Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Putin Is Acting Rationally" : Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Again Brings Sanity to Bear

"They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle ‘If you are not with us, you are against us.’ To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organizations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.”

Nothing in that key passage of Putin’s speech is crazy. He is stating the reality of the current era, though one could argue that this U.S. aggressive behavior was occurring during the Cold War as well. Really, since World War II, Washington has been in the business of routinely subverting troublesome governments (including overthrowing democratically elected leaders) and invading countries (that for some reason got in Washington’s way). - Robert Parry, Washington Post's Anti-Putin Group Think, on

“This is an earthquake, and not a four-point earthquake,” a Russianist named Toby Gati told the Times Tuesday. Gati served in Bill Clinton’s State Department and now brokers business deals, correspondent Peter Baker tells us.

Absolutely this is so. It is an earthquake high on the Richter scale for many in the West, but for none more than the strategists and architects of  the neoliberal order -  the lopsided “globalism” in vogue these past couple of decades. For them, a defeat has come, an outer boundary tested and now requiring retreat.-   Patrick L. Smith, 'More Half Truths About Ukraine', on

Amidst the wasteland of Neoliberal American media, and even having to howl as the WaPo neocon editors yapped yesterday about "Russian expansionism" - there was fortuitously a pearl of sanity and reason amongst all the propaganda, jingoistic blather and bombastic mind rot. It came from Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Ret.) appearing again on Chris Hayes 'All In' last night.

Readers may recall I have referenced Col. Wilkerson's earlier appearance on All In, e.g.

multiple times, noting how he described what occurred in Kiev as a "coup" and that it was engineered by the necons. He also stated flatly that if he were Putin he'd have done the same thing - e.g. move troops into the Ukraine-Crimea.  All this is coming from a long time military man who once worked with Gen. Colin Powell. He is now a professor at  The College of William and Mary and his voice is one that is sorely needed in these times when rationality and sober talk is at such a premium amidst the boast and hog swill of the media.

Last night it was refreshing to see and hear Col. Wilkerson again, especially given the day's usual empty threats, i.e. from Biden - lecturing Russia on its "false logic" and "dark path" (talk about 'pot-kettle-black'!)  and all the other crap coming from the neoon puppets (like John McCain) and  throughout the gov't.  The only downside is that Wilkerson had to share air time with a Ukrainian stooge and mouthpiece named Andrij Dobriansky of the "Ukrainian Congress Committee of America". (Granted, Hayes likely had been ordered to put this mouthpiece on by Comcast-owned MSNBC to "preserve balance:")

Hayes began by putting to Col. Wilkerson that:

 "This is it. Crimea is now Russian, if not recognized by international law. Certainly in terms of the facts on the ground.  So what does the U.S. do. Or is that just the way it is?"

Wilkerson responded, and immediately took note of a militant statement made by the NATO Secretary General, Rasmussen:

"I agree with you, And I have to say, Chris,  that watching Mr. Rasmussen, NATO' s Secretary General,  issue the statement you just played, reminded me he was the Danish leader who got his country -- Denmark - into the disastrous Iraq war in 2003.

This is not something that anybody needs. Not the West, not Russia, not the world, There needs to be an end to the polemics, as you showed from people like John McCain, an end of the passion, an end to the punditry, and a solution.

The solution is staring us in the face. Gordon Adams and John Mirscheimer and others have talked about it in editorials the last two or three days. Ukraine needs to be a buffer state between an alliance that Russia hates, NATO, and a country that NATO has a problem with, Russia. Funny that!

Ukraine needs to be the buffer state. Crimea needs to be exactly where it is, with Russia - where it's been for over three hundred and fifty years, and we need to stop the passionate statements and get down to business and work this out. We don't need a war."

Chris Hayes then replied, that people "did not necessarily predict or intelligence didn't do a very good job of foreseeing the fact that Vladimir Putin would send these unmarked soldiers into Crimea in response."

