Sunday, May 21, 2017

Paul Street: How Russia Became Our Adversary Again

The Soviet Union is now long gone and Russia has become a free market capitalist state, so why is it the Western enemy No 1? Below is a quote from Mike Whitney.


What has Russia done to deserve all the negative press and unsupported claims of criminal meddling?…Just look at a map. For the last 16 years, the US has been rampaging across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Washington intends to control critical oil and natural gas reserves in the ME, establish military bases across Central Asia, and remain the dominant player in an area of that is set to become the most populous and prosperous region of the world…" 
“But one country has upset that plan, blocked that plan, derailed that plan. Russia. Russia has stopped Washington’s murderous marauding and genocidal depredations in Ukraine and Syria, which is why the US foreign policy establishment is so pissed-off.  US elites aren’t used to obstacles.” 
“For the last quarter of a century – since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union – the world had been Washington’s oyster. If the president of the United States wanted to invade a country in the Middle East, kill a million people, and leave the place in a smoldering pile of rubble, then who could stop him? …Nobody.  Because Washington owns this fu**ing planet and everyone else is just a visitor…Capisce?.” 
“But now all that’s changed. Now evil Putin has thrown up a roadblock to US hegemony in Syria and Ukraine. Now Washington’s land-bridge to Central Asia has been split in two, and its plan to control vital pipeline corridors from Qatar to the EU is no longer viable. Russia has stopped Washington dead-in-its tracks and Washington is furious.” 
“The anti-Russia hysteria in the western media is equal to the pain the US foreign policy establishment is currently experiencing. And the reason the foreign policy establishment is in so much pain, is because they are not getting their way.  It’s that simple. Their global strategy is in a shamble because Russia will not let them topple the Syrian government, install their own puppet regime, redraw the map of the Middle East, run roughshod over international law, and tighten their grip on another battered war-torn part of the world.” 
“So now… Putin must be demonized and derided. The American people must be taught to hate Russia and all-things Russian…Russia must be blamed for anything and everything under the sun…”


How Russia Became Our Adversary Again

39 comments:

Matt Franko said...

If they got rid of Putin (former Soviet) and brought in a new younger guy who was too young to be a Soviet, all of this would go away... #termlimits

Auburn Parks said...

SO the US acting through and with proxies to enact its strategic vision is evil and the Russians doing the exact same thing is wonderful because what, they are just trying to protect people inn Ukraine and syria. Yeah that makes sense.

Kaivey said...

Good point.

Noah Way said...

Assuming that Putin controls all of Russia single-handedly is the same as thinking that Trump does so here. Granted, he is a far more powerful leader, but the US is a far more powerful country. And all you need to put this in perspective is a global map showing both US and Russian military bases.

Auburn Parks said...

Noah-

what do US bases in africa have to do with Russia in this case?

Why is it OK for Russia to facilitate the deaths of 10s of thousands of people through its actions both direct and through proxies aka Ukraine, Georgia, Chechyna, and Syria if its evil for the the USA to do the same? Because Russia is weaker than the US its ok?

So weak and small countries can do whatever they want but the strongest country cant do anything?

What is your logic here, what are your principals? NO country can ever get involved in another country? Only small ones? Not the US? only countries in their geographical periphery?

Auburn Parks said...

If African countries voluntarily and actively want US bases in their countries to help them and help us, why is this wrong?

Is it a moral principle for the US not have any bases anywhere but on US territory?

Only countries with a white population?

Only Christians?

Im so confused about the hatred of US military bases. Its eminently reasonable and necessary to have mulitple locations around the world for logistics, partnerships, relationships, alliances, global and geographical threats etc? Just because the US is the only country big and rich enough to be able to afford and need these bases doesnt mean they are necessarily bad.


Bob said...

It's about respecting "spheres of influence" in a multi-polar world. Washington's war hawks are having trouble digesting the new reality.

Bob said...

US builds military bases, China builds trade relationships. Different strategies?

Auburn Parks said...

The US also uses strategic economic and trade relationships so what does that have to do with anything?

Auburn Parks said...

More like spheres of domination than just influence. I'm quite certain that Russia wants to dominate Latvia Estonia Belarus Ukraine Romania Bulgaria the question is why should the u.s. allow that to happen? Why should those people near Russia has to suffer under their domination if it's not in their interest and they don't want it?

Same goes for China and the South China sea. The Philippines Vietnam Japan Exedra have every right to want the balance against aggressive posturing by China and work free to have allies with all those people were worried. So again where is the moral principle here that we're supposed to be following

Auburn Parks said...

Do big countries have the right to push smaller countries around that are their neighbors because they're in the big countries sphere of influence aka geographic proximity?

Matt Franko said...

Auburn they all think they are 'out of money!'...

all of this is some big thing they are trying to do to "get some money!"...

Its all as Warren calls it "gold standard thinking..." they dont understand our authority to issue our currency so they are all going around trying to F each other over to "get money!" blah blah....

Its an embarrassment...

Bob said...

The US also uses strategic economic and trade relationships so what does that have to do with anything?

You're talking about Africa? China is ahead of the US in trading and investment. What is AFRICOM doing, but securing the region for China's benefit?

Bob said...

...Latvia Estonia Belarus Ukraine Romania Bulgaria...

Buffer states. They're used to it.

Bob said...

Do big countries have the right to push smaller countries around that are their neighbors because they're in the big countries sphere of influence aka geographic proximity?

It's been like this a long time. When they have the power to do so, they usually do.

Auburn Parks said...

China doing trade better is not the same as the u.s. not using trade it all.

I fundamentally disagree with the notion that Latvia Estonia Exedra must suffer Because of their Geographic proximity to what has historically been an absolutely horrible dictatorship neighbor. And I'm proud that America prevents those poor countries from having to suffer under the influence of Russia.

You're right it has always been like that specifically because there was never another country big strong and moral enough to prevent it from happening. None of this is any type of criticism against the US and my opinion this is all stuff that we should be happy about.

But I am certainly appreciative of the fact that you made your position clear Bob. I respect your opinion I just disagree with it.

Kaivey said...

The Russians are surrounded by US bases. But who invited them, did their governments ask their civilians? Russia lost 26 million people in the last war. They need buffet states to feel secure. How would the US feel if China had loads of military bases in Mexico, Canada, and Cuba? For some reason patriarchs don't seem to be able the see the situation in reverse.

Kaivey said...

Now that is another good point.

Kaivey said...

I saw a video once about China. The narrator said that China wounds never free Tibet, because two of it's greatest rivers start in Tibet. It was a water security situation.

Noah Way said...

@AA

"what do US bases in africa have to do with Russia in this case?"

Maybe you should look at a map. Here's one:

http://stateofthenation2012.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/u-s-bases-near-russia.jpg

You can also compare the relative global military presence:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_Union_military_bases_abroad

vs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_military_bases

"Do big countries have the right to push smaller countries around that are their neighbors because they're in the big countries sphere of influence aka geographic proximity?"

Like the US and Latin and South America, much of Europe and Asia (England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, etc.)? Try reading a little history.

Auburn Parks said...

Noah
Still incapable of making a cogent and logical argument I see. Some things never change

Tom Hickey said...

Ukraine, Georgia, Chechyna, and Syria

Who started these conflicts?

Ukraine — US fomented coup.

Georgia — started by US stooge

Chechnya — CIA sponsored terrorist.

Syria — CIA and Gulf state sponsored anti-Assad rebels including AQ, and allowed ISIS to capture much of the territory.

None of this would have happened without US involvement.

Tom Hickey said...

fundamentally disagree with the notion that Latvia Estonia Exedra must suffer Because of their Geographic proximity to what has historically been an absolutely horrible dictatorship neighbor. And I'm proud that America prevents those poor countries from having to suffer under the influence of Russia.

You're right it has always been like that specifically because there was never another country big strong and moral enough to prevent it from happening. None of this is any type of criticism against the US and my opinion this is all stuff that we should be happy about.

But I am certainly appreciative of the fact that you made your position clear Bob. I respect your opinion I just disagree with it.


There is an alternative view that is more plausible than the US putting it troops in all sorts of far way place "because freedom and democracy" and because Americans are so big hearted that they are putting trillions of dollars into a military rather than investing in the myriad domestic problem in the US that can't be addressed "because there is no money."

This is the same BS I fell for as new US naval officer at the beginning of the Vietnam Conflict (it was never officially a war, which must be declared) — until I figured out what what really going on.

Tom Hickey said...

I saw a video once about China. The narrator said that China wounds never free Tibet, because two of it's greatest rivers start in Tibet. It was a water security situation.

The list of political priorities is security, order and well-being. Security is the highest priority.

Similarly, everything that the US does militarily is justified based on national security and …. What comes after the and is hype.

It boils down to national security.

The US elite strongly believe that national security requires global hegemony. The US is willing and able to go to war of this and has said so.

Kaivey said...

Perhaps I should put out the Smedley Butler video again as a reminder, but the last time I did that everyone said they had seen it. Smedley said he realised he was just gangster for rich US corporations. The US wasn't fighting communism, it was stopping people in the third world from keeping their mineral and oil wealth to themselves.

Tom Hickey said...

The US wasn't fighting communism, it was stopping people in the third world from keeping their mineral and oil wealth to themselves.

There are two aspects to this.

The first to secure control of territory and its resources for oneself.

The second is to deny this to others that are actual or potential adversaries.

Kaivey said...

I see your point.

Bob said...

China doing trade better is not the same as the u.s. not using trade it all.

Minus oil imports, US trade with Africa is small. This is the next frontier to be developed and China is involved in it. Who is pursuing a better strategy?

Auburn Parks said...

Tom-

Your responses are laughably simple for extremely complex issues. The US is not omnipotent. Georgians have their own self interest and minds of their own, same thing with syrians, Checnyans and Ukrainians. The US very well may support somme groups over others but that is the exact same thing that Russia and the other powers do also. So again, where is the moral principle? Russia has been absoluetly brutal in its tactics in all these engagments, they certainly dont have the moral high ground. Either does Assad or Iran for that matter. Which of course is not at all the same as to say that the USA has the moral high ground, sometimes yes and sometimes no, just like with the other countries mentioned.

Iran interfering and influencing Basra during the Late Saddam years to protect shias was aboslutely moral to help protect them from him. Now them supporting PMU death squads is a different matter, same as with the US when it supports some ugly characters.

So again, the point is that the world is complex, the US isnt some uniquely evil entity. In many cases we are in fact the most moral actors, and this should be supported not lambasted by peaceniks with a completely unrealistic understanding of the world

Auburn Parks said...

"Minus oil imports, US trade with Africa is small. This is the next frontier to be developed and China is involved in it. Who is pursuing a better strategy?"

Bob Im not debating the merits of each states actions wrt to performance evaluation and comparison.

You said that US uses military and china uses trade.

They US uses both, this is just the reality.

Auburn Parks said...

TOm-

"There is an alternative view that is more plausible than the US putting it troops in all sorts of far way place "because freedom and democracy" and because Americans are so big hearted that they are putting trillions of dollars into a military rather than investing in the myriad domestic problem in the US that can't be addressed "because there is no money."

Ive never said that the US is an angel. I never said that we dont act in our interests. Strawmanning me is so far beneath you Tom. You have to take an honest accounting of the options at the point in time.

No war in Korea in 50, then 10s of millions more people would be under the brutal thumb of Kim jjung un

No war in 91 then saddam controls at least Kuwait and maybe as much as 50% of the world oil production.

NO supporting mujahadeen in afghanistan and the russians might still be there.

NO nato for estonia latvia etc, a 2015 Russia easily dominates all its small and weak neighbors.

No US navy in the South china sea and Chinese easily takes control of and dominates one of the most valuable.

What the respective powers would have actually done or will do if we arent around is totally up in the air. Maybe Kim jung il has to moderate, maybe there is a later revolution and the whole peninsula is united under democracy. But that would of course require CHina and the Russians to have stayed out of it too.

The truth is that I dont trust China and Russian intentions. Their cultures are autocratic, and their policical systems highly authoritarian. These are worse cultures and ways to run a society than liberal democratic states in my opinion. And so does most of the people in the world given the trends in human societal evolution.

If the US doesnt act, somebody else will. Foreign relations is an anarchic system, might makes right. Libertarianism is just as insane a framework for international relations as it is for economics.

Bob said...

The US is not using both strategies in Africa. They'll be the first to complain that China has an undue influence in Africa. And it will be due to trade!

The US approach to Russia is similar, attempting to contain them military, with little emphasis in trade. Bad strategy.

Auburn Parks said...

Bob

China only surpassed the USA as Africas NUMBER 1 (as in the most) in 2009. So given that before 2009 the US was AFrica's largest trading partner. Its kind of hard to argue that the US does use economic trade strategy in Africa.

But hey lets not let the facts in the way of a ggood story about how awesome China is and how stupid America is.

Tom Hickey said...

Auburn, ,again we differ on the facts.

Bob said...

Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have oil, which makes up the bulk of trade with the US. Yes, America is stupid and they will blame China for doing what they should have done. A few will admit that they missed a business opportunity.

Joe said...

"If African countries voluntarily and actively want US bases..."
Ah the old "but they want us there" arguement. Not much difference the colonial idea of the natives wanting the whites to come civilize them.
If I recall correctly, it was a bit of a hassle getting africom set up since no one wanted it, not that Africans get much of a say in what happens to them.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

The question is who in the various countries want the US military there and why.

"What's good for General Motors is good for America," but not necessarily for all Americans.

Noah Way said...

@AA

"In many cases we are in fact the most moral actors"

The only thing factual about your opinion is that it is yours. Examples please.