Immigration is a massive issue within the UK. Many libertarian and neoliberal think tanks seem to be out of touch with what the ordinary man thinks about immigration as they advocate for a more liberalised immigration system and even open borders. This has given the term liberal a rotten taste for many Britons on the topic of immigration. A notorious example of this is Sam Bowman, a senior fellow of the neoliberal institution The Adam Smith Institute, who tweeted:
“I also favour huge amounts of immigration from unskilled workers from poor countries on the grounds that if it improves their welfare, including if it reduces the welfare of Britons, e.g. through higher crime.”
This, of course, comes off as insensitive and patronising. It is a real concern of the British public, both for economic and cultural reasons, to want to control our borders. This concern should not be dismissed by neoliberals who dismiss the negatives of immigration. In fact, those who claim to be champions of freedom should also take into consideration the freedom of those already inhibiting the country and their property rights.
Those who advocate for “freedom of movement” forget the enormous amounts of benefits that immigrants receive once they enter the country. From the NHS, housing benefits, universal credit, and roads: there are an enormous amount of entitlements that immigrants receive, regardless of whether they pay tax. Even Milton Friedman observed that “you cannot simultaneously have free immigration and the welfare state”. Shouldn’t the British taxpayer be free from being forced to subsidise the lifestyle of those who enter the country?
Currently, the government is trying to implant an asylum centre for up to 1,500 in the small village in Yorkshire, Linton on Ouse. This would severely change the culture of a village which has a population of about 700. The neoliberal approach would be to allow them in, after all freedom of movement is a human right! This mass importation which would massively change the environment is disrespectful to the locals. The solution which respects the rights and concerns of the native population is to decentralise decision making to the lowest level possible. It’s easy for Westminster bureaucrats to assign a thousand men to a small village without acknowledging the consequences. The residents of Linton on Ouse should have their voices heard.
In his book Against the Left, Lew Rockwell discusses how Switzerland’s immigration policy before joining the European Union could be shown as an interesting example of decentralising immigration policy:
“In Switzerland, localities decided on immigration, and immigrants or their employers had to pay to admit a prospective migrant. In this way, residents could better ensure that their communities would be populated by people who would add value and who would not stick them with the bill for a laundry list of “benefits.””
The notion of “freedom of movement” disregards property rights. An individual cannot come into your home without invitation. As Hans Hermann Hoppe noted:
“No one has a right to move to a place already occupied by somebody else, unless he has been invited by a present occupant. And if all places are already occupied, all migration is migration by invitation only. A right to “free” immigration exists only for virgin country, for the open frontier.”
Furthermore, even though libertarians argue that public property has been appropriated illegitimately, it does not mean that the property is unowned and a free for all. Hoppe continues:
“It has been funded through local, regional, national or federal tax payments, and it is the payers of these taxes, then, and no one else, who are the legitimate owners of all public property. They cannot exercise their right – that right has been arrogated by the State – but they are the legitimate owners.”
In his article, Nations by Consent, Murray Rothbard sets out his argument against open borders even within a stateless society:
“On rethinking immigration on the basis of the anarcho-capitalist model, it became clear to me that a totally privatized country would not have “open borders” at all. If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no immigrant could enter there unless invited to enter and allowed to rent, or purchase, property. A totally privatized country would be as “closed” as the particular inhabitants and property owners desire.”
Having controlled borders is not antithetical towards libertarianism. Those who actually favour liberty should value freedom of association and property rights rather than the false leftist notion of “freedom of movement” that tarnishes the name of liberalism and freedom. The Westminster liberals should stop sneering at the British public for their concerns over immigration and join them in the fight for freedom.
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By Oscar Rhodes — 3 weeks ago
To begin, it’s worth saying I owe something of a debt to Douglas Murray. He brought me to many of the positions I hold today, and while my overall impression of ‘War on the West’ was disinterest, it is only upon looking back at my own political journey I’m beginning to understand why I felt that way.
‘War on the West’ follows ‘The Madness of Crowds’ and the ‘Strange Death of Europe’ as Murray’s third book discussing the state of political affairs in the Western world. Murray’s thesis is best laid out by Murray himself:
“People began to talk of “equality”, but they did not seem to care about equal rights. They talked of “anti-racism”, but they appeared deeply racist. They spoke of “justice” but they seemed to mean revenge.”
Herein lies the problem with ‘War on the West’, and why I moved away from Murray in my own life: there is no examination of what equality is to mean, what anti-racism is to look like, or what kind of justice is to be enacted, if any. The primary objection Murray has to the armies waging a war on the West is that their vision is not a classically liberal one. Explicitly antagonising white people with terms like ‘white fragility’, ‘white tears’, or ‘white privilege’ is bad because it racialises things Murray believes to have been deracialised by the Civil Rights Movement and other changes that occurred between the 1950’s to early 2000s. In his previous work, Murray uses an analogy of a train of equality pulling into the station, only to careen off down the tracks at a greater speed than ever before without allowing its passengers to get off. Throughout Murray’s work is an unexamined liberalism, that at best, is only ever criticised for being too pure. Liberalism, by its nature, criticises social orders for creating barriers for individuals. The many freedoms the West has provided have always come at the expense of the social orders liberalism eroded. Freedom for women came with the erosion of a patriarchal social order, and took with it the benefits such a system provided – such as the ability to raise a family on one income, a high degree of social trust, and a defined relationship between the sexes. It was inevitable that liberalism would eventually critique itself, and many of the authors Murray cites, from Kendi to DiAngelo, often build on those drawing on Herbert Marcuse and Theodore Adorno. The former was given money by the Rockefeller Foundation, and even worked for what would become the CIA. In many ways, it was Western liberalism with its free flow of capital and revolving door between the academy and influential roles of state that enabled these theories to promulgate.
In his interview with the Telegraph promoting the book, Murray states:
“As long as people are armed with the right facts and the right arguments, I just don’t see how the cultural revolutionaries can win. I don’t know about you, but I’m not spending the rest of my life cringing and being told I’m guilty of things I never did. Not doing it, not guilty.”
This really begs the question of how exactly we got to this position to begin with. What’s most striking about ‘War on the West’ is that it does read almost like a recap of a war. Battlefields are specified, different players and their decisions are named, and Lord knows there are a huge number of casualties in the culture wars Murray describes. But, were the people who permitted things to reach this stage simply incapable of posing arguments against it? In one chapter, Murray notes that claims that America is founded upon stolen land are self-refuting because the many tribes of America stole the land from one another. Are we to believe Americans are so ignorant of their own history that this argument has never been made? Murray himself notes in the conclusion that outlets such as MSNBC and the New York Times will deny that Critical Race Theory is taught in schools, but acknowledge that it exists when forced. There are no arguments that can be used against such a thing.
Left out of ‘War on the West’ is any truly systemic analysis of the problem. The aforementioned New York Times moved to a paywall model in 2011, and from that point forward, the focus on things like ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘homophobia’, and ‘transphobia’ increased many times over. Around this time, legacy media was dying slowly. So newspapers moved from selling papers to many people to selling stories to a niche audience. The niche audience of the New York Times is the kind of cosmopolitan liberal who is very interested in niche identitarian trends, and in pitching themselves as radical while at the heart of the very system they claim to dislike. Despite this being a veritable War on the West, according to Murray, the emergency powers of war are never called upon. There are no calls to take decisive action to halt or prevent these systemic changes that led to this point. And in the conclusion, he defends the same economic system of capitalism that gave the New York Times its power, and forced it to change its business model to appeal to a niche audience of people hostile to Western people.
This attachment to a liberal historiography, in which individuals are given The Arguments and Make The Case, with spontaneous and emergent bottom-up change coming about as a consequence blinds Murray to the economic and legal realities that influence and shape this War on the West. Multiple universities are stated as battlegrounds for this war, but there is not a single mention of the fact universities are public authorities under the Equality Act (2010). That they have an ‘equalities duty’ to publish routine equalities reports, and must legally keep permanent members of staff dedicated to pushing this anti-Western message.
