“In the interests of world peace, it would be the best possible outcome if the US were decisively defeated in the coming war between East and West.” — Lasha Darkmoon
This is an edited abridgement, with commentary by Lasha Darkmoon, of a major new article by Rostislav Ishchenko called What Does Putin Want? According to the Saker, on whose website the article first appeared, this is the best article he has read on the Ukraine situation — “a masterpiece: a comprehensive analysis of the geostrategic position of Russia.”
The views of Kiev politicians are of no interest to us because they don’t decide anything. The fact that outsiders govern the Ukraine is no longer concealed. It doesn’t matter whether the cabinet ministers are Estonian or Georgian; they are Americans just the same.
Nor are we interested in the European Union’s position. Much depended on the EU until the summer of last year, when the war could have been prevented or stopped at the outset. A tough, principled antiwar stance by the EU was needed. It could have blocked US initiatives to start the war and would have turned the EU into a significant independent geopolitical player. The EU passed on that opportunity and instead behaved like a faithful vassal of the United States.
As a result, Europe stands on the brink of frightful internal upheaval. In the coming years, it has every chance of suffering the same fate as the Ukraine.
In fact, today the EU can choose whether to remain a tool of the United States or to move closer to Russia. Depending on its choice, Europe can get off with a slight scare, such as a breakup of parts of its periphery and possible fragmentation of some countries, or it could collapse completely.
Judging by the European elites’ reluctance to break openly with the United States, collapse is almost inevitable.
What should interest us is the opinions of the two main players in the unfolding drama known as World War Three: these players are the United States and Russia.
The US position is clear and transparent. In the second half of the 1990s, Washington missed its only opportunity to reform the Cold War economy without any obstacles and thereby avoid the looming crisis in a system whose development is limited by the finite nature of planet Earth and its resources, including human ones, which conflicts with the need to endlessly print dollars.
After that, the United States could prolong the death throes of the system only by plundering the rest of the world. At first, it went after Third World countries. Then it went for potential competitors. Then for allies and even close friends. Such plundering could continue only as long as the United States remained the world’s undisputed hegemonic.
Thus when Russia asserted its right to make independent political decisions – decisions of not global but regional import – a clash with the United States became inevitable. This clash cannot end in a compromise peace.
For the United States, a compromise with Russia would mean a voluntary renunciation of its hegemony, leading to a quick, systemic catastrophe – not only a political and economic crisis but also a paralysis of state institutions and the inability of the government to function. In other words, its inevitable disintegration.
But if the United States wins, then it is Russia that will experience systemic catastrophe.
After a certain type of “rebellion,” Russia’s ruling classes would be punished with asset liquidation and confiscation as well as imprisonment. The state would be fragmented, substantial territories would be annexed, and the country’s military might would be destroyed.
So the war will last until one side wins.
To complete the picture of the situation, we only need Russia’s position. It is essential to understand what the Russian leadership wants to achieve, particularly the president, Vladimir Putin. We are talking about the key role that Putin plays in the organization of the Russian power structure.
During Putin’s 15 years in power, he has tried to maximize the role of the government, the legislative assembly, and even the local authorities. These are entirely logical steps that should have given the system completeness, stability, and continuity. Because no politician can rule forever, political continuity, regardless of who comes to power, is the key to a stable system.
Unfortunately, fully autonomous control, namely the ability to function without the president’s oversight, hasn’t been achieved. Putin remains the key component of the system because the people put their trust in him personally. They have far less trust in the system, as represented by public authorities and individual agencies.
Thus Putin’s opinions and political plans become the decisive factor in areas such as Russia’s foreign policy. If the phrase “without Putin, there is no Russia” is an exaggeration, then the phrase “what Putin wants, Russia also wants” reflects the situation quite accurately in my opinion.
First, let’s note that the man who for 15 years has carefully guided Russia to its revival has done so in conditions of US hegemony in world politics along with significant opportunities for Washington to influence Russia’s internal politics. He had to understand the nature of the fight and his opponent. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have lasted so long.
Moscow could not have saved the Ukraine from the coup because of the baseness, cowardice, and stupidity of the Ukraine’s leaders – not only Yanukovych but all of them without exception.
After the armed coup in Kiev in February 2014, Russia entered into open confrontation with Washington. Before that, the conflicts were interspersed with improved relations, but at the beginning of 2014 relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated swiftly and almost immediately reached the point where war would have been declared automatically in the pre-nuclear era.
