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Washington’s Pyrrhic Victory in Europe – The Ukraine Crisis Comes to its Grand Finale

February 22, 2022

Prypriat, the abandoned town where employees of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant lived. April 1989; Author’s visit to Chernobyl with American and European scientists and peace activists.

February 22, 2022. Denver, Colorado.

Woke up to the news – all over the NY Times and I assume the rest of the media – Russia has recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics, which it has not done until now, and will probably send troops to the region to counter the Ukrainian government’s military offensive there, the first attack of which, unreported in the western media, was repelled, but serious enough for the leadership in these regions to call for help.

Russia responded. The Russian decision to send troops to these two regions, frankly, is not to provoke a war but to prevent one – specifically it cuts short the Ukrainian militarys offensive against the two regions, a military flushed with Western arms and prodded on by Washington

Although I would be rather surprised if their military incursion into Ukraine goes beyond these two break away republics to seize Kiev, which Washington is baiting them to do. There are some reports, yet to be confirmed, that Ukrainian military forces have entered Russia itself. If this is the case, they will be repulsed and made short shrift of.

In the short run, this Washington fabricated crisis will work in the United States’ favor but as the whole affair, crisis, whatever has been so entirely cynical from the outset, the positive results will be short lived, perhaps very short-lived and will morph into a larger global crisis. There are signs of this already. One such sign – in Madrid, a demonstration in support of the Zelensky government drew 500 people, it is reported mostly people of Ukrainian nationality living there. In 2002, just prior to the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, a million people came out in the streets of Madrid to oppose the U.S. Iraq intervention. Nor is there much public jubilation in other European cities. To the contrary and they know, or sense, the events in Ukraine are nothing for Europeans – or anyone else – to celebrate about.

Washington’s pyrrhic victory in the Ukraine killed Nord Stream II; there will be more sanctions against Russia already well prepared. Whimpering Germany and France will return “back in the NATO fold” after a short fling with neutrality and a mores sensible, constructive approach to Russia. Ukraine, in all this, is little more than a sacrificial lamb. This whole affair was less about Ukraine and more about the global geo-political wrestling match between Washington and its sheepish European allies on the one hand and the growing influence and cooperation between Russia and China on the other. Normalizing European ties with Russia made Washington uncomfortable; the Biden Administration had to throw a monkey wrench into it these European (especially German, but also French, Italian ties with Russia) and that they accomplished.

What we – the world is witnessing – is nothing short of a major episode global hybrid warfare, where military confrontation (between great powers) takes a back seat to economic pressures (sanctions), and media struggles over “controlling narratives” or as Chomsky brilliantly pointed out “manufacturing consent”. If you don’t know what that means, look it up; I’m tired of explaining it. Having suffered major political defeats in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, U.S policy scores a “win” (but not really) over Ukraine by drawing the Russians in on Ukraine militarily into the Donbass region. Biden Administration hopes to ride the Ukraine events out to strengthen their position in the polls for 2022 elections having failed to produce anything of substance domestically. My own take, after a very minor spike upward in the polls, that the Dems are even in more trouble for 2022 than previously.

What we – the world is witnessing – is nothing short of a major episode global hybrid warfare, where military confrontation (between great powers) takes a back seat to economic pressures (sanctions), and media struggles over “controlling narratives” or as Chomsky brilliantly pointed out “manufacturing consent”. If you don’t know what that means, look it up; I’m tired of explaining it. Having suffered major political defeats in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, U.S policy scores a “win” (but not really) over Ukraine by drawing the Russians in on Ukraine militarily into the Donbas region. Biden Administration hopes to ride the Ukraine events out to strengthen their position in the polls for 2022 elections having failed to produce anything of substance domestically. My own take, after a very minor spike upward in the polls, that the Dems are even in more trouble for 2022 than previously.

For all the hype and the hysterical media vilifying Putin specifically and Russia in general, I have to wonder just how much the American people as a whole care that much about the goings on in Ukraine as the deepening socio-economic and political crisis here at home continues to deepen. It saddens me to see how many good people – liberals, even leftists have swallowed the cool aid on Russia as they did on Iraq, Libya.

In the medium and long term

Concerning Ukraine… Washington has “promised” – based on very little – that it could compensate for Germany – and Europe’s loss of Nord Stream II liquified natural gas from Russia – something that Germany lobbied Russia for and not the contrary – with increased shipments from other places – USA, Algeria, Qatar come to mind although this is questionable as all three have their lng (liquified natural gas) contracts – much of their production already locked up. If Washington cannot deliver on this – and from what I can glean – it really is “iffy” – the price of energy in Europe – and globally – will spike to punishing levels – the price of crude oil itself is already approaching $100 a barrel in some places. One consequence could be an artificially triggered global recession in which Western Europe will take the most punishing hit.

Russia too from these sanctions will take a hit; it will feel it for a couple of years, but as it has done up until now in response to sanctions, it will learn to make due and recover. Geopolitically – obviously – it will strengthen its already solid ties with China, Iran while, I would bet, maintaining some connections with India even if that country is drawn into to U.S. orbit. And Russia will continue to strengthen is position and influence in the Middle East.

In the end this Washington-manufactured crisis – is a road to nowhere.. short term “victory”… of little consequence and another key historical marker on the road to U.S. global decline.

Cheers… Rob Prince/Denver, Colorado

A rally in Kiev’s main soccer stadium, April 1989. It was ostensibly to call for openness, “glasnost” on the radioactive consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which the Soviet government was less than forthcoming about, so it had, if you like, an environmental aspect to it which was genuine. However, as in the Baltic countries, environmental concerns morphed or were packaged as part of the growing movement for Ukrainian independence from the USSR. I happened to be in Kiev at the time and frankly was just out for an evening walk on a lovely spring day. I saw a large crowd of people heading towards the stadium and simply followed them out of curiosity and found myself in a stadium with 75,000 people. I commented to myself out loud..”I wish I understood what “they” – those on the podium were talking about. A woman behind me came forward, introduced her self and interpreted the whole event. It made a powerful impression upon me and although I didn’t know what would follow, the dissolution of the USSR and independence of Ukraine… I was not surprised when that happened.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Natalia Spiegel permalink
    February 22, 2022 8:07 am

    i think that objectively speaking, at least at this point in time, that Putin’s defiance of Biden and the entire Western world, especially if he takes control of all of Ukraine, and if the Chinese government seizes the initiative and takes over a province called Taiwan, marks a major weakening of US hegemonic imperialism, which I would argue is a good thing. I remember Nixon in ’70 muttering about America never being a pitiful helpless giant, well I think that is what is developing. It may be a short term win for the Democrats, but it is a long term defeat for the American empire. As you say “another key historical marker on the road to U.S. global decline.”

    • February 22, 2022 1:08 pm

      Natalia Spiegel

      It is far from clear that Russia will invade the Ukraine and take it over beyond the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Time will tell. My reasoning is that to do so would put Russia in a situation akin to the Soviet experience in Afghanistan.

  2. February 26, 2022 1:06 pm

    Like many others of all political stripes here in the USA, and I would imagine elsewhere, I did not anticipate a Russian invasion of Ukraine, certainly not on the scale that has transpired. So I admit – that I was wrong on that count. As for commenting on what is currently transpiring in Ukraine… along with my friend and colleague Ibrahim Kazerooni – I will be doing a live zoom to discuss the situation and – as always – the possibilities for peace on this coming Tuesday, March 1, 2022, time to be announced either later today or tomorrow morning…

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