Round Two: The New Push for War
by PETER FARMER
March 1, 2014
Having failed last year to get the war they wanted in Syria, the western political/economic elites are trying again - this time in the Ukraine. After a lull in the action, which included the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the gamesmanship between east and west is again heating up against the backdrop of upheavals in the former Soviet territory. In round one of the geopolitical face-off between their respective power blocs, Russian President Vladimir Putin deftly out-maneuvered Barack Obama and his allies in NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. However, round one is in the books and round two has begun in earnest.
The dramatis personae are largely as before, but with some new players. The western bloc includes the United States, the NATO powers and the European Union in the forefront, plus Israel and the Arab oil states which comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council lurking in the background. Opposing them are Russia and her allies in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Depending on which way the cards fall, China and Turkey and other nations may join one of the blocs or choose to remain on the sidelines. The Ukraine - a small but strategically-located nation which was once part of the Soviet empire - is caught in the middle.
Just as with the 2013 crisis in Syria, the powers-that-be are sparing no expense or effort to craft a narrative and shape a consensus favorable to their agenda and long-term goals in the Black Sea region. A compliant western media - the propaganda arm of the western elites - is mounting a full-court press to portray the recent upheaval in the Ukraine as a humanitarian and geopolitical crisis which requires intervention on the part of the United States, NATO and the European Union.
For those who have followed the so-called "Arab Spring" movements across the Middle East over the last several years, the globalist template is a familiar one: Identify the target (the nation or region to be influenced), and then tunnel into it - undermining it from within and creating conditions of instability. Wait for the tension to build; fuel for the fire must accumulate. When conditions are right, all that is needed to set things ablaze is a spark. Once a revolt is underway and chaos reigns, move in - posing as the hero arriving to save the day - even as you plan to plunder the wealth and freedom of the very people you claim to be helping. If there is violence or any dirty work to be done, others will do it for you; the members of the transnational elites do not dirty their hands with such things. Why take the risk when there is so much money to be made and power to be amassed?
Intervention in Syria was sold to the public as necessary to protect and promote anti-Assad "freedom fighters" and their cause; in the Ukraine, the justification being offered is similar - only this time it is the revolt against now-deposed President Viktor Yanukovych. The usual leftist suspects, neo-con war-mongers and assorted hand-wringers are now again out in force, demanding that something be done to help the "freedom fighters" in besieged Ukraine.
The establishment is working overtime to promote the narrative that the intervention is justified and necessary on humanitarian grounds, but that is a bald-faced lie. The elites care nothing for the everyday Ukrainian; claims to the contrary are nothing more than a smokescreen designed to obscure the real politik occurring behind the scenes. The real prize is something else entirely - control of this strategically-important nation and its resources.
The Ukraine is strategically-important for a number of reasons. It sits astride enormous petroleum and natural gas deposits found in the Black Sea region. The nation is also home to an extensive network of liquid natural gas pipelines which crisscross it; control the Ukraine and you control its pipelines - and thus the flow of energy into the hugely-lucrative European market. Western energy firms such as Exxon-Mobil, BP-Amoco and Chevron are locked in competition with the Russian energy giant Gazprom - for control/exploitation of as-yet-undeveloped petroleum deposits not only in the Ukraine, but in neighboring Poland and Romania. Fracking technologies and other new extraction methods have only added urgency to the competition. Income from fossil fuels development is the lifeblood of the new Russian economy. Threats to the regional hegemony of Gazprom are likely to be treated by Putin and Russia with the utmost urgency and seriousness.
The Crimean Peninsula is also home to the Black Sea fleet of the Russian navy, which leases its base at Sevastopol from the Ukrainian government. Since the Black Sea - via the Dardanelles - provides the only warm-water base with access to the Mediterranean Sea - it is of enormous importance to Russia. Its loss would be a crippling blow to the Russian fleet.
Finally, the Ukraine - once known as the "bread basket of Europe" - is home to arguably the finest temperate agricultural region in the world. Its topsoil is widely-acknowledged by agronomists to be among the world's best. Control the Ukraine and you control the grainery of Europe - and can exert tremendous leverage upon worldwide grain agricultural commodities prices.
