The masses have never thirsted for the truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master….Whoever attempts to destroy those illusions is always their victim.
Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: The Study of the Popular Mind.
– Special Report –
In Brief: That the U.S. inspired Ukrainian coup in 2014 was a reckless attempt to reignite the Cold War is clear to those who eschew the mainstream media for insights into the geopolitical realm. But as we report in this second instalment of a ‘two-parter’, with the blowback building on numerous fronts and this time bordering on the existentially dangerous, by meddling in the affairs of other countries the U.S. may have finally bitten off more than it’s capable of chowing down on….Depending on one’s view—and how said “blowback” plays out going forward—this could be a good thing, or a bad thing!
In Memoriam: Andrey Stenin, Russian Photo-Journalist killed in the Ukraine, August 6, 2014.
Remembering Hiroshima, August 6, 1945
— He Who Lies First, Lies Best —
Now much has already been written about the specifics of the 2014 Ukraine coup, and space herein limits a blow-by-blow rehash. It is the here and now, and what is likely to transpire in the foreseeable future that is what’s important for all stakeholders.
And in any event, whether it’s to do with the coup itself, the economic sanctions imposed upon Russia, the on-going controversy arising from the shoot-down of MH-17 in July 2014, the incessant, belligerent NATO saber-rattling and Putin-bashing, the use of extreme right-wing neo-Nazi elements to maintain order and keep the revolution ‘alive and well’, or any of the myriad pretexts, levers or contrivances used by the West to fuel animosity towards Russia, Baldwin and Heartsong’s book Ukraine: ZBig’s Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated – as readable as it is recommended – provides a meticulously documented account of said “specifics” that all but trashes the generally accepted Washington/Western narrative.
Crucially, by elucidating the Ukraine narrative via the prism of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard” theory of global hegemony – itself an updated riff on the Great Game played by the British Empire throughout much of the nineteenth century which itself evolved into the Great War in 1914 – they provide the necessary historic backdrop and geopolitical rationale for what took place in February 2014, along with the U.S.’s motivation for such arbitrary, unilateral action.
Indeed, for those folks still inclined to embrace America’s self proclaimed stature as a force for good in an increasingly unstable, chaotic and hostile global environment and/or that the imperatives for its ubiquitous presence on the geopolitical landscape are benign or altruistic, an understanding of “ZBig’s” worldview will doubtless give them pause for deeper reflection. The very source of most of that instability, chaos and hostility becomes very clear for all but the most ideologically myopic and imperially inclined.
That said, it is however vital to recount some salient points for context and perspective, especially for folks still entertaining any measure of uncertainty regarding events in the Ukraine. Much like Tiananmen before it, since the Washington Ukraine/Russia narrative is so well embedded in the minds of even those who fancy themselves ‘discerning’ news consumers, it is also imperative to counter the impact of the “he who lies first, lies best” tactic (or as I like to opine, “the bigger the lie, the longer the queue”), so habitually and deftly leveraged by the putsch pirates and their mainstream media (MSM) courtesans. As indicated, it took sixty odd years for the U.S. to reveal its role in the Iranian coup of 1953, and around twenty-two years for a more accurate picture courtesy of Wikileaks of the events of ‘T-Square’ to see the light of day.
And even when the “lie” doesn’t serve its purpose anywhere near as well – or as in the case of Iraq in 2003, retain its desired impact for as long – serious damage in blood, treasure, credibility and prestige is perpetrated in the interim. An omelet once made, can’t be as they say, unmade! All the more reason to drown the Big Lie at birth if and when possible!
But in Washington, this is not a job for the faint-hearted nor the career-minded, regardless of your gig. To begin, the Ukraine coup was, like ‘T-Square’ before it, a Washington instigated putsch – albeit one more ‘successful’ than that perpetrated in Beijing. And again, as with Tiananmen, it was the other party – in this case Russia – that was promptly and roundly condemned by the West for its “aggression” towards, and its “invasion” of, the Ukraine.
