Note: For those in need of some audio stimulation, my appearance on Cotto & Gottfried is now up on iTunes. It is mostly about the state of conservatism.
It has been noted many times now that people in the West have to read American media the same way they used to read the Soviet media. Most of what we get from mainstream sources is the natural propaganda one expects from the toadies and bootlickers that follow every authoritarian regime. Other pieces are planted by regime elements for reasons that are not always obvious. As with Kremlinology a generation ago, regime-ology is something of sport now.
For example, the regime keeps planting these stories about an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine in their favorites outlets. A few days ago this entirely made up report was sprinkled all over regime media. It painted a grim picture of the attack that we are told was happening any minute. Of course, the White House comes out every day and tells the stenographers in the press pool that the Russians will invade Ukraine as soon as tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
Today we have the latest regime scare story written by one of the zombies at their favorite outlet. The point of this story is to embarrass French President Emmanuel Macron who is trying to work out a deal with the Russians. He has been meeting with the parties the last two weeks to put an end to the situation. Unlike the Washington regime, Europe has no interest in war over Ukraine. The Europeans can read a map and they are not insane.
For a long time, it was assumed that the reason for the war drums from Washington was due to so many pols being on the Ukrainian payroll. We know the Biden family has been taking bribes from Ukraine for over a decade. That was one of those interesting stories that arose from the second impeachment of Trump. This tiny little corrupt country in Eurasia had a lot of friends in both political parties. The best sort of friends, the kind that can be bought and will stay bought.
That may be part of it, but it is clear that the Ukrainians have no desire to be the battleground in a new Cold War. For their part, the Russians have made clear they will never tolerate Ukraine in NATO. This should be an easy demand to meet, as no one in NATO, other than the Washington regime, wants Ukraine in NATO. Everyone in Europe understands the reality of Ukraine. It is a hyper corrupt kleptocracy that would be better off turned into a federalized neutral zone.
The other aspect of this is that the stories about the Russian military buildup appear to be mostly fake. The Russians are free to conduct exercises in their own land, which is what they have been doing thus far. They have not been sending weapons or “advisers” to the friendly militias operating in Ukraine. The CIA has been conducting covert operations with friendly militias for a decade now. In other words, this whole thing is one long running color revolution.
That raises the obvious question. If no one in Europe wants a war over Ukraine and the Ukrainians are not interested in a war, what is really going on here? One option is the permanent foreign policy establishment is infested with paranoids who wake in the middle of the night to the sound of hoofbeats. That has been an amusing line for years, but it would be a terrifying reality. Is the Ukraine mess really the result of deranged fanatics operating in the Washington foreign policy establishment?
Another less terrifying option is energy. The one thread that ties the foreign policy misadventures of the last thirty years together is energy. Russia has partnered with Iran and Syria because of energy. If they can control of natural gas out of the Middle East into Europe, that gives them leverage. Nord Stream 2 is a regular topic for the regime media, so it is fair to assume that the regime is worried about it. In this context, Ukraine is just a convenient cat’s paw in a larger geopolitical game.
What the regime is hoping for is an invasion of Ukraine that would then force the Europeans, especially the Germans, to kill Nord Stream 2. The Russians would remain the primary supplier of natural gas to Europe, but they would not become the exclusive supplier of energy. If Nord Stream 2 comes online Washington loses most of its leverage over Europe with regards to Russia. This is why they are so committed to this narrative about a Russian invasion. It has to happen.
The problem with this scenario is that it is too late to kill Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is complete and filled with gas. The last step in the project is for Germany to start using the gas and pay the Russians for it. No sane person can imagine a scenario in which this project is shut down. Even an invasion of Ukraine by Russia would only delay the opening of the pipeline. The Germans want the gas, the Russians want to sell it to them, so that deal will be consummated no matter what.
One interesting side bar to this is that the regime is certain they can jawbone the Russians into invading Ukraine. They also seem to think they can convince the world that a war is imminent. It is one of those examples where the regime reveals how disconnected they are from reality. Exactly no one seems to be falling for this disinformation campaign, especially the Russians. Yet the regime keeps running these stories in their media as if they are working.
As was the case with Kremlinology, we are left with our best guesses as to why the Washington regime is hyper-aggressive toward Russia. It could simply be cultural momentum within the foreign policy establishment. No one inside the regime knows why they have to talk about Russia as the great villain. It has just been the way it has always been. No one questions it, so the cultural inertia inside the system just keeps pushing the political class into confrontation with Russia.
That is the problem with closed regimes like we have in Washington. No one can see inside to figure out what is happening. Everyone inside sees everyone outside as a possible enemy, so no one talks candidly about what is happening. Everything operates inside of a black box. No one sees in and no one sees out. To the outside the world, the regime looks increasingly paranoid and dangerous. Eventually, it burns through its legitimacy and we arrive at a Ceausescu moment.
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