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LOOKING AHEAD
15.01.2009

Konstantin Cheremnykh

THE OVERTURE OF THE NEW DARK AGE. Part 1

The Gaza carnage and its unstudied rehearsal

A STRATEGY OF TRAPPING

The tragedy of October 4, 1993, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin authorized a tank attack at the democratically elected Russian Parliament, is rarely discussed by international and even domestic analysts. This episode of new Russian history is usually regarded as a sorrowful but inevitable side effect of an unpleasant but necessary political change. However, if humans don't study bloody lessons, they are likely to be repeated, in one country or another.

Fifteen years ago, the new Russian liberal democratic government was tremendously unpopular. By that time, millions of people had lost jobs in real economy, and were forced to seek new options to sustain their families in small trade, while the federal budget became utterly dependent on IMF's donations. This humiliation changed minds of many of those who were only two years earlier ready to sacrifice themselves for a shift from the self-discredited socialism to an ostensibly more advanced and humanistic capitalist rule. These former activists of democratic parties were now eager to overthrow Yeltsin, and the task seemed easily available. They were convinced that the corruption of the new regime, multiplied by social and demographic disaster, would bring millions under their banners.

Yeltsin's security apparatus responded with an assault that was unexpectedly and unnecessarily brutal. However, Yeltsin avoided impeachment and political disgrace not only due to physical force. At the face of the ripening crisis, major TV channels launched a campaign much reminding the old Bolshevist style: the whole political community was divided by the official propaganda into "supporters of the President" and "enemies of democracy". In April 1993, Kremlin introduced a public referendum that coerced Russians to make a choice between the "advanced reformists" and "obsolete obstructionists", otherwise labeled "the red-brown", i.e. communist-fascist opposition.

This "artillery rehearsal", as it was named by Yeltsin, was continued in September 1993 with a constitutionally illegal act of dissolution of the parliament. The disobedient majority of MPs who refused to leave their offices then underwent a physical blockade. On October 3, a mass demonstration of the parliament's supporters flowed to the building, removing the barbed wire on their way. Seeing the police retreat, they naively believed in their own moral advantage. In fact, the crowd was deliberately provoked into a trap, as Yeltsin was granted an immediate and internationally recognized pretext for a decisive crackdown.

The Hamas Party, the legal winner of the democratic elections in the Palestine Autonomy, owed its success to the utter self-discredit of the heavily corrupted Fatkh Party. The West-supported Abu Mazen seemed so weak that the triumph of political and social justice seemed quite available. Easily overtaking the Gaza Strip in an already illegal offensive, Hamas was unaware that it was getting into a trap.

THE TACIT CONSENT

Only three weeks before the execution, the Russian Parliament's speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, once endorsed by the Democratic Russia list, convened an international conference on the subject of political democracy and parliamentarianism, involving European politicians and lawyers. The anti-Yeltsin democrats hoped to achieve support from a part of the Western community – as the corrupted government embezzled not only the national budget but also foreign aid.

However, these hopes were in vain. As soon as Yeltsin's illegal decision to dissolve the Parliament was supported by the US State Department, European politicians lined up behind the "Washington Politburo".

Hamas's general secretary Haled Mashaal also had some political illusions. After all, not only Russia and France but also such a prominent US politician as Jimmy Carter were ready to negotiate with his side officially, and regarded Hamas as a real, popular and legal political force, not just as a bunch of terrorists. After all, Mr. Carter was ostensibly representing a new trend of US policy, personified by elected President Barack Obama. After all, wasn't it the West that endorsed the very idea of establishing the independent Palestinian state yet at the Oslo Conference?

However, in the last days of December 2008 Barack Obama was silent. Neither did any of the European governments raise the voice in favor of Hamas, while the Israeli leadership was obviously analyzing international response to air attacks before authorizing itself for a ground operation. The silence of global leaders, as well as the New Year Eve, served as a sign of approval, and convinced the Israeli establishment that since now on, the "progressive forces of the globe" are on its side, while all those who object to the brutal crackdown on Hamas, as well as on Palestinian kids, can be freely labeled as "backers of terrorists" Ц be it a Russian or Iranian politician, or a Roman Catholic cardinal.

VAIN HOPES

Trapped behind barbed wires, anti-Yeltsin MPs of 1993 were convinced of gaining not only moral but material and logistical support from sympathizers outside Russia Ц particularly, from the former Soviet military that found themselves isolated in the new independent states. The disgraced Vice President Alexander Rutskoy, himself a general with Afghan war background, was sure that regardless from political and ideological divisions, comrades-in-arms would support him.

Days before the crackdown, one of Rutskoy's advisers declared before international press that the besieged opposition has got access to inter-continental ballistic weapons. It is noteworthy that this advisor made a good career after the crisis. Delivering his threatening message, he was fulfilling a part of the provocative task, being pretty aware that the parliament was in fact utterly isolated.

In a similar way, Palestine's Hamas Party was convinced that in a time of troubles, the friendly governments of Iran and Syria would intervene and protect their people from an Israeli assault. The global discredit of George W. Bush's regime in the United States seemed to guarantee compassion from the whole Middle East, while the US economic crisis was viewed as a long-expected divine punishment of the despised "democratic empire".

