Ukraine: Is the Hammer About to Fall?
By Mike WHITNEY “Here’s something you must understand. We were not given any opportunity to act differently.” Vladimir Putin The plan to engage Russia militarily…

It has certainly led to a mixed board outcome. It hasn’t been a total bust for the US and western capital though.

In the short-term it’s reinforced European dependency on NATO and the US empire which is bad as it has strengthened that alliance of reaction and Nazism.

In the medium-term it seems to have destroyed US dollar hegemony and power as countries are finally moving away from it now that they have a real chance and a real example of what could happen if they don’t which is of course a great outcome.

In the short-medium-term it has resulted in a de-industrialization of Europe with some going to the US and thus a benefit as their European vassals were beginning to buck them on China and other issues. It’s a reverse Marshall Plan where Europe pays to prop up the declining US empire. Though as Europe has moved some to China it may weaken their position when the time comes for the US to push the Taiwan issue into open conflict and cause Europe to sit by more than it otherwise would (though who knows, these European liberals and their brains are so colonized by liberalism and white supremacy that they might cut off their own legs to spit in the face of the Chinese and “stand up for democracy” as the Ukraine situation has demonstrated). Certainly seems their national industrial bourgeois are fully restrained and subordinated to the trans-atlantic international bourgeois

The times ahead will certainly be interesting as long as Russia pulls out a win (defined as keeping the territories they’ve legally absorbed including Crimea and a lasting cessation of hostilities against Russia and those territories). Very dangerous too, quite a bit of chaos and quite a bit of ways things will go.

The US won’t take countries bucking dollar hegemony and their control lightly, once the conflict does end I suspect attempts at a round of color revolutions for “democracy” in certain regions as well as palace/military coups where that can be attempted. A circling of the ideological wagons, frantic crying and screaming about “values” towards BRICS, Africa, etc, dehumanization of those regions and areas in media should moves to bring them back as vassals fail.

Though if Russia loses things could look differently, countries currently de-dollarizing might put on a quick smile and toss that out the window out of fear of a victorious west at which point the US will have pulled out a win-win-win (win1 de-industrialize Europe, suck it for money like a vampire by selling them overpriced gas, etc, win2 humiliate Russia, weaken their presence internationally with a loss, win3 rev up the fascism machine at home and abroad, dehumanizing sentiment successfully manufactured, consent and demand for NATO increased, leash on Europe tighter than ever, populace at home whipped into a confidence frenzy they can win against China).

Luckily this does seem to be an existential issue for Russia so an outright win anytime soon seems unlikely. If anything nuclear war seems the most likely bad out-come with Russia refusing to back down, the west desperate and suffering gambler’s fallacy, in too deep to want to pull out and go home, the west offering up advanced current/next-gen weapons systems to Ukraine complete with NATO personnel operating them that Russia knows about, Russia being forced to use nuclear weapons and things spiraling from there. Scarily plausible and many liberals would cheer it.

I generally agree with the assessment. There are some short term gains for US from all this, but the long term trends will favor a multipolar world and decrease of western influence over the world.

I think the idea that Russia could lose a conventional war in Ukraine is frankly fantastical. Russia has a much better ironed out military industrial base, it has all the resources it needs, and the society in Russia is broadly unified in support for the war. People understand that this is a conflict between Russia and NATO, they remember what’s been done to them back in the 90s, and they don’t want a repeat of that.

On the other hand, NATO is a hodgepodge of different vassals governed by US. All of them are competing with each other and have many animosities towards one another. US is the only nation in the alliance with any serious military industrial capacity, and it’s currently failing to provide sufficient material support for the proxy war.

On top of all that, the west is now on the hook for propping up the entire Ukrainian economy as well as the military. The war is costing billions each month, and it’s coming at the expense of the standard of living of the people in western countries. While Russians understand why there may be hardships, it’s far less clear to people in the west who don’t see this conflict as existential for them.

Hmm very interesting times indeed, but I am left wondering, what is Turkey’s position in this? I would assume when the war escalates more Turkey would put itself before American interests. How would that affect NATO, with one of it’s strongest armies going its own way?

Has anyone got a detailed analysis of Turkey’s Geopolitical position?

What about the blowback of Nazi terrorism in Europe. Any potential revolutions (not necessarily ML, just an ousting of US puppets) in the EU? Greece?

Would the anti-imperialist push in the periphery force the US to move outta Ukraine?

If Russia wins, will some parts of Europe accept to realign with Russian interests instead of American?

Turkey is angling for the best deals for itself. It’s spitting in the face of the west but not willing to leave the west/NATO either. It’s basically playing hard to get and probably wants to curry some long-term favor with Russia so may even keep Sweden out of NATO permanently among other things but they can’t control most of what’s happening.

