2022 is like 1917 

The plan behind WWI: The war was to put an end to Germany's desire to be an empire. The world had been divided by Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Portugal.  Germany arrived late and had only a few African colonies. Japan had taken Korea in 1905, defeating Russia in the far east. Though nominally allies with Russia, Britain as the head imperialist would be able to put a teetering Russia in its place. The fantasy was along the lines of Karl Kautsky’s theory of “ultra-imperialism,” where the big powers would divide the world and settle the matter between themselves without friction or conflict.

Even without the Russian revolution in 1917, this peaceful path to world hegemony was fraught, with Japan eyeing Asian colonies too, but the communist revolution was the clincher. It exposed the whole circus, famously with Sykes-Picot's new middle east divided messily between Britain and France. Slow to recognize the real threat of a resurgent Germany, and even slower, Japan, all efforts focused on destroying the Soviet Union.

2022 is like 1947

There was no plan! The British and French plan to leave Germany prostrate after WWI failed spectacularly. It was winners Britain and France that were prostrate. Limping along, until 1939. WWII marked the end of British-French-etc empire. Now mere survival of Britain forced it to ally with Soviet Russia. No thought was given to what role Britain or the Soviet Union would pay after it defeated fascism. 

Britain was by now bankrupt, the US the new kid on the block, young, rude, with some experience in the ways of empire, and a pliant Britain now its enthusiastic cheerleader-coach, famously, Churchill with his Iron Curtain speech. Relatively unscathed by the war, it looked at its allies with disdain, at the Soviet Union with hatred as the real rival for world hegemon.

An extreme postwar 'plan' was to continue the war into Russia, or as suggested by Bertrand Russell, to drop a few atom bombs before the Russians could, and bring them to their knees. The only alternative was Cold War, sanctions, subversion, prevent the decolonizing world from adopting socialism, and ceaselessly work to undermine socialism wherever.

2022 is like 1991

Nothing really gelled until the Soviet Union finally fell apart, with the Maidan du jour, Afghanistan. What a great idea! Arm the nazis du jour, the mujahideen, to destroy the relatively good guys, who just happen to be mostly Russians. Finally the US would be the sole world hegemon. End of history! 

Unfortunately, in the process, the side effect was more and more terrorism around the world. Let’s bring down those shiny towers. You know, the ones in New York? 


Reagan hosts Afghan mujahideen in 1983                                     New York 2001

Had the many conspiracies finally caught up with the US? Each time it tried to blast the outlier with a homerun, but each time, the  imperial laurel wreathe remained tantalizingly out of reach. Nail the terrorists! No matter that we actually created them. And back to the plan. 

Ukraine was to be the final piece of the puzzle. That is, after Georgia hadn't panned out in 2008. It was supposed to be the key: get NATO into Georgia and the other bits of the now exSoviet Union would surely fall into place. This was in fact a plan to reinvent the UN, to replace it with NATO+ as world policeman.

But Russia was unhappy. Really unhappy. Georgia was put in its place. So what?  Back to plan B. Push NATO to Russia's borders in Ukraine, then use Ukrainian nazis to undermine Russia. That's even better.

If Russia doesn't like it, too bad. We'll be ready for the moment Russia really, really collapses. Moscow as Maidan II.  But the conspiracy details caught up with the US. The pliant Gorbachev-Yeltsin had produced a revanchist leader who focused Russian bitterness at what had happened, determined to use Russia's resources to stop the hegemonic bully from having his cake and eating it. No pasaran.

2022 is the real thing

The plan today: After the pandemic (conspiracy? whatever), with computers, world empire is locked into place. One currency. US-Israel as a kind of imperial Rome. Israel as police for the political order. The US reigns as the last empire but it is multinational. In our fantasy worlds, we are all Americans now, all Israelis. 

Hence the hysteria. The Russkies refuse to play ball according to our rules-of-the-day. The 'West' can’t continue the slow erosion of Russia, inciting the colour revolution to end all colour revolutions. So boycotts and sanctions to starve Russia into submission are all that’s left. And guaranteed to fail. The US put backbone into the Russians. Their country, their existence is under threat. Putin is more popular. The remaining Atlantists are fleeing, or just fleeing their illusions.

But the US is now faced with a much bigger problem. A strong, no nonsense China, already flexing its hegemonic muscles. Xi's wolf warrior diplomacy. It is using the US-Russia war to fashion itself as chief hegemon. Russia is the key.

By precipitating a showdown with the US, Russia is not so much defying international law. It can point to the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense (UN article 51), massaged by the US and NATO for Iraq Wars I&II. This time based on fact, not fiction. It is taking on the WWII mantle of fighting the imperialists/ neonazis, with China more or less in solidarity.

Who is tricking whom? 

Did Russia fall into the US trap of invading Ukraine, leading to its own collapse? Or is Russia taking up the gauntlet and throwing it back in its foe's face? It is weathering the sanctions regime; the ruble, after a short flurry, now back at par. And the new Russian monetary order is unravelling SWIFT, as Russia and China build their own ruble-yuan based currency exchange mechanisms.