But in the mundane world, ideals don't always correspond with reality. By December 2008, the global financial crisis has affected the Islamic states as well, depriving them of their major geopolitical advantage: the possibility to influence global oil and gas prices. By that time, Iranian diplomats were already subtly negotiating with Washington over the Nabucco pipeline, obviously much less costly than the desirable Iran-India project. By that time, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarrak was already dependent on obligations to Bechtel in the nuclear plant deal. By that time, Syria's Bashar Assad, pressured from Islamic radicals from one side and by local business from another, had already agreed to exchange the declining benefits from partnership with Tehran for a more promising membership in the Mediterranean Union and associated membership in the EU.

THE NEGATIVE SELECTION

Days before the crackdown on the Russian Parliament, those of the MPs who would agree the besieged building, were promised political careers, and a number of them were really employed to top positions in federal ministries. That was a most notorious example of negative selection of the establishment. Persons who easily betrayed were preferred to conscientious people.

In today's Israel, negative selection that started several years ago is culminating today. Fair and decent persons who reject double standards are ostracized by press and humiliated by officials. They are preferred to obedient functionaries. In early November, the Ministry of Health authorized recruitment of mentally retarded youths to the IDF (obviously, this additional force was required for the ground operation). This measure was unprecedented for the country that used to take special care of handicapped persons.

UNHR Representative Richard Falk, who earlier criticized Israel for the economic siege of the Gaza Strip, was forbidden to enter Israel in late December. He was detained at the Ben-Gurion Airport and locked in a small room with four other "otkazniks" for fifteen hours, without a permission to use the bathroom. Thus he was explained that he was a discarded Jew, an inferior creature not appropriate for a reformed Israel.

"Diaspora Jews more critical of Israel than ever", reports Haaretz observer Anshel Pfeffer. Beside the militant "Pavlovian flag-wavers, good and innocent Zionists and Jews who see only the trauma inflicted on the people of Sderot", and "a smaller but highly vocal group" of traditional pacifists, a third stream is emerging in the Jewish community Ц "persons who have more complex and uncomfortable feelings on the matter. They care deeply for Israel and understand even why its government felt compelled to launch the devastating Operation Cast Lead, but they are extremely disturbed and hurt by the level of civilian deaths and destruction that almost seems part and parcel of the action". The people live with their doubts, and "ask themselves very awkward questions: are they surrounded by latent racists, or is something wrong with them that denies the feelings of certainty of those around them? Or does everyone have similar doubts but are simply afraid to express them?"

This description echoes to a statement made by a non-Jewish reader of The Telegraph who writes that in 1967, his sympathies were wholly on the side of Israel, but today's war is utterly different. It is true, and this difference is obvious from official statistics. During a year before the attack, the so-called "missiles", launched from the Gaza Strip, killed 16 Israeli. Much more Jews perished for the same period in road accidents or in domestic criminal clashes. The toll of over 900 Palestinian people, a quarter of them comprising kids, cannot be regarded as an adequate response even by a most biased specialist in warfare. In fact, the assault on Gaza is not a war but a railroad, typical for pro-American colonial dictatorships of South America back in 1970s.

CAUGHT OFF GUARD

The degeneration of the Israeli establishment has been a subject of our website's authors during the past year. Horrible corruption and permanent turf war in the political elite was pretty comparable with that of the miserable Ukraine. The detail we missed was that in the same period, incomes from Israeli military trade were swiftly increasing. Not only due to a much smaller size and a relatively longer history of statehood, Israel could be much more efficiently controlled from outside and used for tasks that Western powers would never undertake themselves.

This war is not religious. This war does not suggest any economic and social reconstruction after its end. This war is fueled not with Zionist ideological pathos but with sadistic contempt of a colonial administration to an inferior social (rather than ethnic) minority. It is noteworthy that the military crackdown was entrusted to Ehud Barak, a product of James Carvill's political test-tube, a person who obeys to undertake any mission he is entrusted from outside: Betray South Lebanese Christians? Okay, no problem. Crack upon Gaza children? Okay, no problem.

The popular version that the war was motivated with election considerations, in order to guarantee Tsipi Livni's victory over Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu, is incorrect. On the day of the first air assaults, the whole establishment lined up behind the military machine. In a well-managed colonial regime, a dictatorship may be collective.

It should be fairly admitted that not only Gaza, and not only the people of Palestine were caught off guard with this war but also the much greater powers that had quite recently hoped to gain advantage over the ostensibly weakened Euroatlantic community and promptly establish a new multipolar world architecture. Unfortunately, those ambitions were not supplied with a new strategy of economic growth and a qualitatively new format of economic relations. Continuing to play according to the rules of the globalist game, the emerging powers stumbled upon the unexpected obstacle of collapse of oil and gas prices, and found themselves incapable to withstand the new strategy of the shaken superpower. That is why even a bankrupt Ukraine is able to blackmail both Russia and Germany; that is why Somalian gangsters challenge Arabian monarchies; that is why Pakistani regional tribes destabilize South-Eastern Asia Ц while the levers of global manipulation remain in the hands of those who have long reached perfection in military coercive strategies, and have never dropped the strings enabling to unleash regional "dogs of war".

Years ago, some Russian analysts foresaw that in case of a profound crisis of the existing international financial system, the monetary levers of the world's management may be replaced with a direct non-economic coercion. Much earlier, philosopher and economist Lyndon LaRouche warned that in case the humanity fails to promptly find alternative strategic options based ob economic and civilizational progress, the world would be plunged into a new Dar Age. Even earlier warnings were expressed in such classical anti-Utopian movies as Luis Bunuel’s "Le Charme Discret De La Bourgeoisie" and Lindsay Anderson's "O Lucky Man". The untypical features of the current Israeli crackdown upon Gaza reveal maybe not a war of a new type but definitely the first war of a new era.

(To be continued)


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