Russia's President Vladimir Putin has once again weighed in on the USA's unipolar "New World Order", continuing a trend of criticism of American foreign policy begun as early as 2008, where he addressed similar concerns to a meeting of NATO leaders. But this time, the Russian leader has pulled no punches at a meeting of the Valdai conference at the Russian Black Sea port of Sochi:
What is interesting here is not so much the notching up of Mr. Putin's rhetoric, which, on balance, is nothing different from what he has been saying (and warning the West about) since he took office. What is interesting is not only RT's take on his remarks, but two remarks and comments contained in this article, hinting at new Russian geopolitical approaches, and hence suggesting my high octane speculation of the day. Consider this analysis and comment from RT:
"The Russian President laid the blame for the crisis in Ukraine firmly on the West for meddling in affairs, which did not concern them. He mentioned that Russia had tried to discuss the issue of Ukraine with the EU for a long time, but in no uncertain terms he was told it was none of Russia’s business."(Emphasis added).
It's difficult to imagine how anything happening in the Ukraine would not be within Russia's legitimate sphere of interest, for whether we like it or not, whether we have Ukrainian nationalist sympathies or not, the historical fact is that the Ukraine was a part of Russia for much of its modern history. Geopolitically, it is simply a form of irrationality to expect that Russia would not be concerned with what goes on there, especially when recent goings on bring back bitter memories of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, and the rivers of Russian blood that had to be spilled over the next four years to expel it. The Ukraine has its own legitimate historical fears, for much of the Bolshevik-induced famines of the 1920s and 1930s was engineered in that country. But neither Kiev, nor Berlin, nor Washington, can afford to forget Russia's legitimate concerns and interests, and it is this that Mr. Putin appears to be addressing.
In doing so, however, RT is suggesting something else, namely, that for Mr. Putin and his advisors, Europe is not really Europe, but merely "Amerika, 2.0", yet another vast satrapy in the American empire, with no real will of its own. This doesn't mean that Russia is ready or willing to abandon talks with Europe, but it may indicate a longer-term view is being taken in Moscow.
And there's a bit of a suggestion of this later in the article:
"Towards the end of his speech in Sochi, for the Valdai Club, which is an informal gathering for political scholars, the Russian President, alluded to fears that Russia was looking to expand its empire and that Moscow is looking to destabilize the world order. With relations between Russia and the West at a very low ebb, Putin also hinted Russia will look to develop allies further afield. He also used the notion of a bear defending its territory to have a swipe at the US for getting to close to Russia's borders." (Emphasis added)
While on one reading this may appear to be a kind of "line in the sand" - this far and no farther - and thus a clear and unequivocal warning to the West, I suspect it's really more directed at Europe than toward the US, for any further project and projection of American power in the region simply cannot happen without Europe. But it could also be a signal of more important geopolitical developments in store, for by developing "allies further afield," the gloves have come off, and I suspect that this "field" of "development" of "allies" will be targeted much more in America's back yard, like Argentina, for example. As America's unipolarism is increasingly, and justifiably, meeting growing opposition in South America, Russia could be ready to exploit that situation both financially and geopolitically.
But Mr. Putin knows the American "game" well, and alludes to it repeatedly in his speech: oppose the USA, and one gets Mr. Soros, NGOs, "regime change" and a variety of covert ops all designed around the most extreme elements. Thus, in order to "develop allies further field," in order to forestall the usual murky tactics and covert ops from the USA, what Mr. Putin appears to be signalling, if one reads behind and between the lines a bit, is that Russia will step up its intelligence operations, and beef up its own counter-covert operations capability. After all, he comes from the intelligence apparatus himself.
In other words, in my high octane opinion of the day, is what he seems to have signaled is that Russia will secure allies, but to secure those allies (and forestall an untimely banker-like fall of Ms. Fernandez de Kirchner or Ms. Rouseff from tall buildings in Buenos Aires or Brasilia, should they announce a deals with Russia to station Russian warships in Argentina or Brazil, or to hold joint Argentine-Russian-Brazilian naval exercises, or issue joint currency swaps and bond deals) , Mr. Putin will have to beef up Russia's own covert capabilities to counter the American covert operations game on the world stage. As I keep warning, covert operations are a game two people can play. This won't mean Russian use of American-style tactics, but rather, the reverse: quiet and covert exposure of American "operations" - and perhaps covert action against them and their operators - to other word leaders.
If this reading of Mr. Putin's remarks is in fact the case, then we are in for some interesting times. If true, then if you're a member of the Western elite (or at least, think yourself to be), then you might want to bring food tasters to your next Bilderberg-Bohemian Grove meeting. And repeat the following mantra as you fall asleep: Philby... Blunt....Philby... Blunt....
See you on the flip side.