Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Misreading Russia And Trying to Control Geography, Again

Physical, moral coward Obama and his murdering CIA will not mistake the message Putin is about to send both him and NATO

By Dallas Darling

Instead of being overly alarmed with Crimea's popular and democratic referendum to join Russia, or as some in the West would say Russia's military incursion into Ukraine, the real concern should be if the United States and western Europe will again misread Russian objectives. Starting right after World War I and continuing through to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. and its allies have consistently misinterpreted Russia's geopolitical maneuverings and aims. Militarily, they have responded with incompetence, committing long-term and costly armed interventions and occupations that still exist today. The gravest threat to both U.S. and European security and stability, then, perhaps even the entire world, is how the West will respond. 

When the Soviet's invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S. misconstrued it as a march to the Persian Gulf. Both the Carter and Reagan Administrations sought greater access to military, naval, and air bases in the region, mistakenly believing the Soviet's were going to seize oilfields. America's policy of containment, Carter Doctrine, now extended into the Middle East. Along with threatening the Soviets with nuclear annihilation, military aid was greatly expanded to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and Pakistan

While establishing another naval base at Diego Garcia, the U.S. went beyond using surrogate forces forming the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force. Yet the real reason for Soviet involvement in Afghanistan was concern for its southern borders and radical, militant Islam.

In trying to correct an error made by Geography when she somehow put the West's oil under Middle East sand(1), the U.S. and western Europe committed a similar geopolitical error in thinking Joseph Stalin wanted to "communize" the world after World War II

After being attacked and invaded by Germany twice and the West once, Stalin's goal was to instead pursue a doctrine of "socialism in one country." So suspicious and paranoid was Stalin, that his main purpose for establishing communist nations in eastern Europe was to have them serve as buffer states.  

The Iron Curtain, that Winston Churchill spoke of, was as much of a weapon to keep the West from invading as it was to impose Stalin's utter control over what became known as the Eastern Bloc, satellite nations.

Even as far back as World War I, the U.S., Great Britain, and France kept thousands of troops in northern Russia. 

Their goal was to establish a foothold and defeat the Bolshevik Revolution

Although many commoners welcomed Russian liberals overthrowing the czar, most leaders, like President Woodrow Wilson, viewed them as a threat to Western capitalism and America's power and leadership in the world. Wilson militarily intervened by aiding and arming all anti-Bolshevik forces, and by committing troops, even battling against revolutionary forces. Although the U.S. and western Europe maintained its vested interests and influence in much of the world,(2) it was unable to carve-up Russia and redraw its boundaries, as it had in the Middle East and southwest Asia.

Like Stalin, the U.S., and some western Europe nations, have behaved as psychotic and megalomaniacal empires when dealing with foreign policy. Their self-importance, overly exaggerated roles in the world, and grandiose ambitions to correct geography, has caused them to be pathologically suspicious and paranoid of other nations. Consequently, they have been unable to reasonably analyze and understand other peoples and geopolitical events. 

The affects have been devastating and deadly. Middle Eastern tyrants and their security forces have been militarized. Popular uprisings have been crushed. Human rights abuses have been committed, including sectarian violence and atrocities. Military engagements and preemptive wars have killed millions, some of which are ongoing.

Hopefully, the U.S. and western Europe will not misread Russia's intentions, especially in light of Ukrainian soldiers defecting to Russia. Neither should they misinterpret Russia's economic investments in Ukraine, Ukraine's $16 billion indebtedness to Russia, a number of treaties and military and naval base agreements, or attempt to correct Russia's historical ties in Crimea, including its geographical proximity in relation to the Black Sea. Comparing Russia's President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, Russians to the Nazis, shouting the historically infamous term "appeasement!", or calling for World War III, as some U.S. leaders are constantly doing, will only turn a popular and democratic petition of secession into sectarian violence, the Black Sea into the Red Sea.

For his part, and with all of the U.S.-Nato treaty obligations, Putin is not so bold as to invade Ukraine or a Nato ally, is he? Surely he will not behave as badly as the U.S. in trying to control the geographies of Iraq and Afghanistan, will he?

Dallas Darling (

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas' writings at and

(1) Galeano, Eduardo. Mirrors, Stories Of Almost Everyone. New York, New York: Nation Books, 2009., p. 353.

(2) Williams, William Appleman. Americans in a Changing World. New York, New York: Harper & Row, 1978., pp. 160, 161.

(3) Parish, Thomas. The Cold War Encyclopedia. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1996., p. 296.

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