The newly-formed American Institute in Ukraine (AIU) is linked with the US right-wing political camp that consists of three groupings. The first of them comprises such groups as the Ku-Klux-Klan, the John Burch Society, and Minutemen. They are concerned with, above all, domestic politics.
The second group is neoconservatives. They have been in control of the US since the 1980s. They are usually associated with such names as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Richard Krautheimer, Albert Wohlstetter, Grover Norquest, William Kristol, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell calls them mentally deranged in his memoirs. Their views are being spread via such publications and institutions as The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, the American Institute of Initiative, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
They support Likud and right-wing Zionists as well as Christian Evangelists. They are out to pattern the world on America and make it safe for big business corporations and neoliberal capitalism. They believe God is on their side. This group is anti-Russian and remains a consistent advocate of Ukraine’s attempts to break away from Russia. They also work in Ukraine, in particular via the US-Ukraine Business Council.
Taking into account the disasters, wars, and impoverishment, which US neoconservatives and their neoliberal allies, such as Anders slund, have wrought in the world and considering their control over the US army, the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF, Ukrainians ought to seriously weigh up the consequences of this support.
National leaders should remember that their best long-term hope is the European Union, where, except for Britain, the negative consequences of the US-supported neoliberal capitalism are now the weakest in the world.
There are many politicians in the EU who consider that what really matters is the living standards of people, as is stipulated in Article 117 of the Rome Treaty, rather than free movement of capital and goods. Besides, should Ukraine join the EU, its independence will be protected and it will no longer need membership in such organizations as NATO.
The third grouping in the US right wing is “traditional conservatives” (old right, isolationists, or nationalists). It is from here that the so-called American Institute in Ukraine takes its roots. The most well-known personality in this group is Pat Buchanan. The Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation are propagating the views of this group. The source of their funding is the enormous wealth of such US billionaires as the Kochs, Coors, Bradleys, Olins, and Scaife-Mellons. They may also be financed by the Kremlin now. The American Institute in Ukraine has not yet announced openly who sponsors it.
The old US right-wingers are racists and anti-Semites. Their followers view the world as divided into the spheres of influence for various countries that should not interfere into the affairs of each other. They are pro-Arab and anti-Zionist. In their opinion, the US is to dominate in the Americas, as the Monroe Doctrine declares, and refrain from meddling into military conflicts in other parts of the world, which should be left to local regional powers. The neoconservatives consider these traditional conservatives unpatriotic and un-American.
From the viewpoint of the old Right, Ukraine, which was under Russian domination for a long time, should further remain under this domination, as well as Latin America should remain under the US influence. Ukraine should also be expelled from all the US-dominated entities, including NATO. Moreover, they claim that this alliance is no longer necessary after the collapse of the USSR.
This context brings into light the common interests of the old US right-wing nationalists-isolationists and the new Russian right-wing imperialists. It was, of course, just a question of time when people like Jim Jatras and Anthony Salvia will use Moscow’s money to establish the so-called American Institute in Ukraine and spread the views that they had already shared with such Russian chauvinists and neofascists as Igor Markov, Aleksei Dugin, and Konstantin Zatulin. If they were intellectually honest, they would call their organization Institute of Russian Friendship in Ukraine or something like that. It is quite possible that this imperialist Russian nationalist and American capitalist league furnished Viktor Yanukovych with US consultants.
It should also be remembered that, using Russian money, traditional American conservatism has thus joined the old worldwide Cold-War-time Soviet propaganda network based on anti-Israeli, anti-US, and anti-Ukrainian ideas. Accordingly, this group of US nationalists is effectively protecting Russian imperial interests throughout the world in conjunction with their former “fellow-travelers” — Social Democrats and Socialists.
The latter groups, rooted in the Comintern and still under the Kremlin influence, refuse to regard Ukraine as a country in the process of “national liberation” from the Russian Empire and to consider Ukraine a country of the “third-world” that has already been involved in this kind of struggle and is now facing the dangers of a neocolonialist and neoliberal American worldwide system. These old pro-Russian Stalinist left-wingers are rejecting Ukrainian independence as an American and, in the past, German “plot.”
Taking into account the harmful influence that these Russia-funded groups are having on the world public opinion, academics should, at the very least, expose their true political roots. And mass media editors should not forget that spokespersons of these groups have nothing to do with unbiased scholarly analysis.
Stephen Velychenko is Research Fellow, Chair of Ukrainian Studies, and CERES Associate at the University of Toronto, Canada