19 May, 2024


Palestine & Ukraine: Two More Nails In Imperialism’s Coffin? – Part II

By Sachithanandam Sathananthan –

Dr. Sachithanandam Sathananthan

Part II: Ukraine

The US-led NATO forces are facing a historic debacle in Ukraine. The disinformation shovelled out by Washington and London, regurgitated by their mainstream media, alleges that the US and its NATO allies are defending Ukraine’s exercise of its inalienable right of self-determination to follow its own political destiny, including the sovereign right to join NATO or any other regional entity; and that NATO powers’ military assistance seeks to selflessly defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and repel Russia’s aggression to the last Ukrainian (not to the last US or British soldier). The reality however is far less benign.

Russia’s strategic defeat?

To understand the crisis in Palestine we reached back to the 1917 Balfour declaration. To grasp the coordinates of the Ukraine conundrum it is an advantage to delve into Zbigniew Brzeziński’s 1997 publication “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives”. He compiled the Chessboard in the aftermath of USSR’s implosion in 1989-91 and sought to advantageously exploit the rare unipolar moment, with no immediate challenger on the horizon, to entrench US Imperialism almost indefinitely; at the very least through the 21st Century. Brzeziński’s hubris-driven Neo-Conservative cohort conjured up the Project for the New American Century, to establish US dominance over the post-Soviet global political space.

The lynch pin of Brzeziński’s strategy in The Grand Chessboard is Ukraine, which is mentioned 94 times in The Grand Chessboard for good reasons. In a virtual replay of British Imperialism’s 1917 Balfour Declaration, US  imperialism began manoeuvring to set up Ukraine, not as a settler-colony (Israel) but as a NATO member and geostrategic springboard from Eastern Europe to bring to heel the Russian Federation. The next step in achieving undisputed global dominance over Eurasia was to tame the Peoples Republic of China. We had examined his stratagem and reiterate below the salient points.

Brzezinski was inspired by “Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin [who] shared the assumption that Eurasia is the center of the world and that he who controls Eurasia controls the world. A half century later, the issue has been redefined: will America’s primacy in Eurasia endure?”[p.4] With the USSR swept aside, he schemed to entrench US global supremacy permanently – an ambition that intersected Francis Fukuyama’s irrational notion of The End of History and not unlike Adolf Hitler’s End-of-History delusionary pseudo-messianic prophecy of a One-Thousand-Year-Reich.

He added, whether the US “prevents the emergence of a dominant and antagonistic Eurasian power — remains central to America’s capacity to exercise global primacy”[p.4]. The NeoCons, trapped in the Cold War ideological framework, manoeuvred to deliver a knockout blow to the post-Soviet “weak Russia” [p.170] that was struggling to its feet.

For Brzezinski, the US’ access to and control over Ukraine is fundamental to impede the Russia ‘s resurgence; “if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, where Odessa had served as Russia’s vital gateway to trade with the Mediterranean and the world beyond, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia” [p.37] and, we may add, to challenge the US Empire.

The bulk of Russia’s oil and gas exports overland to Europe – an important revenue stream – flows through pipelines across Ukraine. What’s more, the Russian Black Sea fleet has its strategic base in Sebastopol in Crimea, transferred to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 and recovered from Ukraine by Vladimir Putin in 2014. Drawing Ukraine this time into NATO would deny Russia economic resources and strategic assets and debilitate Moscow. In 2004 Stratfor, a web-based geopolitical intelligence platform, said to have close links to US spy agencies, concluded: “without Ukraine Russia’s political, economic and military survivability are called into question…Without Ukraine, Russia is doomed to a painful slide into geopolitical obsolescence and ultimately, perhaps even non-existence.” In other words, the Russian Federation would be reduced to a US vassal, subject to regime change and probably disintegrate leaving Moscow as an inconsequential entity.

All this could be achieved without firing a shot, urged Stratfor: “[i]t would not take a war to greatly damage Russian interests, simply a change in Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation”[p.37] would suffice. NATO’s expansion eastwards toward Russia’s border, and the US-instigated invitation to Ukraine (and Georgia) at the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit and the Washington-sponsored 2014 Coup in Kyiv are early steps to re-orient Ukraine to the West and bring to fruition Brzezinski’s vision; they are the proximate historical context for Russia’s 2022 Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

The impending US defeat in Ukraine

The US-led NATO unleashed a three-pronged strategy to defeat Russia. The first are economic sanctions designed to cripple Russia’s economy. “Sanctions” are today’s equivalent of the medieval Siege Warfare designed to starve the subjects in a kingdom of food and essentials and force its rulers to submit to the aggressor. President Joe Biden mocked Russia – “Rouble will be rubble” – when sanctions caused the currency’s value to tumble 30% in early March 2022. The country was of course affected adversely by the sanctions in early 2022. The “pummelling”, claimed the Institute of International Finance, is “cracking” the economy, “shutting” factories and leaving “empty” supermarket shelves and more. However the froth was blown away as the Russian economy surged back to higher levels of output and employment; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), US’ handmaiden and no friend of Russia, “expects Russia to grow 3.2% this year [2024], significantly more than the UK, France and Germany.” Clearly Washington’s strategic planners and financial analysts appear not to have the foggiest idea of the dynamics underlying the Russia’s economy.

Sections of the US intelligentsia, who should have known better, fared worse. Two Yale academics chimed in making fantastic claims (in April 2022) that the Russian economy is in “tatters”, that its statistics are “pure invention from President Vladimir Putin”. The academics, obsessed to prove sanctions are succeeding, dismissed IMF’s assessment that the economy would grow by 0.7% in 2023, indicating it is bouncing back.

The second prong, of financing and arming the Ukrainian army to bleed Russia, too has failed spectacularly. Evidently Pentagon military planners’ delusions that Russian armed forces could be degraded, leading to the collapse of the Russian Government, overthrow of President Vladimir Putin, breakup of the Russian Federation and lay bare the country’s copious natural resources to be robbed by transnational capital – none of which materialised – is convincing evidence that Washington’s strategists are largely ignorant of Russian politics. But they were more successful in funnelling money to the military industrial complex, which is the main aim of their forever wars.

The third one is to trigger a citizens’ revolt against economic deprivation, war time restrictions and rising military expenditures thus pushing the brutalised people to turn against their own government and endorse a regime change in Moscow. However, popular support for President Putin deepened and the people by and large rallied behind their President. Washington and London are surprised; others in large parts of the world who are knowledgeable about Russian history and, therefore, of the Russian national character are not.

One indication that Brzezinskian strategy is collapsing is the departure of Victoria Nuland, allegedly due to infighting within the State Department. She was the prime architect of the 2014 Coup in Ukraine that overthrew the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and she subsequently managed the presidential “election” of TV comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. Nuland is the central figure in that regime change. (By the way, she visited Colombo on the eve of the Aragalaya.) Giving Nuland the heave-ho scapegoats her for the failing Ukrainian operation, to pull Biden’s chestnuts out of the fire in this election year. Throwing good money after bad, “nearly $61 billion to help Ukraine and others in the region fight Russia” passed by the US Congress on 21 April, aims to keep the pot boiling – irrespective of the human cost – until the November US presidential election to defer a defeat that could undermine Biden’s re-election.

Another indication is that the US is indirectly suing for peace. Gone are Washington’s chest thumping about inflicting a strategic defeat upon Russia and establishing global primacy over Eurasia; the focus now is on saving the rump of Ukraine and its decimated army. Washington’s NATO ally German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held “talks with Chinese officials about the war in Ukraine”; he did not speak to the Russians who are engaged in the war. Moreover, “Switzerland is planning a peace summit for June 15 and 16, to which it intends to invite around 100 countries, including Ukraine. Russia is not expected to attend, but countries that have friendly ties with Russia, such as China, Brazil and South Africa, could join.” [emphasis added]. Obviously, it is a cunning manoeuvre by the Collective West to force Beijing to take a neutral stand, politically isolate Moscow and compel Russia to halt the military advance into Ukraine.

