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The Backstory to the Russia-Ukraine Confrontation: The U.S. and NATO Encirclement of Russia

George Washington's picture




 

The American press portrays Putin as being the bad guy and the aggressor in the Ukraine crisis.

Putin is certainly no saint. A former KGB agent, Putin's net worth is estimated at some $40 billion dollars ... as he has squeezed money out of the Russian economy by treating the country as his own personal fiefdom. And all sides appear to have dirt on their hands in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

But we can only see the bigger picture if we take a step back and gain a little understanding of the history underlying the current tensions.

Indeed, the fact that the U.S. has allegedly paid billions of dollars to anti-Russian forces in Ukraine - and even purportedly picked the Ukrainian president - has to be seen in context.

Veteran New York Times reporter Steven Kinzer notes at the Boston Globe:

From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. [Background here, here and here.] It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders.

 

“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” warned George Kennan, the renowned diplomat and Russia-watcher, as NATO began expanding eastward. “I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely, and it will affect their policies.”

Stephen Cohen - professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton University who has long focused on Russia - explained this weekend on CNN:

We are witnessing as we talk the making possibly of the worst history of our lifetime. We are watching the descending of a new cold war divide between west and east, only this time, it is not in far away Berlin, it's right on Russia's borders through the historical civilization in Ukraine. It's a crisis of historic magnitude. If you ask how we got in it, how we got into the crisis, and how therefore do we get out, it is time to stop asking why Putin - why Putin is doing this or that, but ask about the American policy, and the European Union policy that led to this moment.

 

***

I don't know if you your listeners or views remember George Kennan. He was considered [a] great strategic thinker about Russia among American diplomats but he warned when we expanded NATO [under Bill Clinton], that this was the most fateful mistake of American foreign policy and that it would lead to a new Cold War. George lived to his hundreds, died a few years ago, but his truth goes marching on. The decision to move NATO beginning in the 90's continuing under Bush and continuing under Obama, is right now on Russia's borders.

 

And if you want to know for sure, and I have spent a lot of time in Moscow, if you want to know what the Russian power elite thinks Ukraine is about, it is about bringing it into NATO. One last point, that so-called economic partnership that Yanukovych, the elected president of Ukraine did not sign, and that set off the streets - the protests in the streets in November, which led to this violence in and confrontation today, that so-called economic agreement included military clauses which said that Ukraine by signing this so called civilization agreement had to abide by NATO military policy. This is what this is about from the Russian point of view, the ongoing western march towards post Soviet Russia.

Jonathan Steele writes at the Guardian

Both John Kerry's threats to expel Russia from the G8 and the Ukrainian government's plea for Nato aid mark a dangerous escalation of a crisis that can easily be contained if cool heads prevail. Hysteria seems to be the mood in Washington and Kiev, with the new Ukrainian prime minister claiming, "We are on the brink of disaster" as he calls up army reserves in response to Russian military movements in Crimea.

 

Were he talking about the country's economic plight he would have a point. Instead, along with much of the US and European media, he was over-dramatising developments in the east, where Russian speakers are understandably alarmed after the new Kiev authorities scrapped a law allowing Russian as an official language in their areas. They see it as proof that the anti-Russian ultra-nationalists from western Ukraine who were the dominant force in last month's insurrection still control it. Eastern Ukrainians fear similar tactics of storming public buildings could be used against their elected officials.

 

Kerry's rush to punish Russia and Nato's decision to respond to Kiev's call by holding a meeting of member states' ambassadors in Brussels today were mistakes. Ukraine is not part of the alliance, so none of the obligations of common defence come into play. Nato should refrain from interfering in Ukraine by word or deed. The fact that it insists on getting engaged reveals the elephant in the room: underlying the crisis in Crimea and Russia's fierce resistance to potential changes is Nato's undisguised ambition to continue two decades of expansion into what used to be called "post-Soviet space", led by Bill Clinton and taken up by successive administrations in Washington. At the back of Pentagon minds, no doubt, is the dream that a US navy will one day replace the Russian Black Sea fleet in the Crimean ports of Sevastopol and Balaclava.

