William Pfaff is the author of The Irony of Manifest Destiny, published in June 2010 by Walker and Company (New York) -- his tenth and culminating work on international politics and the American destiny. He describes the neglected sources and unforeseen consequences of the tragedy towards which the nation's current effort to remake the world to fit America's measure is leading. His previous books and his articles in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and his syndicated newspaper column, featured for a quarter century in the globally read International Herald Tribune, have made him one of America's most respected and internationally influential interpreters of world affairs
by William Pfaff
Paris, August 7, 2014 -- I find it very disquieting that so few among the West European and American commentators on the Ukraine crisis, private or public, seem concerned that the United States has started this affair, and that it is not inconceivable that it may end in a war.
Worse yet, Washington’s demonization of Vladimir Putin has been so successful in the American press and public, and its secrecy about the American role in Kiev, has left the public in the United States and in NATO Europe convinced that this has all been the result of a Russian strategy of aggressive expansion into Ukraine, and not a bungled and essentially American attempt to annex Ukraine to NATO and the European Union, and to undermine the domestic political position of President Putin — which all has gone badly and dangerously wrong.
The Ukrainian coup d’état in February was prepared by Washington. Why else were the State Department official in charge of Europe and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, together with officials of the European Union and a number of intelligence people present, in company with the “moderate” Ukrainians programmed to take over the government after the planned overthrow of the corrupt (but elected) President Viktor Yanukovych? Even President Obama, in Mexico for a “summit”, was waiting to supply a video feed speeding the overthrown Mr. Yanukovych on his way, and congratulating the “democratic” victors.