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Russia is not the Problem

Can Putin’s Diplomacy Prevail Over Washington’s Coercion?

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is trying to save the world from war.  We should all help him.

Yesterday Putin’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov reported that President Putin has asked the Russian legislature to repeal the authorization to use force that was granted in order to protect residents of former Russian territories that are currently part of Ukraine from the rabid Russophobic violence that characterizes Washington’s stooge government in Kiev.

Washington’s neoconservatives are jubilant. They regard Putin’s diplomacy as a sign of weakness and fear, and urge stronger steps that will force Russia to give back Crimea and the Black Sea naval base.

Inside Russia, Washington is encouraging its NGO fifth columns to undercut Putin’s support with propaganda that Putin is afraid to stand up for Russians and has sold out

Ukraine’s Russian population. If this propaganda gains traction, Putin will be distracted by street protests. The appearance of Putin’s domestic weakness would embolden

Washington. Many members of Russia’s young professional class are swayed by Washington’s propaganda. Essentially, these Russians, brainwashed by US propaganda, are aligned with Washington, not with the Kremlin.

Putin has placed his future and that of his country on a bet that Russian diplomacy can prevail over Washington’s bribes, threats, blackmail, and coercion.  Putin is appealing to Western Europeans. Putin is saying, “I am not the problem.  Russia is not the problem. We are reasonable. We are ignoring Washington’s provocations. We want to work things out and to find a peaceful solution.”

Washington is saying: “Russia is a threat.  Putin is the new Hitler. Russia is the enemy. NATO and the US must begin a military buildup against the Russian Threat, rush troops and jet fighters to Eastern European NATO bases on Russia’s frontier. G-8 meetings must be held without Russia. Economic sanctions must be put on Russia regardless of the damage the sanctions do to Europe.”  And so forth.

Putin says: “I’m here for you. Let’s work this out.”

Washington says: “Russia is the enemy.”

Putin knows that the UK is a complete vassal puppet state, that Cameron is just as bought-and-paid-for as Blair before him.  Putin’s hope for diplomacy over force rests on Germany and France.  Both countries face Europe’s budget and employment woes, and both countries have significant economic relations with Russia. German business interests are a counterweight to the weak Merkel government’s subservience to Washington.  Washington has stupidly angered the French by trying to steal $10 billion from France’s largest bank. This theft, if successful, will destroy France’s largest bank and deliver France to Wall Street.

If desire for national sovereignty still exists in the German or French governments, one or both could give the finger to Washington and publicly declare that they are unwilling for their country to be drawn into conflict with Russia for the sake of Washington’s Empire and the financial hegemony of American banks.

Putin is betting on this outcome.  If his bet is a bad one and Europe fails not only Russia but itself and the rest of the world by accommodating Washington’s drive for world hegemony, Russia and China will have to submit to Washington’s hegemony or be prepared for war.

As neither side can afford to lose the war, the war would be nuclear.  As scientists have made clear, life on earth would cease, regardless of whether Washington’s ABM shield works.

This is why I oppose Washington’s policies and speak out against the arrogance and hubris that define Washington today.  The most likely outcome of Washington’s pursuit of world hegemony is the extinction of life on earth.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.