Andre Vltchek: Why the West can never defeat or “forgive” Russia

Global Research, December 18, 2015
New Eastern Outlook 17 December 2015
Russia-1

Historically and intuitively, Russia has fought for the survival of humanity. Of course, things are not always pronounced or defined in such terms. However, already on several occasions, this enormous country has stood up against the most mighty and evil forces that have threatened the very survival of our Planet.

During the Second World War, the Soviet people, mainly Russians, sacrificed at least 25 million men, women and children, in the end defeating Nazism. No other country in modern history has undergone more.

Right after that victory, Russia, alongside China and later Cuba, embarked on the most awesome and noble project of all times: the systematic dismantling of Western colonialism. All over the world oppressed masses stood up against European and North American imperialist barbarity, and it was the Soviet Union that was ready to give them a beacon of hope, as well as substantial financial, ideological and military support.

As one oppressed and ruined nation after another was gaining independence, hatred against the Soviet Union and the Russian people was growing in virtually all the capitals of the Western world. After all, the looting of non-white continents was considered a natural right of the “civilized world”.

In the USA and Europe, such words as “colonialism” and “imperialism” were rapidly gaining extremely negative connotations, or at least on the surface. It would have been counter-productive to attack, to demonize the Soviet Union for supporting liberation struggles in all those continents. Instead, elaborate theories about the “Evil Empire” were erected.

Russia has always been “ in the way”; a colossal country spoiling the brutal plans of Washington, Berlin, London and Paris – plans to control and plunder the entire planet.

But the nobler were its deeds; the more insulting the attacks against it.

Russia always possessed tremendous capacity to mobilize itself, to throw all its resources at achieving one single, humanistic, and deeply moral goal. There has been something sacred in its struggles, something “higher”, and totally essential.

Stand up, enormous country, stand up to a deadly fight!” This is how one of the greatest patriotic songs of the Second World War begins. When Russia fights, then all that matters is victory. No price is too high.

Fate selected Russia to struggle for the entire world. If you don’t believe in “fate”, you will never understand the “Russian soul”. It is not about religion – Russia is mainly anarchic and “atheist”. But it believes in and accepts fate.

Moreover, most of the time Russia has really no choice. It has been faced either with the victory or the end of humanity. And when the world and its survival have been threatened, Russia has always stood up: outraged, frightening but also extremely beautiful in its wrath and determination. It has fought with each pore, each speck of its land, and each heart of its people. It has almost always won, but at a horrific price, burying millions of its sons and daughters, stricken afterwards by indescribable sorrow and pain.

And there was never anyone standing by, to console it. As the fires were still raging, as tears were still covering the faces of mothers and wives who lost their loved ones, the country was spat at, ridiculed and humiliated by the Western Machiavellian regimes and their propaganda.

Its heroism was belittled, its sacrifice mocked. It was repeated that its millions who died for humankind, actually died in vain.

In return for its heroic struggles, Russia never asked for anything, except for two essential things: recognition and respect. It never received either!

*

Now once again, Russia stands up, launching its epic fight against ISIS; that horrendous parody in the Muslim religion – created and armed by the West and its vicious regional lackeys.

Russia had to act. Because if it didn’t, who would? After centuries of Western crusades and the most appalling colonialist practices, there is hardly anything left of the Middle East, this marvelous part of the world, which can only be described as one of the cradles of our civilization. Plundered and humiliated, the Middle East has been reduced to a pathetic mosaic of client states, serving the West. Tens of millions have been murdered. Everything has been plundered. Socialist and secular governments have been cornered and overthrown.

I have worked intensively in this part of the world, and I can testify that save Africa, there is no other area of the world that is so scarred and brutalized by Western greed and barbarism.

Hopeless, mortally injured and desperate, two ancient countries that have been lately suffering the most –Syria and Iraq – approached Russia, asking for its help.

And Russia agreed to help them.

Yes, of course, I can already hear that cacophony of noises coming from Europe and North America about: “Russian interests” and its “sphere of influence”. Because in the West, nothing is, and nothing can be, sacred. Because everything has to be tinted with dark sarcasm and nihilism… If the West is acting like a thug, then the rest of the world has to be portrayed in the same colors and shades. After all, the West does not have allies, it doesn’t have feelings; only interests. I did not invent this; I was told this, again and again, when I lived and worked in destroyed parts of Africa.

But I don’t give a damn what they say in Paris or Washington. What matters is what is said in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. And I will tell you how it is there: if you go to a barber shop there, and you say that you are Russian, people get up, and they embrace you, and some cry!

*

Russia will never attack other countries, but if attacked, its wrath can be horrendous, especially when it is in the middle of fighting a war. “Whoever will come to us with a sword, from a sward they will perish,” proclaimed Alexander Nevsky, the 13th Century Prince of Novgorod.

The recent downing of a Russian bomber over Syria by Turkish Air Forces has increased the danger of a much wider regional war.

Turkey, a NATO member nation, is spreading terror all over the region: from Libya and Somalia, to Iraq, Syria and its own Kurdish territory. It is torturing people, murdering many including journalists, robbing millions of their natural resources, and spreading the most extremist, mainly Qatari-backed, jihadi teachings.

I met Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, many years ago in the early 1990s in Istanbul, when he was the then mayor of the city, and when I was “licking my wounds” in between my writing on how the West was systematically destroying Yugoslavia.

“Do you speak Turkish?” he asked me during one of our meetings.

“Not well”, I replied. “Just a little.”

“But you know perfectly well how to pronounce the name of our party! That shows how important we are.”

From our first meeting, I knew that he was a megalomaniac, a man full of inferiority complexes, and an aggressive scum. I had no idea he would ‘go so far’. He did. Because of him, millions are suffering, all over the region.

Now he has shot down a Russian bomber and invaded Iraq.

Turkey has fought Russia on several occasions, and almost always lost. Then, in between two world wars, it managed to survive only because of the help provided to it by the Soviet Union. Turkey should think twice about its next steps.

Russia does not just ‘fight wars’. Its fights for the survival of mankind are nothing short of an enormous work of art, of poetry or a symphony. It is hard to explain but it is so. Everything is intertwined.

To shoot the Russian SU-24 from behind is like shaking those 25 million who died during the Second World War. It is horrendous, as it is unwise. In Russia, this is not how things are done. You want to fight, then come out and fight, face to face.

But if you kill like a coward, and if you invade neighboring and already devastated countries, you may, one day, find yourself facing not just some SU-24’s, but a bunch of heavy strategic bombers.

*

Russia cannot be defeated. There are many reasons for it. One is pragmatic: it is a nuclear superpower. Another is, because it usually fights for just causes. And it does so with all its might and with its whole heart.

If it were not for Russia, there would be no Planet Earth, at least as we know it. The West and its fascist Christian states would be fully in control of the world. The “un-people”, the “non-whites” would be treated like animals (even worse than they are treated now): there would be no control left, and no boundaries to the theft and destruction.

The so-called “civilized world” (the one that builds its theatres and schools from the rivers of blood and corpses of others) would be marching, unopposed, towards absolute control over the Planet.

Fortunately, Russia exists. And it cannot be defeated. And it will never be defeated. However, it can also never be forgiven by the West, for standing on the side of the wretched of the earth.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  “Fighting Against Western Imperialism Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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Alexander Mercouris: Diplomatic talks in Moscow — a two-part analysis

Posted on Vineyard of the Saker, February 6, 2015

Talks in Moscow – a two-part analysis
by Alexander Mercouris

Part one (On 6th February 2015)
They have apparently continued for 5 hours and are still not finished though it seems some sort of document is being prepared for tomorrow.

Three comments:

1. If negotiations go on for 5 hours that does not suggest a smooth and conflict free discussion.

2. One of the most interesting things about the Moscow talks is that they mainly happened without the presence of aides and officials i.e. Putin, Hollande and Merkel were by themselves save for interpreters and stenographers. Putin and Merkel are known to be masters of detail and given his background as an enarque I presume Hollande also is. However the German and French officials will be very unhappy about this. The Russians less so because since the meeting is taking place in the Kremlin they are listening in to the discussions via hidden microphones.

One wonders why this is happening? Even if the Russian officials are not listening in Merkel and Hollande will assume they are. The fact that Russian officials were not present is therefore less significant than that German and French officials have been barred from the meeting by their respective chiefs, suggesting that Merkel and Hollande do not entirely trust them.

There has been an extraordinary degree of secrecy about this whole episode and it rather looks as if Merkel and Hollande were anxious to stop leaks and to prevent information about the talks from getting out. Presumably this is why their officials were barred from the meeting. From whom one wonders do Merkel and Hollande want to keep details of the meeting secret? From the media? From other members of their own governments? From the Americans? What do they need to keep so secret? The frustration and worry on the part of all these groups must be intense.

3. The fact that the British are excluded from the talks is going down very badly with many people here in London. It has not escaped people’s notice that this is the first major negotiation to settle a big crisis in Europe in which Britain is not involved since the one that ended the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Of course it is largely the fault of the inept diplomacy of Cameron, who has taken such an extreme pro-Ukrainian position that Moscow simply doesn’t see him as someone worth talking to. Also one suspects Merkel and Hollande do not trust Cameron not to leak the whole discussion to whomever they want to keep it from. Having said that it is difficult to see this as anything other than further evidence of Britain’s decline into complete irrelevance. I cannot imagine Thatcher being excluded in this way. If the United Kingdom is indeed in the process of breaking up (and as I suspected the Scottish referendum settled nothing with polls indicating that the SNP may make an almost clean sweep of all the seats in Scotland in the election in May) then the slide into irrelevance still has a long way to go.

Part two (On 7th February 2015)
I am coming increasingly round to the view of Alastair Newman that Merkel and Hollande came with no plan to Moscow but with the purpose of having what diplomats call “a full and frank discussion” in private with Putin looking at all the issues in the one place in Europe – the Kremlin – where they can be confident the Americans are not spying on them. That must be why they sent their officials away.

It is also clear that Merkel’s and Hollande’s visit to Kiev before their flight to Moscow was just for show.

Poroshenko’s officials are insisting that the question of federalisation was not discussed during Poroshenko’s meeting with Hollande and Merkel. Hollande has however now come out publicly to support “autonomy” for the eastern regions i.e. federalisation, which makes it a virtual certainty that in the meeting in Moscow it was discussed. The point is that Merkel and Hollande did not want to discuss federalisation with Poroshenko because they know the junta adamantly opposes the idea and did not want him to veto it before the meeting in Moscow had even begun.

The problem is that since everyone pretends that federalisation is an internal Ukrainian issue to be agreed freely between the two Ukrainian sides, its terms will only be thrashed out once constitutional negotiations between the two Ukrainian sides begin. Since the junta will never willingly agree to federalisation, in reality its form will have to be hammered out in private by Moscow after consultations with the NAF and with Berlin and Paris and then imposed on the junta in the negotiations.

Saying this shows how fraught with difficulty this whole process is going to be.

Not only are there plenty of people in the Donbass who now oppose federalisation (and some in Moscow too I suspect) but this whole process if it is to work would somehow have to get round the roadblock of the Washington hardliners, who will undoubtedly give their full support to the junta as it tries to obstruct a process over which it has a theoretical veto. Frankly, I wonder whether it can be done.

If the process is to have any chance of success then Merkel and Hollande must screw up the courage to do what they failed to do last spring and summer, which is publicly stand up to the hardliners in Washington and Kiev and impose their will upon them. Are they really willing to do that? Given how entrenched attitudes have become over the last few months and given the false position Merkel and Hollande put themselves in by so strongly supporting Kiev, the chances of them pulling this off look much weaker than they did last spring.

I would add a few more points;

1. There is one major difference between the situation now and in the Spring, which might offer some hope of movement.

Anyone reading the Western media now cannot fail but see that there is a growing sense of defeat. Sanctions have failed to work, the Ukrainian economy is disintegrating and the junta’s military is being defeated.

That was not the case last spring, when many in the West had convinced themselves that the junta would win the military struggle with the NAF. The confrontation strategy Merkel opted for in July based on that belief has totally and visibly failed. It is not therefore surprising if she is now looking for a way-out by reviving some of the ideas that were being floated by the Russians in the spring. She now has a political imperative to look for a solution in order to avoid the appearance of defeat, which would leave her position both in Germany and Europe badly weakened. That political imperative was not there in the spring. It is now. In a sense the pressure is now on her.

2. I should stress that it is Merkel who is Putin’s key interlocutor. The reason Hollande is there and appears to be taking the lead is to provide Merkel with cover. The one thing Merkel cannot afford politically is the appearance of a Moscow-Berlin stitch-up that the hardliners in Washington, Kiev, London, Warsaw and the Baltic States will claim is a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to divide Europe into German and Russian spheres of influence. Whether we like it or not in Germany the shadow of Hitler still hangs heavy and exposes Berlin to endless moral blackmail whenever it tries to pursue with Moscow an independent course. That is why Merkel needs Hollande present when she meets Putin for talks of the sort she’s just had in Moscow.

3. One other possible sign of hope is that there is some evidence that a sea-change in European and especially German opinion may be underway.

Whatever the purpose of the ongoing debate in Washington about sending weapons to the junta, whether it is a serious proposal or an attempt to secure diplomatic leverage or a combination of the two, it has horrified opinion in Europe, bringing home to many people there how fundamentally nihilistic US policy has become.

All the talk in the Western media yesterday and this morning is of a split between Europe and the US. That is going much too far. However for the first time there is public disagreement in Europe with Washington on the Ukrainian question. Whether that crystallises into an actual break with Washington leading to a serious and sustained European attempt to reach a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis against Washington’s wishes is an altogether different question. I have to say that for the moment I very much doubt it.

4. I remain deeply pessimistic about this whole process. The best opportunity to settle this conflict diplomatically was last spring. I cannot help but feel that as Peter Lavelle said on the Crosstalk in which I appeared yesterday, the train has now left the station.

A peaceful solution to the Ukrainian conflict ultimately depends on European resolve to face down the hardliners in Washington and Kiev. It is going to be much harder to do this now than it was last year.

Moreover, despite the bad news on the economy and on the front line in Debaltsevo, the hardliners in Kiev are bound to have been emboldened by all the talk in Washington about sending them arms, which is going to make the effort to bring them round even harder than it already is.

The besetting problem of this whole crisis is that the Europeans have never shown either the resolve or the realism to face the hardliners down though it is certainly within their power to do so. In Merkel’s case one has to wonder whether her heart is in it anyway. My view remains that this situation will only be resolved by war, and that the negotiations in Moscow will prove just another footnote to that.

5. If I am wrong and some autonomy really is granted to the Donbass, then I make one confident prediction. This is that the Ukraine will in that case disintegrate even more rapidly than it would have done if federalisation had been agreed upon last spring or summer.

Following such a terrible war, I cannot see people in the Donbass accepting federalisation as anything other than a stepping stone to eventual secession and union with Russia. If the Donbass secures autonomy, I cannot see people in places like Odessa and Kharkov failing to press for an at least equivalent degree of autonomy to that granted to the Donbass. If the Europeans are prepared to see the Donbass achieve autonomy, by what logic can they deny it to the people of Odessa and Kharkov?

More to the point, the November elections showed the emergence of what looks like an increasingly strong potential autonomy or even independence movement in Galicia.

Given that a terrible war has been fought and lost in the east to defeat “separatism” in the Donbass, and given the widespread disillusion with the junta in Kiev, it is difficult to see how many people in Galicia will not feel betrayed if the grant of federalisation to the Donbass is now imposed on them after so many of their men died to prevent it. If in reaction Galicia presses for the same sort of autonomy as the Donbass – which it could well do – then the Ukraine is finished. I doubt it would hold together for more than a few months. If federalisation had been granted last spring or summer before the war began then it is possible – likely even – that the Ukraine could have been held together in a sort of state of suspended animation at least for a while. I don’t think there’s much chance of that now.

 

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