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jeudi, 20 juin 2019

Orwell, Molotov, & the “Crisis of Capitalism”


Orwell, Molotov, & the “Crisis of Capitalism”

Did the international crises of 1947 and 1948 leave their mark on the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four? I’ve spent a lot of time on this question, and so far as I can tell, the answer is – yes; but only obliquely. And George Orwell may not even have been conscious of the fact.

A couple of months into writing the first draft of the novel, he paused to do an article for the Partisan Review. This was one of an ongoing series by several authors called “The Future of Socialism.” Orwell’s contribution for the July-August 1947 issue was titled “Toward European Unity,” and it includes some recognizable themes that were finding their way into Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Actually, the piece itself doesn’t have much to say about socialism. (One of Orwell’s last essays was on Oscar Wilde’s notion of “socialism.” Like Wilde, Orwell thought it all sounded like a nice idea, but he was one of those socialists who never read Marx.) As for “European unity,” Orwell saw only dim prospects. He was much more interested in rather whimsical speculation about how the world could survive after the Third World War started and the “atomic bombs” dropped. His least favorite outcome happened to be the background to the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four. (I’ll excerpt these at the end.)

But there’s a throwaway line in “Toward European Unity” that might be an eye-opener for people today, though it was a reasonably sound, matter-of-fact assessment of the political scene in mid-1947:

. . . American pressure is an important factor because it can be exerted most easily on Britain, the one country in Europe which is outside the Russian orbit.[1] [2]

The hard fact here is that most of western Europe was slipping into the Soviet grip. Communist parties in France and Italy were getting ready to seize power, with the Communists already the largest party in the French assembly. The USSR was maneuvering to take control of the 1945 rump of Germany, by first uniting the four zones – British, American, French, Soviet – under a Sovietized “neutral” government. Meanwhile, Europe’s post-war economic recovery had stalled and backslid, largely because of the destruction of German mines and industry, and punitive reparations and deindustrialization under the still-operative Morgenthau Plan.[2] [3] France and Britain were effectively bankrupt, living on loans and remittances from the US.[3] [4]

The stage, then, was set for the wave of revolutions, wars, and brutal regimes that form the backstory to Nineteen Eighty-Four. More memorably, these conditions are the background to the American foreign policy initiatives remembered as the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. For most people, these things are mainly recalled as chapter subheadings in high school texts, or even as examples of insuperably dull, indecipherable topics best treated as punchlines to jokes. (The writer Tobias Wolff once wrote a cruelly humorous short story in which the running gag was about a job-seeking professor forced to give a lecture with someone else’s dreary paper on the Marshall Plan.)[4] [5]

What is generally forgotten these days – or more likely, unknown – is the worldwide campaign of agitprop and civil unrest that the Soviet Union mounted in 1947-48 in retaliation for the Marshall Plan. You really need to go back to the newspapers of the era to see how far and wide was the campaign’s reach. Throughout western Europe, there were riots, work stoppages, mine floodings, and anti-Marshall Plan posters, films, flyers, and newspapers. Factories and wharves were shut down throughout France for much of late 1947; in Italy, the Communists held a sit-down strike in the Parliament. Dockworkers on the Continent, in Britain, and even in Australia, New Zealand, and North America refused to unload ships.

In America, the most memorable efflorescence of the anti-Marshall Plan drive (though seldom remembered as such) was the strange presidential campaign of ex-Vice President Henry Wallace. Wallace and other “Progressives” (for such he called his party) aimed to punish President Truman and pro-Marshall Plan Democrats by splitting their vote in 1948. They did not succeed, as it rapidly became clear that these efforts were directed by the Soviet Central Committee and the Communist Party of the USA, operating through labor unions, particularly the CIO. In 1947 and 1948, Dwight Macdonald (Orwell’s friend and political soulmate) devoted many pages of his magazine, Politics, to exposés of the Stalinist machinations behind the Wallace campaign.[5] [6]


In that same paragraph from the Partisan Review piece by Orwell that I quoted above, there’s a curious and most un-Orwellian comment about U.S. trade:

If the United States remains capitalist, and especially if it needs markets for exports, it cannot regard a Socialist Europe with a friendly eye.[6] [7]


Dwight Macdonald

What exactly is he saying here? In all his writings, Orwell seldom, if ever, affects interest in such peripheral economic matters as trade policy. Yet here he is, professing to suspect that the “capitalist” US has a great need to expand its overseas (specifically European) markets. Now, in the late 1940s American exports worldwide comprised about five percent of its GNP.[7] [8] That is, most of the GNP was from domestic consumption, and need for exports would have been negligible.

Knowing when Orwell wrote this, in about June 1947, gives us a clue as to where he got this funny notion. Apparently he’d just read something in the papers pertaining to the newly-proposed Marshall Plan. I doubt Orwell knew where the story originated, or detected its ring of Marxian economics; but that is essentially what it was. Right about this time, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, was putting out a tale that the European Recovery Plan, aka the Marshall Plan, had an ulterior motive: to forestall an inevitable and approaching depression due to American war debts and its unsold “surplus goods.”

Shortly after Secretary of State George Marshall gave his so-called “Marshall Plan Speech” (at Harvard’s commencement on June 5, 1947), Molotov had asked the top Soviet economist, Yevgeny “Jeno” Varga,[8] [9] to provide a report on the American economy. Specifically, he wanted Varga to “assess motives” behind this proposed aid plan. Varga came back with a suitably dire forecast: the US was facing a depression nearly the size of the Great Depression of the 1930s, with ten million unemployed and a twenty percent drop in GNP.

Per Varga, the apparent rationale for the Marshall Plan was that by lending billions in credits to Europe, the US could get rid of its “surplus goods” (as it was suffering from a “crisis of overproduction”). It could thereby avoid the forthcoming economic collapse – temporarily, at least – even though the countries to which it was “lending” credits were themselves bankrupt. Varga most likely did not believe what he wrote here. In 1946, he had written an in-depth economic study putting forth the thesis that because of changes in the American economy and government, it was no longer subject to the classic boom-and-bust “Crisis of Capitalism.” But now he was simply telling Molotov what Molotov wanted to hear.[9] [10]

molotov.jpgAnd so, when Molotov went to Paris to meet the British and French foreign ministers at a preliminary conference on the Marshall Plan (this is still June 1947), he told them he believed the proposed Plan was really conceived in America’s own interest, “to enlarge their foreign markets, especially in view of the approaching crisis.” To no one’s great surprise, Molotov soon announced that neither the USSR nor any of the Communist satellite states would be participating in the European Recovery Plan.

With the passing months, Soviet propaganda evolved somewhat. In September, Molotov’s deputy and eventual successor, Andrei Vyshinsky, told the UN General Assembly that “[t]he United States . . . counted on making . . . countries directly dependent on the interests of American monopolies, which are striving to avert the approaching depression by an accelerated export of commodities and capital to Europe.”[10] [11] This soon turned into a more pointed accusation, that the US was setting up a “Western Bloc” as an economic and political beachhead. Soviet spymaster Pavel Sudoplatov explained that “the goal of the Marshall Plan was to ensure American economic domination of Europe.”[11] [12]

What were these “surplus goods” that the US supposedly wanted to offload onto Europe via the Marshall Plan? Mostly, they were the same goods that America had been providing all along: grain and fuel, primarily coal. (While western Europe had endless reserves of coal, the mines in Germany had been so damaged that Europe suffered from severe coal shortages for the first few years after the war.) When European countries bought these with Marshall credits beginning in 1948, it freed up their own capital for “recovery” uses. And, pace Varga and Molotov, America was not disposing of these goods in order to forestall an economic crisis. There wasn’t even a recession in 1947 or 1948; just a mild downturn that came in 1949.

But the notion of “surplus goods” and its Marxian companion, the “crisis of overproduction,” found their way into an obscure corner of Nineteen Eighty-Four. They provide the stated (though rather illogical and unnecessary) rationale for eternal war, as set forth in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism:

The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. . . . The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.[12] [13]

It’s all a joke, of course: Oligarchical Collectivism is not a serious treatise even within its fictive realm. It’s something that O’Brien and his colleagues concocted (or so O’Brien tells us) as a plausible excuse for a revolutionary tract that the non-existent Goldstein might write. It puts forth “the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods” as though that were a real conundrum, one that can only be solved by constant pseudo-warfare.

It would have been quite enough just to say fake wars provide “the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.” But Orwell apparently had export markets and “surplus goods” on his mind, so he threw those in as well.

 *  *  *

partisanreview.jpgThis tortured, unnecessary explanation ties up nicely with the alternative predictions Orwell offers in his Partisan Review article. As I said, he doesn’t really say much about socialism, and he doubts European unity, but he puts an awful lot of (overly) complex thought into how it’s all going to end. He’s writing this while he’s mainly focused on Nineteen Eighty-Four, so we end up with three James Burnham-esque scenarios of what may face us when the bombs start a-flying:

As far as I can see, there are three possibilities ahead of us:

    1. That the Americans will decide to use the atomic bomb while they have it and the Russians haven’t. This would solve nothing. It would do away with the particular danger that is now presented by the U.S.S.R., but would lead to the rise of new empires, fresh rivalries, more wars, more atomic bombs, etc. In any case this is, I think, the least likely outcome of the three . . .
    2. That the present ‘cold war’ will continue until the U.S.S.R., and several other countries, have atomic bombs as well. Then there will only be a short breathing-space before whizz! go the rockets, wallop! go the bombs, and the industrial centres of the world are wiped out, probably beyond repair . . . Conceivably this is a desirable outcome, but obviously it has nothing to do with Socialism.
    3. That the fear inspired by the atomic bomb and other weapons yet to come will be so great that everyone will refrain from using them. This seems to me the worst possibility of all. It would mean the division of the world among two or three vast super-states, unable to conquer one another and unable to be overthrown by any internal rebellion. In all probability their structure would be hierarchic, with a semi-divine caste at the top and outright slavery at the bottom, and the crushing out of liberty would exceed anything that the world has yet seen . . .[13] [14]


[1] [15] George Orwell, “Toward European Unity,” Partisan Review (New York), July-August 1947, Vol. 14, No. 4.

[2] [16] One sometimes hears that the Morgenthau Plan for the starvation and pastoralization of Germany was floated as an idea but sternly rejected. Actually, as Joint Chiefs of Staff directive No. 1067 [17], it was the basis of American occupation policy, effective from April 1945 until July 1947. Both the US and the Soviet Union dismantled German industrial plants in this period.

[3] [18] There are countless sources for this subject, but Benn Steil’s 2018 book, The Marshall Plan (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018), gives a detailed overview of the economic crisis.

[4] [19] Tobias Wolff, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs,” originally published in Antaeus (New York), Spring 1980.

[5] [20] Macdonald’s most thorough examination of Wallace and company was in the Summer 1948 issue of Politics.

[6] [21] Orwell, “Toward European Unity.”

[7] [22] See chart, The Hamilton Project [23].

[8] [24] Jeno Varga was a Hungarian Jew (his real name was Eugen Weisz) who had been in the Hungarian Communist Party since the Béla Kun days in 1919. After this, he fled to the USSR and became Stalin’s longtime economic adviser. Like Molotov in the late 1940s, Varga was about to fall out of favor.

[9] [25] Scott D. Parrish & Mikhail M. Narinsky, “New Evidence on the Soviet Rejection of the Marshall Plan, 1947 [26]” (Washington, DC: Wilson Center), 1994.

[10] [27] Andrei Vyshkinsky’s speech [28] at the United Nations, September 1947.

[11] [29] Steil, The Marshall Plan.

[12] [30] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949, Part II.

[13] [31] Orwell, “Toward European Unity.”


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2019/06/orwell-molotov-the-crisis-of-capitalism/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/6-12-19-2.jpg

[2] [1]: #_ftn1

[3] [2]: #_ftn2

[4] [3]: #_ftn3

[5] [4]: #_ftn4

[6] [5]: #_ftn5

[7] [6]: #_ftn6

[8] [7]: #_ftn7

[9] [8]: #_ftn8

[10] [9]: #_ftn9

[11] [10]: #_ftn10

[12] [11]: #_ftn11

[13] [12]: #_ftn12

[14] [13]: #_ftn13

[15] [1]: #_ftnref1

[16] [2]: #_ftnref2

[17] Joint Chiefs of Staff directive No. 1067: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/JCS_1067

[18] [3]: #_ftnref3

[19] [4]: #_ftnref4

[20] [5]: #_ftnref5

[21] [6]: #_ftnref6

[22] [7]: #_ftnref7

[23] The Hamilton Project: http://www.hamiltonproject.org/charts/u.s._imports_and_exports_1947_2016

[24] [8]: #_ftnref8

[25] [9]: #_ftnref9

[26] New Evidence on the Soviet Rejection of the Marshall Plan, 1947: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/ACFB73.pdf

[27] [10]: #_ftnref10

[28] speech: https://astro.temple.edu/~rimmerma/vyshinsky_speech_to_un.htm

[29] [11]: #_ftnref11

[30] [12]: #_ftnref12

[31] [13]: #_ftnref13

mercredi, 22 mai 2019

Rand Corp : comment abattre la Russie


Rand Corp : comment abattre la Russie

Auteur : Manlio Dinucci 
Ex: http://www.zejournal.mobi

Contraindre l’adversaire à s’étendre excessivement pour le déséquilibrer et l’abattre : ce n’est pas une prise de judo mais le plan contre la Russie élaboré par la Rand Corporation, le plus influent think tank étasunien qui, avec un staff de milliers d’experts, se présente comme la plus fiable source mondiale de renseignement et d’analyse politique pour les gouvernants des États-Unis et leurs alliés. 

La Rand Corp* se vante d’avoir contribué à élaborer la stratégie à long terme qui permit aux États-Unis de sortir vainqueurs de la guerre froide, en contraignant l’Union Soviétique à consommer ses propres ressources économiques dans la confrontation stratégique. C’est de ce modèle que s’inspire le nouveau plan, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia”, publié par la Rand. Selon ses analystes, la Russie reste un puissant adversaire des États-Unis dans certains domaines fondamentaux. Pour cela les USA doivent poursuivre, avec leurs alliés, une stratégie d’ensemble à long terme qui exploite ses vulnérabilités. Ainsi va-t-on analyser divers moyens pour obliger la Russie à se déséquilibrer, en indiquant pour chacun les probabilités de succès, les bénéfices, les coûts et les risques pour les USA. 

Les analystes de la Rand estiment que la plus grande vulnérabilité de la Russie est celle de son économie, due à sa forte dépendance par l’exportation de pétrole et de gaz, dont les recettes peuvent être réduites en alourdissant les sanctions et en augmentant l’exportation énergétique étasunienne. Il s’agit de faire e sorte que l’Europe diminue l’importation de gaz naturel russe, en le remplaçant par du gaz naturel liquéfié transporté par mer depuis d’autres pays. 

Une autre façon de nuire dans le temps à l’économie de la Russie est d’encourager l’émigration de personnel qualifié, notamment des jeunes Russes avec un niveau élevé d’instruction. Dans le domaine idéologique et informatif, il faut encourager les contestations internes et en même temps miner l’image de la Russie à l’extérieur, en l’excluant de forums internationaux et en boycottant les événements sportifs internationaux qu’elle organise. 

Dans le domaine géopolitique, armer l’Ukraine permet aux USA d’exploiter le point de plus grande vulnérabilité extérieure de la Russie, mais cela doit être calibré pour garder la Russie sous pression sans arriver à un grand conflit dans lequel elle aurait le dessus. 

Dans le domaine militaire les USA peuvent avoir des bénéfices élevés, avec des coûts et des risques bas, par l’accroissement des forces terrestres des pays européens de l’OTAN dans une fonction anti-Russie. Les USA peuvent avoir de hautes probabilités de succès et de forts bénéfices, avec des risques modérés, surtout en investissant majoritairement dans des bombardiers stratégiques et missiles d’attaque à longue portée dirigés contre la Russie.

Sortir du Traité FNI et déployer en Europe de nouveaux missiles nucléaires à portée intermédiaire pointés sur la Russie leur assure de hautes probabilités de succès, mais comporte aussi de hauts risques. 

En calibrant chaque option pour obtenir l’effet désiré -concluent les analystes de la Rand- la Russie finira par payer le prix le plus haut dans la confrontation avec les USA, mais ceux-ci aussi devront investir de grosses ressources en les soustrayant à d’autres objectifs. Ils pré-annoncent ainsi une forte augmentation ultérieure de la dépense militaire USA/OTAN aux dépens des dépenses sociales.

Voilà l’avenir que nous trace la Rand Corporation, le think tank le plus influent de l’État profond, c’est-à-dire du centre souterrain du pouvoir réel détenu par les oligarchies économiques, financières et militaires, celui qui détermine les choix stratégiques non seulement des USA mais de tout l’Occident.

Les “options” prévues par le plan ne sont en réalité que des variantes de la même stratégie de guerre, dont le prix en termes de sacrifices et de risques est payé par nous tous.

Traduit de l’italien par Marie-Ange Patrizio

*La RAND Corporation : Research ANd Development (recherche et développement)

jeudi, 11 octobre 2018

Guerre froide 2.0 : dépendance de l’Amérique à la guerre


Guerre froide 2.0 : dépendance de l’Amérique à la guerre
Entrevue de Dmitry Orlov avec Global Research
Ex: https://echelledejacob.blogspot.com 
GlobalResearch : Nous sommes rejoints par Dmitry Orlov. Il est écrivain, blogueur et analyste géopolitique russo-américain. Son travail s’est concentré sur le déclin et l’effondrement économiques, écologiques et politiques aux États-Unis, et il est également l’auteur de nombreux articles. Ses livres comprennent Réinventer l’Effondrement : L’expérience soviétique et les perspectives américaines et Rétrécissement de la technosphère : Se familiariser avec les technologies qui limitent notre autonomie, notre autosuffisance et notre liberté. Il nous rejoint ici depuis Moscou. Merci beaucoup de revenir dans notre émission Dmitry. 

Dmitry Orlov : C’est bon d’être avec toi Michael. 

GR : Maintenant, je pense que la première chose que je voulais évoquer, ce sont les nouvelles récentes. Il y a eu…. récemment, les forces syriennes ont abattu un avion de reconnaissance russe Il-20, mais l’armée russe a fait valoir qu’il s’agissait en fait d’un résultat des actions israéliennes. Je crois qu’elle a annoncé qu’il s’agissait d’utiliser cet avion pour se cacher dans sa signature radar, et c’est en réponse à cet incident que plusieurs batteries de missiles S-300 sont parvenus en Syrie. 

Je sais qu’il y a des commentaires… Le Saker, par exemple, a dit qu’il s’agit de facto d’une mise en place d’une zone d’exclusion aérienne au-dessus de la Syrie. Nous savons maintenant que les choses ne se sont pas très bien passées jusqu’à présent pour les objectifs impériaux américains dans ce pays. Je me demande quelle est l’importance de ce dernier événement dans le contexte général de ce que nous avons vu ? 

DO : Eh bien, c’est un peu un signal d’alarme pour les Israéliens parce que la Russie a été extrêmement conciliante en ce qui concerne les préoccupations d’Israël en matière de sécurité. On se rend compte que la rhétorique venant de Téhéran a été assez virulente. L’Iran se dit toujours qu’il a pour objectif de détruire Israël. Il n’y a aucun moyen pour Israël de ne pas réagir à une telle provocation, et le fait qu’il y ait maintenant des troupes iraniennes près de la frontière israélienne et qu’il y ait une fabrication d’armes sur le territoire syrien les inquiète au point que les Russes doivent laisser Israël s’occuper de ses propres problèmes de sécurité. 

Mais les Israéliens ont agi de la manière la plus irresponsable parce qu’ils ont donné moins d’une minute d’avertissement avant que cette attaque ne se déclenche. Ils ont de plus mal nommé les cibles et ils se sont mal comportés dans l’espace aérien en ce sens qu’ils n’ont pas pu ne pas voir ce gros avion à hélices qui ne représentait absolument aucune menace pour personne. Ils savaient qu’il y aurait des tirs anti-aériens et ils les ont attirés non sur eux-mêmes mais sur cet avion. Il y a eu d’autres malheureuses mésaventures, qui seront toutes révélées à la suite de l’enquête, il est donc encore trop tôt pour le dire. 

Mais la réponse de la Russie a été essentiellement de dire aux Israéliens qu’ils ne pouvaient plus le faire et qu’ils devaient armer les Syriens d’un système de défense aérienne plus moderne, qui était probablement déjà en place. Il vient d’être remis au commandement syrien. 

Je ne pense pas qu’il s’agisse d’une évolution majeure. Je pense que la Russie et Israël vont arranger les choses. Je ne pense pas qu’Israël va cesser d’attaquer des cibles sur le terrain en Syrie [en réponse] à des actions qu’il considère comme provocatrices. Il craint beaucoup les roquettes de précision, les armes de précision, construites en Syrie ou introduites clandestinement en Syrie, qui peuvent être introduites clandestinement en Israël ou être tirées sur Israël depuis le Liban ou depuis la Syrie elle-même. 

GR : Oui, je veux dire, je pense qu’on voit depuis longtemps que la tentative américaine de renverser ou d’instiguer un changement de régime à Damas ne fonctionne pas. Même le projet de balkanisation, l’idée de balkaniser la Syrie d’une manière qui favorise les États-Unis, l’OTAN et leurs laquais impériaux si vous voulez le dire ainsi, il semble y avoir une certaine agitation. Quelles sont, selon vous, les options qui s’offrent aux États-Unis à l’heure actuelle ? À défaut d’une déclaration de se rendre. 

DO : Eh bien, il n’y aura pas de déclaration de reddition. Ne nous faisons pas d’illusions. Fondamentalement, ce que les États-Unis font en Syrie [est] semblable à ce qu’ils font partout ailleurs : ils génèrent de l’activité afin d’être en mesure de commander plus de systèmes d’armes, plus de munitions, pour essentiellement user du matériel de guerre, parce que c’est ce dont les entrepreneurs ont besoin, et ces entrepreneurs, du complexe militaro-industriel, financent diverses campagnes au Congrès. C’est comme cela que fonctionne l’écosystème politique, et ce qui se passe sur le terrain n’est qu’une sorte de spectacle secondaire. 

Maintenant, en termes d’objectifs stratégiques, quels qu’ils soient, les États-Unis ne les atteignent certainement pas. Il y a ce campement qu’ils ont à Al-Tanf dans le sud, il y a quelques autres endroits dans le nord où ils jouent avec les Kurdes, ce qui empoisonne leurs relations avec la Turquie. Ils ont complètement détruit Raqqa et n’ont fait absolument aucun effort pour nettoyer cette ville, pour la restaurer, de sorte qu’il y a encore des corps en décomposition enterrés sous des tas de décombres, et cela fait plusieurs mois. C’est essentiellement une atrocité humanitaire qu’ils ont perpétrée à Raqqa, mais ils ne font rien d’autre que gaspiller de l’argent et du matériel de guerre. Et je pense que c’est en fait leur but à ce stade-ci : générer une activité militaire. 

GR : Eh bien, c’est un point intéressant. Je veux dire, nous ne parlons pas seulement du contrôle impérial des ressources et des secteurs stratégiques, mais aussi de l’idée d’utiliser les activités militaires comme moyen de générer des fonds pour les principaux entrepreneurs militaires, les entrepreneurs de la défense et les intérêts affiliés. Ce qui m’amène à une autre dynamique en jeu, l’armée américaine. C’est énorme, du moins en termes de sommes d’argent dépensées, plus d’une dizaine de fois [… plus que la Russie, NdT] – plus que les 10 pays suivants réunis. La Russie ne dépense pas autant d’argent, mais pourtant elle est stratégiquement beaucoup plus efficace dans la façon dont elle utilise et dépense son argent pour son armée. 

DO : En termes de parité achat/efficacité, on en est à un dollar russe pour 10 dollars US en dépenses de défense. C’est vraiment le rapport. Les États-Unis doivent dépenser dix fois plus que la Russie pour obtenir des résultats identiques ou inférieurs. Il y a beaucoup de raisons à cela. 

GR : Donc, en termes de parité, diriez-vous que la Russie est effectivement maintenant un rival militaire des États-Unis ? Peut-elle contrebalancer les États-Unis dans tous les domaines ? 

DO : Oh, non, absolument pas. Essentiellement, la position russe consiste à s’assurer que les États-Unis et l’OTAN n’ont absolument aucun plan pour attaquer la Russie ou pour attaquer les alliés de la Russie. Pardonnez cette pensée. Mais à part cela, la position de la Russie est complètement défensive, et la position américaine – parce qu’il n’est pas nécessaire de défendre la patrie américaine contre qui que ce soit, personne ne prévoit d’attaquer les États-Unis – est purement offensive. 

Maintenant, il faut dix fois plus de ressources pour attaquer que pour défendre. C’est généralement compris comme un principe. Ainsi, les États-Unis essaient de mener une politique qui ne les mène pas vraiment à la victoire, ni même à occuper une meilleure position. Cela les conduit à la faillite nationale, rien de plus. 

GR : Eh bien, qu’en est-il de la dynamique économique qui s’est manifestée dernièrement ? Les sanctions qui sont imposées à la Russie et à l’Iran ? Et je me demande comment cela se passe au sein de l’UE, parce que les États-Unis sont alliés à l’Union européenne, mais les intérêts de l’Union européenne sont touchés par les sanctions, et je me demande donc si nous voyons une rupture potentielle de cette alliance ? Bien qu’il y ait eu des efforts, il y a toujours eu des efforts pour briser une alliance entre la Russie et la Chine, je me demande laquelle de ces alliances est la plus fragile, si je peux m’exprimer de cette façon. 

DO : C’est vraiment difficile de savoir ce qui va craquer en premier. Il y a certainement une énorme tension entre Washington et l’Union européenne. Il y a une énorme montée de tension au sein même de l’Union européenne, à cause du mantra des libéraux qui ont commencé à faire entrer des quantités illimitées de migrants en Europe. Cela tourne sans aucun doute à un énorme, énorme problème, un énorme conflit interne à l’UE. 

Aujourd’hui, les relations entre l’UE et la Russie n’ont pas vraiment été gravement endommagées par Washington et par ces sanctions que les Européens ont accepté bon gré mal gré, beaucoup d’entre eux se plaignant, malgré tout, tout au long du processus. En ce qui concerne, par exemple, la coopération énergétique entre l’UE et la Russie, elle est définitivement remise sur les rails, parce qu’il n’y a vraiment pas d’autres options que celle de faire des affaires avec la Russie pour que l’UE se fournisse en gaz naturel, et cela signifie aussi à ce stade de contourner l’Ukraine, car plus personne ne veut vraiment faire affaire avec ce pays. C’est une sorte de calice empoisonné. 

Pour ce qui est de ce que les sanctions ont fait à l’économie russe, oui, elles leur ont coûté quelques points de pourcentage de croissance du PIB, mais l’effet bénéfique de ces sanctions est souvent sous-estimé. Cela a vraiment réveillé la Russie quant au fait qu’elle doit devenir autosuffisante dans de nombreux domaines. Elle est déjà devenue autosuffisante dans de nombreux domaines et elle travaille très dur pour atteindre l’autosuffisance dans davantage de domaines et pour trouver de nouveaux partenaires commerciaux qui ne la sanctionneront pas. Ainsi, les sanctions ont vraiment réveillé les Russes sur le fait que les Américains ne sont pas leurs amis, qu’ils ne seront jamais leurs amis, et cela les a incité à agir en conséquence. 

GR : Au sujet de la situation économique américaine, ils ont une crise de la dette insoutenable. On dirait qu’ils ne pourront jamais s’en sortir même en rampant, qu’ils n’auront pas la capacité de maintenir leur trajectoire actuelle. Je veux dire, nous assistons probablement à un autre krach boursier, probablement le plus tôt sera le mieux, et je pense que c’est déjà écrit. Cela ne manquera pas d’affecter la façon dont les États-Unis se comportent dans le monde, même s’ils ne le disent pas à voix haute. Je veux dire, vous l’avez suggéré tout à l’heure. 

Alors, lorsqu’il s’agit de cette dimension économique, et d’autres pays sont sans doute conscients de la non-durabilité de la situation économique américaine, comment voyez-vous les choses se dérouler ? Les choses vont-elles s’effondrer de façon désastreuse ? Ou est-ce qu’il y aura des gens sournois… des gens qui voudront s’éloigner de ce pôle secondaire, l’axe Russie-Chine-Iran, si vous voulez. Sur le plan économique, comment les gens, comment les pays concurrents vont-ils réagir à ce qui semble être la fin inévitable … et l’effondrement de l’économie américaine ? 

DO : Eh bien, je pense que cette fin est écrite sur le mur depuis très longtemps maintenant. C’est juste une question du quand, et personne ne connaît la réponse. Et la grande tâche à laquelle sont confrontés de nombreux pays dans le monde en ce moment, et c’est une tâche énorme, c’est la dé-dollarisation. Vous avez quelque chose comme cent quatre-vingts monnaies différentes qui utilisent toutes le dollar américain pour commercer les unes avec les autres, qui ont toutes des listes de prix en dollars, qui se convertissent en dollars pour commercer les uns avec les autres, puis se reconvertissent et utilisent le fait qu’il y a cette énorme réserve de liquidités en dollars qu’ils peuvent exploiter en tout temps quand bon leur semble. 

Mais l’inconvénient, c’est que chaque fois que quelqu’un négocie avec le dollar américain, il devient partie intégrante de la juridiction américaine et fait l’objet de sanctions américaines. Et il fut un temps où les États-Unis étaient en quelque sorte un bon citoyen – un bon citoyen du monde – qui se permettait de profiter du fait que tout le monde utilise le dollar américain. Maintenant, il y a d’énormes avantages pour les États-Unis. Mais en retour, ils permettaient aux gens d’utiliser le dollar comme ils le souhaitaient. Mais maintenant, avec Trump en particulier, avec ses politiques commerciales, les États-Unis exigent que d’autres pays utilisent le dollar dans l’intérêt économique des États-Unis et à leur propre détriment. Et c’est là que tout le monde se réveille et le remarque. 

Mais il s’agit ensuite de dé-dollariser, et c’est une tâche énorme, car la Chine n’est pas vraiment prête à remplacer le dollar par son propre yuan. Personne ne s’attend vraiment à ce que la Chine intervienne et joue un rôle aussi important aussi rapidement. La Chine met généralement beaucoup de temps à faire de tels ajustements et fait de nombreux petits pas. Et personne d’autre ne veut vraiment le faire non plus. 

Donc, nous sommes dans une période où il y aura beaucoup de demi-mesures, beaucoup de mesures forcées seront prises si la situation se détériore soudainement. Mais je pense qu’il y a de très bonnes chances que le commerce international et les chaînes d’approvisionnement internationales subissent beaucoup de dommages si ces liquidités en dollars s’évaporent, parce que les deux seules façons, et c’est en fait la même, de sortir de cette crise dans laquelle les États-Unis se sont mis avec le taux de croissance totalement insoutenable de leur endettement, est soit un effondrement déflationniste soit un effondrement inflationniste, ou une combinaison des deux. 

On risque de voir les prix baisser dans certains domaines et une hyperinflation dans d’autres. Il y aura d’énormes distorsions économiques et le reste du monde devra simplement coexister. Ils ont une réserve de dollars, ils utilisent cette réserve de dollars pour commercer entre eux, ils ont des contrats signés qui sont tous en dollars. Alors, comment peut-on dé-dollariser ça ? C’est une tâche gigantesque. 

GR : Oui, je m’intéresse un peu à votre façon de voir… les messages des médias au sujet de ces réalités, parce qu’ils semblent provoquer de fortes diversions. Je veux dire qu’il y a les attaques de longue date…. Eh bien le … Russiagate, les attaques contre Trump que nous voyons de façon continue, je veux dire qu’il y a beaucoup de choses ridicules à ce sujet et particulièrement… ce que nous avons vu récemment dans cette affaire Skripal. 

Et ça… Ce qu’ils essaient d’expliquer, c’est qu’il y a ces deux ex … cet espion qui a été assassiné par ces deux agents russes, et cette histoire semble s’effondrer au fur et à mesure que vous la regardez de plus prêt. Il semble bien que, comme Theresa May et ses alliés, les médias retro-pédalent autour de ce récit défaillant. Que pensez-vous de la façon dont les médias continuent de propager cette mythologie sur la Russie et … sa toxicité sur la scène internationale ? S’agit-il d’une manifestation… Y voyez-vous une manifestation de votre thèse de longue date sur l’effondrement, l’effondrement de l’Empire ? 


DO : Eh bien, je pense que l’Occident, l’Occident dans son ensemble, s’est heurté à la Russie comme une sorte d’objet inébranlable qui lui est totalement indigeste, qui ne peut être traité. Et cela coïncide avec une baisse catastrophique de la qualité du leadership occidental. Qu’il s’agisse de Trump, de Theresa May, d’Emmanuel Macron ou de tous ces récents dirigeants européens, à quelques exceptions près, ils sont tous absolument incapables d’être cohérents, sans parler de formuler une stratégie ou des plans. Ils échouent, et tout le monde voit qu’ils échouent, et ils ne peuvent pas s’en empêcher. Ils se contentent de continuer le récit qu’ils ont concocté. 

Avec l’affaire Skripal, c’est grotesque. Il n’y a absolument aucune preuve derrière l’histoire britannique, et il y a beaucoup de faits qui sont tout simplement complètement contradictoires et qui nient le récit qui a été exprimé. Les Russes sont donc heureux de rester les bras croisés et d’ignorer tout cela. Ils savent qu’il y aura des sanctions, que ces sanctions n’ont rien à voir avec les armes chimiques, qu’elles n’ont rien à voir avec quoi que ce soit d’autre : la Russie est assise sur un stock de ressources énergétiques qui va durer des centaines d’années. 

Et elle a assez pour exporter aussi longtemps qu’elle le juge bon. Mais en réalité, elle veut devenir indépendante des exportations d’énergie, et c’est un gros problème pour l’Occident, car l’Occident n’a absolument aucune stratégie pour devenir indépendant des importations énergétiques russes. Il n’y a rien qu’il puisse faire à ce sujet, sauf essentiellement faire tout ce que la Russie est prête à faire pour lui, accepter de coopérer avec la Russie. 

Il est fondamentalement en train de sauter dans tous les sens parce qu’il a ce problème qu’il ne peut pas résoudre. Il ne peut pas attaquer la Russie militairement. Il essaie d’attaquer la Russie sur le plan économique, mais cela ne fonctionne pas. Il essaie d’isoler la Russie et, de ce fait, la Russie renforce ses liens avec des pays du monde entier. L’organisation de coopération de Shanghai représente aujourd’hui près de la moitié du PIB mondial, soit près de la moitié de la population mondiale. Et c’est une organisation de sécurité dont la Russie fait partie. 

