. Our Western colleagues took care of this: The United States froze the Venezuelan oil company’s accounts, and the United Kingdom impounded the country’s gold reserves. They hoped to stifle Venezuela using economic methods. When the crisis was in its early stage, they also organised humanitarian relief aid deliveries and tried to cross the Venezuelan border. Obviously, that was a very cheap show. Yes, they said all the options were on the table, but they obviously expected a blitzkrieg. However, they admit that no blitzkrieg took place. Indeed, the country faces a very complicated economic situation which was complicated and continued to deteriorate even before all this began. We repeatedly advised the government of Venezuela, at its request, how to launch economic reforms. Quite possibly, someone did not like this, and they also decided to halt this process, so as to prevent the situation from working in favour of the Maduro government. They decided to further stifle Venezuela by economic and financial methods. When the blitzkrieg petered out, when it became clear that the people of Venezuela had their own pride and a feeling of national dignity, when they became obviously insulted by a situation when, speaking from abroad, US Vice President Mike Pence noted that he was appointing Juan Guaido as Acting President, one should be very far from historical experience while hoping that the people of Venezuela would “swallow” this.

Today, when the Americans continue to say that all options are on the table, I don’t doubt the fact that they are assessing the consequences of an audacious military undertaking. It is highly unlikely that anyone in Latin America will support them. To the best of my knowledge, they are counting on one or two countries. I have no doubts, and I know that the Latin Americans have a great feeling of personal dignity. This would pose a challenge to all of them, all the more so as a righteous rejection of such a dictate has been accumulating for several months already, especially when the Americans de-mothballed the Monroe Doctrine and said it was quite appropriate to use this doctrine in the current situation.

On April 17, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the United States was bringing its own version of freedom to the region. And what version of freedom does the region prefer? Would you like to ask them how they perceive their own freedom?

I hope very much that a line which stipulates talks and which is conducted by Mexico, Bolivia, Uruguay and the Caribbean Community will prevail. President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro is ready for such talks, and he has repeatedly confirmed this in public. Juan Guaido emphatically and ostentatiously refuses, comprehending Washington’s support and counting on this support alone. It appears that he has copied the bad example of President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko who also behaved in the same way with regard to the need for conducting a national dialogue that would involve all political forces, and he hoped that Washington would shield him whatever the situation.

Olga Belova: Washington says it is bringing freedom to the region. But what is it that we are bringing to the region?

Sergey Lavrov: We want international law to be respected in the region as well as in the world at large. This means that states build their relations via dialogue and a balance of interests takes shape. This also means that we listen to each other and want to negotiate mutually beneficial security, economic and humanitarian projects as well as projects in any other spheres, where countries and peoples operate. Our relations with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) rest precisely on this basis. We are finalising talks with the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR). There is an agreement with the Central American Integration System (CAIS) and a number of other sub-regional organisations.

We have even-handed and good relations with practically all the Latin American countries. We don’t force anyone to do things we would like to get as unilateral advantages. The entire US policy towards Russia comes down to the US ambassador in any country visiting, with envious regularity, government agencies and demanding that they don’t receive Russian delegations, nor send delegations to Russia, nor trade with Russia, nor buy anything from Russia, particularly military products, and the like.

You can’t conceal information in today’s world. We learn this the moment these “visits” occur, the more so that the Americans are not particularly hiding the fact. They publicly say: Don’t communicate with Russia. It is Russia along with Iran and Cuba that are to blame for what is going on in Venezuela. They demand that not a single Russian soldier be found in Venezuela because the US wants it this way: no one located outside of the Western Hemisphere has the right to be there at all. Our explanation that the Russian military are performing contractual obligations servicing military equipment that was supplied on fully legitimate terms way back in the 2000s are simply disregarded. The fact that the US military and other NATO personnel – Britons and Canadians – have filled Ukraine is not mentioned. It looks like they proceed from logic suggested by the saying “What is allowed to Jupiter, is not allowed to the bull.” This is rotten logic, very much so, and it will not help our US colleagues. I am quite hopeful that they will come to understand this. Yes, within some historically very brief period preceding the next electoral cycles in the US, they are likely to reap certain benefits because they are brazenly putting pressure on countries that are unable to resist them. But in the long term, increasingly more countries will proceed from the assumption that America is just an unreliable and impolite partner that is abusing its influence in the world. The UN Charter insists on sovereign equality of states. We build our relations precisely in this way.

I cannot refrain from mentioning the fact that the United States has recently added a frontal attack on Orthodox Christianity to the arsenal of its policy towards Russia. Given that the Russian Orthodox Church was a world Orthodoxy leader, the crazy gamble involving the conferral of autocephality on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, known today as the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a gamble undertaken by the Istanbul Patriarch Bartholomew, has been – we have enough facts to claim this – inspired and supported by Washington. Today Washington is engaged in tough diplomatic action as it works with other Orthodox Churches that have refused to support the Istanbul Patriarch’s self-willed decision. Its aim is to somehow make them recognise what has happened. This unceremonious and gross interference in church affairs is at odds with all diplomatic norms and international law in general. And this is deplorable.

We would like the United States to be a decent member of the world community. We are open to dialogue but their approach to relations is highly utilitarian and selfish.

They suggest that we and the Chinese cooperate with them when it comes to Afghanistan and North Korea because they are unable to operate successfully on their own there. And we accept this because a settlement in Afghanistan, on the Korean Peninsula and in Syria, on which we can communicate usefully, is also in our interests. We don’t dig in our heels and say that we will not negotiate on these issues if they don’t want to discuss other ones. Our position is more pragmatic. Russia is ready to work with all influential parties who see eye to eye with us and can help to achieve a settlement.

But generally their policy towards Russia is based solely on the wish to make us accept their unilateral domination and renounce international law. This is deplorable and cannot last ad infinitum. The Americans will be unable to sustain this course for long. They are antagonising a huge number of countries. So, it is in their best interests to come back to square one and start talking to all countries respectfully. Currently, they are doing this arrogantly, something that cannot help their interests.    

Olga Belova: We do need to talk, but so far talking to these Western partners of ours has been quite challenging. There is a saying: Those who do not want to talk with Sergey Lavrov will have to deal with Sergey Shoigu. This echoes what you have been saying. In your opinion, who is the main guardian of peace now, the military or the diplomats? What enables Russia to maintain parity: state-of-the-art armaments or the power of words? Who has priority at present?

