Russia plus its aid demands a base vital to the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and imperial mobilization in Central Asia be shut down.
Following yesterday’s overthrow of the U.S.-allied government, “Kyrgyzstan’s new leaders sought to reassure Washington Thursday that it can continue to use the strategic Manas airbase near the capital Bishkek as a supply link for U.S. operations in Afghanistan”, Mohammed Salih reports at Inter Press Services.
Omurbek Tekebayev, a former Kyrgyz opposition leader handling constitutional matters in the new government, tol Reuters, “Russia played its role in ousting Bakiyev.”
“You’ve seen the level of Russia’s joy when they saw Bakiyev gone,” he said. “So now there is a high probability that the duration of the U.S. air base’s presence in Kyrgyzstan will be shortened.”
A senior Russian official told the news agency “that Bakiyev had not fulfilled a promise to shut the Manas airbase [and] said there should be only one base in Kyrgyzstan—a Russian one”.
Over 200,000 troops have deployed to Afghanistan through Manas, 50,000 last month alone. The now-overthrown president took $2 billion in Russian aid, according to Reuters, under the condition that—in accordance with the will of the Kyrgyz people—the American base would be shut down last year.
Fmr. Pres. Bakiyev, instead, increased the rent charged to the U.S. government from $17.1 million a year to $60 million, plus an additional $117 million in aid to the government, , Owen Matthews wrote at Newsweek yesterday.
The Obama Administration “angered the Kyrgyz opposition last summer by courting Mr. Bakiyev in an ultimately successful attempt to reverse his decision to close the base, angering the opposition,” Clifford Levy reports at The New York Times.
Though, “American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally”, this revolution “posed a potential embarrassment” for the Administration, he adds, as the U.S. embassy in the Kyrgyz capital expressed in a statement it was “deeply concerned”.
Yesterday, Sayyid and I wrote this so-called ‘Tulip Revolution’ was more likely to become a coup that resulted in a U.S.-Russia proxy-bidding war than a democratic revolution.
“Russia has already recognized the new government, while the U.S. has simply said it remains unclear who is in charge,” Mr. Ditz writes today. “Russian P.M. Vladimir Putin has spoken directly with the new de facto leader, former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva, and pledged to supply Russian humanitarian aid to the nation.”
Columbia Law Professor Scott Horton at Harper’s wrote yesterday: “The United States has curried favor with powerful political figures intent on rent seeking…. The U.S. proclivity for ‘sweet deals’ with those in power will complicate things in time of transition.”
Pres. Bakiyev and his predecessor, the overthrown Askar Akiyev, “developed ‘special relationships’ with the U.S. logistical supply point—as members of their immediate families garnered sweetheart deals from the Pentagon that supported the base operations”, he added.
Professor Alex Cooley, a colleague of Prof. Horton well-studied in the geopolitics of Manas, told him, “The United States has founded its engagement with the Kyrgyz government on providing lucrative contacts—for fuel and other Manas-related services—worth hundreds of millions of dollars to entities controlled by the Bakiyev ruling family.”
In 2008, Russia fought a bloody five-day war with Georgia—a U.S. client state and former Soviet republic—backing the successful secession of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia territories. Russia is “now fully responsible for the protection of South Ossetia according to an agreement between the two countries, signed on Wednesday,” Russia Today reported this week shortly after “South Ossetia and Abkhazia [gave] Russia powers to protect their state borders and, in Abkhazia’s case, to guard its marine space as well”.
The geopolitical maneuvering between Russia and the U.S. have mainly been economic. Russia, Brazil, India and China have formed an economic alliance (BRIC) to begin dumping U.S. monopoly money from their reserves toward hard reserves like gold. The U.S. dollar’s saving grace, Middle East oil, is wearing thin as Middle East members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are conspiring with Russia and other countries to abandon the U.S. dollar. “The head of Saudi Arabia’s central bank on Tuesday was named the first chairman of a council that will serve as the precursor to a regional central bank in the latest step toward a unified Gulf currency,” Tarek el-Tablawy reported at Business Week, late last month.
The fall of the American Empire will not be a swift loss in a major war or spontaneous economic collapse. The international community of nation-states are well aware that the empire has nothing to offer with its phony, robber baron economy—only threats of military might. Forging economic alliances will force the U.S. military’s sphere of influence to crumble one client-state at a time, starting with vital bases in small countries like Kyrgyzstan.
The American economy, dependent on forcing odious debt—via the coercive International Monetary Fund and World Bank—on the Third World to monetize domestic programs in order to pacify the population of the U.S., will be left to free the market or continue to command it with no other backing than excessive, overt force.
With the international community of nation-states resisting self-defeating economic cooperation with the U.S., American companies’ interest in perpetual war escalates as the U.S. is the leading global arms supplier. The government’s interest in continuing to destroy lives, land and resources around the world will ironically be imperative to maintain any ounce of domestic order.
Angela Keaton, administrator at AntiWar.com, reminded me of the truth told by the late-anarchist Karl Hess, yesterday: “When you put your faith in big government, you end up an apologist for mass murder.”