SCOTT RITTER: Reaping the Whirlwind

Putin’s order to begin partial mobilization of Russian military forces continues a confrontation between Russia and a U.S.-led coalition of Western nations that began at the end of the Cold War.

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Madrid summit on June 29. (NATO)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

War is never a solution; there are always alternatives that could have — and should have —been pursued by those entrusted with the fate of global society before the order was given to send the youth of a nation to go off to fight and die. Any national leader worth his or her salt should seek to exhaust every other possibility to resolve issues confronting their respective countries.

If viewed in a vacuum, the announcement of Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, in a televised address to the Russian people, that he was ordering the partial mobilization of 300,000 military reservists to supplement some 200,000 Russian personnel currently engaged in combat operations on the soil of Ukraine would appear to be the antithesis of seeking an alternative to war.

This announcement was made in parallel with one that authorized referendums to take place on the territory of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian forces regarding the question of joining these territories with the Russian Federation.

Seen in isolation, these actions would appear to represent a frontal assault on international law as defined by the United Nations Charter, which prohibits acts of aggression by one nation against another for the purpose of seizing territory by force of arms. This was the case made by U.S. President Joe Biden when speaking at the United Nations General Assembly hours after Putin’s announcement.

“A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter.”

History, however, is a harsh mistress, where facts become inconvenient to perception. When viewed through the prism of historical fact, the narrative being promulgated by Biden becomes flipped. The reality is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the U.S. and its European allies have been conspiring to subjugate Russia in an effort to ensure that the Russian people are never again able to mount a geopolitical challenge to an American hegemony defined by a “rules based international order” that had been foisted on the world in the aftermath of the Second World War.

For decades, the Soviet Union had represented such a threat. With its demise, the U.S. and its allies were determined to never again allow the Russian people — the Russian nation — to manifest themselves in a similar manner.

West Germany joined NATO in 1955, which led to the formation of the rival Warsaw Pact during the Cold War. (Bundesarchiv, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

When Putin spoke about the need for “necessary, urgent steps to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia” from “the aggressive policies of some Western elites who try by any means necessary to maintain their supremacy,” he had this history in mind.

The aim of the U.S. and its Western allies, Putin declared, was “to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country” by promulgating policies designed to cause “Russia itself to disintegrate into a multitude of regions and territories that are deadly enemies with one another.” According to Putin, the U.S.-led West “purposefully incited hatred of Russia, particularly in Ukraine, for which they destined the fate of an anti-Russian beachhead.”

Newton’s Third Law of Motion, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, applies to geopolitics as well.

On Feb. 24, Putin issued orders for the armed forces of Russia to initiate what he termed a “Special Military Operation” (SMO) in Ukraine. Putin declared that this decision was in keeping with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and the principles of collective preemptive self-defense as defined by international law.

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The goals of this operation were to protect the newly independent republics of Lugansk and Donetsk (referred collectively as the Donbass region) from an imminent danger posed by a build-up of Ukrainian military forces which were, according to Russia, poised to attack.

The stated goal of the SMO was to safeguard the territory and people of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics by eliminating the threat posed by the Ukrainian military. To accomplish this, Russia embraced two primary objectives — demilitarization and denazification.  

Demilitarization of Ukraine would be accomplished through the elimination of all infrastructure and organizational structures affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO; denazification would involve a similar eradication of the odious ideology of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist, Stepan Bandera, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles and ethnic Russians during the Second World War and in a decade of anti-Soviet resistance after the war ended.

Stepan Bandera torchlight parade in Kiev, Jan. 1, 2020. (A1/Wikimedia Commons)

Beginning in 2015, NATO had been training and equipping the Ukrainian military for the purpose of confronting pro-Russian separatists that had seized power in the Donbass following the ouster of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich in a violent insurrection, known as the “Maidan Revolution,” spearheaded by right-wing Ukrainian political parties professing loyalty to the memory of Stepan Bandera.

Ukraine had been pursuing NATO membership since 2008, enshrining this goal in its constitution. While actual membership still eluded Ukraine as of 2022, the level of involvement of NATO with the Ukrainian armed forces made it a de facto extension of the NATO alliance.

Russia viewed the combination of NATO membership with the anti-Russian posturing of the post-Maidan Ukrainian government, linked as it was to the ideology of Bandera, as a threat to its national security. The SMO was designed to eliminate that threat.

Two Phases of Russian Operation

For roughly the first six months, the Russian military operation could be broken down into two distinct phases. The first was a blitzkrieg-style effort designed to shock the Ukrainian military and government into submission. Failing that, it was meant to shape the battlefield in a manner that isolated the Ukrainian forces assembled near the Donbass region prior to their decisive engagement by the Russian military in the second phase, which began on March 25.

Phase two of the SMO, the “battle for the Donbass,” unfolded through April, May, June and July, and involved brutal, meat-grinding style warfare in urban terrain and among defensive fortifications that had been prepared by Ukrainian forces over the course of the past eight years.

Russia made slow, agonizing gains, in a war of attrition which saw Russia inflict horrific losses on the Ukrainian armed forces. Such was the extent of the damage done by Russia on the army of Ukraine that by the end of July nearly the entire inventory of Soviet-era weapons that Ukraine possessed at the start of the SMO had been destroyed, along with over 50 percent of its active-duty military component.

Normally, when assessing casualty figures of this magnitude, any professional military analyst would be right to conclude that Russia had, in effect, accomplished its goal of demilitarization, which logically should have been followed by the surrender of the Ukrainian government on terms which would have resulted in the kinds of fundamental political change necessary to implement the Russian goal of denazification and, with it, securing Ukrainian neutrality.

Chechen Kadyrovites alongside Russian regular troops and separatist militiamen in the Donbass in June. (CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons) 

But the very forces which Putin had described in his mobilization address conspired to further their anti-Russian agenda by pouring in tens of billions of dollars of military aid (exceeding, in a manner of months, the entire annual defense budget of Russia) designed not to promote a Ukrainian victory, but rather hasten a strategic Russian defeat.

“Whereas once the primary Western objective was to defend against the [Russian] invasion,” journalist Tom Stevenson noted in an OpEd in The New York Times, “it has become the permanent strategic attrition of Russia.”

The provision of military aid on this scale was a game changer, one which the Russian military forces responsible for implementing the SMO were not able to overcome. This new reality manifested itself in the first half of September, when Ukraine launched a major counteroffensive which succeeded in evicting Russian forces from the territory of the Kharkov region that had been occupied since the SMO began.

New Threat Paradigm

President of Russia Vladimir Putin with Defense Minister of Russia Sergey Shoigu after wreath-laying ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in June. (Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

While Russia was able to stabilize its defenses and ultimately halt the Ukrainian offensive, inflicting huge numbers of casualties on the attacking force, the reality that Russia was facing a new threat paradigm in Ukraine, one which saw the Russian military fighting a reconstituted Ukrainian military that had become a de facto proxy of the U.S.-led NATO alliance.

Confronted with this new reality, Putin informed the Russian people that he considered it “necessary to take the following decision, which is fully responsive to the threats we face: In order to defend our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the security of our people and that of the population and to ensure the liberated areas, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff to introduce partial mobilization in the Russian Federation.”

The U.S. and its NATO allies would do well to reflect on the lesson inherent in Hosea 8:7—sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Or, put another way, Newton’s Third Law has come back with a vengeance.

Putin’s decision to order a partial mobilization of the Russian military, when combined with the decision to conduct the referendums in the Donbass and occupied Ukraine, radically transforms the SMO from a limited-scope operation to one linked to the existential survival of Russia. Once the referenda are conducted, and the results forwarded to the Russian parliament, what is now the territory of Ukraine will, in one fell swoop, become part of the Russian Federation — the Russian homeland.

All Ukrainian forces that are on the territory of the regions to be incorporated into Russia will be viewed as occupiers; and Ukrainian shelling of this territory will be treated as an attack on Russia, triggering a Russian response. Whereas the SMO had, by design, been implemented to preserve Ukrainian civil infrastructure and reduce civilian casualties, a post-SMO military operation will be one configured to destroy an active threat to Mother Russia itself. The gloves will come off.

US & NATO Face a Decision 

April 7, 2021: An honor guard in Ukraine during a visit by a NATO military committee. (NATO)

The U.S. and NATO, having committed to a program designed to defeat Russia via proxy, must now decide whether they continue to follow through with their political and material support for Ukraine and, if so, to what extent. Does the goal remain the “strategic defeat” of Russia, or will the aid be tailored simply to assist Ukraine in defending itself?

These are two completely different goals.

One allows for the continued attrition of any Russian force that seeks to project power from Russian territory into Ukraine but, in doing so, respects the reality, if not the legitimacy, of the Russian incorporation of the Donbass and southern Ukrainian territories under occupation into the Russian Federation.

The other continues to sustain the current policy of the Ukrainian government and its Western allies of evicting Russia from the Donbass, occupied Ukraine and Crimea. This means attacking Mother Russia. This means war with Russia.

For its part, Russia considers itself already to be in a war with the West. “We are really at war with…NATO and with the collective West,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement that followed Putin’s announcement regarding partial mobilization.

