Peace With Russia

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Peace With Russia

Post by ChristianCommunist »

Just before the peace conference in Switzerland, President Putin reiterated his peace proposals from Moscow, since he was not invited. What are they? They consist in recognizing as Russian the provinces that have always been part of Russia, and asking the rest of Ukraine, whose history is linked to Western Europe, to remain neutral—in other words not to be a NATO base. Within this framework, Ukraine could join the European Union and become, as it were, a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe, a bridge of prosperity and development.

The Russian proposals were not even mentioned in Switzerland: we want to make peace without Russia—as if Russia were defeated, without the right to speak. Yet these proposals are being taken into consideration by a good number of States, including within the American Deep State; serious geopoliticians and historians have spoken of them as a way of stopping a conflict which otherwise risks leading us into World War III, without us really wanting that, with the people never consulted, due to the interests of powers outside our European Nations and outside Ukraine.

Given that Ukraine’s borders date back to 1991, and that the country is historically made up of two parts, the West and the East, as a result of the age-old conflict between the two Europes—Rome and Byzantium, with two very different sociologies—these proposals seem to make a lot of sense. As I have seen for myself, Eastern Ukraine unquestionably wants to be part of Russia; Western Ukraine, on the other hand, wants to be part of the West and the European Union. Admittedly, a peaceful solution, within the 1991 borders, would have been possible if the Minsk agreements had been applied, with broad autonomy granted to the Donbass. But these agreements were only signed, by the Western side, we were told, so that they would not come into force, and just to gain time to prepare for war—in other words, to wage war on Russia.

The West marches under “Law and Democracy” as the banner of its right to war. But the principle of the inviolability of borders is no match for the principle of the self-determination of peoples. History has shown us this in Saarland, after the Second World War, but also in the former Yugoslavia, and in Kosovo. What is more, the principle of borders gives way to that of “uti possidetis juris,” a legal principle which states that “you shall possess what you already possess.” It is therefore astonishing that the West should rely on its banner principles.

As for democracy, Zelenski was quick to ban all pro-Russian opposition, which accounted for 50 percent of the population within the 1991 borders, and today he goes so far as to ban all opposition. Putin’s election has been ridiculed—but Zelenski is above the Constitution, his term of office having come to an end; yet he remains the “President” of Ukraine, ever invited by the West. Remember that during the First World War, the 3rd Republic, with France partly occupied by the Germans, held all elections to guarantee its democratic mobilization in the face of the enemy. In Ukraine, there are no elections, because Ukrainians do not support Zelenski’s policies, and he would probably not be re-elected.

It is therefore for propaganda purposes, to make people believe in a just war, that Westerners, and Europeans in particular, use the arguments of “Law and Democracy,” and end up believing their own propaganda. So, with the media repeating these mantras, we in the West do not seek out the real reasons for war—when we need to know them if we want peace, and above all a just peace, which cannot be that of the might of a victor, whoever he may be.

Years ago, right after the Berlin Wall came down, as head of the East-West Cooperation Platform and Chairman of the European Democratic Forum, I went to the Ukraine at the invitation of President Kravchuk. I noticed that many Ukrainians were angry with me because I did not talk about immediate integration into the European Union, even though I was campaigning for this, for the Višegrad countries. In fact, I was invited because they thought I was going to support Ukrainian integration.

My caution stemmed from my Alsatian origins, Alsace being a bridge region between two civilizations, just as Ukraine is, as a country. I knew how territories with two cultures that once belonged to two Empires are the object of conflict, because we Alsatians paid the price in two world wars. We suffered the aggression of the German Empire in 1870, 1914 and 1940, because we had belonged to the Holy German Empire for 900 years, after having been at the origin of both West and East Francia. Louis XIV had put Alsace back into West Francia, but only in order for France to be a member of the Holy Roman Empire through Alsace, he had maintained the Germanic specificity of our region.

This framework, respectful of Alsatian identity, was broken by revolutionary Jacobinism, leading to demands for autonomy under the various republics, which were largely instrumentalized by the Germans. Empires always instrumentalize bridge-regions to turn them into buffer zones or ramparts. Rome first did this with Alsace, then Republican France and the German Empire, with the consequences we all know—so many deaths.

