by Mike Whitney
renowned geopolitical and social analyst based in
initiated his career as an independent
citizen-journalist in 2002 with a commitment to honest
social justice and World peace.
He is a Research Associate of the
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
Do you know why
Henry Kissinger's speech at the World Economic Forum
touched-off such a furor...?
criticize the way the war in Ukraine is being conducted or the
lack of progress on the ground. No...
What Kissinger criticized
was the policy itself, that's what triggered the firestorm.
He was throwing a bucket
of cold water on the people who concocted this loony policy by
telling them to their faces that,
they "got it wrong"..
And, they did
get it wrong, because the policy they are currently pursuing is
hurting US allies and US interests.
That is the metric we use
to determine whether a particular policy is stupid or not and,
unfortunately, this passes the "stupid test" with flying colors.
Let me explain:
Our basic strategy is
to "weaken" and "isolate" Russia by severing Russia's economic
ties with Europe and goading them into a long and costly
quagmire in Ukraine.
That's the plan...
Now you might think that it sounds pretty reasonable but - according
to Kissinger - it's the wrong plan.
Because US National Security Strategy identifies China as America's
number one rival (which it certainly is) so, naturally, any policy
that makes China stronger, runs counter to US strategic interests.
So, the question is:
Does our proxy-war in
Ukraine make China stronger...?
And the answer is:
Of course, it does.
It makes China a lot
stronger because it forces Russia to strengthen relations with
What does that mean in
It means that relations between the world's manufacturing powerhouse
(China) and the world's second biggest producer of hydrocarbons
(Russia) just got a helluva alot better because of
Washington's counterproductive war in Ukraine.
That's what it means...
It also means that - as
relations between the two countries improve - the pace of US
imperial decline is going to accelerate as the non-dollar zone
expands and bilateral trade gradually replaces the current
US-dominated global trade system.
You can see this happening already.
The war in Ukraine
has triggered a shocking collapse in global trade, major
disruptions in critical supply-lines, unprecedented food and
energy shortages, and the greatest re-division of the world
since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Washington has decided to
stake its future and the future of the American people on a
senseless geopolitical gambit could turn out to be the greatest
strategic catastrophe in US history.
Kissinger grasps the gravity of the situation which is why he
decided to put in his two-cents. But he wasn't just critical of the
policy, he also offered an ominous warning that has been
almost-entirely ignored by the media.
A short summary of what he said:
"Negotiations need to
begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and
tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing
line should be a return to the status quo ante (...)
Pursuing the war
beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but
a new war against Russia itself".
of Kissinger Message Davos 2022
Kissinger Message to WEF Meeting at Davos -
There it is in black and
white, but let's break it into two parts to get a better sense of
what he's saying:
The policy is
The policy must
be changed immediately or the damage to the US and its
allies will be severe and permanent. ("Negotiations need to
begin in the next two months")
That might sound too
apocalyptic for some, but I think Kissinger is on to something here.
After all, look at the
massive changes the world has already experienced since the conflict
began; the disruptions in supply-lines, the food and energy
shortages, and the rolling-back of the globalization project.
Pretty big changes, I'd
say, but they're probably just be the tip of the iceberg. The real
pain is still ahead of us.
What is this winter going to look like when home heating bills go
through the roof, industries across Europe succumb to the higher
energy costs, unemployment soars to Great Depression levels, and
rolling blackouts become a regular feature of life in the west?
That's what the future
holds for Europe and America if the policy isn't reversed and a
negotiated settlement quickly reached.
Putin has already stated that Russia will not put itself in a
position where it is economically dependent on Europe again.
Those days are
Instead, he is
redirecting critical energy flows to China, India and beyond.
Europe is no longer a
priority customer, in fact, they have emerged as a threat to
Russia's survival, which means, Russia will continue to reorient its
How will this
Europe is going to pay
more for its energy that any country in the world. That is the
choice they made by shrugging off Russia's legitimate security
demands, and that is the outcome they will have to live with.
So, here's what you need to know:
In 2021, Russia
provided 40% of all the natural gas consumed in the EU.
In 2021, Russia
provided over 25% of the oil consumed in the EU.
If you think that those
quantities of hydrocarbons can be replaced by producers in Nigeria,
Iran, Saudi Arabia or some other far-flung location, you are sadly
Europe is walking
headlong into the biggest energy crisis in its history, and
it can only blame itself.
Here's more from an
article at RT:
energy crisis could be one of the worst and longest in
history and European countries could be hit particularly
hard, the head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih
Birol, said on Tuesday.
In an interview
with German magazine Der Spiegel, Birol said that the
fallout from the events in Ukraine is likely to make the
current energy crisis worse than the crises of the 1970s.
Back then it was all about oil. Now we have an oil crisis, a
gas crisis and an electricity crisis at the same time,"
Birol told the publication, adding that before the ongoing
events in Ukraine, Russia was "a cornerstone of the global
largest oil exporter, the world's largest gas exporter,
a leading supplier of coal."
As part of its
Ukraine-related sanctions, the EU introduced restrictions on
Russian fossil fuels and has pledged to gradually phase them
Birol warned that
countries in Europe that are more dependent on Russian gas are
facing a "difficult winter," as "gas may well have to be
rationed," including in Germany.
His comments came as
Russia's state gas supplier Gazprom cut off supplies to some
energy firms in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and other
countries, after their failure to pay for the fuel in rubles as
per new requirements."
rationing may be coming to Europe - IEA", RT
So, I guess,
freezing to death in
the dark is preferable to insisting that Ukraine remain neutral
and stop killing ethnic Russians in the east?
Is that the
"principal" that Europe is defending?
If so, it's a bad choice.
Here's something to mull over:
Did you know that all
"oil blends" are not alike?
Why would that
currently imports 34% of its oil from Russia.
And Russian oil is a
fully-proven, high quality Urals blend that is delivered in vast
quantities via the Druzhba pipeline to German refineries that
have been engineered to meet particular processing requirements.
Different oil from
different providers would throw a wrench in the whole refinery
It would require
new feedstock lines and infrastructure, an atmospheric
distillation facility, a vacuum distillation system, a
cat-crack unit, a visbreaking facility, an alkylation unit,
a catalytic reformer, an isomerisation unit, and an ethyl
tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) facility.
Plus brand new
storage facilities + handling equipment for Rostock feed to
substitute the 24x7x365 smooth Druzhba pipeline."
Refinery Problem" - The Saker
So, all oil blends aren't
Nope, not even close.
On top of that,
industry experts estimate that the refinery modifications would
take roughly 6 years to complete.
In the meantime,
Germany's economic growth - which is closely aligned with energy
consumption - will dip dramatically, businesses will be
shuttered, unemployment will spike, and the EU's most powerful
and productive country will be brought to its knees.
Maybe someone in the
German government should have thought about these things before they
decided to boycott Russia oil?
The point we're
trying to make is simple:
right and the neocon clowns that concocted the failed
Ukraine strategy are wrong, dead wrong...!
And, if we don't
convene "Negotiations... in the next two months", as Kissinger
advices, then the break with Russia will be final and
irreversible, at which point, Russia's voluminous energy
resources, mineral wealth and agricultural products will be
forever routed eastward to friendlier nations.
And that is going to
inflict terrible suffering on both the United States and
its allies in Europe.
The only reasonable
course of action is to call for an immediate ceasefire so that peace
talks can begin ASAP...