My initial thoughts on Russia and the Ukraine: It is a scandal that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization outlasted the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why was it not disbanded in 1991 with the defeat of Communism? Why were the American troops occupying Germany since partition in 1945 not sent home? Commercial and cultural ties should have been allowed to form a basis of alliance between Western Europe and Russia to everyone’s benefit. Instead the United States has used NATO to harass and contain the Russian Federation as though it were the Soviet Union, which it is not.
These questions are rhetorical, but honest. Over the past thirty years America has expanded its own empire in Europe, rapaciously absorbing the territory surrendered by Moscow. NATO has blown past the limits guaranteed to Gorbachev in the early 1990s and is attempting to cross a well-marked red line.
The United States has now provoked a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Over the past half decade the US has been positioning NATO weapons and biological weapons labs in that country on the very border of Russia. In recent weeks the US rejected Russia’s entirely reasonable demand for assurances that the Ukraine would not be assimilated into NATO. Thus war became inevitable. Ukraine and Belarus are the only remaining buffers between Russia and a transcontinental military order whose sole mission is to antagonize post-Soviet Moscow (for some reason). If this buffer is lost the border would be encircled, which is obviously intolerable from a security perspective.
How would Washington react if a hostile foreign power recruited Canada and Mexico into a military alliance?
Why has the US pursued this line of provocation and escalation? And why now? Mike Whitney at The Unz Review makes a compelling case that the US is forcing a crisis in order to sabotage the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline. He writes:
The Ukrainian crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine. It’s about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia called Nord Stream 2. Washington sees the pipeline as a threat to its primacy in Europe and has tried to sabotage the project at every turn. Even so, Nord Stream has pushed ahead and is now fully-operational and ready-to-go. Once German regulators provide the final certification, the gas deliveries will begin. German homeowners and businesses will have a reliable source of clean and inexpensive energy while Russia will see a significant boost to their gas revenues. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
The US Foreign Policy establishment is not happy about these developments. They don’t want Germany to become more dependent on Russian gas because commerce builds trust and trust leads to the expansion of trade. As relations grow warmer, more trade barriers are lifted, regulations are eased, travel and tourism increase, and a new security architecture evolves. In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there is no need for US military bases, no need for expensive US-made weapons and missile systems, and no need for NATO. There’s also no need to transact energy deals in US Dollars or to stockpile US Treasuries to balance accounts. Transactions between business partners can be conducted in their own currencies which is bound to precipitate a sharp decline in the value of the dollar and a dramatic shift in economic power. This is why the Biden administration opposes Nord Stream. It’s not just a pipeline, it’s a window into the future; a future in which Europe and Asia are drawn closer together into a massive free trade zone that increases their mutual power and prosperity while leaving the US on the outside looking in. Warmer relations between Germany and Russia signal an end to the “unipolar” world order the US has overseen for the last 75 years. A German-Russo alliance threatens to hasten the decline of the Superpower that is presently inching closer to the abyss. This is why Washington is determined to do everything it can to sabotage Nord Stream and keep Germany within its orbit.
Indeed on the eve of operation, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has halted the process of certification for the pipeline. It is entirely plausible that economic pressure will cause him to reconsider. How much is the European Union willing to pay for petrol?
If the Ukraine crisis is an American gambit to maintain dominance over Europe, it seems destined to fail in the long term. The end of the “unipolar” order, and the commencement of a “multipolar” order, can be dated to the joint statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on February 4th of this year.