Category Archives: Western Hegemony’s Collapse

Western Hegemony’s Collapse

What’s the end game?! — “After me, the deluge”

Editor’s Note: What’s the end game?! — I don’t think this is an optional “controlled demolition”. I don’t think that the “elites” have a deliberate strategy of a “great reset” or a “new world order”. I think they are desperately trying to maintain the “old world order” which is indeed slipping out of their hands. They are trying to prolong their agony. They are looking to delay the day of reckoning by one more day. The old guard wants to keep their generation in power till the day after their demise by natural death.

“After me, the deluge” is their motto.

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Authored by Alexandra Bruce via ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.net,

New Zealand tech CEO, Kim Dotcom did the math on the United States’ sovereign debt and he tweeted a thread about it, saying it may the most important thread that he may ever make.

Kim explains that US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Government can only raise the money it needs by printing more of it, which means that hyperinflation is guaranteed.

He says this has been going on for decades and there’s no way to fix it and that the US got away with this for so long, because US dollar is the world’s reserve currency.

When the US Government prints trillions, it is thereby robbing Americans and the entire world in what he calls the biggest theft in history.

He says the total US debt is at $90 trillion, which together with $169 trillion in US unfunded liabilities totals $259 trillion, which is $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US Taxpayer.

Now, the value of all US assets combined: every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion.

Our total debt, $259 trillion minus our total net worth, $193 trillion equals negative $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off.

So even if the US could sell all assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke.

This is where the ‘Great Reset’ comes in and he asks, “Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it? A shift into a new dystopian future where the elites are the masters of the slaves without the cosmetics of democracy?”

He notes how the world has changed so much in recent years and how nothing seems to make sense anymore.

He sees the blatant corruption and the obvious gaslighting propaganda media and the erosion of our rights but he doesn’t know where it’s all going and he finishes the thread asking, “What’s the end game?”

As Harrison Smith from the American Journal says, “It’s a pyramid scheme. The people perpetrating the pyramid scheme are in charge of everything…they’re going to sacrifice humanity in order to maintain their system…

“The world economy is being collapsed, the food supply system is being destroyed, the energy that we rely on to maintain civilization is being curtailed and eliminated and we’ll be forced into the Great Reset where we will own nothing.”

Former BlackRock stockpicker, Ed Dowd believes that the entire COVID sham was created as a cover for the financial collapse and that new lockdowns are coming, to try mitigate the inevitable violence and chaos that we can expect to be witnessing in the streets.

We also saw how Dr Mike Yeadon, former Pfizer VP also believes that COVID and the death shot are an elaborate hoax to engineer a collapse of sovereign currencies to bring in the Great Reset and the introduction of programmable central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), for a wholly-controlled population, in which people will not be able to buy food, etc. unless the algorithms permit and the undesirables can basically be starved to death via artificial intelligence.

Kim Dotcom June 5, 2022 Thread

(emphasis ours)
This may be the most important thread I ever make. Big picture stuff about the major global collapse that is coming.
I will try to help you understand why the future is not what we’re hoping for. It’s worse than most can imagine.
Our leaders know.
But what are they planning?

The United States did not have a surplus or a balanced budget since 2001. In the last 50 years the US only had 4 years of profit. In fact all the profit the US had would not be enough to pay for 6 months of the current yearly deficit. So how did the US pay for things?

US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Govt can only raise the money it needs by printing it. That causes inflation. It’s like taxing you extra because you pay more for the things you need and all your assets decline in value.
See the US money printing frenzy:

The reason why the US got away with it for so long is because USD is the worlds reserve currency. Nations everywhere hold USD as a secure asset. So when the US Govt prints trillions it’s robbing Americans and the entire world. The biggest theft in history.

The reason why the US got away with it for so long is because USD is the worlds reserve currency. Nations everywhere hold USD as a secure asset. So when the US Govt prints trillions it’s robbing Americans and the entire world. The biggest theft in history. pic.twitter.com/K1UKC7tWf0

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 5, 2022

The problem is that this has been going for decades and there’s now no way to fix it. The reality is that the US has been bankrupt for some time and what’s coming is a nightmare: Mass poverty and a new system of control. Let me explain why this isn’t just doom and gloom talk.
Total US debt is at $90 trillion. US unfunded liabilities are at $169 trillion. Combined that’s $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US tax payer 
Remember, the only way the US Government can operate now is by printing more money. Which means hyperinflation is inevitable.
The total value of ALL companies listed on the US stock market is $53 trillion. The real value is much lower because the US has been printing trillions to provide interest free loans to investment banks to pump up the stock market. It’s a scam.
Most of the $53 trillion is air.
The value of all US assets combined, every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion.
That number is also full of air just like the US stock market.
US total debt: $90 trillion
US unfunded liabilities: $169 trillion
Total: $259 trillion
Minus all US assets: $193 trillion
Balance: – $66 trillion
That’s $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off.
Do you understand?
So even if the US could sell all assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke.
The US is beyond bankrupt.
This patient is already dead.
This patient is now a zombie.

You probably wonder why are things still going? Why didn’t everything collapse yet.
It’s all perception, denial and dependency.
The perception is that the US has the largest economy and the strongest military in the world. But in reality the US is broke and can’t afford its army.
The denial is that all nations depend on a strong USD or global markets collapse.
The reason why the US zombie keeps going is because the end of the US is the end of western prosperity and an admission that the current system failed as a model for the world. It doesn’t change the reality. The collapse is inevitable and coming.
What are our leaders planning?
You may have heard about the ‘great reset’ or the ‘new world order’. Is it a controlled demolition of the global markets, economies and the world as we know it?
A shift into a new dystopian future where the elites are the masters of the slaves without the cosmetics of democracy?
Without a controlled demolition the world will collapse for all, including the elites. The world has changed so much and nothing seems to make sense anymore, the blatant corruption is out in the open, the obvious propaganda media, the erosion of our rights.
What’s the end game?

How Russia Can (And Will?) De-NATO-size Europe

via Moon of Alabama

In a video published yesterday Gonzalo Lire, currently under house arrest in Karkov, is asking a very interesting question:

What Happens To Europe When Russia Wins? (vid)

Lira states, and I agree with him, that Russia will win the war in the Ukraine, take the south and east to likely create a new country and leave the rest of the cadaver for Poland, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania and others to feast on.

But then what?

The U.S. controlled NATO will still be there. It is practically guaranteed that the U.S. will use it to push for revenge for the loss of Ukraine. This will be done by a steady buildup of troops and long range missile capabilities along Russia’s Nordic and Baltic borders and additional naval threats in the northern Arctic as well as the southern Black Sea. Some ten years from now the U.S. would be able to again try to wage a big (proxy) war against Russia. Then with a decent chance to win.

No negotiations or peace agreements will prevent that. The U.S. is famously non-agreement-capable (недоговороспособны). It has broken ALL promises and agreements it has ever made with Russia.

Dozens of U.S. and European luminaries had promised to Russia that NATO would expand ‘not one inch’ towards Russia. Look where its borders are now. The U.S. and the EU have confiscated huge amounts of Russian state owned money. They have even taken, in contradiction to their own constitutions, the properties of private Russian citizens just because those persons happen to be Russian.

