Dec 14 (2/2): Russia’s Sales Pitch for the S-400

Y’know, it would be just like Russia to have this whole war in Syria, for them anyway, to be just an elaborate sales pitch to every tinpot dictator in the world to buy their S-400 air defense system to piss off the United States.

clerks chewly's anti-smoking sentiment sell more gum.gif

Not saying it’s a bad idea for them. Just that it’s something Putin would do. It’s so cynically obvious in retrospect as to be not a little chilling.

Consider these comments from old friends ZMart100 and barbed wire Bob.

ZMart100

I think part of this conflict for Russia that is about marketing their weapons. They are getting squeezed on the cheap end by China and on the high end by Europe and the US. The French used Libya to advertise their fighters and Russia is doing the same in Syria. Announcing the Su-35 can successfully defend airspace is good marketing material. Another example is that the unmanned vehicle they showed off a few days ago, the Uran-9, apparently doesn’t really work well yet.

barbed wire Bob

Regarding the [above],

Defense News: Turkey, Russia in negotiations for potential Su-35 jet deal

So this was in the back of my mind when, while tooling around on Twitter, I found what is really a remarkable piece of what appears to be propaganda.

But it wasn’t remarkable for its bullshit as propaganda but rather for the fact that, while wildly partisan, it was telling the truth. But with a point.

First, though, it’s good to understand who’s speaking. I found the article on Twitter here.

putin globe map

GeoPolitics: The Forgotten Game: Why is Russia Enemy #1 for the US and West?

That site, though, references this site as the source.

Fort Russ News: The Forgotten Game: Why Is Russia Enemy #1 For The US And West?

Which shows up on the SourceWatch wiki as being some kind of right-wing news portal for neo-fascists or something equally lovely.

What is “neo” about fascism anyway? Thought for another day.

Anyway, this is helpful information because GeoPolitics is the site I found it on, but it’s difficult to find information on it. Really, if you want to run a fabricated “news” and analysis outfit, it really does make sense to choose a name that is basically impossible to google because it’s a common noun.

As barbed wire Bob pointed out to me, the “About Us” section on the site is really quite wonderful.

Geopolitics News has goal to make it easier for reader to find in one place important news and analytics of events around the globe.

Right. Easy to find the important news, but not at all easy to find out who they are. Though they type with an accent.

I found their FaceBook page instructive though.

facebook geopolitics news.JPG

OK, so, pro-Russia right wing lunatics. Got it.

It’s important to know when considering the brutal straightforwardness of this piece.

Basically, as per above, it’s a sales pitch for the S-400 missile air defense system that was at the center of the recent kerfuffles over Turkey buying the system from Russia, for which Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program, and about which France’s Macron said was incompatible with NATO membership.

This article makes it crystal clear as to why the S-400 is so important:

Russia is pitching the S-400 to the world as the most cost-effective way of resisting American intervention.

Air defense plus sovereignty is a more dangerous formula than communism, however. “Poor will be that country which cannot defend its people against attack from the air,” Georgy Zhukov said. These forgotten words of Marshal Zhukov are key to understanding the present situation and the fight for independence. As we see the scheme of US actions and interventionism, it is pretty easy to understand this point. Sanctions, injustice, and political or nationalist struggles are creating inside of every society a critical mass which will be supported by US interventionism after which the US will achieve its goals. However, the key and crucial element is air supremacy. Without air supremacy, which is the main weapon of the US recolonization process, the US is not likely to intervene in any country which has even an average land force. But without proper air defense, no matter how big the army or popularity of the ruling political party or president opposing the US, this regime is doomed to fall.

Given the US drive to dominate the world and given that Russia is exporting the best air defense systems in hot points of the world (Algeria, Syria, Iran, Venezuela), we must ask the question: Who is the aggressor? Who is attacking whom and what? Western capitalism cannot exist without imperialism. If in the Yeltsin period we saw the trend of letting down socialist bloc allies all over the world, then in Putin’s time we see the opposite, a sustaining of the remaining former partners of USSR, and not only sustaining the survivors, but also aiding the new, Venezuela being the best example.

There are several theories on Putin’s foreign policy. The first one is that this policy is only formulated around the war for energy resources which make up the base of today’s Russian economy. The second is that some hidden elites from the Soviet era are pursuing the same goals as earlier but with the cover of the present Russian state formula. Finally, there is the view that Russia is simply defending its position as a sovereign state. No matter which of these theories is most truthful, what is obvious is that Russia is confronting the US at almost all points on Earth.

So a reasonably persuasive and, frankly, accurate case is being made that air supremacy is perhaps the most powerful tool in the United States’s toolkit for foreign intervention, and that Russia stands against the US basically everywhere.

The piece goes on to make sure that we understand that this will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

The war in the Middle East is lost for the US and the damage dealt therein to its regional and world policy is devastating. Venezuela is likely to be the next spot of confrontation between USA and Russia.

The war in the Middle East is lost for the US and the damage dealt therein to its regional and world policy is devastating. Venezuela is likely to be the next spot of confrontation between USA and Russia. It is now clear that Russia and China both support Maduro in his struggle to maintain the country’s socialist path and stay in power. Russia deployed modern air defenses in the period of the late president Hugo Chavez, and now we see that Russia is helping Maduro by exporting 60,000 tons of wheat a month in addition to considerable logistical support. It is clear that Russia is not simply confronting the US in what could be said to be a mere defense of its position, but is openly entering into what should be called the US’ “backyard”, the famous “Monroe Doctrine” yard. The result is clear: sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions and a deeper hole in Russia-US relations. If we look at this from a strategic perspective, we see that Russia is running circles around US policy, reversing their gains from the Arab Spring, infiltrating like a worm into the EU with energy projects after cancelling the big Middle East pipeline. Russia is shaping a new relationship with Turkey and giving support to Duterte to change his foreign policy 180 degrees. The US is taking blow by blow.

So do we call this Cold War II? Or is it really just a continuation of the Cold War?

One way or another, if name-checking Venezuela seemed provocative with respect to taking this to the United States’ backyard, going all Monroe Doctrine on the matter makes it pretty clear they know what this means in terms of struggle for global influence.

Oh, and besides Venezuela, also: Everywhere else.

The next spots of confrontation, in addition to Venezuela, are likely to be the Korean Peninsula and the Balkans. Despite hundreds of threats, the US has still not attacked North Korea like it has Syria, so if the US loses another showdown with Russia and China, the whole system of US world domination could be in danger. Russia’s deployment of modern anti-aircraft systems to critical spots across the world is delivering more blows to US policy than any radical anti-imperialist ideologies. The US can only maintain power through sheer force. As we can see in the present situation, the US is strategically losing, and further confrontation with Russia such as with the new sanctions is only slowing down the US’ loss of domination, but such cannot reverse this process.

This Russia and China thing is probably going to become a problem at some point too, isn’t it?

There’s also some good stuff in there about how ISIS is a US creation that we inflict on countries that don’t do what we want, ostensibly to destabilize the country so we can intervene.

I find this doubtful.

But the rest of the piece makes a lot of sense. Paralyze the west with an existential philosophical crisis while you consolidate the region’s energy and weapons industries.

In this context, Russia just had the best imaginable advertisement for the S-400 as the world watched the US and NATO freak out over Turkey buying it.

Like, it would be very hard to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system in conventional terms. Even a good system misses sometimes. Also, who’s to say if a successful test was rigged? How consistent is it? etc.

What can’t be faked is seeing how upset NATO countries get over it.

So the US and NATO’s reaction has basically made Russia’s pitch for the S-400 for them.

Think about what S-400 sales get Russia:

  • Money from the arms sales
  • Strategic alliances against the United States all over the world
  • Intel on air crafts against which the system is targeted.