To put this observation in perspective, as already suggested, Australia’s present Prime Minister Tony Abbott was no less righteous in his response to the “aggression towards” and “invasion of” the Ukraine by Russia than was PM Bob Hawke in 1989 (see Part One) when “thousands” of demonstrators were brutally suppressed after their “organic”, “home-grown” pro-democracy movement was stopped in its tracks by the Red Army. The only difference might be that Hawke had the good sense not to threaten to “shirt-front” Deng on his next stopover in Beijing!
Whilst it remains uncertain if Hawke and his Cabinet at the time were aware that our trusted allies the Americans had their fingerprints all over ‘T-Square’ (if they were aware, for reasons best known to them, they did not share this with the public at large), Mr Abbott and his estimable Foreign Minister Ms Julie Bishop cannot credibly deny any such awareness about events in the Ukraine, despite their best efforts to pretend otherwise.
Moreover, as noted by the authors, it was not the first time the U.S. attempted to foment one of its color revolutions in the Ukraine, the first taking place in 2004. And whilst the outcomes varied widely, there have been of course numerous others (to name a few: Venezuela, 2002; Georgia, 2003; Kyrgystan, 2005; Lebanon, 2005; Kuwait, 2005; Myanmar, 2007; Iran, 2009; Libya, 2011), comprising something of an Uncle Sam’s “Greatest Hits” (The New Millennium Collection, Volume One) of color revolutions.
As for the latest Ukrainian coup, there was no “invasion of”, or “aggression towards”, the Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and Co., and therefore no justification for imposing economic sanctions on Russia, wìth new ones being applied as I write this. Moreover, it has been suggested often Putin thus far has demonstrated considerable restraint in refusing to be drawn into anything resembling a substantive – some say even justifiable – retaliatory response to the U.S.’s involvement in the removal of the democratically elected, Moscow aligned Yanukovyich government.
Although the catalysts and precursors might be different in each case, presumably Putin still recalls that what happened in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union was effectively goaded by the U.S. under the Brzezinski Doctrine (more on this later) into invading the so-called ‘graveyard of empires’ in 1979, didn’t stay in the “graveyard”! The death of over 15,000 Soviet troops alone – more or less proportionately equivalent to the number of Americans killed in Vietnam – is sufficient testament to that.
It should further be noted that many folks – mostly after the fact of course – justified the removal of the then Ukrainian government under President Yanukovych because it was authoritarian, and criminally corrupt. This of course is a specious and convenient argument less so because it was untrue, but mainly because there is little evidence the replacement regime is any less corrupt.
But there is an altogether different consideration: If Uncle Sam had diligently removed every last one of the countless client tyrants he has had on his imperial dance card over the decades on the sole basis of their ethical, moral and/or legal standards of governance, adherence to democratic principles, and/or general political propriety, it’s fair to surmise the geopolitical terrain might look as different today as the lunar landscape does to an as yet still pristine portion of the Amazonian rainforest. And the U.S. might still retain some of the moral capital it had accrued by war’s end in 1945.
Of course if we really want to push the envelope herein invoking moral relativism, we only need consider that – notwithstanding what it says on the box – America itself is hardly a bastion of “ethical, moral and/or legal standards of governance, [adherence to] democratic principles, and/or general political propriety”. Its track record of thuggery and skull-duggery implementing regime change on every continent except the big white patch on the bottom of the Big Blue Ball is ample evidence of that, without even touching on its performance closer to home drawing on such benchmarks!
Further, there was and remains no definitive smoking gun evidence linking Russia or the Eastern Ukrainian separatists to the MH-17 shoot-down, and therefore no sound rationale for Washington or any of accusing either of complicity in this crime without ponying up with said evidence. If anything, the longer the dog-not-barking question of why the U.S. refuses to release all of the forensic evidence and ‘intel’ related to the shoot-down remains unanswered, the more we should rightfully suspect any findings by the MH-17 investigation team – one it has to be emphasized, suspiciously includes representatives from the at least equally suspect Kiev regime – that many expect will ‘identify’ by hook or crook the separatists and/or the Russians as being responsible for the tragedy.
