That notorious Russian Commie sympathizer Henry Kissinger has come out and said out loud that the U.S. handling of Ukraine has been inept. This is going to make things that much more difficult for those whose approach to solving every problem is weapons and war to try to talk the U.S. into provoking an even worse outcome than is already baked in. Der Spiegel:
SPIEGEL: So let's talk about a concrete example: How should the West react to the Russian annexation of Crimea? Do you fear this might mean that borders in the future are no longer incontrovertible?
Kissinger: Crimea is a symptom, not a cause. Furthermore, Crimea is a special case. Ukraine was part of Russia for a long time.
SPIEGEL: What you're saying is that the West has at least a kind of responsibility for the escalation?
Kissinger: Yes, I am saying that. Europe and America did not understand the impact of these events, starting with the negotiations about Ukraine's economic relations with the European Union and culminating in the demonstrations in Kiev.
Ukraine has always had a special significance for Russia. It was a mistake not to realize that.
...the West could not accept the annexation; some countermeasures were necessary. But nobody in the West has offered a concrete program to restore Crimea. Nobody is willing to fight over eastern Ukraine. That's a fact of life.
We have to remember that Russia is an important part of the international system, and therefore useful in solving all sorts of other crises, for example in the agreement on nuclear proliferation with Iran or over Syria. This has to have preference over a tactical escalation in a specific case.... I don't think it's a law of nature that every state must have the right to be an ally in the frame work of NATO.
SPIEGEL: America is very polarized. The level of aggression in the political debate is extremely high. Is the superpower still even able to act at all?
Kissinger: I am worried about this domestic split. When I worked in Washington, political combat was tough. But there was much more cooperation and contact between opponents of the two big parties.
Now, of course, eastern Ukraine and the Kiev army are re-loading in preparation for renewed hostilities
, Russia has taken
a far more active and intrusive role than it had done prior to the "anti-terrorist
" campaign launched by Kiev, there are fears of a new Cold War
, and the U.S. political establishment wants confrontation everywhere, from Ukraine to Iran to Syria to the Senkaku Islands. The U.S. government is divided against itself, the Democratic Party is adrift, and the peace at home is fraying with events like Ferguson. Allies like Germany are increasingly skeptical about American competence and capability. And the economy probably will not cooperate with any new wars.
It has grown increasingly unlikely that there will be a happy outcome for Ukraine. This will further weaken U.S. influence in the region, and worldwide. Kissinger is a reprobate, a ruthless power player who was perfectly at home in the criminal Nixon Administration, a man responsible for innumerable unnecessary deaths. Ironically, he is now one of the saner voices in our foreign policy debate.
Obligatory disclaimer: Criticizing a specific element of American foreign policy does not imply a love bordering on carnal lust for Vladimir Putin, nor does it mean that one hates America and wants to see us all perish, nor does it mean that one is a right-winger, a communist, etc. etc. etc.