by Mike Whitney
Michael Whitney is a renowned geopolitical and social
analyst based in Washington State.
initiated his career as an independent
citizen-journalist in 2002 with a commitment to honest
journalism, social justice and World peace.
He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on
Look at this above map of Ukraine.
Can you see what's
The Russians are
creating a buffer zone along their western perimeter.
Why are they doing that?
What benefit do they
derive from a buffer zone?
Well, a buffer zone
creates a distance between
Russia and Ukraine which Putin thinks is
necessary since Ukraine is threatening to join NATO.
creating his own DMZ on his western flank.
But what does that prove?
It proves that we've
been lied to from the very beginning.
Putin was not planning to
reconstruct the Soviet Empire like the media told us. He did not
want to seize the Capitol, Kiev, and he did not want to conquer the
entire Ukrainian landmass. That was all baloney.
What he wanted to do, is what he has done.
Don't take my word for it, look at the map. You don't need
Rachel Maddow to tell you
what you can see with your own two eyes.
This is the reality
'on the ground'.
This is a buffer zone.
It creates a distance
between Russia and Ukraine, it protects the ethnic Russians in
the Donbass region, and it establishes a landbridge to Crimea
where Russia's vital deep-water port of Sevastopol is located.
In other words, it
achieves what Putin wanted to achieve from the very
beginning, that is,
along his western border...
What we are seeing is the
basic parameters of Russia's "Special Military Operation". Yes, many
people will prefer to call it a "war", but the term is not nearly as
precise as "Special Military Operation".
Because "Special Military Operation" indicates that the main
objective is to save the lives of the ethnic Russians who had been
under constant bombardment for the last 8 years and, also, to create
a security zone that prevents a hostile NATO army and its missile
system from being deployed to Russia's border.
These are the goals of
the "Special Military Operation":
to "demiliterize" and
"denazify" the area under Russia's control...
Will the "Special Military Operation" go beyond the Donbass to Kiev
and cities in the west?
Going beyond the Donbass
would likely involve a complete mobilization of men and resources
which has not yet taken place in Russia. By not mobilizing, Putin is
signaling to the west that he will limit his operation to the area
on the map. (With some slight expansion...)
Putin is indicating that
his main concern is security, and since his concerns were
casually brushed aside by
Biden and Zelensky, he took matters into his
In other words, he
imposed his own settlement...
Okay, but if these are
the parameters of the Special Military Operation, then what are the
chances of a wider war?
That depends on
If Washington continues
on the path of escalation - by sending weapons systems that can
strike targets in Russia - then Putin will respond.
We should know that by
now. Putin is not going to back down no matter what. If Washington
wants to up-the-ante, then they should prepare for an equal
response. That's the way it's going to work.
For now, the "Special
Military Operation" is just a "Special Military Operation". But when
it becomes a war, then all bets are off.
Then we will see a full
mobilization, a complete rupture in US-Russo relations, and a halt
to all hydrocarbon flows from east to west.
Do you think Europe
and the United States are prepared for that?
Do you think the EU
can replace the 25% of the oil and 40% of all the natural gas it
presently imports from Russia?
Do you have a
wind-powered car that will get you to work on time or a factory
that will run on solar power?
Do you have a plan
for heating your house with hydrogen or perhaps a battery from
an old Prius?
No, you don't, and
neither does Europe...
Europe runs on fossil
America runs on
And the more fossil
fuel that is consumed, the more the economy grows.
The less fossil fuel
is consumed, the more the economy shrinks.
Are you prepared for life
in a shrinking economy with high unemployment, skyrocketing
inflation, unending recession, and deepening social malaise brought
on by your government's misguided desire to "stick it to Putin"?
That's a bad choice, isn't it? Especially when a face-saving deal
can be made at anytime.
In fact, Biden could stop
the fighting tomorrow if he extended the hand of friendship to Putin
and declared that, yes, Ukraine will accept neutrality till the end
of time and NATO expansion will stop ASAP.
That's all it would take.
Just extend the olive
branch and Putin will 'call off the dogs'. Guaranteed...
That's what this guy
would have done.
Remember how bad
things were when Trump was in office and gas was 2 bucks a
gallon, and everyone had a job, and there was no inflation, and
violent crime was under control?
Listen to what
to say about Russia:
"Well, I hope we do
have good relations with Russia. I say it loud and clear and
I've been saying it for years. I think it's a good thing if we
have a great relations with Russia.
And, I believe, some
day that will happen. It's a big country, it's a nuclear
country, it's a country we should get along with, and I think we
will eventually get along with Russia."
He's right, isn't he?
We need to get along with
Russia and put an end to the fighting before these morons drag us
into World War 3...