Excellent analysis on the Ukraine situation by Ray McGovern. For those that don't know, Mr. McGovern is a former military intelligence and CIA analyst with 27 years experience in those roles. He now works with an inner-city ministry in Washington DC, and also tries to share his experience by writing informed articles on American foreign policy and spying. This article is definitely worth reading in full in these dangerous times.
and shortly further into the beginning of this piece ....
Is "regime change" in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative "regime changers" of Official Washington and their sophomoric "responsibility-to-protect" (R2P) allies in the Obama administration? Have they dangerously over-reached by pushing the putsch that removed duly-elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych? Russian President Vladimir Putin has given an unmistakable "yes" to those questions -- in deeds, not words. His message is clear: "Back off our near-frontier!"
Unless Obama is completely bereft of advisers who know something about Russia, it should have been a "known-known" (pardon the Rumsfeldian mal mot) that the Russians would react this way to a putsch removing Yanukovich. It would have been a no-brainer that Russia would use military force, if necessary, to counter attempts to use economic enticement and subversive incitement to slide Ukraine into the orbit of the West and eventually NATO.
This was all the more predictable in the case of Ukraine, where Putin -- although the bête noire in corporate Western media -- holds very high strategic cards geographically, militarily, economically and politically.
What still amazes me is that the US and its allies/partners/puppets just won't stop. It seems there are daily provocations coming out of both Washington and Kiev. It strangely sounds like Washington wants a war over the Ukraine. Which seems insane in any geopolitical or strategical sense. It might have made some strategical sense to be messing around politically in the Ukraine, if pulling the tail of the Russian bear was deemed to be an appropriate American strategic goal. But it makes no sense at all to try to escalate this situation into a conflict.
The Ukrainian military is doing exactly what you'd expect a nation's military to do when that nation seems to be splitting apart into a potential civil war. That is, the Ukrainian military itself is splitting. We are seeing resignations from Ukrainian officers saying they will instead serve the Crimea. This should surprise no American who paid enough attention in high school history to know that officers like Robert E. Lee resigned their commissions in the US Army when their states succeeded from the Union. The same thing is happening in the Ukraine. Its absurd to think that officers in the Ukrainian military from the southern or eastern parts of the Ukraine would stay in the Ukrainian military to fight against their own neighbors, friends and families. Thus, the news reports that the Ukrainian military is splitting are entirely expected.
So far, its Russia that is showing restraint. The Russians are only talking about entering the Ukraine to defend the Russian speaking and historically Russian populations that fall within the Ukraine's current borders.
This would be a non-issue if the revolutionaries in Kiev had enough sense to stop and realize that they have already won all that they could possibly win here. They are in control of the western parts of the Ukraine and the city of Kiev. They are now massively overreaching is saying that they have the right to dictate to the rest of the Ukraine. They are overreaching when they try to change laws to insist on banning Russian as a public language. They are overreaching when they try to insist that these regions are theirs to control. And they've certainly been overreaching when they tried to send detachments out to these areas to assert their control.
These overreaches had the expected outcomes. 'Self-defense' forces, which were quite possibly Russian military in unmarked uniforms, blocked the Kiev revolutionaries attempts to seize airports and government buildings by force. And now both the Crimea and the major industrial city of Donetz are planning to hold votes on whether to be ruled by a Kiev government that just violently overthrew the elected government they had voted for. The results of these votes will certainly be the expected results of rejecting the Kiev government and voting for self-rule.
Right now, its the US/EU/neo-nazi grouping that is forcing the issues and trying to escalate the conflict. Russia is merely using its military in a defensive role to protect the historically Russian populations in the Ukraine. The Russian people were never going to sit by and watch other Russians be abused by a nazi-like government in Kiev. Its the Kiev government that is acting aggressively to try to conquer parts of the country where it has very little support. And its the 'diplomats' from the US and the EU that seem to be threatening war if Russia dares to protect Russians from the United States' latest favorite bunch of Nazi-wannabees.
Thus, the question is whether the US has enough sense to just stop. The last decade or more of US foreign policy seriously questions whether the US has any sense. Can the US see that starting a war on the frontiers of Russia is not going to go well? Militarily, the US and EU can't possibly muster the military muscle in the Ukraine that Russia can from just next door. The Ukrainian military was no match for the Russians even before it began its natural process of splintering apart the way the entire current nation of the Ukraine is splintering apart. The US can't possibly win a fight here.
All the US can do is ensure Russian enmity for at least a generation to come. The US is making it very, very certain that no Russian politician will be able to take any positions except those of opposing the US whenever and whereever it is possible. That's because after this, the US is going to be known in Russia as the nation that once again has tried to turn loose the Nazis on the Russian people. I seriously doubt the Russians have forgotten the 20 million people who died the last time they had to fight off a Nazi-led government. Just recently the Russians memorialized the anniversary of the horrible siege of Leningrad. They have not forgotten.