Friday, July 29, 2016

PCR Interviewed by John Harrison on Sputnik Radio

PCR Interviewed by John Harrison on Sputnik Radio
July 29, 2016 | Categories: Interviews | Tags: |   Print This Article
PCR Interviewed by John Harrison on Sputnik Radio
The Clash of Civilizations
The Real Likelihood of a Nuclear War

Do Civilisations Really Have to Clash?
16:15 29.07.2016(updated 16:21 29.07.2016) Get short URL

We are living in a world when it is normal to think that civilizations are incompatible and have to clash with each other. But this is a perversion of the truth as Dr. Paul Craig Roberts points out.

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The so-called ‘Clash of Civilizations’ is a hypothesis proposed by the American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington in 1992, whereby people’s cultural and religious identities are the primary source of conflict in a post-Cold War world.

Huntington’s theory hangs on the the idea that up until the French Revolution, principle wars were between princes, emperors and monarchs to expand their bureaucracies, economic strength and most importantly — territories. In the process they created nation states. After WWI, conflict between nation states, according to Huntington, yielded to the conflict of ideologies.

Dr.Robert’s view of Huntington’s theory is as follows: “Huntington’s book or thesis is part of a neoconservative plan, what Huntington does is to set up the Middle East for the neoconservative plan of American hegemony of the whole Middle East, and I think that this thesis he constructed was to get the foreign policy community in the United States, foreign policy writers and professors, thinking that a clash between the United States and the Islamic world was something that was normal, just part of the way things worked. And that’s why he went back to the past to Kings and Princes to try and root it in the past, that sort of thing….the Napoleonic Wars began as an ideological thing, the overthrow of the old order by the French revolution, and the old order trying to protect itself. It's hard to say exactly what WWII was all about, but it did seem that the Germans had in mind expanding to the east,…then we had the Korean and Vietnam wars which were presented to the American people as an ideological clash between freedom and democracy and Soviet totalitarianism….Wars now are wars of choice created by Washington. What they've done is destabilize the balance in the Middle East between the two main Muslim groups, the Shia and the Sunni. Washington has overthrown secular leaders like Saddam Hussein, which has released a conflict within that society, and they are trying to do the same thing in Syria, to get rid of Assad who is also a secular leader. But these are wars that were provoked by a handful of American intellectuals known as neoconservatives.”

Huntington seems to imply that civilizations are intrinsically hostile to each other — a kind of civilizational chaos theory, John Harrison said. “Yes, I think that is what his argument is. It's obviously false. In the Middle East you had Christians, Jews and Muslims living together, the relationship between the United States and the Middle East was stable. The Arabs sold us their oil, we gave them paper money, they used the paper money to finance the American deficit….there was no need for conflict then between the Arab world and the United States,…all of this conflict was invented by the neoconservatives, who had this plan for a new American century; and it called for invading and overthrowing the governments in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia….It was put into effect with 9/11, but the plans existed to invade Iraq prior to 9/11. It was a choice conflict that had nothing to do with cultural conflict.”

To say that civilizations clash with each other is potentially a very dangerous statement, John Harrison suggested. Dr Roberts agreed: “Yes, it is very dangerous, it has brought the United States into conflict not merely with Muslims, but also with Russia and China. And with the independent-minded governments in Latin America. So we are essentially in conflict with everybody because we are indispensable and exceptional”. “Americans then are very special because they are not only representatives of white christian culture, but also exceptional because you are Americans,” John Harrison said. “This is very similar to what the Nazis said, they were the chosen people, the exceptional ones,” Dr Roberts agreed.

Finally, Dr Roberts was asked if ‘transculturalism’ whereby different cultures are understood and respected, could be the way forward. “Well, that would be the only way forward. We have to understand that peoples have a history. Culture is in history and you can't expect people just to write it all off and do what you're doing. If there has to be change, it is gradual over time, it can't be imposed from the outside, so I think, yes, people have to learn to respect each other, and respect other civilizations. It used to be when I was a student, that's what they tried to teach you, they had to try to teach you to understand other people, and their histories, and how it affects them. So you weren't supposed to go around bullying or challenging them or overcoming, that's not what you were supposed to do.”

The Real Likelihood of a Nuclear War
15:02 17.03.2016(updated 12:22 25.03.2016) Get short URL

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who served as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration, shares his view that there is a real likelihood of a nuclear war breaking out. Below are the main points covered in this radio programme.

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"Firstly there is the Wolfowitz doctrine, which basically makes it clear that the United States should prevent the rise of any state that could present sufficient power to threaten American unilateral action. Russia has risen and has displayed such power….This is the reason for the constant demonization of Russia’s leader. We have the number one candidate for the democratic Nomination Hillary Clinton, who now compares the President of Russia with Hitler….So what has happened is that every American president during my lifetime, especially Nixon and Reagan worked to create trust between the two major nuclear powers. But beginning with Clinton, the trust that had been achieved was progressively destroyed."

"When you destroy trust between nuclear powers you recreate the possibility of nuclear war, either by intent, or miscalculation. So this is a reckless and irresponsible act on the part of Washington….The information war that is going on now is to prepare the American population and NATO countries allies for military conflict with Russia. This is part of the preparation of that. We now have high level people in the US government and military who go to Congress and say that Russia is an existential threat. This is rubbish!…You have to remember that before the wars started in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, it was the constant demonisation of the leaders of the governments, against Gaddafi, Hussein. When you see these kinds of demonization it fits a pattern."

"A hot war can come from a new cold war. Another factor is the American military industrial complex, with a turnover of a trillion dollars annually. Their entire revenues come from serving the war capability of US government. They have a huge interest in having a major enemy. They tried to make terrorists that enemy, but that is not serious enough, so this complex has great interest in recreating the Russian threat. From the neo conservative standpoint, they actually regard any country with an independent foreign policy to be a threat to the United States. So that part of the equation means that they can move the cold war into a hot war, it only takes a small amount of miscalculation. I don’t see how the Russian government can believe one word coming out of Washington."

"Some neocons say: what’s the good of nuclear weapons if you can’t use them? They have a theory that the US has sufficient superiority to win a strike against Russia. If the US cannot win against a few thousand Taliban, it will not be able to win  a possible conventional war against the Red Army, it will go nuclear rather lose…. A nuclear war cannot be won."

"The neoconservatives now have no competition, there is nobody out there apart from Washington wishing to take over the world….As long as the American vassal states that compromise the NATO accept it, they magnify the chance of a new massive war….Republican candidates are competing with each other to see who can treat Russia the most aggressively."


 Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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