In Flight MH17, Ukraine, and the New Cold War, Kees Van Der Pijl proposes that the world has seen three “Cold Wars”, one of which remains ongoing. The First Cold War got rolling immediately after World War 2, playing out into the 1970s. During this period, “the West was forced into a broad set of compromises – with organised labour, with aspirant colonial elites pushing for decolonisation, and also, paradoxically, with Soviet-style state socialism.” Fordism, Keynesian economics and social democratic movements in the West and central planning in the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and various decolonial nations of the Third World, restricted capital flows, the international division of productive labor, and the reign of finance capital. At the same time, the concept of “detente” with the USSR prevailed in most official foreign policy circles.
The Second Cold War, “was of a completely different stripe. Effectively it sought to suspend the sovereignties granted to the USSR and its bloc, to the Third World, and to organised labour.” These sovereignties were subsumed by the sovereignty of capital (which, in a capitalist world-system, must always ultimately succeed) and a new foreign policy for Western imperialism emerged. As Pijl writes:
“Capital now turned to imposing the market logic of formal equivalence also on hitherto sovereign spaces, forcing open nationally protected economies and labour markets where possible. Thus began a restructuring of production away from the arenas of collective bargaining to new zones, often by privatising national industry or other forms of dispossession, both within and outside the West. Given the resistance – from classes and countries – that this strategy was bound to encounter, class rule in the weaker links of the capitalist system resorted to often murderous counterrevolution, both in large Third World states, from Brazil and Indonesia to Chile and Argentina, and in western Europe, in Greece and Turkey…
…By 1979, the entire set of compromises on which corporate liberalism had been based were called into question. While clamping down on trade unions, the bourgeoisie mounted tax revolts and sought to roll back concessions made after the war. This countermovement culminated in the ‘Volcker Shock’, the decision by the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, to wring inflation out of the economy by raising real interest rates, eventually to around 20 percent. This undercut the compromises of the previous period, imposing high unemployment at home and throwing the Third World into a debt crisis.”
Pijl notes that the Volcker Shock acted as an attack on the Soviet Bloc and “non-aligned” Yugoslavia by Western imperialism which was “more disastrous…than any military operation would have been.” Nonetheless, the Western nations did pursue a shift in foreign policy. In 1979, while NATO was upgrading its missile arsenal aimed at Warsaw Pact countries, US President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, recommended an ambitious first step in ending detente.
Brzezinski told Carter that America had an opportunity to give the USSR “its own Vietnam War.” To do this, the CIA and State Department, working with the Pakistani ISI and the Saudi Royal Family, began covertly organizing warlords and other Islamist resistance groups in the rural areas of Afghanistan into a broad coalition of guerilla forces to combat the Soviet-supported government of the capital, provoking a Soviet intervention. “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979,” Brzezinski told an interviewer. “But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”
Pijl mentions Operation GLADIO and its “strategy of tension” in Western Europe, which was paralleled by a sister operation in the East, as a precursor to Brzenzski’s idea, which the CIA would dub “Operation Cyclone.” In both West and East European GlADIO, the CIA, the State Department, and NATO utilized neofascist paramilitaries and organied crime syndicates to build an entire parallel government throughout the region. Its purpose was to combat the spread of communism between the First and Second Cold Wars. This was, whether Eurocrats would like to admit it or not, the first formalized attempt at a “European Union.”
In Ukraine, America supported the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, particularly a more radical, separatist sect which took its marching orders from Stepan Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko, (this sect is referred to in this essay as OUN-B). According to German historian P. A. Rudling, “Leading members of the Bandera wing wanted Ukrainian Jews killed or removed, and offered to participate in the process. In April 1941, the OUN-B declared that they ‘combat Jews as supporters of the Muscovite-Bolshevik regime.’ Its propaganda directives in the following month demanded the destruction of the Jews: ‘Ukraine for the Ukrainians! . . . Death to the Muscovite-Jewish commune! Beat the commune, save Ukraine!’” During the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, OUN-B declared itself a “natural ally” of Nazi Germany and stated its readiness to go to war against the Russians.
When the OUN-B issued a “Act of Renewal of Ukrainian Statehood” on June 30, 1941, Stetsko appointed himself prime minister and proclaimed that the new Ukraine would, “cooperate closely with National Socialist Greater Germany…under the Führer Adolf Hitler.” According to Stetsko, “both revolutionary nations, hardened in battle, will guarantee the establishment of healthy circumstances in the Europe of the new order.” These proclamations were followed by a wave of extremely violent pogroms in West Ukraine, killing, by some estimates, 35,000 Jews. As Rudling writes, “The Nachtigall Battalion, consisting almost exclusively of OUN-B activists serving in German uniforms under Shukheyvch’s command, carried out mass shootings of Jews near Vinnytsia in July 1941.”
A schism developed between the Nazi leadership and OUN-B after the former chose to pursue a policy of German colonization of Eastern Europe. This threw a wrench into the latter’s plans for a sovereign Ukrainian ethnostate. Refusing full submission to the Nazi plan, Bandera was arrested on July 5 and brought to Berlin, where he was put under house arrest. OUN-B apologists like to point out that Bandera and Stetsko were “forced into a concentration camp” at this time, but their stay there was brief and, compared to the other “residents”, extremely comfortable. Furthermore, immediately after leaving the camp, Bandera resumed his collaboration with the Nazis. “Thus,” Rudling notes,” the OUN-B ‘break’ with Nazi Germany was half-hearted, and contacts were retained on several levels until the end, and even after the war.”
After some internal divisions and a purge by the hardline Banderists, a new leadership emerged in OUN-B, “most of whom were trained by Nazi Germany” and many of whom were directly involved in the Holocaust. From here to the end of the war, the OUN-B became even more ruthless in its attacks on Jews and Poles, with one Jewish survivor wroting: “Bandera men…are not discriminating about who they kill; they are gunning down the populations of entire villages…Since there are hardly any Jews left to kill, the Bandera gangs have turned on the Poles. They are literally hacking Poles to pieces. Every day…you can see the bodies of Poles, with wires around their necks, floating down the river Bug.”
A study led by John-Paul Himka of the University of Alberta found that OUN militias, including the Ukrainska povstanska armiia (UPA) were “key actors in the anti-Jewish violence of summer 1941; OUN recruited for and infiltrated police formations that provided indispensable manpower for the Germans’ mobile killing units; and in 1943, thousands of these policemen deserted from German service to join the OUN-led nationalist insurgency, during which UPA killed Jews who had managed to survive the major liquidations of 1942.” The OUN-B would ultimately kill hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine, mostly Jews and Poles, for perceived racial impurities and Soviet sympathies.
