Ukraine: A Pretext for the US to Get Rid of the Russian Enemy?

The severity of the sanction measures taken against Russia is unprecedented, according to Philippe Raxhon, professor of contemporary history at the University of Liège, Belgium. But what is the actual goal behind those sanctions? To fight a belligerent autocrat, or to bring down a historical rival, specifically one of the United States?

Russia being ostracized to such a degree of intensity, at every level, and with such speed and thoroughness is unprecedented. No other country acting as an aggressor — and the list is long — has ever been met with such treatment.

Yet the basic principle of diplomacy is to leave a door open, not to close them one after another, laughing nervously with every turn of the key. The ever more hysterical behaviors and stances, including among high-ranking political leaders; the exacerbation of primal anti-Russian sentiment; the rapidity of the coordinated response against Russia at every level; the complete boycotting of the country — all no doubt provide Vladimir Putin with arguments in favor of expanding the conflict. Propaganda specialist that he is, he will know how to use them; the endangered and beleaguered motherland has been one of the most powerful, and most unifying, motifs in the history of Russia, usually at the expense of its enemies.

Naturally, seeding an adversary’s propaganda with one’s own attitude to force them into declaring war, and thus into making a mistake, is an ancient and subtle maneuver of which Otto von Bismarck, among others, was a master. And Bismarck is on the reading lists of contemporary think tanks.

If Russia’s adversaries, and the U.S. in particular, are considering this a sought-after opportunity, with the actual goal being to take down a world power which has been a rival since 1947 rather than punish a belligerent autocrat, then not only is the Ukrainian crisis being harnessed by those white knights, but responsibility for the war’s expansion into Europe will, inevitably, fall onto them.

Ukraine will have thus been the victim of two historical misfortunes: that of being invaded and that of serving as a pretext.

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