Six weeks after he became Russia’s defense minister, General Pavel Grachev addressed a June 1992 NATO meeting in Brussels where he defined Russia’s sphere of interest as encompassing all ‘former USSR republics with which it shared territorial borders,’ and claimed that Russia ‘had every right to intervene’ in those territories unilaterally. Subsequently, Russia deployed troops throughout the Caucasus, ‘signed base treaties with Armenia and Georgia’ and ‘posted border troops along much of the former Soviet perimeter.'”Lawrence Kohn, “Russia’s Turkish Target”
Russia is bringing her Strategic Rocket Forces up to full readiness. Russia is going to be conscripting doctors in the weeks ahead. Russia has prepared for mass burials in anticipation of a catastrophic number of casualties. What is going on here? Amid all this we have Western observers suggesting Putin has failed. One analyst, citing a TASS source, wrote, “Russian President Putin is extremely disappointed with the progress of the military operation in Ukraine.”
Perhaps this disappointment arises from the fact that Putin once bragged he could take Kiev and five NATO capitals in 48 hours. (See Moscow troops could be in five NATO capitals in two days, boasts Putin: Leader boasted to Ukrainian president about Russian power | Daily Mail Online.) Well, even dictators cannot be right about everything. And besides, the weather has not been altogether favorable for the invaders.
Yet a brief commentary is in order. Is Putin really disappointed? Are we to believe sources at TASS? — that ever honest and reliable source of news and information? Of course, the West is eager to depict Putin as desperate. And why not encourage them? I would. After all, the same cadre who now declare the invasion a failure, the same who wanted to play “the Russia card” against China, the same who said there would be no invasion, have not really changed their overall view. Always, Russia is backward and stupid, and the threat can be minimized. It’s like a disease of the mind that afflicts Americans. It is the conceit of invulnerability, a conceit I am very familiar with. It is an unstudied and militantly unthoughtful conceit.
In moments such as these, as one reader said, we usually miss the forest for the trees. There is a larger strategic context for Moscow’s present moves. Does anyone remember it? Or did anyone notice? We saw an unfortunate article published by the Center for Security Policy, written by Putin’s former advisor, Andrei Illarionov. The article was published on February 15 and under the title, “There won’t be a big war anytime soon.” According to Illarionov the Russian forces were inadequate for an invasion and the buildup of troops was “a psychological operation.” How could Illarionov have been so wrong? Because his analysis missed the full context of that buildup.
So let us present that context: — (1) a viral pandemic was unleashed two years ago by Russia’a ally, China; (2) communist riots took place in American cities in which statues of George Washington, U.S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt were pulled down;, (3) then came an unprecedented election involving accusations of systematic fraud; (4) the establishment in America of a government of the radical left under the senile façade of Joe Biden; (5) followed by divisive vaccine mandates, the fiasco of the health system (and the biowar defense establishment).
To put this another way, we are governed by a Western elite visibly advancing toward left wing authoritarianism and the censorship of free speech, etc. And so, out of Russia, an invasion takes place to roll back the fall of the Soviet Union. Go back and listen to Putin’s rambling speech on Monday. The breakup of the union, he said, was illegal. And so, I submit that Putin is entirely in step with his Western partners. Yet they are denouncing him. And they will play off Putin’s aggression just as they played off COVID. That is the context of the Ukraine invasion.
Now let us broaden that context by looking at who Putin’s allies are. North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vietnam, etc. These are all communist countries. Furthermore, I submit that war has always been on Putin’s mind even as it has been on the lips of his communist friends. Strategic surprise is achieved by indirection, by getting your opponent to misunderstand your objectives and methods. Our pundits have gotten Putin wrong, again and again, because they refuse to see who he is.
Putin has been working to make his economy sanction-proof for a long time. We now know that China has stockpiled an enormous amount of grain. What does that tell us? It means they have been getting ready for war. It means they have been preparing for a long, long time.
The question we do not want to ask is: What have these erstwhile communist powers been up to? What have their socialist friends in the West been doing? The facts suggest that everything here is connected. This military move in Ukraine is not an outlier. It is not a misstep. It is a building block for something else. Putin has been on this path from the beginning. This invasion is not a stand-alone-event. And our own government may be led by people who have been closer to Putin than we realize — all the while pointing a finger of misdirection at Donald Trump.
Having a corrupt, perhaps treacherous, American strategic leadership may be the final contextual tidbit we have been missing. And so, the biggest play of all may be around the corner. But who sees around corners anymore? At each step we are always blindsided.
Here is the interview I did with Cliff Kincaid on Friday. Some of the information is outdated.
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