As the geopolitical tug of war continues to take place over the ravaged country of Ukraine, both sides of the conflict – NATO and Russia – have begun taking steps toward a more solidified structure of alliances that will no doubt have massive reverberations across the world and possibly lead to direct confrontation between nuclear powers.
Indeed, as further evidence that the Western NATO bloc desires an ultimate conflict with Russia and the BRICS powers, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has indicated that Ukraine is firmly on the path to become an eventual member of the NATO alliance.
Simultaneously, West Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniyuk submitted a bill to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada that would cancel Ukraine’s “non-aligned” status and restart Ukraine’s official attempt to become a member of NATO.
Yatsenyuk also revealed that the ultimate goal of Ukraine is to become a member of the European Union. For that reason, the bill would also ban Ukraine from “joining any political unions which would prevent it from eventually achieving” membership in the EU. The “political unions” which Yatsenyuk and his NATO backers are most concerned with are the Eurasian Economic Community and the Eurasian Customs Union; both political unions created and maintained by Russia which many see as the tentacles of the old Soviet Union.
Yatsenyuk asked Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to classify the bill as urgent and to fast track a vote on the legislation as soon as possible.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Arsen Avakov described the decision to submit the legislation as “a very correct one.”
On his Facebook page, Avakov revealed the provocative and strategic nature of the decision by writing “If the parliament approves it, the path to NATO will be open. Only madmen would counter such a decision in the current situation.”
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that “This is a fundamental principle that each and every nation has an inherent right to decide itself, on its security policies and its alliance affiliations.” He reiterated that NATO would indeed be willing to consider Ukrainian membership.
A push for Ukrainian membership is not a new concept, of course. As far back as 2008, the idea that Ukraine would eventually become a NATO member was floated during the Bucharest Summit. This new push, however, is clearly an attempt to provoke Russia and back Putin into a corner politically and militarily. This, of course, has been the plan of the NATO leadership for some time as well as the doctrine of Zbigniew Brzezinski and the will of the world oligarchy.
Russia, however, has not sat idly by while NATO has attempted to push itself up to Russia’s doorstep. On August 31, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that it was time to consider the options surrounding the Eastern portion of Ukraine.
In an interview with Russian state television, Putin stated “We need to immediately begin substantive talks on questions of the political organization of society and statehood for southeastern Ukraine with the goal of protecting the lawful interests of the people who live there."
Although the meaning behind Putin’s statement is somewhat murky, the Western propaganda mouthpiece,The Huffington Post, reported that the Russian position is not supportive of sovereignty for the Eastern separatist region of Ukraine.
Of course, this stands in the face of the fact that Russia has repeatedly made calls (at least publicly) for dialogue between Eastern and Western Ukraine and has also publicly expressed a desire for a decentralization of power and a sensible form of government resembling that of a confederacy.
A more sensible translation of the Russian statement, however, was provided by the Interpretermagazine. According to the Interpreter, the statement reads, “We must immediately get down to a substantial, substantive negotiations, and not on technical questions, but on the questions of the political organization of society and statehood in the south-east of Ukraine with the purpose of unconditional provision of the lawful interests of people who live there.”
It should be noted, however, that the Interpreter itself points out that “the word Putin used in Russian is "gosudarstvennost," which means literally "statehood" but can also mean "state system" or "state organization," i.e. form of government,” making Putin’s statement sound much less apocalyptic. This is a technical detail that most Western media outlets are leaving out.
Nevertheless, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also publicly expressed interest in the idea as have the Eastern Separatists. However, the separatists have demanded that Kiev halt its military offensive while talks take place, a condition that Poroshenko and Kiev have consistently refused to meet.
It is in regards to this stubbornness that Putin stated “If anybody believes that in a situation where the cities and villages of east Ukraine come under direct fire that the militiamen will have no reaction to that, but will simply wait for the promised talks, then these people are prisoner to some illusions.”