Sergey Lavrov: When the Soviet Union was being dissolved, pro-democracy forces both here in Russia and in the West were ecstatic. There was a theory whereby the factor of strength in international relations was no longer relevant now that the bipolar world order was no more, the Cold War became a thing of the past, ideological differences faded away and we all came together on a strong democratic footing. This euphoric state persisted for several years. The situation was far from rosy of course, but as you may remember, in the 1990s Russia was young and proactive in its commitment to working with the US and NATO, all but deciding to join the alliance. However, disillusionment came very quickly. It dawned on everyone that behind the veil of these beautiful words the West meant only one thing: Russia was to give up on using the factor of strength in its policy, while the West would continue relying on it. Why was NATO still around after the Warsaw Pact was dissolved? How come we did not come together within the OSCE to transform it into a pan-European, Euro-Atlantic organisation without any western or eastern variants in order to address all questions without exception based on consensus? It did not happen. Of course, the plan they nurtured was to use Russia’s weakness in the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in order to achieve an overwhelming military and strategic advantage.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has talked about this on numerous occasions. It became clear to us that our positive attitude towards the West was not reciprocal. The West continued to push NATO further east in violation of all possible promises, moving its military infrastructure to our borders, and there was no end in sight, especially when the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty. At this point, everything was clear. Decisions were taken, paving the way to the development of the weapons the President presented during his address last year to the Federal Assembly. Of course, it is highly regrettable that in today’s world no one will talk to you, unless you have a strong army and cutting-edge weapons.

Olga Belova: Has it become easier to talk?

Sergey Lavrov: When I was appointed to this post, the situation was already beginning to change. However, I would not say that talking was a challenge before, and that now things are easier. Unfortunately, the US, as our main partner, labelled Russia its “high-priority adversary,” as you have said. Later the US backtracked, and propelled China to this position. Later Russia was again on the list, and after that we were accompanied by China and Iran. They want to set their policy straight. They want to be in total control, but have yet to understand how this can be done. Sanctions work in some cases, but definitely not with Russia. They will not work with other countries that respect their history and identity.

We have no problems talking with the Europeans when it comes to relations with each specific country. There are challenges in our dialogue with NATO, since the US decided to convene meetings of the Russia-NATO Council with the sole purpose of lecturing us on Ukraine and other matters or criticising us for allegedly violating and dismantling the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. We do not intend to attend any meetings of this kind in the future. If they want to have a serious conversation, they have to convene a Russia-NATO Council meeting at the military level. The outgoing Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations, General Curtis Scaparrotti, recently voiced regret over the lack of military-to-military interaction with Russia that existed even during the Cold War. Better late than never. Let us hope that his successor in this position is receptive to this advice. This is what we hope for.

We have a very good dialogue with each country of the European Union. Yes, we sometimes happen to disagree. We have problems with the Baltic countries, with Poland, but we are ready to talk about them. Especially because the Baltic states are our neighbours, and we have good trade and investment cooperation in business. There are also security issues, because NATO is pushing its units into Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It is too close to our borders. At the same time, NATO is moving away from implementing the understandings we reached following the initiative of President of Finland Sauli Niinisto concerning flight safety over the Baltic. We responded to it; our military proposed ideas that would help allay concerns. It is possible to talk with everyone. On a bilateral basis, even the Baltic countries show interest: President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid has visited Moscow. We are talking in a neighbourly way about what we can do so that people can live comfortably and there would be no security concerns. But the collective platforms – NATO and the EU – are dominated by mutual responsibility: the Russophobic minority in the EU imposed sanctions on Russia, punishing us for supporting the will of the people of Crimea. This position of the European Union is now extended every six months, and no one can do anything, although individually, they assure us that the majority already understands that this is a dead end and something needs to be done. We are patient people, but as long as the EU as an organisation is not ready to restore all the mechanisms of our strategic partnership – we used to have summits twice a year, a ministerial council that oversaw more than 20 sectoral dialogues, four common spaces … All that was frozen because someone decided to try to “punish” us. Funny, honestly.

We are always open to honest, equal and respectful dialogue both through the military and through diplomatic channels. We have a very good tradition with a number of countries, in particular, with Italy and Japan, the 2 + 2 format, when Sergey Shoigu and I meet with our colleagues, the four of us. This is a very interesting format. It enables us to consider security issues through the prism of diplomacy and vice versa – purely military issues in foreign policy. We had such formats with the Americans and the British – but they froze them on their own initiative. But with the Italians and the Japanese, we continue these processes.

Olga Belova: I seem to understand why they froze them. Because when you two come to the negotiations, it’s simply impossible to resist you in such a duo.

Sergey Lavrov: Oh, don’t say that. We are modest people. Modest and polite.

Olga Belova: You’re modest and polite – but are you ready to give everyone a second chance, as with Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: Some do not need to be given a chance – they already rely on their national interests, not on what some foreign brother tells them. But if someone digs in their heels and expects an apology from us – well, we have nothing to apologise for. Our actions are guided by international law, and the UN Charter. We respect the right of any nation to determine its own future. This also applies to the rights of national minorities, in Crimea or anywhere else. We are always ready for dialogue.

No Collusion — But the Cold War Heats Up

No Collusion — But the Cold War Heats Up

BRIAN CLOUGHLEY | 02.04.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

No Collusion — But the Cold War Heats Up

Donald Trump is a narcissistic boor who tells lies with a casual indifference that might be regarded with amusement or even admiration were he not a malevolent poseur with all the style and attraction of a sock full of wet spaghetti. He is a dangerous buffoon whose views and actions on international affairs are confused and erratic.

BUT — for once he has been proved to have been right, because he told the truth when he stoutly denied he had colluded with sinister Russians to ensure he would win the presidential election in 2016. A two-year inquiry was conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at a cost of 25 million dollars for the first eighteen months and on 24 March the New York Times reported that the four page summary of his findings provided by Attorney General William Barr showed “Mr Mueller and his team were unable to establish that anyone connected to the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government” in the course of the 2016 elections.

The Times noted that Mr Mueller “is as careful and thorough an investigator as there is. His investigation lasted almost two years, issued more than 2,800 subpoenas and roughly 500 search warrants and heard from a similar number of witnesses. If he couldn’t find any links, it’s doubtful anyone could.”

But the paper couldn’t avoid highlighting the totally unproved allegation that Russia had “interfered to help Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign” although the grudging admission that there was no collusion was a step in the right direction.

