Has the unipolar world finally come to an end?

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ikosmos ikosmos's picture
Has the unipolar world finally come to an end?

OK, the referendum is over, Crimea is part of Russia, the NATO countries aren't going to invade, or bomb, or much else over this. The two sides are taking turns prohibiting big shots from either side from travelling across.

100 years ago, arch-conservative and poet T.S. Eliot, who moved to the UK in search of Empire to save "Western Civilization", wrote about recent events in those days.

T.S. Eliot wrote:
The Russian Revolution has made men conscious of the position of Western Europe as ... a small and isolated cape on the western side of the Asiatic continent.

Is this another turning point in world affairs? With the Russian role in preventing the bombing of Syria (after NATO bombing campaigns in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, not to mention the endless, and continuing drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, ...), their role in stopping the Saakashvili atrocities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, and now their role in putting the brakes on any ethnic cleansing in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, has the period of an unchallenged unipolar US world come to an end?

Secondarily, does this provide an opening for the left, in Canada and elsewhere, to more successfully outline alternatives to the US neo-liberal juggernaut that has wreaked such havoc since the early 1970's?


 

 

 

Unionist

Yes, and yes.

If only there were a "left" in Canada to do what you suggest.

I'm open to being convinced.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

In 2013, NSNBC used the same expression over the non-events in Syria with

Assad; Syria Crisis marks the End of the Uni-polar World and the Rise of the BRICS as Global Power

The article notes that a BRICS Development Bank has been created as an alternative to the World Bank and the IMF.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Unionist wrote:

Yes, and yes.

If only there were a "left" in Canada to do what you suggest.

I'm open to being convinced.

 

The possibility of an alternative, even within the context of the dominant capitalist countries (Russia is still a capitalist country, has economic interests of its own, yadda yadda, as does China and the other members of BRIC, and isn't past conducitng itself as any imperialist country might carry out its foreign policy) means that there are contradictions between these dominant economic players, which, it is true, can lead to war and horrific conflagrations, but which can also lead to differences that can be exploited by a global left. It is far easier for the USA to impose sanctions on Venezuela, on Cuba, on any country that doesn't kiss the imperial ring finger of the conquerer in a uni-polar world. (Edited to add) OTOH, Russia can, for example, trade more with the BRIC countries and simply jettison the unreliable partners in western Europe.

Surely you don't think that the end of the uni-polar world is a bad thing, if true? Common sense in international affairs has long talked about this necessary eventuality. It's indicative of the change, I think, in that the Emperor (ie the USA) had to make reference to "the terrible violations of international law" by the Russians in order to drum up support for the dismemberment of Ukraine and its embrace into the apocalyptic NATO cabal of zealots. So even the Master has to pretend to respect this new world.

 

I think it's great. The next step would be to strip Barak Obama of the Nobel Peace Prize. Hell yeah.

6079_Smith_W

Was there ever a unipolar world? I don't think so.

Even when there were two or more it usually wasn't another "pole" that kept any of them in check. It was their own hubris and weakness, and a much more diffuse and powerful geopolitical web.

And turning point? Never mind that things are in play right now. Turned how? A strategic point that has been under Russian dominance remains under Russian dominance.Them freaking out in order to ensure that doesn't go sideways is not what I would call an turning point.

 

Unionist

ikosmos wrote:

Surely you don't think that the end of the uni-polar world is a bad thing, if true?

Didn't I answer "yes" and "yes" to both your questions?

Now answer mine: Is there a "left" in Canada which can (say, in this century) take advantage of and/or combat the new world order?

Sorry to be a tad cynical. And yes, I understand that the struggle breaks out from time to time. But Jesus f'ing Christ, there's no official opposition anywhere to pro-U.S. aggressive imperial policy here. Much less than when Dief was chief. What now?

 

sherpa-finn

Two quick points: some things have indeed changed significantly over the past couple of decades - re BRICS, even some of the global financial architecture, etc. OTOH, some things have not changed significantly at all ..... see chart below.

My own assessment / proposition is that mobilising citizens to push for incrementally progressive multilateral agreements between nation-states on a range of key issues (environmental standards, labour rights, tax justice, arms control, etc, etc) is the most promising political strategy for the 21st century if citizens hope to secure and exert some degree of countervailing power against global corporate and imperial interests. I am not suggesting its any sort of a slam dunk, - but its a reasonably credible political strategy (IMHO).

To be generous, not all Babblers share this view for a range of reasons.  But pending the spontaneous global revolution - and resisting any cocooning inclination to retreat into "socialism in one state" (province / village) - I have yet to hear a compelling, alternative strategy that addresses the obvious need for substantive changes at a global scale. 

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Slumberjack

It's odd that today's unipolar state of affairs that is being managed by the US and the western financial oligarchy has people waxing nostalgic for the peace and tranquility of the cold war and mutual assured destruction.

