Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Ukrainian Beartrap: When Simulacra Bites Back

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

“Our entire linear and accumulative culture collapses if we cannot stockpile the past in plain view.”

Jean Baudrillard, The Procession of Simulacra

“I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, “This man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!””

Lewis Mumford

Well dearest motherfuckers, after months of pushing, Putin has finally pushed back and made the mainstream media’s make-believe war in Ukraine a very visceral reality. It took months of poking. Months of prodding. Months of the most relentless propaganda campaign in the sordid history of the Military-Media Industrial Complex. Months of far-flung conspiracy theories, baseless accusations, and nearly weekly predictions of an imminent invasion. A 24/7 news circus of when-not-if. But all that hard work has finally paid off. After spending the better part of four months in a propaganda pressure cooker, Ukraine has finally exploded into total war.

The news faked it until Putin made it and the neocons on the prior’s pay dole couldn’t be more ecstatic if you clamped jumper cables to their nipples and fed them a live puppy. Those expanded cable psychopaths are lined around the block like call-girls of color outside CPAC, waiting for their turn to finally be right about something for a change. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Muammar Gadhafi wasn’t the Devil, but Vladimir Putin has finally invaded Ukraine! If you listen very carefully from any quiet corner of this country, you can hear Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow slapping five and shouting “We did it!” The bastard simulacra of the news machine has finally grown fangs and bitten back. But this heinous thing didn’t start in November. The provocation of Putin’s Russia is the product of a concerted NATO strategy of tension that goes back decades.

In 1989, as the Soviet Union began to circle the drain, then President George HW Bush and Secretary of State James Baker gave Mikhail Gorbachev their solemn word that if the USSR allowed the Berlin Wall to fall then NATO wouldn’t move one inch to the east of the Elbe River. Being the gullible optimist that he was, Gorbachev took these two mincing war criminals at their word and never had it put on paper, but multiple sources on both sides witnessed the promise and the whole world watched it break in 1999 when a military alliance designed for the express purpose of destroying the Evil Empire that had ceased to exist for seven years crossed the Elbe and swallowed up four former members of the Warsaw Pact; Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, whole.

Less than a year later, NATO violently dismembered Russia’s closest ally in Europe, Yugoslavia, and gifted Kosovo to a motley crew of Islamic extremist kidney thieves. The message was frighteningly clear to Russia, NATO lives, and it was on the warpath. That same year, the deeply distrusted Yankee stooge Boris Yeltsin was pushed out for his intransigence and replaced by his more capable dauphin, Vladimir Putin, who had no doubt learned a very harsh lesson from his mentor’s fall from grace. Russia was through with being fucked with and their patience was running thin. Still, NATO’s march east continued.

The early 2000’s were marked by a wave of carefully choreographed uprisings funded by the State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy that put decidedly pro-American neoliberal gangsters in charge of countries across the former Soviet Union, including Georgia with the Rose Revolution of 2003 and Ukraine with the Orange Revolution of 2004-05. Also, in 2004, NATO expanded right to the Russian border with the absorption of seven nations, including three former Soviet republics in the Baltics. American boots were literally on Ivan’s doorstep.

In 2008 things went from bad to worse with the Bucharest Declaration where NATO announced its intention to put both Ukraine and Georgia on the path to full membership. That same year, Georgia launched an unprovoked assault on the ethnic Russian autonomous region of South Ossetia, murdering several Russian peacekeepers in the process. Putin responded with a quick assault on Georgia followed by the recognition of the sovereignty of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This message should have been loud and clear to NATO, there was a new sheriff in town, and he wasn’t respecting prior arrangements. But NATO just kept on pushing.

The beginning of the end came in 2014 with the so-called Maiden Revolution. After the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a shitty economic deal from the EU that would have pulled his nation farther west and excepted a better package from Russia instead, he was subjected to a brutal campaign of media demonization from pro-western cable news oligarchs like future President Petro Poroshenko and violently overthrown by a gang of American backed neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists like Svoboda and Right Sector.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory. Leaked wiretaps revealed phone calls from this time between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and American Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, plotting every last detail of the so-called revolution down to who would fill which cabinet positions, and the aforementioned National Endowment for Democracy openly admits to supplying their Ukrainian collaborators with five billion dollars in aid over the last two decades. For Russia this was one push too far. It was for the ethnic Russian regions that had been unilaterally gifted to Ukraine by the Soviet Union as well.

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