The United States and the European Union will take serious steps against Russia if a referendum on Ukraine’s Crimea region goes ahead as planned on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday.
Bloomberg News would add that the US and EU planned to “exact an economic toll” if the referendum went ahead – in other words the emplacement of sanctions. The report would also claim:
With Ukraine accusing Russian forces of seizing Crimea in the run-up to the referendum, Western powers are trying to muster economic and diplomatic sanctions to force Putin to defuse the situation. Russia has held firm in the worst dispute between the two sides since the end of the Cold War.
To bolster its case for sanctions and expanded confrontation with Russia, the West has attempted to frame the current crisis in Ukraine as “Russian aggression,” the “overthrow” of the government of Crimea, and the “annexing” of Crimea at the cost of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Absent from this narrative is the fact that Western-backed, armed Nazis violently overthrew the government in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev, precipitating this conflict in the first place.
Also missing is the fact that the new proxy government in Kiev is led by overt bigots, racists, and torch bearers of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi ideology – with the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk literally leading a party called “Fatherland,” espousing bigotry which even caught the attention of Amnesty International in its 2008 report, “Overview of Lesbian and Gay Rights in Eastern Europe (.pdf),” and more recently in LGBT Weekly’s 2013 article, “Leading Ukraine Opposition figure surprises supporters by denouncing gay marriage.”
It would be difficult to imagine the people of Ukraine reacting in any other way but recoiling from the new regime in Kiev, and wanting to either rid their nation of it, or entirely disassociate themselves with it. For most people in Ukraine, that option will be difficult at best, but for the people of Crimea, which already enjoys closer ties to Russia and greater autonomy, an upcoming referendum this Sunday offers them an easy exit from the predictable downward trajectory the Eastern European nation is now plodding along.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has made astoundingly hypocritical remarks regarding the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine, which according to him, apparently trumps even the “democratic” process he and the rest of the West are generally so found of promoting. Considering the violations of territorial integrity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Serbia, Somalia, and Sudan (and now South Sudan), one must wonder who exactly Secretary Kerry believes he is convincing in regards to this fabricated motive to explain the West’s widening confrontation with Russia.
Kerry has also referenced the constitution of Ukraine, skipping past the unconstitutional methods employed by the current US-backed proxy regime to place itself into power including an armed coup led by Nazi militants.
Military force applied by the West would be both tragic and futile. For an armed front that struggled for months against the unprepared, poorly equipped army of Libya, and has all but failed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in its proxy war with Syria – war with Russia on its own doorstep would be a disaster. Knowing this, and unable to muster a significant military threat, the West is attempting instead to leverage economic penalties.
The West has increasingly been applying “sanctions” to every nation that opposes its “international order.” And in tandem, it has been seeing diminishing returns from this strategy. An economically crumbling bloc the rest of the world has been working decades to become independent of only isolates itself with sanctions – turning this once potent geopolitical tool into an implement of self-inflicted harm. Threats to sanction Russia will only drive whatever remaining interests are still tied to the West within Russia into the arms of other economic partners.
For Russia itself which is contemplating dumping the US Dollar, could compound the already precarious downward spiral the currency has entered. For a currency entirely dependent on US stability, a nation like Russia dumping it, and dumping it because of increasingly unsound and unstable US foreign policy, could be more trouble than the US’ ambitions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe are worth.US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared feckless, impotent, and all together confused during his most recent press conference in London, England (video). Even he appeared not to believe his threats of sanctions would stop Russia from checking the West’s overt meddling in Ukraine. He, and the policy makers writing his speeches and scripting the questions during his press conferences, appear aware that they face a dwindling number of options to defend the gains they’ve made meddling in Kiev.
Russia’s ability to check the West is owed to both its sound foreign policy and its economic strategy. The multipolar order it promotes is more appealing to partners, and its overall aversion to foreign meddling gives it a wide berth and a sense of legitimacy when confronting extreme circumstances directly on its border and clearly posing a threat to Russia’s own national security.
The countervailing paradigm Russia, China, and other growing nations are promoting is slowly exposing and isolating the West’s tired unipolar model of global economic and geopolitical hegemony. While Russia can counter the West with a number of moves geopolitically, militarily, and economically, it is the West’s persistence in pursuing this ill-conceived incursion along Russia’s borders that may deal the worst blow of all.
As seen in Libya, and more recently in Syria, each and every move the West makes now in pursuit of global hegemony, costs it permanently in terms of credibility and legitimacy. Few are able to watch US Secretary of State John Kerry and not spot instantly the obscene hypocrisy of his criticism of Russia or see the overt provocations the West has made that have triggered this confrontation in the first place.
The West’s continued push into Ukraine, whether it is successful, or even partially successful, will only cost them more legitimacy, and make it more difficult to carry on in the long run. In the meantime, they are stretching themselves out thin in their various geopolitical pursuits, like the Nazis of World War II, leaving themselves vulnerable for the inevitable counterstroke that will finally stop and reverse permanently their global enterprise. For those still invested in that enterprise, now may be a good time to divest.