UN Security Council Vote on Iran Sanctions Heralds a New Phase in International Relations

The isolation of the United States from the rest of the world community becomes increasingly obvious by the day. The most recent example was the vote in the United Nations Security Council against a United States motion to extend the sanctions on Iran for its alleged nuclear weapons program. Of the 15 members of the Security Council, only the United States and the Dominican Republic voted in favour of extending the sanctions. Russia and China both voted against. Perhaps more significantly, the other 11 member States of the Security Council abstained, including normally active supporters of the United States; the United Kingdom and France.

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that the United States would continue its policy of sanctions on Iran, regardless of the Security Council vote. It was the clearest possible indication that the United States takes a unilateral view of international law: either agree with us or we will go ahead and do what we want anyway!

As if the United Nations Security Council vote were not clear enough, the three most important European powers, United Kingdom, France and Germany, issued a joint statement on 20 August 2020 clearly stating their opposition to the United States’ attitude. The joint statement was remarkable for its blunt rejection of the United States’ attitude and behaviour.

The United States, the statement said, ceased to be a participant in the JCPOA following their withdrawal from the deal on 8th of May 2018. The trio wrote that they “cannot therefore support this action which is incompatible with our current efforts to support the JCPOA.”

The trio went on to say that they “are committed to preserving the processes and institutions which constitute the foundation of multilateralism. We remain guided by the objective of upholding the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council.”

This is an almost unprecedented rejection of United States unilateralism in modern times. Even the New York Times, normally a leading cheerleader of US unilateralism condemned (20/8/20) the United States government’s actions. They quoted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning the stance taken by the British, French and German governments, saying that those countries “chose to side with the ayatollahs.”

Pompeo has been one of the leading voices for United States unilateralism and the alacrity with which he turned on three normally supportive US allies, and in vituperative terms, is a measure of how far the United States has moved outside any pretence of multilateralism. Pompeo is a strong supporter of Israel, Iran’s strongest and most vociferous opponent in the region.

The fact that Israel is an undeclared nuclear power and refuses to participate in any nuclear non-proliferation treaties, or even officially acknowledge its nuclear status, is never the subject of criticism or adverse comment by any United States administration. The current regime is no exception.

The near unanimous view of the United Nations Security Council will not of course stop the United States from acting unilaterally and extending its sanctions against the Iranian government. Trump’s vague words about a new “deal” with Iran can be safely disregarded. United States antipathy to Iran goes back at least to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mossadeq in 1953.

A briefly warmer period of relations existed under the Shah’s regime until he in turn was ejected in the Islamic revolution of 1979. United States-Iran relations have been from poor to abysmal ever since. There is absolutely no reason to have any belief that Trump is sincere in his vague wishes for a “new deal”, or indeed that the deeply entrenched commitment to Israel at nearly all levels of the US power elite would even permit any such rapprochement.

Quite apart from its overwhelming commitment to Israel, United States support, in all forms, for the terrorist group Mujahedin al Kalk in its actions against the Islamic Republic make a mockery of any professed United States belief in normalising relations in the foreseeable future.

The United States claims to have a legal basis for its “snap back” against Iran for the latter’s alleged breaches of the 2015 JCPOA. Even that argument is profoundly flawed. The United States unilaterally abandoned the JCP0A in May 2018. The United Nations resolution passed in the light of the JCPOA approval of the Iranian deal was therefore also abandoned by the United States in May 2018. They are, as a matter of law, no longer parties to the deal.

Their ability to purport to take actions in respect of the deal is therefore a nullity. It comes down to the legal principle of estoppel, which is a term meaning that there is a bar imposed on conduct resulting from one’s own actions adverse to the original agreement. In this case, the United States as noted unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA. It therefore as a matter of law is precluded from actions purporting to rely on a membership that no longer exists.

It is worth noting this point because the United States is always ready to purportedly rely on legal principles to justify its actions. As this illustration makes clear, such reliance is highly selective.

This legal reality has already been pointed out to the Trump administration by the European Union’s Josep Borrell, the man responsible for coordinating the joint committee charged with the responsibility of supervising the original nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany. Mr Borrrell stated:

“As I have repeatedly recalled, the United States unilaterally ceased participation in the JCPOA by Presidential memorandum on 8 May 2018 and has subsequently not participated in any JCPOA related activities. It cannot, therefore, be considered to be a JCPOA participant State for the purposes of possible sanctions snap back foreseen by the resolution”.

The United States is not so stupid as to not be aware of the legal realities. To understand what they have done and why becomes the more important question. The answer to that question lies in the long history briefly outlined above. The United States is not interested in a resolution of the conflict. It is interested only in a war with Iran and their attempt at killing off the JCPOA is a thinly disguised attempt to provoke Iran into a reaction that can be used to justify an attack.

A lot has changed since the 2015 signing of the JCPOA, not least the radically improved and extended relationships of Iran with both Russia and China. That in turn is part of a radically changing geopolitical landscape throughout Eurasia. Strive as it might, the United States cannot prevent that development and US attempts to disrupt and constrain that development are doomed to fail. The real question will be: does the United States recognise that reality and adapt accordingly, or will it persist in its increasingly dangerous and isolated unilateralism. Unfortunately, the latter seems the more likely.

James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

CIA’s Addiction to Afghanistan War

By Finian Cunningham

It is America’s longest overseas war and shows no clear sign of ending despite a shaky peace deal underway between the Trump administration and Taliban militants. A phased withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan over the next year could yet be derailed, resulting in continued American military operations in the South Asian country – nearly two decades after President GW Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2001.

US involvement in Afghanistan is the archetypal quagmire. Hundreds of thousands killed or maimed, trillions of dollars wasted, a failed state – despite American pretensions of nation-building, and a militant insurgency stronger than ever. Washington’s declared strategic objectives in Afghanistan have never been coherent or convincing even among Pentagon top brass. The initial justification of “avenging terrorism of 9/11” sounds threadbare.

The irony is that Washington first got involved in Afghanistan back in the late 1970s to inflict a “Vietnam scenario” on Soviet troops who were defending an allied government in Kabul. The Mujahideen fighters sponsored by the US and their Taliban outgrowth have gone on to make the country an even worse Vietnam scenario for Washington than it intended for Moscow.

Afghanistan is known as the “Graveyard of Empires” where the British suffered a blow to their imperial prowess, like the Soviets and now the Americans. The question is: why are the Americans seemingly stuck in Afghanistan, unable to extricate their forces? Part of the reason no doubt stems from the bureaucracy of war and the reliable profits for the military-industrial complex which stifles a clean break from what is otherwise a futile, never-ending, dead-end conflict.

Another, perhaps more potent, reason is the immensely lucrative business of global narcotics trafficking. This may well be the main reason for why the Afghan war continues despite the patent incongruities and presidential vows to end it. It is a vital source of finance for the CIA and other US intelligence agencies. The big advantage from drug business is that the finances are off the books, and therefore not subject to Congressional oversight. That “dark” source of income allows American agencies to fund covert operations without ever being held to account by prying lawmakers (if the latter ever got around to it, that is.)

Senior Russian and Iranian officials have recently stated that US intelligence agencies are heavily involved in covertly transporting narcotics out of Afghanistan.

According to Eskandar Momeni, Iran’s chief of counter-narcotics, the production of heroin from poppy harvests in Afghanistan has increased year after year by 50-fold since the US forces invaded the country. “Based on reliable information, planes operated by NATO and the United States transport these illicit drugs in our neighboring country,” the official testified this week.

Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, is quoted as saying that CIA complicity in drug trafficking is “an open secret” in the country. “US intelligence officers… are involved in drug trafficking. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to – to Germany, to Romania – without any inspections,” said Kabulov.

These claims put in perspective recent sensationalized US media reports which quote anonymous American intelligence sources alleging that Russian and Iranian military personnel were running “bounty-hunter” schemes in Afghanistan whereby Taliban militants were supposedly paid to kill American troops. The ropey US media reports had the hallmark of an intelligence psychological operation. Russia, Iran and the Taliban dismissed the allegations. Even the Pentagon and President Trump brushed the stories off as not credible.

