Tuesday 25 April 2023

The New Cold War: Lucas versus Hitchens


From an article by Edward Lucas. 

"My old friend Peter Hitchens and I covered the collapse of Communism together. We agree on our love of cycling, railways and the ancient liturgy of our Anglican faith. Peter rightly describes Putin as a ‘sinister tyrant’.

"But on Ukraine, Peter is wrong.

"He believes we have provoked Russia. Not so. The roots of today’s conflict go back to the early 1990s. Even under the supposedly friendly Boris Yeltsin, the Kremlin declared its right to intervene abroad on behalf of ‘Russian-speakers’. This is as absurd and sinister as a British or American government threatening other countries on behalf of ‘English-speakers’."

Yet reading Edward Lucas's introduction, written in 2014, to his book The New Cold War, it is clear that the two men agree that the European Union did not understand that offering Ukraine a trade deal in exchange for achieving good governance was seen in Moscow as an attempt to encircle Russia. 

Edward Lucas points ouț that it was the USA not the EU that encouraged the 2014 revolution in Ukraine. This is exactly the point that critics of America make. Extending democracy and human rights is the obverse side of the coin. The reverse is extending American influence and hegemony.

This absolutely does not mean the 2014 revolution was a CIA operation.

It means the Americans should have kept out of it.

This absolutely does not mean we should not back Ukraine against a brutal invader, of course. 

It means Europe needs to be extremely careful before backing the policies of the USA. 

It was Dr Kissinger who said "it may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal." 

Edward Lucas himself makes the point that the US dragged some allies into disastrous wars and even into permitting torture of prisoners by the CIA on their soil. 

He does not mention Romania in this respect, but could have done.


  1. 'This absolutely does not mean the 2014 revolution was a CIA operation.'

    Anatomy of a Coup: How CIA front laid foundations for Ukraine war
    By Kit Klarenberg

    The Ukraine Mess That Nuland Made
    Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s regime change without weighing the likely consequences.
    By Robert Parry , CONSORTIUMNEWS
    PublishedJuly 15, 2015

    Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
    John J. Mearsheimer
    Foreign Affairs
    Vol. 93, No. 5 (SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014), pp. 77-84, 85-89

    1. What I meant was that there is.no evidence that it was only a CIA operation. Mearsheimer is pretty well always right about everything. We don't know. Victoria Nuland's role as ever was absolutely malign. Who do the Americans think they are, I ask myself.

    2. The bastard children of, but rightful heirs to the British Empire?

    3. The world didn't start in 2014, one has to be extremely gullible and arrogant enough to fall for Kremlin propaganda so easily. The Russians have been using the same strategy in other countries, moving ethnic groups around to insert a Trojan horse in every republic. They invaded Georgia and Moldova previously witn the same excuse as in Ukraine - to supposedly protect a minority ethnic group. Then their soldiers forgot to leave.

    4. And bombed Chechnya to smithereens for wanting to get away.

  2. Link to Mearsheimer's Foreign Affairs article:

  3. A few months in the gym, a new designer beard, imitation army fatigues embroidered with a golden trident, a fashion shoot with his model wife for Paris Vogue, and the former naked exponent of cock jokes on Ukrainian music-television famous for wearing high heels and bondage gear and playing a piano with his penis became the new Führer before whom the leaders of Western capitalism have been only too ready to abase themselves. Despite presiding over a Neo-Nazi Government whose ethnic cleansing of its own population had been reported by Western media for eight long years, that has banned Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and pulped 72 tonnes of Russian-language books, including Tolstoy and Dostoievsky, and turned them into toilet paper, Zelenskyy is now fêted in the West as a hero of democracy.

    Washington’s Puppet: The Rise and Fall of Volodmyr Zelenskyy
    By Simon Elmar
    Posted on APRIL 25, 2023