In 2014 Germany and France signed on to guarantee elections for a peaceful regime change in Kiev. A day later the fascists stormed the Ukrainian parliament and those guarantees turned out to be totally worthless. The U.S. simply said fuck the EU. It does not give shit about European interests. Germany and France later negotiated and signed the Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements. They continued to feed billions of EU money into Ukraine even as the Ukrainian government, controlled by the U.S., did nothing to fulfill them. Yes, they were that stupid.

The U.S. has installed ‘missile defense’ systems in Poland and Romania which are in fact designed to lob Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) onto Moscow. These are a serious danger to Russia.

Even after Ukraine is finished, NATO and its EU proxies will continue to be a danger to Russia. Both have proven to be unable to keep promises. Russia in consequence will have to rearrange them.

Russia could do that by force. But there will be no march towards Riga, Warsaw, Berlin or Paris. (Remember that Russia has been there and done that which every time has led to major changes in Europe.)

Russia has announced its strategic aims. In December 2021 Russia set forth two agreements which the U.S. and NATO. They included demands for a future arrangement in Europe that would guarantee indivisible security for all. On January 21 2022 the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was to meet Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Geneva to talk about Russia’s proposals. Just minutes before that meeting the Foreign Ministry of Russia held a news conference to answer media questions:

Question: What will Russia’s demand that NATO return to the 1997 framework mean for Bulgaria and Romania? Will they have to leave NATO, remove US bases from their territory, or something else?Answer: You mentioned one of the cornerstones of Russia’s initiatives. It was deliberately set forth with utmost clarity to avoid any ambiguity. We are talking about the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment, and weapons, as well as taking other steps to return to the set-up we had in 1997 in non-NATO countries. This includes Bulgaria and Romania.

Reuters reported:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The security guarantees that Russia seeks from the West include provisions requiring NATO forces to leave Romania and Bulgaria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.Moscow has demanded legally binding guarantees from NATO that the bloc will stop its expansion and return to its 1997 borders.

Replying to a question about what that would mean for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined NATO after 1997, the ministry said Russia wanted all foreign troops, weapons and other military hardware withdrawn from those countries.

After more than 20 years of watching Lavrov and Putin everyone should know that they do not publicly set out aims if they have no way to achieve them. They always have well thought out plans before announcing their goals.

So how can Russia actually achieve a retreat of NATO back to its 1997 borders?

Sanctions. The U.S. has used its economic and military powers to sanction this or that country that did not do as it was told to do by Washington. Unless enacted by the UN Security Council such sanctions have no basis in international law. Despite that the U.S. even used secondary sanctions. It threatened sanctions against Europe, and everyone else, as it ordered them to not deal with Iran or Venezuela.

Alan MacLeod @AlanRMacLeod – 22:45 UTC · Jun 5, 2022The US is thinking about “allowing” Europe and Venezuela to trade together. Think about what this story tells us about global power relations and who is in charge.

Bloomberg @business – 12:13 UTC · Jun 5, 2022The US could allow Eni and Repsol to ship Venezuelan oil to Europe as soon as July to make up for Russian crude, Reuters reported trib.al/fQ10QlX

Russia can do similar. But as it always follows international law, it will have to do it in a slightly different way.

Russia is a superpower in that it produces all kinds of raw materials the world, and especially the ‘west’, needs. Europe, and especially Germany, is depending on natural gas and oil from Russia. Energy prices in Germany will at least triple if it is completely cut off from Russian supplies.

German industry leader have loudly announced that they will have to close shop if the current European policies of restricting Russian energy supplies continues. The chemical giants BASF and Bayer will have to move to some other country. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW will have to stop all production in Europe. Steel production would fall to zero. Lack of fertilizer would lead to dependency on foreign agriculture.

Mass unemployment would follow. Millions will be in the street to protest against rolling blackouts, freezing apartments and hyperinflation.

Russia can achieve this at any time. It simply has to stop supplying gas and oil to Europe.

Despite six European ‘sanction packages’ against Russia there has yet to be a reciprocal response from Russia. It may still hope that European leaders will recognized the deadly game the U.S. is playing with them.

matador-s.jpg

Unfortunately the leaders of Europe are dumb and compromised. The ‘olive green’ German Minister for Economic Destruction Robert Habeck still dreams of bringing Russia’s economy to its knees even as the ruble rises and Germany’s economy is falling apart. Chancellor Olaf Scholz was never the brightest bulb in the room. He is deeply compromised through his involvement in the Wireguard scandal. He was the Minister of Finance when reports of the company’s billion dollar fraud were suppressed by his ministry. And don’t get me going about Ursula van der Leyen who has been proven to be corrupt and incompetent ever since she took her first public office. U.S. secret services will know of many other crimes these people have been involved in.

The current ideological leaders of Europe will have to be replaced by clean ones who follow the German tradition of Realpolitik:

Realpolitik (German: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtiːk]; from German real ‘realistic, practical, actual’, and Politik ‘politics’), refers to enacting or engaging in diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly binding itself to explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. It is often simply referred to as “pragmatism” in politics, e.g. “pursuing pragmatic policies” or “realistic policies”.

Only with new and decent leaders will Europe come to its senses.

Russia can help to achieve that while at the same time solving its NATO problem.

It can publicly declare that:

THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER RUSSIAN SUPPLIES OF ANY KIND TO EUROPE UNTIL IT BREAKS WITH WASHINGTON.

What would follow?

Millions of discussions under candlelight would be held in freezing and hungry European households. Political opinions would change. Governments would be replaced with more pragmatic ones.

France and Germany would either have to leave NATO or become impoverished and irrelevant. U.S. troops on European grounds would be asked to leave or be attacked and thrown out by an enraged public. Germany would prohibit the U.S. military from using its airspace. The U.S would lose its grip over the continent.

That can’t happen? Well, Gonzalo Lira disagrees and so do I. In early February, before the Russian intervention in Ukraine, I had warned of the consequences of current ‘western’ policies:

The U.S. strategy to ‘fix’ Russia in Europe by imposing ‘crushing sanctions’ on it to then attack China is failing. That is because it was completely misconceived.Russia is the most autarkic country in the world. It produces nearly everything it needs and has highly desirable products that are in global demand and are especially needed in Europe. Russia also has huge financial reserves. A sanctions strategy against Russia can not work.

The consequences for Europe were obvious:

The U.S. and its proxies in the EU and elsewhere have put up very harsh sanctions on Russia to damage its economy.The final intent of this economic war is regime change in Russia.

The likely consequence will be regime change in many other countries.

All energy consumption in the U.S. and EU will now come at a premium price. This will push the EU and the U.S. into a recession. As Russia will increase the prices for exports of goods in which it has market power – gas, oil, wheat, potassium, titanium, aluminum, palladium, neon etc – the rise in inflation all around the world will become significant.

[Russia and China] have spent more brain time on the issue than the U.S. has.

The Europeans should have acknowledged that instead of helping the U.S. to keep up its self-image of a unipolar power.

It will take some time for the new economic realities to settle in. They will likely change the current view of Europe’s real strategic interests.

Europe is fortunate in that Russia, even before re-entering the Ukraine, has offered a very decent alternative to U.S. hegemony in Europe:

A man who has Putin’s ear, Professor Sergey Karaganov who is the honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, has written an op-ed that points to an alternative.

The piece was requested by and supposed to be published in the Financial Times, which means that it is directed at the European leadership. But the FT has now rejected it for unstated reasons. It was then published in the Russia in Global Affairs journal and has now been re-published by RT.

