Yet again I’m indebted to Dave Hansell for alerting me, in a comment below my previous post, to a short piece by Paul Craig Roberts on his Institute for Political Economy site.
I see the proliferation of gamekeepers turned poacher – former establishment figures disgusted by the endemic corruption of a US Empire in decline, and media collusion with said corruption – as the coal mine canary. While I don’t always fully agree with their analyses, the best of them bring to bear both courage and in-depth knowledge on burning issues of our times.
Their name is now legion: not just the Craig Murrays and Scott Ritters, the Ed Snowdens and Chelsea Mannings, but also lesser known heroes like the OPCW refuseniks who blew the gaff on a UN body under CIA pressure to doctor its 2018 report on chemical weapons at Douma to fit DC’s Get-Assad narrative, or the CIA staff who threatened to resign en masse over John Kerry’s attempt to attach their names to a 2013 dodgy dossier to serve the same end.
The list of honour also includes Reagan appointee to the US Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts, often quoted approvingly if not always uncritically on this site. Relevant here is a cited passage in Our beautifully democratic wars, where he berates Moscow for excessive appeasement:
Two factors are driving the world to nuclear war. One is the constant stream of insults, false accusations and broken agreements that the West has been dumping on Russia year after year. The other is Russia’s response, or, perhaps more correctly, the lack thereof.
… the Russian government’s factual, diplomatic, and legal responses actually produce more provocations and insults. … [she] should turn her back on the West. The future lies in the East of which Russia is a part. She should focus on the partnership with China … and stop responding to blatantly false accusations and provocative insults.
Russia can be part of the West only by surrender to Washington’s hegemony.
Well now, perhaps because she has taken to heart Mr Roberts’ stern but kindly admonishments (though I suspect her game-changing advances in missiles technology 1 have more to do with it) a more bracing wind does indeed seem to be blowing down the Kremlin’s corridors of power.
Given its admirable brevity, I am replicating in full Paul Craig Roberts’ post of January 29.
Update on the Ukrainian Front
It is over. Putin has won.
Victoria Nuland, the neoconservative war monger appointed Undersecretary of State by the White House fool, announced Washington’s surrender when she called on China to use its influence with Russia to save Ukraine from invasion. She thus acknowledges what everyone had already concluded: the US and NATO lack the capability.
Washington’s surrender followed the request of the Ukrainian president that Washington stop the “Russian invasion” propaganda as there were no signs of an invasion being prepared and Washington’s rhetoric was too provocative. 2 Germany refused flyover permission to the UK for arms deliveries to Ukraine. Two NATO members announced that they would not send troops if NATO got involved in Ukraine. Washington saw the writing on the wall.
Most countries saw Washington’s refusal to agree to the Russian mutual security proposal as unreasonable and dangerous. Moreover, Washington’s strategy of arming and training the Ukrainians and provoking them into a major attack on the Donbass Russians has failed. Ukraine knows that Russia will not permit any significant damage to Donbass. Moreover, Ukrainians are unsure they could even defeat the Donbass army, which is probably armed with the new Russian high impact weapons. Ukraine understands that Russia can wipe out its forces with conventional missiles without sending troops across the border. The Ukrainians also know that no one will be coming to their aid. The Pentagon itself announced that no US troops will be sent to Ukraine.
The fact that Washington publicly rejected the Russian proposal means nothing as Washington has no alternative but to accept it. The Russian foot came down hard, as it needed to do, and everyone including Washington understands that Ukraine will never be a member of NATO.
The US/NATO missile bases in Poland and Romania will be quietly removed over time. Washington will continue to bluster and threaten but is unable to take any action. The diplomatic Russians will allow Washington to save face in some arranged way.
All that is necessary at this point is that the diplomats in the Russian foreign ministry, who tend to put too much faith in signed documents, and Russian hardliners understand that Washington’s rejection of the proposal has been rendered meaningless and that Putin has won.
The world has adjusted to Russia’s inflexible 3 demand and unmatched military superiority backed up by China.
In view of the appearance on the scene of long overdue Russian assertiveness, I expect Washington to draw in its horns and to move toward a more cooperative and peaceful position.
On an even more momentous note, we’ve all heard of whataboutery. But whatabout her evil twin brother? This is no time for complacency over roundaboutery …
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- Why call Russia’s (and China’s) development of hypersonic missiles ‘game-changing’? Dubya’s 2002 withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty had marked a growing sense in Washington that the era of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) was over. With the USA the sole superpower in a unipolar world, such treaties had outlived their usefulness. That faction of the US ruling class which believes a nuclear war can be won had become less marginalised. The implicit threat hanging over Russia – once the pliant Yeltsin had been succeeded by Putin – was of a US/NATO first strike taking out most of her nuclear capacity, leaving star wars technologies to shoot down what few missiles she could feebly throw back in response. That threat has been nullified. Washington has no answer – as General Milley, America’s most senior soldier, tacitly acknowledged last October – to incoming missiles at Mach 10+. He was speaking of China’s advances but Russia is if anything even further ahead.
- Washington rhetoric being “too provocative” is not the only cause for dismay in Kiev. Even that mouthpiece of US neoliberalism, FP (Foreign Policy) speaks of blowback on Ukraine’s already tottering economy. Or as I put it with my customary delicacy in the third point of my FB reply to Donna of Long Island, “neither your country nor mine gives a flying fuck about Ukraine”.
- ‘Inflexible’ has negative connotations but here we can reasonably take PCR’s intended meaning to be ‘non-negotiable’.