American Herald Tribune: You believe that no agreement with Washington can ever be trusted; what does history teaches us in this regard?
Paul Craig Roberts: There is a t-shirt that says: "Sure you can trust the government -- just ask an Indian." Some governments are more trustworthy than others. Reagan, for example, said he would end stagflation and we did. Reagan said that he wanted to end the Cold War, and we did. Eisenhower warned us about the danger to democracy presented by the military/industrial complex, and we ignored it.
It seems that when there are chances for big gains in power and the government is in the hands of those with undeclared agendas, the agendas are imposed by deceiving the people. For example, "The War on Terror" is really a war on Muslim countries with foreign policies independent of Washington and Israel; it is a war on US civil liberty, and a war on Middle Eastern countries in the way of Israeli territorial expansion. But Washington pretends that it is a "war for democracy," a "war for freedom from terrorism," etc.
The Russians have learned, or should have, that no agreement with Washington means anything. When Russia agreed to the reunification of Germany, Russia was promised that NATO would not move one inch to the East, but the Clinton regime placed NATO on Russia's borders. The Bush regime flushed down the toilet the Anti-ABM treaty, and Russia is now threatened with ABM missile sites on its borders.
You don't have to look very hard to see that Washington's word is in most instances worthless.
Why do you call EU states, US vassals? What are the costs for Europeans?
All of Europe, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and South Korea are Washington's vassals. They are not permitted independent foreign or economic policies. Europe, for example, has no interest whatsoever in conflict with Russia, but they are forced into conflict by Washington. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which since the disappearance of the Soviet Union no longer has any purpose, serves as cover for Washington's war crimes in the Middle East, Serbia, and North Africa. European leaders, with the exception of Charles deGaulle, serve Washington, not their own peoples. None of Washington's vassals are sovereign states.
If France, for example, was a sovereign state, it would be France's decision whether a French bank lent to companies doing business with Iran. But France is not sovereign, and the large French bank was forced to pay billions of dollars to Washington for financing companies doing business with Iran. Another example is the French ship-building company that built under contract with Russia military ships that Washington prevented the French shipbuilder from delivering. A week or so ago the government of Germany was informed by Washington that if it participated in the construction of the Nord 2 gas pipeline from Russia, Germany would be sanctioned.
The examples are endless.
You have repeatedly criticized Russia for trying to appease Washington; why do you believe Russia is compromising?
I have not criticized Russia for turning the other cheek in an attempt to reach agreement with Washington. I respect Russia's effort to avoid war. What I have done is to raise the question whether this effort avoids war or leads to war. I have expressed concern that Putin's high tolerance for insults and provocations encourages more of the same until Russia has no alternative other than war. I have suggested that perhaps putting down a firm Russian foot would send a message that would alarm Europe over Washington's aggression and cause Europe to adopt an independent policy toward Russia that would reduce the likelihood of war.
Can Russia walk a fine line between Iran and Israel in Syria?
If the Russian government does not understand that Washington's policy in the Middle East is determined by Israel, the Russian government is out to lunch. Israel wants Syria and Iran destabilized, because these two countries are the suppliers of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia that has twice frustrated Israel's attempted occupation of southern Lebanon. Israel wants the water resources that are there. If Israel can use the US military to clear her foes out of the way, Israel can go about her business unimpeded.
The Russian government surely understands that a destabilized Iran is even more of a threat to Russia than a destabilized Syria.