By M. I. Bhat
The United States government has never given any credence to whatever appears in the alternate media - be it about 9/11 and the wars since, color revolutions, spying, torture, Syrian sarin gas attack, failed economy, jobs, growing domestic poverty and public anger, and so on. It always promotes its own narrative however contrary the facts may be or however impeccable the credentials of the contrary camp. '
One of the rather persistent themes highlighted by the alternate media over the past many years has been the decline in the US imperial power. But the USG, from President down to lowly State Department official, continue to see the world as their playing field. So does the Congress. In fact Congress has always been a step ahead - ever on lookout to force American laws and social norms worldwide.
In this background the candid admission by the Secretary State John Kerry and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US' "superpower" days are over comes as a big surprise. As Bloomberg reported, Kerry admitted that despite "enormous power" the United States "can't necessarily always dictate every outcome the way we want, particularly in this world where we have rising economic powers -- China, India, Mexico, Korea, Brazil, many other people who are players."
This is precisely what President Vladimir Putin had warned the Washington in his famous 2007 Munich Speech when he said, "I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today's world." Unfortunately, it took 7 long years for the repository of global wisdom and leadership in Washington to realize this.
Nonetheless, this is a huge success for rest of the world given how arrogantly and unilaterally the US has been deciding world affairs post-Soviet Union, in the process turning Franklin Roosevelt's dictum on its head by breaking peace not just at one place but everywhere in the world.
But, is the admission of the "changed world" enough? Definitely not -- neither for the rest of the world nor for the US itself -- if the aim is world at peace.
What is important is the acceptance by Washington that it is their own policies and actions founded on unbridled arrogance that forced the world to change. After all, as Putin put it, "There is a limit to everything."
Also, equally important is that the Washington accepts that the US, too, has changed - it is broke economically, politically, socially and morally; it has lost credibility. It is not just others but even majority of its own people feel threatened by the USG.
Both changes resulted from the false notion that the US destroyed the Soviet Union and its communist economy. Yet it was this hyped notion and the absence of any countervailing potent force that let the US stalk the world community like Godzilla for about two decades, that is, until President Vladimir Putin was forced to say 'enough.'
Anyone believing that American money and military supplies helped Afghans bleed Soviet Union economically or that the collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed the success of capitalist economy over controlled economy should consider whose money and arms helped Afghans and Iraqis bleed the US and turn it into one of the most indebted nations in history. Moreover, who would say the millions of unemployed, homeless and hungry Americans -- thrown up, mind you, when US was at its peak, are the best poster boys of the success of the (Western version) capitalist economy!
History repeatedly notes long wars have spelled the final death knell of many an empires. As in the past, it is the long wars against determined enemies that broke economies of both "superpowers" -- Soviet Union with relatively lesser economy went down with just one long war, the US with greater economy needed two.
President Obama says no "military excursion" in Ukraine, and his Secretary State John Kerry talks of using "21st Century tools," meaning economic sanctions, against Russia. Someone ask Obama: When did US go to war against a powerful enemy that he felt need to discount military confrontation with Russia? After the Hollywood-scripted fancy of US victory over Nazi Germany in WWII has subsided, historian tell us it was Soviet Union that really bore the major brunt of defeating Germany, with US and Britain providing vital supporting roles only. A big hole in the ego balloon!
And someone ask Kerry: When did the US wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya happen if not in in 21st century, and didn't some of the "rising economic powers" exist then?
Both are talking crap, a naive attempt to cover up US' impotence. US may possibly threaten China of military action (as Chuck Hagel did recently in veiled terms) but against Russia ...? Well, that is different ball game US doesn't have balls to play.
All this doesn't mean US would opt for Gandhian non-violence. War is in the American genes. If overt war is not an option, it must go for covert one. Indeed, beginning with Georgia, that is the option Washington choose against Russia, baptizing it as the color revolutions. But how long?
Ruthless reaction to Georgia in 2008 should have given enough signals to the US that time is up for these covert "democracy promotion" games against Putin's Russia. But perhaps success in repeating Gorbachev (backpedaling on no Nato expansion) on Putin in the case of Libya, Washington thought they could go on cornering Russia - so the game went on, first in Syria and now in Ukraine.
Unless the idea is to provoke Russia, it is clear Washington once again miscalculated. If Putin didn't let go the distant Tartus Syrian naval base, how could he possibly let Black Sea naval base go from its belly? While Syria is inching forward in reclaiming lost ground against US-sponsored terrorists, Ukraine has already lost Crimea. This is after spending 5 billion dollars and all propaganda hype against Russia - no less bizarre than making 38m wide x 13m high Boeing 757 plane pass through Pentagon's 5mx5m deception hole without a trace on 9/11.
How much more Ukraine loses will depend primarily upon how far continental Europe (mainly Germany and France) is willing to tail Washington and let Ukraine be used as proxy against Russia, and secondarily whether the coup-installed Ukrainian Government is willing to fight this US' proxy war. While the prospects for the former don't look so bright beyond sanctions rhetoric given that EU and Russia are so intertwined economically, the latter seems rather quite plausible at least as long as the 27 billion dollar international aid is received and stashed in right accounts and Ukrainians reduced to cannon fodder zombies.
As of present there are ominous signs on the Ukrainian skies, in fact all over Europe. Europe is being lulled into belief that Putin is trying the reclaim Soviet empire thereby creating a scare among the former Soviet republics. But no one is even mentioning his outright support and cooperation to the US-led war in Afghanistan, ignoring the great opportunity he had in taking revenge on America. Or, the cooperation he gave in imposing sanctions on Iraq and Iran. Or, how coolly Russia has been seeking diplomatic way out to the US' aggressive missiles bases getting closer to Moscow.
The agreement reached in Geneva over de-escalating tensions is a good news but the joint statement is open to the danger of convenient reinterpretation, as has, unsurprisingly, already begun. For US and EU it means opportunity to once again ditch Russia like they did earlier on Libya. And Obama has given enough hints of this in his reaction to the agreement when he said, "My hope is that we actually do see follow-through over the next several days, but I don't think, given past performance, that we can count on that."
What past performance is Obama talking about --- Not an inch of Nato expansion to the east, no militarization of eastern Europe, encouraging Ukrainian opposition plot a coup against their elected President moments after they entered a deal with him and then recognizing the coup-installed Government, ....?
Obama added: "[W]e have to be prepared that we can actually respond to what continue to be efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine." Well, to get the right message world in general and Putin in particular need to replace the word "Russians" in the statement with 'Americans' and prepare accordingly for the situation likely to unfold.
Putin has marked the red line for Washington before he is forced to order his army cross the Ukrainian border: Safety and security of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine. Instead of advising dialogue with pro-Russian protestors, US backed and encouraged Ukrainian army offensive against them while at the same time increasing offensive military capabilities in Eastern European states. The idea perhaps is why miss a chance to do yet another Afghanistan on Russia without spilling American blood?
There is no doubt America is impotent to deal on its own with resurgent Russia. It is trying to use EU as Viagra to nail down Putin on Ukraine. And Ukraine has thrown a critical challenge to the EU leadership (minus UK - the US mole within the EU): Should it tamely surrender its foreign policy to the US and let Washington really "F*** the EU" by allowing one of their peoples and countries used as a sacrificial lamb and in due course bring turmoil within their borders like the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan did to much of the Muslim world. EU's final decision must not be swayed by Soviet-era negative experience of some of its members (like Poland) but guided by the experience of wider section of its member-states vis-à-vis Russia as an economic partner.
How many angels are there on the tip of the needle? This question is just as pointless as an attempt to find an answer to the question of how many NATO missiles there are in Europe