In Latin America and in the Caribbean islands, the USA intervened in Cuba in 1952, Guatemala and Paraguay in 1954, Peru in 1962, Brazil and Bolivia in 1964, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Uruguay and Chile in 1973, Peru in 1975, Argentina in 1976, El Salvador and Nicaragua in 1980, Panama in 1989, Haiti in 1991, Venezuela in 2002, Haiti again in 2004, Honduras in 2009 and Bolivia again in 2019. In Asia, they intervened in Japan in 1945, Korea in 1950, Indonesia in 1958, Vietnam in 1961, Cambodia in 1969, the Philippines in 1989 and 2002, and Pakistan in 2004. In the Middle East, they intervened in Jordan in 1950, Iran in 1953, Lebanon in 1958, Israel in 1973, Afghanistan in 1979, Iraq in 1990, Afghanistan in 2002, Iraq again in 2003 and Syria in 2014. In Africa, they intervened in Congo in 1960, Ghana in 1966, Somalia in 2006 and Libya in 2011. In Europe, Bosnia in 1995 and Serbia in 1999 suffered the wrath of the USA and its NATO allies.
Since 2019, the United States has been seeking to impose self-proclaimed candidate Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela. They are imposing sanctions on some forty countries. They occupy a third of Syria under false pretenses, fund the war in Yemen in support of Saudi Arabia, and unreservedly support Israel despite the occupation, colonization, blockade of Gaza, apartheid and abuses committed against the Palestinian people. They send warships close to the Chinese coast and provide military aid to Taiwan even though it is Chinese territory. Then, as revealed by The Intercept, despite their formal and repeated denials, they also played a decisive role in the dismissal of President Imran Khan in Pakistan in 2022. They threatened the authorities with reprisals if they did not remove him. They are now threatening to intervene in Niger and are sending ships close to the Iranian coast.
A world governed by their rules
In opposition to international law and the United Nations Charter, the United States want to establish a “world governed by rules”, that is, a world in which its will becomes law, capitalism is king, English is the lingua franca, neo-liberalism is the norm, the US dollar is the international reference currency and the natural resources of all are at the disposal of their own globalized capital.
It’s also a world in which the USA act as policemen, with their 800 military bases and a budget devoted to the military-industrial complex reaching 900 billion dollars each year. It’s a world in which countries that don’t play by the “rules” are subject to sanctions, and in which military intervention is the continuation of economic warfare by other means. It’s a world in which military intervention, coups d’état and financial support are authorized when the hegemonic interests of the United States are challenged.
It’s a world in which the National Endowment for Democracy is present everywhere, replacing the CIA, to stir up trouble and destabilize regimes when they refuse to bow to US interests. Any claim to sovereignty must be suppressed by military intervention and/or “color revolutions”.
Against this backdrop, have the North Americans come to the defense of the weak and the poor in Ukraine? The USA had nothing to do with the Russian military operation? Since 2022, it’s the Russian military operation that’s been at the center of the news, not the thousand US interventions around the world. North American propaganda is in full swing, creating an irrational, artificial and hypocritical unanimity that affects mainstream media as never before. Dissenting opinions are either ignored or dismissed as Russian propaganda or outright disinformation.
And yet, according to informed commentators like John Mearsheimer, Ray McGovern and Norman Finkelstein, the USA not only started this war and did everything in their power to provoke it, they even made it inevitable. Public opinion may not be ready to admit it, but the unvarnished truth is not only shocking, it’s the exact opposite of what’s being reported.
The United States are waging a proxy war against Russia to weaken the Russians, using the Ukrainians to achieve their goals. Ukraine and Ukrainians are being cynically sacrificed and serve their geopolitical hegemonic ends. Several US officials have explicitly admitted as much.
Forcing Russia into military action
Since 1991, we have witnessed the enlargement and strengthening of NATO, the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty), the 2008 Bucharest pledge to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO, the $5 billion funding of a coup in Ukraine, repeated meetings of US officials with the Ukrainian opposition and, in 2014, the Maidan coup. The US appointed the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Kiev and four ministers from the 3rd opposition party Svoboda. They also appointed the Minister of the Economy and the Governor of Odessa. Vice President Joe Biden has, by his own admission, visited Ukraine a dozen times. His son sat on the board of directors of the Burisma company (for a salary of $80,000 a month), and the prosecutor in charge of investigating Burisma was dismissed following an intervention by Joe Biden.
