The analysis beginning here was published by Consortium News six days ago. Just below the excerpt is a selection of recent reports related to the war in Ukraine. — MCM
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By Michael Brenner | Consortium News
Never in memory has it been so daunting to figure out what’s going on during a major international crisis as with the Ukraine affair.
That sad truth owes much to the total absence of truthful reporting and honest interpretative analysis by the MSM. We are served heavy portions of falsity, fantasy and farrago crudely mixed into a narrative whose relation to reality is tenuous.
The near universal swallowing of this confection is made possible by the abdication of responsibility — intellectual and political — by America’s political class, from Washington’s high and mighty down through the galaxy of un-think tanks and self-absorbed academia.
Now, the legion of scripters for this fictional story are working with renewed energy to incorporate a few fresh elements: President Joe Biden/NATO’s decision to send an eclectic array of armor to buttress Ukraine’s faltering forces; and the mounting evidence of crippling, incremental dismantling of its army by Russia’s superior military.
As always, that reaction turns out to be an exercise in avoidance behavior. The roughly 100 tanks slated to arrive in piecemeal fashion over the coming year will be a “game-changer.” Putin’s army is a proven “paper tiger.” “Democracy” is destined to prevail over despotic barbarism.
Or so we are told in stomach-churning doses of snake-oil. I guess that we all have ways of amusing ourselves.
A systematic refutation of this mythic construction is both superfluous and futile. It has been done over the past year by able, experienced and thoughtful analysts who actually know what they are talking about: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, professor Jeffrey Sachs, Colonel Scott Ritter and a handful of others who together are relegated to obscure websites and scorned by the MSM.
(Here is an acute analysis by Ritter in Consortium News of the actual military value of the infusion of tanks and other armor and what that move augurs for the war’s trajectory.)
By way of introduction, I am adding my own assessment of the present strategic picture and where we are headed. It is based on inference — to some extent — as well as my reading of the conflict’s genealogy. The main points are made in blunt, declaratory sentences. That strikes me as necessary to break through the fog of fabrications (lies) and calculated distortions which obscure what should be evident.
The crisis’ starting point was in February 2014 when the Obama administration inspired and orchestrated a coup in Kiev that usurped the democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Victoria Nuland, U.S. assistant secretary of state, was there in Maidan Square cheer-leading and conniving together with her brother in color revolution, Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.
They collaborated with violent, extreme ultra-nationalist groups with whom Washington actively had been cultivating ties for a number of years. Those ultras dominate Ukraine’s security service and the government’s key policy body, the Security Council, to this day.
The Maidan coup was the culmination of the deeply-rooted American objective of incorporating an anti-Russian Ukraine into the Western organizational orbit: NATO above all — as President George W. Bush sought to do as early as 2008.
The picket-fencing of a Russia kept at the margins of an American directed Europe had been an objective since 1991. The emergence of a strong, highly effective leader as represented by Vladimir Putin quickened the perceived need to keep Russia weak and boxed in.
The Donbass uprising/secession, provoked by the Maiden coup attended by the coming to power of rabid elements in Kiev dedicated to subjugating the country’s 10 million or so Russians, resulted in the autonomy of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts as well as the integration of the Crimea (historically and demographically part of Russia) into the Russian Federation.
From that moment on, the United States fashioned and executed a strategy to reverse both shifts, to put Russia back in its place and to draw a stark line of separation between it and all of Europe to its West.
Ukraine became a de facto American protectorate. Key ministries were salted with American advisers, including the Ministry of Finance headed by an American citizen dispatched from Washington. A massive program of arming, training and generally reconstituting the Ukraine army was undertaken. (In the years of President Barack Obama, the overseer of the project was Vice President Joe Biden.)
Washington also used its influence to undercut the Minsk II accords wherein Ukraine and Russian signed onto a formula for peaceful resolution of the Donbass issue, supposedly underwritten by Germany and France, and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.
We now know from candid public testimony that Kiev, Berlin and Paris had no intention from the outset of implementing it. Rather, it was a device to buy time for strengthening Ukraine to the point where it could retake the “lost” territories by inflicting a military defeat on Russia.
[Related: SCOTT RITTER: Merkel Reveals West’s Duplicity]
Preparations were made by the Biden administration to heighten tensions to the point where an armed conflict was inescapable. The sporadic shelling of the Donbass (where 14,000 civilians were killed between 2015 and 2020, according to an official estimate by a U.N. commission) was increased several-fold, Ukrainian army units assembled en masse along the demarcated boundary. Russia preempted. The rest is history.
(All of the above recitation is a matter of public record and documented.)
Where Are We Now?
Here, inference takes precedence.
The Biden administration has committed itself to escalation by the deployment of previously precluded heavy weapons systems. It has strong-armed its Western European allies to provide armaments, too. Why? The people driving policy in Washington cannot stomach the prospect of a defeat.
That is to say, a Russian crushing of the Ukrainian army, its incorporation of the claimed four provinces and the fatuous Western narrative shown to be little more than a string of lies. Too much in the way of prestige, money and political capital has been invested for that outcome to be tolerated.
Moreover, just as Ukraine has been used cynically as an instrument for bringing Russia to its knees, so is the denaturing of Russia as a power seen as integral to the global confrontation with China that dominates all strategic thinking.
The option of working out terms of co-existence and non-coercive competition with China has been rejected outright. America’s nearly entire political class is determined to reinforce the country’s global hegemony and is girding itself to do so. The rest of the country has yet to be informed, and it is too distracted to bother paying attention to the self-evident signs of what’s afoot.
The strategic program was laid out in . . . READ MORE . . .
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Michael Brenner is a professor of international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. firstname.lastname@example.org