Council On Foreign Relations: The Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s – Not Putin’s – Fault

Mainstream, Hawkish Group Blames the West for the Mess In Ukraine

We’ve previously reported that it’s the West’s encirclement of Russia – breaking a key promise which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union – which is behind the Ukraine crisis.

We’ve also noted:

The U.S. State Department spent more than $5 billion dollars in pushing Ukraine towards the West.  The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (Geoffrey Pyatt) and assistant Secretary of State (Victoria Nuland) were also recorded plotting the downfall of the former Ukraine government in a leaked conversationTop-level U.S. officials literally handed out cookies to the protesters who overthrew the Ukrainian government.

And the U.S. has been doing everything it can to trumpet pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian propaganda. So – without doubt – the U.S. government is heavily involved with fighting a propaganda war regarding Ukraine.

The news is starting to go mainstream …

Specifically, the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) is a very mainstream, hawkish group.

CFR’s flagship publication – Foreign Affairs – has just published a piece blaming the Ukraine crisis on the West.

The must-read piece by John Mearsheimer – in it’s September/October 2014 issue – accurately notes:

The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine — beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 — were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a “coup” — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.  Putin’s pushback should have come as no surprise. After all, the West had been moving into Russia’s backyard and threatening its core strategic interests, a point Putin made emphatically and repeatedly.


In [a] 1998 interview, [the top American expert on Russia, George] Kennan predicted that NATO expansion would provoke a crisis, after which the proponents of expansion would “say that we always told you that is how the Russians are.” As if on cue, most Western officials have portrayed Putin as the real culprit in the Ukraine predicament.

Mearsheimer notes that the U.S. backed the Ukrainian coup. And he points out that Washington would not react kindly if China built a military alliance on American borders, which included Canada and Mexico … but that’s exactly what we’re trying to do to Russia.

Mearsheimer gives a way out of this mess: stop trying to westernize Ukraine and shove it into NATO, and allow NATO to become a buffer between Russia and NATO.

Will saner heads prevail, and back away from the abyss before it’s too late?

And see this.

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    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” James Madison

  • Bill Beck

    Fuck the Kiev Junta, They deserve to die. America doesn’t and cannot understand Eastern Europe and the people who have lived side by side for 3-4,000 years. Much of Eastern Ukraine is Russia but was annexed like Crimea generously by the USSR to try give them something they were so pathetic.

    60% of Ukraine are members of the Russian Orthodox Church, the people are overwhelmingly Slavic like Russia, forget the USSR they were a combined nation for 200 years before that. Putin will outplay the lot and America. Ukraine is a red line and contingencies would be long and deep as well as Orthodox and Slavic supporters across the land. The downfall of the Junta and its followers will be truly brutal. Putin will get them. He won’t care when he will just care he does.

  • Steven

    Thank goodness! A voice of sanity from the official organ of US foreign policy! Maybe now it will be OK for the MSM to start telling the public the truth about what has been happening in Ukraine. If foreign policy must forever be a Great Game, let’s not turn it into Russian roulette. Anyone have Putin’s address so I can send him a copy?

  • Party Like 1999

    This article is a feeble attempt by the CFR to parlay a neutralized Ukraine in exchange for Russia not vaporizing the source of the councl’s power…
    The public won’t see many more of these type parlays before Washington attempts a nuclear first strike on Russia…
    Russia should view this feigned reasonableness “best case” offer by Obama as mere public relations.It’s only a delaying tactic. The forces are not yet 100% in place to launch the attack under the best auspices.

    • Bill Beck

      No attack will happen on Russia everyone knows it means mutual destruction. Putin is smart and picked up the Ukraine situation as soon as Obama ordered Yanukovich to go for using force on protesters at the first run in at Maidan when Occupy protestors had been dealt with far worse under Obama. Putin has a Q & A that week and was asked about a hypothetical invasion of Russia and he said there is no question it is unacceptable and Nukes will be used.

      First strike means nothing. If Russia is hit with a nuke there system isn’t even designed to ask who? Literally. Within 30 seconds there will be several nuclear bombs heading straight for different American cities. Then just like America hisn Nuclear submarines will begin to fire of volleys. They have expected first strike for 50 years on both sides and both sides have set up such a retaliatory response system the world will be unihabitable.

      • I used to believe they wouldn’t be foolish enough launch a 1st strike too, but they have gotten cockier and more reckless each year. So much so that they don’t even bother trying to hide the sheer evil, pain and suffering they spread across the globe. At this point they may even think they’re invincible with their fancy laser weapons that can shoot missiles out of the sky. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they followed through with a first strike. It took a mere 5 months or so to go from space partnership down to cold-war relations. Maybe less than 5 months.

  • The CFR article was very biased and too soft on the US.

    The way I’m interpreting their article is that US/Israel’s diaper is full. They are in over their heads and they know it. We are on the brink of nuclear war and their choices are limited now that the dollar is collapsing and the US economy is on the brink of failure. They offer the illusion of a “compromise” to save face and still get some benefit out of this conflict. Realistically, these warmongers have no choice but to start a new world war. They won’t allow the dollar and US hegemony to die gracefully.

    What about the innocent lives lost? Who will bring back the dead, undo the senseless suffering and misery inflicted on innocent peoples? “Let’s leave Ukraine a neutral buffer state,” Is that some sick joke? Your solution is unacceptable and fails to punish the ones who started this mess. You’ve demonized Russia, ruined economies, businesses, peaceful people’s lives and torn relations with our fellow Slavs. Why don’t you just butt out? Leave the other countries the hell alone? I like that solution better. Take your bloody green dollars and buy all the yachts and materialistic happiness your soulless hearts can handle. We are sick of you. Some of us want off this planet because it seems like there no escaping these warmongers anywhere you go to. They’ll always come up with a reason to come into your country to “save” you from ______.

