Barak Obama placed Russia second on the list of new global dangers, with ISIS coming in third. What kind of rhetoric is that and why would the US President opt to revive the Cold War customs? Radio VR is discussing the subject with US historian and author William Blum and US political analyst Paul Craig Roberts.
“Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition…. We will reinforce our NATO allies, and uphold our commitment to collective defense. We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and counter falsehoods with the truth”, Barack Obama said at the UN General Assembly just a couple of days after having taken his own country to a new military adventure in the Middle East.
Says US historian and author William Blum:
“The hostility of the US towards Russia is not surprising. What is surprising is that he would use the occasion of the opening of the UN session to attack Russia, because it is totally irrelevant to the main issue being discussed, which is ISIS. And so, having his audience as international audience, he couldn’t resist throwing in some sharp criticism of Russia.
And, as I said, that is not surprising that the hostility exists, because the US Government, like all its predecessors, seeks to dominate the world. And this has been their policy for a century. They recognize Russia as the main obstacle for American world domination. That is the reason for their hostility, in general.
China seems to present an even greater challenge to the US world domination.
China is not that critical of the US imperialism the way Russia is. Russia has been much more critical of the US foreign policy. The last example of that is Ukraine, of course. But China is the second down the list. The US has been surrounding Russia with NATO bases for decades now. China is also in the process of being surrounded by the US. The US has announced a new path with Asia. That’s how they call it, but what it should be called is to surround China. The US is not ignoring the possible danger of China to the empire either.
Then, what do we need to expect? If we are a greater threat than the IS and America is bombing the IS now, is it going to bomb Russia?
No, the US Government has bombed (I have a list) more than 30 countries since the end of the WW II. But they only bomb countries which cannot defend themselves from bombing. Russia can defend itself, so they will not bomb Russia. And it is a very cowardly foreign policy, obviously.
Mr. Obama also seems to be saying that the world has become a safer place. “The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted”, he said, having issued a couple of threats to Russia.
Well, the world is not safer now. You know, it is really ironic. Obama’s supporters often state that he is more intelligent that George W. Bush. But in my opinion, Obama makes stupid statements as Bush ever did again and again. And to say that the world is a safer place now, it is one of those stupid statements. What is going on all over the place and horrible atrocities are being carried out. Why it is safer? It is taken very seriously by anybody who is informed, but it is for the American public which is not very informed.
The impression from the outside is that Obama seems to be cornered, and his statements sometimes seem to bear signs of desperation.
That’s what his supporters, the ones who have been supporting him for the past 7 or 8 years, like when Clinton criticized Obama’s policies, their only defense is – well, he really means well, but the Republicans don’t let him act like a decent human being, the Republicans force him into acting the way he does – which is meaningless, because it can’t be proven and it doesn’t matter anyhow, because he will be judged by history by what he has done, not by what supposedly lies at the bottom of his soul, which we haven't seen yet.
So, he will be judged by what he does. And, basically, what he does – he is the most militaristic president of the US that has ever existed. He has now bombed seven countries. There is no American president who could say the same thing. Seven countries he has bombed! And in each of those it is an absolute act of war. The main objective of the US foreign policy for many-many years or decades has been world domination. They have sought this for over a century.
And if this may be hard to accept by many people, especially in the US, but that is the only explanation for their policy – world domination. And anybody who stands in the way of that is an enemy. And control of the ME is a vital part of this world domination.
And in the recent times, in the ME, the countries which have stood in the way of American domination have been Iraq, Libya and Syria. The US has already overthrown the Government of Iraq, they have overthrown the Government of Libya and they are now in the process of overthrowing the Government of Syria.
This bombing of ISIS in Syria, I'm sure, has the second ambition to harm to the Syrian military, so that it is easier for the US to overcome them. And they will be bombing every day now for who knows how long. And I don’t know to what extent, if any, Syria has agreed to this policy and I'm not sure if they have any choice. But I'm sure that part of the motivation for Washington is to do damage to the military capability of Syria.
So, what are the next steps which you could forecast in the medium term perspective?
I don’t know. I would not have predicted that the US would be bombing Syria. We are talking about a bunch of crazy people. The people who run this Government are crazy and there is no predicting what insanity they will do next. And that is not simply for the sake of dominance in the world, it is certainly for economic reasons, ideological reasons and to aid Israel. The last reason is not irrational, but it is not humanitarian in any way, it is not logical from the point of view of humanity”.
So, there must also be a reason why the US President would try to designate Russia as the main adversary of the US.
Says Paul Craig Roberts, Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Assistant secretary of treasury during the presidency of Ronald Reagan:
“The US foreign policy follows the Wolfowitz doctrine which says that the US must not allow any other country to attain a sufficient power and influence to be able to block American purposes in the world. And so, with the rise of Russia under Putin and, of course, with the economic rise of China this foreign policy is being put into operation.
The alarm bell, I think, was when it became clear that the Russian Government would not go along with the American military invasion of Syria or Iran, and the Russian Government worked out alternative solution to the problem that Washington had formed. And this showed Washington that Russia was not going to be a puppet state. And they’ve learned this also from China.
So, the response to China has been to build new naval and air bases from the Philippines all the way to Vietnam, in order that the US can control the flow of resources in the South China Sea. And with Russia, for the last two years, it’s been ramping up the Russian threat, so that the American population and those in the east and west Europe would accept more military spending and more bases on Russia’s border in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and in Georgia, and now in Ukraine.
So, these are the deliberate, intentional moves to present Russia and China with military threats, in addition to whatever economic leverage the US can mount with sanctions, with attacks on currency, with propaganda that destabilized the economic relations of Russia and China with other countries.
So, the Russian and the Chinese response has been to try to move outside the dollar payment system, such that they trade with other countries in their own currencies. This then makes it harder for economic sanctions or economic imperialism to be conducted against Russia and China by Washington.
And so, that is the current situation. The BRICS, I don’t know what the original thought was behind the formation of Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa into a trade block that uses its own currency, but I suspect it was a way of resisting American financial hegemony and a way of ensuring their sovereignty and independence.
And so, what Washington is finding is that its aggression, both militarily implied and economic aggression, is causing a change in the international payment system that was established at Bretton Woods after the WW II. And if this change goes through and has a success, then it will weaken the power of Washington, because a great deal of Washington’s power is based on the dollar’s use as the world reserve currency.
So, how this plays out, remains to be seen. I have always been puzzled by the slowness in the response of threatened countries, such as Russia and China, to the moves against them.
The recent pro-Kiev protest in Moscow may have been small and may have been weak, but what it shows is that there are Russians, even in Moscow, who either are so poorly informed that they don’t know what the situation in Ukraine is, or they are the Russians who are willing to be used by Washington on behalf of Washington’s propaganda. This is a problem for the Russian Government. These people are paid, just as the Maidan protesters, put into the streets by Washington.
Russia has got two different groups. They have what is being called the Eurasian “sovereigntists” – those who want the whole Russia together, the Russians together, who are behind the Government. And then, you have what I call the Atlantic integrationists, who want to be integrated into Europe. And those people may be gullible or they may be American agents, but they are a factor inside the Russian Government itself.
And so, these people think the future lies with being integrated into Europe. But the only way that can occur is if Russia is willing to assume the puppet role, the vassal state role like Germany and France, and Great Britain assume under the Americans. And so, that is not a realistic alternative for Russia.
And you have to understand that the Russian people who are glad to be rid of communism and assume that they have friends in Washington, they have friends in Washington only as long as the Russians are willing to be vassals. And I think that this left the Russians, including members of the elite and the Government, gullible and they don’t understand the nature of the threat”.