20.01.2017

From Russia with love? The end of the Obama era, the new Cold War and the globalist “Querfront”

Some media reports in Germany have purported the (recent and not-so-recent) existence of a “common front of the extreme left and the extreme right” - in German Querfront, literally “across front - that allegedly “works together” against “democracy”, the EU, “free” markets (e.g. free trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP or TPP), “liberal capitalism”, multiculturalism, feminism and LGBT rights.


They are alleging a cooperation between fascists or nationalists, who are against multiculturalism, feminism, LGBT rights and cultural globalism, on the one hand, and socialists, critical of capitalism, “corporatocracy, “free” trade, and economic globalism, on the other. Yet only because they address some similar issues and are critical of similar uncritical liberal pro-globalist propaganda doesn't mean that they are “populists” (currently the favourite buzzword to delegitimize anyone who is critical), and that they all share the same interests.

Outgoing Secretary of State Kerry with New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman
(a self-described "radical centrist")  at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the main
globalist networking forum for business, finance, media and politics, on January 17, 2017




Yet the real 
Querfront has emerged in the “bourgeois middle” against this alleged “extremist” Querfront, at least in foreign policy and most economic policies, and it reaches from centre-left Social Democrats (e.g. those in the EU parliament) in Europe, the Democrats in the US (e.g. the Clintons) and centrist civil rights liberals ”quer” across the political spectre to centre-right economic neo-liberals (those who are currently meeting in Davos to plot the new globalist strategy); it also includes the traditionally conservative anti-communist “cold warriors”, as well as the new hawkish neo-conservatives in the tradition of Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.


As the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump is upon us, the situation calls for a new global peace congress, yet tensions are set to rise in a new Cold War between three powers – the US (with its willing or (more or less) recalcitrant allies in Europe and the Middle East), Russia and China. Europe is (at least as the unity its core professes to aspires to) economically and politically shattered. And, with a few positive exceptions, the media and politics on both sides of the Atlantic are bogged in a propaganda war of mutual finger-pointing, instead of promoting a pragmatic rather than an ideological analysis. The crisis in (at least) four areas (communications, ecology, socio-economics, politics) is reminiscent of the mid- to late 1920s and early 1930s, the new, escalating confrontation between NATO, Russia and China on the other, with talk of renewed nuclear rearmament (!!), of the early 1960s. Confrontations in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea are becoming more likely, as NATO and the US are ramping up their presence there.

It has always been very convenient for conservative politicians to blame “outsiders” or “the other side” (during and ever since the Cold War), and many of them have defined themselves against it (e.g. anti-communists or il-liberals). Most recently, since the escalation between the West and Russia (and increasingly also China) within the last decade or so, alleged or actual “foreign meddling” (in Ukraine 2014, in the US presidential election 2016) has been used to legitimise and support sanctions on Russia on the one hand (more damaging for Europe than for the US, whose trade with Russia is minimal) and to distract from the endemic failure of the system they have been promoting and perpetuating, on the other. It is also supposed to distract from their own (mostly US) “meddling” (to put it mildly) into other countries' affairs, too - Argentina, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and this is only from the past fifteen years or so, the for more details research the history of the CIA, or go to Wikileaks.



Most recently though, in a strange, almost paradoxical twist of events, these traditional anti-communist or anti-liberal warriors have been joined by their (former?) opponents on the other side, i.e. many liberals (the Querfront mentioned above). Many centre-left or centrist Clinton and Obama supporters have in recent years thrown any self-reflection overboard in their analysis of this failure, and have (in the “Russian hack” matter) even gone as far as sheepishly taking reports of shady organisations such as the CIA on face value (despite their brilliant Iraq WMD “evidence”?). No one doubts that there was some degree of Russian influence, yet by blowing it out of proportion and making it the biggest US “news” story in weeks, and going as far as ejecting Russian diplomats from the US, the White House is actually strengthening Russia's position, by giving it more PR than it deserves and by indirectly echoing the Kremlin's talking points. Vladimir Putin couldn't be happier about this, as he is the only one coming out stronger than ever before.

From “the Kremlin himself hacked the US election in favour of Trump” and is the only one to produce so-called “fake news” (mantras of the (pseudo-)liberal side), to “China has invented climate change to weaken US manufacturing”,“Islamist terrorism can be defeated by war only” (mantras either by Trump or other Republicans), and “Cuba and Venezuela are threats to national security” (across the aisle) - it's all coming from evil outsiders. If you follow this narrative, the victory of Trump, Britain's pro-Brexit vote, the referendum result against neoliberal reforms in Italy, and the rise of “populism” and “conspiracy theorists” in general can all solely be blamed on “outsiders” and nothing is wrong in and with the centrist-liberal dreamland of a “humanistic capitalism” or “capitalism, paired with human rights” (as Orwellian as it gets).


All these anti-globalist results, according to the logic of these new cold warriors, had nothing to do with the major mistakes of their own side – like Hillary Clinton destroying Bernie Sanders' campaign by smearing him with the label of “an unelectable communist” on the level of the US election (similar to the anti-Corbyn campaign in the UK), or like painting an uncritical picture of the national and global economic situation, despite the biggest global financial and economic crisis since the 1920s, on a more all-encompassing level. We're not in this situation because of a sabotage of our democratic institutions from “outside” (i.e. outside the “West), but because of a comprehensive, systematic one, over decades, from “inside”, by our own corporations, politicians and media. This is not the Cold War anymore, yet we seem to be falling back into the black-and-white manichaen structures. How convenient that there is always the other side, an evil other that can be blamed for one's own shortcomings! Recently, it's mostly been Russia, alternatively it's China, communists, foreigners, Jews or Islam. A common image of an “evil” enemy has forged a strange alliance between traditional neo-conservative “cold warriors” and centre-left, but system-perpetuating liberals (a paradoxon per se), with everyone further to the left being discredited and painted with the same brush as the xenophobes on the right, i.e. accused of the same and labelled with one of the following convenient buzzwords - “anti-democratic”, “communist”, “conspiracy theorist”, “fake news”, “illiberal”, “pro-Putin”, “pro-Islamist”, “pro-Trump”, “xenophobic” (pick your favourite epithet and wear it proudly).


