Moon of Alabama, within a longer post (The Neocon's Dream - Decolonize Russia, Re-colonize China), draws attention to a symposium being put on by a “commission” of the US government—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Here’s the announcement for the “online briefing”:
WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following online briefing:
A Moral and Strategic Imperative
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Russia’s barbaric war on Ukraine—and before that on Syria, Libya, Georgia, and Chechnya—has exposed the Russian Federation’s viciously imperial character to the entire world. Its aggression also is catalyzing a long-overdue conversation about Russia’s interior empire, given Moscow’s dominion over many indigenous non-Russian nations, and the brutal extent to which the Kremlin has taken to suppress their national self-expression and self-determination.
Serious and controversial discussions are now underway about reckoning with Russia’s fundamental imperialism and the need to “decolonize” Russia for it to become a viable stakeholder in European security and stability. As the successor to the Soviet Union, which cloaked its colonial agenda in anti-imperial and anti-capitalist nomenclature, Russia has yet to attract appropriate scrutiny for its consistent and oftentimes brutal imperial tendencies.
Now, “decolonizing”, taken in the total context of this statement, can only mean: partition. To “decolonize” Russia, based providing for the “national self-expression and self-determination” of “non-Russian nations” currently a part of the Russian Federation can only mean: dismembering the Russian Federation as it currently exists.
Also, please note two additional takeaways. First, the announcement doesn’t speak of a need for Russia to decolonize itself—rather, the implication is that others will decolonize Russia. Second, the further implication is the purpose decolonization is to make Russia “a viable stakeholder in European security and stability.” This means that Russia will be incorporated into the Rules-Based Order of the New World Order. Decolonization of Russia actually means the colonization of Russia by the West, to be mined for its natural resources. The colonization can only proceed if Russia is first decolonized—partitioned, dismembered, defanged, rendered subservient.
To provide a concrete example of what they’re talking about …
Who, you might ask, are these people, this Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe? Is there any reason why Russia should take them seriously? Well:
You can learn more at the link above, but here’s what the site says about the Commissioners (as opposed to the Staff)—follow the link for the names:
The Helsinki Commission consists of 21 Commissioners, 18 of whom come from the U.S. Congress. Nine Senators and nine Representatives – five from the majority and four from the minority in each chamber – are selected by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, respectively. The remaining three Commissioners are appointed by the President of the United States from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce, usually at the Assistant Secretary level.
Is it any wonder that Russia regards the current conflict as an existential conflict against the West, led by the US? And with tensions at just under a boil, why would the US conduct such an “online briefing”?
The operative reality, of course, is that Russia is not going to be decolonized—although the very fact of such an online briefing taking place surely speaks volumes about the madmen who make policy in DC. However, just to make this mentality perfectly clear, we hear from a national security reporter at the WaPo:
NEW: Even if Western arms don't change the battlefield equation, US officials describe the stakes of ensuring Russia doesn't win in Ukraine as so high that they are willing to countenance even a global recession & mounting hunger. From @DanLamothe & me washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
Do we get a vote on this?
The operative reality is that all signals are that Russia has shifted from somewhat minimalist goals in Ukraine to a much more maximalist strategy. From everything I’ve been reading and hearing the following tweet (which precisely reflects my early and often expressed view) represents official Russian thinking. Note that Pomorenko describes this map as representing the minimal outcome that Russia is seeking:
FWIW, I was listening to Alex Mercouris earlier. He compared the Donbass to the Ruhr, in terms of productivity. He stated point blank that the the areas of Ukraine that Russia currently occupies account for 80% of Ukrainian GDP. Without being able to vouch for the exact numbers, I do believe that Mercouris’ comparison is a fair one and that the numbers are probably pretty accurate.
Mercouris was also speaking about the Lithuania situation. He suggested that it’s high time that Lithuanians understood that the US is not about to risk its existence just for the sake of Lithuania—no matter what Article 5 of the NATO treaty says. As it happens, Russia addressed those fantasies today:
Russia warns against Article 5 talk in Kaliningrad standoff - Interfax
MOSCOW, June 22 (Reuters) - A top Russian official warned the West on Wednesday to stop talking about triggering NATO's "Article 5" mutual defence clause in a standoff between Lithuania and Russia.
Moscow has promised practical retaliation that will affect Lithuania's population after the Baltic state blocked the transit of goods subject to EU sanctions from Russia to its Baltic exclave.
"I would like to warn Europeans against dangerous rhetorical games on the topic of conflict," the Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Wednesday.
The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday its commitment to Article 5 of NATO's founding treaty - which states that an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on all - was "ironclad".
The US commitment to Article 5 is “ironclad”. However, it reserves the right to its own interpretation of Article 5 within its overall understanding of the Rules-Based Order, in which the US makes the rules. #1, We make the rules. #2, the rules don’t apply to us.
A couple of days ago Sarcastic Cynical Texan asked on another thread here on Mark’s blog,
“How do we the people of the United States benefit from our nation's government policies of world hegemony? Cui bono? It seems that the USA has picked up where the British Empire left off. The commoners in Britain were sacrificed by their elites to build and maintain the Empire, we Americans are being similarly abused by our ruling elites. Would it not have been better had we built up our own economic and military power and set the example of minding our own business? And to show the other nations that the rule of law is our way of life.”
I responded as follows (and am copying my response here because it seems relevant and also in the hope of stimulating some additional discussion of the tantalizing question of cui bono…):
I've been asking myself that question for years now.
Take the U.S. so-called War on Terror, declared, ostensibly, to prevent another 9/11.
According to the Costs of War Project at Brown University, the War on Terror has resulted in
• Over 929,000 people dead due to direct war violence, and several times as many due to the reverberating effects of war
• Over 387,000 civilians killed as a result of the fighting
• 38 million war refugees and displaced persons
• US government counterterror activities conducted in 85 countries
• Systemic violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the U.S. and abroad.
It looks to me like the U.S. War on Terror has caused no small amount of 'terror' itself. Which of course raises the same question.
Perhaps the question answers itself...
According to the Costs of War Project, the Pentagon has spent over $14 trillion since the invasion of Afghanistan, one-third to one-half to military contractors.
The valiant vassals of Vilnius will learn the hard way that your last paragraph is true.
I wonder what the Helsinki Commission's take would be regarding Texas independence, decolonizing the USA . . . HYPOCRISY most likely? When I read the names of the "commissioners" I became slightly nauseated, the swamp's bottom dwellers are well represented.
The map by Pomorenko looks realistic, the fantastic map above not so much. Altai, Tuva and Buryatya are full of Mongols as is the Inner Mongolia area of China, those peoples would probably like to have their capitol be in Ulaanbataar instead of Beijing or Moscow.