While Putin’s statements are still unclear in terms of the specifics, Western media outlets will waste no time in portraying them as an attempt to annex Eastern Ukraine in the same way that Crimea was annexed previously. While this may well be Russia’s goal, it could be that Russia is merely attempting to end the violence at its doorstep or to create an independent neutral state at its border so as to provide a buffer from NATO forces now openly creeping towards Moscow. Regardless, it should never be forgotten that whatever Russia’s action in Ukraine, it is entirely defensive in nature. After all, it was the Western NATO powers that created the Ukrainian crisis to begin with.
NATO Membership For Ukraine – Another Move On The Grand Chessboard
When one analyzes the perspective of the NATO powers, what is clear is that the Brzezinski doctrine as espoused in The Grand Chessboard is very much alive and well and, indeed, being implemented in Ukraine.
In The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski argues that the expansion of NATO and the European Union will serve to reinvigorate greater Europe as well as act as the proverbial carrot by which the more Central and Eastern European countries will be encouraged to facilitate and implement the will of the Anglo-Europeans. The failure to do so, however, runs the risk of awakening a historical Russian imperialism that could challenge Anglo-European hegemony, according to Brzezinski. He writes,
It follows that a wider Europe and an enlarged NATO will serve well both the short-term and the longer-term goals of U.S. policy. A larger Europe will expand the range of American influence – and, through the admission of new Central European members, also increase in the European councils the number of states with a pro-American proclivity – without simultaneously create a Europe politically so integrated that it could soon challenge the United States on geopolitical matters of high importance to America elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East. A politically defined Europe is also essential to the progressive assimilation of Russia into a system of global cooperation.
Admittedly, America cannot on its own generate a more united Europe – that is up to the Europeans, especially the French and the Germans – but America can obstruct the emergence of a more united Europe. And that could prove calamitous for stability in Eurasia and thus also for America’s own interests. Indeed, unless Europe becomes more united, it is likely to become more disunited again. Accordingly, as stated earlier, it is vital that America work closely with both France and Germany and seeking a Europe that is politically viable, a Europe that remains linked to the United States, and a Europe that widens the scope of the cooperative democratic international system.Brzezinski goes on to describe the framework of an arrangement between the West and Russia that would have very little – if any – benefits to Russia. His requirements are essentially that Russia be neutered with respect to its ability to make effective and influential regional decisions, that it strategically weaken itself militarily, and even reorganize its governmental structure to the form of a confederacy with three co-equal parts. He writes,
The enlargement of NATO and the EU would serve to reinvigorate Europe’s own waning sense of a larger vocation, while consolidating, to the benefit of both America and Europe, the democratic gains won through the successful termination of the Cold War. At stake in this effort is nothing less than America’s long-range relationship with Europe itself. A new Europe is still taking shape, and if that new Europe is to remain geopolitically a part of the “Euro-Atlantic” space, the expansion of NATO is essential. By the same token, a failure to widen NATO, now that the commitment has been made, would shatter the concept of an expanding Europe and demoralize the Central Europeans. It could even reignite currently dormant or dying Russian geopolitical aspirations in Central Europe.
Indeed, the failure of the American-led effort to expand NATO could reawaken even more ambitious Russian desires. It is not yet evident – and the historical record is strongly to the contrary – that the Russian political elite shares Europe’s desire for a strong and enduring American political and military presence. Therefore, while the fostering of an increasingly cooperative relationship with Russia is clearly desirable, it is important for America to send a clear message about its global priorities. If a choice has to be made between a larger Euro-Atlantic system and a better relationship with Russia, the former has to rank incomparably higher to America.
For that reason, any accommodation with Russia on the issue of NATO enlargement should not entail an outcome that has the effect of making Russia a defacto decision-making member of the alliance, thereby diluting NATO’s special Euro-Atlantic character while simultaneously relegating its newly admitted members to second-class status. That would create opportunities for Russia to resume not only the effort to regain a sphere of influence in Central Europe but to use its presence within NATO to play on any American-European disagreements in order to reduce the American role in European affairs.