But what the intended effect seems to have been is to scupper the hesitant moves by the Trump administration to wind down the Afghan war.

Afghanistan is the source for more than 90 per cent of the world’s heroin supply, much of it destined for Europe, according to the United Nations. Some estimates put international drug trafficking as one of the most lucratively traded commodities, on par with oil and gas. Financial proceeds can be laundered through big banks as the scandal involving British bank HSBC illustrated.

For the CIA and other US intelligence agencies, Afghanistan is a giant money press from illicit drug dealing. That easy source for covert funding makes the Afghan war too addictive to kick the habit. With its clandestine global network, fleets of private planes, diplomatic clearance, national security license and byzantine bank accounts all those features make the CIA a perfect conduit for narcotics trafficking. In addition to means, the agency also has powerful motive for secret funding of its other criminal enterprises: media influence operations, color revolutions, assassinations and regime-change subversions.

The systematic involvement of the CIA in international drug running is as old as the agency itself, created in 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War. Its function of covert operations is by definition illegal and therefore requires secret funding. The agency has been linked to illicit Nazi gold to fund its early operations. Later, narcotics trafficking entered as a crucial means for organizational funding. The Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia was central for sponsoring anti-communist schemes in the 1960 and 70s, as was Colombia and Central America for funding proxy forces like the Contra in Nicaragua during the 1980s. Afghanistan carries on this global function for underpinning the CIA’s criminal enterprises.

Finian CUNNINGHAM Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.

Alfonso

U.S. SANCTIONS RUSSIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE THAT DEVELOPED COVID-19 VACCINE

The US Commerce Department blacklisted a Russian research institute that helped create the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine.

Russia won the race to develop the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The United States has responded by slapping sanctions on a Russian research facility involved in creating it.

The US government has blacklisted several Russian scientific institutes, including the Russian Defense Ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute, which has worked with other non-military medical centers to develop and test the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine.

In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and a historic economic crisis, Washington has escalated its global campaign of economic warfareimposing sanctions on foreign adversaries and announcing new punitive measures on a nearly daily basis.

More than one-fourth of people on Earth live in countries that are suffering from US sanctions.

In April, a Russian company sent ventilators to the United States as a form of humanitarian aid, to help overwhelmed hospitals treat coronavirus patients. It was later revealed that this Russian firm had been under US sanctions since 2014.

State-led Covid-19 vaccine research in Russia, China, Cuba beat US ‘public-private partnership’

The Russian government announced this August that it had registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, called Sputnik V.

Sputnik V was developed by the Russian Health Ministry’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. This scientific facility created the vaccine in a joint research project with the Russian Defense Ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute.

On August 27, the US Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Russia’s 48th Central Research Institute, blacklisting the scientific body.

While Russia took a state-led approach to create a coronavirus vaccine, the Trump administration announced a “public-private partnership” in May. The program, called “Operation Warp Speed,” saw the US government dole out billions of tax dollars to Big Pharma companies.

The Trump administration awarded massive contracts to private corporations like NovavaxPfizer, and Moderna, while Trump reportedly offered “large sums of money” for exclusive rights to a vaccine being developed by a German firm so it could be sold for profit.

But the US public-private partnership was unable to develop a vaccine before foreign countries with government-led research efforts did. Besides Russia, a state-owned Chinese company says its vaccine will be ready by the end of 2020, while Cuba is doing clinical trials for a vaccine of its own.

US blacklists Russian research institutes

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security announced a series of new sanctions measures on Russian research centers in the US government’s federal register on August 27.

Washington accused the blacklisted institutes of being associated with Russian chemical and biological weapons programs. The Kremlin denied this, calling the accusation “absolute nonsense.”

A spokesperson for the Russian government called the decision “the sanctions theater of the absurd.” A Kremlin press release blasted Washington for being unable to “live without sanctions and without declaring restrictions for anyone every day.”

