By Tomislav Jakić
After a whole day of long awaited negotiations in Moscow, one thing is absolutely clear. Result is: zero. Surprise? Not at all, despite the fact that Donald Trump successfully cheated the whole world with his, for more than half a year repeated, mantra of the “new American foreign policy”, of abandoning imposing regimes and the American way of life. So, whoever expected any positive results from the meetings between ministers Lavrov and Tillerson and between President Putin and the guest form the US, proved to me, to say the least, naive.
Because, acting – only days before this meeting – in the manner of the “Lone Ranger”, characteristic to those who preceded him, the new American President made a personal U-turn and provoked another. Launching 59 cruise missiles Tomahawk to bombard a Syrian air force base, Trump – first of all – did what he for months was promising not to do. Not only once in the election campaign and especially in his inaugural address Donald Trump solemnly promised that the United States will no more impose regimes, that they will not take part in senseless wars (like the one in Syria), that they will stop acting as the world policeman. Moreover he “forgot” his messages to Barack Obama, years ago, that he cannot act militarily against Syria without Congressional consent and that such an action would be a “grave mistake”.
Let us go a step further. Trump even did not bother to “produce” an excuse for the attack. And let us be crystal clear. Nobody with a clear mind would “buy” the story that Assad’s forces launched a chemical attack against rebels, especially if one has in mind two key elements. First, Assad’s forces are gaining ground (so why would he risk such an attack, provoking a possible American reaction) and, second, the Syrian chemical weaponry, handed over some years ago at the Russian initiative, was destroyed by – the Americans. It is worth mentioning that staging false pretexts for military interventions abroad is a long-term tradition of the American foreign policy. We do not need to go back to Teddy Roosevelt and Panama. Let us just remember the fake accident in the Gulf of Tonkin, which marked the beginning of the Vietnam war and let us not forget the – equally fake – story about Sadam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, which marked the start for the invasion of Iraq. At that time the American policy at least tried to stage a more or less plausible story (a full month of political-propagandistic preparations before Iraq was attacked). Nothing of that sort was needed by Trump. Without any solid evidence, without findings of any investigators on the spot, he “knew” (and the leaders of many European counties repeated after him, like reciting a poem) that the only person responsible for the use of chemical weapons can and is – Assad (after that there where attempts to construct, indirectly though, a Russian responsibility too). And Donald Trump attacked.
By doing so, he demonstrated two things. First, that he knows nothing about politics, because he completely forgot the Russian component of which he will be remembered one day after the attack on Syria by the Russian prime minister Medvedev who quite clearly stated that “the US are on the verge of war with Russia”. Alas, that he is a political amateur was a very well known fact, even to those who voted for him. But, he demonstrated something that the majority of his supporters did not expect – because all of them did not vote for Trump just to express their support for building the wall along the border with Mexico. He demonstrated that he is ready, without hesitating, to abandon the concept of the new American foreign policy, most probably the product of some of his staff members, maybe General Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign. So, this is Trump’s U-turn. The other U-turn he provoked was in the attitude of almost all who until yesterday could not stop attacking him. And they, so called liberals, political analysts, columnists, mainstream media, neo-cons like Senator John McCain and all like him, they are now more than happy with Trump. Not only that they accept him, they even glorify him, which is – for example – reflected in the statement that “on the day he bombarded Syria, Trump became President”. In Europe old-style politicians and their media followers are delighted that the American foreign policy is finally returning where it should be, that nothing is going to change and that the US will not allow anybody else to become Number 1 in the world.
Both U-turns show that the world is again entering the fatale spiral of senselessness, that was guaranteed by Hillary Clinton and that could have been interrupted, as many hoped, thanks to Trump and his collaborators. And there is another indication that supports this way of thinking, an indication for the continued policy of “inventing” enemies, so desperately needed both by the military – industrial complex and the deep state. A member of the US Congress, a Democrat (and they are traditionally more open if not closer to the left side of the political spectrum, than the Republicans) proposed the reactivation of the law against Nazi-propaganda from the Roosevelt days before WW2. If she had in mind the necessity to prevent the more and more present anti-Semitism, intolerance and racism – which is a characteristic not only of the US, but of the US too, it would be OK. But no, she proposed the reactivation of the law that should have prevented Nazi-propaganda in order to “defend” the US from Russian propaganda which is “undermining the very basis of democracy”. Only yesterday, did you forget, this propaganda was accused of making Trump the President of the US and Trump was called “Putin’s usefull idiot”. But who is interested in such details any more? Now, after the bombardment of Syria, after America emerged again as it always was? Nobody! The very fact that there is an initiative to apply to today’s Russia (formally democratic, although with clear authoritarian tendencies) an old law intended to prevent Nazi-propaganda, and Nazism is in its essence, in theory and practice, the very negation of democracy, proves that he West really desperately needs an enemy. If there is not a real one, than a fake enemy.
And for what purpose is such an enemy needed? With an enemy on the horizon it is much easier to unite the voting machine in one’s own country, as well as those in the allied countries, not to say: in the satellite countries. On the other hand, and this is even more important, with an enemy “in sight” one can create conditions if not for waging war, than for sure for preparing for war. And it is no secret that in such conditions good money can be made. The whole policy of “containing Russia”, waged for years by encircling Russia with NATO members, the whole propaganda campaign aimed at projecting Russia as tomorrow’s aggressor – according to prominent and in the past reliable media in the West – all of this is aimed at one goal: to make the public opinion prepared and ready to accept growing expenses for defense (or even substituting the professional armed forced with the mandatory serving in the army for every citizen). All of this is aimed at convincing citizens/voters that “our” media (and “our” politicians too) are telling the truth, while the Russians, both media and policy makers, are lying. And finally, all of this is aimed at making the public opinion understand why whistleblowers from the intelligence structures, people who at one point listen to their own conscience and tell openly what they are doing, should be treated – and punished accordingly – as “inner danger” for the national security.
Initiatives such as the one for applying the law meant to prevent Nazi-propaganda to what is described as Russian propaganda (although it is not seldom more accurate and objective than what is being served by the mainstream media in the West), as well as further escalation of the war in Syria lead only to one conclusion: seemingly senseless, but at the same time quite logical. In order to survive the liberal capitalism which is ruling the greatest part of the world, needs a new, great war. The fatale spiral of senselessness which we have entered is, without any doubt, leading us in that direction.
Tomislav Jakić is a Croatian journalist (TV and press), who served for almost a decade as foreign policy advisor to the second President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesić.