by Caitlin Johnstone
The Washington Post has a new article out bemoaning the fact that Russian military commanders are declining calls from the Pentagon to discuss their operations in Ukraine (I dunno guys, might have something to do with the fact that the US is sharing extensive military intelligence on exactly those operations directly with the Ukrainian government). Tucked all the way down in the eighteenth paragraph of the article, we find a much more interesting revelation: that Washington’s top diplomat has made no attempt to contact his counterpart in Moscow since the war began on the 24th of February.
“Secretary of State Antony Blinken has not attempted any conversations with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, since the start of the conflict, according to U.S. officials,” The Washington Post reports.
So the US government is continuing its policy of refusing to attempt any high-level diplomatic resolutions to this war despite its public hand-wringing about the horrific violence that’s being inflicted upon the people of Ukraine. This revelation fits nicely with a recent report by Bloomberg’s Niall Ferguson that sources in the US and UK governments have told him the real goal of western powers in this conflict is not to negotiate peace or end the war quickly, but to prolong it in order “bleed Putin” and achieve regime change in Moscow.
Building on an earlier report from The New York Times that the Biden administration “seeks to help Ukraine lock Russia in a quagmire,” Ferguson writes that he has reached the conclusion that “the U.S. intends to keep this war going,” and says he has other sources to corroborate this:
“The only end game now,” a senior administration official was heard to say at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime. Until then, all the time Putin stays, [Russia] will be a pariah state that will never be welcomed back into the community of nations. China has made a huge error in thinking Putin will get away with it. Seeing Russia get cut off will not look like a good vector and they’ll have to re-evaluate the Sino-Russia axis. All this is to say that democracy and the West may well look back on this as a pivotal strengthening moment.”
I gather that senior British figures are talking in similar terms. There is a belief that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.” Again and again, I hear such language. It helps explain, among other things, the lack of any diplomatic effort by the U.S. to secure a cease-fire. It also explains the readiness of President Joe Biden to call Putin a war criminal.
Earlier this month when The Intercept’s Ryan Grim was able to get a word in edgewise at a White House press briefing amid the throngs of mass media reporters demanding to know why Biden still hasn’t started World War 3, Press Secretary Jen Psaki gave a very revealing answer.
“So, aside from the request for weapons, President Zelensky has also requested that the U.S. be more involved in negotiations toward a peaceful resolution to the war. What is the U.S. doing to push those negotiations forward?” asked Grim.
“Well, one of the steps we’ve taken — a significant one — is to be the largest provider of military and humanitarian and economic assistance in the world, to put them in a greater position of strength as they go into these negotiations,” Psaki answered, completely dodging the question of whether the US was actually doing anything to help negotiate peace.
As we’ve discussed previously, the U.S. government has a well-documented history of working to draw Moscow into costly military quagmires with the goal of preoccupying its military forces and draining its coffers. Former U.S officials are on record publicly boasting about having done so in both Afghanistan and Syria.
This is an agenda geared toward sapping the Russian government, manufacturing international consent for unprecedented acts of economic warfare designed (though perhaps ineptly) to crush the Russian economy, to foment discord and rebellion, and ultimately to effect regime change in Moscow.
The U.S. empire doesn’t care about Ukrainian lives, and it’s insulting that its operatives continually pretend to. The empire will happily feed every man, woman and child in the entire nation into the mouth of this war if it means unseating a disobedient leader from a nuclear-armed seat of power which has become unacceptably cozy with Beijing and intolerably comfortable with intervening against U.S. imperial agendas. And all the Ukrainian-flag-waving propagandized westerners with their #StandWithUkraine Instagram activism and blue and yellow profile pics will cheer for it every step of the way.
I hope this brutal proxy war ends and peace comes to Ukraine very quickly. But from what we’re seeing today there appears to be an immense globe-spanning power structure holding its foot against the door of the only exit from this horror.