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America Checkmated in the Eurasian Geopolitical Chess Game

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We are witnessing the unfolding of events that may well be a precursor of things to come. The U.S. government finds itself in a position in which it is unable to use the power of its influence and military force to dominate and prevail. I speak, of course, of the very tenuous situation in Ukraine and Crimea where Russia and its President Putin are in control and have no intention of backing off.

Russia made a swift and bold move into Ukraine and Crimea, taking control of that region, and catching the U.S. government completely by surprise. It would seem that the NSA world monitoring and spying system completely failed to pick up what Russia was planning to do. At this point about all America and its Western allies can do is to try to react to this strategic move but their possible counter moves are few if any.

What happened there has been a monumental blow to America's military hubris. It's very difficult for the war hawks that are so thoroughly embedded in the various parts of this government to accept the reality of what has happened. They are so used to applying this country's military power at will in any part of this world, anytime they see fit; just as they have done in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan and numerous other countries. But, suddenly, they are stymied.

What's going on in this very strategic region of the world can be thought of as a geopolitical chess match between two masters. We might refer to President Putin as the modern-day version of Russia's former world champion chessmaster Garry Kasparov and President Obama playing the role of the former American champion, Bobby Fischer.

In the game of chess the winning move is called a checkmate, one in which a player's king is "in check", that is, in danger of being captured and there is no way to escape. At that point the game is over. So In this geopolitical game of chess in Crimea/Ukraine, to the complete dismay of the U.S. government, it didn't take long for Putin of Russia to declare a checkmate.

Mr. Obama and his inner circle maintain that this kind of intrusion cannot be tolerated and that Putin and Russia will pay a terrible price for what they have done; that strong sanctions by the U.S. and its Western allies will follow and bring Russia to its knees; Russia and Putin will wish that they had never committed this violation of international law.

Now, let's talk about pure hypocrisy. In an attempt to label Russia as an international criminal state it's been reported that Mr. Obama made this absolutely astounding statement in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.

He said: "Russia has pointed to America's decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there."

"But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future." What he failed to mention is that Iraq and its people were devastated by the massive power of the U.S. military.

What is with this president? He's now actually defending one of the greatest military debacles in world history. What he is doing in this tense situation is not using reason and rationality to bring it under control but trying to shift world opinion against Russia by grossly distorting historical fact and attempting to rewrite history. Does he think that anyone is going to buy into such an obvious and blatant misstatement of what happened in Iraq?

So how is all this going to end? Well to find the answer to that question, instead of listening to the mindless blather emanating from the corporate-controlled American media, let's hear what a couple of real experts on military affairs and geopolitical issues have to say about what's really going on here.

Here's an article by Professor Michael Choosudovsky in which he gives an excellent, very insightful analysis of this increasingly dangerous situation. He makes it very clear that Mr. Putin's strategy in this region is to make certain that Russia retains control of their naval base at Sevastopol as well as the Black Sea, and provides the Russian navy with entry into the Mediterranean Sea, through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean. The value of this strategic position is immeasurable.

Does anyone really believe that these sanctions instituted by Mr. Obama and his NATO partner nations will have any great effect on this situation? This president should have been warned that the issuing of sanctions can easily backfire if Russia returns the favor and issues its own sanctions. Doesn't he realize that Russia can, at any time, significantly reduce the flow of oil and natural gas to many European nations? That if these nations begin to experience cutbacks in their imports of oil and gas, that are so critical to their economies, it won't take long for them to beg Russia to turn the spigots back on.

Not only that, but Russia has yet another strategic weapon at its disposal. As this article from Asian Times Online points out, "Moscow - the number one oil and gas exporter on the planet - can also play further hardball with Europe's dependency on Gazprom; clinically target US companies working in Russia; speed up the BRICS-coordinated escape from the US dollar, as in a new international payment system in a basket of currencies for the BRICS as well as other emerging markets; and even activate the ultimate economic nuclear bomb - which is to accept payment for Russian oil and gas in the Ruble, Yuan, Euros or gold, thus delivering a terminal blow to the petrodollar."

And there is one more form of retaliation that Russia possesses and can use against the U.S. if it sees fit. Russia can close down its National Distribution Network highway system, which they have allowed the U.S. to use for years to supply its military in Afghanistan. If Russia closes it down, the U.S. government will be up the creek when it cannot use this system as it pulls massive amounts of military equipment out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
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If one carefully observes the changes that are ta... by michael payne on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:10:11 AM
 "It would seem that the NSA world monitorin... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:40:59 PM
If Obama is in 2nd grade then Putin made it throug... by Jim Miles on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:13:59 PM
Its more like a college student playing chess agai... by Samson on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:36:20 AM
Agree, except for our last paragraph, which I fran... by Theodora B Crawford on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:45:03 PM
No Sir, you didn't. I have been following America... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 5:16:44 PM
Hint, the mistake most seem to make is that they w... by Samson on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:05:21 AM
Your suggestion is exactly what I have been tryin... by Hosea McAdoo on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 4:10:42 AM
A way is on the way to make them care, but I woul... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 11:20:06 AM
Brilliant! Thank you for pointing out what should ... by Theodora B Crawford on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:42:08 PM
Great article and analysis of the Ukraine situatio... by Paul Roden on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:26:35 PM
Thank you Paul: You have just added a greater ins... by michael payne on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:08:13 PM
I rated the article as "News" because I had forgot... by Charles Roll on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 4:44:07 PM
Excelent article. I pointed before that ruthless p... by Ethan Hollow on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 10:34:05 PM
The US shouldn't have needed the NSA to spy and mo... by Samson on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 2:58:29 AM
Are they really so unbelievably stupid and derang... by Paul Easton on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 11:30:29 AM
My thoughts exactly! I think the NSA is set up , n... by Hosea McAdoo on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 1:46:33 PM
For me, the crisis isn't over at all, though I am... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 3:08:49 PM
Robert: You don't think that Russia has a pow... by michael payne on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 5:11:58 PM
Thank you. Excellent and helpful comment. ... by Hosea McAdoo on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 6:25:36 PM
Of course Russia has tools to leverage its will b... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 7:11:58 PM
Robert: You say, "Taking over Crimea is no e... by michael payne on Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 8:16:06 PM
Now you are willfully misreading, for example on ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 10:59:08 AM
You said: "What about the UN General Assembly vot... by michael payne on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 12:43:20 PM
Amazing two-steps. Do you read your own text and ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 6:26:53 PM
Let's just end this discussion right now because,... by michael payne on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 8:31:56 PM
for true believers only ... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 9:30:31 PM