While writing my book on the Syrian war, I came across several disturbing videos. In one, Syrian rebels destroyed a church and riddled the Cross with bullets; in another terrifying video, an armed Syrian rebel asks someone if he was a Sunni or an Alawite (Shiite Muslim). When the victim says, “Alawite,” the rebel fires multiple rounds and kills the victim. Such psychopaths have three qualities: (1) Fanatic belief in their ideology (2) Inability to sympathize with other people’s point of view, and (3) Refusal to coexist with others who are different.
While we insist upon tolerance within America, our foreign policy is quite different. Americans are told they are the “greatest”, “#1” and “exceptional.” We are stuck in perpetual wars and we always have a bogeyman du jour.
To justify all the aggression, we are fed endless atrocity propaganda that incontrovertibly proves how evil another country and its leaders are. In this mythology, America is the innocent Little Red Riding Hood who’s threatened by wolves like Putin. He attacks our democracy! He threatens Europe! (There’s also new vitriol towards China and Iran).
The fact is that U.S. policies over the last 25 years have consistently pushed Russia away and fostered enmity between the two nations.
1990’s, Harvard boys and the Russian economy
1992 started with a new Russia that had just dissolved its communist system. Everything American was considered awesome. American TV shows, American products and … American economists … took over Russia. What better way to achieve prosperity?
The Harvard Boys were in charge of the Russian economy. Larry Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Rubin and others implemented their grand economic “reforms” with the help of handpicked Russian politicians and businessmen (future oligarchs).
To make the long story short, Russia experienced the Great Depression for the next eight years. Hyperinflation, 40% drop in GDP, mass unemployment, widespread poverty, soaring suicides … the reforms turned out to be a cruel shock therapy.
However, pro-West oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and Abramovich became instant billionaires. Americans like Bill Browder – the now famous anti-Putin warrior behind the Magnitsky Act – also enjoyed the spoils of the plunder.
U.S. meddling in Russian politics
While we are shocked by the Russian interference in our election, back in the 1990s, Washington elites literally picked the Russian President and the cabinet. As Bill Clinton bragged to Tony Blair, he also had tremendous influence over the Russian parliament. And when Boris Yeltsin was about to lose in the 1996 election, Bill Clinton arranged an IMF loan that went into Yeltsin’s campaign coffer; and U.S. campaign experts flew into Russia and engineered a resounding victory for Yeltsin. The U.S. media gloated about the meddling with titles, “Yanks to the Rescue!” and “Rescuing Boris.”
If the CIA and Saudi Arabia created Mujahideen/Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to defeat the USSR, they didn’t want to dismantle such a splendid organization. In 1992, those fighters were sent to Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya and Kosovo, which all had economic and geopolitical significance.
Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea has vast reserves of oil and gas. And the only competition was the Russian pipelines that went through … Chechnya. Soon, a pro-US dictator took over Azerbaijan – he and his son have been ruling the country for the last 25 years (obviously, we won’t demand “democracy” there). In Chechnya, the Mujahideen blew up the Russian pipelines and then defeated the Russian army in the First Chechen War.
In Bosnia and Kosovo, Islamic terrorists engaged in ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Serbians. The CIA and US private military contractors (such as MPRI) played a major role in the chopping up of Yugoslavia. When separatists in Kosovo started losing, NATO stepped in and bombed Serbia into submission in 1999. The following year, Soros-funded group Otpor! (“Resistance”) overthrew the Serbian president. Why was Serbia so relentlessly targeted? It was pro-Russia.
I describe these events in details in my new book, “Geopolitics for Dummies.”
Color revolutions against Russia – Georgia, Ukraine
Many color revolutions followed the same playbook. When a pro-US leader lost an election, grassroots organizations funded by Soros/USAID/NED will start protesting. This will be called a “revolution,” with catchy names as Tulip, Orange, Rose, Umbrella etc. Following sophisticated propaganda and international pressure, there would be a new election and, voila, the pro-U.S. candidate would win. Rinse, Repeat.As for the oil/gas by the Caspian Sea, they could not reach Europe without going through Georgia. Hello, George Soros! Goodbye pro-Russia president! Within a few years, western conglomerates started reaping big profits from the BTC pipeline as shown below:
Next, Soros did his magic in Ukraine in 2004 and got rid of the pro-Russia president. Of course, in 2013, the U.S. staged another clever coup in Ukraine.
While we’re enraged by Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads, U.S. Asst. Sec. of State – Victoria Nuland – admitted that the U.S. spent $5 billion in Ukraine. She was also famous for handing out cookies at the faux Euromaidan revolution in Kiev in 2013.
In his 2015 annual report, George Soros bragged that he had spent $180 million in Ukraine.
When the USSR was dismantled, U.S. elites had promised Russians that NATO would not expand. However, while the Russian military was being decimated, globalists kept expanding NATO. In 1999, NATO added Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic. In 2004, when Russia was still weak and friendly towards the U.S. … NATO added 7 more countries.
Many of these new NATO members have anti-missile defense systems, and U.S. soldiers participate in massive war games right on the Russian border.
In 2001, George Bush and the Neocons unilaterally cancelled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which had been in place since 1972. This was a needless provocation against Russia, which reduced its nuclear weapons from 45,000 to 7,000 and signed many treaties to promote peace.
NATO rejects Russia
In 2001, Putin offered to join NATO, but was turned down. If Russia joined NATO, how will the military-industrial complex justify its annual budget and expensive projects? No enemy, No money!
In the 1850s, Great Britain and France tried to steal Crimea from the Russian Empire. Why? Without Crimea and control of Black Sea, Russia will be severely hampered. Geography hasn’t changed in 160 years and we shouldn’t be too Machiavellian. Crimea belongs to Russia, let’s move on.
Pipeline war continues
Poland and Ukraine were the most important transit countries for Russian pipelines. Now, thanks to the U.S., both countries are hostile towards Russia. So, when Putin tried to build pipelines that would reach Europe through Bulgaria, the US stopped it. When he tried to build pipelines through Greece, well, the U.S./EU blocked it again. As the last resort, Putin laid pipelines under the sea (NordStream), and the U.S. found 100 reasons to object and threatened to impose more sanctions against Russia.
It’s rather difficult to love someone who’s persistently trying to sabotage your economy.
Without an iota of diplomacy, the U.S. media and politicians constantly attack Putin, demonize him, and use derogatory language. On the other hand, Putin always talks about “our American partners.”
Japanese leader, Abe, has met with Putin 20 times, and nobody freaks out in Japan; India and China treat Putin with enormous affection and respect. Even geopolitical enemies Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran often meet with Putin and negotiate like reasonable adults.
The U.S. spends too much time on hybrid and propaganda wars — placing sanctions on Russia, attacking its currency, expelling Russian diplomats, seizing Russian embassies, stopping Russian athletes from participating in Olympics, accusing Putin – without any public evidence – of poisoning people (especially right before the World Cup) and so on.
Going back to the beginning of the article, do we want to be like that jihadist? Or can we analyze the situation objectively and understand why the U.S.-Russia relations soured? Given the vast powers of the U.S., other countries don’t deliberately provoke us; ipso facto, if we have terrible relations with a country, it’s most likely a conflict of choice started by warmongering Washington elites. Russia, China, Iran and others want prosperity, respect and sovereignty. Whether the U.S. can accept this paradigm and recalibrate its foreign policy to reflect the emerging multipolar world or not will determine global peace and wars in the coming years.