Ukraine is only one front - in a much larger struggle between the US Empire and an emerging multi-polar world order; one where China and Russia have begun to challenge US supremacy. However, the country that most challenges US hegemony is China - not Russia. China's industrial capacity exceeds that of both the USA and the EU combined. It is a rhetorical question whether or not China's objective is to supplant and eclipse US power, because the fact is that it is what the US believes and it is a belief that most explains US geo-political behaviour. And for an emergent China, Russia represents critical resources essential to ascent on the global stage.
Russia's inclusion in this power calculus is both surprising and illuminating. Conventional wisdom - post the USSR - had largely come to assess Russia as a mid-level regional economic power that enjoyed an elevated global significance largely by virtue of its legacy nuclear arsenal. Senator John McCain - one time Presidential Candidate - went so far as to describe Russia as a "Gas Station masquerading as a country." Something of this thinking underpinning McCain's derision must have featured prominently in the minds of EU leaders when they began to enthusiastically proclaim a series of dramatic trade sanctions against Russia.
A free trade alliance between China and Russia is the necessary foundation for any Eurasian economic zone capable of challenging Western hegemony. The partnership of Russia's unlimited resources combined with China's population and industrial capacity possesses an irresistible gravitational pull on the entirety of the Asia and the Middle East. The SCO, and Silk Road investment projects are already expanding and attracting interest from India, Iran, Turkey and the all the Stans. These countries represent over half of the worlds population.
For the West - It is this perspective that makes it necessary to balkanise Russia. As Secretary of State during the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton bemoaned that it was unfair that Russia possessed so much access to natural resources. In the short term, the Ukraine war is a financial windfall for the MIC, a fillip of relevance for NATO, it consolidates power of the EU in Brussels and it advances the agenda of the WEF.
So what happens in the Ukraine is important but is only one part of a much larger game. What we know about Putin and the war is filtered by our media thru this lens.
Our Western political leaders are in the habit of elevating one foreign leader after another as the latest reincarnation of Hitler. In just the last 2 decades we've had five of these Doctor Evil types: Saddam, Gaddafi, Kim Jong-un, Trump and now Putin. Popular Western Culture can accept criticism of its imperial colonial past but is not so comfortable discussing and arguably blind to its current geo-political excesses.
Is the Western World really still a force for good?
Ever since 9/11, hysteria, outrage, anger, fear and hate have all become normalised. It's more than a little unsettling just to review a sampling of the headlines and vocabulary used to cover news over the last 2 decades: Patriot Act, war on terror, rendition, Al Queda, ISIS, Rendition, GITMO, Waterboarding, Coalition of the willing, Axis of Evil, Snowden, Assange, GFC, Moral hazard, Quantitive Easing, Novichok, Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria,
millions of refugees, Russia Gate, Not my President, Stolen Elections, Impeachments , Insurrections...
And if that were not enough, there is the threat of extinction from greenhouse gases and climate catastrophe. All the while, there are an increasing number of media reports of key personnel in the administrations of both Russia and the USA threatening each other with Nuclear war.