The Baltic Countries Keep Dreaming About “the Russian Occupation”

The Baltic Countries Keep Dreaming About “the Russian Occupation”

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Why Russia won’t invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets or anybody else

The Saker

December 06, 2018

Why Russia won’t invade the Ukraine, the Baltic statelets or anybody else

[this article was written for the Unz Review]

The AngloZionist propaganda machine is constantly warning us that Russia is about to invade some country.  The list of candidates for invasion is long and ranges from Norway to the Ukraine and includes the Baltic statelets, Poland and even countries further West.  Of course, we are also told that NATO and the US are here to prevent that.  Well, thank God for them, right?

But what is conspicuously missing from this narrative is a discussion of the possible Russian motives for such a military move. Typically, we are merely told that Russia has broken the European post-Cold War order and borders by “annexing” Crimea and by sending military forces into the Donbass. Anybody with an IQ at room temperature or above by now realizes that both of these claims are total bunk. The ones who indeed broke the post-Cold War international order and borders were the NATO member states when they used military force, in complete illegality, to break-up Yugoslavia. As for the people of Crimea, they had the opportunity to vote about their future in a referendum, very much unlike the inhabitants of Kosovo which had no such opportunity. As for the 08.08.08 war, even the Europeans who eventually, and very reluctantly, agreed that it was, in fact, Saakashvili who started this conflict, not Russia.

But let’s set all this aside and assume that the Russian leaders would not hesitate to use military force again if it was to their advantage.  Let’s assume that, yes, the Russians are up to no good and that they might well try to bite-off some other piece of land somewhere in Europe.

Such an assumption would immediately raise a crucial question: why would the Russians want to do that?

For some reason, this question is rarely, if ever, asked.

Oh sure, we are told that “Putin wants to rebuild the Soviet Union” or some other type of empire but, again, nobody seems to wonder why he would want that!

So let’s look at possible rationales for such an attack:

Reason number one: to gain more land

That is probably the least credible reason of all.  Russia is a vast country (17,098,246 km2) with a relatively small population (144,526,636) resulting in a very low population density. Not only is Russia huge, but her territory has immense natural resources. The very last thing Russia needs is more land.

Reason number two: to increase the Russian population

Well, yes, Russia has a population deficit for sure.  But that does not mean that just any population increase would be a bonanza for Russia.  For example, Russia will only be in a  worse shape if the number of people depending on unemployment, social services or pensions increases.  Likewise, Russia would not benefit from a politically hostile population.  So while Russia could benefit from having a larger population, what she needs is more young and well-educated *Russians*, not unemployed and destitute Ukrainians or Lithuanians! The massive influx of Ukrainian refugees, by the way, has already contributed to an increase in qualified specialists, including medical doctors and highly qualified engineers from the Ukrainian military-industrial specialists who, when they saw their bureaus and industries collapse in the Ukraine, moved to Russia to continue to work. There is no need for the Russia to invade anybody to get those highly qualified specliasts. As for Ukrainians without special qualifications, they have already shown up in Russia, and the last thing Russia needs is more of them (they can go scrub toilets in Poland or the UK). Furthermore, there are already a lot of immigrants from other parts of the world in Russia and getting more of them is hardly a good idea. So while Russia would benefit from more qualified young Russians, invading other countries is not the way to get them.

Reason number three: geostrategic reasons

What about the Baltic ports? What about the Ukrainian gas pipelines? The truth is that in the Soviet times the Baltic ports or the Ukrainian pipelines were crucial strategic assets. But since their independence, these countries have not only ruined themselves and destroyed the infrastructure they inherited from the “Soviet occupiers,” but Russia has also successfully replaced the infrastructure and industries she lost after 1991. Thus, for example, Russia has actively developed her own commercial ports on the Baltic Sea, and they have now outgrown the ones found in the Baltic states (see here for a good comparative chart). As for the Ukrainian pipelines, not only are they in terrible shape, Russia has successfully built “North” and “South” streams which allow her to completely bypass the Ukraine and the need to deal with the crazy Banderite junta in Kiev. The simple truth is that while the Baltic statelets or the Ukronazis can fancy themselves as a very precious prize, Russia has absolutely no need for them whatsoever.

In fact, the opposite is true: right now, Russia can barely finance all the reconstruction programs which are so urgently needed after decades of nationalist rule in Crimea. In the future, Russia will also have to help the Donbass rebuild. Does anybody seriously believe that the Russians can afford to rescue even more countries or territories?!

Reason number four: revanchist motives

That is the Hillary Clinton/Zbigniew Brzezinski argument: the Russians are inherently expansionists, imperialists, militarists, and revanchists and they don’t need a motive to invade somebody: that’s simply what they do – invade, terrorize, oppress. Well, a quick objective look at history would prove that it is the West which has always displayed such behavior, not Russia, but we can even ignore that fact. The truth is that while there are a lot of people in Russia who have good memories of their lives in the Soviet Union, there is just no constituency pushing for the re-birth of the Soviet Union or for any kind of imperialism. If anything, most Russians are much more isolationist, and they don’t want to get involved in wars or the invasion of foreign countries. This is not only a result of memories of wars in Afghanistan or interventions in Germany, Hungary or Czechoslovakia, but also the bitter realization that even the so-called “Orthodox brothers” (some of whom even owe the existence of their country on a world map to Russia!) have now fully turned against Russia and have become willing NATO-colonies (think Bulgaria or Romania here). Yes, Putin did say that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy (objectively, it was, and it brought immense suffering to millions of people), but that does not at all mean that Putin, or anybody else, actually wants to “resurrect” the Soviet Union, even if it was feasible (which it is not). If anything, it was the US, NATO, and the EU which, for purely ideological reasons chose to expand their influence to the East and which are now constantly engaged in a nonstop campaign of russophobia (phobia in both meanings of “fear” and “hatred”). Yes, Russians are disgusted with the West, but that hardly means that they want to invade it.

Reason number five: megalomania

Well, maybe the Russians are mad that they lost the Cold War and now want to become a superpower again? In fact, no. Not at all. Not only do Russians not feel that they “lost” the Cold War, they even feel that they are already a superpower: one which successfully defies the Empire and which continues to struggle for full sovereignization at a time when all European countries are competing with each other for the title of most subservient lackey of the Empire. Just like the USSR after WWII, Russia, after the nightmare of the 1990s, has very successfully rebuilt, in spite of the constant subversion and sabotage of the “united West” which tried every dirty trick in the book to prevent Russia from recovering from the horrors which the western-backed (and, really, run) “liberal democracy” imposed upon her during the Eltsin years. Sure, Russians want their country to be prosperous and powerful, but that does not mean that they want to become a USA-like world hegemon which gets involved in every conflict on the planet. Truth be told, even the bad old USSR was not anti-USA and never had the kind of global ambition the USA has (well, except for Trotsky, but Stalin gave the boot to those crazies, many of whom later emigrated to the USA and re-branded themselves as Neocons). Of course, there is the eternal Russian “court jester,” aka “Zhirik” aka Vladimir Zhironovskii. He has made all sorts of threats (including nuclear ones) against various countries neighboring Russia, but everybody knows that he is just that, a court jester and that what he says is basically utter nonsense.

