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Putin’s pragmatism

After the Russian-brokered Syrian commitment to hand over its chemical weapons, and the US being prevented from invading Syria, an editorial in the September 21 edition of The Economist regretted the fact that Americans and Europeans have lost their taste for domination, and “the pity is how few Americans and Europeans care about that.” Amazingly, editors of such a highly-rated magazine find this sane response pitiable.

Wasn’t this reaction expected? The answer thereto is also provided by the editorial when it says “The West’s great problem is the paralysing legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan, exacerbated by a weak economy in Europe and, in America, vicious partisan [anti-war?] politics. Everyone knew that Western citizens were tired of fighting, but until Obama and Cameron asked them, nobody knew just how tired.”

It is a shocking discovery for Obama and Cameron – popularly elected ‘democrats’ with claims to knowing what their electorates approve and disapprove of. The regret over “how far the influence of the West has ebbed” too, is amazing. What else was expected, given the uninterrupted decades-long slide in the global economic clout of America and Europe?

This end isn’t unexpected because, after successfully ensuring the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1989, the West (led by the US) hoped to impose a neo-imperial Zionist-devised “new world order”. What was overlooked (as in the past) was that no empire survived; all eventually became a part of history. Remember various empires, including the British Empire?

What led to this end was a shift of focus from gaining global economic clout, to total hegemony. Beginning 1952, while the invasions of Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya made the US the enemy of the world, these invasions also consumed the resources they squeezed out of the colonies during the past two centuries.

Today, the US is the biggest borrower in the world. Isn’t it fair for the Americans to ask their leaders why their country is so indebted? What happened to the wealth accumulated until 1945 (courtesy selling arms to both Axis and Allied powers)? Where was this wealth deployed, and why is poverty so high in the US, which was the richest country in the world in not too distant past?

The US invasions – justified in the name of punishing dictators and installing democracy – failed to deliver. In the post-invasion era, the destroyed countries rebuilt everything on their own. Isn’t it true about Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos? Look at the current state of Iraq and Afghanistan. What legacy the US and its allies are leaving behind in these countries?

Has democracy really been established in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya? Don’t we hear about escalating sectarian and ethnic divides there that cause almost daily bomb explosions killing dozens of innocent people? Have the regimes installed in these countries been accepted as genuinely elected, and do they have control over anything? Aren’t they in a state of total chaos?

In all these countries, instability is the order of the day. Is this what the Western effort to install democracy leads to? Pakistan is also one of these destabilised countries. But, unlike Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it continues to suffer from the decades-long lethal after-effects of the war that the US fought in Afghanistan to dismember the Soviet Union.

Pakistan is paying for its role in that proxy war and subsequent share in the US ‘war-on-terror’. It is now among the 10 most dangerous countries of the world, and the enormous expenses it incurs every year on internal security prevent expansion of its infrastructure, which is steadily contracting its economy and making its business and industry uncompetitive.

While the numerical cost of Pakistan’s share in ‘war-on-terror’ is estimated to be around $70 billion, the cost of image loss and the consequent miseries defy estimation. How much is the West and the US concerned about this pathetic state of the country they call a ‘strategic ally’? Pakistan virtually has to beg even for refund of the costs it routinely incurs on behalf of the Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Yet, many in the Western media are coaxing the masses to stand by their invasion-hungry leaders because ‘ebbing’ of Western influence will allow dictators to “maim and murder their own people.” But didn’t the West back dictators like the Shah of Iran, Pinochet, Mobutu, Suharto, Marcos, Noriega, the Bothas, Saddam, Mubarak and Zia-ul-Haq?

Or is it that a dictator can’t be classified as such unless the West brands him a dictator? Even today, dictators aren’t branded as such unless they stop serving the Western interests. To blame Vladimir Putin for the belated but well-reasoned refusal of the Western public to support the planned invasion of Syria, manifests the pre-destined failure of the Western leadership.

Western masses don’t need Vladimir Putin to tell them the truth; by now they know what it is. To the rest of the world, it is a positive sign because the Western neo-imperialism now being propagated is no more a saleable product. What is worrying though is the likelihood of a facade the Western leadership, and its supportive media could contrive to sustain their quest for global power.

The fact that Vladimir Putin prevented the US from launching another invasion on the basis of as incomplete findings as in the case of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction (a fraud that continues to mar the image of the West), should have been appreciated by the Western media. Instead, it is creating doubts about Syria’s promised surrender of its chemical weapons.

What one finds hard to understand is the benefit the media will reap by creating doubts to sustain the demand for invading Syria. Introspection, it seems, has become a thing of the past because, were the Western media capable of conducting this crucial exercise, many of the wars referred to earlier, and their shameful consequences, could be avoided.

Wars were never the solution to problems because they have dangerous and lasting after-effects. What worked better was severing relations – now called sanctions – to make a regime mend its ways. But for the sanctions to deliver the desired results, there must be an across the board consensus about their being justified. That it works has been proved more than once.

It is time the Zionism-inspired war-mongers were sidelined and the US and Europe began a purpose-oriented dialogue with Iran to eliminate the chances of a conflict that could become WW-III. Let sanity prevail over a blind quest for domination achieved through destruction. Don’t be guided by the Zionist mindset that embarrasses almost every God-fearing Jew.

A B Shahid, "Putin’s pragmatism," Business recorder. 2013-09-24.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Political process , Political leaders , Political problems , Chemical weapons , Democracy , Wars , Terrorism , Afghanistan , America