U.S. foreign policy is an imperial venture geared toward maximizing the profits of multinational corporations and banks on the one hand, and the suffering of masses of people around the world on the other. U.S. elites in Washington and the corporate media would have us believe that the opposite is true. According to their self-serving worldview, U.S. foreign policy facilitates democracy and human rights against the “authoritarian regimes” in China and Russia. This lie is perhaps the biggest of a plethora of tall tales that the elites have concocted since Washington became the world’s imperial superpower at the close of World War II. In recent weeks, Lebron James, China, and Russia have found themselves on the receiving end of a vicious campaign to legitimize Washington’s regime of endless war.
NBA star Lebron James took a bold stance when he described Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey as being misinformed for supporting the rightwing separatist movement in Hong Kong. James did not explicitly take the side of the People’s Republic of China in the dispute. Rather, he echoed a sentiment of non-interference that many NBA players and undoubtedly much of the world shares when it comes to the political affairs of another nation. James’ respect for China’s self-determination was not well-received by the U.S. foreign policy establishment. The legendary NBA player was immediately labeled an apologist for the so-called crimes of China’s authoritarian regime—a euphemism for the communist party-led Chinese state.
The fourth Democratic Party debate focused less on China and instead spent nearly the entire foreign policy section of the evening on Russia’s “invasion” of U.S. democracy. Candidates were asked by New York Times moderators to profess their undying loyalty to the U.S. foreign policy establishment and denounce Russia’s so-called interventions in both Syria and the U.S. presidential election of 2016. While anti-Russian madness is nothing new, the debates focus on Russia was further spurred by U.S. president Donald Trump’s recent announcement that he would withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria. The move came after Turkey the re-launched its own invasion of the Syrian Arab Republic. Beto O’Rourke answered affirmatively to the question of whether he would place a freeze on Putin’s bank accounts if elected president. Neoliberal longshot Amy Klobuchar went so far as to claim that Donald Trump’s foreign policy “makes Russia great again.”
Anti-Chinese and anti-Russian sentiments are not merely the result of prejudice on the part of the U.S.’ foreign policy establishment. The foreign policy establishment, which consists of all sectors of the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence apparatus, have long concluded that China and Russia represent the gravest threat to U.S. hegemony around the world. According to the Pentagon’s National Security Strategy of 2018, China and Russia “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” U.S. foreign policy has shifted focus away from the so-called threat of terrorism and toward weakening and destabilizing its biggest rivals to the East. The hawkish anti-Russian talking points at the fourth debate and the media frenzy against Lebron James must be placed within the context of the U.S.’ principle foreign policy objectives.
The U.S foreign policy establishment dominates all discourse about the U.S.’s role in the world. In Syria, the U.S. has armed jihadist groups through gateway nations such as Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and NATO for over eight years. Corporate media talking heads and politicians in both parties have framed the latest invasion of Turkey as an abandonment of the U.S.’ “Kurdish ally” and a gift to Putin. The reality is that while the Kurds have indeed been fighting ISIS in northern Syria, the U.S. has provided direct assistance to Turkey in the arming of ISIS and other jihadist groups along its border with Syria, also called the “jihadi highway” by many Syrians. Furthermore, the U.S. has illegally occupied over thirty percent of Syrian territory to starve the people into relinquishing support of their government.
Turkey’s latest act of desperation has facilitated a truce between the Kurds and the Syrian Arab Army, which spells dooms for Washington’s long-term goal of overthrowing the Syrian government. The foreign policy establishment now claims that the U.S.’ role in Syria was never to overthrow its government despite much evidence to the contrary. Barack Obama’s administration repeated the “Assad Must Go” mantra ad nauseam from the very outset of the war. Defense Intelligence Agency documents revealed that the U.S. planned to install a “Salafist” principality in the region with the goal of overthrowing the Syrian government. Whatever Kurdish forces in Syria that took U.S. weapons were mere pawns in a larger foreign policy design. The Kurds have united with the Syrian government around the position that U.S. foreign policy is the problem, not the solution.
People in the U.S. have a long way to go before coming to the same conclusion as the Syrian people. Self-proclaimed socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez co-signed a letter with war hawks Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton demanding that the NBA withdraw from China. In the same vein, so-called progressive Democratic Party primary candidate Elizabeth Warren claimed that former Special Council and FBI Director Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference contained several impeachable offenses that implicated Putin and Trump. Corporate Democrat and war hawk Joe Biden bemoaned that another four years of Trump’s allegiance to Putin would eradicate NATO as an institution. Little does he know that this development would be welcomed by much of the entire planet. The political apparatus in Washington, from its most leftist strands to its most rightward figures, is completely united in the ongoing U.S. effort to demonize and destroy China and Russia.
NATO and the rest of the U.S. foreign policy establishment is the biggest problem facing humanity. The U.S.-NATO alliance has created a social hell for tens of millions of people since 1945 alone. Acting as a so-called bulwark to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, U.S.-NATO operations sanctioned regime change wars in Korea, Guatemala Vietnam, Laos, and helped the CIA overthrow over fifty foreign governments in as many years. The U.S.-NATO alliance has been no more benevolent in the post-Soviet era. Afghanistan and Iraq have lost millions of their citizens to an early death due to U.S.-NATO invasions. Those who survived the carnage live under the daily anguish of divided, poor, and ill-functioning societies. Muammar Gaddafi’s NATO-backed overthrow in 2011 completely destabilized the North African country of Libya and the rest of the region. Millions of people have died or fled the region in a desperate attempt to escape the terror of U.S.-NATO supported armed jihadist groups jockeying for power and influence.
Contrary to the U.S. foreign policy establishment think-tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Russia has played a far more progressive role on the world stage than the United States. Russia was invited by the Syrian government in 2015 to assist in the eradication of ISIS and other armed jihadist groups. By 2016, the Syrian government had taken back a significant portion of its sovereign territory. Turkey’s most recent jihadist-fueled invasion of Northern Syria has once again prompted Russia to intervene on the side of a new Syrian Arab Army and Kurdish alliance. Russia has also stepped in to protect the sovereignty of Venezuela, Iran, and other non-aligned states alongside its most powerful ally, China.
Why is it so hard, then, for Americans to understand that Russia is not synonymous with evil? For over a century. Russia has been vilified and demonized to serve the profiteering motives of the U.S. empire. China has been on the receiving end of the same kind of red-baiting slander as Russia since its revolution in 1949. The U.S. foreign policy establishment now sees the rise of Russia and China as the gravest threat to its continued global supremacy. Anyone who challenges the policy of endless war or merely decides not to go along with the foreign policy status quo is labeled a dupe of Russia and China, including NBA legends like Lebron James.
Natalia Veselnitskaya — official website