Reason number six: to save Putin’s “regime.”

It is true that unpopular regimes use war to distract from their failures and to make the population switch off their brains for the sake of “circling the wagons” and being “patriotic.” That is most definitely what Poroshenko is doing right now. But Putin has no such need! Even if the pension reform did cost him quite a bit in terms of popularity, he is still far more popular at home (and even internationally!) than any political leader in the West and the Russian economy is doing just fine, in spite of the famous sanctions. True, the mostly Atlantic Integrationist Medvedev government is not very popular, but those officials (like Shoigu or Lavrov) who are typically associated with Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists remain very popular. The simple truth is that Putin has no need for any “distracting crises” because he remains remarkably popular in spite of all the difficulties Russia is currently facing. If anything, it is the Trumps, Macrons, Mays, and Co. who need a distracting war, not Putin!

I could go on listing more nonsensical pseudo-reasons for why Russia would want to occupy some piece of land somewhere, each more far-fetched and baseless than the previous one, but you get the point: Russia has no interest whatsoever in military interventions. In fact, what Russia needs more than anything else is peace for as long as possible.

Now, let’s come back to reality,

Putin is a continuator of another great Russian reformer: Petr Arkadievich Stolypin

Petr Stolypin (1862—1911)

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister of Russia from 1906 to 1911, Petr Arkadievich Stolypin, once famously said

Next comes our main task: to strengthen our lower classes.  In them lies the strength of our country.  There are more than 100 millions of them and the roots of our state will be healthy and strong and, believe me, the voice of the Russian government before Europe and the rest of the world will sound very differently.  Our motto, of all of us Russians, should be a united, common labor based on mutual trust.  Give Russia 20 years of peace, internal and external, and you will not recognize today’s Russia” (this is my own, free, translation.  This is the original text: На очереди главная наша задача — укрепить низы. В них вся сила страны. Их более 100 миллионов и будут здоровы и крепки корни у государства, поверьте — и слова Русского Правительства совсем иначе зазвучат перед Европой и перед целым миром… Дружная, общая, основанная на взаимном доверии работа — вот девиз для нас всех, Русских. Дайте Государству 20 лет покоя, внутреннего и внешнего, и вы не узнаете нынешней Poccии).

Of course, Stolypin was eventually murdered by a Jewish revolutionary, Mordechai Gershkovich Bogrov, and Russia was forced to enter WWI. Eventually, the Russian monarchy was overthrown by a Masonic conspiracy lead by Alexander Kerensky. These “liberals” (i.e., plutocrats) did exactly what their successors did under Eltsin and plunged Russia into utter chaos. Eight months later, the Bolsheviks seized power, and the civil war began. Instead of 20 years of peace, Russia got 30 years of wars. After immense sacrifices and many horrors, Russia only succeeded in recovering after the end of WWII.

Nobody in Russia wants to repeat this terrible experience even if, in the end, Russia would prevail. The costs are just too high.

Today, just like in 1911, Russia needs internal and external peace more than anything else, and that is not what she would get if she got involved in some foreign military adventure! In fact, attacking an alliance which includes three nuclear power would be suicidal, and the Russians are anything but suicidal.

If Russia needs peace so badly, why the constant rumors of war?

That is really simple! First, Poroshenko is in deep trouble and short of a major crisis his only option is to completely steal the election. That latter option might be tricky, because if the “collective West” as always, turns a blind eye to the actions of the Ukronazi regime, the internal opposition to Poroshenko might not. Then some serious civil unrest, or even a counter-coup, are real possibilities. Hence Poroshenko’s desperate need for a crisis.

They say that an image is worth a thousand words.  Well, in that spirit, check this one:

Left: martial law regions Right: regions which voted against Poroshenko in 2014 (by the way, this does suggest some kind of future border, don’t it? 🙂

QED, right?

There is also another reason, a particularly shameful one: while it is true that Hitler and the AngloZionists did, eventually, fight each other, it is also true that in many ways Hitler truly embodied the dream of a “united Europe” and a “reborn western civilization” (albeit a pagan one!). In the history of European imperialism, Hitler represents something of an apogee, at least until the USA superseded the Nazis as a global hegemon after WWII. There is not much difference between Hitler’s (oh so modestly promised) “thousand year Reich” and Fukuyama’s “end of history” (or, for that matter, the Marxist idea of realized Communism which also would end history by solving the dialectical contradictions which are the engine of history). On a psychological level, Hitler was the continuator of the Popes and Napoleon – a self-described “Kulturträger” bringing “western civilization” to the barbaric subhuman “Untermensch”mongoloid hordes of the East. So while Hitler was most definitely an “SOB,” he sure was “our SOB” (hence the impotent rage my use of the term “Ukronazi” elicits in various type of defenders of “Western civilization” or, even better, a supposed “White civilization”!). Well, we all know how these Nazi “culture-carrying” White supremacists ended, don’t we:

sic transit gloria mundi indeed…

 

These carriers of the values of a “united Europe” and “western civilization” were totally defeated by these men:

These are the men who destroyed 80% of the Nazi military and who *really* won WWII (not Patton or MacArthur!)

These memories are what truly terrifies the western elites: the existence of a different civilizational realm which not only dares to defy the AngloZionist Empire openly, but which has already defeated every western hegemonic power which dared to attacked it in the past.

The Russian people, by the way, see the current confrontation in the very similar “mental coordinates” as the western Russophobes, just with an inverted value sign meaning that they perfectly understand that the kind of war the Empire is waging against Russia right now has its roots in the outcome of WWII. This is one of the reasons they all cherish the memories of the millions who died fighting “western civilization” and a “united Europe.” This is best shown by the “Immortal Regiments” in all the Russian cities:

The “Immortal Regiment” as an expression of the acute historical awareness of the Russian people

This historical awareness is also shown in the parade of Ukronazi POW in Donetsk:

Again, the reference to WWII is unmistakable.

As I have said many times in the past, one of the most significant differences between Russia and the “collective West” is that Russians fear war but are nevertheless prepared to fight it, whereas the westerners do not fear war, even though they are not prepared for it at all. Truly, “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” (think Pompeo, Mattis and the rest of them here). And yet, despite this apparent insouciance, the leaders of the AngloZionists have an almost genetic fear and hatred of Russia, because they remember how all their predecessors were eventually defeated by the Russian nation.

And, finally, let’s remember the crucial question which Bertolt Brecht asked: “How can anyone tell the truth about Fascism unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth?“.  Yes, in words, and in words only, the collective West has condemned Fascism and National-Socialism.  But in deeds?  No, not at all.  This is why Fascist scum à la Poroshenko *always* get the support of the western elites under the pious heading of “he is an SOB, but he is our SOB“?