***

 

Vladimir Putin's troop movements in Crimea, which are supported by most Russians, are of questionable legality under the terms of the peace and friendship treaty that Russia signed with Ukraine in 1997. But their illegality is considerably less clear-cut than that of the US-led invasion of Iraq, or of Afghanistan, where the UN security council only authorised the intervention several weeks after it had happened. [Indeed, top American leaders admit that the Iraq war was for reasons different than publicly stated. And the U.S. military sticks its nose in other countries' business all over the world.  And see this.] And Russia's troop movements can be reversed if the crisis abates. That would require the restoration of the language law in eastern Ukraine and firm action to prevent armed groups of anti-Russian nationalists threatening public buildings there.

Again, we don't believe that there are angels on any side.  But we do believe that everyone has to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, calm down and reach a negotiated diplomatic resolution.

And see this, this, this and this (interview with a 27-year CIA veteran, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and the Joint Chiefs of Staff).

 

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Tue, 03/04/2014 - 19:39 | 4509623 steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

Here is how this should go.  The people of Crimea should have an opportunity to decide to whom they wish to grant fealty.  It is my understanding (gained over the past few days) that the overwhelming majority of Crimeans are ethnically Russian, not Ukranian.  They speak Russian.  They read Russian newspapers - other than by an imaginary line on a map - they are Russian.  The Ukranian parliament should arrange a referendum.  If the Crimeans wish to be part of Russia, they should be part of Russia.

Further, the U.S. should begin to be trustworthy.  When GHWB talked Gorbechov into allowing Poland and Czecheslovakia to be independent nations, he stated that they would never come under the NATO umbrella.  Clinton immediately renegged and both are now in NATO, as are the Baltics.  And the moron in chief wants to post anti-ballistic missile forces right on Russia's border, in these former soviet republics.  I am not defending Putin in any way, but before condemning him and Russia for their sins, we should do something about our own.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 16:03 | 4508569 robobbob
robobbob's picture

To who it may concern

Sixteen years ago

Z-Big wrote the "Grand Chessboard", designating eur-asia as the "world island". who ever controls it, will control the world. Therefore it is of absolute primacy that the western powers do all that they can to keep eastern europe, russia, china, et al fragmented, unstable, disunified and choatic as possible.

Anywhere you see Z-Big, his associates, and minions in action, know that buried under whatever rhetoric they are spewing, this is their real goal.

A strong russia stands in the cartels way.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 18:48 | 4509445 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

"Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who  rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World."

Quote by Halford Mackinder
Tue, 03/04/2014 - 11:52 | 4506874 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

"The detection of new huge deposits of oil and natural gas in the US territory, allow banksters to abandon war fields and avoid the corresponding complex implications, like the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. The dollars distributed by the Americans in Iraq after the war may have been printed easily, but the public opinion generally does not approve the invasion and the bloodbath in other countries, especially after the WikiLeaks revelations and the shocking videos of American soldiers shooting journalists and civilians from the helicopter as if they were playing a video game.

The new tactics are much more effective as, the funding of different kinds of hirelings does not need to be approved through the American Pentagon budget and mostly, no explanations need to be given to journalists and to American society about the cost of bloody wars or, about the coffins of the dead soldiers that return to America."

http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/03/the-closed-system-of-biggest-...

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 13:49 | 4507645 elwind45
elwind45's picture

It wasn't six months ago and everybody talked up the Emerging markets like we were missing something? A sell off! The place you were missing in your portfolio was EASTERN EUROPE six months ago. Today its small caps and gold but in six months again you have a choice. I have been in bonds especially after they jumped 100 bps last year and have been waiting. The bond narrative hasn't changed. After a 100bps last year bonds cant go higher because ....followed by 2&2=5? Before this is done 2&2will equal3 and surprise not 5

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 13:33 | 4507533 elwind45
elwind45's picture

