FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama, Putin: Checkmate

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message at the UN General Assembly was stark; either sovereign states get together in a broad coalition against all forms of terror, and the principle of statehood is respected as enshrined in the UN charter – or there will be chaos.

This UN General Assembly revealed that the Obama administration’s perpetual newspeak does not cut it anymore. A review of UN speeches by both Putin and Obama is almost painful to watch. Putin acted like a serious global statesman. Obama acted like a poseur flunking a screen test.

Putin’s key talking points could not but be easily accessible to the Global South – his prime audience, much more than the industrialized West.

1) The export of color – or monochromatic – revolutions is doomed.

2) The alternative to the primacy of statehood is chaos. This implies that the Assad system in Syria may be immensely problematic, but it’s the only game in town. The alternative is ISIS/ISIL/Daesh barbarism. There’s no credible “moderate opposition” – as there was not in NATO-“liberated” Libya.

3) Only the UN – as flawed as it may be – is a guarantor of peace and security in our imperfect, realpolitik geopolitical environment.

Gotta slay those myths

Washington believed its own Arab Spring myth in 2011, betting that after Tunis and Cairo, Damascus would fall in a flash.

The Beltway believed its own myth of “moderate rebels” taking power.

The Beltway did not listen to Syrian minorities warning about the danger of an extremist Sunni/Salafi-jihadi take over.

Thus the current Syrian tragedy; the end result of a formidably complex power play, political and religious, Syrian, regional and global.

ISIS/ISIL/Daesh – for all its barbarism – may eventually win a few battles, but it won’t control the whole of “Syraq”.

To defeat the cancer, there’s only one possibility: a real military campaign conducted by a real coalition including the US, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia.

Washington though never joins a coalition that it cannot control at will.

Thus a possible road map of what may lie ahead – as debated by Obama and Putin, face to face, for 90 minutes in New York; a two-headed coalition, one led by the US, the other led by Russia, but “coordinating” on the ground.

Still, Moscow will be struggling to form a wide-ranging coalition duly approved by the UN.

The task is immense. “Syraq” will have to be reconstituted.

That implies an Iraq acceptable for all Iraqis – and that’s impossible to accomplish without Iran. And a Syria acceptable to all Syrians – and that’s impossible without Iran and Russia.

Washington after all would have never been able to accomplish both in the first place. The Empire of Chaos specializes in nation breaking, not nation building.

Gotta slay that dragon

Gorbachev wanted to integrate the USSR in the European family – aiming for a Europe from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Post-Soviet Russia though was not even invited to enter the house. What happened was NATO colonization of the former Soviet space.

Gorbachev dreamed that the West would share peace dividends with Russia. What Russia got instead was a neoliberal shock – and a humiliated society treated as a loser of the Cold War. Exceptionalism prevailed.

Under Putin, Russia tried once again a strategic partnership with the EU. Does anyone remember Sergey Lavrov as late as 2011 swearing that modernization of Russia was ready to go as a pan-European project, just as in the time of Peter the Great?

Yet by 2007, Putin had changed the game, and was ready to openly contest the unipolar “order” – and slowly but surely project Russia back to the geopolitical limelight.

Post-Ukraine, still under sanctions, but armed with a strategic partnership with China, the time for a checkmate is now.

In New York, Putin even proposed the lineaments of a New World Order. The genuine article, not that “vision thing” concocted by Daddy Bush post-collapse of the USSR.

It would be an equitable, fair world order – where state sovereignty is respected, sanctions are meaningless, NATO ceases to expand ad infinitum and exceptionalism does not apply.

The devil will be in the (many) details, of course. For instance, if a coalition to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is forged and blessed by the UN, it will need the – virtually impossible – cohabitation of Sunnis and Shi’ites.

And in the near future, Brussels will have to tame visceral internal antagonism to have the European Union interacting with the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EEU), which by that time will be totally integrated with the China-led New Silk Roads.

What’s certain – for the overwhelming majority of the Global South – is that the Empire of Chaos made a mess everywhere, from Northern Africa and Southwest Asia to Russia’s western borderlands.

Putin now rides into the hellish mess ready to slay the dragon of chaos – and the machinations of the Empire of Chaos. His sword? The UN. No wonder checkmated neocons, neoliberalcons and “humanitarian” imperialists can barely conceal their apoplexy.

This piece first appeared at Sputnik News.

More articles by:

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail