US armored vehicles flying American flags were paraded Tuesday through the Estonian city of Narva, just a few hundred yards from the Russian border.
The provocative action, coming on the heels of the first anniversary of the US-orchestrated coup in Kiev, underscores the transformation of the entire region into a zone of military confrontation, with potentially catastrophic implications for the peoples of not only Eastern Europe, but the entire planet.
Spearheaded by the fascistic Right Sector militia, the coup that toppled the government of President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22 of last year was carried out with the direct support and intimate involvement of the US government.
Washington’s execrable representative on the scene, the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, went so far as to name those to be allowed into a post-coup regime.
The installation of this right-wing nationalist, anti-Russian regime in Kiev provoked mass popular opposition in the largely Russian-speaking eastern Donbass region. The Kiev government, with Washington’s support, sought to drown the rebellion in blood.
After ten months of fighting and the deaths of at least 5,000 people, this repressive campaign has proven a disaster for the Kiev regime and its American patrons.
The Ukrainian military, dominated by fascistic militias, has virtually disintegrated after being forced into a headlong retreat. The country is on the brink of bankruptcy, with its currency, the hryvnia, in free-fall, having lost half its value since the beginning of this year.
The regime’s response consists of political repression, a largely unsuccessful attempt to forcibly draft youth into the army, and drastic austerity measures against the working class.
By any objective measure, last year’s US-orchestrated coup has yielded yet another foreign policy debacle. Far from seeking to quell the crisis it unleashed in the region, however, Washington has responded by moving to escalate and spread it.
A much-ignored huge news report from Reuters on Friday, February 27th, was headlined “Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.”
China’s Ambassador to Belgium (which has the capital of the EU) said that the “nature and root cause” of the Ukrainian conflict is “the West,” and that “The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration.”
By “real security concerns,” he is clearly referring to NATO’s expansion right up to Russia’s border, and America’s surrounding Russia with U.S. military bases, now inceasingly including the most strategic of Russia’s bordering countries: Ukraine.
In other words, this diplomat says: “the West” has a “zero-sum” attitude toward Russia, instead of seeking to move forward with an approach in which neither side among the nuclear superpowers benefits at the other’s expense — the entire world moves forward together.
This is a direct criticism of Barack Obama, and of all of the pro-Obama, anti-Putin, EU leaders.
It’s also an implicit repudiation of Obama’s having repeatedly referred to the U.S. as “the one indispensable nation.” (Another example of that phrase is here.) Obama keeps saying: every other nation, except the U.S., is “dispensable.” He clearly thinks that Russia is.
That’s not merely an insult: it’s an act of provocation; it is virtually asking for a fight. And all for what? For whose nuclear char?
This criticism of the aggressive nationalist Obama does not come from China’s top leadership, but it would not have come at all if they had not approved of it in advance.
China thus now tells Obama: Stop it. Stop it in word, and in deed.
When it comes to the Ukraine proxy war, which started in earnest just about one year ago with the violent coup that overthrew then president Yanukovich and replaced him with a local pro-US oligarch, there has been no ambiguity who the key actors were: on the left, we had the west, personified by the US, the European Union, and NATO in general; while on the right we had Russia. In fact, if there was any confusion, it was about the role of that other “elephant in the room” – China.