6079_Smith_W

Not denying the military expenditure that is out of proportion with all other countries (and when you're paying Haliburton to do your dishes and laundry, it's no wonder).

But that money isn't the only factor when you have to put boots on the ground, and people start coming home in bags.

If it all came down to who has the biggest checkbook then the U.S. wouldn't have had their asses kicked on a number of occasions in the past 50 years. And it's not just having to pay in blood. Any force that extends too far ends up fighting the limits of its own supply lines.

For that matter, that's a lesson that plenty of empires - the Brits, the French, the Spanish, and the Russians - learned as well.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The head of the Upper Chamber in the Russian legislature has remarked that US President Obama is "agonizing" over the end of the uni-polar world of US dictat.

The Guardian wrote:

Obama said he would not guess at Putin's motivation, but his remarks appeared to confront one of the apparent aims behind the Russian leader's actions so far in Crimea – to restore the superpower status and prestige Moscow once enjoyed as the capital of the Soviet Union.

"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbours, not out of strength but out of weakness," the president said. The US also has influence over its neighbours, he added, but: "We generally don't need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them.

"The fact that Russia felt it had to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more," Obama said.

Again with that duplicitous crap about the the USA "not invading" to get their "strong, cooperative relationship". uh huh.

Quote:

He adamantly rejected Russian justification for the invasion and annexation of Crimea on the grounds that Russian speakers were under threat, and rejected Moscow's comparisons to Kosovo, whose declaration of independence – a decade after the start of a Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing of its ethnic-Albanian majority – was recognised by western capitals.

"There has been no evidence that Russian speakers have been in any way threatened," Obama said. "When I hear analogies to Kosovo, where you had thousands of people who were being slaughtered by their government, it's a comparison that makes absolutely no sense." "I think it is important for everybody to be clear and strip away some of the possible excuses for potential Russian action."

So, according to Obama, there should be ethnic cleansing of Russians in Ukraine. Then, and ONLY then, is there any legitimacy to preventing such a disaster. Then, and only then, says the Yanqui Emperor, is a country entitled to be free. Of course, by then it is too late. The very idea of preventative action is rejected by the USA. Their view is, literally, shoot first and ask questions later. Oh to be an idiot. How sweet.

(See The Guardian for some of Obama's over the top remarks.)

Valentina Matviyenko wrote:
Such statements are manifestations of not even panic, but agony, and the refusal to acknowledge the mistakes made in Ukraine ...

 

 

 

 

 

Matvieyenko "called upon journalists not to take such words (by Obama) too seriously."

RT wrote:
She added that President Obama’s words were proof the US authorities still reject the idea the World is no longer uni-polar, that Russia now is a serious power integrated into the global economic system.

RT link

 

I think the Nobel-Prize-winning, drone-bombing, "yes we scan" President just got schooled.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Was there ever a unipolar world? I don't think so.

 

??

You remember the Cold War, right? And the dissolution of the Soviet Union? It was in all the papers. Then there was ...

1. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. It included Chinese Embassy staff as casualties, remember?

2. The bombing and occupation of Afghanistan by NATO. 

3. The bombing, invasion, and occupation of Iraq by "the coalition of the willing". 

4. The bombing and dismemberment of Libya under the pretext of a "no fly zone".

5. The sacred promises that NATO would not "march eastward" given to then Soviet leader, Gorbachev, but flagrantly violated as NATO gobbled up almost every state coming out of the dissolution of the SU. The encirclement of Russia by NATO states, bristling with armaments on their very borders. The pretense that such weapons were 'aimed at some other state" (ie, Iran). The looting of the Russian economy. The depopulation of the country, comparable to the Nazi occupation in terms of population decline.

I know that NATO can try to justify itself by an endless war on an abstract noun (War on Terror), but really, with the fall of the SU there really was no excuse to continue this aggressive military alliance, was there? And yet, there it is, growing like a tumor, almost 25 years after the justification for its existence is no more.

 

...

 

6079_Smith_W

Yes, I also remember Angola, Somalia, Vietnam, numerous incidents in the Caribbean, Central and South Americ, the Phillipines, and lots of other places. 

For that matter, I also remember the other Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, and other incidents. It's not as if the cold war stopped either party from Imperialist action so long as they weren't directly challenging each other.

And as I said, they aren't the only powers in the globe, and power and the ability to use it doesn't just come down to how many guns you have.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I dunno why "Imperialist" has a capital "I", but maybe you can explain that later. In any case, that's an interesting way to debunk the claim that the unipolar world has come to an end. Denial that it ever was.

Can you explain why the US was able to carry out its foreign policy goals, including the wars cited above, in which an orgy of unpunished death and destruction followed? Were the "other poles" too busy with their own wars? What wars? No, the whole process of this unipolar world, despite the denials, began pretty well with the bombing of Yugoslavia.

