by Vladimir Gujaničić
How many times over the past several months or even years have we heard NATO’s General Secretary, Obama, or US generals utter the claim that “Russia is the biggest enemy” for the US or even the Western order as a whole? The “Russian threat” hysteria has been forged in the media on a high level. Yet more often than not the question as to why Russia is such a threat to the US is left with no answer.
Everything seems to start in 2011 when the US started to rush forward with its “spring” or color “revolutions” in the Arab world. But while the “Arab Spring” was “covered” by the media, left unnoticed was the US’ switching attention to several governments “disloyal” to US policy in Latin America and other parts of the world. At the neuralgic point, like in Syria, Russia is confronting the US and its allies in these regions.
The late President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, openly said not long before his death that “Russia saved the world from recolonization.” A similarly important point can also be found in the long forgotten speech of Zbigniew Brzezinski from 1979 on threats facing the US and how the US should formulate its foreign policy. Brzezinski pointed out a revolution that hit planet Earth in the 20th century: “From 1900 to 1950, world population growth [has jumped] from 900 million to 2,5 billion…as a result of this political change, the number of states and nations tripled to more than 180, in the life of every one of us in this room, this is the biggest political revolution in the history of man kind…Because of modern technology and communications, the billions have become aware of new ideas and world injustice.” After the Second World War, we should recall, the main field of struggle was against the colonial powers who sought to preserve their colonial system. In that period, the Soviets, guided by Marxist-Leninist ideology, supported mostly all countries who wanted to be independent from their colonial tutors.
We must ask the question: Who is the aggressor? Who is attacking whom and what?
Air defense plus sovereignty is a more dangerous formula than communism, however. “Poor will be that country which cannot defend its people against attack from the air,” Georgy Zhukov said. These forgotten words of Marshal Zhukov are key to understanding the present situation and the fight for independence. As we see the scheme of US actions and interventionism, it is pretty easy to understand this point. Sanctions, injustice, and political or nationalist struggles are creating inside of every society a critical mass which will be supported by US interventionism after which the US will achieve its goals. However, the key and crucial element is air supremacy. Without air supremacy, which is the main weapon of the US recolonization process, the US is not likely to intervene in any country which has even an average land force. But without proper air defense, no matter how big the army or popularity of the ruling political party or president opposing the US, this regime is doomed to fall.
Given the US drive to dominate the world and given that Russia is exporting the best air defense systems in hot points of the world (Algeria, Syria, Iran, Venezuela), we must ask the question: Who is the aggressor? Who is attacking whom and what? Western capitalism cannot exist without imperialism. If in the Yeltsin period we saw the trend of letting down socialist bloc allies all over the world, then in Putin’s time we see the opposite, a sustaining of the remaining former partners of USSR, and not only sustaining the survivors, but also aiding the new, Venezuela being the best example.
There are several theories on Putin’s foreign policy. The first one is that this policy is only formulated around the war for energy resources which make up the base of today’s Russian economy. The second is that some hidden elites from the Soviet era are pursuing the same goals as earlier but with the cover of the present Russian state formula. Finally, there is the view that Russia is simply defending its position as a sovereign state. No matter which of these theories is most truthful, what is obvious is that Russia is confronting the US at almost all points on Earth.
The war in the Middle East is lost for the US and the damage dealt therein to its regional and world policy is devastating. Venezuela is likely to be the next spot of confrontation between USA and Russia. It is now clear that Russia and China both support Maduro in his struggle to maintain the country’s socialist path and stay in power. Russia deployed modern air defenses in the period of the late president Hugo Chavez, and now we see that Russia is helping Maduro by exporting 60,000 tons of wheat a month in addition to considerable logistical support. It is clear that Russia is not simply confronting the US in what could be said to be a mere defense of its position, but is openly entering into what should be called the US’ “backyard”, the famous “Monroe Doctrine” yard. The result is clear: sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions and a deeper hole in Russia-US relations. If we look at this from a strategic perspective, we see that Russia is running circles around US policy, reversing their gains from the Arab Spring, infiltrating like a worm into the EU with energy projects after cancelling the big Middle East pipeline. Russia is shaping a new relationship with Turkey and giving support to Duterte to change his foreign policy 180 degrees. The US is taking blow by blow.
If we compare Russian foreign policy to former Soviet policy, we can see that even if Russia is much weaker than the Soviet Union in terms of resources, Russia is more dangerous for the US. Not only what we might call neo-colonies, but also America’s own allies are switching sides, having no interest in staying within the US sphere of influence, and it is not so easy for the United States to militarily intervene in the “democratic” world. US Senator McCain has explicitly said that Russia is more dangerous than ISIL for the US. This kind of statement is humorous for any analyst, because we can see certain patterns in ISIL operations – when Maliki switched sides, Iraq got ISIL; when Duterte switched sides, the Philippines got ISIL, etc. It is crystal clear in whose hands the tool known as ISIL rests. Still, these kinds of special operations have not succeeded in preventing these countries from escaping the US sphere to seeking relations with other countries, principally Russia and China.
Overall, this kind of rebellion behind the US’ “wall” could be compared to the rebellion within the Warsaw Pact, only this time around supported by Russia in the opposite direction. The next spots of confrontation, in addition to Venezuela, are likely to be the Korean Peninsula and the Balkans. Despite hundreds of threats, the US has still not attacked North Korea like it has Syria, so if the US loses another showdown with Russia and China, the whole system of US world domination could be in danger. Russia’s deployment of modern anti-aircraft systems to critical spots across the world is delivering more blows to US policy than any radical anti-imperialist ideologies. The US can only maintain power through sheer force. As we can see in the present situation, the US is strategically losing, and further confrontation with Russia such as with the new sanctions is only slowing down the US’ loss of domination, but such cannot reverse this process.
No matter what theory is accurate concerning the formulation of Russian foreign policy, it is clear that Russia is defending its present status while supporting the same wave as the former Soviet Union but in a different form and on a much wider cultural and political platform. The US can only oppose this wave through sheer force, whereas not intervening would lead the US into a worse corner than it is in presently. On the other hand, intervention would lead to an even more drastic drop in the little reputation it has left and unknown consequences.
NOTE: This article first appeared at fort-russ.com.