Wheels Starting To Come Off?
Signs continue to come in that the US led war on Russia is turning out to be a typical Neocon disaster, and that the scramble for an off ramp is increasing in intensity. For starters, and beyond the surrender in Azovstal (which is turning out to involve many more Ukro-Nazis that previously thought), the Russian advance in the Donbass appears to be gaining momentun, with Ukrainian troops surrendering in increasing numbers and some units refusing to fight. This is a function of large numbers of poorly trained and inexperienced personnel being pushed to the front without adequate support and weaponry. The Russians have concentrated on supply lines to good effect.
Regarding that off ramp … there may not be one.
There’s an excellent article this morning that goes into the signs of a scramble for the exit:
Remarks by Henry Kissinger and Jacques Baud
The remarks by Baud—whom we’ve cited in the past—essentially confirm what we’re seeing from multiple sources. The are, as usual, lucid. The remarks by Kissinger, however, are especially interesting because they amount to a devastating critique of US policy since the end of the Cold War. That includes the whole Neocon “interagency” policy of forever war around the globe. I’ll get to that, but the article begins with the telltale signs that show that the US Deep State has received a splash of cold water to the face. This may end up being a screw-up that won’t go unnoticed—either abroad or, even more importantly, at home with elections looming.
I was surprised that Dr. Kissinger’s commentary (as covered below) is brutally critical of the Biden Administration (and by inference its junior NATO partners) in their provocation and conduct of this war. Dr. Kissinger also foresees adverse geopolitical consequences for the collective West in the years ahead as it confronts China as a result of this war.
Not believing in coincidences, I find it revealing that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made an out-of-the-blue call on Friday May 12th – the day after the Kissinger interview was published – to his counterpart in the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD). These two principals had not spoken since before the war started. In this call made at Austin’s request, he "urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine." The Pentagon added that "Secretary Austin continues to have concerns about what’s going on in Ukraine." Incongruously, this call was made by the same Gen/SecDef Austin who had announced two weeks earlier on a high profile European trip an escalation of US war aims in the conflict. Besides fighting for Ukrainian democracy, Austin said, a second US goal in the conflict was "see[ing] that Russia [is] weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine." This goal presages the long war that General Mark Milley foresees. Hard to see how an immediate ceasefire – as desirable as that would be and no matter which side you think is winning on the battlefield – would achieve Austin’s new stated goal for the war and President Biden’s call for regime change in Russia. Is there a purpose behind this mixed messaging or is it evidence of incompetence?
Also on Friday May 12th, German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz called Russian President Vladimir Putin and urged an immediate ceasefire in the war. A spokesperson said Scholtz told Putin "progress needed to be made in finding a diplomatic solution as soon as possible." This request is off-script based on the US position on the war as expressed emphatically by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her May 1st meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv. At a press conference afterwards, she stated, "America stands with Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine until victory is won. And we stand with NATO."
It seems telling to me—and so typical of the government by committee that is the Zhou regime, as installed by an establishment coup—that the US should send bozos like Pelosi and McConnell to foreign lands to articulate war aims that are utterly beyond their competence. That their pronouncements should be almost immediately undercut by other regime officials—those with, presumably, a better handle on the situation. ‘Disarray’ is the word that comes to mind, and I’m sure the rest of the world—NATO/EU, Russia, China—are watching this charade in utter amazement. The less diplomatic word would be ‘clownshow.’
The author next summarizes Kissinger’s comment, which he takes from a 24 minute excerpt of Kissinger’s interview with the war mongering Financial Times. Here is the Youtube of the interview, followed by the summary. As you’ll see, for anyone with ears to hear, this is brutal for the Zhou regime, which is already on the ropes and has screwed up every matter that it has attempted to address. Kissinger remains a voice that the elites listen to closely on matters of foreign policy and geopolitical strategy. Thus, the author wonders whether his views are already having an effect on ruling class opinion—up to now strictly in the realm of anti-Russia hysterics and pro-Nazi cheerleading:
H Kissinger was an early and consistent critic of NATO’s post-Cold war expansion eastward which he foresaw to be a dangerous provocation of Russia. … His seminal commentary on this foreign policy faux pax in the case of Ukraine was a March 2014 op-ed in the Washington Post titled, "To resolve the Ukraine Crisis, Start at the End." His key insight: "The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins." NATO’s unrestricted ‘open door’ policy on expansion has now demonstratively failed this Kissinger test. Not deterred, NATO is about to repeat this mistake for a sixth time in the case of Finland and Sweden.
The latest expansion is not going smoothly. Turkey is upping its demands in a way that will be extremely painful for the oh-so-principled Swedes and Finns—Erdogan is demanding that they hand over Turkish defined Kurdish “terrorists” who have found a safe haven in Scandinavia.
Having met in person with Putin over 20 times during a 15-year period in academic and foreign policy forums, Kissinger learned Putin has a "mystic faith" in Russian history and felt offended and threatened by NATO’s moving the security line "east of the Elbe." Putin was fearful of the "adsorption of this entire area" into NATO. This fear triggered Russia’s military action in Ukraine as a strictly defensive measure. Notably, Kissinger does not see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an attempt by Putin to recreate the USSR. But after the war ends, he foretells: "We are not going back to the previous relationship." A new world order lies ahead.
... This discussion led to the question of what is Putin’s inner redline for possibly using nuclear weapons. Kissinger does not answer this question but opines that the use of [modern] nuclear weapons is a threshold the "world is not prepared for." Thus, having poked the Russian bear, would it not be in the best interests of the West (and the world) – based on the MSM narrative that Ukraine is clobbering Russia on the battlefield – to let Putin "win" in some way? Per Kissinger’s red line dictum, this would be a prudent strategic climb-down than trying to eliminate Putin and degrade Russia as a military power through a long war that could go nuclear and destroy the world. Just a thought.
The concept articulated by Kissinger of weapons that “the world is not prepared” is strikingly similar to language that Putin himself has used with regard to Russia’s new generation of hypersonic missiles.
Kissinger opines "the geopolitical situation globally will undergo significant changes after the Ukraine war is over… [not knowing what will happen after the war], I think it is unwise to take an adversarial position to two adversaries [Russia and Chine] in a way that drives them together." This of course is exactly what the US and EU have done with their draconian sanctions against Russia and the West’s amped up militarism in East Asia directed against China. The actions give Russia and China a common enemy in the West. Until now, successive US administrations have assiduously avoided doing this since Nixon recognized communist China in 1972. Going forward, Kissinger argues for not making every confrontation between superpowers a win/lose proposition. He see the "best hope of restraint [being] the self-restraint of leaders on both sides."
Kissinger continues, "But in terms of a general strategy ahead of us, we should not lump Russia and China together as an integral element." The interviewer interrupts, "I take it then that the Biden administration’s framing of its grand strategic challenge as being democracy vs. autocracy is the wrong framing?" Kissinger responds, "I am not in agreement stating an adversarial position as the basic element of the relationship." After stating that the West has to be conscious of differences in ideology and apply this consideration internally, Kissinger says "[ideological] differences should not be the principle issue of confrontation." He continues, "Unless we are prepared to make regime changes, the principal goal of our foreign policy, which I think given the evolution of technology and the enormous destructiveness of the weapons that now exist, [war] may be imposed on us by the hostility of others. But we should avoid generating it by our own attitudes."
Again, this sounds similar to Putin’s advocacy for a multi polar world in which civilizational differences are respected within the structure of international law.
The above statements by Kissinger – the dean of the American foreign policy establishment – are a direct repudiation of the Biden administration’s simplistic and dangerous "us against them" framing of its foreign policy doctrine on ideological grounds. This doctrine is a prescription for ‘endless wars’ with the war in Ukraine being a case in point. This exchange between Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Senator Rand Paul in a recent senate hearing shows how under the Biden doctrine the US bestows fundamental rights on other countries – rather than ascertaining US national security interests – to determine when our country engages in a military conflict. When challenged by Senator Paul why the Biden administration did not pursue negotiations with Russia on the issue of Ukraine entering NATO in the fall of 2021 to prevent a likely war with a nuclear superpower, Blinken’s response was that the US has an "open door policy" for all countries that want to join NATO regardless of the security concerns voiced by adversely affected countries. (Russia in this case.) Blinken goes on to say (circa 1:18 mark in the video) that this "fundamental right" goes to "the heart of the international rules-based order."
That sounds magnanimous. But as all non-Western aligned countries know, the so-called international rules are administered to serve the interests of the US and its allies. …
Kissinger expresses deep concerns that "weapons on both sides are multiplying and their sophistication and increasing in lethality every year. But there is almost no discussion internationally on what would happen if these weapons were used." He continues, "This is an issue that has been neglected" and "we need a new context for diplomacy and war." This is not a new concern for Kissinger. ... This danger is why Kissinger says, "We are now living in a totally new era" The only question is: Will the bipartisan War Party that controls US foreign and military policy realize this danger and take action to preclude it before the unthinkable happens?
The article ends with a too often forgotten quote from Kissinger. With the Neocon proclaimed “End of History” and their devil may care “F*ck the EU” approach to “diplomacy,” the Neocons appear to believe that Kissinger’s concerns no longer matter. But they do:
"Nixon should be told that it is probably an objective of Clifford to depose Thieu (South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van Thieu – ed.) before Nixon is inaugurated. Word should be gotten to Nixon that if Thieu meets the same fate as Diem, the word will go out to the nations of the world that it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.” – Henry Kissinger
Two links that go with Kissinger’s concerns—cutting off dialog and needlessly provoking nuclear powers:
Deteriorating relations between Moscow and Europe continue to spiral at a moment just a tiny handful of leaders, most especially Emmanuel Macron of France, are pushing for more serious engagement focused on Ukraine de-escalation negotiations. Both the Russian and Ukrainian sides have at the start of this week confirmed that ceasefire talks are not occurring 'in any form'.
On Wednesday a new wave of European diplomats have been expelled from Russia in retaliation for Europe expelling Russian officials as part of continuing punitive measures related to the invasion of Ukraine. Russia's Foreign Ministry announced the fresh tit-for-tat move to boot 34 "employees of French diplomatic missions" in Russia. They've been given two weeks to exit the country.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will soon conduct large-scale exercises in the Baltics, with thousands of troops from more than a dozen nations set to take part in war games just 40 miles from the nearest Russian military base.