Recent interview with Clinton aide contains disturbing hints of the wars to come

Recent interview with Clinton aide contains disturbing hints of the wars to come

A recent interview shows Clinton's determination to push Russia into an increasingly desperate and isolated position, one hesitates to think of the consequences.

A recent interview with high-level Clinton aide Jeremy Bash indicates that as president Hillary Clinton would escalate already strained tensions between Russia and the US. In the interview Bash claims that one of the “first key tasks” of the Clinton administration would be to, “work to get Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, ‘out of there.’" While there’s no doubt that Assad represents a, “murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law,” it cannot be overlooked that Assad is also a key ally of Russia. By making these statements about Assad Clinton is engaging in the latest of a series of serious provocations against Russia that are leading down a path of escalating violence.

What is Syria to Russia?

Syria is a crucial ally of Russia for a few reasons. As Robert Fisk explains, “the Syrian city of Tartous contains the only 24-hour port open to the Russian navy in the Mediterranean. Without Tartous, every Russian naval vessel in the sea would have to return through the Bosphorous to Odessa for every nut, screw and cigarette packet it needs."1 Additionally, the oil and gas pipelines which pass through its territory are Europe’s key sources of supply. By controlling these supply routes Russia can exercise considerable influence over European decision making. 2

Broken promises

The loss of influence in Syria would be just one of a series of devastating blows dealt to Russia since Mikhail Gorbachev took steps towards rapprochement with the US before the fall of the Soviet Union. In 1989, Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to allow a reunified Germany to enter the US led NATO alliance. In exchange, the US made repeated verbal assurances to Russia that they would not expand NATO any further to the East. This agreement was a big step towards a peaceful Europe. Russia was allowing the country which had within the past century devastated it twice through invasion to join the most powerful military alliance in the world headed by a country which viewed Russia as its greatest enemy. Unfortunately for world peace, after the breakup of the Soviet Union the US had little motivation to adhere to verbal arrangements made with Gorbachev. The promise to not expand NATO to the east was broken during the administration of Bill Clinton in 1999 with the addition of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Shortly thereafter, the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic, a strong Russian ally, was bombed with the strong backing of Hillary and her friend Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. “I urged [Bill] to bomb,” Hillary would later recount in an interview. Hillary has since bragged constantly about her involvement in the decision to bomb Serbia, actions which Russia is unlikely to forget.

Aggression

Since the Serbian bombings and the addition of the new NATO members, the US has sought to build a ring of missile complexes around Russia’s borders. The complexes have been built ostensibly in order to protect Europe and Israel from an Iranian nuclear attack. In reality the only conceivable purpose they serve is to provide NATO with first strike nuclear capabilities against Russia. Russia has strongly protested the construction of these bases, the latest of which has been built in Romania, and has repeatedly threatened to retaliate. One can only imagine the US response if Russia decided to build nuclear missile bases, in, let’s say, Cuba. None of this seems to bother Hillary who talks on the campaign trail about how as Secretary of State she helped to create missile systems in South Korea and Japan, systems which she intends to expand upon if she becomes president.

Trolling with Pussy Riot

Additional provocations are exhibited by Hillary’s friendly attitude toward the Russian band Pussy Riot. In February of 2012, five young young women wearing balaclavas and revealing clothing entered the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in central Moscow. The women ran to the altar and began to shout obscenities calling the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church a “bitch” before fleeing the scene. Subsequently, at the urging of the church which had been targeted by this group in previous incidents, three of the women were arrested and charged with “hooliganism”. The women arrested were members of the band Pussy Riot, an offshoot of a collective called Voyna whose past actions have included group sex in Moscow’s Timiryazev Museum, throwing live cats at employees of a McDonald’s, and stealing a chicken from a supermarket by having one of the members hide it up her vagina. The arrest of the women for their latest stunt provoked international outcry and pop stars such as Paul McCartney, Bjork, and Madonna came to the defense of the Pussy Riot musicians. Amnesty International, headed by Hillary’s friend Suzanne Nossel, awarded the women “prisoners of conscience” status and treated their case as a major human rights campaign. For her part, Hillary took the opportunity to further denigrate Russian society. In April 7th, after Putin ordered the early release of the Pussy Riot members, Hillary tweeted a photo taken with the members in New York writing, “Great to meet the strong & brave young women from #PussyRiot, who refuse to let their voices be silenced in #Russia.” When asked by People magazine which women “inspired” her, Hillary listed Pussy Riot.3 The irony of an American politician criticizing another country for jailing people while their own country has by far the most prisoners per capita in the world shouldn’t be lost on anybody. To Russians, Hillary’s support for the women could only be interpreted as yet another slap in the face.

"We came we saw he died"

On the issue of Syria, one really has to stand back and admire how Hillary has seamlessly moved on from her disastrous actions in Libya without having learned a single lesson. Libya, a once stable and peaceful country has been turned into an uncontrollable disaster and a safe haven for ISIS and people smugglers. After psychopathically bragging about her role in the murder of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Clinton has since backed away from association with the unfolding catastrophe, simply moving on to the next country to bomb without blinking. For Russia, the bombing of Libya was yet another slap in the face. Russia was on good terms with Gaddafi and their navy enjoyed regular access to Tripoli’s refueling stations. Additionally, Gaddafi was a shrewd businessman in many ways and he kept the NATO countries from having too much access to Libya’s highly valuable oil and gas resources. The intervention was undoubtedly carried out in large part for this reason. In this way they could get oil and gas without having to deal with Russia.

In order to avoid a Libyan situation in Syria, Russia (and China) have vetoed UN Security Council resolutions threatening Assad. Additionally, Russia has provided strong military support in the form of weapons, tanks, and air strikes. Thanks to these efforts, Assad has never held any less than 13 of the 14 Syrian provincial capitals. Despite this, Hillary has never once backed down from the ludicrous ultimatum that Assad must step down, something which simply will not happen given the current and past balance of forces. So the war drags on, with the US (in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE) funding (directly or indirectly) jihadist groups, and Russia funding Assad, with civilians trapped in the middle. Rather than seriously pursuing peace by backing down from her impossible ultimatum, Clinton has urged member countries of the Friends of Syria organization to isolate Russia, “I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all—nothing at all—for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime. The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price."4

Hillary’s interview in the Telegraph and her actions on the campaign trail show a complete unwillingness to compromise, and indicate that the worst of the Syrian conflict may be yet to come. It is viewed as highly likely that as president Hillary would nominate Center for New American Security co-founder Michele Flournoy for the Secretary of Defense. On the subject of Syria, Flournoy has criticized the Obama administration for refusing to send troops to combat both ISIS and the Assad regime. In the words of Flournoy, “The United States should also be willing to increase its use of military coercion…and be willing to threaten and execute limited military strikes against the Assad regime in order to protect [friendly rebel groups] while signaling to all of the key external actors in Syria, including both its Middle Eastern partners as well as Russia and Iran, that it is willing to get more engaged."

Ukraine

And while the US refuses to allow Russia to hold on to its influence in Syria, the Ukraine crisis has driven Russia further to the brink. The right wing forces which have seized power in the Ukraine are fiercely anti-Russian, and with much of the Russian fleet based in Sebastopol, Putin decided that he had no choice but to annex the pro-Russian Crimean peninsula. Despite widespread popular support for annexation from the people of Crimea, Russia has been internationally shamed for this incident and is currently subjected to sanctions specifically designed to punish and provoke Putin. All of this while the US continues to practice naval exercises in the Black Sea (one can imagine what would happen if Putin sent the Russian navy into the Gulf of Mexico to conduct military exercises). Russia has responded to this by beginning to place anti-ship ballistic missile batteries in the Crimea.

Collision course

From what can be discerned, Hillary would undoubtedly be a very dangerous president. Her statements on Syria not only confirm what we already knew-Hillary likes military intervention-but they also show that her presidency will likely bring the US and Russia to the brink of war. A Hillary Clinton presidency would mean more attacks on an already weakened and humiliated Russian government, one that is surrounded on all sides by first strike nuclear missile bases, with the US navy patrolling the Black Sea, losing its grip on the flow of oil and gas and its naval capabilities. Russia is being forced into an increasingly desperate position, one hesitates to think of what might come next.

  • 1. Fisk, Robert. Syria: Descent into the Abyss
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Johnstone, Diana. Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton.
  • 4. Ibid.

Posted By

Soapy
Aug 2 2016 01:50

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  • We came, we saw, he died!

    Hillary Clinton

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Comments

jesuithitsquad
Aug 6 2016 18:55

Right, i don't think we disagree. Thanks for the link-- never come across it before.

baboon
Aug 7 2016 11:38

Following up an earlier reference by Jesuit.. in relation to Germany:

About 3 weeks ago, no less a figure than the foreign minister of Germany, Frank Walter Steinmeier, called Nato's actions against Russian borders "warmongering" (Telegraph, 18.6.16). That Germany is a central member of Nato shows the centrifugal and contradictory tendencies that exist within this organisation. It also shows the ambivalence of German imperialism towards the US and Russia.
This statement was delivered within the context of a clear beefing-up of German militarism.

noslavery
Aug 7 2016 14:47

This is the way I see it. The article is generally good, although seems one sided. Both sides of the conflict are authoritarian rulers. We need an international alliance in both sides against war and intervention. One sided anti war won't work.

Steven.
Aug 7 2016 22:34

Just to say thanks for the additional info about Pussy Riot which I wasn't previously aware of. That stuff all sucks, although in general doesn't mean I don't think they are worthy of "support" terms of they shouldn't have been jailed

baboon
Aug 9 2016 16:04

I want to echo the defence repeated above of internationalism and against all imperialist war and the nationalisms from which they arise. It may seem far from it today but internationalism is the cornerstone of the working class and an essential part of its revolutionary being and perspective.

I agree with the point above by J. about the similarities of the present situation with that prior to WWI. The same fundamentals of the class struggle and the contradictions of capital continue in, more or less, the same way. But we've had over a hundred years of global imperialism and it has not been a pretty picture but part of a descent into a nightmare world.

The question of the 2003 Iraq war is raised above. Taking in Soapy's point about the growing unpredictability of the international situation I think that the question of its "predictability" is secondary. For myself, I wouldn't have predicted it - I didn't think that the bourgeoisie would be so stupid. But I underestimated the irrationality of the bourgeoisie and its imperialist war drive. In fact, outside of the quasi-religious clique that led the "Crusade" against Iraq (though all their intelligence services were telling them it would give a boost to Islamic Fundamentalism) there was a certain rational to this war. That was the attempt by US imperialism,following the collapse of the Russian bloc, to discipline its western bloc "allies" into line by an unprecedented show of force. It generally failed in this objective and centrifugal tendencies have strengthened ever since resulting in the weakening of the US in its control over the region.

petey
Aug 10 2016 16:31
baboon wrote:
I didn't think that the bourgeoisie would be so stupid

you speak of the bourgeoisie as a monolith but i've never been able to accept this. it presumes a kind of self-awareness among this bourgeoisie that's more a projection than a fact. lots of b's were furiously opposed to the iraq invasion, for nationalist reasons (pat buchanan), culturally reactionary reasons (joseph sobran), austrian school reasons (lew rockwell), christian/pacifist reasons (catholic worker), various leftist anti-imperialist reasons; other b's were furiously supportive: the republican and democratic party hierarchies, neocons and their organs (weekly standard), jingos, profiteers. you could say that all in the second category are pretty much one group, but you'd be hard put to tell me how those in the first category are, yet they're bourgeois too. all the above are invested in capitalism (though CW would like to deny it), but that doesn't mean "the bourgeoisie" invaded iraq.

also, here in the states it was easier to see that iraq was a target from the start.

baboon
Aug 10 2016 17:49

Whatever the disagreements between the bourgeoisie, the fact remains that they, along with the military, carried out a major war against Iraq. It happened and it had to be organised and effected by a dominant bourgeois clique. It was similar in Britain.Of course there are differences within the bourgeoisie - surely that goes without saying. There are differences - from real political rivalries to sometimes the point of internal warfare - within national bourgeoisies. There are differences between the bourgeoisie of countries and other countries to the point of rivalry and warfare. But they are all representatives of capital and imperialism.

I think that in relation to this discussion it is entirely a secondary issue of virtually no analytical use, but what do you mean it was easier to see that Iraq was a target from the start. From the start of what? From the moment that it became apparent that the USA was going to war with Iraq?

Paul Barbara
Aug 31 2016 12:12

One must not forget that the US has been invading and interfering (for instance by fomenting armed rebellions and coups) in other countries since it's inception as a country.
In Syria, let me remind you that there is absolutely no evidence that Chemical Weapons were used by Assad's forces, but there is evidence it was used by the murderous scumbag terrorists the West and their Gulf partners in crime unleashed against Syria.
And, please, any of you, I would be very surprised if you have an answer to this incontrovertible evidence, multiple unambiguous video interviews of an ex-Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and of an ex-French Foreign Minister - kinda puts a whole new perspective on the Western 'Syrian Narrative', wot?:
Global Warfare: “We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..”:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-ye...
General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw
General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E
Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before “The Arab Spring”:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/former-french-foreign-minister-the-war-agai...
Roland Dumas: The British prepared for war in Syria 2 years before the eruption of the crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyRwFHR8WY
Former French Foreign Minister: "England prepared the invasion of Syria over 2 years ago": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b276h3369hE

Now, what say you, Assad and Putin bashers?

radicalgraffiti
Aug 31 2016 14:24

lol you think globalresearch is a source