Wilkerson then reinforced the point he made in his earlier All In appearance:

"Chris, let me tell you that I can only imagine that John Brennan (head of CIA) who was too preoccupied with trying to spy on the Senate of the United States, missed this - because any fool - my four year old grandchild would know, that given the history of Russia -  Crimea was going to be just as important as Panama was for us in 1989-90. When we invaded Panama and removed their leader under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, which has been around for nearly 150 years.

Russia has its 'near abroad' doctrine. Call it what you will, it's what great powers do within their spheres of influence."

Chris then posed the hypothetical of extending the scenario to Donetsk and the eastern Ukraine, i.e. Russia wouldn't want hostile forces to take those either, so "Do you just let that play out the same way you let Crimea play out?"

Col. Wilkerson's response had Hayes raising his eyebrows:

"Well let it play out, exactly as say our blockade of Cuba has played out for us. We're isolated, Cuba's changing rapidly and the policy is an abject failure. I don't see any problem with giving Putin abject failure after abject failure, after all he's not presiding over a very healthy country right now."

Hayes then let the puppet Dobriansky have his two cents, which was pathetic compared to Col.Wilkerson's deep insights. Dobriansky, with a straight face,  claimed Russia was "operating as a rogue state"  and "operating in a world (irrational) just like North  Korea" .

Hayes then invited response from Col. Wilkerson, leading in with the comment:

"You seem to be saying Putin is acting - if not in accord with international law- then acting rationally as a great power preserving its sphere of influence- not as a rogue state.

Wilkerson acknowledged this take, asserting:

"Of course he's acting rationally! Let me just say that I object one hundred percent to what we do all the time in Washington and that is put a personal character face on every crisis. I don't care if it's Putin or Catherine the Great, this is Russia".

Dobriansky insisted, however, HE "will put a face on it" thereby demonizing Putin like the Neoliberal press-media and its assorted lackeys.

Hayes then aptly played a tape of a Svoboda lawmaker assaulting the head of state television in his own office, before forcing him to write a letter of resignation. (The video clip shows the neo-Nazi imp grabbing the state media guy by the necktie and pulling it, damned near to a stranglehold.)  Chris expressed concern that what is now a "small sliver of far Right parties" is going to grow but the Ukrainain puppet Dobriansky only responded that "I don't know about these characterization of Svoboda as far right, ultra right, all these different things about right wing and left wing" - which shows he's an ignoramus too claiming the "rhetoric in Russia is insane" ,

Wilkerson got the final word, after Hayes expressed concern of how "militarism in rhetoric and action acts like a tuning fork" and things can quickly escalate, get out of hand:

"I certainly feel for people in Ukraine who genuinely want a better economy and a better life but I will say that I have seen no leader that the Ukrainians have been able to produce at this point. It seems they are only interested in oligarchy.....So Ukraine's got to work out a lot of its own problems - these fundamental problems - itself.  And the best way to do that in my view - and to not excite this great power rivalry that might suck us all in - is to create a buffer state there. Recognize Crimea as being gone. Get the CIA out of Kiev. Get the NID, NED and the rest out of Kiev, and let the Ukrainians take that part of Ukraine and bring it back to some type of prosperity and stability."

So the solution is there, and in fact could have been predicted from my post on the game theory perspective: we need to have Ukraine be a 'buffer' between NATO and Russia. We cannot allow, nor will Putin, having NATO right at his doorstep with a toehold in the Ukraine, any more than we would allow an invader on our doorstep in this hemisphere.

Spheres of influence for great powers. So long as we disrespect Russia and refuse to acknowledge its great power status then we will also refuse to allow it to operate within its own sphere of influence. We will instead puff our chests and pretend to be the 'cops' of central and eastern Europe as well as the western hemisphere!

This is a prescription for war  - and not the type any of us wants, or that any nation can gain from!

See also:

No comments: