(January 28, 2022) — There is something important to recognize about the Cold War: It was not ended by the US government. Instead, it was ended by the Soviet Union. If it had been up to the US national-security establishment, the Cold War would have gone on forever because it is the best racket in US history, one that continually expanded the tax-funded largess, power, and influence of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.
In a sense, the US national-security establishment considered the Soviet Union’s unilateral decision to end the Cold War a betrayal. The Soviets weren’t supposed to do that. The supposed international communist conspiracy to conquer the United States that was supposedly based in Moscow was serving as a fantastic boogeyman that was used to frighten the American people into supporting the continuation of the Cold War racket.
There is something else to recognize about the Cold War: For the US government, it really never ended. They weren’t about to let the Reds dictate the end of their racket. They were bound and determined to figure out some way to keep the racket going.
That’s what keeping NATO around was all about, along with the gradual absorption of former Warsaw Pact countries (without the express approval of Congress), which enabled NATO forces to get closer and closer to Russia’s borders.
Thus, why in the world would the Soviet Union want to start another war, especially knowing that it would be fighting the United States, its World War II partner and ally, whose officials had nuclear weapons and were more than willing to use them against populated cities?
What about the continued Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe? It wasn’t justifiable but it certainly was understandable. The Soviets had just been invaded by the Nazi army, which had come very close to conquering the Soviet Union. Once they pushed the German army back and then defeated it, the last thing the Soviets were going to do was give up their Eastern European buffer against future German invasions. Moreover, we mustn’t forget something important: At the Yalta Conference, US President Franklin Roosevelt agreed that the Soviets could have Eastern Europe.
When the Soviets unilaterally dismantled their empire and exited Eastern Europe in 1989, the United States had an excellent opportunity to do its part to restore a peaceful and harmonious world. It should have dismantled NATO immediately. NATO’s ostensible mission of protecting Western Europe from the Soviet Union was over. If NATO had been abolished, there wouldn’t be a crisis in Ukraine today. It’s because the Pentagon and the CIA kept NATO in existence and, even worse, began absorbing former Warsaw Pact countries that there is a crisis in Ukraine today.
Just as the US officials go ballistic at the thought of Russia installing missiles in Cuba, Russian officials go ballistic over the thought of NATO installing missiles in Ukraine, which is on Russia’s border. US interventionists claim that Russia is being paranoid. They say that the US government is a peace-loving nation that would never attack Russia.
Really? I wonder if the Iraqi people and the Afghan people would agree about that peace-loving bit. But there is something else to consider: It’s not just the US that is in NATO. So is Germany — the nation that invaded the Soviet Union in World War II and wreaked massive death and destruction there. Why would it surprise anyone that Russia might be reticent about having German troops and missiles on Russia’s borders?
Germany seems to get this, which would explain its refusal to send weaponry to Ukraine. Other NATO members are chiding Germany for being “weak” in the face of Russian “aggression.” In actuality, Germany is showing that it understands Russia’s position.
Yesterday, I wrote about how President Kennedy would do his best to step into the shoes of an adversary in order to try to understand why his opponent was taking certain actions. In that way, JFK was able to fashion a solution to a crisis that would take into consideration his opponent’s concerns. That’s how Kennedy was able to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis without going to nuclear war with the Soviets, much to the anger and even rage of his enemies within the Pentagon and the CIA.
Too bad President Biden is unable to do that. What Biden should do is declare an end to the Cold War and abolish NATO immediately. Unlike Kennedy, however, Biden is deferring to the power of the Pentagon and the CIA and, in the process, letting them continue their dangerous and destructive Cold War racket.
From Ukraine to Yemen,
US Arms Industry Reaps the Spoils of War
(January 28, 2022) — The US is pouring more weapons into Ukraine amid bellicose threats against Russia and the US-backed Saudi war on Yemen continues to massacre civilians. But not everyone sees a downside: “I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it,” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said this week of these and other flashpoints.
Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine and author of “The Spoils of War: Power, Profit and the American War Machine,” discusses the US arms industry’s role in promoting and profiting from today’s global conflicts, from Ukraine to Yemen to Syria.