Is There a Strategy for a Reasonable World?
Introduction and final comments by Donovan Kiersten
November 4, 2015
The following brief article on US infiltration into the Russian media, translated by Eric Zuesse for Strategic Culture Foundation, first appeared in German Economic News on October 31, 2015. Zuesse’s incisive commentary on the evolution of America’s war against Russia appears at the end of the article.
This topic is especially pertinent today, November 4, when an informal hearing of expert panelists entitled The crisis in U.S.-Russia relations, from Ukraine to Syria: Is Congress overlooking its causes and potential solutions? is scheduled to take place at 2:00 PM on Capitol Hill.
Following Zuesse’s commentary is an analysis by Quemado Institute.
EU and NATO Set to Destabilize Russia by Anti-Putin
EU, US and NATO are preparing a media offensive against Russia inside Russia. The alliance aims to operate propaganda against the Russian government. This will also reduce the likelihood that independent media will thrive in Russia. The “Strategic Communication Team East”, as this operation is called, has already “reached its full staffing levels” as of 1 September 2015, according to the German federal government. Critical voices against this proposal are arising from within the European Union — especially in Germany’s Left Party….
Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko, from the Left Party, said: “The new proposal is an affront to Russia. The media force will be subordinate to the Foreign Service, and thus to the EU’s military arm” …
Parliamentarian Alexander S. Neu, also from the Left, says: “The EU member states don’t only build, with NATO’s help, Russian-language media in the eastern EU Member States, as is happening with the television station ETV + in Estonia. In addition, there are clear indications that even Russian free media are being funded [infiltrated -EZ] directly. The EU and NATO, the propaganda program against Russia, will be extended with the start of the operation. The EU Member States already finance non-governmental media in Russia, and this means that they intervene directly in the media landscape of Russia. Russian perspectives are now to be neutralized with counter-perspectives, foreign propaganda. The expected communication offensive poses a real danger that the relationship between the Western countries and Russia will become even more confrontational than it already is. The logical reaction of Russia will be to outlaw the foreign financing of free media”.
Hunko then adds: “Now the media and members of civil society will also be invited to this backroom politics of propaganda. It is extremely dangerous if governments and military try to gain information superiority and pretend that propaganda, even when and if it’s against propaganda, is instead news-reporting, not propaganda itself. It is particularly problematic when the ‘Strategic Communications Team East’ as described by the Foreign Office, even poke at youngsters. Instead of continuing to rely on media tutelage, the EU needs to reconsider its policy towards Russia fundamentally. To say it with the words of former EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen: Peace is possible only if no one wants to dominate the other. This also applies to the media front, Russia, the US and the EU alike.”
America’s War to Control Russia
Commentary by Eric Zuesse
This cannot be understood outside its broader context, which is the West’s overall war to defeat Russia — a war that’s heading possibly to become a hot war, perhaps a very hot one. Over what, really?
America’s war to control Russia is not at all defensive (as is claimed), but extremely aggressive. Even in 2010, before there had yet been even a concocted excuse for the West to prepare for war against Russia, the Obama Administration was already struggling, behind the scenes, to get Europe on-board with their aggressive plans, under the pretext that an Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) ‘defensive’ shield system based in Europe, which would protect against incoming Russian missiles, would be ‘defensive’ not offensive, even though it’s designed to enable a first-strike nuclear-attack knockout blow by the U.S. of Russia’s capacity to defend itself, by eliminating any incoming missile bombs in flight. It thus would be a way to eliminate Russia’s ability to defend itself.
According to a wikileaked cable describing a meeting between U.S. ‘Defense’ Secretary Robert Gates and French Minister of Defense Herve Morin:
6. Morin, having expressed strong reservations to new U.S. and NATO missile defense (MD) plans at the NATO ministerial in Istanbul (reftel), said he wanted to explain how France sees MD and raise some questions. First, he believes that the shift from Theater Missile Defense (TMD) to defense of populations and territory will give publics a false sense of security, since the sword was ultimately stronger than the shield. For France, security came from strong defense and deterrence. Second, Morin asked what threat the system aims to counter. Nuclear states or rogue states? Third, Morin asked about funding and how European countries would participate in command and control (C2) decisions. Morin summarized his own personal opposition to MD by asserting that the U.S. and Europe have differing mentalities on defense spending. He said the U.S. has true resiliency with «infinite» means, while in Europe defense spending has collapsed in every country but the UK and France. As a result, any development needing common funding will dilute the already weak European defenses. Morin concluded by stating that it was folly to assume that MD would give us added security.
7. SecDef [Gates] refuted Morin’s arguments, pointing out that MD contributes to deterrence. SecDef explained to Morin that the system was aimed at nations with a handful of nuclear weapons and a limited but growing missile capability to launch them. Noting Iran fits that profile, SecDef said that MD provides a good deterrent against limited attacks.
In other words, the U.S. ‘justifies’ its push for ABM’s as being ‘defense’ against what Morin was calling ‘rogue states,’ not against Russia — and this is obviously a lie, so Gates didn’t answer that question in direct words, such as by saying, “This isn’t against Russia”. Gates even went further, to assert that, “the U.S. believed partnering with Russia is once again potentially possible”. As if it hadn’t always been possible ever since 1991.
Later, the cable says, “Responding to SecDef’s discussion of MD, Morin asked why there was a need to shift from theater to population defense” (“theater” meaning protection of military forces, versus “population” meaning protection of the civilian population) and Gates had a similarly irrelevant answer: “SecDef said the systems the U.S. was deploying have broader applications. For example the THAAD system, which the U.S. had deployed to Hawaii as a measure against North Korean threat, protects both the theater and the population”.
But actually (and Morin almost certainly knew this), the U.S. had already busted the anti-ABM Treaty with Moscow, under George W. Bush, and the first European installations of U.S. ABMs had already taken place. And they were in Poland and Czech Republic, near Russia — not at all relevant to a nuclear ‘threat’ from Iran, which didn’t even have nukes anyway. Bob Gates might as well have been a salesman for Phillip Morris, as for Lockheed Martin. In either case, of course, he was being paid by U.S. taxpayers, not by his actual clients, the beneficiary military corporations.
The end of that cable (section 20) includes this, from Gates to Morin: “SecDef observed that Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.” So the U.S. argument, essentially, was that ABMs are needed against a non-existent Iranian threat to France, because … “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services”. Sounds like a pretty good description of the United States there: its aristocracy, and the CIA etc. But the evidence that the description actually applies to Russia is far less than that it applies to the U.S. And here’s more on that, from a different angle.
Wikileaks’ book, after reviewing and summarizing the cables concerning ABMs, doesn’t mince words, when, at the end of its seventh Chapter, Russ Wellen concludes: “Instead of wasting time and resources lamenting the effects of the [leak of] the cables on international relations and harassing Wikileaks, the United States needs to overhaul its foreign policy. Continuing to view a state such as Russia as a rival in a zero-sum game, as well as an energy resource and an emerging market, instead of as representing a people, only perpetuates conflict.” The topmost of the Amazon reviewers of this book sums up the entire 600+ pages (as E.M. Bristol wrote there): “To say that the US … comes off poorly in this book is like saying the Titanic suffered some water damage.”
America’s anti-Russia club, NATO, has crept up to the very borders of Russia and demands that Russians be so stupid as not to recognize what the West is doing, as if John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been so stupid as not to have recognized that the USSR’s placing nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962 wouldn’t have constituted an aggressive act by the Soviets and thus needed to be blocked. Russians are even more endangered now by the U.S.: Ukraine, after all, directly borders Russia. America’s coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine in February 2014 and installed a rabidly anti-Russian one there, was extremely bloody, and the U.S.-backed ethnic cleansing to eliminate the residents in the heavily pro-Russian far east of Ukraine has been even more so. Even Khrushchev’s intent wasn’t so aggressive against the U.S. in 1962.
This aggressive intention of the U.S. government and its allies — extending to Russia’s very doorstep in Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics — is so intense, that U.S. President Barack Obama holds it even higher in priority than he does the war against the international jihadist movement, a movement that’s actually funded by America’s allies, the royal families of both Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The U.S. now demands that Russia not even try to defeat the jihadists in Syria, which is an ally of Russia, one that’s being attacked by jihadists hired by the Sauds and Thanis, — as if the request for Russian help, by Syria’s President (democratically elected by Syrians because no alternative person stood even a chance to hold the country together) were invalid, as if the request for that military assistance doesn’t have legitimacy, but the demand by America’s imperial President Obama does have legimacy. Obama simply lies. He said on October 3rd (1:08 on the video), “We’re not going to make Syria a proxy war between the United States and Russia,” but that’s exactly what he has been doing.
So, Obama has placed the jihadists after Russia as his targets to destroy. Why?
Islamic jihad is mainly funded by, and an extension from, the two U.S.-backed Arabic royal families, the Sauds of Saudi Arabia and the Thanis of Qatar, who constitute a genuine national-security threat against the West by their ongoing financing of Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Salafist Sunni jihadist organizations which seek to establish a global Muslim dictatorship. (“Salafist” is basically a synonym for Wahhabist Islam, the Saudi form of Islam; but it’s the term that’s used for the sect outside of Saudi Arabia.) As an example of this jihadism, the Muslim Brotherhood, in its “Who We Are” statement, refers twice to the Salafs (which means ancestors), thrice to the Sunna, and once to jihad. Specifically regarding jihad, it says, “Prayer is the foundation of religion, jihad is the peak of the [camel’s] hump, and God [the camel’s rider] is the end [religion’s rider].” … Whereas the Thani clan. which owns Qatar, finances the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saud clan, which owns Saudi Arabia, finances Al Qaeda. Are these Europe’s allies? Or instead Europe’s enemies? They’re America’s and Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s tools, so long as they are carrying out their mass-murders in other countries. As Obama’s advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski told Osama bin Laden’s jihadists back in 1979 when they were fighting against Russia, “God is on your side”. To people such as Brzezinski and Obama, Russia’s abandoning communism and dictatorship, and adopting capitalism and democracy, doesn’t make any difference; like George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s ‘Defense’ chief has said, “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.” But, even if that had been true (and it wasn’t true of Russia, though it has become true of the U.S.), what business is that of America’s? Even if it had been true, this wouldn’t be any reason for America to extend NATO even “one inch to the east”.
For the nations of Europe to be in NATO, and allied to the U.S., is for them to join America’s real war against Russia — a very dangerous and destructive war, which is driving millions of Syrians fleeing into Europe. Such European politicians are thus traitors to their own countries. The nations of Europe should instead be joining in defense of Russia against America’s aggressions (including now against “Strategic Communication Team East”), aggressions which started by Americas’ targeting Russia’s allies: originally, Libya; then, Syria; then, Ukraine. The U.S.-Saud-Thani threat against the most secular, non-sectarian, country in the Middle East, Syria — to replace its secular government by a jihadist one — is also a threat against all of Europe, and not only by its flooding Europe with the refugees. The refugees from Syria and Libya are merely the start of the harms to European peace. Europeans who vote for NATO (alliance with the U.S.) are voting for war against Russia — not for war against America, the Sauds and the Thanis. Not for war against Europe’s actual enemies. And, last of all, such voters, and the politicians they’re voting for, are not voting for peace.
The Strategic Communication Team East is the latest phase of this war-treason from these politicians, treason against their own countries. The reviewer of the Wikileaks book had it correct: “To say that the US … comes off poorly in this book is like saying the Titanic suffered some water damage”.