[Karaganov] states:

The security system in Europe, built largely by the West after the 1990s, without a peace treaty having been signed after the end of the previous Cold War, is dangerously unsustainable.There are a few ways to solve the narrow Ukrainian problem, such as its return to permanent neutrality, or legal guarantees from several key NATO countries not to ever vote for further expansion of the bloc. Diplomats, I assume, have a few others up their sleeves. We do not want to humiliate Brussels by insisting on repudiating its erroneous plea for the open-ended expansion of NATO. We all know the end of the Versailles humiliation. And, of course, the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

But the task is wider: to build a viable system on the ruins of the present. And without resorting to arms, of course. Probably in the wider Greater Eurasian framework. Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the competition of the future. Europe without Russia or even against it has been rapidly losing its international clout. That was predicted by many people in the 1990s, when Russia offered to integrate with, not in, the continent’s systems. We are too big and proud to be absorbed. Our pitch was rejected then, but there is always a chance it won’t be this time.

That last paragraph is the gist of Russia’s real strategic aims. They require to destroy the current system of U.S. hegemony over Europe. Europe will have to be de-NATO-sized. Regime changes in European countries will probably be necessary to see to that.

Russia’s leaders now have a once in a century chance to achieve those aims. They will be condemned by their compatriots if the refrain from doing so. The U.S. has no way to prevent or counter a Russian sales boycott and its consequences.

When will European politicians, or those behind them, finally wake up to those facts?

Update (11:45 UTC):

A soundbite from a press conference Lavrov is currently holding:

Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy – 11:41 UTC · Jun 6, 2022FM #Lavrov: To all appearances, no one is going to even reform #NATO. They are going to turn this “defensive alliance” into a global alliance claiming global military dominance. This is a dangerous path that is definitely doomed to failure.

Kissinger Nails It. for Once

by Mike Whitney via Unz

Do you know why Henry Kissinger’s speech at the World Economic Forum touched-off such a furor?

Kissinger didn’t criticize the way the war in Ukraine is being conducted or the lack of progress on the ground. No. What Kissinger criticized was the policy itself, that’s what triggered the firestorm. He was throwing a bucket of cold water on the people who concocted this loony policy by telling them to their faces that they “got it wrong.”

And, they did get it wrong, because the policy they are currently pursuing is hurting US allies and US interests. That is the metric we use to determine whether a particular policy is stupid or not and, unfortunately, this passes the “stupid test” with flying colors.

Let me explain: Our basic strategy is to “weaken” and “isolate” Russia by severing Russia’s economic ties with Europe and goading them into a long and costly quagmire in Ukraine. That’s the plan.

Now you might think that it sounds pretty reasonable but– according to Kissinger– it’s the wrong plan.

Why?

Because US National Security Strategy identifies China as America’s number one rival (which it certainly is) so, naturally, any policy that makes China stronger, runs counter to US strategic interests.

Got it? So, the question is: Does our proxy-war in Ukraine make China stronger?

And the answer is: Of course, it does. It makes China alot stronger because it forces Russia to strengthen relations with China.

What does that mean in practical terms?

It means that relations between the world’s manufacturing powerhouse (China) and the world’s second biggest producer of hydrocarbons (Russia) just got a helluva alot better because of Washington’s counterproductive war in Ukraine. That’s what it means. It also means that– as relations between the two countries improve– the pace of US imperial decline is going to accelerate as the non-dollar zone expands and bilateral trade gradually replaces the current US-dominated global trade system.

You can see this happening already. The war in Ukraine has triggered a shocking collapse in global trade, major disruptions in critical supplylines, unprecedented food and energy shortages, and the greatest redivision of the world since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Washington has decided to stake its future and the future of the American people on a senseless geopolitical gambit could turn out to be the greatest strategic catastrophe in US history.

Kissinger grasps the gravity of the situation which is why he decided to put in his two-cents. But he wasn’t just critical of the policy, he also offered an ominous warning that has been almost-entirely ignored by the media. Here’s what he said:

“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante (…) Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself”.

There it is in black and white, but let’s break it into two parts to get a better sense of what he’s saying:

  1. The policy is wrong
  2. The policy must be changed immediately or the damage to the US and its allies will be severe and permanent. (“Negotiations need to begin in the next two months”)

That might sound too apocalyptic for some, but I think Kissinger is on to something here. After all, look at the massive changes the world has already experienced since the conflict began; the disruptions in supplylines, the food and energy shortages, and the rolling-back of the globalization project. Pretty big changes, I’d say, but they’re probably just be the tip of the iceberg. The real pain is still ahead of us.

What is this winter going to look like when home heating bills go through the roof, industries across Europe succumb to the higher energy costs, unemployment soars to Great Depression levels, and rolling blackouts become a regular feature of life in the west? That’s what the future holds for Europe and America if the policy isn’t reversed and a negotiated settlement quickly reached.

Putin has already stated that Russia will not put itself in a position where it is economically dependent on Europe again. Those days are over. Instead, he is redirecting critical energy flows to China, India and beyond. Europe is no longer a priority customer, in fact, they have emerged as a threat to Russia’s survival, which means, Russia will continue to reorient its production eastward.

How will this impact Europe?

That’s easy. Europe is going to pay more for its energy that any country in the world. That is the choice they made by shrugging off Russia’s legitimate security demands, and that is the outcome they will have to live with.

So, here’s what you need to know:

In 2021, Russia provided 40% of all the natural gas consumed in the EU.

In 2021, Russia provided over 25% of the oil consumed in the EU.

If you think that those quantities of hydrocarbons can be replaced by producers in Nigeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia or some other far-flung location, you are sadly mistaken. Europe is walking headlong into the biggest energy crisis in its history, and it can only blame itself. Here’s more from an article at RT:

“The current energy crisis could be one of the worst and longest in history and European countries could be hit particularly hard, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said on Tuesday. In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Birol said that the fallout from the events in Ukraine is likely to make the current energy crisis worse than the crises of the 1970s.

Back then it was all about oil. Now we have an oil crisis, a gas crisis and an electricity crisis at the same time,” Birol told the publication, adding that before the ongoing events in Ukraine, Russia was “a cornerstone of the global energy system: the world’s largest oil exporter, the world’s largest gas exporter, a leading supplier of coal.”

As part of its Ukraine-related sanctions, the EU introduced restrictions on Russian fossil fuels and has pledged to gradually phase them out. Birol warned that countries in Europe that are more dependent on Russian gas are facing a “difficult winter,” as “gas may well have to be rationed,” including in Germany. His comments came as Russia’s state gas supplier Gazprom cut off supplies to some energy firms in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries, after their failure to pay for the fuel in rubles as per new requirements.” (“Fuel rationing may be coming to Europe – IEA“, RT)

So, I guess, freezing to death in the dark is preferrable to insisting that Ukraine remain neutral and stop killing ethnic Russians in the east? Is that the “principal” that Europe is defending?

If so, it’s a bad choice.

Here’s something to mull over: Did you know that all “oil blends” are not alike?

Why would that matter?

Because Germany currently imports 34% of its oil from Russia. And Russian oil is a fully-proven, high quality Urals blend that is delivered in vast quantities via the Druzhba pipeline to German refineries that have been engineered to meet particular processing requirements. Different oil from different providers would throw a wrench in the whole refinery process. It would require significant “modification of new feedstock lines and infrastructure, an atmospheric distillation facility, a vacuum distillation system, a cat-crack unit, a visbreaking facility, an alkylation unit, a catalytic reformer, an isomerisation unit, and an ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) facility. Plus brand new storage facilities + handling equipment for Rostock feed to substitute the 24x7x365 smooth Druzhba pipeline.” (“Germany’s Refinery Problem”, The Saker)

So, all oil blends aren’t the same?

