By Guy Mettan for Arret Sur Info
Translated from French by Patrick Le Bretton
Guy Mettan is a brave journalist, author and Director of the Press Club in Geneva. When I was due to talk there about the White Helmets in 2017, he came under attack from multiple UN officials and agencies and his funding was withdrawn temporarily (later reinstated). We were forced to organise security for the talk because monitors of terrorist chatter in Switzerland had picked up the potential for attacks. Regardless, Guy went ahead with the talk in defiance of all the pressure to cancel. Here is his brave take on the Russian military operation:
In troubled times, when no one knows what is going on and packs of indignants and pseudo-experts overwhelm the public space with pathos and idle theories, it is necessary to return to the fundamentals. In this case, in Montesquieu. Who said two important things. The first is that in matters of war one should not confuse the apparent causes with the root causes, and the second that one should not confuse those who triggered it with those who made it inevitable.
For the vast majority of the public and media intoxicated by decades of anti-Russian propaganda and for tv-set experts who have forgotten any strategic culture, the case of this war is heard: Putin is crazy. He is insane, paranoid, isolated in his Kremlin, a war criminal, a satrap sold to the oligarchs, a cynical megalomaniac who dreams of restoring the empire of the tsars, a reincarnation of Ivan the Terrible, an unbalanced and capricious dictator who attacked for no reason an innocent nation led by a democratic and courageous president supported by virtuous Europeans. The framework thus set – the Great Bad Guys on one side, the Good Guys on the other – the narrative of the war can unfold: the Russians bombed Babi Yar and a nuclear power plant, they massacre civilians, genocide is underway while the Ukrainians resist heroically.
This is the media leitmotiv for the past fortnight. It is indeed possible that Putin is crazy and that putinism is the cause of the war. But it’s not sure. It could be that, on the contrary, Putin is very rational, or at least as rational as those who have attacked, starved and devastated Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq (twice), Serbia (twice), Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, Yemen (among others) in recent decades at the cost of hundreds of thousands of deaths. It could be, for example, that Putin intervened in Ukraine because, the West had closed all diplomatic options (implementation of the Minsk agreements, non-accession of Ukraine to NATO), thus he had no other choice if he wanted to prevent Russia from being dismembered and turned into an American colony.
Without going back to Ukraine, the « historical and religious cradle » of Russia, the root cause of this war traces back to 1997 when Zbigniew Brezinski, the most influential adviser to American presidents for thirty years, published his book “The Great Chessboard”, in which he explained that the strategic goal of the United States is to seize Ukraine and dismember Russia to break its power in Europe and prevent it from joining Germany. 1997 was also the year in which the first phase of this plan was set up with the entry into NATO of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary…
Since then, events have followed one another. In 1999, Serbia was bombed by NATO in violation of international law. In 2004, the second wave of NATO’s expansion to the East took place, coinciding with the color revolutions designed to isolate Russia from its close neighbors (Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004, Kyrgyzstan 2005). In 2008 in Bucharest, NATO invited Ukraine and Georgia to join before giving Saakashvili the green light to attack South Ossetia on the night of 8 August. In 2014, the Maidan revolt was turned into a putsch with the help of neo-Nazi militias who shot at police officers and accused the legitimate government before overthrowing it with the support of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria « Fuck the EU » Nuland, who installed a new regime in the pay of the United States with Arseniy Yatsenyuk and then Petro Poroshenko. [Details of NATO’s strategy and evidence of the February 2014 coup can be found on the video: « Watch : Mearsheimer and McGovern on Ukraine », Consortium News].
The day after the coup, the Russian language was banned and Ukrainian became a mandatory language for the administrations, the shops, etc. This provoked the annexation of Crimea and the uprising of Donbass. Since then, the army and far-right battalions that have plagued the Ukrainian administration at all levels have besieged Donbass at the cost of thousands of mostly Russian-speaking deaths (14,000 dead in total).
Since 2015, most of the Ukrainian army and the neo-Nazi battalions Azov, Aidar and Pravy Sektor have been massed in the Donbass, raising fears of a full-fledged assault at any time, as well as in the strategic cities of Odessa, Mariupol and Kharkiv (hence the resistance of these cities to the Russian army, with neo-Nazi battalions refusing to release civilians and using them as human shields). This strategy of the Ukrainian Trojan horse was officially confirmed in 2019 with the report of the Rand Corporation (an offshoot of the Pentagon) which, thirty years after the end of the Cold War, again designated Russia as the main strategic enemy of the United States and evaluated the cost/benefit of the various American options on this subject.
In 2020, the escalation of tensions is being held back by covid and the US election campaign. Then events get heated in 2021 with the inauguration of Joe Biden, who played a pivotal role with John McCain in the Maidan putsch, and whose son Hunter did juicy business in Kiev during the Poroshenko era. A downward spiral begins:
- March 17, 2021: Biden calls President Putin a killer • March 18/19, 2021: Blinken and Sullivan try to dissuade the Chinese from allying with Russia • March 24, 2021: Zelensky says he will retake Crimea and Donbass • March 25: Russia begins gathering troops near the Ukrainian border • April 13: Biden recalls his warships in the Black Sea and calls Putin to propose a summit in Geneva • June 16: Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, without result • December 15: Putin and Xi Jinping say their alliance goes beyond an alliance. On the same day, Russia proposed two peace treaties to the United States and demanded a written response (to avoid falling into the trap of the oral commitments given to Gorbachev in 1991). Ukrainian drones are fired at civilian populations in Donbass and near Crimea. The Russians are massing their troops.
- February 4: Putin and Xi Jinping claim that their friendship has no limits and that there is no forbidden area of cooperation between China and Russia.
- February 7-12: French and German mediations fail, because neither Macron nor Scholz are willing/able to convince Zelensky to implement the Minsk agreements, the last chance for peace. • February 24: The Russians launch their military operations in Ukraine to « denazify, demilitarize and neutralize » the country.
But the protection of Donbass and the neutralization of Ukraine are only the most visible causes of the conflict. The second set of causes, and by far the most important, relates to the balance of strategic forces and the doctrine of mutually assured destruction in the event of a nuclear attack. This balance of terror would have been de facto biased in favor of the West in the event of militarization or Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Indeed, once Ukraine fell into Western military orbit, NATO would have installed its nuclear weapons there as in Poland and Romania, placing Moscow five minutes away from total destruction and preventing it from retaliating with equivalent nuclear fire and likely to annihilate Europe and the United States in return.
This scenario would have ruined Russia’s independence and sovereignty. Just as the installation of Russian nuclear rockets in Cuba or Mexico would destroy the ability of the United States to defend itself and force it to submit to Moscow’s will. Since Russia does not benefit from an early warning system like the United States, it is particularly exposed. And it feels all the more threatened as the United States has unilaterally denounced nuclear treaties INF (2019) and Open Sky (2020) that guaranteed a certain security and maintained a strategic dialogue. Under these conditions, the establishment of a buffer zone between Russia and US nuclear missiles in Europe – Ukraine and Georgia in this case – became an existential issue for the Russians.
This cause, which is never explained in the media and by Western politicians because it would highlight their aggressiveness and desire for hegemony, was the triggering factor of the war. It also explains why powers such as China, India and even Pakistan remain neutral, even favorable to Moscow. For China, the stakes are very clear. If Ukraine falls into Western hands and Russia is weakened or even loses this war, China knows it has no illusions: it will be next on the list. And without a Russian ally, Beijing would be in a very bad position because it would find itself surrounded on all sides. We also understand better why Taiwan is of such vital importance to China…
As for India, with a population of a billion and a half; who does not even have a permanent seat on the Security Council while France and Great Britain have two with ten times fewer citizens, it cannot bring itself to be marginalized by a total victory of the West. Non-alignment is a matter of honor and geopolitical survival for her.
Seen in this light, the battle for Ukraine takes another dimension. This is nothing less than a war for world supremacy, with some seeking to restore their complete hegemony while vassalizing Europe, while others are fighting for a multipolar world. A new version of the centuries-old struggle of the white world against the coalition of Blacks, Colored and Yellows. This would explain why the 40 Asian, African and Latin American countries that supported or refrained from sanctioning Russia in the UNITED Nations vote, and representing 4.5 billion human beings, are watching the spectacle from afar and with the secret hope that Russia will win its tug-of-war. They know the taste for bombs, assassinations and dictatorships imposed by foreign powers. They have come to know the rapacity, greed and cynicism of a West that has oppressed them for centuries in the name of civilization, democracy and human rights, but does the opposite when its interests are at stake.
They know that what awaits them is a century of neo-colonialism under the pretext of the struggle for freedom. They saw how Europe, which gargles with humanism, welcomed with open arms Ukrainians « white, Christian and dressed in the same clothes as us » by offering them free train tickets, and closed its doors to Nigerian, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Afghan, Syrian students who sought to flee the fighting (see on this subject the tribune of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, Ukraine and World War III, L’Obs, March 1, 2022). They saw Africans drown in the Mediterranean while barricaded against them. They saw how the Europeans, who gave them lessons in pacifism and ecology, did not hesitate to betray their commitments to rearm Germany with tens of billions of euros, delivere tons of weapons to Ukraine and buy shale gas and American fracking oil when they vilified them a few months earlier. They watch carefully as the new Gauleiter of cultural purity and inclusive European morality banish musicians, writers and performers, the Tchaikovsky, Dostoievsky, Valery Gergiev, Anna Netrebko from universities and concert halls, even the disabled from the Paralympic Games and cats from international beauty pageants!
This is the price of war. It ruins the vanquished but also the soul of the victors, assuming they win and still have one…