Russia is a part of Europe. By contrast: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the U.S., are not, and they don’t actually want to be. They’re not trying to be European. (During America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, non-participant France was even publicly despised with slurring jokes against “French fries”.) They’ve never requested membership in the European Union, and they’re not even on the European Continent. By contrast, Russia is historically a part of the European family. Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy were Europeans, as much as Beethoven and Dickens were. Mark Twain, great though he was, was American, not European. Arabia and today’s jihadist-supporting U.S. are not and don’t want to be European. Instead, Arabia has been, and the U.S. has become, dictatorial, even having the nerve to demand that Syria’s popular elected President Assad, the only secular leader that that country can have, must be expelled from power and replaced by a U.S./Saudi/Qatari stooge, and the nerve to proclaim that Syrians aren’t the people who possess the right and the final say-so to determine whether or when Assad should be removed from Syria’s Presidency. The EU’s leaders who favor the U.S. instead of Russia are favoring dictatorship over democracy in Syria — and in Europe, too. The U.S. used to be a democracy, but no longer is. Strategic Communication Team East is part of the U.S.-Arabic war against Russia, against a nation of Europe. Rather than having welcomed post-Soviet Russia into the democratic club, the United States has steadily been extending its military alliance against Russia: NATO.
As U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon has said: “The future of President Assad must be decided by the Syrian people… I think it is totally unfair and unreasonable … to paralyze all this political negotiation. This is not acceptable. It’s not fair… Many Western countries oppose the Syrian government’s position. Meanwhile, we lost years. 250,000 people have been killed. There are 13 million refugees or internally displaced. Over 50% of hospitals, schools and infrastructure has been destroyed in Syria.” The national leaders he is implicitly charging there are actually being accused by him of war-crimes against the Syrian people; and those war-crimes are even hurting the very people whom those politicians are sworn to be serving — their own populations.
Has democracy been dying in Western countries? Is it already dead in some? Is the ignorance by Western publics regarding these historically important realities of our time, itself proof of that? Did the West learn nothing from George W. Bush’s having lied his country into the catastrophic invasion of Iraq? Now, it’s “regime-change in Syria”, also based upon lies.
The American 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.
Strategy for Change
by Donovan Kiersten
Eric Zuesse displays an impressive knowledge of his subject with which I can’t argue. But where does this leave concerned Americans? What can we do to ameliorate the dire impact of US foreign policy, if it is in fact a policy rather than an ad hoc expediency?
The US, like China and Russia, has been expansionist since its inception. This explains the size and power of these three leading nations. Russia is the only one of the group to have achieved a policy of reason, and this just in the last quarter century.
To curb the aggression of the American military establishment is to repudiate its entire operational tradition. Yet curb it we must. Perhaps reason is a modern trend, as nations mature in a densely populated world — a trend first exhibited by Russia, later to be manifested by the United States as well.
Paul Craig Roberts, another incisive critic of US foreign policy, has recently blamed the US condition on an ill-informed American public. I beg to differ. Pragmatically speaking, the most effective parties to blame are those most able to change the course of events, which the American people are not.
Consider, for example, the protests of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, when tens of thousands of US citizens demonstrated against the Vietnam War in cities across the nation. These massive displays of rage and dissent had a limited effect on Washington. it took eight years of protests before that failed war was abandoned, and the massive public effort had little if any impact. That’s how virulent is the US military machine.
And that was then, when the US still boasted a relatively free media. So how is it possible today, when the major media outlets have devolved into government propaganda platforms? Roberts does not explain this.
Who are the parties most able to change the course of events? The people currently in power, of course. Not only have they the capability, there are many fewer of them than there are ordinary citizens. The key then is to identify the figures most able to change Western policy, and to exert a supreme effort to influence them toward a more enlightened strategy.
Commentators like Eric Zuesse and Paul Craig Roberts, as well as politicians such as Ron Paul and Jimmy Carter, are on the right track. These are the kinds of people we need to emulate. It will take a concerted effort of every aware person, but do it we must, and do it we can.
A reasonable world would be a pleasure to live in for everyone, including the powers that be. They don’t want misery any more than we do. And in a world increasingly depleted of resources, even they will be unable to escape. An island in the Mediterranean is not what it used to be.
It is simply a matter of injecting into the global consciousness the idea of reason as a means of escape for us all.