Ukraine as Another Neo-liberal Privatization Exercise

States as business models

When considering the recent performances at the General Assembly of the United Nations this year, the echoes of “peace” resound through the plenary hall. Why should anyone want peace in the Ukraine more than any other place the Empire is waging war? My suspicion is that many of these calls are really for Russia to withdraw to its pre-2014 borders. They believe that would make the US regime happy and be a great relief to the minor and little league oligarchs who long for return to business as usual. Calm and intelligent people could be forgiven for doubting the sincerity of many peace petitioners.

After all, don’t the continuing wars in Africa, the still pending “United Nations” war against the DPRK (where there is only a 70-year-old armistice since 1953), and the innumerable economic wars being waged in places and ways we do not even know, deserve to end too?

Like the war in the Ukraine, one will hear how complicated these wars are. They cannot be simply ended. Yet they are all simple in one material way: without the US and its NATO cut-outs—often the principal aggressor in violation of the Kellogg-Briand Treaty—many of these wars would never have started or would have long ago been resolved. So why not demand that the US stop waging wars and why not apply sanctions to the US for its belligerence and violations of the law of nations? How can the United Nations end wars when it cannot even end the one it started in 1951? Could it be that too many of the parties among those who convene to call for peace, really need and want just a piece of the action?

The two military veterans probably best known for criticising US policy in Ukraine, Colonel Douglas MacGregor USA and Major Scott Ritter USMC, have said loud and clear that at least from a military standpoint the Ukrainian armed forces have lost the war against Russia. There have been numerous voices calling for an end to the conflict, not least because the more than USD 46 billion and counting in military aid alone, has yet to produce any of the results announced as aims of what has finally been admitted is a war against Russia.i If Mr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine’s government in Kiev, is to be taken at face value, then the hostilities can only end when Crimea and the Donbas regions are fully under Kiev’s control and Vladimir Putin has been removed from office as president of the Russian Federation. To date no commentator has adequately explained how those war aims are to be attained. This applies especially after the conservatively estimated 400,000 deaths and uncounted casualties in the ranks of Kiev’s forces since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in February 2022.

Before considering the political and economic issues it is important to reiterate a few military facts, especially for those armchair soldiers who derive their military acumen from TV and Hollywood films. As MacGregor and Ritter, both of whom have intimate practical knowledge of warfare, have said: Armies on the ground need supplies, i.e. food, weapons, ammunition, medical care for wounded, etc. These supplies have to be delivered from somewhere. In ancient times, armies could live off the land. Essentially this was through looting and plunder—stealing their food from the local population as they marched. To prevent the local population from becoming the enemy in the rear and avoid early exhaustion of local supply, generals started paying for what was requisitioned. Defending forces would often withdraw the civilian population and destroy what could not be taken to avoid supplying their enemies. In fact, this kind of rough warfare against civilians still occurs although it has been forbidden under the Law of Land Warfare.ii Naturally the soldier in the field can no longer make weaponry. Even less can they be plundered from the local inhabitants—unless one comes across some tribe the US has armed with Stingers. All the weapons the Ukrainian armed forces deploy have to be imported from countries with manufacturing capacity. As the two retired officers, among others, have said, such capacity is unavailable to the Ukraine. Obviously it would also be unavailable to NATO forces were they to deploy in Ukraine in any numbers. It is illusory to believe that a NATO army can do what the Wehrmacht could not some eighty years ago with three million men under arms and the most modern army of its day. This was so obvious from the beginning that one has to wonder why this war ever started. Is it possible that wars are started without any intention of winning them? If winning the war is not the objective, then what is?

Forgery and force: Explicit and implicit or latent and expressed foreign policy

Historical documents are essential elements in any attempt to understand the past and the present. However, this is not because they are necessarily true or accurate. Forgeries and outright lies are also important parts of the historical record. Perhaps the most notorious forgery in Western history is the so-called Donation of Constantine. This document was used to legitimate papal supremacy and the primacy of the Latin over the Greek Church. Although it did not take long for the forgery to be discovered, the objective was accomplished. Even today most people in the West have learned that the part of the Christian Church called Orthodoxy is schismatic when the reverse is true, namely the Latin Church arose from a coup d’état against Constantinople.

There is now no shortage of evidence that the British Empire forced the German Empire into the Great War and with US help justified the slaughter of some four million men, ostensibly to expel German forces from Belgium. There is systematically suppressed testimony by commanders in the field and others in a position to know that the Japanese attack on the US colonial base at Pearl Harbor was not only no surprise but a carefully crafted event exploited to justify US designs on Japan and China. Yet to this day the myth of surprise attack against a neutral country prevails over the historical facts. Even though there is almost popular acceptance that the US invasion of Iraq was based on entirely fabricated evidence and innuendo, the destruction of the country was not stopped and continues as of this writing.

What does that tell us about historical record and official statements of policy? Former POTUS and CIA director, George H.W. Bush expressed the principle that government lies did not matter because the lie appears on page one and the retraction or correction on page 28. In short, it is the front page that matters. That is what catches and keeps the public’s attention. Truth and accuracy are immaterial.

Let us consider for a moment one of the most durable wonders of published state policy—the Balfour Declaration. This brief letter signed by one Arthur Balfour on 2 November 1917 was addressed to the Lord Rothschild, in his capacity as some kind of conduit for the Zionist Federation. Carroll Quigley in his The Anglo-American Establishment strongly suggests that Lord Rothschild, also in his capacity as a sponsor of the Milner Round Table group, presented the letter for Mr Balfour to sign. As Quigley also convincingly argues the academic and media network created by the Round Table has successfully dominated the writing of British imperial history making it as suspicious as the Vatican’s history of the Latin Church.

This “private” letter to the British representative of the West’s leading banking dynasty is then adopted as the working principle for the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine awarded to the British Empire. From this private letter an international law mandate was created, continued under the UN Charter, to convert a part of the conquered Ottoman Empire into a state entity for people organized in Europe who imagined that some thousand(s) of years ago some ancestors once inhabited the area.iii The incongruence of this act ought to have been obvious—and in fact it was. The explicit policy with which the British Empire had sought to undermine Germany and Austria-Hungary was that of ethnic/linguistic self-determination of peoples. So by right—even if the fiction of a population in diaspora were accepted—this could not pre-empt the right of ethnic/linguistic self-determination in Palestine where Arabic was the dominant language and even those who adhered to the Jewish religion were not Europeans.

As argued elsewhere there has been a century of propaganda and brute force applied to render the dubious origins and the legitimation for the settler conquest that was declared the State of Israel in 1948 acceptable no matter how implausible. Like the Donation of Constantine, the Balfour Declaration served its purpose. No amount of rebuttal can reverse the events that followed.

Motors and motives

However, the question remains what is then the policy driving such acts? What is the motive for such seemingly senseless aggression against ordinary people? Why does an institution supposedly based on national self-determination deny it so effectively to majorities everywhere whose only fault appears to be living on land others covet? By the time the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was finally adopted in 1960, there was no question of reversing the de facto colonisation practiced by the mandatory powers under the League. Moreover the Declaration was only an act of the UN General Assembly, a body wholly dominated by the three permanent imperial members of the Security Council, each with their veto powers.

To understand that and perhaps to better illuminate the principal subject—Ukraine—it is helpful to recall that of the five permanent members of the Security Council, the two most powerful are not nation-states at all. The United Kingdom is a colonial confederation as is the United States.

Russia, France, and China are all states derived from historical ethnic-linguistic determination. Beyond doubt they were formed into such unitary states through wars and revolutions. As de Gaulle famously said, “France was made with the sword”. However, there is no question that these three countries are based explicitly on ethnic-linguistic and cultural congruity within continental boundaries, in the sense articulated by the explicit text of the Covenant and the Charter. On the contrary, Great Britain and the United States are commercial enterprises organised on the basis of piracy and colonial conquest. There is not a square centimetre of the United States that was not seized by the most brutal force of arms from its indigenous inhabitants. “Ethnic-linguistic” among the English-speaking peoples is a commodity characteristic. It is a way to define a market segment.

Great Britain gave the world “free trade” and liberalism and the US added to that the “open door”. Nothing could be more inimical to the self-determination of peoples than either policy.iv How can a people be independent and self-determined when they are denied the right to say “no”? The Great War and its sequel, the war against the Soviet Union and Communism, aka World War 2, were first and foremost wars to establish markets dominated by the Anglo-American free trade – open door doctrine. One will not find this explicitly stated in any of the history books or the celebratory speeches on Remembrance Day (Memorial Day in the US) or the anniversary of D-Day, to which properly the Soviet Union and Russia ought not to be invited. After all D-Day was the beginning of the official war by Anglo-America against the Soviet Union after Hitler failed. More of Italian, French and German industrial and domestic infrastructure was destroyed by aerial bombardment from the West than by anything the Wehrmacht did—since its job was to destroy Soviet industry. This will not be reported in schoolbooks and very few official papers will verify this open secret. That is because like the Donation much of what counts as history was simply “written to the file”. The facts, however, speak for themselves. When the German High Command signed the terms of unconditional surrender in Berlin-Karlshorst, the domestic industry of the West, except the US, had been virtually destroyed leaving it a practical monopoly not only in finance but manufacturing that would last well into the late 1960s.v Only the excess demand of the war against Korea accelerated German industrial recovery. No one can say for sure how much of German, French, Italian, Belgian, or Netherlands capital was absorbed by Anglo-American holding companies. Hence those that wonder today about the self-destruction of the German economy have to ask who owns Germany in fact. To do that one will have to hunt through the minefield of secrecy jurisdictions behind which beneficial ownership of much of the West is concealed.

It is necessary to return to the conditions at the beginning of the Great War to understand what is happening now in Ukraine. One has to scratch the paint off the house called “interests” and recall some geography. F. William Engdahl performed this task well in his A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (2011). It would do well to summarise a few of his points before going further.

Geography and aggrandizement

Continental nation-states need secure land routes. Pirate states need secure sea-lanes. Britain succeeded in seizing control ruling the waves after defeating the Spanish and Portuguese fleets. It reached a commercial entente with the Netherlands, which helped until the Royal Navy was paramount. The control of the seas meant that Britain could dominate shipping as well as maritime insurance needed to cover the risk of sea transport. So it was no accident that Lloyds of London came to control the financing of maritime traffic. Geography dictated that the alternative for continental nation-states was the railroad. Germany was building a railroad from Berlin to Baghdad which would not only have delivered oil to its industry but allowed it to bypass the Anglo-French Suez Canal and the British controlled Cape route. Centuries before the predecessors to the City of London financed crusades to control the trade routes through the Middle East, propagandistically labelled the Holy Land, whereby this was wholly for commercial reasons. The Anglo-American led NATO captured Kosovo not out of any special loyalty to Albanians but because of geography. Camp Bondsteel lies at the end of the easiest route to build pipelines between Central Asia and the Mediterranean. In short there is not a single war for “self-determination” waged by the Anglo-American special relationship that was not driven by piratical motives, for which ethnic-linguistic commodities are expendable.

In 1917, the “interests”, for whom Lord Rothschild spoke and no doubt provided financial support, coincided with the pre-emptive control over real estate that had been desired by the banking-commercial cult at least since the establishment of the Latin Church. It is no accident that serious investigations have established that the state created from the British Mandate in Palestine was a commercial venture like all other British undertakings. Moreover it has been able to use its most insidious cover story to veil itself in victimhood and thus immunity for those criminal enterprises, both private and state, that use it as a conduit: money laundering, drug and arms trafficking, training of repressive forces for other countries on contract, etc. all documented and protected by atomic weapons. Moreover this enterprise has been the greatest per capita recipient of US foreign aid for decades. Its citizens are able to use dual citizenship to hold high office in the sovereign state that funds it, too. Any attempt to criticize or oppose this relationship or its moral justification by a public official or personality with anything to lose can lead to the gravest of consequences. Its official lobby in the US, AIPAC, is only one instrument by which any act that could interfere with the smooth flow of cash or influence between Washington and Tel Aviv can be prevented or punished. It draws on an international organisation that does not even have to be organised. The status of ultimate victimhood combined with mass media at all levels committed to protecting “victims” can summon crowds just as Gene Sharp predicted in his works.vi

A business too innocent to fail

Now we come to the issues with which this essay began. What is the aim of the war in Ukraine? Will it end when the military operations have failed?

In April 2022, i.e. just over a month after the Russian intervention, Volodymyr Zelenskyy described “the future for his country”. He used the terms “a big Israel”. In Haaretz it was reported that Zelenskyy wanted Ukraine to become “a big Israel, with its own face”. Writing for the NATO lobby, the Atlantic Council, Daniel Shapiro elaborated what Zelenskyy might mean: the main points are security first, the whole population plays a role, self-defence is the only way, but maintain active defence partnerships, intelligence dominance, technology as key, build an innovation ecosystem, maintain democratic institutions.vii The stories depict this stance for better or worse as the creation of a state under permanent military control, always giving priority to existential threats—presumably from the East.

But is that really what Zelenskyy meant? Or perhaps that is what he was just supposed to say. What about those who have directed nearly all of NATO armament and so many billions through the hands of the Kiev regime—one notorious even before 2022 as the most corrupt in Europe, if not anywhere? Maybe another construction is to be applied. Perhaps Zelenskyy is talking, like some latter day Balfour, on behalf of his sponsors whose Holocaust piety never prevented them from subjecting nearly entire populations to forced medical experiments starting in 2020. Perhaps he is talking about the extensive participation in all sorts of international trafficking, either as agent or protection for the principals. Perhaps he is talking about the permanent and undebatable foreign aid contributions from the US and the extortion from other countries, e.g. as Norman Finkelstein documented.viii There is no doubt that Ukraine has become a major hub for human trafficking, arms smuggling, and biological-chemical testing. They have atomic reactors and have asked for warheads.ix

Add to this the potential of a large and potentially self-righteous diaspora spread throughout the West, heavily subsidised and already equipped with influence in high places. A “Ukraine Lobby” was already in preparation in 1947 when the British shipped some eight thousand POWs of the SS Galizia Division (a Ukrainian force) from Italy to Britain without a single war crimes investigation.x From there they were able to spread throughout the Empire as Canada amply indicates.

Much of the debate about the Ukraine war remains confused because of the successful obfuscation around the term “Nazi”. Essentially a Hollywood story has been substituted for analysis of the historic development of the ideology and government that prevailed in Germany between 1933 and 1945.xi Nazism is treated as sui generis based on criteria that are not unique at all. For example, great attention is given to uniforms and insignia. In fact, after the Great War all the major political factions and parties, e.g. the SPD and DKP, had uniformed paramilitary organisations formed mainly of front veterans. When the NSDAP was able to ban all opponents those uniforms also disappeared. Contemporary fascism also uses current fashion and language. Only the nostalgic retain antiquated uniform and language styles. However repulsive the ideology may be these so-called neo-Nazis are equivalent to the historical re-enactment units found throughout the US for example.

After WW2 much of Europe was a wasteland, especially the East. Refugees understandably fled as far west as they could because getting to North or South America meant living in territories unscathed by war. The British and US secret services deliberately exploited these refugee waves to cover the removal into safety of the residue of their fascist allies. There they were to prepare for the continuation of war against the Soviet Union by other means. These formations often hid behind ethnic front groups, as the fascists did in occupied West Germany. Hence when an embarrassing discovery was made—usually some low or middle grade Nazi veteran—then he could be disgraced, tried or deported while leaving the bulk of the clandestine organisation in tact. These Nazis were obviously the result of careless immigration oversight but by no means a reflection of state policy.

Together, historical re-enactment Nazism and “exposed” single Nazi veterans distracted from the large scale programs supporting and expanding anti-communist forces both domestically and for expeditionary deployment. Much more seriously, these two “shows” and the deliberate suppression of meaningful debate about fascist policies and practices—always reduced to anti-Jewish attitudes and actions alone—have successfully prevented any coherent analysis and debate about the relationship between Anglo-American monopoly capital and the cartels that backed the NSDAP regime or the relationship between US/ NATO policy and its consistent support of fascist regimes in Spain, Portugal and throughout the world. It has prevented coherent debate about the long forgotten but documented participation of reconstructed Nazis in the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and their active participation in the Ukrainian war against the Soviet Union after 1945.

Zelenskyy and his fellow travellers cannot be blamed for their self-confident fascism. It is not an anomaly but a historical product of decades of Anglo-American/ NATO business plans—including the distraction of “Nazi” from the substance of those plans. Given how successful Lord Rothschild’s model for Israel has been, one can scarcely blame a patriot like Volodymyr Zelenskyy for seizing the opportunity to apply it to his own country. The model has been so successful that no one in public dare oppose it. Why not establish another such parasitic machine? Russians just like Arabs provide the permanent enemies with which to sell the permanent victim status at the expense of millions of displaced Ukrainians.

In other words, there is a very successful business model to be implemented wholly consistent with free trade and the open door and all those other slogans, which have anointed plunder and pillage by the occasionally alpine commercial cult in their campaign to assure that all of us own nothing and they will be happy.

Endnotes

i Jonathan Masters and Will Merrow, “How Much as the US Sent to Ukraine Here are Six Charts”, Council on Foreign Relations (10 July 2023). Among those declaring this was Foreign Minister of the German Federal Republic, Annalena Baerbock. Angela Merkel, the former chancellor of the Federal Republic is on record having said that the so-called Minsk Accords were intended to stall the Russian reaction in Donbas until Ukraine could be sufficiently armed to fight against the Russian Federation.

ii Principally the Hague (1907) Conventions and subsequent Geneva Conventions

iii More likely the Eastern Europeans in question were descendent from the Khazar kingdom located far closer to what today is Ukraine. The ruling elite was to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism in the 8th century. The Khazar Khaganate was disbursed by the end of the first millennium CE. This would better explain the hostility toward Russia and myth of a national homeland, displaced in 1917 to Palestine based on contemporary political realities.

iv Historian Gerald Horne ascribes “free trade” to the so-called Glorious Revolution, which also abolished the Royal Africa Company, opening “free trade in slaves”; see The Counter-Revolution of 1776 (2014).

v Bombing of German factories conspicuously omitted Ford plant in Cologne and GM’s Opel factory in Russelsheim, although both Ford and GM claimed and received reparations for damage done by Allied bombers.

vi Gene Sharp, From Dictatorship to Democracy (1994)

vii Daniel B. Shapiro, “Zelenskyy wants Ukraine to be ‘a big Israel’. Here’s a road map”, New Atlanticist (6 April 2022) “By adapting their country’s mind-set to mirror aspects of Israel’s approach to security challenges, Ukrainian officials can tackle national security challenges with confidence and build a similarly resilient state”.

viii Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry (2000)

ix This notorious request by Zelenskyy at the Munich Security Conference in 2022 for atomic weapons was another reason President Vladimir Putin gave for a military response to Kiev’s attacks on the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine that Russia had been forced to recognise as two independent republics and grant protection.

x A documentary produced by Julian Hendy (The SS in Britain) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjj__aya4BA contains interviews, e.g. with civil servants who were told by US authorities that no pre-immigration investigations were to be conducted. This film about the 14th Waffen SS Division Galizia division has been almost scrubbed from the Web. The film, originally to be broadcast by Yorkshire Television (UK) was never shown. Geoffrey Goodman described details after a private viewing in a Guardian article (12 June 2000).

xi A useful source for the historical context and actual description of the NSDAP regime can be found in Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944, a detailed study written originally in English by Franz Neumann. This book comprises two parts: the NS state and the economic system. Very little attention is paid to the section on the economic system although the regime cannot be understood without its legacy economic policies and the bureaucracy responsible for implementing them.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..