Nope, not even close. On top of that, industry experts estimate that the refinery modifications would take roughly 6 years to complete. In the meantime, Germany’s economic growth– which is closely aligned with energy consumption– will dip dramatically, businesses will be shuttered, unemployment will spike, and the EU’s most powerful and productive country will be brought to its knees.

Maybe someone in the German government should have thought about these things before they decided to boycott Russia oil?

The point we’re trying to make is simple: Kissinger is right and the neocon clowns that concocted the failed Ukraine strategy are wrong, dead wrong. And, if we don’t convene “Negotiations… in the next two months”, as Kissinger advices, then the break with Russia will be final and irreversible, at which point, Russia’s voluminous energy resources, mineral wealth and agricultural products will be forever routed eastward to friendlier nations. And that is going to inflict terrible suffering on both the United States and its allies in Europe.

The only reasonable course of action is to call for an immediate ceasefire so that peace talks can begin ASAP.

US Wants the European Vassals to Do Its Bidding Against China

European nations need to join forces with the US to help it face the growing challenge to the existing world order posed by China, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told journalists via a video link on Thursday. Countering Beijing’s influence is important for preserving, what she called, the European way of life, the official claimed.

Earlier, Washington called China the only nation that has both the will and ability to reshape the world order and threaten Western nations’ “shared vision” of the future. Sherman now says China was a threat to Western values long before it supposedly aligned itself with Russia, which currently dominates the headlines in the West due to Moscow’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

“Even before President Xi [Jinping] and President [Vladimir] Putin declared their ‘no limits’ partnership in February, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] has challenged Europe’s security, Europe’s economy and Europe’s values,” Sherman told journalists in Washington, DC.

“While Beijing may be thousands of miles away… the PRC’s actions matter just as much for the future of Europe,” she said, adding that Washington does not seek a new cold war with Beijing.

While the US does not plan to “sever [its] economy from the PRC,”Washington cannot simply “rely on Beijing to change its behavior,” Sherman continued, while calling on European nations to align their approaches with Washington, primarily on issues such as supply chains.

Her words come one week after Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order – and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it.”

Blinken warned that Beijing’s idea of the future “would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world’s progress over the past 75 years,” adding that US President Joe Biden “believes this decade will be decisive” in the standoff between Washington and Beijing.

He also said the US seeks to “shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open and inclusive international system.” America has been rallying support among Pacific nations and Western allies amid heightened tensions with China, which have been on the rise due to issues surrounding Taiwan.

Russia Responds to West’s Hypocrisy


The West ought to condemn its own military adventures and pay out compensation to those who have suffered from its actions, Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Thursday, according to news agency TASS.

“I would recommend to the collective West this one thing. If you want to condemn aggression — start with yourselves. Set an example by condemning your own military adventures, illegal economic restrictions, deadly colonial and neo-colonial wars, genocide, and robbery of indigenous peoples,” he told the UN Security Council, commenting on the accusations regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

“Start paying off compensations to states and nations that suffered from you. Such a step would indeed bring us closer to having a more just world order that would have no place for anyone’s self-proclaimed exceptionalism,” the diplomat added.

According to Nebenzya, in recent months, Russia has witnessed “a transcendent degree of hypocrisy” coming from the West. During the Ukraine conflict, Western countries “suddenly recalled that there is such a thing as the international law,” Russia’s UN envoy argued.

“When NATO was attacking Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, international law was perceived only as an annoying impediment. In futile attempts to justify their aggression against sovereign states, the collective West had to come up with exotic concepts, such as ‘humanitarian intervention’, ‘war on terror’, ‘preventive strikes’,” Nebenzya continued.

He said that Moscow had no information on whether US, UK or other military officers that are allegedly responsible for war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have faced charges. “The outcome is always the same: lots of casualties, and no one held accountable (even in disciplinary terms, to say nothing of criminal liability),” he added, referring to what he called “NATO atrocities.”

Henry Kissinger is Trying to Warn Westerners that They Are Running Out of Time in the Fight for Russia

By Valdai Club Programme Director Timofei Bordachev

If the acute phase of the conflict in Ukraine turns out to be lengthy, which now seems likely, then basic survival will force Russia to cut ties with Western-aligned Europe

In the event that the growing conflict in, and around, Ukraine doesn’t lead to irreparable consequences on a global scale in the near future, its most important outcome will be a fundamental demarcation between Russia and the Western-aligned states of Europe.

This will make it impossible to maintain even minor neutral zones and will require a significant reduction in trade and economic ties. Restoring control over the territory of Ukraine, which, most likely, is to become a long-term goal of Russian foreign policy, will solve the main problem of regional security – the presence of a “gray zone.” The management of which inevitably became the subject of a confrontation and was dangerous from the point of view of escalation.

In this sense, we can count on a certain stabilization in the long term, although it will not be based on cooperation between the main regional powers. However, it is already obvious that the road to peace will be long enough and will be accompanied by extremely dangerous situations.

In his speech to the participants of the Davos forum, Henry Kissinger, the grand patriarch of international politics, pointed to just such a prospect as the least desirable from his point of view, since Russia then “could alienate itself completely from Europe and seek a permanent alliance elsewhere,” which would lead to the emergence of diplomatic divides on the scale of the Cold War.

In his opinion, peace talks between the parties [Moscow and Kiev] would be the most expedient way to prevent this; these would result in Russian interests being taken into account. For Kissinger, this means that in some respect, Russia’s participation in the European “concert” is an unconditional value, and the loss of this must be prevented as long as some chance remains.

However, with all due respect to the merits and wisdom of this statesman and scholar, the impeccable logic of Kissinger faces only one obstacle – it works when the balance of power is has been determined and relations between states have already passed the stage of military conflict.

In this sense, he certainly follows in the footsteps of his great predecessors – Chancellor of the Austrian Empire Klemens von Metternich and British Foreign Secretary Viscount Castlereagh, whose diplomatic achievements were the subject of Kissinger’s own doctoral dissertation in 1956. Both of them went down in history as the creators of a new European order, established after the end of the Napoleonic era in France and which persisted, with minor adjustments, for almost a century in international politics.

Like those illustrious figures, Kissinger appears on the world stage in an era when the balance of power between the most important players is already being determined by “iron and blood.” The time of his greatest achievement was the first half of the 1970s – a period of relative stability.

However, one cannot ignore the fact that the ability of states to behave in that way, back then, was not due to their wisdom, or responsibility to future generations, but down to much more mundane factors. The first being the completion of the “contraction” of the order which obtained its outline characteristics as a result of World War II. Over the next 25 years (1945 to 1970), this state-of-affairs was “finalized” during the war in Korea, the US intervention in Vietnam, the USSR’s military actions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, several indirect wars between the USSR and the US in the Middle East, the completion of the process of disintegration of the European colonial empires, as well as a significant number of smaller but also dramatic events.

Thus, at the present time, it would be difficult to expect diplomacy to be able to take first place in world affairs at the initial stage of the process, which promises to be very long and, most likely, quite bloody.