What was expected by those of us ingenuous to imagine there might be honour in the mainstream media was that those responsible for feeding the fires of hatred over the years, and those who stated explicitly, for example, that there was “plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight” should stand up and say, quite clearly, “Sorry. We were wrong.” I also believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny.

This “plain sight” allegation was by Congressman Adam Schiff, reported in August 2018. He is Chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and repeatedly said that his committee had uncovered “plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy.” He told ‘Meet the Press’ two years ago that “I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now” and in an ABC interview declared that the collusion conspiracy was of “a size and scope probably beyond Watergate.” He was retailing deceptive garbage, but there are plenty more like him, and their rabble-rousing declarations were devotedly recorded without question by most of the media.

The Washington Post now greatly regrets “the toxic tribalism that’s been tearing apart the country’s civic culture” but it was the Post and all the rest of the mainstream media that encouraged tribalism, factionalism, distrust and hatred — exactly as so many of the extremist promoters of Brexit have done in the now totally disUnited Kingdom, which is about to plunge to economic and social disaster. But the Post, a major Russia-baiter, must be given credit for publishing an article on 28 March by Marc Thiessen, saying among other things that there are “a lot of people in Washington with a lot of explaining to do.” That said, it is unlikely that many of us will hold any breath waiting for explanation of their campaign of spiteful malevolence.

Freddy Gray of the US Spectator noted that on 25 March, just before release of the Mueller findings, 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said “You have a president who, in my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt, sought to, however ham-handedly, collude with the Russian government.” But he won’t be held to account. It is highly unlikely that one single intending voter for O’Rourke will have a opinion-alteration simply because the candidate made an utter fool of himself and deliberately misled the American people.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, a media favourite during the happy collusion years, declared Trump to be “wholly in the pocket of Putin” and wrote that “Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.”

It’s reminiscent of the horrible days of the unlamented alcoholic Senator Joseph McCarthy who in the 1950s destroyed the lives of so many innocent people because he wanted to achieve political prominence. In a speech he announced categorically that “I have here in my hand a list of 205 [members of the State Department] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.” In later pronouncements he gave different numbers and generally contradicted himself — but it didn’t matter. As with the Trump-Russia “collusion” allegations, those who wanted to believe there were thousands of sinister conspiring communists in the State Department, and Hollywood and Voice of America Radio, as stated clearly by McCarthy, simply carried on believing everything McCarthy said, even to this day.

They are in similar company, because there are millions of people out there who refuse to be convinced that there was no collusion, no matter what evidence is produced to refute their mistaken conviction.

Not only this, but the Cold War campaign against Russia is heating up, with the media trying very hard to deflect attention from their embarrassment about being totally wrong. The New York Times, for example, came up with the devious tactic of attack by means of an anti-Russia major article on 31 March. This piece announced with horror that “Russia’s Military Mission Creep Advances to a New Front: Africa.” In shocked tones it revealed that “Russia, entrenched in Africa during the Cold War’s violent East-West rivalry, largely retreated from the continent after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in the past two years, Moscow has rekindled relations with Soviet-era clients like Mozambique and Angola, and forged new ties with other countries. President Vladimir Putin of Russia will host a summit meeting between Moscow and African countries later this year.”

The Times had the effrontery to claim that the Pentagon “has a relatively light footprint across Africa” — with 6000 troops and a thousand military mercenaries (‘contractors’ in Newspeak) in the continent — but failed to state, as Nick Turse notes, that “a recent investigation by the Intercept, based on documents obtained from US Africa Command (AFRICOM) via the Freedom of Information Act, revealed a network of 34 bases heavily clustered in the north and west of that continent as well as in the Horn of Africa. AFRICOM’s ‘strategic posture’ consists of larger ‘enduring’ outposts, including two forward operating sites, 12 cooperative security locations, and 20 more austere sites known as contingency locations.”

In other words, Washington’s Defence-Industrial Complex has spread its military tentacles well and truly (and potentially disastrously) over Africa, but the mainstream media, and especially the New York Times, prefer to highlight the Russia’s modest but effective cooperation with African countries in an effort to further demonise Moscow, while drawing readers away from the important but increasingly downplayed revelation that THERE WAS NO COLLUSION.

One of the more preposterous reactions to the Mueller findings was that of the Post’s media columnist, Martha Sullivan, who made an attempt to help reporters and commentators out of the disgusting mess they helped to create by writing a piece titled “Serious journalists should be proud of — not bullied over — their Russia reporting.” Once readers of that ludicrous headline stopped laughing they were regaled with the argument that the hacks “drove forward a national conversation that needed to happen. As Americans saw with their own eyes Trump’s bizarre efforts to ingratiate himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin, that reporting mattered and provided context.” Sure. Even if the reporting was utter and complete baloney.

The defences are up, while the excuses are being trotted out and counter-attacks are gaining momentum. It’s just like old times, when the Cold War was thriving. And Washington’s powerful anti-Russia lobby is delighted that Cold War Two is heating up.

The new Grand Strategy of the United States

Source

by Thierry Meyssan

Many people think that the United States is very active, but does not succeed in much. For example, it is said that its wars in the Greater Middle East are a succession of failures. But for Thierry Meyssan, the USA has a coherent military, commercial and diplomatic strategy. According to its own objectives, it advances patiently, and is crowned with success.
JPEG - 51.8 kb
The designers of the US Grand Strategy – Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his advisor, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski; President Donald Trump and his commercial advisor Peter Navarro; and finally Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his advisor Francis Fannon.

It is commonly believed in the United States that the country has no Grand Strategy since the end of the Cold War.

A Grand Strategy is a vision of the world that one seeks to impose, and that all administrations must respect. So, even if you lose in one particular theatre of war, the fight continues in others, and finally ends in triumph. At the end of the Second World War, Washington chose to follow the directives set by ambassador George Keenan in his famous diplomatic telegramme. It proposed describing an alleged Soviet expansionism in order to justify containment of the USSR. Indeed, although the USA had lost the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it finished by prevailing.

It is very rare to be able to rethink a Grand Strategy, even if there were others during that period, in particular, with Charles De Gaulle in France.

Over the last eighteen years, Washington has been able to progressively set new objectives and new tactics with which to attain them.

