The Meaning of a Multipolar World

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker BlogThe Meaning of a Multipolar World

Right now, we live in a monopolar world. Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. [Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] … In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn’t the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government’s effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government’s propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine’s economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his — Obama’s — regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup, and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks.

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush’s term about Saddam Hussein) “regime-change” in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria’s Government and by Syria’s ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria’s army, which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to “regime-change” Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to “regime-change” Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the “U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane.” And Obama’s successor Trump continues Obama’s policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor. (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of “War of Aggression”; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America’s aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds’ invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America’s generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.’s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation’s participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can’t even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren’t allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations — such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador — that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America’s other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America’s ‘enemies’ are America’s super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public.

So, that’s the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that’s controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich.

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would table at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public’s attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed “procedure to amend the UN charter”, and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany’s fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama’s often-repeated dictum that all other nations are “dispensable” and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb — the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace. But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results. Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America’s propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today’s America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler’s Germany. Although modern America’s propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany’s was, it’s not entirely successful. America’s invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler’s were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined “‘Very insulting’: Trump bashes Macron’s idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US” and reported that “US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president’s idea of a ‘real European army,’ independent from Washington, an insult.” On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America’s NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance, which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has “25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.” Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America’s bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014. All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America’s economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today’s America is clearly Europe’s actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia, and is increasingly focusing its “regime-change” propaganda against Russia’s popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered “‘Good for multipolar world’: Putin positive on Macron’s ‘European army’ plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)”, and opened:

Europe’s desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be “positive” for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

Europe is … a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and … sovereign in the field of defense and security,” Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army “a positive process,” adding that it would “strengthen the multipolar world.” The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia’s stance on the issue “is aligned with that of France” to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine(after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. ‘defense’ contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms’ foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaonry over the following 10 years.  If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump’s Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its ‘defense’-contractors, will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

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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.

Tensions Grow as China, Russia and Iran Lead the Way Towards a New Multipolar World Order

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Military and economic tensions are increasing due to the ramped up warlike stance of the US establishment. The impossibility of halting the shifting world order in favour of prolonging the unipolar moment has left the US deep state reaching for any available weapon at hand, taking no heed of the dangers and consequences of such a reckless foreign policy.

With the province of Idlib ever closer to being liberated from terrorists by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the tensions between the US and Syria (and Syria’s allies) are rising. Every significant military campaign by the SAA seems to be accompanied by the usual alarms and false reports emanating from the Western media and governments warning of an imminent (staged) use of chemical weapons by the SAA. Tensions are rising as several American voices, including that of the President, have expressed the desire to strike Syria over any alleged use of chemical weapons, without even waiting for any independent verification. Threats by the US, the UK and France to bomb Russian troops in Syria are voiced everyday on Western media. The insanity is reaching disturbing levels.

These developments in Syria appear to be accompanied by the persistent attempts of Ukraine and the United States to sabotage the Minsk agreements, re-igniting the conflict in order to blame it on Russia. The assassination of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, charismatic leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), killed a few days ago in a terrorist attack, should be seen in this light.

More false accusations against Moscow, this time of having poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the UK, follow on from allegations of Moscow interfering in the US presidential election. Added to this situation of rising tensions between great powers are the constant threats, together with economic and financial warfare, directed at Iran by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

It is not surprising that, given this context, the Russian Federation has just carried out the greatest military exercise in its history. The Vostok 2018 military exercise is extensively described by TASS:

The Vostok 2018 troop exercises have started in Russia’s Far East. Taking part in the drills are about 300,000 Russian troops, over 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, up to 36,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles, up to 80 ships and supply vessels. Exercises similar in scale have not been held since 1981 when the Zapad-81 drills that involved about 100,000 troops were held in the Soviet Union’s Belarusian, Kiev and Baltic Military Districts and in the Baltic Sea.

It should not come as a surprise that the People’s Republic of China has sent thousands of men and materiel to participate in the exercise, sending a clear message to Washington and the West. As the West’s warmongering continues, this widely controversial article in The Atlantic came out and provides the following hint:

The inclusion of a relatively small Chinese contingent in this year’s edition [Vostok 2018 military exercise] is not quite the signal of a military alliance that some see, but it has certainly made the West take notice. It’s hard to escape the symbolism when as Russian and Chinese troops were training together, Putin and Xi Jinping were holding a summit and pledging closer business and political cooperation. At a time when Washington and Europe have tried to isolate Moscow diplomatically, this is clearly intended as a message that Putin is still capable of making connections with countries not willing to follow the West.

The Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostok marks yet another significant point in the new Sino-Russian strategy to isolate and limit Western-induced chaos, strengthen the support for countries affected in one way or another by Washington, and expand cooperation in every direction possible. The economic ties between the two countries’ production systems deserve attention, especially in light of future agreements between the industrial giants of the two countries. The partnership is broad and goes far beyond the territories of Russia and China. Technological cooperation is expanding in regions such as Africa and South East Asia, often symbiotically offering important agreements to third countries. Civil nuclear energy and arms sales seem to be Moscow’s speciality, just as generous loans and joint development of basic resources (hospitals, schools, water networks, sewerage, motorways, ports) are Beijing’s. Such offers of assistance are important for capturing not only the attention of Third World countries keen to break free from the West’s colonial chains, but also of those countries that need to transition quickly into the new multipolar world order.

An example is Japan, with Abe also present in Vladivostok, exploring ways to balance the Chinese expansion in Asia. In reality, such a reading belongs very much to the Western way of thinking, in which everything must be seen in zero-sum terms. What many in the West struggle to understand, especially among European and American journalists and analysts, is how Washington’s attitude over recent years is actually serving to push together the four Euro-Asian giants of China, Russia, Japan and India. While maintaining sometimes strong ties with the West, the trend is decidedly different from the past. Abe was in discussion with Putin to sign the long-awaited peace agreement between the two countries. India seems increasingly anxious to expand its strategic independence, especially from an energy point of view, cooperating with Iran and ignoring Western sanctions, and from a military standpoint, buying the S-400 air defence system.