Thus at any given time Putin engaged in precisely the level of confrontation with the United States that Russia could handle. If Russia isn’t limiting the level of confrontation now, it means Putin believes that, in the war of sanctions, the war of nerves, the information war, the civil war in the Ukraine, and the economic war, Russia can win.
This is the first important conclusion about what Putin wants and what he expects. He expects to win. And considering that he takes a meticulous approach and strives to anticipate any surprises, you can be sure that when the decision was made not to back down under pressure from the United States, but to respond, the Russian leadership had a double, if not a triple, guarantee of victory.
I would like to point out that the decision to enter into a conflict with Washington was not made in 2014, nor was it made in 2013. The war of August 8, 2008, was a challenge that the United States could not leave unpunished. After that, every further stage of the confrontation only raised the stakes. From 2008 to 2010, the United States’ capability – not just military or economic but its overall capability – has declined, whereas Russia’s has improved significantly.
So the main objective was to raise the stakes slowly rather than in explosive fashion. In other words, an open confrontation in which all pretenses are dropped and everyone understands that a war is going on had to be delayed as long as possible. But it would have been even better to avoid it altogether.
With every passing year, the United States became weaker while Russia became stronger.
This process was natural and impossible to arrest, and we could have projected with a high degree of certainty that by 2020 to 2025, without any confrontation, the period of US hegemony would have ended, and the United States would then be best advised to think about not how to rule the world, but how to stave off its own precipitous internal decline.
Thus Putin’s second desire is clear: to keep the peace or the appearance of peace as long as possible.
Peace is advantageous for Russia because in conditions of peace, without enormous expense, it obtains the same political result but in a much better geopolitical situation. That is why Russia continually extends the olive branch. Just as the Kiev junta will collapse in conditions of peace in Donbass, in conditions of world peace, the military-industrial complex and the global financial system created by the United States are doomed to self-destruct.
In this way, Russia’s actions are aptly described by Sun Tzu’s maxim “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
It is clear that Washington is not run by idiots. But the political elite who have emerged in the United States in the past 25 years have become accustomed to their status as the owners of the world. They sincerely don’t understand how anyone can challenge them.
For the ruling elite in the United States (not so much the business class but the government bureaucracy), to go from being a country that decides the fate of inferior peoples to one that negotiates with them on an equal footing is intolerable.
In principle, any war is a struggle for resources. Typically, the winner is the one that has more resources and can ultimately mobilize more troops and build more tanks, ships, and planes.
Nuclear powers cannot confront each other directly. Therefore, their resource base is of paramount importance. That is exactly why Russia and the United States have been in a desperate competition for allies over the past year. Russia has won this competition.
The United States can count only the EU, Canada, Australia, and Japan as allies (and not always unconditionally so), but Russia has managed to mobilize support from the BRICS, to gain a firm foothold in Latin America, and to begin displacing the United States in Asia and North Africa.
It turns out that the countries aligned with Russia together control about 60% of the world’s GDP, have more than two-thirds of its population, and cover more than three-quarters of its surface. Thus Russia has been able to mobilize more resources.
Facing imminent humiliation at the hands of Russia, the United States is now employing a desperate, dog-in-the-manger policy vis-à-vis Ukraine. It’s as old as the hills. If we can’t have this juicy bone, you won’t have it either!
That which cannot be held, and will be taken by the enemy, must be damaged as much as possible so that the enemy’s victory is more costly than defeat, as all its resources are used to reconstruct the destroyed territory. The United States has therefore ceased to assist the Ukraine with anything more than political rhetoric while encouraging Kiev to spread civil war throughout the country.
The Ukrainian land must burn, not only in Donetsk and Lugansk but also in Kiev and Lvov. The task is simple: to destroy the social infrastructure as much as possible and to leave the population at the very edge of survival. Then the population of the Ukraine will consist of millions of starving, desperate and heavily armed people who will kill one another for food.
It is clear that the cost of rebuilding Ukraine’s hopelessly damaged infrastructure would then fall on Russia.
Putin correctly believes that not only the budget, but also public resources in general, including the military, would in this case be overstretched and possibly insufficient. Therefore, the objective is not to allow the Ukraine to explode before the militia can bring the situation under control. It is crucial to minimize casualties and destruction and to salvage as much of the economy as possible. The infrastructure of the large cities must be preserved if possible so that the population might somehow survive. The Ukrainians themselves will then take care of the Nazi thugs whom the US has done its best to foist upon them in Kiev.