1991-2001: a period of uncertainty

When the Soviet Union collapsed on 25 December 1991, Father Bush’s USA supposed that they no longer had any rivals. The victorious President by default demobilised 1 million soldiers and imagined a world of peace and prosperity. He liberalised the transfer of capitals so that the capitalists would be able to get richer and, he believed, thus enrich their fellow citizens.

However, capitalism is not a political project, but a means of making money. The major US businesses – not the federal state – therefore allied themselves with the Chinese Communist Party (the reason for Deng Xiaoping’s famous « journey to the South »). They delocalised their businesses with very low added value from the West to China, where the workers were uneducated, but their wages were on average 20 times lower. The long process of the de-industrialisation of the West had begun.

In order to manage its transnational affairs, the Grand Capital moved its assets to countries with low taxation rates, where it realised that it could avoid its social responsibilities. These countries, whose fiscal exemption and discretion are indispensable for international commerce, suddenly found themselves swept along on a gigantic wave of fiscal optimisation, even a massive fraud system, from which they benefited in silence. The reign of Finance over the economy was beginning.

Military Strategy

In 2001, Secretary for Defense and permanent member of the « Continuity of Government ») [1] Donald Rumsfeld, created the Office of Force Transformation, which he handed to Admiral Arthur Cebrowski. This man had already computerised the armies, and was now set to modify their mission.

Without the Soviet Union, the world had become unipolar, which is to say no longer governed by the Security Council, but by the United States alone. In order to maintain its dominant position, it was obliged to « lose some to gain more », in other words, to divide Humanity in two. On one side, the stable states, meaning the members of the G8 – Russia included – and their allies), and on the other side, the rest of the world, viewed as a simple reservoir of natural resources. Washington no longer considered access to these resources as vital for itself, but intended for them to become accessible to the stable states only by permission of the USA. From that point on, it would be necessary to destroy – preventively – all the state structures in these reservoirs of resources, so that no-one could either challenge the will of the top world power, or do without it [2].

Since then, this strategy has been implemented ceaselessly. It began in the Greater Middle East (Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Yemen). However, contrary to what had been announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, (Pivot to Asia), it was not continued into the Far East, due to the military development of China, but in the Caribbean Basin (Venezuela, Nicaragua).

Diplomatic Strategy

In 2012, President Barack Obama took up the leitmotiv of the Republican Party and made the exploitation of oil and gas by hydraulic fracturing a national priority. Within a few years, the United States multiplied its investments and became the world’s major producer of hydrocarbons, reversing the paradigms of international relations. In 2018, the ex-director of the oil equipment provider Sentry International, Mike Pompeo, became the director of the CIA , then Secretary of State. He created the Bureau of Energy Resources, which he handed to Francis Fannon. The BER is the equivalent of what the Office of Force Transformation had been for the Pentagon. He set up a policy which was entirely concentrated on taking control of the world market for hydrocarbons [3]. To do so, he imagined a new type of alliance, like those of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific region. It was no longer a case of creating military blocs like the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quads), but organising these alliances around objectives of economic growth, on the basis of guaranteed access to sources of energy.

This concept was integrated into the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. It was no longer a case of grabbing the hydrocarbons from the rest of the world (Washington has absolutely no need of them), but to determine who may have them to use for their own development, and who will be deprived of them. This is a total reversal of the doctrine of the rarefaction of oil, promoted by the Rockefellers and the Club of Rome since the 1960’s, then by Dick Cheney’s National Energy Policy Development Group. From then on, the United States decided that not only had oil not disappeared, but that despite the drastic increase in demand, Humanity had enough to last at least another century.

Using many different pretexts, Pompeo has blocked Iran’s access to the world market, then that of Venezuela, and finally, has maintained US troops in the East of Syria to prevent anyone from exploiting the oil fields that have been discovered there [4]. Simultaneously, he is increasing pressure on the European Union to give up on the Russian gas pipeline Nord Steam 2 and is also pressuring Turkey to give up Turkish Stream.

Commercial Strategy

In 2017, President Donald Trump attempted to repatriate some of the jobs which had been delocalised from the United States to Asia and the European Union. Basing himself on the advice of left-wing economist Peter Navarro [5], he put an end to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the same time, he set prohibitive Customs taxes on German cars and most Chinese products. He completed these with a fiscal reform which encouraged the repatriation of capital. This policy has already enabled the re-balancing of commerce and the relaunching of the job market.

The military, economic and diplomatic systems are now complete. Each chapter is articulated with the others. Everyone knows what they have to do.

The main force of this new Grand Strategy resides in the fact that it has not been understood by the elites of the rest of the world. Washington therefore retains the effect of surprise, reinforced by the deliberately chaotic communications of Donald Trump. If we look at the facts instead of the Presidential tweets, we note the advance of the United States after the double period of uncertainty under Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] The Continuity of Government is a US instance created by President Eisenhower during the Cold War and is still effective. Its mission is to ensure the continuity of the State in case the Executive is vacated, in other words, in case of the death of the President, the Vice-President and the presidents of the assemblies during a nuclear war. Its precise composition is in principle a secret, although it enjoys extremely important means.

[2] This strategy was popularised by Cebrowski’s assistant, Thomas Barnett. The Pentagon’s New Map, Thomas P. M. Barnett, Putnam Publishing Group, 2004.

[3] “Mike Pompeo Address at CERAWeek”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 12 March 2019.

[4] Yesterday evening, the US Treasury Department published a warning against any form of oil commerce with Iran or Syria – “Sanctions Risks Related to Petroleum Shipments involving Iran and Syria”, Voltaire Network, 25 March 2019..

[5Death by China, Peter Navarro, Pearson, 2011. Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World, Prometheus Books, 2015.

Why 2019 Ukraine Imports Terrorists and Exports Terror 1933-1991

March 23, 2019

by GH Eliason for The Saker Blog

Why 2019 Ukraine Imports Terrorists and Exports Terror 1933-1991

For the last 5 years, the world has gotten a glimpse of what Ukrainian nationalism is. “The Ukrainians” are never shy about claiming the right to murder their enemies. Since 2014, we’ve watched the entire government of Ukraine publically call for the murder of civilians in Donbass and Crimea as easily as the neo-nazi jackboots working for them murdered all those people in the May 2nd Odessa massacre of 2014.

Why are the US and EU supporting such a deviant political group? Why don’t they demand Ukraine act like it belongs to the community of nations?

