Moscow (GPA) – I would like to express my view on the dominant opinion on the alleged confrontation between
the US and Russia. No doubt some will object right away that I should remember Trump’s words that relations with Russia were worse than in times of the Cold War. And I would answer that to my mind, the office of the president in the US is just a facade and an outward show. The evidence of this are the words of the late John F. Kennedy who admitted that all his decisions in both domestic and foreign policy were blocked by the Senate and the only thing he was allowed to do was to modify the lawn in front of the White House. Moreover, such statements can be a targeted strategy for the internal electorate in order to improve the rating.
Now let’s talk about politics. In the 1980s of the last century, the States predicted an inevitable future conflict with the People’s Republic of China. In time, the economic growth of the Celestial Empire combined with constant military progress could not but make the States think deeply. The collapse of the USSR and the establishment of the EU only strengthened Beijing in all sectors and areas, since the Americans have been forced to deal with the north of Eurasia and Europe. And do not forget about Washington’s systematic attempts to provoke a war against the tough nut of the Middle East – the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mutually beneficial trade between the symbol of capitalism and the Asian tiger did not affect the hidden ‘cold war’ between the parties. It was brightly revealed in Africa, Latin America, partly in the Middle East, but especially sharply in the Asian region. Now the situation is approaching a more ferocious form than just an economic rivalry.
The fact is that at the congresses of the Chinese Communist Party in the far 1980s-1990s it was also announced that ‘the war with the US cannot be avoided’. Accordingly, all these years China has been trying hard to minimize the gap with the dominant Western countries and, to be honest, the PRC has even succeeded in many areas.
In opposing the Chinese tiger and the American eagle, it is important to understand that the parties have a fundamentally different understanding of the world and modeling of their personal role on the planet. The United States seeks sole domination, while China sees the world is multipolar. The States are striving for the sixth technological mode in order to solve for themselves a number of problems related to internal circumstances, and in world politics to definitively and indisputably establish itself as a sole dominant power, while China, first of all, is discovering the ways of ‘survival’ and stability on the domestic frontier in the new tech world, and in the presence of technological innovations is trying to protect itself in the event of different types of threats.
But what about Russia?
It’s simple, the Russian Federation as a sole world power with nuclear weapons and a de-ideologized society is becoming one of the main objects for the tug-of-war between the US and China. However, there are serious nuances that knowingly resolved the dispute in favor of Washington.
First, after the collapse of the USSR Moscow set a course for the integration with the Western world, but only on its own terms (which were naturally ignored). Accordingly, there was an attempt to adopt the Western ideology concerning all directions of the development of the society, from culture to international politics. But, because of the intra-party struggle and conflicts between intelligence agencies the so-called ‘perestroika’ not only failed to produce a ‘new effect’ but gave rise to thousands different problems that have become an apologist for present Russia.
However, the ‘fascination by the West’ has only gained momentum, and to date, the Russian Federation has corrupt quasi-elite holding its stolen money in Western accounts. Isn’t it paradoxical that the Russian Federation took an ‘example from the West’ in the construction of capitalism, but has the world’s worst corruption and oligarchy, while in the EU and the US the level of corruption is lower and the rich are under some supervision? This can be confidently answered by the fact of the corrupt nature of the former-Soviet elite from the generals and the KGB to party leaders who saw the opportunity to try to ease their financial unintelligent appetites at the expense of the common and demoralized people. Naturally, all this took place with the approval of the United States. In that way, Washington went form an ‘eternal enemy of the socialist world’ to the ‘best friend’ of Moscow at the same time helping its ‘new friend’ to
reincarnate and integrate into the Western world. Moreover, the United States, but not China or EU, is a sole guarantor of the current territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.
Second, the quasi-elite, the society and the future generation as a whole look at the West and take an example in the local liberal environment. The events on the Bolotnaya Square in 2012 showed how strong the pro-Western backbone of society is, but since that time this segment has only been increasing, and now it has its own ‘liberal stronghold’ in virtually all major megacities of the country.
Moreover, the composition of such communities is completely different in its ethnic composition, age category, and social status. But the Bolotnaya Square is far from the tip of the iceberg, it’s just a fact. But what’s even more striking is mass consumption by citizens of Russian of everything from the West, from values to technologies, and no matter what political views these citizens have. It would be fair to say that that’s the fault of the Kremlin, but not the notorious States. When a domestic producer brazenly tries to copy something from the West or East, one should certainly expect fiasco. Due to natural causes, the population of the Russian Federation sees quality only in the consumption of Western goods and things. In fact, the experience regarding sanctions in the depths of Russian inhabitants is very deep, but the centuries-old serfdom (which became a national complex) and fear of the authorities do not allow people to express their opinion.
Third, there are individual contradictions between the Kremlin and the Celestial Empire. This includes a number of issues: disputed territories, the palm of supremacy in terms of economic dominance throughout most of Eurasia, contradictions on a number of foreign policy issues, including those concerning relations with the Western hegemons.
Fourth, there is blackmail. Russia provides minimum figures of the world’s GDP, the oligarchs and politicians keep their money in Western banks, and most importantly the young people who have been dubbed the ‘generation of Navalny’ see themselves in a purely liberal democratic society. And they are ready to act. Under certain conditions all these and other additional facts will be presented to the Kremlin. For example, in the future, when the conditional ‘Orange Revolution’ sneaks up to the children of the current ‘KGB agents’ (who are definitely supporters of liberal ideas), the States will give an ultimatum and the new generation of the KGB will have to accept conditions in order not to find themselves at the tribunal or in prison.
If in the 1990s the grandfathers and fathers of young agents lacked the will to tell the States ‘no’, then we certainly should not expect heroism from future generations of ‘gadgets and Instagram’. And there are plenty of such scenarios. It should be added that the technological superiority of the West to Russia is tremendous, and the Kremlin understands this, therefore, with all the pathos of ‘counter-sanctions’, it does everything to avoid the topic of stopping the purchase of technologies or joint developments with the West. The West, in turn, has not yet begun to really implement countermeasures against Moscow, so it does not address so far the issue of technology development carefully choosing the right time.
Now, I would like to say a few words about the media hype. Of course, the States are unhappy about the situation in the Crimea and Ukraine as a whole, there is also a conflict in Syria and, in part, in Iran and Afghanistan. Moscow and Washington always take opposite positions, but Vladimir Putin imposed sanctions against North Korea….. And Pyongyang is the ‘younger brother’ of China. Actually, North Korea owes only Beijing for its ‘steadfastness’. Therefore, on the basis of this situation it can be concluded that Moscow is haggling with the States by saying that it will help, but ask something in return. Some will say that the sanctions are ludicrous. But isn’t it weird that the Russian Federation has imposed them right now? Why not under Bush or Obama, but in the presidency of Trump known for his vigorous anti-Chinese policy?
As for Ukraine, the United States played out the scenario according to which Russia got into Ukrainian events at the cost of risks of exclusion, however, a real blockade was not imposed on the Kremlin. And there will be no blockade because the US, through manipulation, provocation, various ploys, and tricks, began to strengthen an economically weak and de-ideologized country, which is also a neighbor of the main enemy, namely China, with a limited potential within the limits and at its discretion. The Crimea became a symbol of the state policy militarization, the rise of the national spirit, the Kremlin’s PR for the formation of a great power in the eyes of the inhabitants, an indisputable carte blanche for any laws within the country to maintain the ruling elite of power. That is, everything that the States needed in the future war against China has happened. Firstly, an outright dictatorship of the security services; secondly, the rearmament and the beginning of a new stage in the development of new types of weapons; thirdly, the fight against corruption as a form of survival for the manpower of the Kremlin’s ruling elite, and fourthly, the revival of the quasi-ideology, which includes the concept of the ‘right turn’, need to be separately mentioned.
After the seizure of the Crimea, the renewed ideas of nationalism on the basis of almost ‘tsarism’ were spread within the Russian society. Does it sound funny? I don’t think so, because in today’s Russia the national majority believes that the tsar was the embodiment of ‘independence and stability’. * They say if the Russians remember the old times, they will re-establish the ‘great country’ over the Western ‘enemy’. In general, in the early 1990s the so-called ‘right-wing idea’ was approved by the Russian government, and the political strategists of the idea created a symbiosis of everything that was anti-communist in the face of Western democracy and the ‘great past’ under the tsar (although liberal democracy and autocracy were full of antagonist). The political strategists themselves were true Zionists and liberals, and have remained so to this day. Under Yeltsin, they resided near the Kremlin, but under Putin, they were moved to the ‘legal opposition’.
In the presidency of Putin the right deviation has not changed, but only acquired something from Putin, that is, the symbiosis of the Soviet past, led by Primakov’s ideas (anti-Americanism), and wild usurious capitalism with a bet on the oligarchy. In the 1990s and at the beginning of Putin’s rule the States encouraged both since the newly emerged quasi-ideology has been filling the vacuum left by the Soviet past. It should be asked why it was so important for the US to stimulate these very ‘right-wing ideas’ in Russia. The answer is the same. If the Kremlin gets out of control or a great civil war, the scenario could develop according to absolutely fantastic ideas, and especially public disillusionment and anger with the reforms of Chubais and Gaidar could result in fundamental changes.
The Soviet ideology could be filled with the completely different new ideologies for former Soviet citizens. Not in vain the great Islamic revolutionary Imam Khomeini*1 had sent a letter to Gorbachev with the idea of accepting Islam even before the criminal reforms. Iran saw changes in the territory of the future Russia, while China has definitely planned to implement its strategy by that time. In the event of a civil war, the situation would force the EU and the Celestial Empire to act actively, which would lead to the division of Eurasia in half, and that was clearly not part of the US plans. Finally, in case of an emergency situation and the threat of complete loss of sovereignty to the West, the Soviet generals could easily transfer (or sell) to China all their strategic armaments, including the nuclear arsenal that China still does not have.
You might ask how this all affects the US struggle against China. The answer is, firstly, the States need a strong ally in the Eurasian area, and a weak state with great corruption even with nuclear weapons is doomed to failure. The dictatorship of security forces is necessary as total control over the population in the event of a riot in the conditions of a future world war. To the pseudo-ideology spread within the society, I have referred earlier.
The US through Ukraine forced the Kremlin to change and expose itself as a ‘world power’ during the Cold War. But in fact, far from being that, such a difficult strategy required years and training in the face of the Orange Revolution in 2004 in Ukraine. You might tell me why not just bribe the Kremlin or offer something special in exchange for the struggle against China. Firstly, the States are well aware of who they are dealing with. You can say that during the entire 1990s they have been personally raising the Kremlin oligarchs. The Americans know that Moscow is not interested in wars, but only in trade and business. Even if there were bribery, Moscow would require Washington more money, as the Kremlin’s corruption knows no limits. This way, in the current situation the States through Ukraine, forced Russia to follow the path of increasing its military capacity and try to fight against corruption, as stealing other people’s money is one thing, and taking it out of your own pocket is another.
The Americans seemed to temporarily revive the remnant of the Soviet education and did it using tactics of intimidation and provocation playing the role of the main aggressor. All the talk of the alleged beginning of a close cooperation between the Celestial Empire and the Kremlin only proves the provocations of the USA and its role of the main initiator of conflicts. But why? The answer is as follows. Russia is ruled by the people with the mentality of the Soviet times who will react to everything with the military-force actions of the 20th century, and accordingly, they want to dominate the territories of Eurasia using the same obsolete method. The Americans know it and successfully use in their hostile strategy against China. On the one hand, artificially fueling the myth of the resumption of the Cold War the States is strengthening their potential main ally in the face of the Kremlin for a future war against the Celestial Empire. On the other hand, they provoke fears in the EU and the PRC hinting at the renewal of ‘Soviet ambitions’ and the unreliability of the Russians when it comes to cooperation or implementation of adopted treaties. That is why the Americans provoke the Kremlin with a mirage of military-force confrontation in order to introduce the idea of an inevitable future war and make Russia throw resources into military modernization (burdening an already weak economy). Only as a scarecrow, they chose themselves knowing that leaders of Moscow are people with the mentality of the Soviet times who will have to react accordingly referring to the dogmas of the Soviet thinking.
* – However, in reality, the Romanovs were related to the British Crown and other monarchic houses of Europe. That is, there is a subtext of cooperation with the West behind the screen of the current ‘great Russian nationalism’ (KRYMNASH [Crimea is Ours]). I do not know whether the Kremlin intended to do this or it was accidentally, but the fact of irony remains.
*1 – The adoption of Islam certainly looks like a utopia, and at the moment it is. However, speaking of Iran, it is worth remembering that during the Saddam attack against the Islamic Republic the USSR helped the Iraqi dictator in terms of armament and articles of prime necessities as much as the States. This was another example of the hidden cooperation of two criminal systems of that time. Though Moscow and Washington competed with each other, they tried to jointly suppress any dissenting voice from the depths of the planet and did it with particular cruelty.
This post was submitted by Damir Nazarov, an independent political analyst living in Russia.