Voices from Russia

Friday, 11 October 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Senseless and Dangerous Address to the Nation: Why Does Obama Consider America Exceptional?

00 Political Cartoon. 05.12. American Way of War


The US President violated a tacit, but indispensable, rule of diplomacy and politics, namely that “the greatest use of language is to hide our thoughts”. In his recent address to the nation, Barack Obama said that America was an exceptional nation, and, therefore, had exceptional rights. That wasn’t a slip of the tongue in the ardour of eloquence Obama is so fond of shining upon his audience, nor was it a figure of speech. Obama’s statement wasn’t an accidental gaffe. No, the American President said what he meant and what the American political élite think, yet, until now, they’ve avoided saying it aloud. One reason why they avoided doing that may be that, in modern history, at least so far, only one political figure proclaimed the exceptionalism and superiority of one nation. His name was Adolf Hitler. I’m not drawing any direct analogies here. However, the greatest tragedy of the Second World War proved the extreme danger of claims of exceptionalism. Therefore, to pretend not to notice the escapades of the American Head of State would be inexcusable. Even more so as it comes from a country little more than two centuries old, which is a very short time historically… why, it has no grounds whatsoever for such claims.

Those whom the Americans themselves call “robber barons” amassed the accumulated wealth in America. The famous American writer Mark Twain brilliantly expressed their timeless creed… “To get rich… dishonestly if we can, honestly if we must”. Couldn’t help themselves, indeed! Separated by two oceans from the centres of world politics with their endless and bloody wars, the remote young republic stepped out into the forefront after World War I, having grown fabulously rich on that war. Its geographic location saved it from Hitler’s invasion, which left many Old World countries devastated and ravaged. Again, this war showered down gold on America. Such ill-gotten fortunes became the basis of America’s post-war might. The chance to monopolise atomic weapons, secretly produced with allied help, made the heads of the US political establishment go dizzy, bringing on dreams of a Pax Americana. However, subsequent events quickly dashed those hopes to pieces.

Subsequent failures in the post-war military-political strategy devised by Washington sages dealt tangible blows to the self-instilled idea of American exceptionalism. A series of fiascos and defeats… the painful military defeat in Vietnam, the loss of the “backyard” south of the US border, the humiliating failure of the Iraq adventure, the increasingly uncontrollable Middle East, the 2008 downfall of Wall Street giants triggering a global economic crisis, an astronomical national debt of 17 trillion USD (548 trillion Roubles. 17.7 trillion CAD. 18 trillion AUD. 12.6 trillion Euros. 10.7 trillion UK Pounds)… “American Exceptionalism”… where are you? In this awkward situation, there’s nothing else for the Americans to do but to try to not only convince the world, but also themselves, that they are, indeed, exceptional.

That’s senseless and dangerous!

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.1328 September 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service




Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… G8 Summit in Northern Ireland: US Politicians Disappointed on Syria, or, Policy Beyond the Bounds of Reason

01 Backstabber


The political hawks in Washington are frustrated. A carefully-prepared plan that they expected to roll out at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland unexpectedly misfired on them. The rightwingers around President Obama were set to adapt sanctions by the G8 to interfere militarily in the Syrian Civil War. Unexpectedly, the tenacity of Syrian government forces spoiled their plan to repeat the Libyan scenario, so, American policy makers in the Pentagon decided to compensate for their miscalculations by using military involvement in favour of the anti-government opposition. A G8 decision would’ve been political cover for such intervention. The authors of this plan had another goal… to isolate Moscow on the international arena by harping on Russia’s insistence that no outside forces should interfere in the Syrian Civil War. On the eve of the summit, Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper breached traditional diplomatic decorum by saying that if Russia didn’t support the other members in this, it might find itself outside the G8.

Another G8 summit ended… the goals of the saboteurs ended in the political scrapyard. Notably, the final communiqué, phrased in the most diplomatic terms, doesn’t have a single word about foreign interference in the Syrian Civil War. President Putin’s principled stance and diplomatic skills thwarted the plans of the political mischief-makers. All the leaders from the eight nations that took part in the summit signed the final communiqué. The notorious “Red Line”, mentioned by President Obama to please rightwingers in Washington, wasn’t even raised at the summit.

The intellectually-honest part of the American political class is aware of the true state of affairs. US Representative Michael J Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, asked, “What do you want to achieve in Syria?” Meanwhile, influential US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) sharply censured his more zealous colleagues, who wanted to drag the USA into another war. This shows us why the American delegation and its partners displayed some good-sense at the summit in Northern Ireland. Iraq and Afghanistan diminished the smugness and hubris of the creators of American foreign policy. It’s increasingly-clear that the revival of the arms race is a crushing burden on the American economy… it’s a bottomless pit that’s eaten up 17 trillion USD (552 trillion Roubles. 13 trillion Euros. 11.3 trillion UK Pounds). Moreover, dead soldiers are returning home in thousands of coffins, killed in locations thousands of miles away from the American heartland, for what cause, no one knows. These are bleak realities for Washington. Prospects of a new war, more trillions of dollars thrown down a rat-hole, and a new flood of zinc coffins are pointless, and many in the corridors of power in Washington have started to realise this.

