2022-01-31

If you are worried about “Russian expansion”, read this….

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by Neil Godfrey

Press stunned as Ukraine leader points finger at west

The underlying issue is this: NATO promised not to expand eastwards. It has done so repeatedly. It is never called out for this.

The link is to a report by Nury Vittachi on the Pearls and Irritations site.

Every time I listen to someone who is a specialist in Russian affairs — and one who is not employed as a political mouthpiece for a Western power I am informed of the clear evidence that there are no signs of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yet still, the mainstream media appear by and large to have fallen in line with “merely reporting” the “news” as they are “informed” by their anti-Russian, pro-expansionist vested interests in the West.

Like so many other times, it is a bizarre, even surreal, experience listening to and watching Western media “at work” after having stepped aside for a moment to ascertain some facts.

 

 

 

 

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Neil Godfrey

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21 thoughts on “If you are worried about “Russian expansion”, read this….”

  1. Seriously?

    Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea doesn’t ring a few alarm bells?

    Are you suggesting that the Russian troop buildup along Ukraine’s Eastern border is just a media generated fiction or simply a defensive move in response to Western provocation?… sure.

    Putin is surely the poor misunderstood innocent party here.
    (Sarcasm off.)

  2. My understanding is that the “promise” not to expand into Warsaw Pact countries was made to the USSR before the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and before the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed. So neither of the entities involved in that “promise” exist any longer, regardless of Putin’s dreams of recreating past Russian glory.

    I think after Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and other aggressions/meddling in countries adjacent to Russia, we should take his posturing seriously. I’m not a big fan of the West gaining more territory…unless the alternative is worse.

    Objectively, Putin is a murderous autocrat who opposes democracy and self-determination within Russia and within any country he’s interested in. The West does some of the same or looks the other way as its puppets do the same. That also needs to be exposed and resisted.

    Ukraine/Zalensky asked for help from the West in opposing Russia’s apparent imminent threat. He’s not happy about the pull-out of diplomats and some of the rhetoric and reporting because he thinks, probably with good reason, that these things send a message to Ukrainians that war is inevitable and they’re probably screwed while Zalensky is trying to maintain positive morale and civil order and a that it crimps some possible negotiating positions wrt Putin.

    NATO/Europe may not be a perfect example of freedom and democracy, but, imo, it beats h3ll out of coming under Putin’s control.

    1. My understanding is that the “promise” not to expand into Warsaw Pact countries was made to the USSR before the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and before the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed. So neither of the entities involved in that “promise” exist any longer…

      If you want to lawyer up about it 🙂

      More recent history seems to indicate that Putin may regard it still as a “promise”.

      One of President Saakashvili’s primary aims for Georgia was to become a member state of NATO, which has been one of the major stumbling blocks in Georgia-Russia relations. [Russo-Georgian War, ”Wikipedia”]

      1. Putin will “consider” whatever story will cover for his ambitions to expand Russia’s influence in order to to re-acquire the territory of the old USSR.

        The “promise” was for NATO to leave the Warsaw Pact states alone. The Warsaw Pact no longer exists and, afaict, no one made a new promise.

  3. It gives me some pleasure to see the overriding of self appointed US policy experts. We are beginning to see that the arbitration involved with their “balance of powers” doctrine is beginning to look bankrupt. And undemocratic despite their claims to the contrary.

  4. I concur, Neil.
    Whether or not we agree with Putin, the Russian gov’t has been quite consistent with regards to its security concerns for a couple of decades now. It seems to me that Putin decided (or was domestically pressured) that this was the only way to bring the US/NATO to the discussion table. And it succeeded in that respect. What the outcome will be, however, is another matter.

    Here are links to some of your other blog posts about Russia/Ukraine/NATO:

    https://vridar.org/2016/06/08/sleepwalking-once-again-into-war-this-time-nuclear/#comments

    https://vridar.org/2018/07/26/the-crimea-russia-connections-historical-overview/

    Richard G.

    1. Russia’s “security concerns” include a demand that U.S. remove troops from Poland and three other countries, which ends up amounting to an invitation to Russia to invade those countries as well

  5. that website Pearls and Irritations maintains that it’s liberal, but it seems very strange for a liberal rag to be echoing rightwing Fox News/Tucker Carlson pro-despot talking points. If there was no NATO, Putin/Russia would already be all over Eastern Europe and the Baltics and marching on Norway and Finland. As for Zelensky, maybe he sees the writing on the wall and is aiming to be the next Lukashenko (Putin’s Belarus lapdog).

    Scanning some of his other articles, Nury Vittachi condemns western white supremacy which should make his apparent support of Putin even more strange since white supremacist Americans absolutely adore Putin. The Neo-Nazi leaders like Spencer and Duke maintain that white mother Russia is the last hope of the white race, and that Putin is the true leader of the free world.

    When Trump was elected in 2016, it was shocking how many American Republicans suddenly no longer had any problem with Putin or Trump’s admiration of and even apparent ties to Putin, or that Putin did his best to help Trump get elected in both 2016 and 2020 (Russian internet bots also supported Bernie Sanders, obviously believing Trump could easily beat the self-declared socialist if Sanders was nominated).

    Maybe not so shocking now that we know that the likes of Spencer, Duke and other white supremacist leaders are the people racist Republicans have been really listening to over the past decade or so (probably starting with Obama being elected), with the likes of Fox News and Carlson also stoking racist tensions around immigration, Black Lives Matter, etc. Carlson is in fact getting more openly racist and pro-despot than ever before, and Fox News refuses to rein him in.

    1. The author of Neil’s linked article appears to be a China apologist – his bio claims he is based in Hong Kong, and clicking his byline reveals other articles with a rather aggressive pro-Beijing slant (such as denying the existence of repression in Tibet and Xinjiang, parroting the Chinese line on Taiwan, claiming that criticism of China’s environmental record is “racist”, etc.).

      Of course Chinese propagandists are happy to capitalize opportunistically on any controversy over Eastern Europe, the better to increase discord within the West while distracting from their own misdeeds.

  6. Has anyone troubled to compare the Russian army’s size (and capabilities) with those of NATO + the U.S.? Putin and Russia are held up as a threat, but the nature of the threat is never detailed.

    There are 3 possibilities (at least):

    Putin is bluffing.
    Putin sees an opportunity to gain from the weakness of Europe and the confusion of Biden. Or the confusion of Europe + the weakness of Biden.
    All of this is totally fabricated. Remember, the USA spent roughly 3 years chasing a “Russian” conspiracy to help Trump win the ’16 election. When examined, it turned out the Russian buys on the Internet amounted to (if memory serves) almost nothing. The idea that Russia provided DNC e-mails to Wikileaks is laughable (see what the VIPS people said). Mueller spent tens of millions investigating, came up with nada.

    Unfortunately, if you live in the U.S. and pay attention, you are inexorably led to #3. YES, IT MIGHT BE WRONG. But — not knowing all of the facts — how could you grant credibility to the U.S. politicians, the military, or (especially) the media?

    Beyond that, I’m not sure why Ukraine matters when hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens — served by a totally inadequate health care system — have died. Many more (how many? who knows?) are going to be sick for a while. Others are catching the damn virus right now due, at least in part, to government inaction.

    Maybe we here in the US should tend to our freaking knitting.

  7. I was most surprised (horrified and shocked) when Russia did invade. I thought Russia’s leadership would surely see the harm it would do in so many ways to Russia itself — and those harms have come about.

    Yet despite all of that, I do wonder if Russian aims are on the verge of being met. If the outcome of this horror is Ukraine’s formal neutrality in Europe then Russia will have got what Putin has been saying he wanted all along.

    It sounds ironic, but the United States has in similar ways achieved its war aims in multiple conflicts even though they have turned out to be military disasters. Though forced to withdraw from Vietnam, the US invasion of that country did send a clear signal to others of the unspeakable ruin they risked if they tried to defy the US.

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was/is “the supreme war crime”.

    As came out of Nuremberg: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

    I am also appalled at the utter recklessness of the United States/Western leadership deliberately provoking Russia through Ukraine knowing full well that they risked the response that has ensued.

    Some have suggested that because I am Australian that I don’t care enough about Ukraine joining NATO. I think that is an unfair accusation. I have been to Europe, including former Soviet occupied countries and have known very well in Australia some people who fled the Soviet invasion of 1968. I have seen the effects of occupation by the Soviets on the physical landscape but especially the psychological and moral landscape. I have no illusions about Russia, but I think it’s important that we understand Russia as much as we understand other nations, and know its history as well as we know our own.

  8. Nazi infestation worse than expected! https://i.redd.it/bo1w28mp8kw81.png

    The denazification narrative turns into an operational concept for the troops on the ground and that’s very very worrying. We already see what it leads to because once the troops perceive the situation as a battle against Nazis in that they start doing what they were doing in Bucha. They were trying to purge, to purify, to clean the land from the Nazis. And since Ukrainians have resisted it implies that they do seem to be nazified. Therefore soldiers have to denazify them completely meaning purges. The main news agency RIA Novosti published an article by Timofei Sergeitsev which basically says precisely that, We were wrong about Ukrainians: They turned out to be much more nazified than we expected, and therefore they have to pay the price!

    That is extremely dangerous because it literally gets transferred into the operational concept on the ground. But it also infects Russian society like a virus as this kind of narrative becomes more and more acceptable. Twenty years ago in Russia I heard all sorts of crazy conspiratorial ideas, but it never took such a terrible turn until now. It never was like We have to purify by force a whole nation of 40 million people near us.

    1. …cats and dogs living together…Mass hysteria! https://m.jpost.com/international/article-705859

      It all makes perfect sense if one thinks like a Chekist. For them the world hates Nazis because the Nazis killed Russians. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chekism Their opposition to Nazism is not ideological as National Socialism and Stalin’s nationalistic ‘Socialism in One Country’ are two sides of the same coin.

      To a Chekist the reasons that Nazis were/are bad was that they opposed Russia until then they weren’t bad. So to a Chekist anyone who opposes Russia must be a Nazi.

      You may have heard of pogroms. To a Chekist the fact of the existence of pogroms means that Jewish people must have opposed Russia somehow or else the Russians wouldn’t have murdered and attacked them until they fled the country.

      Combining these two sets of facts Chekists can see that: Since people who oppose Russia are Nazis, and some portion of the Jewish people oppose Russia the therefore a chunk of the Jewish people are clearly Nazis.

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