Between the east and west of the Ukraine lies a historical highway, paved in unspeakable barbarism and blood. To the west it traverses the blood soaked black earth of the Ukrainian breadbasket where Stalin's most heinous crime was committed--the savage liquidation of several million independent and enterprising peasants known as Kulaks. To the east it tracks the scorched earth route of Hitler's Wehrmacht on its way to Stalingrad and the most barbaric military assault ever launched on the civilian population of a major city.
And along this path of misery and carnage there are even more remainders of historic atrocities and resultant motives of revenge. The west of the Ukraine gave rise to the pro-Nazi fifth column of Stepan Bandera and his legions of collaborators. The latter joined Hitler's campaign to exterminate Stalingrad and murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles while at the main business of killing the hated Russians.
But in the east the Russian population has its own reasons to deeply fear the Ukrainian nationalist coup in Kiev. And its not just because the latter immediately tried to abolish Russian as an official language and not even because the easterners have memories of the Banderite/Ukrainian complicity in Hitler's assault on the motherland. Nor is it even because of outrageous provocations like that of the the braided lady, Ms. Tymoshenko, who emerged from prison at the time of the coup averring that 8 million Russian speaking citizens of her country "should be nuked".
In fact, many of the Russians in the east---perhaps millions---are descendants of interlopers. That is, they were Russian recruits brought into the Donbass by Stalin's brutal forced-march industrialization of the east during the 1930s. The Kremlin tyrant's purpose was to insure that the coal and steel belt of the Soviet empire was manned by reliable arms and backs---workers who were also pleased to be bequeathed the homes, possessions, villages and factories that belonged to native Ukrainians, Tartars, Poles and others minorities who were sent to the gulag.
And that's only the recent history. For centuries the territories now encompassed by the Ukraine's most recent borders (1994) have amounted to little more than meandering boundaries forever in search of a redrawn map. That was partially owing to its position as a battle ground among a constantly shifting clash of empires including the Golden Horde, Lithuanians, Poles, The Crimean Khanate, Ottoman's, The Russian Tsardom and Austrians, among others; and because owing to those struggles it inevitably became a cauldron of ethnic conflict among the Cossacks, Poles, Lithuanians, Ruthenians, Tartars, Russians, Turkmen and countless more.
Moreover, in more recent times it did not require great powers of observation to see that there was no point whatsoever in meddling in the hopeless mess that materialized on Russia's border. The fact is, in its post-Soviet incarnation the Ukraine had become a pathetically failed state. Its economic lifeblood had been sucked dry by a true vampire squid---the posse of about 40 oligarchs who literally stole the steel mills, coal mines, foundries, metal-works, fertilizer plants, chemical works and even chocolate factories that the Soviet state had left behind.
And that is to say nothing of the fact that this plundered land now is crisscrossed with Gazprom pipelines. These winding tubes of steel are vital to the western European economies and provide up to 30% of supply in Germany and Italy--- and at the same time are the national treasure of today's Muscovite rulers.
So how did the utterly moronic policy of intervention and collision now being pursued by Washington and its European retainers come to pass? What armchair generals concluded that the NATO military alliance should be pushed deep into the newly liberated corridor of former captive nations when there was no longer any military threat from the drunken Russian economy of the Yeltsin era? Moreover, that relentless incursion happened in a blatantly in your face manner. At the time of the German unification the US Secretary of State had used words which bore no trace of ambiguity, promising Gorbachev that NATO would "not move one inch to the East".
What edifice complex in Brussels came to the conclusion that the already stumbling house of debt known as the EU needed to annex another bankrupt nation on its far eastern borders? A nation with $180 billion of GDP and $350 billion of total public and private debt, hemorrhaging external accounts and that has suffered an incredible 50% decline in real GDP per capita since is "liberation" in 1992.
And most especially, what juvenile delinquents in the State Department/National Endowment For Democracy/ NGO complex discerned that a putsch on the streets of Kiev----heavily fortified by Banderite ruffians and nationalistic Russophobes---would make the citizens of Danbury CT, Lincoln NB or Spokane WA a wit safer or more secure?
The answer is easy. Its the same folks who picked "Yats" to run a country that already had a constitutionally elected President. Its the same warmongers like John McCain who beat a fast path the Maidan barricades in order to get a photo op with the neo-fascist leaders of Svoboda and Right Sector.
So, too, its the same White House strategists who, while denouncing Putin for allegedly sending Russian provocateurs into the eastern cities, sent America's CIA director on a "secret" mission to the Ukrainian capital to consort with the leaders of the coup whose initial anti-Russian actions instigated the very eastern uprising then underway. But what could be expected otherwise from a government that had already unleashed the CIA's core competency----that is, regional destabilization---on Libya, Egypt and Syria to cite the most recent fiascos.
And its apparently the same geniuses who have now parachuted into the tinderbox of a disintegrating nation "dozens of specialists from the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation to advise the Ukrainian government."
Citing unnamed German security sources, Bild am Sonntag said the CIA and FBI agents were helping Kiev end the rebellion in the east of Ukraine and set up a functioning security structure.
It said the agents were not directly involved in fighting with pro-Russian militants. "Their activity is limited to the capital Kiev," the paper said.
The FBI agents are also helping the Kiev government fight organised crime, it added .And a group specialised in financial matters is to help trace the wealth of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, according to the report.
How could something this mindless even be contemplated? In a situation that desperately requires a defusing of tensions and a cessation of confrontational tactics, the amateur in the Oval Office sends in the FBI anti-terrorist squads! And precisely how would these crackers from Quantico possibly know the difference between Russian terrorists and Right Sector militiamen styling themselves as "samooborona"?
In a nutshell, here is the problem. The Washington beltway is floating in a sea of prosperity reminiscent of Imperial Rome. It reflects the fact that the vast machinery of the old cold war has been layered upon by the massive expansion that flowed from the War On Terror. Policy thus happens because our vastly augmented and wholly unnecessary Warfare State needs missions, purposes and a reason for being.
In part 2 we will examine why the Warfare State's machinery needs to be drastically dismantled if a sane, affordable non-interventionist national security policy is to be restored.