by James Corbett
(February 27, 2022)
You’ve no doubt heard the story of the crisis in Ukraine by now. But, as we’ve been told all our lives, there are two sides to every story. So, which side of the story have you heard?
There’s the MSM/establishment/dinosaur media side of the story. Let’s call it the “Team NATO” narrative. In this version of events, the bloodthirsty insane psychopathic literally Hitler leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin, woke up a few weeks ago and suddenly decided to invade the free, peaceful nation of Ukraine for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER!
And then there’s the “alternative” media side of the story. Let’s call it the “Team BRICS” narrative. In this version of the story, the valiant defender of human liberty, Vladimir Putin, is fighting to protect the free peoples of the world from the globalists and their sinister machinations.
As I say, you’ve doubtless heard one or another of these stories by now. Or, if you’re really paying attention, you might have heard both. But I’m here to tell you today that you’ve been lied to your whole life. There aren’t two sides to every story. There are at least three, maybe more.
Now, you know me. I like to go deeper than the simplistic, binary narratives you get in the establishment press or in much of the so-called alternative press. So let’s dive deeper today and look at the third side of the Ukraine crisis story.
The 2D Story
First, let’s just get up to speed with the bare facts of the mainstream 2D narrative.
As you’ll already know from my recent work on the topic (see here and here and here), Ukraine/Russia tensions ramped up considerably over the past few weeks. A series of cyberattacks on Ukrainian government websites, a White House-endorsed conspiracy theory that Russia was planning a false flag event to justify an invasion and a series of bold proclamations that Russia was going to invade Ukraine by such-and-such a date all added to the tensions.
The final straws prompting this military assault appear to have been:
- An increase in NATO threats and provocations in recent months, including joint NATO-Ukrainian drills and an unprecedented $200 million airlift of weapons and ammunition to Kiev in January.
- The US/NATO rejection of Russia’s demands for a guarantee that NATO would not offer membership to Ukraine.
- An increase in fighting in the Donbas region between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists, leading to the latter asking Russia for military support.
This, as we now know, culminated with the Russian State Duma adopting a resolution calling on Putin to recognize the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), which Putin did on February 21st. Three days later, he announced a “special military operation” to protect the people of the Donbas. That “special military operation” very quickly expanded beyond the Donbas, striking targets in and near the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and elsewhere around the country.
Given that this is an unfolding news event, I cannot provide you with the very latest news from Ukraine, but here are the latest developments as of press time (Monday February 28th 11:00 AM JST):
- The Ukrainian president’s office is now confirming that Ukraine and Russia will be meeting for peace talks “without preconditions” in Belarus at an as-yet-unspecified day and time.
- NATO has activated part of its 40,000-troop “Response Force” for the first time, although the troops are not being sent to Ukraine at this time.
- Putin has ordered Russia’s nuclear forces—specifically, a “deterrence force” controlling “nuclear and conventional strategic weapons that can be used offensively or defensively”—to be put on “special alert.”
- The Pentagon is “continuing to look for ways to support Ukraine to defend themselves,” including “through both lethal and non-lethal assistance.”
- The White House is asking for $6.4 billion for “military and humanitarian aid” for Ukraine, including $2.9 billion for “humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, the Baltics, Poland, and other regional countries” and $3.5 billion for the Pentagon. This is on top of $350 million in new military aid to Ukraine that the US announced on the weekend.
- Over 1,000 anti-war protesters have been arrested in Russia for the crime of asserting that “Ukraine is not our enemy” and that “No one needs this war.”
- Russia has threatened Sweden and Finland with “military and political consequences” if they join NATO.
- A spate of increasingly hefty sanctions has now culminated in the de-listing of certain as-yet-unidentified Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system (see this and this for background and details) and even the sanctioning of the Russian central bank itself, a move that is expected to have “a dramatic effect on the Russian economy and its banking system, similar to what we saw in 1991.”
As for the latest troop movements and battle reports: do not believe anything you read. Half of it is outright fake news illustrated by literal video game footage and, as we all know, the first casualty of war is truth.
As I say, these events are unfolding by the hour, and the situation on the ground will doubtless already be different by the time you’re reading these words. So here are the more important questions: What does this mean? Why is it happening? Who is the aggressor here? And who is the bad guy?
The Deep Background
The answers to those questions (“What does this mean? Why is it happening? Who is the aggressor here? And who is the bad guy?”) are perfectly straightforward if you’re unfortunate enough to get all of your news and information from the establishment media: Putin is a singularly evil psychopath, the Russian people have bloodlust, and this is all part of a larger gambit by the scheming Russians to form a Novorossiyan Empire.
It isn’t hard to see why this is so. For, if you do listen only to the mockingbirds of the MSM, you believe that the history of Russian/Ukrainian relations began in 2014, when Russia “invaded” Crimea. You have heard from this fake news media that Russia simply decided to march into Ukraine in 2014, annex a chunk of Ukraine, and then taunt the international community for years by placing its military closer and closer to NATO bases.
Indeed, if you took everything presented in this “Team NATO” narrative at face value, it would be impossible to see these unfolding events as anything but an act of unprovoked aggression by Putin and the Russians.
But, as I noted in my recent Questions for Corbett episode on this crisis, your understanding of history depends entirely on where you “start the clock” on the history of recent events. If you started the clock on February 24, 2022, then the matter is simple: the Russians suddenly declared war on Ukraine and began an “unprovoked and unjustified” invasion of that country.
But why not start the clock on February 19, 2022, when Ukrainian President Zelensky revealed his intentions to make Ukraine a nuclear power in violation of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, when US Vice President Kamala Harris accused Russia of spreading lies and disinformation before threatening “unprecedented sanctions” if Russia “further” invades Ukraine, and when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz berated Putin and the Russians for their aggressive actions and dismissed claims of genocide against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbas as “ridiculous, to put it bluntly”? Wouldn’t those three statements provide a different perspective from which to view these events?
Why stop there? Why not start the clock in January, when the unprecedented airlift of hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons and ammunition began arriving in Ukraine?
Or how about going back to last September, during the joint Ukrainian/NATO military exercises?
Or maybe we should begin the story in February 2014, when the Ukrainian parliament passed the (unconstitutional) law to strip Viktor Yanukovych of his presidency?
But then, why not hark back to the sniper fire in Maidan square later that month, which, it was later shown, was coordinated by the opposition in order to sow chaos and reap the whirlwind of regime change?
Then again, we could cast our minds back to Victoria Nuland’s infamous “fuck the EU” phone call in which she, as the then-US Assistant Secretary of State, constructed the post-coup Ukrainian government with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt.
Or we could look back to 2013, when Nuland admitted that the US had spent $5 billion on “democracy promotion” activities in Ukraine.
But perhaps the clock is best started in 1990, when US Secretary of State James Baker promised Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would expand “not one inch eastward” after the reunification of Germany and when German diplomat Jürgen Chrobog assured the Russians “that we would not expand NATO beyond the Elbe.”
Or should we begin the narrative in WWII, when Bandera and his Ukrainian nationalist brethren collaborated with the Nazis in a bid to maintain independence from Russia?
Or maybe we should go back to the Holodomor, when Stalin intentionally starved over three million Ukrainians as part of an attempt to crush Ukrainian nationalist movements.
Or to 1918, when, according to Putin, the modern state of Ukraine was created by Lenin, who rejected the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic’s request to be incorporated into Soviet Russia as a separate entity, and instead insisted that “one government for all of Ukraine” be created.
Or maybe we should start the clock in the 11th century, when the Kievan Rus federation reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise.
As you can see, everyone’s view of history is coloured by the context in which they see that history and is shaped by how far back into history they want to go and by what events they want to cherry-pick from that history in order to make their case.
Having said that, it is easy to see that the mainstream narrative that “Russia is invading because Putin is Hitler” is an aggressively stupid story that could be swallowed only by the most historically ignorant people on the planet (i.e., those who get their news from CNN).
It is much more realistic to point out that Russia’s actions have to be seen in light of the documented history of NATO aggression and intervention in Ukraine and of NATO’s undeniable attempt to support the Western-backed government in Kiev’s campaign to slaughter the Russian speakers of the Donbas region.
So, case closed, right? Putin’s the good guy and he’s standing up to the globalists. There. Mystery solved.
But wait. It’s not quite that simple . . .
2D Chess is for Losers
There’s nothing more satisfying than a good guy/bad guy narrative. We have so internalized this form of storytelling that for many it is almost impossible not to see the world in these terms. Two people are fighting. One of them is a bad guy. Therefore, the other one is a good guy.
The problem comes when we try to map that simplistic, binary, black-and-white storyline on to real-world events. What “guy” are you talking about? Do you still believe that Putin is Russia? That’s as absurd as saying that Biden is NATO (or even the US). And can we jump from NATO bad to BRICS good that easily?
Well, if you’ve been listening to me over the last decade and a half you will know that it’s not that easy. The BRICS are controlled opposition. Putin and Xi are both tyrannical thugs. The Chinese government and the Russian government both love controlling their citizens every thought and speech and action, and their supposed opposition to the globalist empire is a smoke-and-mirrors distraction hiding the fact that they are absolutely on-board with the ultimate agenda of world control.
Or are you the type of person who watches the clip of Schwab bragging about all the cabinets the World Economic Forum has “penetrated” around the world without noticing that the second person he lists in his stable of WEF acolytes is Vladimir Putin?
Are you the type of person who conveniently forgets how to read when Xi and Putin release documents extolling the creation of the New World Order that call on all states “to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture” and declare that “In order to to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” states will have to “take practical steps in key areas of cooperation” like “vaccines and epidemics control, financing for development, climate change, sustainable development, including green development, industrialization, digital economy, and infrastructure connectivity”?
Are you the type of person who constantly forgets that Vladimir Putin is close personal friends with Henry Kissinger?
Are you the type of person who believes that the Russian COVID vaccine is the good kind of vaccine and the Russian vaccine passports are the good kind of vaccine passports and the Russian COVID clown show is the good kind of COVID clown show?
Are you the type of person who believes that preemptive invasions of foreign countries are good when they’re done by the good guys for good reasons and that the people who die in such operations are just collateral damage (who probably deserved to die anyway)?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not that type of person. The sad truth for those who are still waiting for the White Hat on the White Horse to deliver them their fix of Hopium is that Putin is an “anti-globalist crusader” in the exact same way as Donald “Fill the Swamp” Trump is an “anti-globalist crusader,” which is to say, not at all. Because if you are still waiting on the sealed indictments and the watermarked ballots and Vladimir the Great to upset the globalist apple cart, you have yet to understand the nature of the globalist system.
The uncomfortable truth, as always, is that the war has not just begun. It’s been going on for generations. And it’s not a war of nation against nation, or even valiant “anti-globalist crusaders” like WEF-connected, biosecurity-promoting, false flag-perpetrating, political opponent-assassinating Vladimir Putin against the global control structure. It is a global war against you. To the extent that wars are being waged between the elitists, they are only being waged to determine which group of elitists get to rule over you and in what way.
Now more than ever it is important for those of us who have escaped the mainstream narrative “Team NATO” trap to reject the “alternative” narrative “Team BRICS” trap and redeclare our personal sovereignty. A choice between the two wings of the same bird of prey is no choice at all. Or, to put it in a more familiar way: “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.”
So, let’s keep the real background of these events in mind as we watch this military spectacle play out on our computer screens and let’s avoid getting caught up in cheerleading for the army of one branch or another of the global elitist class.
Having said all of that, let’s bring some levity to the end of this very serious discussion. I present to you the following Moment of Zen from everyone’s favorite American establishment ghoul, John “Skull & Bones” Kerry:
That’s right, the climate billionaires are upset that the military-industrial billionaires are hogging the propaganda spotlight that should be shining on their pet “existential threat.” Clearly the Ukrainians should be more worried about the centimetres of global sea level rise, which the Nostradamuses at the UN warn will be inundating us a century from now if we don’t appease the weather gods.
You can’t make this stuff up. Who would even try?