Critical Analysis of Pro-Russian Commentators and the
Bias Against the United States
by Karl Pomeroy
December 30, 2015
A Parting of Ways? I Hope Not.
I’ve been a journalist for Quemado Institute since this website was established in November 2014. Until recently, I empathized with pro-Russian political analysts such as Finian Cunningham, The Saker, Paul Craig Roberts, Eric Zuesse, Stephen Lendman and others. I relied for information and inspiration largely on pro-Russian news sites, including Global Research, Sputnik News, New Eastern Outlook and Strategic Culture Foundation.
This is because, coincidentally, we all supported the Novorossiya side in the Donbass-Ukraine civil war. We all agreed that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were justified in their fight for freedom, that Russian President Vladimir Putin was right in annexing Crimea, and that the United States government was very wrong to have encouraged the violent Maidan coup, a retrospective blunder that drove out Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich.
Now, as other political analysts have turned their attention away from Novorossiya toward broader global conflicts, while I continue to focus on Donbass, a chasm has opened between our respective outlooks. This is disturbing.
As it turns out, these analysts were not just condemning US policy in Ukraine, nor blaming the American neocons for aggressive actions elsewhere. They were categorically condemning America itself and seeking the destruction of the United States. They didn’t just want to change American policy, so that the US would quit waging unjust wars, end its support for the Kiev regime, cease overthrowing democratic governments and stop provoking Russia with NATO at its borders. No, these analysts seem to crave the decimation of everything American. And many of them were born in or have lived in the United States of America! Eric Zuesse, Stephen Lendman, The Saker and Paul Craig Roberts all live here, So is this a tolerant country?
Multi-Polar Nothing New
One of the cliches touted by these journalists is the notion of a “Multi-Polar World”. They say America must relinquish its dominant status “get used to” a world of many poles. Let me set the record straight.
Born in New York in the mid-twentieth century, I grew up in a multi-polar world. The traditional global superpowers were Russia, China and the United States. The US was richer than Russia or China, but I don’t believe Americans thought the US dominated the world. Russia and China were considered equally powerful and very threatening to our way of life.
Why threatening? Well, for starters, China had just invaded and conquered sovereign Tibet and Xinjiang, exiling the Dalai Lama and effectively banning the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had willy nilly invaded and occupied Eastern Europe. (More on this later.) And if these conquests weren’t enough, both China and Russia touted the goal of spreading Communism to the far reaches of the planet.
Was Communism a threat? To Americans, yes. I respect the ideals of Communism in places like Lugansk, where the traditional Russian culture is one of benevolent social interdependence.
But most Americans of the last century thrived on individualism. We took pride in fending for ourselves, and considered self-sufficiency the very essence of freedom. Communism would have robbed us of our innate reason for living. The spread of Communism was rightly and greatly feared.
This was the world I grew up in. The threat of nuclear war loomed as an ever-present danger. And the fear of a Chinese or Soviet takeover lurked in the backs of our minds. Multi-Polar? Yes indeed.
The novel and temporary position of the US as the “only superpower” came as a great surprise to us, when in 1989-1990 the Soviet sphere of influence suddenly imploded. Many older Americans do not consider our “sole superpower” status as a normal state of affairs, but rather as a fleeting and unstable condition likely to change at any time.
So we need no lectures, thank you, on having to get accustomed to a “Multi-Polar World.”
Of course, avaricious US officials cling to this dominant status. They have taken unfair advantage of it to plunder foreign countries, squandered a golden opportunity for world peace and domestic wealth, and sought to perpetuate American dominance into the distant future. But Americans, by and large, do not identify these neocon precepts with the ideals of the country of our youth.
I encountered today another Sputnik commentary, this time by an identified author. While most of the article makes sense, the title rants arrogantly Multipolar World ‘Becoming True Possibility’ and US Needs to Adjust to It. Nonsense. The fleeting period during which the world has been unipolar is irrelevant in the larger scheme of things, a fact obvious to many Americans who lived through the Cold War.
Political analyst Andrew Korybko hammers the same tired theme. In his recent editorial entitled 2016 Trends Forecast, Mega Analysis by Andrew Korybko, he says, “The old world order is changing at a rapid pace as rising multipolar forces push outwards against the resistant unipolar establishment. Just as much as Russia, China, and Iran are endeavoring to change the global system, the US and its Lead From Behind proxies are ferociously fighting to retain it, and this engenders a serious escalation of geopolitical tensions…”
Korybko was born in 1988 and graduated from Ohio State University in 2010. So of course he is too young to remember the three-superpower world that I and many others grew up in. Moreover, Korybko seems to cast the blame for world conflict solely on the United States (presumably meaning the government) while ignoring the role of the Global Financial Elite—that group of uberwealty who control the media and the banking industry, and who have corrupted most governments of Western nations and Russia. Brilliant as Korybko’s analyses are, I resent this youthful presumption.
All Three Superpowers Equally Guilty of Aggression.
Finian Cunningham, during height of the Donbass War, was one of my favorite commentators, best known for his hard-hitting diatribes at the Strategic Culture Foundation platform. What is Cunningham saying today?
In his recent commentary, inaptly named Christmas Then—And Now, which appeared on Sputnik December 25, he states, “Demonically, in time for Christmas, we learn that the rulers of the United States of America had plans at one time to wipe out humanity with nuclear war…. This week, in the days before the annual Christmas festival, declassified papers obtained by legal force from the US National Security Archive reveal that war planners in Washington were ready in the 1950s to launch nuclear weapons on thousands of cities and other population centers of the Soviet Union in the event of war…. Disturbingly, we may rightly assume that other such nefarious plans remain hidden in Washington – yet to be declassified.”
Oh really? And what was the Soviet Union doing in the 1950’s? Has anyone declassified their military documents? Is it even possible to declassify a Russian military document? Or is that an exclusive American privilege? And who could be so naive as to imagine Russia had no list of nuclear targets? Then again, what about the military adventures it actually undertook, such as occupying the countries of Eastern Europe? These were not just scenarios hidden in classified military documents. These were things Russia actually did.
And what was China up to in the 1950’s? Did it conquer two sovereign nations comprising an area larger than Argentina? This is something China actually did, not a scenario in a hidden classified document. Did China also destroy some 6,000 Tibetan monastaries and slaughter hundreds of thousands of Tibetan people? And if this was what China actually did, what apocolyptic schemes of destruction might be hidden its classified archives?
But the game for Finian Cunningham and his ilk is to destroy the US, not Russia or China. His political reactionism, like those of many pro-Russian analysts, is childish and vindictive.
My comment to Cunningham, which appeared at the end his Sputnik article, reads: Hello Finian Cunningham. You say your allegations are not “anti-American”. Yet I do not see any references for any of your claims, nor any quotes from the declassified US documents, therefore how can I evaluate, on the spot, the intent of these documents? Have you also considered that China has announced it can wipe out 100 American cities with its nuclear arsenal? Have you also investigated nuclear scenarios in classified Chinese and Russian military documents? They are no doubt comparable. You do admit there lurks a culprit above and beyond the US government. You say, “But the greatest evil we face today are those rulers in the US and their global outposts who presume to wage wars for ‘political’ reasons, in order to maintain their wealth and privileges over the rest of humanity.” These “rulers” driving world destruction are the Global Financial Elite. Some live in the US, some in Europe, and some elsewhere. These are the extreme rich who own the Western media, control Western monetary currencies, hold hostage both Western and Russian governments, and promote trade agreements that benefit their vast corporations. Pro-Russian analysts should stop their lame US-bashing, just as Western journalists should stop their lame Russia-bashing. Lay the blame where it belongs: on the Global Financial Elite.
US Nuclear Target Lists, A Scandal in the Balance
The US National Security Archive published, for the first time on December 22, 2015, a complete list of nuclear targets from the Cold War era of the 1950’s. According to expert William Burr, the authors of the 800-page declassified nuclear strategy document had “developed a plan for the ‘systematic destruction’ of Soviet bloc urban-industrial targets that specifically and explicitly targeted ‘population’ in all cities, including Beijing, Moscow, Leningrad, East Berlin, and Warsaw.”
The release of the document has caused a stir among global political analysts. As Professor Jean Bricmont of the University of Louvain in Belgium told Sputnik News, “It is interesting to see that the Americans were quite willing to drop atomic bombs on East Berlin. This of course would have had major devastating effects on West Berlin and it shows how much esteem they had for the lives not only of Asians, but also of Europeans.”
Quite willing? Is this a balanced assessment? First of all, the document was originally written to present a “What if?” strategy. Its authors were not recommending a preferred plan of action, but a scenario of last resort in case of a Russian nuclear first strike. Bricmont makes the accusation that “Americans were quite willing to drop atomic bombs on East Berlin.” He offers no evidence, of course,, and it is doubtful any but a handful of Americans actually felt “quite willing”. In the context of the Cold War, nuclear strategies were options of last resort.
Which Superpower Was Really the Most Aggressive?
To achieve a balanced perspective, we should recall what threats the US was facing in the decade after World War II. China overran Xinjiang in 1950, then invaded and conquered sovereign Tibet in 1959. These independent nations together spanned some 2.8 million square kilometers, an area larger than Argentina and almost the size of India, enlarging China’s territory by more than 40%. The Chinese military, in the process of invasion, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Tibetans and banned the practice of Buddhism in Tibet.
If these were operations China actually carried out, what kinds of operations might they develop in secret? They no doubt had military target lists comparable to those of the United States.
And China has recently warned the US its nuclear missiles can hit a hundred American targets. This is not a new development. As stated in the rense.com article Top Chinese General Warns US Over Attack, by Alexandra Harney in Beijing and Demetri Sevastopulo and Edward Alden in Washington (July 15, 2005) “China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said on Thursday. ‘If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,’ said General Zhu Chenghu…. He added that China’s definition of its territory included warships and aircraft. ‘If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond,’ said Gen Zhu, who is also a professor at China’s National Defence University. ‘We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.'”
How does this compare, from an ethical standpoint, to hypothetical American Cold War scenarios? Not very favorably for China.
Then there’s the question of Russia. During the lead-up to and aftermath of the Second World War, the Soviets invaded and occupied a number of Eastern European countries, including Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and East Germany. [Source].
If this was what they did openly, what were they planning in secret? What evil strategies might we uncover if classified Soviet documents were released?
Tiresome US-Bashing as Lame as Russia-Bashing.
The US government needs an overhaul. The Global Financial Elite and its insidious tentacles of corruption need to be eradicated from all government functions—not just in the US, but in Europe and Russia as well. Vladimir Putin has done a commendable job of expelling corrupt oligarchs and exposing fake NGO’s. Donald Trump is unique among US presidential candidates for shunning wealthy campaign financiers. These are the trends to be emphasized.
At this juncture of extreme world crisis, pragmatic thinking is a mandate for survival.
Released US Nuclear Plans Show Soviet Deterrent Saved Europe
December 30, 2015
Recently released US nuclear plans from 1959 to destroy population centers throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were deterred by the countervailing Soviet nuclear force, academics versed in nuclear deterrence issues told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON / “It may be that it is the Soviet deterrence and diplomacy during the Cold War that saved us, Europeans, from major disasters,” Professor Jean Bricmont of the University of Louvain in Belgium, author of “Humanitarian Imperialism,” told Sputnik. For the first time, the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released last week a detailed list of Strategic Air Command potential targets for atomic bombers in the event of war with the Soviet Union, also showing targets on Eastern Europe and China.
“It is interesting to see that the Americans were quite willing to drop atomic bombs on East Berlin. This of course would have had major devastating effects on West Berlin and it shows how much esteem they had for the lives not only of Asians, but also of Europeans,” Bricmont noted.
The declassified NARA list includes 179 targets for systematic destruction in Moscow, 145 in Leningrad, 91 in East Berlin and one for each city is simply designated “Population.”
This deliberate use of nuclear weapons to target civilian populations constituted a war crime under international Law, University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle told Sputnik. “In a nutshell, US nuclear ‘deterrence’ policies have always constituted ongoing international criminal activity under the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946) and the Nuremberg Principles (1950),” Boyle said.
That legal position, Boyle explained, was clear in 1959 and it remains the same today. “The use of nuclear weapons in combat was, and still is, absolutely prohibited under all circumstances by both conventional and customary international law,” he stressed.
Bricmont argued the US willingness to annihilate civilian European populations through the Cold War, even including those in allied nations like Germany as “collateral damage”, should serve as a wake-up call for Europeans today.
“The main question today is when will the Europeans realize that our interests are not those of the US and how will we do to liberate ourselves from their domination,” Bricmont pointed out.
He suggested that European governments and their financial supporters needed to be intensively questioned about the dangers and potential consequences of their policies of support for NATO and US nuclear deployments today in the light of the new revelations.
“The first step might to ask to our comprador elites: which side are you on?” Bricmont asked. The use of any nuclear weapons in war is also prohibited by the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocol I of 1977, Boyle added.