Anti-ballistic shields were installed in Poland and Romania, which could be transformed overnight into launch pads for offensive weapons that could reach Moscow in minutes. The United States did not actively support the Minsk agreements. They developed chemical weapons laboratories on Ukrainian territory, supplied lethal weapons, reinforced the country’s fortifications and trained the army, including members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.
The North Americans withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Missile Treaty in 2019 (INF Treaty), rejected out of hand in December 2021 the Russian proposal for a negotiated security agreement in Europe, and repeated their intention to include Ukraine into NATO. After the U.S. President promised in late December 2021 that the U.S. would not install nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the proposal was off the table by early January 2022. President Zelensky declared that he hoped to regain nuclear weapons. Ukrainian troops headed for the Donbass to resume hostilities against the region in a civil war that began in 2014 and that already claimed more than 14,000 lives.
U.S. objectives revealed
Knowing that the United States was forcing them to react, the Russians half-heartedly retaliated, with the aim of getting negotiations underway quickly. These took place in March 2022, just a few weeks after the beginning of the special military operation. However, the limited nature of the Russian intervention led Sullivan, Nuland, Blinken and Biden to believe that the Russian army was not up to the task. With Boris Johnson as their spokesman, the US put an end to negotiations that were fruitful. One of the Ukrainian negotiators was murdered.
The continuation of the war finally created the conditions for the imposition of unprecedented economic sanctions against Russia. The US forced Europe to stop buying oil and gas from Russia, and blew up the Nordstream pipeline.
Most of the U.S. actions were foreseen in a strategy paper produced by the Rand Corporation in 2019. According to the authors of this document (Extending Russia), these were measures that would destabilize Russia. At the same time, they warned Washington that this escalation would inevitably lead to a Russian counter-escalation.
So it was with full knowledge of the facts that the North Americans lit the fuse, ignited the powder keg and poured oil on the fire. Those who poured out their venom against Russia and saw only two protagonists – the Russian aggressors and the aggressed Ukrainians – have not understood (or did not want to see) that Ukraine had become a de facto member of NATO. They failed to grasp that Russia, which lost 26 million citizens and soldiers in the Second World War to a Nazi invasion that entered Russia from Ukraine, could have reasonable security demands. They failed to see that the United States were desperate to reproduce the Afghan scenario of a Russian stalemate, even if it meant using the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and the neo-Nazi groups Right Sector and Azov to provoke delirious, belligerent Russophobia in Ukraine. They did not listen to Moscow’s repeated warnings. Instead, they rejoiced to see that the USA engaged in a battle with Russia.
It was a cruel and Machiavellian strategy on the part of the United States to use Ukraine as a means to weaken Russian economic competition in Europe. The Russians were forced to intervene militarily to stop a militarized Ukraine, trained by NATO and armed to the teeth.
Washington turned a deaf ear to expert intellectuals, diplomats and politicians warning them not to cross this red line, but the State Department deluded itself into believing that the Ukrainians could win. The candid, politically uneducated minds who believed them have a moral indignation that matches their complete blindness. They still see in this war an unprovoked Russian aggression that in no way involves the United States.
From the China Sea to Russia’s borders, from Taiwan to Ukraine, Washington is according to them only protecting our values, the rule of law and democracy. Those who believe this are living the North American dream, that is, they are soundly sleeping. All they see is the Russian bear and the Chinese panda. It’s high time they noticed the North American elephant in the room.
Samir Saul holds a doctorate in history from the University of Paris and is a professor of history at the Université de Montréal. His latest book is L’Impérialisme, passé et présent. Un essai (2023). He is also the author of Intérêts économiques français et décolonisation de l’Afrique du Nord (1945-1962) (2016), and La France et l’Égypte de 1882 à 1914. Intérêts économiques et implications politiques (1997). He is also co-editor of Méditerranée, Moyen-Orient : deux siècles de relations internationales (2003). Email : email@example.com
Michel Seymour is a retired professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal, where he taught from 1990 to 2019. He is the author of a dozen monographs, including A Liberal Theory of Collective Rights, 2017; La nation pluraliste, co-authored with Jérôme Gosselin-Tapp, for which the authors won the Canadian Philosophical Association Prize; De la tolérance à la reconnaissance, 2008, for which he won the Jean-Charles Falardeau Prize of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He also won the Richard Arès prize from Action nationale magazine for Le pari de la démesure, published in 2001. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org website: michelseymour.org