President Vladimir V. Putin’s move appeared to be a show of strength amid the unrest gripping Ukraine, and in response the Obama administration said any Russian military intervention in the country would be a “grave mistake.”
I want to toot my own horn here by pointing out that my last four columns in Taki's Magazine serve as background behind today's worrisome news. I've had a bad feeling for some time about the hyping up of World War G that accelerated back in 2013. Back in December I wrote a blog post:
America's Global War of Terror has been a huge moneymaker for Washington's Beltway, but it's starting to get a little old. Looking to the future, why not a replay of a tried and true honeypot: an arms race with Russia? ...
But to justify lots more spending we need some reason to be angry at the Russians. They don't have 53,000 tanks pointed in the general direction of the Fulda Gap anymore, so the pretext isn't immediately obvious.
Good question ...
I know, gays!
And Ukrainians, although they're kind of boring ... Hey, there must be some Ukrainian gays! Somebody get to work on this pronto.
Thus, my February Taki's columns have been obsessed with exploring perspectives on European geopolitics:
World War III
February 05, 2014
With the 100th anniversary of World War I upcoming and old enmities between America and Russia resurging in contemporary form—for example, Glenn Beck recently said, “I will stand with GLAAD against…hetero-fascism” in Russia—due to the approach of that gayest of sporting events, the Winter Olympics, I thought it worth taking a look back at the war that didn’t happen: the one between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
So I dug out my battered copy of Sir John Hackett’s 1978 sci-fi novel, The Third World War: August 1985, which scared the hell out of me when I received it as a Christmas present on December 25, 1979, the day the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. ...
The Kremlin then dusts off its contingency plan to convert summer war games in East Germany into a full-scale invasion of West Germany.
The Borders of Empire
February 12, 2014
... And that short tour of Winter Olympics sites raises the seemingly abstract but politically fraught question: Where’s a good place to draw national borders?
One tempting answer is along major rivers. After all, if you glance at a map, you’ll notice that big rivers tend to be long and fairly linear, just like you hope your ideal border would be.
Moreover, wide rivers are more militarily defensible than flat land. That’s why Warsaw Pact contingency plans for invading Western Europe assumed that the Rhine had to be reached to forestall a NATO counteroffensive.
The peacetime political problem with using navigable rivers as borders, however, is that they frequently separate people who don’t want to be separated.
Nationalism Is a Blast
February 19, 2014
The Russians, lacking all natural defenses to the West, are sensitive to the proximity of hostile alliances. They believe, with much historical justification, that in February 1990 Secretary of State James Baker and West German leader Helmut Kohl promised Mikhail Gorbachev no Eastern expansion of the NATO military bloc in return for allowing the reunification of Germany by withdrawing the 380,000 Soviet troops from East Germany.
The West has repeatedly violated that gentleman’s agreement, in 2008 even putting Ukraine and Georgia on track for NATO membership. (Georgia’s subsequent invasion of Russian-held South Ossetia proved a major embarrassment, however.)
The US media’s ideological justifications for its anti-Russianism involve gay rights (”World War G”) and democracy (“World War D”). But those concepts don’t appear much in evidence in scenes from central Kiev, where the City Hall of the embattled pro-Russian government had been occupied since December by masked men swinging iron bars. ...
For example, when was the last tank-v.-tank battle? ...
The two countries that have the tanks, terrain, and mutual border to conceivably replay the Battle of Kursk are Russia (2,562 tanks in service and plenty more in reserve) and Ukraine (725 tanks running).
Conservatism in Russia and America
February 26, 2014
Similarities and differences between Russian and American conservatism—especially in regard to the topic of the moment, Ukraine—can be observed in the thought of Russian geopolitical theorist Aleksandr Dugin, director of the Center for Conservative Studies at Moscow State University. ...
After last week’s coup in Kiev, Dugin said in an interview on Russian state television:
I suggest that it is necessary that Russia, in an organized way, help Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
When asked by the interviewer what he meant by “an organized way,” Dugin replied, “with tanks.”