Mar 16, 2014
Why would the United States run the risk of siding with anti-Semitic, neo-Nazis in Ukraine? One of the keys may be found by looking back at Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard in which he wrote,
“Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”
“However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”… “Geopolitical pivots are the states whose importance is derived not from their power and motivation but rather from their sensitive location… which in some cases gives them a special role in either defining access to important areas or in denying resources to a significant player.” “Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Turkey and Iran play the role of critically important geopolitical pivots,” he wrote in The Grand Chessboard, a book viewed by many as a blueprint for US world domination. Brzezinski wrote that
- Eurasia is “the chessboard on which the struggle for global primacy continues to be played,” and that “it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America.” Understanding Brzezinski’s long-term view of Ukraine makes it easier to comprehend why
- the US has given $5 billion to Ukraine since 1991, and why today it is hyper-concerned about having Ukraine remain in its sphere of influence. It may also help explain why in the past year the US and many of its media outlets have feverishly
- demonized Vladimir Putin. By prominently highlighting the mistreatment of activist group Pussy Riot, incessantly condemning Russia’s regressive position on gay rights, and excessively focusing on substandard accommodations at the Sochi Olympic Games, the Obama administration has cleverly distracted the public from delving into
- US support of the ultra-nationalist, neo-Nazi factions of the Ukrainian opposition…
In his book, Brzezinski contends that “America stands supreme in the four decisive domains of global power: militarily… economically… technologically… and culturally.” While this may have been accurate in 1997, it can be argued that today, other than militarily, the US no longer reigns supreme in these domains.
So late last year when Ukraine’s now-ousted president Viktor Yanukovych surprisingly canceled plans for Ukrainian integration into the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Russia, the US may have viewed Ukraine as slipping even further out of its reach. At that point, with the pieces already in place, the US moved to support the ousting of Yanukovych, as evidenced by the leaked phone conversation between US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. When peaceful protests were not effective in unseating Yanukovych, the violence of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party and Right Sector was embraced, if not supported by the west.
But even if the risk is high, the US likely views it as necessary given the geopolitical importance of Ukraine, as Brzezinski mapped out in 1997.
Chris Ernestois co-founder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages OccupyArrests.com and USinAfrica.com.
As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the world’s only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that bestride the globe… The Grand Chessboard presents Brzezinski’s bold and provocative geostrategic vision for American preeminence in the twenty-first century. Central to his analysis is the exercise of power on the Eurasian landmass, which is home to the greatest part of the globe’s population, natural resources, and economic activity. Stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait, from Lapland to Malaysia, Eurasia is the ”grand chessboard” on which America’s supremacy will be ratified and challenged in the years to come. The task facing the United States, he argues, is to manage the conflicts and relationships in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East so that no rival superpower arises to threaten our interests or our well-being. The heart of The Grand Chessboard is Brzezinski’s analysis of the four critical regions of Eurasia and of the stakes for America in each arena—Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The crucial fault lines may seem familiar, but the implosion of the Soviet Union has created new rivalries and new relationships, and Brzezinski maps out the strategic ramifications of the new geopolitical realities.