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America's War on Russia Is Actually Making America Weaker

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The 20th century American sociologist Robert Merton is credited with discovering  the phenomenon of “imperious immediacy of interest.” By that he was referring to instances in which someone wants the intended consequence of an action so much that he or she purposefully chooses to ignore any unintended effects. The ultimate result then is a serious mistake due to incomplete analysis.

In the current century America has committed this error by targeting Russia without a fully thought out plan.  Let's take a look at a number of "sure-fire" actions intended to weaken Russia and bring her to her knees - an ill-conceived plan which took the form of a three-pronged attack.

  1. The Economic War. "Sanctions and a dramatically low Oil price will destroy the Russian economy!" Why? Because "Russia doesn't make anything" as Barack Obama stated. This is a glaring example of believing in one's own propaganda. The cause of this error is simple: instead of employing scholars and professionals with expertise on all things Russian, recent administrations have hired ideologues and outright Russophobes hoping for Russia's demise. In the first instance sanctions only strenghtened Russia economically by forcing her to become more self-sufficient. Sectors of the economy that relied on foreign goods and technology have been "Russified". In the second instance lower Oil prices did not destroy Russia's economy because - as it turns out- Russia does have a moderately diversified economy not wholly reliant on the high price of Oil.     

  2. Information warfare. There is a popular belief that if you repeat a lie often enough most people will confuse it with an unassailable truth. This tactic can often succeed, but not always. The flip side to this technique is the unexpected "sky is falling" phenomenon. If you make a claim too often without any empirical  evidence (Collusion, Hacking, Poisoning etc) people will no longer pay attention to you and even scoff at continuous attempts to convince them of your dubious claims.

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    The War Trap. America and its peceived allies in the Middle East (most notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey) funded and supported ISIS and Al-Qaeda to overthrow the Syrian president (a thorn in the side of the American Empire) and draw Russia into an unwinnable war. Syria was intended to be "Russia's Vietnam". The  Pentagon/CIA braintrust behind the gameplan convinced the political leaders of America that Russia's military was woefully inadequate to the task of taking on such a formidable opponent with an unlimited supply of weapons and troops. After years of proxy war the Russian military has proven to be more than capable, surprising the "experts" with superior tactical knowledge and cutting-edge technology. In addition to this shocking discovery is the loss of a key NATO ally in Turkey.

These blunders have not only failed to weaken Russia; they have actually weakened America. The great super power now appears not only fallible, but ineffectual and geo-politically impotent.  

And THAT is the most serious of all unintended consequences.

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