L’Occident essaie de mettre en scène de petites provocations comme les petits exercices d’entraînement le long de la frontière russe dans les pays baltes qui sont censés effrayer la Russie. Maintenant, si l’OTAN attaquait la Russie, la Russie la stopperait. Cela n’a pas vraiment de sens en tant que plan, mais cela a un sens en tant que récit interne, quelque chose que ces dirigeants occidentaux incompétents peuvent dire à leur propre peuple. 

GR : Dmitry, je pense que nous allons en rester là, mais je tiens vraiment à vous remercier. J’apprécie vraiment votre façon de penser unique et avant-gardiste et les idées que vous partagez avec nous et nos auditeurs. Merci beaucoup de vous joindre à nous. 

DO : Merci, Michael. 

GR : Nous avons parlé avec Dmitry Orlov, ingénieur, écrivain et blogueur russo-américain. Vous pouvez voir plus de ses articles sur le site cluborlov.com

Dmitry Orlov 

Traduit par Hervé, vérifié par Wayan, relu par Cat pour le Saker Francophone

mercredi, 24 janvier 2018

De la nouvelle doctrine militaire américaine: la Russie et la Chine comme “menace croissante”


De la nouvelle doctrine militaire américaine: la Russie et la Chine comme “menace croissante”

Ex: http://www.zuerst.de

New York: La nouvelle stratégie militaire américaine a suscité, comme il fallait s’y attendre, la réprobation de la Russie et de la Chine. Le ministre russe des affaires étrangères Lavrov a déclaré lors d’une conférence de l’ONU à New York qu’il est désolant de voir que les Etats-Unis cherchent sans cesse à prouver leur capacité à exercer leur leadership en jouant la carte de la confrontation et non celle du dialogue et du droit international. La Russie, elle, en revanche, est prête à entamer un dialogue sur les doctrines militaires.

L’ambassade de Chine aux Etats-Unis a déclaré pour sa part que le gouvernement de Beijing s’efforcerait toujours de promouvoir « un partenariat global » et non d’asseoir une « domination globale ». Ceux qui observent le monde avec le regard de la guerre froide ne voient partout que conflits et confrontations.

Le ministre américain de la défense, Jim Mattis, avait en effet annoncé que les forces armées américaines se concentreraient désormais davantage sur la Russie et la Chine, après une décennie et demie de lutte anti-terroriste. Ces deux Etats, aux yeux du ministre américain, constituent une menace croissante et entendent organiser un monde fonctionnant selon leurs modèles autoritaires, a dit Mattis à l’occasion de la publication du texte révélant la nouvelle stratégie. Dans ce document de onze pages, les responsables américains mettent en exergue les priorités de la politique de défense de Washington.

Les autres “priorités” de la nouvelle doctrine de sécurité américaine sont la Corée du Nord et le renforcement de l’OTAN. Les pays partenaires doivent remplir leurs obligations et augmenter leurs budgets d’armement .

vendredi, 05 janvier 2018

Kalter Krieg und transatlantische Netzwerke – gestern und heute


Kalter Krieg und transatlantische Netzwerke – gestern und heute

Zur Ausstellung «Parapolitik: Kulturelle Freiheit und Kalter Krieg»

von Urs Knoblauch, Kulturpublizist, Fruthwilen

Ex: http://www.zeit-fragen.ch.fr

Nur noch bis zum 8. Januar 2018 widmet sich das Berliner Museum «Haus der Kulturen» (HKW) mit einer grossen Ausstellung und Veranstaltungen der Aufarbeitung der propagandistischen Kulturpolitik im Kalten Krieg ab den 1950er Jahren. Aber auch über diesen Termin hinaus bleibt das Thema aktuell.
Eine sorgfältige Aufklärung über diese wichtige historische Epoche ist nötig. Und sicherlich ist es kein Zufall, dass gerade das Berliner «Haus der Kulturen» für die Ausstellung ausgewählt wurde, stand doch dieses Haus für die hier dargelegten kulturpolitischen Aktivitäten im Zentrum. «Es wurde auf Initiative der beim amerikanischen State Departement in Berlin tätigen Eleanor Dulles gebaut, der Frau des politischen Hardliners und Aussenministers John Forster Dulles», so Paul Jandl im Artikel «Der Geheimdienst fördert die Kunst» in der «Neuen Zürcher Zeitung» vom 30. November 2017. Jandl schreibt weiter, dass es in der Familie Dulles viele gab, «die im ideologischen Halbschatten Amerikas Karriere gemacht haben, nämlich bei der CIA».

Der Kongress für kulturelle Freiheit

Der Kampf der politischen Systeme wurde nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg in Europa und besonders in Deutschland und Frankreich, aber auch in Österreich und Italien in grossem Stil mit Millionenbeträgen in Kunst, Kultur, Medien und Bildung geführt. «Dafür steht beispielhaft der Kongress für kulturelle Freiheit (Congress für Cultural Freedom, CCF)», so der Text des HKW zur Ausstellung. Im «Kalten Kulturkrieg», so auch der informative Artikel zur Ausstellung in der «Süddeutschen Zeitung» (18./19. November 2017), wurde die kulturelle Hegemonie und «Moderne» auf allen kulturellen Gebieten des Westens befördert. Ab 1950 organisierte der CCF zahlreiche Kongresse, kulturelle Veranstaltungen mit berühmten Persönlichkeiten, um die amerikanischen Werte und politischen Anliegen in Europa gegen den Einfluss des Kommunismus und Sozialismus, der viele Anhänger gerade unter den Intellektuellen fand, zu verbreiten. «Ausgehend vom Pariser Hauptquartier unterstützte der CCF zahlreiche Kulturprogramme in Lateinamerika, Afrika und Südostasien und spann ein Netzwerk von Zeitschriften, Konferenzen und Ausstellungen, um die ‹universelle› Sprache der Moderne in Literatur, Kunst und Musik zu fördern».
Der CCF griff immer mehr in die «intellektuelle Debatte ein, indem er Künstler und Medien unterstützte. Nicht nur «Heinrich Böll und Sigfried Lenz sollen von den Aktivitäten des CIA-Kassenwartes profitiert haben», auch «wurden Zeitschriften gegründet, die sich zu wichtigen Instrumenten des Austauschs entwickelten. In Deutschland war es der vom amerikanischen Publizisten Melvin Lasky ins Leben gerufene ‹Monat›, für den André Gide und Arthur Koestler, aber auch Theodor W. ­Adorno und Hannah Arendt schrieben».
«1967 stellte sich heraus, dass der CCF im verborgenen von der CIA finanziert worden war, um den antikommunistischen Konsens und damit die hegemonialen Interessen der USA in einem Kalten Krieg der Kulturen zu befördern. Mit der Enthüllung des CIA-Skandals war der Ruf des CCF ruiniert. Zu offensichtlich waren die ideologischen Widersprüche und die moralisch zweifelhafte Verteidigung von Freiheit und Transparenz mit Mitteln, die sich ihrerseits der demokratischen Rechenschaftspflicht entzogen.» (HKW) So wurden 44 westdeutsche Zeitungen, auch die «Süddeutsche Zeitung», und wichtige Zeitungen der Nachbarländer, beispielsweise die «Neue Zürcher Zeitung», mit grossen Geldsummen «subventioniert».

Weg in die Postmoderne

Für den «Kalten Kulturkrieg» setzten sich über zwei Dutzend amerikanische Stiftungen neben den offiziellen und halboffiziellen Institutionen mit riesigen Millionen-Dollar-Beträgen ein. In der Musik wurde die Avantgarde, in der bildenden Kunst wurden vor allem die modernen, abstrakten Maler gefördert. «Jackson Pollocks Bilder und der vom Kongress für kulturelle Freiheit favorisierte Abstrakte Expressionismus waren Inbegriff formaler Freiheit bei gleichzeitiger Abwesenheit direkter politischer Botschaften», so im informativen Artikel der «Neuen Zürcher Zeitung». Dabei ging es nicht um die historische «Moderne» in Kunst und Architektur des beginnenden 20. Jahrhunderts, sondern um eine Abstraktion ohne Grundwerte, um eine inhaltliche Beliebigkeit und insbesondere um eine Abwertung der wertvollen europäischen Tradition der realistischen und wertorientierten Kunst und Kultur, die dann kaum noch gefördert wurde.
In der Berliner Ausstellung sind moderne Bilder von zahlreichen bekannten Künstlern zu sehen. Dabei wird das Spektrum von der propagierten radikalen Abstraktion (Ungegenständlichkeit) bis zur abgewerteten figürlichen Kunst (Realismus) gezeigt. Von der Art&Language-Künstlergruppe ist das grossformatige Guernica-Gemälde von ­Picasso zu sehen, welches im «Action-Painting-Stil» von Jackson Pollock in den 1980er Jahren umgestaltet wurde. Die Bilder wurden von den Kuratoren zusammengestellt unter dem offenen Begriff «Parapolitik», der die globale Dimension der Kulturpolitik im Kalten Krieg, die Instrumentalisierung, ihre Einflüsse und die «wandelnden Bedeutungen und Ziele» der Moderne und Postmoderne mitbezeichnet.

VB-TrKK.jpgEin Buch von Volker Berghahn

Zur komplexen Problematik, welche die Ausstellung thematisiert, ist das lesenswerte Standardwerk «Transatlantische Kulturkriege – Shepard Stone, die Ford-Stiftung und der europäische Antiamerikanismus» (Stuttgart 2004) des deutschen Historikers Volker Berghahn, der unter anderem an der Columbia University in New York lehrte, besonders informativ. Am Beispiel einer Schlüsselperson wie Shepard Stone (1908–1990), Stabsmitarbeiter in der «Ford Foundation», Sonderberater der USA im «Kalten Kulturkrieg» und von 1974 bis 1988 Leiter des einflussreichen Berliner Aspen-Instituts, erhält der Leser detaillierte Einsicht in das historische Quellenmaterial, das dokumentiert, wie ab 1945 an verschiedenen kulturellen Fronten um «die Hegemonialmacht innerhalb des westlichen Bündnisses» gekämpft wurde.
Die Literaturwissenschaftlerin, Filmproduzentin und Kulturpublizistin Frances Stonor Saunders hatte schon mit ihrem Buch «Wer die Zeche bezahlt – Die CIA und die Kultur im Kalten Krieg» (New York 2000; Berlin 2001) vielen Künstler die Augen geöffnet. Der damalige Rezensent des Buches, Norbert Seitz, beschrieb, wie «prominente westliche Intellektuelle beabsichtigt oder unbeabsichtigt zu Werkzeugen des amerikanischen Geheimdienstes wurden» («Süddeutsche Zeitung» vom 18.4.2001).

Auswirkungen bis heute

Die Kulturstrategie des Kalten Krieges hat bis heute grosse Auswirkungen. Zu Recht schreibt Paul Jandl in der «Neuen Zürcher Zeitung»: «Man darf sich nicht täuschen lassen. Wenn es darauf ankommt, wird sie [die Kunst, uk] noch immer zum Diener der Politik degradiert. Als 2003 klar war, dass die USA dem Irak den Krieg erklären werden, haben die Vereinten Nationen im New Yorker Hauptquartier den Wandteppich mit Picassos ‹Guernica› schnell verhüllen lassen. Präsident Bushs sogenannter Feldzug des Guten und Aussenminister Colin Powell vor Picassos Anti-Kriegs-Bild: Das hätte nicht gut ausgesehen.»
Die hier kurz dargelegte Thematik der Kulturkriege verdient weitere Vertiefung, gerade auch im Hinblick auf die Verhaltensforschung und Bildungspolitik, die Amerika im Zusammenhang mit dem «Kalten Kulturkrieg» zentral «förderte». Ebenso sind die heutigen ausgefeilten politischen Propaganda- und Manipulationsmethoden eines Edward Bernays sowie die Auswirkungen von Theorien und Praxis der «Kulturellen Hegemonie» von Trotzki und Gramsci einzubeziehen.
Wenn man die Programme und Aktivitäten zur Bildung im Haus der Kulturen in Berlin studiert, erkennt man die Aktualität der Ausstellung. Sie zeigt die Notwendigkeit auf, Begriffe wie «Kultur» und «Freiheit» nicht zu missbrauchen und genauer zu definieren. So können uns Ausstellungen und Bücher die Augen öffnen und zum Nachdenken anregen, auch über die Notwendigkeit einer Kulturethik, zum Mitwirken im ehrlichen, mitmenschlichen Sinn und dazu, dem grossen Reichtum der europäischen Kulturtradition mehr Sorge zu tragen.    •

Eine Publikation zur Ausstellung in englischer Sprache erscheint im Frühjahr 2018. Informationen unter: www.hkw.de  

vendredi, 06 octobre 2017

George Orwell and the Cold War: A Reconsideration


George Orwell and the Cold War: A Reconsideration

[From Reflections on America, 1984: An Orwell Symposium. Ed. Robert Mulvihill. Athens and London, University of Georgia Press, 1986.]

In a recent and well-known article, Norman Podhoretz has attempted to conscript George Orwell into the ranks of neoconservative enthusiasts for the newly revitalized cold war with the Soviet Union.1If Orwell were alive today, this truly “Orwellian” distortion would afford him considerable wry amusement. It is my contention that the cold war, as pursued by the three superpowers of Nineteen Eighty-Four, was the key to their successful imposition of a totalitarian regime upon their subjects. We all know that Nineteen Eighty-Four was a brilliant and mordant attack on totalitarian trends in modern society, and it is also clear that Orwell was strongly opposed to communism and to the regime of the Soviet Union. But the crucial role of a perpetual cold war in the entrenchment of totalitarianism in Orwell’s “nightmare vision” of the world has been relatively neglected by writers and scholars.In Nineteen Eighty-Four there are three giant superstates or blocs of nations: Oceania (run by the United States, and including the British Empire and Latin America), Eurasia (the Eurasian continent), and Eastasia (China, southeast Asia, much of the Pacific).

The superpowers are always at war, in shifting coalitions and alignments against each other. The war is kept, by agreement between the superpowers, safely on the periphery of the blocs, since war in their heartlands might actually blow up the world and their own rule along with it. The perpetual but basically phony war is kept alive by unremitting campaigns of hatred and fear against the shadowy foreign Enemy. The perpetual war system is then used by the ruling elite in each country to fasten totalitarian collectivist rule upon their subjects. As Harry Elmer Barnes wrote, this system “could only work if the masses are always kept at a fever heat of fear and excitement and are effectively prevented from learning that the wars are actually phony. To bring about this indispensable deception of the people requires a tremendous development of propaganda, thought-policing, regimentation, and mental terrorism.” And finally, “when it becomes impossible to keep the people any longer at a white heat in their hatred of one enemy group of nations, the war is shifted against another bloc and new, violent hate campaigns are planned and set in motion.”2


From Orwell’s time to the present day, the United States has fulfilled his analysis or prophecy by engaging in campaigns of unremitting hatred and fear of the Soviets, including such widely trumpeted themes (later quietly admitted to be incorrect) as “missile gap” and “windows of vulnerability.” What Garet Garrett perceptively called “a complex of vaunting and fear” has been the hallmark of the American as well as of previous empires:3 the curious combination of vaunting and braggadocio that insists that a nation-state’s military might is second to none in any area, combined with repeated panic about the intentions and imminent actions of the “empire of evil” that is marked as the Enemy. It is the sort of fear and vaunting that makes Americans proud of their capacity to “overkill” the Russians many times and yet agree enthusiastically to virtually any and all increases in the military budget for mightier weapons of mass destruction. Senator Ralph Flanders (Republican, Vermont) pinpointed this process of rule through fear when he stated during the Korean War:

Fear is felt and spread by the Department of Defense in the Pentagon. In part, the spreading of it is purposeful. Faced with what seem to be enormous armed forces aimed against us, we can scarcely expect the Department of Defense to do other than keep the people in a state of fear so that they will be prepared without limit to furnish men and munitions.4 This applies not only to the Pentagon but to its civilian theoreticians, the men whom Marcus Raskin, once one of their number, has dubbed “the mega-death intellectuals.” Thus Raskin pointed out that their most important function is to justify and extend the existence of their employers. … In order to justify the continued large-scale production of these [thermonuclear] bombs and missiles, military and industrial leaders needed some kind of theory to rationalize their use. … This became particularly urgent during the late 1950s, when economy-minded members of the Eisenhower Administration began to wonder why so much money, thought, and resources, were being spent on weapons if their use could not be justified. And so began a series of rationalizations by the “defense intellectuals” in and out of the Universities. … Military procurement will continue to flourish, and they will continue to demonstrate why it must. In this respect they are no different from the great majority of modern specialists who accept the assumptions of the organizations which employ them because of the rewards in money and power and prestige. … They know enough not to question their employers’ right to exist.5

In addition to the manufacture of fear and hatred against the primary Enemy, there have been numerous Orwellian shifts between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Our deadly enemies in World War II, Germany and Japan, are now considered prime Good Guys, the only problem being their unfortunate reluctance to take up arms against the former Good Guys, the Soviet Union. China, having been a much lauded Good Guy under Chiang Kai-shek when fighting Bad Guy Japan, became the worst of the Bad Guys under communism, and indeed the United States fought the Korean and Vietnamese wars largely for the sake of containing the expansionism of Communist China, which was supposed to be an even worse guy than the Soviet Union. But now all that is changed, and Communist China is now the virtual ally of the United States against the principal Enemy in the Kremlin.

Along with other institutions of the permanent cold war, Orwellian New-speak has developed richly. Every government, no matter how despotic, that is willing to join the anti-Soviet crusade is called a champion of the “free world.” Torture committed by “totalitarian” regimes is evil; torture undertaken by regimes that are merely “authoritarian” is almost benign. While the Department of War has not yet been transformed into the Department of Peace, it was changed early in the cold war to the Department of Defense, and President Reagan has almost completed the transformation by the neat Orwellian touch of calling the MX missile “the Peacemaker.”


As early as the 1950s, an English publicist observed that “Orwell’s main contention that ‘cold war’ is now an essential feature of normal life is being verified more and more from day to day. No one really believes in a ‘peace settlement’ with the Soviets, and many people in positions of power regard such a prospect with positive horror.” He added that “a war footing is the only basis of full employment.”6

And Harry Barnes noted that “the advantages of the cold war in bolstering the economy, avoiding a depression, and maintaining political tenure after 1945 were quickly recognized by both politicians and economists.”

The most recent analysis of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in terms of permanent cold war was in U.S. News and World Report, in its issue marking the beginning of the year 1984:

No nuclear holocaust has occurred but Orwell’s concept of perpetual local conflict is borne out. Wars have erupted every year since 1945, claiming more than 30 million lives. The Defense Department reports that there currently are 40 wars raging that involve one-fourth of all nations in the world — from El Salvador to Kampuchea to Lebanon and Afghanistan.

Like the constant war of 1984, these post-war conflicts occurred not within superpower borders but in far-off places such as Korea and Vietnam. Unlike Orwell’s fictitious superpowers, Washington and Moscow are not always able to control events and find themselves sucked into local wars such as the current conflict in the Middle East heightening the risk of a superpower confrontation and use of nuclear armaments.7

But most Orwell scholars have ignored the critical permanent-cold-war underpinning to the totalitarianism in the book. Thus, in a recently published collection of scholarly essays on Orwell, there is barely a mention of militarism or war. 8

In contrast, one of the few scholars who have recognized the importance of war in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Fourwas the Marxist critic Raymond Williams. While deploring the obvious anti-Soviet nature of Orwell’s thought, Williams noted that Orwell discovered the basic feature of the existing two- or three-superpower world, “oligarchical collectivism,” as depicted by James Burnham, in his Managerial Revolution (1940), a book that had a profound if ambivalent impact upon Orwell. As Williams put it:

Orwell’s vision of power politics is also close to convincing. The transformation of official “allies” to “enemies” has happened, almost openly, in the generation since he wrote. His idea of a world divided into three blocs — Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, of which two are always at war with the other though the alliances change — is again too close for comfort. And there are times when one can believe that what “had been called England or Britain” has become simply Airship One.9

A generation earlier, John Atkins had written that Orwell had “discovered this conception of the political future in James Burnham’s Managerial Revolution.” Specifically, “there is a state of permanent war but it is a contest of limited aims between combatants who cannot destroy each other. The war cannot be decisive. … As none of the states comes near conquering the others, however the war deteriorates into a series of skirmishes [although]. … The protagonists store atomic bombs.”10

To establish what we might call this “revisionist” interpretation of Nineteen Eighty-Four we must first point out that the book was not, as in the popular interpretation, a prophecy of the future so much as a realistic portrayal of existing political trends. Thus, Jeffrey Meyers points out that Nineteen Eighty-Four was less a “nightmare vision” (Irving Howe’s famous phrase) of the future than “a very concrete and naturalistic portrayal of the present and the past,” a “realistic synthesis and rearrangement of familiar materials.” And again, Orwell’s “statements about 1984 reveal that the novel, though set in a future time, is realistic rather than fantastic, and deliberately intensifies the actuality of the present.” Specifically, according to Meyers, Nineteen Eighty-Four was not “totalitarianism after its world triumph” as in the interpretation of Howe, but rather “the very real though unfamiliar political terrorism of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia transposed into the landscape of London in 1941–44.”11 And not only Burnham’s work but the reality of the 1943 Teheran Conference gave Orwell the idea of a world ruled by three totalitarian superstates.

Bernard Crick, Orwell’s major biographer, points out that the English reviewers of Nineteen Eighty-Four caught on immediately that the novel was supposed to be an intensification of present trends rather than a prophecy of the future. Crick notes that these reviewers realized that Orwell had “not written utopian or anti-utopian fantasy … but had simply extended certain discernible tendencies of 1948 forward into 1984.”12 Indeed, the very year 1984 was simply the transposition of the existing year, 1948. Orwell’s friend Julian Symons wrote that 1984 society was meant to be the “near future,” and that all the grim inventions of the rulers “were just extensions of ‘ordinary’ war and post-war things.” We might also point out that the terrifying Room 101 in Nineteen Eighty-Four was the same numbered room in which Orwell had worked in London during World War II as a British war propagandist.


But let Orwell speak for himself. Orwell was distressed at many American reviews of the book, especially in Timeand Life, which, in contrast to the British, saw Nineteen Eighty-Four as the author’s renunciation of his long-held devotion to democratic socialism. Even his own publisher, Frederic Warburg, interpreted the book in the same way. This response moved Orwell, terminally ill in a hospital, to issue a repudiation. He outlined a statement to Warburg, who, from detailed notes, issued a press release in Orwell’s name. First, Orwell noted that, contrary to many reviews, Nineteen Eighty-Four was not prophecy but an analysis of what could happen, based on present political trends. Orwell then added: “Specifically, the danger lies in the structure imposed on Socialist and on liberal capitalist communities by the necessity to prepare for total war with the USSR and the new weapons, of which of course the atomic bomb is the most powerful and the most publicized. But danger also lies in the acceptance of a totalitarian outlook by intellectuals of all colours.” After outlining his forecast of several world superstates, specifically the Anglo-American world (Oceania) and a Soviet-dominated Eurasia, Orwell went on:

If these two great blocs line up as mortal enemies it is obvious that the Anglo-Americans will not take the name of their opponents. … The name suggested in 1984 is of course Ingsoc, but in practice a wide range of choices is open. In the USA the phrase “American” or “hundred per cent American” is suitable and the qualifying adjective is as totalitarian as any could wish.13

We are about as far from the world of Norman Podhoretz as we can get. While Orwell is assuredly anti-Communist and anticollectivist his envisioned totalitarianism can and does come in many guises and forms, and the foundation for his nightmare totalitarian world is a perpetual cold war that keeps brandishing the horror of modern atomic weaponry.

Shortly after the atom bomb was dropped on Japan, George Orwell pre-figured his world of Nineteen Eighty-Four in an incisive and important analysis of the new phenomenon. In an essay entitled “You and the Atom Bomb,” he noted that when weapons are expensive (as the A-bomb is) politics tends to become despotic, with power concentrated into the hands of a few rulers. In contrast, in the day when weapons were simple and cheap (as was the musket or rifle, for instance) power tends to be decentralized. After noting that Russia was thought to be capable of producing the A-bomb within five years (that is, by 1950), Orwell writes of the “prospect,” at that time, “of two or three monstrous super-states, each possessed of a weapon by which millions of people can be wiped out in a few seconds, dividing the world between them.” It is generally supposed, he noted, that the result will be another great war, a war which this time will put an end to civilization. But isn’t it more likely, he added, “that surviving great nations make a tacit agreement never to use the bomb against one another? Suppose they only use it, or the threat of it, against people who are unable to retaliate?”

Returning to his favorite theme, in this period, of Burnham’s view of the world in The Managerial Revolution,Orwell declares that Burnham’s geographical picture of the new world has turned out to be correct. More and more obviously the surface of the earth is being parceled off into three great empires, each self-contained and cut off from contact with the outer world, and each ruled, under one disguise or another by a self-elected oligarchy. The haggling as to where the frontiers are to be drawn is still going on, and will continue for some years.

Orwell then proceeds gloomily:

The atomic bomb may complete the process by robbing the exploited classes and peoples of all power to revolt, and at the same time putting the possessors of the bomb on a basis of equality. Unable to conquer one another they are likely to continue ruling the world between them, and it is difficult to see how the balance can be upset except by slow and unpredictable demographic changes.

In short, the atomic bomb is likely “to put an end to large-scale wars at the cost of prolonging ‘a peace that is no peace.’” The drift of the world will not be toward anarchy, as envisioned by H.G. Wells, but toward “horribly stable … slave empires.14

Over a year later, Orwell returned to his pessimistic perpetual-cold-war analysis of the postwar world. Scoffing at optimistic press reports that the Americans “will agree to inspection of armaments,” Orwell notes that “on another page of the same paper are reports of events in Greece which amount to a state of war between two groups of powers who are being so chummy in New York.” There are two axioms, he added, governing international affairs. One is that “there can be no peace without a general surrender of sovereignty,” and another is that “no country capable of defending its sovereignty ever surrenders it.” The result will be no peace, a continuing arms race, but no all-out war.15


Orwell completes his repeated wrestling with the works of James Burnham in his review of The Struggle for the World (1947). Orwell notes that the advent of atomic weapons has led Burnham to abandon his three-identical-superpowers view of the world, and also to shuck off his tough pose of value-freedom. Instead, Burnham is virtually demanding an immediate preventive war against Russia,” which has become the collectivist enemy, a preemptive strike to be launched before Russia acquires the atomic bomb.

While Orwell is fleetingly tempted by Burnham’s apocalyptic approach, and asserts that domination of Britain by the United States is to be preferred to domination by Russia, he emerges from the discussion highly critical. After all, Orwell writes, the

Russian regime may become more liberal and less dangerous a generation hence. … Of course, this would not happen with the consent of the ruling clique, but it is thinkable that the mechanics of the situation may bring it about. The other possibility is that the great powers will be simply too frightened of the effects of atomic weapons ever to make use of them. But that would be much too dull for Burnham. Everything must happen suddenly and completely.16

George Orwell’s last important essay on world affairs was published in Partisan Review in the summer of 1947. He there reaffirmed his attachment to socialism but conceded that the chances were against its coming to pass. He added that there were three possibilities ahead for the world. One (which, as he had noted a few months before was the new Burnham solution) was that the United States would launch an atomic attack on Russia before Russia developed the bomb. Here Orwell was more firmly opposed to such a program than he had been before. For even if Russia were annihilated, a preemptive attack would only lead to the rise of new empires, rivalries, wars, and use of atomic weapons. At any rate, the first possibility was not likely. The second possibility, declared Orwell, was that the cold war would continue until Russia got the bomb, at which point world war and the destruction of civilization would take place. Again, Orwell did not consider this possibility very likely. The third, and most likely, possibility is the old vision of perpetual cold war between blocs of superpowers. In this world,

the fear inspired by the atomic bomb and other weapons yet to come will be so great that everyone will refrain from using them. … It would mean the division of the world among two or three vast super-states, unable to conquer one another and unable to be overthrown by any internal rebellion. In all probability their structure would be hierarchic, with a semi-divine caste at the top and outright slavery at the bottom, and the crushing out of liberty would exceed anything the world has yet seen. Within each state the necessary psychological atmosphere would be kept up by complete severance from the outer world, and by a continuous phony war against rival states. Civilization of this type might remain static for thousands of years.17

Orwell (perhaps, like Burnham, now fond of sudden and complete solutions) considers this last possibility the worst.

It should be clear that George Orwell was horrified at what he considered to be the dominant trend of the postwar world: totalitarianism based on perpetual but peripheral cold war between shifting alliances of several blocs of super states. His positive solutions to this problem were fitful and inconsistent; in Partisan Review he called wistfully for a Socialist United States of Western Europe as the only way out, but he clearly placed little hope in such a development. His major problem was one that affected all democratic socialists of that era: a tension between their anticommunism and their opposition to imperialist, or at least interstate, wars. And so at times Orwell was tempted by the apocalyptic preventive-atomic-war solution, as was even Bertrand Russell during the same period. In another, unpublished article, “In Defense of Comrade Zilliacus,” written at some time near the end of 1947, Orwell, bitterly opposed to what he considered the increasingly procommunist attitude of his own Labour magazine, the Tribune, came the closest to enlisting in the cold war by denouncing neutralism and asserting that his hoped-for Socialist United States of Europe should ground itself on the backing of the United States of America. But despite these aberrations, the dominant thrust of Orwell’s thinking during the postwar period, and certainly as reflected in Nineteen Eighty-Four, was horror at a trend toward perpetual cold war as the groundwork for a totalitarianism throughout the world. And his hope for eventual loosening of the Russian regime, if also fitful, still rested cheek by jowl with his more apocalyptic leanings.


1.Norman Podhoretz, “If Orwell Were Alive Today,” Harper’s, January 1983, pp. 30-37.

2.Harry Elmer Barnes, “How ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Trends Threaten American Peace, Freedom, and Prosperity,” in Revisionism: A Key to Peace and Other Es­says (San Francisco: Cato Institute, 1980), pp. 142-43. Also see Barnes, An Intel­lectual and Cultural History of the Western World, 3d rev. ed., 3 vols. (New York: Dover, 1965), 3: 1324-1332; and Murray N. Rothbard, “Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War,” in Harry Elmer Barnes, Learned Crusader, ed. A. Goddard (Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles, 1968). pp. 314-38. For a similar anal­ysis, see F.J.P. Veal[e] Advance to Barbarism(Appleton, Wis.: C.C. Nelson, 1953), pp. 266-84.

3.Garet Garrett, The People’s Pottage (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, 1953), pp. 154-57.

4.Quoted in Garrett, The People’s Pottage, p. 154.

5.Marcus Raskin, “The Megadeath Intellectuals,” New York Review of Books, November 14, 1963, pp. 6-7. Also see Martin Nicolaus, “The Professor, the Policeman and the Peasant,” Viet-Report, June-July 1966, pp. 15-19; and Fred Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983). [6]Barnes, “‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Trends,” p. 176.

6.Barnes, “‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Trends,” p. 176.

7.U.S. News and World Report, December 26, 1983, pp. 86-87.

8.Irving Howe, ed., 1984 Revisited: Totalitarianism in Our Century (New York: Harper and Row, Perennial Library, 1983). There is a passing reference in Robert Nisbet’s essay and a few references in Luther Carpenter’s article on the reception given to Nineteen Eighty-Four by his students at a community college on Staten Island (pp. 180, 82).

9.Raymond Williams. George Orwell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971), p. 76.

10.John Atkins, George Orwell (London: Caldor and Boyars, 1954), pp. 237-38.

11.Jeffrey Meyers, A Reader’s Guide to George Orwell (London: Thames and Hud­son, 1975), pp. 144-45. Also, “Far from being a picture of the totalitarianism or the future 1984 is, in countless details, a realistic picture of the totalitarianism of the present” (Richard J. Voorhees, The Paradox of George Orwell, Purdue Uni­versity Studies, 1961, pp. 85-87).

12.Bernard Crick, George Orwell: A Life (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1981), p. 393. Also see p. 397.

13.George Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, 4 vols. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1968), 4:504 (hereafter cited as CEJL). Also see Crick, George Orwell, pp. 393-95.

14.George Orwell, “You and the Atom Bomb,” Tribune, October 19, 1945, re­printed in CEJL, 4:8-10.

15.George Orwell, “As I Please,” Tribune, December 13, 1946, reprinted in CEJL, 4:255.

16.George Orwell, “Burnham’s View of the Contemporary World Struggle,” New Leader (New York), March 29, 1947, reprinted in CEJL, 4:325.

17.George Orwell. “Toward European Unity,” Partisan Review July-August 1947, reprinted in CEJL, 4:370-75.

dimanche, 30 avril 2017

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'


Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

Revealed: how the spy agency used unwitting artists such as Pollock and de Kooning in a cultural Cold War

By Frances Stonor Saunders

Ex: http://www.independant.co.uk 

For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.

The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.

The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.


Initially, more open attempts were made to support the new American art. In 1947 the State Department organised and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled "Advancing American Art", with the aim of rebutting Soviet suggestions that America was a cultural desert. But the show caused outrage at home, prompting Truman to make his Hottentot remark and one bitter congressman to declare: "I am just a dumb American who pays taxes for this kind of trash." The tour had to be cancelled.

The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy's hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover's FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.

Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.

"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I'd love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.

"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."

To pursue its underground interest in America's lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn't be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn't have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps."

This was the "long leash". The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its "fellow travellers" in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.

This organisation put together several exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s. One of the most significant, "The New American Painting", visited every big European city in 1958-59. Other influential shows included "Modern Art in the United States" (1955) and "Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century" (1952).

Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called "Mummy's museum", Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called "free enterprise painting"). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.

The museum was also linked to the CIA by several other bridges. William Paley, the president of CBS broadcasting and a founding father of the CIA, sat on the members' board of the museum's International Programme. John Hay Whitney, who had served in the agency's wartime predecessor, the OSS, was its chairman. And Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA's International Organisations Division, was executive secretary of the museum in 1949.

Now in his eighties, Mr Braden lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, in a house packed with Abstract Expressionist works and guarded by enormous Alsatians. He explained the purpose of the IOD.

"We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."

He confirmed that his division had acted secretly because of the public hostility to the avant-garde: "It was very difficult to get Congress to go along with some of the things we wanted to do - send art abroad, send symphonies abroad, publish magazines abroad. That's one of the reasons it had to be done covertly. It had to be a secret. In order to encourage openness we had to be secret."


