by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker blog
Inspired by the Saker’s article regarding how far can the Russians be pushed, (http://thesaker.is/escalation-in-syria-how-far-can-the-russians-be-pushed/), I ask, how far can the Americans be pushed, not specifically only in Syria, but in general?
In his article, the Saker articulated in his regular rational and captivating style, the issue of Russian patience, or should we say frustration, with America’s actions and inactions in Syria. And, as I was reading the article, I began to think about looking at the situation from the other side of the mirror in a tongue-in-cheek manner; looking at it from the American perspective.
I thought back to an article I had written on the very same theme some years ago, focusing and predicting on what a desperate America would do.
The sad and ironic reality is that America does not walk the talk of competitiveness and level playing fields. America’s definition of a national threat is different from that of any other country in human history; except perhaps for ancient Rome.
For this reason, America does not believe that Russia has been pushed at all, but quite the contrary. America believes that is America that has been pushed; by not only Russia, but by many other nations. As a matter of fact, I started writing this article and I wasn’t going to finish it and submit it until President Putin pushed America even further towards the state of panic in his 1st of March speech.
American politicians operate on the pretext that America has a given right to be the greatest, wealthiest, most-developed, strongest unrivaled nation on earth.
Given its history and post WWII successes of being able to lure in the best brains of the world; not only from Germany, but the rest of the world, America believed that the homeland of any eminent scientist should be America.
Furthermore, with the multitude of defections from the USSR, not only Russian scientists were welcomed into America, but also musicians, scholars, athletes and other people of exceptional talents and capabilities.
And this list goes on, because Germany and Russia were not the only nations that exported excellence to America, but the whole world did, and perhaps for good reasons, because from the 1950’s onwards, everybody wanted to live in America; and many pop culture songs have recorded this phenomenon.
In little time, the best of the best in Europe and the rest of the world ended up in America. Not too many want to be reminded that that Wernher von Braun, the “American” rocket scientist who designed the Apollo program rockets, was a former Nazi, the same von Braun who designed the rockets that hit London in 1945.The prime reasons for his exodus and that of others, were poor living conditions, political persecution among other reasons. So if America managed to lure them in and find a way to capitalize on their great talents, then America has well and truly deserved the spoils of their genius.
But Trump’s America, even Obama’s, Bush’s and Clinton’s is not exactly that global brain and talent pivot any longer. As a result, America has changed the rules of the game in order to stay on top.
But this went further, according to the American way of looking at the rest of the world. During the Cold War, members of the former Warsaw Pact were considered as enemy states together with all other states affiliated with the USSR such as Cuba, Syria, Egypt and Angola, just to name a few. After the downfall of the USSR and the virtual elimination of serious adversaries, America “had to invent” new enemies. The post “Cold War” definition of an enemy morphed into classifying nations as members of the “Axis of Evil” if they did not kowtow to Washington’s definition of the so-called “New World Order”.
But as America grows weaker, financially, technologically, and even militarily, and as the world is beginning to look to China and Russia for the latest technology instead of America, for as long as America is able to stretch the definition of what constitutes a national threat, and for as long as the rest of the West will buy this definition, it will continue to do this.
Having lost its competitive edge and not yet being able to admit it, America is still desperately trying to cling to this edge by means that contradict with its stature as the leader of the free world and the nation that it alleges to be.
To this effect, and for America to be able to hold on to its leading position, it can no longer do this from any semblance of a position of fairness and real and honest competition. This is why America is now upscaling its enemy definition and resorting to what can be best seen as bullying tactics; thereby taking unfair advantage of other nations.
According to those new rules, now that they no longer can conceal or sugarcoat its true intentions, any nation that tries to develop itself is seen by America as a potential threat. And this applies to all aspects of development, because according to America, no other nation is allowed to be better or even close to where America is.
If America cannot compete against athletes of other nations, it will ban them.
If America cannot be trade competitive, it will impose sanctions on its competitors.
If America sees that a nation does not fully kowtow to its agenda, it will classify it as a terrorist state and tries to push it to its knees by putting a ban on international trade with it.
When the economy fails and America cannot generate wealth, REAL WEALTH, to stay on the top, it will print money.
And when American citizens turn into whistle-blowers, they are branded as traitors. So much for free speech. And where did Edward Snowden seek political asylum? In Russia out of all places. Will we in the future see a reversal of the former exodus of citizens of the USSR to the USA? We cannot say this can be ruled out.
One therefore does not have to be Kim Jong Un, sitting on a nuclear arsenal with a button in his hand threatening to hit American cities with, to be seen as a threat to America. Any person or any state touted to out-perform Americans or America now or in the future, in any field of endeavour, is considered by the American policy makers as a threat. But even speaking of Kim Jong Un, the question of whether or not his stand is offensive or defensive is quite diabolical. North Korea saw what happened to Vietnam, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. Most importantly, North Korea has not forgotten what happened to Korea itself. How can any rationally-minded person blame North Korea for developing nukes; if the sole intention is to stave off another American onslaught?
Back to the main subject. To put this into perspective, when America sees that anti-Russian sanctions are not working and that in fact the global Russian influence is getting stronger, when it sees Russia is in Syria making things happen, it feels threatened.
When it sees Russian state-of-the-art weaponry and electronic jamming devices in action, when it sees China building a huge fleet with two aircraft carriers and counting, when it sees Russia and China way ahead, each developing their own hypersonic, even orbital, fighter jets, (https://sputniknews.com/military/201708271056829517-mig-31-41-russia-interceptor-aircraft-features/) which America itself does not yet have, when it realizes that it has to use Russian-made rockets to propel its satellites into space, when America knows that for all practical purposes, America is no longer the world’s strongest economy, then America feels that it has been pushed to the absolute limit that only further sanctions and war can remedy.
The 1st of March 2018 Putin speech will in the future be seen as a turning point. Even though President Putin did not mention electronic jamming devices and other Russian military technology that America is well and truly behind in, he will be seen in history as the first ever non-American leader to put American military on notice by saying to American policy makers that Russia is militarily more advanced than America in both defense and attack.
And if America brags its unrivaled huge fleet, the new technology Russia has developed has the potential to turn American naval vessels into ancient and expensive sitting, or should I say floating, ducks waiting to be sunk.
In retrospect, ancient Rome saw in rivaling Carthage an existential threat until the Romans pillaged Carthage killing every single man woman and child. We cannot expect annihilation of this magnitude in the time and age, or can we? Having said that, America’s nuclear power is a huge force to be reckoned with, and to expect America to accept second or third grade world status, without a bang, is no more than wishful thinking. But how useful and effective is this power?
In his recent interview with Sputnik, Ron Paul doubts that America will ever have a reasonable foreign policy, and argues that the fall of America will be financial, like other empires in the past, and that someday America will go broke and no longer be able to continue to run the world: (https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201802231061934663-ron-paul-sputnik-interview/).
To put it bluntly, after the petro-dollar loses its world dominance, and this doesn’t seem very far away, a time will come when it will become virtually impossible to keep propping up the American economy with quantitative easing (aka printing money). And as America loses its economic stature, its only remaining prowess and might will be in its nuclear arsenal. The question is this. If America is imposing sanctions and bans right left and centre right now, and for no good reason at all, will a much more desperate America use its nuclear power to restore its dominion? Lately, America has been considering diluting its restrictions on the use of nuclear power by developing “more usable” nukes:
After all, using conventional weapons in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan etc didn’t win wars for America, despite the technical superiority they had over the conventional weapons of the adversaries. Is America simply looking for a new edge to use in its conventional wars against non-nuclear enemies? Is this new move of developing small and “more usable” nukes a prelude for a new age of nuclear confrontations? Or is it just the beginning of a new type of cold wars with “Cold War II” already underway? Either way, it is a race that non-nuclear nations cannot compete with, and this alone makes them much softer targets for America than before.
Will America go further and use its nuclear power in order to secure trade deals? Recources? Trade routes?
Far-fetched? Perhaps, but as America becomes more desperate finding that elusive “edge”, it will run out of options, and it has indeed run out of a few already. What if the implementation of the “America First” doctrine runs out of all options except the nuclear option?
Has President Putin’s latest speech stopped any such potential American nuclear plans and nipped them in the bud?
Inadvertently, President Putin’s 1st of March 2018 speech answers the question of The Saker in as far as how far can Russia be pushed.
The answer to the question of how far can the Americans be pushed is increasingly becoming more of what can they do, rather than what they would like to do.