The riots engulfing the U.S. were provoked by Moscow, according to National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017 and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013, Susan Rice. She even took it one step further by claiming that those who smashed police stations were strictly following a “Russian playbook.” This allegation without evidence is of course unsurprising since Rice was a key player in pushing for U.S. sanctions against Russia over issues in Ukraine.
More profound is not only that she pins the riots in the U.S. as part of Russian interference, but she ignores the true economic and sociological reasons behind the riots. On top, she contradicts her own role in backing and supporting violent protests, rioting and then armed insurgency against Syrian President Basher al-Assad in 2011 that eventually culminated into a bloody war that is nearly 10-years old and resulted in hundreds of thousands deaths. Her same instigation and support for the bloody uprising in Syria was also repeated against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011.
Protests and riots in the U.S. followed the death of African-American George Floyd when he was arrested by police in the city of Minneapolis, with riots quickly spreading to Washington, San Francisco, Portland, Miami, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, New York, St. Louis and Atlanta. Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was directly responsible for Floyd’s death, was terminated from his job and is facing murder and manslaughter charges. But the protesters also demand an end to systematic racism and police brutality that has a centuries old history in the U.S.
Many people held up the banner with Floyd’s dying words: “I cannot breathe.” But peaceful actions quickly escalated into clashes, and then riots and looting began, and more violently, shootings against police officers are being reported. In major cities there are now curfews, but this has not helped, especially as police precincts have been trashed, a courthouse set on fire in Portland, police cars stoned and burnt in New York, and police officers shot in St. Louis. President Trump responded to the violence by agreeing to use the military to quell the revolt and charged so-called leftist extremist groups as domestic terrorists.
Rice is not the only pundit to say Russia has a role in the riots. Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial appearing on CNN and said that Russian agents and white supremacists were behind the riots. This is just one of many in a choir who are all pointing towards Moscow as the instigator of these events and not reflecting on their own deep domestic divisions as a reason for the revolt.
Trump even rejected the Russia-blaming, saying on Twitter “Here we go again. Fake News CNN is blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA. They are sick losers with VERY bad ratings! P.S. Can’t blame China because they need the cash?”
By passing the blame onto Russia, American voices are ignoring the deep polarization and division in their own society. Not only is there a division between liberal and conservative philosophical ideologies, but there is also a deep unreconciled race and class division in the U.S. The coronavirus pandemic flared these divisions as millions of Americans became unemployed and pushed further into destitution at a time when American billionaires continue to make massive profits – the killing of Floyd has been another spark that caused an explosion over these issues.
Yet, many in the U.S. think that there are no deep divisions and that the reason for all the problems is Trump and the Russians. But by ignoring the root causes of why such revolts continually occur in the U.S., these events are only going to continue happening without the need of ‘Moscow’s hidden hand.’
The search for an external enemy to blame for the U.S.’ own domestic issues will only propel Trump to a successful re-election campaign as the majority of Americans know this is a purely domestic affair. Just as Democratic-sympathetic media and their stakeholders pushed the Russian interference narrative during the 2016 election campaign, something proven to be false, they are once again resurrecting the unsuccessful tactic that will only work in Trump’s favor.
An attempt to use conventional ideological patterns is dangerous for the U.S. itself: after all, protests are real, as are the causes for it, and therefore, blaming Russia for it will not solve anything. Rather, it will actually galvanize support for Trump as ordinary Americans feel like their frustrations and voice are being heard by him, and not sidelined in favor of unsubstantial allegations made by Democrat Party supporters that Russia is responsible for the riots.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.