by: Harley Schlanger
March 11 -- A central feature of the anti-Russian propaganda drive from the defenders of the post-Cold War unipolar world order has been the relentless demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, through both statements by U.S.-NATO officials, and the steady drumbeat of a war narrative from western media. Yet, as cracks in the official narrative deepen, the steady push for escalation continues, threatening to unleash a full scale war in Europe, which could trigger the nuclear annihilation of the planet. What has become increasingly clear is what Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche said from the beginning of the so-called Ukraine crisis: That this has nothing to do with Ukraine, and the alleged defense of its sovereignty and freedom. Instead, it has everything to do with the intentions of the corporate conglomerate of today's "Military-Industrial Complex" (MIC), particularly its operation centered in the City of London and British intelligence, to obliterate the Russian economy, as a precondition for regime change in Russia, to prevent the progress of Eurasian economic integration, which is accelerating as the London-Wall Street financial system is collapsing.
Despite the insistence of President Biden, British Prime Minister Johnson, and war hawks in their administrations, such as U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and U.K. Foreign Minister Truss, that they wish to reach a "diplomatic" resolution, they have refused serious consideration of the issues raised by Putin and Sergey Lavrov from the beginning. This is typified by Biden's belligerent comment in his State of the Union address, when he claimed that Putin "rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy." After delivering the speech, he bragged about his "toughness" in the face of Russian "aggression."
In reality, Putin's efforts to engage in real diplomacy, to address his demand that Russia be extended legally-binding security guarantees, were rejected from the beginning by the U.S. and NATO, defiantly ignoring that he has been asking for recognition of legitimate Russian concerns since his speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 12, 2007. A string of broken promises from western diplomats, beginning with the pledge made in 1990 that there would be no eastward expansion of NATO; the unwillingness to accept his demand that Ukraine should not be allowed to join NATO; the refusal to stop delivery of offensive weapons to Ukraine; the failure to insist that Ukraine must abide by the provisions of the Minsk Accords, which it signed; and the rejection of the demand to crackdown on violent, neo-Nazi militia embedded in Ukraine's defense and security forces -- left Putin with no choice.
Narratives Exposed As Fraudulent
Instead of openly discussing these demands, the advocates of "democracy" and a "Rules-Based Order" pumped out a torrent of fabricated narratives which portray Putin as a power-hungry autocrat out to recreate the Soviet Empire, as a liar, who is mentally unbalanced or insane. They mocked his calls for demilitarization of Ukraine as "paranoid", and ridiculed him for demanding denazification, denying that radical Nazi extremists are a factor in Ukraine.
Yet, developments in the last days show that Putin's demands were not only reasonable, but that his concerns were legitimate. Among these are the admission, by Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, that there are bioweapon labs in Ukraine, set up in collaboration with the U.S., likely operating in violation of international law; the release of documents discovered by Russian forces of a planned military offensive into the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine; and widespread exposure of the role of neo-Nazi forces in the Ukrainian military and security forces, operating with the full knowledge of leading defense officials.
1. U.S.-Ukraine operation of bioweapon labs: Nuland, well-known for her role as a top U.S. official involved in orchestrating the February 2014 Color Revolution in Maidan Square, which overthrew a democratically-elected President, acknowledged in sworn testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 8 that there are "bioweapon research facilities" in Ukraine. Her statement exposed the lies from U.S. officials and media "fact checkers", which had denied such labs exist. After saying that the labs are working to defend against biological warfare, she insisted that "we are quite concerned Russian troops may be seeking to gain control of" the pathogens, and that if there is any use of such weapons in Ukraine, it will be done by the Russians. Neither she nor Rubio offered an explanation as to why the "peace-loving" Ukrainian government had a need to develop such weapons, in violation of international law, and what is the role of U.S. officials involved in running these labs.
2. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, revealed during his March 9 briefing that Russian troops had seized documents confirming Kiev’s plans to attack the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in Donbass. These documents included a written order issued by Col.-Gen. Nikolai Balan, commander of the Ukrainian National Guard, signed in January -- before Russia launched military operations in Ukraine -- calling for preparation of a military offensive against the Donbass republics, to begin in March 2022. These documents were found in the Ukrainian National Guard's 4th operational brigade headquarters, which had been seized by Russian forces.
These documents confirm that Putin's decision to launch military operations was a preemptive strike to protect the Russian ethnic population of Donbass from new atrocities at the hands of the National Guard, which includes units of Azov Battalion neo-Nazis embedded within it. Thus, his statement that he carried out military operations to defend the lives of people in Donbass was not the self-justified rant of a paranoid madman, but a decision to provide security for citizens who have been subjected to eight years of murderous attacks.
