Amidst indignant reactions to ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel’s revelations about the Minsk accords, worry about Americans “advising” Ukrainians en situ, and the back-and-forth of battle lines, it’s easy to forget what the Ukraine War is all about: the struggle of the United States to maintain its status as the world’s only superpower. More exactly, America’s attempt to suppress China as a rival superpower is the center of this tragedy.
China, allied with its back-door gas station Russia, is a nearly unbeatable foe. China’s seaports can easily be cut off if container ships are threatened against docking there. Its back door is another matter. So those hard-eyed folks in Washington, obsessed with the Wolfowitz Doctrine, need to eliminate or take over Russia. That is the sine qua non of the American strategy. Without this step, the strategy falls apart.
And the step needs to be taken quickly; already the confrontation with China is picking up momentum.
Hence the Ukraine War. As President Biden ad-libbed himself, “[Putin] cannot remain in power.” He later walked back the comment, but the slip obviously reflects thinking in the Oval Office. The nice way to remove him is to cause a Russian defeat in Ukraine and the resignation — or worse — of its president, replaced (neocons hope) by a pliable drunk like Boris Yeltsin. I would imagine that foreign-policy blobbers long ago convinced themselves that they would really, actually, in their heart-of-hearts prefer to do things this way. Because the other way is not nice.
Not nice at all: the other option is a nuclear attack. Invasion of Russia won’t do the trick. Russians would see it coming a mile off. And they wouldn’t stand for a conventional war on their territory because they know they would lose. Nor would they stand for another Yeltsin, nor a foreign ruler that broke the country into ten pieces. Long before the Yankees got to within a HIMARS-throw of Moscow, Russia would resort to nuclear weapons.
The savants of Washington know this, as they have always known that Russia could not possibly lose a conventional war against Ukraine: a table-flat country, on its border, with a third the population, and no real war-making resources other than an actor-president who — credit where credit is due — could sell sand in the Sahara. I would give him his bust in the halls of Congress just for sheer chutzpah.
A conventional attack being impossible, Washington needs a war right on Russia’s border to use as cover, as an excuse, for a nuclear attack. If you doubt that their determination, remember that this reckless gambit in international affairs has been built through four administrations of neocons, who: 1) scrapped the relevant arms-control treaties; 2) overthrew a democratically-elected regime on Russia’s border; 3) pulled Europe apart from Russia, wrecking the European economy; and 4) literally destroyed the NordStream pipeline to make sure that the wreck stayed wrecked. I would imagine that even among older practitioners of U.S. foreign policy — Kissinger, Baker and their lot — those measures must have raised a few eyebrows. Biden’s crew is like fifteen-year-olds let loose in the foreign-policy candy store.
There are two ways, as I see it, of the war provoking a nuclear crisis: if the United States and/or Nato enter the war, or if, somehow, the Ukrainians mount a chemical- or biological-weapon attack against Russia, perhaps a dirty bomb. In either case, a crisis explodes, threats are made, and the U.S. has an excuse to unleash a nuclear attack on Russia — maybe with just a minimum of tactical nukes to impose a surrender, for only God and the CIA know what the Americans can actually do.
The point is to have a credible excuse for a first strike; without the Ukraine War, credibility would have been problematic — or at least more problematic; I have no doubt that, in a pinch, the same agile novelists who gave us the Kennedy Assassination and 9-11 could come up with a vivid tale. Whatever it is, the public will accept it, for they have been carefully cultivated by media stories about Russia: how Putin has turned into a dictator, how the LGBT community is persecuted, how Russian men fled the country to avoid conscription, and especially, repeatedly, poundingly like the drumming on a heavy-metal tune, that Vladimir Putin is a madman, a megalomaniac.
When the first images of blasted-out Moscow appear, President Biden will explain to a frightened world his heart-wrenching decision to strike first: the covers of Siberian rocket silos had been removed, the radio traffic was unmistakable, humint and e-lint confirmed suspicions, the Russian military brass had all suddenly slipped away to command centers around the country, and the crowning touch: President Putin’s recent mental state was “extremely concerning.” His statement need be but the merest window-dressing; the public, though appalled, will breathe a sigh of relief to know that this madman is no more.
President Biden would never do such a thing? This foggy-headed grandfather might be fully against World War III, but his foreign-policy team has by now taken the measure of him and knows exactly what to say in order to panic him into acting.
The foreign-policy crew fears a nuclear response from Putin? Hardly. They seem to have taken the Russian’s measure as well, and come away satisfied. Putin didn’t react when: 1) Nato expanded again and again; 2) Washington staged the coup d’etat in Kiev; 3) Washington (the only real suspect, either hands-on or not) sabotaged the NordStream 2 pipeline; and 4) when Washington assisted the Ukrainian government’s attack on the Donbass. Indeed, Putin waited through eight years of this violence to finally invade, having exhausted every other possibility to avoid war, and even then launched not a war but a lame “special military operation.”
Add all of this to the neocons’ wishful thinking that once Russia is out of the way, China will be a piece of cake that they will eat deliciously smacking their lips; and a nuclear first strike easily crosses into their realm of the feasible. Hitler and Napoleon would understand.
How strange that the drive to conquer Russia returns again and again in history; it is the West’s recurring nightmare, and it will be this time as well — though this aspect of the Ukraine story is strictly ignored by our slovenly mainstream media. So I leave the last word to Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, who said, “The past is indestructible; sooner or later everything comes back around, and one of the things that come back around is the project to abolish the past.”