“Given the scientific research of one of the institutes [which is engaged in developing Russia’s coronavirus vaccine] we cannot rule out that this is another example of uncovered and rampant non-competitive struggle,” said the Russian government spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov.

The US government’s media arm, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), accused these Russian research facilities of developing chemical and biological weapons.

At the same time, RFE/RL acknowledged, “Those targeted by the U.S. Commerce Department include one Russian Defense Ministry facility that is involved in Russia’s attempts to develop the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.”

RFE/RL explained, “Formally, the move imposes new licensing restrictions on U.S. companies that seek to do business with the blacklisted companies in Russia or elsewhere.”

Russian state media noted that, in addition to being used to conduct clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine, the Defense Ministry’s newly blacklisted 48th Central Research Institute is “where vaccines against Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as well as a universal flu vaccine, had been studied and successfully tested.”

The US sanctions were imposed on the following Russian research institutions:

  • 33rd Scientific Research and Testing Institute
  • 48th Central Scientific Research Institute, Kirov
  • 48th Central Scientific Research Institute, Sergiev Posad
  • 48th Central Scientific Research Institute, Yekaterinburg
  • State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology

As the US Commerce Department blacklisted these Russian research facilities, it imposed additional sanctions on two dozen Chinese institutions – mostly construction, technology, and communications companies – accusing them of “engaging in activities contrary to U.S. national security interests.”

Ben Norton

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

Covid in Sweden by Swiss Policy Research

new data analysis shows Swedish all-cause mortality since 1851 (see chart below). The covid peak in 2020 is clearly visible and comparable to the strong seasonal flu waves of the 1980s and 1990s (despite a younger population at the time). The much stronger 1918 Spanish flu is also clearly visible.

Remarkably, despite covid, 2020 mortality in the <65 age group is actually below the five year average. The median age of covid deaths in Sweden was 84 years, about 70% of which occurred in nursing facilities. The targeted protection of these was part of the Swedish strategy, but in the Stockholm area, the virus was faster than authorities.

Since June, Sweden — which has introduced neither a lockdown nor a facemask mandate — is seeing a below-average all-cause mortality. Covid infections and deaths are near zero.

Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care bed capacities in Europe, two times lower than Italy and five times lower than Germany. This capacity was of course increased in preparation of covid, but the newly built covid field hospital in Stockholm remained unused.

Sweden now has one of the highest immunity levels in Europe (its Scandinavian neighbors and Germany one of the lowest), but health authorities are still expecting a smaller “second wave” in autumn and winter. Another important question is the actual prevalence of “long covid” health issues in Swedish society.

On the other hand, Sweden also knows first-hand the risks associated with experimental vaccines: the medically unneccessary “swine flu” vaccine of 2009 left about 500 Swedish children permanently brain damaged.

by Alfonso


Nord Stream 2: Övergår det europeiska självintresse äntligen USA: s inflytande?

USA har alltid betraktat sig som den ”exceptionella” nationen. Den uppfattningen kan under många omständigheter vara relativt godartad. Det blir mindre när det används som en motivering för att behandla andra länder som mindre betydelsefulla i saker och ting. Det är ännu mindre motiverat när denna exceptionellitet tas som en motivering för att ålägga ens vilja och önskemål på resten av världen. Det är en tendens som har varit ett kännetecken för USA: s utrikespolitik, sedan slutet av andra världskriget.

Förenta staterna har länge tagit sig rätten att uttala sig om andra nationernas acceptans eller på annat sätt i sitt eget geografiska område under den så kallade Monroe-doktrinen. Detta var en självutnämnd roll, och för att säkra sig kontrollen på den västra halvklotet. Denne doktrin är en lära som fortfarande USA använder sig av som den senaste tidens inblandning i inrikes frågorna i Venezuela och Nicaragua tydligt visar.

För att gå tillbaka längre i tiden har USA haft ekonomiskt och politiskt krig mot Kuba sedan 1959. Då de socialistiska revolutionärerna i spetsen med Castro kastade ut den korrupta Batista-regimen. USA: s arrogans och exceptionellitet ingår i USA: s kvarhållning av den militära basen i Guantanamo Bay på kubansk jord trots de uppenbara önskningarna från kubanska regeringar att USA ska packa sina väskor och lämna.

Det totala åsidosättandet av den suveräna kubanska regeringens önskemål exemplifieras av den fortsatta användningen av Guantanamo som en amerikansk militärbas, utan USA använder dennabasen som ett centrum för interneringen av personer som av USA anses vara en hot mot dess nationella integritet.

Få punkter illustrerar bättre hyckleriet i Förenta staternas påstående att vara en demokrati, baserad på rättsstatsprincipen är än den obestämd frihetsberövande, utan rättegång, av personer som definierats av USA: s regering som ett hot. De flesta, om inte alla dessa personer anklagas för engagemang i attackerna den 11 september 2001 på byggnader i New York och Washington DC, eller åtminstone någon form av förening med de påstådda terroristerna. Den obestämda frihetsberövningen utan rättegång mot de anklagade personerna kvarstår av den mycket goda anledningen att varje verkligt rättvis rättegång skulle befria dem från någon skyldighet i attackerna i USA den 11 september 2001. Denna rättvisa har gjort ett fortsatt hån mot USA påstår sig vara någon form av modelldemokrati. Sedan slutet av andra världskriget har den själv definierade och självförstärkande modellen gått långt utöver de ursprungliga gränserna i Monroe-doktrinen. Detta manifesterar sig på flera sätt, inklusive ett nätverk med flerän 800 USA: s militära baser runt om i världen.

Den oändliga kapaciteten för självbedrägeri av västerländska medier exemplifieras av deras ständiga rapportering av påstådda ryska och kinesiska ambitioner att kontrollera världen samtidigt som de ignorerar USA: s djupgående aggressiva och självbetjäningsbeteende. En annan illustration av denna obevekliga önskan att kontrollera övriga nationers öde exemplifieras för närvarande av Förenta staternas försök att undergräva genomförandet av projektet som kallas Nord Stream 2. Europas länder har utvecklat ekonomier och en generellt hög levnadsstandard. För att olja maskinerna i deras ekonomier, emellertid och för att värma sina befolkningar genom den hårda europeiska vintern, kräver de energi. Bortsett från kol, som nu i stor utsträckning avvecklas på olika grunder, inklusive miljöskador, saknar de medel för att driva sina ekonomier och värma eller luftkonditionera sina populationer.

Det är där ryska olja och gas kommer in i bilden, Ryssland åtnjuter ett överflöd av både och medel, motiv och villighet att leverera Europa. Vid varje objektiv bedömning är det en klassiker att använda den kinesiska frasen, win win situation. Europa uppfyller sina energibehov. Ryssland har en värdefull källa till utländsk valuta, och förmodligen en politisk bonus från att vara en pålitlig och relativt billig källa för nödvändig energi. Enligt en ny (6 augusti 2020) rapport i Sputnik, en rysk nyhetswebbplats, kommer Nord Stream 2-projektet att leverera upp till 55 miljarder kubikmeter naturgas per år från Ryssland till Tyskland, där det senare landet blirEuropas ekonomiska kraftcenter. Rysk naturgas ska levereras till Tyskland under Nord Stream 2-projektet med pipeline som passerar genom territoriella vatten i Danmark, Finland, Sverige, Tyskland och Ryssland. Rörledningen är 1230 km lång och hade i skrivande stund mindre än 100 km konstruktion som behövs för att slutföra den. Det planerade slutdatumet är senare 2020, i det som beräknas vara mindre än 100 dagar. I juli 2020 övervinnandes det sista lagliga hindret när Danmark godkände användningen av sina territoriella vatten för en liten del av rörledningsvägen. Att se saken i termer av fördelarna som tillförs den levererande nationen Ryssland och de mottagande nationerna, inklusive men inte begränsat till Tyskland, är dock att underskatta geopolitiken. Förenta staterna, som vill sälja sin egen, mycket dyrare gas till Europa har motsatt sig projektet från början. Det objektiva tittarnas svar kanske mycket väl är, hur är Europas energiförsörjning en fråga av allvarlig oro för Förenta staterna och till och med sätter åt sidan ett uppenbart kommersiellt intresse, att sälja sin egen energi till Europa?