However, the reason for the First and Second World Wars was not only Alsace, but also, and above all, the threat posed by the continental axis to Great Britain, a maritime empire that dominated the world by sea. Such a Paris-Berlin-Moscow alliance would have destroyed this domination. England lied about its supposed “neutrality” (despite the triple entente between itself, Russia and France) to Germany, which felt obsidional. Germany felt besieged, caught between France and Russia, which then included the Ukraine as well as Poland. Mr. Putin had not yet been born, and the Soviet Empire was still in the making, with Germany helping Lenin’s return to Russia in 1917. Germany declared war on Russia and France in August 1914.

This rupture of the European Continent, due to the ambitions of the Empires, goes back a long way and began between Rome and Byzantium with the instrumentalization of religion to distinguish the Western Empire from the Eastern Empire with “the filioque” under Charlemagne, which for the Western Empire proceeds from the Father and the Son, and for the Eastern Empire from the Father alone. But it was under an Alsatian Pope, in 1054, Pope Leo IX, who was actually bedridden, but under the action of his emissaries, that the real rupture between Rome and Byzantium, between West and East, took place, with devastating consequences for Christian Europe in the face of the rest of the world and the conquering Turks. In 1596, the West had also used the Uniate cause (constitution of the Byzantine-rite Greek-Catholic Church) to try and divide the Orthodox Church in its favor.

During this trip in 1991, I bore in mind the West’s great ongoing responsibility for conflicts with the East, including the sacking of Byzantium in 1204, and I had no wish, truth be told, to continue the Christian fratricidal war embodied by the new Byzantium, Moscow, by integrating the Ukraine. We wanted Greater Europe, with Russia, which would be a different kind of European construction than the Union. Pope John Paul II called for this; he wanted, in fact, the unity of these two Europes, as soon as the Soviet Empire fell. He believed that a great Christian Europe would be a pole of balance in the face of Communist China and the Muslim world. Even François Mitterrand, with the idea of a “European confederation,” took up the cause of the Great Europe of De Gaulle, whom he had unjustly opposed. It was therefore necessary not to put the Ukraine in one camp, with the disastrous consequences we had seen with Alsace, but to make it a bridge between East and West in order to build this Greater Europe. Ukraine would play the role that Alsace played in the construction of the small Europe of Strasbourg, with Franco-German reconciliation, enabling the post-war Union for the Greater Europe to be built.

But this ambition, this unity of Western and Eastern Europe, with Russia, from the end of the Soviet Empire in 1991, did not suit our friends in the fight against communism, by which I mean the United States and, of course, Great Britain. This unity was contrary to their interests. It would have meant the loss of US influence over Western Europe, and the creation of an independent continental pole that would eventually surpass the United States, even if the power of China was not yet in sight. Gaullist France, with its desire for independence, combined with the economic power of Germany and the links forged with Russia by these two countries, would have undoubtedly organized a political Europe independent from the United States.

So, as soon as the Wall fell, the American secret services sought to break this possible United Europe by a West-East rupture in the Ukraine. These operations, initially kept secret, came to light in 1997. As former US National Security Advisor Brzezinski put it in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard: the United States must break the continental axis, for it is an existential danger for them, because it is a question of whether or not “the chosen nation” will continue to lead the world. According to Brezinski, this break would take place in the Ukraine—this country had to become a barrier country, breaking this axis, within its own 1991 borders, between the occidental West and the oriental East.

Brzezinski prepared Mrs. Albright and Mrs. Nuland. He himself went into the field to build this rupture under cover of the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), relying on Ukrainian extremists, the Banderites. President Putin calls them Nazis, because their ideology is indeed white supremacism, with visible Nazi symbols. Madame Nuland continued Brzezinski’s work right up to the Maïdan coup. The West talks of democracy; Madame Nuland openly boasted of a so-called “democratic” coup d’état that only cost the USA $5 billion. But it is Russian interference that is often mentioned.

