In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Game, set and match to Russia

Posted by seumasach on September 6, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

6th September, 2014

The unfolding events in Ukraine are of world-historic significance and the West has responded as unconscious players do: with a stunned silence and the delusion of business as usual. In one fell swoop the entire Western narrative on Ukraine has fallen apart.

We now know that, contrary to media babble and politicians’ pontificating, Russia had no aggressive intentions in Ukraine. : its intervention has saved the Ukrainian army from further embarrassment and even complete destruction. It had complete control over Ukraine in its grasp but desisted from exercising it. It is not trying to “recreate the Soviet Union” as claimed by legions of Western pundits. Indeed, the misgivings of Novorussian supporters are understandable: they fear that the ceasefire has given Kiev some breathing space in which to regroup.
We also know, if we ever stupid enough to believe the contrary, that there was no anti-terrorist operation in the Donbass: Kiev has now recognised the leadership of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics by negotiating a ceasefire with them. The true nature of the military operation will be there for all to see as humanitarian aid pours into the Donbass region and a million refugees, or, at least, those of them who choose to return from Russia, try to rebuild their lives amidst the rubble of towns which look as if they have just been bombed by the Israelis. It will also be evident in a huge bill to meet the costs of reconstruction. By whom, is a thorny question yet to be answered.
We now know that the EU, which was responsible for triggering this crisis, could do nothing to help in its resolution other than make provocative and mendacious statements. To continue to call for sanctions against the key player in mediating between Kiev and the Donbass in the midst of peace negotiations is as the Russian Foreign ministry has pointed out “testament to NATO’s unconditional support for the extremists and neo-fascists in Kiev, including the Right Sector political movement”. For the EU this is either a moment to reflect on its policy failures and grossly inept leadership or the end. They are now back to trying to finalize the Association Agreement with Ukraine in conditions which mean this cannot be done without the co-operation of Russia. In other words, they are back to where they were when they rejected Yanukovitch insistence on a trilateral resolution of the crisis involving Ukraine, the EU and Russia. Except this time, after thousands of deaths, wholesale destruction and economic dislocation,the near ruining of EU-Russia relations and the bankruptcy of thousands of EU farmers, they will have to accept the Yanukovitch proposals. How any political leadership can explain this one away is beyond me. Of course, Merkel, Hollande and the rest of that unsightly crew of Anglo-American stooges will change course and back down on sanctions and on the non-fulfillment of contracts with Russia in order to save their own necks. This might work in the short term but in the medium to long term they are dead in the water. Europe now has an immense crisis of credibility and leadership which must be resolved if regional integration is to stay on track.
We now know that the Western media consists of liars and nothing but liars.
We now know that the Western political class is enslaved to a false and deeply misguided “political correctness” which makes real discussion all but impossible. Here in Scotland, we had a particularly significant moment when first Minister Alex Salmond dared to suggest that Vladimir Putin was actually a good leader. He met with, not just the predictable media frenzy, but also all-party calls for an apology: anti-Russian sentiment is now a default position, it is de rigueur.
We now know that all the anti-fascist rhetoric and activism of the left is phony since they have failed to do anything in solidarity with trade unionists and communists being tortured and killed by avowedly fascist forces. This cannot be explained away by some ready-to-hand sophistry: it means the left as it has been understood over the last hundred years no longer exists.
Talking of fascists, we now know that the Right Sector/National Guard are no longer a force to be reckoned with since. otherwise, Poroshenko would have been unable to call a ceasefire. The neo-fascists were the vanguard of the Maidan coup as well as the backbone of the “anti-terrorist” operation since from the start the Ukrainian army proper was unwilling to engage with fellow-Ukrainians. It is fair to assume that they bore the brunt of the fighting and the casualties, something which Poroshenko would have factored in from the start, if he really wanted negotiations with the Russians, as it appears he did.
We now know that NATO is paper tiger. What is the point of spending billions organizing, propagandizing, and training militants to carry out a coup d’etat in a target nation without backing it up with military force at the decisive moment. This was “now or never” for NATO and it will now be never. No surprise that Obama went to Estonia with his “we’re all Estonians now!”, or is it “we’re all neo-fascists now!”, rhetoric. This was prudent of him since the imperial borderlands have fine antennae when it comes to imperial sell-out. The last thing he wants is another bunch of aggrieved nazis up in arms! Thanks to Obama’s non-appearance at the opening ceremony of “the most important NATO summit since the end of the Cold War” the stage was all Rassmussen’s. With his backwoodsman demeanor and ill-fitting suits he seemed intent on winning the heart of the relatively glamorous lithuanian president, a maiden-in distress quivering with fear before the Russian bear. With a derisory 15 million he wouldn’t have impressed her as a big spender. Nor would she have been bowled over by his fire-power in the form of his measly 4000 rapid reaction force. What would she make of his commitment to a long term relationship without permanent bases in her homeland? This was not Rassmussen’s finest hour- but it was his last. He will now give way to someone a bit more amenable to the Russians.
I mentioned above that there are concerns about a ceasefire giving breathing space to the Kiev forces. Militarily, of course, truce favors the losing side. But politically it favours Russia. As I wrote the day after the February coup:
“Putin is an advocate of trilateral agreement between Moscow the EU and Kiev and behind that lies the prospect of a Eurasian economic space from Shanghai to London for which the communications and infrastructure are all being build and which will bring peace and prosperity to millions not least the peoples of Ukraine and Poland who are particularly strategically placed to become its beneficiaries. All he needs to realize this dream is the removal of a European leadership which still hasn’t awoken to the fact that the Anglo-America empire is over and even seem lost in nostalgia for certain other imperial projects of yore.Yesterday’s events brought him a step closer to that goal.”
The coup was doomed from the start and the acute embarrassment of the European elite, with or without an immediate change of personnel will, despite the anti-Russian hysteria, bring them back to reality. Already voices calling for re-engagement with Russia are being heard, particularly from Europe’s producers, industrialists and farmers as opposed to the flunkies of finance capital.
What about the USA? Obama is being attacked from all sides, left and right. The left want to impeach Obama as a warmonger whilst the neo-cons see him as a hopeless ditherer, incapable of projecting US power. What do the left want? Hilary Clinton? That’s certainly who the neo-cons and the London imperialists want. No, the neo-cons have got this right: Obama is not their man. Twice now , he has pulled back from the brink and they must be tired of his mantra that US troops will not be deployed, that there is no military solution etc. etc.- all wrapped up in big talk: nothing but talk. Not only is Obama retreating from empire but the Ukrainian crisis is the War Party’s response to that retreat. They intended to knock any rapprochement with Russia off course: but they have done so only temporarily.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, Putin’s great goal, a strategic partnership with the United States of America will, with a little time, be back on the agenda. Already the IS is declaring Russia a target. Surely, we can ally with Russia against “the greatest evil of all”.

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