[Sidebar: think of it,during the Crimean War the putatively “Christian West” united with the (Muslim) Ottoman Empire Against Russia. During the revolutionary years, US Jewish bankers fully financed the Bolsheviks. Just before WWII, the Brits likewise financed Hitler. During WWI and WWII the West backed Ukieseparatists, including bona fide Nazis. During the Cold War, the West fully backed the Wahabi nutcases in Saudi Arabia (no, MBS is not the first bloodthirsty Saudi maniac!) and in Afghanistan. The West also supported Apartheid South Africa for as long as politically possible. In Latin America the USA gladly supported what Roger Waters called Latin American “meatpacking glitterati”, that is the many military regimes who all were garden variety Fascists. In Kosovo the USAF became the KLA‘s Air Force even though the USA had previously considered the KLA as a dangerous terrorist organization (that was against the Serbs but, according to Strobe Talbott, the main goal here was to show Russia what could happen to her if she resisted). During the Chechen wars, the West fully backed the Takfiri crazies. Then, after 9/11, the USA finally got fully in bed with al-Qaeda (especially in Syria) even though the official fairy tale wants us to believe that al-Qaeda and Bin Laden were responsible for the death of 3000 people (nevermind that NIST admitted by direct implication the destruction of WTC7 with explosives1). Does anybody doubt that if Satan himself took on a body and appeared before us the USA would fully and totally back him as long as he promised to be anti-Russian or, even better, anti-Orthodox? By allying itself for decades with what can fairly be described as the worst evil scum of mankind, as the not already been allied with Satan for many, many, year?]

Honestly, we should have no illusions about the nature of the western plutocracy, and we should always heed the Marxist truism which states that “the state is an apparatus of violence which fulfills the will of the ruling class.” We all know who the ruling class of the AngloZionist Empire is composed of, don’t we?

Western liberal democracies are, in reality, plutocracies which were created by a class of capitalist thugs with the purpose of controlling our entire planet.  This was true before WWII. This was also true during and after WWII and this has not changed, notwithstanding all the sanguine denunciations of Fascism and Nazism.

What this means is that it is the western ruling elites which need war to survive and preserve the New World Order they have attempted to impose on all of us.  Russia does not need war – she only needs peace.

Conclusion: relax, folks, the Russians ain’t coming, I promise!

AngloZionist paranoid collective hallucinations notwithstanding, the Russians are not coming. Yes, they will annihilate you if you are crazy enough to attack them but, no, they are not coming, at least not of their own volition. Not even to liberate the Russian minorities in Apartheid Latvia or the Nazi-occupied Ukrainian Banderastan. The Russian policy towards these regimes is very simple: let them collapse on their own. After all, they will all eventually come knocking sooner or later, as ideological delusions are powerless against geographical realities.

I will let a much better person than myself conclude this article.

This is what Professor Stephen Cohen recently had to say about the risks of war:

He indeed is the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.”

Will enough people listen to him to avoid an apocalypse?

I don’t know.

The Saker

Footnote 1: the US government – through NIST – officially recognized the fact that the WTC7 building fell at a free-fall speed for 2,25 seconds (for a detailed discussion of this please check out the video which I posted here). Do those 2,25 seconds really matter? Hell yes!! What this means is that the US government admits that for 2,25 seconds WTC7 fell without any kind of resistance to slow it down and this, therefore, means that there was nothing under the collapsing section. So this begs an obvious question: since we now know that there was nothing under the collapsing section and since we also know that there was a steel frame building there seconds before the collapse – what happened in between those two events? There is only one possible answer to this question: the steel-framed section of the building which would have normally slowed down the collapsing section of the building was removed a) extremely rapidly b) symmetrically. There is only one technology which can do that: explosives.  The above is simply not a matter of opinion. This is a fact.  Likewise, it is a fact that fires could not have removed a section of WTC7 the way it was observed.  Amazing but true: NIST itself admitted that explosives were used.

 

Written in History: The Death of America’s Hyper-Power Fantasy

Written in History: The Death of America’s Hyper-Power Fantasy

07.11.2018

Written in History: The Death of America’s Hyper-Power Fantasy

In 1987, Paul Kennedy, a British professor of history at Yale University, unleashed a political and intellectual firestorm with the publication of his great (677-page) book, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.” Kennedy produced a magisterial overview of the competition for global power over the past 500 years from 1500 AD to the present.

Kennedy proposed the thesis that any power that achieved, imagined it had achieved or sought to achieve and maintain a dominant hyper-power role of global dominance was doomed to lose it and then rapidly decline in overall power, wealth, prosperity and influence.

Kennedy argued – with a wealth of detail drawn from different nations over his vast period of half a millennium – that the very attempt to achieve and maintain such power forced every nation that attempted it into a ruinous pattern of strategic overstretch.

This demanded every major global empire in their turn to devote ruinously far too many economic resources to unproductive military power and ever more costly global commitments and conflicts.

The more ambitious the commitments, the quicker came military defeat, economic ruin and national collapse, Kennedy documented.

Kennedy published his book however at exactly the wrong moment for its abundantly documented conclusions and arguments to be taken seriously in the United States. The Cold War was just ending. The heroic actions of the Russian people in rejecting communism and leading in the dismantling of the Soviet Union were being misinterpreted as an eternal and lasting victory for the United States and for the forces of free market capitalism and minimum government regulation.

Kennedy was therefore subjected to a furious firestorm of abuse, especially from the emerging neoconservatives who under President George W Bush succeeded in imposing their reckless policies on nations across the Middle East and Eurasia. Kennedy, unlike his enraged critics was a gracious and tolerant gentleman as well as great scholar and took the firestorm in his stride.

Now more than 30 years after Kennedy published his great work, we can see how prescient, wise and visionary it truly was.

In 2016 President Donald Trump was elected on a platform of dealing with domestic crises raging from economic ruin and impoverishment to an out of control drug and opioid abuse epidemic and the collapse of law and order across the long US land border with Mexico.

That outcome provided telling testimony to the previous US policies of wasting at least $2 trillion on entirely unsuccessful nation-building and government-toppling projects ranging from Iraq to Afghanistan and since extended into such nations as Ukraine, Syria, and Libya

All the national pathologies of bankruptcy, exhaustion, decline and ever spreading human misery that Kennedy in his book traced in previous empires can now be clearly delineated in the policies of the post-Cold War United States.

The bottom line lesson to be drawn from Kennedy’s great book that so outraged neoconservatives at the time was a simple and stunning clear one: Unipolar Moments are just that and nothing more. They last for moments not ages.

Instead, the very attempt to maintain a unipolar moment of apparent global supremacy by any power automatically instead will raise up a host of challenges to that power that will rapidly exhaust and then doom it.

Kennedy traced this process of inexorable over – commitment and decline in 17th century Habsburg Spain. He followed it again in 18th century Bourbon France. He documented it once more in the rise, pride and inevitable fall of the British Empire and in the rash German attempts to create dominant global empires in both world wars of the 20th century.

A generation before Kennedy published his great work, British historian Correlli Barnett, focusing only on the British Empire, published in 1972 his own classic “The Collapse of British Power.” Barnett focused on a one, single unipolar moment – the 1920s and 1930s when the British ruling class, like their American successors today imagined that they were the divinely-appointed global policeman charged by Providence with maintaining their own conceptions of right and wrong over the whole world.

The British at least were reluctantly forced to cede independence to their vast global territories. It is doubtful whether the American people will be so lucky: The US Deep State establishment and their tame, unthinking media puppets remain blindly committed to inflexible expansion, conflict and strategic gambling with the peace and even survival of the world.

Thirty years after his magnum opus was published, Paul Kennedy’s message of warning remains unheeded. America’s Unipolar Moment is long since dead and gone. America’s pretensions to rule supreme as the world’s unchallenged hyper-power have become a dangerous and unsustainable fantasy.

A wakening to sanity is long overdue and the hour is late: National catastrophe can be the only other outcome.

Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response

Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response

Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response

October 23, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-striking-a-strategic-balance-putins-preventive-response/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20181022/1021492985.html

 

I think that Vladimir Putin at Valdai not at all incidentally started talking about the increased danger of nuclear war, repeated the axiom about the readiness of Russia to take away the whole world with itself, and discussed the existence of the right to make a preventive strike.

Concerning the latter issue experts immediately started a discussion about whether or not the president of Russia meant a nuclear preventive strike, and if yes, then how does it correlate with his statement about not being the first to strike a nuclear blow.

We will answer briefly.

Firstly, it does match, since a preventive strike is considered by international law as a response to aggression that became already inevitable. You, however, need to prove that the aggression was inevitable. But it is unlikely that someone will be interested in proof after nuclear war. The one who wins will be the one who survives, and not many will survive (if any survive at all). And it will be individuals and/or communities, and not states or international organisations. So if the Russian leadership receives information about the inevitability in the next few hours of a massive nuclear attack on Russia, it has the right (and is even obliged) to strike a preventive nuclear blow, and this doesn’t mean being the first to use a nuclear weapon.

Secondly, this isn’t important at all, since even if a preventive blow will be struck with conventional precision weapons, it will be aimed against regions of basing where the nuclear weapon carriers and anti-missile defense systems threatening Russia are deployed. From the point of view of the military doctrines of both the USSR and Russia, a massive attack of strategic nuclear objects by non-nuclear forces is equated to the beginning of nuclear war and grants the right for a nuclear response. The Americans approach this matter in exactly the same way.

So in principle it doesn’t make any sense to discuss whether or not Vladimir Putin meant a preventive or exclusively reciprocal nuclear or non-nuclear strike by Russia. He absolutely clearly highlighted the sharp increase in the level of danger of a nuclear confrontation. And this is the most important thing, because “who started it first” won’t be important, and nobody will learn or know about it.

So the question that interests us most sound as follows: “Why did the president of Russia start talking about the threat of a nuclear catastrophe right now, when we are passing through not the deepest aggravations of the Syrian and Ukrainian crises, and on the Korean peninsula Seoul and Pyongyang show an unprecedented level of friendliness, seriously discussing the denuclearisation of the peninsula within the framework of the development of inter-Korean dialogue and economic cooperation between the North and the South?”

I am sure that it was a preventive response to the decision of the US to withdraw from the INF Treaty that was announced one day later.

Why did this decision cause such a sharp reaction? After all, the INF Treaty signed in Washington by Gorbachev and Reagan on December 8th, 1987 came into force in June, 1988, and by June, 1991 it had already been implemented. I.e., all complexes falling under the ban were destroyed by both Russia and the US. Moreover, the development of military equipment over the last 30 years allows to assign tasks that were previously being solved by complexes that were destroyed under the Treaty to other systems that, without formally violating the Treaty, are even more effective.

The Treaty forbids the production and deployment of land-based rockets with a range of 500 to 5000 kilometers. But today Russia has in its arsenal the “Iskander” complexes (up to 500 km) and the air/sea-based “Kalibr” cruise missiles have been deployed (they don’t fall under the restrictions of the Treaty, which the Americans insisted on in the past). The declared range of these rockets can reach 1500 kilometers. At the same time certain sources speak about 2000-2500 kilometers. The range of the “Kinzhal” complex (including the range of the carrier) placed on a Tu-22М3 reaches 3000 kilometers. But this is if we bear in mind the combat radius of the aircraft at supersonic. In a mixed regime [using both subsonic and supersonic – ed] the combat radius of the aircraft increases from 1500 to 2500 kilometers, respectively, thus the range of the complex together with the rocket can reach 4000 kilometers.

I.e., without formally violating the Treaty, with the help of the latest developments Russia is capable of solving tasks that last century were completable only by average-range missiles. Moreover, the latest developments that must come to troops in the next 10-12 years in general possess an arbitrary range, i.e., in principle there are no inaccessible targets on planet Earth for them.

I will also remind that Russia in the past declared the possibility of it withdrawing from the INF Treaty should the Americans withdraw from the ABM Treaty. I think that a withdrawal indeed didn’t happen because it was more effective to develop and adopt new high-precision weapons that allowed to not violate the Treaty and at the same time to not be especially tied down from a strategic point of view.

In 30 years Russia simply turned the situation on its head. At the time that the INF Treaty was concluded, the US had an overwhelming advantage in non-nuclear precision weapons that still back then were capable of striking Soviet (and later Russian) strategic missiles within the first disarming massive non-nuclear strike. The USSR countered these classes of American missiles (including air/sea-based “Tomahawks”) with its own average-range missiles, in the production of which it had a technological advantage. The US withdrew sea/aviation-based cruise missiles from the Treaty (having promised that they would only be a part of the armaments of non-nuclear equipment), but at the same time they completely deprived the USSR/Russia of a whole class of strategic armaments in exchange for the elimination of their analogous intermediate-range nuclear forces, which weren’t important for them.

I.e., at that moment the US could resolve strategic issues without using average-range missiles, but Russia couldn’t, therefore it was favorable to Washington to destroy these missiles. Now, to the big chagrin of the Americans, it became clear that concerning high-precision weapons (including cruise and ballistic missiles) Russia seriously surpassed them and will increase this superiority in the near future. Moreover, Moscow can do it without formally violating the INF Treaty.

Thus, Washington needed the restoration of armaments in the class of average-range missiles only so that its technological lag behind Moscow didn’t turn into a factor of its strategic helplessness. After all, you and I understand that the T-90 tank can destroy the T-34 tank, even without coming within range of its aimed turret fire (not to mention effective blows). And this applies to missiles too. It’s not just the missile that is important, its tactical-technical data is also important.

But just like how an outdated tank can destroy its super modern counterpart if it appears to be in rather close proximity for an effective strike, the shortcomings of the missile weapon can be compensated for by the proximity of its placement.

And it is indeed here that the danger lies. If the US hasn’t yet lost the production technology of those average-range missiles that served in their arsenal during the 1980’s, then they can rather quickly mass-produce hundreds of this same “Pershing II”. The next question: where will they be deployed? They won’t reach the territory of Russia from the territory of the US. There are three options: Europe, Japan, and South Korea. It’s not a fact that Seoul will agree to participate in a new round of the arms race, taking into account its honeymoon with Pyongyang and the frank fears of being thrown by the US into the line of fire of North Korean or Chinese retaliatory missile strikes. And from the Korean peninsula and Japanese islands it is only possible to shoot at the Far East, where targets for these missiles are, frankly speaking, few and far between but very well covered.

