Opposing Doctrines: Putin v. Trump
by Stephen Lendman
After a century of US-instigated adversarial relations, it’s wishful thinking to believe Trump’s ascension to power means Washington turning a new leaf on Russia.
Vladimir Putin and US ruling authorities (including Trump) are polar opposites. Russia’s leader supports peace, stability and multi-world polarity.
Dark forces running America wage endless imperial wars – Trump engaged in them as Pentagon commander-in-chief. His top defense, national and homeland security officials are warriors, not peacemakers.
Putin believes nation-state sovereignty is inviolable. Like his predecessors, Trump apparently endorses Washington’s divine right of intervention.
Putin respects UN Charter provisions and other rule of law principles. All US leaders (including Trump based on his actions so far) ignore them, operating by Washington rules.
According for Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, speaking for him, “(o)ur goal is to make sure that we maintain America’s dominance around the world…”
Article 8 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention of Rights and Duties says “(n)o state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”
Under Article 10, differences between states “should be settled by recognized pacific methods.” Article 11 calls sovereign state territory “inviolable…”
The 1950 Nuremberg Principles defined crimes against peace to include:
“(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (and)
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).”
The UN Charter failed “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” US-dominated NATO, Israel and their rogue allies ignore their fundamental principles.
They require all member states to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”
Use of force is prohibited except in self-defense. Security Council members have final say – not individual countries or their ruling authorities.
Neither US presidents or Congress have legal authority to preemptively attack other nations for any reason – not for regime change, not to keep America safe, not to combat bad guys.
All US post-WW II wars constituted naked aggression, Nuremberg-level high crimes against peace – including ones raging under Obama, Trump continuing them, doing nothing so far to change America’s longstanding imperial agenda.
Syria is Obama’s war. It’s now Trump’s, perhaps intending escalation with reports of possible deployment of US combat troops on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, and no fulfillment of his promise to cooperate with Russia against this scourge.
Last week at NATO headquarters in Brussels, US Defense Secretary Mattis said Washington isn’t ready “to collaborate (with Russia) on a military level.” Moscow “ha(s) to prove itself first.”
After meeting with Sergey Lavrov in Bonn, Germany, US Secretary of State Tillerson said “we expect Russia to honor its commitments to the Minsk agreements and work to de-escalate the violence in Ukraine” – irresponsibly ignoring Kiev aggression, aided by Washington, blaming Russia and Donbass freedom fighters for what’s going on.
On Thursday, America’s top Middle East air force commander General Jeffrey Harrigan said Washington and Moscow have “conflicting (regional) operational desires” – a gap unlikely to be bridged.
On Thursday, Putin again said Russia intervened against terrorism in Syria at the request of its government. Its aims are to keep this scourge from spreading, along with protecting and preserving Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – polar opposite America’s agenda.
Saying “(o)ur aim is to stabilize the legitimate power in the country and to strike a decisive blow on international terrorism” explains why he got involved.
He affirmed the right of Syrians alone to decide who’ll lead them – free from foreign interference. He said over 4,000 Russian extremists and about 5,000 more from former Soviet republics are fighting in Syria to depose its government.
They pose a serious threat to Russia’s security, he stressed, referring to homeland terrorism numbers returning home may instigate.
A previous day article called Trump America’s latest warrior president, waging peace apparently not forthcoming on his watch.
On Thursday, he vowed to assure America’s nuclear capability would “be at the top of the pack,” adding “(w)e’re never going to fall behind any country, even if it’s a friendly country. We’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.”
He lied, claiming Russia breached the 1987 INF Treaty. “To me it’s a big deal,” he blustered. He falsely called Obama’s New START agreement on US and Russian nuclear arsenals a “one-sided deal.”
He made similar comments about the Iran nuclear deal, expressing hostile comments about the Islamic Republic, maintaining 38 years of US-instigated adversarial relations.
America’s imperial project appears unchanged in his hands – a prescription for continued wars of aggression, not efforts to wage peace instead.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.