March 6, 2014
An unintended or at least unexpected consequence of the East-West tug-of-war over Ukraine was the Sino announcement of unbridled support for its old cold war partner’s intervention in Ukraine.
A new Sino-Russo alliance could spell big trouble for the West and undo nearly half a century of cooperation, albeit contentious at times, between the world’s two super powers, at the expense of the Russian bear. The diplomatic coup pulled off by President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that paved the way for the economic powerhouse that is China today, was a dual edged, true Machiavellian move that created a schism between the old Soviets and Mao’s China, and opened China’s markets to the West.
As always, taking a look at history lessens the fog of propaganda (State Department 10 points). Just released archival documents illustrate the secret Nixon initiatives in 1969 that lead to improved Sino-American relations. Nixon was committed to the idea that Sino-Soviet tensions could open the door for Sino rapprochement with the West. Nixon and Kissinger opened surreptitious communications with China using Pakistan and Romania as cover. The diplomatic relationship lasted through the G W Bush administration, and American’s can only wait to see how a reignited powerhouse of China and Russia will fair with the U.S. in the crosshairs.
News of the new Sino-Russo alliance came after the West, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, and Japan condemned Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The G-7 released a statement lamenting Russia’s perceived aggression claiming “Russia’s (action was a) clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.” (Story link here)
The Ukraine situation reads like one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. The European Union with nudging from the U.S. brought the eastern nation to the European Union’s altar, something that would have been a real feather in Europe’s cap and a poke in the eye to Vladimir Putin, but in this unromantic tragedy, the Ukraine left the EU at the altar and returned to her old boyfriend, Russia.
All’s fair in love and war
The Ukraine demonstrations are a win/win for Putin. The KGB spymaster schooled a naïve Obama administration. Foolishly, the first foreign policy action Obama and newly minted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commenced in 2009 was giving the Russians a red reset button. Second, Obama gave up the Polish missile defense system in another sign of “good faith” between to sparing nations. What did America get? Zero.
As President Obama’s final election campaign drew to a close, an open mic caught Obama telling outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have “more flexibility” once he was reelected to discuss missile defense concessions. The President has never explained his flexibility statement! Is Ukraine an example of how Putin repays a “flexible” U.S. president?
Something that China and Russia do grasp is the dire financial situation America faces after 12 years of war in the Middle East and beyond. The drone war has also taken a toll on world relationships (story here) and an emboldened Putin knows America cannot move troops into eastern Ukraine and challenge a fresh Soviet military. Similarly, China has been flexing its military muscle in the China Sea with the development of anti-satellite missiles and offensive weapons.
China, with Russia riding its coattails, has been carefully and patiently planning its reemergence as the world’s superpower. Unfortunately for America, while playing the world’s policeman has left the country fatigued and $17 trillion in debt – no capital improvements or economic growth for a decade. Meanwhile, China’s and Russia’s chess match has outmaneuvered America in the form of buying up natural resources and minerals, aligning with emerging African nations, and building the next Panama Canal in Nicaragua. The question American’s should be asking is who benefits from the Ukraine dust-up and if the U.S. gets involved what exactly is the end game.
The usual suspects
Pulling the strings behind the scenes in the Ukraine, 50 years after Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech, are the CIA/USAID/the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Department of State (Sound familiar? – think Benghazi, Libya). According to former Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich, there are 65 programs operating covertly behind the scenes to provoke the instability in Ukraine.
With the president of Ukraine hold-up in Russia, both ethnic Russians and Ukrainians are demonstrating (as this article went to press, the Crimea parliament voted to join Russia), while the Russians and the West are offering competing multi-billion dollar grants to bolster its economy. With Russian forces on the move west and accompanied by a limp Western admonition about intervention, it seems like – yes, the good old days of the cold war are back. The KGB and CIA must be elated – oh boy, espionage and dirty tricks conjure up 007 sleuthing.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, a geopolitical analyst from Canada said, “Western powers have orchestrated a coup in Ukraine after Kiev refused to become an Eastern European colony. This coup took place because Ukraine refused to sign an agreement with the European Union that would essentially change it into an Eastern European colony.”
He alleged a deal signed between Ukraine’s opposition and ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, before his ouster saying, “The EU-brokered agreement, was made just to give legal cover to the coup. The strategy was this, you had members of the opposition talking with the Ukrainian government while another faction was pushing for violence in the streets and continued to work to oust the government.”
He continued to say, “the European Union and the US were actively interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs to change the government in Kiev to target Moscow and to get the Russians. I mean you had Victoria Nuland from the [US] State Department; you had the EU Commissioner for foreign and security affairs, Catherine Ashton, you had [US Senator] John “regime change” McCain, you had various people from the European Union, all going there supporting the opposition forces, the protesters and the people who are behind the regime change there,” Nazemroaya finished.
Back in the real world, Ukraine is just a chess piece in Russia’s first move to restore the Russian Empire that Putin foretold. Ukraine is untouchable by the West, and everybody knows it. The gas pipelines of Russia run through Ukraine to the West, ethnic Russians live in Ukraine, Ukraine is and always will be within the Russian hegemonic sphere because it represents access to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Plus, Crimea was given to Ukraine via administration means in 1954 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Further, according to Bloomberg News, “People who identified themselves as ethnic Russian comprise 59 percent of Crimea’s population.
With NATO reduced to a mere shadow of itself, the Russian military march into Crimea is only the beginning and they will likely continue to seize, occupy, and annex all of Ukraine if they choose to do so.
The real plot
While the media covers what is going on with the right hand, a Russian invasion into Crimea and Ukraine, they should be alerting Americans to the real concern – the reincarnation of the Sino-Russo alliance.
The good old days of Khrushchev and Mao – Nixon and Kissinger are back in style, just like the Madmen TV series. But this time the table is slanted in favor of the bad guys. The Chinese own America, literally. They could call their U.S. Treasuries and take a trillion dollar loss, but the result would be the total destruction of the U.S. and Western economies. Plus, Russia supplies Western Europe with cheap gas, electricity, precious resources and minerals.
The rekindled relationship may also revive a Chinese dream of replacing the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency with the Yuan (aka renminbi). They have been leading the pack in trying to wrest the reserve currency of the world from the U.S. The impact of the American dollar not being the world’s reserve currency would devastate the U.S. economy.
But how could China accomplish the bold move to gain favored reserve currency status? Gold. Both China and India, the two largest BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China are the four largest emerging nations) have been buying and hoarding large sums of gold. China, by some accounts, is threatening to tie its currency to gold, something that could kill the U.S. dollar’s bargaining chip.
The unpredictability of violent demonstrations and foreign invasions never bodes well for stability, and the Ukraine and Crimea are no exception. So perhaps, the best judge is the man who helped broker the original Sino-Russo split, Mr. Kissinger.
“Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.
Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.
The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709, were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia… The Ukrainians are the decisive element.
They live in a country with a complex history and a polyglot composition. The Western part was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939, when Stalin and Hitler divided up the spoils. Crimea, 60 percent of whose population is Russian, became part of Ukraine only in 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian by birth, awarded it as part of the 300th-year celebration of a Russian agreement with the Cossacks. The west is largely Catholic; the east largely Russian Orthodox. The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other — as has been the pattern — would lead eventually to civil war or breakup. To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system,” Kissinger wrote in a Washington Post story today.
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