America’s grand fantasy of a Project for a New American Century has experienced a serious setback. Yet this country still isn’t dissuaded from pursuing the imperial effort. For five years Syrian president Bashar al-Assad stood his ground and ignored Barack Obama’s refrain that he “must go.” Fortunately Assad didn’t leave or give up the fight. Russian president Vladimir Putin finally stood beside him in deed and not just in words. The alliance is a textbook case of how nations ought to behave within the parameters of international law.
Russian air strikes bolstered the Syrian army and in just four months ISIS and the rest of its jihadists allies are on the run. The Syrian peace conference in Geneva is now under a “temporary pause” (*link pause) for the simple reason that there is no longer any need for it. The issue is settled. Assad isn’t going anywhere.
For nearly five years the Syrian people have suffered as a direct result of American aggression. More than 250,000 people are dead and 9 million are refugees in their country and abroad. The humanitarian disaster is a direct result of America’s intervention and blame for the bloodshed should be placed at Barack Obama’s feet. Now that America’s jihadists allies are losing, there is suddenly concern expressed for the Syrian people who wouldn’t be suffering at all absent the regime change plot.
While Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, including “socialist” Bernie Sanders, express unending support for imperialism and brutality in Syria, the project is falling apart. The failure is a good thing for humanity. The United States should not be allowed to act like the schoolyard bully who steals lunch money for fun.
The Russian success should have taught America a lesson but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The United States has pursued another brand of warfare against that country for the past two years. First by overthrowing the president of neighboring Ukraine and then by exacting sanctions which have damaged the Russian economy. The corporate media has played its part by fanning the flames with anti-Russian propaganda. One day they claim that Russia threatens European nations, then they claim Russian submarines will cut underwater cables. Any Russian who was ever murdered is now said to have died at Putin’s hands.
The United States is determined to try and snatch some victory from the jaws of defeat. While the Syria project is heading south, the cold war appears to be getting warm. The defense department announced that it will take the unprecedented action of installing weapons and personnel in the Baltic states bordering Russia. (*link weapons) The most hawkish American presidents respected the old Soviet spheres of influence and didn’t dare provoke so openly. Now it is clear that there will be no respite from imperialism even as it fails.
Barack Obama will be president for less than one year but his successor won’t be any better for the rest of humanity. The Democratic and Republican candidates sound alike as they eagerly proclaim their loathing for Putin and their determination to continue war by other means. Not one of them has dared to call the Syria intervention the unlawful aggression that it obviously is and none has expressed an intention to change foreign policy. Even liberal darling Bernie Sanders spouts nonsense about “Saudi skin in the game” in Syria when the Saudis have been an integral part of the regime change effort. Not only has Obama declared unending war against the rest of the world, but so has the rest of the two party duopoly.
The lack of debate among the establishment and the slavish devotion of the corporate media make America a very dangerous country. If candidates like Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders are slick enough they can market themselves as peacemakers when in fact they will create as much chaos and suffering as any of the Republicans.
How can Bernie Sanders bring social democracy to the United States if he won’t cut the military budget or foreswear interventions? He learned a lot from Barack Obama’s 2008 comment that he was only opposed to “dumb wars.” The Republicans openly brag about aggressions while Democrats dissemble and use weasel words to pretend they won’t do the same thing.
Every global conflict from the small, like Haiti, to the largest, like Iraq and Syria, is the result of American interventions. But presidential candidates and major newspapers won’t acknowledge American responsibility for the suffering of millions of people. It is yet another reason to reject the Democrats and Republicans and their tag team politics of pretense. No one can say for certain who will be president of the United States one year from now. We do know that he or she will continue to bring disaster all over the world.
Margaret Kimberley‘s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as athttp://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.