Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned on Saturday that the Ukraine crisis had brought the world to the “Brink of a New Cold War“.

“The world is on the brink of a new cold war. Some say it has already begun,” said [Mikhail Gorbachev] the 83-year-old former Kremlin chief in a sombre speech delivered in Berlin at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this weekend.

Mr Gorbachev accused the west, led by the US, of “triumphalism” after the fall of the Berlin Wall ended Soviet dominance in eastern Europe.

Trust between Russia and the west had “collapsed” in the last few months, he said, highlighting the damage done by the Ukraine crisis. He called for new initiatives to restore trust, including a lifting of personal sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on top Russian officials in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Mr Gorbachev clearly sees the west as the culprit in the crisis, having given his unequivocal backing to Mr Putin last week. He said, before arriving in Germany, that he was “absolutely convinced that Putin protects Russia’s interests better than anyone else”.

New Cold War Already Started

Count me in the group that says it’s blatantly obvious a new cold war has already begun.

Inane sanctions by the US and Europe led by President Obama and fueled by warmongering hype from Senator John McCain and others provides sufficient evidence.

US Blowbacks and Russian Interests

The US once again is clueless when it comes to predicting global blowbacks to its inept foreign policy.

Gorbachev’s statement he was “absolutely convinced that Putin protects Russia’s interests better than anyone else” is well beyond reproach.

The US is not interested one iota in other country’s best interests.

Arguably, the US shouldn’t be.

The other side of the coin should be equally easy to see: Other countries have a need to protect their vested interests. And they will.

The US needs to understand that. It also needs to weigh the potential for blowbacks when it doesn’t.

The blowbacks in Iraq, Ukraine, and Libya have been spectacular. Iran is on deck.

US Wakes Up Russian Bear

When the US meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine, it woke up the Russian bear.

Threats to make Ukraine a member of NATO in spite of promises otherwise, then fomenting the overthrow of the prior Ukrainian government led by Viktor Yanukovych was too much for Russia to take.

The US does not like the annexation of Crimea that followed or the resultant civil war that will break Ukraine in two, although we helped cause those outcomes. (For further discussion, see Ukraine Split in Two; Expect Major Rebel Advance).

Even though the overthrow of Yanukovych was unconstitutional and the ensuing election a complete sham, the US accepted that vote. The US does not accept the vote in Crimea or the more recent rebel vote in Donetsk, labeling them “unconstitutional”.

Why? The former suits US interests but the latter doesn’t. That’s all you need to know.

Fool’s Mission to Teach Russia a Lesson

In a fool’s mission to “teach Russia a lesson”, the US initiated sanctions on Russia, then persuaded fools in Europe to go along. The fact of the matter is sanctions don’t work.

Ironically, it was Russia who taught the US a lesson (except the US was too stupid to learn from it).

Sanctions Do Four Things (All Bad)

  1. Cause a collapse in trade harming both sides
  2. Cause retaliations, harming both sides
  3. Cause public sentiment for the leader of the sanctioned country to rise
  4. Increase the likelihood of war if economic pressures rise high enough

Is McCain Brain Dead?

McCain wants to send missiles to Eastern Europe and arms to Ukraine. And in spite of the complete foolishness of sanctions, he wants to increase them on Russia.

Besides wasting taxpayer money for the benefit of McCain’s defense industry cronies, what good would any of that do? Would it increase or decrease the odds of war?

Is McCain simply too brain-dead to figure out sending missiles to Europe and weapons to Ukraine is a bad idea? Another possibility is that McCain simply does not care. A third possibility is McCain knows what he is doing and wants more wars regardless of cost.

I lean towards the idea that McCain is brain-dead, perhaps a result of captivity in Vietnam, but the question is certainly debatable.

Whatever your answer, Prepare for War: Obama Asks Congress for ISIS War Authorization; Republican Hawks Have War Plan Prepared.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock