By David Stockman
February 20, 2022:
Information Clearing House
-- Honest injun.
We’re not useful idiots here at Contra Corner!
We do think,
however, that the entire Ukrainian crisis is a
Washington-confected con job. And we came
to that conclusion without relying on a single scrap
of information peddled by Russki propagandists
appearing on Strategic Culture Foundation or Zero
Actually, we thought
it up all by our lonesome! Well, we’ll grant we did
have a fair amount of help from Google, which
insofar as we know works for the CIA, not the
Russian SVR (foreign intelligence service).
In any event, at the
very center of the crisis is the Washington claim
that the rule of law and the sanctity of sovereign
borders are on the line in Ukraine and that,
therefore, Russia must not be allowed to encroach a
single inch into sacrosanct Ukrainian territory.
That is to say, it is
not a matter of America’s national security interest
in the precise Ukrainian geography, which happens to
lie cheek-by-jowl on Russia’s border, but the very
governance of the entire planet: Conform to the
“rule of law” as articulated by Washington or get
sanctioned, outlawed, pariah-ed, and even invaded,
if worst comes to worst.
We hear this refrain
repeatedly from Secy Blinkey and national security
advisor Snake Sullivan. But we find ourselves
doubled over with laughter each time, knowing
practically by heart the list of coups, regime
change plots, invasions and occupations Washington
has foisted upon other sovereign nations over the
last 70 years.
For want of doubt,
however, we recently Googled in pursuit of the exact
list and came up with a systematic study by a young
scholar named Lindsey A. O’Rourke. Here’s her
1947 and 1989, the United States tried to change
other nations’ governments 72 times;
That’s a remarkable number. It includes 66
covert operations and six overt ones.
covert efforts to replace another country’s
During the Cold
War, for instance, 26 of the United States’
covert operations successfully brought a
U.S.-backed government to power; the remaining
16 cases in which Washington sought to influence
foreign elections by covertly funding, advising
and spreading propaganda for its preferred
candidates, often doing so beyond a
single election cycle. Of these, the U.S.-backed
parties won their elections 75 percent of the
research found that after a nation’s government
was toppled, it was less democratic and more
likely to suffer civil war, domestic instability
and mass killing. At the very least,
citizens lost faith in their governments.
And, yes, we did
check her resume to make sure she wasn’t a Russian
troll, and from the appearance of the thing you’ve
got to think, no way.
She got an
undergraduate degree from Ohio State, an MA and PhD
from the University of Chicago, did post-graduate
studies at the Dickey Center for International
Understanding at Dartmouth College and a
pre-doctoral fellowship at the Institute for
Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington
University. Since 2014 Ms. O’Rourke has been an
associate professor in Boston College’s political
science department and in 2018 published a book
called “Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold
War” at the prestigious Cornell University Press,
which is the basis for the above quote.
So either the
Russkies have got one hell of a brainwashing
operation going on throughout the length and breadth
of American academia or professor O’Rourke is
actually citing real history, not Putin’s talking
points. Besides all that, she doesn’t look
like a Russki, either.
therefore, not all borders are sacrosanct—just the
ones Washington designates as inviolable. But even
that sweeping qualification leaves you high and dry
when it comes to the “borders” of Ukraine.
because the current ones were drawn by Czarist
tyrants and communist dictators!
The modern borders of
Ukraine were finally fixed—sometimes at gunpoint—by
Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev, respectively—between
1917 and 1991. The resulting corpus then got
declared an independent nation in 1991 when the
Soviet Union was swept into the dustbin of history.
In fact, even then
the resulting borders for the 14 new
republics—including Russia, Ukraine and Belarus—were
the handiwork of the last gasp of the Soviet Union.
On December 26, 1991 it was Declaration 142-Н of the
the Supreme Soviet’s upper chamber, the Soviet of
the Republics, which recognized the self-governing
independence of the former Soviet republics,
formally dissolving the Union and seconding the old
borders of the Soviet Socialist Republics to the
newly christened entities.
Talk about the
hurly-burly of history at an inflection point. There
are few in all of history that come even close to
the sudden, complete and spectacular demise of an
empire that occupied the better part of the planet’s
landmass and more than 485 million peoples.
is it possible that the spectacular crackup of the
old Soviet Union was so tidy or thoughtful as Secy
Blinkey would have you believe? That it was so well
founded that the very global “rule of law” depends
upon it preservation?
Surely, the 11th hour
“gift” of Crimea to Ukraine by Khrushchev (see
below), for instance, might have better been
returned to its long-time (171 years) and rightful
Likewise, given the
opportunity the huge Russian speaking population of
the eastern Donbas region would have raised the
Russian tricolor at the drop of a hat, given even
half the chance.
dubious paternity of Ukraine’s modern borders is
barely the tip of the iceberg.
The truth is, if you
take the word of Google/CIA for it you can scroll
through the last 1,100 years of history and still
not find a Ukrainian border that lasted more than a
few decades, and certainly no settled nation-state
worth expending American blood and treasure upon.
Indeed, according to
Google/CIA it all started before 1000 AD with the
arrival of the “Rus” — the people whose name got
tacked on to Russia. They were originally a nice
bunch—Viking warriors, traders and settlers— who
raped and ruined their way from the Baltic Sea
through the marshes and forests of Eastern Europe
down toward the fertile river-lands of what’s now
The first major
center of these “Rus” was at Kiev, established in
the 9th century. In 988 the original Vladimir, a
prince of the Kievan Rus, was baptized by a
Byzantine priest in the old Greek colony of
Khersonesos on the Crimean coast. That is, Russia
got long pants and Christianity in Crimea—the place
they allegedly stole back 1,026 years later (2014).
As it happened,
Prince Vlad’s conversion marked the advent of
Orthodox Christianity among the Rus and remains a
moment of great nationalist symbolism for Russians.
In fact, Putin invoked the original “Vladimir”in a
speech upon Crimea’s reunification with Russia after
a 90% referendum vote by the 80% Russian speaking
population of Crimea in March 2014.
In any event,
successive Mongol invasions beginning in the 13th
century supplanted Kiev’s influence, and led
eventually to the ejection of the Russians from
their Crimean/Ukrainian homeland. At length, most of
the “Rus” settlements moved to the north, including
In their place, the
Turkic descendants of the Mongol Golden Horde formed
their own Khanate along the northern rim of the
Black Sea in what is designated in the map below as
the “Crimean Khanate”. And as we explain below, that
became the Turkish territory that Catherine the
Great purchased in 1783 as part of the Czarist quest
for a warm water port to base its Black Sea Fleet.
Prior to this re-russification
of Crimea, of course, the surrounding lands now
called Ukraine lay on the margins of competing
empires. It was a region of permanent struggle and
shifting borders. The Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth—which, at its peak, encompassed a huge
swath of Europe—had dominated much of the land. But
Ukraine also experienced the incursions of
Hungarians, Ottomans, Swedes, bands of Cossacks and
the armies of successive Russian czars.
As these meandering
borders appeared and disappeared repeatedly through
the 17th century, Russia and Poland
(Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) eventually split
much of the territory of what’s now Ukraine along
the Dnieper River, as shown in the map below.
Approximately 355 years ago (1667), to be exact, the
areas to the east of the Dnieper, which now include
the Donbas, were acquired by Russia and incorporated
into the Russian State.
So, yes, the
current day rebel provinces in the Donbas, which
were giving partial autonomy from Kiev by the Minsk
Agreements of 2015, have actually been “Russian” for
more than three and one-half centuries and
“Ukrainian” for about 31 years. Or as Blinkey would
say, because it’s borders.
In any event, the
aforementioned Russian advance continued during the
subsequent century under the rule of Catherine the
Great. Not surprisingly, she imagined her domains
along the Black Sea constituted “Novorossiya” or
“New Russia”. As also shown in the map above, these
Ukrainian lands to the west of the Dnieper were
acquired by Moscow between 1772 and 1795 at the time
that the various European powers were dismembering
Poland, wiping it entirely from the world map for
the next 125 years.
No less than Grigoriy
Potemkin, the legendary evil genius behind Catherine
the Great’s rule, left little doubt that Crimea was
to once again become Russian and redound to Moscow’s
me, you will acquire immortal fame such as no
other sovereign of Russia ever had,”
said Grigoriy Potemkin, a prominent adviser to
Catherine the Great, when offering the empress
counsel in 1780 on plans to wrest Crimea away
from Ottoman suzerainty.
“This glory will
open the way to still further and greater
Meanwhile, the above
mentioned partitions of Poland in the late 18th
century (1795) led to the far western city of Lviv—once
a major regional hub and a center of Jewish culture
in Eastern Europe —being transferred from Russian
sovereignty to the AustroHungarian empire. It was
there in far west of today’s Ukraine during the
mid-19th century where Ukrainian nationalism finally
began to take hold, rooted in the traditions and
dialects of the region’s peasants and the
aspirations of intellectuals who had fled the
stifling rule of Russian Czars.
Still, as the
19th century drew to a close there really was no
sovereign state of Ukraine. The lands had
been divided between the Russian Empire to the east
and the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the west. Had
America’s ruling class back then wished to police
the borders of the world, which they assuredly did
not, there would have been no Ukrainian borders to
mystery question recurs. Who created the modern
borders and state of Ukraine, then?
Why, holy moly, it
was the aforementioned commies themselves!
Simply take a gander
at the Google/CIA/Washington Post map
below. Both the Russian Empire and Austro-Hungarian
empires collapsed in the bloody trenches of the
Great War, and subsequently disappeared from the
pages of history. But their brutal successors in
Moscow busied themselves in a multi-step evolution
that resulted in what today passes for Ukraine.
First, near the end
of World War I, the new Bolshevik government was
desperate to end hostilities with Germany and its
allies and signed a treaty in the town of
Brest-Litovsk in 1918 ceding Russia’s domains west
of the Dnieper (darker brown area) to the Central
powers. That is to say, they agreed to sacrifice
what was understood by all to be “Russian” territory
in return for surcease from German attack.
Of course, the terms
of this desperate 11th hour treaty were nullified by
Germany’s defeat later in the year, but the respite
from Russian rule did spark the rise of a renewed
Ukrainian nationalism like elsewhere in eastern
Europe at the end of the Great War. Accordingly,
independence movements of various stripes sprung up
in cities like Lviv, Kiev and Kharkiv, but were
eventually all swept away amid the wider struggle
for power in Russia.
That struggle was
mightily fueled at the misbegotten Versailles
“peace” conference where the long dead nation of
Poland was revived by Woodrow Wilson. The latter
nearly single-handedly resurrected the nation of
Poland, doing so with a keen eye not to the historic
maps of Europe but to the polish vote in Cleveland,
Detroit and Chicago.
Soon thereafter a
revived Poland reclaimed Lviv and a chunk of what’s
now western Ukraine on the grounds that this was
sacred Polish, not Ukrainian, territory.
In any event, the
region became a key battleground of the Russian
Civil War, which pitted Bolshevik forces against an
array of White Russian armies, led by loyalists to
the old czarist regime as well as other political
opportunists. After a lot of bloodshed — and other
battles with Poland — the Bolsheviks emerged
triumphant and officially declared the
Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic in 1922.
At long last,
therefore, the maps of the world now at least had
something that roughly resembled modern Ukraine—even
if it was wrested by Bolshevik rifles.
As shown in the map
below, the tiny principality of Ukraine as of 1654
(dark blue area) had not been much to write home
about until the Russians—Czars and Commissars,
alike—bestirred themselves with nation-building.
Russian nation-building, that is.
The yellow areas
being the winnings of Catherine the Great and other
Russian Czars over 1654-1917, while the added
territories won by Lenin’s Red Army are represented
by the purple area of the map below. The latter
territory, in fact, even today is far more
Russian-speaking than Ukrainian.
Later came the rest
of Ukraine proper via added gifts from Stalin’s Red
Army (light blue area, 1939-1945) and the previously
mentioned gift of Crimea (red area) by Khrushchev in
In short, it needs be
recalled that America’s borders were established by
democratic politicians and have stood the test of
167 years of time during which they have been
perfectly fixed. By contrast, today’s Ukraine
depicted below is the hand-work of tyrants and
commies, which changed by the decade.
question recurs. Who in their right mind would
select the historical mongrel depicted below to
bring the world to the brink of nuclear war in order
to establish the universal rule of law and sanctity
Indeed, we’d say it’s only folks who have
lost their minds to the TDS (Trump
Derangement Syndrome). This entire
imbroglio, in fact, is not about the nation
of Russia, the rule of law, foreign policy
or the genuine safety and liberty of the
contrary, it’s about a single member of the
7 billion-strong human race—the utterly
demonized, vilified and reviled Vladimir
Putin. The Biden mainstream of the Dem party
is still not over the shock of November
2016, and apparently mean to do battle
permanently with the ogre of Moscow whom
they falsely hold accountable for their own
happens, their endlessly repeated mantra
that Putin’s expansionist intentions were
revealed when he “seized” Crimea in 2014
tells you all you need to know. That claim
is so hypocritical, threadbare and
tendentious that only minds possessed with
TDS would even dare to peddle it.
That’s because it amounts to saying is that
the dead hand of the Soviet presidium must
be defended at all costs — as if the
security of North Dakota depended upon it!
mentioned, however, the allegedly “occupied”
territory of Crimea was actually purchased
from the Ottomans by Catherine the Great in
1783, thereby satisfying the longstanding
quest of the Russian czars for a warm-water
port. Over the ages, Sevastopol then emerged
as a great naval base at the strategic tip
of the Crimean peninsula, where it became
home port to the mighty Black Sea Fleet of
the czars and then the Soviet Commissars,
the next 171 years Crimea was an integral
part of Russia (until 1954). And that’s a
fact that you can look up in the Google/CIA
In fact, that
span equals the 170 years that have elapsed
since California was annexed by a similar
thrust of “Manifest Destiny” on this
continent, thereby providing, incidentally,
the United States Navy with its own
warm-water port in San Diego.
foreign forces subsequently invaded the
California coasts, it was most definitely
not Ukrainian rifles, artillery and blood
that famously annihilated The Charge of the
Light Brigade at the Crimean city of
Balaclava in 1854, either; They were
Russians defending the homeland from
invading Turks, French and Brits.
the end of the day, security of its
historical port in Crimea is Russia’s Red
Line, not Washington’s.
today’s feather-headed Washington pols, even
the enfeebled Franklin Roosevelt at least
knew that he was in Soviet “Russia” when he
made port in the Crimean city of Yalta in
to cement his control of the Kremlin in the
intrigue-ridden struggle for succession
after Stalin’s death a few years later,
Nikita Khrushchev allegedly spent 15 minutes
reviewing his “gift” of Crimea to his
subalterns in Kiev.
happened, therefore, Crimea became part of
the Ukraine only by writ of the former
On April 26, 1954 The decree of the
Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet
transferring the Crimea Oblast from the
Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
Taking into account the integral
character of the economy, the
territorial proximity and the close
economic and cultural ties between the
Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR…
In fact, the
Kiev government’s current
Washington-supported brouhaha about
“returning” Crimea is a naked case of the
hegemonic arrogance that has overtaken
Imperial Washington since the 1991 Soviet
during the long decades of the Cold War, the
West did nothing to liberate the “captive
nation” of Ukraine — with or without the
Crimean appendage bestowed upon it in 1954.
Nor did it draw any red lines in the
mid-1990s when a financially desperate
Ukraine rented back Sevastopol and the
strategic redoubts of Crimea to an equally
In short, in
the era before we got our Pacific port in
1848 and even during the 170-year interval
since then, America’s national security has
depended not one whit on the status of
Russian-speaking Crimea and the Donbas
region of eastern Ukraine. The fact that the
local population of the former in March 2014
chose fealty to the Grand Thief in Moscow
over the ruffians and rabble that have
seized Kiev amounts to a giant, “So what?”
Still, it was
this final aggressive drive of Washington
and NATO into the internal affairs of
Russia’s historical neighbor and vassal,
Ukraine, that largely accounts for the
current dangerous showdown. Likewise, it is
virtually the entire source of the false
claim that Russia has aggressive,
expansionist designs on the former Warsaw
Pact states in the Baltics, Poland and
latter is a nonsensical fabrication.
In fact, it
was the neocon meddlers from Washington who
crushed Ukraine’s last semblance of
democratic governance when they enabled
ultra-nationalists and crypto-Nazis to gain
government positions after the February 2014
coup, which threw-out Ukraine’s legitimately
elected, Russia-leaning president.
context, moreover, the history of the 1930s
and 1940s must never be forgotten here.
Stalin decimated upwards of 15% of the
Ukrainian population during the Holodomer
(starvations) and then moved huge numbers of
Russian-speakers into the Donbas to
safeguard its chemical, steel and armaments
industries from the defiant locals who were
sent to Siberia.
when Hitler’s Wehrmacht came charging
through Ukraine on its way to the bloody
battle of Stalingrad, it had no trouble
recruiting hundreds of thousands of
vengeance-seeking Ukrainian nationalists to
its ranks to do its dirty work: That is, the
brutal liquidation of Jews, Poles, Gypsies
and other untermenschen.
during the fall of 1941 began the mass
killings of Jews that continued through
1944. An estimated 1.5 million Ukrainian
Jews perished, and over 800,000 were
displaced to the east; at Baby Yar in Kyiv
nearly 34,000 were killed in just the first
two days of massacre—and all of these
depredations were assisted and often
executed by local Ukrainian nationalists.
course, the tide turned and the Red Army
came marching back though the rubble of
Ukraine on its way to Berlin. After their
victory over the Germans at the Battle of
Stalingrad in early 1943, the Soviets
launched an equally brutal scorched earth
counteroffensive westward, searching high
and low for traitors and collaborators among
the Ukrainian population who had allegedly
aided the Wehrmacht.
thus began their slow retreat from Ukraine
in mid-1943, leaving wholesale destruction
in their wake. In November the Soviets
reentered Kyiv, where guerrilla activity
intensified amid bloody revenge killings
which claimed huge numbers of civilian
victims. By the spring of 1944 the Red Army
had penetrated into Galicia (western
Ukraine), and by the end of October Ukraine
was a bloody wasteland, once again under Red
may be fairly asked: What Washington lame
brains did not understand that triggering
“regime change” in Kiev in February 2014
would reopen this entire bloodsoaked history
of sectarian and political strife?
once they had opened Pandora’s Box, why was
it so hard to see that an outright partition
of Ukraine with autonomy for the Donbas and
Crimea, or even accession to the Russian
state from which these communities had
originated, would have been a perfectly
that would have been far preferable to
dragging all of Europe into the lunacy of
the current military showdown and embroiling
the Ukrainian factions in a suicidal civil
it is not now—and never has been—about a
foreign policy matter than can be resolved
through goodwill, negotiations and a decent
regard for the history of a godforsaken
patch of real estate that has perennially
been a meandering set of borders in search
of a nation that no one in the neighborhood
Instead, it’s all about a sickness called
TDS that has afflicted the Dem ruling
elites, and much of official Washington,
too. And that can be cured only by the
American electorate, which is exactly what
we expect in November, next.
And not a day
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