By Patrick Dele Cole
WHAT really is the problem between Russia, the US and the West? It would seem that geopolitically they need each other as enemies to keep their respective people quiescent! In Ukraine, the Russians had a pro-Russian President who was removed by a coup to be replaced by a pro-Western President. Russia responded by encouraging a Separatist Russian speaking Eastern Ukraine to secede. The Russians further simply annexed Crimea against all the principles of International Law. Golan Heights in Syria was simply taken over by Israel. India when it had sufficient power took over Goa. The US itself had earlier taken over Guantanamo Bay from Cuba. Underlying all these moves in the unwritten international law allowing powerful countries to get away with illegal acquisition.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump agree to improve relations of both countries

The Monroe doctrine established by President Monroe in 1832 was the basis and bedrock of US policy in Latin America and the Caribbean; namely that the US would not tolerate any other power to operate in the Americas: that its national interest was to keep all hostile power out of the Americas and the Caribbean, and would justifiably remove all hostile governments in the area. Thus it invaded Chile, and stopped the USSR from building a military base in Cuba which may be used to house nuclear weapons pointed at the US – hence the famous faceoff between Khrushchev and Kennedy over Cuban missiles. Moreover, the US constantly changed any President in Latin and Central America who was left wing inclined in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Granada etc. It even tried to replace Fidel Castro in Cuba but failed.

From 1945 onwards, the basic aim of US and West Policy was to resist the threat of Communism as practiced by the USSR (Russia), Vietnam, China, Korean, etc. and to spread the ideology of democracy and its associated freedoms, including free trade. In 1989 the USSR/Russian threat ended, what was the result? Has the US and the West changed their policy to Russia which now poses no ideological threat to it? No. Instead in that year the US invaded Panama immediately. Thus for the first time a major US policy act was not explicable in terms of USSR/Russian threat. The US action was condemned by all Latin America, the General Assembly in the UN and the Security Council (although the resolution of condemnation was vetoed by US; Britain abstained).

New US policy is now to protect its industrial base and “free market economy” and, the containment of radical nationalism: the protection of oil pipelines carrying oil to the West; the keeping of marine shipping free from pirate attacks of the coast of Somalia.

Henry Kissinger described radical nationalism as a “virus” that might spread contagion, especially in reference to Allende’s Chile where socialist democracy has been triumphant. The Muslim Brotherhood’s success in elections in Egypt; Hamas’ election victory in Gaza; the Socialist party election in Ukraine were all equally unacceptable. The US exhibits the same mindset as in Vietnam where socialist democracy had also won under Ho Chin Ming: it was regarded as a virus which might spread contagion to the whole region, including Indonesia which was extremely rich in resources.

US had downed the plane of Iranian Air flight 655, killed 290; commander of US ship, Viennese the naval ship that shot down the Iranian plane, was given the Legion of Merit award. Israeli shot down a Libyan plane, 2 minutes to landing in  Cairo, killing 110. Russians themselves killed 217 over Ukraine in Malaysian Air MH17. These are a few example of low intensity “wars” that have continued since the Russians believed they were fooled into acquiescing to the breakdown of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany.

When President Reagan began his highly publicised war strategy, that, in order to keep US policy of being able to deliver a first strike nuclear attack capability against the Soviet Union, he was planning  to send nuclear weapon up in satellites, so that should the USSR ever threaten the US with nuclear weapons, he would strike first through the nuclear armed satellites he was developing against which the USSR could have no credible defense. The USSR feared that they would have no capabilities to withstand the US nuclear assault: the USSR buckled. They spent billions trying to counter the US nuclear threat and in the process nearly bankrupted their nation, thereby weakening their hold over the Warsaw pact countries. I have no idea whether the star wars strategy of the US was practicable but it frightened USSR and this ended the bi polar world of mutual nuclear deterrent as it was then known. Mr. Reagan, we are told watched a lot of films. In that world anything was possible!

As the Soviet Union economy started to crumble, it became necessary to seek an accommodation. The Berlin wall came down; the Warsaw pact, set up to counter NATO, disintegrated. With that the USSR lost its hegemonic power over Eastern Europe and its ability to oppose the US in other parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, and the Middle East etc. As had happened several times before in history, White Russia decided to contract and protect its homeland. NATO gulped up Eastern Europe and even the Russia “Peninsula States of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The West was, at it were, at the gate of Russia.

If President Reagan pulled out such a stunt, it was a spectacular success. The West continued to free Soviet satellite states, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Katzistan, etc. and even attempted to penetrate the heart of Russia by organising a revolt in Georgia, Chechnya etc. where Russia then drew a red line.

But the one thing that is enduring is that the West needs “enemies” in order to remain united and strong. Russia and Mr. Putin fulfill this role. Western propaganda is unleashed against Russia – they kill Syrians, Ukrainians; they dope their athletes, and so on.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.