The oil isn't new or huge! Mercenaries are a EIC invention and bankers are getting out of risk including fracking sooner rather than later? Putin invaded himself and the Fed would love him dumping dollars thee sooner the better because it will be easier to create deflation if Russia does another stupid thing and dumps dollars? If you think the fed is printing out of thin air than how are you eating and/or breathing? Russia will dump gold for dollars and not dollars for gold

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 13:52 | 4507656 no more banksters
no more banksters's picture

Banksters (and surely Putin) know better than anyone that the system based on electronic or paper money, in essence means nothing, which means that it has zero value. What has real value, is the natural resources in each country. This is the real wealth. They control the system end can forsee where things are going in future. They want to be sure that when the global debt nuclear bubble explode, all natural resources will be in their hands.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 11:39 | 4506784 RazvanM
RazvanM's picture

* Thanks God US is only using legal, transparent means, to do business in a country! *

In Romania, a country not far from Ukraine, ex US military leaders are behind overthrowing a democratic government in 2012 and replacing it with the ex-Communists after a painful standoff. The reason? The democratic government wouldn't allow for exploitation of shale gas resources for environmental and legal reasons. http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/ex-nato-general-clark-advisor-200946516...

Now the US-supported ex-Communists extended their corruption grip on all Romanian institutions, destroing anyone resisting them. But US wouldn't protest because of common political ideology (socialism) and because Chevron was given great police protection to invade and take over private property in Romania.

 

So, Ukraine is a country where the "other" side exploits its vulnerabilities and America takes the stand of the idealistic democratic leader. Unfortunately for the Ukrainians, they are used as sacrifical lambs in this idiotic and criminal game. (I guess US proximity and meddling aren't very good for Mexico and a long stream of South American countries). Both aggressors, US and Russia, should stop from commiting crimes.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 11:27 | 4506674 nah
nah's picture

if Russia was truly dangerous the Soviet Union would have built a time machine to let us know by now bitchez

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 12:09 | 4506995 LibertyBear
LibertyBear's picture

Time doesn't exist.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 08:58 | 4506066 rcwhalen
rcwhalen's picture

Nothing new here.  This is called The Great Game.  First the British Empire tried to keep Russia landlocked, now it is the US and NATO.  The saving grace for the West is that Russia is a society that is military rather than commercial, a nuclear armed version of Venezuela. The Russians survive on extraction of raw materials and predatory actions against their more prosperous neighbors, who naturally look to the West rather than to Moscow. Always remember that the Kremlin is a fortress, not a commercial centre, built in a swamp to avoid the attacks of the Golden Hoard.

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:07 | 4507768 elwind45
elwind45's picture

This is amazing. Forcing Putin to invade himself during the Olympics and making threats to boot? Our past presidents are more impressed than ever with the community organizer and CHIEF? When Graham and Mccain opened their months it was like a choir of fallen angels. Pitiful diatribe from two asshole astronauts! Now the technocrates will be impowered and the brownshirts will be impressed when the American fleet begins loitering in Putin Ass.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 09:31 | 4506163 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

The Russians also know that their huge Empire was taken down in 1917 in a Revolution that was funded by the West. Antony Sutton detailed the money trail in "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution." Americans are blissfully unaware of their taxes' contribution to the rise of Communism, but the Russians and the entire region were on the brutal receiving end and they remember. The descendants of those same destructors sent our money to Ukraine to fuel protests, hoping that they could take down the whole country and change it to the elite's convenience. They did not count on a response from Putin. 

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:39 | 4507990 elwind45
elwind45's picture

Or sit upon or just worship or kiss? The elite believe in special rocks giving them power. The queen sits on one under throne.The moslem circles its location to kiss it and ole course Christians build their house upon it and mumbo jumbo about that fact. The Messiah was thrown to the Romans because of a floating stone in the temple didn't crash to the ground and Rome was saved from Hannabal by a special stone brought to Rome from the UKRAINE. People need to realize people killing people over special rocks is the truth about the past and not any special holy guy from history appearing unannounced to forgive debt or its burdens!

