Those Magical, Fantastical Russians vs. U.S. Empire
“This induced ‘state of emergency’ is designed to prepare the American public, politically and psychologically, to maintain the momentum of the U.S. imperial offensive in the world.”
The only people that can make Russiagate fade away are the ones that invented it in the first place: the spooks, Wall Street Democrats and institutional servants of capital that gathered in Hillary Clinton’s overstuffed campaign tent, last year, to plot the next moves of a beleaguered U.S. empire.
Although a Bernie Sanders’ upset in 2016 had always been a statistical impossibility, Donald Trump’s capture of the Republican Party machinery had destabilized the duopoly political system at a time of great stress for U.S. imperialism.
The previous year, the Russian military had set up shop in Syria, blocking U.S.-backed jihadists from ousting the secular, Arab nationalist government of Bashar al Assad. It was Vladimir Putin’s answer to the global military offensive launched by Barack Obama in 2011, with NATO’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, followed immediately by the jihadist push into Syria; the Washington-engineered 2014 coup in Ukraine, on Russia’s doorstep; and, also beginning in 2011, Obama’s military “pivot” to the Pacific to confront China.
“Putin changed the game board in 2015.”
U.S. imperialism was on a roll, with a vengeance, occupying most of Africa and recovering the momentum lost with George W. Bush’s humiliating defeat in Iraq. But Putin changed the game board in 2015, militarily intervening in Syria and declaring, with the world as his witness at the opening of the UN General Assembly, that the U.S. had been acting as a de facto ally of the very jihadists that it claimed to be fighting in its global war on terror. The 21st century’s biggest lie had been exposed with a Russian megaphone, and confronted by Russian arms. America’s jihadist foot soldiers were put on the run.
Perhaps even more fundamental, the bell tolled resoundingly on the terminal decline of U.S. empire when the International Monetary Fund announced that China had surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest economy, based on “purchasing power parity.” The “American Century” -- whenever it was supposed to have begun -- was now definitively over, despite the U.S. expending more on weapons than the rest of the world, combined. As 2014 came to end, Washington’s mood turned morbid, yet meaner and more desperate than ever.
“The bell tolled resoundingly on the terminal decline of U.S. empire when the International Monetary Fund announced that China had surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest economy, based on ‘purchasing power parity’.”
That same year, the domestic U.S. pot boiled over, as Black protest reawakened in Ferguson, Missouri, after a fitful, two-generation-long sleep. The centrality of race was reasserted in the world’s first white settler state, further darkening the mood of a white populace whose skin privilege could not save them from the ravages of capitalist austerity and enforced, general precariousness. Donald Trump decided to make his move to seize the commanding heights of the White Man’s Party.
The Orange Menace, a calculating real estate racist whose mass media marketing strategy is mistaken for “populism,” ran a counter-establishment campaign that challenged the Lords of Capitals’ right to move money and jobs across borders at will, and -- horror of horrors! -- questioned the need for the U.S. to wage endless wars around the world.
President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership was already dead as the general election campaign began, but Trump’s capture of the Republican Party -- the most reliable backer of the free flow of capital -- was deeply disturbing to the capitalist order. When Trump’s mass base -- top-heavy with self-styled American “patriots” -- failed to recoil at their candidate’s apparent willingness to explore some kind of détente with Russia, the national security state descended into utter panic. If Trump’s “middle American” (white, socially right-wing) fans could not be counted on to give unquestioning support to U.S. imperial war policy, then where was the popular base to sustain Washington’s military offensive in the world?
“Their actual agenda was preservation of the global capitalist order and sustaining the momentum of the U.S. military offensive that was begun in 2011.”
From that point on, Trump was viewed as an existential threat by most of the U.S. ruling class and its attendant national security and military-industrial complex sectors, and by the corporate media that represents their interests. They rushed into Hillary Clinton’s Big Tent, claiming to make common cause with Blacks and other minorities. However, their actual agenda was preservation of the global capitalist order and sustaining the momentum of the U.S. military offensive that was begun in 2011.
The CIA, in particular, made Trump their National Security Enemy #1. They are the main architects of Russiagate -- a “conspiracy” in which the predicate Kremlin “crime” of DNC document-stealing remains unproven, and which pales into almost laughable insignificance when compared to decades of U.S. wars of regime change, economic strangulation, assassinations, and outright genocide around the world. Syria and Congo (6 million-plus dead) are crimes of the worst order known to humankind. Russiagate is a lie that would be no more than a Russian diplomatic blunder, even if true.
“Russiagate is an artificial crisis that was made necessary by the actual crisis of U.S. imperialism.”
The corporate media are the public agents of the mass psychological operation. With media consolidation at such an advanced state, it turns out to be not all that difficult for a handful of media conglomerates, each tied inextricably to finance capital and in close collaboration with one of the corporate parties and all of the intelligence outfits, to create and sustain a “state of emergency” for a long period of time -- more than year, so far. This induced “state of emergency” is designed to prepare the American public, politically and psychologically, to maintain the momentum of the U.S. imperial offensive in the world, by demonizing Russia as an internal, as well as external, threat to the United States. In other words, Russiagate is an artificial crisis that was made necessary by the actual crisis of U.S. imperialism -- its economic decline and military dependence on jihadist foot soldiers, and just as importantly, the utter collapse of U.S. moral authority in the world.
The U.S. imperial orbit is shrinking, dramatically. Russiagate is the domestic response to this geopolitical reality. The real “conspirators” – the spooks, Wall Street, the military industrial complex, the Clintonite leaders of the Democratic Party, and the corporate media that serves them all -- are shrinking the American people’s political vision to Halloween dimensions. Not only are there Russians lurking in every dark corner and under every bed, but they can buy a U.S. election or foment civil disturbance and political unrest for about $100,000 -- the price of a luxury car.
They are magical, fantastical, unreal.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected]