Paul Craig Roberts — paulcraigroberts.org
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Judging from statements made by G-7 leaders at the recent meeting, President Trump’s application of US sanctions to Europe and disregard of European interests, just as Washington dismisses every country’s interests except Israel’s, has not caused Europeans to disassociate from Washington’s hostility to Russia.
The prime minister of England said that the G7 “agreed to stand ready to take further restrictive measures against Russia if necessary.” The American puppet in France, Macron, falsely accused Russia, the only country trying to enforce the Minsk agreement, of violating the Minsk agreement. The French president also falsely accused Russia of invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea, despite the fact that Russian forces have been present in Crimea for years under a 50-year lease that provides Crimea as a Russian naval base. As the French president surely knows, all Russia did was to accept a unanimous vote of Crimeans to return to Russia. Crimea had been a part of Russia for three centuries, longer than the existence of the US, before it was illegally transferred to Ukraine.
The G7 politicians accused Putin of “destabilizing behavior,” of “undermining democratic systems,” and of “supporting Syria.”
Europe remains subservient to Washington despite everything Trump has done to humiliate Washington’s European vassals.
Putin’s response to what he called “creative babbling” was that Europe should get to work with Russia working out their common interest.
There are common interests, and Putin sees them, but, as the G7 statements make clear, the G7 sees only a Russian enemy.
From the West’s standpoint, Putin is a problem because of his insistence on Russian sovereignty. When the West accuses Russia of “destabilizing behavior,” the West is saying that it is Russia’s independence that is destabilizing Washington’s world order. Russia is regarded as a destabilizing entity because Putin does not accept Washington’s hegemony. Putin cannot overcome this attitude toward Russia with concessions and reasonable behavior. It could be a mortal delusion for Russia to believe that soft words can turn away the wrath of spurned hegemony.
Putin accepts insults, provocations, deaths in Russian Ukraine, and Israeli attacks on Syria, a country he has spent resources liberating from Washington’s “rebels,” in order to demonstrate to Europeans that Russia is not a threat. Judging from the G7 or G6 statements, the European politicians simply don’t care that it is Washington and not Russia that is the threat. Washington has handed Europe a Russian script, and Europe seems to be going by the script regardless of how Russia behaves and how Washington treats Europe. Previous hopes that European opposition to Trump’s effort to destroy the Iranian nuclear agreement would result in Europe’s assertion of independence are dashed by the unified hostility to Russia displayed at the recent G-7 meeting.
Putin’s strategy might not work for two reasons. One is that Europe has not had an independent existence for 75 years. European countries do not know what it means to be a sovereign state. Without Washington, European politicians feel lost, so they are likely to stick with Washington.
Putin’s other problem is his belief that Russia needs to be part of Europe. Americans reinforced this belief during the Yeltsin years. Russian economists and the Russian central bank actually believe that Russia cannot develop without Western participation. This makes Russia susceptible to destabilization by the Western financial empire. Foreign participation empowers Washington to manipulate the ruble and to drain the Russian economic surplus into debt service. To advance globalism, Washington works to discredit Russian politicians who favor a nationalist economic approach. Michael Hudson and I have described how, in effect, neoliberalized Russian economists are an American Fifth Column inside Russia.
Countries that open themselves to Western globalism lose control of their economic policy. The exchange values of their currencies and the prices of their bonds and commodities can be driven down by short-selling on futures markets. Remember, just one man—George Soros—was able to collapse the British pound. Today Washington can organize concerted action against currencies by coordinating attacks by the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England, and the Japanese central bank. Not even large countries such as China and Russia can withstand such an attack. It is remarkable that countries, such as Russia and China that wish to have independent policies rely on Western monetary and clearing mechanisms, thereby subjecting themselves to control by their enemies.
There is truth in the quote attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” A professor at Oxford sent to me a copy of a letter he obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library written by President Roosevelt to Colonel House, dated November 21, 1933, in which Roosevelt writes:
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson—and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of W.W. The country is going through a repetition of Jackson’s fight with the Bank of the United States—only on a far bigger and broader basis.”
Being a reasonable and humane person, Vladimir Putin is focused on avoiding conflict. It takes patience for Putin to ignore insulting threats from militarily insignificant countries such as the UK, and Putin has the virtue of patience.
Nevertheless, patience can work against peace as well as for it. Putin’s patience tells Europeans that there is no cost to continuing hostile accusations and actions against Russia, and it encourages neoconservatives to employ more aggressive provocations and actions. Too much patience can result in Russia being backed into a corner.
The danger for Russia is that the desire to be part of the West results in concessions that encourage more provocations, and that the commitment to globalism undermines Russian economic sovereignty.
Russian hopes to unite with the West in a war against terrorism overlook that terrorism is the West’s weapon for destabilizing independent countries that do not accept a unipolar world.
Perhaps war would be less of a threat if Russia simply disengaged from the West and focused on integration with the East. Sooner or later Europe would come courting.