The problem with fundamentalism in the world today

In the run up to the Iraq war President Bush made a lot of speeches in which he denounced the “aggression” of Saddam Hussein. It was evident that that was a serious case of ‘political projection’ – accusing the other of what you yourself are doing. (Since under Bush the US launched an illegal invasion against a sovereign country which was no threat to them, killing tens of thousands in the process: the very definition of state aggression).

The present administration is doing the same thing. For example, this is Secretary of State Tillerson:

Whether it be assassination attempts, support of weapons of mass destruction, deploying destabilizing militias, Iran spends its treasure and time disrupting peace

Substitute ‘America’ for Iran and you are right there.

Or:

Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel

could be:

The US is the world’s leading state aggressor, and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining Iran’s interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against the government of Syria

 

But; their might is right and anyone else’s might is evil. This is ‘exceptionalism’ again. Basically; the US has no intention of negotiating with anyone. They just plan to use their superior force to get their way. It is that simple.

It is little talked about but the biggest fundamentalists in the world today – and certainly the best armed – are the children of the Pilgrim Fathers. They think that God is on their side. They think that what is good for America is good for the world. They think that anyone who doesn’t get this is dwelling in some dark age and it is fine to bomb them.

And we know that fundamentalism can lead to wars.

 

 

 

 

 

Dreams about the “international order”

The US side and its lackeys in Europe (one of whom nipped its master today) [1] insist that Russia is against the “international order“. When these people say “international order” they mean the system of world order which they control. This system is essentially imperialism. It is led by the US. It’s main aim is to create favourable conditions for the continued expansion of US businesses, markets and investment all over the world. The US uses international organisations to give their reign legitimacy – but it is a constant series of manipulations and twists. The justification for bombing Libya was a sophist twist of a UN resolution (1970) which permitted military force to be used to protect civilians. The West simply said “Gadaffi is a threat to civilians therefore this resolution permits regime change bombing”. No matter that in the years preceeding these events the EU had been running a lucrative business selling weapons to Gadaffi. [2] Twisting this resolution in a way clearly not envisaged by Moscow undermined the UN. When they couldn’t get a UN resolution to bomb Iraq in 2003 they bombed anyway. The NATO campaign of bombing Yugoslavia to force Milosevich to give up Kosovo (in 1999) cannot be justifed by “self-defence” by any stretch or sophistry of any kind. [3] In fact it was an act of terrorism. This too happened outside of the “international order”.

The US usually tries to get a UN mandate for their wars. If they can’t they bomb anyway and say that Russia or China are “blocking” a UN resolution. They claim that they are the arbiters of what is “right” under international law. But a kindergarder could explain that this isn’t how law works… In as much as the US genuinely believes that “Russia is undermining the international order” they are simply deluding themselves.

Only someone suffering from a serious debilitating delusion really believes that his preference and version of affairs is always absolutely right – and that anyone who disagrees with him is evil. The US side seems to be driven by some dynamic that causes them to make this error and to keep making it. It is an error made by religious fundmentalists. The most dangerous group of religious fundementalists in the world today is the American leadership – not ISIS.

See here for a clear summary of the remarks by Russian Minister of Defense, Sergey Shoigu, made in response to the ravings of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Notes

1. The President of France criticising the US and saying that their actions contributed to present day terrorism problems should be massive massive news. We’ve had to link to the Hindustan Times because his comments simply weren’t covered by the UK media. Ah; the ‘free press’ in action…

2. https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/01/eu-arms-exports-libya

3. The public was told that Yugoslav forces were committing atrocities in Kosovo and that after the ‘liberation’ many mass graves would be found. In fact the ‘mass graves’ in Kosovo had no more reality that the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq promised a few years later. There were a few isolated killing sites – on both sides – but nothing like the mass graves talked up as an excuse for war.

http://johnpilger.com/articles/reminders-of-kosovo

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB946593838546941319

Igniting war while talking peace. What is new for the US?

Russia … tragically is sort of reigniting a new kind of East-West, zero-sum game that we think is dangerous and unnecessary

John Kerry. US Secretary of State

This is an excellent example of political projection. The US accuses the other side of its own mistakes. Psychoanalysts call it “projection”. In the run up to the Iraq war then President George Bush made endless statements about Iraqi aggression and the threat to the US while preparing to launch an illegal war which cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians. This is nothing new.

Who is “igniting” things in Ukraine and on the world stage? At the time that the European powers of Germany and France, incidentally the ones who did not support the Iraq invasion, are desperately trying to midwife a peaceful end to the crisis in Ukraine the US (and therefore it seems the UK) are discussing more sanctions and sending more arms.

The UAE has announced it will provide Kiev with arms. This is almost certainly done with US collaboration.

The modus operandi of supplying arms

The modus operandi of the US/UK is brazen. They supply “non lethal” weapons such as jeeps, night vision googles and body armour. These are strategic pieces of kit which rebel forces do not typically have. Then they get some third-party country to supply actual weapons. In Libya, for example, the US brokered arms supplies to the rebels from Qatar. [1] Meanwhile the Pentagon sent “non-lethal” aid such as communications equipment and vehicles directly. [2] A similar game is being played in Syria. Here, for example, the UK is sending “non-lethal” military equipment. [3] At the same time various Gulf states send lethal weapons. [4] (The exception to the rule here is that there is also a CIA programme to send arms directly to Syrian rebels). [5]

It’s the same game in Ukraine. The US [6] and UK [7] send “non-lethal” weapons. Now, the UAE is to sell “lethal weapons” to Kiev. [8] Where does the UAE get its weapons from? Guess. [9] (At least some of them).

The end result and obviously the strategic aim is to fully arm whichever faction in a divided country they happen to be supporting at the time. While steering clear of legal problems of being associated with war crimes. And avoiding domestic democratic objections.

The US administration has told itself its own lie. Kiev is fighting for the “sovereignty and territorial independence of Ukraine” against “Russian aggression”. They just have a mental blank on their role in the crisis. Stirring up a coup and supporting one side in a divided country. Everything is predicated on this mental blank. It happens because they believe that their order, values, and way of doing things is “God-given”, the natural order of things, right and objectively real. (This is known as “freedom”). Any other point of view is an error. This is, of course, religious fundamentalism. One problem is that once a group embraces a fundamentalist outlook and starts acting from it the tendency is for it to become self-reinforcing. It is very hard from them to back out and admit that they were wrong. It is much harder for fundamentalists to change course than it is for actors who are guided by realism and pragmatism, as perhaps Hollande and to some extent Merkel are.

The US has seized Ukraine for Western liberal capitalism and NATO and is not going to give an inch. The fact that millions of people in the East of Ukraine are not represented by the “new government” in Kiev is simply blanked. As are Russian security concerns. They just deny all these evident facts and proceed to castigate Russia as 100% the “aggressor” while publishing videos about how they will absolutely destroy Russia with sanctions. This State Department video for example, starts with the words “Russia’s intervention in Ukraine…”. The 5 billion USD aid to Westernise Ukraine [10], the visits by US officials to revolutionists in Kiev [11], the automatic and immediate support for the “new government” which came to power in a violent coup etc. could also be called “America’s intervention in Ukraine”. Whose “zero-sum game” are we witnessing?

The fundamentalism of the US is in collision with the desires of a few million people in the East of Ukraine not to be ruled by nationalists who despise their culture. If that was all the US would just crush them. However, in its project to grab Ukraine for its system, the US has also brought itself into conflict with Russia. Russia has a range of interests which have been clearly articulated by the Russian side. These include security interests and interests which arise from the history of Russia. For example; the presence of ethnic Russians in the territories which have been handed over to the US. Russia has balls and will defend its interests. It remains to be seen what kind of accommodation with reality US fundamentalism is prepared to make and whether it will be sufficient to ensure peace in Ukraine and beyond. At any event it seems clear that the destruction of Russia in its present form is now a policy goal for the West. (See for example this comment in a recent House of Lords report:

In the review of the neighbourhood policy, the EU and Member States face a strategic question of whether Europe can be secure and prosperous if Russia continues to be governed as it is today.

) [12]

That is, the most likely response of the US will be to back off outright war with Russia while at the same time starting a long-term project to destroy Russia with economic, political and covert operations of various kinds. The kind of “dark tactics” that they accuse Russia of. [13]

Notes

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/world/africa/weapons-sent-to-libyan-rebels-with-us-approval-fell-into-islamist-hands.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

2. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/20/libya-rebels-us-military-equipment-non-lethal

3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25331241

4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/saudi-arabia-arming-syrian-rebels_n_2764375.html

5. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-begins-weapons-delivery-to-syrian-rebels/2013/09/11/9fcf2ed8-1b0c-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html

6. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/21/us-ukraine-crisis-usa-exclusive-idUSKCN0J426U20141121, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ukraine-to-get-53-million-in-non-lethal-aid-from-the-united-states/2014/09/18/c2c19c28-3f4b-11e4-b0ea-8141703bbf6f_story.html

7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31465365

8. http://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-president-meets-u-a-e-officials-to-secure-weapons-purchase-1424788248

9. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/31/us-usa-uae-iran-idUSTRE7BU0BF20111231

10.