I don't think I want to find out just how sparsely the mainstream American press is distributing the exact words of Vladimir Putin, president of Russia. But we Americans sure need to keep hearing them.
This press conference illustrates Putin's point of view, and his desire to help attain a common understanding of geostrategic interests, in a succinct 7 minutes.
Without ever using the word, he completely refutes neocon/neoliberal unilateral (or nearly so; the "Coalition of the Willing" is shrinking) tactical military policies based upon the old middle eastern principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Putin points out that ISIS and those like them are mercenaries. They may be jihadists too, but they are also, a little schizophrenically, in it for the money, at least as a means toward their ends.
And as we have seen, for the sexual domination of all women, Muslim or not. I don't think the Prophet himself would recognize most of them no matter how loud they hollered "allahu akbar!"
Mr. Putin, and Mr Lavrov his foreign minister, are the adults in this room, I have opined in print on several occasions. Putin points out something absolutely crucial: that the United States knows who is buying oil from ISIS/ISIL/daesh.
He asked why we do not stop it. If those buyers stopped-- if the US wanted them to stop, MADE them stop-- ISIS would wither like a broken leaf, once you have broken its stem.
Oh, we might have the power of military projection to pummel a weak or failed state like Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya, to pay mercenaries to become "rebels" and act as patsies, proxies, for US policies.
But we can't do the same kind of arm-twisting with Turkey, one of the main buyers of ISIS oil, no matter who tells you no, it's been extensively reported. Our NATO ally is far too central and powerful.
And Turkey, for all the dreams of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk of assimilation into the West and the modern world, is a peasant nation, a truly POOR place. Diyarbakir, the Kurdish city in far eastern Turkey, is the poorest, raggediest place I have ever been besides Saigon during the Vietnam War.
Turkey has over 100 million people and its teeming urban population heats itself with millions of little hearths, little unregulated point sources of coal burning (Again schizophrenically, millions of Turkish homes also have solar hot water). I've traveled in Turkey quite a bit, and Istanbul is a ghastly smog pit.
Turkish interests are obviously going to obtain oil which they can at least sell to the portion of the Turkish population that can afford central heating.
And the Saudis? Heck, they've got a king, they don't begin to think of playing ball with the infidel US unless it suits their interests of the moment to do so.
Why would the Saudis buy oil from wells in territory held by a terrorist organization/organizations? Well-- heh-- first of all, ISIS is a SUNNI jihadist organization. But second, they must be paying ISIS such a cut-rate price on the oil that they can squeeze a profit out of it themselves somewhere.
And we certainly do not have the raw logistical capability to attack and subdue a nation of three times-plus the size of Iraq with 100 million Shi'ites and the demonstrated high-tech capability to latch onto and control our drones! We may have started with Iraq, but America will not end in "I can" but "Iran" if we have the insane temerity to try a military adventure there.
Putin, head of a nation with military bases in-- what?-- 12 or 14 nations which were part of the old Soviet Union is trying to restrain an empire that has bases in 129, and tentacles in virtually all the others.
He is not a perfect leader, or savior. He is a social conservative whose internal policies are at least homophobic, though I am not prepared to call him any kind of a racist.
But I am not convinced that there are any interests behind him like American-based globalist giga-capitalists, of whom the attitude is "damn the torpedoes, we're going to squeeze every ounce out of the old-paradigm energy economy until all the resources available are expended. "
If you want to read about that last big energy and non-renewable-resource "play," I urge you to read the most significant book I have yet read this decade:
The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources (Klare, Michael T.; Picador, NY, 2012).
These 50-60 year-old most-inner interests-- the 1/10%, the bankers, the resource-extraction-company CEOs and owners-- figure they won't personally be around for the collapse.
I think Mr. Putin has an inkling about what a world after collapse will be, and cares, whereas any one of the owners in the race Mr. Klare precisely depicts in this book couldn't give a hoot.
Putin ended his speech by wishing out loud that the press, and pointedly, a US reporter present, would take power in the US, but lacking that, he hoped that the press would at least be an honest broker of what he had said to Obama and the American leaders, to whom he was most directly speaking.
My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.
I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 47 years. I was at MayDay, 1971, and at the moratorium March the week before. I was one of the leaders of the Great New Jersey (more...)