The material basis of that order, which was given its final polish by Kissinger’s diplomacy, the policy of “détente” with the USSR and the 1972 reconciliation with China, was the strategic defeat of most of Europe as a result of two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. The collapse of the European colonial empires and the historic rout of Germany in its attempt to take center stage in world affairs brought the United States to the forefront, which made it possible to make politics truly global.

As a result of the self-destruction of the USSR, this order turned out to be short-lived. We see now that this situation was a great tragedy, since it led to the disappearance of the balance of power in favor of the dominance of only one power.

Now we can assume that the emancipation of mankind from Western control is of central importance, and the most important factor in this process is the growth of China’s economic and political power. If China itself, as well as India and other major states outside the West, cope with the task entrusted to them by history, in the coming decades the international system will acquire features that were completely uncharacteristic before.

Most of the significant events that are taking place now, both globally and regionally, are connected with the objective process of the growth in the importance of China and, following it, other large Asian countries. The determination Russia has shown in recent years, and especially months, is also associated with global changes. The fact that Moscow so purposefully stood up to protect its interests and values was due not only to domestic Russian reasons, although they are of great importance. Nor were they predicated upon expectations of direct material assistance from China, which could compensate for the losses during the acute phase of the conflict with the West.

The main external source of Russian self-confidence has been an objective assessment of the state of the international political and economic environment, in which even a complete break with the West would not be mortally dangerous for Russia from the point of view of pursuing its main development goals. Moreover, it is precisely the need for a more active rapprochement with other partners, which Russia has not experienced until recently, that may turn out to be a much more reliable way to survive in a changing environment.

This is what is understood in the US and Europe with the greatest concern. In the event that Russia, during the years of the emerging disengagement from the rest of Europe, creates a comparable system of trade, economic, political, cultural and human ties in the South and East, the return of this country to the Western realm will become technically difficult, if perhaps not even possible.

So far, such a course of events is hindered by a colossal number of factors, among which, in the first place, is the passive stability of close interaction with the rest of Europe and the mutual dealings accumulated over the past 300 years. Moreover, it was other European powers that were the only constant partners of Russia after the appearance of this nation in the arena of international cooperation.

However, in the event that the acute phase of the conflict in Ukraine really turns out to be very long, which, apparently, is the case, then the elementary needs of survival will force Russia to get rid of what binds it to Europe. This is exactly what those Russian scholars and public figures are calling for, who in every possible way emphasize the existential nature of the confrontation taking place on our western borders.

Therefore, it is the understanding by the US, and its allies, that the movement towards a new world order lies on a firm foundation that is the most important source of their struggle with Russia.

The inevitable redistribution of resources and power on a global scale cannot happen in a completely peaceful manner, although the irrationality of an offensive war between the great powers, given the nuclear deterrence factor, provides us with some hope for the preservation of humanity.

Amid the struggle now gaining momentum, Russia, like the rest of Europe, is, despite its military capabilities, a participant inferior in strength to the main warring parties – China and the United States. Therefore, there is a struggle for Russia, and there is a dwindling opportunity for the West to win, and this is what Henry Kissinger is trying to articulate.

This article was first published by Valdai club

Lavrov: “The insolence of the Anglo-Saxon alliance has no bounds”

Western leaders believe themselves to be exceptional and are driven by delusions of grandeur and irrational fears, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov outlined on Wednesday in an interview with RT Arabic.

“We know that our Western friends have many phobias, many complexes. They have a superiority complex, the infallibility complex, and I believe they also have some paranoia,” Lavrov said.

“Any process that does not include the West, which the West does not control, they perceive as opposition, a challenge to their dominance,” he explained, referring to various regional economic integration groups and organizations that Russia participates in. “It’s high time for them to kick this habit.”

The remarks came as Lavrov defended Moscow’s opposition to the US and its allies, whom Russia accuses of imposing their will on other nations through unsavory methods. The drive to punish Russia with economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation in response to attacking Ukraine, in which Washington wants to enroll the entire world, is the latest example, the top diplomat said.

“The insolence of the Anglo-Saxon alliance has no bounds, and we find confirmation of that every day,” he said. “The West sends its envoys and emissaries every day to every capital without exception… to deliver ultimatums and to blackmail.”

Russia is pleased to see that most of the states in Asia, Africa and Latin America are resisting the pressure, Lavrov added. “Those nations don’t want to compromise their national dignity and run around as servant boys doing the chores on behalf of [the West]” he said.

Their attitude is nothing new and is the modern version of European colonialism, Lavrov continued. Fortunately, history favors a multilateral future for the world, so Western nations trying to preserve their dominant status are acting against the natural progress of humanity, he added.

The West’s sense of entitlement to do with the world as it sees fit often has disastrous consequences, Lavrov elaborated. This was the case with Yugoslavia in the 1990s, which was destroyed when the US decided its interests required it, with Iraq in 2003, when the US used false pretexts to invade the country, and with Libya in 2011, Lavrov said.

“Sure, there were authoritarian regimes in both Iraq and Libya, but there were no terrorists there. There was no constant fighting and military provocations,” he pointed out.

“That’s the mentality of the Western states. They believe their security depends on the entire world and that thus they should rule the world,” he added.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine stems from the same root cause, which is a Western disregard of Russian national security, Lavrov said. It simply ignored for decades Moscow’s objections against the enlargement of NATO in Europe, pushing Moscow towards the military option to curb the threat, he said.

Putin Predicts Failure of the West

Western nations that are trying to punish others with economic sanctions are overestimating their strength, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the Eurasian Economic Forum on Thursday.

“More and more countries in the world want and will pursue independent policy,” he said at the international event. “No ‘world policeman’ can halt this natural global process. No one is that strong.”

“They face challenges inside their nations, and I hope they realize that this policy has absolutely no prospects,” the Russian leader said, referring to the US and its Western allies.

The New World Order – the Russian Way

Turning to Asia and accelerating the reorientation to Asian markets is a strategic direction for the Russian Federation.

This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Economy Reshetnikov to journalists in Bangkok.

Moscow is aware of the long-term nature of Western sanctions against it, the minister explained.

“We will make every effort to integrate into the value chain together with Asian countries, together with Arab countries, together with South America,” Reshetnikov said.

According to him, new large independent economic centers will appear in the world.

“The events that are taking place now will push the general departure from the dollar currency system and the settlement system. Alternative systems will be developed, and at the same time, versatile technological development will take place,” the minister concluded.

Jacques Baud: “The Decay of US Hegemony in the Next Decades”

The “Siege of Sevastopol” by Franz Roubaud (1902-1904)

via The Postil

In this penetrating interview, Jacques Baud delves into geopolitics to help us better understand what is actually taking place in the Ukraine, in that it is ultimately the larger struggle for global dominance, led by the United States, NATO and the political leaders of the West and against Russia.
As always, Colonel Baud brings to bear his well-informed analysis, which is unique for its depth and gravity. We are sure that you will find this conservation informative, insightful and crucial in connecting the dots.


The Postil (TP): We are so very pleased to have you join us for this conversation. Would you please tell us a little about yourself, about your background?
Jacques Baud (JB): Thank you for inviting me! As to my education, I have a master’s degree in Econometrics and postgraduate diplomas in International Relations and in International Security from the Graduate Institute for International relations in Geneva (Switzerland). I worked as strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense, and was in charge of the Warsaw Pact armed forces, including those deployed abroad (such as Afghanistan, Cuba, Angola, etc.) I attended intelligence training in the UK and in the US. Just after the end of the Cold War, I headed for a few years a unit in the Swiss Defense Research and Procurement Agency. During the Rwanda War, because of my military and intelligence background, I was sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo as security adviser to prevent ethnic cleansing in the Rwandan refugee camps.
During my time in the intelligence service, I was in touch with the Afghan resistance movement of Ahmed Shah Masood, and I wrote a small handbook to help Afghans in demining and neutralizing Soviet bomblets. In the mid-1990, the struggle against antipersonnel mines became a foreign policy priority of Switzerland. I proposed to create a center that would collect information about landmines and demining technologies for the UN. This led to the creation of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining in Geneva. I was later offered to head the Policy and Doctrine Unit of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. After two years in New York, I went to Nairobi to perform a similar job for the African Union.

Jacques Baud, Darfour.

Then I was assigned to NATO to counter the proliferation of small arms. Switzerland is not a member of the Alliance, but this particular position had been negotiated as a Swiss contribution to the Partnership for Peace with NATO. In 2014, as the Ukraine crisis unfolded, I monitored the flow of small arms in the Donbass. Later, in the same year I was involved in a NATO program to assist the Ukrainian armed forces in restoring their capacities and improving personnel management, with the aim of restoring trust in them.
TP: You have written two insightful articles about the current conflict in the Ukraine, which we had the great privilege to translate and publish (here and here). Was there a particular event or an instance which led you to formulate this much-needed perspective?
JB: As a strategic intelligence officer, I always advocated providing to the political or military decision-makers the most accurate and the most objective intelligence. This is the kind of job where you need to keep you prejudice and your feelings to yourself, in order to come up with an intelligence that reflects as much as possible the reality on the ground rather than your own emotions or beliefs. I also assume that in a modern democratic State decision must be fact-based. This is the difference with autocratic political systems where decision-making is ideology-based (such as in the Marxist States) or religion-based (such as in the French pre-revolutionary monarchy).

Jacques Baud with the New Sudan Brigade.

Thanks to my various assignments, I was able to have an insider view in most recent conflicts (such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and, of course, Ukraine). The main common aspect between all these conflicts is that we tend to have a totally distorted understanding of them. We do not understand our enemies, their rationale, their way of thinking and their real objectives. Hence, we are not even able to articulate sound strategies to fight them. This is especially true with Russia. Most people, including the top brass, tend to confuse “Russia” and “USSR.” As I was in NATO, I could hardly find someone who could explain what Russia’s vision of the world is or even its political doctrine. Lot of people think Vladimir Putin is a communist. We like to call him a “dictator,” but we have a hard time to explain what we mean by that. As examples, people come up invariably with the assassination of such and such journalist or former FSB or GRU agents, although evidence is extremely debatable. In other words, even if it is true, we are not able to articulate exactly the nature of the problem. As a result, we tend to portray the enemy as we wished him to be, rather than as he actually is. This is the ultimate recipe for failure. This explains why, after five years spent within NATO, I am more concerned about Western strategic and military capabilities than before.

Jacques Baud.

In 2014, during the Maidan revolution in Kiev, I was in NATO in Brussels. I noticed that people didn’t assess the situation as it was, but as they wished it would be. This is exactly what Sun Tzu describes as the first step towards failure. In fact, it appeared clear to me that nobody in NATO had the slightest interest in Ukraine. The main goal was to destabilize Russia.
TP: How do you perceive Volodymyr Zelensky? Who is he, really? What is his role in this conflict? It seems he wants to have a “forever war,” since he must know he cannot win? Why does he want to prolong this conflict?
JB: Volodymyr Zelensky was elected on the promise he would make peace with Russia, which I think is a noble objective. The problem is that no Western country, nor the European Union managed to help him realize this objective. After the Maidan revolution, the emerging force in the political landscape was the far-right movement. I do not like to call it “neo-Nazi” because “Nazism” was a clearly defined political doctrine, while in Ukraine, we are talking about a variety of movements that combine all the features of Nazism (such as antisemitism, extreme nationalism, violence, etc.), without being unified into a single doctrine. They are more like a gathering of fanatics.
After 2014, Ukrainian armed forces’ command & control was extremely poor and was the cause of their inability to handle the rebellion in Donbass. Suicide, alcohol incidents, and murder surged, pushing young soldiers to defect. Even the British government noted that young male individuals preferred to emigrate rather than to join the armed forces. As a result, Ukraine started to recruit volunteers to enforce Kiev’s authority in the Russian speaking part of the country. These volunteers ere (and still are) recruited among European far-right extremists. According to Reuters, their number amounts to 102,000. They have become a sizeable and influential political force in the country.
The problem here is that these far-right fanatics threatened to kill Zelensky were he to try to make peace with Russia. As a result, Zelensky found himself sitting between his promises and the violent opposition of an increasingly powerful far-right movement. In May 2019, on the Ukrainian media Obozrevatel, Dmytro Yarosh, head of the “Pravy Sektor” militia and adviser to the Army Commander in Chief, openly threatened Zelensky with death, if he came to an agreement with Russia. In other words, Zelensky appears to be blackmailed by forces he is probably not in full control of.
In October 2021, the Jerusalem Post published a disturbing report on the training of Ukrainian far-right militias by American, British, French and Canadian armed forces. The problem is that the “collective West” tends to turn a blind eye to these incestuous and perverse relationships in order to achieve its own geopolitical goals. It is supported by unscrupulous far-right biased medias against Israel, which tend to approve the criminal behavior of these militias. This situation has repeatedly raised Israel’s concerns. This explains why Zelensky’s demands to the Israeli parliament in March 2022 were not well received and have not been successful.
So, despite his probable willingness to achieve a political settlement for the crisis with Russia, Zelensky is not allowed to do so. Just after he indicated his readiness to talk with Russia, on 25 February, the European Union decided two days later to provide €450M in arms to Ukraine. The same happened in March. As soon as Zelensky indicated he wanted to have talks with Vladimir Putin on 21 March, the European Union decided to double its military aid to €1 billion on 23 March. End of March, Zelensky made an interesting offer that was retracted shortly after.
Apparently, Zelensky is trying to navigate between Western pressure and his far right on the one hand and his concern to find a solution on the other, and is forced into a ” back-and-forth,” which discourages the Russian negotiators.
In fact, I think Zelensky is in an extreme uncomfortable position, which reminds me of Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky’s during WWII. Rokossovsky had been imprisoned in 1937 for treason and sentenced to death by Stalin. In 1941, he got out of prison on Stalin’s orders and was given a command. He was eventually promoted to Marshall of the Soviet Union in 1944, but his death sentence was not lifted until 1956.
Today, Zelensky must lead his country under the sword of Damocles, with the blessing of Western politicians and unethical media. His lack of political experience made him an easy prey for those who were trying to exploit Ukraine against Russia, and in the hands of extreme right-wing movements. As he acknowledges in an interview with CNN, he was obviously lured into believing that Ukraine would enter NATO more easily after an open conflict with Russia, as Oleksey Arestovich, his adviser, confirmed in 2019.
TP: What do you think will be the fate of the Ukraine? Will it be like all the other experiments in “spreading democracy” (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc.)? Or is Ukraine a special case?
JB: I have definitely no crystal ball… At this stage, we can only guess what Vladimir Putin wants. He probably wants to achieve two main goals. The first one is to secure the situation of the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine. How, remains an open question. Does he want to re-create the “Novorossiya” that tried to emerge from the 2014 unrests? This “entity” that never really existed, and it consisted of the short-lived Republics of Odessa, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov and Lugansk, of which only the Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk “survived.” The autonomy referendum planned for early May in the city of Kherson might be an indication for this option. Another option would be to negotiate an autonomous status for these areas, and to return them to Ukraine in exchange of its neutrality.
The second goal is to have a neutral Ukraine (some will say a “Finlandized Ukraine”). That is—without NATO. It could be some kind of Swiss “armed neutrality.” As you know, in the early 19th century, Switzerland had a neutral status imposed on it by the European powers, as well as the obligation to prevent any misuse of its territory against one of these powers. This explains the strong military tradition we have in Switzerland and the main rationale for its armed forces today. Something similar could probably be considered for Ukraine.
An internationally recognized neutral status would grant Ukraine a high degree of security. This status prevented Switzerland from being attacked during the two world wars. The often-mentioned example of Belgium is misleading, because during both world wars, its neutrality was declared unilaterally and was not recognized by the belligerents. In the case of Ukraine, it would have its own armed forces, but would be free from any foreign military presence: neither NATO, nor Russia. This is just my guess, and I have no clue about how this could be feasible and accepted in the current polarized international climate.
I am not sure about the so-called “color-revolutions” aim at spreading democracy. My take is that it is just a way to weaponize human rights, the rule of law or democracy in order to achieve geo-strategic objectives. In fact, this was clearly spelled out in a memo to Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, in 2017. Ukraine is a case in point. After 2014, despite Western influence, it has never been a democracy: corruption soared between 2014 and 2020; in 2021, it banned opposition media and jailed the leader of the main parliamentary opposition party. As some international organizations have reported, torture is a common practice, and opposition leaders as well as journalists are chased by the Ukrainian Security Service.
TP: Why is the West only interested in drawing a simplistic image of the Ukraine conflict? That of “good guys” and the “bad guys?” Is the Western public really now that dumbed down?
JB: I think this is inherent to any conflict. Each side tends to portray itself as the “good guy.” This is obviously the main reason.
Besides this, other factors come into play. First, most people, including politicians and journalists, still confuse Russia and the USSR. For instance, they don’t understand why the communist party is the main opposition party in Russia.
Second, since 2007, Putin was systematically demonized in the West. Whether or not he is a “dictator” Is a matter of discussion; but it is worth noting that his approval rate in Russia never fell below 59 % in the last 20 years. I take my figures from the Levada Center, which is labeled as “foreign agent” in Russia, and hence doesn’t reflect the Kremlin’s views. It is also interesting to see that in France, some of the most influential so-called “experts” on Russia are in fact working for the British MI-6’s “Integrity Initiative.”
Third, in the West, there is a sense that you can do whatever you want if it is in the name of western values. This is why the Russian offensive in Ukraine is passionately sanctioned, while FUKUS (France, UK, US) wars get strong political support, even if they are notoriously based on lies. “Do what I say, not what I do!” One could ask what makes the conflict in Ukraine worse than other wars. In fact, each new sanction we apply to Russia highlights the sanctions we haven’t applied earlier to the US, the UK or France.
The purpose of this incredible polarization is to prevent any dialogue or negotiation with Russia. We are back to what happened in 1914, just before the start of WWI…
TP: What will Russia gain or lose with this involvement in the Ukraine (which is likely to be long-term)? Russia is facing a conflict on “two fronts,” it would seem: a military one and an economic one (with the endless sanctions and “canceling” of Russia).
JB: With the end of the Cold War, Russia expected being able to develop closer relations with its Western neighbors. It even considered joining NATO. But the US resisted every attempt of rapprochement. NATO structure does not allow for the coexistence of two nuclear superpowers. The US wanted to keep its supremacy.
Since 2002, the quality of the relations with Russia decayed slowly, but steadily. It reached a first negative “peak” in 2014 after the Maidan coup. The sanctions have become US and EU primary foreign policy tool. The Western narrative of a Russian intervention in Ukraine got traction, although it was never substantiated. Since 2014, I haven’t met any intelligence professional who could confirm any Russian military presence in the Donbass. In fact, Crimea became the main “evidence” of Russian “intervention.” Of course, Western historians ignore superbly that Crimea was separated from Ukraine by referendum in January 1990, six months before Ukrainian independence and under Soviet rule. In fact, it’s Ukraine that illegally annexed Crimea in 1995. Yet, western countries sanctioned Russia for that…
Since 2014 sanctions severely affected east-west relations. After the signature of the Minsk Agreements in September 2014 and February 2015, the West—namely France, Germany as guarantors for Ukraine, and the US—made no effort whatsoever to make Kiev comply, despite repeated requests from Moscow.
Russia’s perception is that whatever it will do, it will face an irrational response from the West. This is why, in February 2022, Vladimir Putin realized he would gain nothing in doing nothing. If you take into account his mounting approval rate in the country, the resilience of the Russian economy after the sanctions, the loss of trust in the US dollar, the threatening inflation in the West, the consolidation of the Moscow-Beijing axis with the support of India (which the US has failed to keep in the “Quad”), Putin’s calculation was unfortunately not wrong.
Regardless of what Russia does, US and western strategy is to weaken it. From that point on, Russia has no real stake in its relations with us. Again, the US objective is not to have a “better” Ukraine or a “better” Russia, but a weaker Russia. But it also shows that the United States is not able to rise higher than Russia and that the only way to overcome it is to weaken it. This should ring an alarm bell in our countries…