Last time, the main regions of basing of average-range missiles were deployed by the US in Western Europe (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Denmark). Back then the flight time of “Pershing” to Smolensk was 6 minutes, and to Moscow — up to 10 minutes. This sharply reduced the time for decision-making in a crisis situation and increased the probability of a conflict incidentally appearing. It is precisely for this reason that back then the Soviet leadership, like today’s Russian one, warned that the US had started a dangerous game fraught with slipping into an uncontrollable conflict that can instantly develop into a full-scale nuclear war.

Now it’s far from being a fact that the Americans will succeed to base missiles in the same countries that they were based in during the last century. So far it is only Great Britain that has unambiguously supported the US, having stated that it doesn’t consider itself as being tied down by the INF Treaty any more. Germany and Italy won’t be thrilled if they will receive such a proposal. Besides this, Trump started an economic war against the EU, the spearhead of which is aimed precisely at Old Europe.

But there is a New Europe. Who can guarantee that Poland, the Baltics, and the Ukraine that joined them will longly deliberate after receiving from the US the proposal to base “Pershing” (or something similar) on their territory? But after all, then the flight time of missiles to Moscow will total no more than 3-4 minutes, and even less to St. Petersburg – 1.5 minutes.

It is indeed a situation where any fortuity can provoke a preventive strike. Moreover, in a situation when a strike is applied to the launching sites of American nuclear missiles, it is possible without philosophising to immediately launch intercontinental missiles at Washington too. Anyway, the sliding of the conflict into a full-scale nuclear exchange will be a matter of a few minutes, or in the best-case scenario – several hours.

And it is this that Putin spoke about at Valdai, when he promised aggressors that we will enter paradise, and they will simply die.

The system of international treaties designed to ensure nuclear stability relied on the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile TreatySALT I and SALT IISTART ISTART II, the Strategic Offensive Reductions TreatySTART III, and the INF Treaty.

The Missile Technology Control Regime and the Non-Proliferation Treaty practically turned into meaningless pieces of paper. Having spat on them, India and Pakistan obtained nuclear weapons. Israel, the possibilities of which are estimated at 100-200 tactical nuclear warheads, informally is also a nuclear power, but the “civilised world” pretends that it isn’t aware that permanently warring country is violating this Treaty. Well, and after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was not only able to realise its nuclear program, but also with the help of the technologies that it received from Ukraine it was able to create all classes of missiles, including intercontinental ones, it’s senseless to speak about the efficiency of the Missile Technology Control Regime and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Everyone whose international weight is somewhat larger than Swaziland’s or Lesotho’s will be able to do what Kim Jong-un managed to do. As is known, the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

SALT I limited strategic arsenals at the levels reached by the end of 1972 (and this is tens of thousands of carriers). SALT II didn’t come into force, because the US Senate blocked its ratification in connection with the entrance of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. START I and the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty aren’t actual, because they were replaced by START III, which slightly reduced the total number of deployed carriers in comparison with the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. START II (which forbade the equipping of missiles with separable individually guided warheads) was signed in 1993, ratified by the State Duma in 2000, and in 2002 Russia withdrew from it in connection with the US’ withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Thus, today after the US declared its withdrawal from INF Treaty, from the entire system of international treaties that regulate the system of strategic potentials, only START III actually works, but it means little in the context of the developing arms race.

Perhaps the US wants to repeat its successful blackmail attempt that took place in the 1980’s, which forced the USSR to make concessions and finally assisted in its final collapse. But the situation now differs radically. Firstly, Russia has the corresponding experience and knows that it must take a gentlemen’s word and the contracts that they sign at face value. Secondly, if Russia so far has moved along the line of ascent both in politics and in the economy, then concerning the US it is possible at best to speak about stagnation. However, Trump prefers to speak about a crisis that he wants to overcome and to “make America great again”. Thirdly, in respect of military technologies, during the last century the USSR was catching up with the US, but now it is the US that plays catch up. Fourthly, stories about 5th generation fighter jets, as well as the latest destroyers and littoral ships, demonstrate the blatant inefficiency of the US’ military-industrial complex, when huge money is being spent but results are absent. Fifthly, over the past century all the world’s centers of force (the US, the EU, China, and Japan) were against the USSR, which was forced to stretch its meagre military, political, financial, economic, and diplomatic resources to cover its standoff with all. Now even Japan doesn’t absolutely unconditionally support the US. In Europe the US only has Great Britain – which is torn apart by internal contradictions – and some of the destitute limitrophes. The US’ confrontation with China is tougher than the one it has with Russia, and now America starts to also speak about imposing sanctions on India.

In general, if to proceed from the US’ actions being a blackmail attempt, then this attempt is doomed to fail. But this doesn’t cancel the military danger of such games. If to fry shish kebabs on a barrel of gunpowder, it will sooner or later explode. So there will be an obligation to develop a new system of international treaties for the purpose of restricting, reducing, and, ideally, disposing of nuclear arsenals. But to start with the US needs to realise its place in the new world and to accept it.

Will London, Paris And Tel-Aviv Be Sanctioned By Moscow And Washington?

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On 17 September 2018, France, Israël and the United Kingdom carried out a joint operation against Syrian targets. During the brief moments of combat, a Russian reconnaissance plane was brought down by Syrian ’friendly fire’. Study of the recordings shows that an Israëli F-16 had flown hidden behind the Ilyushin Il-20 in order to confuse the Syrian Air Defences.

The destruction of a Russian military aircraft by the fault of Israël, during a joint operation by the United Kingdom, France and Israël, caused consternation in all the chancelleries. Since the start of hostilities in Syria seven years ago, if there were a ’red line’, it was that the different protagonists should never endanger Russian, US, or Israëli forces.

We are sure about very little of what actually happened, except that :

- a British Tornado took off from Cyprus to land in Iraq. During the flight, it violated Syrian air space in order to scan the Syrian defences and make the allied attack possible.
- less than an hour later, four Israëli F-16s and a French frigate, L’Auvergne, fired on targets in the Syrian governorate of Lattakia. The Syrian air defences protected their country by firing their S-200s against the French and Israëli missiles.
- During the battle, an F-16 used a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 as a shield. The Ilyushin was flying a surveillance mission over the area, localising jihadist drone launch sites. The Syrian defences fired a missile, aiming for the thermal signal of the Israëli aircraft. Theoretically, therefore, it could have destroyed the Russian plane by mistake.

This is, however, implausible, because S-200 missiles are equipped with a reconnaissance system able to distinguish between friendly and enemy targets, which the Russian Minister for Defence successively confirmed, then denied. In any case, the Ilyushin was destroyed, without our knowing for certain how, or by whom.

The cowardice of the British and French leaders led them to censor all information concerning their responsibility in this operation. London made no comment, and Paris denied the facts. Neither the BBC, nor France-Television dared to mention the subject. For these two countries, more than ever, the reality of external politics is excluded from the democratic debate.

Immediate interpretation of the events

We do not know if the destruction of the Russian aircraft (causing the death of the 15 men on board) can be blamed on the Israëli pilot – which seems highly unlikely – on the Israëli army, or on the alliance which carried out the attack.

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Russian aircraft  Ilyushin Il-20

On the answer to this question hangs the possibility of conflict between four nuclear powers. The situation is therefore extremely serious. It has no precedent since the creation of the Russian Federation, at the end of 1991.

The British-French-Israëli aggression is the response by these three countries to the Russian-Turkish agreement signed only a few hours earlier at Sotchi. It came into play after the US refusal, at the beginning of September, to bomb Syria under false pretences, and the sending of a US delegation into the Arab world in order to express its disagreement with the British-French initiatives.

The Sotchi agreements were signed by Turkey under intense pressure from Russia. In Teheran, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had refused to sign the Memorandum concerning the withdrawal of the jihadist and Turkish forces in Idlib. This had not pleased President Vladimir Putin, who answered first of all by reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and, furthermore, by underlining for the first time the illegitimacy, under international law, of the Turkish military presence in the country. Ten days later, a very unsettled Mr, Erdoğan accepted an invitation to Russia.

The Sotchi agreement, while distancing Turkey a little further from NATO with its energy contracts, forced Ankara de facto to withdraw from a part of the territory that it occupies, allegedly to better protect the pseudo-« rebels » gathered in the governorate of Idlib. Besides this, Turkey only has one month in which to confiscate the heavy weaponry of its friends from Al-Qaïda and Daesh in the demilitarised zone.

This agreement was obviously unacceptable for London, Paris and Tel-Aviv :

- in the end, it plans for the disappearance of the jihadists as an army, while London has been supervising, training and manipulating them for decades;
- the end of the dream of a French mandate over Syria and of the creation of a new French colony in the North of the country, under the phoney name of Kurdistan (Kurdistan is legitimate only within the frontiers which were recognised by the Sèvres Conference, in 1920.) In other words, not in Iran, nor Iraq or Syria, but only in what is now known as Turkey).
- the end of the regional domination of Israël, faced with a stable Syria under Russian protection.

Mid-term interpretation of the events

The British-French-Israëli military alliance has not entered into action since the Suez Canal crisis in 1956.

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At that time, Anthony Eden, Guy Mollet and David Ben Gourion joined their forces in order to humiliate the Arab nationalists, particularly the Egyptian Gamal Abdel Nasser, and to re-establish the British and French colonial empires (« Operation Musketeer »).

This is exactly what happened with this new attack : as was confirmed by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, none of the targets under attack were linked in any way to Iran or Hezbollah. This British-French-Israëli action had nothing to do with the international struggle against the jihadists in general and Daesh in particular. It also had no connection with the overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic or its President, Bachar el-Assad. Its main objective was to kill military scientists, in particular the rocket specialists from the Institute of Technical Industries in Lattakia.

This is therefore the resumption and continuation of the policy of targeted assassinations waged by Israël for the last twenty years, successively against the Iraqi, Iranian, and now Syrian scientists. It is one of the pillars of colonial policy : to prevent the submitted populations from attaining the same level of education as their masters. In former times, the Westerners forbade their slaves from learning to read under pain of death. Today, they eliminate their scientists.This policy was relaunched with the British-French-US bombing of 14 April 2018, in which the only target destroyed was the Scientific Research Centre in Barzeh, then with the breakdown of the 5+1 agreement with Iran (JCPoA) which forced the country to close its nuclear physics faculties (May 8, 2018).

It was a joint initiative : the jihadists destroy the past, the Westerners destroy the future.

Long-term interpretation of the events

Since the deployment of Russian troops in Syria, on 13 September 2015, to help Syria in its fight against the terrorists, the allies of the United States have understood the impossibility of carrying out the US plan without risking a world war. With the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House, they have progressively questioned their war objectives, abandoned the plans of the « Friends of Syria » and fallen back on their respective historical strategies.

It is this logic that led them to reform the alliance which provoked the Suez crisis, and it is this same logic which pushed Germany to distance itself from them.

At the beginning of the First World War, the British, French and Russian empires decided on the partition of the world which they would implement as soon as they had gained victory. The treaty was negotiated by Mark Sykes, Georges Picot and Sergueï Sazonov. During the course of the World War, however, the Tsar was overthrown by the Bolcheviks, which meant that the areas of the world originally reserved for the Russian empire were once again up for grabs. Finally, at the end of the World War, only the part of the plan relative to the Middle East was applied, under the name of the « Sykes-Picot » agreement.

The return of Russia to the international game obviously brings into question the British-French colonial sharing of the Middle East. The foreseeable clash has just occurred, either accidentally or deliberately, with the destruction of the Ilyushin Il-20 during the joint British-French-Israëli military operation.

How to react

The bewilderment of the international community in the face of this brutal awakening of a century-old conflict can be measured by the Twitter silence from the White House.

During the Suez crisis, the Israëli troops engaged were twice as numerous as all the British and French forces together. The total number of coalition forces was about 250,000 men. This was therefore a very large-scale operation compared to that of Lattakia. But it remains true that the two sequences work from the same diplomatic logic, and may lead to the same developments.

During the Suez crisis, in the middle of the Cold War, the Soviet Union threatened the United Kingdom, France, and Israël with a nuclear riposte if they refused to withdraw from Egypt. At first, NATO supported the Europeans in threatening Moscow with a World War, before changing its mind. In the middle of the Cold War, therefore, the United States temporarily supported the USSR in order to halt the European folly.

For Washington, allowing the Europeans to pursue their plans was the equivalent of pushing all the Arab nations into the arms of the Soviets. Apart from that, it simply was not feasible to accept the French-British intervention at the same time as they were denouncing the repression of the Hungarian revolution by the Warsaw Pact.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon launched a monetary attack against the pound sterling, sent their naval and airborne forces to interfere with the British-French-Israëli complex, and forbade the use of French military material financed by US funds.

International peace was preserved thanks to certain third parties such as the Secretary General of the UNO, Dag Hammarskjöld (who was assassinated three years later, and was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize); the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Lester B. Pearson (who also received the Nobel Peace Prize); and the leader of the non-aligned nations and Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Suez crisis profoundly upset not only international political life, but also the national reality of the United Kingdom, France and Israël.
- Circumventing the European vetos at the Security Council, the UNO General Assembly called for the withdrawal of the invaders and created the first United Nations intervention force.
- In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons demanded the end of colonial politics to the profit of the promotion of the economic interests of London via the Commonwealth.
- In France, the Communists, the Gaullists and the Poujadists (including Jean-Marie Le Pen) united against the Centrists and the Socialists; a configuration that has never been seen since. Six years later, President De Gaulle considered that by recognising the independence of Algeria, he would put an end to military collaboration with the colonial state of Israël and restore the policy of friendship and collaboration with the Arab peoples, which had always characterised France, apart from its colonial period.

The position of the Western powers concerning the aggression on Lattakia is all the more difficult because, in violation of their agreement with Russia, the Israëlis only informed Moscow of their operation a long time after it had begun, and only one minute before they began firing. As for the Pentagon, they affirmed that they had not been warned at all. But let us not forget that the Israëli-Russian mutual non-aggression pact in Syria only exists because Israël is the US arsenal for the Middle East, housing (with Italy) the stocks of US weaponry for the entire region. If Israël truly did not inform the Pentagon of its actions in advance, then it can not benefit from US protection, and consequently the mutual non-aggression pact may be called into question by Russia.

The Russian response depends on the position of the White House, which we do not know for the moment. It must be guided by a desire to lessen tension, if possible, and also to maintain dissuasion by punishing the guilty party or parties as soon as the Kremlin names them. It is not necessary for Russia to make this sanction public as long as the chancelleries concerned are informed.

The Russian response

Russia has the choice of seeing in the destruction of their aircraft nothing more than a mistake by an Israeli pilot, or by the Israëli army, or again, by all three of the states implicated (the United Kingdom, France and Israël). The Russian Minister for Defence, Sergueï Choïgou, telephoned his Israëli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman to inform him that he held Israël responsible for the accident, and reserved the right to riposte. A little later, President Putin declared « This is a series of tragic events, because our plane was not shot down by an Israëli aircraft ». He was careful to distinguish this situation from that of the deliberate destruction of a Sukhoï 24-M by Turkish fighters in November 2015. We are therefore heading towards the public designation of Israël as the sole responsible and a secret sanction against the three states involved.

The Israëli chargé d’affaires in Moscow, Keren Cohen Gat, was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while in a knee-jerk reaction, Israëli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to shovel the responsibility for the accident onto Iran. An Israëli delegation, led by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Amikam Norkin, rushed off to Moscow with unprecedented haste. They contested the claims of the Russian Minister for Defence, affirmed that Israël was innocent, and that all the blame belonged to the negligence of the Syrians.

General Amikam Norkin in Moscow
Moscow, 20 September 2018 – the Chief of Staff for the Israëli Air Force, General Amikam Norkin, arrives in a hurry to present his version of events. Once these proofs were checked and compared with other recordings, it transpired that Israël was lying straight-faced.

President Donald Trump, a great admirer of Richard Nixon’s foreign policy, was thus provided with the perfect occasion to finish with the British-French-Israëli support for the US deep state. However, in the middle of his election campaign, he can not afford to give the impression of supporting the Russian rival while he beats up his allies. He is therefore seeking a way of presenting his internal public with this major change of direction. From this perspective, during an interview with Hill TV, he condemned the US engagement in the Greater Middle East which was decided by his predecessor George Bush Jr after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

On 23 September, the spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence, General Igor Konashenkov, presented the synthesis of Russian intelligence and the information transmitted by Syria and Israël.

- He accused the Hebrew state of having deliberately violated the mutual non-aggression agreement of 2015 by not giving Russia advance notice of its attack and by lying about its targets.
- He accused it of having endangered civilian flights present in this zone of the Mediterranean, and of being responsible for the destruction of the Ilyuchin Il-20.
- He denounced its non-assistance to the Russian soldiers when their plane stalled.
- He also accused General Amikam Norkin of lying by pretending that the Israëli jets had already returned to Israël when the Russian plane stalled and crashed.
- Finally, he deflected the accusations of amateurism laid at the door of the Syrian Anti-Air Defence System.

However, he abstained from publicly blaming the United Kingdom and France, who were nonetheless just as concerned by his remarks against Israël.

In case the White House should find an acceptable narrative of the facts for its electors, Russia could forbid the United Kingdom, France and Israël from making any intrusion into the maritime, terrestrial and aerial space of Syria without the authorisation of Damascus. London and Paris would have to cease their threats of bombing under whatever pretext at all (false chemical weapons) and withdraw their special forces. This measure would be valid for all protagonists in general, except for the United States and, in Idlib, for Turkey.

Source: Voltaire Network

Unipolar Moments Never Last More Than a Moment

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American leaders, politicians, policymakers and pundits are fond of talking about the “Unipolar Moment” and “Hyper Power” position that they imagine the United States enjoys in the world.

Totally lacking from this fantasy are any inconvenient historical facts.

The US Unipolar Moment (insofar as it existed at all) lasted less than a decade from the break-up of the Soviet Union at the end of December 1991 to June 15, 2001. The US “moment” barely made it into the 21st Century.

On that epochal day of June 15, 2001, two major events happened. First, US President George W. Bush gave a speech in Warsaw pledging to integrate the three tiny Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into NATO as a prime strategic goal of the United States.

That very same day, Russia and China created with four Central Asian nations the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): The most populous and powerful international security organization in history.

This year, the SCO doubled in population by adding India and Pakistan at the same time – two major nuclear powers with a combined population of 1.5 billion people. That means the SCO now includes more than 3 billion people, around 40 percent of the human race.

From the moment the SCO was created – dedicated from its inception to preserve and protect a multipolar world from the domination of any one power, the US unipolar moment was dead and gone.

This reality was confirmed less than three months later when al-Qaeda’s terror attacks of September 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people. More Americans died that day than in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

George W. Bush should have been impeached for his gross incompetence. Instead his popularity soared. Imagining the Unipolar Moment (or Era) to be still in full flood he invaded Afghanistan later that year and Iraq less than two years later. The United States is still endlessly stuck in those unending wars.

The patterns of history – totally ignored by the US media, pundit-ocracy and political world – in fact teach this lesson consistently. Over the past half a millennium, there have been several unipolar moments for great powers seeking to reign supreme over the world and they all collapsed after only a few years.

When Habsburg Spain and its allies decisively defeated the huge fleet of the mighty Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Spain’s imperial domination over Europe seemed assured. But in fact Spain was already embroiled in a Dutch revolt that started in 1568. Over the following decades, it became even more exhausting than the current US deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

King Philip II of Spain’s dream of domination was totally buried only 17 years after Lepanto with the destruction of his giant Armada fleet to conquer England in 1588.

France rose next. Its domination over Europe appeared to be sealed with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But by the mid-1660s, glory-crazed Louis XIV, the so-called “Sun King” had already repeated the Spanish mistake and bogged his country down in half a century of endless wars in what is now Belgium, the Netherlands and southern Germany. France’s unipolar moment lasted less than 20 years.

The British came next. Even after winning the Napoleonic Wars against France, they knew they could not rule the world alone and were forced to share it with the far more conservative major monarchies of Europe – Russia, Austria-Hungary and Prussia.

Finally in 1848, the kings of France, Austria-Hungary and Prussia were all rocked or topped by liberal popular revolutions. The British thought then, as the Americans did in 1989-91, that their Unipolar Moment had finally come and would last for eternity. The whole world would look to London for guidance and wisdom.

It didn’t: By 1871, Prussia under its Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had united Germany, smashed France, by then Britain’s ally and humiliatingly swept the British out of any continental pretensions of power and influence.

When asked what he would do if the tiny British Army ever invaded North Germany, Bismarck replied that he would send the police to arrest it.

After the defeat of Imperial Germany in World War I, Britain seemed to enjoy another hyper-power moment. The isolationist United States and the Soviet Union both temporarily withdrew from the world stage.

However, that British fantasy did not even last until the rise of Hitler in 1933. Two years earlier in 1931, Imperial Japan had occupied Manchuria – a huge chunk of Northeastern China: British military leaders were forced to admit to Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald there was nothing they could do about it. Britain’s unipolar moment had lasted only 12 years – from 1919 to 1931.

Once these historical facts are understood, it is easy to see why the US Unipolar Moment only lasted even less time than Britain’s 20th century one had – less than a decade.

Since 2001, the United States has bankrupted and exhausted itself, just as Habsburg Spain, Bourbon France and post-Victorian Britain did before it in futile, doomed and ludicrous attempts to deny and roll back the inevitable tides of history.

That should come as no surprise: As Friedrich Hegel warned us, “The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

By Martin Sieff
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US has to come to terms with its place in the world, just as Britain did when its empire collapsed

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Trump’s threats of war, sanctions and promises to make America great again could be dismissed as the ranting of an eccentric politician. But this isn’t all about Trump. What he advocates is representative of much of the US elite.

The president and his generation of Americans grew up in a world where the USA was the greatest superpower in human history. It was not just their vast arsenal of nuclear weapons and their war machine but, in 1945, around 50 percent of the entire world’s economy was in the United States of America, with Britain and the USSR hobbling along with around 10 percent each. America dwarfed the power that the British empire had in the 19th century.

In the years that followed, America would intervene all over the world, not to spread democracy, but to overthrow governments that were not working in America’s commercial interests. Whether it was the coup that removed the government of Iran in 1953 and brought back the dictatorship of the Shah; or the military coup in Brazil in 1964 that overthrew a socialist, democratically elected government; or the dozens of other coups around the world, America crushed any opposition to its economic interests.

Some 45 years after the end of the Second World War came the collapse of the Soviet Union, by which time America’s share of the global economy was down to 25 percent. The collapse of the Soviet Union unleashed a wave of assumptions about the future. The most significant of these was Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book ‘The End of History and The Last Man.’ This was met with acclaim around the world as he argued that the ideological evolution of humanity was over with the triumph of Western liberal democracy. Fukuyama had previously worked in the US State Department under Ronald Reagan and later worked for the first George Bush. Now he is a senior fellow at Stanford University and has just published a book called ‘Identity’ looking at the current political situation. But it was his 1992 book that dominated the political debate as he predicted that the collapse of communism meant there was only one system left for our planet: pragmatic liberal democracy, and the world would never change again.

In an interview in The Guardian, Fukuyama talks about the “ruthless cunning of Vladimir Putin” and points out that Trump and Brexit are a backlash against multiculturalism and international cooperation. He warns that “globalization has clearly left a lot of people behind. There is greater automation, greater inequality.” He says he believed the financial crash would see a surge of left-wing populism and was therefore surprised by the rise of Trump.

Across much of the capitalist West, tens of millions have seen their lives get worse and this has fueled the growth of far-right groups and racial hatred. But different things are happening elsewhere in the world, of which the most significant is the rise of China. Around 40 years ago, China was a basket economy with 90 percent of its people living in poverty, but the economic strategy of China has lifted over 500 million Chinese out of poverty and their economy has grown to a point where it is about to overtake the USA. Not surprisingly, this has caused a backlash in the American establishment.

Paul Wolfowitz, a key player in America’s invasion of Iraq, had warned back in 1992 in a secret memo to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney that “our strategy must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor.” But with the growth of China’s economy and America’s economic decline, Wolfowitz’s strategy has now become the consensus in the American government, including Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. During Obama’s administration, they were pushing aggressive policies by expanding NATO to encircle Russia and devising a strategy for the economic containment of China. Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) tried to create an economic bloc around the Pacific that would exclude China. Fortunately, this was rejected by most Asian governments and never happened.

America’s paranoia about China ignores why Beijing’s economy has soared. Unlike the West, which allows the financial sector to dominate and set the economic agenda, China focused on scientific and technological development, investment in infrastructure (like high-speed rail) and kept its financial center under firm regulation, thus avoiding its banks collapsing as they did in the West in 2008.

Sergei Glazyev, a key adviser to President Putin, has warned against the continuing US and EU sanctions against Russia, and the capricious policy of the Trump administration that has seen the start of a trade war. He warns that “if the US keeps contradicting international law… the first measure we would have to take together with China and other countries who are suffering from US aggression would be to get rid of the dollar as the key international currency.” China, he said“has created the most progressive system in the world for directing economic development, combining planning with market self-regulation, and subordinating private initiative to the needs of raising the general welfare through an increased volume and efficiency of production.”

Another consequence of China’s growth is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). These countries are increasingly cooperating and as their economies continue to rise, we will never again see a world in which one country’s economy can dominate the whole planet, as was the case with America after 1945.

This global economic shift has caused a backlash with former British prime minister Tony Blair claiming“America needs Europe united and standing with it, not isolated as individual nations, able to be picked off one by one by the emergent new powers.”

China’s President Xi, speaking at the G20 conference two years ago, warned that “we can no longer rely on fiscal and monetary policy alone,” and called for spreading visionary and inclusive economic growth driven by innovation in science and technology… “to spearhead the fourth industrial revolution.” He went on to promise direct support to help the countries of Africa see their economies grow.

Xi also said“the Silk Road Economic Belt is progressing rapidly and the Maritime Silk Road is well underway. But this is not China creating a sphere of influence but rather a means of supporting the development of all countries. We are not building China’s backyard garden but we’re building a garden to be shared by all countries.”

Also, in September 2016, Russia’s President Putin advocated“big, ambitious, complex and long-term tasks” to transform Russia’s Far East into a hub of Eurasian development. At the same time, President Obama was still pushing for the TPP and demanding that “America should write the rules, not China.” A significant response to Obama came from Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel, who said“In my opinion, the negotiations with the United States have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to America’s demands.”

These views were not shared by Britain’s Prime Minister May, as she launched what seemed to be the beginning of a new Cold War against Russia. Her views were echoed by the Sunday Telegraph’s editor, Allister Heath, who called for Britain to take the lead in creating a new global military and economic alliance to enforce democracy but also capitalism across the globe. Heath’s column was titled ‘Forget NATO. We need a new world alliance to take on totalitarian capitalists in Russia and China.’ Heath continued: “NATO is no longer enough: it is too European, too many of its members are outright pacifists and Turkey’s membership is problematic.” Heath claimed that the new alliance he was advocating “would be the biggest shift in geopolitics since the creation of the UN. It would dramatically shift the global balance of power, and allow the liberal democracies finally to fight back. It would endow the world with the sorts of robust institutions that are required to contain Russia and China…”

No one power is ever going to dominate the world again. The choice we face is to cooperate with the emerging new economies like China and those that will follow around the rest of the Third World or get caught up in an economic Cold War led by the American establishment and its UK ally. America has got to come to terms with the world as it is now, just as Britain had to the same when its empire collapsed. We should work with China and Russia and the other emerging economies and, in doing so, ordinary people around the world will benefit – including in the USA, if only America stops looking back to the past.

By Ken Livingstone
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