March 16, 2014
© Photo: Public domain
Why would the United States run the risk of siding with anti-Semitic, neo-Nazis in Ukraine?
One of the keys may be found by looking back at Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard in which he wrote, “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”
“However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”
The former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and top foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama, Brzezinski wrote that US policy should be “unapologetic” in perpetuating “America’s own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still.”
Brzezinski delved into the importance of little known Ukraine by explaining in his 1997 book, “Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location… which in some cases gives them a special role in either defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player.”
“Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey and Iran play the role of critically important geopolitical pivots,” he wrote in The Grand Chessboard, a book viewed by many as a blueprint for US world domination.
Brzezinski wrote that Eurasia is “the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played,” and that “it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America.”
Understanding Brzezinski’s long-term view of Ukraine makes it easier to comprehend why the US has given $5 billion to Ukraine since 1991, and why today it is hyper-concerned about having Ukraine remain in its sphere of influence.
It may also help explain why in the past year the US and many of its media outlets have feverishly demonized Vladimir Putin.
By prominently highlighting the mistreatment of activist group Pussy Riot, incessantly condemning Russia’s regressive position on gay rights, and excessively focusing on substandard accommodations at the Sochi Olympic Games, the Obama administration has cleverly distracted the public from delving into US support of the ultra-nationalist, neo-Nazi factions of the Ukrainian opposition, and has made it palatable for Americans to accept the US narrative on Ukraine.
Interestingly enough, it was Brzezinski who first compared Putin to Hitler in a March 3 Washington Post Editorial. Hillary Clinton followed-up the next day with her comments comparing the two, followed by John McCain and Marco Rubio who on March 5 agreed with Clinton’s comments comparing Putin and Hitler. Apparently Brzezinski still continues to influence US political speak.
In his book, Brzezinski contends that “America stands supreme in the four decisive domains of global power: militarily… economically… technologically… and culturally.”
While this may have been accurate in 1997, it can be argued that today, other than militarily, the US no longer reigns supreme in these domains.
So late last year when Ukraine’s now-ousted president Viktor Yanukovych surprisingly canceled plans for Ukrainian integration into the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Russia, the US may have viewed Ukraine as slipping even further out of its reach.
At that point, with the pieces already in place, the US moved to support the ousting of Yanukovych, as evidenced by the leaked phone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. When peaceful protests were not effective in unseating Yanukovych, the violence of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party and Right Sector was embraced, if not supported by the west.
In today’s Ukraine, the US runs the risk of being affiliated with anti-Semitic neo-Nazis, a prospect it probably feels can be controlled via a friendly western media. But even if the risk is high, the US likely views it as necessary given the geopolitical importance of Ukraine, as Brzezinski mapped out in 1997.
Chris Ernesto is co-founder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages OccupyArrests.com and USinAfrica.com.
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.