The slaughter of Jews reached its peak in late 1943 and early 1944, with Himka estimating that the OUN-B killed, “several thousand, but perhaps the number was much higher.” It should be noted that this final purge was carried out alongside the documented murder of over 80,000 Poles, many of whom testified later that the OUN-B forced them to take part in the murder of their relatives. Despite becoming more violent than ever, the OUN-B shifted gears in terms of its outward political ideology and aesthetics. As Rudling notes, “The overt racism was toned down and official OUN-UPA statements were increasingly wrapped in a democratic and inclusive rhetoric, but their mass murder of national minorities continued unabated.”
This policy shift is likely due to the inclusion of some Ukrainian Jews within the ranks of the OUN-B in the latter war years for strictly economical purposes. “The murder of the Jews removed cobblers, tanners, smiths, and other professions in which the Jews had been prominent,” Rudling notes. “Accounts of the war years show that people had problems with fur coats and boots falling apart, after the Jews were removed.” As Hilmka observes, there was now a “marriage of convenience between a partisan unit desperately in need of doctors and nurses and Jews desperately in need of a place that would keep them out of the hands of the Germans.” At the same time, while the OUN-B started to include anti-German rhetoric in its official policy, this was mostly intended to mobilize Ukrainian support against the Soviets and, according to Rudling, “stayed mostly on paper.” While a small number of clashes did take place between Nazi Germany and the OUN-B in the North, the leadership in West Ukraine “opposed military attacks on German interests” with most Banderists, “wanting to aim all attacks exclusively against the Soviets.”
After the battle of Stalingrad, OUN-B discarded even more of its “overtly fascist attributes.” In October 1943 the Homeland Leadership of the OUN-B in Western Ukraine ordered the preparation of “special documents” to make it appear as if its brutal pogroms had been carried out entirely by the Germans, who, in this fiction, coerced the Ukrainian police into aiding and abetting their Holocaust. Conveniently, the OUN-B leadership could now spin the Poles as the real Nazi collaborators and thus justify the mass murder of Polish descended Ukrainians. In one incredible English-language propaganda leaflet from 1947, OUN-B claimed that, “In all our political literature, underground revolutionary papers and proclamations, neither now, nor at the time of the German occupation, you would seek in vain if only one word [was] directed against the Jews…As well as we have never taken part in any anti-Jewish actions.”
This rebrand certainly paid off.
The Committee of Subjugated Nations, formed in 1943 by the Nazis, was reconstituted as the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) by the United States government in 1946. In the early 1950s, after Ukraine became a part of the Soviet Union, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used OUN-B and its offshoots as a weapon against the USSR. This operation, named Project AERODYNAMIC, placed CIA field agents in Soviet Ukraine who would work with members of the Ukrainian Resistance Movement tied directly to OUN-B. The CIA would airdrop supplies and weapons to its secret army, most of whom were trained in West Germany, which, also thanks to the CIA, was still essentially run by the Nazis and their collaborators. In the Agency’s own words: “The purpose of the project is to exploit contacts with Soviet Ukrainian citizens in order to encourage national and intellectual unrest in the Ukrainian [Socialist Republic], thus encouraging cultural and intellectual freedom for Soviet citizens. CIA has been in contact with the Wilmva (Foreign Representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council) since 1950. Anti-Soviet propaganda activities were begun from New York by a panel of the ZP/USTR in 1953.”
In 1949, the CIA helped a devoted Banderist named Mykola Lebed gain asylum in New York City. By 1952, Lebed, who the CIA described as a “well known sadist and collaborator of the Germans” and “very radical, possibly more so than Bandera” (see Chapter Five here), established the Prolog Research Corporation. Prolog became a prolific publisher of anti-Soviet propaganda written by hardline Ukrainian fascists and dressed up as scholarly research which made its way into the hands of both Ukrainians in the USSR and in the United States.
“The Bandera group dominated heavily among Ukrainian émigrés,” Rudling writes. “US intelligence reports estimated that 80 percent of the Ukrainian Displaced Persons (DPs) from Galicia remained loyal to Bandera, who tried to establish a dictatorship in exile that would be transferred to a liberated Ukraine.” Lebed’s wing of the postwar OUN-B would become preferable to the one orbiting Bandera himself, which the CIA came to view as “politically unacceptable to the US Government.” As Rudling details, the OUN-B played a crucial role in the organization of a postwar fascist international overseen by the bureaucrats of American imperialism:
“The OUN-B organized an umbrella organization for fascist and authoritarian east European movements, called the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), linking former members of Tiso’s government, former Nazis, Romanian Legionnaires, the successors of the Ustaše. It came to cooperate closely with Franco’s Spain, and became an active participant of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The OUN(b) was negotiating with the Spanish authorities about providing training in Spanish military academies for former members of the UPA and the Waffen-SS division Galizien, a Ukrainian collaborationist formation established in April 1943. While Bandera’s July 1954 audience with Franco was cancelled in the last minute, Stetsko met with Franco and Chiang Kai-shek in 1955 and 1956. The OUN-B sought to provoke a revolutionary uprising in the Soviet Union in order to split the Soviet army, get rebel control over Soviet nuclear weapons, seeking a nuclear confrontation with Moscow. The movement developed an intense cult around the concept of sacrificial death. Following Bandera’s assassination by the KGB in 1959, the OUN-B cult of personality around its martyred leaders was further intensified.”
The power shift from Bandera to Stetsko and the full incorporation of the OUN-B into the American-managed Fascist International probably has something to do with growing support within Western intelligence for a geopolitical concept known as the “Intermarium.” This refers to an alliance of nations “reaching from the Baltic Sea over the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea that would serve as a third power bloc between Germany and Russia.” It was originally to be form as a federation of the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Poland, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Ironically, the Intermarium in its original form was violently opposed by the OUN-B. As it stemmed from the interwar political ideas of Polish state leader Józef Piłsudski, the OUN-B saw the Intermarium as an attempt by Poland to colonize Ukraine.