NATO forces en mass, that is in organized groups, regiments, etc are not going to be sent into Ukraine. They do send special forces, intel operators, etc and have been for some time and will continue to do so but the fact is they already have a large base of canon fodder in the ability to conscript Ukrainians and the utter willingness to throw as many of them into the horror and death as possible to kill a few more Russians and cost the Russians a few more tens of millions in missiles.

What about the blowback of Nazi terrorism in Europe.

Gladio 2.0 is what it is. They disappeared tons of weapons under the guise of corruption by the Ukrainians (some of that definitely happened to) which are unaccountable and can be used in reactionary/fascist terror attacks in future. This is to keep Europe in line with regards to China, to keep socialists out of power and to keep anti-imperialists out of power.

Would the anti-imperialist push in the periphery force the US to move outta Ukraine?

The US will slow or stop what it’s doing in Ukraine when it deems it no longer beneficial and a detriment. They have the sunk cost situation, don’t forget that, plus the true believers who started all this don’t want egg on their face so they have no choice but to double down and try and convince everyone just a few more months and Russia will be out of ammo or the Ukrainians will rally back or whatever.

If Russia wins, will some parts of Europe accept to realign with Russian interests instead of American?

See about the blowback as mentioned above, insurance I think against that kind of thing. Not only are they spreading Ukrainian neo-Nazis around who will scatter in greater numbers into Europe in event of a loss, but they’re spreading the ideology, lots of liberals getting on-board and consider Russians subhumans now so would be rather pissed off for their government to go back to business as usual. 5 years after the conflict it’s hard to say if things change but in the immediate aftermath I don’t think so.

Both sides are trying to bleed one another so Russia I don’t think is going to have some big push that ends the war in 2 months from now. On the other hand with weapons and stuff trickling in and letting the Russians pick them off rather than massing up for an effective counter-attack the west isn’t exactly setting Ukraine up for success either. They seem to want to just keep this thing burning.

Valuable analysis and answers, appreciated comrade!!

I am so surprised. Who could’ve ever thought that starting a proxy war using a comparatively tiny fascist state, against a massive nation with a far superior military would turn out badly? Who could’ve thought that imposing sanctions upon Russia, which is much closer than the US to China, might lead them to just … stop trading with you and trade with China instead? This is mind blowing and completely unexpected. /s

comparatively tiny fascist state

Ukraine had one of the biggest militaries in Europe

I was talking about the physical size of Ukraine. It’s much smaller than Russia.

Japan was smaller than China in 1940’s, look how that went

Arsen6331 ☭

Yes, but in general, it’s more difficult to capture or fight against a larger country, especially when said country is 28 times larger.

Serious question, is Mike Whitney racist?

His articles use to be on but no longer and I see them on UNZ review which is a refuge for white supremacists.

Honestly, don’t know much about him, but the analysis of the state of the war in the article does seem spot on.

Indeed, while the first generations of the US during and after WW2 were heinous imperialists too, they were more pragmatic. During the Cold War strategists like Kissinger worked to divide and conquer, by facilitating the Sino-Soviet split. If they worked together, and Malenkov was more successful or/and Khrushchev had no secret speech, the US would have had significantly more challenges during the Cold War. Other examples of this lost US ‘pragmatism’ was working with dictators. In liberal theory why would the US work with various dictators in the Cold War? It was to align regional capitalist powers against the Soviet Union. Rhetorically, posturing as democratic was to deflect from imperialism. Likewise, virtue signaling today about issues, but not addressing them like in the case of police brutality, is a way to appropriate and deflect criticism. Accordingly giving themselves authority on the issue, and allowing themselves to ignore it while opposing those who mobilize for change by accusing them of being radical and illegal. This aspect is still strong.

On the other hand, it’s true US strategy has been, it appears, more unstable. Interestingly, today the US has pushed Russia to China, and is alienating other regionally important capitalist countries to be closer to China. Think of recent changes in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, various African and South American countries, and the already existing anti imperialist countries such as Venezuela, Iran, etc.

It would seem the imperial managers in Washington drank their own Kool Aid. Liberal capitalist ideology has no real goal, it’s not progressive, there is no future. Fundamentally it’s a reactionary ideology. Hence the “end of history” of Fukuyama. True believers hence have no pragmatic approach to international relations, and no ambition for reform, even if it’s to survive in competition with socialist China. The empire may yet get better administrators, but as it stands now they have fallen for their own propaganda.

That being said, it’s impossible to be sure. Only the CIA agent reading this knows what the US is really up to. There may yet be some angles they are pushing for.

This chimes.

I think you’ve pointed out the problem there with the ‘goals’. During the cold war, the goal was simple, stop the USSR communists. Hence the end of history when the USSR fell: communism was equated with that single experiment because communism is/was poorly understood. For the US, no more experiment, no more worry.

But either through greed and/or confusion, the US let Chinese Communists grow into a superpower with wide and strong international ties.

Now the West sees the threat, but it’s too late. Because at the same time as China’s rise, the limits of imperialism are being reached. Commodifying data and creating new property in the digital realm solved some of the problem, but silicon valley is saturated and has absorbed just about as much surplus capital as it can. Fictitious capital can only do so much, as the 2008 crisis revealed it’s flaws. And it relies on dollar hegemony. So now the bourgeois are scrabbling to colonise space, but they don’t have time.

Back on earth, and in relation to investments-backed-by-real-assets, they’re no longer fighting a Communist state, they’re fighting the contradictions of their own imperialism. But they have as yet no new tactics, hoping the same tricks that worked before will work again. They might even work, but each time it will work for a shorter and shorter time.

Unless it’s ‘solved’ by a nuclear WWIII, but that doesn’t really leave much left for after the war, unlike WWI and WWII.


I suspect it’s not just the west, but the Russian high command who are somewhat surprised at how much of a paper tiger NATO has shown itself to be in this conflict. A lot of people around the world still remember the time when the US was a (seemingly) unstoppable economic-industrial juggernaut; and there was or seemed to be throughout the Cold War a sense among even Soviet leaders that they were continually playing catch-up to the west. The inability of NATO countries to come up with the ghost of coherent plan, or to produce modern weapons a scale to match Russia, may very well have driven home to a lot of countries that western hegemony really is crumbling.

I think they are a bit off-base in their assessment that they didn’t anticipate the blowback of sanctions on Russia. Europe are not “allies” of the U.S., they are vassals so completely in the grip of America they are committing suicide because ultimately Washington dictates their political leaders and actions. The U.S. has benefitted greatly from the sanctions, destroying competitor currencies and filling in to replace Russian LNG and agricultural exports. Obviously, long term this is not a sustainable strategy, as in a capitalist system they will need to find other areas of growth besides sucking a deindustrialized Europe dry.

The U.S. is fragile but not crumbling. They are short-sighted but still immensely powerful. The birth of a new, fairer world order is not pre-ordained. I am hopeful but not as optimistic as this article is. It will be a long, hard and bloody slog to overcome the final western empire.


I get what you’re saying, but my sense is still that the US has five years, maybe a decade to go before they have to divert the resources they now spend on projecting power abroad toward staving off serious political unrest at home. As regards Europe – you’re right to call EU countries vassals, but part of the reason they went along with the US (to their own detriment) is that their leaders come out of the same institutions as American leaders, and are just as talentless and out of touch with reality. During the Trump years, there was friction between the EU and Washington, precisely because Trump was felt not to come from the “normal” liberal establishment.

While those leaders bicker with each other, they’re also part of the same class. So even though Europe suffers, it’s leaders generally prosper with the US ruling class.

I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think the capitalists and their bootlickers are out of touch. They most likely know exactly what they are doing, which is all the more sinister.

I think they all know a little but not all. What binds them is a religious fervor for liberalism. Their problem is that they can do nothing to address the fundamental contradictions leading to their demise, except for blow the world to smithereens. But they are definitely more knowledgeable and capable than this article portrays them.

They also failed to anticipate that the vast majority of countries would not only ignore the sanctions but proactively explore options for “ditching the dollar” in their business transactions and in the sale of critical resources.

This is pretty important point. Half of the world wanted to do it earlier, but everyone who really tried, was ruthlessly destroyed by USA. Like Saddam and Gaddafi. US was showing the world that everyone who oppose them on that would be literally murdered and have their countries plunged into war and decades of humanitarian and civilizational crisis… “surely financing our empire is better, right?”

And they did wanted to do the same with Russia, but this is the first time somebody resisted, and everyone is now moving since the empire is busy and can’t invade anyone else in the moment.

US completely misread the power balance between the west and Russia. This was supposed to be a “twenty minutes adventure” that turned into an utter debacle for the west. They’re now realizing things are going horribly wrong, but they never even thought to make a backup plan because it was inconceivable to think that Russia could resist the west militarily or economically.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is starting to realize that this is the best chance they’re going to have to get out from under the yoke of the western empire. When the conflict started most countries were hedging their bets. As it’s becoming increasingly clear that Russia is winning, more and more countries are starting to openly defy the west and this becomes a self reinforcing cycle. I expect that BRICS in particular will become the dominant economic power globally when the dust settles. The west will find itself increasingly isolated. Since western countries are largely deindustrialized and far from being self sufficient, they will have little choice by to become supplicants to those whom they presumed to rule over.

“A short, victorious war” routinely proposed and waged by declining empires for various reasons. Yet almost none of them usually went as intended… as brief lecture of Sun Tzu plus any history book would clearly tell.

I also had laugh at the “Powell Doctrine”, sure, it’s pretty logical guideline for imperialism but US did not even followed it a single time, including Powell himself.

Also it’s not accident that so many stated applied to BRICS after the war started.

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