Ukraine Another Historic U.S. War Failure a la Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and More

The war-indebted U.S. empire is faltering towards its historic and final demise. Every empire has its day in the sun.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance held its first NATO-Ukraine Council meeting this week in Brussels. As usual, the cliched promises of supporting the Kiev regime to the end were trotted out by all and sundry.

In truth, these NATO events for Ukraine, and more generally, are becoming yawn fests.

The whole sordid charade is only postponing the reality that the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia is a debacle for the Western powers. This is not something to gloat over. It is a tragedy and an abomination.

Up to 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, as well as tens of thousands of Russian military personnel. Total casualty figures are no doubt in the millions. In addition, millions of civilians have been displaced as refugees in Russia and throughout Europe. Hundreds of billions of dollars and euros have been raided from Western taxpayers to fund this bloody fiasco. Not only that but international tensions have been heightened between nuclear powers at a perilous pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 at the depth of the Cold War.

Washington needs to come to its senses and negotiate a peaceful settlement on Moscow’s terms. It’s as simple and as blunt as that. This is what could have been achieved before the conflict erupted in February 2022 when Moscow was offering a negotiable security treaty. The West rejected those terms out of hand back then. Now it will have to accept. Primarily, the conditions are that there will be no further NATO enlargement around Russia’s borders and in particular there will be no inclusion of Ukraine in the American-led bellicose military bloc.

Attending the NATO summit this week was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the foreign ministers of the other 30 NATO member states. Kuleba declared with delusional disconnect: “We are pretty much becoming a de facto NATO army.” He may be somewhat correct that Ukraine has been used as a proxy force for NATO, but it is a spent and decimated one.

Blinken seemed to be concerned with papering over cracks appearing in various media reports indicating that the U.S. is surreptitiously telling the Kiev regime to cut its losses and make a sort of peace deal with Russia. Blinken’s bravado rhetoric is akin to empty U.S. promises previously made to Afghanistan and countless other proxy regimes over the decades before Washington ignominiously pulls the plug and does a runner.

Inviting Ukraine to a NATO council summit is all theatre and window-dressing to give the public impression that the alliance is offering the former Soviet Republic something substantive. In reality, it all amounts to throwing a bare bone. This is analogous to overinflated promises made by European Union leaders like European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who repeatedly talk up the prospects of Ukraine joining the bloc in the future. The chances of that happening for a broken, rampantly corrupt, failed state like Ukraine are inconceivable. Again, empty, cynical promises.

All the NATO and EU talk is public relations bluster to conceal the brutal reality that the United States and its Western allies have created a monumental morass of misery for Ukraine by pursuing their nefarious geopolitical games to confront Russia. The rest of Europe and indeed the whole world has paid a terrible price for these imperial games.

But Washington and its NATO allies cannot admit the odious, incriminating reality, as our columnist Martin Jay points out this week. The military alliance is approaching its 75th anniversary since its foundation in 1949. There is thus huge pressure to try to make the Ukraine conflict look like some kind of victory to protect the fragile image of the obsolete alliance and the political reputation of incompetent Western leaders.

Another of our columnists this week, Declan Hayes, is well worth a read, lamenting the dearth of strategic thinking by the U.S. and its NATO vassals. Hayes amusingly describes how American military ventures under the cover of NATO multilateralism are conducted as if the protagonists are directing a cowboy matinee movie. No wonder these cowboy politicians and military leaders have lost so many wars over the decades. Even the last war they claim to have won – World War Two – was actually won by the Soviet Red Army. The Americans dropped atomic bombs on Japanese civilians to obliterate their way to a semblance of victory in the Asia-Pacific.

The calamity of Ukraine has resulted from pathetic groupthink by the Biden administration and its European lackeys. The thinking of American and European so-called leaders is shallow, narcissistic and distorted by Russophobia. None of the Western political class have the intellect or historical understanding to reverse from the morass of their making.

But this is not merely a characteristic flaw of contemporary Western regimes. The futile and reckless war in Ukraine has been decades in the making since the supposed end of the Cold War in 1990. The treacherous breaking of promises by American presidents, especially Bill Clinton and George W Bush, to Russia to not expand NATO and the insidious inveigling of Ukraine to join the alliance from 2008 onwards – all led to the current eruption of conflict.

Biden and other Western partners have simply been the last weak link in the chain of events over many years.

If only the United States had people of the calibre of Professor John Mearsheimer. He, among other genuine American political thinkers, has warned for several years that the U.S. policy of treacherous enlargement of NATO would eventually lead to conflict with Russia.

Mearsheimer in a recent article also confirms what other sources have adduced, namely that the U.S. and Britain deliberately scuttled the chance for peace with Russia in the early part of the present war. The Biden administration and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sabotaged a putative peace deal that Russia had worked out with Ukraine back in March 2022, only about four weeks into the conflict. The upshot of that sabotage by the U.S. and Britain was nearly two years of catastrophic hostilities and as many as half a million deaths.

Another respected American thinker whose ability and insights are badly missing in the Washington establishment is Jeffrey Sachs. The economist and geopolitical analyst has also repeatedly emphasized, like Mearsheimer, that the U.S. has created the predictable disaster in Ukraine. In a recent interview, Sachs remarked that history is littered with failed U.S. proxy wars, from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Ukraine.

“This is standard operating procedure for the United States,” said Sachs. “The United States always overpromises and oversells,” he says, thereby inciting and prolonging wars and annihilation.

He describes the failure in Ukraine as another “absolutely stupid and avoidable war”.

The infernal trouble, however, is that millions of innocent people pay for this demonic imperial machination.

Regarding the devastation in Ukraine, Jeffrey Sachs makes the eminently logical conclusion: “The U.S. needs to start negotiating like an adult.”

One might add, like an intelligent and morally adjusted, law-abiding adult.

Sachs advocates that Washington must accept Russia’s reasonable terms for a peace settlement in Ukraine. That means no NATO enlargement. The shame is, as noted above, that this was what Russia was offering before the current war erupted, and indeed for many years before that.

Again, the perplexing dilemma is the United States imperial power is anathema to the conduct of such normal, reasonable and law-abiding relations. The U.S. national security state that evolved after the Second World War is built on a hyper-militarized corporate capitalism that does not tolerate any mutual international relations. It is based on zero-sum hegemony. Essentially, it is a rogue state that considers itself above the law. In short, that is the definition of imperialism and fascism.

Recently, the 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy by the U.S. national security state is a stark reminder of the deeply pernicious and dark nature of U.S. imperial power and how it will not brook any challenge or dissent. JFK was executed in broad daylight in Dallas, in 1963, by the imperial deep state in what was in effect a regime-change coup against American democracy to install politicians who would do the bidding of the ruling elite. The ruling elite did not like Kennedy’s detente plans with the Soviet Union. International peace is not profitable for, or compatible with, U.S. capitalist imperialism.

The litany of wars and destruction caused by the United States over the past eight decades is testimony to that barbarous reality. The conformity of the U.S. and Western news media in concealing, or at least playing down, this hideous reality is an object lesson in mass propaganda control. Think about it, why does it seem so controversial to call the United States the world’s biggest terrorist organization when it is so empirically the case? That speaks to the insidious power of Western media perception management.

The death this week of Henry Kissinger has prompted much eulogizing for a “great statesman and diplomat”. Kissinger was neither. He was another American war criminal – albeit a seemingly erudite one – in a crowded crypt of similar American warmongers who held high office in U.S. governments. Kissinger sabotaged a peace deal in Vietnam that could have been possible in 1969 until he relented for expedient calculations in 1973, thereby causing millions of unnecessary deaths. The same modus operandi of instigating unnecessary war and deaths prevails today in U.S. policy, as we have seen in Ukraine. The warmongers come and go, but the policy of criminal destruction remains the same because it serves the core corrupt imperial power.

Deplorably, the miserable mess that is Ukraine is not unique. Unfortunately, it is par for the U.S. imperial course. As long as the fundamental nature of American imperial power remains, the same destructive course will continue.

Mercifully, however, the war-indebted U.S. empire is faltering towards its historic and final demise. Every empire has its day in the sun.

Finally, we may note, post-Second World War U.S. imperial machinations began in Ukraine through the early CIA’s collaboration with defeated Nazism for confronting its erstwhile ally the Soviet Union. In 1945 and subsequent years, Nazi war criminals in Ukraine were recruited to serve Uncle Sam. It was typical treachery. Despite all the Hollywood glamour about defeating Nazi Germany, the U.S. redeployed the Third Reich war machine for its postwar imperial designs. Fittingly, eight decades on, the same territory now spells the end of the American empire.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

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