A Tale of Three Cities


    by Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review:

    One might actually be willing to consider that there might be some value in the “rules based international order” being promoted by the Joe Biden Administration if such a thing actually existed and was applied equally to all transgressors. Of course, in reality, the “rules” being referred to are neither agreed upon nor driven by any broad international consensus and are merely a trick that is exploited to further the interests of the United States and its closest allies. In fact, the “rules”, such as they are, are most frequently ignored to give a pass to the bad behavior being exhibited by the US and its friends.

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    If the “rules” were actually intended to place limits on violent interactions among nations, consider for a moment the actual record of the United States in that regard. Recent opinion polls demonstrate that the US by a large margin is considered by other nations to be the most dangerous country in the world. That judgement is based not only on historic memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also the Vietnam War and the overthrowing of alleged “leftist” regimes in places like Iran, Chile and Guatemala. Armed interventions on a greater or lesser scale have been a regular features of US initiatives throughout the Caribbean and Latin America ever since the Spanish-American War.

    More recently there has been the global war on terror, unleashed on the entire world based on US condemnation of countries that were not perceived to be toeing Washington’s red line on what constitutes terrorism. This has led to pointless and ultimately failed interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Somalia in which, by some estimates millions of civilians have died directly or indirectly, and the US itself has sustained the war-making through the printing of trillions of dollars in essentially fiat currency and running up enormous debts, a chicken that will come home to roost before too long. In Afghanistan, and also in Yemen and Iraq, the US has engaged in targeted assassinations as well as profile killings of civilians using drones.

    The most troublesome aspect of all the violence that the US has initiated is that there are no actual rules in sight, apart from the Blinken-Biden-Austin clowns in Washington citing unsubstantiated threats coming from countries incapable of actually doing any harm like Iran or countries like Russia and China that had previously no intention of confronting the American military colossus.

    So Washington is the beating heart of policies that have created turmoil worldwide while also moving the Doomsday clock closer to the finality that might well come with a nuclear war. And all the posturing is literally for nothing, for a bad cause supporting a corrupt, autocratic regime in a country that is no democracy with no visible off ramp. The hypocrisy of those in the White House and in Congress, as well as in the media, who are so reckless with the lives and fortunes of their fellow citizens literally defies belief.

    If Washington is the first of the three cities that I am considering, Moscow must certainly be number two as it is on the receiving end of the US hypocrisy, being accused of having deviated from the “rules based” international order by invading Ukraine one year ago. Russia, however, sees things differently. The Kremlin has argued that it has repeatedly sought to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine based on two fundamental issues that it plausibly claims threaten its own national security and identity. First is the failure of Ukraine to comply with the Minsk Accords of 2014-5 which conceded a large measure of autonomy to the Donbas region, an area indisputably inhabited by ethnic Russians, as is Crimea.

    Recently former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has let slip that there was never any intention to comply with the Minsk Agreement, implying that it was all a charade to enable strengthening Ukraine to join NATO and, if necessary, fight Russia. In fact, the Accords were ignored right from the beginning, with Ukrainian militias and other armed elements using artillery to shell the Donbas, killing an estimated 15,000 mostly ethnic Russian residents, a number which appears to be confirmed by independent sources.

    The second vital national security issue for Moscow was over plans to offer NATO membership to Ukraine, which would place a possibly superior hostile military alliance at its doorstep. Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly observed that the issues were both negotiable and that Zelensky only had to agree to maintain his country as “neutral,” i.e. not linked to any military alliance, and to honor some reasonable autonomy for Donbas. Reportedly it was the United States and Britain that pushed Ukraine into rejecting any and all of the Russian demands in a bid to initiate a war of attrition using Ukrainian lives to destabilize Putin’s government and reduce its ability to oppose US and Western dominance.

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