In general, a multipolar environment of international relations already prevails in vast areas of the planet, both from a military and economic standpoint. De-dollarization appears to be an inevitable trend for the purposes of achieving significant economic sovereignty, thereby avoiding the vulnerability of US-dollar blackmail as a destabilization tool used by Washington and the Federal Reserve. With an imminent economic crisis in the West, fuelled and exacerbated by more than ten years of artificially printed money (quantitative easing), an economic prophylactic is a priority for Washington’s declared rivals (Iran, China, Russia). The consequences for the international financial system could be much more serious than the two previous crises of 1929 and 2008, especially according to Chris Hedge in his recent analysis.

Unprecedented joint military exercises, economic cooperation as a means of diversification, strategic partnerships – these have become normal in Eurasia, especially for Russia, China and Iran, who continue to advance their formula for overcoming the chaos wrought by Washington and her Israeli and Saudi sidekicks. The prevailing modus operandi of Western policy-makers for countries they cannot control seems to be to sic onto them the dogs of chaos and destabilization in order to destroy them. This can be seen, for example, in the assassination of Zakharchenko in eastern Ukraine (Donbass) by the Kiev junta, probably even employing elements of Daesh or al Qaeda; the same tools used by the US in the Middle East to sow chaos.

The situation is not different in Syria, with Washington, London and Paris intent on stopping the liberation of Idlib, a remaining pocket containing thousands of Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. Seventeen years after September 11th 2001, the United States unstintingly supports the terrorists who, according to the official story, killed thousands of its own civilians on home soil.

Logic and reason seem to have been abandoned long ago in Washington’s decision-making, even more so given that Trump has completely renounced all his electoral promises regarding foreign policy. The rapprochement with Moscow is now a distant mirage; the special relationship between Xi Jinping and Trump is just the latter’s propaganda, anxious as he is to reach an agreement with the DPRK and show some example of success to his base.

The logic of imposing more than $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese products, and then asking for strong support from Beijing in mediation with Pyongyang, seems more like the moves of a desperate person rather than those of an amateur. Even historical allies like South Korea, Pakistan, India and Turkey, as repeatedly stressed recently, fear Washington’s irrationality and politics of “America First” and are running for cover. They are diversifying energy resources and ignoring American diktats, buying armaments from Russia, cooperating with China in large infrastructure projects to connect the vast Eurasian continent, and participating in economic and financial forums to diversify funding and cooperate on a new and industrial level.

Indeed, the strategic triangle that emerges between Tehran, Beijing and Moscow, seems to draw all the neighbouring countries into a large geopolitical waltz. A transition to a multipolar reality brings many advantages to Washington’s allies, but it also brings many tensions with American oligarchs. The example of the sale of the S-400 in Ankara is an important wake-up call for the oligarchs of the American military-industrial complex, who see a potential loss in revenue. In the same way, the creation of an alternative system to SWIFT strongly reduces the centrality of American banking institutions and thus their political weight. We must also keep in mind Sino-Russian actions in Africa, which are progressively breaking the chains of Western neo-colonialism, thereby freeing African countries to pursue a more balanced foreign policy focused on their national interests.

This transition phase that we have been living in over the last few years will continue for some time. Like an already written script, the trend is easily discernible to a lucid mind free of Western propaganda. Erdogan certainly is not a person to be completely trusted, and the talks in Astana should be understood in this light, especially if viewed from the Russian-Iranian point of view. Yet such cooperation opens the door to an unprecedented future, although at present Astana seems more like an alternative to a bloody war between countries in Syria than a conversation between allies. Syria’s future will unavoidably see the country’s territorial integrity maintained, thanks to allies who are now disengaged from the Western system and are gravitating around centers of power opposed to Washington, namely Beijing, Moscow and Tehran.

The reconstruction of the country will bypass western sanctions and bring significant amounts of money to the country. In the same way Iraq, once under the rule of a dictator friendly to Washington, today openly and genuinely collaborates with Moscow, and especially Tehran, in defeating the Wahhabi proxies of Riyadh, an American ally.

The economic battle serves to complete the picture, with European allies forced to suffer huge economic losses as a result of sanctions against Russia and Iran. The tariffs on trade, especially to countries like Turkey, Japan and South Korea (although it seems that this proposal was intentionally sabotaged by a collaborator within the Trump administration), are further serving to push US allies to explore alternatives in terms of trust and cooperation.

China and Russia have seized the opportunities, offering through adroit diplomacy military, industrial and economic proposals that are drawing Washington’s historical allies into a new political reality where there is less space for Washington’s diktats.

The European establishment in some Western countries like Germany, France and the UK seems to have decided wait out Trump (this torture perhaps brought to an early end through a palace coup). But many others have instead intuited what is really happening in the West. Two factions are fighting each other, but still within the confines of a shared worldview that sees the United States as the only benevolent world power, and the likes of China and Russia as rivals that need to be contained. In such a difficult situation to manage, well-known leaders like Modi, Abe, Moon Jae-In and Erdogan are starting to take serious steps towards exploring possible alternatives to an exclusive alliance with the United States, that is, towards experiencing the benefits of a multipolar-world environment.

It is not just a question for these countries of breaking the strategic alliance with the United States. This aspect will probably not change for several years, especially in countries that have enormous military and economic ties with Washington. The path that South Korea, Turkey and Japan appear to be taking is deeply rooted in the concept of Multipolarity, which diversifies international relations, allowing countries to shop around to find the best opportunities. It is therefore not surprising to see the Japanese prime minister and the Russian president discussing at the economic forum in Vladivostok the possibility of signing a historic peace treaty. In the same way, if Turkey suffers a double political and economic attack from the US, it should not surprise us if they decide to purchase the S-400 defense system from Russia or start a full fledged campaign to de-dollarize. Such examples could be repeated, but the case of South Korea stands out. There is no need for Seoul to wait for Washington to mess things up diplomatically with Pyongyang before discussing the rebirth of relations between the two countries. Seoul is anxious to seize the opportunity for a renewed dialogue between leaders and solve the Korean impasse as much as possible. Finally, India, which has no intention of losing the opportunity for an economic partnership with Beijing and a military one with Moscow, launched the basis for a multi-party discussion between the Eurasian powers on the Afghan situation that has caused so much friction with Islamabad, especially with the new political phase that Imran Khan’s victory as Pakistan’s prime minister promises.