If this meant playing pope to this century's Michelangelos, well, all the better: "It takes a pope or somebody with a lot of money to recognise art and to support it," Mr Braden said. "And after many centuries people say, 'Oh look! the Sistine Chapel, the most beautiful creation on Earth!' It's a problem that civilisation has faced ever since the first artist and the first millionaire or pope who supported him. And yet if it hadn't been for the multi-millionaires or the popes, we wouldn't have had the art."

Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.

But look where this art ended up: in the marble halls of banks, in airports, in city halls, boardrooms and great galleries. For the Cold Warriors who promoted them, these paintings were a logo, a signature for their culture and system which they wanted to display everywhere that counted. They succeeded.

* The full story of the CIA and modern art is told in 'Hidden Hands' on Channel 4 next Sunday at 8pm. The first programme in the series is screened tonight. Frances Stonor Saunders is writing a book on the cultural Cold War.

Covert Operation

In 1958 the touring exhibition "The New American Painting", including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.

The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA's. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire's charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.

So, unknown to the Tate, the public or the artists, the exhibition was transferred to London at American taxpayers' expense to serve subtle Cold War propaganda purposes. A former CIA man, Tom Braden, described how such conduits as the Farfield Foundation were set up. "We would go to somebody in New York who was a well-known rich person and we would say, 'We want to set up a foundation.' We would tell him what we were trying to do and pledge him to secrecy, and he would say, 'Of course I'll do it,' and then you would publish a letterhead and his name would be on it and there would be a foundation. It was really a pretty simple device."

Julius Fleischmann was well placed for such a role. He sat on the board of the International Programme of the Museum of Modern Art in New York - as did several powerful figures close to the CIA.

mardi, 13 septembre 2016

The Importance of Solzhenitsyn: Tom Sunic Interviews F. Roger Devlin

The Importance of Solzhenitsyn: Tom Sunic Interviews F. Roger Devlin

samedi, 12 décembre 2015

The Second Cold War


The Second Cold War


Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

In the light of the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, there has been much talk about the clouding of US-Russian relations. Some voices in the Internet’s alternative media sections have conjured the possibility that these conflicts might lead to a new major war, while social networks like Twitter saw the usage of the hashtags #WorldWarIII and #WorldWar3 explode after Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet in the vicinity of the Syrian border. Headlines in mainstream media outlets like Foreign Policy and the Guardian also proclaimed, “Welcome to Cold War III” and asked “are we going back to the bad old days?”.

This article suggests that although the ideological division of the Cold War ended de facto with the collapse of the Soviet Union, American geopolitical schemes to contain Russian power abroad have never really been abandoned. Throughout the 1990s and until today, US policymakers have been determined to wage overt or covert proxy wars with the aim of curbing its former adversary’s political, economic, and military influence. Chechnya, Ukraine, and Syria are the key spots where the logic of this second Cold War is played out.

A short glance over the state of the world today and its representation in the media suffices to identify a growing number of actual and potential centers of conflicts: Civil war is raging in parts of Ukraine, military tensions are growing in the South Chinese Sea, and the Middle East is more of a mess than ever. Nonetheless, some have suggested that the actual number of armed conflicts has actually reached a historical low. But this assertion is solely based on statistical preference. It is true that interstate (conflicts between two or more states) wars are on the decline. Instead, wars today are much more likely to take the form of intrastate conflicts between governments and insurgents, rather than national armies fighting over territory. As demonstrated to an outstanding degree in Syria, these conflicts are more and more internationalized and involve a bulk of non-state actors and countries who try to reach their goals through proxies rather than direct involvement, which would require “boots on the ground.”

But let’s start at the end. The end of the Cold War, that is. The situation during the years of systemic antagonism between the Eastern and Western Blocs has sometimes been captured in the image of three separate “worlds”: the capitalist First World, the socialist Second World, and a Third World. The latter term was not used as a marker for impoverishment and instability as it is commonly understood today, but as a postcolonial alternative “third way” for those newly independent states that struggled to avoid their renewed absorption by the two towering ideological empires. One strategy through which developing countries attempted to duck the neocolonial policies of the Cold War Blocs was by founding the informal Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) in 1961, initiated by India, Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana, and Yugoslavia. Counting 120 members as of now—in fact a large part of the global South—the movement’s anti-imperialist and anti-colonial stance has lost much of its bargaining power after the end of the Cold War.

Still, the final document of the movement’s 1998 summit in Durban, South Africa suggests that the end of the long-standing bipolar power configuration has by no means led to the betterment of those countries’ situation. Unipolar American dominance and the collapse of the Soviet Union instigated what was understood to be “a worrisome and damaging uni-polarity in political and military terms that is conducive to further inequality and injustice and, therefore, to a more complex and disquieting world situation.” This analysis turned out to be correct in many respects, particularly concerning the period of the 1990s.

WW3-eltsine.jpgWhile the Clinton years of domestic prosperity saw the US economy achieve the rarity of a budget surplus, the citizens of its erstwhile antagonist were (probably with the exception of Boris Yeltsin) experiencing the more sobering effects of Russia’s political and economic paradigm shift. Democratic Russia struggled to consolidate its deeply shaken economy in an environment ripe with organized crime, crippling corruption, and under the doubtful patronage of oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky who controlled the influential television channel ORT and whom Ron Unz in “Our American Pravda” described as “the puppet master behind President Boris Yeltsin during the late 1990s.”

The actual situation in the former Soviet heartland during the 1990s was utterly different from what American elites and media often depicted as a “golden age” of newfound democracy and a ballooning private sector. From the perspective of many US elites, the country’s plundering by oligarchs, ruthless criminal gangs, kleptocratic politicians, and corrupt military officers was welcomed as a convenient, self-fulfilling mechanism to permanently destabilize its mortally wounded adversary. But Russia never completed all the stages of collapse, not least because Yeltsin’s successor Vladimir Putin eventually took legal action to put such “businessmen” like Roman Abramovich and Berezovsky out of business. The latter was forced to seek refuge in London, from where he threatened to use his £850m private fortune to plot “a new Russian revolution” and violently remove his former protégé from the Kremlin.

The chaotic and aimless term of the alcoholic Yeltsin is often regarded as a chiefly positive time in which the East and the West closed ranks, although politicians and neoconservative think tanks in reality conducted the political and economic sellout of Russia during these years. The presidency of Vladimir Putin, while anything but perfect and with its own set of domestic issues, still managed to halt the nation’s downward spiral in many areas. Nevertheless, it is persistently depicted by Western elites and their “Pravda” as dubious, “authoritarian,” and semi-democratic at best.

Thus, in spite of Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist proclamation of the “End of History” after the fall of the Berlin wall that supposedly heralded the universal rein of liberal democracy, the legacy of the Cold War is anything but behind us. Ostensibly, the current geopolitical situation with its fragmented, oblique, and often contradictory constellations and fault lines is utterly different from the much more straightforward Cold War dualism. Of the Marxist ideology only insular traces remain today, watered down and institutionalized in China, exploited in a system of nationalistic iconography in Cuba, and arranged around an absurdly twisted personality cult in North Korea. As of 2015, Russia is an utterly capitalistic nation, highly integrated in the globalized economy and particularly interdependent with the members of the European economic zone. Its military clout and budget ($52 billion) are dwarfed by US military spending of $598.5 billion in 2015. Even more importantly, after 1991 Russia had to close down or abandon many of its important bases, ports and other military installations as a result of the NATO’s eastward expansion.

Nevertheless, the sheer size of its territory and its command of a substantial nuclear weapon arsenal, cement Russia’s role as a primary threat to American national interests. This is illustrated by the fact that since three and a half decades, the US has covertly supported radical Islamic movements with the goal to permanently destabilize the Russian state by entrapping it in a succession of messy and virtually unwinnable conflicts. Pursued openly during the Soviet-Afghan War of the 1980s, this scheme continued to be employed throughout the 1990s during both Chechen Wars, as well as in Russia’s so-called “near abroad” spheres of influence: Dagestan, Ingushetia, South Ossetia, and other former Soviet vassal republics in the Caucasus, which have constantly suffered from extremists who exploit the lack of governmental pervasion in their remote mountain regions. These regions are home to over 25 million ethnic Russians and important components of the country’s economy. After the Soviet-Afghan War and the CIA’s buildup of Osama bin-Laden’s “resistance fighters,” American policymakers recognized the destabilizing potential inherent in the volatile political and sectarian configurations in the Islamic countries that encircle the post-Soviet Russian borderlands.


Hence, despite many political ceremonies, pledges of cooperation, and the opening of Moscow’s first McDonalds in 1990, this policy was never fully abandoned. As a matter of fact, peaceful political coexistence and economic convergence never were the primary goals. Democratic Russia with its allies, military potential, and possible Eurasian trade agreements that threaten to isolate or hamper US hegemony was and still is considered a menace to American ambitions of unipolar, universal dominance.

Since the First Chechen War in 1994, Russia’s prolonged struggle against Islamic terrorism has for the most part been disregarded by Western media. Particularly after 9/11, the “war on terror” acted like a black hole that sucked up the bulk of the Western media’s attention. When the acts of terrorism on Russian soil became too horrifying to ignore—the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis and the 2004 Beslan school siege in particular—the massive death tolls were blamed on the drastic responses of Russian security forces who were not adequately prepared and overwhelmed by the vicious and meticulously planned attacks. In Beslan, the death of hundreds of innocents (186 children were murdered on their first day at school) was indirectly condoned and sardonically depicted as the consequences of the “separatist movement [and its] increasingly desperate attempts to break Russia’s stranglehold on its home turf.” Truly, to describe those who shoot children in front of their parents and vice versa as “separatists” and glorify them as “rebels” who act in self defense against an “authoritarian” regime demands a very special kind of callous apathy.

In a 2013 article that examined the Chechen descent of the suspects behind the Boston Marathon bombing, retired FBI agent and 2002 Time Person of the Year Coleen Rowley exposed “how the Chechen ‘terrorists’ proved useful to the U.S. in keeping pressure on the Russians.” She explicitly refers to a 2004 Guardian piece by John Laughland, in which the author connects the anti-Russian sentiments in the BBC and CNN coverage of the Beslan massacre to the influence of one particular organization, the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), whose list of members reads like “a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically (sic) support the ‘war on terror,’” among them Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, James Woolsey, and Frank Gaffney. Laughland describes the ACPC as an organization that heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin’s Russia, and cultivates support for the Chechen cause by emphasising the seriousness of human rights violations in the tiny Caucasian republic. It compares the Chechen crisis to those other fashionable “Muslim” causes, Bosnia and Kosovo – implying that only international intervention in the Caucasus can stabilise the situation there.

WW3tch.jpgThere are three key elements in the organization’s lobbying strategy to denigrate Russia and promote an intervention in Chechnya that serve to unmask a larger pattern behind the US foreign policy after 9/11. First, the labeling of a particular leader or government as “authoritarian” or in some other way “undemocratic” (Vladimir Putin, in this case). Second, the concept of an oppressed yet positively connoted population that strives for freedom and democracy (Chechen terrorists with ties to a-Qaeda, in this case). Finally, the stressing of “human rights violations” that warrant an intervention or economic embargo.

If all of these conditions are satisfied, the violation of the borders of a sovereign state is seen as justified (UN mandate not needed), enabling the US to emerge as a knight in shining armor and champion of human rights, bolting to the rescue of the world’s downtrodden, while covertly achieving an utterly different goal: To further the logic of a second Cold War through proxy warfare and weaken Russian by diminishing its foothold in its surrounding “near abroad” regions, which in many respects represent vital interests, both economically and strategically.

Swap out names and dates and it becomes evident that the same tripartite strategy was used to justify every recent intervention of the US and other NATO members, in Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), and Syria (since 2011). Interventions that were legitimized under the banner of humanitarian relief through the removal of “authoritarian” tyrants and supposed dictators and which have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 500.000 people, in Iraq alone. When the ASPC’s made its appeal regarding Chechnya in 2004, mind you, only one year had passed since the Abu Ghraib torture photos were leaked and two years since the first inmates arrived in the extralegal detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

Regarding the sweltering conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region, the key dynamics are similar. President Viktor Yanukovych, accused by the Euromaidan movement—fueled by aggressive US and EU media propaganda and enticed with promises of lucrative NATO and EU memberships—of “abusing power” and “violation of human rights,” was forced to resign and replaced with a ultranationalist, anti-Russian and pro-Western government. Again, this campaign had nothing to do with actual humanitarian relief or concerns about the country’s democratic integrity. Instead, the hopes of a whole generation for a better future under Western influence were exploited by US policymakers who hoped to stifle Russia’s geostrategic elbowroom by ousting the naval bases of its Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea.

These bases, mostly located in the city of Sevastopol, have been the home port of the Russian navy for over 230 years, and are vital because they provide the only direct access to the Black Sea and (through the Bosporus strait in Turkey) to the Mediterranean. Any expansion of NATO towards these bases had to be regarded as a direct threat, leaving the Russian government practically no choice but to protect them with all means necessary. However, in the stories emanating from Western mainstream media, these bases were showcased as an occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory and used as proof of Russia’s aggressive, “authoritarian,” and imperial aspirations. In reality, Ukraine and Russia signed a Partition Contract in 1997, in which the Ukraine agreed to lease major parts of its facilities to the Russian Black Sea Fleet until 2017, for an annual payment of $98 million.

Along the lines of the currently revitalized genre of alternate history, let’s briefly indulge in the notion that we were still living in the ideologically divided world of the Cold War, in which the Warsaw Pact still existed. For a second, imagine if Mexico or Guatemala or Canada expressed their desire to join said pact and invited its troops to conduct military exercises at their shared border with the US. Even without the existence of an American naval base in that country, how do you think the US would react to such a scenario? Would it stand by idly and let itself be surrounded by its adversaries? For an even more striking parallel, take the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The American military actually has a naval base there—Guantanamo Bay, home to the infamous detention camp. Many historians see the deployment of Soviet missiles and troops on the island as the closest that humanity ever came to entering World War III and mutually assured destruction (MAD).  With its support for “regime change” in Ukraine and extension of the NATO to the Russian borders, the US today is engaged in the same old Cold War superpower games that the Soviets played in Cuba 53 years ago. In fact, we should think of Ukraine as being situated in Mother Russia’s “backyard.”

Thousands of miles away from the coasts of North America, the Middle East is the region that Uncle Sam seems to regard as his very own backyard. Many consider George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” after 9/11 and the subsequent interventions in Iraq and (to a lesser degree) Afghanistan as those catastrophic policy decisions that resulted in the sociopolitical destabilization of large parts of this region, resulting in the death, injury, and displacement of millions. In Iraq, Libya, and Syria, the spurious US rhetorical agenda of removing “tyrants” and endowing the local demographics with the liberating gift of democracy has in fact produced vast ungoverned spaces where militant groups like the al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) were able to carve out their “caliphates” and claim other territorial prices. For a long time, the rapid expansion of the Islamic State and its death-loving, apocalyptic ideology was resisted only by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the paramilitary National Defense Forces (NDF), and Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG). The SAA alone has lost as much as 200.000 soldiers in its struggle against various terrorist factions since March 2011.

US politicians and media have expressed their hopes that the Russian intervention to assist the Syrian government in its resistance against these Western, Saudi, and Turkey-backed groups will result in a military and economic debacle, comparable to the Soviet-Afghan war, which lasted well over nine years. It was during the course of this brutal and protracted conflict that US policymakers realized that there was really no need to shed American blood in order to deal the death blow to the Soviet Union. They drew their lessons from the CIA’s countless ventures in South American “nation building,” where a government’s legitimacy and an opposition’s status as either terrorists or freedom fighters depended on their usefulness for American national interests, often accoutered in pithy terms like the “war on drugs.”

Since the days of Pablo Escobar, however, US foreign policy has shifted its main focus towards the Middle East, where the long-term goal has been to weaken the enemies of Israel and strengthen the enemies of Iran. Other goals are to guarantee American access to oil and other natural resources, to establish military bases and consolidate the network of troops abroad, and to secure arms deals for the one-percenters who preside over what president Eisenhower cautioned his nation about in his farewell address: the “military-industrial complex.” As a consequence of the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama administration has shifted its strategy towards aerial and drone only warfare combined with the support and (illusion of) control over local militant factions.


Among the many groups fighting in Syria, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), also known as “moderate rebels,” is the US faction of choice. Much like the bin Laden’s Mujahideen fighters in 1980s Afghanistan, they are armed with the help of the CIA. In spite of their apparent moderation, however, a wealth of evidence suggests that this group is directly responsible for a multitude of massacres, mass executions, the ethnic cleansing of non-Sunni citizens, and eating the hearts of their fallen enemies.

The FSA has also been a suspect in the 2013 Ghouta chemical attacks, which some have claimed the US used as a false flag operation to engender international support for the violent removal of the Syrian government. The subsequent UN investigation however failed to establish any conclusive evidence concerning the perpetrator of the war crime and concluded that the sarin gas used in the attacks had most certainly been removed from government arsenals. Based on this information, US, UK, and French leaders and media outlets insisted that the Syrian government had to be the culprit, and immediately pressed the international community to support an intervention with the goal of eradicating Syria’s alleged arsenal of nerve gas and other potential WMDs. This all begins to sound very familiar. Of course, they also requested the bolstering of the “moderate opposition.” Interestingly, though, the official UN report, “careful not to blame either side,” let on that investigators were actually being accompanied by rebel leaders at all times. Moreover, they repeatedly encountered “individuals […] carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.” On page 13, the report goes on to state that

[a] leader of the local opposition forces […] was identified and requested to take ‘custody’ of the Mission […] to ensure the security and movement of the Mission, to facilitate the access to the most critical cases/witnesses to be interviewed and sampled by the Mission […].

Recently, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain have protested that their “moderate rebels” were being targeted unjustly by Russian airstrikes in Syria, complaining that “from their [i.e., the Kremlin’s] perspective, they’re all terrorists.” Sometimes, one is inclined to advise them, it can be wise and healthy to assume an outsider’s perspective and check if your reality still coincides with the facts that so many know are true about the FSA. These facts can be broken down to a very short yet concise formula: If it looks like a terrorist, if it talks like a terrorist, if it behaves like a terrorist—it probably is a terrorist.

Instead, the CIA is still supplying the “activists” with outdated-yet-deadly weapons from Army surplus inventories, including hundreds of BGM-71 TOW (“Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided”) anti-tank missile systems, which the terrorists use against hard and soft targets alike. The same weapon platform can be seen in action in a recent FSA video that shows the destruction of a Russian helicopter that was sent to extract the Russian pilots at the crash site of their downed Su-24 plane on November 24, 2015. On the same day, another US-supplied TOW missile was used in an ambush targeting a car occupied by RT news journalists Roman Kosarev, Sargon Hadaya, and TASS reporter Alexander Yelistratov in Syria’s Latakia province.

The FSA and other groups, branded as “moderates” who fight against the “authoritarian” forces of tyranny (just like a certain “Saudi businessman” back in the day), function as US proxies in Syria, just like al-Qaeda did in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan War. They are dangerously unstable pawns in a global strategy to secure American and Israeli interests in the Middle East, irrespective of the millionfold suffering and uprooting of entire societies caused by their crimes, the majority of which is directed towards other Muslims.

Commenting on the Russian military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian government, Mr. Obama said that he had no interest in turning this civil war into a proxy war between Russia and the United States, emphasizing that “this is not some superpower chessboard contest.” But this is exactly what US foreign policy, both Republican and Democrat, has done, starting with the end of the Soviet Union and lasting until this very moment. The only difference now being that the Libya-proven rhetorical strategy of (illegal and mandate-less) intervention via “no-fly zones,” “humanitarianism,” and “regime change” did not have the desired effect in Syria because Iran, Lebanon, and Russia did not abandon their ally. Their combined effort succeeded in fending off an unprecedented onslaught of extremists that infiltrated the country, often across the Southern Turkish border, armed with the money of American taxpayers and Wahhabi sheiks.

The Syrian conflict can no longer be described as a civil war. It may have started as one during the ill-fated “Arab Spring” of 2011, when armed “protesters” (i.e., FSA terrorists) murdered several policemen and set government buildings on fire in Daraa, provoking a violent backlash from government forces. The ensuing nationwide chaos was spun by the Western mainstream media troika, namely those media outlets that serve as propaganda tools for the US political and financial elites and who fabricated the myth of the tyrant who massacred peaceful protestors—to be readily sucked up by their indoctrinated clientele.

As a result of the “moderate’s” recent setbacks, the official American position, insofar as its mixed messages can be deciphered, has boiled down to a butt-hurt attitude and passive aggressive lecturing about how to distinguish between varying degrees of moderation among mass-murdering lunatics. Outmaneuvered and publicly exposed, all that is left for Mr. Obama seems to be to pick up the pieces and save some face by accepting Mr. Putin’s offer to join a united front against terrorism in Syria. But such a step seems unthinkable in this ongoing Cold War between Russia and the US. Instead, the most powerful man on earth talks about climate change as the most pressing problem of our times. When it comes to ISIS, he has said he wanted to “contain” them. Meanwhile, tensions are rising as Turkish president Erdogan, on an power trip after his surprising landslide victory in November’s general elections, apparently collaborated with ISIS and risked provoking an NATO Article 5 response by downing a Russian Su-24. On the other side of the equation, Russia’s decision to intervene on behalf of the Syrian government reveals a twofold strategy: On the one hand, through its direct action it positions the Putin government as being opposed to the fatal logics of proxy warfare. On the other hand, it simultaneously exposes the catastrophic flaws of Mr. Obama’s strategies in Syria and the Middle East.

All these developments do not necessarily mean that we are heading for World War III—although logic dictates that it will happen at some point in the future. In reality, though, a full-on nuclear confrontation would require a massive unraveling of the still sufficiently functional channels of political cooperation and interstate diplomacy. International security and economic communities as well as overlapping alliances like the United Nations, NATO, OSCE, and BRIC all indicate a high level of international integration.

Nonetheless, the geopolitical decisions of the last years herald the start of a new period in political history that indeed corresponds to a Cold War constellation. Particularly US foreign policy is currently undergoing the revival of a more offensive realism, visible in recent demonstrations of power in NATO’s Eastern border states, pushing of the TPP agreement in the Pacific economic area, and aggressive patrolling of the South Chinese Sea. In fact, the avoidance of superpower confrontation at all costs seems to increasingly take a back seat to these high-risk maneuvers.


In the late 1940s the first Cold War began as a war of the words when the powers who had together defeated Nazi Germany started to level criticism at their respective global policies. With the help of their media and propaganda sources, their different stances and perspectives solidified and eventually developed into monolithic ideologies. These in turn spawned the geopolitical doctrines that warranted the replacement of any open (i.e., nuclear) confrontation with confined proxy wars as in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. A similar erosion of mutual trust, respect, and solidarity is taking place now as the outsourced US-Russian conflicts in Ukraine and Syria remain unsolved. Again, the second Cold War arises as a war of the words while negative sentiments are allowed to petrify and the glacial rhetorics of mistrust and veiled threats gradually begin to replace talk about common interests and cooperation. The influential and policy-shaping Foreign Affairs magazine already struck the right chords of the passive-aggressive Cold War parlance by titling, “Putin’s Game of Chicken: And How the West Can Win.”

At the end of the day, this exact attitude could be one of the reasons why the US might come out on the losing side of this conflict. Because they have not yet realized this is not a “game of chicken” anymore. In fact, this is no longer the same easy game of manipulation that the US played during the 1990s by throwing cheap shots at a collapsing state. The deployment of its air force in Syria is not least a signal to the American establishment that Russia in 2015 no longer stands at the sidelines and watches begrudgingly as the US and its allies commence their disastrous policies in the Middle East.

When Mr. Obama asserted that “this is not some superpower chessboard contest,” he therefore either told a lie or he demonstrated his government’s utter cluelessness with regard to the actual situation and consequences of their actions in Ukraine, Syria, the South Chinese Sea, and other hotspots of the second Cold War. Both possibilities do not bode well for the future.

lundi, 11 mai 2015

The Cold War Against Cuba Changed us


The Cold War Against Cuba Changed us


The Future of Freedom Foundation

Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

During the 1950s and 1960s, the CIA made multiple attempts to assassinate Cuba’s ruler, Fidel Castro. Let’s assume that the CIA had succeeded and that Castro had been shot dead on the streets of Havana.

It’s not difficult to imagine what U.S. national-security state officials would be saying today: “If we hadn’t assassinated Castro, the United States would have fallen to the communists and, today, Fidel and his brother would be running the IRS, Social Security, Medicare, public schooling, and other socialist programs owned and operated by the U.S. government.”

Soon after Castro took power on January 1, 1959, when President Eisenhower was still in office, and continually through the Kennedy administration, the CIA steadfastly maintained that a communist-ruled Cuba was a grave threat to U.S. “national security” — a communist dagger situated 90 miles away from American shores and pointed directly at the United States.

It was all a Cold War farce, one that served as one of the biggest protection rackets in history — one by which the national-security establishment was able to keep the American people in a constant, never-ending state of anxiety, fear, and depression, which assured ever-increasing budgets and power for what Ike called the “military-industrial complex” and what has ultimately become known as the “national-security establishment.”

CubaHavana50thAnniversaryPlayaGiron-19.jpgHow do we know it was all a farce? Because they didn’t succeed in assassinating Castro and yet the United States is still standing! Sure, we’ve got the same types of socialist and interventionist programs that Castro has in Cuba — income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, economic regulations, a Federal Reserve, etc. — but that’s not because Castro conquered the United States but rather because Americans love socialism and interventionism as much as Castro does.

What difference did it make to the American people that Cuba was ruled by a self-avowed communist? It didn’t make any difference at all. The plain truth is that under Castro, Cuba never initiated any acts of aggression toward the United States. Castro’s own national-security establishment never invaded the United States. It never tried to assassinate U.S. officials. It never initiated acts of terrorism inside the United States.

The only reason that U.S. officials ultimately decided to list Cuba as an official “sponsor of terrorism” was because of Castro’s support of insurgencies in other Latin American countries in which people were trying to oust U.S.-supported right-wing dictatorships, much like the brutal U.S.-supported Fulgencio Batista dictatorship that Castro succeeded in ousting from power in Cuba.

Throughout the Cold War and beyond, the CIA issued severe warnings about the danger that other Latin American countries would end up with communist regimes. It was all a farce too. It wouldn’t have made any difference to the United States if every other Latin American country went communist. That’s because there was never any possibility that Latin American countries were ever going to mount up their military forces and invade, conquer, and occupy the United States.

Consider all the Latin American countries that have gone leftist — including many of the ones that the CIA was so concerned with during the Cold War. Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, and more. Do you see them mobilizing their armies to invade the United States? It’s a ridiculous notion. And it was a ridiculous notion throughout the Cold War.

That’s not to say, of course, that it’s beneficial for people to live under a socialist or communist regime. That’s where libertarians part company with leftists. Living in Cuba, Venezuela, or other socialist regime is pure misery from an economic standpoint and a civil-liberties standpoint. But the fact is that such regimes never had any interest (or financial means — they were too broke) to even think of invading, conquering, and occupying the United States.

What all too many Americans have still not confronted is what the adoption of the national-security apparatus did to our country — in the name of the anti-communist crusade.

In the post-9/11 era, Americans are now fully accustomed to assassination. Most everyone accepts the fact that the CIA assassinates people with regularity and with impunity and immunity. It’s become a normal part of America’s governmental structure, justified as part of the “war on terrorism,” a war, we are told, is certain to last longer than the Cold War. It’s just another great big protection racket, one designed to maintain the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and the entire national-security apparatus in high cotton for the indefinite future.

The CIA has been an assassination machine practically since its inception. In its 1954 regime-change operation in Guatemala, for example, the CIA had a kill list of Guatemalan officials who were to be assassinated. There were the multiple assassination attempts against Castro. There were the plans to assassinate Rafael Trujillo, the ruler in the Dominican Republic. There was Operation Phoenix in Vietnam. There was the kidnapping-assassination of Gen. Rene Schneider of Chile. There were the assassinations of Americans Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi. There was the CIA’s partnership in Operation Condor, one of the biggest assassination rings in history, one that assassinated former Chilean official Orlando Letelier and his young assistant Ronni Moffitt on the streets of Washington, D.C. And as the mounting circumstantial evidence has inexorably disclosed, there was the assassination of President Kennedy, on grounds of “national security,” as I detail in my book Regime Change: The JFK Assassination.

At one time, CIA assassinations were kept secret or “covert.” That’s because most people recognized assassination for what it was — murder. Even President Lyndon Johnson, who wasn’t exactly the paragon of political virtue, called the CIA’s assassination program a “Murder Inc.”

And that’s precisely what assassination is– murder. What right, either moral or legal, did the U.S. government have to assassinate Fidel Castro or any other leftist ruler? From where did that authority come? It certainly didn’t come with the Constitution, which doesn’t authorize either a CIA, assassination, or regime-change operations. Under what moral, religious, legal, or constitutional authority did the U.S. national-security state murder people because of their political or economic philosophy?

Throughout the Cold War, Americans weren’t supposed to ask those types of questions. They were expected to defer to the national-security establishment. Conscience, reason, and independent thinking were submerged to the judgment of the national-security state. The citizen’s creed became: Assassination is normal and necessary. Our national-security state officials know what’s best. Trust them. Don’t ask questions. Secrecy must be maintained. “National security” is at stake.




The grafting of a national-security apparatus onto America’s founding governmental system was the worst mistake in the history of the United States, for in the name of protecting “national security” from Fidel Castro and communism, it moved America in the direction of the socialist and totalitarian regimes it was opposing.

How ironic that we now live in a society that has adopted the same socialist and interventionist programs found in Cuba and that why we now live in a society in which the government wields the omnipotent power to torture and assassinate its own people and others. How ironic that modern-day Americans celebrate their socialism, interventionism, assassinations, torture, coups, invasions, regime-changes, and their entire welfare-warfare state as “freedom.”

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

The Best of Jacob G. Hornberger

samedi, 13 décembre 2014

Washington’s Frozen War Against Russia


Frack the EU!

Washington’s Frozen War Against Russia

Ex: http://www.counterpunch.org

For over a year, the United States has played out a scenario designed to (1) reassert U.S. control over Europe by blocking E.U. trade with Russia, (2) bankrupt Russia, and (3) get rid of Vladimir Putin and replace him with an American puppet, like the late drunk, Boris Yeltsin.

The past few days have made crystal clear the perfidy of the economic side of this U.S. war against Russia.

It all began at the important high-level international meeting on Ukraine’s future held in Yalta in September 2013, where a major topic was the shale gas revolution which the United States hoped to use to weaken Russia. Former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson was there to make the pitch, applauded by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Washington hoped to use its fracking techniques to provide substitute sources for natural gas, driving Russia out of the market. This amounts to selling Europe a pig in a poke.

But this trick could not be accomplished by relying on the sacrosanct “market”, since fracking is more costly than Russian gas extraction. A major crisis was necessary in order to distort the market by political pressures. By the February 22 coup d’état, engineered by Victoria Nuland, the United States effectively took control of Ukraine, putting in power its agent “Yats” (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) who favors joining NATO. This direct threat to Russia’s naval base in Crimea led to the referendum which peacefully returned the historically Russian peninsula to Russia. But the U.S.-led chorus condemned the orderly return of Crimea as “Russian military aggression”. This defensive move is trumpeted by NATO as proof of Putin’s intention to invade Russia’s European neighbors for no reason at all.

Meanwhile, the United States’ economic invasion has gone largely unnoticed.

Ukraine has some of the largest shale gas reserves in Europe. Like other Europeans, Ukrainians had demonstrated against the harmful environmental results of fracking on their lands, but unlike some other countries, Ukraine has no restrictive legislation. Chevron is already getting involved.

As of last May, R. Hunter Biden, son of the U.S. Vice President, is on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer. The young Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and contribute to its “international expansion”.

Ukraine has rich soil as well as shale oil reserves. The U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill is particularly active in Ukraine, investing in grain elevators, animal feed, a major egg producer and agribusiness firm, UkrLandFarming, as well as the Black Sea port at Novorossiysk. The very active U.S.-Ukraine Business Council includes executives of Monsanto, John Deere, agriculture equipment-maker CNH Industrial, DuPont Pioneer, Eli Lilly & Company. Monsanto plans to build a $140 million “non-GMO corn seed plant in Ukraine”, evidently targeting the GMO-shy European market. It was in her speech at a Chevron-sponsored meeting of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council a year ago that Victoria Nuland mentioned the five billion dollars spent by the U.S. in the last twenty years to win over Ukraine.

On December 2, President Poroshenko swore in three foreigners as cabinet ministers: an American, a Lithuanian and a Georgian. He granted them Ukrainian citizenship a few minutes before the ceremony.

U.S. born Natalie Jaresko is Ukraine’s new Finance Minister. With a Ukrainian family background and degrees from Harvard and DePaul universities, Jaresko went from the State Department to Kiev when Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet
foolsjohnstoneUnion, in order to head the economic department of the newly opened U.S. embassy. Three years later she left the U.S. Embassy to head the U.S. government-financed Western NIS Enterprise Fund. In 2004 she established her own equity fund. As a supporter of the 2004 Orange Revolution, she served on “Orange” victor President Viktor Yushchenko’s Foreign Investors Advisory Council.

Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius is the new Economy Minister, putting government economic policy clearly under U.S. influence, or rather control.

The new Health Minister, Aleksandr Kvitashvili from Georgia, is U.S.-educated and does not speak Ukrainian. He had served as health minister in his native Georgia, when U.S. puppet Mikheil Saakashvili was President.

The U.S. grip on Ukraine’s economy is now complete. The stage is set to begin fracking, perhaps transforming Hunter Biden into Ukraine’s newest oligarch.

Nobody is mentioning this, but the controversial trade agreement between the E.U. and Ukraine, whose postponement set off the Maidan protests leading to the U.S.-steered February 22 coup d’état, removes trade barriers, allowing free entry into E.U. countries of agricultural exports produced in Ukraine by U.S. corporations. The Ukrainian government is deeply in debt, but that will not prevent American corporations from making huge profits in that low-wage, regulation-free and fertile country. European grain producers, such as France, may find themselves severely damaged by the cheap competition.

The Russophobic Kiev government’s assault on Southeastern Ukraine is killing the country’s industrial sector, whose markets were in Russia. But to Kiev’s rulers from Western Ukraine, that does not matter.   The death of old industry can help keep wages low and profits high.

