R2P, or the “responsibility to protect,” was a geopolitical tool used by the West after thoroughly destabilizing a nation through armed proxies to then intervene militarily, enact regime change, occupy, and reorder the nation both economically and sociopolitically. It has been used to devastating effect in Serbia in the carving out of Kosovo, as well as more recently in Libya.
In Kosovo, the Canadian National Post would report in their article, “U.S. supported al-Qaeda cells during Balkan Wars,” that:
In the years immediately before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the al-Qaeda militants moved into Kosovo, the southern province of Serbia, to help ethnic Albanian extremists of the KLA mount their terrorist campaign against Serb targets in the region.
The mujahedeen “were financed by Saudi and United Arab Emirates money,” said one Western military official, asking anonymity. “They were mercenaries who were not running the show in Kosovo, but were used by the KLA to do their dirty work.”
The United States, which had originally trained the Afghan Arabs during the war in Afghanistan, supported them in Bosnia and then in Kosovo. When NATO forces launched their military campaign against Yugoslavia three years ago to unseat Mr. Milosevic, they entered the Kosovo conflict on the side of the KLA, which had already received “substantial” military and financial support from bin Laden’s network, analysts say.
This reveals that the war itself was initially precipitated by NATO and thereafter expanded through the intentional training, funding, and arming of terrorists imported into the region with the specific goal of creating enough bloodshed to justify NATO intervention and the subsequent geopolitical reordering of Serbia.
In Libya, in 2011, not only was the West openly funding and arming the Al Qaeda franchise, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), but the so-called atrocities cited by the West to invoke the “responsibility to protect” were admittedly fabricated by Western-backed Libyan “human rights” advocates making the claims.
Dr. Sliman Bouchuiguir of the US-French affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights openly admitted to documentary makers that the “atrocities” used by NATO to militarily intervene in Libya were fabrications and that the West, not his organization, orchestrated the assembling of over 70 NGOs – which he notes were already well “acquainted.”
In a video documentary titled, “Lies behind the “Humanitarian War” in Libya: There is no evidence!,” Bouchuiguir openly admits that there was no way to generate actual numbers regarding the atrocities he cited, and that all of his numbers are what he called “estimations” which originated not from documented fieldwork, but from the opposition’s leadership – in other words, compromised, baseless claims made by biased sources, laundered through “trusted” Western NGOs to appear out the other end as fact.
It was on these baseless opposition claims that NATO would militarily intervene in Libya, where documented atrocities would then actually take place, including the surrounding, intentional starvation, and NATO aerial bombardment of the cities of Sirte and Bani Walid as well as the racially-motivated, genocidal purging of cities like Tawarga.
The Real Threat in Ukraine
Unlike in Serbia and Libya, where the West depended on fabricated narratives and contrived atrocities to vilify governments it sought to overthrow – with lengthy and absurd narratives describing the alleged ideologies that drove each government to commit atrocities that in fact never took place, in Kiev, the US-backed regime that has seized power, openly and enthusiastically embraces the ideology of Adolf Hitler’s Nazism.
Reported by even the BBC, the West admits that these racist, bigoted fascists led the so-called “Euromaidan” uprising that unseated a democratically elected government. In the BBC’s video report, “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine,” hatred toward Russians and Jews in particular are openly expressed by visibly armed Neo-Nazi militants moving freely in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev and occupying the headquarters of political opponents they have run out of the city by force.
The violence was accompanied by other forms of oppression, including the censorship of opposing views. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) would admit on its official website in a post titled, “OSCE media freedom representative concerned about new steps to restrict media plurality in Ukraine” that:
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern about demands that cable operators in Ukraine stop transmitting certain Russian television channels.
“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.”
On 11 March the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine demanded that all cable operators stop broadcasts of the Russian television channels Rossiya 24, ORT, RTR Planeta and NTV-Mir.
Armed, oppressive, and espousing a toxic ideology of racism, bigotry, and intolerance, it would seem the forces that seized Kiev would be prime candidates for Western sanctions and threats of military force in the name of protecting those subjected to their expanding serial abuses. Instead, the West has enthusiastically embraced the new regime, defending it stalwartly in terms of finance, diplomacy, and even militarily.
US Senator John McCain went as far as calling for the West to begin advising and arming the Nazi militants to help entrench them deeper in Kiev, as well as project power beyond their current strongholds – painting a terrifying picture of a US-driven Eastern European “Syria” erupting.
Russia’s More Measured “R2P” Response
For Russia, who shares a border with Ukraine as well as a common history, similar culture and linguistics – the regime in Kiev not only threatens Russian-Ukrainians living across the border, but poses a direct threat to the internal security of Russia itself.
The West’s meddling in Ukraine is not an isolated incident with narrow, exclusively Ukrainian issues at play. The West has been involved all along Russia’s periphery for decades, with NATO in particular carrying out what amounts to the geopolitical encirclement of Russia via nations including Hungary Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Georgia, and many more.
There is overt political meddling in nations like Belarus seeking to sow the same sort of political instability that has griped Ukraine in an attempt to overthrow the pro-Russian government there and replace it with a pro-Western proxy regime.
The stability of Ukraine and the obstruction of violent, ideologically dangerous pro-Western regimes from assuming power is not just a matter of extraterritorial interests for Russia, but one of internal existential survival. The Nazi zealots occupying Kiev are the ideological doppelgangers of the US-backed opposition currently active inside of Russia itself, polluting Moscow with their vitriol and attempting to create similarly destructive instability across Russian territory as was seen during “Euromaidan.”
But despite this, Russia’s answer is not strafing Kiev with aerial bombardment as NATO did to Libya, nor is it arming and backing terrorists to brutalize the Ukrainian population into submission. Instead, it simply backed a long-coming, and now successful referendum on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, affording the mostly Russian-speaking people there a democratic and peaceful escape from the Western-installed regime in Kiev.
While the West claims the referendum, which overwhelming decided on independence, was “illegal,” such claims ring hollow when the regime Crimea was separating from came to power through armed insurrection, rather than any sort of electoral process at all. The West’s clearly belligerent foreign policy, including the armed proxies it is backing in Kiev, necessitate the presence of Russian troops in Crimea who have been stationed there permanently for years under treaty and are one of many factors that have kept Ukraine’s ultra-right extremists at bay across the peninsula.
Russia has and will continue to protect the people Crimea and across the rest of eastern Ukraine, doing so without daily sorties, cruise-missiles, and terrorist proxies as NATO did in Libya – providing for the world a better example under which circumstances the “responsibility to protect” can be carried out, and how exactly it should be carried out. The referendum and the ongoing integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation adds additional legitimacy to Russia’s role in facilitating stability in Ukraine, while the West’s attempts to dismiss and in fact “invalidate” both the referendum and the process of integration, exposes the disingenuous double standards to which their version of “democracy” and “global norms” adheres.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”