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US Foreign Policy and The Tangled Matrix of Deceit

Will America do anything and think anything to preserve its hegemony?

Vladimir Golstein

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Goethe’s Faust, an ever energetic, never satisfied individual, is the traditional symbol of a Western man. He refuses to stay in the moment and vows never to declare: “Verweile doch, du bist so schön” – “Stay a while, you are so beautiful.” Judging by its elites and by the stories it tells about itself, Modern West has turned into the very opposite of this Faustian man. For the current western leaders, the beautiful moment had already occurred, as was officially pronounced by Francis Fukuyama in his notorious treatise of the1990s, The End of History and the Last Man. That was the moment when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the dreams of the Full Spectrum Dominance and the perennial Pax Americana were cooked up by various neoconservative thinkers and the authors of PNAC. At this “beautiful moment,” such concepts as Truth, West, or Order have finally found their eternal abode in Washington, DC.

Bizarre as Fukuyama’s rejection of change was, it took roots. Of course, Fukuyama dressed it in Hegelian terms, announcing the death of grand narratives and radical revolutions, but underneath these intellectual trappings laid a rather conservative message: “Read my lips: no new paradigms. The history has ended.”

From that moment on, the ever-dynamic USA has fully embraced stasis. Any objective observer is struck by the breakneck speed with which China has developed. Russia has undergone an equally drastic metamorphosis, transformed from socialist and threatening Soviet Union to relatively modern country with its pro-western orientation. Yet, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” is no longer the motto of some prudent Yankee. It is the very basis of recent policies striving for the preservation of the status quo. The economic and political establishment is rather clear about it, as can be witnessed by the Democratic Party and its continuous failures caused by the refusal of its leadership to change.

The embrace of the status quo is especially visible in the realm of foreign policy. Think Tanks – what an appropriate name for these immobile shrines to bankrupt thoughts  –are doing job in protecting their thinking from outside influences. Most of their employers are former officials and bureaucrats who perfected the art of applying past solutions to current realities.

Various media talking heads, the intellectuals in Trump cabinet, such as NSA’s H.R. McMaster or Pentagon’s James Mattis, or the pundits from Council of Foreign Affairs or Atlantic Council, rarely venture beyond the parameters set by the needs to preserve the status quo. The clearest articulation of this conservative paradigm has been recently delivered at the 2017 Munich Security Conference promoted as The Best Think Tank Conference. This annual conference, which gathers all the key players of Western foreign policy, has crystallizes into a unified front all the forces of US and EU establishment. It is their push for the status quo, which has obviously overcome President Trump’s initial resistance.

Since it reveals what’s in store for Trump’s foreign policy, it is important to explore the Munich narrative and its main principles, which can be summarized as following: Western order is superior; it needs to be defended from both Russia and from those at home, who challenge its superiority. What’s indispensable for this defense is invigorated NATO and the counterpropaganda, which portrays criticism as “fake news.”

In light of these propositions, which Munich Conference univocally reconfirmed, neither recent Trump actions, nor the statements of the key members of Trump cabinet, appear as unique or strange. Thus, H.R. McMuster, the head of NSA, and one of the intellectuals in Trump’s cabinet declares:  “And this [Russian] effort, I believe, is aimed really not at defensive objectives, but at offensive objectives – to collapse the post-World War II, certainly the post-Cold War, security, economic, and political order in Europe, and replace that order with something that is more sympathetic to Russian interests.” Likewise, the CIA’s chief, Mike Pompeo observes: “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, has entitled his annual report as “Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?”, suggesting therefore, that any move beyond Western dominance inevitable entails the loss of truth and order. To fend off this terrible situation, one has to return to Western verities: “Despite its various flaws, the liberal international order has, in the bigger scheme of things, allowed for a remarkable era of peace and economic development.” (p. 10).  In other words, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The polite, almost academic tone of the discussion–as it frequently happens in the west — hides a rather harsh reality. “Remarkable era of peace and development” is not going to give in easily. It is ready to resort to all sorts of machinations, including military aggression, to preserve itself. This is the blueprint, which has been dutifully echoed by the majority of the participants, that is, by the military, political, and intellectual leaders of the West. It is to this blueprint, that the US president, Donald Trump, has quickly returned, despite his initial challenge of the status quo.

First, Ischinger articulates the threats to the Status Quo, depicting them as antithetical to western values:  “Western societies are troubled by the emergence of populist movements that oppose critical elements of the liberal-democratic status quo. From outside, Western societies are challenged by illiberal regimes trying to cast doubt on liberal democracy and weaken the international order. ..…   “The past twelve months have been a resounding rejection of the status quo. In several elections and referenda, political outsiders succeeded, while the establishment was dealt major blows.” (p. 6)

These dangers are repeated again and again, until they begin to sound like a mantra, an incantation, to be delivered to various governments and citizens: Barbarians are at the doors and the western order is in danger: “The rise of the populists has rapidly become a systemic challenge that threatens to undermine the liberal international order the world’s liberal democracies have built and upheld since the end of World War II … the populists at home and the illiberal regimes abroad form a formidable challenge to the main elements of the liberal international order.” (8)

And of course it is Russia, which is usually referred to as “illiberal regime”: “While Western officials have repeatedly argued that “there is no military solution” to the war in Syria, Russia and its allies pursued one – and seem to be successful … In Ukraine, Russia has violated several key principles governing European security. … Is this a post-order world in which the elements of the liberal international order are fading away because no one is there to protect them?“ (10).

The possibility of post-Western world, where Russia can preserve and assert its interests, is categorically denied and the call to arms is issued: “Despite its various flaws, the liberal international order has, in the bigger scheme of things, allowed for a remarkable era of peace and economic development… Since its creation, NATO has been a central pillar of the Western-led order – and the crucial security link connecting the US, Canada, and their European allies… The European Union is under pressure, too, as it has to deal with Brexit, a populist surge, the refugee crisis, a potential return of the euro crisis, jihadist attacks, and a revisionist Russia.” (8-10) The enemies’ list is remunerated and Russia’s role is defined: “revisionist Russia.” The liberal order and such institutions that support it, be it NATO or EU, are to be strengthen while those who challenge it, are to be pushed back.

This program, articulated by Ischinger, was echoed by numerous participants, including such US luminaries, as Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary, Mathis, and Senator John McCain. Thus, John McCain was quite eloquent about his willingness to fight to preserve western dominance: “We … cannot allow ourselves to question the rightness and goodness of the West… I refuse to accept the end of the West. I refuse to accept the demise of our world order. ….  I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries. I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West.”

One is tempted to ask: which West do you have in mind, Senator McCain? The one that unleashed Nazi Germany unto the world? The one that vaporized civilians in Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki? The one that, turned Cambodia into Zombistan, bombed and dismantled Yugoslavia, wreaked havoc in Iraq and Syria and condoned neo-Nazis in Ukraine and Al Qaeda in the Middle East?

Yet, this highly ambivalent western status quo has to be defended militarily: “From the ashes of the most awful calamity in human history was born what we call the West—a new, and different, and better kind of world order… The unprecedented period of security and prosperity that we have enjoyed for the past seven decades did not happen by accident. It happened not only because of the appeal of our values, but because we backed them with our power and persevered in their defense.”

And then comes the most relevant part. It falls on US to provide this military backbone to the west, and it will do so, some temporary difficulties emanating from the White House, non-withstanding:

I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That is not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That is not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.

Well, Senator McCain has clearly delivered on his promise. Since then, President Trump, has been pushed back into the matrix and fully embraced the status-quo narrative, including his renewed NATO commitment and his willingness to cast Russia as an enemy of the west and the supporter of bloodthirsty regimes. Trump’s surrender to this status quo discourse, has been completed and sealed by his order to bomb Syria and Afghanistan. Trump and his cohort appear to be reading from the script reinforced at this conference: a familiar narrative polished through the years of the Cold War.

So the idea of “Post-Western World Order,” which makes perfect sense in light of the BRIC ascendance, has been soundly dismissed by the majority of the Munich Conference participants. It is NATO and the West all the way.

It is also clear, that the bogeyman was designated or rather reconfirmed during these proceeding. This honorary role has fallen on Russia once again. Luckily for the ideologues that wrote the script, Russia’s role in Ukraine and Syria provided enough rhetorical tools to cast it as the threat to the sacred liberal western order. The matrix has been set, and any attempt to break out of it, will be dismissed as fake news, propaganda and so on.

All the brave Russian dissidents, Polish and Baltic politicians, or Syrian or Iranian refugees are utilized to promote one concept: Russia is the same, dangerous and corrupt; Iran is the same as at the time of Ayatollah, Syria is the same. And therefore these countries should be contained.

In light of this well-oiled narrative, it is hardly surprising that Lavrov speech with its call for Post-Western world order, and its reference to NATO as the relic of cold war,  fell on the dead ears. In the house of the Status-Quo you don’t argue for change. If a Cold War is needed to prop up Western World Order and NATO, the Cold War will be conjured up and ushered in.

The longevity of this model, suggests that it is rather functional. Designating Russia as a dangerous enemy rather than a potential ally enables the west to embark on the win-win situation. Either Russia will buckle up and surrender, or it will fight back, reveal its aggressive side, and thus underscore the need to preserve the military might of the Western Liberal Order.  It is quite telling that the British Foreign Minister, Boris Jonhson, has refused to go to Moscow after Trump’s decision to bomb Syria, accusing president Assad, along with his ally Putin, in orchestrating the chemical attack against its population. The script has already been written; the role of the villain assigned; why go to Moscow and learn of facts that can complicate the story? Playing the role of a good cop, Johnson counterpart, Rex Tillerson, did go to Russia, only to reiterate after his meeting that the story stands. In fact, Tillerson’s remarks at the conclusion of his Moscow visit are quite telling. On the one hand he asserts that Russia is an enemy and should follow the Western script or else; on the other, he suggests that nuclear powers have to talk to each other. “There is a low level of trust between our two countries. The world’s two foremost nuclear powers cannot have this kind of relationship.” In other words, lets go back to the Cold War status quo: Russia will be pounded as enemy, but without nuclear escalation.

The establishment’s conviction that Russia is too weak to offer military resistance to Western dominance, yet, not crazy enough to appeal to nukes, has been formulated by the original establishment candidate for the US presidency, Hillary Clinton. In her email of November 30, 2015 she claimed that Russia wouldn’t stay in the way of American assertion of dominance. Russia has done nothing in 1999 in Serbia, and it won’t do anything in the future. Pushing for the aggressive policy in Syria, Secretary Clinton maintained:

Unlike in Libya, a successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States. Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces… The second step is to develop international support for a coalition air operation.  Russia will never support such a mission, so there is no point operating through the UN Security Council. Some argue that U.S. involvement risks a wider war with Russia. But the Kosovo example shows otherwise. In that case, Russia had genuine ethnic and political ties to the Serbs, which don’t exist between Russia and Syria, and even then Russia did little more than complain.

Despite various triumphant assertions, the Western dominance is on the decline, and its reign hardly brought peace or economic development to large segments of the world population, including the western countries themselves. Yet, the struggling order is willing to do anything to prop itself up. From the engine of development it has turned into its break.

Consequently, we can conclude that most if not all recent foreign policies decisions are not driven by, say, Russophobia, or desire to create chaos or redraw the borders in Middle East. It is naïve to blame Zionists or Islamophobes for recent political decisions. There is simply this neurotic need to preserve the Status Quo, while designating certain populations as its threat. It is not the NWO anymore, it is OWO: Old World Order. Neocons and their think tanks are not dangerous revolutionaries bend on transforming the world. They are old fogies who want things to remain the same. Washington consensus, Washington playbook and other well-established paradigms, promote nothing but violent resistance to change.

This pro-western triumphalism clearly brings to mind a myopic estimation of Russia, expressed by one of the tsar Nicholas I’s officials: ““Russia’s past is glorious, beautiful and heroic, its present is magnificent, grand, and beautiful, and its future is so remarkable that can’t be described.” We know from serious academic studies, such as Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed  (2005), that such societies are doomed. Sooner or later paradigm shifts, and those who vested in the old paradigm, come crushing down, does not matter whether they the proponents of Ptolemaic astronomy, Newtonian physics, Marxist economics, or neocon philosophy.

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Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

Ukraine has in recent years begun entertaining the possibility of returning to the nuclear fold, especially in light of North Korea’s recent actions. Kim Jong-un’s lesson seems to be that a nuclear deterrent remains the only way of guaranteeing complete protection against a regional hegemon. The situation in Ukraine, however, differs from that of North Korea, including in terms of alliances and power relations. Kiev’s government came into power as a result of a coup d’etat carried out by extremist nationalist elements who seek their inspiration from Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The long arm of NATO has always been deeply involved in the dark machinations that led to Poroshenko’s ascendency to the Ukrainian presidency. From a geopolitical point of view, NATO’s operation in Ukraine (instigating a civil war in the wake of a coup) follows in the footsteps of what happened in Georgia. NATO tends to organize countries with existing anti-Russia sentiments to channel their Russophobia into concrete actions that aim to undermine Moscow. The war in the Donbass is a prime example.

However, Ukraine has been unable to subdue the rebels in the Donbass region, the conflict freezing into a stalemate and the popularity of the Kiev government falling as the population’s quality of life experiences a precipitous decline. The United States and the European Union have not kept their promises, leaving Poroshenko desperate and tempted to resort to provocations like the recent Kerch strait incident or such as those that are apparently already in the works, as recently reported by the DPR authorities.

The idea of Ukraine resuming its production of nuclear weapons is currently being floated by minor figures, but it could take hold in the coming months, especially if the conflict continues in its frozen state and Kiev becomes frustrated and desperate. The neoconservative wing of the American ruling elite, absolutely committed to the destruction of the Russian Federation, could encourage Kiev along this path, in spite of the incalculable risks involved. The EU, on the other hand, would likely be terrified at the prospect, which would also place it between a rock and a hard place. Kiev, on one side, would be able to extract from the EU much needed economic assistance in exchange for not going nuclear, while on the other side the neocons would be irresponsibly egging the Ukrainians on.

Moscow, if faced with such a possibility, would not just stand there. In spite of Russia having good relations with North Korea, it did not seem too excited at the prospect of having a nuclear-armed neighbor. With Ukraine, the response would be much more severe. A nuclear-armed Ukraine would be a red line for Moscow, just as Crimea and Sevastopol were. It is worth remembering the Russian president’s words when referring to the possibility of a NATO invasion of Crimea during the 2014 coup:

“We were ready to do it [putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert]. Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them. It was not us who committed to coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs. I do not think this is actually anyone’s wish – to turn it into a global conflict.”

As Kiev stands on the precipice, it will be good for the neocons, the neoliberals and their European lackeys to consider the consequences of advising Kiev to jump or not. Giving the nuclear go-ahead to a Ukrainian leadership so unstable and detached from reality may just be the spark that sets off Armageddon.

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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