Having failed to seize control of the pipelines at their proposed terminus in Syria, the western power bloc has moved upstream and right onto Russia's doorstep. Although the Ukraine is now an independent nation, it was a part of the Soviet empire a quarter century ago - and Putin jealously guards his nation's interests in the Black Sea region. In particular, the Russian leader is not likely to tolerate any action by the U.S. or NATO or its surrogates which jeopardizes Russian business or military interests on the Crimean Peninsula. The Russians, lacking significant natural barriers to invasion from the west and southwest, have long-sought to build a buffer zone of territories to provide a degree of protection. Historically, the Ukraine has fallen into this zone and the Russian sphere of influence. NATO-EU encroachment violates this de facto security buffer - and thus from the Russian perspective represents an extremely provocative action.
Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs) - including several directly affiliated with billionaire leftist and Obama supporter George Soros - have done much to prepare the ground for the revolt now unfolding in the Ukraine. Undoubtedly, they have been aided and abetted by western intelligence agencies such as the CIA. At present, the anti-Yanukovych forces appear to have the upper hand; exploiting their advantage, Obama and his confederates in the E.U. are now calling for the deposed president to be charged with crimes against humanity.
It is all part-and-parcel of the political theater being staged in the Ukraine by the western elites.
The fate of independent Ukraine is far-from-settled and its beleaguered people are still being used, perhaps unknowingly, as pawns in the game of great powers.
The nation divides roughly along east-west lines by ethnic composition. Eastern Ukraine, which is the wealthier of the two halves of the country, is populated by an ethnic Russian majority, while the western half of the nation is predominantly Ukrainian. It is a very real possibility that the nation will be broken up into at least two parts - if not by the Ukrainians themselves, then by one of the great power blocs or the U.N.
One thing is certain - no matter which power bloc wins, i.e. the U.S.-NATO-EU alliance or the Russians - the Ukrainian people themselves will be lucky to come out of the turmoil with a nation they can call their own. They deserve better than the power-hungry and greedy elites now quarreling over their homeland.
As for military or other intervention in the region, the western powers had best be careful of what they wish for. Putin is not a man with whom to trifle; backed into a corner, he would likely prove to be very dangerous. The Russians will not tolerate aggressive encroachment into their historic sphere of influence by the west and NATO. Moreover, the natural gas pipelines in the region were built in part with Russian technical aid and funds and are jointly-owned with Ukrainian interests on that basis.
It is a very dangerous game Obama and his allies are playing. Geopolitical gamesmanship is a high-stakes game - one whose consequences can spiral out of control very quickly. Putin and the Russians won't take the continued provocations of the west indefinitely; sooner or later they will retaliate in kind. Things can very easily-escalate and take on a life of their own. Wars - very big wars - have been started by less. Aggressive posturing of the kind we are now seeing once almost ignited a nuclear conflagration during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. If one pokes a stick into a hornet's nest, sooner or later one is going to be stung; it is just a question of when. Putin is probably too-sensible and self-interested to threaten a nuclear exchange or otherwise start a war, but he still has many other means with which to strike back at the west, should he choose to do so.
On a cost-benefit basis, there is little to be gained by involving ourselves in another nation's internal affairs. The risk of blowback is too-severe. If there is a cease-fire or other agreement to be brokered, then that is the proper role for the stakeholders in the crisis (Ukraine and its neighbors) and perhaps the United Nations as well. Within the bounds of agreed-upon international law and applicable treaties, every effort should be made to assure that a just resolution is reached in the Ukraine - one that benefits its people and not the economic-political elites in the west or Russia.
As for U.S. intervention, the lesson of history is clear. The Founding Fathers warned us that the United States could remain free-and-prosperous at home, or engage in the games of empire and great power politics abroad - but not both. There is no language whatsoever in the U.S. Constitution which permits the use of the nation's military as a mercenary force or de facto private army for the enrichment of the ruling class, but that is precisely what the globalist elites have in mind for it. It would be a grave crime to allow such an event to happen. U.S. military might must not be used to make the fortunes of the global elites, who would have little compunction about spending the blood and suffering of others to realize their plans.
If you are tempted to believe the rationalizations being offered by the ruling class for a war or yet another foreign policy adventure, ask yourself the following question: are you willing to risk your life so that George Soros can make another billion dollars? Didn't think so.
© 2014 Peter Farmer
Peter Farmer is a historian and commentator on national security, geopolitics and public policy issues. He has done original research on wartime resistance movements in WWII Europe, and has delivered seminars on such subjects as political violence and terrorism, the evolution of conflict, combat medicine, and related subjects. Mr. Farmer is also a scientist and a medic.