The US is Not Provoking Russia—And Other Tall Tales

Here’s how to hide a dark and terrible truth. Get a news outlet to publish a story with a headline that tells readers that the Biden White House was thinking about training Ukrainians in guerrilla warfare but decided not to for fear that it would provoke Russia. Don’t tell readers is that, under the Obama White House, the CIA trained Ukrainians in guerrilla warfare to provoke Russia. Don’t remind readers that Biden, neck deep in the swamp of Ukrainian corruption, was Obama’s point man on Ukraine. Here’s an instantiation of the tactic from Fox News: “White House axed plan to train Ukrainians in guerrilla warfare fearing it may provoke Russia.” According to the reporting, when questioned, the White House, adding a pinch of confusion to the mix, denied any such plans were ever presented to the White House or the National Security Council.

The way the story is being told is designed to hide the significant piece of the truth by drawing attention to an irrelevant fact. This is what disinformation looks like. In History and Sides-Taking in the Russo-Ukrainian War, I tell you about the reporting of Branko Marcetic, writing for Jacobin, revealing that the CIA began working with far right elements in 2015 as part of the campaign of Western belligerence towards Russia. Is the CIA still there? Of course they are (the CIA is everywhere). But it doesn’t matter. Once trained, leadership of the proxy army, as well as irregulars, trains new recruits. In Ukraine, this has included thousands of Nazis, especially prized by the deep state for their pathological hatred of ethnic Russians. The deep state has been working with Eastern European Nazis at least since the end of WWII, when the Truman White House established the CIA and the NSA. It is a well documented fact that organizations recruited Nazis for the Cold War.

This piece of war propaganda was tweeted by NATO leveraging International Women’s Day to promote the virtue Ukrainian military. I do know whether NATO knows the meaning of the medallion the soldier is wearing. It is the sonnenrad (or sunwheel) insignia of the Banderists, fascists who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII. It is of note that President Zelensky’s slogan “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes” was the slogan of the wartime fascists in Ukraine. The current government revived the slogan and made the country’s national motto. Hat tip to Stephen Harper, founding member of FLAF, for the info.

Why provoke Russia now? For the same reason the CIA trained Afghanis in guerrilla warfare in the late 1970s and 1980s to provoke the Soviet Union into sending troops to Afghanistan: regime change. (See Sowing the Seeds of Terrorism? Capitalist Intrigue and Adventurism in Afghanistan.) The aim of the Ukraine project is to undermine Putin’s government. Why do this? Transnationalists seek to establish hegemony across the Eurasian landmass. This is part of the quest to establish a New World Order based on transnational corporate power. As I have written about on Freedom and Reason, the New World Order will transition the world population from the international system of nation-states where they are citizens to a global neofeudalism where they will become serfs.

Without big picture understanding, it might puzzle one to hear somebody of the stature of Michael McFaul, appearing the other night on the Rachel Maddow show, say, “One difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans, German-speaking people. Putin slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate.” (His comment prompted Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum to tweet “’Ethnic Germans’ is a really weird way to get around the wholesale murder of German Jews.”) McFaul is a professor in international studies in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He is also the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, as well as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. More than this, he served as ambassador to Moscow under the Obama administration. A man like McFaul doesn’t get history this wrong accidentally. Nor does somebody like McFaul intend to rehabilitate Hitler by denying that German speaking people living in Europe during Hitler’s reign of terror were not among his victims (not just German Jews, but German homosexuals, German communists, and a myriad of others). His over-the-top rhetoric was designed to promote regime change by painting Putin as a threat worse than Hitler.

McFaul is aligning his rhetoric with that of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Such hyperbole is warmongering. When Zelensky tells the West that, if he falls then we all fall, he is attempting to mislead the peoples of the West by distorting Putin’s motives—indeed, by making them appear as Hitler’s desire for world conquest. But Putin’s Russia is not Nazi Germany. Putin’s actions are not animated by any Hitlerian motive. Zelensky is trying to draw the West into war. My sons owe Ukraine nothing.

Senator Biden understood in 1997 that NATO expansion would provoke a response from Russia. In the meantime, powerful actors convinced Biden to join them in that provocation. At least by the time became Vice-President under Barack Obama, Biden was determined to get close to powerful actors in Ukraine. This was driven as much for personal financial reasons as transnational interests.

