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Ukrainian Terror Coming To The West?
Both Alexander Mercouris and Moon of Alabama picked up on The Economist’s interview with Zelensky yesterday. Both took Zelensky’s words to be a direct threat that, if tangible support—meaning, weapons and money—for Ukraine fades, Ukrainians living in the West might retaliate with a terror campaign of revenge against the West. There are many, many millions of Ukrainians, both in Europe and in North America, and it only takes a relatively small number of persons to launch such a campaign. As should be well known by now, Ukrainian nationalists have a long history of terroristic style attacks, ranging all the way up to serious attempts at genocide. It was precisely this proclivity for intimidation and outright terrorism directed at non-Ukrainians within the Ukraine that was created by the USSR that led to the present conflict. Ukrainian missile and artillery attacks on purely civilian targets are an everyday occurrence in the Donbass—estimates of deaths over the years since 2014 range up to 14k. All this is simply to say that these threats by Zelensky—while couched in terms that supposedly envision a grass roots campaign of terrorism, not a state sponsored one—should be taken seriously. Zelensky’s studied avoidance of direct encouragement probably should not be taken seriously.
You can find MoA’s account of the interview and its implications here:
The most directly relevant portions are these:
The Economist published another interview with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski.
The interview features Zelensky rejecting the pressure that Blinken is attempting to apply on Ukraine, to force Ukraine to take the first step in seeking negotiations with Russia. Zelensky, instead and as usual, channels Zhou and his Neocon masters by insisting on war for “as long as it takes.”
Zelenski goes on to threaten, in rather unthankful fashion, those countries which have delivered aid to Ukraine but may want to cut their losses:
Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.
Now, I’d like to briefly take issue with something Moon says about Ukraine’s lack of gratitude for all the “aid” that the West—which is to say, the US Neocons—has provided. I’ve seen others saying similar things, and I believe it’s a misguided perspective. From any reasonable perspective, there is no reason for Ukrainians to feel any gratitude whatsoever to the West. Consider.
Ukrainians, as measured by election results, have consistently voted for good relations with Russia—from the beginning of Ukraine’s existence as an independent country, post-Cold War. More to the point, Ukrainians never asked America to overthrow the pro-good relations with Russia they elected in 2014. America overthrew the elected Ukrainian government because Neocons. And that in defiance of EU concerns about repercussions from Russia—recall Nuland’s “f*ck the EU” phone call? That’s diplomacy, for you—but why should Ukrainians feel any gratitude to Nuland and her crew for overthrowing the government they had just elected?
Then again, Zelensky was elected by the Ukrainian people by running on a get-along-with-Russia platform. Once again, US Neocons had duped Ukrainians, because at their instructions Zelensky pulled a switcheroo on Ukrainians and began a systematic campaign of provocations against Russia and the Russian portion of Ukraine’s population. That led to the Russian Special Military Operation. Why should Ukrainians feel any gratitude for that.
And when Russia indicated that they meant business, Zelensky’s regime went to Istanbul and negotiated a deal with Russia that would have brought peace and stability to Ukraine—and good relations with Russia. But once again the Neocons instructed their puppet Zelensky to doublecross the Ukrainian people by summarily pulling out of the agreed upon peace deal and opting for war with Russia. Why would Ukrainians feel any gratitude to America for that? Especially considering the resulting carnage?
Numerous US politicians have given away the game entirely. All that money and weaponry? That’s just America doing war on Russia “on the cheap”—because it’s Ukrainians dying fighting Russia and not Americans. Even though America instigated this carnage—hundreds of thousands of dead Ukrainians and more wounded—over the heads of the Ukrainian people. Gratitude? Really? Ukrainians never voted for war with Russia, any more than Americans voted for war with Russia. This was all a Neocon put up job that’s been planned since virtually the end of the Cold War. Or, if you prefer, you could go all the way back to the 1950s when the US was covertly fomenting a Banderite insurrection in Western Ukraine. And now the US is trying to get its increasingly reluctant puppet Zelensky to engage in sham negotiations with Russia—when the interests of the Ukrainian people would be best served by good faith negotiations.
I know, for sure, I don’t feel anything remotely like gratitude for any of that being done in my name. I certainly don’t expect Ukrainians, whose eyes may now be opened to Neocon perfidy, to feel gratitude—and nobody else should expect them to.
Now, to say that Ukrainians may be rightly embittered against the West generally—because democracy is about the citizenry taking some responsibility for their governments’ actions—is not to say that a terrorist campaign in the West would be morally justifiable. But Zelensky is right on that score. It’s foreseeable that Ukrainians could react to their abandonment—tossed aside after gross misuse—by resorting to a campaign of terror. It has happened often enough in the past that it’s almost, although not quite, predictable. The reality is that seemingly normal people regularly manage to talk themselves into grotesque perversions of truth and morality, so if any of this comes to pass nobody should be surprised. After all, the US has a long history of fomenting terror and civil strife around the world, of arming and training terrorist groups of the worst sort.
As it happens, there is articulable reason for concern in this regard. The US and Britain have been working hand in glove with the Ukrainian SBU to commit sabotage and targeted assassinations inside Russia. No doubt the SBU has received valuable training and technical assistance from CIA and MI6, but the SBU’s own long history suggests that it is highly capable in its own right. Nothing would surprise me less than to learn that the SBU has a large and very active clandestine presence in the West, quite independent of Western intel services. In fact, you could knock me down with a feather if that turned out not to be the case. We know for a fact that the SBU has a black list of potential targets in the West, people who have supported the Russian side of the story. It’s not a foregone conclusion, but the seeds of a highly dangerous terror campaign have been planted—and watered by the West.
Enough of that.
Naked Capitalism yesterday ran a long article that focuses on the prospects for a negotiated settlement. Like others, Yves Smith is pessimistic:
Since we’ve already discussed this, I won’t repeat, but I will excerpt Smith’s bottom line:
However, as an aside, the [WaPo] also unwittingly tells us why Project Ukraine is doomed. The US has not adapted to the new ISR paradigm which Russia is perfecting with every passing day. As various military experts have pointed out, maneuver warfare (which among other things depends on massing forces to punch through enemy lines) is no longer possible with a peer power. Your build-up of men and materiel will be seen and attacked before you launch your big punch.
Maneuver warfare, of course, is exactly what the US has been urging upon the Ukrainian military, and has resulted—at least according to Putin today—in 71k casualties and counting.
Keep in mind what Blinken’s position also implies: the US believes it can run what amounts to a two front war. Blinken posits Russia somehow loses in Ukraine so as to allow the US and NATO to rearm it at their leisure so as to harass, um, pressure Russia further down the [road]. At the same time US is also determined to Do Something to its official Enemy #1, China. Since economic sanctions are working about as well against China as they have against Russia, what does the US and its Pacific allies have left besides military escalation? Or will mere relentless propaganda be enough to snooker the credulous American public?
So unless the US relents, Russia has no option but to continue to prosecute the war until Ukraine is prostrated or Russia has otherwise precipitated regime change in Kiev. Russia needs to capture Ukraine, either politically or practically. ...
I believe this is an important point. As matters now stand, barring a Ukrainian collapse and what amounts to an unconditional surrender, Russia will need to “capture Ukraine”. Totally. That may be what Russia is gearing up for.
Mind you, [the] US is (or the hawks think it is) moving in the direction of a long, low intensity conflict, which is consistent with the Blinken remarks above. But that US/Ukraine hope ignores again that the war is generally very much going in Russia’s direction, with Ukraine continuing to throw men and materiel against Russian positions, and Russia only engaging in fairly minor advances in and near Kupiansk to produce even more of the same. Russia wanted to attrit Ukraine and is getting that outcome. And Russia can and will increase the intensity when it suits Russia.
In other words, the way to an end game is regime change. And the weak regimes are all in the West.
Today, Putin has responded to Blinken’s recent interviews. His statement makes it very clear that Russia will not be the first party to seek a negotiated peace. Russia tried that, and Ukraine rejected negotiations. Russia is willing to talk, but not without Ukraine coming forward first:
“If the United States believes that Ukraine is ready for negotiations, then let them (Ukraine) cancel the decree prohibiting negotiations,” Putin said, speaking in Vladivostok at the Eastern Economic Forum.
“They said publicly that they would not negotiate. Let them now say publicly that they want to,” said Putin.
Seems reasonable. I hadda laff at this one from Michael McFaul:
We forced a war over the heads of our allies and the heads of a list of foreign policy experts as long as your leg (I linked to the list yesterday). Putin obviously knows who’s in charge of the war against Russia, so why would he waste time on the midgets of the West?
This will be an exercise in impotent flexing for the US/NATO. The eroding empire simply could not assemble a land force capable of competing with Russia. Their only option is a foolhardy sea/air campaign that would result in shocking losses.
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