At this point a potential ally appears for Putin in the form of the EU.
If Europe now has on its eastern border a completely destroyed Ukraine, from which millions of armed people will flee not only to Russia but also to the EU, taking with them delightful pastimes such as drug trafficking, gunrunning, and terrorism, the EU will not survive.
Europe cannot confront the United States, but it is deathly afraid of a destroyed Ukraine. Therefore, for the first time in the conflict, France and Germany are not only doing their best to silently resist unreasonable US demands — by imposing sanctions, for example, but only in a mild and moderate way — but they are also undertaking limited independent action with the aim of achieving a compromise: maybe not peace as such, but at least a truce in the Ukraine.
If the Ukraine catches fire, it will burn quickly. And if the EU ever becomes an unreliable partner by daring to take up a neutral position toward Russia, then Washington, faithful to its strategy, would be obliged to set fire to Europe.
It is not at all in Russia’s interests to have a conflagration stretching from the Atlantic to the Carpathian Mountains.
To protect Russia’s legitimate interests, Putin considers peace to be of vital importance. But because peace is no longer possible, and the truces are becoming more theoretical and fragile, Putin needs the war to end as quickly as possible.
Only one thing has changed in Russia recently, but it is of the utmost importance: public opinion. Russian society longs for victory and retribution.
Putin can maintain his role as the linchpin of the system only as long as he has the support of the majority of the population. If he loses this support, because no figures of his stature have emerged from Russia’s political elite, the system will lose its stability. Putin can maintain his charismatic power and authority only as long as he successfully embodies the wishes of the masses.
Thus the defeat of Nazism in the Ukraine, even if it is diplomatic, must be clear and indisputable – only under such conditions is a Russian compromise possible.
Regardless of Putin’s wishes and Russia’s interests, however, a war that should have ended last year within the borders of the Ukraine will almost certainly spill over into Europe. One can only guess who will be more effective – the Americans with their gas can, pouring fuel on the fire, or the Russians with their fire extinguisher?
The circumstances described above make it extremely unlikely that the proponents of an independent state of Novorossiya will see their wishes fulfilled. Given the scale of the coming conflagration, determining the fate of the Ukraine as a whole is not excessively complicated.
It is only logical that the Russian people should ask: if Russians, whom we rescued from the Nazis, live in Novorossiya, why do they have to live in a separate state? If they want to live in a separate state, why should Russia rebuild their cities and factories? To these questions there is only one reasonable answer: Novorossiya should become part of Russia.
If part of the Ukraine can join Russia, why not all of it?
Lasha Darkmoon comments:
Given Putin’s towering influence in Russia and the fact that he has come to symbolize all Russia’s hopes and dreams, it is obvious that the most effective way of dealing Russia a death blow right now would be the sudden assassination of Putin.
This is almost certainly on the cards, and Putin must know it.
In the interests of world peace, it would be the best possible outcome if the US were decisively defeated in the coming war between East and West. For a world dominated by the United States is, in effect, a world dominated by international Jewry — a fate worse than death. Such a world would lead not only to the destruction of Europe as we know it but to the permanent enslavement of the American people.
According to military historian and political activist Tariq Ali, however, a defeat for America is unthinkable. The United States, he believes, is an unbeatable colossus:
“The United States is now unchallengeable militarily and it dominates global politics, even the politics of the countries it treats as its enemies.
If you compare the recent demonisation of Putin to the way Yeltsin was treated at a time when he was committing many more shocking atrocities – destroying the entire city of Grozny, for example – you see that what is at stake is not principle, but the interests of the world’s predominant power. There hasn’t been such an empire before, and it’s unlikely that there will be one again.
At the present moment the United States remains unassailable: it exerts its soft power all over the world, including in the heartlands of its economic rivals; its hard power is still dominant, enabling it to occupy countries it sees as its enemies; and its ideological power is still overwhelming in Europe and beyond.” (See here)
This will be music to the ears of America’s neoconservative warmongers. Believing devoutly that they cannot lose, they will now plunge the world recklessly into war, unless reason takes hold. If this should happen and they win — God help us if they do! —we will all be the losers.