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02 September 2015

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elev8

Kissinger is part of the John Hay-initiative: https://www.google.de/url?q=http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-14/republican-candidates-outsource-their-foreign-policy&sa=U&ved=0CAsQFjAAahUKEwiugdmCmNjHAhUBfHIKHdH-Bsw&usg=AFQjCNHK2APqRW1IiH95_KmESlBgM5ObMA">http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-14/republican-candidates-outsource-their-foreign-policy&sa=U&ved=0CAsQFjAAahUKEwiugdmCmNjHAhUBfHIKHdH-Bsw&usg=AFQjCNHK2APqRW1IiH95_KmESlBgM5ObMA">https://www.google.de/url?q=http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-14/republican-candidates-outsource-their-foreign-policy&sa=U&ved=0CAsQFjAAahUKEwiugdmCmNjHAhUBfHIKHdH-Bsw&usg=AFQjCNHK2APqRW1IiH95_KmESlBgM5ObMA

In other words: Kissinger is outlining his political testament to the Republican candidates. They can repudiate him, but they cannot ignore him. This is the Republicans' moment of truth, their last exit to sanity.

rkka

"To me, yes. It means that breaking Russia has become an objective; the long-range purpose should be to integrate it."

This is true. However, our objective since the fall of the USSR has never been to integrate Russia, but to weaken it, and possibly break Russia up further.

I'll illustrate this with a short excerpt from an article by Richard F. Starr “Russia and the West”, Mediterranean Quarterly, Fall 1995 pgs 76-77:

Quote
The Most Hopeful Scenario

This would include a genuine transition to democracy and economic relations, based on private enterprise. A ten-year projected decline of the Russian population by 16.5 million to 131.5 million by the year 2005, coupled with about four hundred thousand tons of grain exported for 1996, suggests that the country finally would become able to feed itself. The military-industrial complex is closed down and the armed forces reorganized into a constabulary force, without offensive combat capabilities.

After the young economist Grigory A. Yavlinsky has been elected president and proclaims a Compact with Russia, an enormous rescue operation is mobilized by the industrialized world. It dwarfs the Mexican bailout. Moscow offers as collateral its natural resources, valued at $29 trillion. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the G-7 organization of seven leading economic powers, and (a – We especially loved this part) private banks in the West and Japan all join in support of this largest assistance program in history.

The new leadership in Moscow proposes to transform the Federation of Russia, with its twenty-one republics, into a United States of Russia that would encompass forty-six territorial units. Five of the latter are Cossack republics, named after historic military settlements along the border of the former tsarist empire. A continental congress, convened at St. Petersburg, drafts a new constitution and a bill of rights.

/quote

The important points of this plan were:
1) Decline of Russia’s population to ~130 million.
2) Elimination of Russia’s military-industrial sector.
3) Elimination of Russian military capabilities.
4) Western control of Russia’s then-$29 trillion natural resources sector, at a price of ~$100 billion (The Mexican bailout Our good Professor Starr referred to came to about $50 billion).
5) The multiplication of territorial units in Russia, to ensure when that Russia fell apart there would be as many small pieces as possible.

I recall Frank Gaffney in the 1970s saying that until Russia is reduced once more to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, it will remain a threat to the United States. Yes, Russia must be broken up until it has no coastline and has a territorial extent of a couple hundred miles radius from Moscow.

Jeff Sachs, an early advisor to the Soviet then Russian governments on economic reform, notes that in late 1991 the Bush administration made the delivery of food aid conditional on the Soviet government continuing debt repayments even though it was approaching total bankruptcy. This demand was continued until February 1992 when the new Russian government had totally exhausted all of its foreign exchange reserves. Sachs has concluded after long reflection on this and other US policies that were greatly damaging to Russia and her future prospects that succeeding at reforming the Russian economy and democratizing Russian politics was never a US objective.

Weakening Russia to the maximum extent possible was.

Russians are well aware of this, and the coup in Kiev last February was the final straw. They have given up their last remaining hope in a non-hostile relationship with the US, and are psychologically prepared for war with the US, even nuclear war. I don't think this is understood in Versailles-on-the-Potomac. It looks like its denizens expect Putin to be as lethargic in his waging of this conflict as the post-WWII Soviet leadership was.

Delusion runs deep in Versailles-on-the-Potomac.

William R. Cumming

Kissinger always worthy of a study and read.

If I was President Obama I would convene an international conference on the Ukraine hoping its recommendations would be a partition of the Ukraine.

But even more important is Russia must decide if it is European west of the URALs!

And again ask if the US in some secret protocol or arrangement has ever promised the military defense of the Ukraine?

David Habakkuk

CP,

Kissinger writes: 'If we treat Russia seriously as a great power, we need at an early stage to determine whether their concerns can be reconciled with our necessities.'

Even before one does this, it is necessary to take a view on what actually American 'necessities' are. One conception was expressed in the famous Defense Planning Guidance document whose drafting was supervised by Paul Wolfowitz in 1992. Essentially, this put forward a unilateral American hegemony as the appropriate model for global order.

From the start, this project was bound up with the kind of approach to the security problems of Israel set out in the 1996 'Clean Break' paper.

Behind this, there is a tragedy, relating to the empowerment of American Jews – which is both an American and a Jewish tragedy. The Jews who have been able to exercise decisive influence over American foreign and security policy are those who have bought into the myths of American nationalism and exceptionalism, which are indeed essentially 'ahistorical'.

A particular irony is that some of those who have had most to teach about the shaping role of history on contemporary Russian realities are Jewish scholars, such as Stephen F. Cohen, Moshe Lewin, and Jacob W. Kipp. But their political influence has been marginal – it is symptomatic that Cohen's attempts to explain the complexities of Ukraine have led to him being regularly denounced as a 'Putin stooge'.

As a result, American policy towards the Middle East came to be dominated by a weird mixture of 'end of history' fantasies – implying that as Napoleon was apparently supposed to have done by Fukuyama, American armies could bring liberty and equality to the backward Middle East – and muddled attempts at British-style imperial strategies.

The peak of ludicrousness was reached when, in the 1996 'Clean Break' paper, Perle and his colleagues fantasised that Israel could get out of its problems with Hizbullah as the result of a Hashemite restoration in Iraq.

In the event, the toppling of Saddam had the effect of empowering the 'Shia Crescent', and thus gravely worsening the threat to Israel from Hizbullah – while at the same time making jihadists a serious force in Iraq.

Contrary to Carl Schmitt's notions about the definition of the political being the distinction between friend and enemy, the more normal relationship is that other political forces are neither simply one nor the other. In relation to the 'Shia Crescent', ironically, whatever elements of enmity there might naturally be in the relations between the Western powers and it, they both shared a common interest in combating sunni jihadists.

As has become clear, however, from the point of view of Netanyahu and his American fellow-travellers, the newly-empowered 'Shia Crescent' appears to be judged a greater threat than the jihadists – which gives them a natural commonality of interest with the Saudis and the Turks. It seems however that their preferred state may be ongoing chaos.

For the Western powers, however, the obvious ordering of priorities is the precise reverse. The jihadists really are a mortal threat – an irreconcilable enemy in Schmitt's sense – and chaos is something we have every reason to want to avoid: not simply because it creates a natural ground in which extremists grow, but also because of its effects on population migration. By contrast, our differences with the 'Shia Crescent' are relatively insignificant – so that the appropriate response is precisely that which has underpinned the Iran negotiations.

Meanwhile, some influential American Zionists – see for example Carl Gershman's September 2013 piece in the 'Washington Post' – concluded that the appropriate response to Putin's temerity in attempting to prevent the United States handing Syria to the jihadists was 'regime change' in Kiev, intended to promote 'regime change' in Moscow.

The predictable result has been a civil war in Ukraine, the likely descent of that country into a 'failed state', a decisive move of Russia towards China, and a small but not entirely negligible risk of nuclear war in Europe.

(The article, which is almost as striking an example of the neocons' total disassociation from reality as the 'Clean Break' paper, is at http://tinyurl.com/qca22p4 .)

The full scale of the divergence between the neoconservative view of an appropriate Western policy and a reasonably rational view of what actually suits our interests is accordingly, coming clearly into view.

What would seem to be required – and indeed in my view has been required all along – is a somewhat more modest view of American 'necessities' than that put forward by the over-educated imbeciles like Wolfowitz, Perle, and Gershman. In relation to Russia, as to Iran, a more modest view would suggest that these are powers with which we have some conflicting interests, but also very substantial interests in common: and among these, the need to combat Sunni jihadism.

Unfortunately, as we have seen, the familiar combination of financial muscle and emotional blackmail is being wheeled out in the attempt to derail the Iranian deal.

As has often, and rightly, been pointed out, on this blog as elsewhere, unquestioning fellow-travellers of Netanyahu are not actually representative of the majority of American Jews. One can only hope that those courageous figures – like Philip Weiss and Max Blumenthal – who have sought to mobilise Jewish opinion actively to oppose the neoconservatives will now find more of a hearing.

ex-PFC Chuck

In re: "I contest Kissinger's suggestion of US passivity however. Passivity certainly ceased to be the norm once the Maidan began."

I strongly agree with the first sentence of the quote, however regarding the latter from what I've read at sites such as Fort Russ, The Vinyard of the Saker, and Dances With Bears over the past year, it appears US activism predated Maidan by at least several years. Most of it was under the western public's radar, which is intentionally aimed in wrong directions.
http://fortruss.blogspot.mx/
http://thesaker.is/
http://johnhelmer.net/

rkka

David,

This goes far deeper than the Neocons. Note that Kissenger lumps together all of our failed wars post-1945, including those begun and waged by WASPs of impeccable lineage.

In the case of Russia, the view of Russia as a blot upon humanity, America's 'Dark Twin' to be contained, punished, and reformed, goes back to the mid-1880s, when the USG started laying down a new steel navy to replace the rotting wooden navy built for the Civil War. In 1900, AT Mahan was advocating an alliance between the US, the British Empire, the German Empire, and the Japanese Empire to contain Russia until collapse. I think what it really boils down to is that dominant seapowers have an inveterate hostility to the world's largest land power, no matter what. So though the Neocons conduct policy with a recklessness that would have made Dean Acheson's blood run cold, he and they share similar assumptions, approaches, and objectives regarding Russia.

Babak Makkinejad

In an analogous manner to Professor Cohen, the academic couple Dr. Hillary Mann Levertt & her husband, Dr. Flynt Leverett - former NSC staffers under Bush II and now both professors at Georgetown University - who have been advocating strategic settlement with Iran have been denounced as the stooges of ayatollahs and have personally suffered for such advocacy.

confusedponderer

Personally, I think that Kissinger knows all that very well but considers it stuff not spoken of in polite company. One has to adjust for that.

Matthew

CP; It's like the outrage over Assad's barrel bombs but silence over Saudi's civilian carnage in Yemen. Again, polite people are supposed to edit out inconvenient facts.

mbrenner

It is noteworthy that none of the MSM have picked up the Kissinger story - as far as I know - despite all the laurels that have been heaped on him over the years. That says a lot.

VietnamVet

CP,

This is the frightening part. Henry Kissinger who directed the secret B-52 Cambodia bombing campaign is absolutely correct. The reckless advocacy of regime change in Libya, Syria and Ukraine with no acknowledgment of the consequences of these wars and no thought of how to win the peace are directly the result of policies pushed by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. The only difference between them and Lindsey Graham or John McCain is the deafening silence about their complicity.

scott s.

To what extent is Poland involved? It has seemed to me that Poland has historically aspired to a greater status, and that aspiration has been deemed threatening or contrary to the interests of both Germany and Russia.

kao_hsien_chih

The one observation Kissinger made that struck me: "Because we refuse to learn from experience. Because it’s essentially done by an ahistorical people. In schools now, they don’t teach history anymore as a sequence of events. They deal with it in terms of themes without context."

The coalitions that seem ascendant in today's world, including in Ukraine, in the Middle East, in East Asia, and indeed, even in heartland of US of A, are not just made of ahistorical people. They are made up of people who are too historical (that is, they know history extremely well, but from their narrow and parochial worldview) and those who are indeed ahistorical (the typical American elite) but definitely with a clear and well-defined themes--usually, the sense of history, or even the universe itself, as a morality play. They mesh well because they share the common worldview: we are right, "they" are wrong, but for different reasons. The former believe that they are right because "they" did horrible things to "us" for God knows how long. The latter think that "we" are right, well, because "we" are right because we are--the "thematic" reasons, if you will. Far from "ahistoric," they are trapped by their senses of "historicity," even if these are really just fairytale versions devoid of "facts."

oofda

To add to the complicated situation, ISIS claims to have attacked a Russian military barracks in the Caucasus. What this portends is anyone's guess.

http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-attacked-russian-military-barracks-2015-9

William R. Cumming

I expect a flood of posthumous books on Kissinger. One published soon tries to place Kissinger in a larger context than a Nixon minion and war criminal.

Kissinger was no Metternicht IMO!

William R. Cumming

Wiki extract:

Henry Alfred Kissinger (/ˈkɪsɪndʒər/; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger [haɪnts ˈalfʁɛt ˈkɪsɪŋɐ]; May 27, 1923) is an American diplomat and political scientist. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. For his actions negotiating the ceasefire in Vietnam (which was ultimately never actualized), Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. After his term, his advice has still been sought by many subsequent U.S. presidents and other world leaders.

A proponent of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger's Realpolitik resulted in controversial policies such as CIA involvement in Chile and US support for Pakistan, despite its genocidal actions during the Bangladesh War. He is the founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm. Kissinger has been a prolific author of books in politics and international relations with over one dozen books authored. Scholars have ranked Kissinger as the most effective U.S. Secretary of State in the last 50 years.

LeaNder

that's funny:

"Perry said ... I can have those conversations and regurgitate that information."

LeaNder

ex-PFC Chuck, I agree earlier efforts in the direction mostly remained "under the western public's radar".

If visas and visa insurance for the East, why not for Russians too? Why did the Ukraine surface so prominently in the German visa scandal?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Visa_Affair_2005#1999.2F2000

I cannot believe this was all that was going on, a couple of other things come to mind, that seem to have been vaguely related. Neither do I believe we ever got any real answers in the public hearings.

rjj

It is not frightening, neither is it new. It is that WTF and [not in]consistent dissonance between Citizen Kissinger and Official Kissinger that makes me wonder about HRC.

William R. Cumming

My verdict on Kissinger is complicated but in brief he understood a world of nation-states but not sub-state actors or issues of governance. I did find the published analysis of Kissinger by Seymour Hersch interesting.

Kissinger acolytes still dominate US FP IMO!

And an important historical revision is necessary. China opened the ground for the Nixon/Kissinger raproachment not the President! And not Kissinger.

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