As Marlene Laruelle and Ellen Rivera note: “During his second stint as de facto state leader (1926–1935), Piłsudski’s primary focus was on ensuring that the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles were upheld. Nevertheless, the period also saw the establishment of the Promethean League…a semi-clandestine network that envisioned cooperation between a group of nations fighting against the Soviet Union. The Promethean League served as an anti-communist umbrella organization for anti-Soviet exiles displaced after the Ukrainian government of Simon Petlura (1879–1926) gave up the fight against the Soviets in 1922. It was established by the Ukrainian émigré Roman Smal-Stocky and based in Warsaw, but, as Dorril affirms, ‘the real leadership and latent power within the Promethean League emanated from the Petlura-dominated Ukrainian Democratic Republic in exile and its Polish sponsors. The Poles benefited directly from this arrangement, as Promethean military assets were absorbed into the Polish army, with Ukrainian, Georgian and Armenian contract officers not uncommon in the ranks.’
Pilsudski received support from French and British intelligence. Later, via Agent William Gowen, the CIA gradually gained leverage over the Promethean League. According to Gowen, Pilsudksi’s network was originally composed of, “anti-German, anti-Habsburg elites who also opposed socialism and communism” such as Vlatko Macek (Croatian Peasant Party leader and Yugoslav Vice Premier), Miha Krek (Catholic Slovene Peoples Party leader and also Yugoslav Vice Premier), and Gregorij Gafencu (Romanian Foreign Minister 1938-1941). According to Laruelle and Rivera, all three of these men became Western intelligence assets during the Cold War. Gowen originally encountered the Intermarium conspirators via his work as a Nazi hunter. “Before long, the CIC officer was no longer hunting for Nazis, but recruiting them.”
As Laruelle and Rivera explain:
“In the framework of the American ‘Liberation Policy’—which John Dulles formulated in 1953 as being directed toward the liberation of Central and Eastern European nations from Soviet domination and the whole of Europe from Communist influence—a vast number of anti-communist organizations were formed in the immediate post-war period and supported by the US. They constitute one of the main components of the Intermarium ‘genealogical tree,’ in the sense that they revived the memory of Piłsudski’s attempts to unify Central and Eastern Europe against Soviet Russia and gave them new life, but blended this memory with far-right tones inspired by collaboration with Nazi Germany.”
When Stetsko took control of the ABN, the “Intermarium” was absorbed by a new version of Ukrainian nationalism. As a report from the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command says, “OUN/B had achieved the leadership role among the anti-Communist exiles and was ascendant by 1950, while the more moderate and Madisonian-oriented platforms and groups, the Prometheans, Central European Federal Club and the others, had been fused with the ABN or abandoned” (Levy, The Intermarium, pg. 318). The pursuing of the Intermarium in East Europe mirrored the rising popularity of “Paneuropeanism” in the West, where, once again, America was increasingly taking a leading role.
According to Richard J Alridch of Nottingham University, “The conduit for American assistance was the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), directed by senior figures from the American intelligence community. This body was organized in the early Summer of 1948 by Allen Welsh Dulles.” Dulles and his boss, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, worked with Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi “a veteran Pan-European campaigner from Austria” descending from an aristocratic bloodline claiming Byzantine ancestry. Leading members of the ACUE were involved in, “the three most important transnational elite groups emerging in the 1950s” which were the European Movement, the Bilderberg Group and Jean Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe. The Ford Foundation, which collaborated with the CIA “on a number of European programmes” donated to Monnet’s work as early as 1949.
“By 1950,” Aldrich writes, “the ACUE and the Ford Foundation were coordinating their efforts to support federalism. Moreover, by the mid-1950s, the senior figures who directed both overt and covert American support were increasingly synonymous.” In turn, “ACUE funds propped up the executive of the European Movement, which seemed terminally split and was approaching bankruptcy…” After the European Movement stabilized “its expensive public campaigns of the 1950s relied almost entirely on ACUE funds.” Furthermore, “…the discreet injection of over three million dollars between 1949 and 1960, mostly from US government sources, was central to efforts to drum up mass support for the Schuman Plan, the European Defence Community and a European Assembly with sovereign powers.”
The Schumann Plan, named after American Foreign Minister Robert Schumann, sought a “solidarity of production” between France and Germany that would, in Schumann’s words “make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible” (Emphasis mine). Schumann’s plan led to the 1951 Treaty of Paris, which in turn led to the development of what is called “European communities” or supranational agreements between European governments that preceded the EU, such as the European Economic Community and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSG), both of which influenced the modern European Union (EU). The EU’s historical archives acknowledge the relationship between Jean Monnet and the Ford Foundation and also contain a document detailing, “the establishment of an Atlantic Foundation, handled by John McCloy with a strong US arm in the form of a Center of Documentation attached to the Action Committee for Europe.”
John McCloy, who sat on the board of the Ford Foundation at the time, played a major behind the scenes role in the negotiations that created ECSG. McCloy was a pretty incredible American; he would serve, at different points in his life, as the president of the World Bank, US High Commissioner for Germany, Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, as a a member of the Warren Commission, and as a prominent United States adviser to all presidents from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan (before the war McCloy had also advised Franklin Roosevelt). This proposal prefigured he creation, between the 1950s and 1970s, of several “Atlanticist” organizations, the largest and most important of which were eventually consolidated into the Atlantic Council.
According to historian Melvin Small, the Atlantic Council
“…was formed in the fall of 1961 as a response to fears that the Western alliance was fragmenting. The initial series of crises that brought the weak Western European states into alliance with the United States in 1949 had been resolved. A prospering Europe had regained its confidence, the danger of an imminent invasion from the East had receded, and Americans wondered about the need to maintain their costly defense commitments. More particularly, problems had developed within the alliance during the late fifties involving the return to power of Charles de Gaulle in France, the possible participation of Great Britain in the Common Market, the balance of payments, the command and control of nuclear weapons within NATO, and a general feeling of malaise revolving around the feeling that those committed to American-European cooperation who were ‘present at the creation’ of early Cold War institutions like NATO were fast disappearing from the political scene.”
Among the organizations eventually absorbed by the Council were the Atlantic Institute, which seing itself as a “Council on Foreign Relations for the Atlantic community”, opened for business on January 1, 1961 with Paul van Zeeland, the Prime Minister of Belgium, as its chairman. Months later, former UN ambassador and Richard Nixon’s 1960 running mate Henry Cabot Lodge became director-general of the Atlantic Institute. That Summer, the Ford Foundation donated $250,000 to the Atlantic Institute and would proceed to become its primary funder for years. The Ford Foundation alo made generous contributions to the American Council on NATO, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), and the US Committee for the Atlantic Congress.
On July 24, 1961, the meeting which merged these organizations with the Atlantic Council took place in Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s office. Along with a representative of the Ford Foundation, Michael Ross of the AFL/CIO and board member of the American Committee for the Atlantic Institute, and Ed Cooper of the American Motion Picture Association, participated in the Rusk meeting. Because the merger of these three organizations into one Atlantic Council was predicated on gaining tax-exempt status, a separate group, the Committee on Present Danger, was formed in 1976 to act as a lobbying group for Atlanticist ambitions, including the end of detente with the USSR.
As Small writes:
“In preparation for the first full board meeting, Herter and the others had put together an impressive list of chairs and directors, led by the three honorary chairs, former Presidents Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower. Herter’s vice chair was Dean Acheson, while Clayton chaired the executive committee and Douglas served as his vice chair…rge Meany, and pollster Elmo Roper, while among the first directors were Harvard President James B. Conant, Henry J. Heinz, Time magazine’s board chairman, Andrew Heiskell, Corning Glass Company’s Amory Houghton, Ogden Reid of the Herald Tribune, Dixie Cup’s Hugh Moore, General Matthew Ridgway, Adlai Stevenson, and IBM’s Thomas Watson, Jr…
…A significant percentage of the Council’s operating budget came from contributions from board members….One corollary of this approach of expecting board members to make hefty contributions annually, was that ACUS could not recruit too many members of modest means, such as college professors, especially if they did not come from the Eastern seaboard.”
Small frames this over-reliance on board member donations as reducing the organization to a “shoestring operation” that “belies the notion that it was intimately tied to the government.” This is laughable not only because, as we’ve seen, Smalls own research shows the intimate connection to government officials, but also the Ford Foundation’s outsize role in the Council’s existence. Small fails to mention it but by the early 1960s, the Ford Foundation and the CIA were deeply connected:
“[John] McCloy integrated the [Ford Foundation] with CIA operations. He created an administrative unit within the FF specifically to deal with the CIA. McCloy headed a three person consultation committee with the CIA to facilitate the use of the FF for a cover and conduit of funds. With these structural linkages the FF was one of those organizations the CIA was able to mobilize for political warfare against the anti-imperialist and pro-communist left. Numerous CIA ‘fronts’ received major FF grants. Numerous supposedly ‘independent’ CIA sponsored cultural organizations, human rights groups, artists and intellectuals received CIA/FF grants. One of the biggest donations of the FF was to the CIA organized Congress for Cultural Freedom which received $7 million by the early 1960s.”
As Arundhati Roy writes in Capitalism-A Ghost Story:
“By the 1950s the Rockefeller and Ford Foundation, funding several NGOs and international educational institutions, began to work as quasi-extensions of the US government, which at the time was toppling democratically elected governments in Latin America, Iran, and Indonesia. (That was also around the time it made its entry into India, then non-aligned but clearly tilting toward the Soviet Union.) The Ford Foundation established a US-style economics course at the Indonesian University. Elite Indonesian students, trained in counterinsurgency by US army officers, played a crucial part in the 1965 CIA-backed coup in Indonesia that brought General Suharto to power. He repaid his mentors by slaughtering hundreds of thousands of communist rebels.”
Thus, even before Brzeznski and the CIA’s gambit in Afghanistan, Western monopoly-capital and the national security complex had taken steps towards the interruption of sovereignty through mass violence that would characterize the Second Cold War. As Pijl writes:
“A protracted process of rolling back (quasi-)socialist or otherwise independent regimes in the Third World was set in motion. Alexander Haig, Ronald Reagan’s first secretary of state, called the very notion of a ‘Third World’ into question and denounced national liberation as ‘terrorism’; his successor, George Shultz, in January 1984 even claimed that the partition of Europe after the war had ‘never been recognised by the United States’…The oil and gas from Russia that feeds Europe today had been discovered back in the 1960s; the Friendship oil pipeline was built in 1964 and the Soyuz, Urengoi and Yamal pipelines followed after West Germany started purchasing Soviet gas. It culminated in 1980 with a contract for a gas pipeline from Urengoi in north Siberia to Bavaria, signed by a heavy-industry consortium headed by Deutsche Bank. This 25-year agreement would also make the USSR a major, stable market for German and other European exports. All this was too much for Washington and Assistant Secretary of Defence Richard Perle called for a ‘well-designed program of economic sanctions [that] can both damage the development of the Soviet economy and slow the growth of their defence industrial base.”
All the while, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations/World Anti-Communist League, had “opened new frontiers for the old OUN stalwarts: “They were now involved on four continents and with their intercontinental reach came new business opportunities trafficking drugs and weapons along with their old trades of murder and torture. ABN personnel were in high demand as both hit men and instructors for the world’s death squads.” In Chile the ABN assisted Augusto Pinochet in his CIA-backed overthrow of socialist Salvador Allende and subsequent mutation of the Chilean economy into a neoliberal playground and proceeded to participate in Argentina’s “Dirty War” a covert anti-Communist campaign resulting in the torture, murder and disappearance of more than 20,000 people.
Throughout this period, the CIA’s AERODYNAMIC operations continued and expanded. The project reached out to Crimea’s Tatars in 1969, taking advantage of expanding openness between the West and the USSR: “As international air travel increased, so did the number of visitors to the West from Soviet Ukraine. These travelers were of primary interest to AERODYNAMIC. Travelers were asked by CIA agents to clandestinely carry Prolog materials, all censored by the Soviet government, back to Ukraine for distribution. Later, AERODYNAMIC agents began approaching Ukrainian visitors to eastern European countries, particularly Soviet Ukrainian visitors to Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring of 1968.”
As Russ Bellant notes, that same year, as Richard Nixon sought to retake the White House for an increasingly reactionary and national security adjacent Republican Party, they reached out to Laszlo Pasztor,a committed member of Hungary’s fascist Arrow Cross who, after being ratlined into the United States after World War 2, “joined the GOP’s Ethnic Division.” During the 1968 Nixon campaign, in Lazslo’s words, “It was my job to identify about twenty-five ethnic groups” to bring into the newly formed Republican Heritage Groups Council. Bellant writes that, “Pasztor’s choices for filling emigre slots as the Council was being formed included various Nazi-collaborationist organizations. In setting up the Council, Pasztor went to various collaborationist and fascist-minded emigre groups and asked them to form GOP federations. It eventually became clear that it wasn’t an accident or a fluke that people with Nazi associations were in the Republican Heritage Groups Council.”
