When will Europe finally wake up?

by Graham E. Fuller, British Columbia, Canada

cm. Before his retirement, Graham E. Fuller was the Vice President of the “National Intelligence Council at CIA”, responsible for the intelligence assessment of the global situation. And he still observes the geopolitical situation very closely as one of the most experienced experts. He has now published a short analysis of the war in Ukraine and Europe’s disastrous – not to say suicidal – policy.

The war in Ukraine has dragged on long enough now to reveal certain clear trajectories. First, two fundamental realities:

  • Putin is to be condemned for launching this war – as is virtually any leader who launches any war. Putin can be termed a war criminal – in good company with George W. Bush who has killed vastly greater numbers than Putin.
  • Secondary condemnation belongs to the US (NATO) in deliberately provoking a war with Russia by implacably pushing its hostile military organization, despite Moscow’s repeated notifications about crossing red lines, right up to the gates of Russia. This war did not have to be if Ukrainian neutrality, á la Finland and Austria, had been accepted. Instead, Washington has called for clear Russian defeat.

As the war grinds to a close, where will things go?
  Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.
  American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

“Deep cracks in the European façade of so-called ‘NATO unity’”

There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war, but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.
  Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long-term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors” of the US.
  Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end.
  Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.
  Washington has also made it clear that Europe must sign on to an “ideological” struggle against China as well in some kind of protean struggle of “democracy against authoritarianism”. Yet, if anything this is a classic struggle for power across the globe. And Europe can even less afford to blunder into confrontation with China–a “threat” perceived primarily by Washington yet unconvincing to many European states and much of the world.
  China’s Belt and Road initiative is perhaps the most ambitious economic and geopolitical project in world history. It is already linking China with Europe by rail and sea. European exclusion from the Belt and Road project will cost it dearly. Note that the Belt and Road runs right through Russia. It is impossible for Europe to close its doors to Russia while maintaining access to this Eurasian mega project. Thus, a Europe that perceives the US already in decline has a little incentive to join the bandwagon against China. The end of the Ukraine war will bring serious reconsideration in Europe about the benefits of propping up Washington’s desperate bid to maintain its global hegemony.
  Europe will undergo increasing identity crisis in determining its future global role. Western Europeans will tire of subservience to the 75-year American domination of European foreign policy. Right now, NATO is European foreign policy and Europe remains inexplicably timid in asserting any independent voice. How long will that prevail?
  We now see how massive US sanctions against Russia, including confiscation of Russian funds in western banks, is causing most of the world to reconsider the wisdom of banking entirely on the US dollar into the future. Diversification of international economic instruments is already in the cards and will only act to weaken Washington’s once dominant economic position and its unilateral weaponisation of the dollar.
  One of the most disturbing features of this US-Russian struggle in Ukraine has been the utter corruption of independent media. Indeed, Washington has won the information and propaganda war hands down, orchestrating all Western media to sing from the same hymnbook in characterizing the Ukraine war.  The West has never before witnessed such a blanket imposition by one country’s ideologically-driven geopolitical perspective at home. Nor, of course, is the Russian press to be trusted either. In the midst of a virulent anti-Russian propaganda barrage whose likes I have never seen during my Cold Warrior days; serious analysts must dig deep these days to gain some objective understanding of what is actually taking place in Ukraine.
  Would that this American media dominance that denies nearly all alternative voices were merely a blip occasioned by Ukraine events. But European elites are perhaps slowly coming to the realization that they have been stampeded into this position of total “unanimity”; cracks are already beginning to appear in the façade of “EU and NATO unity.” But the more dangerous implication is that as we head into future global crises, a genuine independent free press is largely disappearing, falling into the hands of corporate-dominated media close to policy circles, and now bolstered by electronic social media, all manipulating the narrative to its own ends. As we move into a predictably greater and more dangerous crises of instability through global warming, refugee flows, natural disasters, and likely new pandemics, rigorous state and corporate domination of the western media becomes very dangerous indeed to the future of democracy. We no longer hear alternative voices on Ukraine today.

Russia is driven into the arms of China

Finally, Russia’s geopolitical character has very likely now decisively tilted towards Eurasia. Russians have sought for centuries to be accepted within Europe but have been consistently held at arm’s length. The West will not discuss a new strategic and security architecture. Ukraine has simply intensified this trend. Russian elites now no longer possess an alternative to accepting that its economic future lies in the Pacific where Vladivostok lies only one or two hours away by air from the vast economies of Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul. China and Russia have now been decisively pushed ever more closely together specifically out of common concern to block unfettered US freedom of unilateral military and economic intervention around the world. That the US can split US-induced Russian and Chinese cooperation is a fantasy. Russia has scientific brilliance, abundant energy, rich rare minerals and metals, while global warming will increase the agricultural potential of Siberia. China has the capital, the markets, and the manpower to contribute to what becomes a natural partnership across Eurasia.
  Sadly for Washington, nearly every single one of its expectations about this war are turning out to be incorrect. Indeed, the West may come to look back at this moment as the final argument against following Washington’s quest for global dominance into ever newer and more dangerous and damaging confrontations with Eurasia. And most of the rest of the world – Latin America, India, the Middle East and Africa – find few national interests in this fundamentally American war against Russia.  •

Source: www.globalbridge.ch of 23 June 2022; the English original was published on Graham E. Fuller’s website (https://grahamefuller.com/some-hard-thoughts-about-post-ukraine/ of 18 June 2022).

cc. History does not repeat itself. But we can learn from it to be careful with judgements based on snapshots. Today, for example, we know – unlike in 1914 – that powerful circles in Great Britain had prepared and conjured up the First World War decades earlier. This knowledge also sheds decisive light on the question of who was to blame for the war at the time.
  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently stated that NATO and the EU have long been gathering forces for a major war against Russia. The current situation reminds him of the time before 22 June 1941. These statements should be taken very seriously. Unfortunately, there is overwhelming evidence that there have been deployment plans against Russia for a long time. This also includes NATO’s eastward expansion. Even the government of Ukraine did not develop its public war plans against Russia on its own, but – after agreements – relied on cooperation with NATO and the EU. Have people in Europe asked themselves what would have happened if this intervention had not taken place on 24 February? If one had in fact begun to nuclear arm Ukraine, in accordance with its loudly proclaimed desire, and it had realised its publicly announced intention with NATO assistance or as a NATO member, its publicly announced intention to take back Crimea – which had declared itself Russian territory in the 2014 referendum – militarily? And then? One has to take all this into account if one wants to judge 24 February 2022 in the big picture. Graham E. Fuller’s contribution once again makes it clear how important it is to consider precisely these contexts. Only when these are known more precisely will it become clear whether George W. Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq, which was based on drastic constructs of lies, can be placed on the same level as the military intervention against Ukraine since 24 February of this year, for which Putin has been responsible. The question of war guilt also arises for a Europe that is betraying all its values and history and throwing overboard all the bitter lessons of centuries.

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