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:21 | 4507860 elwind45
elwind45's picture

Yes they did count on Putin invading because they forced it. By reading further toward the conclusion you find closure. Not to give it away the ending but the great standoff between the two superpowers are massaged out of the narrative to provide a conclusion as per Hollywood circa 1611. The great bear invades himself and Jerusalem builds another temple and well in the end people eat rock that the elite first kiss

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 08:29 | 4506000 paint it red ca...
paint it red call it hell's picture

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts latest interview concerning Ukraine

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2014/3/1_Dr._Pa...

I never expect to hear anyone as connected be so candid on his thoughts.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:21 | 4506337 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Thank God for this guy.   He has been on this past few weeks.  Read all his posting on the issue but this one, and the last line in particular, is the most telling.  Coming from him.  

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/03/03/end-nearer-think-paul-craig-r...

 

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 19:19 | 4509546 PhilofOz
PhilofOz's picture


Dr Paul Craig Roberts  "No greater evil exists than the government of the United States."

This should go down as one of the great quotes of 2014.

http://thenewsdoctors.com/the-end-could-be-nearer-than-you-think/

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 07:04 | 4505843 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

Russia currently has the only kind of leadership that will be able to defend itself from the banksters (US, UK, EU govts and IMF etc) - regardless of the kind of govt that Putin might like to have, he has taken all the power and invested it into (ideologically conservative) Russian hands.

 

At some point I think Putin will start hunting outside of his borders - not militarily, but covertly - someone needs to start killing off the bankster scum - if its not Vlad, then I dont know who will.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:59 | 4508120 buttmint
buttmint's picture

amagnonx +1

May I suggest Vlad take out Soros in the top 5. Kissinger as well. Both have lotsa blood on their hands through our lives. If Vlad would like, we can provide coordinates for Wall Street Banksters.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:55 | 4505783 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture

NATO/US needs to keep the boot on the throat of Russia/Putin until stops moving/breathing.

 

Barry is a fucking weakling, but as Putin gets more aggressive, even stupid fuck Barry will figure this out.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:08 | 4505734 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

On double standards and 'americans':

let's see, so Putin and Russia are thugs. Them being thugs make courses of action they take questionable, no matter what.

Why not?

But no matter how one puts it, Russians are small players, they are way out of their leagues when compared to 'americans'. Not that they did not try, but it takes an 'american' to outmatch an 'american'.

So it would mean that 'americans' had relinquished a long time ago their right to certain behaviours. Certainly not the case.

Not that they would need their rights much since they have been constantly on the aggression side so it for sure helps.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:00 | 4505725 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Another day, another 'american' article by this 'american' propagandist.

It is funny how 'american' obsessions show through this kind of articles.

For example, for 'americans', the group is all. Nothing is worse for an 'american' than being banned from the group (understandable as 'americans' are obsessed with the idea of not doing to their own people what they are used to doing to the others)

See the extreme care put not to offend any 'american' feeling. Putin is a thug, (actually, not an angel, so he might make the devil's work) etc and you have to take a look at the big picture etc

What big picture? Why take a look at it?

The fact that Putin is a thug does not mean he surrendered a right to certain courses of action. Stated by whom? 'Americans' themselves. Certain courses of action are not conditioned by past behaviours. Putin's thughishness does not deprive him of certain courses of actions.

The first step of that 'american' propagandist was to reensure his 'american' buddies he is still part of the 'american' gang.
The second step was to call for a look at the global picture, in order to further avoid offending 'american' feelings. Because keeping on Putin would bring in the question of the courses of action available to him and why they should be contested to him.

As always with 'americans', that question of double talks about human beings, sub human beings, non human beings. Somehow, Putin might have done something that deprives him of courses of action 'americans' tell are unalienable to human beings. Or more exactly, Putin might be something that explains why he has no access to the unalienable thingies.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 06:53 | 4505834 daemon
daemon's picture

" Nothing is worse for an 'american' than being banned from the group ... "

To some point this is true. But, do you know that banishment is known to have been a punishment for at least two thousands years ?

