2022: The Hypocrisy Gloves are Off
The Hypocrisy Gloves are Off
[Image: Mr. Fish]
Publication date: 2022-01-04
As 2021 turns to 2022 the world power balance is not changing, but has changed. Welcome to the multi-polar world.
The China/Russia alliance with the backing of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Russian variant the EurAsian Economic Union (EAEU) with its common security alliance (CSTO) are an economic, political, geographic, resource rich and technological power block.
Many a commentator likes to go back to Syria's 2015 invitation of Russia to assist them against the foreign funded and trained Islamic extremist terrorists who were trying to overthrow President Assad as a turning point. Its tricky to identify key moments. This author believes the abuse of the UN Security Council by the USA, France and Britain to approve a "no fly zone" over Libya was a key precursor.
However, before that, China had been growing its economy at an alarming rate with support from often USA based multinationals as "globalization" took off to exploit cheap labour markets. Yes, this caused quite a lot of environmental damage to China, but China did re-invest much of the profits into its society and lifted a record breaking number of its peoples from poverty. At the same time Russia was being plundered and controlled by the "West" post the dissolution of the USSR and this process saw a dramatic reduction in life expectancy for Russia's peoples. Putin rose to power and attempted to rebuild Russia's pride. A decade later in 2011, the Russian economy was largely stabilized and equally importantly its people were regaining their pride.
When the "no fly zone" turns into an all out war, both Russia and China saw it for what it was. The time needs to be placed in the context of the "Arab Spring" begun in Tunisia but quickly expanding to Egypt in which the scenes from Tahrir Square were globally broadcast. A "people's revolution" against entrenched autocrats, dictators and monarchs was occurring in what is referred to as MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa), which is a partial rebranding of the territories of the former Ottoman Empire.
Muammar Gaddafi was indeed one of these dictators, like Assad in Syria. Both had used their power to create societies including a wealthy middle class and public education and health systems, and a high standard of living. While it is certain that political repression was utilized in both countries, one could ask about the roles of the FBI in the USA or MI5 in the UK. Gaddafi made a fatal error. He called for a new currency for Africa, the Dinar, which would be gold backed. As a part of this he would also instruct Libya's oil industry to boycott the US dollar. Gaddafi was essentially wishing to extricate Libya from the "petrodollar" and thus achieve ecnomic independence from western markets and even create an African one.
Syria also had its share of public protest during the "Arab Spring", and rightfully so. The Assad family had been in power "forever" in the minds of the young generation and there was certainly plenty of nepotism and likely much corruption and political repression occurring too. The USA/UK anglosphere saw the opportunity and moved their media support for the protests to then include funding violent extremists. Assad, like Gaddafi, was a thorn in the side of various powerful companies, especially those in the energy sector, oil and gas. A pipeline was to be built from the Pars gas field (the world's largest) which was to run through Syria. Assad would have none of it, for whatever reasons. The fact that this pipeline would have undermined Russia gas exports to Europe is likely one of them.
This is just an example of Syria under Assad refusing to comply with dictates from powerful "Western" actors. By 2013 it was obvious what was happening in Syria and Iraq with the rise of fundamental Islamic groups under arms. This, of course, is a story with history during an earlier episode in Afghanistan from 1979 through the 1980's with the CIA and Saudi’s funding and engineering a civil war there to draw the USSR into the territory. To put a moral stamp on this, the USA and its Saudi Monarchist ally was funding, arming and training religious extremists to undermine a government which was emancipating women, and increasing the standards of living of its population.
Did the USA know what it was getting into to support the extremist insurgency in Syria? Hell yeah. The key phrase from the SECRET/NOFORN Defence Intelligence Agency report is:
THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT
Of course, eastern Syria is just a few dunes away from western Iraq and before long the “principality” was actual under the name of ISIS. Who defeated ISIS? Well, the Syrian Arab Army with help from Russia kicked them out of Syria. In Iraq, it was the citizenry, called upon by the Shia cleric Al’Sistani in a fatwa to defend Shia sacred sites, and particularly to defend Bagdad. ISIS were well armed with USA produced weaponry abandoned by Iraq’s USA “well trained” military. Interestingly enough, this echoes the USA’s efforts in southern Vietnam during their withdrawal/reversal there.
ISIS’ conquering of territory showed they were organised, and thus the defense needed to also be coordinated.
Two years ago on January 3rd 2020, the USA assassinated two men, Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi forces (PMU). It was Soleimani who organised the leadership to coordinate the defense of Bagdad against the advancing ISIS forces. Pepe Escobar has given a fuller coverage of this event and its place in history. I will also fully quote Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s recounting of Soleimani’s visit to request commanders to lead the volunteer force to confront the ISIS threat:
At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: ‘At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.’ I replied ‘But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?’ He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shiism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic educational institutions], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. ‘I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU]. This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.
If you want to know who defeated ISIS, ask the Iraqi’s and the Syrians who fought them. Then ask who lead them.
Back to the Story
So, history is repeating itself, and Putin is quite scholar thereof. By this stage it would be ignorant to suggest that China's bureaucracy did not have a similar grasp of this history. The "Treaty of Neighborly Friendliness", signed between Russia and China before 9/11 had been calmly but steadily growing. Syria asked for Russian assistance against the foreign funded terrorist threat, and all could see what was being played out. This was a threat to which they would be treated if they did not learn about how it is created and equally importantly, how to counter it. This has proven true if one looks into the "human rights" propaganda about China's Xinjiang province. The real story there is one of China dealing with a religious extremist insurgency, not one of “human rights”.
Russia agrees to assist Syria at Assad's request. The annoyance was always Turkey and Erdogan who was playing brinkmanship with the EU via refugee flow control from the turmoil that the USA and the UK had created with their 2003 invasion of Iraq. Erdogan, supporting religious warriors in Syria, is purchasing stolen oil (at a profit) to fund them while keeping Turkey's border porous in relevant places. Sadly, the Kurds got played as a pawn, again.
The "West" tried to play the "chemical weapons" card in Syria. Obama knew that he was being played and Putin found a way out for him; the USA supervised destruction of Syria's ancient chemical weapons stockpile on their own ships designed for the purpose. But, of course, this did not stop the propaganda train as story after story was published about chemical weapons attacks which have proven to have been either fabrications or performed by the insurgent forces themselves. Meanwhile, Russia's support for Syria provided its own military with battlefield experience. It has had the opportunity to test many of its newer weapons systems. A component of the trade for the Russian assistance has been the continuation of the naval facility at Tartus for Russia, but also the provision of an airfield a hundred or so kilometres away. Russia has extended the landing strip to enable long range strike aircraft to utilize it, thus giving Russia’s airforce influence over all of the eastern Mediterranean, and the middle East, including Israel.
In 2014 the exact same tactics of snipers firing at both protesters and security forces as seen in Syria to convert its civilian protest into organised violent insurrection were replayed in Kiev, Ukrain. The USA instigates the coup in Ukraine with the intention of gaining control and profits to be made from the sale of weapons if and when it joins NATO. Russia can see what's coming and annexes Crimea to secure Sevastopol. Ukraine removes Russian from its official languages, and neo-Nazi paramilitary elements (the Azov battalion) gain some influence over the government. The Russian descended and Russian speaking peoples of eastern Ukraine want none of it, recalling their grandparents stories from WWII, and declare themselves as independent republics. They are supported logistically and with intelligence (no doubt) by Russia to create a stalemate which will prevent Ukraine joining NATO.
The USA runs numerous attempted or actual coups, obvious or more subtle, elsewhere. Venezuela is the obvious, with the USA and many European countries "recognizing" Guaido as an “interim” president when he had never stood for the office, but at the time held a rotating role of head of a parliamentary body. Magically "Lula" is incarcerated on false charges to prevent him from running for the Brazilian Presidency to have the military hardliner Bolsonaro win that election. Of course, the rapprochement that Obama had started with Cuba was rolled back and for the umpteenth time a condemnation of the financial blockade of Cuba was voted upon at the UN. This time the USA and only one other ally, guess who, voted against, while the vast majority of nations worldwide voted to condemn this brutal blockade.
The Organisation of American States issues a totally false claim that an election in Bolivia was a fraud and the President elect Evo Morales is forced to flee by a coup d’etat. (Happily, this military coup lasted only as long as the next, though repeatedly delayed, national vote). In late 2018 or early 2019 the USA via the IMF issues a 4+ billion USD loan to Ecuador to bribe it to revoke Assange's citizenship (without a hearing) and asylum. To keep the fires burning anti-Chinese protests are funded in Hong Kong under the banner of the Free Press, as Assange is charged with Espionage.
Behind all of this, the USA's Democrat political party, under the control of "We came, we saw, he died" giggle-leader Mrs Clinton defrauded the USA's electorate to deny Bernie Sanders a fair shake in the Democratic party primaries only to lose to a failed businessman, con artist, serial liar and misogynist, Mr Trump, in the presidential election. Assange is blamed for releasing true information (again) and the Russian's are somehow magically involved to create "RussiaGate". This has all been proven to be a media beat up instigated by the FBI and other agencies with no credible evidence behind it. To counter the mental insanity created by it all, the Internet giant companies are called in to control "fake news" following the publishing of “propornot” from yet another anonymous source at the New York Times. The Info Giants are given government support and contracts to bring them into the establishment. Their relationship to the NSA and other intelligence services had been publicized back in 2013 with the Snowden revelations, and so the whole system of surveillance and information/narrative control is laid completely bare.
Are we surprised when the South China Morning Post chief news editor Yonden Lhatoo calls out USA hypocrisy as his new year's message? (Note, the Chinese new year does not align with the western calendar)
Or Richard Medhurst calling out the same as he flames a piece by Ann Appelbaum in Foreign Policy
2022 looks like the year of the "hypocrisy gloves are off".
In situ. This is an opinion piece.
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