Moreover, to then impose a further regime of sanctions as a consequence without at least awaiting the outcome of the official investigation speaks further volumes about Washington’s deeper game-plan vis-à-vis the Ukraine and Russia.
— All Pain, No Gain (Insane in the Ukraine) —
And for this writer, one whose ‘blowback antennae’ are attuned in these matters, we cannot escape one simple, abiding reality regarding the MH-17 disaster: If the putsch meisters had minded their own business from the off and left well enough alone in the Ukraine, irrespective of the cause of the shoot-down and who was responsible, around three hundred innocent people we do know of – including almost 40 of my fellow Aussies – would still be going about their business, and we wouldn’t be having this ‘conversation’. This is to be sure, a sentiment that I have yet to hear uttered by anyone either in the MSM or in the upper political echelons of Western governments.
And last but not least, consider the following. For this writer, it remains sufficiently incomprehensible that a State Department official – in this case Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (The Cookie Monster of the Maidan Coup anyone?) – would in effect act in such a unilateral, arbitrary manner in bringing about this coup, a reality that alternative/independent media folks like Robert Parry amongst many others have been at pains to bring to wider attention. It is in this instance particularly that the “he who lies first, lies best” maxim really comes to the fore.
But of even greater concern herein is this. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noted with considerable bewilderment and dismay, the Kiev regime’s deployment – with the full knowledge, approval and indeed encouragement of the putsch-meisters in Washington – of extreme neo-Nazi forces in facilitating its rise in the first instance, and enforcing since the coup its brutal, illegitimate rule. Given the neoconservatives well-documented vise-grip on U.S. foreign policy in general and their role in engineering said coup in particular – especially that of the Nuland/Kagan/PNAC factions and their fellow travellers in the U.S. Congress such as Sen. John McCain, who number amongst them some of the most prominent, so-called “American friends of Israel” – I’m at something of a loss as to how best to explain the glaring disconnect herein.
And of course we cannot forget the estimable Samantha Powers, Obama’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and the administration’s resident bear-baiting attack dog, who one suspects has a Putin voodoo doll stashed inside her diplomatic attache case in case of an emergency, of which there have been plenty it seems of late.
To be sure America’s foreign policy ‘initiatives’ over the decades have always embraced an “end justifies the means” precept, and only the most naïve or ill-informed would deny this. But for most objective observers then – even those of us all too familiar with the CIA’s notorious Operation Paperclip, wherein the U.S. actively recruited under-the-radar, former Nazis to fight on any number of fronts the Cold War against the Soviets – this is breaking new ground in its embrace of the precept, and prima facie has to represent at least another glaring WTF ‘mo’ in the enactment of U.S. foreign policy. Geopolitics makes strange bedfellows, one might reasonably conclude!
Or is it possible I’m just missing something obvious here? How are all these “American friends of Israel”, either inside or outside of the Capitol ‘tent’, able to reconcile their on-going support of a regime utilising such forces – whose pernicious ideology being synonymous with rabid anti-Semitism would one imagines, be abhorrent to Jews and non-Jews alike – under any circumstances? As it turns out, the aforementioned have been bending butt over backwards since the coup either denying, playing down or completely ignoring this “disconnect”, and it is only recently they – along with their hacks, flacks and lackeys in the MSM – have been able to bring themselves to even begrudgingly concede there has been and remains any such neo-Nazi involvement in the Ukraine “mess that Nuland made” much less any “disconnect”.
An equally pertinent question here is this. How does the all powerful AIPAC and numerous other Jewish/Israel lobby groups and affiliated organisations – to say nothing of Israel’s own official stance on the Ukraine situation itself – feel about all their “American friends” precipitating and engaging in regime change missions that involve the use and on-going deployment of neo-Nazi forces? Is this just some fuzzy ‘post-modern’ perversion of realpolitik at work here, and I’m simply too naive to understand what the hell is going on? And now with the neo-Nazi ‘natives’ becoming increasingly restless, their frustration with their nominal patrons and supporters within the regime’s hierarchy reaching boiling points, it will doubtless make for interesting times ahead.
