By Paul Craig Roberts
If so he hasn’t told Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland or his nominee as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Paul Selva, or his nominee as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford, or his Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James.
The other day on Ukrainian TV Victoria Nuland declared that if Russia does not “fulfill its obligations,” by which she means to turn all of Ukraine over to Washington including Crimea, a historical Russian province, “we’re prepared to put more pressure on Russia.” During the past week both of Obama’s nominees to the top military positions told the US Senate that Russia was the main threat to the US, an “existential threat” even. With this level of war rhetoric in play, clearly Obama has no interest in reducing the tensions that Washington has created with Russia.
In my last column I wrote that the agreement with Iran does not mean much, because Washington can renew the sanctions at any time merely by making false charges against Iran. Obama knows this even if Lindsey Graham and John McCain pretend that they don’t know it.
The US and its proxies continue to murder people over a large area of the earth. Clearly Obama is not a man of peace, and neither are his European enablers and the United Nations. So what is the reason for the accommodation with Iran after many years of rabid demonization of a country for no other reason than the country insisted on its rights to nuclear energy granted by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?
If you can free yourself from the brainwashing from the presstitute media, three BIG reasons jump out at you. One is that the neoconservatives’ perception of the threat has shifted from “Muslim terrorists” to Russia and China. Unlike Muslim terrorists, both Russia and China are constraints on Washington’s unilateralism. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington has grown accustomed to being the Uni-Power, able to exercise its will unchallenged in the world. The rise of Russian strength under Putin and Chinese strength under the new policy has destroyed Washington’s Uni-Power privilege. Washington wants the privilege back.
Washington is not in good shape, economically or militarily. According to Nobel Economist Joseph Stieglitz and Harvard University budget expert Linda Bilmes, Washington has wasted at least $6 trillion dollars in its 14-year old wars in the Middle East. Despite the extraordinary cost, Washington has been defeated, and is now faced with the Islamic State, a new entity arising out of Washington’s mistakes that is creating a new country partly out of Iraq and partly out of Syria.
Despite its gigantic hubris, Washington has figured out that the US cannot simultaneously take on Russia, China, Iran, and the Islamic State. This realization is one reason for the nuclear agreement with Iran. It removes Iran from the mix.
A second reason for the agreement is that Iran is opposed to the Islamic State and can be employed as an American proxy against the Islamic State, thus freeing Washington for conflict with Russia and China.
A third reason for Washington’s agreement with Iran is Washington’s concern with Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. This dependence is inconsistent with the EU going along with Washington’s sanctions against Russia and with NATO’s military moves against Russia. Washington wants to end this dependence and has hopes that money can bring Iran into becoming a supplier of natural gas and oil to Europe.
The explanation I have provided is realism, not cynicism. All that the agreement with Iran means is that Washington has belatedly realized that the concocted Iranian and Muslim threats are using up time, energy, and resources that Washington needs to apply to Russia and China. Moreover, there were too many threats for the American people to know which was paramount.
One of the reasons that Greece has to be destroyed is to block the entry of Russian natural gas into Europe from the Russian pipeline into Turkey.
Washington has US troops in Ukraine training the Ukrainian military how to subdue the break-away provinces, and the stooge Ukrainian government has taken no steps to comply with the Minsk Agreement. Clearly Washington intends that peace is not in the cards in Ukrainian-Russian relations.
At some point Russia will have to accept defeat or else stop contributing to its own defeat. On more than one occasion when the Russian break-away provinces had the Ukrainian military totally defeated, the Russian government intervened and prevented the collapse of the Ukrainian military. For its consideration, Russia has been rewarded with more demonization and with US aid to the Ukrainian military. When hostilities resume, which they will, Russia and the break-away Russian provinces will find themselves in a worsened position.
The Russian government cannot pursue peace when Washington is pursuing War.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.