Washington and NATO’s New Surrealpolitik

By Finian Cunningham (Strategic Culture Foundation)

ukraineAs the unelected Kiev junta sends armed balaclava-clad paramilitaries to quell protests in Ukraine’s eastern cities it declares the operation «anti-terrorism». The acting (sic) president in Kiev Oleksandr Turchynov has labeled all those seeking political autonomy in Kharkov, Donetsk, Lugansk and other pro-Russian cities in the east of the country as «terrorists and criminals»; a new set of laws cobbled together by the junta – two months before scheduled official elections have taken place and therefore of dubious legality – gives the self-appointed politicians in Kiev the power to prosecute any one that does not recognize their self-imposed authority…

Meanwhile, NATO has warned Moscow to «step back» from alleged military aggression (from within its own borders!) towards Ukraine – even though the US-led alliance has escalated the presence of its fighter jets and troops in Russia’s neighboring countries. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the 28-member NATO organization, has also led calls for speeding up the incorporation of Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina into the nuclear-armed pact. This is in addition to a deal hastily worked out by NATO and the NATO-backed junta in Kiev for joint military exercises to be carried out on Ukrainian territory.

This constitutes a new genre of politics, which one might dub «surrealpolitik». The former realpolitik of the bygone Cold War decades may have been cynical and callous, but at least such thinking was based on an objective reality that vying sides could commonly recognize and therefore negotiate. In the new genre of surrealpolitik, one side’s version of reality seems more in the realm of fantasy, which makes any dialogue between political contentions nearly, if not totally, impossible.

NATO installs an unelected regime in Kiev through a coup d’état against a legally elected government. That is a fact. Yet in the surreal world of Washington and its NATO allies, this fact is inverted into a fictional notion that what happened in Kiev during February was the culmination of «a democratic revolution». Airbrushed from the objective narrative are details such as the new regime arrogating administrative power through a campaign of Western-backed street violence and terrorism, including the fatal shooting of police officers by covert snipers.

Without supporting evidence, the sniper-assisted regime in Kiev, which was promptly accorded the authority of «government» by Western capitals and their media, has since counter-charged Russian secret services and the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych of orchestrating the shootings. Of course, the incriminating leaked telephone conversation, dated February 26, between EU ministers Catherine Ashton and Estonia’s Urmas Paet on Western-backed covert snipers is conveniently deleted from the official Western record.

The openly fascist junta then swiftly moves to announce repressive legislation against the majority ethnic Russian population in the east of the country. Its political leaders, such as convicted embezzler Yulia Tymoshenko freshly sprung from jail, openly call for mass murder of Russians and other opponents – and when street protests erupt in eastern cities of Ukraine against the junta in Kiev the latter now declares such protesters as «terrorist».

What’s more, demagogues like Tymoshenko, who has joked about nuking Russians, then turn around and accuse Moscow of intimidation. American Secretary of State John Kerry sanitizes such outrageous provocation by echoing the claims of Russian intimidation.

White House spokesman Jay Carney this week accused Moscow of inciting subversion and violence in eastern Ukraine, thus giving the political green light for the regime in Kiev to send its neo-Nazi paramilitaries to Donetz and Kharkiv to quash demonstrations in those cities where the population is understandably alarmed by the threats articulated in public by the NATO-installed regime in Kiev.

The people of Donetz, Kharkiv and other eastern cities have witnessed anarchy and thug politics being rewarded in Kiev with fulsome Western diplomatic and financial support. The constitutional rulebook and system of international law has been trashed. So why can’t the people of the eastern region, like the population of Crimea have already done, assert their own political autonomy in the face of this wanton political banditry? What moral or legal authority has the NATO-backed cabal in Kiev to lecture anybody else, given its own criminal rise to seize administrative power? And more especially given the explicit threats to life and limb issued by the Kiev junta and its paramilitaries towards the population in the east of the country.

Security measures taken by Moscow to be ready to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine are eminently reasonable in the light of present and past experience. The Svoboda and Right Sector so-called ministers in Kiev pay homage to the Ukrainian fascists during the Second World War who collaborated in Nazi extermination of millions of their compatriots. When present-day Ukrainian fascists call for «cleansing their country of Russians» and «whacking people in the head» en masse that conveys a clear and present danger of appalling resonance with the most heinous episodes of the 20th century. And yet, the likes of John Kerry turn reality on its head by accusing Moscow of engaging in benighted 20th century atavism.

What Western governments, NATO and its proxy junta in Kiev are engaging in is reckless and ridiculous grandstanding, which is completely divorced from reality. On the back of such hallucinatory political discourse, the Western-backed fascist thugs who grabbed power in Kiev accuse Moscow of «aggression» and «violating Ukraine’s sovereignty». NATO piles on the inflammatory accusations by claiming that Russian security concerns are threatening the entire peace and stability of Europe; thereby permitting the organization to accelerate the expansion of its forces on Russian borders in flagrant violation of post-Cold War rules-based agreements between Washington and Moscow on the non-expansion of NATO’s military in this sensitive zone.

As Alexander Grushko, Russia’s envoy to NATO, said recently: «The allegations on Moscow’s aggressive designs posing a threat to the NATO countries are absolutely groundless and farfetched. If any danger could even emerge, then it is only from nationalistic and radical forces in Ukraine and in the case of the further deterioration of the situation in this country». Grushko added: «The additional measures announced [by NATO] and aimed at the so-called protection of the Eastern European members are absolutely unfounded».

Welcome to the world of surrealpolitik, where anything you assert to be true is true, notwithstanding the factual evidence.

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reminded NATO of its obligations under the Rome Declaration and other previous treaties with Moscow on non-expansion, he said: «We are expecting not just any answer but an answer fully respectful of the rules we have coordinated».

It is a disturbing sign of the surrealpolitik that has taken hold in Western capitals when NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen abruptly dismissed Lavrov’s statesmanship. Given the gravity of the matter, it seemed more than a discourtesy that Rasmussen issued a sardonic comment on the social networking site Twitter, saying that the Russian top diplomat’s concerns were merely «propaganda and disinformation».

NATO and Washington are not only inverting fact and reality over Ukraine and the wider serious geopolitical implications. The reckless distortion is delivered with a contempt born of the most fatuous purblind arrogance. The conundrum is how to deal with such insanity?

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