Just as Americans decisively took control of the Ukrainian economy, Putin announced cancellation of the South Stream gas pipeline project. The deal was signed in 2007 between Gazprom and the Italian petrochemical company ENI, in order to ensure Russian gas deliveries to the Balkans, Austria and Italy by bypassing Ukraine, whose unreliability as a transit country had been demonstrated by repeated failure to pay bills or syphoning of gas intended for Europe for its own use. The German Wintershall and the French EDF also invested in South Stream.

In recent months, U.S. representatives began to put pressure on the European countries involved to back out of the deal. South Stream was a potential life-saver for Serbia, still impoverished by the results of NATO bombing and fire-sale giveaways of its privatized industries to foreign buyers. Aside from much-needed jobs and energy security, Serbia was in line to earn 500 million euros in annual transit fees. Belgrade resisted warnings that Serbia must go along with E.U. foreign policy against Russia in order to retain its status as candidate to join the E.U.

The weak link was Bulgaria, earmarked for similar benefits as the landing point of the pipeline. U.S. Ambassador to Sofia Marcie Ries started warning Bulgarian businessmen that they could suffer from doing business with Russian companies under sanctions. The retiring president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso from Portugal, who used to be a “Maoist” back when “Maoism” was the cover for opposition to Soviet-backed liberation movements in Portugal’s African colonies, threatened Bulgaria with E.U. proceedings for irregularities in South Stream contracts. This refers to E.U. rules against allowing the same company to produce and transfer gas. In short, the E.U. was attempting to apply its own rules retroactively to a contract signed with a non-EU country before the rules were adopted.


Finally, John McCain flew into Sofia to browbeat the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, to pull out of the deal, leaving South Stream out in the Black Sea without a point of entry onto the Balkan mainland.

This is all very funny considering that a favorite current U.S. war propaganda theme against Russia is that Gazprom is a nefarious political weapon used by Putin to “coerce” and “bully” Europe.

The only evidence is that Russia has repeatedly called on Ukraine to pay its long-overdo gas bills. In vain.

Cancellation of South Stream amounts to a belated blow to Serbia from NATO. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic bewailed the loss of South Stream, noting that: “We are paying the price of a conflict between big powers”.

Italian partners to the deal are also very unhappy at the big losses. But E.U. officials and media are, as usual, blaming it all on Putin.

Perhaps, when you are repeatedly insulted and made to feel unwelcome, you go away. Putin took his gas pipeline project to Turkey and immediately sold it to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. This looks like a good deal for Russia, and for Turkey, but the whole affair remains ominous.

Russian oil as a means of coercion? If Putin could use Gazprom to get Erdogan to change his policy on Syria, and drop his determination to overthrow Bachar al Assad, in order to defeat the Islamic State fanatics, that would be an excellent outcome. But so far, there is no sign of such a development.

The switch from the Balkans to Turkey deepens the gulf between Russia and Western Europe, which in the long run is harmful to both. But it also sharpens the economic inequality between Northern and Southern Europe. Germany still gets gas deliveries from Russia, notably from Gerhard Schroeder’s co-project with Putin, Nord Stream. But Southern European countries, already in deep crisis caused largely by the euro, are left out in the cold.   This turn of events might contribute to the political revolt that is growing in those countries.

As voices were being raised in Italy complaining that anti-Russian sanctions were hurting Europe but leaving the United States unscathed, Europeans could take comfort in kind words from the Nobel Peace Prize winner in the White House, who praised the European Union for doing the right thing, even though it is “tough on the European economy”.

In a speech to leading CEOs on December 3, Obama said the sanctions were intended to change Putin’s “mindset”, but didn’t think this would succeed. He is waiting for “the politics inside Russia” to “catch up with what’s happening in the economy, which is why we are going to continue to maintain that pressure.” This was another way of saying that stealing Russia’s natural gas market, forcing Europe to enact sanctions, and getting Washington’s bigoted stooges in Saudi Arabia to bring down petroleum prices by flooding the market, are all intended to make the Russian people blame Putin enough to get rid of him. Regime change, in short.

On December 4, the U.S. House of Representatives officially exposed the U.S. motive behind this mess by adopting what must surely be the worst piece of legislation ever adopted: Resolution 758.   The Resolution is a compendium of all the lies floated against Vladimir Putin and Russia over the past year. Never perhaps have so many lies been crammed into a single official document of that length. And yet, this war propaganda was endorsed by a vote of 411 to 10. If, despite this call for war between two nuclear powers, there are still historians in the future, they must judge this resolution as proof of the total failure of the intelligence, honesty and sense of responsibility of the political system that Washington is trying to force on the entire world

Ron Paul has written an excellent analysis of this shameful document. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/December/04/reckless-congress-declares-war-on-russia/ and http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2014/12/05/reckless-congress-declares-war-on-russia/#.VILpR1Ost4I.gmail

Whatever one may think of Paul’s domestic policies, on international affairs he stands out as a lone – very lone – voice of reason. (Yes, there was Dennis Kucinich too, but they got rid of him by gerrymandering his district off the map.)

After a long list of “Whereas” lies, insults and threats, we get the crass commercial side of this dangerous campaign. The House calls on European countries to “reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries” and “urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries”.

The Congress is ready to risk and even promote nuclear war, but when it comes to the “bottom line”, it is a matter of stealing Russia’s natural gas market by what so far is a bluff: shale gas obtained by U.S. fracking.

Worse Than Cold War

The neocons who manipulate America’s clueless politicians have not got us into a new Cold War. It is much worse. The long rivalry with the Soviet Union was “Cold” because of MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction. Both Washington and Moscow were perfectly aware that “Hot” war meant nuclear exchanges that would destroy everybody.

This time around, the United States thinks it already “won” the Cold War and seems to be drunk with self-confidence that it can win again. It is upgrading its nuclear weapons force and building a “nuclear shield” on Russia’s border whose only purpose can be to give the United States a first strike capacity – the ability to knock out any Russian retaliation against a U.S. nuclear attack. This cannot work, but it weakens deterrence.

The danger of outright war between the two nuclear powers is actually much greater than during the Cold War. We are now in a sort of Frozen War, because nothing the Russians say or do can have any effect. The neocons who manufacture U.S. policy behind the scenes have invented a totally fictional story about Russian “aggression” which the President of the United States, the mass media and now the Congress have accepted and endorsed. Russian leaders have responded with honesty, truth and common sense, remaining calm despite the invective thrown at them. It has done no good whatsoever. The positions are frozen. When reason fails, force follows. Sooner or later.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book, Queen of Chaos: the Foreign Policy of Hillary Clinton, will be published by CounterPunch in 2015. She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr


vendredi, 12 décembre 2014

House Resolution 758: A Work of Fiction


House Resolution 758: A Work of Fiction


Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

The U.S. government is a bastion of reckless behavior, constantly and continually. The extent of damage inflicted upon the American people by U.S. governments is huge and incalculable. The latest addition to its record of recklessness is H.R. 758. This resolution passed the House with 95 percent of the House voting “yea”. The vote was 411 to 10 with 13 not voting.

The text of H.R. 758, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 4, 2014, is here. This resolution is directed against Russia. All quotes below are from H.R. 758.

“H.Res.758 – Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”

H.R. 758 condemns Russia unjustly, unilaterally, without justification, without evidence, and while ignoring Russia’s actual intentions and actions.

H.R. 758 makes false charges against Russia. False accusations obscure facts and realities. This can only lead to harmful decisions. Basing national policies on fictions can only cause problems and hurt Americans.

H.R. 758 gains  nothing for Americans by fabricating false charges against Russia. To the contrary, there is much to be lost by placing America on a collision course with Russia. There is much to be lost for Americans, Russians, and other peoples of the world by isolating Russia and starting a new Cold War.

H.R. 758 makes various calls for action “with the goal of compelling it [Russia]…” These acts, that include “visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership” are hostile and aggressive.

H.R. 758’s attempt to compel Russia raises the distinct possibility of subsequent further economic, political and military steps that confront Russia and raise the likelihood of war, even nuclear war. These prospects are not counterbalanced by any gains to Americans from compelling Russia.

H.R. 758 demeans Russia. It is scandalously derogatory. It accuses Russia. It places Russia in a docket made by the U.S. It judges Russia. It makes the U.S. government the judge and jury of Russia.

H.R. 758 makes demands of Russia. It demands unrealistic capitulation. It places the U.S. in opposition to Russia when there is nothing to be gained by such opposition and peace is to be lost.

H.R. 758 calls for military actions. It spurns diplomacy.

H.R. 758 is aggressive in tone and nature, needlessly and without right.

H.R. 758 intrudes the U.S. into areas of the world where the U.S. doesn’t belong and has no right being. It intrudes the U.S. government into areas where it has no genuine interest on behalf of the American people.

H.R. 758 is fiction purporting to be fact. As fact, it’s mostly garbage, and harmful, dangerous garbage at that.

H.R. 758 is an extended exercise in baseless Congressional propaganda that teaches the American people false beliefs that can only generate hatred, suspicion and hostility. These strengthen the hand of the American warmongers and war party and obscure the voices for peace.

Although the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s role in it are none of Congress’s (or the House’s) business, measures like H.R. 758 will be used to justify further actions against Russia. For this reason, it’s useful to point out just a few of the many fictional narratives in this document.

What emerges after considering some of these allegations is that H.R. 758 has assembled a laundry list of charges against Russia in order to create the illusion of a substantial indictment. This is analogous to how American prosecutors trump up charges by issuing a stew such as assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, trafficking, conspiracy to deliver controlled substances, conspiracy to resist arrest, unlawful use of a telephone, ad infinitum. This manner of proceeding is not surprising given the legal backgrounds of many Congressmen and members of their staffs.

FICTION: “…the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political,         economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence.”

FACT: The Russian Federation did absolutely nothing to initiate Ukraine’s current set of troubles. It did not create a coup d’etat in Ukraine. To the contrary, the U.S. encouraged the coup. Russia never attacked Ukraine militarily with its armed forces. It never made an attempt to take over Ukraine. If it has, where is the evidence of such an invasion? Russia has never sought to erase the independence of Ukraine. To the contrary, it has again and again made efforts to bring peace to that country.

FICTION: “…Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea…”

FACT: Russia didn’t forcibly occupy Crimea at any time. Russia never invaded Crimea. Actually, in response to the coup d’etat in Kiev, the Parliament of Crimea adopted a resolution calling for a referendum to secede from Ukraine and its illegitimate government. The referendum was put to the people and passed in a one-sided vote. This resulted in Crimea joining the Russian Federation as a sovereign state.

FICTION: “… the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction…”

FACT: Whatever assistance was or was not, it did not result in “over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction…” as H.R. 758 says. This cannot be laid at the doorstep solely of either the secessionists or the Russian Federation. It is a consequence of the de-stabilization of Ukraine’s government that catalyzed secession movements and resulted in Ukraine’s going to war to maintain its territory.

FACT: As with Crimea, secessionary forces of eastern Ukraine immediately became active after the coup d’etat in Kiev on February, 25, 2014. (The Donetsk Republic organization actually appeared before the year 2007 when Ukraine banned it.) The coup resulted in activists taking control of municipal buildings and declaring the Federal State of Novorussiya on April 7, 2014. One week later, Ukraine’s interim government declared it would confront the secessionists militarily.

FACT: On May 16, 2014, Ukraine declared that the entire Donetsk People’s Republic, a component of the Federal State of Novorussiya, was a terrorist organization. Consequently, Ukraine sent its military forces against those of the eastern Ukraine secessionists. We know that to re-take territory, Ukraine prosecuted the war in Donbass by bombardments of civilian areas.

FACT: The available evidence on the war in Donbass shows complexity in the forces fighting on the secessionist side. The participation of Russians did occur. However, there is no documentation that has yet been provided by the U.S. of the extent and kinds of assistance by Russians and/or by the Russian Federation to the secessionist forces of the Federal State of Novorussiya.

FICTION: “…the terms of the cease-fire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-led separatists in the eastern area of Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports…”

FACT: The cease-fire has been repeatedly violated by both the Government of Ukraine and separatists. They’ve been fighting over the Donetsk airport. Calling the separatists Russian-led is an attempt to make Russia the author of the secessionist movement, which it is not. Cease-fires often are respites in longer wars as each side arms and regroups. This cease-fire’s lapses, which are none of America’s business anyway, can’t be taken seriously, and certainly not as seriously as H.R. 758 purports to do.

FICTION: “Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a missile fired by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives…”

FACT: The causes of the destruction of this airliner have not been yet established. H.R. 758 treats allegations as if they were facts.

FICTION: “…the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine…”

FACT: The energy relations among Russia, Russian companies, Ukraine and oligarchs of both countries are complex and not easily understood. They are known to be opaque. There are all sorts of hypotheses about them, but little is actually known. The allegation made in H.R. 758 is unproven.

FICTION: “…the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008…”

FACT: The breakup of the USSR has been followed by some instabilities on Russia’s periphery, especially where there are large Russian populations that come into conflict with other nearby peoples. This characterizes Ukraine and Georgia. In the latter case, Georgia had a breakaway region, South Ossetia. Georgia shelled this region, and that brought in the Russian military to protect the integrity of South Ossetia. A European Union report says that Russia didn’t simply invade Georgia on its own hook. It didn’t initiate an aggression. The attacks by Ukraine on Donbass are a similar case, except that Russia has notably not responded to protect Novorussiya as it did South Ossetia. It has not introduced a concerted Russian attack.

FICTION: “…the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States…”

FACT: This charge is sour grapes over the fact that Russia doesn’t want Georgia to join NATO and place missiles and armed forces on its doorstep. Georgia wants to join NATO, thinking that it affords it some protection against Russia.

If the Congress regards Russia’s pressures as “forms of aggression”, what then are its sanctions on Russia? Georgia is no more America’s business than is Ukraine. For the U.S. to condemn Russia over its actions on its periphery makes no more sense than for Russia to condemn the U.S. for its actions in Mexico or the Caribbean. When one major state begins to pressure another major state for its intrusions on smaller states, neither one can justify itself; and the result is often war between the two mastodons.

H.R. 758 is confrontational. It’s a jockeying for power at Russia’s boundaries and elsewhere. The problem with it is that as justification for confrontation it is so patently trumped up and false; and as part of a policy of U.S. expansion and influence, it is so foolish, so counter-productive and so dangerous.

H.R. 758 makes Ukraine into a U.S. ally. It calls for the restoration of Ukraine’s pre-coup borders. To accomplish this, it calls for the U.S. to supply arms, services and training to Ukraine: “…calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal defense articles, services, and training  required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty…”

This makes the U.S. a party to Ukraine’s war against Donbass and even Crimea.

The belief that motivates all of H.R. 758 is that Russia is expansionist and on the move, seeking to take over countries on its periphery. Washington sees Putin and Russia as a new Hitler and Germany. This is the basis of all the trumped up charges and fictions in this document. Washington is constructing a new Hitler for itself, even though the situation is totally different and even though the evidence points in very different directions. To this erroneous belief is added another erroneous idea, which is the notion that to do nothing is to appease Russia. And finally there is a third erroneous idea which is that it’s the mission of the U.S. to fight evil empires all over the world. So, since the U.S. government conceives itself as committed to fighting evil empires and it has found one in Putin’s Russia, it wants to join hands with Ukraine and enter the fight. Ukraine is seen as the new Sudetenland or Czechoslovakia or Austria.

What we have in Washington are people who have been so indoctrinated in an oversimplified history of the world American-style that they cannot see anything but those past situations today, when in fact the situations arising today are considerably different and call for very different responses.

Reality is far, far different than H.R. 758 suggests. Russia is not an aggressive state. Its moves are defensive. Putin has sought time and again to protect Russian populations on the periphery of the Russian Federation. This is merely housekeeping and tidying up after the dissolution of the USSR. Putin wants respect for Russia and a Russian sphere of influence. He wants ties with Europe, peaceful ties. Putin has not built Russia into a military machine of huge proportions. He has not attacked any country in an outright aggression. There is no evidence, in word or deed, that this is his intent.

NATO is an aggressive force, as shown in Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya. It is a tool of neo-colonialist European powers. NATO cannot be trusted. Russia’s defensiveness concerning NATO is entirely justified.

America is an aggressively expansionary force, with vast global ambitions, as shown by its attacks on Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq, as shown by its drone wars in other countries like Pakistan and Yemen, as shown by its forces in Somalia and its other commitments in Africa, and as shown by its Pacific pivot and evident antagonism toward Russia. Russia’s defensiveness concerning the U.S. is justified.

H.R. 758 reflects anachronistic thinking, but fighting enemies, real and imagined, has become an entrenched habit of American governments. Congress doesn’t want peace. It doesn’t want to exercise diplomacy. It doesn’t want to recognize a multipolar world and other major powers, not really. Congress wants a new and large outside enemy. Else, why would it be constructing one in the form of Putin and the Russian Federation?

mardi, 09 décembre 2014

La guerre froide du XXIe siècle a commencé


La guerre froide du XXIe siècle a commencé

La Chambre des représentants adopte la résolution 758

Auteur : Esther Tanquintic-Misa
Ex: http://zejournal.mobi

… les USA disent à la Russie d’arrêter de s’auto-isoler

Les États-Unis ont effectivement appuyé sur le bouton de la guerre froide du XXIe siècle. Jeudi, la Chambre des représentants a adopté la résolution 758, un décret disant que les Etats-Unis, l’Europe et leurs alliés « doivent garder la pression de manière agressive » sur la Russie et son président Vladimir Poutine, jusqu’à ce que ces mesures « modifient son comportement ».

Mercredi, le Président américain Barack Obama a affirmé que M. Poutine est « en train de complètement isoler la Russie sur la scène internationale » et qu’il sait que le dirigeant russe ne va pas « soudainement changer son état d’esprit… C’est une des raisons pour lesquelles nous allons continuer à maintenir cette pression ». Le Secrétaire d’Etat américain, John Kerry a exhorté la Russie à ne pas s’isoler, lors d’une réunion des 57 membres de l’Organisation pour la sécurité et la coopération en Europe dans la ville de Bâle au nord de la Suisse. La résolution 758 avait demandé le renforcement de l’OTAN et des ventes de gaz naturel étatsunien à l’Europe, sous-entendu, au détriment des exportations énergétiques russes.

La résolution a également donné au gouvernement du Président ukrainien Petro Poroshenko le signal de départ pour lancer des actions militaires contre les « séparatistes » dans l’est de l’Ukraine. La résolution 758 a appelé le Président américain à « fournir au gouvernement ukrainien du matériel de défense, des services et des formations pour défendre efficacement son territoire et sa souveraineté ».

« Ce n’est pas seulement une déclaration de guerre froide US contre la Russie mais c’est aussi une déclaration de guerre de Kiev contre Donetsk et Lougansk, », a déclaré à RT News Daniel McAdams, directeur exécutif à l’Institut Ron Paul. La résolution 758, décrite comme un décret qui condamne fermement les actes d’agression de Moscou contre ses voisins, est un document qui ouvre la boîte de Pandore des conflits militaires mondiaux.

McAdams a déclaré qu’il trouvait la résolution comique dans le sens qu’en accusant la Russie d’organiser des élections frauduleuses en Ukraine, elle justifiait une guerre totale, engageant les forces des Etats-Unis et de l’OTAN alors que, en fait, l’Ukraine n’est pas membre de l’OTAN. Il a ajouté que le projet de loi mentionne le chapitre cinq du traité de l’OTAN plusieurs fois, mais ce n’est pas sûr que le Congrès comprenne ce que cela signifie. Sous le couvert de la résolution 758, la Chambre des représentants a exhorté M. Obama à vérifier et examiner l’état de préparation des forces armées américaines et de l’OTAN à la lumière du Traité sur les Forces armées conventionnelles en Europe (FCE).

Jeudi, M. Poutine a dit que la résolution 758, qu’il a décrite comme une « politique de dissuasion » contre la Russie par les autres États, venait juste d’être formellement instituée. Mais il croit que la politique de dissuasion a toujours été en place vis-à-vis de la Russie « depuis des décennies, voire des siècles » et devait être immédiatement activée si les autres Etats sentaient que la Russie devenait trop puissante et indépendante.

Il a fustigé les États-Unis, leur reprochant de manipuler les relations entre les voisins de la Russie. « Parfois vous ne savez même pas à qui il vaut mieux s’adresser : les gouvernements de certains pays ou directement à leurs patrons américains ». US House Resolution 758 a été adopté à une écrasante majorité 411 – 10 par le 113ème Congrès.

¿La paz “imposible” de Putin con Obama?

por Alfredo Jalife-Rahme

Ex: http://paginatransversal.wordpress.com

Ahora que me encuentro en San Petersburgo –la segunda ciudad rusa en importancia y joya cultural humanista con casi 6 millones de habitantes–, donde interactúo gratamente con los rusos locales, me cuesta demasiado trabajo entender cómo Rusia puede ser desvinculada cultural, económica y políticamente de Europa, en particular, y en general de Occidente–una distorsión semántica de la orwelliana propaganda anglosajona (en inglés equivale a “ misnomer”)–, que cuenta en el seno del G-7 al oriental –desde el punto de vista cultural y geográfico– Japón.

La semiótica distorsión geoeconómica/geopolítica de la dupla anglosajona de Wall Street/La City (Londres), que controla a sus respectivos gobiernos pusilánimes cuan impopulares –Obama compite en repudio ciudadano con David Cameron, el premier británico–, incrusta a Japón, de raza amarilla y cultura oriental, y excluye a Rusia, de raza blanca y cultura occidental genuina, del Nuevo Occidente adulterado y desbrujulado.

En un enfoque holístico, San Petersburgo –la metrópoli más occidental de Rusia, válgase la tautología cultural y geográfica– representa uno de los crisoles modernos de la auténtica civilización occidental humanista: desde sus incomparables Ballets Russes del Teatro Mariinsky –lo óptimo de Occidente– hasta su maravilloso Museo L’Hermitage, que detenta la mayor colección de pinturas de Occidente, sin contar otros notables atributos civilizatorios, como sus iglesias del rito ortodoxo cristiano –una religión medio-oriental adoptada por la primera, segunda y tercera Roma (respectivamente la original, luego Bizancio y por último Moscú)– y sus característicos palacios de ensueño, de arquitectura similar a la de Italia, Gran Bretaña (GB), Francia y Alemania.

El inconmensurable sabio chino Confucio solía decir que la máxima señal del caos es cuando existe confusión lingüística: no sólo excluir a Rusia –tanto del fenecido G-8 como de la entelequia de Occidente adulterada por los urgentes imperativos geopolíticos de la dupla anglosajona–, sino peor aún, comparar grotescamente a Hitler con Putin, cuyo país contribuyó en la derrota de la Alemania nazi, denota una grave pérdida de la sindéresis, a la par de una incontinencia verbal.

Otra confusión lingüística en el campo de la geopolítica radica hoy en discutir casi bizantinamente si Estados Unidos y Rusia se encuentran ya en un nueva guerra fría –a la que han advertido solemnemente Kissinger y Gorbachov– o si se confrontan en una guerra multidimensional, donde destaca la guerra económica a la que ha hecho alusión prístinamente el mismo presidente ruso Vlady Putin (http://goo.gl/5WCUlP) y quien, en su célebre entrevista a la televisión alemana ARD (http://goo.gl/syTXSI), reclama y exclama que la OTAN y Estados Unidos poseen bases militares esparcidas en todo el globo, incluyendo áreas cercanas al territorio ruso y cuyo numero sigue creciendo. Luego Putin confesó que, frente a la decisión de la OTAN de desplegar fuerzas especiales cerca de la frontera rusa, Moscú ha respondido con ejercicios similares (v.gr en el Golfo de México).

La “nueva guerra fría” ya empezó y su epítome es la guerra económica que ha desplomado deliberadamente el precio del petróleo, que daña enormemente a Rusia.

En un extenso documento (http://goo.gl/CHwJUS), Vladimir P. Kozin –jefe de los consejeros del Instituto Ruso de Estudios Estratégicos– aborda la “segunda guerra fría” que Estados Unidos y la OTAN han impuesto a Rusia y pregunta cuál es la forma de superarla, a lo que propone cuatro axiomas:

1) Estados Unidos y sus aliados de la OTAN deben cesar cualquier edificación militar cerca de las fronteras rusas –que incluya una serie de acuerdos estratégicos sobre armas convencionales y nucleares a los que ya se llegó– y deben contemplar a Rusia como su aliado (sic) permanente y no como su enemigo permanente.

2) Levantar sin condiciones todas las sanciones económicas y financieras contra Rusia.

3) “Ucrania tendrá que declarar su promesa para conservar su estatuto de no alineado y no nuclear para siempre (sic). Aquí vale la pena un comentario: al momento de la disolución de la URSS, Ucrania cedió parte de su dotación de armas nucleares –al unísono de Belarús y Kazajs­tán–, sin haber sido recompensada por la ingrata comunidad internacional.

Y 4) La comunidad internacional debe oponerse firmemente a las tentativas de revivir los resultados de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y combatir consistentemente todas las formas y manifestaciones de racismo, xenofobia, nacionalismo agresivo y chovinismo.

Tales cuatro puntos deberán ser tratados en una cumbre especial entre Estados Unidos y Rusia, pero no con Barack Obama, ya que el geoestratega Kozin juzga imposible (¡supersic!) realizarla durante lo que queda de su presidencia.

Kozin plantea que en el umbral de una guerra nuclear definitoria, las guerras hoy son híbridas: guerras convencionales sumadas de ciberguerras y guerras de desinformación mediante infiltraciones en asuntos domésticos ajenos bajo la forma de caos controlado y guerras por aliados interpósitos (“proxy-wars”).

Kozin se pronuncia por una “distensión (détente) global”, que implemente bajo el principio del mundo multipolar una seguridad mutua garantizada.

Llama la atención el profundo grado de animadversión personal de los geoestrategas rusos a Obama, que no alcanza los niveles de rusofobia masiva del polaco-canadiense-estadunidense Brzezinski quien, después de haber tendido una trampa letal a la URSS en Afganistán, contempla(ba) balcanizar lo que queda de Rusia en tres pedazos, con el fin de incorporar a Ucrania a la OTAN, como enuncia en su libro hoy caduco El gran tablero de ajedrez mundial, que no previó las derrotas militares de Estados Unidos en Irak y Afganistán ni el advenimiento del nuevo orden tripolar geoestratégico (EU/Rusia/China).

El verdadero asesor geoestratégico de Obama es Brzezinski, ex asesor de Seguridad Nacional de Carter, atormentado por sus fobias atávicas todavía a sus 86 años.

Los geoestrategas rusos han perdido la esperanza de alcanzar un acuerdo con Obama –la paz imposible–, a quien también le conviene el conflicto congelado de Ucrania mientras cede la batuta a un Congreso hostil.

Quizá los rusos prefieran esperar al nuevo presidente de Estados Unidos en los próximos tres años para poder negociar.

Un error de focalización subjetiva consiste en atribuir a los mandatarios de Estados Unidos y Rusia sus políticas que son producto de sus maquinarias de guerra y sus intereses grupales.

Una cosa es la postura de un think tank de la talla del Instituto Ruso de Estudios Estratégicos y otra cosa es la trivialización de la guerra sicológica de viciosa propaganda negra a la que se consagran dos publicaciones financieristas anglosajonas, The Economist (22/11/14) y The Wall Street Journal (4 y 15/11/14), quienes desde su comodidad bursátil no se agotan en incitar a una guerra de Estados Unidos contra Rusia.

¿Tendrán suficientes refugios nucleares los malignos banqueros de Wall Street y La City de Londres?


Twitter: @AlfredoJalife

Facebook: AlfredoJalife

La Resolución delirante del Congreso de EE.UU. se interpreta como una declaración de guerra a Rusia

Ex: http://elespiadigital.com

El excongresista estadounidense Ron Paul considera que la nueva resolución adoptada por el Congreso de EE.UU. son "16 páginas de propaganda" contra Rusia y puede acarrear graves consecuencias, incluida la guerra.

La resolución 758 adoptada por el Congreso de EE.UU. es "uno de los peores documentos legislativos de la historia", opina el exmiembro del Congreso Ron Paul en un artículo que ha publicado en su página de Facebook. En el texto, titulado 'El Congreso temerario declara la guerra a Rusia', el político califica la nueva resolución del legislativo estadounidense de "propaganda de guerra en 16 páginas" y pone en evidencia el carácter infundado de cada una de las acusaciones contra Rusia.

En primer lugar, Paul señala que la resolución acusa "sin ningún fundamento" a Moscú de haber invadido Ucrania y condena la "violación de la soberanía ucraniana" por parte de Rusia. Pero si fuera verdad, replica el político, ¿por qué no existen videos ni imágenes que lo demuestren con todos los satélites sofisticados de EE.UU.? Paul prosigue con otra pregunta lógica: "¿Por qué no es una violación de la soberanía ucraniana cuando EE.UU. participa en el derrocamiento del gobierno elegido de este país como hizo en febrero?"

Según Paul, la resolución acusa a la gente del este de Ucrania de haber realizado "elecciones ilegales y fraudulentas" en noviembre. "¿Por qué cada vez que las elecciones no producen los resultados deseados por el Gobierno estadounidense se llaman "ilegales" y "fraudulentas"?", replica el excongresista. "¿Es que a la gente del este de Ucrania no se le permite la autodeterminación? ¿No es un derecho humano básico?".

Asimismo, la resolución constata que el avión de Malaysia Airlines que se estrelló sobre suelo ucraniano en julio fue derribado por un misil "lanzado por fuerzas separatistas apoyadas por Rusia en el este de Ucrania", a pesar de que en el informe preliminar las causas de la tragedia aún no fueron establecidas. El informe final no se publicará hasta el año siguiente.

La resolución también afirma que Rusia invadió Georgia en 2008, cuando incluso la Unión Europea, recuerda Paul, tras realizar una investigación "llegó a la conclusión de que fue Tbilisi el que empezó una guerra injustificada contra Rusia y no al revés".

Una de las ideas más peligrosas, según Paul, es que la resolución da la luz verde al presidente ucraniano Piotr Poroshenko para volver a iniciar ataques militares contra las provincias favorables a la independencia, insistiendo en "el desarme de los separatistas y fuerzas paramilitares en el este de Ucrania". Para conseguirlo, la resolución directamente implica al Gobierno estadounidense en el conflicto pidiendo al presidente que "proporcione al Gobierno de Ucrania elementos de defensa letales y no letales, así como servicios y entrenamiento necesario para defender de forma eficaz su territorio y soberanía".

La nueva resolución del Congreso fue aprobada el pasado 4 de diciembre con solo 10 votos en contra.

Los medios de EE.UU. silencian la resolución aprobada contra Rusia

El economista Michel Chossudovsky, fundador del Centro para la Investigación de la Globalización Global Research, denuncia que la aprobación de la resolución de la Cámara de Representantes de EE.UU. contra Rusia se silencia en los medios. "Puedo decir que casi nadie sabe de esta resolución y había un acuerdo previo con la prensa estadounidense y europea para no comentarla, ni siquiera informar al público de que había sido adoptada", reveló el académico canadiense a RT.

A su juicio,  tanta desinformación en EE.UU. no es algo nuevo, sino "algo que ya existe desde hace mucho tiempo".

Chossudovsky opina que si "el público estadounidense estuviese informado de lo que realmente sucede tanto en Oriente Medio como en la frontera con Rusia, habría convocado un movimiento de protesta de envergadura, un movimiento antiguerra".

El economista tacha la resolución de "tremendamente impactante", ya que "en cierta manera da la luz verde al presidente de EE.UU. para declarar la guerra a Rusia".

Putin ha dado una señal clara a los políticos de Occidente

En su mensaje anual a la Asamblea Federal el presidente Vladímir Putin ha dejado claro que Rusia no a cambiará su posición respecto a Ucrania pese a las presiones. Algunos expertos, como Vladímir Olenchenko, perciben un aviso claro a Occidente.

En su discurso ante la Asamblea Federal, el presidente ruso advirtió que, a pesar de la presión, Rusia nunca seguirá el camino del autoaislamiento ni buscará a enemigos, pero enfatizó que "hablar con Rusia utilizando el lenguaje de la fuerza no tiene ningún sentido".

"Es una especie de señal o estímulo para aquellos que se adhieren al sentido común en la política. Hay que entender claramente que cuando nos referimos al régimen de sanciones ello no quiere decir que la población de los países que imponen esas sanciones esté plenamente de acuerdo y se solidarice con tales medidas. No es así. Por ejemplo, en Alemania las encuestas de opinión pública indican que los alemanes no comparten las sanciones [contra Rusia]", explicó a la radio 'Sputnik' el abogado y representante del Centro de Estudios Europeos Vladímir Olenchenko, citado por RIA Novosti.

Además, Olenchenko recordó que contra las sanciones no solo se manifiestan empresas alemanas, sino que entre los líderes germanos tampoco hay unanimidad sobre esta cuestión. "Algunos políticos subrayan la importancia de pasar al lenguaje de diálogo y, en un sentido más amplio, señalan que es necesario encontrar maneras de salir del régimen de sanciones", recordó Olenchenko.

A juicio del experto, la situación es más o menos semejante en otros países de la UE. "Alemania es un país líder en Europa y lo que está sucediendo en este país muestra claramente lo que sucede en otros países de la Unión Europea", aseguró.

Por qué EE.UU. quiere desintegrar Europa en microestados

Olenchenko también hizo hincapié en las palabras de Putin respecto a que es imposible que en Rusia se dé un "escenario yugoslavo de desintegración". Este jueves el mandatario ruso indicó que en Occidente "querían desintegrar Rusia como hicieron con Yugoslavia". "Fracasaron porque los detuvimos", aseveró. 

