by Deena Stryker, New Eastern Outlook:
The kerfuffle over President Trump’s phone call to recently elected, reform-minded Ukrainian President Zelensky, has, as usual obfuscated reality. Although there is no question that the call took place, the way in which it is contextualized misses the mark: the media claims that Trump is guilty of using a foreign leader to advance his own personal agenda, while also alleging, but not explaining, how this call ‘puts America’s national security at risk’. It’s difficult to see how claiming it was Ukraine and not Russia that ‘interfered in our democracy’ , i.e.,the 2016 presidential election, has anything to do with America’s current security.
By temporarily withholding weapons from Ukraine, President Trump arguably made it more difficult for that country to defend itself over what the US media calls ‘a Russian invasion’ (Russia says that it is merely assisting the Russian-speaking Ukrainians of the Donbas in their struggle against a neo-fascist central government which was installed by the US in 2014, after it fomented a ‘revolution’ against the former, pro-Russian President. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine an invasion that would not have seen Russian troops in Kiev in a matter of hours. And the US press admits that Trump’s blackmailing of Zelensky was about soliciting so-called ‘dirt’ on the man who is expected to challenge him next year.
Here’s the explanation: Since his election in 2016, Trump has been accused of ‘cozying up to dictators’, (on good days, ‘authoritarians’), especially Vladimir Putin. That penchant is considered a mortal sin, yet we are never told why it is unpatriotic for the US president to pursue friendly relations with the President of the other massively nuclear-armed nation. The answer is that he has access to a cornucopia of vital minerals, in addition to the oft-mentioned oil and gas. What nobody EVER talks about is the fact that under President Clinton, the US adopted a Security Doctrine drafted by a Deputy Secretary of Defense named Paul Wolfowitz, which stated that:
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
That draft having been widely criticized for being too candid, it was amended thus:
Our most fundamental goal is to deter or defeat attack from whatever source… The second goal is to strengthen and extend the system of defense arrangements that binds democratic and like-minded nations together in common defense against aggression, build habits of cooperation, avoid the re-nationalization of security policies, and provide security at lower costs and with lower risks for all. Our preference for a collective response to preclude threats or, if necessary, to deal with them is a key feature of our regional defense strategy. The third goal is to preclude any hostile power from dominating a region critical to our interests, and also thereby to strengthen the barriers against the re-emergence of a global threat to the interests of the U.S. and our allies.
Subsequent presidents have produced their own National Security Doctrines, however NONE have modified this basic principle: the US’s foreign policy must be based on the overriding objective of remaining top dog.
Clearly, there are two threats to America’s position as ‘indispensable nation’: China challenges US economic hegemony, while Russia sits on all those minerals. In a 2007 speech to the Munich Security Conference, after seven years in office, President Putin declared that he would no longer wait for the US to accept Russia as an equal partner. Why is this crucial? Because in a 1999 agreement between President Bush and former President of the Supreme Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev, it the later would agree to the reunification of a then divided Germany, NATO forces would not move ‘one inch’ beyond that country’s eastern border.
In flagrant violation of that agreement, whose text is available in the State Department’s on-line archive, the very next year, not only did the former East Germany become part of NATO by being reunited with German Federal Republic: All the countries of Eastern Europe through which Russia has historically been invaded, were successively welcomed into NATO as they were accepted into the EU.
By 2017 NATO tanks reached the Russian border, where, with no publicity, they have been sitting ever since, from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south. (Picture Russian tanks sitting on America’s borders with Canada and Mexico…)
During the 2016 presidential campaign, the prim and proper Hillary Clinton made no secret of her intention to ‘rein in’ the Russian President, while Donald Trump, who bragged about petting beauty contestants, repeatedly made clear his intention to work with Moscow.
As soon as Russiagate erupted (the Russians ‘interfered in our democracy’ via the internet!) his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow were presented as un-American. (According to a very recent leak, Trump told the Russian ambassador at the time of his election that he was not worried about accusations of Russian interference ‘because we do it all the time’. (Current Secretary of State Pompeo recently confessed laughingly that the US routinely indulges in a gamut of dirty tricks, but that doesn’t prevent the press from accusing the president of being un-American — or whatever.)