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Nic Robertson, CNN’s international diplomatic editor, writes about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s two-hour annual State of Nation speech: “It is bombastic talk in the extreme: a waggling of military parts in the faces of other nations, most likely right now the United States”. (CNN, “Russia’s ‘invincible’ missile is chilling for everyone”, March 1, 2018)

The mainstream media leader primarily searched for Putin’s “largest boast”, and he found: Russia’s new nuclear-powered cruise missile capable of defying the US missile-defense shield.

The CNN-international diplomatic editor referred to last month’s Munich Security Conference. At the conference, NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg spoke about an unfolding arms race.

The editor added:

“Putin now seems to have upped the stakes by claiming to have bigger and better weapons than anyone else on earth.”

The MSM editor misses Putin’s message. Putin’s actual message is not weapons or military capability of Russia; but, the country’s political position, which has been ignored, and at times, humiliated by the chief imperialist power – the US. This phase of humiliation began since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Putin is now trying to remind the US that the chief imperialist power should take into consideration Russia’s position before taking any unilateral aggressive move.

Putin, in his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly on February 28, 2018, mentioned a number of advanced weapons systems developed by Russia. These weapons, as Putin claimed, make all US capabilities aimed at undermining the Russian nuclear deterrent obsolete.

So, Putin cautioned: The US should stop trying to diminish Russia’s security and start talking to Moscow as an equal partner, not the dominant military power the US seeks to be.

Part of Putin’s speech sounded like a challenge to the chief imperialist power. He accused the US of arrogance. All countries including allies of the imperialist power have the same experience: imperialism’s arrogance.

Putin said: The US thought that Russia would not be able to recover anytime soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union and that its interests can simply be ignored. As evidence he cited the withdrawal by George W Bush from the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. After the withdrawal, Russia is being increasingly surrounded by the US strategic and tactical moves. No country with sense of self-respect, and, aware of its security and interests can accept the encirclement move. The Russian leader said: Without a nuclear deterrent, Russia would be exposed to US military pressure and would not be able to pursue a sovereign policy.

Putin mentioned a number of weapons including a new ICBM, a miniaturized nuclear reactor-powered cruise missile with an almost unlimited range, a high-endurance underwater drone capable of traveling between continents at a speed several times higher than that of a submarine and with the capacity of attacking aircraft carrier groups. The nuclear reactor that powers the drone is “100 times smaller” than those used by nuclear-propelled submarines. The Russian leader also mentioned a hypersonic weapons system with a speed of Mach-10, and a combat laser.

Putin said: Russia would not need all these new weapons if its legitimate concerns had not been ignored by the US and its allies.

He said: “Nobody wanted to talk with us on the core of the problem. Nobody listened to us. Now you listen.”

The Russian president suggested that the US abandon its costly and inefficient hostile plans towards Russia and start negotiating a security arrangement which would take Moscow’s interests into account.

Putin said: “To those who for the last 15 years have been trying to fan an arms race, achieve unilateral advantage against Russia, impose sanctions, which are illegal from the standpoint of international law and are aimed at holding back the development of our country, including in the military area, I have this to say: All the things you were trying to prevent through your policies have already happened. You have failed to hold Russia back.”

He said: “You now have to acknowledge this reality, confirm that everything I said is no bluff – which it isn’t – think for some time, send into retirement the people stuck in the past and incapable of looking into the future, [and] stop rocking the boat that we all ride in and which is called planet Earth.” Russia would be responsive if talked to as an equal partner, Putin added.

This part of the speech is more important than the list of the weapons as, anyone can assume that information about the newly developed weapons is already known to the US. The list of weapons is for consumption of the public at home and abroad. But, the signals the speech carries are important to the US as well as to allies and lackeys of the US. It’s clear that Russia wants an accommodation on the world stage, a reasonable aspiration, which is contrary to interest of the US and its allies.

It’s not possible for the US to accommodate Russia and other emerging powers if it doesn’t feel compelled. Or, moves, economic and political, by Russia and its allies can ensure their accommodation.

Similar moves are already in operation. These include trade, etc. relations. In the area of arms trade, a number of Russian moves are interesting, which were unimaginable during the days of the Soviet Union. These include Turkey’s and Qatar’s effort to buy Russia’s missile system. Even, was it imaginable that a Bush-trampled Iraq would be willing to buy Russia’s missile system? These are happening. And, the imperialist power is threatening countries willing to procure weapons from Russia. The trade aspect can’t be ignored if related geopolitical aspect is set aside in these cases of weapons procurement. Procuring of weapons from Russia will be a loss of two spaces: arms trade and geopolitical.

The chief imperialism has threatened Iraq to impose sanctions on Baghdad if the country facing threats to its sovereignty buys Russian missile systems.

There’s the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA). The 2017-act imposes sanctions on countries purchasing weapons from Russia. The US has already told Iraq that purchasing of Russian missile system could violate CAATSA.

But, the prevailing political environment in Iraq is not always friendly to the US. Iraq’s parliament has passed a resolution demanding that the government set a timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops stationed in the war-ravaged country.

Qatar is negotiating purchase of long-range anti-aircraft system from Russia. A military cooperation agreement between the two countries is there.

The Turkey-Russia arms deal is not liked by the US and NATO.

All the weapons-purchase negotiations/agreements will not move smoothly and swiftly. But, the developments are part of a scene different from the days of “single pole-world”, a world dominated by the US during the days immediately after dissolution of the Soviet Union. Putin’s suggestion to listen to Russia is part of this scene – single-pole-days are over.

The situation makes a part of imperialism desperate, reckless, and more aggressive as the part is unwilling to accommodate Russia. It’s a question of competition. It has to give up a part of market to Russia, which is not possible for imperialism unless not compelled. This will lead to heightened tension, which helps the warmongers to bolster armament industry to profit from there.

In this situation, increase in subversive activities and intervention by imperialism in countries will be norm of the day as the warmongers find those easier to advance its interest in the face of increased competition. Imperialism likes to utter: We came, we saw, he died.

Farooque Chowdhury, writing from Dhaka, has not yet authored/edited any book dealing with non-earthly issues, and he does neither operate any blog/web site nor any facebook nor similar accounts.

 

2 Comments

  1. Sally Dugman says:

    I’ll tell you about what the USA government does to us if we donate the part of our taxes that is going to military-industrial complex to instead a peace fund. The IRS takes our homes — sells them for less than a penny on the dollar even when on community property that is not owned by the homeowner and has to follow bylaws of the community. We also get thrown in prison. … I knew Randy since being a child. Here’s his story.

    I don’t know any way around this pattern unless the American people wake up and try a whole new pattern of governace. For now, I don’t see it happening.

    I have a lot of friends — now get this — who are peaceful, nonviolent pacifists. Yet they have gotten arrested like Randy for anti-war protests. For some, it has been many times.

    This is just one of the many shames of my nation. Every nation has its own set of shames, but I think that my nation is one of the worst because look at what it is doing to the entire world.

    Boys Who Said NO! – Film Clip #1 (Randy Kehler & Dan Ellsberg) on …
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    ▶ 3:55

    2014 – Uploaded by Boys Who Said NO!
    Vietnam War draft resister Randy Kehler tells how he first got involved in the resistance and whistleblower …
    Growing Up With the War Tax Resisters | The New Republic
    https://newrepublic.com/article/141077/growing-war-tax-resisters
    Mar 3, 2017 – We were there offering support to our neighbors, Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner. They had been war tax resisters for decades, and at this moment they were having their house repossessed by the IRS. My mother had dragged her preschool-aged son to what was essentially an act of civil disobedience.

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    Randy Kehler, Self: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Randy Kehler is married to Betsy Corner.

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    Jan 8, 2018
    Marian Kelner (right) kicks off her new guest hosting gig by interviewing this notable war tax resister.

    Randy Kehler – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Kehler
    Randy Kehler is an American pacifist activist and advocate for social justice. Kehler objected to America’s involvement in the Vietnam war and refused to cooperate with the draft. He was involved in several anti-war organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1969, during the Vietnam War, Kehler returned his draft card to the …

  2. Sally Dugman says:

    Yes the videos do exist. I just saw them.