Putin Stands Up to London's
by Jeffrey Steinberg
March 16—As anticipated, today's referendum in Crimea on secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia passed by an overwhelming majority. According to exit polls, 93% voted in favor of reunion with Russia, with a voter turnout of over 75%. This included a 40% turnout from Tatar minority voters, who make up about 12% of the Crimean population.
As former Reagan Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman noted in a recent statement, Crimea has been an historic part of Russia, dating back to 1783, when Catherine the Great annexed the peninsula. Under the Tsars and Soviet Commissars, Crimea remained a part of Russia for the next 166 years, during which time, the Black Sea ports of Crimea became the only Russian naval access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
The big strategic question now is whether, under desperate prodding from the British Crown and its White House puppet Barack Obama, the United States will go ahead with a strategic confrontation against Russia that could quickly lead to military conflict, and even a thermonuclear war of extinction. A number of top strategic thinkers, from Lyndon LaRouche, to Prof. John Mearsheimer, to economist Paul Craig Roberts, to defense analyst Loren Thompson, have argued in recent days that the United States has no strategic interest in the Crimea situation or the larger Russia-Ukraine showdown—certainly no strategic interest that rises to the threshold of risking thermonuclear war (see Documentation).
But with Obama still in the White House, the danger of just such a Global Showdown is imminent. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are out of session, putting the potential for impeachment proceedings against President Obama on hold for the next ten days. That is not an insignificant factor, given the imminent showdown over Ukraine.
On Friday, March 15, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in London for over six hours. Kerry flew right back to Washington to brief the National Security Council on the talks. President Obama did not attend the session. Kerry reported that there was no breakthrough on the Crimea situation, but the two had discussed a number of other areas of mutual concern as well—including the P5+1 talks with Iran, the Syria crisis, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The two will meet in the coming days again, following the Crimea referendum. Kerry failed to get a clear commitment from Lavrov that Russia would not annex Crimea and would not make further interventions to protect the lives of Russian nationals in eastern Ukraine.
While Obama Administration officials and even Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), just back from a "fact-finding" visit to Ukraine, say that there is no military option for dealing with a potential Russian annexation of Crimea, a U.S. battleship extended manuevers in the Black Sea near the Crimean coast, and a U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer armed with Aegis missile defense systems, has left port, its destination still unknown. The U.S. has deployed a dozen F-16 fighters to Poland, along with AWACS surveillance planes and 300 servicemen; and a similar expanded deployment of U.S. Air Force assets has been dispatched to the Baltics. This buildup, accompanying the bellicose rhetoric of President Obama, has heightened the danger of a confrontation.
Beyond the Ukraine Flashpoint
The reality of the crisis is not to be found, however, in the Ukraine-Russia dispute per se. The driving factor behind the looming thermonuclear confrontation is the fact that the trans-Atlantic financial system—the London-Wall Street system—is hopelessly and irreversibly bankrupt. To even maintain the massive financial bubble and delay a hyperinflationary blowout of the system, new avenues of looting must be opened without delay.
This is where Ukraine comes in. The wealth center of the planet is now Eurasia, particularly the Asia-Pacific region subsuming Russia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea. That is the target of London oligarchs, and Ukraine is the crucial stepping-stone to the wealth of the East. London and its Anglo-Dutch and Obama/Wall Street allies have been pushing for Putin to capitulate on Ukraine. The events of this weekend make clear that Putin is not about to cave in to London's bluffs.
By going ahead with the Crimea referendum, and refusing to telegraph his next moves, Putin has put London in a precarious position. It must either capitulate and face the consequences of the bankruptcy of their system, or go for a U.S.-instigated global showdown that would likely lead to thermonuclear war. Only the most desperate and insane elements within the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy truly believe that they can survive an all-out thermonuclear showdown. Yet, their actions are driving the world to precisely such a showdown moment.
As LaRouche emphasized in his March 14 international webcast, the only option now is for Obama to be impeached. By taking London's finger off the nuclear-war trigger, war can be averted. Diplomatic channels between Moscow and Washington can resolve the outstanding issues—but only if Obama is removed from office. It is the threat of World War III that has finally led a number of Congressional Democrats to publicly break with Obama over his repeated Constitutional violations, which have gone well beyond the high crimes and misdemeanors that warrant impeachment.
Russian media have clearly recognized that LaRouche represents the voice of sanity and war avoidance inside the United States. In the past week, LaRouche and a number of his colleagues have been featured on Russian news reports on the Crimea crisis.
War on Russia, Nazi Escalation
In the immediate days ahead, both the United States and the European Union are expected to impose harsh sanctions against targeted Russian officials and business interests to punish them for the expected Crimean annexation. Sanctions, it should be clear, are an act of war.
Western officials, starting with President Obama, have systematically refused to acknowledge that an illegal coup was carried out in Kiev in late February—with full Western backing for a network of unrepentant neo-Nazis, who trace their roots back to the Stepan Bandera movement of the 1930s and '40s, which carried out mass killings of Russians, Jews, and Poles, in close alliance with Hitler.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (dubbed "Yats" by Obama State Department hand Victoria Nuland) has announced his government's plan to legalize and incorporate Right Sector, Svoboda, and other neo-Nazi thugs into Ukraine's official military forces, through the creation of a 20,000-strong National Guard. "It will have training centers; legal weapons will be distributed," Yats stated. "You will have the opportunity to defend the country, with the forces of the National Guard and the security forces."
Meanwhile, with full backing from Washington, London, and the EU, the Ukrainian Nazis are escalating within Ukraine, creating a reign of terror in an expanding number of areas, particularly in the East. Clashes provoked by Nazi gangs—who also have their representatives in the Yatsenyuk government—have killed a number of people in the cities of Donetsk and Kharkio, and resulted in the imprisonment of the leaders of those resisting the Nazi takeover.
Leading the charge is the neo-Nazi Right Sector group, whose militants Yatsenyuk has agreed to integrate into Ukraine's defense forces. The unit of Right Sector involved in the Kharkov was Ukrainian Patriot, which, for many years, has worked to build up capabilities in southern and eastern Ukraine. It was founded in 1999 as an arm of the Social-Nationalist Party of Ukraine, the future Svoboda party, by Andriy Parubiy, the man who was Commandant of the Maidan during the February coup, and who now chairs the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council.
Parubiy left both Svoboda and Right Sector in 2004, but continued to show up at court hearings to post bail for Ukrainian Patriot members as recently as in 2012. The Ukrainian Patriot figure reportedly leading the current Kharkov operation, Andriy Biletsky, had been arrested in December 2011 for armed assault on a political foe, and was convicted, but was released from prison under one of the amnesties forced through the Supreme Rada this year during the Euromaidan coup.
Both Russian President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov have used numerous diplomatic exchanges with American and European officials to urge that they help put an end to the rampage by right-wing thugs in eastern Ukraine, which are targeting the Russian-speaking population, in particular. The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointedly warned on March 15 that "Russia is receiving numerous requests to defend civilians. These requests will be considered."
A March 15 Foreign Ministry statement put it this way: "Guerrillas, including from Right Sector, are continuing to rampage in Ukraine. Alarming information has been received about movement of a column of armed Right Sector mercenaries out of Kharkov in the direction of Donetsk and Luhansk.... During their meeting in London on March 14, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov drew the attention of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry to the danger of the Supreme Rada's decisions legitimizing Right Sector and other radicals through bringing them into law enforcement bodies such as the National Guard."
Obama Must Go
Yet, the Obama Administration—notably including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who was photographed handing out cookies to militants in the Maidan—continues to aggressively defend these neo-Nazis, and to escalate a confrontation with Russia. In the face of that insanity, LaRouchePAC last week added an intense media barrage to its campaign for Obama's impeachment, which flooded Washington, D.C., during the week of March 10, with a statement by LaRouche that exposed Obama's support for the Nazi coup in Ukraine, as well as his other offenses against the Constitution ([[http://larouchepac.com/jaccuse]]).
When Yatsenyuk, the Jewish-Scientologist rump Prime Minster of Ukraine, traveled to Washington that same week to meet with President Obama at the White House, he cancelled a scheduled public appearance at the National Press Club, likely out of fear that he would be confronted about the large number of neo-Nazis in his Interim Cabinet.
While no one contests that Crimea is now fully in process of being integrated back into Russia, the big question is whether British tool Obama will escalate against Putin and Russia, and bring the world ever closer to thermonuclear confrontation and extinction. The only real option, as LaRouche has repeatedly stated in recent weeks, is Obama's ouster, combined with the immediate reinstatement of Glass-Steagall full bank separation—an action that would bankrupt London and Wall Street once and for all.