So by now it’s pretty clear that while the US and Russia are both technically in Syria to prevent the escalation of the conflict, Russia and the US are not aligned.

Given that Russia is at least provisionally aligned with Turkey in the Buy The S-400 Fuck The West sense, it makes sense that the US military sees them as more of a problem than a solution in the region.

A threat, even.

New York Times: Turkey and Russia Judged Bigger Risk Than ISIS for U.S. Troops in Syria
American commanders have requested guidance on dealing with an attack from those armed groups and others from Iran and the Syrian government, but officials say they have received muddled direction.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s rapidly shifting strategy in northern Syria has American commanders there scrambling to protect their forces from an expected surge in actions by military units from Turkey, Russia, Iran and the Syrian government, as well as their proxy forces, according to Defense Department officials. American commanders now see these armed groups as a greater danger than the Islamic State forces they were sent to fight.

It’s becoming more and more evident every day that the conflict in Syria is just some kind of weird performance art, for Russia at least, that isn’t really so much about Syria or Rojava or ISIS—just messing with the West.

Sub-game in a big game. And just as Russia is eyeing bigger things in offering air defense to the anti-USA masses, so does the US military have a sense of where things are going.

I love it when Chinese papers run AP articles. I dunno why, it’s just funny to me. But yeah, it’s an AP article.

AP: Pentagon chief plans to shift US focus to China and Russia

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday he still plans to shift the American military’s focus to competing with China and Russia, even as security threats pile up in the Middle East.

So this is a big geopolitical shift. Further, Esper lets us know that, consistent with Russia’s strategy above, this is about Russian influence over smaller states.

In his speech Saturday, Esper made only a passing reference to Iran, citing Tehran’s “efforts to destabilize” the region.

He focused instead on shifting the U.S. military’s focus toward China and Russia — “today’s revisionist powers.” He accused Moscow and Beijing of seeking “veto power” over the economic and security decisions of smaller nations.

On Friday, Esper said he realizes that it will be difficult to move resources out of the Middle East to increase the focus on China and Russia.

Poor Iran. Can’t get anyone to fight with them.

But yeah, there’s the big picture here. More global domination masters of the universe stuff from Russia and the US (and China?) where smaller states become the vehicle through which the larger conflict occurs.

Or, in the case of Rojava, “proto-states,” or whatever they call such entities that international player states don’t want to recognize.

Speaking of recognition, as though it hadn’t already been apparent, we can now understand the purchase of the S-400 in the context of the above. This is to say, the S-400 is much more than an arms deal; it is a strategic alliance against the United States.

Gotta wonder what this means for Turkey’s membership in NATO.

Ahval: Turkey may be spinning out of NATO orbit, U.S. defence chief says

At the time of the incursion into northern Syria, we thought it was a mistake, we thought it would lead to greater instability in the region. It really once again our concerns about Turkey’s direction that they may be spinning out of the NATO orbit,” Esper on Saturday said during an interview at Reagan National Defense Forum.

Yeah, the invasion of an experiment in liberal democracy with Islamo fascist militant jihadis probably should have been a clue.

That said, apparently the US being tetchy with Turkey still doesn’t mean any promises for Rojava.

The U.S. policy in Syria is to guarantee enduring defeat of the ISIS and the United States continues to cooperate with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to achieve this goal, Esper said.

The U.S. defence chief said the mutual interest between the United States and the Kurdish forces was the physical defeat of the caliphate of the ISIS.

“But, no point in the time, do we say we are here to help you establish an autonomous Kurdish state. No time do we say we are going to defend you against Turkey, a NATO ally for 70 years,” Esper said.

Swell.

But we can get a sense of what it means for the US military and the world, which is to say, some bulking up may be expected.

China’s apparently building some kind of super-duper aircraft carrier too. Perhaps something to look at another day.

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