The Heritage Groups would help tocrystalize the network of Eastern European nationalists working with the increasingly CIA/GOP centered national-security complex and paved the way for their eventual participation, along with the rest of the World Anti-Communist League, in various Reagan-era covert ops revolving around Iran-Contra:
“During this era, Stetsko was the belle of the ball, meeting with countless U.S. government officials, including Vice President and former CIA Director George H.W. Bush, and even President Reagan himself. Reagan brought his favorite thugs along with him, and it was at this time that the Latin American narco terrorists came to the forefront in the WACL. Singlaub and WACL wasted little time embracing their new allies, starting support for the Nicaraguan Contras only four days after the CIA in 1981…Wealth did not make WACL or ABN forget where they came from. They continued to get their hands dirty as arms dealers, assassins and consultants for terrorists and dictators all throughout the world. WACL was Reagan’s ‘third force,’ a team of experts who could be sent anywhere in the world to conjure up a civil war or engineer a crackdown exactly when Washington needed it.”
In the 1980s, AERODYNAMIC was rebranded as QRDYNAMIC. The rebooted operation linked up, “with operations financed by hedge fund tycoon George Soros, particularly the Helsinki Watch Group’s operatives in Kiev and Moscow. Distribution of underground material expanded from journals and pamphlets to audio cassette tapes, self-inking stamps with anti-Soviet messages, stickers, and T-shirts.” QRDYNAMIC moved into China, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Soviet Central Asia. This was followed by “various acts of sabotage, economic or otherwise” that seriously slowed down a crucial pipeline project between Eastern and Western Europe.
As Sean Gervasi noted, inn 1981, Richard Pipes, a Polish-American and veteran of the Army Air Corps, became the National Security Council’s Director of East European and Soviet Affairs. Pipes had formerly acted as senior consultant at the Stanford Research Institute from 1973 to 1978 and during the same time period was an advisor to anticommunist Democratic senator Henry M. Jackson. A whose-who of the neoconservative movement, including virtually all of those who later founded the Project for a New American Century, served as aides to Jackson in their liberal years. This included Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith. Jackson biographer Robert Kaufman once wrote that “There is no question in my mind that the people who supported,” the second Bush administration’s war in Iraq were working from “Henry Jackson’s instincts.”
Pipes, in a March 1981 interview, told a Reuters correspondent that, “Nothing was left of detente.” Furthermore, he said, Reagan’s administration might soon pursue а foreign policy “as radical as the new President’s economic program.” According to Pipes, “Soviet leaders would have to choose between peacefully changing their Communist system in the direction followed by the West and going to war.” He told the New York Times that “there was no alternative to war with the Soviet Union if the Russians did not abandon Communism.” Gervasi speculates that Pipes statements were “being used deliberately to alarm the Soviets so that they would try to match the US military expansion then under way, particularly in the nuclear field.” For Gervasi, the Pipes “leak” was entirely consistent with the strategy of “spending them into bankruptcy,” or “weakening Russia’s economy” as one RAND Corporation whitepaper suggested at the time.
In 1982, National Security Advisor William Ramsey told a crowd at Georgetown University that, “We must force our principal adversary, the Soviet Union, to bear the brunt of its economic shortcomings.” Three years later, Jeane Kirkpatrick told members of the Heritage Foundation that the “Reagan Doctrine” included “rebuilding defenses” through expansion of the US military, “support for freedom fighters” via proxy wars and internal opposition groups in Eastern Europe, and a foreign assistance program that would “utilize aid to expand and preserve freedom.” As Gervasi points out, “Subsequently, the Reagan administration amassed many forces to ‘promote democracy’ in the Soviet Union and other countries east of the Oder. These included the AFL-CIO, US business, private sector organizations-some of which were intelligence agency fronts- the National Endowment for Democracy, political parties and foundations in NATO countries and the Republican and Democratic parties. By 1984, the program was well under way, especially in Poland and the Soviet Union.”
Across the Atlantic, the dual forces of European Integration and the financial shockwaves of Volcker’s assault acted as force multipliers in America’s smashing of detente. When Charles de Gaulle, who had withdrawn France from NATO in 1966, resigned from the French presidency in 1969, it symbolized what Andreja Zivkovic calls, “the re-launch of the European integration process.” The European Economic Community could now exploit divisions between Yugoslavia, Albania, Romania and the USSR (and its “Comecon” trade organization) to open a new front in the Cold War. “To this end [the European Economic Community] ruthlessly pursued two principles,” Zivkovic writes. “It categorically refused any agreement likely to strengthen the Soviet hold on its allies, such as the establishment of EEC-Comecon relations, accepting only bilateral contacts with individual Warsaw Pact states.” Then, “from 1974, the member states gave the EEC the sole right to negotiate bilateral contracts with Eastern Bloc countries, forcing the latter to negotiate with the EEC giant under pain of cancellation of existing contracts.”
The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia’s failure to become formal allies after World War 2 contributed greatly to the success of the economic and sociopolitical warfare waged against both regions in the 1980s. The internal contradictions of their respective leading parties also played a role. For instance, in Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev is often credited as the sole indigenous architect of the Soviet Union’s destruction. However, as Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny point out:
“Gorbachev did not invent his policies out of whole cloth, but rather his policies reflected trends in the Party that had earlier been represented in part by Nikolai Bukharin, Nikita Khrushchev and others. Just as Gorbachev’s ideas did not arise in a political vacuum, neither did they arise in a socio-economic vacuum. That is, Gorbachev’s political ideas reflected social and economic interests. Gorbachev’s reforms after 1986 reflected the interests of those in Soviet society with a stake in private enterprise and the ‘free market.’ This sector consisted of entrepreneurs and corrupt Party officials whose numbers had increased during the previous thirty years.”
By the 1970s, only 20% of the Soviet population worked in agriculture, and most of these were “workers on state farms or collective farms. By then the social group with a stake in private enterprise had become the petty entrepreneurs in the second economy. Such elements had thrived under the New Economic Policy (NEP) of the early 1920s, shrank drastically with the collectivization of property under Joseph Stalin, re-emerged under Khrushchev’s so-called liberalization, increased greatly in size under Brezhnev’s laxness” and only then “ballooned under Gorbachev’s reforms.” Furthermore, in the period from 1950 to 1980, while legal private activity actually diminished in size, “illegal, private economic activity expanded greatly.”
Meanwhile, Brezhnev failed to reconcile two tendencies that had emerged within the Party, one “Stalinist” and one “Kruschevite”, against a third tendency that would ultimately be expressed in the Gorbachev era. According to Stephen F. Cohen:
“At least three movements had formed inside the Communist party by the time Khrushchev was overthrown in 1964: an anti-Stalinist party calling for more far reaching relaxation of controls over society; a neo-Stalinist one charging that the Khrushchev policies had gravely weakened the state and demanding that it be rejuvenated, and a conservative party mainly devoted to preserving the existing post-Stalin status quo by opposing further major changes either forward or backward…The conservative majority headed by Brezhnev ruled the Soviet Union with some concessions to the neo-Stalinists for almost two decades. The reform movement barely survived, but in 1985 along with Gorbachev it came to power.”
At the same time, following Yugoslavia’s failure to maintain friendly relations with the USSR, it “became dependent on Western finance and markets to balance against Soviet power in the Balkans.” As Zivkovic writes:
“The Tito-Stalin split was itself in large part due to the fact that the Yugoslavs were the driving force of an independent Balkan federation. However the failure of Balkan federalism was not simply due to the Soviet diktat, but also to the nationalist ambitions of Balkan communist parties. Firstly, to take just the Yugoslav case, Tito’s ambition to absorb Bulgaria and Albania into the Yugoslav federation, instead of treating them as equal partners, divided the Balkan peoples in the face of Soviet pressure. Secondly, the ambition to build independent nation states entered into contradiction with a permanent revolution against imperialism.”
Zivkovic argues that the first cycle of formal integration between the European Economic Community (EEC) and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) began in 1967 with an Association Agreement between the two blocs. This came after a long “balancing act” Yugoslavia played with the EEC and Comecon and paralleled a development strategy in various Eastern Bloc countries, particularly Poland and East Germany, that entailed borrowing from the West and its allies to invest in the production of a surplus of technology and consumer goods, part of which which could then be exported to pay back the loans.
During this time, as oil and gas prices skyrocketed, the Soviet Union’s vast resources of both commodities sustained it even into the “Stagntation” period under Brezhnev. According to CIA figures, between 1950 and 1975, Soviet industrial production index increased nearly seven-fold. But, as Keeran and Kenny point out: “While the annual growth rate of industrial production remained positive between 1973 and 1985…signs of trouble appeared. Between 1979-82, the production fell for 40 percent of all industrial goods. Agricultural output in this period did not reach the 1978 level…In the 1976-85 period, oil extraction in the Volga fell, as did the extraction of coal in the Don Coal fields, timber from the Urals, and nickel from the Kola Peninsula.” Compounding this problem was the fact that borrowing from the West had also increased seven-fold between 1970 and 1980. By September of 1981, “the Soviet Union and its six East European allies owed Western commercial banks $65.4 billion.”
Yugoslavia wasn’t fairing much better:
“Western export of capital goods took the form of the leasing of patents and licensing agreements…to maintain technological dependency, representing a transfer of value to EEC capitals…To cover the growing trade deficit and foreign debt [Yugoslavia] became a major exporter of unskilled labour to the boom economies of Western Europe, a pattern of dependency that continues to this very day.
The 1970 and 1980 trade agreements, which liberalised trade with the EEC, accelerated dependency on capital and hard currency imports to finance export growth. Since these exports struggled to find Western buyers and had to be sold on soft currency Comecon markets, the result was a worsening of the balance of trade deficit. Even worse, after the world recession of 1974-5, the EEC raised trade barriers in precisely those areas which Yugoslavia had competitive advantage (steel, textiles, tobacco and beef/veal exports). To cover its trade deficit Yugoslavia was forced to borrow heavily on the international financial markets, resulting in a debt of $20 billion by 1981.”
In the USSR, as Historian S. Frederick Starr writes, “Unsanctioned informal groups and networks sprang up in many fields. Tens of thousands of them were in existence by the mid-1980s, some founded only to provide voluntary services but others existing to influence public policy.” These groups did not promote class struggle or international working class solidarity, or even Soviet reform, but a vague, thoroughly liberalized version of freedom, a definitively bourgeois concept of individualism and, as Starr noted, “All of this ferment began prior to Gorbachev’s rise to power in 1985.” One organization, In Defense of Economic Freedom (IDEF), formed in 1981 and led by V. Sokirko, waged an open campaign for the legalization of the “second economy.” IDEF was particularly obsessed with repealing Article 153 of the Russian Soviet Penal Code, which outlawed all private entrepreneurial activity. According to Valery Rutgaizer of Gosplan, IDEF’s campaign “managed to create an atmosphere of public censure of Article 153” to the point of stopping prosecutions.
Meanwhile, George Soros was setting up franchised divisions of his “Open Society” project throughout the “thawing” Soviet Union. According to the Open Society website:
- In 1980, “With Eastern and Central Europe firmly under Soviet control, Soros first began giving scholarships to the handful of dissidents who dared to challenge the system, allowing them to travel to study in the United States. He also began funding dissident groups such as Charta 77 in Czechoslovakia, the Solidarity labor union in Poland, and…the Sakharovs and their allies in the Soviet Union.”
- In 1984, “with Hungary in economic trouble, the Communist government allowed Soros to establish a foundation that would offer open scholarships, and fund cultural events and academic exchanges. The new foundation began spending around $3 million a year, seeking when possible to support groups and individuals who were exploring the limits of political and cultural tolerance.”
- In 1986, “Soros was allowed to open a private foundation in Poland, followed in 1987, as restrictions eased, by an office in Moscow”
- In 1989, Soros opened more than 20 national foundations across the former Eastern Bloc, “supported financially by the enormous success of his hedge fund, creating the core of what has become today the Open Society Foundations.”
Throughout this period, the Reagan Doctrine was firing on all cylinders. In Poland, the Solidarity opposition group was being played by the CIA to the tune of $20 million. At the same time, as Keeran and Kenny note, “US sanctions against Poland required the Soviet Union to send the country $1 to $2 billion a year in aid.” In Afghanistan, the Soviet military effort to protect Kabul’s revolutionary government against the American-supported warlords cost the Soviets $3 to $4 billion a year. After the United States coaxed OPEC into lowering the price of oil from $34 to $29 a barrel in 1983 and Saudi Arabia increased oil production from less than 2 million barrels to 9 million barrels a day in 1985, the robust Soviet oil market collapsed.
At the same time, in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, inequalities between each region became far more pronounced: “On a per capita basis, Slovenia’s income by the late 1980s was at least twice the average for Yugoslavia as a whole, Croatia’s more than one-fourth greater, and Serbia proper’s roughly equal to the average. But Montenegro’s was only 74 percent of Yugoslavia’s average, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 68 percent, Macedonia’s 63 percent, and Kosovo’s 27 percent.” The SRFY’s heavy debt burden compounded the problem, causing the International Monetary Fund to coerce the nation into one of the first “structural adjustment” plans.
Just before the death of SRFY leader Josip Tito in 1980 the first phase of IMF adjustments “wreaked economic and political havoc.” These reforms were followed by the signing of debt restructuring agreements with Western officials that significantly weakened the power of the federal state. According to Dimitrije Boarov, prime minister Milk Planinc, “had to promise the IMF an immediate increase of the discount rates and much more for the Reaganomics arsenal of measures.” In 1983, a second “economic stabilization” package drafted by the IMF significantly exacerbated the problems with inflation. The following year the the Reagan administration issued US National Security Decision Directive 133: ‘United States Policy towards Yugoslavia.’ Labeled ‘secret sensitive’, the document detailed further measures to incorporate SRFY into Western imperial schemes. By 1988, SRFY’s minister of finance put in place an “anti-inflation” program which, yet again, actually made inflation worse, and this was followed by a wave of measures that caused the consumer price index to spike by 2,700% in 1989.
The portion of Yugoslavia’s population who lived in Slovenia and Croatia, despite making up less than 30% of the country’s total citizenry, accounted for half of the federal government’s tax revenues. In an act of revolt, these two regions ceased paying federal taxes and sought closer ties to Western Europe. In April 1990, Slovenia and Croatia held the first multiparty elections in SRFY in six decades. Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman and his seperatist, nationalist party Croatian Democratic Union swiftly took power there while in Slovenia the right wing DEMOS coalition took power.
That year, another wave of IMF “reforms” hit the rapidly deteriorating Yugoslavia, this time with help from the World Bank. “The budget cuts required the redirection of the suspension of transfer payments by Belgrade to the governments of the republics and autonomous provinces, thereby fuelling the process of political balkanization and secessionism.” Furthermore, the IMF and World Bank prohibited the federal government from accessing credit in its own central bank and transformed the publicly owned firms managed by workers councils into privately owned enterprises controlled by the owners and their creditors. According to Michel Chossudovsky, “more than half of the country’s banks were dismantled”, thousands of firms were liquidated and hundreds of thousands of workers laid off. “The largest concentrations of bankrupt firms and lay-offs were in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.” Half a million workers representing 20% of the labor force were not paid in 1990, while a “flood of imported commodities contributed to the further destabilisation of domestic production.” While the “import bonanza was fueling the build-up of Yugoslavia’s external debt, the abrupt hikes in interest rates and input prices imposed on national enterprises had expedited the displacement and exclusion of domestic producers from their own national market.”
Similar changes were taking place in the USSR. Between 1989-1991, Gorbachev reduced the role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from the leading political body to one parliamentary party among many, reduced the role of central planning in economic activity, encouraged privatization of publicly owned industries, enabled the burgeoning “second economy” and even legalized elements of it, surrendered to the United States on issues of foreign policy, allowed the mass media of the USSR to become increasingly conservative and anticommunist, and caved to various seperatist organizations in the Baltic and “Intermarium” regions, which, as we have seen, were mostly descended from World War 2-era fascist organizations and covertly supported by Western imperialism. As Keeran and Kenny explain:
“In 1989 counterrevolution shook Eastern Europe and a year later Germany reunited on NATO’s terms. At the same time Gorbachev’s worst enemy, Boris Yeltsin, whose career seemed dead and buried when Gorbachev publicly booted him out of the leadership in 1987, made a Lazarus-like political comeback. Reborn as a leader of the ‘democrats,’ he captured control of the all-important Russian Republic. By early 1990, dual power existed in the USSR, with Yeltsin controlling Russia and Gorbachev the Soviet Union. In 1989-91, the economy went from bad to worse: production declined, shortages multiplied, store shelves emptied, paychecks sometimes failed to materialize, and popular resentment grew. The destruction of East European socialism adversely affected the Soviet economy. The steady withdrawal of the Party from the economy proved disastrous. By the summer of 1991 Western analysts spoke of a Soviet ‘depression.’ Soviet citizens blamed perestroika. Unprecedented mine strikes rocked the regime twice, in 1989 and in 1991. The government sank into debt to Western banks. As one after another union republic declared its sovereignty and then seceded, the Soviet Union crumbled as a unitary state.”
In the West, the deregulation of banking operations, as Pijl writes, “entailed, inevitably, the resurgence of financial operations in the sphere of ‘money-dealing’: financial asset investment, currency trading, stock brokerage, and so on…Privatisation policies gave asset-owning middle classes a chance to profit from booming stock markets, whilst rising asset prices, notably real estate, allowed them to borrow against the value of their (mortgaged) property. As defeats of the labour movement multiplied, the post-war class compromise was narrowed to a compromise with asset-owning middle classes and top management in the 1980s and 1990s.” At a July 1991 meeting of the G7 in London, “Gorbachev was told that he would have to implement the radical shock therapy pioneered by Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs in Poland in 1989, without delay and even more rapidly.”
In August 1991, while Gorbachev stalled in implementing “shock therapy”, an attempted “coup”, supposedly by “hardliners” from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, failed before it could get off the ground. As the Washington Post gushed at the time:
“Konstantin Borovoi suspended dealings on the Russian stock exchange and led thousands of his fellow yuppies onto the streets of Moscow to defend their right to wheel and deal…Unlike most Soviet citizens, who remained passive during the coup, private entrepreneurs reacted to the power grab by hard-line Communists with alarm and dismay. Led by Borovoi, hundreds of brokers marched through the streets of Moscow to the besieged Russian parliament building carrying a giant Russian tricolor. Private businessmen contributed more than 15 million rubles to buy food and equipment for the defenders of the ‘White House,’ as the parliament building is known in Moscow…
…The protests of the Russian business community over the alleged inactivity of the new ‘democratic’ authorities contain an element of political posturing. As the founder of the largest commodity exchange in the country, Borovoi is an energetic lobbyist for full-blooded capitalism. But his indignation does draw attention to a very real problem facing the people who now hold power in the Soviet Union: For all their rhetoric about the free market, the new leaders remain deeply enmeshed in the old socialist system…”
In other words, the new bourgeoisie of Russian society, who, as the Times itself noted, routinely made “10 times the average wage of ordinary Soviets”, felt President Boris Yeltsin was too similar to the dreaded Bolsheviks. This is strange considering Yeltsin’s visit to the United States in 1989 where, while walking through a supermarket, he remarked to his American handlers that, “There would be a revolution” in Russia if only its citizens could experience such free-market excess. Indeed, the same month as the ostensible coup attempt, Time magazine put Yeltsin on the cover, declaring a true “Russian Revolution” had finally come to Eastern Europe.
In December, in spite of a referendum in which the vast majority of Soviet citizens voted to preserve the USSR, Yeltsin dissolved the Soviet Union and forced Gorbachev to resign. It would be about two more years before Yeltsin’s “Revolution” could truly get started, but once allowed, he took it about as far as it could go. In 1993, facing strong popular resistance to his “oligarch” friends joint pillaging of Russia with the United States and the EU, Yeltsin forcibly disbanded the Russian parliament and every other elected representative body in the country, including municipal and regional councils. A constitutional crisis erupted which led to massive protests and the seizing of parliament by anti-Yeltsin politicians. At the peak of the crisis, tens of thousands of Russians flooded the streets of Moscow, many waving red flags, hammers and sickles and carrying pictures of Lenin and Stalin. Riots in the capital nearly turned into a full scale civil war.
When all was said and done, Yeltsin had launched a full scale military assault on the parliament building and the protesters. Official Russian government figures say no fewer than 187 people died, but many speculate the real number goes much higher. Thousands were jailed without a trial and, following the re-taking of the Parliament building by force, Yeltsin banned labor unions from all political activity, suppressed dozens of publications, exercised monopoly control over all broadcast media, and permanently outlawed fifteen political parties. The Russian constitution was suspended and a new one forced through in a referendum which, according to a commission organized by Yeltsin himself, saw participation from only 46% of eligible voters, rather than the 50% legally required to ratify a constitution.
The first term of Yeltsin’s revolution saw American logging capitalists, with help from a Pentagon-backed venture capital fund, swoop in to clear cut whole swaths of the Siberian wilderness. Meanwhile, “hundreds of millions of dollars spawned by Western aid programs…mainly benefited the Western companies which headed east to board the aid gravy train.” As a massive financial crisis was brewing that would explode towards the end of the decade, the IMF loaned the Russian government $10 billion for the privatization of agriculture and the ending of human service and fuel subsidies.
Living standards for the average working family were cut in half, suicide rates skyrocketed, and birth rates collapsed. A scramble for pieces of the privatized government by Russia’s organized crime syndicates led to a massive gang war and the centralization of State functions into criminal hands. A massive pyramid scheme was launched in 1993 by Sergei Mavrodi which would ensnare as many as 15 million Russians. Between 1987-1994 the amount of alcohol consumed doubled and by 2001 nearly half of all deaths since the end of communism could be attributed to alcohol abuse. An epidemic of human trafficking, homelessness, heroin addiction, and an outbreak of HIV followed. “For the great majority of Russian families,” Stephen F. Cohen wrote towards the end of the 1990s, the transition to capitalism was felt by the average Russias as “an endless collapse of everything essential to a decent existence.”
The “oligarchs” so despised by Western media today came to power in this period with the West’s rapid privatization and “shock therapy” as it was overseen by Yeltsin’s chief economic advisor, Anatoly Chubais. “By 1994, consumer prices in Russia would skyrocket to almost 2000 times what they had been in 1990…” Meanwhile, Chubais “issued 148 million ‘privatization checks,’ or vouchers, to Russian citizens. These vouchers could be freely sold or traded. They could then be used to buy shares of state enterprises going private at public auctions around the nation…The oligarchs went on a buying spree, purchasing hundreds of thousands of vouchers, each of which were worth 10,000 rubles, or about $40 or less back in the 1990s. Average Russians, who were struggling during hyperinflation, were often eager to sell. After amassing vouchers, the oligarchs…used them at auctions to buy up stocks in newly private companies…Between 1992 and 1994, about 15,000 state-run enterprises went private under the program.”
Unsurprisingly, by 1995, Yeltsin was extremely unpopular. Thankfully for Western “democracy”, the United States hacked Russia’s election to make sure their man in Moscow won a 2nd term. American media even bragged about this clear cut instance of meddling in a foreign nation’s election against the wishes of its people.
The Reagan Doctrine of the 1980s was succeeded during the 1990s by the “Wolfowitz Doctrine.” It was named after Paul Wolfowitz, disciple of Henry Jackson and undersecretary of defense in the Bush Sr. administration, who produced the Defense Planning Guidance for Fiscal 1994-’99 (DPG). This document, something of a forerunner to the more notorious “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” proclaims the United States as the world’s sole superpower, which, along with its toadie, the European Union, must remain ahead of all possible contenders in arms technology and refuse to accept military parity.
In the Clinton years, the Wolfowitz Doctrine was supplemented by the proposals of US ambassador Morton Abramowitz, who wrote in his Self-Determination in the New World Order that US intervention should support “groups within states … staking claims to independence, greater autonomy, or the overthrow of an existing government” and who ,by doing so, risk becoming exposed to “humanitarian calamities.” These concepts would instruct American imperialism as it seized on the crisis in Yugoslavia, penetrated further into post-Soviet nations such as Ukraine, and rebooted the “War on Terror” in Central Asia and the Middle East.
I say rebbot, because he “War on Terror” is usually considered to have started after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In reality, as Pijl points out, the idea was introduced, “in a series of conferences between 1979 and 1984 at the initiative of Israeli Likud politicians, and with high-level Anglo-American neoconservatives in attendance.” Benjamin Netanyahu, who would later oversee a massive shift to the Right in Israeli society as the leader of the Likud Party and Prime Minister of Israel, edited the official booklet compiling these talks. Thus the “War on Terror”, intended as an incorporation of Israel’s incursion into Lebanon into the Second Cold War, became the base on which the Third Cold War would operate.