For its part, Russia holds decisive military advantage and views the aborted 2022 March peace deal with Ukraine in Istanbul as a starting point for negotiations.

Next: Part III

*Dr Sachithanandam Sathananthan is an independent scholar who read Political Economy for the Ph.D. degree at the University of Cambridge. He was Assistant Director, International Studies at the Marga Institute, Visiting Research Scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University School of International Studies and has taught World History at Karachi University’s Institute of Business Administration. He is an award-winning filmmaker and may be reached at: commentaries.ss@gmail.com

Related posts: Part I – Palestine & Ukraine: Two More Nails In Imperialism’s Coffin?

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Hello Sachithanandam Sathananthan,
    I note your use of euphemisms like “recovered from Ukraine by Vladimir Putin in 2014” which actually means stolen. Whether you like it or not Ukraine was a Sovereign State, a member of The United Nations and was on its way to joining the European Union (not NATO) when Putin invaded.
    The Soviet Union does not exist anymore much to Putin’s and Scott Ritter’s chagrin. You provided links to Ritter a convicted paedophile (look it up) and an apologist for Putin. Ritter uses the same terminology as the Israelis “they could stop this war by surrendering” – one addressed to Western Media by Eylon Levy (now sacked for his blatant lies) regarding Hammas and the other in your link, addressed to the Ukranians. Let’s have a look at Ritter’s history. On the 8th Jan 2022 he said ”Despite the repeated Western warnings, Russia is highly unlikely to invade Ukraine – at least not yet”. Russia invaded on 24th Feb 2022. This was in an article titled “Russia Moves Toward Checkmate On Ukraine” –. The US has just given Zelensky a substantial Aid package. Let us look again in another 3 months to see the result.
    Best regards

  • 3

    I understand that US or Western aims are never quite as selfless as publicly proclaimed. It may be true that their ultimate aim is to reduce Russia to insignificance, and to take control of its resources.
    But I fail to understand how a Marxist can consider the current Russian state to be the heir to the USSR.
    Is not a little too much naivety being displayed in choosing between two corrupt States? One is backed up by the West, whose media had much to say about its corruption a few years ago. The other has priests blessing its tanks and is a place where enemies of the leader die of sudden unnatural causes. Hardly a place which calls for admiration from a Marxist.
    This war is not good for either of the parties, or for the rest of the world. It must end soon.

    • 3

      old codger,
      US is evil camouflaged. Russia is open. That is the only difference.
      Russia will not fade away as long as Putin is there.

      • 1

        We can call the US imperialist because it tries to control other countries. But why isn’t Russia called imperialist, when it has an actual empire all the way to China?
        “Russia will not fade away as long as Putin is there.”
        The US won’t fade away as long as we have something they want.🙂

  • 2

    Sathananthan’s articles on Palestine & Ukraine which present realities in a detached and impartial manner, gets one LankaScot rushing to uncover his skewed and prejudiced personal views.
    He tells us in no doubtful terms he doesn’t like Putin and anyone unfavourable to the Anglo-Saxon world and the louder segment of the white world that is fast turning brindle, and with that its views. So he slanders dissidents, one being Scott Ritter who he calls a paedophile.

    Seemingly he is unaware of cyber-stalking, trolling, flaming and how national security services, FBI, CIA, FSB [Russia], M15, M16, Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kuznetsov & Aleksei Vladimirovich Stolyarov, AKA Vovan and Lexus, all of whom can land you behind US or British jails, sometimes hilariously expose the stupidity of leading Western politicians, many of who are indeed senseless.

    Of course he likes Zelensky and the war against Russia. He cheers Zelensky on and the 32 NATO countries, led, goaded on and funded by US frontrunner.

    He believes billions of US dollars in the pipeline will see Ukraine overcome Russia, unable to take a lesson from the billions previously gone down the sinkhole, together with thousands of young Ukranian lives.

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