Sanctions are a farce. Ugly, stupid, crude, merely increasing mutual hatred. An act of desperation. So, rather than 'the mother of all colour revolutions' happening in Russia, should we expect it to happen in the US? The buck stops with Biden. 

While Obama began the march to the cliff edge by promoting Maidan in 2014, he refused to arm Ukraine, arguing that would lead to Russia invading. Trump was scared into supporting the imperial agenda with Russiagate and let the billions start to role in. Meanwhile, Biden junior was in Ukraine, bungling his role in the ghoulish farce. Hunter's laptop revealed that he was up to no good but that did not stop the deep state. It was ignored by the media even as Biden sr was stumbling in the presidential poles. Nothing must stop the empire. 

Biden's frantic warning to Putin not to invade fell on deaf ears. Better to move in and destroy the arms caches before they are operational. To stop the NATOization and denazify Ukraine's army.  As east Ukraine is being liberated, Russian finds have included suspicious biolabs under US control, intentions to weaponize drones with aerosol sprays. 

Back to Bismarck

                                              German Chancellor Bismarck         Donetsk Prime minister Zakharchenko

The perfect outcome, neutral Ukraine, was made impossible by Obama's backing the NED-funded Maidan, with or without the arms. The war began then but western newspeak backed the Maidan crowd, led more or less by nazis, who have already carried out assassinations (Alexander Zakharchenko, 42, prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic  in 2018), and threaten Ukrainians, especially politicians, with targeted violence if they try to make peace with Russia. At the time of Zakharchenko's assassination, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova warned that the Ukrainian government is "driving its country to the verge of an all-out disaster at increasingly faster speeds".

Western charges that Putin wants to take over Ukraine are nonsense. Putin is now reenacting Bismarck’s rout of the decadent Louis Bonaparte in 1870. Putin is putting a willful, silly neighbour in its place. He will declare his peace terms. Probably nicer than Bismarck’s. 

Putin’s offer in 2013---that PM Yanukovich agreed to---precipitating the coup, was generous. But now it’s going to be Bismarck style. Not WWI style, intent on destroying Ukraine for the seeable future. With a big spoonful of WWII antinazi medicine. And no more bullying in the schoolyard. So, we're finally witnessing the last gasp of 20th century wars. Ending on an note of 19th century realpolitik.  

Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me three times?! What’s going on?

All these conspiracies for a New World Order for naught! Three strikes and you're out. Time to make peace, even Bismarck style. Enough’s enough. We made peace with the Soviets without undermining our ‘way of life’. What a relief it was. Peace at last. No more atom bombs. A whole new world opening up to us. It was like recovering from a nervous breakdown. The flower child 60s and revolutionaries of the 70s were infused with antiwar passion’. They were the best years of western civilization

So we're back in 1979. Ukraine is offering up its own mujahideen terrorists, who worship the fuhrer himself. Hillary Clinton has even advocated using Afghanistan as the model of a foreign-armed insurgency to defeat the occupiers.* Zelensky recaps Churchill in western media mythology. But, wait a minute. Wasn't Churchill against nazis? And shouldn't we worry that just as the mujahideen turned on the US, this might happen again, this time by card-carrying nazis? Surely that's not part of the plan.

Bush claimed to be de-terrorizing Afghanistan in 2001, and Putin took him at his word. The pressing need today is to de-terrorize Ukraine. If Biden won’t do it , then Putin will. His intentions are clear and aboveboard.

There’s only one medicine---for everyone. We must go back to detente days, the only times in the 20th century that the sickness of militarism was held somewhat in check. Keeping in mind it was really just a ceasefire while the empire licked its wounds and gathered strength for the next push. Still, we were almost friends, just like in WWII. We even joined hands in outer space, conquering the new frontier together.  Same medicine for a very sick patient now. Besides, it’s free. No big pharma allowed.

Win-lose-lose vs win-win-win

This peace will be a cold one. Hopefully not WWIII. It’s the US that’s being spoil sport with Russia: if you want Ukraine, we’ll make sure you’re the one that wrecks our toy. And I’ll tell mommy and she’ll starve you to death. Win, lose. lose. 

A neutral Ukraine without all the killing would be a win, win, win. At least for the peoples, if not for the ruling elites. But don’t you see? It’s not a question of being happy. If you are the real winner, the hegemon, you take it all. One way or the other.

The corrupt, dysfunctional US democracy is crying out for a Butler Smedley to rise up and slay the warmongering imperial dragon. The only quasi-official voice of reason now is retired Colonel MacGregor. Or ex-congreswoman Tulsi Gabbard. Could such voices triumph over a political system designed to keep out sane political debate? Liz Cheney called Macgregor the Putin wing of the GOP. Hillary and Tulsi had a knock-down fight over same. But, hey, maybe that's not really an insult. Maybe Putin will be remembered as Bismarck mark II.


*Remember, the Russians invaded Afghanistan back in 1980. It didn't end well for the Russians...but the fact is, that a very motivated, and then funded, and armed insurgency basically drove the Russians out of Afghanistan. Interestingly she said this with a straight face, ignoring the Taliban's successful use of the same strategy against her.


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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html