How the US created the Islamic State


The Russia-blaming has not only strengthened the Kremlin, it was also supposed to distract from or sweept under the rug the sad foreign policy legacy of the Obama administration, which is leaving office today: Under Obama's watch, the United States, self-proclaimed “leader of the free world”, has miserably failed to live up to this standard. Granted, Obama earned a geopolitcal situation from George W. Bush in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East that was almost as messed up as it is currently, but Obama, who had won the election with the premise of (not only domestic, but also foreign policy) “change”, failed to even come close to the lofty 200/2009 ambitions that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize that yearfor his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” (a historic mishap by the Norwegian Academy).

On the contrary, it has worsened due to the “intervention” against Gaddafi (initiated mainly by “liberal hawk” Hillary Clinton) in Libya in 2011, a country which is now a “failed state” (same as Somalia). The attempt to “fix” Syria (by financing anti-Assad opposition, some of which are radical Islamists), after Bush's and Blair's war in Iraq went terribly wrong – it spawned ISIL and helped it rise, creating a more potent terrorist hotbed than al-Qaeda ever was, and a more barbaric Islamist “state” than Afghanistan under the Taliban (video of the connection between the Iraq War and rise of ISIL above). Speaking of Afghanistan, that country and neighboring Pakistan remain in the same quagmire that they had been in under Bush. This situation in the whole region of North Africa and West Asia, between the Maghreb countries in the West and Pakistan/Kashmir in the East, is not only the result of US and other Western interventions of course, but these, in the vast majority of cases, didn't help. The same is true for the “extralegal” drone war in Pakistan and Yemen that has, since 2004, killed several thousand people, both “militants” or “terror suspects” (without trial) as well as civilians (“collateral damage”).

Geopolitical (e.g. energy supply) interests have overridden (professed) “humanitarian” motives (“advancing democracy” in the region), the main hypocrisy being the uncritical stance towards, or even open support for, the main Western allies in the region, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, most of which are domestically Islamist and are also supporting, not fighting, Islamist terrorism in their foreign policy. Germany is among those providing them with weaponry.

As we can see, the globalist
Querfront has constantly been on the wrong side of history on most occasions in the last two decades or so, supporting regime change in countries ruled by dictatorial, but comparatively secular and anti-globalist countries, allying with Sunni Islamist autocrats (Turkey) or Wahhabi Islamist monarchies (Saudi Arabia): The region's three main secular governments (or “regimes”, to use the preferred nomenclature of Western hawks) of the last decades, Iraq, Libya and Syria, have, starting with Iraq in 2003, been under Western attack and, with the exception of Assad, taken out, and the leaders killed (very practical, it saved the West from embarrassing confessions of past own “dealings” with them, if Saddam and Gaddafi had stood on trial). Had it not been for the Russian intervention there from 2015, radical Islamists (those the US initially fought against in Afghanistan in the beginning of the “war on terror”) - supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey - would very likely already be in power in Damascus now. Thus, there was a Querfront between the US and Islamists. A tape of outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry
admitting this has recently emerged:

  

Kerry Admits Russia "was invited to Syria and we were not" and admits US used ISIS to try to topple Assad

So again, Russia was strengthened, not weakened, by US hypocrisy and failure. In a first harbinger of what is most likely a more common theme within the next couple of years (during the Trump presidency) a truce in Syria was brokered between the governments in Moscow and Ankara in the last weeks of the past year, with the US sidelined. Mainly because it happened during the transition period between the Obama and Trump presidencies, but it is likely to be repeated, if the US is really taking a more isolationist stance; at least that's what Trump repeatedly stated during the campaign and the transition.

The role Russia has been playing in the Middle East as of late shows that the globalist
Querfront and their Russia-bashing has not countered Russian influence, but has, on the contrary, reinvigorated Russia's power position, from a very weak position of, at best, a regional power, in the early years of this century, to the status of, if not of a global, then at least a supra-regional power. One could say that they, by doing so, have fallen into the Kremlin's trap. Facebook and twitter censorship of Russian state TV Russia Today and other alternative media under the guise of “combating fake news” will have the same effect – it doesn't reduce the influence of anti-globalist Russian, European, Arab, Chinese or other alternative media, but increases it. By overestimating Russian influence, the Western mainstream media reflects and echoes Putin's rhetoric of “making Russia great again”, greater and more powerful than it actually is. The indications for the US, on the other hand, are that at least on a global power position is concerned, Trump's America is not gonna be “great again”, but much weaker. It will have to accept that the world is developing into a multipolar direction again, with China being much more influential and powerful than Russia will ever be in the coming decades. How this is going to influence efforts to achieve more peace and stability in North Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere remains to be seen. On the other hand, confrontations in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea are becoming more likely, as NATO and the US are ramping up their presence there. A wounded animal (the declining US) is much more dangerous than a healthy one, and Trump's unpredictability leaves us, for now, with more questions about the future than ever since the end of the Cold War. Let's hope that the perspective is that the New Cold War, despite the globalist Querfront, at Davos, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, New York, Tel Aviv and Washington working hard for this, will not escalate further. 







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