A bleak future

There appears to have been an organized movement by business and political leaders for some form of union with America since the 1950s. This appears to have been conceived in economic and security terms during the Cold War. The Cold War is now over and the relationship has become one of American dominance and parasitization of Europe economically, through command of NATO and use of its armed forces as a tool of American foreign policy. America has bases in every European country, makes financial payments to politicians and political parties, and interferes in European political matters generally.

Europe has been dragged by the US into the disgusting wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and can look forward to Iran. Its politicians echo every aggressive US resolution in the United Nations. Its banks have been defrauded of trillions of dollars. Its major corporations are taken over by predatory US companies, for example, the Kraft takeover of Cadbury, within the Anglo-American version of capitalism. European countries find themselves unable to get rid of US nuclear weapons on their territory. The US has provoked a war between Georgia and Russia.

The US was probably behind the suspected assassination of the British weapons inspector Dr David Kelly on UK territory and within walking distance of his home – his autopsy report is kept secret by the British government. Other countries, e.g. Japan and South Korea, cannot rid themselves of American military bases. Together with the behaviour of the US Central Intelligence Agency in assassinating, kidnapping and torturing America’s perceived enemies and subverting sovereign governments world-wide, the trend points to a bleak future for Europe as a satrapy of the United States.

The US has been a friend in the past, albeit for qualified reasons, but Europe now receives no benefit whatever from this relationship. The United States now offers only weapons, warfare and destabilization in Europe and wherever else it goes.

Russia’s place in Europe

Russia is still in transition after the Soviet period, particularly in reconstructing its economy, so its institutions have considerable plasticity. Clearly, their development must be in Russia’s best interests but it is desirable that they should also be attractive to Europe. Nor is there any contradiction in this. It is a matter both of how Russia is viewed by Europeans and how Russia views itself and develops.

Russia and Europe need each other as much for material benefits as for the reason that they are neighbours on the same continent. This relationship should clearly be given top priority by both. The United States has become deeply entrenched in Europe over the last 50 years. The American narrative of bringing freedom to Europe during World War II is generally accepted, as are purported economic benefits of the association. The narrative of Russia’s role to the present time is unfailingly negative. For this reason Russia needs to take the initiative if it wishes to be a magnet for Europe. Russia must become more attractive than the United States – a more attractive place to visit, to do business and to live.

Europe and Russia have always had a business relationship, even during the Soviet period, but it is possible and desirable to go far beyond that. Competition with America for Europe cannot be on America’s military terms. It should be in terms of those elements that America prides itself it provides to others, that is, freedom and security, but which it has never in reality ever provided.

In Venice (Italy), on 11 December 2009, the Gazprom delegation led by Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev, took part in the celebrations devoted to the 40th anniversary of natural gas supplies from Russia to Italy as part of the Company’s cooperation with its Italian counterpart ENI.

In the near future as the American economy worsens, America’s militaristic, parasitic nature will become more evident to Europeans and impossible for America and its supporters to conceal. Russia’s opportunity is to present an alternative.

This is not a matter of military threats or action. The United States is delighted with anything that confirms its narrative of a lurking Russian threat that it “contains”. That is the myth in South Korea where America commands South Korean military forces as it does NATO’s. There, it preserves confrontation with the North and frustrates South Korea’s wishes for unification. This situation, together with the recent sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan close to a US naval exercise, has provided an opportunity, leaving aside wider implications, for the extension of the US occupation and the sale of more weapons. Boing has just applied for an export license for 20 F-15 fighter aircraft. Another order for fighters of unspecified type is expected in two years time. South Korea and Europe, among others, are captive weapons markets. North Korean hostility is maintained as a threat to Japan.

In the Euro-Russian relationship military matters have no place, although the US-NATO entity would like to make them central as a point of continual friction and distraction at will. We see the hot/cold US attitude continuously. Rather, it is a matter of internal Russian social values and their institutional expression.

The values of the American constitution have only ever been applied to Americans themselves and not even all Americans, much less non-Americans in whose countries and to whose citizens the United States considers it may act without any constraint or respect whatsoever. Recent American administrations are now undermining their own constitution.

A reason for this appears to be that the American military establishment has developed contempt for the civilian administration and has begun to drive its direction, as a Washington Post article suggests in connection with General Stanley McChrystal’s dismissal [1]. Ex-President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya now claims that the army coup that ousted him on 28 June 2009, (by officers trained at Fort Benning in the US) was instigated by the United States [2]. The US administration’s denial might be partly true. The coup occurred only five months after President Barak Obama’s inauguration. I noted on 8 October 2009 that the new Obama administration appeared genuinely to have been surprised by it and that it was probably an independent military operation [3].

It is this behaviour by America that now provides Russia with its opportunity to provide Europe with a more attractive social alternative, to which America can have no objection, at least, not overtly.

Yulia Timoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, has done her best to provide an extensive list of constraints on Russia’s attractiveness [4]. In considering this we should bear in mind that Timoshenko’s Orange Revolution was supported by advisors and finance from the United States [5]. Be that as it may, we do not learn from those who agree with us. We learn from those whose views differ from our own.

In urging America to encourage Russian reforms, however, Timoshenko has not understood America. The last thing America wants is for Russia to resemble the beacon of freedom and security that it purports to be itself. America likes merely to criticize. It has doubtless noted that Russia’s defensiveness to criticism might actually inhibit reform.

From Russia’s viewpoint, America’s bases, armaments and nuclear weapons in Europe can be ignored. They cannot be used and are merely a provocation of which Europeans are becoming aware. Congress can pass as many NATO First Acts as it wishes. In due course American bases must go.

As the Vietnamese showed and the Pashtun in Afghanistan are demonstrating, weapons win no hearts and minds. Indeed, signs of blowback are being seen in Iraq with the cautious reappearance of the Mahdi Army. Americans are good at destroying things and killing people but they build nothing and would have those people whom they invade, bomb and shoot, believe that they are being freed.

Russia’s internal development is beyond American control and it is this that will influence European sentiments. American criticisms, threats and provocations should be exposed for what they are. Those who have ceased to believe American propaganda need facts.

The Medvedev-Putin team is a strong one that has enormous potential for continuing Russia’s development of good governance. Russia’s great progress since the death of the Georgian Stalin gives them the opportunity to achieve the prize of integration with Europe if they continue. This is not only a cost-free strategy compared with American military methods – whatever the outcome, Russia can only benefit.

Dimitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin have the opportunity to define the character of Mother Russia. Surely she should be a warm, welcoming woman who cares for her children and presses medovnik honey cake and tea on her visitors. As an alternative to arrogant armed Americans, Europeans will know whom to visit.

Source: Redress.cc

[1Endless war, a recipe for four-star arrogance, by Andrew J. Bacevich, The Washington Post, 27 June 2010.

[2US slams accusations it was behind Honduras coup, Associated Press, 29 June 2010.

[3The NATO First Act of the United States, by Christopher King, Redress, 8 October 2009.

[4Containing Russia, by Yuliya Tymoshenko, Real Clear Politics, 30 April 2007.

[5US campaign behind the turmoil in Kievby Ian Traynor, The Guardian, 26 November 2004.