The Syrian War and the Strategic Logic of US Imperialism’s Drive to Dominate the Middle East

 By: Paul Antonopoulos and Drew Cottle 

US geopolitics

Originally published as a Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies Research Paper (CCHS RP 4/17) 

 

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the war by proxy waged by the United States (US) against Syria cannot be understood in isolation and must be analysed in the greater geostrategic context of US imperialism’s quest for dominating the Middle East, for resource control and dollar security. Since the end of the Cold War, after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, US imperialism has resorted to military force through its ‘humanitarian intervention’ in the destruction of Yugoslavia and Somalia, the military occupation of Haiti, its bombing of the Sudan and Afghanistan, and the bombing attacks on Iraq. The downing of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 saw the US launch its ‘War on Terror’ as a justification for further military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

From 2002, the doctrine of ‘preventive warfare’ has been argued to justify US attacks on countries seen as supposed threats to US national security. This was emphasised when an ‘Axis of Evil’, comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, was announced during a State of Union Address on January 29, 2002 by the then President George W. Bush (Bush 2002). The denunciation of these states by President Bush was further expanded into ‘Beyond the Axis of Evil’ when, on 6 May 2002, the then-Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton added Cuba, Libya and Syria to this supposed ‘Axis of Evil’ (Bolton 2002). In fact this ‘Axis of Evil’ consists of independent states which are not subservient to Washington.

That doctrine effectively meant that the scope of US operations became both regional and global. New US-driven wars began and old conflicts never ended. Most recently, the US invoked a threat to the human rights of Libyan citizens as a justification to destroy Libya, the same pretext used to organise a proxy war against Syria. Such claims have become a consistent theme of US intervention across the Middle East.

This article will explore the repercussions the war against Syria will have on that country and the wider region. These repercussions go beyond the interests of removing an anti-Washington government from power in Syria, of isolating Iran or of consolidating Israel’s security; they incorporate a drive to dominate the resources of Central Asia. But how consistent or successful has been Washington’s strategy on Syria? Continue reading

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The Economic and Geo-Strategic Function of the Ideological Abuses of Science in the Contemporary Occident

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babc46b8-f641-4b98-a6e5-a9d0334ca7a8  By: Padraig McGrath

Introduction: To understand why ‘scientism’, (the contemporary vulgarization of ‘the’ scientific method),  exists in a perpetual state of cuspness – promoting the view that scientific inquiry is always seemingly ‘on the cusp’ of a final and absolute answer or truth – Gadamer’s ‘Horizon’ metaphor has yet another practical application. Gadamer put’s forward this metaphor in his development of Heidegger’s philosophical hermeneutics as articulated in the latter’s 1927 masterpiece ‘Being and Time.’ The utility of Gadamer’s metaphor goes beyond textual analysis and has application in multiple broad fields. Beyond a criticism of the possibility of applying the same vulgarized scientific method used in the physical sciences to the social sciences and humanities, these criticisms indeed may apply to the physical sciences themselves, which then asks us to make inquiries towards the viability of a revised epistemology. Marxist and later syncretic systems are also raised in relation to how the above is problematized. This allows us to see through a dialectical materialist lens how the ideological abuse of science in the contemporary Occident has not only an economic but also a geostrategic function   – J. Flores

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502377n his 1960 magnum opus “Truth and Method” (“Wahrheit und Methode”), Hans-Georg Gadamer attempts to develop a theory of how we might be able to rescue overarching norms from the flux of history. To this end, Gadamer employs his famous “horizon”-metaphor. Gadamer’s idea is that one starts from a certain time and place inside history, and that as one learns and experiences more and more, the individual continuously approaches the horizon (the borders of ones worldview, the delimitations of ones culturally set-up version of reality, etc).

But as one continuously approaches the horizon, something strange becomes noticed – the horizon itself keeps moving farther away.

No matter how much one learns, history is never transcended. A terminus called “objectivity” is never reached. One remains forever embedded in “the history of effect” (“Wirkungsgeschichte”). Gadamer remains one of the twentieth century’s foremost exponents of German historicism.

Gadamer’s horizon-metaphor is applicable, not only to the discourse of history-culture-ethics-politics, but also to the natural sciences.

Continue reading

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CSS presents discussion on Liberalism vs. Communitarianism

NR_STARBy: Frederick Assar – Nuova Resistenza – Italia

Italian anti-globalization activists from  La Terra dei Padri bring together Nuova Resistenza – Italia and their own cadre for a presentation from CSS Director J. Flores

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On May 6th, 2017 at la Terra dei Padri in Modena, Italy, Joaquin Flores gave a presentation on one of the most discussed – yet least understood – topics in contemporary politics, one that in so many reveals the importance of the nexus between the People and the geopolitical space in which the People dwells – Populism. The presentation focused on the differences between the varying types of populist ideologies and movements in East and West, grounding the discussion in a series of relevant examples of respective practical, contemporary manifestations. 

Although, etymologically speaking, the term “Populism” dates back to Roman times, the subjects of the presentation were the modern and contemporary movements emanating from the popular uprisings that stemmed from 1848.

The idea, broken down to its bare essentials, is that – in spite of sharing the same, politically loaded term – Liberal and Communitarian Populism occupy opposite ends of the economic, cultural, and political arena. Continue reading

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Polish-Russian Relations: Russian Guilt and Polish Exceptionalism

Seal   By: Andrew Korybko

 

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old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the Center for Syncretic Studies is pleased to present another original academic piece, in full, from our Russian collaborator, Mr. Andrew Korybko. This analytic monograph was a previously in-house submission to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.  The subject of Russian-Polish bilateral relations is a significant one, and has been one of the focuses of the work of CSS. Mr. Korybko’s original dedication read as follows:

“This report is dedicated to all Poles and Russians in the hopes that they and their governments may one day have the brotherly and fraternal relations that both sides deserve.”

 

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“The thesis holds that Poland is developing and exploiting these two concepts within the institutions of the EU and NATO in order to advance its policies in the region at Russia’s expense. Poland is using Russian Guilt to normatively justify Polish Exceptionalism in the court of international opinion, thereby also damaging Russia’s soft power potential. It will be seen that an objective investigation into the topic will reveal that the moral bases of Russian Guilt and Polish Exceptionalism are extremely subjective and manipulated for self-serving interests. In all actuality, the aforementioned concepts will be exposed as being mental and emotional constructs that, although being expected to serve as highly effective ideological weapons in advancing certain foreign policy priorities, have little relevance to historical facts. Perceiving the Polish-Russian experience through a neutral perspective will undercut the moral foundation of the theories to the targeted audiences and present vulnerabilities that could be harnessed to defend the Russian Federation from this new form of intangible aggression.”

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People’s Republics: Summating the Donbass Socio-Political and Economic Experience

Small Logo By: Eduard Popov – translated by Jafe Arnold

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The Center for Syncretic Studies is honored to present our Russian colleague, Dr. Eduard Popov’s recent article featured in the journal Post-Soviet States: 25 Years of Independent Development published under the editorship of the famous expert on the South Caucasus and Doctor of Historical Sciences, Alexander Krylov (Moscow) from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. We thank Dr. Krylov for generously allowing us the opportunity to translate and publish this article by Popov, supplemented and updated specifically for the Center for Syncretic Studies and Fort Russ. This article is based on the findings of expert and sociological surveys conducted by the author in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in 2015-2016 mainly among the military, political, and business elites of both republics, as well as among trade union members.

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Russian Spring: The Socio-Political Dynamics of the Donbass Independence Movement

old-english-calligraphy-alphabet-the rise of the protest movement in Donbass (and other regions of historical Novorossiya) which resulted in the proclamation of the People’s Republics, was a reaction to the coup d’etat in Kiev and aggressive Russophobic policies. It is no accident that the first legislative step of the new Ukrainian authorities was abolishing the language law, ratified in 2003 by the Verkhovna Rada in line with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which effectively pushed the Russian language out of the educational and cultural-information space of Ukraine. However, the popular movement in Donbass at the end of winter and spring 2014 also had deeper motives. The proclamation of the people’s republics of Donbass was a logical reaction to the dismantling of Ukrainian statehood as it had been formed in the framework of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The new Ukrainian authorities violated the tacit social contract of loyalty to the existing state in exchange for a guaranteed minimum of cultural-linguistic rights for the regions of the “South-East” (historical Novorossiya). Continue reading

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