That bombing violated one of the most sacred trusts coming out of WWII. It was stated, in hushed tones and trembling voices, that Germany would never again be allowed to bomb European cities as it had done so with impunity in WWII. And yet, the first act, virtually, of the unchallenged Yanqui Juggernaut was to violate this sacred trust and enlist the Luftwaffe in the bombing of Belgrade and other Yugoslavian targets. What a fricking disgrace and secular blasphemy.

6079_Smith_W

I just mentioned some of the other wars they were busy with, ikosmos. Angola was going on at the same time as American agression in Central America. Never mind that you are completely ignoring the existence of China, did the presence of the Soviet Union have any bearing on the U.S. being punished in Vietnam? In Iran? Did they stop the coup in Chile?

Did their absence have any bearing on the U.S. failure in Somalia, and in Iraq, and Afghanistan? Its failure to topple Cuba?

You're focusing on a couple of things about which you are in part right. But they are far from the only factors.

And to get back to the start, the Soviet Union may have collapsed, but Russia never stopped being a power over Ukrainian affairs and in the region generally. So I question the notion that ththat "pole" was ever gone at all.

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I just mentioned some of the other wars they were busy with, ikosmos. Angola was going on at the same time as American agression in Central America. Never mind that you are completely ignoring the existence of China, did the presence of the Soviet Union have any bearing on the U.S. being punished in Vietnam? In Iran? Did they stop the coup in Chile?

Did their absence have any bearing on the U.S. failure in Somalia, and in Iraq, and Afghanistan? Its failure to topple Cuba?

You're focusing on a couple of things about which you are in part right. But they are far from the only factors.

And to get back to the start, the Soviet Union may have collapsed, but Russia never stopped being a power over Ukrainian affairs and in the region generally. So I question the notion that ththat "pole" was ever gone at all.

This reads like the author is somewhat falling into the Cold War trap of "us or them". All of these other events cannot be ascribed as the result of a direct transmission belt of the wishes of the State Department. But there is such a thing as dominance over major events: economic, political, and military. I don't know  how you can stick your fingers in your ears and make like the US has not been dominating, and at times dictating, major events in the world since 1991. Only US Admin stooges think otherwise.Good grief.

Your line, in any case, is essentially the Obama line. Russia was, Russia is, a regional power trying to flex its growing muscles. They need to be "educated", because we're better, smarter, more democratic, whatever window dressing suitable to apply in the particular case. But this shrill narrative has lost its veneer. The Russians ara laughing at the USA. Literally. The two decades or more of keeping Russia under their imperial boot is coming to an end. The first sign was in South Ossetia, in 2008, but far fewer observers were noticing their brilliant moves back then. (I was, btw, but so what, have a look at the 15 plus threads on South Ossetia, Russia and Georgia if you feel like it)  

They've smoothly arranged the entry into the Russian Federation of what once was part of Russia, without firing hardly a single shot, and they have, so far, prevented the kind of bloodshed in southern and eastern Ukraine that the Maidan zealots carried out in Kiev. Again, virtually no casualties at all. Hell, Trans-Dnieper was so impressed they wanna join too! lol. 

The tide has turned. Hence the fruitless sabre-rattling, the racauous laughter from the other side, the gnashing of teeth by wanna-be Cold Warriors, like our own Helmet Head Harper, the surprising support of the Russians by unexpected observers, the grudging admiration by some, the tiresome and now obvious play book that is so out of date, the tumultuous cheering that cannot be faked by Crimeans who never thought they'd see this day, the obvious backing away, despite the sabre-rattling, almost from the very start, the obsequious falling into place by the craven "Opposition" Parties in the Canadian Parliament, and on and on and on.

For a change, some good news. But some on the "left" want to complain anyway. Don't.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

This reads like the author is somewhat falling into the Cold War trap of "us or them".

Actually I thought it was more "a whole bunch of us, sometimes with each party's worst enemy being themselves".  More importantly, I am asking how you think anything has changed at all.

In any case, it is not, nor has it ever been just one.

Congratulations on that prize-winning mixed metaphor though; extra points for the biblical reference. I'm trying to get the image of fruit sabres (which I guess wouldn't rattle much at all) or whatever it was the helmet guy was gnashing before the tide turned

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Fruit-less, as in unproductive, not as in without bananas, apples, or pears. Imagine the Buffalo .... melons. In the case of our Prime Minister's sprayed-on hair, I thought that was actually an old joke.

I actually understand that even the so-called "left wing" Parliamentarians in the NDP feel required to "position" themselves so that they can't be attacked from the right on such foreign policy issues. But their lack of imagination is appalling. Since they all bleat the same off-key tune, the parties  have essentially agreed that no one will get "an advantage" from this issue. Ukrainians be damned. These so-and-so's wanna get elected. Talk about Parliamentary cretinism.

Foreign policy is one area in which, perhaps more than any other policy area, genuine left/socialist/alternative views can be cleary distinguished from the same old same old of the status quo parties. The difference between supporting genuine and progressive social movements is a galaxy apart from supporting corporate rapaciousness. Yet the NDP, and the rest of the sorry lot, can't help themselves but be bumbling idiots for capital. There's hardly better proof that they are all on the wrong side.

Admitedly, this is a complex situation, in which the information wars are detonating all around us. One loses the ability to hear. Is it possible for the Empire to do the right thing? Probably only by accident. And if your rival insists on treating politics as a Great Game, in which human lives are expendable (will we EVER know who those Kiev snipers were? ), I don't really blame the Russian bear for being wary. The West already sicked a tie-chewing neo-liberal  on Russian soldiers/peacekeepers in South Ossetia around 5 years ago. I cannot help but think this has all been carefully stage managed, designed to coincide with the Sochi Olympic and para=Olympic Games, and planned long ago. If so, it's especially good to see the Empire is not so all powerful and, apparently, behind the curtain is a little man who makes big noises.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The US President has made some interesting remarks.

US President Obama wrote:
.. we are confronted with the belief among some that bigger nations can bully smaller ones to get their way. That recycled maxim that might, somehow, makes right.

The drone President is referring to Russia, not his own country, of course. How Iraq has turned out, he says, is much better and in no way like Crimea. No, I'm not making this up. Nothing, of course, of the lawlessness in the Kurdish areas, where terrorists roam free like the deer and the antelope, and car bombs are more common than car accidents...

Russian President Putin has said that his country will ramp up a national payment system, effectively replacing, if need be, Visa and MasterCard in that country. Now that this is affecting US business interests, I will make a wild prediction that somehow "a more nuanced" point of view will emerge, seeming out of thin air, and it will be magically discovered in Western capitals that apparently there are some Russians in Crimea and, though brainwashed horribly of course, they may be entitled to some silly vote or another. lol.

The irony of Obama's remarks are just so delicious. You could make a very good video juxtaposing the bombing of (take your pick, really: Belgrade, Baghdad, Kabul, Tripoli, or any one of a number of drone attacks on civilians, etc., etc.) with Obama's very sensible remarks. lol.

Slumberjack

It just goes to show that once you base your entire foreign policy around nonsensical justifications and hypocrisy, it's important to maintain appearances, and above all there should be no surprises.  When a clown is sent in to perform, no one should anticipate that a non-clown act will ensue.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

It just goes to show that once you base your entire foreign policy around nonsensical justifications and hypocrisy, it's important to maintain appearances, and above all there should be no surprises.  When a clown is sent in to perform, no one should anticipate that a non-clown act will ensue.

Vitali Churkin, the Russian UN representative, despite disagreeing with the General Assembly motion calling for respect for Ukraine's pre-referendum borders, did say that there were parts of the motion that his government agreed with. Like using diplomacy to resolve conflicts, rather that threats, etc., and for states to refrain from using speech that could make matters worse.

The numbers were strongly against respecting the results of the Crimean referendum, something like 100 states voted for it, but significantly something like 10-20 opposed and around 60-70 abstained. There were plenty of states absent. So the Russians, while admonished by the General Assembly (without being named!) , are hardly isolated. That is significant.

 

sherpa-finn

Seems unfortunate to me that a discussion about the purportive end of a unipolar world degenerates so quickly into a slanging match as to the nature of the 'new' bipolar world.  My impression is that we are talking about a much more complicated multi-polar world where economic power is no longer as closely aligned with military force,- as has been the historic pattern. And as a result, it all gets rather messy and complicated.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

sherpa-finn wrote:
Seems unfortunate to me that a discussion about the purportive end of a unipolar world degenerates so quickly into a slanging match as to the nature of the 'new' bipolar world. 

Maybe you could clarify. It's not clear to me who, if anyone, is claiming that Russia, or any other single country for that matter, is now the "other" pole of a bipolar world. The end of US dictat, in which the UN,  when it is even acknowledged, is a transmission belt for US foreign policy, and no country can defy the US Emperor/President, seems clear if we go by: a) the thrashing that the US puppet got in Georgia after trying to slaughter Ossetians, and Russian peacekeepers, in their sleep; b) the "nyet" give to the US over starting another "freedom loving" bombing campaign in Syria; c) the "nyet" to US/NATO/EU designs on Crimea and Ukraine in general. The Russians have to rely upon other, like-minded countries to pull anything off; there ARE other such countries, eg China, and that is also very important.

Quote:
My impression is that we are talking about a much more complicated multi-polar world where economic power is no longer as closely aligned with military force,- as has been the historic pattern. And as a result, it all gets rather messy and complicated.

Since the 2 Bush regimes in the US, the Yanqui Empire has come more and more to rely upon brute force to carry out its foreign policy goals. It's necessary to have both economic and military alternatives as challenged to the Empire for change to take place.

