During the Great Depression era, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the U.S. and one of the most eminent statesmen of the first half of the 20th century, stated, "One of my main goals is to keep bankers and businessmen from committing suicide." This touching concern turned into an enormous tragedy for all mankind: World War II, which was stirred up mainly by American industrialists and financiers. Over 54 million people were killed in that war, 90 million were wounded, and 28 million of those wounded were disabled.
The Second World War resolved many of the problems of the American establishment, but not all of them: The Soviet Union not only survived, but turned into a superpower. But Roosevelt's main goal was achieved and then some; the U.S. became a world financial center. In July 1944 in the small town of Bretton Woods, at an international conference of the victors, such institutions as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, after 1960 – the World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were founded. At that time the U.S. dollar was declared a world currency, as good as gold. At that moment the U.S. controlled 70% of the world gold reserves. Within the U.S. were 129 billion dollars of liquid savings (a colossal amount even by current standards!).
This money, "earned" by American bankers and industrialists on the suffering and deaths of millions of people, was a powerful stimulus for the production of consumer goods and capital construction, to say nothing of the international status the U.S. acquired. Even Z. Brzezinski, a Russophobe and an ideological enemy of our country, has admitted, "Paradoxically, while the defeat of Nazi Germany elevated America's global status, American had not played a decisive role in the military defeat of Hitlerism. Credit in that regard has to go to the Stalinist Soviet Union". In any case, it was after the last world war that the foundation for the modern hegemony of America was laid.
For those who in fact rule America, the great and terrible war shaped their one and only model of behavior: resolution of one's own problems should always be achieved at the expense of other countries and peoples. Throughout the entire post-war period the U.S. has resorted to aggression each time it has encountered economic problems or it was necessary to direct attention away from unpopular economic measures inside the country.
For example, the Korean War was a reaction to the first post-war economic recession of 1949. The invasion of Lebanon came as a consequence of the recession of 1957-1958. Aggression against Vietnam was a reaction to the economic decline of 1967, and Carter's "launch" of a second wave of the cold war was a reaction to a slump in 1979. The slump of 1981-1982 called into being not only Reagan's "military Keynesianism", but also the American "approach" to Nicaragua and Grenada. To say nothing of such large-scale U.S./NATO interventions in the 21st century as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Many American scholars and writers have also noticed the aggressive nature of U.S. foreign policy as a reaction to internal problems. For example, Charles Austin Beard(1874-1948), the most influential historian of the first half of the 20th century and one of the founders of the economic school of U.S. historiography, author of the four-volume work The Rise of American Civilization, believed that after the victory over Japan in 1945 the U.S. would wage "perpetual war for perpetual peace".
Using Beard's prior work as a starting point, the eminent American liberal writer Gore Vidal placed tables of military and other operations conducted by Americans up to 2001 on several pages of his 2002 book How We Got to Be So Hated. The author, "out of pity (to the readers. – E.P.), did not list military operations conducted by the CIA in various countries, for example, in Guatemala (1953), or in Iran (1953), when Mossadegh was overthrown, or in Chile, when Allende was overthrown, etc.". But the main thing, as Vidal emphasized, is that "In these several hundred wars against Communism, terrorism, drugs, or sometimes nothing much, between Pearl Harbor and Tuesday, September 11, 2001, we (America. – E.P.) tended to strike the first blow. But then we're the good guys, right? (emphasis mine – E.P.)."
By the same token, in their book Why Do People Hate America?, Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies counted 124 American interventions in various parts of the globe in the period from 1890 (the U.S. military operation in Argentina) to 2001 (the beginning of the operation in Afghanistan). And, as the authors indicate, provocations have always occupied a special place in U.S. interventionist policy. Examples? By all means.
In 1898 an explosion was arranged on the U.S.S. Maine; the Spanish were blamed. As a result, the U.S. declared war on Spain.
On May 7, 1915 the U.S. put the Lusitania in the line of fire from German submarines. The liner, with its name painted out and with no flag of any country, deliberately entered a zone designated by the German government as a "submarine war zone". Under the wartime conditions, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine and sank. 1198 of the 1958 people on board were killed. This incident was used for informational pressure on public opinion in many countries and abruptly changed attitudes toward Germany.
In 1941 Roosevelt was well informed about the preparations for a strike on Pearl Harbor, but he did nothing, as he needed a reason for entering the war.
In 1964 the so-called Tonkin incident took place, serving as a pretext to begin the Vietnam War.
The explosion of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 became the pretext for military intervention in Afghanistan.
A mythical nuclear program was the pretext for the destruction of Iraq. The nuclear provocational pretext has long been hanging over Iran and North Korea. And now chemical weapons in Syria.
U.S. foreign policy was also characterized as murderous by one other American scholar, Arno J. Mayer, professor emeritus of history at Princeton University. He was unable to publish his article "Untimely Reflections upon the State of the World" in the U.S., "the most democratic country in the world". He was able to do so in the French newspaper Le Monde. I quote:
"Until now, in modern times, acts of individual terror have been the weapon of the weak and the poor, while acts of state and economic terror have been the weapon of the strong. In both types of terror it is, of course, important to distinguish between target and victim. This distinction is crystal-clear in the fatal hit on the World Trade Center: the target is a prominent symbol and hub of globalizing corporate financial and economic power; the victim the hapless and partly subaltern work force. Such a distinction does not apply to the strike on the Pentagon: it houses the supreme military command…of capitalist globalization, even if it entailed, in the Pentagon's own language, "collateral" damage to human life.
In any case, since 1947 America has been the chief and pioneering perpetrator of "preemptive" state terror, exclusively in the Third World and therefore widely dissembled. Besides the unexceptional subversion and overthrow of governments in competition with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Washington has resorted to political assassinations, surrogate death squads and unseemly freedom fighters (e.g., bin Laden). It masterminded the killing of Lumumba and Allende; and it unsuccessfully tried to put to death Castro, Khadafi, Saddam Hussein…and condoned Israel's violation of international agreements and UN resolutions as well as its practice of preemptive state terror (emphasis mine. – E.P.)."
The genesis of the Syrian crisis arises from the very nature of U.S. hegemony. However, why has Washington aimed for a "final resolution" of the Syrian issue right now? Why did they resort to their tried and true scheme of provocation? And why did they prepare so poorly? The staged nature of the video footage fobbed off on the world as "proof" of a chemical attack supposedly perpetrated by the Syrian army was obvious practically the next day!
The fact that it was a provocation was confirmed on September 9 at the "Human Rights and Armed Conflicts: The Threat of U.S. Force against Syria and International Law" briefing during the 24th session of the UN Council on Human Rights. As noted in a press release on the results of the meeting, "convincing evidence that the video and photos of chemical attack victims in a suburb of Damascus on August 21 were fabricated beforehand. The audience was shown the testimony of numerous witnesses who unanimously confirmed that it was the rebels who used chemical weapons in the East Ghouta district. The results of investigations into the incident conducted by activists and the testimony of eyewitnesses were handed over to the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria".
But why did the U.S. back off? That's against the principles of a global leader, and the UN is no longer an authority to America.
As was already mentioned, the U.S. is accustomed to solving its problems through international banditry. That is the root of the crisis in Syria and the reason for its escalation.
First, the U.S. economy is currently nearing a "fiscal cliff". In such conditions, the promises Obama made during his election campaign – to lower taxes, raise wages and legalize immigrants – are impossible to fulfill. A stalemate situation has taken shape in the country, coupled with a drop in the popularity of Obama and his team. The advisors and analysts of the White House saw a way out in a "small, victorious war". It would be difficult to find a more convenient place for such a war than exhausted and devastated Syria. And the resolution of internal economic problems through military intervention is a "good old" Anglo-Saxon tradition.
Second, the forces behind Obama actively support and implement the "controlled chaos" project, from Mauritania to Kyrgyzstan to Kashmir. The "arc of instability” which started in the Balkans should, according to their logic, reach Russia and China.
However, a "problem" appeared on the path of global destabilization – Syria. And Damascus is the ally of three large powers at the same time: Russia, China and Iran. To Russia, the Syrians are not just allies, they are friends as well, as Vladimir Putin has particularly emphasized.
As for "chaos", it is needed for very specific reasons. One of them is the transit of hydrocarbons. And here again the Russian factor arises. I believe that the escalation of the Syrian crisis should be seen as a direct reaction to the intensification of Russian energy policy. The fact of the matter is that on August 13, during Russian President V. Putin's visit to Baku, serious agreements were reached on the transit of oil: corresponding agreements were signed between the Russian state company Rosneft and its Azerbaijani partners, and new areas and formats of cooperation in the field of the fuel and energy complex were defined. And the agreements signed are of a long-term nature, "perspectives for 15, maybe 20 years, that is, a good basis for collaboration for many, many years to come." After the meeting, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev emphasized, "I think that a great number of things in the field of regional energy issues will depend on active cooperation and the coordination of our efforts. We are oriented toward decisive collaboration and the strengthening of cooperation with Russia in this important area of economic and political development". The takeaway from this meeting was the creation of a Russia – Azerbaijan oil union, i.e., just what the West was afraid of and worked against for many years.
From the beginning the genesis of the Syrian crisis was to a great extent determined by the problem of energy resource transit. As is well known, gas fields have been discovered in the Southern Mediterranean region, both on the continental shelf and on the territory of Syria (Kara). There is one more "gas factor" in the Syrian crisis: if al-Asad's regime is overthrown, then Qatar, which is a liquefied natural gas exporter, will be able to transport the "blue fuel" directly from the Mediterranean coast through Syria. That will at least double its exports and at the same time will complicate exports for Iran. The strengthening of Qatar on the gas market will automatically lead to a weakening of the position of Russian companies. And if you add the establishment of control over Algerian gas (which the Americans are actively working on), that threatens a blockade of all of Russia's oil and gas exports.
In speaking of the oil and gas wars in the Middle East, one mustn't forget what a battle is unfolding around the South Stream. But that is another story.
There are other reasons for the escalation of the Syrian crisis and Washington's aggressive position. For example, a desire to break up the Tehran – Damascus – Hezbollah union, which is causing problems for the U.S. and Israel. However, the main object of a "final resolution" of the Syrian issue still remains demonstrating to Russia and everyone else that everything in the world will be the way the U.S. and the supranational structures of global governance which stand behind it decide it will be.
And now is the perfect time to remember the words of Stalin, who liked to repeat: "There is the logic of intentions and there is the logic of circumstances. And the logic of circumstances is stronger than the logic of intentions." But the provocateurs did not consider the logic of circumstances. They did not consider the fact that Russia has changed, as has the world. The unipolar system no longer exists, and Moscow no longer reacts to shouts from Washington the same way it did twenty years ago.
At the same time, we must admit that the Syrian crisis is far from being resolved. It is only slightly frozen. Ahead lie tense and exhausting diplomatic battles…