En sådan fråga underskattar allvarligt de amerikanska invändningarna. För det första är tanken att Tyskland (och andra) skulle fatta sådana beslut så uppenbart i sitt eget intresseanatema för amerikanerna. Under de senaste 70+ åren har Förenta staterna påtvingat sin vilja till Europas nationer och accepterar inte lätt någon utmaning mot den här hegemonin. För det andra, att projektet uppenbarligen ligger i Rysslands ekonomiska och politiska intressen är en anledning till USA: s opposition. På varandra följande amerikanska regeringar har varit outtröttliga i sin framställning av det ”ryska hotet”, och allt ömsesidigt gynnsamt samarbete mellan Ryssland och dess grannar undergräver helt klart den propagandan. Den amerikanska oppositionen går emellertid ännu längre, eftersom ett enormt tryck har tillämpats vid varje tillfälle för att avbryta projektet. Detta har inkluderat införandet av USA: s sanktioner mot individer, företag och länder som har varit inblandade i projektet. Enligt en ny rapport i det tyska nyhetsuttaget Welt am Sonntag har de amerikanska tjänstemännen från ministeriet för energi, energi och finansministerium kontaktat europeiska entreprenörer som är associerade med projektet för att säkerställa att de “förstår konsekvenserna” av att stanna kvar i projektet.

Detta går utöver att uttrycka en synvinkel och försöka uppmuntra andra att acceptera ens egen åsikt om dig. Det är uppenbart och helt oacceptabelt ingripande i rättigheter och privilegier för suveräna stater och deras oberoende företag och båda rättigheter att fatta beslut om sin egen uppfattning om egenintresse. Ett nytt lagförslag som för närvarande inför USA: s senat syftar till att utvidga sanktionerna till varje stat eller företag som har något engagemang i Nord Stream-projektet. Det var knappast en slump att inom några dagar efter att den danska regeringen gav grönt ljus för användningen av dess vatten i projektet gjorde USA: s utrikesminister Mike Pompeo ett plötsligt besök i landet. Endast de terminala naiva skulle tro att Danmarks senaste avtal om att delta i rörledningen inte både var motivet för besöket, utan också huvudämnet i Pompeos diskussioner med de danska myndigheterna.

Hittills verkar Pompeos tryck ha varit framgångsrikt. Projektet ser ut som att vara färdig enligt schema. Både Ryssland och Europa kommer att gynnas. Det kanske viktigaste resultatet är emellertid att USA: s misslyckande med press och sabotage för att övertyga européerna att agera i strid med deras egna bästa tycks ha misslyckats. Om det är ett ytterligare symptom på den fortsatta nedgången av USA: s inflytande i Europa är det helt att välkomna.

James O’Neill, en australisk baserad barrister at Law, uteslutande för online tidningen “New Eastern Outlook”.

Transated by Alfonso

 

Henry Kissinger get´s it US “Exceptionalism” is over

Der ehemalige US-Außenminister Henry Kissinger machte kürzlich eine umsichtige Bemerkung, als er sagte, dass die Vereinigten Staaten nicht länger eine Uni-Macht seien und dass sie die Realität Chinas als gleichwertigen Rivalen anerkennen müssten.

Die Aufregung über ein neues Gesetz, das von den USA diese Woche in Bezug auf Hongkong verabschiedet wurde und Pekings Autorität untergräbt, unterstreicht Kissingers Warnung. Wenn die USA keinen Modus vivendi mit China finden können, könnte dies zu einem katastrophalen Konflikt führen, der schlimmer ist als jeder Weltkrieg zuvor, mahnte er. In seiner öffentlichen Rede in New York am 14. November drängte der altgediente Diplomat die USA und China, ihre anhaltenden wirtschaftlichen Spannungen kooperativ und gegenseitig zu lösen, und fügte hinzu: “Man kann nicht länger glauben, dass die eine Seite die andere dominieren kann”.