“We mean not only the weapons that are supplied in huge quantities. Naturally, we find ways to counter these weapons. We have in mind, of course, the Western systems that there exist: communication systems, information processing systems, reconnaissance systems, and satellite intelligence systems.”

Put in this context, the Russian partial mobilization isn’t designed to defeat the Ukrainian military, but to defeat the forces of NATO and the “collective West” that have been assembled in Ukraine.

And if these NATO resources are configured in a way that is deemed by Russia as constituting a threat to the Russian homeland…

“Of course,” Putin said in his address on partial mobilization, “if the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all means at our disposal to defend Russia and our people,” a direct reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

“This is not a bluff,” Putin emphasized. “The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our homeland, our independence, and our freedom, I reiterate, will be safeguarded with all the means at our disposal. And those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons need to know that the compass rose can turn in their direction, too.”

This is what the world has come to — a mad rush toward nuclear apocalypse predicated on the irrational expansion of NATO and hubris-laced Russophobic policies seemingly ignorant of the reality that the Ukraine conflict has now become a matter of existential importance to Russia.

The U.S. and its allies in the “collective West” now have to decide if the continued pursuit of a decades-long policy of isolating and destroying Russia is a matter of existential importance to them, and if the continued support of a Ukrainian government that is little more than the modern-day manifestation of the hateful ideology of Stepan Bandera is worth the lives of their respective citizenry, and that of the rest of the world.

The doomsday clock is literally one second to midnight and we in the West have only ourselves to blame.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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55 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: Reaping the Whirlwind

  1. September 25, 2022 at 10:01

    The people who believe this US/NATO led proxy war against Russia is for “freedom and democracy” and any other lame excuse are the same people who still believe Milli Vanilli didn’t lip sync.

  2. September 24, 2022 at 15:03

    What stuns me is how well, effectively this propaganda blitz has worked. I knw many people, peers, neighbors, friends and acquaintances who seem to have blindly jumped on the “stop Putin!” bandwagon, as if they’ve ever given Ukraine, Nato or even Russia a substantive thought before in their entire lives. I’m trying to decide whether it is more astonishing or depressing.

    • John R
      September 25, 2022 at 03:08

      It is both astonishing and depressing has been so for me for well over 20-years and getting worse. The propaganda machine apparently shuts down common sense, compassion, critical thinking all over the US.

  3. Paul ba
    September 23, 2022 at 19:27

    Diplomacy will have no chance if propagandized American and Russian populations continue to see the other as evil. Why doesn’t one of the Presidents (Biden or Putin) challenge the other to a public televised debate? That way the peoples facing nuclear annihilation can at least hear the other side.

    • Mary Caldwell
      September 25, 2022 at 04:19

      Terrific idea Paul ba.

  4. Deniz
    September 23, 2022 at 16:06

    I wonder how the champions of Democracy and the Free World will respond when the Eastern Ukrainians give them the boot this weekend.

  5. Rudy Haugeneder
    September 23, 2022 at 12:39

    As the world enters a global economic recession that could easily become a Depression, who will be blamed — and possibly attacked with unexpected and savage sanctions?: Japan and India.

    • Eugene L Schulte
      September 23, 2022 at 19:38

      Russia will not lose Crimea

    • September 24, 2022 at 14:12

      Huh? How? By who? Why?

  6. vinnieoh
    September 23, 2022 at 12:18

    Also, it does not seem reasonable that China will continue to sit on the sidelines. They, like the Russians, have come to the inescapable conclusion that the US and its European allies have lost all sense of perspective and caution, and are willing to risk continued human existence in order to maintain their dominant economic, military and cultural position.

    Recent statements by the RF and China testify to the fact that they have given up on the idea of sanity in the west.

  7. September 23, 2022 at 11:25

    Rights are based and safeguarded by laws; privileges are proffered and easily taken by ‘rules’. A “rules-based world order” is a lawless world where the elite and ‘powerful’ can do what they please. A ‘rule-based world order” is just another way of saying the weak (elite) must have lawlessness on their side to defeat the rest of mankind.

  8. Nika
    September 23, 2022 at 09:49

    I would like to start with Biden’s speech at the UN, which is quoted by Scott Ritherr.

    “A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter.”
    Wow, what is this impudent politician talking about? How to remind him of Laos, Vietnam, Panama, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. The dirty boots of the Americans and NATO were everywhere. It has become fashionable to talk about the threat to the world emanating from Russia. It’s time to open your eyes to the real source of all wars – America. The war in Ukraine, the war between Russia and NATO, for the destruction of Russia and all of Europe. Russia must win! Russia does not abandon its own!

    • September 23, 2022 at 13:40

      Justo e certeiro comentário sobre o criminoso papel dos EUA, violando todas as regras de uma convivência pacífica entre todos os povos. Saudações anti-imperialistas.

    • Ameer Hassan
      September 25, 2022 at 10:10

      And so with what they did in Iraq….

  9. alley cat
    September 23, 2022 at 09:29

    “The U.S. and its allies in the ‘collective West’ now have to decide if the continued pursuit of a decades-long policy of isolating and destroying Russia is a matter of existential importance to them . . .”

    President Biden and the neocons will be doing all the deciding for the U.S. and its allies.

    That’s unfortunate for all of us because Biden seems to be as delusional as his neocon advisers.

    U.S. efforts to turn Ukraine and Taiwan into de facto U.S. military bases are doomed to fail, because Russia and China will, if necessary, resort to tactical nuclear weapons to prevent it.

    After that . . . all bets are off.

    President Biden would have realized this long ago if he were playing with a full deck.

  10. Robert Snith
    September 23, 2022 at 07:37

    By this justification- Russia could have been legally invaded when Putin was prosecuting the 2nd Chechnyan war. A break away republic no longer wanting to be part of a larger entity. Instead Russia subjugated with overwhelming force.

  11. Jon Adams
    September 23, 2022 at 06:09

    The “NATOstans” on Twitter are positively giddy about Ukraine “prospects.” They predict the dissolution of Russia. They predict, because that has always been the goal. “To the last Ukrainian.

  12. John Puma
    September 23, 2022 at 04:21

    In context, the rhetorical flourish “erasure of a sovereign state from the map” is accurate only in reference to the 2014 US coup in Ukraine.

  13. Realist
    September 23, 2022 at 04:19

    In your opening photograph depicting Joe Biden and Jen Stoltenberg I see either two totally deranged homicidal psychopaths or two thoroughly corrupt and merciless gangsters masquerading as politicians and diplomats. It can’t be both as the first description would hold them blameless, the victims of causes (their neurological pathology) lying outside of free will, should that condition actually exist as our mind tells us or tricks us. The second would mean they are as guilty as sin for willfully threatening the lives of billions. The people who follow these villains may include many psychopaths but these fellows are stone cold killers with lots of experience in that field long before they created this crisis. They were chosen for this role by the equally corrupt, greedy and power-driven insider elites who actually choose and pull the strings of essentially all the figureheads posing as our human world leaders.

    We have little accurate idea of whom they are but they’ve got the book on every one of us, use us all as pawns in their ego-driven chess games involving entire countries as boards and living humans as pieces. This war between Eastern civilisation and Western civilisation has been ongoing since well before this country called “America” ever existed, and proliferated into a focussed conflict between the Russian civilisation and the “Western” world, by then ruled from the unassailable redoubt of North America, during World War I when the Czarist Orthodox empire was transmogrified into Bolshevik communism. The conflict has continued unabated throughout numerous changes in the attitudes, beliefs, politics and total modi operandi of both sides. Economic systems, religions, local politics, political alliances… the whole shebang may have massively changed on both sides but the feud, conflict, contest, game or whatever you want to call it goes on with an impetus of its own.

    Everything that has happened leading up to this moment was, of course, one long connected thread of causality in our apparent (whether it is or not) deterministic universe. The American Empire of Lies and Chaos is finally poised to crush the opposition it was purposefully constructed to defeat–at least it thinks this is so. The Eastern “upstarts” with their own conceptions of right v wrong, honor, dignity, freedom, liberty, fraternity, egality have seen these fanatics coming from the start and know that these barbarians are, in fact, now at their gates. Unless one side or the other chokes and pleads at the last minute for (what was that archaic word?) a “boon,” both civilisations led by their own coteries of gangsters, dedicated to the arts of mass murder and calling it “defense,” are going to exterminate one another. Along with themselves, they will also take out everyone else on the planet, as well as all other life forms–simply a matter of the laws of physics and chemistry. Earth will again become a tabula rasa for nature to utilise as a canvas for painting whatever new landscape it cares to envisage–after a few million years pass to allow the radiation levels to diminish to levels again permitting stable covalent bonds and intricate organic chemistry. Some creative people (others would call them demented) actually believe (for what belief is worth) that this scenario has actually occurred before, perhaps multiple times, perhaps proving that people never give up hope no matter what. I’d rather not put that to the test, even though, like gangster Joe, I am old and can’t say I’ve been deprived of experiencing life to the full. I would hope there is someone capable of snatching the car keys away from gangster Joe, telling him to STFU and that others will make peace rather than war with everyone’s human rights, honor and dignity preserved, not just those of the manipulators using the rest of us for sport. I know, sounds demented.

