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Alexander Dugin argues that the conflict has transformed from a limited SMO into a full-scale conflict against the unipolar neoliberal world order.

One year into the Russian special military operation (SMO), Alexander Dugin argues that the conflict has transformed from a limited SMO into a full-scale conflict against the unipolar neoliberal world order. According to Dugin, the miscalculations which shifted the course of the war came early and were only reacted to later: "[t]he Kremlin probably did not take into account either the psychological readiness of the Ukrainian Nazis to fight to the last Ukrainian, or the scale of Western military aid." From my perspective here in the United States, I was aware of the Nazi presence in the Maidan coup since 2014, as were a good many others. Yet, what caught me off guard was the complete, total/totalizing, and in fact uncritical acceptance that Ukraine=Humanity and Russia=Barbarism. I wrote about this in the early days of the special military operation and reflected on the media's acceptance of this binary message. Upon reflection, I see this as the outcome of the liberal spy novel fantasy/RICO case called 'Russiagate' and the insistence that Russia has interfered in a series of American elections.

Within this conflict, the collective West made severe miscalculations as well; they believed that salvo after salvo of sanctions would cripple the Russian state and spark internal strife within the civil society which would bring an end to the war. Yet, what has really happened, as argued by Dugin, is that Russia "made a sharp turn toward non-Western countries - especially China, Iran, Islamic countries, but also India, Latin America and Africa - clearly and contrastingly declaring its determination to build a multipolar world." (Dugin, Al Mayadeen) So, from here, we can undergo a power-political analysis, an analysis of immediate gain and loss that can appraise the results and potential futures which will come from this war against unipolarity.

To begin, I must correct the miscalculations I made in my initial article from March 2022.

Upon seeing the original devaluation of the Ruble as an omen of what was to come, I believed that the Russian economy could not handle the barrage of sanctions. I was wrong. The Russian economy is diversifying in many ways. Primarily, the Russian government nationalized the assets of foreign companies, which left the country at the beginning of the SMO. This was a big step toward protecting Russian workers and industry from the influx of sanctions. Recently, Iranian and Russian political and economic relations have improved with the decision to embark on a SEPAM-SPFS deal. SEPAM and SPFS are the Iranian and Russian equivalents of the SWIFT interbank telecom system, respectively (from which Russia was removed in 2022).

According to Pepe Escobar of The Cradle, "Russian projects in Iran are multi-faceted: energy, railways, auto manufacturing, and agriculture. In parallel, Iran supplies Russia with food and automotive products." While Washington has threatened to expel any Chinese banks from SWIFT who dock with Russian banks, it will be interesting to see what the next months hold, given the increase in escalation between Washington and Beijing. Relations between Russia and China have also become much closer in the context of the SMO. With Washington wildly vacillating between rabid statements against Moscow while arming the Ukrainian nationalists and making equally rabid statements about Beijing and shooting down Chinese weather balloons, we see a cornered wolf willing and able to inflict massive damage before its own demise.

Besides the farce of the balloon incident (the argument taken to its logical conclusion is that China controls the wind), we see an increase in weapons sent to Taiwan and an attempt at reviving the alleged 'Uyghur genocide' narrative.

Parallel to this, in Ukraine, Law 5371 was passed, which strips at least 70% of Ukrainian workers of their collective bargaining rights. Zelensky and the Ukrainian government also banned 11 opposition parties (many of whom are left-wing parties) because of their 'links to Russia'. In the same fell swoop, Zelensky and his government have consolidated all TV networks into one state media stream. All of this is worrying for many reasons; the complete destruction of the veneer of democracy by the extremist government further proves that the collective West has no interest in spreading democracy. This also complicates the fanatical support for 'Ukraine' from the so-called 'left' in the US and Europe (with Ukraine being for them an abstract 'good guy' versus the abstract Russian 'bad guy'). In a similar vein, the Ukrainian nationalists showed who they know their ancestors to be in a video released by ABC News. In the video, a Ukrainian bookstore is engaging in a 'recycling' initiative by pulping all of their Russian language books.

In terms of the media atmosphere, much of my 2022 article has remained true or, in fact, has gotten much worse. We remain in a 'Desert of the Real' where true is false and down is up. In the depths of this desert, we find a rather unfortunate outcome of the mainstream media's war on truth: Zelensky and his Ukrainian nationalist base have uncritically swallowed the pill that Ukraine=Humanity, and thus have no qualms about bringing nuclear holocaust to the whole world because if they fall, indeed 'humanity' has fallen too. Among the media sensationalism, we still find CNN, ABC, and BBC seemingly unable to post photos and videos of Ukrainian troops who do not have some form of Nazi insignia on their uniform, whether a Sonnenrad, 1488, or Totenkopf. In the realm of media which challenges the Western narrative about the war, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh's article on Substack has an insider source proving that the US and Norway used the BALTOPS war simulations to plant explosives on the Nord Stream II pipeline. A lone voice of reason among fanatical NATO stenographers who are content to throw journalistic integrity out the window.

During Vladimir Putin's February 21st speech at the State Duma, he stated in detail what Dugin has implied in his article for Al Mayadeen; that this conflict has transformed from a special military operation into a war against the neoliberal, unipolar order of the capitalist world-system. "We are not at war with the people of Ukraine... the people of Ukraine themselves became a hostage of the Kiev regime and its western masters...the natural result was social degradation, a colossal increase in poverty and inequality... the more long-range western systems will come to Ukraine, the further we will be forced to move the threat away from our borders."

So, a year later, and as the battlefield has increased in size and scope, the Ukrainian nationalists and their NATO masters have dug their heels deeper, and Russia continues with its attempts to build a multipolar world capable of challenging this diktat, albeit more aggressively. For those of us following this since the beginning, we can only hope the Chinese 12-step negotiation roadmap can be a starting point to bring about lasting peace.

Hanna Eid teacher, political analyst, and judoka