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Title: War With Russia? Is This Really What They Want?
Source: Sputnik News
URL Source: https://sputniknews.com/columnists/ ... 82596-western-bloc-war-russia/
Published: Mar 9, 2018
Author: John Wight
Post Date: 2018-03-13 10:17:35 by A Pole
Keywords: Russia, NATO, war
Views: 111

It was said of Roman senator and rigorous proponent of Roman virtue, Cato the Elder, that he would end his speeches in the Senate with the mantra, Cathargo delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed).

For Cato and his supporters, the very existence of the North African seafaring merchant power was a dagger pointed at the heart of a Rome and an impediment to its imperial ambitions. In the end Carthage was destroyed — literally — by the Romans at the end of the Third Punic War (149-146 BC), whereupon its surviving inhabitants were sent into slavery and the city-state was consigned to the proverbial dustbin of history.

In 2018 there is a concerted effort underway to bounce the West into conflict with Moscow on no foundation other than Russia must be destroyed. The anti-Moscow and anti-Putin invective unleashed in response to the nerve agent attack against former Russian military intelligence colonel and MI6 asset Sergei Skripal is merely the latest instalment of an irrational and by now frightening fever of anti-Russian hysteria, cultivated and promoted by a clutch of Western ideologues and neocons throughout the West and former Soviet bloc states in eastern Europe.

Russiagate in the US, which at this writing is yet to produce a sliver of concrete or compelling evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, now finds its equal in the UK with lurid accusations of Russian involvement in the 2016 EU referendum, which resulted in Brexit.


And yet lost in the framing of this anti-Putin and anti-Moscow caricature by its authors and adherents, is the fact that the parlous state of relations between Moscow and the West in 2018 is the product of the catastrophic failure of the West’s post-Soviet policy upon communist behemoth’s demise in the early 1990s. As US scholar and Russia expert, Stephen F Cohen, writes of this failure: “The most fundamental [mistake of the West’s post-Soviet thinking] was to treat post-Communist Russia not as a strategic partner but as a defeated nation, analogous to Germany and Japan after World War II.”

The inevitable consequence of this narrative – that the Cold War had been won by the US and its allies rather than ended by mutual agreement between Moscow and Washington – resulted in misplaced triumphalism, leading inexorably to a stance of ‘to the victor the spoils'.

And what were those spoils?

Economically, they manifested in the imposition of a vast and disastrous free market experiment, otherwise known as ‘shock therapy’, the result of which was not the transformation of a stagnant and sclerotic state-owned economy into a lean, efficient and dynamic free market alternative, but instead economic and social Armageddon.

In her peerless work, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein sets out in forensic detail its human impact: “In 1989,” she writes, “before [free market] shock therapy, 2 million people in the Russian Federation were living in poverty, on less than $4 a day. By the time the shock therapists had administered their ‘bitter [economic] medicine’ in the mid-nineties, 74 million Russians were living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.”

Geopolitically and militarily, the spoils of the West’s supposed triumph in the Cold War was exploited to justify NATO’s eastward expansion, violating verbal agreements given to Mikhail Gorbachev and his government at the time guaranteeing that no such eastward expansion would entail. Yet entail it did with the accession of ten former Soviet republics and/or Soviet bloc countries joining the Western military alliance between 1999 and 2004.


The point is that in 2018 we now have NATO troops and aircraft deployed all the way up to Russia’s western border; the same border over which Hitler’s Nazi war machine invaded the country in 1941 at the start of the most brutal and devastating war of any in modern history, during which an estimated 27 million Soviet Russians perished. Do Western hawks and ideologues not see any problem with that? Do they not recognize why this has stirred such deep disquiet and anger in Moscow?


What we describe as containment, Moscow considers encirclement. What we describe as the spread and growth of Western democracy, Russia considers the spread and growth of Western imperialism.


Whoever attacked Mr Skripal and his daughter with nerve gas in Salisbury, England, it was a heinous crime. However the alacrity with which it has been exploited to launch jeremiads at Moscow, up to and including pugnacious declamations about the need to confront Russia, illustrates the extent to which for many within the Western media and political establishment, Russia can only ever be conceived of as a vanquished foe or a deadly foe that needs to be vanquished. It confirms indeed that of Cathargo Delenda Est is now the beating heart of Western foreign policy.



Readers comments:

Christian Ciuca · Marseille, France

John : the antimissile Shield it is not at all part of a supposed "containement" policy of Russia, how could it be?! this is a minimal protection against a limited threat from missiles sent by dictature countries as North Korea or ayatollahs Iran, now as President Putin has shown new powerful sophisticated missiles it is time to STOP any reference to the necessary antimissile Shield in Poland or Romania, it is pointless by now, so please stop your war propaganda now.


Erik Trete

Western leaders, exploiting the Russia threat, do so at great risk. Europe and the US are not the homogeneous states of pre WWII, where the leadership can expect the people to "pull together" when things get tough. These countries are also no longer self sufficient. Europe's energy supplies would be cut off in a blink of the eye. Their "efficient, just in time, import dependent" economies would immediately enter a state of deep and widespread deficit goods. With much larger, much more diverse and disenfranchised populations, support for an unnecessary war will be hard to come by. Whether this "forces" the US hand to quickly go nuclear or more benignly results in the collapse of western "civilization" I would prefer this discussion to be left to the publications of future scholar's theoretical papers.

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Interview with Putin (Samson Option?):

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