The only law Murray appears to mention in this vein is the Civil Right Act, which he defends as an example of the kind of good equality that he desires. Yet it was the Civil Rights Act which created the Civil Rights Commission, which in 1973 wrote to the Civil Service Commission and had them drop the standards for algebra in order to allow them to hire more non-white civil servants. Similar acts can be found in the UK. The Race Relations Act of 1973 (which performed the same anti-discrimination function as the Civil Rights Act he praises) created the Commission for Racial Equality. Today, the Race Relations Act has been assimilated into the aforementioned Equalities Act, and the Commission for Racial Equality has become the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which forces compliance with the Equalities Duty. There is a clear through-line from the civil rights legislation both in the USA and the UK, to the situation we are in now. The back of ‘War on the West’ reads as follows:
“The anti-Western revisionists have been out in force in recent years. It is high time we revise them in turn …”
Fundamentally however, there isn’t much of a revision of dominant left-wing narratives within ‘War on the West’ at all. Instead, it seeks to remind leftists that their own heroes, from Marx, to Foucault are also not spotless figures. This can only go one of two ways: either they ignore this, and nothing changes, or they recognise this, and move away from those figures, and as a consequence have doubled down on their principles of removing any and all unsavoury figures from public life. Regardless, none of this is at all revisionary, nor does it fundamentally challenge the values and beliefs of the cultural revolutionaries. A truly revisionist view of things would challenge the dominant understanding of things like the Civil Rights Movement, which was not (as Murray describes) people ‘making the case’ for rights, that the American public was so blown away by that they accepted and endorsed. Academic studies like that done on Rosedale show the side of desegregation that was forced upon people, and came at the cost of schools, neighbourhoods, communities and lives. Rosedale was a segregated community, but desegregation and the tensions that came with it made it difficult for authorities to maintain peace. The result was that many of the former residents who didn’t move out of their homes, found themselves the victims of racial violence by those who moved into the area, and had no regard for the police, who stopped policing the area out of fear of creating tensions. When Brown v. The Board of Education ended the desegregation of schools in America, and people protested, the national guard was sent in to disperse the crowd at gunpoint.
All of these changes were not the natural unfolding of human progress. They came today as they did in the civil rights movement, through force. Eisenhower and the national guard did not make the case for desegregation in light of Brown, they imposed it down the barrel of a gun. Whether that was right or wrong is irrelevant, that fact alone disproves the notion Murray insists upon in his recent public life – that the train of equality was chugging along gently, and only recently got out of hand. Equality is not a train chugging along set tracks, it is an amorphous blob that seeks to desacralise everything and dissolve all boundaries between all things. It does not progress in one direction alone, like a train, but expands in all directions and infects all things, including our supposedly right wing public figures.
In light of this, I still see some utility in Douglas Murray. Challenging double standards and hypocrisy is a cheap tactic which ultimately will not defeat those Murray opposes. Yet it is often the first chink in the armour for many people. I know I first came to move away from liberal beliefs because I found them to be contradictory, it was only in time I rooted out my own inherently liberal views, and ultimately moved to the political views and positions I hold now. In this respect, Murray is useful – he can confirm people’s suspicions about the modern left, and give them comfort that there is a public figure who opposes these things. It’s incumbent upon people with more bravery and introspection to take that one step further, and marry it with a systemic analysis of the situation, and propose and action a plan to undo these things and institute something new in its place.
Post Views: 82
By Xander West — 1 month ago
This current period of postmodernity lacks a certain idea of permanence which our forebears once possessed. So much of what this civilisation produces, if one could still deem it such in its hyper-atomisation, is ethereal and consumable in a way that amounts to a sort of permanent revolution. Even those who still build tangible things in this society risk having no legacy. One only needs to think about all the mid-twentieth century modernist and brutalist architecture we destroy, to replace with not too dissimilar glass boxes, when considering the lifespan of today’s skylines or infrastructure.
If civilisation is to thrive once again, we could do worse than looking to a great visionary in our past as inspiration for a better future. I therefore propose Sir Edward Watkin (1819-1901) as an ideal role model for both his repeated proposals of grand projects and the almost surprising feasibility of all of them. I think it is worth first to give a historical account of him, then suggest a grand project based on his ideas.
In short, Watkin was the quintessential Victorian railway baron, yet so much more. The energy he possessed during his life was nothing short of astounding and went far beyond the railways for which he is mainly remembered today, but those achievements remain a good place to start.
