The United States Continues to Play its Geopolitical Games but the Rest of the World Moves On

One has to seriously wonder what game Joe Biden thinks he is playing. Fresh from what appears to have been an amiable meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva, the United States promptly announced a new range of sanctions upon Russia. The ostensible reason for the latest sanctions was the imprisonment of minor Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. This man has been the subject of more media attention in the western mainstream media than any other Russian figure apart from President Putin himself.

The latest episode of publicity springs from Navalny being sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. What is missing from the vast majority of western accounts of this imprisonment is that it was the activation of a previously suspended sentence on counts of dishonesty. Navalny blatantly breached the terms of his conditional release on these charges. He knew he would be sent to prison for this yet voluntarily returned to Russia after a spell in a German hospital.

The reason Navalny was in hospital was that he became ill on an internal Russian flight. The aircraft was diverted to enable Navalny to be admitted to hospital. There he was treated by Russian doctors who diagnosed various illnesses that Navalny had a history of. At his request he was released to a German hospital when it was announced that he was suffering from exposure to Novichok.

No evidence of this substance has ever been released by the German authorities. We are expected to believe that this was undetected in the Russian hospital where Navalny was first treated. This simply defies common sense. It is even more unlikely that if Navalny did have evidence of an alleged poisoning he would be freely released to a western hospital. Unfortunately, truth and logic are two components conspicuously missing in all western media reports of his illness.

Navalny chose to voluntarily return to Russia where he knew he would be sent to prison for parole violations. Again, if Russia had indeed tried to kill him, it defies logic that he would return to the site of his alleged assassination attempt. To give them a second chance to finish him off?

The logic behind western support for this minor politician has always been a conspicuously absent component of the saga. Navalny was at best a minor player in the Russian political stakes. The last time he stood for public office he barely received 2% popular support, hardly the sort of figures to cause Vladimir Putin any serious headaches.

Now the Americans are using Navalny’s imprisonment as the ostensible reason for further sanctions. It simply does not make any sense at all to use this minor political irritant as a reason to impose further sanctions upon Russia. It is especially puzzling given the obvious attempts by the Americans to de-freeze their Russian antipathy. It needs to be remembered that the summit between Biden and Putin was at the strong request of the Americans.

They were clearly playing a different game in requesting the meeting and what appears to have been an effort to de-freeze US –Russia relations. It is not rocket science to anticipate the real American motives for wanting to de-freeze the relationship between the United States and Russia.

The United States knows it cannot take on both Russia and China at the same time, and it clearly sees China as the greater threat to its long-standing hegemony upon the world stage. Hence, to clear its decks for a full-scale assault upon the Chinese, it needed to subvert the Russian-Chinese relationship. That relationship has never been stronger. The two countries recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of an agreement between the two States to cooperate more fully with each other.

The relationship has grown notary stronger in the past two or three years, helped in no small part by the obvious antipathy to the two nations shown by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump. It is one of life’s little ironies that Trump was heavily and continuously attacked by his political rivals as being “Putin’s puppet,” although in truth there was never any kind of relationship between the two men, let alone one that could be used as a political weapon against Trump.

Yet we now see Biden, anxious to sit down with Putin only a few months into his presidency. He was able to do so without chorus of antipathy that was a constant feature of the Trump presidency toward any gesture that Trump may have made — or wanted to make — toward Russia.

Apart from seeking some clear air for the American concentration on China, the United States has another motive for the meeting. There is now a serious gap between Russian and American military technology, and Biden was anxious to negotiate some type of freeze in Russian military technology advances. Repeated independent commentators such as Andrei Martyanov (Disintegration, Charity Press 2021) estimate the United States is now at least 10 years behind Russia in military technology, and has the capacity to wipe out its American competition.

The Americans, who have already ceded economic supremacy to the Chinese, are keen to ensure that the military status does not follow the same fate. To this end they are mounting a relentless campaign against China, accusing them of multiple human rights abuses in Hong Kong, and especially against the Uighur population of the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

There have been lurid allegations against China over the alleged ill-treatment of the Uighur population ranging from mass imprisonment to enforced abortion and genocide. That these allegations are completely devoid of a factual basis has not stopped the relentless western propaganda.

The crucial involvement of Xinjiang in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and abundance of natural resources, including a recent discovery of huge oil deposits, is not unrelated to the motives behind the western attacks. The latest population data from the region, showing a higher growth rate than for China as a whole, is but one factual element that destroys the lurid allegations of “genocide”. These and related stories of systematic abuse by the Chinese authorities were recently demolished by Max Blumenthal ( 30 April 2021).

Facts have a troubling way of destroying the propaganda. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to see a cessation of the constant attacks on China by its geopolitical enemies who clearly are moving to a different agenda.

The Russian-Chinese alliance will, however, continue to make enormous strides in reshaping the geopolitical and trading agenda. The United States will just have to adapt to these new realities.

James O'Neill is a retired Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He can be contacted at Read other articles by James.