Despite Kennan’s warning, the military-industrial complex has stopped at nothing. Since 1991, 14 new member states have been added to NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO (whom I interviewed as pacifist Prime Minister of Norway) salivated on Georgia and Ukraine, two red lines for Russia. In January 2021, Zelensky approached Biden on his knees: “Please sir take us into NATO.”
It was then that Russian troops in large numbers moved towards the border. The other goal was to deter neo-Nazi groups that had been threatening Luhansk and Donetsk, the pro-Russian enclaves of Donbass in the east, for eight years.
Why did the American orchestra on Ukraine reach a crescendo in February?
By the end of January 2022, Boris Johnson’s sins had caught up with him. Partygate was reverberating through Parliament. Whenever Labor leader Keir Starmer demanded Johnson’s resignation for his misdemeanors, Johnson leaned on the dispatch box and, as well as offering a flimsy defense, made the tiniest line between his lips and uttered “Phutin” to divert Parliament’s attention. Just when his neck seemed to be on the line, he flew to Ukraine to shed the booze image.
Assuming Johnson had fallen, President Joe Biden would have slipped without a hand to pick him up. Questions have been raised about his mental fitness; Trump’s note was the same as his, the pandemic blues didn’t end; race relations were collapsing, schoolchildren routinely killed schoolchildren with automatic weapons.
All this against a backdrop of defeat in Afghanistan, a failed attempt at regime change in Kazakhstan and a Western alliance in disarray. Who was Johnson’s pet peeve: Emmanuel Macron or Vladimir Putin? Did the North Island Brexit boomerang hit him hard or was Ukraine the problem?
The Anglo-American combine was beating the drums of war at such high decibel levels that a larger war with Europe was being imagined. The United States was on the other side of the Atlantic; Britain across the Channel, further removed from Europe by Brexit. Were these two troubled non-European entities trying to drag Europe into a war with Russia?
It was partly deception. An atmosphere of war was a red herring. The countries’ military intelligence pointed to the 1,20,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian border as a precursor to an all-out war. But the war hysteria was only a smokescreen to lure Russia into the Ukrainian abyss for long enough to allow the Western media, transformed into a lying propaganda machine, to irreparably demonize Putin.
A minor digression came from Andrew Higgins of The New York Times. Rabbi Kaminezki, the chief rabbi of Dnipro in eastern Ukraine, had warned of Zelensky, a Jew, becoming president. “We will have pogroms in two years if things go wrong.”
Zelensky not only ignored the rabbi, but proceeded to appoint Volodymyr Groysman, a fellow Jew, as his prime minister. This caused the NYT to take note: “Ukraine is the only country outside of Israel where the heads of state and government are Jewish.” Since then, the Prime Minister has changed. I wonder if this detail makes a material difference to the story.
Western propaganda about Putin is scary. Russophobia is growing. The Russian Embassy in nearby Warsaw was “seized” not by mobs but by the Polish Foreign Ministry. How will Russia retaliate?
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton spilled the wick. In an interview with MSNBC, she said the Russians should be trapped in Ukraine and defeated by a well-funded and armed insurgency just “like we did in Afghanistan.” Mrs. Clinton forgets two facts: Americans too have been “trapped” in Afghanistan for 20 years and left in disgrace.
She herself told Congress (video available) that “we armed the mujahideen”, threw money at them and ended up creating the terrorists who still torment us today.
(The author is a seasoned commentator and columnist on international affairs. Opinions are personal)