Saturday, June 17, 2023

Sergei A. Karaganov: To Back The West Off Russia Will Probably Have To Make A Fused-Glass Example Or Two...,

globalaffairs.ru  |  Russia and its leadership seem to be facing a difficult choice. It becomes increasingly clear that a clash with the West cannot end even if we win a partial or even a crushing victory in Ukraine.

It will be a really partial victory if we liberate four regions. It will be a slightly bigger victory if we liberate the entire East and South of present-day Ukraine in the next year or two. But there will still remain a part of it with an even more embittered ultranationalist population pumped up with weapons―a bleeding wound threatening inevitable complications and a new war.

Perhaps the worst situation may occur if, at the cost of enormous losses, we liberate the whole of Ukraine and remain in ruins with a population that mostly hates us. Its “redemption” will take more than a decade. Any option, especially the latter one, will distract our country from making an urgently needed step to shift its spiritual, economic, and military-political focus to the east of Eurasia. We will get stuck in the west, with no prospects in the foreseeable future, while present-day Ukraine, primarily its central and western regions, will sap managerial, human, and financial resources out the country. These regions were heavily subsidized even in Soviet times. The feud with the West will continue as it will support a low-grade guerrilla civil war.

A more attractive option would be liberating and reincorporating the East and the South of Ukraine, and forcing the rest to surrender, followed by complete demilitarization and the creation of a friendly buffer state. But this would be possible only if and when we are able to break the West’s will to incite and support the Kiev junta, and to force it to retreat strategically.

And this brings us to the most important but almost undiscussed issue. The underlying, and even fundamental cause of the conflict in Ukraine and many other tensions in the world, as well as of the overall growth of the threat of war is the accelerating failure of the modern ruling Western elites―mainly comprador ones in Europe (Portuguese colonialists used the word ‘comprador’ to refer to local traders who catered to their needs)―who were generated by the globalization course of recent decades. This failure is accompanied by rapid changes, unprecedented in history, in the global balance of power in favor of the Global Majority, with China and partly India acting as its economic drivers, and Russia chosen by history to be its military-strategic pillar. This weakening infuriates not only the imperial-cosmopolitan elites (Biden and Co.), but also the imperial-national ones (Trump). Their countries are losing their five-century-long ability to syphon wealth around the world, imposing, primarily by brute force, political and economic orders, and cultural dominance. So there will be no quick end to the unfolding Western defensive but aggressive confrontation. This collapse of moral, political, and economic positions has been brewing since the mid-1960s; it was interrupted by the Soviet Union’s breakup but resumed with renewed vigor in the 2000s. (The defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the beginning of the Western economic model crisis in 2008 were major milestones.)

To stop this snowballing downward slide, the West has temporarily consolidated itself. The United States has turned Ukraine into a striking fist intended to create a crisis and thus tie the hands of Russia―the military-political core of the non-Western world, which is freeing itself from the shackles of neo-colonialism―but better still blow it up, thus radically weakening the rising alternative superpower―China. For our part, we delayed our preemptive strike either because we misunderstood the inevitability of a clash, or because we were gathering strength. Moreover, following modern, mainly Western, military-political thought, we thoughtlessly set too high a threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, inaccurately assessed the situation in Ukraine, and did not start the military operation there successfully enough.

Failing internally, Western elites began to actively nourish the weeds that had come through after seventy years of well-being, satiety, and peace―all these anti-human ideologies that reject the family, homeland, history, love between a man and a woman, faith, commitment to higher ideals, everything that constitutes the essence of man. They are weeding out those who resist. The goal is to destroy their societies and turn people into mankurts (slaves deprived of reason and sense of history as described be the great Kirgiz and Russian writer Chengiz Aitmatov) in order to reduce their ability to resist modern “globalist” capitalism, increasingly unfair and counterproductive for humans and humanity as a whole.

Along the way, the weakened United States unleashed a conflict to finish off Europe and other dependent countries, intending to throw them into the flames of confrontation after Ukraine. Local elites in most of these countries have lost their bearings and, panic-stricken by their failing internal and external positions, are obediently leading their countries to the slaughter. Moreover, the feeling of a greater failure, powerlessness, centuries-old Russophobia, intellectual degradation, and the loss of strategic culture make their hatred even deeper than that of the United States.

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