From his first position in the industry as Secretary of the Trent Valley Railway in 1845 until the completion of the Great Central Main Line in 1899, Watkin’s presence was felt just about everywhere. ‘The Railway Doctor’ rescued the bankrupt Grand Trunk Railway in British North America and transformed it into the then longest railway in the world. His chairmanship of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway forged a vast network of lines across the industrial North West and North Midlands. He drove the Metropolitan Railway deep into the Middlesex countryside and beyond, ultimately creating swathes of London suburbia and a bevy of other towns. He steered the South Eastern Railway through the Panic of 1866 and further expanded it through that part of England. He became director of the Great Eastern Railway in 1868 and drove it out of bankruptcy, employing the help of fellow MP Viscount Cranbourne, later the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury and Prime Minister. He advised on railways in four continents and built the last main line in Great Britain until High Speed One over a century later. I might add that this list, however impressive it might be, is not exhaustive.
The ever-restless Watkin was not content with merely the above. Whilst saving the Grand Trunk Railway, he was enlisted by the Cabinet to take part in talks to create the Dominion of Canada. This resulted in a buyout of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which he personally negotiated after the British and colonial governments refused to do so. Elsewhere, he pioneered the first public parks in Salford and Manchester, as well as the first footpath in Britain dedicated for public use going up Mount Snowdon. Watkin developed Grimsby into the largest fishing port in the world and neighbouring Cleethorpes into a major Victorian resort. In 1894, he opened a large pleasure garden with a football pitch in a rural parish where the sheep outnumbered the people called Wembley. Readers might have heard of it. Again, this list of achievements is not exhaustive, and I am omitting most of Watkin’s political work in this article for the sake of brevity.
However, Watkin’s life and works were not without their faults, of which he is best known for two. The first was the Channel Tunnel, the only link in his envisioned railway from Manchester to Paris which was not built during his lifetime. He and his French counterpart successfully tunnelled 3.6 miles out of 22 under the English Channel before the British government forbade further work in 1882. This was the point when his contemporary critics pointed and said ‘now he really has gone mad’, but Watkin proved it was entirely possible over a century before the modern tunnel commenced digging. The site under Shakespeare Cliff and his twin tunnel design were both adopted in the 1980s. When the machine drilling the current tunnel broke into Watkin’s forcibly abandoned project, the engineers found it was dry after over a century of sitting abandoned.
The second mark against his reputation was the Metropolitan Tower, intended as London’s answer to the Eiffel Tower and the centrepiece of the aforementioned Wembley Park. The winning design from Watkin’s competition was to be 1,200 feet tall, 150 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower at the time, and the tallest structure in the world until the completion of the Empire State Building in 1931. If it had been completed, it would still be the tallest building in the United Kingdom today. Unfortunately, this would-be monument to heroic materialism was scuppered by a lack of willingness from investors to fund such an extravagant speculation. The first stage was finished in 1895 at a height of 154 feet, but a redesign several years prior to cut costs had already sealed its fate. Only four of the planned eight legs of the tower were built, putting too much pressure on the ground and leading to subsidence. Watkin’s Folly, as it had become known, met its fate via dynamite in 1907. Wembley Stadium now stands on the site, with its arch rising to 436 feet to serve as the constant advertisement Watkin had once hoped for his tower.
It is safe to say that if Watkin were on the parts of Twitter frequented by many readers of this publication today, he would be regarded as a radical Anglofuturist. His manifold ambitions demonstrate an absolute faith in the United Kingdom and its future at the forefront of global civilisation. With knowledge of some of his ideas, energy and determination, one can now imagine a grandiose yet entirely feasible project to strike a course away from national stagnation and decline.
We shall call it the Great Central Railway Company, a fitting revival of a name for what one can foresee as the backbone of a coherent and comprehensive railway system for modern Britain. This cannot be a state venture as most modern railway projects have become, subject as they are to hordes of overpaid bureaucrats and special interests. The GCRC would be a private company naturally responsible for every part of its operations and with the logical aim of out-competing Grant Shapps’s reheated British Rail in every way.
It would first be useful to lay out the technical and aesthetic quirks of this company’s core railways. China has been extremely industrious in its construction of very high-speed lines over the past decade or so, thus Britain can and should do the same. Our trains would be the old British-made InterCity stock on steroids, which one shall call the InterCity 325, with a top speed of 325kmh. It might be pandering, but perhaps we should also incorporate some ideas from the Mallard steam locomotive in these trains; it relates nicely that the refurbishment program for the InterCity 225 carriages was called Project Mallard. Aside from being a rather nice shade of blue, its curved front still maintains a surprisingly modern appearance despite it being over 80 years old.
Infrastructurally, this company would not mess around with glass boxes or minor ventures. GCRC main lines would have four tracks as a minimum to separate the local and freight trains from express services. Stations would be of a two-platform island design, plus as many more platforms as needed for express and branch line services. Smaller stations would be built with a dignified but cosy atmosphere in mind, whilst the larger stations would be designed akin to a palace for the people as the Great Central Railway’s Nottingham Victoria once was. I am quite sure this would actually turn out to be cheaper and more visually appealing than doing something artsy with glass and/or steel for the millionth time.
Now for some actual railway lines, of which I shall discuss two focussed around tunnels once thought of by Watkin. We shall start with what could be called the New Eastern Main Line at Dungeness, which Watkin once wanted to turn into a resort town like Cleethorpes, and strike northwest by ‘borrowing’ a rather straight freight line across the Romney Marsh. We shall carry on until Tenterden, whence it would curve slightly to brush by the east of Headcorn and then go on to Maidstone. There would have to be some urban negotiation by viaduct, as there would be in the Medway conurbation, before emerging into the open countryside of northern Kent around Wainscott. It would then move north, go under the Thames to Canvey Island, and begin its whistlestop tour of eastern English towns. It would travel past Benfleet, Hadleigh and Rayleigh (with interchange for London), then Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford and Great Dunmow before reaching Stansted Airport to its east. Onwards it would go to Royston, Godmanchester and Huntingdon, then Peterborough (with a complete rebuild of its station) before reaching Spalding. In Lincolnshire, it would follow several mostly abandoned lines to Boston, Louth and Grimsby before ‘borrowing’ a couple more lines to reach a tunnel under the Humber at New Holland. We shall stop discussing this line in detail with Hull, with it having achieved Watkin’s plan of connecting Hull with the south, but from there it could easily go deeper into Yorkshire and beyond.
The other line I shall discuss will be the Great Central Main Line, but with a route beyond Watkin’s achievements which shifts this project from being defined by a semi-romanticised past for the sake of the present to defining the very future of this Kingdom. I think a new terminus next door to the original Marylebone but larger is fitting, then ‘borrowing’ the London to Aylesbury line from its current custodians. It would then follow the old railway up through Rugby, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Sheffield and finally Manchester via the Woodhead Tunnels, but from there we must go further north. It would make its way through Salford and Bolton before reaching Blackburn and Preston. Then it would go in a straight a line as practical near the M6 to Lancaster, Kendal, Penrith and Carlisle before reaching the Scottish border at Gretna. The next leg of this line would see a rather straightforward journey through southwest Scotland, the only towns of note on the way being Dumfries and Newton Stewart. However, at Stranraer we must irrevocably change the political and economic trajectory of the British Isles with a tunnel under the Irish Sea to Larne and ultimately Belfast. There may be a large munitions dump in Beaufort’s Dyke which would merit some praying during construction, but the benefits of joining the two main islands of the United Kingdom, even those which are merely symbolic, cannot be understated.
One could envision the natural evolution of dozens of branch lines serving further towns and cities from just these two lines alone. Indeed, the entire national infrastructure network could reorient itself with just a handful of main lines inspired by Watkin’s vision, prompting a new era of construction which merges the functionality of technology with our primordial desire towards the beautiful. These railway lines would also give many counties much-needed economic relevance through the secondary emphasis on freight, a far more prevalent aim of the railways from Victorian times until Beeching, giving eastern counties in particular the opportunity to have purposes other than being London’s barracks or middle-of-nowheres.
All that is needed is the money and willpower to see this project through. With a new Watkin in our midst, I am sure that we can once again find the willpower, wherefrom the money would follow, to reassert our faith in this country by building something remarkable. I hope readers agree.
Post Views: 73
By themallard — 1 month ago
As the Russia-Ukraine Crisis crawls into the second month of conflict, humanitarian disaster, and media sensationalism, many passive observers of the situation have been wondering who is to blame for the biggest military conflict in Europe since 1990’s Yugoslavia.
Mainstream media, OSNIT Twitter experts, and heads of state all make substantial claims about the culprits, the causes, a variety of predictions for the outcomes, and “solutions” that do nothing to actually solve the issue other than to speculate needlessly and obfuscate the reality on the ground in order to garner as much engagement as possible from the online community, and inflame hatred on both sides – dumbing down the debate to kindergarten levels of maturity, driveling the issue down to just another “Kony 2012” bandwagon for everyone to jump on.
In the West – particularly NATO member nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom – there has been a certain disregard for introspection and self-criticism in regards to the lead up to the current conflict. While the reality may not be as clean or as pleasant as we want, the current crisis in Ukraine is hardly a new development, nor had the invasion of Ukraine been completely out-of-the-blue as many pundits make it out to be.
This conflict has been ongoing for the last decade – it seems that most discussing the current escalation are willfully ignorant of that fact.
The people of Donbass, Luhansk and other Eastern oblasts of Ukraine have suffered under similar war-like conditions and humanitarian crisis since the beginning of the Ukrainian Civil War in 2014. No one in the West has cared about it, nor paid any thought, hashtags, or great displays of solidarity for those who have suffered since then – only now paying attention as the conflict escalated from a local regional conflict to a nation-wide one as soon as the Russians directly became involved – all with the help of actually being televised, of course.
Framing the issue as an “attack on the territorial sovereignty”, “democracy”, or “self-determination” of Ukraine is not only blatantly dishonest – it’s entirely hypocritical. Where were the calls to recognize the territorial sovereignty or democratic will of the separatist regions who no longer felt that their interests were represented in Kiev?
Nowhere, of course. Because it wasn’t “our side”.
For most, the finger of blame for the escalation of tensions to all-out war in Ukraine has been pointed directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin for activating the “special military operation” and invading Ukraine. For others the responsibility lies with Ukrainian leadership not compromising on territory claims and security concerns the Russian government has had, and the failure to follow the standards set by the Minsk II protocol signed in 2015. Many others lay the blame with NATO for encroachment and not taking Russia seriously or engaging in any sort of constructive dialogue with Moscow.
As the issue has been brushed aside, ignored, and unaddressed by Western powers who could’ve negotiated a peaceful resolution that would’ve put an end to the bloodshed years ago, the cock has truly come home to roost – metaphorically speaking. By not seriously engaging with any sort of dialogue with the Putin regime, attempting to make a buffer of any sort that addressed the security concerns of both sides, and by not prioritizing the safety of civilians on the ground but rather their own expansion, NATO has done nothing but help fan the flames of this conflict.
NATO, of course, cannot be “blamed” necessarily for the conflict at large. For what it’s worth, as a security organization it has been rather beneficial in creating a level of stability and bipolarity in European politics. It wasn’t always ideal, nor fair, but as a product of its time – the Cold War – it did a lot more good than harm in balancing power and security in the 20th century.
It may have acted as a bulwark against the threat of Soviet Communism back then, but as the Cold War ended it has changed with the unipolarity of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Today, NATO is merely an extension of American security and political power. It has shaped the Western world and its response to threats from an American perspective, prioritizing Washington’s concerns above all others. It is entirely a fabrication that the responsibility and configuration of NATO is somehow shared between its member nations; that’s symbolic rather than the actuality. This has been observable in the past couple of years as the projected power of NATO has been growing weaker without an immediate perceived threat, and European member states skimping out on funding the organization or actively seeking alternate security solutions – such as the push for a militarized European Union separate from NATO.
How coincidental that as the crisis in Ukraine has developed, the re-emphasis of NATO power has occurred as it was staring at its dissolution after American security failures in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East?
NATO, of course, is composed of all sorts of characters and figureheads – both military and political – who maintain and grow the institution the way Washington needs it to. In the last two decades one of the largest forces in shaping how NATO (i.e. Washington D.C.) operates in Eastern Europe and in regards to Russia has been Victoria Nuland, who is currently serving as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Joe Biden administration.
If anyone can be sourced as holding key responsibility for laying out the foundations for the current crisis unfolding between Ukraine and Russia, it is her.
Victoria Nuland has been described as “brash” “blunt” and “crude” by many who have worked with her, either through the State Department or as her counterparts across Eurasia. The Washington careerist Nuland has spent most of her life entrenched firmly in the circus of the US State Department, climbing the ladder of power with a ferocious tenacity and iron-set will to shape Washington’s policies across the world.
It would be commendable, if her efforts weren’t completely driven by neoliberal globalist ideology that props up the status quo powers and elite D.C. political class. We can see how close she is to the establishment elites, after all she’s married to the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and Council on Foreign Relations member, Robert Kagan.
Nuland has found herself in a variety of powerful positions throughout her tenure in Washington – from deputy director of Soviet Union Affairs under Clinton, to being the US Ambassador to NATO during the Bush administration, to Assistant Secretary of State under Obama’s 8 year reign. The Under Secretary has previously worked closely with some of the most hawkish characters in Washington, having directly answered to Dick Cheney as his deputy national security advisor, and with Hillary Clinton as the spokeswoman for the State Department.
With mentors and colleagues like these, it is no wonder that Nuland has been able to entrench herself into the new administration rather safely. She doesn’t pull her punches, even if it would be the smart thing to do – preferring to ideologically shoot from the hip with her diplomacy and think later about the consequences of her actions – if at all.
Her attitude and approach to diplomacy may have allowed her to gain many fans in Washington, as brazen approaches are often applauded in the D.C. swamp – but it hasn’t gained her much of a fanbase among European diplomats. Her policy of ignoring the efforts of EU leadership to try and fix diplomatic relations with Russia, and by shipping weapons to Ukraine during the Obama years directly acted against the advice and fears of many EU nations who worried it would escalate tensions with Moscow.
Rather than her actions being a product of her career, Nuland seems to be a true believer in the diplomacy she practices, almost delusionally so. In 1997, along with former Senator Richard Lugar, Nuland published Russia, Its Neighbors, and an Enlarging NATO: An Independent Task Force Report; in which it was “concluded” that NATO should be able to expand into Europe, and that Russian concerns or perceived security threats were unjustified – any attempt to negotiate or compromise should be disregarded. The report is rather short, but statements and conclusions are entirely delusional and a product of liberal elitist thought – the only way for Russia to participate in this changing world would be to cede its own sovereignty and self-determination in order to join the “New Europe” and the authority of NATO (ie. Washington).
I imagine that any Russian authority who were in the effort of trying to rebuild a nation after almost a century of communism and centralized bureaucracy would see the terms laid out in the Nuland report and laugh in disbelief. Trading one bureaucracy for another, but this time with less sovereignty and being subjected to the whims of a former rival.
In the very same report, the issue of Ukraine is emphasized. The task force agreed that NATO’s “doors shall remain open” for Ukrainian membership. Of course we know today this has been one of the driving motivations for Russian engagement in Ukraine, has been the threat of NATO expansion towards Russia’s border with Eastern Europe and one of Russia’s vulnerable corridors for invasion.
Nuland has been wanting, and working hard to ensure that Ukraine joins the American sphere of influence. Whether this is a personal mission, given her Jewish-Ukrainian ancestry, or whether this is completely career-driven doesn’t matter. It has led to disastrous consequences regardless of the motives.
One only needs to look at the Maidan protests and 2014 coup d’etat that Nuland was a key figurehead in orchestrating – a leaked phone call with the then US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt shows how instrumental Nuland was in hand picking the pro-West Ukrainian Arseniy Yatsenyuk administration that took over after the expulsion of Viktor Yanukovych’s Moscow-friendly government during the “Revolution of Dignity”. Whether or not the previous government was a “Moscow puppet” matters little, when the United States and NATO conduct the same actions that they accuse Russia of – infringing Ukrainian democracy and self-determination – even if it is through more covert means.
While the massive shake-up of the government took place, NATO also funded and armed the infamous neo-nazi “Azov Battalion” to conduct operations in the Eastern Ukranian separatist regions, with disastrous humanitarian consequences for civilians in those regions. Everything from wanton destruction to residential areas, kidnappings, and even crucifixions – Azov Battalions have not only been blamed for this, they take pride in their cruelty.
It seems that the US State Department made it a policy during the 2000’s and 2010’s to arm and aid the most depraved groups of people, whether it has been Islamsist militias in the Syria or neo-nazi paramilitaries in Ukraine in order to fulfill their policy goals without getting their own hands dirty – with innocent civilians suffering the most due to this short-sighted, or willfully ignorant decisions.
Of course in the mind of someone like Victoria Nuland, the ends justify the means. But what exactly are the ends?
Is it to “stabilize” Ukrainian democracy?
As Zelensky has purged opposition parties and political rivals have been arrested and tortured, we can see by the lack of condemnation that that’s hardly the priority.
Is it to “secure the sovereignty” of Ukraine?
The whole reason this mess has occurred is because Nuland ignored Ukraine’s sovereignty in order to place her own political pawns into positions of power – so claiming that they’re trying to do this is laughable.
Is it to “prevent the humanitarian crisis and deaths of civilians”?
This conflict has been ongoing for a decade, with tens of thousand already dead or displaced before Russia stepped foot into the region. Where were the actions to prevent the humanitarian crisis that has existed for the past decade?
So what are the ends? Because the narrative that Washington and the mainstream media are pumping out are hardly grounded in reality.
If I was a gambling man, I would wager that the end goal of this crisis that has been created is multifaceted; waging the media war against the Russian Federation has been ongoing for the past decade – many Americans, particularly those in red states and from working class backgrounds see the more conservative culture of Russia and the strongman figure embodied by a leader such as Putin as a viable alternative to the current American society that empowers the elite Washington D.C. political class and desecrates the rest of the country. Many saw Trump as a leader like that, after all.
Regime change in Russia to bring it into the “global society” and the confines of internationalism is also a possibility. Nations can’t be seen as breaking away from the “rules-based order”, as that would not benefit Washington D.C. or global institutions like the United Nations or World Economic Forum that have infiltrated the top levels of government and society in order to push their own agendas under the guise of “democratic will”. However, I think this is far stretched and I think the horse has bolted in regards to this scenario – Russia has been cut-off, and I don’t think anyone at the Pentagon or the State Department wants to get involved with what would be a severely messy operation to pull off in trying to oust Putin and his loyalists from power.
What I think is the most plausible situation is actually rather outside the box. As the United States recedes as a global superpower under the weight of its recent failures and crumbling domestic situation, the best way to prevent any other rising power from gaining a foothold at the top is to make a chaotic situation that is so out of control that no-one could possibly control it.
Ukraine has so far proven to be far from a “clean” operation on the ground for the Russians. Victoria Nuland has done a rather outstanding job of shaping Ukraine to be so emboldened by their own ideas of fighting for their “sovereignty” and crafted such a unique identity separate from Russia that they will likely continue to be a rather large thorn in the side of Russia for decades to come, regardless of the outcome of this current war. Russia will be exhausting itself and its resources trying to control the situation.
So while the United States may not be “directly” involved with securing the situation on the ground, at least Washington can be guaranteed that Russia won’t be able to do it either despite their close proximity. All the Americans have to do is keep pumping weapons and resources to keep ground-forces fighting or causing a logistical headache, and in the meantime they can refocus their priorities to other, more pressing situations – namely domestic security.
But if those are indeed the “ends”, are they justified?
To any rational, morally sound and peace-loving person, of course not.
But as we have seen time and time again, Washington D.C. and the elitists that occupy the highest seats of government will create their own justifications, even if completely false or out-of-touch, in order to fulfill their own goals of self-preservation and holding on to power.
This reason, above all, is why Victoria Nuland has been perfectly fit for the job that she has undertaken for the past two decades. Because she embodies those very same insane values.
And Washington D.C. loves her for it.
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