Eine Schlüsselbemerkung Kissingers war die folgende: “Die Länder, die früher außergewöhnlich und einzigartig waren, müssen sich also daran gewöhnen, dass sie einen Rivalen haben. Mit anderen Worten, er negiert den irrigen Konsens in Washington, der behauptet, die USA seien irgendwie “außergewöhnlich”, eine “Uni-Macht” und die “unverzichtbare Nation”. Dieser Konsens ist seit den frühen 1990er Jahren nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion gewachsen, als die USA sich selbst als einzige Supermacht betrachteten. Das verwandelte sich in eine virulentere Ideologie der “Vollspektrum-Dominanz”. Von da an haben die vergangenen drei Jahrzehnte unerbittlicher US-Verbrecherkriege und Regimewechseloperationen auf der ganzen Welt die ganze Welt ins Chaos gestürzt. Kissingers freimütige Einschätzung ist ein frischer Wind inmitten der abgestandenen und unmöglich arroganten Selbstachtung zu vieler amerikanischer Politiker, die ihre Nation als eine beispiellose Macht betrachten, die keine andere durchquert.

Der erfahrene Staatsmann, der 96 Jahre alt ist und einen bewundernswerten Scharfsinn für internationale Politik bewahrt hat, beendete seine Ausführungen mit einer optimistischen Bemerkung: “Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass die Führer beider Seiten [USA und China] erkennen werden, dass die Zukunft der Welt davon abhängt, dass beide Seiten Lösungen erarbeiten und die unvermeidlichen Schwierigkeiten bewältigen. Treffenderweise wurde Kissingers Warnung vor der Gefahr eines Konflikts separat von dem altgedienten Journalisten John Pilger wiederholt, der diese Woche in einem Exklusivinterview für die Strategic Culture Foundation davor warnte, dass “der vermutete amerikanische Exzeptionalismus die Welt in den Krieg treibt”. Henry Kissinger ist in der Tat eine umstrittene Figur. Viele US-Wissenschaftler betrachten ihn als einen der herausragendsten Außenminister in der Zeit nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Er diente in den 1970er Jahren in der Nixon- und Ford-Administration und schrieb später Wälzer über Geopolitik und internationale Beziehungen. Dagegen wurde sein Ruf durch den US-Krieg in Vietnam und die schrecklichen zivilen Todesopfer durch die unerbittlichen Bombenangriffe aus der Luft über Indochina, von denen man annahm, dass sie von Kissinger geduldet wurden, stark beschädigt.

Kissinger ist auch beschuldigt worden, den Militärputsch in Chile 1973 gegen den gewählten Präsidenten Allende unterstützt zu haben und den schmutzigen Krieg der faschistischen Generäle Argentiniens in den 1970er Jahren gegen Arbeiter und Linke unterstützt zu haben. Es ist jedoch sein Verdienst, dass Kissinger ein Vertreter der “Realpolitik” war und ist, der die internationalen Beziehungen durch eine pragmatische Linse betrachtet. Ein weiterer realpolitischer US-Staatsplaner war der verstorbene Zbigniew Brzezinski, der 2017 im Alter von 89 Jahren starb. Beide befürworteten eine Politik der Entspannung mit der Sowjetunion und China. Präsident Richard Nixons bahnbrechender Besuch in China im Jahr 1972 wird dem Rat Kissingers zugeschrieben, der damals Nationaler Sicherheitsberater des Weißen Hauses war. Im selben Jahr unterzeichneten die USA und die Sowjetunion den ABM-Vertrag (Anti-Ballistic Missile), ebenfalls unter der Leitung Kissingers auf amerikanischer Seite. Später zogen sich die USA 2002 aus dem Vertrag zurück, ein Schritt, der bis heute eine lange Verschlechterung der bilateralen Beziehungen zwischen den USA und Russland ankündigt. Trotz all ihrer Fehler waren zumindest Menschen wie Kissinger und Brzezinski durch praktische zielorientierte Politik motiviert. Sie waren bereit, sich mit Gegnern auseinanderzusetzen, um einen Modus vivendi zu finden. Eine solche Haltung fehlt allzu oft in den jüngsten Regierungen in Washington, die von einer Ideologie der unipolaren Dominanz der USA über den Rest der Welt geleitet zu sein scheinen. Der gegenwärtige Konsens in Washington ist von hyper-ideologischem Irrealismus und Hybris geprägt, was zu einer Nullsummen-Mentalität des Antagonismus gegenüber China und Russland führt.

Zuweilen scheint Präsident Donald Trump realpolitischem Pragmatismus zu folgen. Zu anderen Zeiten schwenkt er auf die hyperideologische Mentalität um, wie sie von seinem Vizepräsidenten Mike Pence sowie von Außenminister Mike Pompeo und Verteidigungsminister Mike Esper zum Ausdruck gebracht wird. Letzterer hat China als die “größte langfristige Bedrohung der USA” bezeichnet. Diese Woche unterzeichnete Präsident Trump das Gesetz “The Human Rights and Democracy Bill”, das China wegen angeblicher Unterdrückung auf seinem Territorium in Hongkong Sanktionen auferlegen wird. Peking hat wütend auf das Gesetz reagiert und es als eine Verletzung seiner Souveränität verurteilt. Dies ist genau die Art von unheilvollem Schritt, vor dem Kissinger gewarnt hat, um eine weitere Vergiftung der bilateralen Beziehungen zu vermeiden, die bereits durch den Handelskrieg zwischen den USA und China in den vergangenen 16 Monaten angespannt waren. Man erkennt den Unterschied zwischen Kissinger und neueren US-Politikern: Ersterer verfügt über reichlich historisches Wissen und Wertschätzung anderer Kulturen. Seine kluge, verschlagene, vielleicht sogar machiavellistische Ader veranlasst Kissinger, andere Mächte in einer komplexen Welt anzuerkennen und zu respektieren. Das steht im Gegensatz zu der puritanischen Banalität und Ignoranz, die sich in der Trump-Administration und im Kongress manifestiert.

Präsident Xi Jinping begrüßte Kissinger am vergangenen Freitag, dem 22. November, während eines Besuchs in Peking und dankte ihm für seinen historischen Beitrag zur Normalisierung der Beziehungen zwischen den USA und China während der 1970er Jahre. “Gegenwärtig befinden sich die Beziehungen zwischen den Sino-US-Staaten an einem kritischen Punkt, der einige Schwierigkeiten und Herausforderungen mit sich bringt”, sagte Xi und forderte die beiden Länder auf, die Kommunikation über strategische Fragen zu vertiefen. Es war ein Echo der realpolitischen Ansichten, die Kissinger in der Woche zuvor verkündet hatte. Während er sich mit Kissinger eine öffentliche Bühne teilte, fügte der chinesische Staatschef hinzu: “Die beiden Seiten sollten von den grundlegenden Interessen der beiden Völker und der Völker der Welt ausgehen, einander respektieren, Gemeinsamkeiten suchen, aber Differenzen vorbehalten, Win-Win-Ergebnisse in der Zusammenarbeit anstreben und bilaterale Beziehungen fördern, um sich in die richtige Richtung zu entwickeln”. Ebenso haben China und Russland kontinuierlich auf eine multipolare Weltordnung für Zusammenarbeit und Partnerschaft in der Entwicklung gedrängt. Doch die gegenwärtige und die jüngste US-Regierung weigern sich, eine andere Ordnung als eine vermutete unipolare Dominanz in Betracht zu ziehen. Daher die anhaltenden Handelsstreitigkeiten der USA mit China und die unerbittliche Dämonisierung Russlands durch Washington.

Dieses “außergewöhnliche” ideologische Mantra der USA führt zu weiteren Spannungen und ist letztlich ein Weg in den Abgrund. Henry Kissinger hat es verstanden. Es ist bedauerlich, dass Amerikas heutige Generation von Politikern und Denkern so intellektuell verarmt ist.

Tranlated to German by Alfonso