Maybe another way of saying what you are saying is that the world is much more interdependent that it was even 20 years ago. Certainly, the Russian diplomatic representatives keep chirping on that theme; just read what Churkin or Foreign Minister Lavrov or President Putin himself are saying ad nauseum; all this sanctions will bite the sanctioners on the ass and the Russians are busy proving that what they say is true. If they can make it stick, as I think they can, then they will show that they are an essential player on the world economic, political and military stage. They will never claim that they will bury anyone, or view themselves as a God-given city on a hill, or any other messianic idiocy. They have had enough of that in the 20th century.

 

Edited to add: if I might be allowed to toot my own horn, I would say that I was pretty well the only babbler who, having observed the conduct of the Russian regime vis-a-vis Georgia and the Saakashvili Regime's brutal assault on Tskinvali, South Ossetia back in August of 2008, came to the conclusion that the Russians had done the right thing and change was in the wind. I would add that it was Dmitry Medvedev, and not Putin, who was Russian President at the time. Medvedev, incidently, was traumatized by those events; he said so himself.

It is the easiest thing in North America to turn on the Russophobic buttons. All politicians use it. Enormous efforts have been made, spanning decades and decades, literally, to demonize Russians into baby-eating, serial rapists, etc. monsters.

And now, that is changing. A little. This is really quite remarkable. I have always thought that the one country in the world directly between Russia and the USA, a country that has a much less predatory history and view of itself, might be the country precisely to bridge the gap and re-invent itself as a fair minded negotiator and middle man between those 2 great powers. Of course i mean Canada. Sadly, our orbit is so drawn into the black hole of US foreign policy that Canada's government is reduced to a "me too" echo of Uncle Sam's bullying. ugh.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

sherpa-finn wrote:
Seems unfortunate to me that a discussion about the purportive end of a unipolar world degenerates so quickly into a slanging match as to the nature of the 'new' bipolar world. 

Maybe you could clarify. It's not clear to me who, if anyone, is claiming that Russia, or any other single country for that matter, is now the "other" pole of a bipolar world.

In the first place, did sherpa-finn say anything about Russia?

And in the second place, I 'm kind of confused here. talking about a "unipolar world" that somehow started with the fall fo the East Bloc, which is presumably ending now that the U.S. and E.U. are not taking military action against Russia over Crimea.

But it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Russia.

As I said above, I don't think it was bipolar or even tripolar to begin with, though the major players certainly made that claim in their rhetoric as justification for their actions.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Quote:
Regardless of US and European policy, however, Russia is by no means powerless. On the contrary, the Ukraine crisis has shown the world that, less than twenty-five years after the end of the Soviet Union, Russia is once again a major world power.

Sanctioning Russia into Multi-polar World

And some people, including some on the left here in Canada, are considerably annoyed and angered that this is so.

A single global hegemon is better than several, or many? Really? What the hell kind of leftists are these, I wonder?

It was precisely the fratricidal slaughter of World War I, brought about directly by the machinations of the imperialist countries, that opened the door for radical change in Dublin in 1916, Russia in 1917, and elsewhere.

6079_Smith_W

Because of course what we really need is more leftists going "tut tut" and "shame on you" at those who dare to have a discussion in a discussion forum.

And while I'm not sure how that old fight within one family and one power bloc in any way illustrates a world of balanced power (or how there was radical change in Dublin) we shouldn't forget the radical change it initiated in Berlin - and I don't mean Liebknecht and Luxemburg. Radical can mean a lot of things, though I guess they found that out in Russia as well as in Germany.

If anything, it illustrates how even though theorists see a nice tidy balance in adversarial situations like that, it doesn't take much for them to fall apart with disasterous consequences.

 

 

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

The smoke is clearing and those who wish to help Ukraine, instead of ripping it apart, must step forward. Putin had some amusing comments on this score.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote:
“Handing out cakes at the Maidan isn’t enough to prevent the Ukrainian economy from plunging into complete chaos,” he said.

Putin to US: It’s bad to read other people’s letters

aha ha ha ha. Suck it up, uncle Sam. Your time of ordering everyone around, of indisriminate slaughter in Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, ... etc etc, has been rebuffed.

Come to think of it, didn't the Nazis get stopped at Volgograd? Plus ca change...

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Even the idiot US Secretary of State reluctantly admits that things have changed. Of course, since the quote is from RT, it must be lies ...  :rolleyes:

 

Yanqui Sec of State John Kerry wrote:
" ... during the Cold War, it actually – it may not have seemed so at the time, obviously, to great leaders, but it was easier than it is today – simpler is maybe a way to put it.”

“We could make really bad decisions and still win because we were pretty much the sole dominant economic and military power around,” Kerry said. “That’s not true anymore.”

“...choices were less varied, less complicated, more stark, more clear.” He said everything was clear cut and split into camps “communism, democracy; West, East; the Iron Curtain, the great line of divide. And many things were subsumed and quashed by that force of that bipolar world.”

Kerry speaks at the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)

ygtbk

@ikosmos: if you are dancing on the graves of the millions killed by Stalin (and Lenin before him) then I disapprove.

BTW, correct, Kerry is an idiot.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

What a non sequiter!

What exactly is the connection between Stalin, or Lenin for that matter, and the current events in Ukraine? Or is it simply that they're "Rooskies" and, therefore, responsible for events after their deaths, just as the current Russian leadership is responsible for events in the distant past? Does that mean that present day Germans are responsible for Hitler's crimes, and present day Americans are responsible for the slavery of the past, and Canadians of today are responsible for the Residential School atrocities against FN Peoples? (FYI, Stalin was Georgian)

it's remarkable how much Russophobia and demonizing the current Russian President has progressed. Even babblers find it necessary to preface their remarks by spurious non sequitors, like a religious incantation or something...

The point was simply that it is no longer a unipolar world and that even idiots like Kerry find it necessary to acknowledge that. Mind you, there are a number of babblers who angrily reject this obvious and simple truth. Which is why I thought that a "non Roosky" making the same claim would be more convincing.

 

NorthReport

This could actually be a really good discussion if posters would just chill a bit, or maybe quite a bit.

No one side has the handle on sainthood nor the truth. 

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

What a non sequiter!

What exactly is the connection between Stalin... and the current events in Ukraine?

Do you really need to ask that question?

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

What a non sequiter!

What exactly is the connection between Stalin... and the current events in Ukraine?

Do you really need to ask that question?

 

Yeah, actually I do. Russophobia is one of those unexamined prejudices, cultivated over decades in the mass media of this and other NATO countries, that is akin to a mental reflex: thoughtless and unexamined. it's worth drawing attention to such things. I just need to be more polite about it. lol. 

In the English-speaking world, Russophobia in the countries of the British Empire pre-dates the Russian Revolution and the "new" reason for Russophobia. New skins for old wines as it were. 

Sidebar: something I learned recently, that I knew but did not know, is that Russians identify their language, more than anything else, as the defining characteristic of their culture. "Race", that bigotry laden term so often used in the English speaking world, isn't at the top of their list at all. 

We could actually learn something from that. 

 

 

Slumberjack

Yes, even after the collapse of the USSR, Russians were depicted in US TV series and movies as constituting the most brutal of all criminals, right alongside Chinese gangs and Muslims in general, just as for a long time Mexican immigrants have been routinely spoken of in the same sentences as Mexical drug cartel members.  A few years back the French were depicted as lazy surrender monkeys for their initial opposition to the Iraq war.  It's about societal conditioning.  People continue to fall for it obviously.

6079_Smith_W

Well if you're interested, you can read up on the forced deportation or minorities, replacement with ethnic Russians, and  the famine that killed millions of people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_transfer_in_the_Soviet_Union

http://www.geocurrents.info/place/russia-ukraine-and-caucasus/stalins-et...

http://www.ukrainiangenocide.org/dsovietpolicyandukrainiangenocide.html

And like others in the former Soviet Union who pine for the glory days while conveniently forgetting the dark side, some pro-Russians in Donetsk are also recognizing Stalin as a cult figure:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/19/ukraine-donetsk-pro-russia-...

And Russian being the defining language as the defining characteristic of their culture? Yet another reason why people in Baltic states and other regions where there is a significant Russian population are very nervous about the situation in Ukraine.

And learn what? You think using language as an excuse to interfere in another country is any better than race?

ygtbk

@ikosmos: I agree that the world is no longer unipolar (if indeed it has been, in any era after the Roman Empire).

That is not my issue.

My issue is that (and no, it's not Russophobia, a conveniently-reified deflector, kind of like Islamophobia) if I were Ukranian I would be nervous, given history.

6079_Smith_W

Even Rome didn't have absolute control at any time. They ran into limits from without, and from within.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Again, Smith, what is the relationship between these events in the past and today's events? ARe you willing to defend the bigotted view that current events should be evaluated by past prejudices? Thanks for the rich example of Russophobia. Not.

 

In other news, RELATED TO THE THEME OF THIS THREAD AND NOT SIMPLY A STREAM OF RUSSOPHOBIC VOMIT, the Russian Ambassador noted the failure of the US authorities to deal with the current reality...

Quote:
“The US is at a crossroads,” he said. “The US has already understood that they are unable to command the entire world, but they cannot translate it into another way of behavior. They feel uncomfortable when they see another pole of power,” such as Russia or China, Churkin added.

 

"They feel uncomfortable when they see another pole of power...." So true. They can't stand any real notion of equality in international relations. The sooner the US Empire is smashed to the ground, the better. This also give a clear view of the traitorous Harper regime's boot licking approach to foreign policy .... "Me too!" says the Canadian puppet regime....

RT: Russia will call up Security Council meeting if US-sponsored Ukrainian junta carries out more atrocities against civilians..

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

As Greg Albo has pointed out in his article on Challenging Harper's Imperialist Agenda, there is a convergence of ideas among unions and social movements for a transitional program, against the imperialist juggernaut and accompanying atrocities that includes:

Greg Albo wrote:

  • - The re-ordering of relations with the Middle East beginning with a just settlement for the Palestinian people.
  • - Supporting a diversity of development models and multi-polarity in the world order.
  • - Withdrawal from international military alliances such as NATO and NORAD, and the supportive role in international interventions.
  • - Developing a new international economic architecture that places control on capital movements, plans trade, transfers technology and resources, and internationally coordinates a transition to low-carbon economies.

This platform has parallels in other countries across the inter-state system. They are part of a growing anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist movement insistent on the need for an alternative world order. Their success will also require imagining a socialism relevant for the 21st century. This is a necessary – if not sufficient – political condition for ending imperialism. It is, as well, an essential to overturning the Harper and the neoliberal agenda in Canada.

 

And therefore, of course, a multi-polar world is progress compared to the uni-polar world of Yanqui dictat.

Those who reject this very simple, but understandable, argument would be well challenged by asking them _ What is the difference between your views and the views of the US State Department?

Rikardo

I strongly recommend the recent "The Endtimes of Human Rights" by S Hopgood.  You'll find summaries on the Web.  Canada' Janice Stein recommends its conclusions. Perhaps the high point of Western universality was the triumphant Rome Conference in 2002 which created the so-called International Crimianl Court largely funded by the NATO countries and without support from Russia, China, India or even the USA. It largely helps to promete Western interests in Africa.

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Rikardo wrote:
... the so-called International Crimianl Court largely funded by the NATO countries and without support from Russia, China, India or even the USA. It largely helps to promete Western interests in Africa.

The USA supports the idea that the leaders of OTHER countries could be prosecuted by that court. It is AFAIK official US doctrine, upheld by liberal-minded Democrats and hawk-like Republicans alike, that US soldiers, leaders, etc. are, literally, above international law and cannot be subject to prosecution by any international court. They enforce this doctrine through their heavy investment in nuclear weapons, attack helicopters, strategic bombers, nuclear missile submarines, pilotless drone killers, and stealth fighter jets.

Ever wonder why there was no equivalent Tribunal in Japan with the same powers of prosecution (and results) as the Nuremburg Tribunal in Germany?

Two words: Hiroshima. Nagasaki.

6079_Smith_W

ikosmos wrote:

Ever wonder why there was no equivalent Tribunal in Japan with the same powers of prosecution (and results) as the Nuremburg Tribunal in Germany?

There was, though:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Military_Tribunal_for_the_Far...

Slumberjack

ikosmos wrote:
Yeah, actually I do. Russophobia is one of those unexamined prejudices, cultivated over decades in the mass media of this and other NATO countries, that is akin to a mental reflex: thoughtless and unexamined. it's worth drawing attention to such things. I just need to be more polite about it. lol. 

On the other end of the extreme one finds that it's cut and dry for US style Liberalism or even Atheism to equal Stalinism. And similar to the Hollywood crusade against Muslims around the world conducted over several decades, Russians as depicted in the movies, particularly since the collapse of the USSR, were usually cast as the most vicious brigands of them all.  What we see here and elsewhere is the effectiveness of such long standing propaganda campaigns.

ygtbk

ikosmos wrote:

Rikardo wrote:
... the so-called International Crimianl Court largely funded by the NATO countries and without support from Russia, China, India or even the USA. It largely helps to promete Western interests in Africa.

The USA supports the idea that the leaders of OTHER countries could be prosecuted by that court. It is AFAIK official US doctrine, upheld by liberal-minded Democrats and hawk-like Republicans alike, that US soldiers, leaders, etc. are, literally, above international law and cannot be subject to prosecution by any international court. They enforce this doctrine through their heavy investment in nuclear weapons, attack helicopters, strategic bombers, nuclear missile submarines, pilotless drone killers, and stealth fighter jets.

Ever wonder why there was no equivalent Tribunal in Japan with the same powers of prosecution (and results) as the Nuremburg Tribunal in Germany?

Two words: Hiroshima. Nagasaki.

If you had ever read anything about the details of the Pacific war, you would not make such ridiculous statements.

I recommend that, for your penance, you read about how Hirohito and his generals were thinking _before_ Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

http://www.amazon.com/Downfall-The-Imperial-Japanese-Empire/dp/014100146...

(Yes, his editor clearly hates him - Imperial Japanese Empire - sheesh).

See also

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Knights-Bushido-History-Japanese/dp/1853674990

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Breed-At-Peleliu-Okinawa/dp/0891419195

in case you have the least doubt about which side deserved to win in that war.

6079_Smith_W

Careful.... I'm just remembering the last time we started comparing the Pacific and European theatres of war. I know we all have our own opinions, but I have no desire to repeat that ridiculous exercise.

My point was that there was a war crimes trial held by the victors;  the broader question regarding many of the atrocities on all sides is still an open question, but it didn't stop them from hanging six people.

 

ygtbk

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Careful.... I'm just remembering the last time we started comparing the Pacific and European theatres of war. I know we all have our own opinions, but I have no desire to repeat that ridiculous exercise.

My point was that there was a war crimes trial held by the victors;  the broader question regarding many of the atrocities on all sides is still an open question, but it didn't stop them from hanging six people.

Smith, I know that you are one of the sensible ones. Thanks for the warning.

If you read the books I posted links to, you might end up with an opinion, and it might be close to mine - or not.

Slumberjack

ygtbk wrote:
Smith, I know that you are one of the sensible ones.

Laughing

6079_Smith_W

@ ygtbk

It was more a joke than a stern warning. Personally, I see guilt on all sides of that conflict, and without getting too much into it, you and I may indeed agree.

I'm just more dreading the prospect of a pointless war of words.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

ygtbk wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

Rikardo wrote:
... the so-called International Crimianl Court largely funded by the NATO countries and without support from Russia, China, India or even the USA. It largely helps to promete Western interests in Africa.

The USA supports the idea that the leaders of OTHER countries could be prosecuted by that court. It is AFAIK official US doctrine, upheld by liberal-minded Democrats and hawk-like Republicans alike, that US soldiers, leaders, etc. are, literally, above international law and cannot be subject to prosecution by any international court. They enforce this doctrine through their heavy investment in nuclear weapons, attack helicopters, strategic bombers, nuclear missile submarines, pilotless drone killers, and stealth fighter jets.

Ever wonder why there was no equivalent Tribunal in Japan with the same powers of prosecution (and results) as the Nuremburg Tribunal in Germany?

Two words: Hiroshima. Nagasaki.

If you had ever read anything about the details of the Pacific war, you would not make such ridiculous statements.

I recommend that, for your penance, you read about how Hirohito and his generals were thinking _before_ Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

http://www.amazon.com/Downfall-The-Imperial-Japanese-Empire/dp/014100146...

(Yes, his editor clearly hates him - Imperial Japanese Empire - sheesh).

See also

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Knights-Bushido-History-Japanese/dp/1853674990

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Breed-At-Peleliu-Okinawa/dp/0891419195

in case you have the least doubt about which side deserved to win in that war.

 

What is the point of this lengthy rant? To justify the use of nuclear weapons against civilians?

 

unbeleivable.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ ygtbk

It was more a joke than a stern warning. Personally, I see guilt on all sides of that conflict, and without getting too much into it, you and I may indeed agree.

I'm just more dreading the prospect of a pointless war of words.

 

I agree. It's very hard to distinguish your point of view from a slavish pro-Yanqui point of view. And, since the views of the Empire and mine conflict, we can agree that either the USA is the most dangerous threat to peace in the world (me) or the US is the personification of justice in todays world (you).

ygtbk

ikosmos wrote:

ygtbk wrote:

ikosmos wrote:

Rikardo wrote:
... the so-called International Crimianl Court largely funded by the NATO countries and without support from Russia, China, India or even the USA. It largely helps to promete Western interests in Africa.

The USA supports the idea that the leaders of OTHER countries could be prosecuted by that court. It is AFAIK official US doctrine, upheld by liberal-minded Democrats and hawk-like Republicans alike, that US soldiers, leaders, etc. are, literally, above international law and cannot be subject to prosecution by any international court. They enforce this doctrine through their heavy investment in nuclear weapons, attack helicopters, strategic bombers, nuclear missile submarines, pilotless drone killers, and stealth fighter jets.

Ever wonder why there was no equivalent Tribunal in Japan with the same powers of prosecution (and results) as the Nuremburg Tribunal in Germany?

Two words: Hiroshima. Nagasaki.

If you had ever read anything about the details of the Pacific war, you would not make such ridiculous statements.

I recommend that, for your penance, you read about how Hirohito and his generals were thinking _before_ Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

http://www.amazon.com/Downfall-The-Imperial-Japanese-Empire/dp/014100146...

(Yes, his editor clearly hates him - Imperial Japanese Empire - sheesh).

See also

http://www.amazon.ca/The-Knights-Bushido-History-Japanese/dp/1853674990

http://www.amazon.com/Old-Breed-At-Peleliu-Okinawa/dp/0891419195

in case you have the least doubt about which side deserved to win in that war.

What is the point of this lengthy rant? To justify the use of nuclear weapons against civilians?

unbeleivable.

I'm assuming that "lengthy rant" means "didn't read it". Please read and let me know when you have.

Also, spelling fail.

bekayne

ikosmos wrote:

we can agree that either the USA is the most dangerous threat to peace in the world (me)

Would it be more truthful to say that "the USA is the only dangerous threat to peace in the world" is closer to your position? If not, what are the others?

 

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