US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has a way of periodically saying things that can applied right back at him. During his recent meeting in Kiev, Blinken declared that Ukraine will exist longer than Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a follow-up, Putin stands a good chance to maintain his post after Joe Biden and Blinken leave the White House.
Across the geopolitical spectrum, there’s a low regard for the prospect of dramatically improved US-Russian relations. There’s a foundation to not rule out a noticeable change for the better, which could happen sooner than some expect. It doesn’t seem likely that Biden will serve more than one term as president. Although evident, the neocon/neolib influence among Republicans isn’t as great when compared to the Democrats.
In an April 22 Katie Halper-Aaron Mate podcast, former US Marine and ex-UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter said (at the 53:12 mark) that Biden could get reelected and nominated for a Noble Peace Prize, if he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the war with Russia is over, with no more arms going to the Kiev regime. Simultaneously, Biden could then agree with Russia on a neutral Ukraine and a new Euro-Atlantic security arrangement with Moscow. There’s also the matter of rebuilding the damaged infrastructure on the territory of the former Ukrainian SSR.
Ritter’s proposal can be sold on the premise that the parasitic proxy war in Ukraine has harmed the global economy. This belief has some obstacles. Biden and the people around him are very much ingrained in the faulty neocon/neolib foreign policy outlook, which has become more hellbent on weakening Russia, even if it brings misery to numerous others (Americans included) around the world.
Likewise, an extreme lack of culture has developed with the unprecedented anti-Russian measures undertaken, including the collective punishment (bigotry) against Russians in sports and entertainment. There’s no Western establishment advocacy banning Ukrainians for the corrupt neo-Nazi influenced Kiev regime carnage in Donbass over the past eight years. Americans and Israelis weren’t banned when their respective nation killed many civilians in other countries in the not-too-distant historical past.
So there’s no misunderstanding, I don’t support collective punishment. BTW, Wimbledon allowed for white South Africans to compete during the apartheid period.
Barack Obama as president was against arming Ukraine. In comparison, Biden has been akin to the overly provocative anti-Russian stance taken by the late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain.
At present, Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appear to be the leading contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Trump and DeSantis don’t exhibit the neocon/neolib foreign policy zeal. At issue is whether Trump and DeSantis will battle each other or work together during the primaries? Perhaps they compete against one another, followed by the loser of the two backing the winner. It’s also possible that one or both don’t run. Given the past course of US election politics, there’s plenty of time to see someone else getting the Republican nod for the presidency.
In preparing for this article, I was pleasantly surprised to come across the suggestion of Tulsi Gabbard as DeSantis’ running mate. The mention of such meshes well with the valid belief that the basis to oppose the neocon/neolib foreign policy slant hasn’t dwindled.
As said by some others besides myself, Zelensky’s popularity rating among Americans could very well end up going the way of Michael Avenatti. (I also recall the diminished national stature of Chris Christie, Cory Booker and the Cuomo brothers.) In the long run, the levels of corruption, undemocratic manner and neo-Nazi influence in Kiev regime-controlled Ukraine can’t be so easily covered up.
Conversely, post-Soviet Russia isn’t the reincarnation of the Soviet Union, or something else that’s overly sinister. Like many if not most conflicts, the Russia-Ukraine situation isn’t (in reality) a simple good guy/bad guy comic book imagery, as depicted in much of Western mass media.
Regarding armed conflict, I’ve been fond of saying: one or more wrongs don’t make a right, with hypocrisy not being a virtue. (As a sidebar, compare Biden’s demonization of Putin, relative to the US president’s positive comments about Madeleine Albright.) A war is less legitimate when the attacker doesn’t have an especially good rationale (as far as wars go) for taking that route. When assessing the circumstances, this very issue can be debatable.
Within the commentariat, there’s the opinion that Putin was goaded into attacking Ukraine and that he could’ve avoided taking the bait. Putting aside military strategy and with the famous Clausewitz quote in mind (about war being the continuation of politics/diplomacy by other means), what could Putin have done differently?
Had Russia not initiated its “special military operation”, the Kiev regime’s NATO ties would probably become more enhanced, along with a greater threat to the Donbass rebels and the neo-Nazi factor in Ukraine. For years, post-Soviet Russia has peacefully sought a new Euro-Atlantic security arrangement and for the Kiev regime to implement the 2015 UN approved Minsk Protocol, calling for a negotiated Donbass autonomy within Ukraine.
Trump recently said that the Russian military action could’ve been avoided and the settlement option now is something different from what was previously more likely within reason. Trump’s presidency saw the US arming the Kiev regime. At the same time, Trump has never (at least from what I’ve seen) goaded for a Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In a recent PBS segment, Marie Yovanovitch, a former US ambassador to Ukraine (fired by Trump), suggested that as president, Trump would’ve diplomatically averted a Russia-Ukraine war. Yovanovitch added this wouldn’t have been a good thing. For Yovanovitch and some others, the specter of Russians and Ukrainians killing each other with the latter taking the brunt seems more agreeable than the non-violent route of pushing for the implementation of the 2015 UN approved Minsk Protocol (calling for a Donbass autonomy within Ukraine) and guaranteeing Ukraine will not become a NATO beachhead.
The manner of people like Biden, Yovanovitch and Zelensky, did little if anything to dissuade the Russian military action. As noted by Trump, Russia has revised objectives. Specifically, a recognition of Donbass’ independence and Crimea’s reunification with Russia, along with a militarily neutral Ukraine. The longer the armed conflict can lead to further revised settlement conditions to the greater detriment of the Kiev regime.
Biden’s low poll numbers and the faulty Kiev regime narrative are paving the way for a possible repeat of history of sorts – once again emphasizing that post-Soviet Russia isn’t the Soviet Union. Republican President Richard Nixon’s administration saw an improvement in Moscow-Washington relations when compared to the Democratic predecessor Lyndon Johnson. The same was evident with Republican President Ronald Reagan, relative to the outgoing Democratic Jimmy Carter administration.
Instances like the debunked Russiagate hoax and Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter serve to challenge Deep State trouble making, in conjunction with the potential for a better understanding of mainstream Russian views.
Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic.