January 16, 2018 – FRN –
“Russia is unlikely to ever abandon the Crimea, so the United States should not build its strategy on an anti-historical foundation” states The National Interest, a quote by the lecturer of the US Naval College in Newport Lyle Goldstein.
The expert recalled that the peninsula became Russian in 1783, after which the Russians repeatedly defended the Crimea in battles – against Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War, and against Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
“The fact that the United States for a long time took seriously the Russian identity of the Crimea, makes the current policies in Eurasia and other parts of the world rather curious – based on attempts to challenge Moscow’s claims to the blood-soaked peninsula in the Black Sea,” wrote Goldstein.
Therefore, he is convinced, Russia will never cease to consider the Crimea as its territory, and the authorities in Washington should abandon the old policy and start building relations with Moscow based on realities.
It is worth noting that The National Interest is a fairly authoritative publication devoted to the politics of the East. It has wide expert advice led by Henry Kissinger and differs from other publications not only by checking the quality of materials, but also by controlling the expert’s experience in the topics covered.
The question is, how much of Goldstein’s view is widespread in America, if at all?
– I have a lot of friends in America, and I can say that this view is not very widespread, – says the FORUM editor-in-chief, Anatoly Baranov.
– Propaganda is a great thing, even Russian-Americans are talking about a “referendum at gunpoint.” You ask – how could 18,000 military men take 2.5 million Crimeans at gunpoint? How did the 22,000th Ukrainian army group in the Crimea surrender without a single gun shot? In response, they are silent, but they hardly think. It’s always easier to follow the mainstream, which is what we have in America. Probably the most reliable and convincing would be the point of view of the Crimeans themselves, but they are not visible or audible.
I often go to Crimea, from time to time I live there, I can say that I am already a Crimean, so I know how things really are. From the prices of kefir to the degree of severity of social problems. But this is my information and my point of view – no one has to trust me. And how can you check? Even our vast majority of citizens have never been there, but what about America or Europe? How can they explain that four years ago the Crimean people made a step from a society of devastation into a relatively developed, modern life. And they will never return voluntarily.
How true are the analogies with the Crimean War? According to Goldstein, Great Britain and France got involved in the Crimean War in order to achieve the same goal that NATO has been setting for several decades: to contain the alleged “Russian aggression” …
– To begin with, the Crimean War took place on the territory of Russia, and nobody disputed this either before the war, or, importantly, after it. Sevastopol was a Russian city. If someone does not remember, control of the Black Sea straits was an important task of Tsarist Russia, and no one concealed these intentions.
It is another matter that the great powers planned the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, but according to their plan, which did not coincide with the Russian one. We can consider the Crimean War as one of the first imperialist wars of the past, a sort of rehearsal for the First World War – there the theater of military operations was not limited to the Crimea, there were battles in both Kamchatka and the North. The era of great geographical discoveries ended, and the imperialist redivision of the world began.
In this respect, contemporary events in the Crimea can also be viewed from the point of view of imperialist redistribution, but only in the role of the former Ottoman Empire was the legacy of the Soviet Union. From Russia, Ukraine, which was a part of it for a hundred and fifty years longer than the Crimea, was torn off – to compare, it’s like Turkey’s loss of Iraq, probably. As Turkey without Iraq can never become an empire, so Russia without Ukraine is no longer a superpower. And Crimea is only the last defensive line on the Black Sea, without Sevastopol, the Black Sea Fleet remains without a base – that is, Russia without a fleet on the Black Sea.
Turkey, by the way, defended the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, in a war with its former ally in the Crimean War – Britain, inflicting on it the largest military defeat in history at Gallipoli. Now Russia is also in a state of war, not peace, with its recent allies. But Crimea it “won” – such a small bonus after the defeat in the battle for Ukraine, which for Russia is lost, I’m afraid, forever.
Goldstein notes that the Americans then helped Russia. Today the situation is different. What determines the US attitude to the issue?
– During the Crimean War, the United States was by no means a great power, and partnership with Russia was profitable for them. And now the United States, in fact, the only world superpower, dictates the terms of both the EU and NATO. And Russia, for this American global expansion is no longer an object, but a subject …
Iraq, Libya and Syria have been torn up – but this is smaller. The USSR was a great prey of the imperialist world, the Russian Federation will be smaller too, but it is possible to suck the juices out of it for a long time and with pleasure.
Britain became great, extorting India for 200 years. Why is America worse? The US attitude to the Russian question is dictated exclusively by objective factors – a large imperialist predator needs to be eaten.
America is by no means a wild country of cowboys, it is a developed power with tradition. I would not believe that American analysts do not understand something or misunderstand something. Accordingly, American politicians are provided with very high-quality information, including analytical. Can historical, political, moral arguments break the main, objectively formed trend in US public policy? I doubt it. The only thing that can be stopped is the fact that the Americans themselves realized that the costs of confrontation with Russia will exceed all possible bonuses from the victory over it and the possible exploitation of its resources.
And what are these costs?
– Threats of Russia’s transition to the North Korean path – the country as a military camp, readiness for total mobilization, an essential element of unpredictability. While Putin publicly pronounces liberal mantras – it is necessary to open a collection of Stalin’s writings and from to quote from there. Or even Khrushchev, with his “we will bury you.”
Let me remind you that by the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the USSR lagged behind the US in nuclear weapons power around 10 fold, by the way. But Kennedy made concessions – he was afraid to ‘touch the crazy’. And unfortunately, we must become ‘crazy’ if we want to stay on the planet at all.
How relevant are the analogies of the current crisis with the Crimean War?
– Russia lost the Crimean War, but the West did not achieve its strategic goal. Crimea became forever Russian, because the historical choice was backed up by blood and feat. The war only strengthened the Russian position there.
Sevastopol and the Crimea will forever remain a symbol of Russia’s military and historical patriotism. Americans, therefore, test us for strength, pushing the idea of a second referendum. Nothing is going to happen.