    • September 24, 2022 at 14:30

      Another failed species.

    • unilliam
      September 25, 2022 at 10:45

      “I know, sounds demented.”?
      Not at all!!!
      Verily, very truthful!!!!

  14. Stop USA
    September 23, 2022 at 03:53

    A plea to the Russian people from a USA citizen. Putin is speaking the truth and the goal of NATO (AKA USA) is to destroy Russia. Russians, I beg you to patriotically unite en mass to protect your homeland and rise to the challenge of stopping the USA who seek to destroy your country. Russia is in it’s rights to use any and all weapons to defend itself from NATO aggression.

  15. September 22, 2022 at 19:53

    On February 28, just 4 days after the US War with Russia over Ukraine started, I posted this comment in The Washington Post. They deleted it within minutes, and suspended me from commenting for a week. I was suspended a 2nd Time for a week and another Time for 1 Day.

    ““When Western governments declare publicly it’s goal and objective is to destroy the Russian Economy without using bombs, Armageddon/WWIII has already started.

    History proves it’s much easier to start Wars than to end them.
    It took 20 years and $2 TRILLION for the US to extricate itself from the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan.

    I expect Putin will use the ‘nuclear option’ in the Economic War, and will turn off Nordstream I and all oil and gas pipelines passing through Ukraine to keep Western Europe’s Economy going.

    The question will be who can endure material privation and want longer? Russians who are accustomed to it, or Western Europeans who aren’t, when both the Russian and European Economies crash?

    Regardless of the War Porn magnified by the US MSM manipulating the minds of the Masses, Putin did cut off all gas going to the US European Vassal States. That is the Russian Nuclear option!

    The Washington Post doesn’t suspend me any more for pointing out all the US SINS of historical OMISSION that brought this Material World to the brink of Armageddon/WWIII as Propagandists for the US War Machine.
    They just delete the comment and the whole thread of comments in reply.

    What is so maddening is US MSM demonize Putin for doing what The Washington Post does. The old standard still applies. ‘Let the one without sin cast the 1st stone.’

    Last week I made this comment in this article hxxps://bracingviews.com/2022/09/15/the-u-s-military-as-a-bull/

    “How will Russia behave Militarily to spare the total destruction of Ukraine, once it removes it’s rose tinted glasses, and starts operating within the Reality this is ALREADY a World WAR with the US and it’s 30 European NATO Nations adding so much fuel to the fire, after blocking the 2015 Minsk Peace Agreement from taking root?

    It’s only a matter of Time since the World is still on the escalation path!”

    Putin’s statement Yesterday confirms he finally took off his rose tinted glasses acknowledging it is already Armageddon/WWIII with the US and it’s 30 submissive European Vassals against Russia.

    • John R
      September 23, 2022 at 02:28

      Excellent – right on comment. (Not) funny how outright lies / lies of omission are what most Americans believe and support. Thank you for not drinking the kool-aid. Keep trying.

  16. SergeiS
    September 22, 2022 at 19:46

    “The reality is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the U.S. and its European allies have been conspiring to subjugate Russia in an effort to ensure that the Russian people are never again able to mount a geopolitical challenge to an American hegemony defined by a “rules based international order” that had been foisted on the world in the aftermath of the Second World War.”

    Wasn’t Russia welcomed into the G-8 in 1997 where they remained until they annexed Crimea in 2014? Russia joined the WTO in 2012. Russia joined the IMF in 1992. Russia assumed the seat of the USSR in the UN Security Council along with its very powerful right to veto resolutions. Bilateral taxation treaties, the 1992 Agreement Concerning Cooperation in Space Exploration, the 1993 Formation of a Commission on Technical Cooperation in Space and Energy, Russian participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program, 1994 Joint Space Shuttle Mission, numerous arms reduction agreements, most-favored trading status, 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, 1997 Russia participates as an equal member at the “Summit of the Eight”, Moscow summit in 2000 sees first joint US-Russia data exchange to monitor space and missile launches 24/7, with Russians and Americans working side-by-side. Nov 2000 meeting between Putin and Clinton at APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation). 2002 signing of Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement. 2002 first US-Russia Commercial Energy Summit. The list goes on and on. Careful research and and an open mind to consider all relevant information is key here.

    • Jörgen Hassler
      September 23, 2022 at 04:51

      Consider and understand. Of course Russia was welcomed to supply financial assets at fire sale prices, cheap natural resources and cheap labour.

      When the Russians failed to fulfill their role in the USnato world system sanctions, military expansion and war replaced the red carpet.

    • Duck
      September 23, 2022 at 09:00

      Research Yeltsin and Clinton (for starters).

      • Duck
        September 23, 2022 at 09:09

        That “friendship” and invitation to US capitalism was devastatingly destructive for Russia.

        “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”
        — Henry Kissinger

    • Litchfield
      September 23, 2022 at 21:56

      SergeiS

      Unfortunately while these positive steps were going on, the US and NATO were moving to surround Russia.

      Simultaeneously, the USA was doing to Ukraine economically what it had tried to do to Russia in the 1990s: Work with local oligarches to skim off Ukraine’s wealth and turn Western corporations loose to loot agricultural lands, and more. In the process the political landscape in Ukraine was so corrupted and there was so much bitterness about the failure of living standards to improve in Ukraine. The corruption there was apocryphal. Everyone knew it. The Biden family helped itself to Ukraine’s riches.

      IOW, your account of Russia’s participation in some Western institutions is nice, but basically irrelevant, because it leaves out US and NATO “participation” in looting and nazifying Ukraine, overturning its elected president, creating civil dissension, and starting a deadly civil war. All of this turned Ukraine into a huge security threat on Russia’s border and an existential matter for Russia to resolve via diplomacy, or eliminate.

      Your account also has the flavor of implying that these were all favors to Russia.

    • Francis Lee
      September 24, 2022 at 03:34

      Hmmm, relative information? Like ‘Russia annexed the Crimea.’ Well the Crimea was always part of Russia until Nikita Kruschev begged to differ. Crimea was also home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, in Sevastopol and Russia held the lease on Crimea and paid the Ukraine until 2042 rent inclusive. The population of Crimea was overwhelmingly Russian. The question of sovereignty was decided in a referendum in 2014 and overwhelmingly voted for inclusion into the Russian Federation. There, I think that settles the matter. Why is it that people think that they can get away with shoddy information? Russia annexed Crimea indeed! Must try better.

    • Old Brown Fool
      September 24, 2022 at 05:42

      And all the while inciting various people in the erstwhile Soviet Union against Russia, to see how Russia reacts – a bear-baiting. Started with Chechens, then Georgians, then the Ukrainian coup 0f 2014…

      All the above organisations and summits are just window dressing; the real intention was to carve up the huge Russian resources. Unfortunately Russians do not agree to commit seppuku.

  17. ray Peterson
    September 22, 2022 at 17:47

    Well Done Scott! Your first paragraph summarizes
    St. Augustine’s “Just War Theory” wonderfully.
    And U.S./NATO is not on the saint’s side.

  18. c
    September 22, 2022 at 17:23

    Is Eurasian integration, with trade in currencies based on gold and commodities, an existential threat to U.S. dollar-printing?

    And are there war planners who believe the U.S./NATO can defeat Russia and China?

    It is courageous of Mr. Ritter to defend Russia, most recently in discussing the mobilization Sept. 21 (hxxps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPl2RZNEgAU ) ,

    but I am beginning to fear for his safety. If he ran for office, for example Senate race in NY, or started a new party and ran for President he would get some protection and might even win more hearts and minds.

    • Eddy Schmid
      September 23, 2022 at 05:09

      Sorry C, there’s no way in Hell, the Globalists would ever allow Mr Ritter within a 100 yards of an election as you suggest. We all saw what happened to the lady from Hawaii, that was just as outspoken, and she did put her hat into the ring. How well did that turn out ?
      People, especially Americans, need to understand, America is NOT a Democracy, and the elections conducted would NEVER allow an un-annointed individual to ever get on the ballot paper. The really weird thing I see, is that for the last 72 years of my life, I see U.S. elections, time after time, ending up with the same result each time. The people of the U.S. simply cannot fathom, the system is RIGGED big time and their views and feelings, amount to less than a full stop at the end of a sentence.
      In Europe, and in particular, Germany, the politicians there, have stated openly, they couldn’t care less what the people think, they will do what they choose. Exactly the same scenario as in the U.S. of A.

  19. Nathan Mulcahy
    September 22, 2022 at 17:23

    Are American voters who have voted for the two parties telling their elected representatives “not in my name”? If not, then why not?

    • Stop Usa
      September 23, 2022 at 04:02

      I have done so multiple times as an American Citizen. In response, I have received numerous irritating scam phone calls and probably put on a blacklist. I do not believe contacting representatives will have any effect. What may help is mass protests against USA instigating a war against Russia that will cost us a trillion dollars, and the EU billions.