But let us put ourselves in the USA’s shoes. Once Germany had become Russia’s and China’s leading importer and exporter, and China had replaced France in Germany’s trade around the year 2000, the continental axis was established. While it would initially work in favor of German supremacy (Germany having become the world’s leading exporter per capita, doing 10 times better than China), this axis would eventually, according to American strategists, and rightly so, work in China’s favor. Thus, it had to be broken, with no qualms about it, unless we wanted (so he said) all European nations to become, in 20 years’ time, economic and then political Chinese colonies, with the certainty, for the United States, that it would lose the battle to its main competitor, China, as of now.

For there to have been any other choice, Europe would have had to understand and anticipate, as it were, the interests of the United States and oppose this economic “globalism,” imported from the United States after the Second World War, to mark their domination, which was now working against the interests of our Western countries and even more particularly the United States itself. Nobody really realized this until President Trump.

From the 1990s onwards, this globalism in the West produced our de-industrialization by supporting the Chinese economy. More specifically, in the United States, the relocation of American companies based in China was responsible, between 2000 and 2010, for over 50 percent of the enormous US trade deficit with China. The Western productive economy was being transformed into a financial economy, to the benefit of US finance, through the quest for maximum profit and minimum tax, and China knew how to take advantage of this greed by channeling it into its own development. It was wrongly thought that China would thus become democratic.

As for Germany, it was caught up in globalism, but for its economic domination, not to relocate its companies. Its industrialists were patriotic: By buying cheap Russian energy inputs and Chinese components, assembling them in its own industry and making them “Made in Germany,” it was certain to be the most competitive economy in the West. It would dominate the single market and, sheltered by the euro, with the South’s deficits offsetting its enormous surpluses, it would become the most mercantilist economy in the world, exporting 10 times more than the Chinese, per capita.

German economic hegemony was about to become political hegemony, without Germany really seeking it. Germany considered its huge trade surpluses to be normal, due to the reforms it had carried out and its sound economic strategy. President Trump lectured Germany, but his focus was personal rather than that of a protector of American interests, since he was asking Germany to reduce its trade surpluses with the United States. Germany thus dissociated itself economically from the United States, but took with it the Berlin-Moscow-Beijing continental axis, which would marginalize the United States by empowering Europe. When you consider that Germany rebuilt itself with Marshall Plan money, and that the United States also covered the cost of its security, there comes a time, even among the most patient of allies, when enough is enough.

Thus, none of our European politicians anticipated the Hegemon’s brutal policy of reacting to this necessary break in the continental axis to maintain its hegemony in Western Europe, but above all to face up to its main competitor, China. When I spoke again and again about this topic in the European Parliament, people did not understand me. In fact, Germany had become arrogant in its relations with the United States, through its own strategy of economic and political power, without even realizing it.

The United States was therefore obliged to move on to the offensive phase of rupture in the Ukraine. Admittedly, it is not moral, but the materialistic West does not reason in terms of good or evil, but in terms of useful or useless, in terms of the economic and above all financial interests that make up “Western” policy. Behind the rhetoric of “values” or ever-changing interests, every Empire seeks to survive, and therefore to destroy anything that might stand in its way. It is vital. It is not a question of morality—the West has functioned in this way since the Renaissance, with Machiavelli marking the break with the Christian West and its just peace.

Madame Nuland was therefore at the helm, leading up to the Maidan demonstrations and the coup d’état that forced out the democratically-elected President Yanukovych. She “democratically” composed the new government, as the soundtracks intercepted by the Russians have shown, with words that have never been denied. Russian imperialism on the Ukraine’s borders was no more than a pretext, for the Russian mote could not hide the American beam which was America’s admitted hand in all these events, even though the journalistic narrative of the “controlled” media was quite different. In fact, it was NATO that advanced eastwards, not Russia westwards; Russia, on the other hand, abandoned its Soviet Empire in a non-belligerent manner, wanting precisely that great Europe of John Paul II and General De Gaulle.

Germany thus received a big blow on the head with the sabotage of Nord-Stream, without understanding what was happening to it, without understanding that it had deserved it, in its schizophrenic attitude of verbal submission to the United States while doing, in fact, exactly the opposite, seeking to regain an economic Empire over the world. Yet Ms. Nuland made no secret of it. In a public interview, for example, she asserted that Nord-Stream would never be operational; when asked how this would happen, she replied, You’ll see!

