Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE
Conférence Internationale sur le capitalisme financier et ses alternatives, Chisinau, 15-16 décembre 2017
Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE
Conférence Internationale sur le capitalisme financier et ses alternatives, Chisinau, 15-16 décembre 2017
by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (*)
Let me begin by expressing my profound and sincere admiration for the political instincts of the Islamic terrorists. They seem to possess a formidable sense of political timing.
For the last three weeks no serious and knowledgeable observer (unfortunately there are not many of them these days) could be in any doubt about our being thoroughly implicated in an accelerating momentum towards war.
Ostensibly against Islam, “radical” or otherwise, and against Korea. In reality against Russia, China and the rest of the world.
But also against ourselves! Becoming an empire, Rome has ceased to be a republic.
War and Peace
This is not just the opinion of the author of these lines. Mr. Leon Panetta, former US Secretary of Defense, has warned that Mr. Trump is risking a nuclear war in Korea. Former acting CIA director Mike Morell has also characterized Trump’s policies in East Asia as “provocative”.
The Russian Prime Minister has said that the world went one step away from a direct military conflict between the two nuclear superpowers that are present in Syria. His Minister of Defense thought it appropriate to recall, on the very day that Mr. Tillerson was in conference in Moscow, that his country’s entire nuclear arsenal is in a state of “combat readiness”. According to one of the best-known “Russologists” in the US, Professor Cohen of the University of Princeton, the United States and Russia are in their most dangerous confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Of course your newspapers and televisions are telling you that nothing very important is happening. Our politicians are either trying to hide the truth (if they understand it themselves) or are at a loss to know how to face this situation.
This race towards war in reality began much earlier but now, with the election of Mr. Trump in the United States, which has already proven to be political history’s most egregious act of deception, it has entered a decisive phase, though the process is not linear and much further twisting and turning may still be in store.
Most people, including decision makers and those who are well-informed, are not psychologically ready or intellectually prepared to accept what we have just written. But one should bear in mind that this is exactly how things were on the eve of the First and Second World Wars, and it greatly facilitated their outbreak.
The possibility of a large-scale war, though the progress towards it is complicated by the existence of nuclear weapons, was already inscribed in the global economic crisis that made its appearance in 2008 and is still ongoing. This crisis is profound, comparable in its depth to the crisis of 1873-96 that led to the First World War, and the crisis of 1929 that led to the Second World War. It also explains the crisis of the European Union, clearly the most important in its history.
Donald Trump exposed
Over ten days in April we had the bombardment of Syria, threats against Russia, Iran and Korea, the reminder from Russia of the existence of its nuclear arsenal, the threat of nuclear war in Korea, the bombardment of Afghanistan with the most powerful bomb employed in war since the bombing of Hiroshima, and the test of a new atomic weapon in Nevada, destined to destroy the enemy leaders, even in their bunkers.
The world has never before seen this kind of thing in such a short space of time, even at the beginning of the two world wars. Not a bad harvest for just ten days!
They are trying to tell us that everything that is happening is nothing more than business as usual, that this is not a project that has been under preparation for years but is a just a sudden inspiration from Ivanka Trump and her husband, who come into Daddy’s office every day and suggest that he should bomb this country or threaten that country, risk or not risk a nuclear war, test this or that weapon.
If this is true Ivanka and her husband seem to combine the ambition of an Alexander the Great with the strategic skill of a Napoleon, of a Marshal Tukhachevsky and the generals of Hitler, who planned the blitzkriegs at the beginning of the Second World War, all together.
One might expect that the international press would raise some very serious issues and ask questions. But there has been nothing. The big newspapers have treated all this as banal routine. They have even hidden from their readers information of very great significance, which would have made headlines if we were living in the sixties or the eighties of the last century. Such as for example the reminder by the Russian press agency Sputnik on 13th April (the same day that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was having talks in Moscow) of the Russian Defence Minister’s statements that almost all of his country’s strategic nuclear arsenal is “combat readiness” and that 96% of the missile launchers in a state of “immediate launching”.
One cannot find such information in these same newspapers. Nor can one find a debate on the possibility of a nuclear war that could eliminate life on earth. But one can find numerous articles on the atrocious treatment of homosexuals in Chechnya, published simultaneously in many different publications. If Goebbels were still alive in our day, he would be green with envy.
All of the newspapers that were criticizing Mr. Trump so severely only two weeks ago are now quite happy with him. It seems that what Mr. Trump has achieved is very much in line with the expectations of those who control global information.
Prepare Europe for War
On the face of it the war is against Islam and Korea. But the “real adversary”, as Monsieur Hollande would say, the enemy that is lurking behind Islam and Korea is none other than Russia, China and the rest of the world.
If one is in such a situation it makes no sense to try to understand and analyse what occurs in France, Great Britain, the United States, without taking into account the international context.
If, as just postulated, we are well entrenched in the dynamic of preparation for a war in a different category of importance from those we have seen in recent decades, then Politics is called to prepare the War (its continuation) and War has to condition political choices.
Whether she is conscious of it or not (this is not the most important aspect), this is precisely what Madame Le Pen is doing, attacking Islam every second day. It is the war for which she is preparing the French people by centering everything in her discourse on the question of security, characterizing as “totalitarianism” not the extraordinary hold of finance over all mankind, but “Islamic Jihadism”, which is the political result of our own interventions in the Middle East and the “organizational” result of the work in the Middle East of the American secret services and their allies.
That said, it is remarkable that this “radical” Islam is bending over backwards to… help Mme. Le Pen, choosing to carry out its attacks at the moments that are most opportune for her, whether on the eve of the regional elections in November 2015, or on the eve of the first round of presidential elections in France.
And in fact there has been in these last days a perceptible current, weak but perhaps sufficient, of voters moving from “radical Lepenism” to the “Mélenchon radicalism”. This little current could perhaps have propelled M. Mélenchon into the second round, and subsequently into the presidency. But the attacks in Paris three days before the elections may well have had the effect of checking the rise in support for Mélenchon, securing his exclusion from the second round and so contributing to the final victory of Marine Lepen in the first round and of M. Macron in th second. We shall see.
If politics paves the way for war, war also conditions political choices. We cannot go into a great war with Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party. But all attempts to overthrow him have failed. This is most likely the reason why Theresa May decided to call early elections in Britain, hoping to inflict a defeat on Labour and thus finally enable the British establishment to get rid of this Mr. Corbyn. (It is perhaps also the reason for the violent attacks on the former mayor of London Mr. Ken Livingstone).
A few weeks ago, the British Minister of Defense made a very rare visit to Cyprus, where there are British bases of vital importance for any intervention in the Middle East. He declared that these bases “are more important now than at any moment in history.” Given that “history” includes the creation of the state of Israel, the Israeli-Arab wars, the Suez crisis and the 1974 crisis between Greece and Turkey, there are reasons to be worried.
Controlling Turkey and Cyprus
Since September 2015, Russia’s military intervention has changed the strategic configuration of the Middle East as a whole.
If one wants to reverse the situation, neutralizing the Russian military force that is installed now in the center of the region, it is necessary to impose the strictest possible control on the actions of Turkey, which finds itself between Russia and the Russian forces in Syria. This could be an explanation of the very hasty coup prepared against Erdogan in July 2016, a coup that was openly encouraged and announced before it happens by the American neocons.
To completely encircle the Russians it is also necessary to achieve total command over the island of Cyprus, which controls all the Eastern Mediterranean. This could very well help to explain the enormous pressures applied recently to “resolve” the Cyprus problem, avoiding the obligation of a referendum and imposing as a solution the transformation of the Cypriot state into a kind of post-modern Western protectorate, the second, after Greece, inside the EU.
In 2003 opposition in Paris and Berlin to the invasion of Iraq gave Washington some problems. Now that something much more serious seems to be under preparation against Russia and/or China, it is absolutely essential to control Europe.
Words are not innocent. It has always been through words that one has prepared the way for wars. Mr. Steingart, editor of the most important German economic journal, Handelsblatt, and one of the most original minds still existing in the European press, wrote an article in August 2014. He did not take a position for or against Russia. He simply said that the German press is dealing with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, in reference to the Ukrainian crisis, in the same way that it dealt with Russia and the Russians in August 1914, that is to say at the outset of the First World War.
Germany already supports the US line on Ukraine and the Middle East, contrary to its own interests. But how long can it continue on such a course, for which it risks having to pay the costs?
There is no way of being sure in advance. This is why it is necessary, for a start, to control France and Great Britain. Consequently, given Berlin’s isolation from all of Europe’s periphery because of the economic war it has launched against its own partners, Berlin will find itself totally alone if it wants to oppose any project of a major war.
Reappearance in France of the US electoral triangle
On the eve of the first round of the presidential elections the French political landscape resembles last year’s scenario in the United States.
Le Pen says that she is against the attack on Syria, but all her declarations on Islam prepare the political ground for a great offensive in the Middle East. Trump also said that he was against the policies of overthrowing Assad, but he has just started a new war against him.
Mme Le Pen says that she is a friend of Russia. Mr. Trump also let it be understood that he wanted better relations with Russia, but he has already led relations with Moscow to their most dangerous point since the Cuba crisis of the sixties!
Donald Trump also intimated that he is an enemy of Goldman Sachs, multinationals, finance, globalization. And he ended up investing Mr. Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs (one of the architects of Greece’s economic and social ruin) with all the powers over economic subjects.
The fact that the adversary of Mme. Le Pen is M. Macron suggests to electors that she is an adversary of Finance, and that facilitates victory for her in a duel with Macron. But probably M. Rothschild realizes that as well as anyone else. If he really wanted to eliminate Le Pen and have her lose the election, why didn’t he advise his banker not to stand against her and propose a personality less well-known for his relations with the world of finance and more likely to beat Le Pen?
Is Mme Le Pen really what she makes herself out to be? Or is she too an accessory to what looks like world history’s greatest act of deception, which started with the election of Trump on a platform that is the total opposite of what he is now implementing?
It is one thing to judge ideas, another to judge people. People should be judged on the basis of their own ideas, not ours. A nationalist, a fascist, a liberal, a socialist, a Trotskyist: they are to be judged by comparing what they do with the ideas they announce themselves as defending, with their own supposed ideology and system of ethics, not with ours.
How can one explain that Mme Le Pen, given her origins, has become a friend of Israel or of homosexuals? Could a partisan of General de Gaulle defend France’s colonial heritage in Algeria?
Is it a question of run-of-the-mill political opportunism, which is so prevalent? Or is it a question of a quasi-Faustian “historical compromise” that she has already concluded with the Devil, as each of our readers might like to understand him?
None of this means that Mme Le Pen is necessarily aware of the role she will be called upon to play. Prior to her, Mr. Trump, Mr. Tsipras, M. Hollande, played out the role that was required of them, not because they knew it in advance but because they didn’t.
Trump’s Election – the coup of the millennium!
The election of Donald Trump in the United States has already proved to be world political history’s greatest feat of deception. Elected as an opponent of Financial Globalization, an opponent of the Middle East wars, a supporter of better relations with Russia (exactly what Marine Le Pen claims in France), Donald Trump (or rather the forces that control him and set him up) has already handed over all the economic power to Goldman Sachs.
To follow up on that he utilized the Idlib provocation (as Hitler used the Reichstag fire) to recommence the well-known and well-publicized program of the neocons in its most dangerous previsions (overthrowing of the regimes of Assad and North Korea, wars – probably nuclear – against Iran and North Korea). A program whose most dangerous previsions had been halted because of the strong opposition, albeit not open and political, of Obama, of an important section of the armed forces and secret services of the United States and Israel and, above all, of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to intervene militarily in Syria.
Despite certain differences, what is involved here is a repetition sui generis of the historical trajectory of German National Socialism. Nazism was propelled to power through a display of opposition to big capital and the victors of the First World War. Hitler pretened to be a friend, and even an ally, of Soviet Russia.
He then eliminated those, like Roehm and his friends, who helped him take state power (as Trump eliminated Steve Bannon), put himself at the disposal of German big capital and, finally, launched Operation Barbarossa to destroy his friend and supposed ally.
Published in DefendDemocracy Press
First publisjed in DefendDemocrasy on April 22nd under the title
“Translated from French by Wayne Hall
(*) Journalist, writer, graduate in Physics. Advisor to Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou on East-West relations and Arms Control (1985-88). Greek Press Agency ANA chief correspondent in Moscow (1989-1999). Collaborated with Michel Pablo to launch the international review for self-management Utopie Critique. Secretary of the Movement of Independent Greek Citizens (2011-12), Member of Secretariat of SYRIZA (2012-2013).
You can also read the following articles written in March before the initiation of the United States’ new military campaign.
An Interview of Leila Khaled to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
ISIS is a criminal organization which was created, and is used, by the USA. As for Syria, it
was not only the intervention of Russia, which in any case came after a number of years of
war. It was also the ability of the Assad government to defend itself, in particular by
securing the economic viability and nutritional sufficiency of Syria but also by forging an
army capable of defending its country. This is emphasized by Leila Khaled, leading cadre
of People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in an interview granted to the Athens
The People’s Front (PFLP) is, after Fatah, the second most powerful grouping in the
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It has its headquarters in Damascus and is the
most important organization of the Palestinian Left, with more combative positions than
those of Fatah. We took advantage of Leila Khaled’s recent visit to Athens, where she
participated in the festival “Resistance”, organized by the newspaper “Dromos tis Aristeras” (Left Road) to obtain for the Athens Press Agency, from first hand, the judgements of one of the centres of the Palestinian movement, on the dramatic developments that are now unfolding in all of the Middle East.
A terrorist for the Israelis, Khaled was a symbol throughout the world for the Palestinian
armed struggle, following her participation in one of the four simultaneous hijackings of
September 1970, inspiring songs, films and works of art internationally. These hijackings
were part of the Palestinian “response” to the ignominious defeat they suffered with the
occupation of their territories by Israel in 1967 and their massacre by Jordan in the “Black
September” of 1970.
Because the PFLP was a Marxist organization with an internationalist ideology it was feted
by the circles both of the European “anti-imperialist” Left (such as, for example, the
International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency [TMRI], an international organization headed
by the Greek Michaelis Raptis (Pablo) ) and by the “Third Worldist” groupings such as the
Sandinistas of Nicaragua. These forces also contributed practically to the international
(outside the Arab world) armed actions of the PFLP. Conversely, their cadres were trained
in Palestinian refugee camps. They included Greek opponents of the military dictatorship
and Cypriot socialists, who wished to prepare for similar forms of action for the liberation of
their island from Turkish occupation.
“I’m not interested in what they say about me. I know who I am and I know my people,”
Khaled replies when reminded of the accusations of terrorism that are levelled against her.
As for the repeated defeats suffered by the Palestinian and Arab national movement
(reflected, in her view, in the rise of Islamism among the Arab masses) they do not
represent a “definitive defeat” of the Palestinians. “We have internalized a culture of
resistance” she says, adding that “the Arab national question is not a matter of a single
generation” and emphasizing that the struggles and the experiences build upon each other
until the day that they yield the desired result.”
For Leila Khaled developments in the Middle East are the outcome of implementation of a
plan aimed at destroying the strongest armies of the Arabs (the Iraqi, the Libyan and the
Syrian) but also their countries, the site of great ancient civilizations. As for the differences
between neo-conservatives and the tendency of Brzezinski or Obama with Netanyahu,
she believes them to be tactical, with no bearing on major strategic objectives. Khaled
believes that the plan for federalization of Syria is part of a scheme for “fragmentation” of
the states of the Middle East. She says that the Kurds “are being used” and she maintains
that Israel is evolving towards a variety of fascism.
This is the complete text of the discussion we had with Leila Khaled:
D.K. Summarizing many decades of Palestinian struggle, it would be easy to conclude that
the Palestinian movement has been defeated. It waged a heroic struggle, but it did not
achieve its aims. What would you say in response to such a remark?
L.K. I don’t see it that way. The struggles of the peoples are not measured in terms of a
handful of years. They are cumulative and this aggregation leads, as Marxists say, to
qualitative change. The Arab movement needs more than one generation. We succeeded
in assimilating a culture of resistance, the conviction that we cannot continue living as we
live now, under occupation, that we cannot permit the continuation of this occupation. It is
for this reason that we are obliged to continue, with all the trials and tribulations, all the
pain, all the sacrifices. And despite all this we remain devoted to the dreams of our people,
to the goal of restoration and return to our homeland, liberated from the Zionists.
D.K. In the course of the past decades we have seen, within the Palestinian movement,
but also more generally in the Arab world, a turn from the predominance of nationalism to
the predominance of Islamism. Probably this was something preferred by Israel, so as to
secure the support of the West, something that was harder to achieve for as long as it was
confronted by national liberation movements and secular regimes. How do you interpret
L.K. Our region in any case has the culture of Islam, and I don’t mean just the religious
phenomenon but the culture in a broader sense, for the last 1,400 years. Even the
Christians of the region have been imbued with that culture. Dr. Habash, the founder and
historical leader of the PFLP, was born a Christian but he too believed that the Christians
as well have the culture of Islam because that, for 1,400 years, has been the culture of all
of Arabia. In Palestine there were Islamist movements but they dissolved when we were
faced by the Zionist invasion and everyone united to confront it. In Egypt the British had
founded the Muslim Brotherhood when they colonized the country. They were active in
Egypt but they were not leaders of the people and of the masses, though they maintained
sections in various parts of the Arab world. In 1952, when Nasser, with his comrades and
the army made their revolution in Egypt, they suppressed the Brotherhood because they
regarded them as an internal threat. But this changed with the war of 1967, when all of
Palestine, the Golan Heights and Sinai was occupied by Israel and in 1973 Israel’s
agreement with Egypt was signed, removing it from the conflict. Egypt is the dominant
power in the Arab world. As for the reactionary Arab regimes, they said they were with the
Palestinians, but they stabbed us in the back, despite financing the Palestinian resistance
and the PLO.
When the Palestinian armed resistance made its appearance after 1967 it was hit by
Jordan, in Lebanon and by Israel of course. The Palestinian revolution was hit by the Israelis and in 1982 it was forced to leave Lebanon. And before that it had taken a beating from Jordan, under the direction of Henry Kissinger and the US administration, who planned and
directed the whole process, following a strategy of splitting the Arabs and the Palestinians,
the better to deal with them. Kissinger’s first move was at Camp David (1973), to detach
Egypt from the conflict. There was popular resistance to the agreement in Egypt, because
the Egyptian people supported the Palestinians and the Egyptians, who had gone to war
three times against Israel, perceived it as an enemy. This gave the Islamists the
opportunity to resurface, giving expression to this opposition.
D.K. By the way some people believe that even today Israel has quite an influence with the Egyptian army.
L.K. That’s true to some extent, but it is not so effective today. To return to the Islamists,
Hamas, which is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, was founded in 1988,
to participate in the Palestinian popular insurrection, the Intifada. They were supported by
various countries and the international Muslim Brotherhood. But they didn’t join the united
Palestinian national resistance. They preferred to remain on their own. And of course the
Iranian revolution against the Shah played its part.
Look now at what happened. In 1982 we sustained a defeat. The PLO leadership was out
of the country. In 1990 the Soviet Union and the socialist countries collapsed. We lost the
support that we had had. The Arab national cause was defeated. So it was very easy for
the Islamist groups to rise up again.
D.K. So what is involved reflects the defeat of the Arab national cause.
L.K. Exactly. Seeing in our societies that everything was collapsing around them, they
went back to Islam. And they believed in the Islamists also because Hamas and El Jihad
were in fact putting up a resistance, apart from the split they were provoking.
D.K. Many people say that the Arabs themselves are at fault for what is happening to
them. They never unite, etc. etc.
L.K. That is true. It is not just our enemies. It is we ourselves. How we act against our
enemies and against our peoples. At the official level, the Arab regimes are not
democratic. They don’t do what they should do for their people. They don’t have democracy,
sustainable development. Their economies are linked to the imperialist centre. .
D.K. The Soviet Union played a role in the creation of the state of Israel, but later they
helped the Arabs. What was the effect of all this on the Arab Left?
L.K. The Soviets developed a good relationship with Egypt in Nasser’s time, with Syria
and with Iraq. They supported South Yemen in its struggle with the British. But
unfortunately all this collapsed with perestroika, glasnost, Gorbachev and Yeltsin. This
represented a great loss, at first, for theor people t5hemselves.
D.K. How do you see the role of Russia in the Middle East today?
L.K. First and foremost they want to defend their allies. They want a foothold in the region,
in accordance with their interests. Now they don’t base themselves on principles. They
base themselves on vested interests. And it is in their interest to defend their own country
in the Middle East. In reality they are defending themselves. This is why they intervened to
defend the Assad regime from ISIS and from foreign interventions. Because the Americans
are in Iraq but also in Syria, surreptitiously, employing other means.
D.K. Do you judge the Russian intervention as positive or negative?
L.K. To some extent it has thwarted attempts to bring down the regime.
D.K. Recently we have seen very serious and quite unaccustomed differentiations within
the Israeli establishment, such as the declarations of the former Defense Minister and
senior officers of Mossad, against Netanyahu, using very harsh language. How do you
L.K. Israel is moving more and more towards extremism and is being transformed into an
apartheid state (of racial discrimination). But this is just one aspect of it. Another is that the
society is on the road towards fascism. All the polls indicate that this government is a
government of colonists and extremists. And a senior military man came out recently and
said it, that he was concerned about the course that both society and the army were on
and that we are seeing in society and in the army features comparable to what was seen
in the thirties in Germany. And he was denounced very vigorously by the government. But
he was telling the truth. Because more and more parties are appearing that, even in their
own name, regard Israel as a Jewish state. But when you say a Jewish state you are
saying apartheid, because 20% of the population of Israel are Palestinians.
D.K. Such a historic turn, if in fact confirmed, would be very impressive. Given the great
role played, at least by poor Jews, by their workers and intellectuals, a century ago, in the international socialist movement. But also the history of their persecution, particularly by the European far right. It seems as this people goes through a monumental “paradigm change”.
L.K. Look, they have placed the Holocaust as the founding stone for their demand to
have a country of their own in Palestine and now they are carrying out the Holocaust of the
Palestinians. But the Palestinians had no involvement in what happened in Europe with
the two world wars. We were under a mandate. We were under a colonial regime also.
D.K. In human psychology it is said that human beings behave as they are behaved to. I
wonder if the same applies with nations. One day, going to Ramallah with George
Papandreou where we were to meet Arafat, I saw written on a brick, next to the
checkpoint, the word “Achtung” (“attention” in German). Not even one German a year goes
through there. I thought I was entering symbolicall the Warsaw ghetto.
L.K. Fascists are in action there, against the Palestinians. .
D.K. Speaking of fascism, I have been impressed by the approach of many organizations
of the European far right to circles in Israel. Given the history of it and their ideology up to
now, it was the last thing anyone would expect.
L.K. It took us twenty years to educate our people that Judaism as a religion is one thing
and Zionism another. When we were kids and our mother wanted to punish us or frighten
us she would say: “I will tell the Jews.” Always the Jews were our enemy. But we changed
that. Our people does not equate the Jews with the Zionists. They understand that a Jew
is a human being. But of course with the Jews and Israel strange things happen. For example American presidential candidates usually highlight on their programs the security of Israel, not the security of the USA!
will solve the conflict with the Palestinians peacefully.” They all say that. Bush said it and
Obama said it. But they don’t do anything. There is a Lobby and they can’t get round it.
Later Trump laid emphasis on the security of Israel. I have the impression that if they elect
him it will be a disaster for the USA. He wants to have files on Muslims and stop
Muslim immigration, even though they need migrants for economic reasons. But of course
in the USA isn’t only the President that makes policy. It is a country with institutions. The
war industry and AIPAC (the most important pro-Israeli lobby in the USA) also have their
influence over the President. After Bush and the war in Iraq the USA’s image throughout
the world was ruined. So they brought Obama, the first black President in the history of the
US, an exceptional public speaker and went about examining the question that their own
media was continually presenting to them: “Why does everyone hate us?”
D.K. You present Obama as a simple changing of the guard. But he disagreed with
Netanyahu and stopped the plan for war with Iran. That is not insignificant.
L.K.. Between Israel and the USA there is a powerful bond of support from the latter to the
former: economic and military. Netanyahu wants more economic assistance and is
continually pushing for new wars. The Americans studied the case for making war in Iraq.
They went to war whose only result was to destroy Iraq. They destroyed that country and
left it in a state of civil war. They did this because they thought that this state was a threat
to Israel. After that came Syria, in the context of the American plan for the new greater
Middle East, with Israel as the strongest power in the region.
D.K. Still, there were potent differentiations inside the American establishment. What you
describe was primarily the plan of the neocons.
L.K. These are tactical differences, not major disagreements. The American-Zionist plan
was for destruction of the three biggest Arab armies: the Iraqi, the Syrian and the Egyptian.
All three of these countries are also countries of great civilizational significance. Look what
they did in Baghdad when they occupied it: the looting and the destruction of the museum.
Now they’re doing the same thing again, but using ISIS.
D.K. You think that the Americans founded ISIS?
L.K. Yes. They founded it in Iraq and they are using it. Even though they say that they are
fighting terrorism. There have been many appeals for a conference to define terrorism. But
they have never done this. Because they want to use the term “terrorism” as it suits them.
D.K. You are a terrorist for them, though I admit you don’t look very much like one.
L.K. I’m not interested in what they say. I know who I am and I know my people and that’s
enough as far as I’m concerned.
D.K. On a Russian site, Sputnik, I recently read an article saying that Russia could
replace the USA as Israel’s strategic ally. Could something like that happen?
L.K. No, it’s not possible. Their interests are different.
D.K. Look now, they’ve destroyed Iraq and Libya and in part Syria also. Those three
states were based on a specific balance between the national components in them, which
in part reflected the colonialist strategy. Do you think that it is possible for there to be a
return to the previous status quo, e.g. in Syria. Or a federation, for example?
L.K. The aim was for them to destroy Syria.
D.K. The Russian intervention prevented that.
L.K. Not only. The regime itself resisted. The army defended the regime and the country,
against the criminals from all over the world that they brought to Syria under the flags of
ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al-Nusra.. ..
D.K. But at the beginning of the troubles there was social discontent with the Assad
L.K. Of course, but it’s not the only country where there is unrest. Look, Syria was able to
resist because it was not in debt and was economically viable. Assad took the appropriate
measures. From the time that the Americans imposed sanctions on him, Assad took the
appropriate measures for farming and stockbreeding, before the war. Syria has enough
bread to feed the population. It doesn’t need to import it. It has secured its supply of meat,
for four years. It’s true that there is no democracy, just as there wasn’t in the USSR either.
This is one of its great failures. So to some extent the regime was able to stand up to the
pressure and didn’t collapse like Libya. The Russians came later, at the end.
With Syria, if you criticize the foreign intervention, they tell you that you are with the
regime. If you criticize the regime, they say you are part of the conspiracy against it. We,
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, made our position clear from the outset.
We are not part of this crisis. We are refugees in Syria. The people of Syria has the right to
make decisions for its country. We support the popular demands for democracy and
freedom. It is the people of Syria who have the right to change its regime. It isn’t our task.
We have our hands full with Israel.
Neither the opposition nor the regime were happy with that stance and they openly
disapproved of it. But we didn’t leave Syria. We are going to stay here because we have
nowhere else to go. And they give us due respect as Palestinians in Syria. 600,000
Palestinians live in Syria, though many have left because of the crisis.
D.K. How do you see the role of the Kurds today?
L.K. They are using them now. Barzani is with the Israelis and the same applies for the
Kurds of Iraq. Israeli companies are now operating in Iraqi Kurdistan.
D.K. What about the Kurds in Turkey and Syria?
L.K. They have the right to autonomy in Turkey and in Syria. .
D.K. Autonomy or a state?
L.K. Look, the Kurds live in four countries: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. If they want to
secede I don’t think it will work. These countries are not allies. But when it comes to the
Kurdish issue, all four of them ally with each other!
D.K. The plan for a federation in Syria?
L.K. I disagree with it. This plan is part of a project for fragmenting Syria into small states.
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
Stop discussing about the roots of terrorism, stop debating our policies in the Middle East (and all the Third World, but those are anyway not debated long ago), stop protesting the curtailing of civil liberties or the uncontrolled activities of the secret services, stop any self-critique in the West.
Now it is time for war. We are already at war. War against Islamists, if not against Islam itself. And we have to win this war. It is not the right time to discuss about freedoms and principles. It is time to fight. You want to demonstrate against policies leading to climatic change, like it happened recently in Paris? It is forbidden. Of course you have the right. It would be better to let governments take care of the survival of the planet. But if you insist, ok, you may demonstrate. But please, wait until the fight with terror is over!
But, of course, the war on terror will never end, it is not even meant to end. Except if we do something serious to uproot its causes.
This is the political atmosphere in Europe, in the aftermath of the terror attacks which made Brussels live, for one day, what half of the Middle East is living through most of the time, without provoking any … excessive emotion. But it is different when the unfortunate victims are Western Europeans!
A European September 11th?
What is happening now in the European political landscape is very much reminiscent of what has happened in the US after the 9.11 attacks. Let us hope it will not have the same results.
As for the refugees, who were in the center of international attention some days ago, they are already classified by some people as the Enemy No1, they are no more refugees. Forget about big international banks and other financial institutions, which dominate European Union, European governments and all the “globalization” structures. Forget about NATO, USA and Neoconservatives, who control, as never before, much of Europe and who are threatening with a war against Russia and, indirectly, China.
After all, it seems more promising and safe for European politicians to invest in “war with Islam”, than to find the courage needed to defy the real Masters of Globalization!
As far as it concerns refugees themselves, even before the terror attacks in Brussels, the shifting of the tone was evident. Ok, it is tragic, it was said. But, after all, it is not our problem. Our problem is to defend ourselves. A Member of Parliament, in a central European country, went as far as to describe refugees as “Neanderthal men”. He seems convinced that Homo Sapiens, like we call ourselves, is really better than the Neanderthal Man. Personally, I have strong doubts about the idea, especially every time I watch TV news.
Many European politicians and media are adopting now, with fifteen years of delay, the political discourse which prevailed in the United States after September 11th. “Forgetting”, by the way, the almost causal link between US political discourse after 9.11 and the terrorist attacks in Brussels! They know Europeans are deeply dissatisfied with their lives. They “bomb” now their minds with chaotic, disorganizing signals, including those about refugees and terrorism, probably hoping to exploit the confusion they themselves create and the deep emotional shock after the attacks.
Erasing the main Arab countries!
Fifteen years ago, on the aftermath of 9.11, Bush and the neoconservatives behind (and inside!) him and his government launched the so-called “war on terror”. The armed forces of USA and Britain, then of NATO, and, under Sarkozy, also the French forces, or their friendly countries in the Middle East and local proxies, have completely destroyed Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. The situation in Afghanistan remains, 15 years after US, British and NATO intervention, absolutely disastrous. Not to speak about Bahrain, Egypt or the destabilization of a large part of sub-saharian Africa, as a result of the attack against Libya, orchestrated by Nicolas Sarkozy and Bernard Henri-Levy.
It was only because of the strong resistance by Presidents Obama and Putin (and also because of the opposition of a part of US and Israeli defense and services establishment, conscious of the extremely dangerous character of the neoconservative project), that a war with Iran was averted. Such a war could potentially lead to the first use of “tactical” nukes after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because it was clear from the very beginning that western conventional forces had not the possibility to overcome Iranian defense (and also destroy underground bunkers).
The “campaign against terror” and “the axis of evil” in the Middle East has not many precedents in the history of imperialism and colonialism. It was not a war of conquest or control, like so many we know. It was a war of deliberate destruction reflecting a strategy of Chaos. It is not strange that it has provoked terror attacks in Paris, Brussels or elsewhere. What is rather strange is that it has not provoked much more terror and that fact seems to vindicate “theorists of conspiracies”. “war on terror” not only did nothing to stop it, it has greatly contributed to terrorism and extreme Islamism.
There is something even more deeply astonishing about what is happening. If you examine more closely the facts, you will often discover the footprint of the same forces behind both terror and anti-terror, behind both the refugee flows and the reactions to them!
Take for example ISIS. We have a lot of indications, sometimes even proofs, that it was created and supported with the help of western, Israeli and the secret services of Sunni, pro-western Middle Eastern countries. Even Iraqi Kurds seem to have somehow cooperated in this project, at least in the beginning (they have denied it, but, according to some publications they “took” full control of Kirkuk, “in exchange” for Mosul). Now we can argue if all “contributors” to ISIS have anticipated or not, from the very beginning, where this would lead. What we have to exclude in any case, is that these forces, which helped, funded and cooperated closely with ISIS, have no information on its operational planning. Attacks like the ones in Paris or Brussels are not so simple to commit. They are complex military operations requiring many months of careful planning. Why western anti-terrorist agencies did not do more to deter them?
By the way the fact that Sunnis resisting, very bravely, US aggression in Iraq, have finally acquired a “leadership” in the form of ISIS, may be considered one of the biggest triumphs of colonialism in history. The only comparable situations were probably in the Soviet Union, when the leader of “world communism” became fun of Reagan and Thatcher, believing they would help him reform his country, or in Greece, with a party supposedly of the “radical left”, accepting and trying to apply an economic policy that even serious neoliberals would consider an aberration. There is no more full victory than to be able to shape your own adversaries!
Preparing post-liberal order
Now, many European politicians and commentators are behaving like new-born babies, who opened their eyes last Monday and saw around them people exploding themselves and millions of refugees wondering. They don’t know anything about what was done in the Middle East, but they are ready to go to war with Islam (and also Russia or China if they are ordered to do it). They are also ready to support any authoritarian measure in Europe, in order to “fight against terrorism”, in spite of ample evidence that such measures are of a very limited capability to stop terrorism, but of great capability to harm seriously democratic and social rights.
We know, since a long time, that such measures probably will be needed for very different reasons than fight against terrorism, like imposing much more draconian economic and social policies in Western Europe and USA or wage cold or hot war against Russia or China. Only authoritarian regimes in Europe and the States can really wage such wars. But, anyone wishing to impose such measures, needs a serious pretext and a new ideology. Terror attacks can provide them.
This totalitarian “Globalization Empire”, emerging from the collapse of the USSR, from the Maastricht Treaty, the Washington consensus etc., is still defending the (neo)liberal post – Cold War new order. But, its motivation is not ideological. They are not bound by any ideology, their aim is just to keep and enlarge their power. They know they have to prepare from now on their post-liberal options, if the liberal ones cannot fulfill the “mission”.
It is like Churchill and the vice President of USA during the 2nd World War. They were fighting against Germany, they were fully collaborating with Soviet Russia, but, in the same time, they were fighting in such a way as to make possible a third world war against their ally immediately after. Unable to go on with a “hot”, they launched finally a “cold” war against Moscow, their yesterday’s ally.
The fact that somebody is profiting from a crime is not a proof that he has committed it or that he helped somebody else to commit it, by acts or omissions. Still, no policeman would be considered serious, if he did not begin the investigation of any crime by putting the question “who profits?”
Counter-terrorism officials and politicians would be better advised to look more closely behind the “international relations” of groups like ISIS. I am not sure they will like what they will find there. But if they don’t do it, we may be not far away from a chemical or other unconventional attack in a European city.
Athens, March 24th
By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
A dramatic worsening of the conflict in the Middle East, in the immediate future, with unpredictable international consequences, should be considered one of the most likely scenarios, according to several international observers, although of course we should always avoid certainties in such situations.
If it is confirmed that the fall of the Russian aircraft over Sinai was caused by a terrorist operation, Moscow’s reaction is likely to be extremely tough.
For Kremlin it is vital to show that no one can hit Russia without suffering devastating retaliation.
The finding in Washington dead of a man who played a key role in the Russian communication effort internationally and was close to the Russian President himself, may be a coincidence, but it nonetheless makes heavier an already tense international climate. An atmosphere also burdened by the dispatch of American F-15 planes equipped with nuclear weapons to the Turkish base of Incirlik. Supposedly, everybody goes there to bomb Islamists. Bbut these airplanes are better for dogfights, rather than bombing.
President Obama also approved the dispatch of fifty men of the special forces to Syria. They are few, but the war in Vietnam began with few men too. At least, the presence of US troops on Syrian soil demonstrates Washington’s determination not to allow the Assad government, under Russian protection, imposing its control over the entire Syrian territory. Meanwhile some Israeli analysts bring again to the surface the scenarios for a split of Syria into three parts.
In turn, the Russians announced (something which can be seen as a warning) that they have already transferred to Syria some of their best anti-aircraft systems. As a minimum, their installation prohibits de facto the hitherto existing possibility of free action of American and Israeli aviation over Syria, if it is not “blinding” NATO air-control systems. The firing of missiles from Caspian, which Russian they claim that they are better than American Cruz missiles, also sent a “signal”, that any attempt of a Russian “exclusion” from the eastern Mediterranean, exploiting geographical factors, is of a limited use. Russian proved also again their military-technological capacities.
Behind the ‘Islamic State’
The issue has broader dimensions, because a series of publications and revelations from officials refer to the close links and support of “Islamic State” from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. For the Russians, diplomatic sources say, there is no serious doubt about relations between IS and western services, as for the real attitude and role of Israel raises at least some serious questions, say the same sources.
Polyvolo & soldier in Syrian mountains 1a LLLL Photo TASS
Obviously, it is hardly credible that a single “chieftain” of the “Islamic State” took the decision to attack a Russian plane with over 200 passengers on board and told no one. The question is who knew what, who possibly made the decision, or rather who permitted such an operation to take place. On the response to be given by the Kremlin and Washington on this question, too much will depend on international relations in the near future.
Erdogan loses his temper and the West its mind
The President of Turkey, Tayip Erdogan, made the (unprecedented in the diplomatic annals) statement that he can’t condemn the shooting down of Russian aircraft, if it was a shooting down, since the Russians bomb Muslims in Syria too.
The Erdogan statement reveals a great loss of composure and complete, arrogant misconception of reality and correlation of forces. At the very least, it will burden significantly the Russian-Turkish relations. It is also very typical for the large lack of understanding of Russia, and the underlying strength of Russian national feeling, that characterises now most Western politicians. These politicians were formed in the period immediately after the sudden collapse of the USSR, the causes of which misinterpreted in the West as a sole product of weakness.
In fact, the deep crisis or any “weakness” that the USSR was facing, was unable by itself to lead to the overthrow of the regime, because otherwise the Cuban regime would not survive even a few months. Behind the “collapse-suicide” of the USSR there was an element of ‘accession’ of the Soviet elite, but also of a significant part of soviet public opinion in the world of “Western capitalistic values”. But what followed was that the Russian economy, state and society were destroyed in the 1990’s following, as closely as possible, the recipes of the IMF. NATO tends to come as near as possible to Moscow itself and the Russian border is today about where it was in the time of Ivan the Terrible. It makes sense that, some people in Russia, drew after all some conclusions from such an experience. This is not strange, what is really strange is rather that it took them so much time to draw those conclusions!
The current international situation and the lack of understanding of Russia by the West poses risks of a very big international crisis between the two nuclear superpowers, because in these days there are no codes and understanding, as they were developed after the conference of Yalta and after the crisis of the missiles in Cuba. There are also, in contrast to what was happening throughout the Cold War period, very limited forces in both western establishment and western societies, which could somehow offset the existence of strong currents, such as “Neo-conservatives”, who seem willing to take to “war” against Russia and China, to the very end, risking even the Apocalypse!
Obama and neoconservatives
Only President Obama (who was elected as a reaction to the extremist neoconservative Iraq policy) seems to have perhaps realized where the hawks lead him. These hawks that are everywhere in the American establishment itself, also inside the government and they are probably stronger than the American President himself (exemplified by the Deputy Secretary Nuland who was handing out sandwiches to the demonstrators in Maidan Square in Kiev and was proposing to “fuck the EU”). The President sometimes looks like he is making a kind of “guerrilla” war inside the “deep” American state. Not without significance since it managed, at least so far, to prevent military intervention in Syria and war against Iran.
It is not the first time this happens. From the minutes of the meeting on the crisis of missiles in Cuba, we know that the world war was averted only because there was President Kennedy and his brother. Both were distinguished for their self-confidence, their independence of opinion and their faith in America. Both were assassinated at a later stage.
Many people in the West are hoping that the fall of the Russian aircraft, attributed to a terrorist operation, will lead to a “revolt” of Russian public opinion against Putin’s policy in the Middle East. It is not at all certain. What is instead certain is that if the fall is due to terrorism, it will confirm the assessment of the Kremlin that Russia faces a dangerous encirclement by forces seeking, in the long term, either to subjugate it or to crush it. And it will lead to a hardening, no to a softening of the Russian policy.
The return of Russia (or how chaos became a boomerang)
The wars in Georgia and Ukraine were actually forced defensive moves of the Kremlin in the zone of its most vital interests, the former USSR.
Russian intervention in Syria raises in practice a serious obstacle to any intentions of a continuation of the Middle East wars with an attack against Iran. With this intervention, the Kremlin crossed its own Rubicon. By the very logic of things, and not by the deepest desire of the Russian elite, it is now pushed to take upon itself a part of the global role played by the USSR.
The strategy of chaos had thus a very unexpected result, as Moscow “saw light and entered” in a huge Shiite strategic area of global importance, that extends from the Mediterranean coast opposite Cyprus to the border of Pakistan, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran!
And unlike even the leaderships of Stalin or Brezhnev, the inherent conservatism of whom made in fact quite predictable their behavior, despite their “revolutionary” rhetoric and ideology, we are dealing here with a new, under formation Russian leadership and Russian society, open to evolution in different directions. (A writer said about Cromwell’s soldiers, “if they knew where they would arrive, they would not make a single step!”).
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos has worked as an assistant on East-West relations and arms control in the office of Greek PM Andreas Papandreou from 1985 to 1988. From 1989 to 1999 he has been the director of the Athens News Agency office in Moscow
This article was published by ANA-MPA, on November 9th, 2015
Translated from Greek into English by George Moustakis