  20. Mikael Andersson
    September 22, 2022 at 17:00

    Thanks Scott. I had imagined a Russian submarine somewhere off the coast of New York. I suppose it might have more than a dozen missiles. Each would have several warheads. My knowledge of US cities is not great but I managed to name nearly 20. Surely the Americans have imagined that submarine. Neither of us know its whereabouts. It may have been there for some time. There may be another off the coast of Los Angeles. The USA could not imaginably recover from such an event. It is in a perilous condition already. Simply turning off the electricity would cause cannibalism within a week. Could they not realise how vulnerable they are? If I can, then it must be staring them in the face. I hope they recognise their position and stop their assault on Russia, for all our sakes.

    • Eddy Schmid
      September 23, 2022 at 05:15

      Mikael, Russia need not have subs off the coast of the U.S. They can loiter anywhere on the plant, and launch thier missiles to hit anywhere in the U.S. of A. FACT. In reality, said missiles need not be nuclear, they can be conventional targeting nuclear plants in the U.S. of which there are many choices, and allow the results to play havoc with the population. No one can then say, it was a nuclear attack. Let’s face it, this is precisely what the plan was in Ukraine, targeting the nuclear plant there, to do just as I’ve pointed out.
      No one can ever convince me, this was not a part of the plan from NATO and the main instigator, the U.S. Even the tame U.N. was too scared to admit what was going on there.

  21. Charles Carroll
    September 22, 2022 at 15:47

    Is there no one awake in D.C?

  22. Drew Hunkins
    September 22, 2022 at 15:34

    The sociopathic neocon freaks must somehow be curtailed and confronted. Blinken, Sullivan, Nuland, Klain, and Sherman are putting the world on the brink of a major war that could easily escalate to World War III.

    There don’t appear to be any sane heads left in Washington to stop this total madness and insanity. The press, their bots, propagandists, and talking-heads are all smashing and smearing everyone and anyone who raises the objections I’ve been making routinely for the past 6 mos and past 8 yrs.

    Somehow we have to dramatically dial this down, even though the peace movement is moribund (peace activists haven’t been a force since Obama the Wall St hustler was elected). Russia has every right to protect its citizens and defend its border regions. Nothing but the proxy warfare against Russia by the Washington empire has brought us to this point.

    It’s now time for Shoigu to take out key decision making centers in Kiev.

    NATO’s satellites are locating Russian troop placements in the Donbass. Moscow isn’t fighting Ukrainian soldiers and Ukrainian Nazis per se, but rather it’s facing off against an entire West that’s intent on waging proxy war on Russia until the last Ukrainian, turning Ukrainian conscripts and civilians into cannon fodder.

    The Washington’s militarist empire’s corporate media are currently in hyperdrive as the imperialists are finally facing a formidable enemy that has no intention of capitulating and returning to the exploitation and deaths of despair of the 1990s.

    Never forget, these are the same exact sociopaths who browbeat and lied the world into the war on Iraq, then went on and lied some more in order to annihilated sovereign Libya.

    Russia MUST win this!

    Multipolarity is the future for mankind. Humanity can no longer afford to have the Washington militarist empire rampaging across the globe unchecked.

    • Stop Usa
      September 23, 2022 at 04:09

      I agree with everything you say and feel helpless to do anything about the situation that the USA has instigated in the UKraine. There are times I would like to go to Russia and somehow help them in their war for survival.

    • Donald Duck
      September 24, 2022 at 03:46

      Consider this. The Donbass has been under siege since 2014 after the neo-nazi coup in Ukraine. I had been a regular visitor to Donetsk since 2006-2012 and have since kept in touch with friends in Donetsk since. Talking to my friend Dmitry last night – Friday – he informed me that there was a flower shop in Donetsk where some people were buying flowers for a birthday party. Unfortunately for them the Ukie army managed to fire a round which hit the flower shop and killed everyone inside. Just another day in Donetsk. Civilian deaths have totalled at the lower end of the scale 14000, but no-one in the west gave a thought – particularly in the media – to this outrage. So much for the rules-based order.

  23. September 22, 2022 at 15:32

    Russia should stop all gas and oil to the NATO warmongers now. At the end of the Second World War After Russia lost over 20,000,000 defeating Nazi Germany and saving the world. Churchill went off to the USA to plead for the USA to drop nuclear bombs on Moscow.The west has put out a Tsunami of the the most repulsive propergander against Russia. We in the UK have just suffered another avalanche of the nauseating garbage over the death of unelected head of state.Good luck to Russia and thanks for saving us from Germany.

    • Stop Usa
      September 23, 2022 at 04:15

      Agree. When I have fact checked MSM “news” about the Ukraine conflict I have found lies by omission and lies by commission. Basically, the truth is opposite anything they write or say. MSM and the Tech giants are arms of the CIA . That was one of the goals of the National Security Council, read their reports. That same council mentions some people will protest USA actions, but USA should ignore them.

    • September 24, 2022 at 14:59

      “the nauseating garbage over the death of unelected head of state”. Bingo.

  24. Drew Hunkins
    September 22, 2022 at 15:28

    It’s key to understand that Putin’s nuke comment this week was in the context of Russia facing imminent threat to its people. The Western press have taken the quote and distorted it to make Russia seem irrational and unhinged. Moscow would only resort to nuclear weapons as the very last option in a last ditch attempt at self-defense. Kremlin officials have stated this repeatedly over the years.

    Which nation again used atomic weapons in 1945 on innocent civilians, killing tens of thousands of them in two relatively large cities in far East Asia?

  25. Observer
    September 22, 2022 at 15:27

    — It was not just “according tü Russia” that Ukronazi forces were poised to launch a massive assault on the Donbass republics: they said so themselves.

    — Hardly a day has gone by over the last twenty years without Washington being engaged in a “partial mobilization of reservists”, namely calling up National Guard units for active duty. True. these are in smaller numbers; but that was simply because the US is fighting a different kind of wars. and needs specialist units, not masses of infantrymen.

  26. September 22, 2022 at 15:25

    Both sides of the conflict are absolutely determined not to let the other side win. It’s the paradigm of the unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object. Would either side be mad enough to use a nuclear weapon? I’d love to hear opinions on that. Confession: I am VERY nervous.

    • Stop Usa
      September 23, 2022 at 04:26

      I am convinced Russia or NATO (aka USA) would use them if either of them felt threatened enough. I think it is more likely USA to use them in Ukraine if Russia decides to steam roll over all Ukraine. I dont think USA could stop Russia with conventional weapons. My speculation is Russia has no intent to take all Ukraine and so we may never come to that point, unless USA keeps adding fuel to the fire as it has been doing, thereby forcing Russia to take all Ukraine. We (USA) are being governed by a psychopathic regime of globalists hell bent on a Unipolar world dominated by the USA.

    • Valerie
      September 23, 2022 at 08:22

      As Mr. Hunkins said, the Putin reference to nuclear weapons was taken out of context. However when Truss said she would use nuclear weapons, it was hardly mentioned. The doomsday clock is currently set at 100 seconds to midnight. That’s not very reassuring, but it’s been at that setting for quite some time now. The Stoics had great ways and ideas for combatting difficult situations.

    • September 24, 2022 at 15:09

      It can’t ruled out. In fact it has to be factored in. I’m VERY nervous too. Trying to settle my mind.

  27. Carl Osgood
    September 22, 2022 at 14:26

    You can even go back to the British Empire’s Great Game in Central Asia. For much of that time the US and Russia were allies against Britain. The high point of that relationship came during the American Civil war, between Abraham Lincoln and Czar Alexander II. The czar sent the Russian fleets to New York and San Francisco with orders that if the British directly intervened in the American war, they were to join with the US Navy to fight the British. Lincoln freed the slaves and Alexander freed the serfs. Both were assassinated for their commitment to republican principles.
    The British were determined that there should never again be US-Russian alliance against the British Empire. During World War II, Churchill tried to gt Franklin Roosevelt to join him in ganging up on Stalin. Roosevelt resisted Churchill’s pressure because he thought Soviet Russia would be a key part of building the post-war peace that he intended to build.
    But FDR died before the war ended making Truman, a much less principled man, the president. As a result, Churchill was able to rope the US into Britain’s post war geopolitical schemes. We got the Cold War and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sole super power ideology which has made us the enemy of the two countries that we must be friends with, Russia and China. It’s that 200 years of history, along with the last 50 years of neoliberal monetarist economics, which has brought us to the precipice that Ritter rightfully warns of at the end.

    • GBC
      September 22, 2022 at 16:21

      Thanks for your comment. I was unaware of Czar Alexander’s actions during our Civil War. I think it’s one of the great “what-ifs” of history–had Roosevelt lived to the end of the war, would the post-war era have been different? I don’t think he’d have used the atom bomb on Japan, and would have set the stage for the end of the British and French empires, as he was adamant would happen–over Churchill’s objections–during the war. Truman came to rue the creation of the CIA, most especially after JFK’s assassination, if not before. He, along with Kennan, came to realize that the Soviet threat was overblown, to suit domestic politics and the MIC.

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