The questions are tough ones considering the billions of dollars the US alone pumped into post-Maidan Ukraine. For its part, “the Ukrainians” are doing exactly what they have done since the end of WWII. The post-Maidan (revolution of dignity- their term) Ukrainian nationalists have gladly taken every penny offered and like their WWII political progenitors, they promptly stole most of it.

In the spring of 2014, following Ukraine’s coup of indecency, the first 3 billion dollars of US aid disappeared into a fund called Grandma’s Cookie Recipes and was never seen again. This was about the time coup activist Arseny Yatzenyuk and Peter Poroshenko’s wealth spiked. This level of corruption has been the norm for the last 5 years in Ukraine.

At the expense of the world, the Ukrainians have spent the last one hundred years trying to invent themselves.

The “Ukraine” was previously all the borderland between two competing empires. The Russian Empire to the east called their Ukrainian (means borderland) people “little Russians.”

The Holy Roman, Hapsburg, or Austro-Hungarian Empire to the west called their Ukrainian border people “little Austrians.”

This included over 18 nationalities that Ukrainian Diaspora leaders and historians called ethnic “Ukrainian” for the first time in Canada during the 1930’s through 1950s. Being Ukrainian was very much like being American in the sense it is not an ethnicity.

The 1930’s prewar and wartime Ukrainians were a political movement that started in eastern Poland’s Galician province and went to every extreme unsuccessfully trying to set up their own nationalist statelet under the supervision of Adolf Hitler’s 3rd Reich.

Of consequence, during WWII, all of the “little Austrian” regional nationalities congealed under the leadership of the Nazi, Stepan Bandera’s OUN. From that point, until they received their own states in the ’80s through the ’90s, they were under the direct oversight of Bandera OUN Nazis. Afterward, most of the established states like Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia never left the fold. In the West, the OUN Ukrainian lobbies gained too much power to walk away from.

“The Ukrainians” as a group quickly encompassed every nationalist group in Central and Eastern Europe. After WWII, with OUNb (ultranationalists/Nazis) taking the lead, diverse nationalist groups in Europe, Asia, the Levant, Far East, and Central and South America joined ranks under Stepan Bandera nationalists.

Following WWII, “the Ukrainians” set up governments in exile through their Diasporas with the help of western countries just as fast as the Cold War started. Until that point, the west including the US and Europe had no interest in Eastern European Nazis other than to try them for war crimes.

“The Ukrainians” gained notoriety during the Cold War as rabid anti-communists.  During the war, the Ukrainians developed their own assassination and torture group called the SB OUN. This group gained the OUN worldwide influence because of their brutal terrorist methods. In postwar Spain, they were trainers for Franco’s nationalists.

Most nationalist groups worldwide including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese nationalists joined the “Ukrainian” OUN(Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) group called the ABN (Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations). The Ukrainians tried ineffectively to get the US involved in the Chinese civil war. The Ukrainians vowed to never fail again.

The Ukrainians acted unsuccessfully for the benefit of their Chinese nationalist group leader Chiang Kai-shek in the late 1940s and 50’s. Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists can literally be labeled as part of “the Ukrainians.” This was known as the World Anti-Communist League (WACL) which was started by Yaroslav Stetsko.

After his death, Slava Stetsko took over the ABN and leadership of WACL until after 1991 which signified Ukraine’s independence. WACL leadership fell to Chiang Kai-shek nationalist groups and after a generous renaming to World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), they write human rights reports for the United Nations.

In the 1950s “the Ukrainians” organized a million man march on Washington. They were able to force then President Eisenhower to not recognize China and that remained the US policy until Richard Nixon changed it in the early 1970s..

Not bad work when you consider most of “the Ukrainian” Diaspora activists weren’t citizens, couldn’t vote yet, and the leaders were stateless Nazi leftovers like Yaroslav Stetsko who should have been tried for his people’s (OUNb, UPA, Waffen SS)conduct at all the death camps in Europe.

In the 1950’s they lobbied the US government into the Korean War to support Korean nationalist aspirations. In the 1960s, “the Ukrainians” were the reason the US jumped into the Vietnam War for the S. Vietnamese nationalist groups.

Going into the 1980s, the extreme nationalist governments in South and Central America joined the ABN. They became “the Ukraine” in the larger sense because they directly followed Stepan Bandera’s 2nd in command, Yaroslav Stetsko’s directives and started anti-communist revolutions as members of the ABN. Mass murder and torture followed them. This was what “the Ukrainians” brought to the table.

Throughout the Cold War, the various groups under the heading of “the Ukrainians” were tolerated by Intel Agencies because they had assets in communist countries that were supposedly working with the West.

The reality is that across the spectrum of the FOIA document releases about “the Ukrainians” under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, the consensus of the CIA, FBI, and US State Dept. is “the Ukrainians” were liars throughout the Cold War, could not be trusted, and only provided real Intel if it helped provoke a war with the Soviet Union, China or a proxy state.

During the post-war period from 1946 to the end of the Cold War, “the Ukrainians” were directly responsible for setting up and carrying out the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people worldwide. The innocents only crime was not agreeing with” the Ukraine” (ABN) member’s nationalist/fascist state building political program.

Historically, the highpoint in ABN (OUN) Ukrainian history came just before Iran-Contra happened. “The Ukrainians,” thought they succeeded in buying the American Presidency. The Nazi Ukrainian leaders Slava and Yaroslav Stetsko brokered a deal financing Reagan’s presidential aspirations.

The Cold War ended. The Soviet Union split up. The value of generations of “Ukrainian” political Nazis dropped through the floor.

The speech then-President George H. W. Bush gave in Kiev August 1st, 1991 made that clear and can be put into context against this backdrop. Dubbed the “Chicken Kiev” speech, these small sections of the speech make it almost seem likely he was looking at Stetsko when he spoke it.

Because of his position in the CIA and the Reagan Administration, George HW Bush knew both Stetskos and all the Ukrainian nationalist leaders for over 30 years.

This speech outlining American policy is probably the only thing that kept a fully Nationalist Ukraine(OUNb fascist/Nazi) from being realized through the Diaspora before 2014.

“In Moscow, I outlined our approach: We will support those in the center and the Republics who pursue freedom, democracy, and economic liberty. We will determine our support not on the basis of personalities but on the basis of principles. We cannot tell you how to reform your society. We will not try to pick winners and losers in political competitions between Republics or between Republics and the center. That is your business; that’s not the business of the United States of America…

…But freedom cannot survive if we let despots flourish or permit seemingly minor restrictions to multiply until they form chains until they form shackles. Later today, I’ll visit the monument at Babi Yar — a somber reminder, a solemn reminder, of what happens when people fail to hold back the horrible tide of intolerance and tyranny.

Yet freedom is not the same as independence. Americans will not support those who seek independence in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred.” – George HW Bush August 1991

Slava Stetsko, wife of Yaroslav Stetsko was the only post-WWII Nazi leader to take an MP position in a post-war government. Her people were at Babi Yar too. They were there committing the atrocities in September 1941. The surviving members of her OUN and UPA along with their children, the 2nd generation of Ukrainian nationalists were at Babi Yar with President Bush commemorating their own work 50 years later.

Slava Stetsko was in Ukraine SSR on June 30, 1991, to celebrate her late Ukrainian nationalist husband Yaroslav’s speech and action “declaring” a free Ukraine 50 years before. Yaroslav Stetsko celebrated by starting the Lviv Pogroms on June 30, 1941.

Apparently, Stetsko thought to murder innocent Jews was great fun and the Ukrainian nationalists had 2 more pogroms within the next month. They even dedicated one of them at the end of July to the last nationalist leader who murdered 100,000 Jews during the 1917-18 pogroms and failed to establish a state. The late July pogroms were called “Petliura Days.”

She came back in July when it became clear Ukraine would secede from the Soviet Union. Her husband Yaroslav Stetsko was 2nd in command of Stepan Bandera’s OUNb until his death. Babi Yar was the first act of the Holocaust in WWII at a large scale. Over 36,000 Jews were killed by OUN members of the auxiliary police in only a few short days.

There is little doubt she attended the Bush speech. And if there was an incarnation of the evil he spoke against gaining power or office, it was her and her Ukrainian nationalists.

The irony is that this Nazi leader took a Senate position the very next year in a post-Soviet government ruling the very people both she and Adolf Hitler were intent on wiping out 45 years before. In 1945, even as the 3rd Reich was falling, she was in Berlin begging Adolf Hitler for more armies.

In an interview, Stetsko made it clear Slava Stetsko never felt bad enough to lose a night’s sleep over anything she or her Ukrainians had ever done. As the leader of the OUNb from the mid-’80s until her death, she was the worldwide leader of “the Ukrainians” and their various Diasporas currently totaling over 20 million voters in the US alone and have a profound effect on US elections.

Most of the WWII death camps in Europe were staffed mainly by “the Ukrainians.” In the Diaspora Slava Stetsko was still leading “those Ukrainians” spread across the globe in 2002. The nationalist groups that still existed in Ukraine and the Diaspora were never even made to apologize for the murder of millions. Let that sink in for a moment.

In a landmark work , Genocide Committed by Ukrainian Nationalists on the Polish Population During World War II, Ryszard Szawlowski characterizes it this way:

“the Germans have long admitted to their crimes, and have apologized for them publicly …. [The] president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Roman Herzog, [said] in his speech in Warsaw on August 1, 1994 … ‘I bow before the fighters of the Warsaw Uprising, and before all the Polish war victims. I beg forgiveness for what the Germans did.’ Russian president Boris Yeltsin, when he kissed monsignor Zdzislaw Peszkowski on the hand, whispered the words ‘I apologize’ ….

Ukrainian genocide committed against the Poles during World War II surpassed German and Soviet genocide …. [It] was marked by the utmost ruthlessness and barbarity, and … up until the present day, it has been denied or, at best, presented with reminders that all is “relative’ or other such evasions.”

Should “the Ukrainians” have been educated in how to act civilly before being handed a state in 1991? One month before an independent Ukraine joined the community of nations, “the Ukrainians” celebrated pledging their honor and loyalty to Hitler and Nazism forever as well as the beginning of the 1941 Lviv pogroms. This was part and parcel with commemorating the 1941 declaration. The festivities were grand marshaled by Slava Stetsko.

From the 1940s through the fall of the Soviet Union, the CIA made it clear every time they wrote about the Stetskos that the only time these people or their groups told the truth was when it got them something. The Stetskos were and Ukrainian nationalists are liars.

According to the Ukrainian Encyclopedia written by former SS officers, “The Ukrainians” nationalist political program demands that they can never change direction. They lie and betray as a matter of course. Whether or not lying was necessary to attain their goals is a different subject. The CIA files make it clear, lies were the preferred method of communication for Ukrainian nationalists.

After 1991 and before the nationalist revival, nationalists in Ukraine were rewriting their history, and the monsters of the world from WWII became heroes.

Szawlowski’s work on the genocide committed by Ukrainian nationalists during World War II is brought up to date by the recent observations of Ukrainian Wiktor Poliszczuk. “… he condemns the dangerous activities of the post-UPA [Ukrainian Insurgent Army] nationalists in present-day Ukraine, taking place not only in Lvov, but even in Kiev, ‘Galician Fundamentalism,’ and other such phenomena. Also criticized by him are the promoting of the totalitarian and genocidal doctrines of the Ukrainian Dmytro Dontsov, the erecting of monuments to the SS-men of the 14th Ukrainian SS Division “Galizien” (“Halychyna”), the OUN [Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists] and UPA leaders: Yevhen Konovalets, Andryi Melnyk, Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and others, and the glorifying of the murderers of Poles, Jews, Russians and Ukrainians as national heroes of the Ukraine, after whom streets and squares are named, awaking the spirit of the Dontsov and Bandera era, so much hated by people.”  This was written only a few years ago.- The July 1943 genocidal operations of the OUN UPA in Volhynia

The shame of post 2014 Ukraine is that its only equivalent would be the civilized world giving “the Ukrainian” Waffen SS death camp guards and officers charge of Israel. Giving them free reign to do as they will, then turning a blind eye to the fact they still practiced NAZI politics and the final solution was what they were determined to attain.

If this seems unlikely, we know that 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust.

Hitler and “the Ukrainians” (nationalists from outside the Soviet Ukraine) murdered at least 8 million inside the borders of today’s Ukraine. And since 2014 “the Ukrainians” are finally in charge of the families of people they murdered in the Great War.

Part 2 will examine the role “the Ukrainians” played in the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS as well as how they support them. We’ll also look at the barbaric role “the Ukrainians had in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and other countries in the run-up to the 2019 Ukrainian election.

The Cold War Ides of March

March 21, 2019

US Cold Warriors escalate toward actual war with Russia.

By Stephen F. Cohen for The Nation MagazineThe Cold War Ides of March

Heedless of the consequences, or perhaps welcoming them, America’s Cold Warriors and their media platforms have recently escalated their rhetoric against Russia, especially in March. Anyone who has lived through or studied the preceding 40-year Cold War will recognize the ominous echoes of its most dangerous periods, when actual war was on the horizon or a policy option. Here are only a few random but representative examples:

§ In a March 8 Washington Post opinion article, two American professors, neither with any apparent substantive knowledge of Russia or Cold War history, warned that the Kremlin is trying “to undermine our trust in the institutions that sustain a strong nation and a strong democracy. The media, science, academia and the electoral process are all regular targets.” Decades ago, J. Edgar Hoover, the policeman of that Cold War, said the same, indeed made it an operational doctrine.

§ Nor is the purported threat to America only. According to (retired) Gen. David Petraeus and sitting Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, also in the Post on the following day, the “world is once again polarized between two competing visions for how to organize society.” For Putin’s Kremlin, “the existence of the United States’ rule-of-law world is intrinsically threatening.” This is an “intensifying worldwide struggle.” So much for those who dismissed post–Soviet Russia as merely a “regional” power, including former President Barack Obama, and for the myopic notion that a new Cold War was not possible.

§ But the preceding Cold War was driven by an intense ideological conflict between Soviet Communism and Western capitalism. Where is the ideological threat today, considering that post–Soviet Russia is also a capitalist country? In a perhaps unprecedented nearly 10,000-word manifesto from March 14 in the front news pages of (again) the PostRobert Kagan provided the answer: “Today, authoritarianism has emerged as the great challenge facing the liberal democratic world—a profound ideological, as well as strategic, challenge.” That is, “authoritarianism” has replaced Soviet Communism in our times, with Russia again in the forefront.

The substance of Kagan’s “authoritarianism” as “an ideological force” is thin, barely enough for a short opinion article, often inconsistent and rarely empirical. It amounts to a batch of “strongman” leaders (prominently Putin, of course), despite their very different kinds of societies, political cultures, states, and histories, and despite their different nationalisms and ruling styles. Still, credit Kagan’s ambition to be the undisputed ideologist of the new American Cold War, though less the Post for taking the voluminous result so seriously.

The 40-year Cold War often flirted with hot war, and that, too, seems to be on the agenda. Words, as Russians say, are also deeds. They have consequences, especially when uttered by people of standing in influential outlets. Again, consider a few examples that might reasonably be considered warmongering:

§ The journal Foreign Policy found space for disgraced former Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili to declare: “It is not a question of whether [Putin] will attack, but where.” (Saakashvili may be the most discredited “democratic” leader of recent times, having brought the West close to war with Russia in 2008 and since having had to flee his own country and then decamp even from US-backed Ukraine.)

§ NBC News, a reliable source of Cold War frenzy, reported, based on Estonian “intelligence,” an equally persistent source of the same mania, that “Russia is most likely to attack the Baltic States first, but a conflict between Russia and NATO would involve attacks on Western Europe.”

§ Also in March, in The Economist, another retired general, Ben Hodges, onetime commander of the US army in Europe, echoes that apocalyptic perspective: “This is not just about NATO’s eastern front.” (Readers may wish to note that “eastern front” is the designation given by Nazi Germany to its 1941 invasion of Soviet Russia. Russians certainly remember.)

§ Plenty of influential American Cold War zealots seem eager to respond to the bugle charge, among them John E. Herbst, a stalwart at the Atlantic Council (NATO’s agitprop “think tank” in Washington), and the Post’s deputy editorial-page editor, Jackson Diehl. Both want amply armed US and NATO warships sent to what Russians sometimes call their bordering “lakes,” the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. To do so would likely mean the “war” NBC envisages.

Lest readers think all this is merely the “chattering” of opinion-makers, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once termed it, consider a summary of legislation being prepared by a bipartisan US Senate committee, pointedly titled and with a fearsome acronym, DASKA (the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019). Again, Russia is ritualistically accused of “malign influence” and “aggression” around the world, the quality of the committee’s thinking succinctly expressed by one of the Republican senators: “Putin’s Russia is an outlaw regime that is hell-bent on undermining international law and destroying the US-led liberal global order.” There is no evidence for these allegations—Russian policy-makers are constantly citing international law, and the US “liberal global order,” if it ever existed, has done a fine job of undoing itself—but with “an outlaw regime,” there can be no diplomacy, nor do the senators propose any, only war.

A recurring theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is that the new Cold War is more dangerous, more fraught with hot war, than the one we survived. All of the above amply confirms that thesis, but there is more. Histories of the 40-year US-Soviet Cold War tell us that both sides came to understand their mutual responsibility for the conflict, a recognition that created political space for the constant peace-keeping negotiations, including nuclear arms control agreements, often known as détente. But as I also chronicle in the book, today’s American Cold Warriors blame only Russia, specifically “Putin’s Russia,” leaving no room or incentive for rethinking any US policy toward post-Soviet Russia since 1991. (See, for example, Nataliya Bugayova’s recent piece for the Institute for the Study of War.)

Still more, as I have also long pointed out, Moscow closely follows what is said and written in the United States about US-Russian relations. Here too words have consequences. On March 14, Russia’s National Security Council, headed by President Putin, officially raised its perception of American intentions toward Russia from “military dangers” (opasnosti) to direct “military threats” (ugrozy). In short, the Kremlin is preparing for war, however defensive its intention.

Finally, there continues to be no effective, organized American opposition to the new Cold War. This too is a major theme of my book and another reason why this Cold War is more dangerous than was its predecessor. In the 1970s and 1980s, advocates of détente were well-organized, well-funded, and well-represented, from grassroots politics and universities to think tanks, mainstream media, Congress, the State Department, and even the White House. Today there is no such opposition anywhere.

A major factor is, of course, “Russiagate.” As evidenced in the sources I cite above, much of the extreme American Cold War advocacy we witness today is a mindless response to President Trump’s pledge to find ways to “cooperate with Russia” and to the still-unproven allegations generated by it. Certainly, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party in regard to the new Cold War. Nancy Pelosi, the leader of its old guard, needlessly initiated an address to Congress by NATO’s secretary general, in April, which will be viewed in Moscow as a provocation. She also decried as “appalling” Trump’s diplomacy with Russian President Putin, whom she dismissed as a “thug.” Such is the state of statesmanship today in the Democratic Party.

Its shining new pennies seem little different. Beto O’Rourke, now a declared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, promises to lead our “indispensable country,” an elite conceit that has inspired many US wars and cold wars. Another fledgling would-be Democratic leader, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, seems to have bought into Russiagate’s iconic promotion of US intelligence agencies, tweeting on January 12, “The FBI had to open inquiry on whether the most powerful person in the United States is actually working for Russia.” Evidently, neither she nor O’Rourke understand that growing Cold War is incompatible with progressive policies at home, in America or in Russia.

Among Democrats, there is one exception, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who is also a declared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Not surprisingly, for lamenting Russiagate’s contribution to the worsening new Cold War and calling for new approaches to Russia itself, Gabbard was shrilly and misleadingly slurred by NBC News. (For a defense of Gabbard, see Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept.) Herself a veteran of the US military forces, Representative Gabbard soldiers on, the only would-be Democratic president calling for an end to this most dangerous new Cold War.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen’s most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show. Now in their fifth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com.

This book is a “must read”!

Note by The Saker:

You can order Prof. Cohen’s latest book here:

https://www.amazon.com/War-Russia-Putin-Ukraine-Russiagate/dp/1510745815

I consider this book a “MUST READ” and I highly recommend it to everybody

The Saker

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea

In a controversial snub to international law, the United States signaled last week that it is moving to officially recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israeli territory. If the US does so, then it forfeits any moral authority to sanction Russia over allegations of “annexing Crimea”.

In its annual US State Department report, the section dealing with the Golan Heights reportedly refers to the contested area as “Israeli-controlled”, not “Israeli-occupied”. The change in wording deviates from United Nations resolutions and international norm which use the term “Israeli-occupied” to designate the land Israel annexed from Syria following the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel has occupied the western part of the Golan since 1967 as a spoil from that war. In 1981, Tel Aviv formally annexed the Syrian territory. However, the UN Security Council in 1981, including the US, unanimously condemned the annexation as illegal. The resolution mandates Israel to return the land to Syria which has historical claim to the entire Golan. The area of 1,800 square kilometers is a strategic elevation overlooking the northern Jordan Valley.

If Washington confirms its recent indications of recognizing the Golan as officially part of Israel, the development would mark an egregious flouting of international law.

But what’s more, such a move totally prohibits Washington from posturing with presumed principle over the issue of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula which since 2014 voluntarily became part of Russia.

Just last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated accusations against Russia of “annexing” Crimea. Pompeo insisted that US sanctions against Moscow would be maintained until Russia “returns Crimea to Ukraine”.

“The world has not forgotten the cynical lies Russia employed to justify its aggression and mask its attempted annexation of Ukrainian territory,” he said. “The United States will maintain respective sanctions against Russia until the Russian government returns control of Crimea to Ukraine.”

Last year, Pompeo’s State Department issued a ‘Crimea Declaration’ in which it was stated that, “Russia undermines a bedrock of international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force.”

Claims by Washington and the European Union of “illegal annexation” of Crimea by Russia are the central basis for five years of economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. Those sanctions have contributed to ever-worsening tensions with Russia and the build-up of NATO forces along Russia’s borders.

Those claims are, however, highly contestable. The people of Crimea voted in a legally constituted referendum in March 2014 to secede from Ukraine and to join the Russian Federation. That referendum followed an illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the US and Europe against a legally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. Historically, Crimea has centuries of shared cultural heritage with Russia. Its erstwhile position within the state of Ukraine was arguably an anomaly of the Cold War and subsequent break-up of the Soviet Union.

In any case, there is scant comparison between the Golan Heights and Crimea, save, that is, for the latest hypocrisy in Washington. While Crimea and its people are arguably historically part of Russia, the Golan Heights are indisputably a sovereign part of Syria which was forcibly annexed by Israeli military occupation.

The illegality of Israel’s occupation of Golan is a matter of record under international law as stipulated in UNSC Resolution 497.

There is no such international mandate concerning Crimea. Claims of Russia’s “annexation” are simply a matter of dubious political assertion made by Washington and its European allies.

The latest move by Washington towards recognizing Golan as part of Israel – in defiance of international law – comes on the back of several other recent developments.

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham made a tour of Israeli-occupied Golan last week in the company of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pointedly transported by an IDF military helicopter. Graham said following his tour that he would recommend the Trump administration to officially recognize the area as under Israeli sovereignty.

Currently, there is legislation going through both the US Senate and House of Representatives which is aimed at declaring the entire Golan as Israeli territory.

The stark shift in pro-Israeli bias in Washington under the Trump administration is consistent with the White House declaring at the end of 2017 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Again, that move by President Trump overturned international consensus and UN resolutions which have stipulated Jerusalem to be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state, to be worked out by (defunct) peace negotiations.

Why Washington has taken up the Golan issue as a prize for Israel at this time is not precisely clear. It could be seen as the Trump administration giving a political boost to Netanyahu for next month’s elections.

There has been previous speculation that Trump is doing the bidding for a US-based oil company, Genie Oil, which is linked to his administration through his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s family investments. The New Jersey company has a subsidiary in Israel, is tied to the Netanyahu government, and has long been aiming to drill the Golan for its abundant oil resources.

The Golan move could also be retribution meted out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his country’s historic defeat of the US-backed covert war for regime change. The nearly eight-year war was also covertly backed by Israel which sponsored jihadist militia operating out of the Golan against the Syrian army. Having vanquished the US regime-change plot, thanks to crucial military support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the payback could be Washington stepping up Israeli claims to annex the Golan.

But whatever the background explanation is, the initiative by Washington to legalize the annexation of Golan by Israel is a brazen violation of international law. In doing so, the US is officially sponsoring war crimes and theft of Syria’s sovereign territory. Or as the Crimea Declaration would put it: “changing the borders of another country by force” – supposedly a “bedrock principle” that Washington continually sermonizes about to Russia.

Crimea and Golan are different issues of territorial dispute, as noted already. Nevertheless, the duplicity of Washington over Golan makes its posturing on Crimea null and void. If the Europeans meekly go along with the US move on Golan, then they too should shut their mouths and their moralizing sanctions over Crimea.

%d bloggers like this: