On June 12 what passes for the U.S.’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, further escalated tensions with Russia in an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Brookings Institution, a think tank that has supplied the Barack Obama administration with many of its key foreign policy personnel.
With an Israeli flag behind her and waving her right hand in the air, she vociferated:
“We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria. They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry – everything they are shipping is unrelated to their (the Syrian government’s) actions internally. That’s patently untrue.
“And we are concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria, which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
Russian officials promptly denounced the charge as the crude fabrication and cruder provocation it was, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov remonstrating:
"We are not delivering to Syria, or anywhere else, items that could be used against peaceful demonstrators. In this we differ from the United States, which regularly delivers riot control equipment to the region, including a recent delivery to a Persian Gulf country. But for some reason the Americans consider this to be fine."
Clinton has been steadily raising the level of anti-Russian invective, vilification and intimidation in recent months.
Last December she denounced the country’s parliamentary elections of that month as being "neither free nor fair," stating:
"Russian voters deserve a full investigation of all credible reports of electoral fraud and manipulation, and we hope in particular that the Russian authorities will take action.”
In February she commented on the double veto by Russia and China in the United Nations Security Council over Syria in the following choice American-style diplomatese at a so-called Friends of Syria conference in Tunisia:
"It’s quite distressing to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered –” women, children, brave young men –” houses are being destroyed.
"It is just despicable and I ask whose side are they on? They are clearly not on the side of the Syrian people."
Her characterization of Russia’s and China’s second joint veto over attempted moves against the Syrian government by the U.S., its NATO allies and their coalition of Arab monarchy partners (Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco. Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) as despicable echoed that of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice earlier in that month:
"The fact that Russia and China chose to align themselves with a dictator who is on his last legs rather than the people of Syria, rather than the people of the Middle East, rather than the principled views of the rest of the international community, was indeed disgusting and shameful and I think that over time it is a decision they’ll come to regret when there is a democratic Syria that won’t forget this action."
Despicable, disgusting and shameful are typical entries in the lexicon employed by the international relations corps of the world’s sole military superpower. (The term embraced by President Obama in his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.) And indicative of the level of its diplomacy and its attitude toward other, even major, nations.
In the same address in Tunisia in February, Clinton bluntly called for a military coup d’etat in Damascus in these words:
"To those Syrians who still support Assad, especially members of the Syrian military: understand that this regime has no future. The longer you carry out its campaign of violence, the more it will stain your honor. But if you refuse to take part in attacks on your fellow citizens, your countrymen will hail you as heroes."
Before she steps down as secretary of state Clinton may well establish a record for demanding foreign heads of state abdicate power – or face the fate of those who don’t do so at the snap of her fingers – adding Syria’s Bashar Assad to Ivory Coast’s President Laurent Gbagbo, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and, practically speaking, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko last year.
There are fewer and fewer governments in the world unwilling to do Washington’s bidding as votes in the United Nations Security Council and Human Rights Council on Syria this year demonstrate. In fact Russia, China, Iran, Belarus, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela and at times Sudan are all that remain of nations with an independent foreign policy orientation.
Among that shrinking list Russia alone has rough strategic – nuclear – parity with the U.S. and as such is the true last barrier to the U.S. drive for global domination.
The Syrian crisis has dragged on for over fifteen months and has been exploited by the U.S. and its – particularly NATO – allies to isolate, humiliate and confront Russia in the first case and China in the second. Having to various degrees backed Russia down over Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya in recent years, Washington is now mounting a full frontal attack designed to effect not a retreat but a rout.
To believe for a moment that the military superpower that in recent years has laid waste to the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and is conducting lawless and murderous drone missile attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia is in any manner motivated by alleged humanitarian concerns in Syria is either to engage in deliriously wishful thinking or surrender to outright delusion.
On June 9 Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov provided a reality test for, an information antidote to the Western human rights argument:
"[I]n order to justify a foreign intervention they keep talking about the refugees from Syria. However, nobody talks about refugees inside Syria itself.
"This is similar to the former Yugoslavia. Does anybody think about the refugees from Serbia and Slovenia? [He may have intended Croatia with the latter reference.]
"According to some estimates, there are about a million refugees from Iraq and half a million Palestinians in Syria, and I don’t think people talk much about that."
While in Beijing for the twelfth annual heads of state summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the beginning of the month, the Russian foreign minister emphasized an effective substitute to the West’s past 21 years of rampant military aggression, threats, bullying and arrogance in stating that "there is no alternative to the enlargement of the SCO, an interest in which is growing steadily inside and outside of the region."
The six members of the SCO are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. At the latest summit Afghanistan joined India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as an observer nation, Turkey joined Belarus and Sri Lanka as a dialogue partner and the president of Turkmenistan delivered a speech. Collectively, the above nations account for well over half the world’s population, three members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and four nuclear powers and are the nucleus of a genuine new 21st century international political and economic approach and structure.
Unless a peaceful, cooperative and multipolar model based on the above and its underlying philosophy emerges soon, the ineluctable destiny the world faces is that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned of on May 17:
"The introduction of all sorts of collective sanctions bypassing international institutions does not improve the situation in the world while reckless military operations in foreign states usually end up with radicals coming to power.
“At some point such actions, which undermine state sovereignty, may well end in a full-blown regional war and even – I’m not trying to spook anyone – the use of nuclear weapons.”
In intensifying its progressively more dangerous confrontation with the world’s other major nuclear power by threatening it over Syria and expelling it from the Arab world and the Mediterranean while surrounding it with NATO partnerships and a global interceptor missile system, Washington is pushing the world closer to just such a – the ultimate – nightmare scenario.
A wounded beast is often the most vicious and a dying empire doesn’t hesitate to destroy a world it cannot dominate.