All this of course without considering the added reality of these neo-Nazi organisations combining forces and cozying up in a terrorist/fascist group hug with radical jihadist/Islamic militant groups in what is now shaping up to be a likely – and doubtless exceedingly bloody – counter-coup, along with the equally likely prospects of the Ukrainian economy imploding in the wake of the turmoil induced by the coup! On these matters alone, I’m prepped nonetheless to be enlightened as to how/when anything good is likely to come out of America’s latest color revolution.
Yet whilst these are just some of the reality checks needed in order to assemble a measure of veracity and insight regarding all things Ukraine, such “checks” one imagines are, and will remain for sometime, asynchronous with the narratives disseminated via Washington’s anti-Putin, anti-Russian ‘brochure’.
— Anyone for chess? —
Although there is some contention as to whether the following attribution is accurate, for our purposes herein it is worth recording for posterity what Vladimir Putin was once reported to have said about the U.S. President: “negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, shits on the board and then struts around like it [has] won the game.”
Even if the Russian president didn’t say this, given the way things are panning out between the two countries, it is difficult to escape the conclusion Putin would not disagree with the sentiment therein. Either way, it nonetheless would be darkly amusing if the stakes central to this particular ‘game of chess’ weren’t so serious.
Now when it comes to ‘playing chess like a pigeon’, in the annals of the history of U.S foreign policy, Obama may not be president ‘Pat Malone’ as it were. But along with the incumbent presidents ‘choice’ of opponent on this occasion, it his style of ‘chess’ that may prove to be the most consequential, not least because as we have seen with his acquiescent, ill-considered, and at times vacillating, approach to foreign policy especially in relation to the Ukraine and Russia, he is allowing too many others to make the most crucial moves, arguably risking in the process some of the most valuable pieces on said board.
That this situation seems far removed from any reasonable, coherent and rational considerations of the short- and long-term U.S. national interest – something we might expect to be uppermost in the mind of the ‘Oval One’ and his closest advisors – is it seems, becoming more apparent with every misstep taken by the U.S. in its dealings with Europe in general and that of its relationship with Russia in particular.
And it is herein in many respects that Baldwin and Heartsong’s book – incorporating as it does a smorgasbord of sound arguments and compelling views from a wide range of authoritative voices – brings home the bacon. As they make clear in their introduction, amongst other goals, their book is an attempt to “speak to the historical and geostrategic moves” executed by the U.S. and NATO since the fall of the Soviet Union, [and their efforts] “to control the Eurasian landmass”, as prescribed by Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard” Doctrine.
It should be noted for the record herein, there is a direct line between this “Doctrine” when it was first implemented in Afghanistan by its author in the late 70s and most of the terror and carnage purportedly executed in the name of Islam by sundry jihadists today. This situation is now an ever-present geopolitical reality that frames much of the foreign policy and national security debate in the West, and provides the justification for America’s semi-permanent war footing. This, it needs be noted, is an outcome the man after whom said “Doctrine” is named has not only not regretted, he has virtually claimed bragging rights on it. Much like one suspects most of those PNAC folk who were responsible for the disastrous decision to invade Iraq in 2003, none of whom have demonstrated any inkling of regret, or for that matter any acknowledgment their decision did infinitely more to foment that “terror and carnage” than it did to prevent it.
Moreover, the Doctrine they note has continued “unabated”, with Washington moving ‘at a feverish pace to bring the endgame, a checkmate, for Russian and ostensibly Chinese power projection’ in the Heartlands and Rimlands of Eurasia. Such goals – ‘checkmate of Russian and European integration….and suppression of [her] economic viability’ – they declare with compelling rationale, ‘….collectively represent the final gambit by the West….so as to render Russia a permanent vassal state.’
However, they do add, somewhat ominously,
‘….it now appears, a U.S./NATO checkmate will not be forthcoming as deft economic, political and tactical countermoves by…Vladimir Putin have turned the tables….As a result, Russia now stands ready to checkmate the West via its own gambit – the Grand Chessboard strategy….The potential ramifications are the displacement of the petrodollar, [the] near-term demise of the U.S. empire, [the] potential dissolution of NATO, and severe (continuing) Western economic recessions and depressions for decades to come’.
Many folks with a more nuanced, objective assessment of the Ukraine situation have likened an attempt by Russia to perpetrate a color revolution of its own on Uncle Sam’s door-step – let’s say in Ottawa or Mexico City – the aim of which is to install a regime more favorable to the prevailing dictates of the ‘gremlins’ in the Kremlin. One imagines the putsch pirates would experience collective asthmatic apoplexy potentially sparking a synaptic meltdown just musing on such counterfactual scenarios, let alone their looming prospect.
But as hinted, in the rarefied, groupthink troposphere that shrouds the Beltway, such ‘if the boot were on the other foot’ rationales don’t get much breathing space. Indeed, anyone within – or aspiring to membership thereof – said circles proposing such bothersome views could/would expect to have their careers keel-hauled by the putsch pirates in short order. For those people predisposed to consider alternative narratives such as the ones Baldwin and Heartsong articulate, the writing might just be on the wall for Washington’s imperial putsch-meisters.
In a recent article on the New Eastern Outlook website, at least one prominent geopolitical commentator Tony Cartalucci says he believes the strategy of the color revolution (or “stealth coup”) – “backing subversion in a targeted country and overthrowing a sitting government under the cover of staged mass protests” – may have finally reached its UBD.
Citing as an example a recent abortive attempt at such in of all places Armenia, and crediting the Russian media’s increasing global reach coupled with its more assertive efforts to counter the Washington propaganda “Blitzkrieg”, as the key factor for its failure (one suspects, to the considerable chagrin of the putsch pirates), in his view,
‘[I]t is because the United States can no longer hide the fact that it is behind these protests and often, even hide their role in the armed elements that are brought in covertly to give targeted governments their final push out the door. Nations have learned to identify, expose, and resist this tactic, and like Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime’s tactic of Blitzkrieg or “lighting war,” once appropriate countermeasures are found, the effectiveness of lighting fast, overwhelming force be it military or political, is rendered impotent’.
But the prospect they may have outlived their usefulness is something they appear unlikely to embrace before it is much too late. And not just “much too late” for them. Doubtless then they will relentlessly and ruthlessly pursue further revolutions, coups, and regime resets going forward in the unshakeable, hubristic belief their bespoke empire’s best days are still to come, that it is truly different from each and everyone that has trampled and trodden the geopolitical landscape in the past, [and] that they are without a shadow of doubt the indispensable – nay exceptional – hegemon, manifestly destined to implement revolutions in every nook and cranny of everyone’s ‘fave’ planet the Big Blue Ball until such time as the rest of said planet is remade in its own image and likeness.
Or it begins rotating backwards to another, even darker time in our history going forward, as it were….
Or even still, until something else entirely different – and completely unexpected – transpires as a result. As John Michael Greer observes in his excellent book The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered, and presumably with the principle of moral causation (trade name: ‘karma’) in the forefront of his mind,
‘….it’s by no means unthinkable that the United States, having manufactured ‘color revolutions’ to order in countries around the world, might turn out to be [even] more vulnerable to the same sort of well-organised mob action here at home’.
With all this firmly in mind, in the interim whilst we are all awaiting Greer’s real “home-grown, organic” revolution to arrive – which doubtless most sensible folks would prefer to the not inconceivable scenario of an all out nuke ‘stoush’ between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine imbroglio – a new ‘positioning statement’ may be exactly what the doctor ordered just to keep the imperial home-fires burning as it were.
Yes I do have one as a matter of fact, courtesy of Hank Ford, paraphrased herein: You can have any color revolution you like, as long as it’s Red, White and Blue!”
I expect some readers may be able to think of a few of their own. All donations gratefully accepted.
As I like to opine, Uncle Sam needs all the help he can muster.
© Greg Maybury,