Well, look, there’s no doubt that a robust, interventionist foreign policy on behalf of certain principles, ideals or international rules is not a tradition that most countries embrace. And in the 20th century and in the early stages of the 21st century, the United States continues to be the one indispensable power that is willing to spend blood and treasure on that.
Barack Obama in Interview with The Economist.
On the eve of Obama’s meeting with African politicians, he gave an interview with obsequious editors and reporters from The Economist. He used it to attack Russia and Putin once again. The objective was clear: To dismiss Russia as weak and irrelevant and so to drive other countries away from it, including China and the EU.
But Obama’s effort was quite strange. Like the entire U.S. anti-Ukraine, anti-Russian effort, it seemed to have little relationship to the truth. To the very anti-Putin interviewers he feigned dismissiveness of Russia. (If he was not lying and believes this stuff, we are really in deep trouble, because his ignorance could well reap the whirlwind for the human race.) Among other things he claimed that: “Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. … The population is shrinking.” A few graphs will make clear that this is way off the mark. The implication is that Russia is failing economically. So let us look at Russia’s GDP, especially under Putin. We can see it at a glance here:
It is clear that the period of the drunkard Yeltsin, so cherished in the West, was a disaster for Russia and that Putin reversed it. Russia’s growth continues, interrupted only by the global financial disaster made in the good ol’ USA on Wall St where so many of Obama’s backers reside. (Should we call them the Wall St. oligarchs?) So much for general economic well being. How about “making things” as Obama put it? That is a very non-technical and imprecise way of speaking, surely no accident for President Teleprompter. Thus it is subject to much interpretation, backtracking and denial if need be? But how about the more technical term “industrial output”? How has Putin’s Russia fared in this regard. Quite well as can be seen here which depicts Year on Year (YoY) Industrial Growth:
Now what about population? Indeed population did fall as the U.S. preyed on Russia after the crackup of the Soviet Union. But it has now stabilized and even ticked up a bit as can be read here and seen in the graph here. (Sorry, dear readers, but you must go to link to the graphic which mightily resisted my attempts to copy it so that it would appear right before your eyes.) The population situation is summed up thus, wherein Obama’s other claim in his interview that there is no immigration into Russia is debunked:
The population hit a historic peak at 148,689,000 in 1991, just before the breakup of the Soviet Union, but then began a decade-long decline, falling at a rate of about 0.5% per year due to declining birth rates, rising death rates and emigration. The decline slowed considerably in the late 2000s, and in 2009 Russia recorded population growth for the first time in 15 years, adding 23,300 people. Key reasons for the slow current population growth are improving health care, changing fertility patterns among younger women, falling emigration and steady influx of immigrants from the ex-USSR countries. In 2012, Russia’s population increased by 292,400 people. As of 2013, Russian TFR of 1.707 children per woman was the highest in Eastern, Southern and Central Europe. In 2013, Russia experienced the first natural population growth since 1990 at 22,700 people. Taking into account immigration, the population grew by 294,500 people. (Emphasis, jw)
Again one has to worry about Obama’s notions. If he is so out of touch with reality in that famous bubble of his, we are in deep trouble. And if he is simply lying, then we have to worry that the U.S. elite feels so contemptuous of the people of the world. Either way, the imperial elite may be led to miscalculate badly about its actions, a potential threat to our survival.
But Obama did not stop at trashing Russia. As a follow-up he had a few words of warning to China where the tone of dismissal was replaced by condescension and threat. Here is that part of the interview:
The Economist: Because that is the key issue, whether China ends up inside that system or challenging it. That’s the really big issue of our times, I think.
Mr Obama: It is. …..One thing I will say about China, though, is you also have to be pretty firm with them, because they will push as hard as they can until they meet resistance. They’re not sentimental, and they are not interested in abstractions. And so simple appeals to international norms are insufficient. There have to be mechanisms both to be tough with them when we think that they’re breaching international norms, but also to show them the potential benefits over the long term. And what is true for China then becomes an analogy for many of the other emerging markets. (That means you BRICS. jw)
Watch out China. The message is that the U.S. will use the stick and the carrot to keep you in your place. The message is that you better obey and fit into the “international system” in the way prescribed by President Wall St. And do not look to Russia if you decide to be disobedient – it is a basket case in the distorted world view of Obama. And in case there is any doubt about the big plan for the21st Century, Obama tells us plainly what it is:
Mr Obama: Well, look, there’s no doubt that a robust, interventionist foreign policy on behalf of certain principles, ideals or international rules is not a tradition that most countries embrace. And in the 20th century and in the early stages of the 21st century, the United States continues to be the one indispensable power that is willing to spend blood and treasure on that.
“Blood and treasure.” Got that. Bribes when they work and war when they do not. This is the world that the U.S. elite has planned for us all. Is it one that we want? Is it one that humanity can live with? Is it even compatible with humanity’s survival?
NOTE. As I finished up this piece, RT.com published a corrective on Obama’s warped view of Russia here. The headlines read:
“Russia doesn’t make anything” – WRONG
“Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow” – WRONG
“Life expectancy around 60 years old” – WRONG
We are not supposed to read RT.com here in the West. It is considered unfashionable or naive at best and downright subversive at worst. But, dear reader, should we not read compare to the Western outlets and decide for ourselves who is telling the truth?
John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com He writes for Antiwar.com, CounterPunch.com and The Unz Review.