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What Are the Prospects for Peace?
Paul Craig Roberts
This is my response to an interview this morning with Peace Dividend — https://peacedividend.us/paul-craig-roberts-what-now-are-the-prospects-for-peace/
The American war machine consists of the economic and power interests of the US military/security complex and the hegemonic ideology of the neoconservatives. The former requires an enemy in order to justify the unaccountable power of the security agencies and the $1,000 billion annual budget of the complex. The latter believes in an exceptional and indispensable United States entitled to hegemonic power over the world. As armaments industry political campaign donations exercise control over elected officials and as the neoconservatives with their Wolfowitz doctrine are the main shapers of US foreign policy, there are no interest groups or political leaders capable of challenging their dominance. This means that the chances for peace are zero.
We are being led into nuclear war. Having provoked a Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the US and its NATO puppets have become combatants in the conflict by their provision of Ukraine with weapons, training, and diplomatic support. The US and UK are now equipping Ukraine with missiles that can be used for attacks on Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Crimea. Once such an attack occurs, the US and NATO will be at war with Russia, a situation China could take advantage of by occupying Taiwan.
Peace requires an event or events that shake the neoconservatives confidence in their ideology of hegemony and the willingness of elected officials to continue to accommodate the interests of the military security complex, or it requires Russian and Chinese acceptance of US hegemony, an unlikely prospect.
Had the Kremlin responded to the Ukrainian provocation with a blitzkrieg conquest of all of Ukraine, a stunned Europe and Washington would have opened to voices other than the neoconservative ones, and elected officials would have been more mindful of the threat posed by an unbridled military/security complex. But the limited, drawn out Russian intervention reinforced the West’s view that there was not much fight in the Kremlin. The Kremlin’s toleration for many years of continuous provocations and its toleration of Western-financed subversion inside Russia has conditioned the West to disregard Russian declaration of red lines. For example, at the initiation of the Russian limited intervention in Ukraine, the Kremlin said that all who intervened in behalf of Ukraine would be treated as combatants. But no Western government paid any heed. Even militarily impotent Denmark sends weapon systems to Ukraine.
It was a strategic blunder for the Kremlin to suppose its operation could be limited. The US and most of Europe are now involved. The limited and time-consuming Russian intervention provided time for the West to fashion a narrative of Russian defeat and to organize weapons shipments. Once the Russians complete the task of driving the Ukrainians out of the Donbass region, the Russians are likely to confront a new Ukrainian army raised in Western Ukraine. In other words, the Kremlin’s goal of demilitarizing Ukraine is unlikely to result from partial conquest.
It seems clear that the situation is set for a wider war. As Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia, said: “The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are galloping ahead.”
The Kremlin Continues to Inform the West that the West is Courting Nuclear War. But No One Listens.
Excerpt from Lavrov UK press conference
Question: Britain has said it is giving Ukraine multiple rocket launchers to help it defend itself against Russian forces. The U.S. is doing the same thing. You called it a risky path. But if Russia had not attacked Ukraine and there had been no Russian invasion, there would have been no transfer of weapon systems. Do you agree?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: You don’t even want to hear our arguments. It’s not about “if we hadn’t attacked, you wouldn’t have sent weapons.” The point is that for twenty years, in fact, you (the British), the Americans, all other NATO member countries have been urged by us to do what everyone signed up to in 1999: no one will strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others. Why can’t you do that? Why did what your prime minister, presidents and prime ministers of all other OSCE countries signed turn out to be a lie? Instead, you tell us that NATO membership is “none of your business” – whoever you want in NATO, you accept. Five times you approached our borders. When the Warsaw Pact and the USSR disappeared, who were you defending against? This is megalomania.
Now Jens Stoltenberg says that it is necessary to globally ensure NATO’s responsibility in the Indo-Pacific region. So your next line of defense will be in the South China Sea. If you look at what is happening, it becomes completely clear: you considered yourself entitled all these years to commit lawlessness far from your borders. I understand that nostalgically this is the British Empire, you have left there thrown “seeds”. You have such nostalgia. They declare areas across the ocean from the United States, where there is allegedly a threat to Washington. Then Iraqi Mosul, then Syrian Raqqa, then Belgrade. In Libya, lawlessness is happening, states have been destroyed.
Imagine for a moment if, in neighboring Ireland, which occupies half of the island concerned, English was abolished, or Belgium, say, abolished French, Switzerland abolished French, German or Italian. How would Europe look at this? I won’t even elaborate on that thought. Europe looked calmly at how the Russian language was banned. It happened in Ukraine. Education, the media, daily communication – all this was forbidden to the Russian language. At the same time, the Russians in Donbass were bombed for eight years by a regime that openly professed and glorified Nazism.
I understand that you need to drill your “truth” into the heads of your audience with “chopped phrases”: “if you had not attacked, we would not have delivered MLRS.” Vladimir Putin commented on the situation that will develop in connection with the arrival of new weapons. I can only add that the more long-range weapons you supply, the further we will move westward from our territory the line from which neo-Nazis threaten the Russian Federation.
In other words, as neo-Nazis sit in Brussels, London and Washington as well as in Kiev, the protection of Russia expands the targets far beyond Donbass.