The War in Ukraine: Little known historical roots
The US-Russia conflict is long-standing and had been predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville almost two centuries ago, in 1835, when he wrote that each of these two nations was destined to rule the destinies of half of the world.
The ongoing war in Ukraine, carefully provoked by Washington over several years, is the penultimate step in a process whose final step could be a devastating thermonuclear war that no country or region of this small planet would be exempted from its lethal consequences. (1) But the conflict between the United States and Russia is long-standing and had been predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville almost two centuries ago, in 1835, when he wrote that each of these two nations was destined to rule the destinies of half of the world. Indeed, the paragraphs with which he closes his first volume of Democracy in America have the tone of a much worrisome "Wagnerian finale", if I may use the musical metaphor, which clearly expresses his prophecy, as well as the Russophobic or slavophobic prejudices of the Frenchman, which today, I would dare to say, are more alive and widespread than ever in the United States and throughout the West; prejudices that identify the United States with "civilization" and Russia with "barbarism".
He says in that passage that "there are currently on Earth two great peoples who, starting from different points, seem to be moving towards the same goal: they are the Russians and the Anglo-Americans. Both grew up in obscurity and, while the eyes of men were occupied elsewhere, they placed themselves in the first rank of nations and the world knew almost at the same time their birth and their greatness. The American fights against the obstacles that nature opposes to him; the Russian is in struggle with men. The one fights against the desert and barbarism; the other against civilization with all its weapons: thus the conquests of the American are made with the ploughshare of the farmer and those of the Russian with the soldier's sword. In order to attain its object, the first rests on personal interest, and lets the force and reason of individuals act without directing them. The second concentrates in a certain way in one man all the power of society. The one has for its principal means of action liberty; the other, servitude. Their point of view is different, their ways are diverse; yet each of them seems called by a secret design of Providence to hold one day in his hands the destinies of half the world." (2)
Few pieces like this passage from Tocqueville's work could better express the self-perception of the United States as the "indispensable nation" destined by Providence to lead the world toward a luminous destiny of justice and freedom, and very few could also express so eloquently the extent of the deeply rooted disdain by the countries of Western Europe and the United States for Russia and its historical constitution and outstanding cultural legacies.
Having said this, it is not necessary to be an expert in US foreign policy to corroborate that this Manichean vision that Tocqueville's writing conveys was enhanced to an unspeakable degree with the Russian Revolution and the Cold War, whose effects and ramifications are being felt with singular intensity in our days. Once again, openly racist, not just reactionary, labels are the order of the day in the Western press. Even one of the supposedly most sophisticated and balanced international analysts of The New York Times, Thomas Friedman, published a few days ago an unspeakable piece on the Ukrainian war, where insults, diatribes, and infamies permeate his long piece without the slightest consideration of the factors that precipitated a war that has occurred due to the "incurable malignity" of Vladimir Putin. Period. (3) Not a word about the continuous aggressions that Russia has received, with increasing intensity since the collapse of the Soviet Union. No less than 14,081 "unilateral coercive measures" were applied against Russia since the accession of Crimea in 2014, according to data from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. federal government's economic surveillance and extortion agency. (4) Canada, Switzerland, France, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan are also among the countries that have accepted the US Ukase without question and have also rushed to sanction Russia.
This should come as no surprise. History shows that Washington has been battling Russia and its predecessor state, the Soviet Union, for more than a century. Barely two months had elapsed since the triumph of the October Revolution when American and European forces deployed in the theater of the First World War and entered Soviet territory, more precisely on January 12, 1918, supposedly to come to the support of the Tsarist army. This invasion is presented to the public opinion as a humanitarian initiative, when, in fact, it was intended to support the classes and political forces of the tsarist regime in its battle against the Bolshevik revolutionaries. The invasion by the Western powers lasted a little more than two years and involved the deployment of more than 200,000 soldiers: eleven thousand belonging to the United States army and fifty-nine thousand from the United Kingdom, while Japan, a staunch ally of Washington and London, dispatched seventy thousand soldiers to Soviet territory. (5)
By then, the enmity between Russia and Japan was recent and the wounds of the Russo-Japanese war of 1905 had not yet healed. A war, let us remember, in which the tsarist army suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of the Japanese imperial army and which was the backdrop to the first Russian revolution, that of 1905, which only partially curtailed the hitherto omnipotent powers of the Tsar. That insurrection took place barely three weeks after the defeat and surrender of the Tsarist forces at Port Arthur.
Conclusion: The current offensive by the United States and its allies has distant roots, going back more than a century. It is essential to keep this background in mind in order to understand the current war in Ukraine and the criminal military escalation that is being promoted by the United States.
(1) See our "La guerra en Ucrania y el fin del viejo orden mundial" in Francisco López Segrera, Manuel Monereo and Carlos Eduardo Martins, compilers: El Nuevo Escenario Geopolítico. Towards a Third World War (Barcelona: El Viejo Topo, 2023).
(2) Democracy in America (Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, 1968, original edition: 1835)
(3) “A Trip to Ukraine Clarified the Stakes. And They're Huge”, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/15/opinion/ukraine-war-putin.html
(4) See: https://www.statista.com/chart/27015/number-of-currently-active-sanctions-by-target-country/ This figure corresponds to the total number of sanctions up to February 19, 2023. Other estimates increase this figure considerably, but we are not 100 percent sure of their absolute reliability.
(5) Cf. Michel Chossudovsky, “Preemptive Nuclear War”: The Historic Battle for Peace and Democracy. A Third World War Threatens the Future of Humanity”, in https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=6728ce7390&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f:1777371209061303996&ser=1