El experto respalda al presidente y explica: "Uno de los escenarios era reducir el tamaño de los estados y su fragmentación en otros más pequeños. Por supuesto es más fácil presionar a los países pequeños de Europa: es más fácil ofrecerles propuestas. Si lo tomamos en un sentido más amplio, ello quiere decir que es más fácil promover sus intereses y políticas. Este es uno de los enfoques principales de los EE.UU. y ha habido intentos de aplicar esto a Rusia".

jeudi, 31 juillet 2014

La seconda guerra fredda




Rivista di studi Geopolitici


2° trimestre 2014


La seconda guerra fredda



di Ivan Buttignon

Venezia Giulia, 1945-1954. Il fantomatico Territorio Libero di Trieste è diviso tra Zona A, occupata dai britannici e dagli statunitensi, e la Zona B, dagli jugoslavi. Specificamente nella prima, l’impronta alleata s’imprime in tutto il suo senso politico ma soprattutto culturale: Trieste deve diventare democratica, occidentale, europea; con le buone o con le cattive. La Venezia Giulia, o meglio quella piccola quota del territorio giuliano rimasta nell’area occidentale, rifiuta di venire standardizzato dalla logica anglo-americana e di diventarne serva. Il saggio insiste sulle trame sia politiche che, a maggior ragione, culturali che incombono sulla Zona A in termini di contrapposizione tra un governo alleato che specula sulle difficoltà di riorganizzazione politica, economica e sociale, implementando ricette formalmente democratiche ma che de facto creano maggiori e più profonde disuguaglianze, e il cosiddetto fronte filoitaliano, stremato per la sempre più carente rappresentanza italiana sia nella Zona B, dove la situazione assume i tratti della persecuzione antitaliana, sia nella Zona A.

di Cristiano Procentese

La crisi finanziaria globale di questi ultimi anni è stata l’elemento scatenante di una serie di crisi economiche, sociali e politiche. Gli Stati europei insistono nell’adottare politiche improntate al libero mercato e, contemporaneamente, a smantellare gli investimenti nello stato sociale. Aumentano le disuguaglianze e la povertà e, come se non bastasse, le banche hanno ridotto i prestiti alle famiglie e alle imprese. Le popolazioni locali, costrette a sopportare sacrifici odiosi e iniqui, si sentono sempre più estranee alla politica tradizionale. Fortunatamente, sta emergendo nei cittadini europei un’esigenza di passare dalla centralità dei mercati alla priorità dei propri diritti. Nuove forme di associazionismo si vanno affermando, tuttavia tali nuovi gruppi, pur con tutto il loro attivismo, oltre ad essere privi di un mandato democratico, appaiono assai eterogenei per ambito di interesse e ancora lontani dall’idea di democrazia partecipativa.

di Silvia Bettiol

Le relazioni tra il Pakistan e gli Stati Uniti sono iniziate durante la guerra fredda, quando i due Paesi si sono alleati per sconfiggere i sovietici in Afghanistan. Dopo l’11 settembre del 2001 tuttavia i due Stati non possono più essere considerati alleati. Gli interessi nazionali pakistani e quelli statunitensi si scontrano continuamente, rendendo difficili le relazioni tra Washington e Islamabad che, nonostante le divergenze, sono oggi costretti a collaborare per cercare di gestire ciò che hanno involontariamente creato con le loro decisioni durante gli anni Ottanta.

RECENSIONE di: Giulietto Chiesa, Invece della catastrofe (a cura di Renato Pallavidini)


vendredi, 11 juillet 2014

La seconda guerra fredda



Claudio Mutti

Ex: http://www.eurasia-rivista.org

“Guerra fredda” è la formula giornalistica che diventò d’uso corrente nel 1948, con l’inizio del blocco di Berlino, per definire lo stato di guerra non guerreggiata, ovvero di pace armata, fra i due grandi blocchi antagonisti e simultaneamente solidali nella spartizione del potere mondiale: il blocco occidentale facente capo agli USA e quello eurasiatico facente capo all’URSS. Pare che la fortuna di tale termine, impiegato per indicare un’intera fase storica, sia dovuta, se non a George Orwell che lo coniò, al giornalista statunitense Walter Lippmann, il quale lo diffuse tramite una serie di articoli pubblicati nel luglio 1947 sul “New York Herald Tribune” e poi raccolti nel volume The Cold War. A Study in U.S. Foreign Policy.

L’atto ufficiale di nascita della Guerra fredda può essere individuato nel discorso pronunciato il 5 marzo 1946 a Fulton (Missouri) da Sir Winston Churchill, che in quella circostanza usò per la prima volta un’altra espressione destinata ad incontrare analogo successo: “cortina di ferro”.

Caratterizzata da continui atti ostili, la guerra fredda fu combattuta con un’intensa attività propagandistica affidata alla stampa ed alle emittenti radiofoniche (“guerra delle onde”) e con la divulgazione di notizie ora incoraggianti ora deprimenti (“guerra dei nervi”).

Iniziata nello scenario successivo alla seconda guerra mondiale e finita nel 1989-1991, la guerra fredda può essere considerata, se è lecito continuare ad usare il termine “guerra” in maniera estensiva, una terza guerra mondiale. Se non altro, l’uso arbitrario del termine può servire a rappresentare la realtà di un conflitto che è terminato con la vittoria di un antagonista e la sconfitta dell’altro. Come sostiene Brzezinski, “siccome la guerra fredda è stata vinta pacificamente, sia i vincitori sia i vinti hanno condiviso l’interesse a nascondere il fatto che essa è terminata con una vittoria ed a mascherare sotto le parvenze di una riconciliazione tra Est ed Ovest quella che è stata una vittoria geopolitica e ideologica dell’Occidente”(1).

Infatti la guerra fredda o terza guerra mondiale “è stata un novum della storia, non tanto perché in passato non siano state condotte guerre in cui l’elemento religioso e l’elemento economico-territoriale non fossero già presenti (…) quanto perché siamo qui di fronte ad un intreccio fra elemento geopolitico (il confronto USA-URSS) ed elemento ideologico (il confronto fra capitalismo e comunismo) talmente potente ed invasivo da non tollerare vere e proprie analogie con eventi del passato”(2).

Nella fase attuale dei rapporti tra il blocco occidentale e la Russia, fase inaugurata dal putsch di Kiev sostenuto dall’Occidente, l’intreccio dell’elemento geopolitico con quello ideologico non è certamente così stretto come nel periodo della (prima) guerra fredda. La stessa formula di “guerra fredda”, secondo quanto ha dichiarato il 26 marzo 2014 Barack Obama, non sarebbe riproponibile, proprio per il fatto che, “a differenza dell’URSS, la Russia non guida un blocco di nazioni o un’ideologia globale”(3).

Va però osservato che il medesimo Obama, contraddicendosi in parte, ha tuttavia attribuito alla Russia postsovietica una visione ideologica, la quale sosterrebbe “che gli uomini e le donne comuni siano di vedute troppo corte per poter badare ai propri affari, e che ordine e progresso possano esserci soltanto quando i singoli rinunciano ai propri diritti a vantaggio di una potente sovranità collettiva”.

Per quanto riguarda il blocco occidentale, il presidente statunitense ha ribadito in maniera chiarissima la connessione tra l’aspetto geopolitico e quello ideologico. “Da un lato all’altro dell’Atlantico – egli ha detto – abbiamo abbracciato una visione condivisa di Europa; una visione che si basa sulla democrazia rappresentativa, i diritti dell’individuo, e il principio che le nazioni possano soddisfare gli interessi dei loro cittadini con il commercio e il libero mercato; una rete di sicurezza sociale e il rispetto per chi professa una religione diversa o ha origini diverse”. O caratteri antropologici diversi, come nel caso dei “nostri fratelli gay e [del]le nostre sorelle lesbiche”.

Obama non ha mancato di proclamare la validità universale di quelli che ha definito, parlando a nome dell’Occidente globale, “i nostri ideali”. “Gli ideali che ci uniscono – ha detto – hanno la medesima importanza per i giovani di Boston e di Bruxelles, di Giacarta e di Nairobi, di Cracovia e di Kiev”. E a proposito di Kiev ha dichiarato che “è proprio questa la posta in gioco oggi in Ucraina”: ossia l’imposizione degl’interessi geopolitici atlantici e della visione ideologica occidentale.

È vero che la radice della guerra fredda – intesa non come “un segmento di storia ma [come] una curvatura permanente della geopolitica contemporanea”(4) – è geopolitica prima che ideologica. Come dichiara in maniera franca e realistica il recente editoriale di una rivista di ispirazione occidentalista, “per l’America si tratta di garantirsi contro l’emergere di una potenza rivale in Eurasia. Poco importa se comunista, buddhista o vegana”(5).

Resta tuttavia il fatto che, se la Russia ha una sua visione geopolitica, essa non dispone però di una sua ideologia da contrapporre a quella occidentale. Eppure, come reclama Aleksandr Dugin, “la Russia, intesa come civiltà, non può, ma deve avere valori propri, diversi da quelli delle altre civiltà”.

L’esigenza di richiamarsi ai princìpi ispiratori della propria civiltà non riguarda soltanto la Russia, ma tutte le aree in cui si articola il continente eurasiatico e quindi tutte quelle forze che condividono la prospettiva di un’Eurasia sovrana. Gábor Vona ha espresso chiaramente tale esigenza: “Non ci può bastare – afferma il politico ungherese – un’alternativa semplicemente geografica e geopolitica, ma avvertiamo la necessità di un eurasiatismo spirituale. Se non siamo in grado di assicurarlo, allora la nostra visione rimane soltanto una diversa concezione politica, economica, militare o amministrativa, capace sì di rappresentare una diversità strutturale, ma non una rottura di livello qualitativa di fronte alla globalizzazione occidentale. Ci sarà un polo politico opposto, ma non una superiorità qualitativa. Tutto ciò può creare le basi per una nuova guerra fredda o mondiale, nella quale si affronteranno due forze antitradizionali, come è avvenuto nel caso dell’URSS e degli USA, ma certamente non sarà possibile contrastare il processo storico della diffusione dell’antitradizione. Per noi invece sarebbe proprio questo l’essenziale. Dal nostro punto di vista, è inconcepibile uno scontro in cui una globalizzazione si contrapponga ad un’altra globalizzazione”(6).

Claudio Mutti è Direttore di “Eurasia”.


1. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Consequences of the End of the Cold War for International Security, in The New Dimensions of International Security, “Adelphi Papers”, 265, inverno 1991-1992, p. 3.
2. Costanzo Preve, La quarta guerra mondiale, Edizioni all’insegna del Veltro, Parma 2008, p. 104.
3. Barack Obama, Usa ed Europa difenderanno il diritto, ma non è una nuova Guerra fredda, “La Stampa”, 27 marzo 2014, pp. 20-21.
4. Lo specchio ucraino, “Limes”, n. 4, aprile 2014, p. 18.
5. Lo specchio ucraino, cit., p. 17.
6. Vona Gábor, Néhány bevezető gondolat a szellemi eurázsianizmus megteremtéséhez, “Magyar Hüperión”, I, 3, nov. 2013 – genn. 2014, p. 294.

jeudi, 01 mai 2014

Notes sur le passé recomposé en narrative

Notes sur le passé recomposé en narrative

Ex: http://www.dedefensa.org

Parmi l’avalanche de nouvelles, d’initiatives, de montages, de false flag, de narrative qui caractérise la crise ukrainienne, on en distingue certaines qui conduisent à une hypothèse centrale. Le Système aux abois, dans le chef de l’américanisme et de la présidence BHO qui sont dans la même situation, jouent leur va-tout dans une tentative paradoxale de ressusciter le passé pour imposer définitivement “leur avenir” au monde. Il s’agit du tournant ultime, du quitte ou double, du tout au rien. La pièce ainsi montée, – comme l’on dit d’une “pièce montée” qui couronne un mariage, – est celle d’une “nouvelle Guerre froide” qui prend corps sous la forme d’articles divers, d’un rapport pour la Maison-Blanche, d’une fuite opportune vers le toujours-utile New York Times et ainsi de suite. La narrative prend forme. On croit revivre.

Il s’agit donc bien de cela : une deuxième Guerre froide, le futur par le retour vers le passé, le passé qui est le retour à la case-départ. L’occasion en est cette crise ukrainienne dont on ne finit pas de découvrir l’ampleur, l’extension, l’universalisation, – la crise ukrainienne, catastrophe en elle-même et catastrophique bouée de sauvetage pour une direction-Système des USA en perdition.

Parmi les diverses initiatives et mesures qui confortent cette hypothèse et l’interprétation que nous en offrons, nous en choisissons deux qui ont une puissante signification. L’une donne une appréciation générale de la conception générale en train de se mettre en place à Washington, l’autre une appréciation opérationnelle montrant un début d’application de cette appréciation ; mais, certes, si nous choisissions deux événements liés l’un à l’autre par une logique qui suggérerait une planification précise, une élaboration rationnelle, notre conviction est qu’il s’agit plutôt d’une agglomération de mesures et d’événements différents qui se sont imposés sans la moindre cohésion et, en fait, montrant que les événements dictent leur loi, plus que jamais. Pour mieux mettre en évidence ce constat fondamental, nous allons renverser l’ordre suggéré par la description que nous développons pour restituer la vraie chronologie qui est l’inverse que celle que nous suggérerait l’identification des deux événements.

La marionnette type-courroie de transmission

... Ainsi, le premier sujet abordé semblerait la conséquence du second qui suivra, mais il ne l’est pas. Il constitue un événement incontrôlé suscité par d’autres événements incontrôlés depuis la mise en action de la crise ukrainienne, amenant des réactions des directions politiques et directions-Système concernées pour le développement d’une nouvelle situation opérationnelle. Cette nouvelle situation opérationnelle, qu’on croirait enfantée par la “nouvelle conception générale en train de se mettre en place à Washington” (nous refusons de la baptiser “nouvelle stratégie” ou “nouvelle doctrine”, qui impliquerait une notion d’ordre et de logique, et de planification, qui est absolument et totalement absente du propos à son origine), se matérialise essentiellement par l’annonce de l’envoi de troupes US dans des pays bordant la Russie, évidemment présentées comme “défensives”. Il s’agit essentiellement de la Pologne et des pays baltes ; on comprend aussitôt, sans étonnement particulier, que c’est bien la Pologne qui joue un rôle fondamental dans ce bouleversement.

La nouvelle concerne donc l’envoi de troupes US en Pologne, – 10 000 hommes au minimum, voudraient les Polonais, 5 000 au plus selon la position de départ du Pentagone. On négocie... WSWS.org donne le 19 avril 2014 les détails des circonstances accompagnant le début de l’officialisation du déploiement des troupes US en Pologne, avec d’autres éléments militaires, par le biais des confidences sonores du ministre polonais de la défense visitant le Washington Post après une rencontre avec le secrétaire à la défense Chuck Hagel, – signes, tout cela, que la Pologne est de plus en plus la courroie de transmission, la “marionnette” mais aussi le partenaire actif et va-t’en-guerre des USA en Europe centrale.

«According to the Post, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, visiting the newspaper after meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, said, “the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details.” The article continued: “There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, ‘under US patronage,’ he said.”

»The report makes clear that the US entered into the Geneva agreement with Russia, purportedly to “deescalate tensions” in Ukraine, in bad faith, intending to use Russia’s supposed breach of the deal as justification for expanded sanctions and a further aggressive buildup of US and NATO forces in Eastern Europe aimed at encircling and strangling Russia...»

La marionnette qui rugissait

Du côté polonais, les choses sont simples : c’est la fièvre de la guerre, avec l’affirmation furieuse de l’“ennemi russe”. Nous sommes à des années-lumière de la tentative de réconciliation Pologne-Russie du printemps 2010 (voir, par exemple, le 19 avril 2010). La Pologne est retombée dans la russophobie guerrière, en s’appuyant sur les USA dont elle estime qu’elle est en voie de devenir le “meilleur vassal” en Europe. La dialectique retrouve les accents des phases les plus agressives de l’histoire des relations entre la Pologne et la Russie. La Pologne veut évoluer vers une place privilégiée : bien que membre de l’OTAN et de l’UE, c’est d’abord en tant que “partenaire” bilatéral et interlocuteur européen privilégié des USA qu’elle veut traiter avec les USA.

Cette prétention, ce n’est pas rien. Elle risque autant d’irriter les partenaires européens de la Pologne, autant que de l’en éloigner dans certaines circonstances dont la plus aigue est évidemment d’une possibilité d’affrontement avec la Russie. (On verra ce qu’il restera, dans cette occurrence, du “Triangle de Weimar”, qui prétendait établir un lien de sécurité spécifique France-Allemagne-Pologne.) Les Allemands sont très loin d’être partisans d’un affrontement avec la Russie, comme l’a très récemment montré leur ministre des affaires étrangères suggérant que l’énergie dépensée à trouver de nouvelles sanctions contre la Russie serait mieux employée à chercher une véritable désescalade en Ukraine ; ils pourraient très vite s’impatienter, à mesure que cette position spécifique et bombastique de la Pologne s’affirmerait. Cela fait partie des tendances de divisions en Europe, entre Européens et entre l’Europe et les USA (voir le 14 avril 2014).

Le JCS et le “proconsul”

Du côté US, les choses ne sont pas plus simples et peut-être même sont-elles plus compliquées. Restons-en pour l’instant à la seule position du Pentagone, la Maison-Blanche et le département d’État ayant basculé dans le maximalisme compulsif irradiant de leurs conseillers d’influence venus de l’équipe neocons-R2P (voir le 22 avril 2014). Le Pentagone préférerait 5 000 soldats US en Pologne, et encore parce que le président demande des renforts, aux “10 000 hommes minimum” réclamés par les Polonais. La raison essentielle de cette pusillanimité est que le Pentagone ne dispose pas de réserves suffisantes, parce que les forces US sont déjà engagées partout, très diminuées, extrêmement limitées. L’autre “raison essentielle” (l’essentialité est élastique, par le temps qui courent et bondissent), c’est que le Pentagone ne se sent pas vraiment d’attaque pour tout faire pour défier les Russes et risquer une chose très, très sérieuse. On verra qui l’emportera lorsque le volume du contingent US en Pologne sera déterminé, et sous quelle forme.

Il y a déjà là un conflit interne qui se dessine. Les dernières péripéties, le silence des uns et les déclarations des autres, montrent qu’il s’agit d’un conflit des plus classiques, entre la maison-mère, le Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) et son président le général Dempsey au Pentagone d’une part, et d’autre part le général Breedlove, commandant en chef suprême en Europe (SACEUR) de la structure OTAN et chef du Central Command Europe (commandement national US). En temps de crise plus particulièrement, les relations entre la direction de Washington et le “proconsul” militaire US en Europe ont toujours été délicates. Le “proconsul” a tendance à soutenir les revendications des “vassaux européens” (la Pologne en l’occurrence, pour le cas qui nous occupe) tandis que le Pentagone défend ses intérêts généraux. (Un tel conflit a eu lieu à plusieurs reprises, notamment avec les SACEUR Goodpaster en 1973, Haig en 1976, Rogers en 1983, etc. Le dernier en date et l’un des plus fameux est celui des rapports exécrables entre le SACEUR, le général Wesley Clark, et le JCS de Washington lors de la guerre du Kosovo, cela menant jusqu’à une mise à pied à peine dissimulée de Clark en 2000.)

Le Pentagone sur les genoux

Ici, on mettra l’accent sur une situation qui se répercute sur toutes les crises, de diverses façons. A la différence de 1947-1948, à laquelle le document évoqué plus bas fait allusion comme référence d’une “nouvelle Guerre froide”, la situation de la puissance militaire US est aujourd’hui dans une situation radicalement différente. En 1947-1948, le budget du Pentagone, littéralement pulvérisé à partir de la victoire sur le Japon, était si bas que l’industrie aéronautique US dans sa quasi-entièreté était au bord de l’effondrement. (Certains jugent même, avec des arguments extrêmement convaincants, et une enquête minutieuse pour le cas invoqué, que la Guerre froide fut lancée du côté US à partir de ce qui fut en bonne partie un montage, pour sauver spécifiquement cette industrie à partir de commandes publiques massives et urgentes d’avions militaires. Voir notre texte du 12 février 2003 extrait de La Lettre d’analyse dd&e du 10 avril 1995, reprenant une analyse d’un livre de Frank Kofsky publié en 1994 sur cette affaire : Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948, A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation.)

Aujourd’hui, par contre, le budget du Pentagone est colossal : nominalement autour de $650 milliard, il dépasse en réalité les $1 000 milliards une fois prises en compte des dépenses affectées à d’autre poste (renseignement, énergie avec le développement nucléaire, etc.). Malgré cette monstruosité budgétaire, les capacités militaires US ne cessent de se réduire, au point où l’US Army est aujourd’hui quasiment au niveau des effectifs de 1940, alors au sommet de la politique isolationniste de désengagement (voir le 3 mars 2014). Une “mobilisation” pour une “nouvelle Guerre froide”, comme celle de 1948 pour la Guerre froide initiale, impliquerait, dans une bonne logique américaniste, un “réarmement”, c’est-à-dire une augmentation substantielle du budget militaire. Dans les conditions actuelles, une telle perspective est, successivement, extraordinairement et paradoxalement incertaine ; d’abord, par ses implications budgétaires catastrophiques alors que la dette menace l’équilibre du gouvernement US ; ensuite par les contraintes légales (“séquestration”) existantes pour au contraire réduire ce budget ; enfin, par l’incertitude où l’on se trouve concernant les capacités du Pentagone, empire du gaspillage et de la gestion catastrophique, de savoir si des augmentations conséquentes du budget ne conduiraient pas à un surcroît de gaspillage, de corruption et de gestion catastrophique, plutôt qu’à une augmentation des capacités. (La question est : les USA sont-ils encore capables de mobiliser, dans le vrai sens du mot ?) Les chefs du Pentagone, arcboutés sur leur puissance bureaucratique, devinent cela et ne sont pas nécessairement partisans d’une telle augmentation qui menacerait tout l’édifice, en même temps que le gouvernement US, pour une cause dont on a vu plus haut que ces chefs-là ne l’apprécient guère.

The Rest Of the World contre la Russie

Le deuxième point que nous voulons mentionner constitue l’essentiel en matière de communication. Il est exposé dans un article qui vient de paraître dans le New York Times, le 20 avril 2014, et c’est sans nul doute le plat de résistance. Il s’agit d’une nouvelle posture, – que d’aucuns qualifieront de “stratégie”, voire de “doctrine” s’ils en ont le goût, – de l’administration Obama vis-à-vis de la Russie. Nous parlons donc, comme on l’a signalé, d’une “nouvelle Guerre froide” basée sur les conceptions US de l’immédiat après-guerre, et précisément sur la stratégie du containment élaborée par George Kennan, qui occupait à cette époque le poste de la direction de la planification au département d’État. Le passage où cette référence est proposée se termine par une phrase explicitant l’opérationnalisation du concept, qui consiste à “isoler” la Russie du reste du monde ; l’aspect sidérant et surréaliste de cette opérationnalisation est que les USA se proposent de former une alliance générale quasiment du reste du monde contre la Russie, y compris la Chine, qu’entretemps le secrétaire à la défense Hagel est allé avertir de ne pas trop irriter le Japon au risque de voir les USA se dresser contre elle, quasi-opérationnellement (Eric Margolis, le 20 avril 2014 sur UNZ.com : «[Bismarck] would have been horrified to see Washington foolishly making enemies of Russia and China at the same time»)... Sans doute, même si cela ne nous est pas précisé, Obama compte-t-il convaincre également la Syrie, l’Iran, les autres BRICS, tous les pays qui se sont abstenus de voter à l'ONU pour la condamnation du référendum de Crimée (voir le 28 mars 2014), etc., de s’inscrire dans cette croisade internationale contre la Russie, où la Russie se retrouvera seule on vous l’assure.

«In effect, Mr. Obama is retrofitting for a new age the approach to Moscow that was first set out by the diplomat George F. Kennan in 1947 and that dominated American strategy through the fall of the Soviet Union. The administration’s priority is to hold together an international consensus against Russia, including even China, its longtime supporter on the United Nations Security Council.»

L’initiative de l’administration Obama est donc présentée comme une rupture fondamentale avec ce qui a précédé dans les relations des USA avec la Russie. Considérant, selon l’habituel penchant de la psychologie US pour l’inculpabilité (voir notamment le 26 mars 2014), que les USA ont tout fait pour “éduquer” la Russie, pour la rendre “civilisée”, et étant à ce point déçue par la fourberie de son élève, l’administration Obama décide d’une façon impériale mais qu’on devine pleine d’une immense sagesse qu’“assez c’est assez”. On écarte d’un geste négligent sinon nonchalant l’agacement ukrainien et l’on parle à l’échelle qui convient, qui est celle du monde cela va de soi... «Even as the crisis in Ukraine continues to defy easy resolution, President Obama and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment.

»Just as the United States resolved in the aftermath of World War II to counter the Soviet Union and its global ambitions, Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making it a pariah state. Mr. Obama has concluded that even if there is a resolution to the current standoff over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he will never have a constructive relationship with Mr. Putin, aides said. As a result, Mr. Obama will spend his final two and a half years in office trying to minimize the disruption Mr. Putin can cause, preserve whatever marginal cooperation can be saved and otherwise ignore the master of the Kremlin in favor of other foreign policy areas where progress remains possible.

»“That is the strategy we ought to be pursuing,” said Ivo H. Daalder, formerly Mr. Obama’s ambassador to NATO and now president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “If you just stand there, be confident and raise the cost gradually and increasingly to Russia, that doesn’t solve your Crimea problem and it probably doesn’t solve your eastern Ukraine problem. But it may solve your Russia problem.”»

En attendant que cette “stratégie” soit mise en place et rende ses premiers effets, quelque part entre 2100 et 2200, le président Obama a décidé de se retirer sous sa tente et de ne plus songer aux manigances de Poutine, faisant ainsi comme s’il n’existait plus, Poutine, rien de moins, et le plongeant par conséquent dans un cruel embarras. Drapé dans sa dignité et dans sa puissance, Obama ignore désormais la Russie en attendant que celle-ci, complètement isolée, étranglée par sa propre infamie, privée de l’amicale camaraderie du reste du monde et du Système, tombe comme un fuit déjà blet. D’ici là, bien entendu, on vous l’assure sans souci de la contradiction interne du propos, la population russe, ayant compris où est son intérêt et où se trouve la vertu, aura renvoyé le tyran pourrir dans un Goulag quelconque.

«The prevailing view in the West Wing, though, is that while Mr. Putin seems for now to be enjoying the glow of success, he will eventually discover how much economic harm he has brought on his country. Mr. Obama’s aides noted the fall of the Russian stock market and the ruble, capital flight from the country and the increasing reluctance of foreign investors to expand that while American and European sanctions have not yet targeted wide parts of the Russian economy, they have sent a message to international businesses, and that just the threat of broader measures has produced a chilling effect. If the Russian economy suffers over the long term, senior American officials said, then Mr. Putin’s implicit compact with the Russian public promising growth for political control could be sundered.

»That may not happen quickly, however, and in the meantime, Mr. Obama seems intent on not letting Russia dominate his presidency. While Mr. Obama spends a lot of time on the Ukraine crisis, it does not seem to absorb him. Speaking privately with visitors, he is more likely to bring up topics like health care and the Republicans in Congress than Mr. Putin. Ukraine, he tells people, is not a major concern for most Americans, who are focused on the economy...»


Une tranquille schizophrénie

Ce texte est remarquable de schizophrénie tranquille développée sur le ton d’une élégante suffisance, dans sa description d’un monde enchanteur où le roi-Obama trône sur le “phare de la liberté” et sur l’“arsenal de la puissance et de la vertu”, acclamé par le reste du monde, – saut l’épouvantable Poutine, le cancre de la classe, le monstre quasi-hitlérien. La puissance de la transmutation de l’habituelle pompe américaniste en une sottise bombastique à prétention doctrinale et géopolitique est époustouflante. On retrouve, comme en une caricature, tous les travers de cette psychologie pervertie, son réductionnisme, son cloisonnement, son incapacité de tenir compte des relations de cause à effet ni même d’imaginer une telle chose, l’omniprésence étouffante de la suffisance américaniste, – tout cela transmutée en inculture, en ignorance, en préjugés.

Lorsqu’un Daalder énonce son jugement si sophistiqué («That is the strategy we ought to be pursuing. If you just stand there, be confident and raise the cost gradually and increasingly to Russia, that doesn’t solve your Crimea problem and it probably doesn’t solve your eastern Ukraine problem. But it may solve your Russia problem»), il pourrait aussi bien nous dire, avec sa maîtrise du tour sophistique transcrite en une analyse tranchante caractérisée par une complète idiotie, phénomène devenu à cet instant presque émouvant après tout, à force de conviction-Système : “Cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème du Pentagone et de notre dette qui nous écrase, cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème de la dissolution des USA, cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème du chaos que nous favorisons au Moyen-Orient, cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème du dollar qui prend eau de toutes parts, cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème de la catastrophe de l’environnement, cela ne résout peut-être pas le problème de la Fin des Temps, etc., mais cela pourrait résoudre le problème de la Russie...”

Trahison et inversion de la référence

Bien entendu, la nouvelle Guerre froide dont il est question dans cet article n’a rien à voir avec la “néo-Guerre froide” que nous définissions le 20 mars 2014. Ce n’est plus une néo-Guerre froide qu’imposeraient les événements mais une nouvelle Guerre froide “conçue et réalisée” par les équipes de communication de la Maison-Blanche, une “Guerre froide-narrative” si l'on veut. Pour autant, le lien est évident et l’on pourrait dire que la “Guerre froide-narrative” présentée comme une réaction extrêmement habile de la Maison-Blanche à la crise ukrainienne, constitue une sorte de “ce que je ne peux étouffer, je l’embrasse”.

Bien entendu, là s’arrête l’analogie faite par la Maison-Blanche avec la vraie Guerre froide qui nous est servie comme référence. Les conditions sont complètement différentes. Les USA ont une position relative extrêmement inférieure à celle qu’ils avaient en 1945 ; directement au niveau de leur puissance relative (les USA dominaient le monde ravagée par la guerre alors qu’eux-mêmes avaient au contraire développé exponentiellement leur puissance grâce à la guerre) ; indirectement au niveau de l’état de l’URSS dévastée par la guerre en 1945 (alors que la Russie est aujourd’hui en beaucoup plus forte position) et alors que leurs alliés européens et asiatiques, également dévastés, dépendaient complètement d’eux.

De même, les “stratégies” envisagées dans l’article cité ne correspondent pas aux schémas de la Guerre froide. L’idée de poursuivre les coopérations avec la Russie là où elles existent, tout en attaquant frontalement la Russie par divers moyens de pressions, d’influence, de sanctions, ne répond en rien au schéma de la Guerre froide, au contraire il le trahit. Cette idée, nommée durant la Guerre froide “de-linkage” (ne pas lier les différents dossiers entre eux, ce qui permet une mésentente ici et une coopération là) impliquait nécessairement une entente générale de principe USA-URSS, notamment au niveau de l’“équilibre de la terreur” (le nucléaire), c’est-à-dire l’absence d’hostilité directe, affichée et opérationnalisée par des mesures effectives. Ce n’est pas le cas dans la situation actuelle USA-Russie et dans la pseudo-“stratégie” envisagée.

Simulacre de crise

Il y a deux interprétations nécessaires à ce développement venu des USA concernant la crise ukrainienne, devenue brusquement dans le chef des USA la Grande Crise entre les USA et la Russie, – comme poursuite et conclusion finale et triomphale de la Guerre froide sous forme de “nouvelle Guerre froide”. Ces deux interprétations ne se contredisent en rien ni ne sont en rien exclusives l’une de l’autre ; elles se complètent, se renforcent, s’explicitent l’une l’autre. La première de ces interprétations est la plus intimiste et la plus objective, dans la mesure où elle conduit à analyser le comportement de la direction-Système de l’américanisme, et particulièrement de son représentant Obama, au travers des appréciations diverses qu’on lit dans le New York Times. Il s’agit d’une évaluation essentiellement psychologique et de communication, bien entendu autour d’une narrative...

On pourrait en effet conjecturer, avec nombre d’arguments dans ce sens, que ce document laisse transparaître une sorte de portrait d’Obama qui est en même temps une peinture de la psychologie-Système dominante à Washington. Bien évidemment, tout est bâti autour d’une posture quasi “impériale” du président des USA, trônant au bureau ovale et orientant la marche du monde à sa guise. Mais à force d’appuyer le trait on verse dans la caricature, qui devient dans ce cadre de l’influence du Système, une inversion complète.

Cette posture impériale, dans ce cas se situant elle-même “au-dessus de la mêlée” initiée évidemment et spécifiquement par le cancre de la classe (Poutine), entraîne le fait que le “message” devient effectivement inversion complète, et le détachement du maître totale irresponsabilité. A lire ces mots, – «...Mr. Obama seems intent on not letting Russia dominate his presidency. While Mr. Obama spends a lot of time on the Ukraine crisis, it does not seem to absorb him...», – on ne peut pas ne pas finir par conclure que le sujet de cette hagiographie, œuvre des “officiels” dispensant la bonne parole comme du NYT lui-même, présente comme une vertu le fait de se désintéresser du problème crisique central de notre temps d’effondrement, tout en laissant paraître un mépris extrême pour le “partenaire” de cet épisode fondamental. Au moins, pendant la Guerre froide, la vraie, les dirigeants US ne cachaient pas que l’absolue priorité de leur direction devait se concentrer sur les relations avec l’autre acteur stratégique nucléaire, en essayant au maximum de diffuser les tensions pouvant naître d’avatars de communication. Pour poursuivre l’analogie du “cancre de la classe” (Poutine) en la renversant, Obama apparaît comme un adolescent bouffie de vanité et de prétention, qui refuse l’essentiel de la tâche qu’il a prétendu accomplir parce qu’il n’est pas assuré d’y figurer à son complet avantage. Objectivement, cette inversion témoigne d’une effrayante schizophrénie qui laisse à penser sur ce que sera, – sur ce continuera à être en s’amplifiant, puisqu’il n’y a rien de nouveau à cet égard sinon l’outrance, les réactions des USA aux inévitables accidents, tensions imprévues, événements inattendus, etc., qui vont continuer à marquer la crise ukrainienne et tout ce qui se rapproche de près ou de loin de la dynamique de tension entre les USA et la Russie.

On comprend alors qu’il n’y a rien, dans le chef de Washington, ni d’une “stratégie” ni d’une “doctrine” là-dedans. Il s’agit de pure communication, autour d’une narrative sur laquelle l’American Century ne se couche jamais, comme l’on dit du soleil sur le fameux Empire qu’on sait, comme si la formule nietzschéenne de l’éternel retour avait trouvé son opérationnalité. On comprend, au-delà, que Washington n’est plus capable d’accoucher, ni d’une “stratégie”, ni d’une “doctrine”, que la projection sous forme de narrative hollywoodienne du film “The American Century, – le retour” suffit à entretenir sa conviction pathologique. La schizophrénie est complète, achevée, bouclée. Le président Barack Obama règne.

Accélération de la crise (suite)

Le précédent nous dit beaucoup de la crise à Washington, de la crise du pouvoir, de l’épuisement de la psychologie des principaux acteurs, mais pas grand’chose, certes, de la Grande Crise USA-Russie et de tout ce qui l’accompagne, et du flux dans laquelle elle se place, qui est l’épisode final de la crise d’effondrement du Système. Comme dirait le crétin couvert de privilèges-Système cité ci-dessus “cela ne résoudra pas le problème de la crise générale d’effondrement où les USA ont la place centrale mais cela résoudra le problème de l’identification de la schizophrénie à Washington”, – et nous voici devant la seconde interprétation nécessaire...

En déclenchant toute cette agitation, en exposant ces considérations qui prétendent au rang de “stratégie” ou à celui de “doctrine”, les spécialistes de la communication à Washington n’ont rien créé de spécifique ni de substantiel. On ne s’installe pas dans la crise en l’élargissant aux relations fondamentales entre les USA et la Russie comme le fait Washington pas simple manipulation, selon une simple démarche technique et bureaucratique dans le seul domaine de la communication. On s’installe dans une crise en paraissant l’élargir “aux relations fondamentales entre les USA et la Russie”, simplement parce que cette crise est déjà élargie à cette dimension. En ce sens, la démarche washingtonienne a son utilité, puisqu’elle nous montre qu’effectivement la crise ukrainienne a d’ores et déjà accouché d’une énorme crise entre les deux puissances nucléaires stratégiques, qui est aussi une énorme crise d’antagonisme culturel et conceptuel, une énorme crise s’inscrivant dans le cadre d’une crise de civilisation. On a à cet égard suffisamment d’indications et d’analyses pour nous permettre de conclure à cette stature imposante de la crise, et la “nouvelle Guerre froide” venue de Washington en est tout simplement, à la fois la confirmation et la conséquence, en même temps qu’une tentative maladroite d’une utilisation faussaire. Les stratèges en communication de Washington n’ont fait qu’acter un événement qui s’est fait lui-même, dont les causes et les effets dépassent largement leurs interprétations puisqu’il s’agit effectivement d’une opérationnalisation de la crise générale de notre civilisation. De ce point de vue, la “nouvelle Guerre froide” n’a vraiment rien à voir avec son faux modèle précédent, et au lieu d’une certaine complicité comme on en connut entre les USA et l’URSS de ce temps-là, on trouve au contraire tous les éléments de fécondation rapide de l’aggravation des relations.

Dans le même sens, la démarche washingtonienne a également son utilité, en nous montrant le comportement de Washington allant chercher sa référence dans un passé spécifique, extrêmement bien identifié, et qui a une très grande signification symbolique et de puissance pour les USA. Ce rappel, c’est une incantation à la “résurrection” d’une époque où les USA, alors avec une réputation sans tâche pour les parties du monde au-delà des océans, dominaient le monde d’une façon écrasante, incontestable, extraordinaire, – presque divine et dans tous les cas immensément vertueuse. Alors que les échos sonores de la retraite et de la décadence des USA faisaient débat sonore à Washington en même temps que la crise ukrainienne éclatait (voir le 28 février 2014), et avant que Washington, toujours de plus en plus lent, ait réalisé l’importance de la dite-crise, cette fixation symbolique à une référence de cette importance et de cette signification apparaît comme une sorte d’exorcisme : l’image des USA réparée, la narrative peut continuer à être dévidée. Ainsi, le président des Etats-Unis Barack Obama, ayant fixé l’image définitive des USA dans sa confrontation avec la Russie renouvelant la grande victoire du XXème siècle et de l’American Century, peut-il s’en retourner vaquer à ses occupations («Speaking privately with visitors, he is more likely to bring up topics like health care and the Republicans in Congress than Mr. Putin. Ukraine, he tells people, is not a major concern for most Americans...»).

Ainsi allume-t-on la mèche d’une énorme bombe qu’on a soi-même fabriquée et posée là où elle se trouve, avant de s’en retourner en s’en lavant les mains ; et s’en retournant, certes, en ignorant que cette bombe, en explosant, ne manquera pas de vous emporter, vous le premier, vous l’allumeur de mèches...

lundi, 25 février 2013

The Historic Implications and Continuing Ramifications of the Trotsky-Stalin Conflict


Trotsky, Stalin, & the Cold War:
The Historic Implications & Continuing Ramifications of the Trotsky-Stalin Conflict

By Kerry Bolton

Ex; http://www.counter-currents.com/  

Editor’s Note:

This is the second of two chapters on the Moscow Trials that we are reprinting from Kerry Bolton’s new book Stalin: The Enduring Legacy [2] (London: Black House Publishing, 2012). The chapters are reprinted as formatted in the book. Counter-Currents will also run a review of the book, which I highly recommend. 

The Moscow Trials were symptomatic of a great divide that had occurred in Bolshevism. The alliance with Stalin during World War II had formed an assumption among US internationalists that after the Axis defeat a ‘new world order’ would emerge via the United Nations Organisation. This assumption was ill-founded, and the result was the Cold War. Trotskyists emerged as avid Cold Warriors dialectically concluding that the USSR represented the primary obstacle to world socialism. This essay examines the dialectical process by which major factions of Trotskyism became, in Stalinist parlance, a ‘tool of foreign powers and of world capitalism.’

One of the major accusations against Trotsky and alleged Trotskyists during the Moscow Trials of 1936-1938 was that they were agents of foreign capital and foreign powers, including intelligence agencies, and were engaged in sabotage against the Soviet State. In particular, with the advent of Nazi Germany in 1933, Stalin sought to show that in the event of war, which he regarded as inevitable, the Trotskyist network in the USSR would serve as a fifth column for Germany.

The background of these trials has been examined in Chapter III.

Stalin Correct in Fundamental Accusations Against Trotskyites

Staline_et_Trotsky.jpgWhat is significant is that Khrushchev did concede that Stalin was correct in his fundamental allegation that the Trotskyists, Bukharinites et al represented a faction that sought the ‘restoration of capitalism and capitulation to the world bourgeoisie’. However Khrushchev and even Stalin could not go far enough in their denunciation of Trotskyists et al as seeking to ‘restore capitalism’ and as being agents of foreign powers. To expose the full facts in regard to such accusations would also mean to expose some unpalatable, hidden factors of the Bolshevik Revolution itself, and of Lenin; which would undermine the whole edifice upon which Soviet authority rested – the October 1917 Revolution. Lenin, and Trotsky in particular, had intricate associations with many un-proletarian individuals and interests.

The fact of behind the scenes machinations between the Bolsheviks and international finance was commented upon publicly by two very well-positioned but quite different sources: Henry Wickham Steed, conservative editor of The London Times, and Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labour.

In a first-hand account of the Peace Conference of 1919 Wickham Steed stated that proceedings were interrupted by the return from Moscow of William C Bullitt and Lincoln Steffens, ‘who had been sent to Russia towards the middle of February by Colonel House[1] and Mr. Lansing, for the purpose of studying conditions, political and economic, therein for the benefit of the American Commissioners plenipotentiary to negotiate peace.’[2] Steed stated specifically and at some length that international finance was behind the move for recognition of the Bolshevik regime and other moves in favour of the Bolsheviks, stating that: ‘Potent international financial interests were at work in favour of the immediate recognition of the Bolshevists.’[3] In return for diplomatic recognition Tchitcherin, the Bolshevist Commissary for Foreign Affairs, was offering ‘extensive commercial and economic concessions.’[4]

For his part, Samuel Gompers, the American labour leader, was vehemently opposed to the Bolsheviks and any recognition or commercial transactions, stating to the press in regard to negotiations at the international economic conference at Genoa, that a group of ‘predatory international financiers’ were working for the recognition of the Bolshevik regime for the opening up of resources for exploitation. Gompers described this as an ‘Anglo-American-German banking group’. He also commented that prominent Americans who had a history of anti-labour attitudes were advocating recognition of the Bolshevik regime.[5]

Trotsky’s Banking Connections

What is of significance here however is that Trotsky in particular was the focus of attention by many individuals acting on behalf not only of foreign powers but of international financial institutions. Hence while Stalin and even Khrushchev could aver to the association of Trotsky with foreign powers and even – albeit vaguely – with seeking the ‘restoration of capitalism and capitulation to the world bourgeoisie’, to trace the links more specifically to international finance would inevitably lead to the association also of the Bolshevik regime per se to those same sources, thus undermining the founding myth of the USSR as being the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’.

These associations between Trotsky and international finance, as well as foreign intelligence services, have been meticulously documented by Dr Richard Spence.[6] Spence states that ‘Trotsky was the recipient of mysterious financial assistance and was a person of keen interest to German, Russian and British agents’. Such contentions are very similar to the charges against Trotsky et al at the Moscow Trials, and there are details and personalities involved, said to have been extracted under torture and threats, that are in fact confirmed by Spence, who traces Trotsky’s patronage as far back as 1916 when he was an exile from Czarist Russia and was being expelled from a succession of countries in Europe before finding his way to the USA, prior to his return to Russia in 1917 to play his part in the Revolution. Expelled from France to Spain, Trotsky was locked up as a ‘terrorist agitator’ for three and a half days in comfortable conditions.[7] Ernst Bark, perhaps with the use of German funds, arranged Trotsky’s release and his transfer to Cadiz to await passage with his family to New York and paid for first class passage on the SS Montserrat. Bark was cousin of the Czar’s minister of finance Petr Bark who, despite his service to the Czar, had the pro-German, pro-Bolshevik banker Olof Aschberg, of the Nya Banken, Sweden, as his financial agent for his New York dealings. A report reaching US Military Intelligence in 1918 stated that Trotsky had been ‘bought by the Germans’, and that he was organising the Bolshevik[8] movement with Parvus.

From being penniless in Spain to his arrival in New York, Trotsky had arrived with $500 which Spence states is today’s equivalent to about $10,000, although Trotsky liked to depict himself as continuing in proletarian poverty. Immigration authorities also noted that his place of residence would be the less than proletarian Hotel Astor in Times Square.

In New York the Trotskys lived in a Bronx apartment with all the mod-coms of the day. Employed by Novyi Mir, and was hosted by Dr Julius Hammer, a Bolshevik who combined revolution with an opulent lifestyle. Hammer was probably the mysterious ‘Dr M’ referred to by Trotsky in his memoirs, who provided the Trotskys with sightseeing jaunts in his chauffeured car.[9]

One of the main contacts for Trotsky was a maternal uncle, banker and businessman Abram Zhivotovskii. In 1915 Zhivotovskii was jailed in Russia for trading with Germany. The US State Department described Zhivotovskii as outwardly ‘very anti-Bolshevik’, but who had laundered money to the Bolsheviks and other socialist organizations.[10] He seems to have played a double role in moneymaking, working as a financial agent for both Germans and Allies. During the war he maintained an office in Japan under the management of a nephew Iosif Zhivotovskii, who had served as secretary to Sidney Reilly, the so-called ‘British Ace of Spies’ who nonetheless also seems to have been a duplicitous character in dealing with Germany. Spence mentions that Reilly, who had a business in the USA, had gone to Japan when Trotsky was in Spain, and arrived back in the USA around the time of Trotsky’s arrival, the possibility being that Reilly had acquired funds from Trotsky’s uncle to give to his nephew in New York. Another Reilly association with Zhivotovskii was via Alexander Weinstein, who had been Zhivotovskii’s agent in London, and had joined Reilly in 1916. He was supposedly a loyal Czarist but was identified by American Military Intelligence as a Bolshevik.[11] Of further interest is that Alexander’s brother Gregory was business manager of Novyi Mir, the newspaper that employed Trotsky while he was in New York. Reilly and Weinstein were also associated with Benny Sverdlov, a Russian arms broker who was the brother of Yakov Sverdlov, the future Soviet commissar.

These multiple connections between Trotsky and Reilly’s associates are significant here in that one of the accusations raised during the Moscow Trials was that the Trotskyists had had dealings with ‘British spy’ Sidney Reilly.

The dealings of Sir William Wiseman, British Military Intelligence chief in the USA, and his deputy Norman Thwaites, with Reilly and associates were concealed even from other British agencies.[12] Wiseman had kept Trotsky under surveillance in New York. Trotsky secured a visa from the British consulate to proceed to Russia via Nova Scotia and Scandinavia. The Passport Control Section of the British Consulate was under the direction of Thwaites. Trotsky was to remark on his arrival in Russia about the helpful attitude of consular officials, despite his detention as a possible German agent by Canadian authorities at Nova Scotia. Trotsky had been able to pay for tickets aboard the Kristianiafiord for himself and his family, and also for a small entourage. What is additionally interesting about Wiseman is that he was closely associated with banking interests, and around 1921 joined Kuhn, Loeb and Co.[13] In 1955 Wiseman launched his own international bank with investments from Kuhn, Loeb & Co.; Rothschild; Rockefeller; Warburg firms, et al[14]. He was thus very close to the international banking dynasties throughout much of his life.

To return to the Kristianiafiord however, on board with Trotsky and his entourage, first class, were Robert Jivotovsky (Zhivotovskii), likely to have been another Trotsky cousin; Israel Fundaminsky, whom Trotsky regarded as a British agent, and Andrei Kalpaschnikoff, who acted as translator when Trotsky was being questioned by British authorities at Nova Scotia. Kalpaschnikoff was closely associated with Vladimir Rogovine, who worked for Weinstein and Reilly. Kalpaschnikoff was also associated with John MacGregor Grant, a friend and business partner of both Reilly and Olof Aschberg. We can therefore see an intricate connection between British super-spy Reilly, and bankers such as Aschberg, who served as a conduit of funds to the Bolsheviks, and Zhivotovskii via Alexander Weinstein.

When Trotsky and several of his entourage were arrested on 29 March at Nova Scotia and questioned by authorities regarding associations with Germany this could well have been an act to dispel any suspicions that Trotsky might be serving British interests. The British had the option of returning him to New York but allowed him to proceed to Russia.[15]

The attitude of Wiseman towards the Bolsheviks once they had achieved nominal power was one of urging recognition, Wiseman cabling President Wilson’s principal adviser Col. Edward House on 1 May 1918 that the allies should intervene at the invitation of the Bolsheviks and help organise the Bolshevik army then fighting the White Armies during the Civil War.[16] This would accord with the aim of certain international bankers to secure recognition of the Bolshevik regime, as noted by both Gompers and Steed.

The financial interests in the USA that formed around the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), founded by presidential adviser Col. Edward M House as a foreign policy think tank of businessmen, politicans and intellectuals, were clamouring for recognition of the Soviets. The CFR issued a report on Bolshevik Russia in 1923, prompted by Lenin’s ‘New Economic Policy’. The report repudiated anti-Bolshevik attitudes and fears that Bolshevism would be spread to other countries (although it had already had a brief but bloody reign in Hungary and revolts in German). CFR historian Peter Grosse writes that the report stated that,

the Bolsheviks were on their way to ‘sanity and sound business practices,’ the Council study group concluded, but the welcome to foreign concessionaires would likely be short-lived…. Thus, the Council experts recommended in March 1923 that American businessmen get into Russia while Lenin’s invitation held good…[17]

Armand Hammer, head of Occidental Petroleum, son of the aforementioned Dr Julius Hammer who had been the Trotsky family’s host in New York, was a globetrotting plutocrat who mixed with the political and business elites of the world for decades. Hammer was in intimate contact with every Soviet leader from Lenin to Gorbachev — except for Stalin.[18] This omission is indicative of the rift that had occurred between the USSR and Western financial and industrial interests with the assumption of Stalin and the defeat of Trotsky.

The CFR report on the USSR that advised American business to get in quick before the situation changed, was prescient. In 1921 Hammer was in the USSR sewing up business deals. Hammer met Trotsky, who asked him whether ‘financial circles in the USA regard Russia as a desirable field of investment?’ Trotsky continued:

Inasmuch as Russia had its Revolution, capital was really safer there than anywhere else because, ‘whatever should happen abroad, the Soviet would adhere to any agreements it might make. Suppose one of your Americans invests money in Russia. When the Revolution comes to America, his property will of course be nationalised, but his agreement with us will hold good and he will thus be in a much more favourable position than the rest of his fellow capitalists.’[19] In contrast to the obliging Trotsky who was willing to guarantee the wealth and investments of Big Business, Hammer said of Stalin:

I never met Stalin and I never had any dealing with him. However it was perfectly clear to me in 1930 that Stalin was not a man with whom you could do business. Stalin believed that the state was capable of running everything, without the support of foreign concessionaires and private enterprise. That was the main reason why I left Moscow: I could see that I would soon be unable to do business there…[20]

As for Trotsky’s attitude toward capitalist investment, were the charges brought against Trotsky et al during the Moscow Trials wholly cynical efforts to disparage and eliminate the perceived opposition to Stalin’s authority, or was there at least some factual basis to the charge that the Trotskyist-Left and Bukharin-Right blocs sought to ‘restore capitalism’ to the USSR? It is of interest in this respect to note that even according to one of Trotsky’s present-day exponents, David North, Trotsky ‘placed greater emphasis than any other Soviet leader of his time on the overriding importance of close economic links between the USSR and the world capitalist market’. North speaking to an Australian Trotskyist conference went on to state of Trotsky’s attitude:

Soviet economic development, he insisted, required both access to the resources of the world market and the intelligent utilisation of the international division of labour. The development of economic planning required at minimum a knowledge of competitive advantage and efficiencies at the international level. It served no rational economic purpose for the USSR to make a virtue of frittering away its own limited resources in a vain effort to duplicate on Soviet soil what it could obtain at far less cost on the world capitalist market…. It is helpful to keep in mind that Trotsky belonged to a generation of Russian Marxists who had utilised the opportunity provided by revolutionary exile to carefully observe and study the workings of the capitalist system in the advanced countries. They were familiar not only with the oft-described ‘horrors’ of capitalism, but also with its positive achievements. … Trotsky argued that a vital precondition for the development of the Soviet economy along socialist lines was its assimilation of the basic techniques of capitalist management, organisation, accounting and production.[21]

It was against this background that during the latter half of the 1930s Stalin acted against the Trotsky and Bukharin blocs as agents of world capitalism and foreign powers. The most cogent defence of the Moscow Trials, The Great Conspiracy Against Russia,[22] was written by two American journalists, Albert E Kahn and Michael Sayers, and carried an endorsement by former US ambassador to the USSR, Joseph Davis, who had witnessed the trials.

Among the charges against Trotsky was that he was in contact with British Intelligence operatives, and was conspiring against Lenin. This is not altogether implausible. Lenin and the Bolshevik faction were in favour of a separate peace between Russia and Germany. Lenin and his entourage had been provided with funds and transport by the German General Staff to travel back to Russia,[23] while Trotsky’s return from New York to Russia had been facilitated by British and American Intelligence interests. Kahn and Sayers commented that ‘for fourteen years, Trotsky had fiercely opposed the Bolsheviks; then in August 1917, a few months before the Bolshevik Revolution he had joined Lenin’s party and risen to power with it. Within the Bolshevik Party, Trotsky was organizing a Left Opposition to Lenin.’[24]

Trotsky was not well disposed to negotiate peace with German imperialists, and it was a major point of debate among the Allies whether certain socialist revolutionaries could be won over to the Allied cause. Trotsky himself had stated in the offices of Novy Mir just before his departure from New York to Russia that although revolutionists would soon overthrow the Kerensky regime they ‘would not make a separate peace with Germany’.[25] From this perspective it would have made sense for William Wiseman to have intervened and for the British authorities to have let Trotsky proceed after having detained him at Nova Scotia.

American mining magnate and banker Colonel William Boyce Thompson, head of the American Red Cross Mission in Russia,[26] was eager to recruit the Bolsheviks for the Allied cause. He stated his intention of providing $1,000,000 of his own money to assist with Bolshevik propaganda directed at Germany and Austria. [27] Thompson’s insistence that if the Allies recognised the Bolsheviks they would not make a separate peace with Germany,[28] accorded with Trotsky’s own attitude insofar as he also wished to see the war end not with a separate peace but with revolutions that would bring down Germany and Austria. His agenda therefore seems to have been quite distinct from that of Lenin’s, and might point to separate sources of funds that were provided to them.

Trotsky’s actions when the Bolsheviks assumed power were consistent with his declarations, and went against Lenin’s policy of ending the war with Germany. As Foreign Commissar Trotsky had been sent to Brest-Litovsk ‘with categorical instructions from Lenin to sign peace.’[29] Instead he called for a Communist uprising in Germany, and stated that although the Russian army could no longer continue in the war and would demobilise, the Soviets would not sign a peace agreement. After Trotsky’s rhetoric at Brest-Litovsk the Germans launched another assault on the Eastern Front, and the new Red Army found itself still fighting the Germans.

It was at this point that R H Bruce Lockhart, special agent of the British War Cabinet, sought out Trotsky, on the instructions from British Prime Minister Lloyd George.

Lockhart, generally considered the typical anti-Bolshevik Establishment figure, was actually well disposed towards the Bolsheviks and like Colonel Thompson, hoped to win them over to the Allies. At one point his wife warned that his colleagues in Britain thought be might be going ‘Red’. Lockhart wrote of the situation:

Russia was out of the war. Bolshevism would last – certainly as long as the war lasted. I deprecated as sheer folly our militarist propaganda, because it took no account of the war-weariness which had raised the Bolsheviks to the supreme power. In my opinion, we had to take the Bolshevik peace proposals seriously. Our policy should now aim at achieving an anti-German peace in Russia’.[30]

Coincidentally, ‘an anti-German peace in Russia’ seems to precisely describe the aim of Trotsky.

Trotsky intended that the World War would be transformed into a revolutionary war, with the starting point being revolutions in Germany and Austria. This would certainly accord with Colonel Thompson’s intentions to fund Bolshevist propaganda in Germany and Austria with $1,000,000. Thompson was in communication with Trotsky via Raymond Robins, his deputy with the Red Cross Mission, and like him an enthusiast for the Bolshevik regime.[31] Lloyd George had met Thompson and had been won over to the aim of contacting Lenin and Trotsky. Lockhart was instructed to return to Russia to establish ‘unofficial contact with the Bolsheviks’.[32] Lockhart relates that he met Trotsky for two hours at the latter’s office at Smolny. While Lockhart was highly impressed with Trotsky he did not regard the Foreign Commissar as able to weld sufficient influence to replace Lenin. Trotsky’s parting words to Lockhart at this first meeting were: ‘Now is the big opportunity for the Allied Governments’. Thereafter Lockhart saw Trotsky on a daily basis. [33] Lockhart stated that Trotsky was willing to bring Soviet Russia over to Britain:

He considered that war was inevitable. If the Allies would send a promise of support, he informed me that he would sway the decision of the Government in favour of war. I sent several telegrams to London requesting an official message that would enable me to strengthen Trotsky’s hands. No message was sent.[34]

Stalineooooo.jpgGiven Trotsky’s position in regard to Germany, and the statements of Lockhart in his memoirs, the Stalinist accusation is entirely plausible that Trotsky was the focus of Allied support, and would explain why the British expedited Trotsky’s return to Russia. Indeed, Lockhart was to remark that the British view was that they might be able to make use of the dissensions between Trotsky and Lenin, and believed that the Allies could reach an accord with Soviet Russia because of the extravagant peace demands of the Germans.[35] However from what Lockhart sates, it seems that the Allied procrastination in regard to recondition of the Bolsheviks was the uncertainty that they constituted a stable and lasting Government, and that they were suspicious of the Bolshevik intentions towards Germany, with Lenin and Trotsky still widely regarded as German agents. [36]

The period preceding World War II, particularly the signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan, served as a catalyst for Stalin’s offensive against Trotskyists and other suspect elements. Trotsky had since his exile been promoted in the West as the great leader of the Bolshevik Revolution[37], while his own background had been one of opportunism, for the most part as an anti-Leninist Menshevik. [38] It was only in August 1917, seeing the situation in Russia, that Trotsky applied for membership of the Bolshevik Party.[39] Trotsky had joined the Bolshevik Party with his entire faction, a faction that remained intact within the Soviet apparatus, and was ready to be activated after Stalin’s election as General Secretary in 1922. Trotsky admits to a revolutionary network from 1923 when he wrote in his 1938 eulogy to his son Leon Sedov: ‘Leon threw himself headlong into the work of the Opposition…Thus, at seventeen, he began the life of a fully conscious revolutionist, quickly grasped the art of conspiratorial work, illegal meetings, and the secret issuing and distribution of Opposition documents. The Komsomol (Communist Youth organization) rapidly developed its own cadres of Opposition leaders.’[40] Hence Trotsky had freely admitted to the fundamental charges of the Stalinist regime: the existence of a widespread Trotskyist ‘conspiracy’. Indeed, as far back as 1921, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party had already passes a resolution banning all ‘factions’ in the Party, specifically warning Trotsky against ‘factional activities’, and condemning the factionalist activities of what the resolution called ‘Trotskyites’. [41]

In 1924 Trotsky met with Boris Savinkov, a Socialist Revolutionary, who had served as head of the terrorist wing, the so-called ‘Fighting Organization’, of the Party, and who had been Deputy Minister of War in the Kerensky Government. After the triumph of the Bolsheviks Savinkov, leaving Russia in 1920, became associated with French and Polish authorities, and with British agents Lockhart[42] and Sidney Reilly. [43] Savinkov was involved in counter-revolutionary activities, in trying to form an army to overthrow the Bolsheviks. Winston Churchill confirms Savinkov’s meeting with Trotsky in 1924, Churchill himself being involved in the anti-Soviet machinations, writing in his Great Contemporaries: ‘In June 1924, Kamenev and Trotsky definitely invited him (Savinkov) to return’.[44]

In 1924 a leading Trotskyite, Christian Rakovsky, arrived in Britain as Soviet Ambassador. According to the testimony at the Moscow Trial during March 1938 Rakovsky admitted to meeting two British agents, Lockhart and Captain Armstrong. Rakovsky is said to have confessed at this trial that Lockhart and Armstrong had told him that he had been permitted entry into Britain because of his association with Trotsky, as they wanted to cultivated relations with the latter. When Rakovsky reported back to Trotsky several months later, Trotsky was alleged to have been interested. In 1926 Rakovsky was transferred to France prior to which he was alleged to have been instructed by Trotsky to seek out contacts with ‘conservatives circles’ who might support an uprising, as Trotsky considered the situation in Russia to be right for a coup. Rakovsky, as instructed, met several French industrialists, including the grain merchant Louis Dreyfus, and the flax merchant Nicole, both Deputies of the French Parliament.[45] Rakovsky in his testimony during the 1936 trial of Bukharin, et al, Rakovsky being one of the defendants, relates the manner by which he was approached by various intelligence agencies, including those of Japan when in 1934 Rakovsky was head of a Soviet Red Cross Delegation.[46] Rakovsky spoke of the difficulty the Trotskyites had in maintaining relations with both British and Japanese intelligence agencies, since the two states were becoming antagonistic over problems in China.[47] Rakovsky explained that: ‘We Trotskyites have to play three cards at the present moment: the German, Japanese and British…’[48] At that time the Trotskyites – or at least Rakovsky – regarded the likelihood of a Japanese attack on the USSR as more likely than a German attack. Rakovsky even then alluded to his belief that an accord between Hitler and Stalin was possible. It seems plausible enough that Trotskyites were indeed looking toward an invasion of the USSR as the means of destabilising the regime during which Trotskyist cells could launch their counter-revolution. Certainly we know from the account of Churchill that Trotsky met the ultra-terrorist Socialist Revolutionary Savinkov, who was himself involved with British Intelligence via Reilly and Lockhart. Rakovsky stated of a possible Hitler-Stalin Pact:

Personally I thought that the possibility was not excluded that Hitler would seek a rapprochement with the government of the USSR. I cited the policy of Richelieu: in his own country he exterminated the Protestants, while in his foreign policy he concluded alliances with the Protestant German princes. The relations between Germany and Poland were still in the stage of their inception at the time. Japan, on the other hand, was a potent aggressor against the USSR. For us Trotskyites the Japanese card was extremely important, but, on the other hand, we should not overrate the importance of Japan as our ally against the Soviet government.[49]

As far as the Stalinist allegations go in regard to the Trotskyists aligning with foreign powers and viewing an invasion of the USSR as a catalyst for revolution, other ultra-Marxists had taken paths far more unlikely. As mentioned Savinkov, who had been one of the most violent of the Socialist Revolutionaries in Czarist Russia, had sought out British assistance in forming a counter-revolutionary army. Savinkov had fled to Poland in 1919 where he tried to organize ‘the evacuation committee’ within the Polish armies then attacking Russia.[50] Savinkov’s colleagues in Poland, Merezhkovsky, and his wife Zinaida Hippius, who had been ardent Socialist Revolutionary propagandists, later became supporters of Mussolini and then of Hitler, in the hope of overthrowing Stalin[51]. Therefore the Stalinist allegation of Trotskyite collusion even with Fascist powers is plausible.

It is the same road that resulted in the alliance of many Trotskyists, Mensheviks and other Leftists with the CIA, and their metamorphoses into ardent Cold Warriors. It is the same road that brought leading American Trotsky apologist Professor Sidney Hook, ‘a lifelong Menshevik’, to the leadership of a major CIA front, the previously considered Congress for Cultural Freedom.

Max Shachtman

Max Shachtman, one of Trotsky’s leading representatives in the USA[52], is pivotal when considering why Trotskyites became ardent Cold Warriors, CIA front men, apologists for US foreign policy, and continue to champion the USA as the only ‘truly revolutionary’ state.

Expelled from the Communist Party USA in 1928 Shachtman co-founded the Communist League and the Socialist Workers Party. He then split to form the Workers Party of the United States in 1940, which became the Independent Socialist League and merged with the Socialist Party in 1958. [53] The Socialist Party factionalised into the Democratic Socialists and the Social Democrats.

Shachtman was of course scathing of the Moscow Trials. His critique is standard, and will not be of concern here. [54] What is of interest is Shachtman’s surpassing of Trotsky himself in his opposition to the USSR, his faction (the so-called ‘Third Camp’) being what he considered as a purified, genuine Trotskyism, which eventuated into apologists for US foreign policy.

The Shachtmanist critique of the USSR was that it had at an early stage been transformed from ‘government ‘bureaucratism to ‘party bureaucratism’.[55] ‘Soviet bureaucratism became party bureaucratism. In increasing number the government official was the party official.’[56] ‘We do not have a workers’ state but a workers’ state with bureaucratic deformations’, Shachtman stated in quoting Trotsky as far back as 1922. And again from Trotsky: ‘We have a bureaucracy not only in the Soviet institutions, but in the institutions of the party’… Shachtman continues: ‘A month later, in a veiled public attack upon Stalin as head of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection, he repeated his view that the state machine was still “a survival to a large extent of the former bureaucracy … with only a superficial new coat of paint.”’[57]

While in 1937 Shachtman declared that the USSR should nonetheless be defended against aggression from, for example, Nazi Germany and that it was a Stalinist slur to think that Trotsky would be an enemy of the USSR in such circumstances[58], by 1940 Shachtman was at loggerheads with Trotsky himself and the ‘Cannon’[59] group in the Workers Party.

The Trotskyites were agreed that Stalinist Russia had become a ‘degenerated’ workers’ state,’ however the Cannon-Trotsky line and the position of the Fourth International was that should the USSR be attacked by capitalist or fascist powers, because it still had a so-called ‘progressive’ economy based on the nationalisation of property, the USSR must be defended on that basis alone. The Shachtman line, on the other hand, argued from what they considered to be a dialectical position:

Just as it was once necessary, in connection with the trade union problem, to speak concretely of what kind of workers’ state exists in the Soviet Union, so it is necessary to establish, in connection with the present war, the degree of the degeneration of the Soviet state. The dialectical method of treating such questions makes this mandatory upon us. And the degree of the degeneration of the regime cannot be established by abstract reference to the existence of nationalized property, but only by observing the realities of living events.

The Fourth International established, years ago, the fact that the Stalinist regime (even though based upon nationalized property) had degenerated to the point where it was not only capable of conducting reactionary wars against the proletariat and its revolutionary vanguard, and even against colonial peoples, but did in fact conduct such wars. Now, in our opinion, on the basis of the actual course of Stalinist policy (again, even though based upon nationalized property), the Fourth International must establish the fact that the Soviet Union (i.e., the ruling bureaucracy and the armed forces serving it) has degenerated to the point where it is capable of conducting reactionary wars even against capitalist states (Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, now Finland, and tomorrow Rumania and elsewhere). This is the point which forms the nub of our difference with you and with the Cannon faction.[60]

Shachtman now expressed his approach unequivocally:

War is a continuation of politics, and if Stalinist policy, even in the occupied territory where property has been statified, preserves completely its reactionary character, then the war it is conducting is reactionary. In that case, the revolutionary proletariat must refuse to give the Kremlin and its army material and military aid. It must concentrate all efforts on overturning the Stalinist regime. That is not our war! Our war is against the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy at the present time!

In other words, I propose, in the present war, a policy of revolutionary defeatism in the Soviet Union, as explained in the statement of the Minority on the Russian question – and in making this proposal I do not feel myself one whit less a revolutionary class patriot than I have always been.[61]

That was the Shachtmanite line during World War II: that it was better that Nazi Germany defeated Stalin than that the ‘degenerated workers’ state’ should continue to exist. The same thinking emerged during the Cold War, shortly after World War II, when Shachtman began to speak about the threat of Stalinist parties throughout the world as agencies for Soviet policy, a theme that would become a basis of US attitudes towards the USSR:

The Stalinist parties are indeed agents of the Kremlin oligarchy, no matter what country they function in. The interests and the fate of these Stalinist parties are inseparably intertwined with the interests and fate of the Russian bureaucracy. The Stalinist parties are everywhere based upon the power of the Russian bureaucracy, they serve this power, they are dependent upon it, and they cannot live without it.[62]

By 1948 Shachtmanism as a Cold Warrior apologia for American foreign policy was taking shape. In seeing positive signs in the Titoist Yugoslavia break with the USSR, Shachtman wrote:

In the first place, the division in the capitalist camp is, to all practical intents, at an end. In any case, there is nothing like the division that existed from 1939 onward and which gave Stalinist Russia such tremendous room for maneuvering. In spite of all the differences that still exist among them, the capitalist world under American imperialist leadership and drive is developing an increasingly solid front against Russian imperialism.[63]

In other words, Shachtman saw unity among the capitalist states against Stalinist Russia as a positive sign. The overthrow of Stalinism became the first priority of Shachtmanite Trotskyism in the Cold War era, as it had during World War II.

In 1948 Shachtman scathingly attacked the position of the Fourth International in having continued to defend the USSR as a ‘degenerated workers’ state’, and of its mistaken belief that the Stalinist ‘bureaucratic dictatorship’ world fall apart during World War II. He pointed out that Stalinist imperialism had emerged from the war victorious.[64]

From here it was but a short way for the Shachtmanites to embrace the Cold War opposition to the USSR, and for the heirs of this to continue as enthusiasts for US foreign policy to the present-day.

By 1950 Stalinism had become the major problem for world socialism, Shachtman now writing as head of the Independent Socialist League:

The principal new problem faced by Marxian theory, and therewith Marxian practice, is the problem of Stalinism. What once appeared to many to be either an academic or ‘foreign’ problem is now, it should at last be obvious, a decisive problem for all classes in all countries. If it is understood as a purely Russian phenomenon or as a problem ‘in itself,’ it is of course not understood at all.[65]

Natalia Sedova Trotsky

Natalia Sedova, Trotsky’s widow, endorsed the Shachtmanite line, declaring that the American-led alliance against the USSR would have been approved by her late husband. Her letter of resignation to the Fourth International and to the Socialist Workers Party (USA) is worth reproducing in its entirety:

You know quite well that I have not been in political agreement with you for the past five or six years, since the end of the [Second World] war and even earlier. The position you have taken on the important events of recent times shows me that, instead of correcting your earlier errors, you are persisting in them and deepening them. On the road you have taken, you have reached a point where it is no longer possible for me to remain silent or to confine myself to private protests. I must now express my opinions publicly.

The step which I feel obliged to take has been a grave and difficult one for me, and I can only regret it sincerely. But there is no other way. After a great deal of reflections and hesitations over a problem which pained me deeply, I find that I must tell you that I see no other way than to say openly that our disagreements make it impossible for me to remain any longer in your ranks.

The reasons for this final action on my part are known to most of you. I repeat them here briefly only for those to whom they are not familiar, touching only on our fundamentally important differences and not on the differences over matters of daily policy which are related to them or which follow from them.

Obsessed by old and outlived formulas, you continue to regard the Stalinist state as a workers’ state. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

Virtually every year after the beginning of the fight against the usurping Stalinist bureaucracy, L D Trotsky repeated that the regime was moving to the right, under conditions of a lagging world revolution and the seizure of all political positions in Russia by the bureaucracy. Time and again, he pointed out how the consolidation of Stalinism in Russia led to the worsening of the economic, political and social positions of the working class, and the triumph of a tyrannical and privileged aristocracy. If this trend continues, he said, the revolution will be at an end and the restoration of capitalism will be achieved.

That, unfortunately, is what has happened even if in new and unexpected forms. There is hardly a country in the world where the authentic ideas and bearers of socialism are so barbarously hounded. It should be clear to everyone that the revolution has been completely destroyed by Stalinism. Yet you continue to say that under this unspeakable regime, Russia is still a workers’ state. I consider this a blow at socialism. Stalinism and the Stalinist state have nothing whatever in common with a workers’ state or with socialism. They are the worst and the most dangerous enemies of socialism and the working class.

You now hold that the states of Eastern Europe over which Stalinism established its domination during and after the war, are likewise workers’ states. This is equivalent to saying that Stalinism has carried out a revolutionary socialist role. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

After the war and even before it ended, there was a rising revolutionary movement of the masses in these Eastern countries. But it was not these masses that won power and it was not a workers’ state that was established by their struggle. It was the Stalinist counterrevolution that won power, reducing these lands to vassals of the Kremlin by strangling the working masses, their revolutionary struggles and their revolutionary aspirations.

By considering that the Stalinist bureaucracy established workers’ states in these countries, you assign to it a progressive and even revolutionary role. By propagating this monstrous falsehood to the workers’ vanguard, you deny to the Fourth International all the basic reasons for existence as the world party of the socialist revolution. In the past, we always considered Stalinism to be a counterrevolutionary force in every sense of the term. You no longer do so. But I continue to do so.

In 1932 and 1933, the Stalinists, in order to justify their shameless capitulation to Hitlerism, declared that it would matter little if the Fascists came to power because socialism would come after and through the rule of Fascism. Only dehumanized brutes without a shred of socialist thought or spirit could have argued this way. Now, notwithstanding the revolutionary aims which animate you, you maintain that the despotic Stalinist reaction which has triumphed in Europe is one of the roads through which socialism will eventually come. This view marks an irredeemable break with the profoundest convictions always held by our movement and which I continue to share.

I find it impossible to follow you in the question of the Tito regime in Yugoslavia. All the sympathy and support of revolutionists and even of all democrats, should go to the Yugoslav people in their determined resistance to the efforts of Moscow to reduce them and their country to vassalage. Every advantage should be taken of the concessions which the Yugoslav regime now finds itself obliged to make to the people. But your entire press is now devoted to an inexcusable idealization of the Titoist bureaucracy for which no ground exists in the traditions and principles of our movement.

This bureaucracy is only a replica, in a new form, of the old Stalinist bureaucracy. It was trained in the ideas, the politics and morals of the GPU. Its regime differs from Stalin’s in no fundamental regard. It is absurd to believe or to teach that the revolutionary leadership of the Yugoslav people will develop out of this bureaucracy or in any way other than in the course of struggle against it.

Most insupportable of all is the position on the war to which you have committed yourselves. The third world war which threatens humanity confronts the revolutionary movement with the most difficult problems, the most complex situations, the gravest decisions. Our position can be taken only after the most earnest and freest discussions. But in the face of all the events of recent years, you continue to advocate, and to pledge the entire movement to, the defense of the Stalinist state. You are even now supporting the armies of Stalinism in the war which is being endured by the anguished Korean people. I cannot and will not follow you in this.

As far back as 1927, Trotsky, in reply to a disloyal question put to him in the Political Bureau [of the Soviet Communist Party] by Stalin, stated his views as follows: For the socialist fatherland, yes! For the Stalinist regime, no! That was in 1927! Now, twenty-three years later Stalin has left nothing of the socialist fatherland. It has been replaced by the enslavement and degradation of the people by the Stalinist autocracy. This is the state you propose to defend in the war, which you are already defending in Korea.

I know very well how often you repeat that you are criticizing Stalinism and fighting it. But the fact is that your criticism and your fight lose their value and can yield no results because they are determined by and subordinated to your position of defense of the Stalinist state. Whoever defends this regime of barbarous oppression, regardless of the motives, abandons the principles of socialism and internationalism.

In the message sent me from the recent convention of the SWP you write that Trotsky’s ideas continue to be your guide. I must tell you that I read these words with great bitterness. As you observe from what I have written above, I do not see his ideas in your politics. I have confidence in these ideas. I remain convinced that the only way out of the present situation is the social revolution, the self-emancipation of the proletariat of the world.[66]

Natalia Trotsky, like the Shachtmanites, regarded the USSR as having irredeemably destroyed Marxism, and that the only option left was to destroy the USSR, which meant aligning with the USA in the Cold War.

It was this bellicose anti-Stalinism that brought the Shachtmanites into the US foreign policy establishment during the Cold War, and beyond, to the present-day. Haberkern, an admirer of Shachtman’s early commitment to Trotskyism and opposition to Stalinism, lamented:

There is, unfortunately, a sad footnote to Shachtman’s career. Beginning in the 50s he began to move to the right in response to the discouraging climate of the Cold War. He ended up a Cold Warrior and apologist for the Meany wing of the AFL-CIO.[67] But that should not diminish the value of his earlier contributions.[68]

Cold War and Beyond

Professor Hook and Max Shachtman veered increasingly towards a pro-US position to the point that Hook, while maintaining his commitment to Social-Democracy, voted for Richard Nixon and publicly defended President Ronald Reagan’s policies.

During the 1960s, Hook critiqued the New Left and became an outspoken supporter of the Vietnam War. In 1984 he was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to give the annual Jefferson Lecture, ‘the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities’. [69] On May 23 1985 Hook was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan. Edward S Shapiro writing in the American ‘conservative’ journal First Principles, summarised Hook’s position:

One of America’s leading anticommunist intellectuals,[70] Hook supported American entry into the Korean War, the isolation of Red China, the efforts of the United States government to maintain a qualitative edge in nuclear weapons, the Johnson administration’s attempt to preserve a pro-western regime in South Vietnam, and the campaign of the Reagan administration to overthrow the communist regime in Nicaragua.

Those both within and outside of conservative circles viewed Hook as one of the gurus of the neoconservative revival during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1985, President Reagan presented Hook with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being one of the first ‘to warn the intellectual world of its moral obligations and personal stake in the struggle between freedom and totalitarianism’.[71]

In the 1960s Shachtmanism aligned with the Democratic Party and was also involved with the New Left. By the mid 1960s such was the Shachtmanite opposition to the USSR that they had arrived on issues of American foreign policy that were the same as Hook’s, including supporting the American presence in Vietnam. In 1972 the Shachtmanists endorsed Leftist Senator Henry Jackson for the Democratic presidential nomination against Leftist George McGovern whom they regarded as an appeaser toward the USSR. Jackson was both pro-war and vehemently anti-Soviet, advocating a ‘hawkish’ position on foreign policy towards the USSR. Like Hook, Jackson was also awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan in 1984.

At this time Tom Kahn, a prominent Shachtmanite and an organizer of the AFL-CIO, who will be considered below, was Senator Jackson’s chief speechwriter.[72] Many of Jackson’s aides were to become prominent in the oddly ‘neo-conservative’ movement, including veteran Trotskyites Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith, all of whom became prominent in the Administration of President George H W Bush, all of whom helped to instigate the present war against Islam, which they began to call ‘Islamofascism’, as a new means of extending American world supremacy.

Tom Kahn, who remained an avid follower of Shachtman, explained his mentor’s position on the USA in Vietnam in this way, while insisting that Shachtman never compromised his Socialist ideals:

His views on Vietnam were, and are, unpopular on the Left. He had no allusions about the South Vietnamese government, but neither was he confused about the totalitarian nature of the North Vietnamese regime. In the South there were manifest possibilities for a democratic development… He knew that those democratic possibilities would be crushed if Hanoi’s military takeover of the South succeeded. He considered the frustration of the attempt to be a worthy objective of American policy…[73]

This position in it own right can be readily justified by dialectics, as the basis for the support of Trotskyist factions, including those of both Hook and Shachtman during the Cold War, and the present legacy of the so-called ‘neo-cons’ in backing American foreign policy as the manifestation of a ‘global democratic revolution’, as a development of Trotsky’s ‘world proletarian revolution.’ 

National Endowment for Democracy

It was from this milieu that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was formed, which took up form the CIA’s Congress for Cultural Freedom.

President George W Bush embraced the world revolutionary mission of the USA, stating in 2003 to NED that the war in Iraq was the latest front in the ‘global democratic revolution’ led by the United States. ‘The revolution under former president Ronald Reagan freed the people of Soviet-dominated Europe, he declared, and is destined now to liberate the Middle East as well’. [74]

NED was established in 1983 at the prompting of Shachtmanist veteran Tom Kahn, and endorsed by an Act of US Congress introduced by Congressman George Agree. Carl Gershman, [75] a Shachtmanite, was appointed president of NED in 1984, and remains so. Gershman had been a founder and Executive Director (1974-1980) of Social Democrats USA (SD-USA).[76] Among the founding directors of NED was Albert Glotzer, a national committee member of the SD-USA, who had served as Trotsky’s bodyguard and secretary in Turkey in 1931,[77] who had assisted Shachtman with founding the Workers Party of the United States.

Congressman Agree and Tom Kahn believed that the USA needed a means, apart from the CIA, of supporting subversive movements against the USSR. Kahn, who became International Affairs Director of the AFL-CIO, was particularly spurred by the need to support the Solidarity movement in Poland, and had been involved with AFL-CIO meetings with Leftists from Latin America and South Africa. [78]

Kahn had joined the Young Socialist League, the youth wing of Shachtman’s Independent Socialist League, [79] and the Young People’s Socialist League, which he continued to support until his death in 1992. Kahn was impressed by the Shachtman opposition to the USSR as the primary obstacle to world socialism. [80] He built up an anti-Soviet network throughout the world in ‘opposition to the accommodationist policies of détente’.[81] There was a particular focus on assisting Solidarity in Poland from 1980.[82] Racehlle Horowitz’s eulogy to Kahn ends with her confidence that had he been alive, he would have been a vigorous supporter of the war in Iraq. [83]

NED is funded by US Congress and supports ‘activists and scholars’ with 1000 grants in over 90 countries.[84]  NED describes its program thus:

From time to time Congress has provided special appropriations to the Endowment to carry out specific democratic initiatives in countries of special interest, including Poland (through the trade union Solidarity), Chile, Nicaragua, Eastern Europe (to aid in the democratic transition following the demise of the Soviet bloc), South Africa, Burma, China, Tibet, North Korea and the Balkans. With the latter, NED supported a number of civic groups, including those that played a key role in Serbia’s electoral breakthrough in the fall of 2000. More recently, following 9/11 and the NED Board’s adoption of its third strategic document, special funding has been provided for countries with substantial Muslim populations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.[85]

NED therefore serves as a kind of ‘Comintern’ of the so-called ‘American democratic revolution’ throughout the world. The subversion by the USA, culturally, politically, and economically, with its front-groups, spies, fellow-travellers, activists, and outright revolutionaries, is more far-reaching than the USSR’s allegedly ‘communist’ subversion ever was.

The accusation by the Stalinists at the Moscow Trials of the 1930s was that the Trotskyists were agents of foreign powers and would reintroduce capitalism. The crisis in Marxism caused by the Stalinist regime – the so-called ‘betrayal of the revolution’ as Trotsky himself termed it – resulted in such outrage among the Trotskyites that they were willing to whore themselves and undertake anything to bring down the Soviet edifice.


[1] American President Woodrow Wilson’s principal adviser and confidante.

[2] Henry Wickham Steed, Through Thirty Years 1892-1922 A personal narrative, ‘The Peace Conference, The Bullitt Mission’, Vol. II.  (New York: Doubleday Page and Co., 1924), 301.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Samuel Gompers, ‘Soviet Bribe Fund Here Says Gompers, Has Proof That Offers Have Been Made, He Declares, Opposing Recognition. Propaganda Drive. Charges Strong Group of Bankers With Readiness to Accept Lenin’s Betrayal of Russia’, The New York Times, 1 May 1922.

[6] Richard B Spence, ‘Hidden Agendas: Spies, Lies and Intrigue Surrounding Trotsky’s American Visit, January-April 1917’, Revolutionary Russia, Volume 21, Issue 1 June 2008, 33 – 55.

[7] Ibid.

[8] It is more accurate to state that Trotsky managed to straddle both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks until the impending success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Military Intelligence Division, 9140-6073, Memorandum # 2, 23 August 1918, 2. Cited by Spence, op.cit.

[12] Spence, ibid.

[13] Wiseman became a partner in 1929.

[14] ‘Sir William’s New Bank’, Time, October 17 1955.

[15] The foregoing on Trotsky’s associations from Spain to New York and his transit back to Russia are indebted to Spence, op.cit.

[16] Edward M. House, ed. Charles Seymour, The Intimate Papers of Col. House (New York: Houghton, Mifflin Co.), Vol. III, 421.

[17] Peter Grosse, Continuing The Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2006), ‘Basic Assumptions’. The entire book can be read online at: http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/index.html [3]

[18] Armand Hammer, Witness to History (London: Coronet Books, 1988), 221.

[19] Ibid., 160.

[20] Ibid., 221.

[21] David North, ‘Leon Trotsky and the Fate of Socialism in the 20th Century’, opening lecture to the International Summer School on ‘Marxism and the Fundamental Problems of the 20th Century’, organised by the International Committee of the Fourth International and the Socialist Equality Party of Australia, Sydney, Australia, January 3 1998. David North is the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the USA, and has lectured extensively in Europe, Asia, the US and Russia on Marxism and the program of the Fourth International. http://www.wsws.org/exhibits/trotsky/trlect.htm [4] (accessed 12 March 2010).

[22] Albert E Kahn and Michael Sayers, The Great Conspiracy Against Russia, (London: Collet’s Holdings Ltd., 1946).

[23] Antony Sutton, op.cit., 39-42.

[24] Kahn and Sayers, op.cit. p. 29.

[25] ‘Calls People War Weary, But Leo Trotsky Says They Do Tot Want Separate Peace’, The New York Times, 16 March 1917.

[26] The real purpose of the American Red Cross Mission in Russia was to examine how commercial relations could be established with the fledgling Bolshevik regime, as indicated by the fact that there were more business representatives in the Mission than there were medical personnel. See: Dr Anton Sutton, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution (New York: Arlington House Publishers, 1974), 71-88. K R Bolton, Revolution from Above (London: Arktos Media Ltd., 2011) 63-64.

[27] ‘Gives Bolsheviki a Million’, Washington Post, 2 February 1918, cited by Sutton, op.cit., ., pp. 82-83.

[28] The New York Times, 27 January 1918, op.cit.

[29] Kahn and Sayers, op.cit., p. 29.

[30] R H Bruce Lockhart, British Agent (London: G P Putnam’s Sons, 1933), Book Four, ‘History From the Inside’, Chapter I.

[31] Antony Sutton, op.cit., 84, 86.

[32] R H Bruce Lockhart, op.cit.

[33] Ibid., Chapter III.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid. Lockhart observed that while the German peace terms received 112 votes from the Central Executive Committee of the Bolshevik Party, there had been 86 against, and 25 abstentions, among the latter of whom was Trotsky.

[36] Ibid., Chapter IV.

[37] That at least was the perception of Stalinists of Trotsky’s depiction by the West, as portrayed by Kahn and Sayers, op.cit., 194.

[38] Kahn and Sayers cite a number of Lenin’s statements regarding Trotsky, dating from 1911, when Lenin stated that Trotsky slides from one faction to another and back again, but ultimately ‘I must declare that Trotsky represents his own faction only…’ Ibid., 195.

[39] Ibid., 199.

[40] Leon Trotsky, Leon Sedov: Son-Friend-Fighter, 1938, cited by Kahn and Sayers, 205.

[41] Ibid., 204.

[42] R H Bruce Lockhart, op.cit., Book Three: War & Peace, Chapter IX. Lockhart described Savinkov as a professional ‘schemer’, who ‘had mingled so much with spies and agents-provocateurs that, like the hero in his own novel, he hardly knew whether he was deceiving himself or those whom he meant to deceive’. Lockhart commented that Savinkov had ‘entirely captivated Mr Churchill, who saw in him a Russian Bonaparte’.

[43] Reilly, the British ‘super agent’ although widely known for his anti-Bolshevik views, prior to his becoming a ‘super spy’ and possibly working for the intelligence agencies of four states, by his own account had been arrested in 1892 in Russia by the Czarist secret police as a messenger for the revolutionary Friends of Enlightenment.

[44] Kahn and Sayers, op.cit., 208.

[45] Commissariat of Justice, Report of the Case of the Anti-Soviet ‘Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites’, Heard Before The Military Collegium of the Court of the USSR, Moscow, March 24 1938, 307.

[46] Ibid., 288.

[47]  Ibid. 293.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, ‘Eschatology and the Appeal of Revolution’, California Slavic Studies, Volume. II, University of California Press, California, 1930, 116.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Shachtman was one of the two most prominent Trotskyites in the USA according to Trotskyist historian Ernest Haberkern, Introduction to Max Shachtman, http://www.marxists.org/archive/shachtma/intro.htm [5]

[53] ‘British Trotskyism in 1931’, Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism Online: Revolutionary History, http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/backiss/vol1/no1/glotzer.html [6]

[54] Max Shachtman, Behind the Moscow Trial (New York: Pioneer Publishers, 1936).

[55] Max Shachtman, ‘Trotsky Begins the Fight’, The Struggle for the New Course (New York: New International Publishing Co., 1943).

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Leon Trotsky, In Defence of the Soviet Union, Max Shachtman, ‘Introduction.’ (New York: Pioneer Publishers, 1937).

[59] James P Cannon, a veteran Trotskyist and former colleague of Shachtman’s.

[60] Max Shachtman, ‘The Crisis in the American Party: An Open Letter in Reply to Comrade Leon Trotsky’, New International, Vol.6 No.2, March 1940), 43-51.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Max Shachtman, ‘The Nature of the Stalinist Parties: Their Class Roots, Political Role and Basic Aim’, The New International: A Monthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism, Vol.13 No.3, March 1947, 69-74.

[63]Max Shachtman, ‘Stalinism on the Decline: Tito versus Stalin The Beginning of the End of the Russian Empire’, New International, Vol. XIV No.6, August 1948, 172-178.

[64] Max Shachtman, ‘The Congress of the Fourth International: An Analysis of the Bankruptcy of “Orthodox Trotskyism”’, New International, Vol.XIV, No.8, October 1948, pp.236-245.

[65] Max Shachtman, ‘Reflections on a Decade Past: On the Tenth Anniversary of Our Movement’, The New International: A Monthly Organ of Revolutionary Marxism, Vol.16 No.3, May-June 1950, pp.131-144.

[66] Natalia Sedova Trotsky, May 9, 1951, Labor Action, June 17, 1951, http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistvoice/natalia38.html [7]

[67] American Federation of Labor-Central Industrial Organization.

[68] Haberkern, op.cit.

[69] Sidney Hook, ‘Education in Defense of a Free Society’, 1984, Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, National Endowment for Humanities, http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/jefflect.html [8]

[70] Again, there is obfuscation with the use of the term ‘anti-Communist’. What is meant in such cases is not opposition to Communism, but opposition to Stalinism, and the course the USSR had set upon after the elimination of the Trotskyites, et al. Many of these so-called ‘anti-Communists’ in opposing the USSR considered themselves loyal to the legacy of Trotsky.

[71] Edward S Shapiro, ‘Hook, Sidney’, First Principles: The Home of American Intellectual Conservatism, July 3,  2009, http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=699&loc=r [9]

[72] Tom Kahn, ‘Max Shachtman: His Ideas and His Movement’, Editor’s Note on Kahn, Dissent Magazine, 252 http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d11Khan.pdf [10]

[73] Tom Kahn, Democratiya 11, 2007, reprinted in Dissent Magazine, ibid., 258.

[74] Fred Barbash, ‘Bush: Iraq Part of ‘Global Democratic Revolution’: Liberation of Middle East Portrayed as Continuation of Reagan’s Policies’, Washington Post, 6 November 6, 2003.

[75] Gershman served as Senior Counsellor to the United States Representative to the United Nations beginning in 1981. As it happens, the Representative he was advising was fellow Social Democrats comrade, Jeane Kirkpatrick, who had begun her political career in the (Trotskyist) Young People’s Socialist League, a branch of the Shachtmanist-orientated Socialist Party, as had many other ‘neo-cons.’

[76] The Social Democrats USA had originated in 1972 after a split with the Trotskyist-orientated Socialist Party. The honorary chairman of the Social Democrats USA until his death in 1984 was Prof. Sidney Hook.

[77] Glotzer was a leading Trotskyist. Expelled from the Communist Party USA in 1928 along with Max Shachtman, they founded the Communist League and the subsequent factions. When the Socialist Party factionalised in 1972 Glotzer joined the Social Democrats – USA faction, which remained closest to Shachtmanism, and which supported US foreign policy. Even in 1981 Glotzer was still involved with luminaries of the Socialist Workers Party. “British Trotskyism in 1931”, Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism Online: Revolutionary History, http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/backiss/vol1/no1/glotzer.html (Accessed 7 March 2010).

[78] Rachelle Horowitz, “Tom Kahn and the Fight for Democracy: A Political Portrait and Personal Recollection”, Dissent Magazine, pp. 238-239. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d11Horowitz.pdf (Accessed 8 March 2010).

[79] Ibid., p. 209.

[80] Ibid. p 211.

[81] Ibid., p. 234.

[82] Ibid., p. 235.

[83] Ibid., p. 246.

[84] ‘About NED’, National Endowment for Democracy, http://www.ned.org/about (accessed 7 March 2010).

[85] David Lowe, ‘Idea to Reality: NED at 25: Reauthorization’, NED, http://www.ned.org/about/history (accessed 7 March 2010).


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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/02/trotsky-stalin-and-the-cold-war/

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[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/trotsky2.jpg

[2] Stalin: The Enduring Legacy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1908476443/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1908476443&linkCode=as2&tag=countercurren-20

[3] http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/index.html: http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/index.html

[4] http://www.wsws.org/exhibits/trotsky/trlect.htm: http://www.wsws.org/exhibits/trotsky/trlect.htm

[5] http://www.marxists.org/archive/shachtma/intro.htm: http://www.marxists.org/archive/shachtma/intro.htm

[6] http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/backiss/vol1/no1/glotzer.html: http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/revhist/backiss/vol1/no1/glotzer.html

[7] http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistvoice/natalia38.html: http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/socialistvoice/natalia38.html

[8] http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/jefflect.html: http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/jefflect.html

[9] http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=699&loc=r: http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com/articles.aspx?article=699&loc=r

[10] http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d11Khan.pdf: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/democratiya/article_pdfs/d11Khan.pdf

mardi, 03 janvier 2012

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'


Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

Revealed: how the spy agency used unwitting artists such as Pollock and de Kooning in a cultural Cold War

Ex: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/

For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- com- munists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.

The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.

The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.

Initially, more open attempts were made to support the new American art. In 1947 the State Department organised and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled "Advancing American Art", with the aim of rebutting Soviet suggestions that America was a cultural desert. But the show caused outrage at home, prompting Truman to make his Hottentot remark and one bitter congressman to declare: "I am just a dumb American who pays taxes for this kind of trash." The tour had to be cancelled.

The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy's hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover's FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.

Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.

"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I'd love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.

"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."

To pursue its underground interest in America's lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn't be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn't have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps."

This was the "long leash". The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its "fellow travellers" in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.

This organisation put together several exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s. One of the most significant, "The New American Painting", visited every big European city in 1958-59. Other influential shows included "Modern Art in the United States" (1955) and "Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century" (1952).

Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called "Mummy's museum", Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called "free enterprise painting"). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.

The museum was also linked to the CIA by several other bridges. William Paley, the president of CBS broadcasting and a founding father of the CIA, sat on the members' board of the museum's International Programme. John Hay Whitney, who had served in the agency's wartime predecessor, the OSS, was its chairman. And Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA's International Organisations Division, was executive secretary of the museum in 1949.

Now in his eighties, Mr Braden lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, in a house packed with Abstract Expressionist works and guarded by enormous Alsatians. He explained the purpose of the IOD.

"We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."

He confirmed that his division had acted secretly because of the public hostility to the avant-garde: "It was very difficult to get Congress to go along with some of the things we wanted to do - send art abroad, send symphonies abroad, publish magazines abroad. That's one of the reasons it had to be done covertly. It had to be a secret. In order to encourage openness we had to be secret."

If this meant playing pope to this century's Michelangelos, well, all the better: "It takes a pope or somebody with a lot of money to recognise art and to support it," Mr Braden said. "And after many centuries people say, 'Oh look! the Sistine Chapel, the most beautiful creation on Earth!' It's a problem that civilisation has faced ever since the first artist and the first millionaire or pope who supported him. And yet if it hadn't been for the multi-millionaires or the popes, we wouldn't have had the art."

Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.

But look where this art ended up: in the marble halls of banks, in airports, in city halls, boardrooms and great galleries. For the Cold Warriors who promoted them, these paintings were a logo, a signature for their culture and system which they wanted to display everywhere that counted. They succeeded.

* The full story of the CIA and modern art is told in 'Hidden Hands' on Channel 4 next Sunday at 8pm. The first programme in the series is screened tonight. Frances Stonor Saunders is writing a book on the cultural Cold War.

Covert Operation

In 1958 the touring exhibition "The New American Painting", including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.

The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA's. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire's charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.

So, unknown to the Tate, the public or the artists, the exhibition was transferred to London at American taxpayers' expense to serve subtle Cold War propaganda purposes. A former CIA man, Tom Braden, described how such conduits as the Farfield Foundation were set up. "We would go to somebody in New York who was a well-known rich person and we would say, 'We want to set up a foundation.' We would tell him what we were trying to do and pledge him to secrecy, and he would say, 'Of course I'll do it,' and then you would publish a letterhead and his name would be on it and there would be a foundation. It was really a pretty simple device."

Julius Fleischmann was well placed for such a role. He sat on the board of the International Programme of the Museum of Modern Art in New York - as did several powerful figures close to the CIA.

lundi, 10 mai 2010

Prof. Dachitchev: Réponse à la "Lettre ouverte" des intellectuels occidentaux contre Poutine


Prof. Dr. Viatcheslav DACHITCHEV:

Réponse à la “Lettre ouverte” des intellectuels occidentaux contre Poutine


Daschitschew.jpgLe Professeur Viatcheslav Dachitchev, historien et expert ès questions allemandes, a été l’un des principaux conseillers de Gorbatchev et l’avocat au Kremlin de la réunification allemande. Nous avons déjà eu l’occasion de publier des entretiens avec lui ou des extraits de ces meilleurs essais [ http://www.harrymagazine.com/200407/turquia.htm ; http://ch.altermedia.info/index.php?p=641#more-641 ; tous deux sur la question de l’adhésion turque à l’UE; “Gorbatchev et la réunification allemande” & “Le combat de Poutine contre les oligarques”, in “Au fil de l’épée”, recueil n°48, août 2003].


Aujourd’hui, le Prof. Dachitchev réagit à la “Lettre ouverte” des intellectuels occidentaux, dirigée contre le Président Vladimir Poutine, accusé de détruire la démocratie en Russie. Sans hésiter, le Prof. Dachitchev a pris la plume pour présenter des contre-arguments dans les colonnes de l’hebdomadaire nationaliste allemand, la “National-Zeitung”, qui paraît à Munich. L’objectif du professeur : réfuter les arguments fallacieux avancés par les politiciens américains et les intellectuels qui leur sont inféodés, dans cette “Lettre ouverte”, dont l’objectif est de déstabiliser Poutine et la Russie. Dachitchev part du principe que “déclencher une guerre terroriste en bonne et due forme contre la Russie” coïncide avec les élections américaines. La guerre de Tchétchénie, en effet, apporte à Washington plusieurs avantages stratégiques importants. La  machine propagandiste US peut ainsi détourner l’attention de l’opinion publique internationale de l’expansionnisme américain en acte et accuser les seuls dirigeants russes d’enfreindre les droits de l’homme. La situation actuelle de la Russie est peu enviable, parce qu’elle sort à grand peine du marasme dans lequel la politique américaine l’a plongée, en pariant systématiquement sur le clan d’Eltsine. Voici la première partie de la réfutation rédigée par le Prof. Dachitchev :


Prélude à une nouvelle “Guerre Froide”?


L’élite dirigeante aux Etats-Unis a besoin d’une Russie faible, qui, comme beaucoup d’autres pays européens, puisse être maintenue à la remorque de Washington. Elle craint aussi de perdre sa “cinquième colonne” en Russie. Le 29 septembre dernier, 115 “intellectuels” et politiciens américains et européens ont publié une “Lettre ouverte” aux chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement de l’UE  et de l’OTAN (pourquoi pas aux Nations Unies?) qui constitue de facto une attaque agressive contre le gouvernement du Président Poutine. Comment faut-il interpréter cette lettre? Quels sont les objectifs poursuivis par sa diffusion?


Avant toute chose, cette lettre témoigne que la politique américaine vise encore et toujours à affaiblir la Russie. La façon dont la “Lettre” décrit la politique du Président Poutine, surtout après les événements de Beslan en Ossétie, n’est rien d’autre qu’une démolition en règle. Pour washington, ce qui importe, c’est d’organiser une campagne propagandiste visant à refaire de la Russie un ennemi pour l’opinion publique américaine et européenne, afin de pouvoir exercer une pression constante sur les plans politique, économique et militaire et de pouvoir la justifier.  Ou bien est-ce carrément le début d’une nouvelle “Guerre Froide” contre le “Super-Etat voyou”?


Les néo-conservateurs tirent les ficelles


Personne, et encore moins Poutine, ne conteste le fait qu’une véritable démocratie serait un bien pour la Russie. Cependant, les signataires de cette “Lettre ouverte” devraient surtout penser à l’essentiel; et cet essentiel n’est-il  pas, aujourd’hui, pour la communauté internationale, d’éviter une nouvelle guerre mondiale, qui pourrait se déclencher à la suite de la politique américaine qui vise à établir une hégémonie globale? Mais il serait naïf de croire que les signataires veulent vraiment éviter cette conflagration universelle. Car, parmi ceux qui ont initié et signé cette “Lettre”, on trouve les tireurs de ficelles néo-conservateurs  comme William Kristol et Robert Kagan, tous deux fondateurs du “Projet pour un nouveau siècle américain”, expression de leur lobby idéologique.


En Russie aussi, une campagne  hystérique contre Poutine est menée tambour battant, justement par les mêmes cercles et cénacles qui, sous Eltsine, avaient ruiné et pillé le pays et le peuple. Ils craignent aujourd’hui de perdre tout pouvoir et toute influence. Ils se sont rassemblés au sein de  “Comité 2008” et d’une “Fédération des forces justes”. Leur objectif consiste à renverser Poutine. Ils font dans la pure démagogie et rendent le Président responsable indirectement du massacre effroyable de Beslan. Ils posent ses réformes du système politique russe comme une volonté de réduire les droits de l’homme à rien. Pourtant, malgré leurs cris, ils oublient de se soucier du problème majeur de la Russie d’aujourd’hui : 41% de la population russe végètent sous le seuil de la pauvreté ou l’avoisinnent dangereusement. Pour Alexandre Lifschitz  —l’ancien ministre des finances d’Elstsine—  ces millions de pauvres gens sont des “alluvions sociaux”. Pour Andreï Piontkovski  —un russophobe bien connu—  le Président Poutine est le “problème majeur” de la Russie. Le politologue Satarov, qui appartient lui aussi à l’entourage d’Eltsine et dont le nom sert à désigner le péché actuel de l’intelligentsia russe (on parle de “saratovisme”), prétend avoir trouvé les moyens de “freiner Poutine”. Ainsi, la tragédie de Beslan a contribué à faire reconnaître ceux qui sont en faveur et ceux qui sont en défaveur des intérêts nationaux de la Russie.


Les dangers pour la Russie


C’est quelque part exact : l’action terroriste abominable qui a été perpétrée à Beslan en Ossétie a épouvanté le monde entier et a permis à la caste dirigeante russe, rassemblée autour de Poutine, de procéder à une appréciation nouvelle des dangers et des défis qui menacent la Russie. Il est exact de dire aussi que l’affaire de Beslan provoquera une transformation essentielle dans la politique russe, sur les plans de la politique intérieure, de la politique extérieure et de la politique militaire.


Après la fin officielle et formelle de la “Guerre Froide”, la Russie avait réduit ses budgets militaires de manière spectaculaire : le chiffre était passé de 200 milliards à 12 milliards de dollars. Les budgets américains, en revanche, avaient gonflé pour atteindre  des dimensions gigantesques et dépasser les chiffres du temps de la “Guerre Froide”. Vu la pression américaine, la Russie a dû tripler son budget militaire au cours de ces cinq dernières années. Les plans soumis en août dernier pour les dépenses militaires de 2005 prévoient une augmentation de 28% pour atteindre le chiffre de 573 milliards de roubles. Après l’action terroriste tchétchène de Beslan, ces budgets seront encore augmentés. Selon des déclarations officielles, une bonne part de ce budget devra assurer la parité avec les Etats-Unis en matière de fusées nucléaires.


Pourquoi ? Parce que le facteur qui pèse le plus sur la Russie depuis la fin de la Guerre Froide, sur les plans géopolitique, géostratégique et géo-économique est indubitablement la politique américaine. Après le démontage du système totalitaire soviétique, après que Gorbatchev ait renoncé définitivement au messianisme communiste et à sa politique hégémoniste, après l’effondrement de l’Union Soviétique, on a pu croire que les tensions entre les Etats-Unis et la Russie disparaîtraient et qu’une situation nouvelle naîtrait, apportant dans son sillage les conditions d’une paix durable et d’une vision constructive de la politique internationale. En réalité, rien de tout cela n’est advenu, bien au contraire !


Le programme : bétonner l’hégémonie définitive des Etats-Unis  sur le globe


La Doctrine Bush a pour assises les programmes géopolitiques visant à bétonner l’hégémonie définitive des Etats-Unis sur le globe. Ces programmes dérivent du “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC), élaboré au printemps de l’année 1997, et d’autres projets émanant des centres de réflexion néo-conservateurs.


Quelques mois après l’élaboration de ce PNAC, est paru un article dans la revue “Foreign Affairs”, qui s’intitulait : “Pour une géostratégie eurasiatique”. Il était dû à la plume de Zbigniew Brzezinski et révélait ouvertement et sans vergogne les  plans américains. C’est-à-dire les suivants:

è    Les Etats-Unis doivent devenir la seule et unique puissance dirigeante en Eurasie. Car qui possède l’Eurasie possède aussi l’Afrique.

è    La tâche principale de cette politique globale des Etats-Unis consiste à élargir leur principale “tremplin” géostratégique en Europe, en poussant les pions, que sont l’OTAN et l’UE, aussi loin que possible vers l’Est, y compris aux Pays baltes et à l’Ukraine.

è    Il faut empêcher toute bonne intégration au sein même de l’UE, de manière à ce que celle-ci ne  puisse pas devenir une puissance mondiale à part entière.

è    L’Allemagne  —qui sert de base à l’hégémonie américaine en Europe—  ne pourra jamais devenir une puissance mondiale; son rôle doit être limité à des dimensions strictement régionales.

è    La Chine  —soit l’”ancrage asiatique” de la stratégie euro-asiatique des Etats-Unis, doit, elle aussi, demeurer une simple puissance régionale.

è    La Russie doit être éliminée en tant que grande puissance eurasienne; à sa place, il faut créer une confédération d’Etats mineurs, qui seront la république de Russie d’Europe, la république sibérienne et la république d’Extrême Orient.


On le constate : les objectifs géopolitiques des Etats-Unis mènent tout droit à un télescopage pur et simple entre les intérêts russe et ceux de Washington.


Viatcheslav DACHITCHEV,


[article paru dans la “National-Zeitung”, n°42, 8 octobre 2004].

jeudi, 11 mars 2010

Le réveil du Vieux Monde


Le réveil du Vieux Monde

par Louis SOREL


L'édifice diplomatico-stratégique s'écroule et l'Etablissement politique et médiatique n'en finit pas de jouer les prolongations. Ainsi, Thierry de Montbrial, docteur de l'IFRI, prêche le statu quo quand celui-ci n'existe plus, et Jacques Attali, sous couvert de prospective, fait dans le millénarisme soft  (1). C'est donc avec bonheur que nous avons lu le dernier ouvrage de William Pfaff, Le réveil du Vieux Monde. Citoyen américain de souche rhénane, vivant à Paris, William Pfaff développe avec finesse et objectivité ses analyses sur l'ordre international de l'après-guerre. Son diagnostic est sévère et lucide: les héros (Etats-Unis et URSS) sont fatigués et les fissures du monde bipolaire laissent entrevoir un possible retour à la primauté pluriséculaire de l'Europe.


indexooooooo.jpgC'est à travers l'analyse de l'évolution conjointe des forces militaires et des ressources économiques des principaux Etats que Paul Kennedy affirme inéluctable le déclin américain (2). Refusant ce primat de l'économique, William Pfaff met en exergue la pluralité des facteurs à l'œuvre dans la genèse de toute configuration historique et l'importance qu'il accorde au substrat culturel l'amène à rejeter l'historicisme linéaire de l'idéologie dominante: «Elles (les sociétés non occidentales) se trouvent ailleurs et sont les héritières d'un passé différent. Et il n'est pas totalement déraisonnable de penser qu'elles puissent avoir un avenir différent». A l'égard de l'histoire la plus immédiate, l'auteur, s'il évoque l'éventuelle responsabilité de l'Allemagne dans le déclenchement de la guerre civile européenne, ne s'en tient pas à la condamnation morale d'un fascisme a-temporel. Le second conflit mondial ne saurait s'expliquer par l'irruption du Malin dans le monde, et si césure il y a, c'est en 1914 que l'Europe, jusqu'alors robe sans coutures, se déchire. En 1917, débarquent les troupes américaines alors que la révolution bolchévique, "traumatisme politique" initial, met fin à l'homogénéité d'une société internationale longtemps eurocentrée. Le système Est-Ouest émerge (dialectique du bolchévisme et de l'anti-bolchévisme), le stalinisme et l'hitlérisme, incarnations de la révolution et de la contre-révolution, recourant aux formes et au symbolisme du système de guerre. Le phénomène totalitaire s'enracinant dans cette époque particulière, anti-fascisme et anti-communisme n'apportent aujourd'hui aucun cadre d'analyse satisfaisant (3).


Le «siècle américain» n'a pas

duré cinquante ans...


Quarante-cinq années après la clôture de cette guerre de trente ans, la bi-hégémonie américano-soviétique est remise en cause. «Le siècle américain n'aura pas duré cinquante ans» et W. Pfaff fait de l'idéologie américaine la cause majeure des revers extérieurs. De l'isolationnisme de l'Age classique à l'internationalisme de l'après-guerre, la politique extérieure des Etats-Unis se fonde en effet sur la présomption de supériorité morale; qu'il s'agisse de se préserver de ce monde corrompu ou de le convertir, avec pour postulat tacite de Washington à Bush: «L'Amérique ne serait en lieu sûr dans le monde que le jour où le monde lui ressemblerait d'assez près» (4).


Ce messianisme à base de calvinisme et de libéralisme n'a cessé de se heurter à la force des choses. L'Amérique s'est enthousiasmée pour les «Etats-Unis d'Europe» mais depuis le guerre commerciale fait rage et l'insipide technocrate qu'est Jacques Delors se surprend à hausser le ton! L'Amérique a cru l'Asie plus docile et ouverte à son influence  mais elle n'en finit pas d'exorciser le spectre du Vietnam!


Et pourtant, le vieux vocabulaire de l'exceptionalisme américain persiste, faute d'autre philosophie politique: «Mise au défi de repenser la politique en Amérique centrale, la Commission Kissinger, groupe de réflexion à dominante conservatrice qui remit son rapport en 1984, ne trouva rien de mieux à proposer qu'un ambitieux programme d'assistance pour aider les populations centre-américaines à faire leur la vision de l'avenir que représentent nos idéaux».


Parallèlement, les anciennes sociétés culturellement autonomes d'Europe centrale et d'Eurasie auront survécu à la puissance soviétique et démontrent le caractère inéluctablement transitoire du communisme. Cette volonté de faire table rase du passé a généré la situation d'insécurité permanente de l'URSS.


Aujourd'hui l'Amérique souffre d'hypertrophie impériale et invoquer les mânes des Founding Fathers  ne conjurera pas le déclin. De même, le retour de Lénine prôné par Gorbatchev ne peut légitimer un système à bout de souffle (5). Ironie de l'histoire, «de cette révolution, il (Gorbatchev) pourrait bien être le Kérenski!». La rétraction des deux protagonistes du jeu politique mondial n'est pas sans risques, mais la fin du «siècle américain» débouche sur un nouveau «siècle européen». De fait, le thème récurrent du Pacifique, Méditerranée du XXIième siècle, a pu dominer l'orée des années 80, la remarquable réussite d'un Japon fondamentalement autre n'a pas valeur paradigmatique, W. Pfaff se montrant circonspect quant à l'éveil de la Chine, tant la vigueur des cultures de frontière fait défaut à la civilisation centrale (6). Demeure donc au centre du monde l'Europe, dont le partage était l'enjeu de la guerre froide, les Etats-Unis ne pouvant s'en abstraire sans renoncer à la puissance.


Quelles destinées pour

la Grande Europe...?


«Lorsque le maître de la mer dispose d'un pareil atterrage, écrit Georges Buis, il ne le lâche pas». De bon gré, ajouterions-nous. Un temps déclassée mais bénéficiant des plus formidables antécédents historiques, «l'Europe pourrait même à l'avenir compter davantage que les Etats-Unis». Ecrivant ces lignes avant le jeu de domino de l'automne 1989, l'auteur n'envisage alors que le seul sort de la CEE; avec la fermeture de la parenthèse soviétique, les destinées de la Grande Europe sont manifestement autres que celles des Etats-Unis.


«Depuis la fin de la guerre, le privilège de l'irresponsabilité a été la qualité saillante de la situation en Europe» et, après quarante années de statu quo, l'espace paneuropéen est à organiser, la question centrale étant l'avenir de l'URSS. Constatant que l'occupation du glacis centre-européen n'a pu assurer la sécurité de l'Etat soviétique, W. Pfaff estime possible et nécessaire un arrangement russo-européen fondé sur la claire conscience du coût prohibitif et de l'irrationalité politique de toute nouvelle guerre en Europe. A cette fin, il réhabilite le statut de la Finlande acquis à la pointe de l'épée et injustement dénigré. «La vieille peur de la Russie, consciente de sa faiblesse et de son arriération, a toujours été la peur de l'encerclement», la neutralisation de l'Europe centrale pourrait l'en affranchir.


La guerre froide terminée, W. Pfaff n'entonne pas pour autant un Te Deum.  Au terme d'une aventure politique et morale qui a commencé avec le voyage de Lénine dans un fourgon scellé, les étoiles sont mortes (intitulé du premier chapitre). «L'Amérique fut un empire éphémère» et l'Europe reste «le nœud de l'histoire contemporaine». L'histoire nous offre une page blanche: «L'aventure léniniste est terminée. La question capitale demeure: qu'est-ce qui a commencé?».


Louis SOREL.


William PFAFF, Le réveil du Vieux Monde. Vers un nouvel ordre international, Calmann-Lévy, 1990, 130 FF.




(1) Dans le Figaro  du 5 octobre 1989, Thierry de Montbrial prétend vouloir favoriser leur (les peuples de l'Europe de l'Est) affranchissement de l'impérialisme soviétique, mais «sans bouleverser l'équilibre européen, car nous ne serions certainement pas prêts à en assumer les risques». Jacques Attali, pseudo-futurologue, prédit dans Signes d'horizon  (Fayard, 1989) la fin de la crise par la généralisation de l'ordre marchand, un mode de vie universel, le triomphe de l'individu et du nomadisme...». Voir également John Naisbitt, Méga-tendances - 1990-2000 (éd. First).

(2) Cf. Paul Kennedy, Naissance et déclin des grandes puissances, Payot, Paris, 1989. Cfr. Vouloir  n°50/51. La version originale a suscité un important débat aux Etats-Unis.

(3) cf. Alain de Benoist, «Pensée politique: l'implosion», in Krisis,  n°1, 1989.

(4) Sur la politique extérieure des Etats-Unis, voir Bernard Boëne, «La stratégie générale des Etats-Unis ou le jeu sans fin (?) de l'idéologie et du réalisme», in Stratégique,  n°39/1988. Et l'essai de Michel Jobert, Les Américains  (Albin Michel, 1987).

La prégnance de l'American Creed  depuis deux siècles explique l'aspect "croisade messianique" et les caractères anti-clausewitziens des guerres américaines: les objectifs poursuivis  -la capitulation sans condition de l'adversaire-  et les moyens mis en œuvre sont disproportionnés par rapport aux enjeux initiaux.

(5) Contre la thèse aronienne du projet humanitaire dévoyé par Staline, lire Dominique Colas, Lénine et le léninisme,  PUF, 1987. L'auteur y démontre avec rigueur le caractère intrinsèquement totalitaire du léninisme.

(6) W. Pfaff se réfère à Arnold Toynbee dont l'ouvrage majeur, L'Histoire  (Bordas, 1981) a été recensé par Ange Sampieru dans Vouloir  n°50/51.

samedi, 30 janvier 2010

Histoire et actualité de la guerre froide

Histoire et actualité de la guerre froide


« Pour beaucoup d’étudiants, la Guerre froide aujourd’hui n’évoque rien de personnel. Cela apparaît presque comme de l’Histoire ancienne.
En réalité, malgré des changements aussi radicaux que l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique et la réunification allemande, plusieurs problèmes, qui existaient avant 1989, sont toujours là. […]

guerrefroidesssss.jpgPeu après 1989, on pensait que le monde libre et la démocratie avaient triomphé grâce à la victoire des Etats-Unis sur l’Union soviétique. La réalité de 2009 est différente. Le modèle démocratique américain ne s’est de loin pas imposé partout à travers le globe. […] Dans la politique américaine, il y a des relents de Guerre froide. L’attitude de Washington par rapport à Cuba n’a pas fondamentalement changé. L’embargo imposé à La Havane en 1962 est toujours en vigueur. […]

Pour beaucoup de politiciens, la Guerre froide était pratique; elle permettait d’expliquer à son opinion publique de manière simpliste que tout était soit noir, soit blanc. Le monde est beaucoup plus complexe que ne le décrivait à l’époque Fukuyama. L’Histoire n’est pas un processus linéaire. Il n’y a pas de happy end hollywoodien une fois pour toutes. Il s’est agi d’une théorie très ethnocentrique et très offensante. Une manière de dire que la civilisation occidentale a triomphé. C’est une attitude dangereuse qui a poussé l’Occident à humilier la Russie dans les années 1990. Ce n’est pas un hasard si Vladimir Poutine a, en réaction, mené une politique agressive et nationaliste, qui a pu choquer. Une politique qui était, il est vrai, aussi teintée d’une nostalgie du statut de superpuissance qu’avait l’Union soviétique. […] Après la disparition du Pacte de Varsovie, certains pensaient que l’OTAN allait aussi disparaître. Elle a non seulement survécu, elle s’est même étendue. La Russie a vécu cela comme une continuation de la Guerre froide. […]

Le monde multipolaire est devenu une réalité. Ce n’était pas le cas avant 1989. Mais j’aimerais corriger un cliché de la Guerre froide. On l’a présentée comme un monde bipolaire simple. Elle était pourtant beaucoup plus complexe. La Chine par exemple n’a pas toujours joué le jeu bipolaire. L’Inde et les non-alignés non plus. Au Moyen-Orient, la Guerre froide n’était de loin pas le principal facteur de division. […]

Il faut se rappeler qu’au faîte de la Guerre froide les Etats-Unis soutenaient les “combattants de la liberté”, les mouvements rebelles contre les Soviétiques qui venaient d’envahir l’Afghanistan en 1979. Mais aussi les Contras au Nicaragua, l’Unita en Angola. Ces soutiens ont provoqué un retour de flamme. Les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 aux Etats-Unis en sont une illustration. Cet événement a fortement changé la donne. Après le fiasco des années 1990, comme en Somalie, les Etats-Unis n’auraient jamais pu lancer des opérations militaires de grande échelle en Afghanistan avec l’appui de l’opinion publique sans de tels attentats. Cette période a toutefois des similitudes avec les débuts de la Guerre froide, avec le maccarthysme des années 1940-1950. Dans une démocratie comme les Etats-Unis, tout avis dissident, à partir de 2001, équivalait à une trahison. »


Jussi Hanhimäki, professeur à l’IHEID, interviewé par Le Temps, 3 novembre 2009

mercredi, 03 juin 2009

A propos des accords Reagan/Gorbatchev










A propos des accords Reagan-Gorbatchev



par Jean-Rémy Vanderlooven



La récente signature, en décembre dernier, du traité américano-soviétique portant sur une réduction des euro-missiles a fait couler beaucoup d'encre. La ren-contre à Moscou de Reagan et de Gorbatchev prouve en tout cas que cet accord est durable. Enfin un évé-nement médiatique qui ne soit sucité ni par une catastrophe ni par un scandale?



Bien que le traité, désormais ratifié par le Congrès américain, ne concerne que 3 à 7% de la puissance de feu nucléaire des deux super-puissances, réactions et com-mentaires ont fusés en tous sens.


Certains en ont déduit, hâtivement sans doute, que Reagan et Gorbatchev s'étaient soudain convertis au pacifisme angélique, d'autres y ont trouvé une preu-ve supplémentaire du machiavélisme soviétique, et quelques-uns, enfin, sont partis en quête d'un para-pluie, pas trop troué, sous lequel se réfugier frileu-sement. Toutes ces gesticulations révèlent un double manque considérable: la lucidité et la dignité.



En fait, la signature de ce traité trouve sa véritable im-portance historique, en tant que signe d'une dou-ble modification d'analyse et de stratégie dans le chef des deux grands et "subsidiairement" du statut de l'Europe de l'Ouest.






Depuis quelques années, la stratégie mondiale des E-tats-Unis se réoriente en fonction de deux éléments re-lativement neufs. D'une part, une résurgence de la tentation isolationniste. Celle-ci est illustrée, au plan économique, par les différentes "guerres" euro-amé-ricaines (aciers, pâtes, etc.), ou encore, par la dégringolade —voulue— du dollar sur toutes les pla-ces financières, ce qui a pour double effet de faire fi-nancer la démagogie reaganienne par le reste du mon--de et d'élever des barrières autour du marché in-térieur américain. Parallèlement, au plan militaire, l'IDS ne sanctuarise que le territoire américain.



D'autre part, la source de la vitalité américaine glisse de la côte Est vers la côte Ouest, recentrage motivé par le transfert du centre de gravité économique de l'At-lantique-Nord au Pacifique. Cette double con-train-te, à laquelle s'ajoute au relatif manque de "fia-bi-lité" des alliés de l'OTAN, conduit, dans la pensée stratégique américaine, à une marginalisation toujours plus marquée de l'Europe de l'Ouest. Un désengagement progressif des Américains en Europe est donc de plus en plus probable.






En ce qui concerne l'URSS, il serait temps d'aban-donner nos phantasmes concernant une quelconque volonté de démocratisation de type "occidentalo-libéral". La nouvelle direction du pays a relevé un dé-fi d'une toute autre nature: la modernisation d'un sys-tème économique obsolète, condition de survie de l'empire. Cette exigence détermine le choix de nou-velles priorités: la société civile et l'infrastructure économique/technologique prennent, momentané-ment (?), le pas sur la logique d'un impérialisme pu-rement militaire et sur son corrolaire, la course aux armements.


Cette réorientation fondamentale devra permettre à la fois le transfert de ressources financières et humai-nes à l'intérieur de l'URSS et, via une amélioration du "look" diplomatique, une meilleure collaboration avec le reste du monde. Si tout ceci peut se traduire par une moindre militarisation de la société sovié-ti-que, par une relative décentralisation du pouvoir et par un assouplissement des normes de commu-nica-tion et d'information, l'Union Soviétique restera mal-gré tout fort éloignée d'un quelconque "plura-lis-me".



Les indices de ce changement de stratégie ne man-quent pas; l'URSS s'est longtemps montrée très ac-ti-ve dans le monde par ses interventions militaires, sou-vent massives. Dans les pays d'Europe centrale, à Cuba, au Vietnam, en Angola, en Ethiopie, en Af-gha-nistan (ces entreprises ont d'ailleurs eu pour effet d'atténuer le complexe d'"assiégés" des dirigeants so-viétiques).


Or, plus récemment, un relatif désengagement est per-ceptible, illustré, par exemple, par une aide plus dis-crète au Nicaragua, par la non-intervention directe en Pologne, par les velléités de retrait d'Afghanistan ou encore par le traité sur les euromissiles.



Tout cela rend l'étouffement complet des satellites eu-ropéens moins impératif et diminue l'acuité de l'af-frontement avec les nations ouest-européennes.



Europe de l'Ouest



Les Européens de l'Ouest ne peuvent nullement es-pé-rer imposer une stratégie propre et volontariste dans le cadre de ces bouleversements.



En effet, du fait des conséquences de ses guerres ci-viles et des erreurs historiques qui ont jalonné les po-litiques de colonisation puis de décolonisation, l'Europe a dû renoncer à son rôle de leader mondial. Cependant, les atouts qu'elle conserve, doivent lui permettre de développer une tactique "opportuniste" en fonction du relatif espace d'autonomie qui s'offre à elle.



Cette tactique devrait s'articuler sur trois options fon-damentales: 1) le neutralisme (non-alignement idéo-logique par rapport aux deux super-puissances; ce que les Allemands nomment plus justement la Blockfreiheit);  2) le recentrage et 3) la redécouverte de ces axes naturels de collaboration internationale.






"Plutôt rouge que mort?". Certainement pas: une tel-le attitude n'est qu'une façon, parmi d'autres, de sa-crifier, une fois de plus, l'essentiel: la dignité. En fait, le nouveau neutralisme dont ont besoin le centre et l'ouest de notre continent est la première condition de son indépendance: il s'agit de s'affranchir de la tu-telle exercée par les deux grands, tutelle qui n'apporte qu'une protection illusoire au prix d'une vassalisation bien réelle. Dans cette optique, tant l'iso-la-tionnisme américain que l'attitude nouvelle des Soviétiques à l'égard du glacis est-européen sont des opportunités qui ne peuvent être négligées.






Au-delà de cette neutralité réinventée, l'espace euro-péen ainsi créé ne pourra définir son identité et affir-mer sa vocation internationale qu'en faisant appel à un système de références et de projets se rapportant à lui-même.



Potentiels culturels et traditions politiques purement européens sont, en effet, appelés à former la base d'une vision prospective de notre devenir, par la mi-se en avant de la communauté de destin de nos peu-ples. Nous voilà bien éloigné du "grand marché" pu-rement mercantile et ouvert à tous vents que nous proposent nos technocrates...



Axes d'ouverture



Contrairement aux dires des farfelus du mondialisme militant, l'avenir international de l'Europe ne passe pas par Séoul ou Lima, lieux pour nous excentri-ques, appartenant à l'espace sud- ou nord-pacifique.



Notre histoire indique à suffisance les solidarités (et les interdépendances) naturelles qui devraient être ré-ac-tualisées: l'axe est-ouest d'une part, l'axe nord-sud d'autre part.


Les conditions d'émergence du premier axe ont été dé-veloppées dans le points précédent. En ce qui con-cerne le deuxième axe  —l'Afrique—  sa réalité est clairement inscrite dans les faits. Nombre de nos pro-blèmes parmi les plus concrets, comme l'immi-gration ou l'approvisionnement en énergie, par exemple, ne pourront être résolus que sur base d'un dialogue trans-méditerranéen.






Il s'agit donc, pour l'Europe, de relever un défi: re-constituer une identité européenne propre qu'il fau-dra concrétiser dans un espace autonome et inscrire dans une alternative internationale dynamique.


Au boulot,...






jeudi, 07 mai 2009

Democrazia e guerra fredda: anatomia di un paradosso

Democrazia e guerra fredda: anatomia di un paradosso

di Carlomanno Adinolfi - ex: http://augustomovimento.blogspot.com/

Con la fine della guerra mondiale “democrazia” sembra diventare la parola d’ordine per tutti gli Stati protagonisti della scena globale. “Democrazia” diventa il baluardo della modernità e dei popoli contro le “dittature” sconfitte con le armi dall’alleanza finanza-comunismo. Eppure “democrazia” diventa sempre di più una parola astratta a cui ognuno dà diversi significati a seconda talvolta della convenienza, talvolta della matrice culturale in cui essa nasce.
Nell’immediato dopoguerra, quando il mondo comincia ad assumere l’assetto deciso a Jalta dai cosiddetti “grandi” (Roosevelt, Stalin e il proclamatore dell’inizio delle belligeranze, Churchill) i principali modelli di democrazia diventano quello occidentale, di stampo parlamentare, e quello popolare, proprio dei regimi ad est della cortina di ferro.
Ovviamente i rappresentanti dei due modelli rivendicano ognuno la legittimità del definirsi “democratico”.

Le democrazie occidentali

I paesi cosiddetti occidentali, sotto la leadership militare, economica e politica degli Usa, sono tutti fautori di quelle che comunemente vengono definite democrazie parlamentari. Questi paesi ponevano e pongono tutt’ora come concetto cardine della loro democrazia le libertà individuali e la loro difesa in tutti i campi. In questa concezione la massima espressione di libertà è il voto per decidere i propri rappresentanti in parlamento e negli organi di governo territoriale.

Tuttavia il principio fondante di quella che dovrebbe essere una democrazia nel vero senso della parola, ossia “governo del popolo”, viene del tutto a mancare: la partecipazione stessa del popolo al governo e alla vita politica. La partecipazione attiva dei cittadini alla sfera politica nasce e si esaurisce all’interno delle urne nella scelta dei rappresentanti. Da quel momento in poi quella che dovrebbe essere res publica torna di fatto ad essere sfera privata degli eletti a “rappresentanti del popolo”. Se si va ad analizzare a fondo la realtà concreta, infatti, è evidente che solo una piccolissima percentuale della popolazione ha a che fare con la gestione effettiva della politica, e si prospetta una visione che sembra sempre più quella di una oligarchia, piuttosto che quella di una democrazia – visione che diviene sempre più accentuata man mano che i cosiddetti rappresentanti diventano sempre più legati alle lobbies economico-finanziarie.

Altro fattore che faceva degli Stati occidentali delle democrazie solo a parole è il fatto che (altro cardine del mondo occidentale) a vincere sia la cosiddetta maggioranza.
Nei paesi con una moltitudine di partiti nella scena politica, questo, di fatto, sta a significare che al governo, tranne in casi eccezionali, non vada affatto la rappresentanza della maggioranza dei cittadini, ma semplicemente i rappresentanti della minoranza più grande. Nei paesi a sistema proporzionale è poi necessario che queste “grandi minoranze” debbano allearsi con partiti teoricamente più vicini ideologicamente per raggiungere e mantenere il governo. Questo crea altri scenari paradossali con partiti che di fatto sono rappresentanti di una minima parte di cittadinanza che hanno il potere di ricatto politico verso i più grandi, e che possono in questo modo andare al governo a discapito di partiti ben più rappresentativi che si trovano però fuori dalla coalizione vincente.

L’unico caso in cui ad andare al governo è effettivamente la maggioranza, ossia chi si accaparra almeno un voto in più del 50% dei votanti, è quello dei sistemi bipolari in cui di fatto sono presenti solo due partiti ma, fuori dagli
Usa, un terzo conta sempre qualcosa, come accade in Germania o Inghilterra. Ma anche qui il paradosso è enorme, in quanto la totalità della popolazione deve per forza riconoscersi in uno dei due schieramenti.
In tutti i casi, comunque, chi raggiunge la cosiddetta maggioranza, sia essa relativa o assoluta, lascia di fatto esclusa dal governo una fetta enorme della popolazione, rendendo il termine “governo del popolo” del tutto inadatto a descrivere il sistema di governo occidentale.

Le democrazie popolari

Paradossalmente gli Stati che durante la guerra fredda si avvicinavano di più al concetto vero di democrazia erano proprio gli Stati sotto influenza sovietica, i quali avevano dalla loro le cosiddette democrazie popolari.

Facendo propria la considerazione di J. J. Rousseau (1712 – 1778), secondo cui la volontà di tutti (volonté générale) non coincide affatto con la somma delle singole volontà, queste democrazie cercarono di scardinare il sistema atomista, secondo cui ognuno deve promuovere i propri interessi a discapito di quelli dell’avversario sperando di andare al governo (o di esservi rappresentato) per veder così attuato il proprio programma personale o quello della propria fazione. Promossero pertanto un sistema che vedeva tutta la popolazione rappresentata da un unico partito: quello comunista.
In quest’ottica si cercò di reintrodurre il concetto di partecipazione attiva della popolazione alla politica, rendendo obbligatoria l’iscrizione al partito, vietando il più possibile la proprietà privata e rendendo, di conseguenza, tutto proprietà dello Stato, facendo sì che ogni lavoratore e ogni fabbrica lavorassero solo ed unicamente per il partito, in un’ottica che vedeva l’economia del tutto assoggettata al volere degli alti gradi del polit bureau che rappresentavano l’intera collettività.

Sebbene però questo sistema fosse, dal punto di vista teorico, più vicino al concetto di “governo del popolo” rispetto alla controparte occidentale, di fatto anche qui il popolo era del tutto estraneo non solo alle decisioni ma anche ai vantaggi del proprio lavoro. Essendo praticamente annullata la sfera individuale a discapito di quella collettiva, la politica economica attuata tramite i cosiddetti “piani quinquennali” non era affatto finalizzata al benessere economico e sociale dei lavoratori, ma piuttosto al benessere – appunto – dell’intera collettività, che – di fatto – era rappresentata dal partito e dallo Stato.

I paradossi dei due mondi

Abbiamo già visto il paradosso secondo cui sarebbe stato più corretto chiamare democrazie quelle popolari piuttosto che quelle occidentali.
Ma ci sono altri e ben più grandi paradossi nei due sistemi.
Nell’ottica sovietica appena trattata, secondo la quale l’individuo è annullato nella collettività, il lavoratore diventa un ingranaggio per il benessere dello Stato e non per se stesso, facendo un lavoro di cui non vedrà mai personalmente i frutti, economici o politici, andando a ricostruire esattamente lo scenario criticato dallo stesso Marx, e facendo dell’economia dei paesi sovietici praticamente un capitalismo di Stato.

Ma il paradosso più grande forse riguarda proprio il mondo occidentale. La volontà esplicita di liberare l’economia e la finanza dal controllo dello Stato favorì non solo l’assoggettarsi delle politiche nazionali alle logiche di mercato, ma soprattutto favorì la creazione e il proliferare di una classe finanziaria internazionale che cercò e riuscì a gestire le politiche nazionali per i propri fini. Questo fece sì che lobbies sovra e inter-nazionali potessero controllare i governi, e che Stati con assai poca sovranità nazionale potessero essere governati di fatto da rappresentanti di aziende o multinazionali straniere. A conti fatti, il mondo occidentale risultò quindi attuare perfettamente il concetto di internazionalismo che il comunismo russo invece aveva abbandonato fin dai tempi in cui Stalin estromise a picconate Trotsky, attuando invece un gigantesco nazionalismo al servizio della Grande Russia.

Il terrore come mezzo di auto-sostentamento dei due modelli

Il clima di guerra fredda che iniziò fin dalla fine della guerra mondiale di certo aiutò il consolidarsi dei due modelli, che furono comunque contrastati per una ventina d’anni dai paesi non-allineati, i quali facevano riferimento a leaders popolari e nazionali come l’egiziano Nasser e l’argentino Perón.

A est della cortina di ferro qualunque contatto con il mondo occidentale era vietato o fortemente “sconsigliato” per la difesa dell’utopia sovietica. Qualunque corrente non conforme a quella dominante di volta in volta nel politburo di Mosca era purgata con esecuzioni od omicidi politici, tacciata d’essere “reazionaria” o comunque “nemica del popolo”. Qualunque tentativo di indipendenza dall’influenza moscovita, o qualunque tentativo di riforma della classe politica anche solo verso il socialismo o la socialdemocrazia, era repressa nel sangue, come nei casi ben noti di Praga, Budapest o in Polonia.

Ma anche in Occidente si fece largo uso del terrore per mantenere lo status quo deciso a Jalta. Con il piano Marshall – di fatto – tutti i paesi europei divennero talmente legati alla politica statunitense, tanto da divenirne praticamente schiavi. Il quotidiano timore per l’imminente scoppio del conflitto nucleare costrinse gli Stati occidentali a fare quadrato dietro agli Usa, e ciò impedì di fatto qualunque forma di ricerca (o di ritorno) di una terza via, tanto politica quanto economica.

Non è un caso poi che le nazioni in cui si permise di avere fortissimi partiti comunisti fossero proprio i paesi più pericolosi per l’ottica che voleva l’Europa assoggettata politicamente ed economicamente: tolte la Germania divisa e l’Inghilterra, che si era già demolita con Churchill fin dagli anni ‘30, si permise ai partiti comunisti di divenire potentissimi in Italia, chiave del mediterraneo e a cui si doveva impedire di tornare ad avere una politica da protagonista, e in Francia, dove una tradizione di grandeur e di senso dello Stato poteva intaccare quel senso di internazionalismo anti-Stato. Di fatto questa politica riuscì solo in Italia, in cui il PCI e i suoi alleati riuscirono ad abbattere tanto l’auto-sostentamento militare che quello energetico con la battaglia antinucleare e con la guerra ai sostenitori della politica mediterranea e filo-araba (si pensi al delitto Moro, alla guerra a Craxi e alla collusione tanto di dirigenti che di terroristi rossi con lobbies israeliane come Terracini, Bertoli, Israelil rosso”, ecc.).
Gli stessi Usa, paladini della libertà, usarono l’arma del terrore durante l’epoca McCarthy e soffocarono nel sangue i tentativi di liberazione dalla loro influenza dai paesi dell’America Latina.

Di fatto il clima di continua tensione, certamente aiutato dall’impotenza politica dell’Onu che prevedeva diritto di veto tanto dagli Usa che dai sovietici, non fece altro che aiutare i due grandi colossi a reggersi in piedi nel dominio delle rispettive sfere d’influenza. Tensione che i due colossi fecero ben attenzione a non far mai esplodere e far andare fuori controllo, come dimostrano il sospetto assassinio del presidente Kennedy e il contemporaneo improvviso golpe contro il presidente Kruscev, proprio i due uomini politici che rischiarono di dar inizio alla guerra nell’episodio della crisi missilistica di Cuba.