The writing would seem to be on the wall – Washington and its stenographers union (better known as the west’s mainstream media) are all fired-up and strategically positioned. The War Party has ascendancy and the window of opportunity is wide open, though slowly closing. The long desired wish to tame Russia is now in its final stage. “American Exceptionalism” must subdue any real or imagined threat. Importantly, intentionally generated phantom threats are given the most attention and media space. Russia is in this category. The reasons are patently obvious:
Russia refuses to take the bait: From the proxy-backed South Ossetian conflict in 2008, to the forced regime change in Kiev in 2014, and to the defense of Syria’s sovereignty in its fight against western supported terrorists, Russia has stood its ground against western-inspired machinations. In all three cases, Washington’s attempt to lure Moscow into confrontation has failed. In fact, the west has been the net loser in each of these foreign policy maneuvers – all three attempts ending in fiascos.
Result: We should expect Washington to up the ante – direct confrontation with Russia via its NATO minions.
Sanctions against Russia have failed: Western sanctions attempting to control Russian “behavior” have had the opposite impact. Step-by-step – without fanfare – Russia has retired 30% of its external debt in only two years. Import substitution has continued apace, leaving a number of European markets stagnate with relief nowhere in sight. Sanctions against the banking sector certainly have been not without pain. Though there is an upside: Russian businesses are in the process of withdrawing from the west’s toxic financial sectors. When the next bubble bursts, Russia will avoid much of the damage the U.S. will export to the global financial system.
Result: We should expect more faux media-inspired circuses like the “Panama Papers” attempting to discredit Russian businesses and finances.
Humiliating the Empire never goes without punishment: Washington and its allies are not used to taking the answer “no” lightly. Through hook and mostly crook the “Washington Consensus” gets its way almost all the time. When there is a dissenting voice vast resources are marshalled to silence and destroy the contrarian. Russia is the quintessential “Contrarian Power” in the Washington-centric world. Russia has and will defend itself against the NATO alliance moving to its borders, it will respond in kind to missile defence aimed at its nuclear deterrent, it will defend its sovereignty and those of others (like Syria if Moscow has the resources), it will demand equal treatment on the world’s energy markets, and it will not turn a blind eye to Washington’s addiction forcing illegal regime changes around the world.
Result: We should expect the west to invent a crisis in one of the Baltic States. Even though many ethnic Russians face discrimination and hardship in these states, many do actually have a stable life. There is zero evidence they want this to change. But never underestimate Washington’s fear mongering!
Those damn Russians refuse to be isolated!: It is repeated over and over again that Russia is isolated internationally. There is no evidence of this whatsoever beyond no longer being a member of the G8. The fact Russia was excluded from this group is a blessing in disguise. It is the G7 countries that account for most of the world’s woes and suffering. Come to think of it how often does Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov visit Washington? Interesting – it seems U.S. Secretary of State is constantly on a plane to Moscow to meet with Lavrov and/or Putin. Moscow has on numerous occasions proposed a solution to the Syrian quagmire; it is Washington that can’t stomach defeat there (even though defeat has been staring Washington in the face for years). Years from now history will record how the “Washington Consensus” isolated itself in a world undergoing incredible transitions.
Result: Washington will continue its “the worse the better” approach in Syria and the Middle East and blame Russia. Russia didn’t destroy the Middle East starting a vast immigrant/refugee crisis. Europe will continue to pay a high price for its senseless and cruel meddling. Of course Russia will be blamed.
Putin’s authoritarianism or western-made global rock star?: The simple fact is there is no political, social, or grassroots opposition ready to initiate a people’s uprising against the hated “Putin regime.” Widespread dissent against the current political establishment is pure western media fantasy. Putin is widely popular and respected, though there are those who openly speak out against the Russian president. There is nothing extraordinary about that. Actually, Washington and Co have given Putin a significant boost in his poll numbers. After two years of recession in Russia there is no indication the people at large blame Putin. Standing up to the west has seen Putin’s poll numbers soar. Most importantly for the majority of Russians their country has returned to the world stage as a proud power defending its own interests and international law. Putin gets the credit.
Result: Once the west calls someone Hitler, then there is no way back. The demonization will continue. The results of such a policy have already been shown to be counter-productive and dangerous.
Peter Lavelle is anchor of RT political debate program CrossTalk. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.