Sunday, June 23, 2013

The real meaning of the West's diplomatic defeat at the G8 summit in Lough Erne

Following the 08.08.08 war between Georgia and Russia and the crushing military defeat of the US-backed Saakashvili regime I wrote the following in this blog:
The ugly attack by Washington's Georgian puppet on the Russian peacekeepers combined with the absolutely amazing hypocrisy of the Western media and politicians who all fully sided with the aggressor turned into something of a “last straw” for Russia. This seemingly marginal development, at least when assessed quantitatively (“what else is new?”) ended up making a huge qualitative difference: it brought up a new Russian resolve to deal with, to use a favorite Neocon expression, an existential threat represented by the Western Empire. It will take a long while for the West to realize what has really happened and the most obtuse of pundits and politicians will probably hang on to their usual self-righteous rhetoric forever, but historians will probably look back at the month of August 2008 as the moment when Russia decided to strike back at the Empire for the first time.
Something very similar has, I strongly believe, happened again, but this time in Libya and, even more so, in Syria.  Again what we saw was "an ugly attack by Washington's puppets" and, again, the Western media and politicians fully sided with the aggressor.  The images of NATO unleashing a full-scale bombing campaign against Libya under the pretext of "protecting civilians" and the images of Gaddafi lynched by a mob of thugs who jammed a knife in his anus while screaming that "God is great" also infuriated the Russian political leadership and public opinion.  This anger combined with the shameful realization that Russia did carry a large portion of the guilt for what happened in Libya (through its monumentally stupid abstention at the UNSC), explains why there was a total consensus in Russia not to have the same thing happen in Syria.

The big difference with Russia's response in 2008 is primarily geographical: Syria is not on the Russian border and Russian peacekeepers were not attacked.  Besides, it is one thing take on the US-backed but fundamentally inept Georgian military and quite another to take military action against the combined might of CENTOM/NATO and the US.  So the Russian reaction had to be of a non-military nature.  It now appears that Russia did two thing:
  1. Russia gave full and uncompromising diplomatic backing to Syria at the UN and on the international political scene.
  2. It carefully coordinated with Iran and Hezbollah a covert military support plan.
I already wrote about the 2nd component, so I will not return to this here, but I do want to return to the first, political, part of the Russian response.  Primarily, I want to do this because I am amazed to see that, at least as far as I know, no commentator or analyst has truly understood its importance.  So let's look a little deeper into this.

First, Russia was not alone.  China took exactly the same stance.  In fact, both Russian and Chinese diplomats confirmed that the level of political coordination and cooperation between Russia and China were "unprecedented".  What does that mean?

Nobody denies that in the Syrian conflict Russia is the primary player.  China is hardly mentioned and, when it is, it is only in passing.  And in this case, this focus on Russia is the result of the undeniable fact that Russia is in charge of the "Syrian dossier" while China is backing Russia.  You want proof?  Look at where all the Western politicians go to try to get Moscow and Beijing to desist from their current stance: Russia.  Nobody travels to Beijing to try to argue with the Chinese. To say that is in no way a criticism of China.  If the issue was something of primarily Chinese interest, say the Spratly Islands, China would be at the front of the struggle and Russia in the back seat.  What this means for Russia is that it is taking far more "heat" for its stance than China and yet, very little credit is given to it for this.  Most pro-Syrian commentators want Russia to do even more, primarily because they don't understand how much Russia has already done.

Let me ask you this: when is the last time that you remember a Russian or even Soviet leader openly standing up and defying the combined power of the entire Western world?  The answer depends on your criteria I guess, but I would submit that in my opinion the last Russian/Soviet leader who dared to truly stand up to the West was Stalin during WWII.  Krushchev waved his shoe, but eventually backed down, Brezhnev really did not take any strong positions on anything, Andropov soon died, Chernenko got into power half-dead already, while Gorbachev, Eltsin and Medvedev really were "yes men" towards the West.

Putin in contrast not only dared to openly defy the other G8 leaders who were united against him and dead set into making him comply, he actually forced them to comply to his terms.  I cannot recall the last time when the combined power of the Western diplomacy was so completely routed.  The G8 leaders, who used to look down on Russia and who all thought of themselves as G7+1 (not only that idiot Harper) suddenly found themselves in a situation I called "Putin and the Seven Dwarfs":

How did that happen?  Why is it that in an organization which presumably represents the eight largest economies on the planet (it does not: Brazil, India and China are missing) a country like Russia, with a comparatively tiny economy, small military and very few other assets, could turn giants into dwarfs?  Surely not because of Russian nukes (which the US, UK and France also have) or the Russian veto power at the UN (which the US, UK, France and China also have).

Something much more complex happened here.  For the first time in many decades a country made a comprehensive moral and legal argument.  Russia openly told the West that what it was doing was wrong on moral and on legal grounds and that what was at stake at this point was much more than Syria, it was the kind of international system the entire planet has to live in.  To put it more directly and in simple and non-diplomatic turn, Russia called the West a hypocritical thug and it rejected the right of the hypocritical thugs to lead anything, much less so a military intervention against a sovereign nation.

While this moral and legal stance absolutely enraged the Western political elites and corporate Zio-media, it deeply "resonated" in the world public opinion.  And here, we see something very typically Russian which a lot of Russian leaders have done in history and which Putin has already done twice: he bypassed the elites and appealed directly to the of people.  Putin is doing that right now in Russia (all his recent political moves as based on mass popular support and his All-Russia People's Front is fully centered on this method) and Putin is also doing that in his foreign policy.  And just as the pro-Western political elites in Russia are shamed and rendered flaccid by the political climate in Russia, so are the Western political leaders who simply do not have the political courage to openly start yet another illegal war in support of organ-eating religious crazies.

I personally believe that if historians look back at August 2008 as "the moment when Russia decided to strike back at the Empire for the first time" they will also come to realize that June 2013 is the moment when Russia decided to strike back at the Empire for the second time.  The first strike was a local military strike while the second strike was a planetary, global, moral and political strike and I am aghast at the fact that nobody seems to realize that this is truly a huge development.

The current Anglo Empire stands on two key pillars: its willingness to bully and terrorize the planet with violence (military or covert) and its amazing ability to carefully frame the international public discourse in such a manner as to make the most obnoxious and brazen example of double-standards and hypocrisy appear fully logical and consistent with values of democracy, international law and humanitarian concerns.  And, of course, this has been denounced by many people worldwide, but it has never been so openly and directly challenged by a top world leader.  Make no mistake - Putin did not only challenge the Empire's right to overthrow Assad, he really challenged the very nature of the Anglo-dominated international system since semi-covertly 1945 and openly since 1995 (Anglo aggression on the Serb nation in Bosnia).

The Russian military victory in 08.08.08 did not mark the end of what is really a struggle for national liberation of Russia from the Anglo Empire. Far from it.  Nor will the Russian diplomatic victory at the recent G8 summit in Ireland mark the end of this long process.  But with each such Russian counter-strike against the Empire the Anglo domination over the planet is getting weaker and weaker while it becomes easier for other nations to find a voice and maybe even dare to have an opinion?  In the Western cultural "heartland" (US and EU) there is gradually more and more hell to pay for politicians who dare to ignore their own public opinion.  Look what happened recently to a Russian TV crew in Paris which was making a report on the daily protests against the laws adopted by the French parliament which now makes it legal for homosexuals to adopt children:

They were literally mobbed by a crowd chanting "La Russie avec nous!  La Russie avec nous!" (Russia with us!  Russia with us!).  You might wonder what the link is between 08.08.08 and Syria on one hand, and homopolitics in France on the other, but I would suggest that the link is obvious:  in the process of its struggle for national liberation from the Anglo Empire Russia is also positioning itself as an alternative civilizational model.  So its not only about respect for international law or the rejection of the Western "turbocapitalist" model, it is also about the determined defense of the traditional family structure, about the categorical rejection of sexual psychopathologies or the respect of national traditions (try having a "gay pride parade" in downtown Grozny!).

Of course, countries like Iran have been doing that for years, but being Muslim and very different historically and culturally, the Iranian model has very little "traction" in Europe.  Not that the "Russian model" (which really is only under development to begin with!) has a much bigger potential: in reality Russia is as different a civilization from the West as Iran, but being being geographically closer and politically and historically more connected, Russia has just barely enough "traction" to be noted by those who Europeans who are already alienated from their own political elites.  Let's face it - Ahmadinejad and Putin can say the exact same thins about sexual psychopathologies, but it is much harder to ignore Putin, in particular when he speaks in Germany, Holland or the UK (as he did recently). Still, savvy political dissidents in France, like Alain Soral, always mention Russia and Iran.

In economic terms, the alternative civilizational model being developed is, of course, the BRICS model (and, maybe, its junior Latin-American counterpart, the ALBA).

In military terms, the alternative model being worked on is the SCO with the  CSTO as its current military "core" (this could dramatically change if China decided to enter into a formal defense treaty, but that is unlikely).

The G8 summit at Lough Erne showed that the Anglo Empire is not nearly as powerful as most people thought.  This, however, does not at all mean that it is weak, not by a long shot.  The Empire will adapt, it will come to terms with new, more difficult, circumstances, and it will still remain the foremost planetary power for the foreseeable future.  But the overall trend, I believe, clear.  And this is why the corporate Zio-media made as little as possible from the comprehensive defeat of the Western diplomacy in Lough Erne.  There will be throwbacks, disappointments and even defeats in the future, but at the very least we have good reasons to continue hoping for an eventual victory.

The Saker