Guest Post by Tony Cartalucci
Russian journalist Andrey Stenin, missing for a month in Ukraine, has been confirmed dead. He was part of a convoy of refugees fleeing the fighting in Ukraine’s eastern region when he came under artillery fire. The vehicle he was in, along with several others, was destroyed, the occupants killed, and the evidence covered up. Officers representing the regime in Kiev had apparently rifled through the destroyed vehicles beforehand, collecting evidence and looting belongings.
It is even suggested by Russian sources that the regime in Kiev attempted to use Stenin as a bargaining chip during negotiations, giving the illusion the missing journalist was still alive. Killed by NATO-backed Neo-Nazi extremists who seized power in Kiev during the US-EU engineered so-called “Euromaidan,” the subsequent civilian and journalist deaths are nothing less than provocative crimes.
Meanwhile, within the nebulous territory of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), two American journalists have also been purportedly killed – allegedly executed by ISIS terrorists. Despite even many Western sources admitting the execution video of American journalist James Foley was staged, and with the latest video depicting Steven Sotloff’s execution featuring the same fictional executioner, at the same location, using the same props, the hysteria and justification for direct US military intervention in Syria has reached a fever pitch.
US Governor of Florida Rick Scott, according to the Miami Herald, would boldly proclaim:
Here is what they need to understand — Steve Sotloff was a Floridian, but more importantly he was an American. If you attack one American, you are attacking all Americans. Last week President Obama said that his Administration does not at present have a strategy for dealing with ISIS — these immoral evil people. I think I can speak for all Floridians and all Americans when I say that the time for a strategy is now, and part of that strategy needs to include destroying them.Similar politically-motivated calls for war with Syria were made in the wake of Sotloff’s alleged execution – again – even with it being widely acknowledged that the videos of his and Foley’s execution were staged. Following America’s logic, Russia could likewise declare the need to deal with the “immoral evil people” who have seized Kiev under the banner of overt Nazism in the wake of its journalists being captured and/or killed by the regime.
ISIS Timing Impeccable
If the Pentagon had an office dedicated to starting wars, and were in particular looking to create a war with Syria, it could not do a more effective job at corralling the American people with fear and hysteria behind the cause of war better than ISIS. With the NATO summit in Wales unfolding, ISIS’ timing with the alleged execution of a second US journalists, stokes the fires conveniently just ahead of public decisions that will be made regarding the military conglomerate’s many conflicts raging around the globe. Pressuring members to join a “coalition” will be all the easier with Sotloff’s alleged execution still making Western headlines.
Simultaneously threatening Russia’s interests in Syria, while seeking to counter Russian opposition to its agenda in Ukraine, strengthens NATO’s hand – all thanks to ISIS’ impeccable timing. For the uninformed, if they had not suspected ties between ISIS and the West’s agenda before, they should now.
Journalist-Slaying ISIS Created by US
The problem with the US using ISIS’ provocations to justify military intervention in Syria is that ISIS is in fact the intentional, engineered creation of the US in the first place. Another comment made in the wake of Sotloff’s alleged death was by US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who claimed:
This atrocious and brutal act shows that ISIL’s cruelty knows no bounds and that it has no respect for human life. ISIL is a global terror group that espouses an ideology that poses a grave threat to regional security as well as U.S. national security interests both at home and abroad.Before the inception of ISIS by the Western media, and as far back as 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would portend the creation of just such a terror group in his 9-page report in the New Yorker titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” He stated that (emphasis added):
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.That “by-product” is ISIS. Through America’s own premeditated conspiracy to plunge not only Syria, but the entire region into genocidal sectarian bloodshed – resulted directly in the alleged murders of both Foley and Sotloff, not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, and many others.
The “Interventionist’s” Quandary
Despite the US’ direct culpability in both Foley and Sotloff’s deaths, at the hands of terrorist mercenaries the US itself had organized, funded, armed, and to this day perpetuate, it is using what appear to be staged provocations to simply expand its proxy war against Syria – including now, the prospect of direct military intervention.
The difference then between Russia intervening in Ukraine to stop the slaughter of its citizens, and the US intervening in Syria to stop the slaughter of its citizens, is that Russia did not create the regime in Kiev, and has bitterly condemned the Nazi militants waging Kiev’s war on its own people in eastern Ukraine – where as the threat the US claims it is responding to is its own documented creation.
The quandary those supporting American “interventionism” face is the fact that it is not “interventionism” at all. It is imperialism dressed up as “interventionism.” Crises and threats are intentionally engineered to justify what would otherwise be unjustifiable, naked military aggression, conquest, and socioeconomic geopolitical subjugation.
NATO’s stated goal is a Europe “whole and free,” meaning, completely consolidated under its mnemonic military conglomerate, while being integrated under the special interests driving the supranational European Union. While it poses as defenders of Ukraine against Russian aggression, the truth is Ukraine was long ago embedded within Russia’s sphere of influence – speaking the same language, sharing a common history and culture, and even at times throughout their collective history, sharing the same borders.
It was the US that was admittedly behind Ukraine’s 2004 so-called “Orange Revolution.” It was on record a US-engineered uprising designed to install into power an anti-Russian regime that would then tear Ukraine from Russia’s orbit. The Guardian would admit in its 2004 article, “US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev,” that:
…while the gains of the orange-bedecked “chestnut revolution” are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.
Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.While the Guardian attempts to justify American meddling in multiple nations as an attempt to “salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes,” it is clear that the US was backing its own collection of “unsavoury” actors and that such principles were nothing more than cover for meddling beyond its borders. It is also clear that the so-called “Euromaidan” was simply a clumsier, more violent version of the “Orange Revolution,” a continuation of America’s desire to strip away Russian influence along its own borders, surround, isolate, and eventually absorb Moscow itself.
When America’s “interventionism” is clearly nothing of the sort, and instead poorly disguised imperialism, the US plays a dangerous game claiming it can intervene in Syria to stop mercenaries it itself created, while denying Russia the right to act along its own borders to stop chaos also of America’s creation.
Dangerous End Game
Not only is the West’s “interventionist” narrative being strained to its breaking point, but the sheer strategic and logistical realities in both Syria and Ukraine, favor Russia over the West. Already, before intervention, Russia is far ahead of the West in Ukraine, while the West has floundered in its self-made Syrian quagmire for years.
Russia possesses obvious advantages involving any intervention in Ukraine – including proximity, language, culture, economics, and many sympathetic Ukrainians. Conversely, the US is reviled across the entire Middle East, separated by thousands of miles, with language and cultural barriers impeding any military operation it decides to directly take. Additionally, Syria does not stand alone. It is backed by interests in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. A similar arrangement in Eastern Europe in support of Ukraine involves covert aid being sent by NATO via unwilling members with strained resources.
Whatever support NATO could wring out of its members, it already has, and it clearly is not enough. Escalating such support will be difficult if not impossible, and repeated claims of “Russian invasions” and staged provocations like the MH17 catastrophe – now ignored almost entirely by the Western media – appear to have a fatiguing effect both politically and upon public opinion.
In the end, US “interventionism” is cover for naked imperialism. Without a real moral imperative, the West is attempting to sustain hegemonic aspirations across the globe through deceit and staged provocations. It is demonstrably a losing proposition. Amid the chaos it is creating numerous cases for real interventionism – for Russia to deal with literal Nazis along its border and for Iran and its allies to deal with sectarian mercenaries and their state-sponsors along their borders – are being created.
As the balance in global influence tips out of favor for the West, such interventions may become a reality. And while a declared “World War” may never come to pass, what will effectively unfold will be a global backlash against Western aggression underpinned by a true moral imperative, pushing it back behind its borders and dismantling its accomplices beyond them.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”, where this first appeared.