The United States is engaging in a new Cold War against the Russian Federation, using the Ukraine as a pawn in a dangerous chess game.
There is a civil war raging in the Ukraine. So far, the death toll in the eastern region of the country has exceeded 5,300 people since last April, according to estimates published by the United Nations. President Obama accused the Russian government of being the aggressor in this conflict. This allegation was a key element in his 2015 State of the Union Address from January:
“Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies. Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, some suggested that Mr. Putin’s aggression was a masterful display of strategy and strength. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated, with its economy in tatters.”
Such allegations have been denied and proven false, not only by the Russian government, but also by elements of the US-backed Ukrainian regime. General Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, has publicly contradicted the administration’s claims about Russia’s involvement by saying that the “Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian army.”
The US government has imposed sanctions and other measures to try to limit Russia’s expansion of influence in Eurasia. However, the recent military proposals set forth by the Obama administration is the most obvious sign of trying to escalate military violence to help secure America’s status as an empire.
During a recent trip to Kiev, US Army Europe Commanding General Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges confirmed that the US will send soldiers to the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L’viv in Ukraine. According to Defense News, “American soldiers will deploy to Ukraine this spring to begin training four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard.”
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko issued a statement on February 3 confirming the US’s intentions of increasing a military presence in the country. “I have no doubt that a decision on the possible delivery of arms to Ukraine will be approved both by the United States and by our other partners.”
Of course, such operations need to be funded at tax-payer expense. President Obama’s budget proposal for the 2016 federal spending year is calling for massive expenditures for the Pentagon. Since the US House of Representatives and the US Senate are controlled by the pro-war Republican Party, he should have no difficulty securing these funds. As history shows, however, the approval of Congress for military funding is a minor obstacle to overcome.
The National Priorities Project reports that his proposal “requests the largest base budget for the Department of Defense ever – coming in at $534 billion, a more than a seven percent increase over 2015. It would spend $10.6 billion alone for F-35 Fighter Jets, the most expensive, and most problem-plagued, weapons system in history.”
With this, the US wants to send $3 billion in aid for weapons in Kiev. Canadian scholar Michel Chossudovsky, author of The Globalization of War, told Iranian news agency Press TV that “the F35, the submarines, the ships and so on are ultimately directed against China and Russia.”
Numerous reports have surfaced that over the course of the last year, the US has been covertly shipping weapons and other equipment to the Ukrainian Army, which is in shambles. Ukrainian presidential advisor Yuri Lutsenko said in September 2014 that France, Poland, Norway and Italy also agreed to supply weapons to the war-torn nation.
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said in a recent interview with RT, “Plainly speaking, the US has already dragged [Russia] into a new Cold War, trying to openly implement its idea of triumphalism.”
Gorbachev, a man credited by world leaders for his role in helping end the original Cold War, added, “What’s next? Unfortunately, I cannot be sure that the Cold War will not bring about a ‘hot’ one. I’m afraid they might take the risk.”
The Coup in the Ukraine
Many foreign policy experts have concluded that the 2014 regime change in the Ukraine was a coup to set up a government “engorged with fascists, neo-Nazis and simple pro-Western opportunists, as well as countless EU and US-sponsored members of various NGO’s,” as described by journalist Andre Vltchek.
After the February 2014 ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, there is evidence suggesting that elements representing the US and EU supported three fascist and ultra-nationalist opposition parties, including: the All-Ukrainian Union or “Fatherland” Party, the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and Svoboda or “Freedom” Party. Public demonstrations of anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and anti-communist sentiments have escalated violence.
Ukraine Prime Minister, and ultra-nationalist, Arseniy Yatsenuk is encouraging the fight against pro-Russia Ukrainians in the south-east areas, having referred to them as “sub-humans.”
Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov said that Obama admitted the US’s role in “brokering power transition” during an interview with the president on the cable news outlet CNN. According to Lavrov, “The rhetoric that sounded in the interview speaks about Washington’s intention to further do everything to implicitly support the actions of the current Kiev authorities which have apparently taken the course towards suppressing the conflict by force only.”
In a speech given by Russian President Vladimir Putin at Mining University last month, made a damning allegation against NATO about the nature of these so-called “democratic fighters” in Ukraine:
“We often speak of the ‘Ukrainian army’, but who is doing the fighting there in reality? Yes, in part it is official armed forces units, but a substantial part of those doing the fighting come from the so-called volunteer nationalist battalions. Essentially, this is not an army but is a foreign legion, in this particular case, a NATO foreign legion, which is not pursuing Ukraine’s national interests of course. They have completely different goals, related to achieving their geopolitical aim of containing Russia, and this is absolutely not in the Ukrainian people’s national interests.”
The Wartime Media
The Western media, particularly in the US, has been pushing the NATO line (reflecting the views of the US and the EU). The demonization of Putin is part of a long tradition of fear mongering in the build-up to war. He has been unfavorably compared to dictators and tyrants of the past by American media outlets and politicians, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comparison of Putin to Adolf Hitler.
The main news sources calling for US action against Russia include, but are not limited to, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and Fox News. Playing similar roles in the build-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, these outlets spread misinformation, disinformation, and lies in order to distort the reality of a geopolitical situation. Their government-sanctioned brand of propaganda is used to try and persuade an otherwise war-weary population into supporting military actions against imaginary enemies.
For example, pro-war columnist Thomas Friedman, a man who has been labelled “The Imperial Messenger” by critics, referred to the Russian President as “Czar Putin” in an op-ed published on January 28. He writes, “Ukraine matters — more than the war in Iraq against the Islamic State, a.k.a., ISIS…The odds of Putin fully invading Ukraine or the Baltics are low, but do not rule out either.”
Friedman’s employer, The New York Times, published an article in April 2014 claiming that the mysterious “masked men” seizing government buildings in Ukraine were Russian soldiers in a piece entitled “Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia.” This article had to be retracted due to the lack of evidence, as they hesitantly admitted in their own pages: “A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.”
Such instances of fraudulent reporting on this situation are numerous and varied, and they are crucial in helping to sell fraudulent wars.
Old Voices in a New World
As the crisis in Ukraine is erupting to volcanic proportions, Polish-born political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski (pronounced ZBIG-niev brə-ZHIN-skee) and his conservative colleague (and good friend) former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger started penning op-eds for newspapers such as The Washington Post, giving their views on the situation. Kissinger, who has a sinister background of clandestine operations under the Nixon administration, has called Brzezinski his “distinguished presumptive successor.” A conservative columnist from the 1970’s described the two as “carbon copies.”
Although he is not well-known by the general public, Brzezinski is highly revered in the inner circles of the elite. He is best-remembered for serving as Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor (1976-1980). Since then he has developed a lengthy résumé that makes him one of the most influential voices in foreign policy.
Brzezinski’s views on post-Cold War Russia have been heavily criticized by foreign policy analysts as being “obsessive” and even “Russophobic.” He is one of the biggest proponents of the notion of “American Exceptionalism,” better known as “American Imperialism.” He views China and Russia, particularly the latter, as the main national threats to US hegemony, with “sustained and directed US involvement in Central Asia to secure its status as the one global super power.”
Brzezinski’s aptly-named 1997 book The Grand Chessboard is one of the most controversial, and candid, documents published (but seldom read) for mass public consumption. He writes:
“America is now the only global superpower, and Eurasia is the globe’s central arena. Hence, what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and to America’s historical legacy.”
Sergey Lavrov summarized Brzezinski’s legacy in 1999 with the following: “I am glad that he is a ‘former’ national security advisor. Hatred cannot drive foreign policy.”
Unfortunately, Lavrov did not foresee that the geopolitical vision of Brzezinski and his ilk would play a major role in the current administration and every administration since Carter. Obama praised Brzezinski in a 2007 speech in Clinton, Iowa. “I can’t say enough about his contributions to our country,” he said. This sign of gratitude is similar to the kind of accolades Brzezinski showered upon then US Senator Obama of Illinois after he announced his successful 2008 presidential bid.
On January 21, as former chairman of the American-Ukrainian Advisory Committee, Brzezinski went before the Senate Arms Services Committee calling for the placement of soldiers from the US and its NATO allies in Baltic states (which include the nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) to “deter Russia from staging a possible incursion in those countries.”
Fearing a potential nuclear conflict with Russia, he warned lawmakers, “one day—and I literally mean one day—[Vladimir Putin] just seizes Riga and Tallinn … That would literally take him one day. There’s no way they could resist…And then we’ll say how horrible, how shocking, how outrageous. But, of course, we can’t do anything about it.”
Perhaps Brzezinski’s most infamous achievement was his role in what would become the Soviet-Afghanistan War, also known as “Russia’s Vietnam War.” He was instrumental in the formation of the Mujahedeen group that evolved into Al-Qaeda. The conflict ended with over a million dead Afghani civilians. In his 2007 book Second Chance, he boasts, “In February 1989 Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan after their failure to crush the Afghan resistance that was aided by the coalition comprised of the US, Great Britain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China.”
In the January 15th-21st 1998 issue of Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski bragged about US involvement in creating Islamic extremist groups credited with terrorist acts perpetrated around the globe. When asked whether or not he regretted this decision, he responded with the following:
“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War…What is more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?
This strategy of pitting other nations against each other seems to be alive and well on the border dividing Ukraine and Russia. If the US forms alliances with dubious groups, be they Islamic terrorists or Neo-Nazis, then the ends justify the means in the quest for empire.
This Cold War scenario has the potential to escalate into a world war. The words of the late Carl Sagan are still germane: “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”
It seems that the leaders of the American Empire and its allies are willing to watch the world burn.