Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks while commenting on a statement of hawkish Republican Senator John McCain who excoriated President Donald Trump on Friday for calling on Russia to be invited back to the Group of Seven.
Trump said on Friday that Moscow should return to the Group of Seven industrialized nations, known as G7. “This used to be the G8 because Russia was in it, and now Russia’s not in it.”
“Why are we having a meeting without Russia? I would recommend, and it is up to them, but Russia should be at the meeting," he said outside the White House.
“Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table,” he added.
McCain: Trump 'diminishing America’s leadership'
McCain however denounced Trump’s friendly tone towards Russia and the president’s hard-line negotiating tactics with allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union on trade.
He condemned Trump’s move as the “antithesis” of principled realism and “a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world.”
“The president has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies,” McCain said in a statement.
“Those nations that share our values and have sacrificed alongside us for decades are being treated with contempt. This is the antithesis of so-called ‘principled realism’ and a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world,” he added.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference at the G7 summit in Quebec on Saturday, Trump again called for Russia to be readmitted to the G7.
‘Russia was a step-child in the Group of 8’
“The Group of 7 (G7) was initially set-up as a forum for the ‘world's major industrialized countries and developed economies’ but in actuality it has always been restricted to ‘democratically’ ruled nations with a capitalist market economy,” Professor Etler said.
“It was originally the G6 consisting of the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Canada was later added as a sop to the US resulting in the G7. Russia was begrudgingly added in 1994, soon after the fall of the Soviet Union, for geo-political reasons, in order to support Yeltsin and the transition of post-Soviet Russia into a bourgeois democracy, thus forming the G8, although its economy had faltered and it was not on a par with the original G7,” he stated.
“Russia, while a member of the G8 was always considered a step-child, until it was finally removed following the Ukraine imbroglio. In essence the G7 is an ‘old boy’s club’ of the major bourgeois democratic capitalist nations. So, even though China now has the world’s second largest economy both Russia and China are considered beyond the pale and neither are invited,” the analyst noted.
US considers Russia main geo-political rival
“The US war party, which consists of Congressional Republicans and Democrats, hates Russia with a passion and hypocritically casts aspersions on its actions. Russia has stood up to the depredations of US imperialism in the Middle East, has protected its vital national interests in Crimea and has sought strategic partnerships with nations targeted by US imperialism such as China, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela,” the veteran academic observed.
“Given the fact that Russia has a powerful military force which it is willing to deploy when called upon as in Syria, the US and its allies have come to consider Russia their main geo-political rival and adversary. This stance is most adamantly adhered to by the ruling neo-liberal/neo-con elites in NATO and the halls of the US Congress,” he said.
Kissinger’s school wants Russia back into imperialist fold
“There are other forces however, of the Kissinger school of realpolitik, that seek to seduce Russia back into the US-led imperialist fold through a process of detente, the ultimate objective being to break the burgeoning bonds between Russia and China. Trump falls into that camp seeing Russia as a potential ally against a rising China. This is also the position of Trump’s erstwhile national security guru, now exiled Steve Bannon. Unfortunately for Trump, the prospects of Russia now or in the foreseeable future forsaking China are next to nil,” the commentator said.
“While Trump wants Russia back in the fold for geo-political reasons, the war party will have nothing to do with it. Both Russia and China are seen by them as existential threats that must be dealt with sooner than later,” he said.
What McCain’s remarks mean
“It is in the above context that McCain’s and other remarks must be understood. Since Russia is our adversary any deference to her is seen as treasonous. Russia is declared an aggressor in Crimea, although not a shot was fired and it annexed its former territory in order to protect its vital national interests. In similar fashion China is declared an aggressor in the South China Sea, although once again not a shot has been fired and its actions there are to protect its vital national interests close to home,” he noted.
“The US however under the rubric of protecting its vital national interests feels justified in invading nations thousands of miles from its shores, bombing nations back into the stone age, as war criminal McCain did in Vietnam, and annihilating millions of innocent civilians as a result. This pattern of genocidal, psychopathic behavior should make the US and its allies pariah states, not the paragons of freedom and democracy they trumpet themselves to be,” he stated.
“But the war-mongers in Washington see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil unless it is directed against those they seek to destroy. They themselves are sacrosanct and above reproach. Just the mere mention by Trump that Russia should be included in global discussions sends them into conniption fits worthy of a deranged Hitlerian megalomaniac,” the scholar concluded.