Wright from Washington City
March 6, 2022


Ukraine and the U.S. Empire

The worm turns


SO FAR IN MY LIFE I’ve encountered two major historical turning points. The first, of course, was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting reordering of the “world order.” That reordering included the flowering of the U.S. imperial state into its most malignant form: the world hegemon unrestrained abroad by any counterbalancing force, and enabled at home by a universal surveillance and mind-control regime supported by a new technological class utterly hostile to traditional America.

The problem with being the universal hegemon is that it encourages overweening arrogance and complacency, something the United State has demonstrated in abundance. One example has been its treatment of Russia. After the Communist regime’s collapse, Russians at first believed that they would be able to become part of the West, and reap the resulting economic benefits. The reality was quite different. U.S. financial types, with the acquiescence of the drunk and incompetent Boris Yeltsin, allied themselves with former Communist Party ruling-class members to strip the country of its assets, creating a new class of “oligarchs,” and immiserating average Russians. The rates of alcoholism skyrocketed; life expectancy plummeted into the 50s for Russian men.

Taking advantage of the country’s prostration, the neo-Trots who run Imperial foreign policy fell upon Russia, gleefully betraying Bush I’s promise to Mikhail Gorbachev not to expand NATO or attempt to encircle its former enemy. The United State accepted nine former Warsaw Pact countries, plus Croatia, Albania, and Slovenia, into NATO. It unilaterally abrogated the anti-ballistic missile treaty, and then parked nuclear missiles in several countries next to Russia, putting it under threat of a devastating first strike. It attacked Russia’s ally Serbia under false pretenses, and later did the same to another Russian ally, Syria. It encouraged the Georgian regime to invade the autonomous, Russian-inhabited provinces of Ossetia and Abkhazia. It looked for every excuse to impose economic sanctions, the Empire’s favorite weapon of war, on Russia.

And in 2014, Washington overthrew a legitimately elected government in Ukraine after it got too friendly with its Russian neighbors. It toyed publicly with the idea of making Ukraine a member of NATO, mocking Russia’s declarations that a NATO-member Ukraine could not be tolerated. And the Empire supported, if not actually incited, its new Ukrainian puppet regime as the latter ignored the 2015 Minsk Agreement and attacked ethnic Russians in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk who had voted for independence from Ukraine. For seven years, the people of those provinces have been shelled, shot, and otherwise kept under siege by the Ukrainian regime and its minions, who include the openly Nazi Azov Battalion, a paramilitary organization led by a warlord, and reportedly financed and armed by Washington.

For many years the Russians attempted to deal diplomatically with U.S. aggression, asking that NATO expansion be halted, requesting neutrality for Ukraine, and proposing making Europe a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Their reward has been contempt and continuing pressure. But to the fury of the neo-Trots, Russia has consistently refused to bow to the Empire. Vladimir Putin, who came to power in 1999 as prime minister and retains power today as president, has played a masterful game, making allies where he can, being conciliatory when he must, and always looking to strengthen Russia’s position.

Russia met U.S. attempts to economically isolate and impoverish it with initiatives to open new trading relations with European and Asian countries. Russia offered cheap gas and petroleum to European countries that were foolishly closing their nuclear power plants in favor of “green” energy. It joined the Chinese “Belt and Road” project to link Asian countries with the West over land routes, opening new opportunities for growth and preventing trade interference by the U.S. Navy. It began developing an international bank clearing system independent of the U.S.-controlled SWIFT system and built trade-based alternative currencies, with the goal of minimizing the ability of the Empire to freeze or confiscate assets, block currency transfers, and carry out other hostile actions against Russian banks and business firms. The damage inflicted on the economy during the Yeltsin era was slowly addressed, largely without resort to loans from Western institutions. That has left Russia almost uniquely immune to the deadly grip of the International Monetary Fund.

The U.S. Empire uses its control of international banking, its power to interfere in trade, its ubiquitous military, and its ability openly and clandestinely to meddle in other countries’ domestic affairs to keep the rest of the world in line. Those leaders who resist, and even many who don’t, find themselves the victims of internal political interference, coups, sanctions, military attacks, and/or invasion [1].

Putin met the expansion of NATO and the constant Imperial provocations and interference with a determined campaign to rebuild the armed forces decimated after the Soviet collapse. While Washington used its bloated military to beat up on helpless Third World countries, neglecting its actual defense obligations and wasting billions of dollars on flawed, boutique weapons, Russia used its limited resources to maximum effect, addressing its actual defensive needs. Warships were repaired and recommissioned. The air forces were modernized and expanded. The army was re-equipped, and defunct units were brought back to life. Russia built on the Soviet Union’s legacy of inexpensive, maintainable, robust, and effective weapons with new, more effective tanks, fighters, bombers, ships, submarines, and, especially, missiles. Apparently the Russians have also addressed the morale problems in their armed forces stemming from their own Afghanistan debacle and the subsequent political and economic collapse. Morale seems high [2], reinforced by Putin’s support of traditional morality and the Orthodox Church, and, ironically, by the well-publicized hostility of the United State.

Russia appears to have prepared well. Its anti-aircraft systems are the best in the world, making it far too risky for the Empire to attempt to enforce a “no-fly zone” as many warhawks are demanding. It has demonstrated its ability to rapidly mobilize and deploy hundreds of thousands of troops from great distances. Its financial and economic preparations have not made it invulnerable to Western sanctions, but have greatly mitigated their impact. And it has been demonstrating its ability and willingness to confront the Empire and its vassals for years with its annexation of Crimea, impressive military actions in Syria, by probing Western air defenses with reconnaissance flights, and (it is alleged) by firing warning shots at the British destroyer HMS Dragon when it made a gratuitously aggressive incursion into Black Sea waters claimed by Russia.

And that brings us to the second historical turning point. Russia’s actions against the puppet Ukrainian regime mark the beginning of the end of Imperial hegemony. Until now the system has worked; but Russia’s steely determination to flout the Empire’s increasingly shrill threats and denunciations, backed up with an effective armed forces, signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. reign of terror is drawing to a close. Already discredited by its catastrophically mishandled withdrawal from Afghanistan and the past few decades of clownish leadership, the United State responds with threats, bluster, and economic sanctions, none of which have any visible effect. Such obvious weakness is disastrous for a foreign policy based for decades on intimidation, economic blackmail, and bribery.

Meanwhile, Washington is losing its grip on economic domination. China will soon surpass it in economic output, and it and Russia are leading the way in finding alternatives to the dollar as the dominant international trade currency. And its influence is being undercut in other ways. While the Empire uses foreign aid and credit to subject countries to economic coercion, China builds development projects in the Third World without strings. And more and more countries are seeking alternatives to the dollar for their financial reserves, too. If that trend continues, the dollar will fall from its throne as the world’s reserve currency, and with it, the Empire’s dominance — not to mention its domestic standard of living. At the same time, U.S. actions against coal, nuclear power, fracking, the Keystone Pipeline, and Russian energy exports are causing energy prices to rise precipitously, promising hard times ahead.

The writing is on the wall. Our arrogant and incompetent rulers have led America into disaster, and, like most Americans, seem to have no comprehension of what they have done. But it is we, not they, who will pay the price. Ω


March 6, 2022

Published in 2022 by WTM Enterprises.

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1. I have long believed that the only thing more dangerous than being an enemy of the United State is being its friend. The list of U.S. clients betrayed by the Empire includes Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Ghadaffi. The latest to be thrown to the wolves is, of course, the puppet government of Afghanistan; and Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky seems to be next on the list. As one pundit has put it: “If you’re an enemy, the U.S. may try to buy you; if you’re a friend, they’ll definitely sell you.”

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2. Traditionally morale was a problem in the Soviet army owing to the brutal training methods to which conscripts were subjected and the lack of a corps of professional sergeants to properly supervise the men. Vicious hazing of new recruits by older soldiers was rife. Supposedly those problems have been mitigated: conscription was dropped, and the army has attempted to wipe out hazing. Minitrue’s organs have been full of reports claiming that Russian troops in Ukraine are demoralized, that their advance is stalled, etc. I have my doubts, however.

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