TP: You have written a very interesting book on Putin. Please tell us a little about it.
JB: In fact, I started my book in October 2021, after a show on French state TV about Vladimir Putin. I am definitely not an admirer of Vladimir Putin, nor of any Western leader, by the way. But the so-called experts had so little understanding of Russia, international security and even of simple plain facts, that I decided to write a book. Later, as the situation around Ukraine developed, I adjusted my approach to cover this mounting conflict.
The idea was definitely not to relay Russian propaganda. In fact, my book is based exclusively on western sources, official reports, declassified intelligence reports, Ukrainian official medias, and reports provided by the Russian opposition. The approach was to demonstrate that we can have a sound and factual alternative understanding of the situation just with accessible information and without relying on what we call “Russian propaganda.”
The underlying thinking is that we can only achieve peace if we have a more balanced view of the situation. To achieve this, we have to go back to the facts. Now, these facts exist and are abundantly available and accessible. The problem is that some individuals make every effort to prevent this and tend to hide the facts that disturb them. This is exemplified by some so-called journalist who dubbed me “The spy who loved Putin!” This is the kind of “journalists” who live from stirring tensions and extremism. All figures and data provided by our media about the conflict come from Ukraine, and those coming from Russia are automatically dismissed as propaganda. My view is that both are propaganda. But as soon as you come up with western data that do not fit into the mainstream narrative, you have extremists claiming you “love Putin.”
Our media are so worried about finding rationality in Putin’s actions that they turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by Ukraine, thus generating a feeling of impunity for which Ukrainians are paying the price. This is the case of the attack on civilians by a missile in Kramatorsk—we no longer talk about it because the responsibility of Ukraine is very likely, but this means that the Ukrainians could do it again with impunity.
On the contrary, my book aims at reducing the current hysteria that prevent any political solution. I do not want to deny the Ukrainians the right to resist the invasion with arms. If I were Ukrainian, I would probably take the arms to defend my land. The issue here is that it must be their decision. The role of the international community should not be to add fuel to the fire by supplying arms but to promote a negotiated solution.
To move in this direction, we must make the conflict dispassionate and bring it back into the realm of rationality. In any conflict the problems come from both sides; but here, strangely, our media show us that they all come from one side only. This is obviously not true; and, in the end, it is the Ukrainian people who pay the price of our policy against Vladimir Putin.
TP: Why is Putin hated so much by the Western elite?
JB: Putin became Western elite’s “bête noire” in 2007 with his famous speech in Munich. Until then, Russia had only moderately reacted to NATO expansion. But as the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002 and started negotiations with some East European countries to deploy anti-ballistic missiles, Russia felt the heat and Putin virulently criticized the US and NATO.
This was the start of a relentless effort to demonize Vladimir Putin and to weaken Russia. The problem was definitely not human rights or democracy, but the fact that Putin dared to challenge the western approach. The Russians have in common with the Swiss the fact that they are very legalistic. They try to strictly follow the rules of international law. They tend to follow “law-based International order.” Of course, this is not the image we have, because we are used to hiding certain facts. Crimea is a case in point.
In the West, since the early 2000s, the US has started to impose a “rules-based international order.” As an example, although the US officially recognizes that there is only one China and that Taiwan is only a part of it, it maintains a military presence on the island and supplies weapons. Imagine if China would supply weapons to Hawaii (which was illegally annexed in the 19th century)!
What the West is promoting is an international order based on the “law of the strongest.” As long as the US was the sole superpower, everything was fine. But as soon as China and Russia started to emerge as world powers, the US tried to contain them. This is exactly what Joe Biden said in March 2021, shortly after taking office: “The rest of the world is closing in and closing in fast. We can’t allow this to continue.”
As Henry Kissinger said in the Washington Post: “For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.” This is why I felt we need to have a more factual approach to this conflict.
TP: Do you know who was involved and when it was decided by the US and NATO that regime change in Russia was a primary geopolitical objective?
JB: I think everything started in the early 2000s. I am not sure the objective was a regime change in Moscow, but it was certainly to contain Russia. This is what we have witnessed since then. The 2014 events in Kiev have boosted US efforts.
These were clearly defined in 2019, in two publications of the RAND Corporation [James Dobbins, Raphael S. Cohen, Nathan Chandler, Bryan Frederick, Edward Geist, Paul DeLuca, Forrest E. Morgan, Howard J. Shatz, Brent Williams, “Extending Russia : Competing from Advantageous Ground,” RAND Corporation, 2019; James Dobbins & al., “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia,” RAND Corporation, (Doc Nr. RB-10014-A), 2019]. .This has nothing to do with the rule of law, democracy or human rights, but only with maintaining US supremacy in the world. In other words, nobody cares about Ukraine. This is why the international community (that is, Western countries) make every effort to prolong the conflict.
Since 2014, this is exactly what happened. Everything the West did was to fulfill US strategic objectives.
TP: In this regard, you have also written another interesting book, on Alexei Navalny. Please tell us about what you have found out about Navalny.
JB: What disturbed me about the Navalny case was the haste with which Western governments condemned Russia and applied sanctions, even before knowing the results of an impartial investigation. So, my point in the book is not “to tell truth,” because we do not know exactly what the truth is, even if we have consistent indications that the official narrative is wrong.
The interesting aspect is that the German doctors in the Charité Hospital in Berlin, were not able to identify any nerve agent in Navalny’s body. Surprisingly, they published their findings in the respected medical review The Lancet, showing that Navalny probably experienced a bad combination of medicine and other substances.
The Swedish military lab that analyzed Navalny’s blood—redacted the name of the substance they discovered, which is odd since everybody expected “Novichok” to be mentioned.
The bottom line is that we don’t know exactly what happened, but the nature of the symptoms, the reports of the German doctors, the answers provided by the German government to the Parliament, and the puzzling Swedish document tend to exclude a criminal poisoning, and therefore, a fortiori, poisoning by the Russian government.
The main point of my book is that international relations cannot be “Twitter-driven.” We need to use appropriately our intelligence resources, not as a propaganda instrument, as we tend to do these days, but as an instrument for smart and fact-based decision-making.
TP: You have much experience within NATO. What do you think is the primary role of NATO now?
JB: This is an essential question. In fact, NATO hasn’t really evolved since the end of the Cold War. This is interesting because in 1969, there was the “Harmel Report” that was ahead of its time and could be the fundament of a new definition of NATO’s role. Instead, NATO tried to find new missions, such as in Afghanistan, for which the Alliance was not prepared, neither intellectually, nor doctrinally, nor from a strategic point of view.
Having a collective defense system in Europe is necessary, but the nuclear dimension of NATO tends to restrict its ability to engage a conventional conflict with a nuclear power. This is the problem we are witnessing in Ukraine. This is why Russia strives having a “glacis” between NATO and its territory. This would probably not prevent conflicts but would help keep them as long as possible in a conventional phase. This is why I think a non-nuclear European defense organization would be a good solution.
TP: Do you think that NATO’s proxy war with Russia serves to placate internal EU tensions, between conservative Central/Eastern Europe and the more progressive West?
JB: Some will certainly see it that way, but I think this is only a by-product of the US strategy to isolate Russia.
TP: Can you say something about how Turkey has positioned itself, between NATO and Russia?
JB: I have worked quite extensively with Turkey as I was in NATO. I think Turkey is a very committed member of the Alliance. What we tend to forget is that Turkey is at the crossroads between the “Christian World” and the “Islamic World;” it sits between two civilizations and in a key region of the Mediterranean zone. It has its own regional stakes.
The conflicts waged by the West in the Middle East significantly impacted Turkey, by promoting Islamism and stimulating tensions, in particular with the Kurds. Turkey has always tried to maintain a balance between its desire for Western-style modernization and the very strong traditionalist tendencies of its population. Turkey’s opposition to the Iraq War due to domestic security concerns was totally ignored and dismissed by the US and its NATO Allies.
Interestingly, when Zelensky sought a country to mediate the conflict, he turned to China, Israel and Turkey, but didn’t address any EU country.
TP: If you were to predict, what do you think the geopolitical situation of Europe and the world will look like 25 years from now?
JB: Who would have predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall? The day it happened, I was in the office of a National Security Adviser in Washington DC, but he had no clue about the importance of the event!
I think the decay of US hegemony will be the main feature of the next decades. At the same time, we will see a fast-growing importance of Asia led by China and India. But I am not sure Asia will “replace” the US strictly speaking. While US worldwide hegemony was driven by its military-industrial complex, Asia’s dominance will be in the research and technology area.
The loss of confidence in the US dollar may have significant impact on the US economy at large. I don’t want to speculate on future developments in the West, but a significant deterioration could lead the United States to engage in more conflicts around the world. This is something that we are seeing today, but it could become more important.
TP: What advice would you give people trying to get a clearer picture of what is really driving competing regional/national and global interests?
JB: I think the situation is slightly different in Europe than in North America.
In Europe, the lack of quality alternative media and real investigative journalism makes it difficult to find balanced information. The situation is different in North America where alternative journalism is more developed and constitutes an indispensable analytical tool. In the United States, the intelligence community is more present in the media than in Europe.
I probably could not have written my book based only on the European media. At the end of the day, the advice I would give is a fundamental one of intelligence work:
Be curious!
TP: Thank you so very much for your time—and for all your great work.