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 04:26 | 4505686 shinobi-7
shinobi-7's picture

A lot of rhetoric on one side. A masterful repossession of Crimea on the other side without a single shot being fired. The legality is complex and it is hard to know who is right but it is not difficult to see who is the best player. Now Putin has almost all the best cards in his hands: Ukraine is bankrupt, Europe needs the gas and Crimea is de facto his. De-escalation will indeed be the order of the day.

I am concerned that there are people studying all this very, very closely in Asia.

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:16 | 4505742 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

A lot of rhetoric on one side. A masterful repossession of Crimea on the other side without a single shot being fired.
______

It does not even add. Repossession implies de possession in the first hand. Achieved how? By rhetorics.

Clearly, these few last decades, 'americans' are struck by the disappearing 'american' covenant. So they cant accept when they score high because the associated loot to domination of others is less and less there.

So they are in the urge of believing that Russia managing to salvage Krimea from the land grabbing is a massive victory for Putin.

The result is that 'americans' are snatching out Ukraine minus Krimea from Russia's clutches. Putin can keep Krimea, its turn will come soon enough.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 04:33 | 4505695 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

It is not hard to know who is right, it is very simple

 

1994 Budapest pact that saw the US, UK and Russia sign a security assurance that saw Ukraine dismantle its nuclear weapons in exchange for protection of the integrity of its border.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 09:11 | 4506087 DogOfSinope
DogOfSinope's picture

Congres never ratified it, so it's void.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:45 | 4505773 Joenobody12
Joenobody12's picture

Those Nazi thugs just grabbed power from a democratically elected govenment. You understand that much so far ? 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:33 | 4505758 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

It is not hard to know who is right, it is very simple

Yes, it is simple.

1994 Budapest pact that saw the US, UK and Russia sign a security assurance that saw Ukraine dismantle its nuclear weapons in exchange for protection of the integrity of its border.

The US, by orchestrating the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, is clearly in violation. But hey, only the naive wouldn't have seen that coming. The US has a centuries long tradition of breaking treaties, pacts, and agreements when it is convenient to do so.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 05:25 | 4505753 Bearwagon
Bearwagon's picture

Yeah, Neville Chamberlain got a similar "assurance" from Hitler, back in 1938. When will the western shills realize, that Putin isn't going to play along according to rules, which inherently grant his opposites an unfair advantage? This paper is worth exactly shit. And everyone knows it ...

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:19 | 4506334 Rakshas
Rakshas's picture

Sorry to be a butinski but i was just wondering how many times the Russia had invaded other countries in the last century - beyond the warsaw pact countries - though that was somewhat in pursuit of the wall street and Bush backed Nazi's so I'm only giving that half a point - at any rate during my quest I came across the most fun poster that pretty much tells it like it is:

homeland security since 1492

Perspective ..... it depends on which americans you ask I suppose

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 02:27 | 4505494 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

It was an interesting coincidence that when I looked at Zero Hedge, this story was repeated twice in the header on that Web page. Surely, it deserves to be squared, because it reviews one of the most important things that has happened. As a previous comment by Ocean22 above already pointed out, the ruling classes in the West are deliberately poking the Russian bear with a stick, jabbing harder and harder! Therefore, my opinion is that it is impossible to comprehend how criminally insane the people who currently dominate NATO have become!

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 02:59 | 4505592 irishlink
irishlink's picture

War and threats of war islways a distraction. Have we heard anything of the world wide FX scandal in the last week. The world banks are sitting on a bed of derivatives so monsterous they cannot be unwound and the levels of debth in the USA need to be vapourised . Only one answer distraction and war and make it look like the other guys fault. Putin playing the same game to hide the theft by a few from the Russian people since the ruble collapse. One wonder if the came is not orcherstrated by all 3 . USa ,Russia and EU to Isort all their problems. Beat the masses to the post so to speak.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 02:34 | 4505533 Element
Element's picture

But they seem so polite and civil, I mean, Cathrine Ashton could be your frumpy aunty, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, looks like James Bond, after having something to eat ... with Miss Moneypenny.

Surely you don't mean them?!

 

European External Action Service (EEAS)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_External_Action_Service

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 02:01 | 4505464 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

george, i cannot imagine how you do it, but you are so right again....the ziocon totalitarian fascist banksters have their blood thirst fixed on russia....their greed is going to lead to the most fatal defeat of the usa....stupid americans have absolutely no understanding of this conflict and naked aggression by the usa ziocons....

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:34 | 4505377 russwinter
russwinter's picture

Is it Russia Who Holds the Winning Hand?

http://winteractionables.com/?p=9697

By the way, the Crimea was annexed by Russia in 1783 and was taken from the Turks. It was never Ukrainian. 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:32 | 4505372 nathan1234
nathan1234's picture

Putin's answer should be to:

Cut of Reggies balls and send them to the Bummer - on a drone and with a note

"From Reggie with Love"

Maybe then the Bummer will withdraw.

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:29 | 4505359 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture

GW  - good article but you're the first credible source I trust who says putin has $40 billion from his "public service" to Russia. I never believed this before. Alawys thought it was neocon propaganda. What is your source? 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:05 | 4505307 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Ought to be easy to surround them, we know where they live and they never move.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 02:01 | 4505449 Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

 

>>>>From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. [Background herehereand here.] It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. US military power is now directly on Russia’s borders.<<<<

 

What happens when you trap an animal against a wall and leave him nowhere to go?  He atttacks with all his fury and ability (I know, I've done it)....me thinks Putin's got a nasty bite.  The USA is going to get itself nuked right out of the blue one of these days.

 

Dont think so?  How much more poking can the bear take?

 

[Nice analysis G.W. as usual]

 

 

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 00:12 | 4505211 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

i read Ambrose's book, and you know they have a point that EE was paid for in russian blood, not to mention what they did to the german third army, which allowed the allies to make the dday landing. the russians put the first man in space. i notice that whenever GW posts that there is a lot of flak, and i suspect there are people paid to do this. i can't figure out who is who, but most of the monikers i see here flaming GW dont show up on other posts. and i suspect this will get flamed as well.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 04:38 | 4505698 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

and i suspect there are people paid to do this.
_________________________________________________________

Sure, sure.

In reality, no 'american' need to get paid to behave the 'american' way.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 14:13 | 4507808 Kayman
Kayman's picture

When is China going to ban knives ?

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:18 | 4505324 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Nothing like FEEDING the (justified) paranoia felt in Russia.

Stalin wanted a 'buffer' in Eastern Europe to protect the Soviet Union's weatern frontier.  After two World Wars, Napolean's little 'excursion' and a few other efforts, the Russians had some reason to worry.  Keep in mind that American troops were ON RUSSIAN TERRITORY and fought against the Reds during the Russian Revolution.  Many argue that the A-bombs dropped on Japan were as much a demonstration for Stalin as they were an effort to end the war with Japan (and threats to use A-bombs were employed to get the Soviets out of Iran post WWII (it had been split between Russia and the US during the war - with the US continuing to assert control post war in its ouster of an elected President and imposition of the Shah).

The Crimea - site of a PREVIOUS WAR with France and Britain siding with the Ottoman Turks against Russia - has historically been part of Russia.  The Ukraine has been a 'nation' - or even thought of as an independent nation - for only a small amount of time in history.  Kiev was the capital of RUSSIA when it was founded as a nation.   

The US interfering in Ukranian/Russian relations is like China asserting that the Hawaiian Islands should regain their former independent nation status or Russia claiming that Alaska was 'stolen' and assertign that it should be 'returned' to Russia.

But then the US does not acknlowledge its own participation in 'The Great Game'...... like the US missles in Turkey that prompted Soviet ones in Cuba, our own meddling in the 'Stans and far, far more.   The US efforts (successful) to hasten the economic demise of the former Soviet Union - and subsequent attempted looting economically by the West - are remembered in Russia, if unacknowledged in the West.  The West managed to convince most Russians that 'democracy' was a fraud (serving to prove Marx right by enriching the already rich and impoverishing most) while stirring Russian nationalism.  The West seems to have forgotten (or never acknowledged) the role the Russians played in defeating Hitler (and the enormous cost to Russia of that effort).  Russians believe - with some justification - that the West is more than willing to spill RUSSIAN blood in pursuing its goals (after all it has done so repeatedly over the last 100 years).

Sadly the US Republic is dead and the Empire that succeeded it is overextended, bankrupt and collapsing at an ever increasingly fast rate.

Europe is dependent on Russia for its energy needs - and that is something that the US cannot replace.  This is a scenario the US should stay out of.  Little possible good can come of ANY US involvement and the blowback from actions already taken has been enormous (and BAD for the US).

 

things must be getting really bad on the world economic front - time for war.  Efforts to push greater war in the Middle East voa Iran - and then Syria - didn't pan out and it seems that the US fears that North Korea will be too short and messy a conflict (with the South and Japan in a real mess if North Korea DOES have nukes) so that option is WAAAAY too risky.  Saber rattling with China over specks of rock have died down (maybe China threatened to cash out of US Treasuries) but war SOMEWHERE seems to be needed as a 'diversion' - or last chaance option for kickstarting economies.

 

 

 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 13:04 | 4507367 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

the global economy is a shark, it has to keep swimming in an ocean of new debt. now is not the time for us to relax, the old cold war is not going to replace the new cold war for very long (the united states government versus the people) as a member of the former middle class do you feel a little cheated? you fought in the war, many of you died, and now your job has been sent to China, along with your autonomy (the concern over property rights, in the 50s and 60s eventually was displaced by the rights of the press and free speech as a concern) the us government once having used your blood to expand the empire then promptly turns the cannon on you (It Aint Me, CCR) do you feel a little bit Russian about all this? you should, the new cold war like the old one is psychological, and its purpose is to disarm you, and bludgeon you with economic shock and awe, (the raid on equity, or collateral, the money saved in homes built by blue collar workers, and gun control laws) obama is ground zero in the new cold war, because frankly most of us are whitey. the rules for this kind of warfare are to say one thing and do something the opposite, which furthers the goals of winning this new cold war. (check out the campaign speeches of GWB in the 2000 election. he reversed everything he ran on) obama promised to reverse him (and what become a garden variety conservative?) since the Soviets still have nuclear weapons, its underscores the point, they have been effectively disarmed, and rendered irresolute on most matters of state, otherwise putin would make announcements and state his position in the court of world opinion. no more need for that, just as you and i will no longer have a need for free speech and a press that does its job, (check Schmidt of Google his recent statement that the Chinese can't be bothered with these things, they just want an economy that works - and that's what you want too.... 

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 03:09 | 4505610 irishlink
irishlink's picture

China did more than threaten. The dumped a large bunch of Treasurys in December. If Russia cuts off cheap oil and gas. Europe here comes FRACKING ! What a great way to destroy the Greens.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 00:59 | 4505297 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The US was the aggressor in the Cold War.

It still is and will be until it loses the reserve currency.

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 01:54 | 4505399 Element
Element's picture

Absolute baloney.

The Soviets were dedicated to global communist revolution and they used every under-handed trick in the book to destabilize countries, up to and including civil wars, invasion, and international warfare to produce it.

You might want to look up the Korean war, which really kicked the Cold War off, it was started when Soviet-backed and Chinese-backed North Korea, invaded South Korea.

Korean War
 
The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953)[29][a][31] was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea), supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), at one time supported by China and the Soviet Union. It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half.[32]
 
The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides; the North established a communist government, while the South established a right-wing government. The 38th parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Korean states. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950.[33] In 1950, the Soviet Union boycotted the United Nations Security Council. In the absence of a veto from the Soviet Union, the United States and other countries passed a Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention in Korea.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

The Soviets in Moscow were in complete agreement and support of North Korea's militant behavior and invasion, and backed them extremely aggressively for the entire war.

That was a major-escalation of the unfolding Cold-War that resulted, via the Soviet's aggressive choice to massively apply proxy-war, and Communist China did the same.

And it almost worked. It takes two to tango.

 

It's an incredible load of crap and ignorance, or else a flat-out lie, to suggest the aggression was all coming from the West.

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