As far as Russia was concerned, US intelligence strategists, some of whom are friends of mine, thought that Russia would be destabilized by the war in Ukraine, and that its defeat would pave the way for a “democrat,” i.e., a man from the Western camp. The idea was to resume the project, almost completed under Yeltsin, of defeating Russia in the service of Western interests, i.e., the interests of certain Western financial powers. The project was almost completed, but Russia, on its knees, got an unforeseeable jolt—President Yeltsin appointed a certain Putin to succeed him.

President Putin sincerely wanted to build this alliance with the West, but he also wanted to create the Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Beijing continental axis so feared by the United States. Russia, as a Eurasian country, would become a balancing power between oriental China and occidental Europe, for its own security and independence. This was the program for the creation of a true Multipolar World, as opposed to the one we talk so much about today, which might prefigure a Chinese world or, at most, a bipolar one—if the Americans do not descend into civil war after the next presidential elections.

President Putin needed France for an independent military Europe, because in the 2000s, only France and Russia wanted an independent Europe. President Chirac had the will, but not the freedom, and yet during his presidency I witnessed numerous projects, from satellites to airplanes, including joint military research into new weapons at the Franco-German Institute in Saint-Louis and civil nuclear power, all of which aborted. President Putin therefore allowed Western economic interests, including those of the US, to develop in Russia, fearing a return to the errors of Soviet planning, but he refused, it goes without saying, policies contrary to the interests of his country. Like all Russians, he was attached to this new freedom of borders, and no doubt also to the money it brought in, which unfortunately remained mostly in the West, something he no doubt also deplored.

The Liberals were in government at the time. Russia was not promoting the endogenous development that Jacques Sapir, Jean-Jacques Bonnaud and I were proposing with Gaullist planning and a certain protectionism. The market was supposed to promote development, according to the President and the Russian Central Bank. Finally, we had to wait for Western sanctions for Russia to really develop and become the world’s fourth economic power, in purchasing power parity terms, while France, for example, fell behind. The Yukos affair in 2003, however, marked the end of the liberal policy in the Russian energy and mining sectors, while defense had already taken off without a French partner. As we know today, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the nominee of a bank that had sought to share Russia’s wealth under Yeltsin through bribery and corruption.

In all sincerity, President Putin signed the Minsk II agreements in 2015, in the wake of the Maidan coup d’état, and was a good sport about it, even though he had already emphasized in Munich in 2007 the red lines not to be crossed, namely NATO’s advance into Georgia and the Ukraine, which were unacceptable to Russia because they put the United States on its borders. He had confidence in France and Germany, co-signatories of these agreements. Had not these countries opposed this enlargement, and had not France come to the rescue of peace in Georgia in 2008, under President Sarkozy? He even continued to give pledges to the United States; thus, again on September 11, 2013, in the New-York Times, he emphasized ”the increased trust” between Russia and the United States.

However, the small sphere that controlled Western financial interests, and which wanted at all costs to get its hands on all the Ukraine’s resources, as well as those of Russia, did not see it that way. Western financial interests, with a strong presence in the Ukraine, already controlled the western part of the country. The conflict offered the opportunity to project them eastwards into the richest regions, where the too many Russian businessmen would be opportunely replaced by genuine US businessmen. We were already dividing up the Ukraine’s wealth, if we could not divide up Russia’s hoped-for wealth.

Everything was stacked against Russia. The war in the Ukraine was wanted by the patriotic strategists of US intelligence, but also, for other reasons that have nothing to do with patriotism, by the small sphere of Western finance. This rupture was therefore a foregone conclusion, without any thought having been given to the likelihood of another story that I described to my American friends who came to see me in the Vosges: the birth of a Russia-China bloc against Western hegemony, extending to the global South and throughout the Arab world, via the Palestinian question.

The Pandora’s Box of new power balances was thus opened by the West, risking its own ruin. But this moment of instability, of crucial crisis—for we are at a crossroads—is also a moment of opportunity for the independence of a great Europe, allied nonetheless with the United States, but solely for the construction of a truly multipolar world, balancing China’s power, for a world of peace and justice. This is what we will explain in a second part of “Peace with Russia,”—showing how to build it.
Jean Luc Schaffhauser is a former Member of the European Parliament and member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and the Security and Defense Committee.
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