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.1325 June 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Trust is Crucial in Russian-American Relations

00 atomic fireball. 16.07.13

THIS is what WILL happen if we don’t stop the American Drive for Global Hegemony… it’s not benign… it’s not humane… it’d be a Dark Night of the Soul… it’d be the Danse Macabre of a “ChristianAntichrist. Do ponder it…


Barack Obama’s proposal to cut nuclear arsenals by one-third didn’t win the support that he expected that it would in Moscow. Russia mistrusts the American peace initiative. Washington considers the speech delivered by Barack Obama in Berlin on 19 June an important political move. Really, the proposal presented by the American President to Russia to reduce the nuclear potential of the two countries by one-third looks quite spectacular… at first glance. Yet, Russia’s tepid response to the seemingly-sensational initiative led to great disappointment in Washington. The idea failed to draw thunderous applause, from either Moscow or other capitals of world powers, contrary to the expectations of its authors. Several weeks after the speech, no one mentions it at international forums or in leading media outlets. I believe that the reason for this situation is that, contrary to expectations of the Inside the Beltway crowd, Moscow didn’t jump at the idea with enthusiasm… it practically ignored it.

I’ll leave military specialists to comment on why the seemingly-radical proposal didn’t kindle enthusiasm among our military leaders, but I’ll express my opinion concerning the political aspect of the affair. From the most ancient times, the essential foundation of normal relations between countries was… and still is… trust. It’s almost impossible to build international relations without mutual trust. In my opinion, this is the reason for the difficulties between Russia and the USA. Without going into the history of Russian-American relations, unfortunately, I must say that there’s no trust between Moscow and Washington, even though we need it and it’s sought after. At the same time, I submit that Russia isn’t to blame for this state of affairs.

Moscow never violated any of the important international treaties it signed during the post-war period. Not one! On the contrary, that isn’t true of Washington. Its leaders violated their most solemn formal commitments more than once. In August 1975, representatives from 35 sovereign states, including the US President, signed the Helsinki Accords, a basic document of contemporary international law, “which  declared the principle of non-violability of borders in Europe”. However, in March 1999, US President Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of Belgrade; as a result, sovereign Yugoslavia ceased to exist as a united state. In 2003, President George W Bush violated the UN Charter by his invasion of sovereign Iraq, which sent the ancient state on the banks of Tigris and Euphrates to the brink of collapse. Let me cite another example, witnessed by me personally. In 1988, at talks with President Gorbachyov, President George H W Bush said that NATO forces wouldn’t move towards the borders of the USSR by a single inch in case of German unification. I heard this with my own ears; he repeated it many times. This solemn promise is common knowledge. It’s all too easy to go down this nasty list of events.

The need for real measures to lower the military threat, including nuclear weapons, is self-evident. However, it’s virtually impossible to achieve in a state of suspicion and distrust. It’s no simple task to revive lost trust and confidence; we need mutual effort, goodwill, and sufficient time to do it. There’s no alternative, and we should do this equally, without sparing any efforts.

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.133 July 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… The Incident with President Morales’ Plane Was an Ugly and Illegitimate Political Stunt: The Law is the Law

00 Bolivian Presidential Aircraft. 06.07.13


What occurred with the plane of Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma a few days ago wasn’t an isolated and rather unpleasant incident; rather, it was a very serious political event, fraught with the most-negative consequences for the international legal order as such. Ironically, in a twist of history, the violation of the extraterritoriality of a plane belonging to the president of a sovereign state and the many-hour delay of President Morales took place in the Austrian capital of Vienna, the venue of the signing of one of the most important documents of modern international lawthe Vienna Convention… providing for diplomatic immunity. This created a very dangerous precedent. It attacked international law, which prevents the world from turning into a jungle of total lawlessness!

Vienna wasn’t alone in this repulsive political spectacle. Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, and Rome closed their countries’ skies to the Bolivian President’s plane; they share the responsibility for this disgraceful incident, they share the stigma of violating international law and of scorning elementary political decency. The dirty-tricks crowd believed that they’d be able to justify their actions afterwards, after they found “contraband” on the plane, that is, after finding super-spy Edward Snowden. However, since Snowden wasn’t on Morales’ plane, those who orchestrated the affair found themselves in an awkward situation. The haste and readiness of some European political leaders to please other people’s interests… we needn’t say whose… revealed what in other cases stays hidden.

There’s no doubt that Washington was behind this loathsome story. The handwriting is familiar! Again… a double standard. Washington’s current “headache”… the Iranian problem… began with the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran. Calling it “the crime of the century”, then-US President Carter angrily complained about the violation of international law and the Vienna Convention. The Pentagon fulminated at that time; today, it’s enraged over the seizure of the US Embassy in Libya and the killing of the US ambassador. That was justifiable outrage. However, why haven’t we heard one voice in Washington expressing their anger over what we can call, with good reason, an attack on President Morales? Such are the political morals of today’s Washington. However, a law is a law, and any violation of the law is very perilous, including for those who violate it.

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.139 July 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



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