Washington faces all these scenarios with skepticism, annoyance and disgust, fearing losing important countries and its ability to determine the regional balance around the planet. What fascinates many analysts is the stubbornness and stupidity of US policy-makers. The more they try to prolong the US unipolar moment, the more incentive they give to other countries to jump on the multipolar bandwagon.

Even countries that probably have deep ties with the United States on an oligarchic level will have no alternative other than to modify and redesign their strategic alliances over the next 30 years. The United States continues along the path of diplomatic arrogance and strategic stupidity, mired in a civil war among its elites, with no end in sight.

Each scenario involving the US now has to be viewed with two factors in mind: not just the attempt to maintain an imperialist posture, but also an internal struggle involving its elites. This adds a further level of confusion for America’s allies and the world in general, who strain to decipher the next moves of a deep state totally out of control.

By Federico Pieraccini
Source

Only time in history where ally bombs its ally’: Imran Khan on US & Pakistan relations (EXCLUSIVE)

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America’s War on Yemen Exposed

August 14, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – As atrocities and scandal begin to mount regarding the US-backed Saudi-led war on the impoverished nation of Yemen, the involvement and hypocrisy of the United States and other Western backers is coming to full light.

Global condemnation of Saudi airstrikes on civilian targets has brought public attention to Washington’s role in the conflict – a role the Western media has attempted to downplay for years. It is ironic, or perhaps telling, that alternative media outlets targeted as “Russian influence” are leading coverage of Yemen’s growing humanitarian catastrophe.

US Denies Role in Proxy War That Couldn’t be Fought Without It 
In a recent press conference, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis – when asked about the US role in the Yemeni conflict in regards to Saudi atrocities – would claim:

We are not engaged in the civil war. We will help to prevent, you know, the killing of innocent people.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Mattis himself would lobby US Congress earlier this year to continue US support for Saudi-led operations in Yemen.

A March 2018 Washington Post article titled, “Mattis asks Congress not to restrict U.S. support for Saudi bombing in Yemen,” would admit:

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a personal appeal to Congress on Wednesday not to restrict the United States’ support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen, as the sponsors of a privileged resolution to end Washington’s involvement announced that the Senate would vote on the matter next week.

Support includes US intelligence gathering for Saudi operations, the sale of of US weapons to the Saudi regime, and even US aerial refueling for US-made Saudi warplanes dropping US-made munitions on Yemeni targets selected with the aid of US planners.

In essence, the US is all but directly fighting the “civil war” itself.

Abetting War Crimes, Sponsoring Terrorists to What End? 

As to why the US believes it must continue supporting a proxy war Saudi Arabia is fighting on its behalf – beginning under US President Barack Obama and continuing in earnest under current US President Donald Trump – the Washington Post could conclude (emphasis added):

The war in Yemen has inspired much controversy in Congress, as lawmakers have questioned why the United States has involved itself so closely on the Saudi-backed side of a civil war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel forces. Successive presidential administrations have presented the campaign as a necessary component of the fight against terrorism and to preserve stability in the region. As Mattis put it in his letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, “withdrawing U.S. support would embolden Iran to increase its support to the Houthis, enabling further ballistic missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and threatening vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea, thereby raising the risk of a regional conflict.”

However, Mattis, his colleagues, and his predecessors have categorically failed to explain how Iran constitutes a greater threat to either US or global security than Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a nation admittedly sponsoring Al Qaeda worldwide, including in Yemen as revealed by a recent Associated Press investigation, and the nation which both radicalized the supposed perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City and Washington D.C. and from which most of the supposed hijackers originated from.

If Iran is indeed waging war against Saudi Arabia and its terrorist proxies in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, the real question is – why isn’t the United States backing Tehran instead?

The obvious answer to this question reveals the crumbling moral authority of the United States as the principled facade it has used for decades falls away from its hegemony-driven agenda worldwide.

The US and its allies created the “War on Terror” and intentionally perpetuated it as a pretext to expand militarily around the globe in an attempt to preserve its post-Cold War primacy and prevent the rise of a multipolar alternative to its unipolar “international order.” It has done this not only at the cost of hundreds of thousands of human lives across the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, it has done it at the cost of trillions of taxpayers’ dollars and the lives of thousands of America’s own soldiers, sailors, aviators, and Marines.


Canada Too 

A recent row between Canada and Saudi Arabia over supposed “human rights” concerns appears to be a vain attempt to salvage the credibility of at least some nations involved in the now 7 year long war – the last 3 years of which has seen direct military intervention by Saudi Arabia, its partners, and its backers – including Canada.

The Guardian in an article titled, “‘We don’t have a single friend’: Canada’s Saudi spat reveals country is alone,” attempts to portray Canada as taking a lone, principled stance against human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia – abandoned even by Washington.

The article would claim:

The spat appeared to have been sparked last week when Canada’s foreign ministry expressed its concern over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists, in a tweet that echoed concerns previously voiced by the United Nations. 

Saudi Arabia swiftly shot back, making plans to remove thousands of Saudi students and medical patients from Canada, and suspending the state airline’s flights to and from Canada, among other actions.

The Guardian would also claim:

…the US said it would remain on the sidelines while Saudi officials lashed out at Canada over its call to release jailed civil rights activists.

Canada’s feigned concern for “human rights” in Saudi Arabia comes at a time when the Canadian government continues approving of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of arms sales to Riyadh. This includes small arms and armored personnel carriers Saudi forces are using in their ongoing invasion and occupation of neighboring Yemen.

The feigned divide between Ottawa and Washington over Saudi human rights violations is overshadowed by years of commitment by both North American nations in propping up the Saudi regime, and aiding and abetting the very worst of Riyadh’s human rights abuses unfolding amid the Yemeni conflict.

Canada’s apparent role is to help compartmentalize the worst of the West’s decaying moral authority, containing it with the US, and taking up a more prominent role in the West’s industrialized “human rights” and “democracy” leveraging racket.

While Canadian armaments help fuel genocide in Yemen – Canadian diplomats around the world fund agitators and directly meddle in the internal political affairs of foreign nations predicated on promoting “human rights” and “democracy.”

In Thailand for example, the US has receded into the shadows, allowing Canada, the UK, and other European nations to openly engage in political meddling on their behalf. US funding and support continues, but the public face of Western “outrage” is increasingly becoming Canadian, British, and Northern European.

However, Canada faces the same problem that has permanently eroded American credibility. And as its role in perpetuating real human rights abuses worldwide continues to be exposed, its feigned concern over token or even manufactured human rights concerns will increasingly appear hypocritical and hollow, undermining the West’s collective ability to leverage and hide behind human rights and democracy to advance their self-serving agendas.

Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

The Saker

June 29, 2018

Foreign Minister S.Lavrov’s interview with Channel 4, Moscow, June 29, 2018

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3285972

 

Question: Foreign Minister, the summit is happening in Helsinki. Russian President V.Putin and US President D.Trump together. Is this the post-West world order that you have talked of in the past? Has it now arrived?

S.Lavrov: Well, I think that we are in the post-West world order, but this order is being shaped and it will take a long time. It is a historical epoch, if you want. Certainly, after five or so centuries of domination of the collective West, as it were, it is not very easy to adjust to new realities that there are other powerhouses economically, financially and politically, China, India, Brazil. African countries are going to be very much on the rise, as soon as they resolve at least some of the conflicts, which are there on the continent. Well, Russia certainly would like to be an independent world player. Independent in the sense that we do not want to violate and international law and norms, but the decisions, which we would be taking on the basis of international law, would not be influenced by pressure, money, sanctions, threats or anything else.

Question: Russia is shaping this world order that is clear.

S.Lavrov: It is not Russia is shaping this world order, its history. It’s the development itself. You cannot really hope to contain this new powerful, economically and financially, countries. You cannot really ignore their role in world trade and world economy. Attempts are being made to slow down this process by new tariffs, new sanctions for good or bad reasons in violation of the WTO principles and so on. But I think it is a logical reaction: trying to slow down something, which is objective and does not depend on any single administration in any country.

Question: But Europe has something to fear from that world order that you have just mapped out there.

S.Lavrov: What was that?

Question: Well the world order that you have mapped out involved all sorts of countries. You did not mention whether the EU fits into that. Do they need to worry about that new world order?

S.Lavrov: Well, the EU is of course part of the collective West with the addition of new members from Eastern Europe. But the European Union is certainly a very important pillar of any world order. As for the Russian Federation, it is our biggest trade partner in spite of the fact that after the unfortunate developments and the wrongly understood interpretation of what the coup d’état is. The volume of trade since 2014 between Russia and the European Union went down 50%, but it is still more than $250bn and it is our number one trading partner, as a collective, as a Union. But the European Union certainly is now fighting to make sure that it is not lost in this new world order that is being shaped. It is not easy, because the reliance on the United States is something, which quite a number of the EU members want to keep. There are some other EU members, who believe that they should be a bit more self-sufficient in military matters for example. The initiative of President F.Macron and Germany to consider some kind of European defence capabilities being beefed up is a manifestation of this case.

I am watching the EU summit, which is going on right now, and the discussion on migration brought an interesting thought to my head, namely it is about the relations between NATO and EU. NATO bombed Libya, turned Libya into a black hole through which waves of migrants, illegal migrants, rushed to Europe. Now EU is cleaning the broken china for NATO.

Question: You talk about NATO’s involvement in Libya, but then there is Russia’s involvement in Syria and that has also created millions of refugees.

S.Lavrov: Yes, but I would challenge you that the Russian involvement in Syria on the basis of legitimate request from the legitimate government, recognized by all as the representative of Syria in the United Nations, took place in September 2015, four years and a half into the Arab spring embracing Syria. The bulk of the refugees already was outside Syria by the time that we came to the rescue of the legitimate government.

Question: Well you talk of the legitimate government that is also the government responsible for killing of hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, making millions homeless. “A gas killing animal”, as President D.Trump, your ally, puts it. Do you rest easy being allied with that kind of government?

S.Lavrov: Well, I would not go into the names, which President D.Trump used to describe some of the world leaders. It is not something done in concrete, it might change. What I want to say is: it is a war. It is the war, which was started by mistakes made on the part of everyone, including the Syrian government. I believe these disturbances could have been handled politically at an earlier stage. But we have now on our hands what is the result of outside forces having tried to use the situation in order to reshape the map of the Middle East and Northern Africa by trying to get into Syria without any invitation and trying to promote their own agenda there. So, the efforts, which we are now undertaking together with Turkey and Iran, and both of them are present on the ground, Turkey without invitation, Iran with the invitation from the government, but we managed pragmatically to create what we call Astana Process, Astana Format. The Syrian government, given the fact that Russia, Iran cooperate with Turkey on the basis of decisions, which lead to de-escalation, accepted Astana Process as such. It is part of the process together with the armed opposition, they regularly meet, and try to create conditions for the resolution of UN Security Council 2254 to be implemented.

Question: Let me ask again about Syrian President B.Assad. A lot of people would like to know what is there to like about President B.Assad?

S.Lavrov: We do not like anybody. The diplomacy and politics are not about liking or disliking, it is for human beings as individuals to use this terminology. President Assad is protecting the sovereignty of his country. He is protecting his country and in a broader sense the region from terrorism, which was really about a couple of weeks from taking over Damascus in September 2015.

We did not want the repetition of tragedies, which happened during last couple of decades through the “adventures”. Maybe even more than a couple of decades. It started closer to the end last century in Afghanistan, when the US decided to support militarily, financially and otherwise mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviet troops. I would not dwell upon why the Soviet troops were there. By the way USSR was also invited legally by the government, which was recognized legitimate. The US decided to use the mujahedeen to fight the Soviet troops, hoping that after the job is done, they could handle those mujahedeen. That is how Al Qaeda appeared and the US lost total control of this beast, whom they had created basically. Then there was an adventure in Iraq on the very false pretence. Now everybody knows this, even Tony Blair admitted that this was a mistake. But the fact of the matter is just like Al Qaeda was born in Afghanistan, ISIL/Daesh was born after the intervention in Iraq. After Libya was invaded in gross violation of the Security Council Resolution, and Syria is now, there is another beast that was born – Jabhat al Nusra, which changes names, but is another terrorist organization. Whatever the civilized West is trying to bring to the Middle East and North Africa turns out to be in favour of terrorists.

Question: That is a very impressive whistle-stop tour of history, but I want to ask about the present though and about President Assad. You said that it is not about liking President Assad. Does that mean that Russia would be prepared to see him go? Do the job, finish the war and then he goes?

S.Lavrov: It is the position, which is not Russian position, it is the position of the Security Council, endorsed by each and every country on Earth, that the future of Syria must be decided by the Syrian people themselves. That there must be a new constitution.  On the basis of the new constitution there must be elections. Elections should be free, fair, monitored by the UN and all Syrian citizens, wherever they are, should be eligible to vote.

Question: So, it is irrelevant to you whether he stays or goes, that is for the Syrian people?

S.Lavrov: Yes, that is for them to decide. I believe that this view, which was rejected for quite some time after the Syrian crisis began, is now shared by more and more countries.

Question: When Russia withdraws from Syria? President V.Putin first raised the prospect in March 2016, he said that Russia had largely achieved her objectives there. Again, December 2017. By the end of this year can we expect Russia to be out of Syria?

S.Lavrov: No. I do not think that this is something, which we can intelligently discuss. We do not like artificial deadlines, but we have been consistently reducing our military presence in Syria. The last reduction took place a few of days ago. More than 1,000 troops have come back to Russia, some aircraft and other equipment as well. It depends on what is the actual situation on the ground. Yes, we managed together with our colleagues, with Syrian Army, with the help of opposition, which I would call “patriotic opposition” not to allow plans to create a caliphate by ISIL happen. But some remnants of ISIL are very much there. Jabhat al Nusra is still there. They are now preventing the deal on the southern Syrian de-escalation area to be implemented fully. So there are some leftovers. Besides, we do have, not actually full-fledged bases, but two places where our naval ships and our aircraft are located in Syria and they might be usefully kept for quite some time.

Question: Clearly, Syria will be on the agenda at the summit. Just want to talk about some other things that might be. For example, you have mentioned sanctions. Do you think that sanctions will be lifted, given that the EU has just talked about extending them? Do you think you can get President D.Trump to commit to that?

S.Lavrov: Actually, I have mentioned sanctions only in the context of the deterioration of relations. We are not pleading to remove them. It is not our business, it is for those, who introduced sanction, to decide whether they want to continue or whether common sense would prevail.

Question: Well, your President has very recently said that he would like them lifted.

S.Lavrov: Yes, absolutely. We would not mind them lifted, but we would not mind also using the spirit to build up our own capacity in key sectors of economy, security and other areas on which an independent state depends. In the recent years, we have learned a lot, including the fact that in these issues you cannot rely on the West. You cannot rely on Western technologies, because they can be abruptly stopped at any moment. You cannot rely on the items, which are essential for the day-to-day living of the population, coming from the West, because this could also be stopped. So we are certainly drawing lessons. But we certainly would not be against sanctions being lifted and we would reciprocate, because we do have some countermeasures in place.

Question: What are you prepared to give in this Summit? For example, if D.Trump says he wants NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden back in the US, is that something that you would consider? Is this something that you can put on the table?

S.Lavrov: I have never discussed Edward Snowden with this Administration.  President V.Putin addressed the issue some years ago. When he was asked the question, he said this is for Edward Snowden do decide. We respect his rights, as an individual. That is why we were not in the position to expel him against his will, because he found himself in Russia even without the US passport, which was discontinued as he was flying from Hong Kong.

Question: So that is not going to be up for discussion?

S.Lavrov: I do not know why people would start asking this particular question in relation to the Summit. Edward Snowden is the master of his own destiny.

Question: Given that the US intelligence believes that the presidential elections were meddled with, can Russian President V.Putin give D.Trump any assurances that the upcoming mid-term elections in a few months’ time would not be meddled with by Russia?

S.Lavrov: We would prefer some facts. We cannot intelligently discuss something, which is based on “highly likely”.

Question: Well, it is more than highly likely, is not it?

S.Lavrov: No. The investigation in the US has been going on for how long? A year and a half now?

Question: Well, Robert Mueller indicted the Internet Research Agency, the Russian “troll factory”.

S.Lavrov: Indictment is something, which requires a trial and I understand that they have submitted their own case and they have challenged quite a number of things, which were used for the indictment. So let’s not jump the gun. I love Lewis Carrol, but I do not think that the logic of the queen, who said “sentence first, verdict later”, is going to prevail. So far, you take the presidential election in the US, take Brexit, take the Salisbury case, take the tragedy with the Malaysian Boeing MH17 flight, it is all based on “investigation continues, but you are guilty already”. It cannot work this way.

Question: But is Russia frightened of the truth? Because it just seems whenever the authority whether it is the UN or the chemical weapons watch dog OPCW, whenever they try to get to the facts, Russia objects.

S.Lavrov: No, I believe that the public and respected journalists like you have been misinformed. The OPCW must operate on the basis of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which says bluntly that there is only one procedure when you want to establish facts. First, experts of the OPCW must themselves without delegating this authority to anyone go to the place of the alleged incident. They must themselves with their own hands and with their own equipment take samples. They must continue holding the substances in their hands until they have reached a certified laboratory. In the recent cases, especially in the infamous case of Khan Shaykhun April last year, when the Syrian government was accused of using aerial bombs to deliver chemical weapons to Khan Shaykhun, the OPCW never visited the place, they never took samples themselves. When we asked where did they get samples they said: “the Brits and the French gave it to us”. We asked why do not you go there?

Question: Have you lost faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Wait a second, that is important information. Let’s not speak slogans, let’s speak facts. So they did not go there. But they said that “we got the samples”. We asked “where from?”. They said “well the British and the French got it for us”. “Why do not you go?”, we asked. “Why it is not very safe.” We told them if the Brits and the French made it there or rather they know people who can get there safely, why do not you ask Paris and London to ensure safety for your own inspectors to get there. We told the same to the French and to the British, they said: “no, it is something, which we cannot share with you, how we got hold of this”. So, no procedures, regarding the taking of the samples, and the chain of custody, meaning that the inspectors themselves cannot delegate to anyone the delivery of samples to laboratory. These procedures, embodied and enshrined in the Convention, were violated. The Report on this Khan Shaykhun case, submitted by this Joint Investigating Mechanism last fall was full of “highly likely”, “by all probability”, “we have good reasons to believe” and so on and so forth. We invited the authors of the Report to the Security Council, trying to get some credible information from them. Impossible, they were stonewalled, they refused to talk. We said: “guys, if you want to work on the basis of violation of the Convention’s procedures, this cannot continue”. We did not extend their mandate, but we suggested a new mechanism, insisting that this new mechanism must not violate the procedures embodied in the Convention.

Question: Do you still have faith in the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Until recently we did. But the organization was grossly manipulated a couple of days ago, when the Brits and others convened the special sessions of the state parties to the Convention. They passed a decision by vote, which basically violates the Convention in all its provisions, giving the Technical Secretariat the right to establish guilt. I think that this is a step, which was not thought through very thoroughly, because it is very dangerous.

Question: Well, it is dangerous potentially for Russia, because now the chemical weapons watchdog can apportion blame to the likes of Russia. Are you fearful of the truth?

S.Lavrov: No, I am fearful of the future of the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Question: Will you withdraw from the OPCW?

S.Lavrov: Well, if people prefer to violate the Convention, if they say that this is the “will of the majority”. When they convened this conference, all kinds of tricks were used, including mobilizing small countries, who do not have any representation in the Hague, paying for their travel expenses, paying for their hotel bills. We know all this and they know all this. So, when the Convention is grossly violated, I do not think that you can really avoid raising concern. We will try to repair the situation, because this decision will go to the regular conference of the state parties. But if this is not repaired, I believe that the days of the OPCW will be counted, at least it would not remain as a universal organization.

Question: The OPCW has also investigated the case of the Skripals. I wanted to ask you, do you think that using a nerve agent to poison a former spy and his child, a policeman on the streets of a cathedral city in Britain is an act of a rational state?

S.Lavrov: Rational state? Not at all. It is an act of crime. We from the very beginning suggested that we investigate this together, because it is our citizen. At least the daughter is our citizen. The father, I think, has a dual citizenship, he is a Russian citizen and a British subject. From the very beginning we suggested a joint investigation. We asked so many questions, including the questions related to the Chemical Weapons Convention’s procedures. In response, we were told that the British side does not want to listen, because we have to tell them only one thing. “Did V.Putin order this or did V.Putin lose control over the people who did?”. That’s all that the Brits wanted to discuss. The inconsistences in the situation with the Skripals are very troubling. We never managed to get consular access to our citizen in violation of all international conventions on diplomatic and consular relations. We never got any credible explanation why the cousin of Yulia Skripal has not been given visa, she wants to visit the UK and see her cousin. And many other things related to the act itself.

Question: But why would Britain give consular access to the country suspected of being behind this attack?

S.Lavrov: You know that the investigation continues. The Scotland Yard said that it would take a few more months. UK Foreign Secretary B.Johnson recently mentioned that the place is being disinfected four months after the incident. The policeman became miraculously fine. The Skripals became miraculously fine. People now talk about levelling the house, where they lived, levelling the house of the policeman. It all looks like a consistent physical extermination of the evidence, like the benches of the park were removed immediately and, of course, the video images, when the policemen or special forces in special attire go to take a look at this bench, while people without any protection are moving around. It looks very weird.

S.Lavrov: Mr. Lavrov are accusing the British state of a cover-up of this whole incident?

S.Lavrov: I do not exclude this, as long as they do not give us information. You know that about 10 Russian citizens have died in London during the past years. All 10 cases have been investigated in the secret format. We do not understand why. One of the wise guys said: “who is to benefit?” Certainly, the UK benefited politically from what is going. Come to think of it, it is an interesting situation, thereby the country, which is leaving the European Union, is determining the EU policy on Russia. When they were running through all capitals of the European Union, saying “you must expel the Russian diplomats, you must expel them”. So they did. Most of them, some did not. Then we privately asked those, who decided to join Britain in this action whether any proof was given in addition to what was said publicly. They said no. But they said that “we were promised that later, as investigation proceeds, we would be given more facts”. Do you think it is ok?

Question: But you ask who benefits and there are many in the West, who say that the chaos whether it is Brexit, whether it is the Skripals, whether it is D.Trump in the White House…

S.Lavrov: You forgot Catalonia and you forgot the forthcoming elections in Sweden, as the Prime Minister said. Macedonia, Montenegro…

Question: Ok, we will include that later. But answer me this: does the chaos benefit Russia, as some in the West say?

S.Lavrov: You have to be within the historical and chronological framework. You mean the chaos benefits Russia couple of weeks before the presidential elections and months before the World Cup. What do you think?

Question: I am asking you. Does chaos benefit Russia?

S.Lavrov: I want to clarify the issue. Does chaos benefit Russia couple of days before the presidential elections and couple of days before the World Cup? Is it the question?

Question: Well you talked about the new world order that you are hoping that Russia will help shape. Much easier to shape that world order if the EU is in chaos, you are holding the ring in the Middle East, if you are calling the shots in Syria. Russia potentially benefits.

S.Lavrov: No, this is absolutely wrong. It is misreading what I have said. I did not say that Russia wants to shape the new order. I said that Russia must be one of the players on the equal basis, discussing how the objective reality of multipolarity, being developed in front of our eyes, could be managed the way, which would be acceptable to all. That is what I have said. The interests of those, who determine the Russophobic policy in the West, are absolutely diametrically different. Their interest is to punish Russia, to downgrade Russia.

Question: Why, do you think?

S.Lavrov: Because it is very painful to lose half millennium of domination in the world affairs. In a nutshell this is the answer. This is not the criticism, this is a statement of fact. I understand when people used to call the shots in India, Africa, Asia, elsewhere and now they understand that this time has passed.

Question: Is Brexit good for Britain? Is it good for Russia?

S.Lavrov: This is for the UK subjects to discuss.

Question: Good for Russia, though?

S.Lavrov: I do not understand why we should be thinking in this way. It is something that the Brits decided. It is something, which they still discuss with the EU: the divorce, the problems inside the country. We also know, of course we follow the news, that the Parliament has one position, some public activists want rethinking.

Question: Does it look like chaos to you in Theresa May’s Britain?

S.Lavrov: Look, it is something, which happened by developments inside the UK. We only want clarity. What will be the basis on which we continue to work with the European Union. What will be the basis on which we might someday restore the relations with the UK, when they take some reasonable course and not overly ideologised, “highly likely” attitude. I believe that this must be must be very much understood by those in the West, especially by the liberals, who keep saying that the “rule of law must prevail”. In my view, rule of law means that unless proven guilty you cannot sentence people. That is what is happening with Skripal, MH17, with the OPCW being an instrument of those, who would like to make this “highly likely” the order of the day in Syria.

Question: Just returning to the Summit for a couple of final questions. Does it help Russia in her dealings with D.Trump that so many people think that you have compromising materials,  so-called “kompromat”, on him?

S.Lavrov: Look, I hear this for the first time that we have the compromising material on D.Trump. That’s what the Special Counsel R.Mueller is trying to dig. Actually, I stopped reading the news from this investigation. You know that when R. Tillerson was Secretary of State, he once stated publicly that they have an “undeniable proof”. Then, during our contact, I said: “Rex, can you give this undeniable proof to us? Because we want to understand what is going on. Maybe this is something that we can explain”. He said: “well, we cannot give it to you, we cannot compromise our sources and besides, your special services, your security people know everything – ask them”. Is it the way to handle serious things? It is a matter, which is used to ruin the Russian-American relations. To answer the way, in which he did, I believe that it is not mature. It is very childish, I think. I think that the people, who are trying to dig something to prove that we have decided the future of the greatest country on Earth through some Internet agency, are ridiculous. I understand that the Democrats in the US are really quite nervous. I understand that the UK is nervous. There were leaks in the Times, saying that the Cabinet members are nervous that D.Trump and V.Putin might get along.

Question: So you do read the papers?

S.Lavrov: I read the extracts, which my people give me. I love reading papers with a cup of coffee, but do not always have time.

Question: Finally, on that point of kompromat. The ex-FBI Director J.Comey has said and I quote “it is possible that the current President of the United States was with prostitutes, peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013”. Do you think that this is possible?

S.Lavrov: Well, he said that this is possible, ask him.

Question: Do you think that this is possible? It has happened in Moscow allegedly.

S.Lavrov: I do not know what people can invent again. I think that I have read this story a couple of years ago, when all this started. Again, if people base the real policies vis-à-vis a country, state-to-state policies on the basis of “it is “possible”, on the basis of “highly likely”, this is shameful. I believe that what is being done in the context of the Russiagate in the US, as President V.Putin has repeatedly said, is the manifestation of deep domestic controversy, because the losers do not have the guts to accept that they have lost the elections.

Question: Foreign Minister, thank you very much.

S.Lavrov: Thank you.

 

حكاية إيران وكوريا مع أميركا وأوروبا: الجغرافيا السياسية تغيّرت مع الحرب السورية

حكاية إيران وكوريا مع أميركا وأوروبا: الجغرافيا السياسية تغيّرت مع الحرب السورية

مايو 29, 2018

– كشفت العنتريات الأميركية في الملف النووي لكوريا الشمالية هزال السياسة الخارجية والأمنية لإدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب، التي تلاقى مستشار أمنها القومي جون بولتون ونائب الرئيس مايكل بنس، على تبشيرها بالخيار الليبي، واضطر رئيسها ترامب نفسه لنفي التشبيه وثم الإصرار على بقاء التفاوض رغم الإعلان الكوري عن التشكيك في جدواه. وعاد فأعلن إلغاء القمة مع الزعيم الكوري بسبب الصدّ والممانعة الكوريين، ليعود فيوسّط رئيس كوريا الجنوبية ويرسل وفداً إلى كوريا الشمالية يتبعه وصول وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو لتقديم ضمانات رسمية طلبتها كوريا للإبقاء على القمة، ويعلن ترامب مجدداً أنه يتطلّع لعقد القمة ويعد كوريا بالمَنّ والسلوى.

– بالمقابل بدت أميركا متشدّدة ومتصلّبة وفي منحى تصعيدي تجاه الملف النووي الإيراني، وصولاً لعدم سماع أصوات الاستغاثة الأوروبية بعدم تطبيق العقوبات على شركاتها ومصارفها التي ستبقى ضمن خط التعامل التجاري مع إيران من ضمن التزام الحكومات الأوروبية بالتفاهم الموقع والمصدّق عليه من مجلس الأمن الدولي برضا وقبول واشنطن نفسها، حتى عندما بلغت الأصوات الأوروبية حدّ التحذير من أنها ستنفرد عن أميركا وتصون التفاهم لم تلقَ إصغاء واشنطن، وترافق التصعيد الأميركي مع تهديد إسرائيلي متواصل وتصعيد محسوب ومتقطع على الجبهة السورية تحت عنوان الدعوة لانسحاب إيران وحزب الله، يرافقها طلب أميركي مشابه، وظهرت إلى العلن حملة عقوبات أميركية وخليجية ذات مغزى سياسي تستهدف حزب الله، رغم عدم قيمتها العملية.

– أمران جديدان على حسابات المحلّلين والسياسيين أظهرتهما الأيام، الأول لهاث أميركي نحو القمة مع زعيم كوريا الشمالية رغم فقدان المهابة بعد كل ما تعرّضت له القمة، وتمسّك أوروبي بالتفاهم النووي مع إيران والالتزام بتخطّي عقدة العقوبات الأميركية بما يُطمئن إيران لمصالحها بعدما حسمت أنّها تلتزم بالتفاهم بقدر ما يلبّي هذه المصالح. فهل هذه بدايات لتبلور مشهد دولي جديد، وهل بدأ زمن تفكّك الغرب الذي عرفناه تقليدياً بقيادة أميركية؟ وهل تلعب الجغرافيا السياسية التي جذبت روسيا كلاعب إقليمي لعبتها الآن مع أوروبا بعدما صارت أميركا لاعباً إقليمياً في شرق آسيا بقوة الجغرافيا السياسية ومفاعيلها ذاتها؟

– الأكيد أن زلزالاً شهدته العلاقات الدولية لا زال في بداياته، والأكيد أن الأحكام المسبقة أو التقليدية لا تصلح لفهم تداعيات هذا الزلزال، والأكيد أن تيويم الاستنتاجات والخلاصات يحتاج لمرونة في التفكير وتلقي المواقف وقياسها ومحاولة فهمها. ومَن يراقب التحوّل الذي شهدته التصرفات الروسية خلال ثلاثة أعوام منذ قرار التموضع العسكري في سورية وتحمّل تبعاته كقرار استراتيجي يحمل تحدياً واضحاً وعلنياً لما كان سائداً من قواعد رسمتها أميركا على الساحة الدولية عموماً، وساحة المنطقة خصوصاً، ويراقب تدريجياً ما أصاب الاتحاد الأوروبي من ملامح تفكك بدأت طلائعها مع الانسحاب البريطاني، وما لحق الاتحاد الأوروبي من ارتباك تجاه كيفية التأقلم مع العالم الجديد الذي يبدو قيد الولادة، سواء لجهة كيفية التعامل مع الحرب في سورية وعليها، أو في التعامل مع إيران، أو في التعامل مع روسيا، وما في كل ذلك من ارتباك وتذبذب، ومقابله العلاقات الأوروبية الأميركية، وكذلك مَن يراقب الانكفاء الأميركي العملي من ملفات المنطقة رغم بقاء ملامح انتشار عسكري وسياسي، انكفاء عبر عنه الانسحاب السلبي من التفاهم النووي الإيراني دون السعي لإسقاط التفاهم ولا الذهاب لحرب يفرضها أي مؤشر لعودة إيران لتخصيب اليورانيوم، وكذلك الانسحاب الأميركي من ملف تسوية القضية الفلسطينية، والاكتفاء بإعلان القدس عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال ولو كانت النتيجة تفجير مشاريع التفاوض ونقل الشارع الفلسطيني وقواه السياسية إلى حالة مواجهة بذلت واشنطن الكثير لتفاديها.. مَن يراقب كل ذلك لا بد أن يكتشف أن قواعد السياسة الدولية تتغيّر نوعياً، وأن ما جعل روسيا تترجم عالميتها بالتحوّل لقوة إقليمية في المنطقة، هو ذاته يجعل أوروبا كذلك، ويدفع أميركا بقوة الجغرافيا إلى خارج المنطقة، ويجذبها نحو التحوّل قوة إقليمية في منطقة أخرى يمسّها كل تحوّل فيها في الأمن والاقتصاد، هي شرق آسيا وليس ما عُرف بالشرق الأوسط، الذي بيقيها على صلة به التزامها بأمن «إسرائيل» وأمن النفط باتصاله بالحكم السعودي.

– عندما تقرّر واشنطن الانسحاب من اتفاقية المناخ والتخلّي بموجب ذلك عن دورها كقوة عظمى قيادية للعالم، فهي تقرّر العودة للمنافسة التي حرمها الغرب نفسه بقيادة أميركية في مرحلة الرهان على رفع أكلاف الإنتاج من بوابة منع تدمير البيئة، وفرض بقيادة أميركية شروطاً على الصناعات تزيد كلفتها تحت شعار حماية البيئة، وتمنح الغرب وصناعاته قدرة تنافسية أعلى، لتأتي واشنطن معلنة بانسحابها أنها عاجزة عن المنافسة بهذه الشروط وأن اقتصادها لا يحتملها، والمنافس هنا هو باقي دول الغرب في أوروبا وكل من الصين واليابان وكوريا الجنوبية في الشرق. وعندما تلحق واشنطن ذلك بقرارات متتابعة برفع الرسوم الجمركية على الحديد والصلب، وصناعة السيارات، وتليها بإعلان الخروج من اتفاقية «نفتا» التي تربطها بدول أميركا الجنوبية للأسباب ذاتها، فهي تقرّر الاحتماء وراء الجدران، جدران السياسة بالانسحاب من قيادة التسويات حيث لا جدوى من الحروب ولا قدرة على خوضها، وجدران الاقتصاد، بالانسحاب من التفاهمات التي شكلت اتفاقية المناخ وتشكيل منظمة التجارة العالمية، لضمان حرية انتقال البضائع، ذروة الحركة الأميركية فيها نحو العولمة.

– سقوط العولمة هو الاستنتاج الأهم الذي يحكم العالم اليوم في ضوء الزلزال الذي مثّلته الحرب السورية، وفشل السيطرة الأميركية عليها، وتبلور معادلات دولية جديدة بضوئها، تُعيد رسم مفاهيم الأمن القومي والاقتصادي للدول الغربية بصورة لا تتيح بقاء أميركا وأوروبا في ضفة واحدة، بل ربّما تؤسس لتقارب روسي أوروبي، وتنافس ومساكنة أميركية صينية، من موقع دور وفعل الجغرافيا السياسية والاقتصادية، في زمن باتت ترسم فيه البحار مناطق الأقاليم الجديدة، وفقاً لما تميّز بكشفه الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد بنظريته عن البحار الخمسة، التي تجعل روسيا وأوروبا وما عُرفَ تقليدياً بالشرق الأوسط وإيران وتركيا والخليج ضمناً، منطقة إقليمية واحدة، فالقضيتان الجوهريتان لأمن أوروبا هما النازحون والإرهاب، ومصدرهما زعزعة الاستقرار في الشرق الأوسط التقليدي. وهي زعزعة لا تزعج أميركا، وتضاف إليهما مخاطر مواجهة مع إيران التي تملك ترسانة صاروخية تقع أوروبا في مداها، وتتحمّل أوروبا لتفادي المواجهة فاتورة الانكفاء الأميركي لإدارة ملف إيران النووي بما لا يزيد درجة الخطر بذهاب إيران للتخصيب الخطير، بينما أولويات أميركا كورية وصينية، أمنياً واقتصادياً، فواشنطن في مدى صواريخ نووية كورية جاهزة، وتحت تأثير ديون تملكها الصين، وفي مواجهة منافسة اقتصادية قوتها المحورية تمثلها الصين وبنسب أقل اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية وأوروبا.

– هذا ما يفسّر الموقف الأوروبي المخالف لواشنطن في قضية القدس، وفي الملف النووي الإيراني، وفي ملفات ستتبلور أوضح تباعاً، كالحرب السورية والحرب في اليمن، وبالتالي تغليب أوروبا للغة التسويات على العنتريات والمواجهات، عنتريات يقودها كيان الاحتلال والكيان السعودي، ككيانين هيجينين لا تقرّر السياسة فيهما لغة المصالح، واحد لكونه مصطنعاً سكانياً بقوة الاستيطان، وآخر لأنه مصطنع اقتصادياً بقوة النفط، بينما ولاعتبارات الجغرافيا السياسية نفسها بدأ التحوّل التركي، ولو سار بطيئاً، فهو لن يعود إلى الوراء.

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