(Article written by Nenada)
As Russia conduct air strikes against arguably the most evil and destructive terrorist organization in history, the US and UK seek to portray these actions in a negative light through statements from politicians and the media. The basis for this viewpoint seems to be that the strikes against the opponents of the Syrian Government are `propping up’ the regime. It is difficult to engage with this argument as it is frankly one of the most disgusting and offensive positions taken by NATO recently, during a period of time in which almost every action and comment from them compounds not only their own mistakes but more importantly the existential problems of people around the globe. It is worth remembering that the `moderate’ war in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, and according to most sources at least 250,000 people have died and millions have been displaced.
Whilst it would have been difficult to imagine US and UK politicians commending Russia on their accurate and effective strikes against terrorists, some rhetoric is still surprising in its vitriol and none more so than the comments of `Mad’ Marco Rubio. This politician has a history of dangerously inflammatory language against Russia and Russians; dangerous because the logic conclusion of the arguments and slander from this Presidential hopeful are the destruction of Russian interests, isolation of the nation and Russia’s subservience to America. In fact, the basic premise of Marco Rubio’s proposals for US policy towards Russia revolve around the US imposing its will absolutely upon Russia and ensuring that Russia as a nation is limited economically and diplomatically. The well-being of Russian citizens is of no concern and in this his statements accurately reflect actual US policy as currently enacted in Syria and Ukraine. Let us consider some examples of the anti-Russian statements from this candidate for Presidency in US, and the underlying sentiments which are a result of the current imperialistic mentality prevalent in US politics.
Mad Marco on Russian strikes in Syria
US politicians and their loudhailers in the media cannot decide if Russian airstrikes are simply indiscriminate or in fact maliciously aimed at `moderate rebels.’ Both of these assertions are contrary to the account of anti-ISIS operations given by Russian Defense Ministry and supported with video evidence (RT). Anyway, here is Mad Marco with his story, as related by CNN:
`Administration officials have said that Russia’s airstrikes in Syria this week are not targeting ISIS. The administration said the attacks have been “indiscriminate” and have included rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s administration.’
Asked about that perspective Friday on Fox News, Rubio said the attacks were actually quite discriminate and targeted.
“That’s absurd,” Rubio said of the White House’s claim. “Vladimir Putin is deliberately targeting all the non-ISIS rebels. The more moderate they are, the more he’s going to target them.”
“He’s trying to thin out the opposition so that the only opposition left in Syria to Assad is ISIS, and at that point he’ll be able to force world to support Assad,” Rubio said. “I don’t understand why the White House doesn’t see it and why the President and his administration don’t understand that.”
As we have come to expect from US politicians and media of late, no evidence or logical argument is provided to support these statements. In the wonderfully creative and expressive mind of Mad Marco Rubio, Putin kills moderate people. To be clear, the groups fighting the Syrian Government are a deadly collection of extremists and include Al Qaeda affiliated groups. The fact, then, that he has no proof is only part of the problem; the main problem is that Rubio equates fighting ISIS with supporting the Syrian Government. A rereading of his statements attests to this fundamental logical flaw that is deeply unethical and concerning to all those who privilege peace above US hegemony. Action must be taken soon , Rubio asserts, because `The Russians are constructing an air base and bringing in troops, including veterans of their dirty war in Ukraine, along with aircraft to help prop up Assad at a time when regime forces have been losing ground’ (National Review). Finally, consider the statements made a few days ago and reported in the The Guardian, in which Rubio expressed concern that countries were beginning to view Russia as a `much more reliable ally’ and that the current US policy on Syria `left [unspecified countries] with a choice between Russia and nothing, they’re going to choose Russia.’ The dire situation in Iraq and Syria is reduced in his child-like understanding to a simple power struggle between US and Russia. There may even be an implicit and, given the success of ISIS under US fire, credible threat in the following assessment from Rubio: `That’s quite different from our view because, as long as Assad is in power, you will have an Isis, or an Isis-like movement, and that vacuum will continued to be filled by the next jihadist group in line.’
