Russians Link 911 To US
Financial Crisis To Iraq War


(ZAVTRA) -- The Russian intelligence-linked weekly "Zavtra" publishes, in its latest edition, the transcript of a round table discussion on the world situation since Sept 11 of last year.
Participants were "Zavtra" deputy editor Alexander Nagorny, strategic analyst General Leonid Ivashov, financial expert Mikhael Khazin, the well-known Russian television commentator Mikhail Leontyev and former high-level KGB official Leonid Shebarshin.
The discussion contains interesting elements, on how relatively well-placed Russian observers are thinking about the present situation. Here are some excerpts (quotes in quotation marks, the rest is paraphrase):
Ivashov: Sept 11 was an internal operation in the United States. It is necessary to recognize two forces operating in the U.S., "that have two different conceptions on using the military power of the U.S. to create a world empire."
"The first... wants the U.S. as a powerful nation. The second, the world financial elite ... considers that the U.S. must be subjugated to the world empire, whose time has come.... It is not an accident, that many Western commentators speak of Sept 11 as an attempted coup d'etat... The force that gave the order [for the attacks], I believe, is connected with the world financial mafias, having representatives in the power structures of the USA, including the intelligence and special services.
"It is also no accident, that parallel with the investigation of the Sept. 11 attack, investigations are going on concerning the activities of a number of other structures, including the Mossad, within the U.S. intelligence community.... I believe the ongoing events in the U.S. will develop out of the conflict between these two forces.
"What unites them, is the necessity to use the military power of the U.S. to crash down the boundaries of sovereign states.... Behind this is the various geopolitical theories of Huntington, Brzezinski, etc....
"Evidently the U.S. feels under itself under a tight time limit for securing control over world resources and political power in most countries... Why the hurry? Because, firstly, China is growing, secondly, the Arab occident is consolidating itself, thirdly, a rather powerful development is going on in Southeast Asia. Russia's position is very unclear....
"The present state of Russia satisfies these U.S. interests, but what will be tomorrow, is not clear.... Thus, the U.S. is now at a transition point. She has come to the climax of her military-power adventures for grabbing power over the planet. I think this peak will be crossed in 1 1/2 to 2 years, after which the USA will retract from its positions as a result of economic problems. I think the attack on Iraq will occur. I think Iran will be drawn into the confrontation, and it should not be excluded, that Israel will participate.... After that, U.S. policy will disintegrate under the influence of the economic and social-political collapse inside the U.S.. One has the feeling, that the financial oligarchy in power on this planet are not interested in maintaining the U.S. population at its present living standard...."
Mikhael Khazin drew a direct connection between the war threat and the unprecedented "structural crisis of the U.S. economy", for which the Administration has no solution. The only scenario for staving off a catastrophic financial-economic collapse in the U.S., would be a drastic reduction in the domestic oil prices inside the U.S., perhaps together with a sharp increase of oil prices for other countries.
"America needs prices in the range of $12-13 per barrel... or even down to $7 per barrel. This is possible only under one condition: getting full control over the petroleum resources of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Isn't that what we are seeing? .. For this there is a limit of 4-6 months. ... Certainly, there are the factions Ivashov mentioned, but without objective economic causes, no global events would occur. Now global economic causes have emerged again: The situation in the U.S. economy has become intolerable. It is obvious, that Sept. 11 was prepared by many forces. Sept 11 occurred at a moment, when their interests coincided...."
Khazin also said he thinks the option of use of tactical nuclear weapons is part of the U.S. war plan, and would have the purpose of terrifying the whole world, showing the U.S. would stop at nothing.
On the other hand, with obvious reference to Bush and the whole leadership situation in the U.S. Khazin remarked: "The present big weakness of the U.S., is the fact, that in the middle of a really critical situation, the people in power are all small-minded. This is exactly the way it was in the USSR. Many talk about Gorbachov as a criminal, and American agent, etc.. But he didn't voluntarily give up power. He simply didn't think through what was really going on. The stature of this figure did not match up to the position he held. In a normal situation this is not so disastrous, but in a critical situation it makes things many times worse."
Mikhael Leontyev made some of the most interesting comments, particularly given his notorious influence on Russian public opinion and his closeness to certain "Russian oligarch" interests as well as sections of the Russian government. Leontyev noted:
"In fact, the U.S. really is in a systemic, structural crisis, not only of economic, but also of social character. Qualitatively speaking, this crisis reminds us of the crisis of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1980s. At that time few people realized how quickly the country would disintegrate. Today in America, as in the USSR then, the elite is either not able, or at least does not demonstrate the capability for getting out of the crisis with the old methods.... What happened on Sept. 11 was necessary for a transition to other, new methods.... The battle between two groups in the U.S., the `military force' group and the `isolationists' have taken on a brutal character. The `isolationists' are interested in saving the U.S. economy and industry. They think the U.S. should concentrate on its own problems, and that it, for example, should carry out a controlled devaluation of the dollar. They think the U.S. does not need world hegemony, but only a system of regional gendarms. The whole new policy toward Russia expresses this. ..
"[But] at the moment, the `military force' group is winning... their tactics are strengthened by a stronger understanding of the depth of the crisis in the U.S. economy and not only in the economy.... The military power group wants to exploit the unique area, where they have an overwhelming advantage and no competitors -- in the military-political sphere.... There is a great danger of explosive developments, of an uncontrollable evolution of the situation. One thing is massive air bombardments [of Iraq] without major losses to the U.S.. A very different thing would be a ground operation, which could last a long time. In that case the situation would get worse and worse, and the internal struggle between different groups inside the U.S. would constantly grow. ... It would be completely unrealistic to try to predict what will happen. The important thing is to define the algorithm for Russia's reaction.... We need a fundamental shift in the internal policy of Russia. Today we basically have no domestic economic policy.... We must go to an economic policy of growth, based on maximum utilization of internal resources, in order to prepare ourselves for the damage, that will be connected with the global crisis which is practically inevitable."
Alexander Nagorny: There is a big internal fight in the U.S.... "but nevertheless, it appears that the decision for a military operation has been taken... The worsening of the economic situation in the USA plus the growth of social unrest practically insures losses by the Republicans in the midterm elections, and 2004 is approaching fast... My scenario is rather categorical: the bombardment of Iraq will necessarily begin in September and a ground operation would have to begin soon before the midterm elections on November 2, in order to get Democrats to support it... If the U.S. could install a "liberation regime" in Bagdad, this would create a whole new situation in the Middle East... Only a change in the Saudi regime would guarantee the room for financial-economic moanouver for the U.S., that Khazin mentioned. But all of this could lead to a huge war, involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Israel...."
Leonid Shebarshin: The U.S. made a demonstration of its power in Afghanistan. She overwhelmed the Taliban, "put in her chosen Prime Minister, gave him 72 bodyguards, established an island of stability. Already, people are talking about a U.S. presence in Afghanistan of 5-10 years, and maybe longer.
"Another important result: "the Americans used Afghanistan to take over the positions of the former Soviet Union in Central Asia. They got very good bases in Kirgistan, bases in Tadjikistan, agreements with Uzbekistan, pressure on Kazakhstan. I think we are looking at preparations for a serious confrontation with China, which is turning into a strategic issue. We are seeing the same approach with China, as earlier with the Soviet Union... China is already surrounded by a whole chain of major military bases, in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the taking over of the former Russian base in Vietnam, the base in Okinoawa; plus, Russia is being drawn into the NATO structure. .. This is the more long-term perspective. At the moment, after the `triumphal' victory in Afghanistan, the U.S. is launching a new adventure: the war in Iraq. Afghanistan was a `limited operation', although the firepower used there was collossal. Even in World War II it never happened that such firepower was deployed to overrun a single, weak opponent. ... But Iraq is not Afghanistan. Here there is a `50-50 situation'. The U.S. might stumble, and it this happens, it could be the beginning of a total collapse. Everything could disintegrate, just as the Soviet Union disintegrated, when in just four days, the whole state ceased to exist. "
Nagorny remarked to this: "The myth of supposed omnipotence of the U.S. military-political machine has already been overcome. We saw the Hollywood movies, and everyone there is convinced that Schwarzenegger could defeat a whole army just by himself. But the Americans are just as much idiots as we were..."


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