Americans Are Getting Played on Ukraine

Psychologists call it projection, which is defined as a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.

Non-psychologists just call it being two-faced.

Either way, both perfectly describe what the US is doing to Russia regarding Ukraine.

Whether it’s accusing Russia of distributing anti-Semitic leaflets, violating other nations’ sovereignty, or supporting “militant separatists,” the US is charging Russia with doing the very same things the US is itself doing.

Maybe if the country criticizing Russia were Switzerland or Costa Rica it would carry some weight.  But for the US to do it is disingenuous, and given the accusations are largely based on untruths, it makes what the US is doing even more ludicrous.

The “Anti-Semitic Leaflets” Projection

A classic projection occurred last week when a handful of leaflets were distributed outside an eastern Ukraine synagogue demanding Jews “register” with the government. This sparked massive global outrage and the Ukrainian and US governments were quick to blame Russia.

But it was a hoax.

Was this a ploy by the US to deflect attention away from the fact that anti-Semitic neo-Nazis from Right Sector and Svoboda party are key US allies?  You can almost hear the State Department’s Victoria Nuland and US diplomat Geoffrey Pyatt talking about it, by saying, ‘if we claim that Russia is anti-Semitic, we can distract people from talking about how we’re supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.’

The “Russia is Interfering with Ukraine’s Sovereignty” Projection

America’s hubris was on full display when John Kerry said, “What we see from Russia (in eastern Ukraine) is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary.”

Even if that were true, anybody who doesn’t wrap themselves in the American flag would find Kerry’s statement humorous given what the US has been doing in Ukraine, as revealed in the Nuland/Pyatt leaked phone conversation earlier this year.

And Kerry made this accusation at virtually the same time the US was exposed for trying to start an uprising in Cuba by secretly creating a Twitter account to inspire Cubans to organize “smart mobs” to trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document put it, to “renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society.”

Given that the Obama administration has violated the sovereignty of Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, it is rather duplicitous for the US to accuse another country of doing the same.

And making Kerry’s statement even more ridiculous is the fact that at the same time the US is accusing Russia of being militarily provocative, the US sent 600 troops to Poland to counter “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine;” deployed six American F-15 aircraft inside Lithuania; pledged a $10 million increase in border security aid to Moldova; declared its desire to strengthen NATO’s military cooperation with Armenia and Azerbaijan; stated that it wanted to send more troops to Romania; decided to send more US troops and military aircraft into Uganda; announced it would expand its covert support of the Syrian opposition, and fomented unrest in Venezuela.

The “Russia is Responsible for Separatists in Eastern Ukraine” Projection

The irony of the US saying that “militant separatists” are behind the current uprising in eastern Ukraine is almost comical given the US support of Molotov cocktail-throwing “peaceful protesters” in Kiev in the past year.

The US is insisting that Russia order its separatists in eastern Ukraine to withdraw, under the unproven assumption that those people answer to Russia.  Even if the movement were indeed supported by Russia, what right does the US have to denounce Russia given that the US State Department and National Endowment for Democracy played a large role in the violent protests and government building takeovers in Kiev?

And the evidence presented by the US that Russia is behind these protests are photos comparing guys today who have long beards, poofy-hair or goatees to old grainy photos of similar looking men who were somehow linked to Russia.

Not surprisingly, these photographs, which the New York Times used to initiate an anti-Russia propaganda stampede, have now come under scrutiny.

The “Russia is the bad guy” Projection

But the US government and “their laptop stenographers posing as journalists” have tricked Americans into believing that Russia is the bad guy (a record 68% of Americans view Russia in a negative light, and Vladimir Putin only has a 10% favorable rating).  Americans must have forgotten that it was in part due to Russia’s diplomacy that a US-led attack on Syria was prevented, and that it was Russia who gave temporary asylum to Edward Snowden at the same time the Obama administration was calling for Snowden’s arrest.

Russia is showing a tremendous amount of restraint as it is poked and prodded by the US with sanctions and support of anti-Russian elements in Ukraine.  Given that Moscow is only about 500 miles from Kiev, Russia has legitimate reasons to be concerned that neo-Nazis and others who are openly hostile towards them are now in positions of power in Ukraine.

It is, however, unclear how far the US will push Russia – that may be decided upon by the level to which the American public is tricked into believing that Russia is ‘the bad guy’ in Ukraine.  And although American’s appetite for war is low right now, passiveness is very high as evidenced by the lack of resistance to Obama’s covert wars.

Those pushing for US control of Ukraine may have underestimated Russia, as the situation in Ukraine has obviously not worked out the way the US expected.  So now it appears that the Obama administration is acting more desperately.  If it weren’t so tragic, it would be somewhat entertaining to see what preposterous projection the US comes up with next.

Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and