Mad Marco on Ukraine
Rubio evidently does not recall the USSR ever having existed as he claims that Russia is attempting to `overturn the post-World War II order in Europe’ Had he said `post-USSR’ his comments would at least have been comprehensible, whilst still untrue. Rubio repeats the idea often voiced by opponents of Russia that President Putin is attempting to build an empire. This idea is presumably based on Crimea returning to Russia by the will of the people in order to be protected from Banderite fascists. Irrespective of these oversights, Rubio feels he should be involved in deciding the future of Russia, as Russia presently violates `ceasefires’ and `red lines’. What these are or could even possibly be is also not explained, but Rubio is thorough in his explanation of what he would do in response to the terrible actions of Russia in Ukraine, if elected. These steps include more US forces on the borders of Russia, wide-reaching sanctions and more US gas exports to take the place of the sanctioned Russian resources, deadly weapons to `Ukraine’ to fight `Russian soldiers’ and economic aid to Ukraine who are suffering because `Russia attempts to use the withholding of energy and finance as a weapon’; in much the same way presumably as Lamborghini keep spitefully withholding their cars from people without the buyer first making payment. The final piece of the puzzle (in the world according to Rubio) would be to enlarge NATO, although how the addition of Montenegro to NATO would save Ukraine is not explained:
One such challenge is Russia’s blatant attempt to overturn the post-World War II order in Europe. Handling this crisis will require innovative thinking from our alliance. Our goal should never be to needlessly antagonize Russia, but rather to ensure our efforts to strengthen Ukraine and rollback Russian aggression are coupled with a forward-looking agenda for Russia’s own future.
We also know, however, that we must never allow our desire for peace to lead us into weakness or inaction. We cannot continue to stand idly by while red line after red line is crossed and ceasefire after ceasefire is violated. Reversing this cycle will require America and our European partners to take a series of important steps.
First, we must commit to military reinforcement of Eastern Europe. Instead of the temporary, mobile military presence deployed to NATO’s frontier, the United States should end planned force drawdowns in the region and work with allies to ensure that the European Reassurance Initiative leads to a more permanent forward defense.
Second, in the absence of transatlantic agreement on steps such as barring Russia from access to SWIFT, the United States should extend the “sectoral” sanctions currently in place against Russia’s unconventional oil sector to the traditional oil or gas sectors; execute a statutory export ban on certain equipment and technology to Russia (e.g., relating to energy or defense); and impose true sectoral sanctions, as we have imposed against Iran (e.g., no foreign investment, provision of services, or involvement in exports or imports). We also need to sanction additional Russian officials, including those affiliated with Gazprom and other state-owned entities as well as others involved in human rights abuses.
Third, we must allow the liberalization of US gas exports. There is broad bipartisan support in the United States Congress for allowing natural gas exports to European allies. More U.S. gas on the global market will create global liquidity and alternative supply options for Ukraine and American allies, drive down prices, put pressure on Russia to re-negotiate the gas pipeline contracts that it uses as political leverage against its neighbors, and create jobs.
Fourth, we must provide increased assistance to Ukraine. The United States and willing allies must provide weaponry to help Ukraine defend itself. I believe it is a violation of our values to withhold arms assistance while Ukrainians are dying at the hands of Russian soldiers or because of Russian-provided weaponry. Economic assistance is also key. The Ukrainian economy faces significant pressures as Russia attempts to use the withholding of energy and finance as a weapon. To mitigate this, transatlantic assistance must be better-coordinated.
Fifth, we must enlarge NATO. Allies need to overcome the roadblocks to enlargement before the next NATO summit — including by inviting Montenegro to join the alliance — and to reaffirm that the open door policy is still intact and applies to any NATO aspirant, including Ukraine if it so chooses. Forged during the effort to bind postwar Europe together and to America, and proven through decades of the East-West conflict, NATO remains central to our security (Saint Peters Blog )
Rubio never feels compelled to support his anti-Russian statements with facts or proof, and perhaps the best example of such unsubstantiated nonsense is found on Twitter, where Rubio made the following post on 15 March last year: `#Russia using provocateurs to provoke violence attacks inside Ukraine to create excuse for invasion of Eastern #Ukraine. #ukraineinvasion’.
Mad Marco on Russian Government
Predictably Rubio neither trusts nor likes the Russian Government. Whilst Rubio regularly makes fanciful statements that he cannot support and which are in opposition to those made by the Russian Government, which are based on facts and evidence, Mad Marco is quick to blame the disparity on the Russian Government who seek to deceive him:
“Let’s call it what it is,” Rubio said. “They are lying – this government is a government of liars, the Russian government.
“We’re dealing with a government that lies as a matter of course, and it’s very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way,” Rubio said last year (Washington Examiner)
Americans need not worry however about the deception of the `sneaky Russians’ as Rubio has a plan to move away from maintaining diplomatic relations with Russia: `As soon as I take office, I will move quickly to increase pressure on Moscow…under my administration, there will be no pleadings for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated for what he is – a gangster and a thug.’ Not only has he decided that President Putin is ` a gangster and a thug’ but also that ` he and his cronies will be the target of US financial pressure’.
So based on false assertions and accusations Mad Marco Rubio intends to punish Russia should he be elected President. But he would like us to remember that it is Russia and not US that cannot be trusted because Russia is `increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and international norms.’ Rubio clearly has lost any objectivity he may once have had, and it is worrying, depressing, and very ironic when he states: `We are barreling toward a second cold war’ (The Guardian)