3. Neo-Nazi role: The sophistical claim that since President Zelensky is Jewish, he would not tolerate Nazis in Ukraine, has been blown away by repeated coverage of neo-nazi militias, and the statements of the violent extremists themselves. The Executive Intelligence Review first covered this story shortly after the February 2014 regime change coup. This has been updated in a richly documented, two-part exposure of Ukrainian Nazis by David Shavin, "No Putin Is Not Exaggerating" (EIR March 4 and March 11, 2022). While Zelensky initially attempted to contain the Nazi threat, he was warned that if he moved to resolve the Donbass crisis diplomatically, he would be found "hanging in a tree." Shavin's reporting is echoed in a series of articles in Consortium News posted this week by Grey Zone investigative journalists Max Blumenthal, Alex Rubinstein, Ben Norton and Patrick Lawrence.
Even the virulently Russophobic Atlantic Council (AC) has acknowledged Ukraine's "Nazi problem." It published an article in 2018 titled "Ukraine's Got a Real Problem with Far-Right Violence." By February 2020, the AC spun this in an article pleading that the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion should not be designated a "terrorist organization", as to do so would be a "gift to the Kremlin" -- in other words, telling the truth about the presence of neo-nazis in Ukraine's military and security forces would give credibility to Putin's claims, so it must be vigorously denied!
Onward To War!
The debunking of the lying narratives has not stopped the pro-war faction from demanding an escalation of economic warfare against Putin, Russia, and the Russian people. Daily posts and round table forums from the influential think tanks include such topics as one from the AC, "Sanctions are squeezing the Russian Central Bank. What can the West hit next?" They suggest targeting "Wallets, stocks, foreign investments." A March 8 post on British intelligence's outpost at Chatham House demands that weakening "Putin's grip on Russia must now be the policy focus," which confirms that the goal of the economic warfare is regime change in Moscow.
Not to be outdone by the AC and Chatham House, the chicken hawks in the Congress, funded by the oligarchs of the MIC, pumped up with propaganda from the think tanks, and motivated by a Zoom call with an emotional President Zelensky, are demanding an escalated military role for the U.S. military and NATO. This includes the deranged talk of setting up a "no-fly zone" over Ukraine, despite the fact that to do so would be to declare war on Russia. This has thus far been rejected by Biden and NATO's Stoltenberg, and most members of Congress, but as reported by "The Hill" publication, "Debate over Ukraine no-fly zone heats up."
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican who joined the Democrats in the vote to impeach President Trump in January 2021, said he would support the proposal, despite the danger of war with Russia. Sen. Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, who earlier had said the use of nuclear weapons against Russia should not be excluded, said a no-fly zone should be "seriously considered." Retired Col. Vindman, who was born in Ukraine and was a key witness against Trump in the Ukrainian impeachment trial against him, agreed with Kinzinger, as have retired military and defense officials, such as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Breedlove, who stated that "all options must remain on the table."
Not surprisingly, super-war hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham made the most outrageous proposal of all, that Putin should be assassinated. "Somebody in Russia has to step up to the plate," he said. Referring to one of the assassins of Julius Caesar, he asked, "Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there [a] more successful Col. Stauffenberg?", a reference to a failed plot against Hitler. It is necessary, he continued, "for somebody in Russia to take this guy out."
Lindsey Graham has no problem consorting with Nazis. In December 2016, during a trip to Ukraine with his pal and fellow war hawk, the late Sen. John McCain, he met with members of the Azov Battalion. After stating that "2017 will be the year of offense," Graham promised them, "All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia....It is time for them to pay a heavier price." With his full support for the sanctions regime against Russia, and for increasing the shipment of weapons and aid to Ukraine, Graham is delivering on that promise.
Ironically, it may be that the possibility of avoiding war with Russia may depend on senior members of the U.S. military rejecting the kind of utopian follies pushed by the war hawks, of no-fly zones, troop deployments, and even use of tactical nuclear weapons, and instead seeking agreements with their Russian counterparts. This is the view expressed by influential analyst Gilbert Doctorow, who wrote on March 9, in reflecting on the lunatic posturing of U.S. elected officials, "Only the senior generals in the Pentagon have their eyes and ears wide open to the Russian capabilities and intentions. The political classes, both Democrats and Republicans on the Hill, are lost in their own virtual world of unlimited United States power. That alone explains the potentially suicidal demand from Democrats yesterday that Biden impose a 'no-fly zone' over Ukraine".