It is also crucial that, as Central Europe enters NATO, any new security assurances to Russia regarding the region be truly reciprocal and thus mutually reassuring. Restrictions on the deployment of NATO troops and nuclear weapons on the soil of new members can be an important factor in allaying legitimate Russian concerns, but these should be matched by symmetrical Russian assurances regarding the demilitarization of the potentially strategically menacing salient of Kaliningrad and by limits on major troop deployments near the borders of the prospective new members of NATO and the EU. While all of Russia’s newly independent western neighbors are anxious to have a stable and cooperative relationship with Russia, the fact is that they continue to fear it for historically understandable reasons. Hence, the emergence of an equitable NATO/EU accommodation with Russia would be welcomed by all Europeans as a signal that Russia is finally making the much-desired postimperial choice in favor of Europe.It is important to note that, when Brzezinski states that a “decentralized political system, based on the free market,” is desired for Russia, he means a system that is built on privatization, unfettered Capitalism, and the ability of private corporations to loot and exploit “the country’s vast natural resources” as well as its people.
Russia’s longer-term role in Eurasia will depend largely on the historic choice that Russia has to make, perhaps still in the course of this decade, regarding its own self-definition. Even with Europe and China increasing the radius of their respective regional influence, Russia will remain in charge of the world’s largest single piece of real estate. It spans ten time zones and is territorially twice as large as either the United States or China, dwarfing in that regard even an enlarged Europe. Hence, territorial deprivation is not Russia’s central problem. Rather, the huge Russia has to face squarely and draw the proper implications from the fact that both Europe and China are already economically more powerful and that China is also threatening to outpace Russia on the road to social modernization.
In these circumstances, it should become more evident to the Russian political elite that Russia’s first priority is to modernize itself rather than to engage in a futile effort to regain its former status as a global power. Given the enormous size and diversity of the country, a decentralized political system, based on the free market, would be more likely to unleash the creative potential of both the Russian people and the country’s vast natural resources. In turn, such a more decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization. A loosely confederated Russia – composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic – would find it easier to cultivate closer economic regulations with Europe, with the new states of Central Asia, and with the Orient, which would thereby accelerate Russia’s own development. Each of the three confederated entities would also be more able to tap local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand.
Furthermore, Brzezinski argues that another requirement that West should impose upon Russia is the acceptance of the increase of the sense of nationalism among the countries located in its generally accepted sphere of influence and its national borders. While these countries clearly have a right to their own self-determination and nationalistic identities, Brzezinski is referring more to the radicalization and exploitation of these tendencies than the acceptance of a people's right to rule themselves free from outside interference. Brzezinski’s requirement would thus only be accepted by Russia to its own detriment. In this regard, he states,
A clear choice by Russia in favor of the European option over the imperial one will be more likely if America successfully pursues the second imperative strand of its strategy toward Russia: namely, reinforcing the prevailing geopolitical pluralism in the post-Soviet space. Such reinforcement will serve to discourage any imperial temptations.
A postimperial and Europe-oriented Russia should actually view American efforts to that end as helpful in consolidating regional stability and in reducing the possibility of conflicts along its new, potentially unstable southern frontiers. But the policy of consolidating geopolitical pluralism should not be conditioned on the existence of a good relationship with Russia. Rather, it is also important insurance in case such a good relationship fails to truly develop, as it creates impediments to the reemergence of any truly threatening Russian imperial policy.Brzezinski also points to the importance of Ukraine to his anti-Russian policy. He writes,
It follows that political and economic support for the key newly independent states is an integral part of a broader strategy for Eurasia. The consolidation of a sovereign Ukraine, which in the meantime redefines itself as a Central European state and engages in closer integration with Central Europe, is a critically important component of such a policy, as is the fostering of a closer relationship with such strategically pivotal states as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, in addition to the more generalized effort to open up Central Asia (in spite of Russian impediments) to the global economy.
Large-scale international investment in an increasingly accessible Caspian – Central Asian region would not only help to consolidate the independence of its new countries but in the long run would also benefit a postimperial and democratic Russia. The tapping of the region’s energy and mineral resources would generate prosperity, prompting a greater sense of stability and security in the area, while perhaps also reducing the risks of Balkan-type con-external investment, would also radiate to the adjoining Russian provinces, which tend to be economically underdeveloped. Moreover, once the region’s new ruling elites come to realize that Russia acquiesces in the region’s integration into the global economy, they will become less fearful of the political consequences of close economic relations with Russia. In time, a nonimperial Russia could thus gain acceptance as the region’s preeminent economic partner, even though no longer its imperial ruler.It must be remembered that Brzezinski, when discussing the “choices” available to Russia in terms of its place in the world, stated that Russia would “either [choose] to be a part of Europe as well or [choose] to become a Eurasian outcast, neither truly of Europe nor Asia and mired in its ‘near abroad’ conflicts.”
Notice that, in this statement, the choices provided to Russia by Brzezinski’s philosophy are between total fealty to the European Soviet and total irrelevance. No self-respecting nation would choose either of these two options for its future and this is a fact that Brzezinski is undoubtedly aware of. Thus, it is clear that the Russians are being faced with the non-choice that is the Brzezinski doctrine, a philosophy that, when put into practice, makes conflict virtually inevitable.
Russia is thus faced with the choice of willing subservience or a growing NATO and Europe that will inevitably come knocking on its door for “access” to its vast oil and mineral wealth and demand that whatever political clout it may have in the world be erased.
These types of requirements and conditions cannot help but initiate a direct confrontation.
Solutions For The Ukrainian Crisis
A sensible and more practical set of general solutions to the political crisis in Ukraine can be summed up in five points:
1.) The United States and its allies must immediately cease supporting hostilities against the Eastern regions of Ukraine. The U.S. must tell its stooges in Kiev to immediately halt the military offensive in the East and begin talks with separatist leaders.
2.) The United States should take the lead in opposing Ukrainian membership in the NATO alliance.
3.) Ukraine should remain intact as a nation, but, due to the vast cultural differences and the level of mistrust resulting from the civil war and indiscriminate killings of civilians in East Ukraine by Western Ukrainian forces, Ukraine should be reincorporated as a type of two-state confederacy on the model of Switzerland. A sensible border would be the Dnieper River with Kiev, which sits on the river, remaining the capital of the country.
4.) Immediate declaration of neutrality by Ukraine. While Ukraine should not become a member of NATO, nor should it become absorbed by the Russian machine. Ukraine would thus provide a natural barrier and neighbor of good faith between NATO, the EU, and Russia. Rivalry between the three surrounding powers should only take the form of competition for improved international relations, trade, and development.
5.) An end to IMF Austerity conditions. An American, European, Russian and/or an international effort to assist Ukraine in domestic rebuilding and development programs that work in tandem with a sophisticated domestic recovery program involving a nationalized Ukrainian central bank, 0% interest credit from that central bank for infrastructure, development, industrial development, and education.
Instead of improved international relations, however, the world oligarchy is intent on inciting greater confrontation between forces inside Ukraine and, of course, between NATO and Russia. Instead of international development, increased living standards, a cleaner environment, and a peaceful and robust economy, the world oligarchy intends to provide de-industrialization, lower living standards, pollution, war and austerity.
Americans and the rest of the world are faced with a choice. They can succumb to propaganda, remain vapid and apathetic or they can engage reality and become active participants in the affairs of the world.
The results of these choices should be clear to anyone who considers what is at stake.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 199.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 200-201.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. Pp. 201-202
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 202-203.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P. 203.
 Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Basic Books. 1997. P.122
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