Russia against the West – or vice versa?

by Dr Erwin Mächler*

In most international political discussions in “Western” rounds of talks, “Putin” comes off badly. Either he is dismissed as the “bad guy” right at the beginning of the talks or he is recognised as the “one to blame for everything” in their quintessence. Participants with differing opinions are disqualified as “Putin-understanders”.

Two crucial areas have been shaping west-east relations for 30 years:
1.    the US-American role as the world’s policeman, intensified after 9/11 by a revenge campaign against Islamist terror and
2.    the eastward expansion of NATO.
In the aftermath of the Second World War and until recently, it was perceived as positive that the world power USA was prepared to intervene anywhere in the world where something supposedly politically incorrect was happening. Most of these interventions were military, and they were practically never sanctioned by the UN Security Council, i.e. contrary to international law. Examples include: Philippines, Yugoslavia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Ukraine and others.
The aim of these interventions was and is always a so-called regime change. But since these interventions turned into catastrophic acts of war, often associated with civil wars preceding or following them, the positive perceptions turned into criticism, and recently into sharp criticism. It also soon became clear that most of the interventions primarily served American world power politics, including seizing and securing the worldwide reserves of oil, gas and raw materials for themselves.
The current gargantuan chaos in the Middle East and in the Maghreb countries is the result of this American interventionism, supported by the US-dominated NATO, and thus by NATO members such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and others. The enormous epochal wave of refugees from war-ravaged countries to Europe is the indirect consequence of this American interventionism. This policy, which must be attributed to the USA and thus to the governing bodies responsible at the given times, is thus also the cause of millions of innocent deaths.
It is obvious that this policy is approaching “red lines” or has already crossed them. Russia, China and other countries will hardly accept this American aggression policy for much longer.
With the unification of the two German states, the former FRG and the GDR, and with the end of the Cold War, the basis for the existence of Warsaw Pact and NATO has ceased to exist. While the Warsaw Pact was dissolved after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO not only remained in place, but began to gradually expand eastwards, in stark contradiction to the assurances given to Russia, namely to refrain from any eastward expansion of NATO. Recently, larger NATO combat units were moved to the Russian western border, and extensive NATO manoeuvres right next to Russia’s western border were intended as policy of deterrence against Russia. It is noteworthy that 75 years ago, during the Second World War, there were Wehrmacht combat units 200 km from Leningrad, and today, German combat units stand 150 km off St. Petersburg within the framework of NATO – with what justification? In Poland and Romania, deployments of missile defence systems are being installed by NATO, allegedly directed against Iran. It is clear to every rationally thinking person that these installations are directed against Russia.
The US government during the presidencies of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama is responsible for the eastward enlargement of NATO.
The eastward enlargement of NATO is the main cause of the destabilisation of Eastern Europe. It is obvious that the “red line” was crossed here, for example in Ukraine (coup financed by the USA in 2014 against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine and removal of this government, which was persona non grata with the USA) – regime change according to the American pattern.
The retraction of the Crimea into the Russian Federation is the result of this provocation, as is the declaration of two “autonomous republics” in the Donbass. It is noteworthy that the Western media always speak only of an “annexation” of the Crimea by Russia; the preceding provocation is suppressed.
Should further provocations by the USA and NATO against the Russian Federation take place, the Third World War can be expected. Every objective historian will honestly have to describe the USA as the cause and trigger, and not so Russia, which has been on the defensive since the end of the Cold War.
Time and again, there is talk of provocation and always Putin is personally blamed for it, but seen in the light of the historical evidence delineated above, it becomes clear that exactly the opposite is the case. The provocation lies with the West. More precisely with the USA, supported by NATO, and in many cases also with the EU (sanctions).
Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Price when he took office. During his eight-year term in office, he then waged seven direct and indirect wars against regimes that were undesirable from the American point of view; two of these he took over from his predecessor, five he started on his own. Obama and his entourage have thus risen to the position of war criminals. And the whole western world refuses to take note of it. Naturally the Obama’s predecessors, ie Clinton and G. W. Bush, as well as those members of government responsible for the conduct of these wars, are also war criminals. The same applies to the government leaders of England (Blair) and France (Sarkozy), insofar as they participated in these illegal wars of intervention.
And yet the “bad guy” is Putin, although he did not engineer any illegal war during his entire term in office, including the swap phase with Medvedev? It should soon become clear even to the simplest “Western” minds what the real facts are.
The above description concerns proven facts and not, as is often assumed, conspiracy theories. In the “Western” media, these historical facts are rarely presented and if they are, mostly falsified. The so-called Western “mainstream media” present “the same old story”. The “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” is also characterised by the fact that its entire reporting, including the publication of letters to the editor and guest commentaries, is unbalancedly hostile to Russia and thus unbalancedly pro- Western; one may perhaps ask why?
In Germany, the so-called “Atlantikbrücke”, a lobby organisation to foster relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the USA (presided over by Friedrich Merz until spring 2019), plays a major role. The editors-in-chief of the most important German print media and public broadcasters (ARD and ZDF) are members of this organisation.
How are these matters to continue? In his 2016 election campaign for the American presidency, Donald Trump made a lot of promises. Among other things, he mentioned two important objectives of his (then hoped-for) presidency: firstly, improving relations between the USA and Russia, and, withdrawing the USA from the role of world policeman. But it is becoming apparent, that a strong opposition against these goals is – unfortunately – developing.
For outsiders it is recognisable that the opponents are composed of the so-called neocons and the “deep state”, supplemented by Trump’s other political opponents. Outsiders also find the appointment of Mike Pompeo (former head of the CIA) as Secretary of State and of John Bolton as Security Advisor incomprehensible.
Both of them are explicitly and transparently thwarting Trump’s above-mentioned plans with every means at their disposal.    •

*    Swiss Colonel in the General Staff (ret.). Erwin Mächler, Dr. oec. publ., former Member of the Executive Committee Holcim, 9445 Rebstein

Source: The article was first published in the “Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift“ (General Swiss Military Magazine) (AMSZ) 6/2019.

(Translation Current Concerns)

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