by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 5, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1442)
American President Joe Biden met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16. Photoshopped images showed Biden falling asleep. In reality he managed to stay awake throughout the proceedings, at least while he was on camera, the somnambulist-in-chief might as well have sleepwalked through the whole thing: He sought and achieved nothing tangible, mumbled vague bromides in his presser, and left with the mainstream media split between applauding Biden for at least not kissing Putin’s nether regions like Trump did, and chiding him for not slapping Putin around and starting World War III. (Actually, if it came to a physical confrontation, it would obviously be Putin slapping Biden around!)
The most striking thing about the summit was its coverage by the allegedly left-leaning “liberal” mainstream media, which seemingly yearns for a New Cold War, if not an actual shooting war, with Russia and China. Trump was faulted for being a peacenik Putin apologist, and Biden is now getting a lighter dose of the same treatment.
Biden’s biggest sin, in the eyes of the media, was not screaming at Putin on behalf of Alexei Navalny, Washington’s favorite Russian dissident. Navalny is the man the US would like to see become the new Boris Yeltsin—an incompetent, crazy alcoholic US-puppet dictator charged with handing Russia’s resources over to Zionist oligarchs and Western looters.
Whether Navalny was poisoned by Putin or by an anti-Putin false flag operation is debatable. What is not debatable is that Navalny is a genocidal maniac who has called for the extermination of Muslim “flies and cockroaches.” Nor is Navalny’s unpopularity debatable. Polls show that he has less traction in Russia than, say, David Duke has in the US.
Why does the “woke” media, which professes to deplore white supremacy and its associated racist imperialism and colonialism, want the US to follow up its slaughter of 30 million brown-skinned Muslims in the phony “war on terror” with an even bigger slaughter of Slavic Russians and Han Chinese? The answer, of course, is that big media’s wokeness is barely skin deep.
When it comes to serious subjects like geopolitics, the half-bright wokester millennials at the New York Times and Washington Post and even MSNBC tend to defer to the Machievellians in management: the billionaire oligarchs who own and run America’s fake democracy—and their operatives, including the thousands of Operation Mockingbird CIA assets who are well placed at the higher levels of all mainstream media outlets.
Apparently the mainstream Mockingbird media has been given its marching orders: Beat the war drums and mobilize millions of Americans for the coming conflict with Russia and China. Will that conflict remain contained and constitute a New Cold War? Or will it metastasize into a potentially civilization-destroying World War III?
That same question was on everyone’s mind in 1946, when George Kennan sent his famous “long telegram” outlining the future US strategy in what became the Cold War with then-Communist Russia and (a few years later) China. Kennan outlined a strategy of “containment”—the same strategy, incidentally, used by the US to prevent Islamic Iran from helping its Islamic Revolution spread to other countries.
“Containment” began with an unprecedented peacetime military build-up, and grew to include encircling the USSR and its satellites with American military bases, forcing neutral countries to become US vassals through bribery and covert operations, waging all-out economic and ideological warfare, waging direct as well as proxy wars to prevent the emergence of more Communist regimes, overthrowing elected governments that were insufficiently pro-US, and repeatedly taking the world to the brink of nuclear destruction.
In 1946, Kennan’s containment strategy made a certain amount of sense. Josef Stalin’s USSR had kept most of the territories it invaded in its 1939 wars of aggression, while imposing client regimes on Eastern European nations and aggressively promoting Communist ideology around the world. Many Americans justifiably wondered whether the US should have remained neutral in the Hitler-vs-Stalin fight, rather than offering Stalin the vast amounts of material and strategic support that were used to grossly enlarge Moscow’s Communist empire and set it further along in its self-described course of would-be world conquest. (Stalin and Communism, far more than Hitler and Nazism, actively sought, and had a real shot at, world domination; for a detailed description of the grotesque and seemingly inexplicable US tilt toward Stalin in World War II, read Sean McMeekin’s Stalin’s War.)
Today, neither Putin’s Russia nor CCP China seeks global domination. Neither threatens to significantly expand its borders with wars of aggression. Neither seeks to impose a fanatical ideology on the world.
So why are American apparatchiks yearning for a New Cold War? Ironically, the answer is that it is the US itself that is seeking global domination, waging wars of aggression, and imposing its fanatical neoliberal-globalist ideology on the world. And it is Russia, China, and Islamic Iran that are practicing “containment”—by resisting the expansion of the US neoliberal empire. These three nations are simply striving to remain sovereign. That is why the US oligarchy, dedicated to whittling away at what remains of national sovereignty in service to an emerging usury-driven multinational-corporate global dictatorship, views them as enemies.
The US has foolishly driven Russia, China, and Iran together by its rude, aggressive, and unfair treatment of all three nations. A divide-and-conquer strategy, like the one pursued against Russia and China during the original Cold War, would have been smarter. But US strategists, especially neoconservative extremists, have been blinded by imperial hubris. They call the US “the indispensable nation,” as if all other nations were dispensable. And they seem to think the post-Cold-War unipolar moment will last forever, if only American leaders behave arrogantly enough.
In reality, arrogance is proving the US Empire’s undoing. Since 9/11 the US has ravaged the globe, overthrowing one government after another and destroying many countries. But rather than terrorizing the world into compliance, American bullying has elicited anger, disgust, and a ferocious determination to resist. One of the most outspoken neoconservative lunatics, alleged Operation Gladio terrorist Michael Ledeen, approvingly cites Machievelli’s dictum that “it is better to be feared than loved.”
Ledeen and his ilk don’t seem to understand that it is not so good to be viewed with disgust and held in contempt. The American-led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Libya, the American-funded Ukro-Nazi coup in Ukraine, the American/Zionist-led al-Sisi coup in Egypt, the American-instigated failed Gulen coup in Turkey, the string of coup attempts in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America, and the American-funded genocide in Occupied Palestine, among so many other crimes, have revolted thinking people everywhere and sparked a widespread desire for a multipolar world.
The New Cold War is a US attempt to “strangle the multipolar baby in its cradle.” We should not expect it to be bloodless. It is highly likely, as Ron Unz has explained in a series of articles, that the first lethal shot of the New Cold War was a US biological attack on China and Iran that boomeranged and became a global pandemic. Unless such reckless aggression is exposed, and the perpetrators brought to justice, the New Cold War could get ever-hotter while remaining invisible, fought with “plausibly deniable” biological weapons that, in an all-too-likely worst-case scenario, could decimate humanity.