Kassioun Editorial 1054: For Whom the Drums Beat?
These days, the entire world is sleeping and waking up to the beat of the war drums in Ukraine. In addition to the wave of the West’s official statements, including about the rapid evacuation of Western diplomats from Kiev, the Western media is talking about how the world is days and perhaps hours away from the outbreak of war.
In parallel, communications of a diplomatic nature continue among Russia, the US, and NATO, and among the Westerners themselves. All the while, mobilization continues on the ground, in Ukraine and along its borders, as well as multi-scope military exercises.
What is striking about the entire Western coverage of events is that the focus is that the whole issue is about Ukraine, and only Ukraine. This is in complete denial and blindness to the reality of the ongoing negotiations between Russia and the US, and to the subject of those negotiations.
While the Western propaganda is limited to portraying what is happening as “a deliberate Russian intention to launch an attack on Ukraine, and NATO is working to save Ukraine”, real negotiations are taking place not only on Russia’s refusal to Ukraine joining NATO, but also on Russia’s declared demand for the US and NATO to completely withdraw from all expansion operations eastward that they have undertaken since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
What is amusing about the ongoing negotiations is what was recently revealed by American and Russian officials alike, that the Americans had requested that the written response – which they formally submitted regarding Russia’s security demands – be kept confidential, and not be disclosed, because keeping it confidential is “necessary for the success of negotiations”.
Within the broader scene, we can see two clear elements, through which it is possible to disclose the reality of the situation, even if only preliminarily:
1- The Russian demands are public and written, and state going back to the pre-1991 “military borders”, with allusions in their official statements suggesting moving the battle to a higher and more dangerous level.
2- The actual US response to these demands is still “confidential”, while the public response, despite the intimidation and threats, did not exceed, according to the White House, the threat of more economic sanctions.
Although the possibilities of further military escalation still exist, and no one can absolutely rule out the possibility of slipping into the madness of war, the various indicators point in a different direction.
The issue in short is that the moment of extreme tension that the world is experiencing these days is an intensification of the overall changes that took place over the past 20 years, from the rise of the rising powers, led by China and Russia, and the retreat of the American-led retreating powers. The West has been retreating within these changes day after day without acknowledging its retreat and without accepting it.
What we are witnessing today is a historical turning moment that will take its time, in which the West’s fury over the new realities intensifies by getting to the maximum limits possible of escalation. At the same time, during this phase the West’s exhaustion from those realities is also intensifying, and consequently its willingness to bargain – initially “confidentially” and later openly – in preparation for the transition to the stage of public acceptance of the new realities.