Richard Black is a former Senator for Virginia state and a former top Pentagon insider. He explains in this interview with Finian Cunningham how the current war in Ukraine is a proxy war against Russia led by the United States and how that conflict is motivated in part by a desire in Washington for revenge. The impetus for revenge stems from Russia’s military intervention in Syria at the end of 2015 where, crucially, the Russian military thwarted Washington’s covert war for regime change in Damascus.
US troops are still illegally occupying parts of Syria – up to a third of its territory – but the defeat of America and NATO’s regime-change plan in Syria by Russia was an unforgivable setback for US imperial ambitions in the Middle East. Hence the determination of the US to make Russia pay through a war of attrition in Ukraine – right on Russia’s doorstep.
Senator Black visited Syria’s battle zones during the 10-year war in that country that erupted in early 2011. He has been outspoken in condemning Washington’s dirty war. He describes in detail how the war in Syria was prosecuted by the US supporting Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists to overthrow the Syrian government. That American plot failed because of an intervention ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin to defend the allied Syrian government.
The war in Ukraine is therefore not due to “Russian aggression”, as the Western media would portray, but rather it is part of an ongoing geopolitical confrontation between the US and Russia. This is the bigger context that is needed for an understanding of the causes of conflict and how peaceful resolution can be achieved.
Black also contends that Ukraine is being used as cannon fodder by the United States in its proxy war against Russia. The Ukrainian casualties are not sustainable. He estimates that Ukrainian military losses are 30 times what the US incurred during the Vietnam War. The Western mainstream media are downplaying the monstrous losses, promoting the notion that the NATO-armed Ukrainians are “winning”. A political solution to the Ukraine war needs to be found urgently to end the killing and also to stop what is a reckless escalatory war that could lead to nuclear catastrophe for the planet. But a major impediment is the schizoid nature of the US deep state. There are warmongering elements in Washington who are prepared to continue pushing the war toward catastrophic escalation. Against this warmongering faction are realists who realize that a diplomatic solution must be found to avert an all-out Third World War. This internal US power struggle would account for the mixed signals of, on the one hand, war escalation against Russia, and then, on the other hand, incipient calls for a peace deal. A hugely consequential question is: which Washington faction will prevail?