Cross-posted from Counterpunch
"In the implementing of their policies, our western partners -- the United States first and foremost -- prefer to be guided not by international law, but by force. They believe in their own 'exceptionalism,' that they are allowed to decide on the fate of the world, and that they are always right."~~ Russian President Vladimir Putin
"What did we do to deserve this? What did we do to deserve being bombed from planes, shot at from tanks, and have phosphorous bombs dropped on us?...That we wanted to live the way we want, and speak our own language, and make friends with whom we want?"~~ Alexander V. Zakharchenko, Chairman of The Council of Ministers of The Donetsk National Republic, The Vineyard of the Saker
There is no way to overstate the significance of what has transpired in Ukraine in the last three weeks. What began as a murderous onslaught on the mainly Russian-speaking population of east Ukraine, has turned into a major triumph against a belligerent and expansionistic empire that has been repulsed by a scrappy, battle-hardened militia engaged in a conventional, land-based war.
The conflict in east Ukraine is Obama's war; launched by Obama's junta government, executed by Obama's proxy army, and directed by Obama's advisers in Kiev. The driving force behind the war is Washington's ambitious pivot to Asia, a strategy that pits Russia against Europe to prevent further economic integration and to establish NATO forward-operating bases on Russia's western border.
Despite the overheated rhetoric, the talk of a (NATO) "Rapid Reaction Force," and additional economic sanctions; the US plan to draw Ukraine into the western sphere of influence and weaken Russia in the process, is in tatters. And the reason it is in tatters is because a highly-motivated and adaptable militia has trounced Obama's troopers at every turn, pushing the Ukrainian army to the brink of collapse.
Check out this frontline update from The Saker:
"The (Ukrainian Army) is not retreating on one, two or even three directions, it is retreating everywhere (except north of Lugansk). Entire battalions are leaving the front under orders of their battalion commanders and without the approval of the Junta leaders. At least one such battalion commander is already being judged for desertion. The entire Ukie leadership seems to be in a panic mode, especially Iatseniuk and Kolomoiski, while the Nazis are mad as hell at the Poroshenko administration. There are constant rumors of an anti-Poroshenko coup by outraged Nazi nationalists...
"The bottom line is this: Poroshenko promised a victory in a matter of weeks and his forces suffered one of the most total defeats in the history of warfare. ...the most likely thing is that this ridiculous 'Banderastan' experiment has seriously begun sinking now and that many rats are leaving the ship." ("The War in Ukraine," Vineyard of the Saker)
The fact that the demoralized Ukrainian army has been defeated by the superior fighting force is of little importance in the big scheme of things, however, the fact that Washington's global resource war -- which began on 9-11 and has reduced numerous sovereign countries into anarchic, failed states -- has been stopped in its tracks, is significant. The so-called War on Terror -- which was recently rebranded under the ISIS moniker -- has wreaked holy havoc and death on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria.
By routing the Ukrainian army the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) has put the kibosh on Obama's Great Game strategy in Eurasia and torpedoed Washington's plan to rule the world by force of arms. It could be that the battles of Lugansk and Donetsk are eventually regarded as the turning point, where the lumbering and over-extended empire finally met its match and began its precipitous decline. In any event, there's no doubt that Friday's ceasefire agreement is a serious blow to US hegemony.
The Problem Is NATO
"The defining factor in relations with NATO remains the unacceptability for Russia of plans to move the military infrastructure of the alliance towards our borders, including via enlargement of the bloc," said Mikhail Popov, deputy head of Putin's Security Council.
The issue has always been NATO expansion, not the ridiculous claim that Putin wants to rebuild the Russian Empire. The only one interested in in stitching together a global Caliphate is Barack Hussein Obama and his nutcase neocon advisers. Putin is not interested in an empire. Putin just wants to make money like everyone else. He wants to sell gas to Europe, raise living standards and rebuild the country. What's wrong with that?
Putin's not a troublemaker. He's not sticking a freaking first-strike nuclear missile system in Havana just 60 miles from Miami. But that's what Obama wants to do. Obama want to establish NATO bases on Russia's doorstep and deploy his fake-named "missile defense system" a couple hundred miles from Moscow. Putin can't allow that. No one in their right mind would allow that. It's a direct threat to national security. Here's how Putin summed it up in a recent press conference:
"'Russia is an independent and active participant of international relations. Just like any nation it has national interests that must be taken into consideration and respected...We stand against having a military organization meddling in our backyard, next to our homeland or in the territories that are historically ours. I just cannot imagine visiting NATO sailors in Sevastopol,' he stressed. 'Most of them are fine lads, but I'd rather they visit us in Sevastopol than the other way around.'" (Vladimir Putin)