In a recent Facebook post, Peter Philips, author of Giants: The Global Power Elite, provided a succinct analysis of the current situation: “The Atlantic Council (NATO’s Elite Policy Group) called for regime change in Russia 5 years ago. They engineered (using billions US $) the 2014 coup that put a pro-West government in Ukraine. The resulting pro-west government in Ukraine has been militarily engaged with pro-Russian separatist forces in low level warfare for the past five years. The CIA knew that Russia would never give up the warm water ports on the Black Sea and this would lead to an inevitable conflict between Ukraine and Russia, especially as right wing neo-nazi elements in Ukraine accepted NATO weapons and military advisors (Blackwater) taking increasingly stronger actions challenging the pro-Russians elements in Eastern Ukraine. Putin realizes that the West’s goal was to eliminate him and open Russia to capital investments from the Global Power elite. In order to prevent this threatened western takeover of all the Black Sea ports Putin moved on Ukraine seeking to reinstate a Russia friendly government.”

One can quibble with some of this (substituting CIA for Blackwater aligns with the reporting, and Putin’s motives may be a bit misspecified), but in the main it’s an accurate depiction of the situation. Philips goes on to write, “The entire situation is exactly what the US/CIA/NATO forces wanted to happen. Using the corporate media as an anti-Putin propaganda machine many folks now see Putin as a crazy new Hitler. The US/NATO strategy is the creation of an increasingly dangerous war (expensive for Russia and profitable for western military weapons producers) that undermines the Russian economy resulting in civilian challenges to Putin’s government. The danger of course is the inevitable use of tactical nukes by Russia and or the US that could lead to human extinction.” No quibbling with this. It’s spot on.

One of the more horrifying developments in the unfolding Russo-Ukrainian saga is the discovery of US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine located near the Russian border. According to the International Business Times, Russia discovered anthrax, tularemia, and other lethal agents there (see also this article). In light of US-funded gains-of-function research in Wuhan, China, one must wonder where else in the world has the United States established biological laboratories. While the urge to say the Russians are lying about this is palpable, a high-ranking official for the Biden administration recently revealed in testimony before the US Senate that there are indeed US-funded bio labs in Ukraine.

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies before a Senate Foreign Relation Committee hearing on Ukraine on March 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. Source: Glenn Greenwald.

In responding to a question by senator Marco Rubio, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland contradicted two weeks of corporate state disinformation concerning the labs (disinformation depicting the claim as “conspiracy theory”). Rubio and Nuland engaged in a colloquy to preemptively portray any biological weapons attack as certainly perpetrated by Putin, but the cat was out of the bag.

I hasten to note here that Nuland is Robert Kagan’s wife. This is not to diminish Nuland; she is a force on her own. It is rather to simply note that these two constitute a power couple associated with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) crowd. PNAC staffed the Bush-Cheney regime. Now PNAC is a Biden Administration thing. If that doesn’t tell you something about the permanent ruling class in Washington DC, then I don’t know what does. (If you want to learn more about PNAC, a version of my essay “War Hawks and the Ugly American: The Origins of Bush’s Middle East Policy,” first published in English in 2005 in Devastating Society: The Neo-Conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice by Pluto Press and the University of Michigan Press, is available here.)

I also hasten to remind readers about the relationships between Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Ukrainian government officials and oligarchs. Recall the quid pro quo between the Obama regime and the Ukrainian government brokered by Biden, admitted to during a speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, to fire a prospector the US government didn’t like. Consider why the Democrats were so eager to remove Trump from office for asking questions about Biden’s activities in Ukraine. They impeached him over it. What did they not want Americans to see? (See The Conspiracy to Overthrow an American President.)

I want to close with an observation about the ramifications of all of this for Americans. War in Ukraine can seem so remote, even while the media is trying to make Zelensky an every-man. But as the situation in the Ukraine is a part of a grand project that affects the world, Americans are necessarily impacted. In addition to dismantling nation-states and integrating working people into a transnational system of capitalist exploitation, a major element of the New World Order is the desire to bring military sensibilities to the domestic front—to regiment the would-be-serf according to the disciplinary style of the military. This is characteristic of the New Fascism.

George H. W. Bush promotes the idea of a New World Order to Congress on September 11, 1991. This occurred shortly after Operation Desert Storm ended.

In the above speech (and in other speeches), President GHW Bush tells the nation about the plan of the power elite. We saw the plan unfolding with the militarization of the police in the 1990s, followed by a vast surveillance network established in the first decade of the 2000s. With COVID-19, we saw another leap forward in the New World Order: citizens obeying the irrational dictates of the state. Indeed, the domestic plan unfolds in the service of the larger goal of globalization of corporate capitalism—not just capitalism as a planetary system (this was achieved in the twentieth century), but the deepening of the social logic of bureaucratic collectivism everywhere.

We are transitioning to global neofeudalism. In this New World Order you will be serfs. This is the slogan of the World Economic Forum: “You will own nothing and be happy.” (See If We Allow This, We are Over.)

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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