Gilbert Doctorow: “The West is run by corrupt cowards!”


Dr. Gilbert Doctorow lays bare the decay of Western powers. D.R.

Gilbert Doctorow holds a doctorate in history from Columbia University. In this interview, the academician, established in Belgium, reveals the true face of American and European political leaders whom he describes as « cowards », « corrupt » and « incompetent ». He dissects the war in Ukraine, explains the interference of the United States in the affairs of third countries, including Algeria, gives the causes of the servility of the European Union towards Washington and points out the « massive and omnipresent » self-censorship which makes the Western press « docile ».

Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your analysis of the conflict in Ukraine?

Dr. Gilbert Doctorow: The conflict in Ukraine exists at two dimensions: First, there is the civil war in Ukraine that broke out shortly after the February 2014 coup d’Etat in Kiev when the government of violent nationalists whom the Americans installed set about their program of crushing Russian speakers and Russian culture on the territory of Ukraine, that is to say half or more of the overall population of the country. Resistance to this government arose immediately and spontaneously in the Crimea, where the population was overwhelmingly Russian and where Russia’s most important naval base on the Black Sea was located. The approximately 18,000 Russian soldiers who were present on the peninsula under state-to-state agreements supported the local rebellion and neutralized a Ukrainian force of similar size, preparing the way for a referendum in Crimea that voted for integration into the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, in the two neighboring Ukrainian provinces (oblasts) of Donbas, Donetsk and Lugansk, an armed insurgency also quickly developed in the spring and early summer of 2014. This led to a bloody ‘counter-terrorism’ operation by the Kiev government and its neo-Nazi battalions which was stopped only when Russia intervened. The opposing forces eventually established a cease-fire that was recognized by Kiev, by the leaders of the rebellious provinces and by France and Germany under the terms of what became known as the Minsk Accords.  These Accords were supposed to prepare the way for changes to the Ukrainian constitution that would give extensive autonomy to the local governments in the two provinces while keeping Ukraine intact.  However, over the course of the next 8 years to 2022, Kiev did nothing to implement the Minsk Accords and instead waged a war of attrition against the two provinces, with daily shelling of the civilian population that brought about 13,000 deaths in the given period.  With the help of NATO, during these 8 years, the Kiev regime reformed and strengthened its army, created a vast fortified zone on its side of the line of demarcation and prepared to attack the two provinces and end the stand-off by what would have been a bloody exercise in ethnic cleansing.  In anticipation of this attack, which could spill over into a threat to Russian Crimea, on 24 February Russia invaded Ukraine and the ‘special military operation’ to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine has been going on ever since.

The second dimension of the conflict is the confrontation between Russia and US-led NATO over the possible accession of Ukraine into NATO and over the creation of an existential threat to Russian national security through installation of cruise and hypersonic missiles there with only 5 – 7 minutes flying time to Moscow.  In the autumn of 2021 and right up to the start of the Russian invasion, Russia had been in intense discussion with Washington and Brussels over its demand that they desist from plans to bring Ukraine into NATO and from their ongoing operations to turn Ukraine into a platform for attacking Russia with or without its formally being a NATO member. The Russians in effect demanded that NATO draw back its troops and materiel to where they had been before NATO’s expansion eastward into the former Warsaw Bloc states in 1997. The Russians presented drafts of the agreements they sought to sign with the Americans and with NATO, establishing a basis for redesigning European security to bring in Russia out of the cold.

When Washington refused to negotiate these security issues, Moscow put into action its plan to get its way by force of arms, on the ground in Ukraine.  In this way, the ‘special military operation’ has escalated steadily into a proxy war between Moscow and Washington and is now approaching very dangerous risk of getting out of control and becoming a full-blown World War III, meaning nuclear Armageddon.

How do you explain the docility and servility of European leaders towards the US? Doesn’t the fact that most of these leaders are Young Global Leaders explain the fact that they put the interests of the United States ahead of those of their own people?

Yes, for decades the leaders of the 27 member states of the European Union have largely been willing servants of Washington at the expense of the interests of their own peoples. Europe has relied on the American defense shield for the last thirty years while it cut back on its own defense spending and also sacrificed its own military industrial complex by procuring American weapons systems to ensure compatibility and interoperability within NATO.  When war broke out in Europe, when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the European leaders faced the ugly fact that they were separately and even collectively no match militarily for Russia without the Americans bringing in their weaponry and manpower.  Accordingly, the servility before Washington has been further enforced. Meanwhile, the price of this servility has grown immensely. Following orders from Washington, Europe imposed sanctions on Russia in the energy domain that have brought on a dramatic rise in costs and the real threat of deindustrialization due to its losing economic competitiveness on world markets.

The European populations are led to live in total precariousness because of the political choices of the ruling caste. Don’t you think that this could lead to violent social movements and that Europe could plunge into chaos? In your opinion, what will be the impact of this instability on the world?

European peoples are very different country by country in terms of political passivity and political volatility. In some countries, like France, large demonstrations can emerge spontaneously at any time. In others, like Belgium, political demonstrations are rare. At the moment, the threat of ‘violent social movements’ is still relatively low.  We will have to see how well the European economies survive this winter before reaching any conclusions about possible ‘chaos’ developing.

How do you explain the Russophobia of the European ruling classes?

Russophobia is the consequence of the realization by these ruling classes that they are powerless and that their countries have lost their sovereignty. The power of a European head of state today is not much greater than that of a city mayor.   These elites look to the East and enviously regard Russia, which has recovered from its economic, political, military weakness of the 1990s and is defending its sovereignty vigorously against the global hegemon. Moreover, in the cultural sphere, European elites have taken egoism, selfishness and secularism to extremes. They espouse ‘progressive’ social values which deny traditional Judeo-Christian values in favor of LGBTQ and similar. They deny the family as the building block of society. They look to the East and see in Russia precisely a revival of those traditional and Christian values which they now scorn, and this brings out anger and Russophobia.

Don’t you think that the supply of arms to Ukraine by the West constitutes a danger for all humanity, just like the Libyan arsenal that ended up in the hands of jihadists? In your opinion, how the West came to support neo-Nazis in Ukraine and provide them with weapons, troops and money?

I do not see a danger for all humanity in the supply of arms to Ukraine, given that so much is being destroyed soon after arrival by the Russian armed forces.  The West supports neo-Nazis in Ukraine because they have been very efficient in stirring up anti-Russian feelings in the broad population and using anti-Russia as the new national identity of Ukrainians. The entire intent of the U.S.-led West is to use Ukraine as a platform and armed force against Russia, thus to remove the biggest threat to American global hegemony.

Other countries like China may ‘give the U.S. the finger in their pocket,’ but Russia publicly denounces the United States for its acts of aggression in Serbia, Iraq, Syria, Libya while it rallies the Global South to usher in a new age of greater equality among nations. Russia also backs its words with deeds as we see in its present fight in Ukraine against the united forces of NATO.

How do you explain the fact that the West is led by a corrupt political elite like Biden, Pelosi, von der Leyen, Borrell, Johnson, Macron, etc.?

The reasons these corrupt, cowardly and incompetent individuals have come to power varies from country to country.  In Continental Europe a major reason is the proportional electoral system that prevents rule by a single majority party and instead forces politicians to form coalitions to gain and keep power. These coalitions are inherently corrupt, because they combine political movements with different, often contradictory political programs who are united solely by the burning ambition to gain and hold power, and to distribute the spoils of victory among themselves without regard to competence. Ordinary citizens become apathetic, passive when for decades they see the same incompetent individuals in power and understand that their vote is meaningless.

In your opinion, aren’t the resignation of the two British Prime Ministers and the probable defeat of the Democrats at the Midterm, with even a risk of impeachment for Joe Biden, the direct consequences of the war in Ukraine?

The resignation of the two British Prime Ministers and the possible defeat of Democrats in the midterm elections have little to do with the war in Ukraine. In each case there are local, national reasons for these political changes. In Britain, there was the scandalous behavior of Johnson which led to his removal, followed by the glaring ignorance of economics by Liz Truss and her loss of the confidence of the City of London, i.e of Big Capital.  In the case of the Democrats in the United States, it is entirely normal for the ruling party to lose votes, to lose one or another of the houses of Congress in midterms. The situation in the U.S. is aggravated by the obvious senility of the sitting president and the inability of his administration to deal with post-Covid supply chain problems and inflation. His policies of enormous deficits to finance social projects only added to the inflation. Yes, there are in the U.S. rising energy costs attributable to decisions relating to the Ukraine war – by which I mean the increased gas exports to Europe which raised the level of energy costs for Americans. But that is only one of several inflationary factors.

Can we talk about democracy in the West when it is an oligarchy that really rules?

Democracy has been a moving target everywhere in the world ever since direct democracy of the Greeks was replaced by representative democracy that we know today.  But the question of whether the system gives power to the people or takes power from the people is variable in different countries and at different times.  In time present, in the United States, the political system is not answerable to the people and is distorted by Big Money.

What are the real reasons for the conflict in Ukraine? Doesn’t the US military-industrial complex want a nuclear war?

You don’t make money out of a nuclear war.  You are dead like everyone else.  The reasons for the conflict in Ukraine are found in the U.S. determination to retain its global hegemony that it achieved after the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago despite the rise of other major powers like India and China and the revival of Russia as a major power. The military industrial complex makes money out of the Ukraine war, but only as long as it remains a proxy war.

Recently, US senators and congressmen led by neocons Marco Rubio and Lisa McClain have called for sanctions against my country Algeria because it buys Russian weapons.

How do you explain US interference in the internal affairs of third countries? The immoral West, led by the United States, guilty of multiple aggressions against Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc., gives lessons in democracy and human rights to the whole planet. How do you explain this arrogance?

The United States has been interfering in the internal affairs of third countries ever since the end of the Second World War when its economic and military preponderance was firmly established. The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the single biggest resistance to American global rule and gave rise to the arrogance we see up to this day.

In your opinion, what NATO is still for? Is it not time to disband this criminal and obsolete organization?

NATO is the instrument by which the United States maintains its control of Europe. It is the American knee on the neck of Europe, to put it in terms that have become so emotive ever since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. It cannot be disbanded by the stroke of a wand. But it can collapse of its own weight. If Russia succeeds in the Ukraine war, that will be a terrible blow to NATO, undermining its authority so that its demise will for the first time be discussable in Europe.

The mainstream media in the West carries war propaganda rather than informing the public. How do you explain the censorship of independent and critical voices?

There is no state censorship in the West but there is massive and ubiquitous self-censorship and political correctness that renders the press docile.  The profession of journalism has been undermined by the changed economics of news dissemination ever since the internet deprived news agencies of the advertising revenues which made it possible for them to retain global news bureaus and to hire qualified journalists.  Nowadays the best graduates of schools of journalism go into advertising and public relations, where they can earn enough to raise a family. In these circumstances why should we be surprised that those who are lucky enough to get paying jobs with the mainstream news companies lack guts, lack any self-respect and honesty. Most of what you read in our mainstream press is nothing other than press releases they have received from government authorities.

As for alternative news platforms, they rely heavily on unpaid contributors.  They do not have foreign bureaus and so often lack comparative knowledge to give nuance to their analysis.

Wouldn’t humanity have everything to gain from a multipolar world rather than living under US hegemony?

A multipolar world is coming, but the birth pains are considerable.  The ongoing war in and over Ukraine is of decisive importance in this process.

Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen

Who is Gilbert Doctorow?

Dr. Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels, Belgium. He is magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1967), a past Fulbright scholar, and holder of a Ph.D. with honors in history from Columbia University (1975). He chose this third career of ‘public intellectual’ after finishing up a 25-year career as corporate executive and outside consultant to multinational corporations doing business in Russia and Eastern Europe which culminated in the position of Managing Director, Russia during the years 1995-2000. He has published his memoirs of his 25 years of doing business in and around the Soviet Union/Russia, 1975 – 2000. Memoirs of a Russianist, Volume I: From the Ground Up was published on 10 November 2020. Volume II: Russia in the Roaring 1990s was released in February 2021. He also wrote Does Russia have a future? ; Stepping out of line ; Does the United States have a future? ; Great Post-Cold War American Thinkers on International Relations. A Russian language edition in a single 780-page volume was published by Liki Rossii in St Petersburg in November 2021: Россия в бурные 1990е: Дневники, воспоминания, документы (Russia in the Turbulent 1990s: Diaries, Memories, Documents).

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