    • Veri1138

      The West are the aggressors in Ukraine because Russia fears democracy, is about how it comes out.

      Propaganda. Using truth. The best kind. Except for that Russia may not or does not fear democratic values. They rightly fear The West.

      • Relentless

        They fear the West the way that you fear a rabid dog. The first years of this century have been defined by the Western nations interference in multiple countries, many for fabricated reasons and in every single case they have only brought large scale death and destruction. Until Western leaders grow into the realization that they have neither the right, the obligation, or the capability to indulge their neo-imperialist ambitions, we should all fear them.

        • Veri1138

          It is interesting to see, in America, people who normally distrust the government and fear it, fall in line with the government when it comes to Russia and Putin.

  • Lens111

    Vladimir Putin must be tried by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to his invasion of Ukraine.

    He lies about the invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine which is a copy of Hitler’s justification for starting wars. There is no reason to believe Putin will be satisfied with only a part of Ukraine; much of eastern Europe, such as Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries, as well as northern Norway, are now in danger too.

    Vladimir Putin is universally regarded as a dictator in the free world; his re-“election” in 2012 was the sole reason Russia was downgraded to dictatorship in the Democracy Index.

    The civilized world must stop Putin before it is too late and he must face trial in The Hague for his crimes. Please help, please share, please make sure Putin meets his just destiny.

    • Tim Tom

      One little mistake to be corrected: you should substitute “Putin” with “Obama and Bush” and then International Criminal Court in The Hague invocation will be justified.

  • Gerard Pierce

    Ukraine becoming “a neutral buffer between NATO and Russia” is a silly daydream.

    There is no profit to the politicians and fascists in Ukraine unless they can take over and sell out their own people. If they are part of a “neutral buffer” there is no profit to the oligarchs in the EU and US and they are not about to put their money into Ukraine if there isn’t a lot of money in it for them. The neo-cons might want to isolate Russia, but they aren’t going to get support from the guys with the money unless there is a buck to be made.

    The sad part is the Putin is limited in what he can do, and a lot of people are going to die before the world finally recognizes what has been done to Ukraine by our neo-cons.

  • Jim G

    This is very big. Thanks, George – I don’t usually read CFR’s stuff or “Foreign Relations..” I would have missed it. However, this organization represents the elite’s take on our foreign policies and signals the direction of future policies. They are apparently folding on the Ukraine. This is very good news, indeed. My expectation is that Putin’s diplomacy won over Germany, France, and the rest of Europe on sanctions. And I bet the US knows that the Ukrainian jets shot down the commercial plane, not the “rebels,” which pretty much does in the moral standing of the current Ukrainian government, if there is such a government. As two minority parties quit, the current Ukrainian government is an interim government that isn’t very popular with the people of the Western Ukraine let alone the East given the IMF socking it to them and their kids being drafted into a very unpopular and costly war.

    And, I would like to give you a hand (I’ll give you another tip when I get done here). Good work Wash. You should get on TV or on the air with your George Washington persona and spread the word.

  • cybervigilante

    The Western media has been disgusting and even sickening on this – lying about Ukraine. Calling a free plebiscite in Crimea that is the same as what Scotland will do, an “invasion.” Raising endless scare stories about Russia invading Europe. TIME magazine, which I will never read again, went on and on about Putin’s invasions and a new Cold War. They even indicted Putin in a totally unrelated special about Empires – where he was portrayed as the latest empire-builder. Ignoring that we are the Empire that has the most troops all over the planet – which is constantly getting us into trouble. I though the WMD lie was just a mistaken blip. But the Ukraine makes it clear just what a Washington lapdog our media is.

    I caught on to these bald lies months ago. Good to see even the CFR smells the horseshit.

  • Veri1138

    The way this article is written is as laying the blame on The West through the promotion of democracy in Ukraine while stating that the promotion of democracy in Ukraine is apparently not something that Russia wants.

    Clever ducks.

    Rewrite it this way: There is a crisis in Ukraine due to The West’s promotion of democracy that include “efforts to spread Western values and promote democracy in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, a plan that often entails funding pro-Western individuals and organizations.”


    Imperial Russia feels that the “efforts to spread Western values and promote democracy in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, a plan that often entails funding pro-Western individuals and organizations,” is a danger to their interests and Imperial designs.

    Russia had a taste of our “democratic values” and “economic values” with Western-guided “shock therapy”. So much so that many wish for the old Communist days back. Life span for the average Russian male dropped below fifty years of age. Only within recent years has it seen gains. That is how bad it was. Even many people in The West want nothing or little to do with “Western values” i.e. “neo-liberal economic values”.

    For us in The West – playing a variation of The Great Game – democracy and Western-values are also tools used to promote the spread of Western – in this case, American – Imperialism. Read “The Grand Chessboard” by Zbigniew Brzezinski for insights. It’s about resources and Russian and The Central Asian Republics have up to 50% of the planet’s resources. And we want them.

    End of Story.

  • N_Disnye

    Why would the Rockefeller funded section of the elite owned warmongering United Nations Ring of Power, start to walk away from the planned destruction of Russia…..unless they have another plan up their sleeve….like the assassination of someone very powerful….like Barry or Vlad??????

  • Jack Bosman

    hahahaha … Yeh, And I suppose Crimea was the West’s fault also? How do you say BULLSHIT in Ukrainian?