How dangerous is the current confrontation between Russia and the West? Noam Chomsky believes that NATO expansion and US quest for hegemony has put the world in a situation so unstable where any accidental interaction could result in a nuclear war.
‘New NATO aims to control the world’
The “new NATO” that emerged after the Soviet Union collapsed is basically a US-run intervention force, with a completely different mission as compared to the original, Chomsky tells RT’s Sophie&Co.
“In fact, one might ask why NATO even continued to exist,” he said. “The official justification for NATO was that its purpose was to defend Western Europe from Russian hordes who might attack Western Europe.”
With no more “Russian threat”, the natural conclusion in the 90s would be to disband the alliance, but instead the opposite happened – against all agreements NATO expanded all the way towards the Russian borders.
“Its mission changed. The official mission of NATO became to control the international, the global energy system, pipelines. That means, to control the world.”
‘World ominously close to nuclear war’
In the worst case scenario the current international instability, especially with tensions between US and Russia resembling a new cold war, could result in a nuclear war, in which all parties that initiate it would be eliminated.
“And it’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close. And it could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place,” Chomsky said. “There have been many cases, not that serious, but pretty close, where human intervention with a few-minutes choice has prevented a nuclear war. You can’t guarantee that’s going to continue.“
“It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you’re going to lose. And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it’s a threatening situation.”
‘West can’t isolate Russia, will drive it to the East’
With its efforts to isolate Russia through confrontation and sanctions, the West instead pushes Moscow closer to the East, towards closer relations with China.
“Current Western policies are driving Russia towards closer interaction with the Chinese-based system. In this interaction Russia is actually the weaker partner, so it’s making concessions, but the US is openly creating a system of power, which could significantly diminish US domination in the world.”
“There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China,” Chomsky said. “But that’s the plan and it’s the kind of economic counterpart to the military pivot to Asia, and the sanctions on Russia are helping to create a counter-course based on Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or an extension of it, which would include Russia, and may begin to move across Eurasia, the whole Eurasian region.”
The peak of American power in history was around 1945, Chomsky says, when the United States owned half of the world’s wealth and American leaders were designing and organizing a world system that would benefit the US corporate system.
“The origins of multi-national corporations began to develop at that time… And there were detailed plans for assigning to every part of the world, what was called, a function within the global system,” he says, although adding that plan began to collapse very quickly.
“In 1949 there was a serious blow to the US global hegemony – China’s independence,” he said. “There’s a name for that in US history and Western history. It is called ‘the loss of China’. Just think about this phrase for a minute. I can only lose what I own. And the assumption, the tacit assumption is – we own China, we own the world.”
‘US-led anti-ISIS coalition meaningless, apart from being illegal’
US actions in the Middle East region, including the invasion in Iraq, have created the circumstances, under which ISIS emerged, Chomsky believes. “What happened is the US basically hit Iraq with a kind of sledgehammer,” instituting a governmental structure, which was sectarian in nature.
“All of this came together to create sectarian conflicts, which had not existed before… That has since expanded, and now it’s tearing the whole region apart. Syria is one element of it.”
And to solve the mess, the US again decided to act against the international law, building an anti-ISIS coalition that is “meaningless, apart from being illegal.”
“A law-abiding state would go to the Security Council, ask for a declaration by the Security Council of a threat to peace, and request the Security Council to organize direct response to it. And that could be done. The US could then participate in it, but so could Iran,” which is a major military force and would probably wipe out ISIS in no time, if it was allowed to join the fight on the ground, Chomsky believes.
‘States are very resistant to interference with their powers’
The US is far and away the technologically most advanced country in the world, so the spying is “more extensive in the United States.” Although Edward Snowden made a major contribution by exposing NSA methods to the world, there’s a long way to go, Chomsky said.
“States are very resistant to interference with their powers… It hasn’t stopped, now in fact it’s expanding. It’s a real major attack on human rights,” he said. “But it’s duplicated in China, Britain, Russia, no doubt, other countries.”
“The major threat is if it becomes sort of passively accepted, because of the fact that it’s not stopped, this is just going to go on, go on to the point where there are literally tiny drones, fly-size drones, that can be on the ceiling of your living room, listening to what you’re saying and sending it back to the central government office. There are no limits to this.”
“There has to be a citizen reaction, which would put an end to this practice.”