January 10, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8484

Russian Journalist Bovt: 'People Like Soleimani Do Not Greatly Fear The UN, They Only Understand Force'

January 10, 2020
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 8484

Political scientist and journalist George Bovt wrote a column titled "They wanted him dead and killed him." for the outlet in which he debunked the thrust of many official Russian articles and reactions in response the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the Americans.[1] He scoffs at Russia's pious invocation of international law and reminds Russia how it also employed the same tactics that it condemns the Americans for using. Bovt also debunks the prophecies that America will face severe and painful blowback and instead predicts that the Iranians will bow to reality and refrain from a serious response. In general, he feels that too many– either out of wishful thinking or ignorance– are writing off America. The true situation is that America remains powerful. The Europeans, who curse America still shelter under an American military umbrella. Those wanting to shake off American supervision should ponder whether they would prefer Chinese domination over American intervention, despite the mistakes that the US, like everybody else has committed in the international arena.

Bovt's article follows below:[2]

George Bovt (Source:

"The entire Middle East is hopping. Iran, as well as other Shiite Muslims, customarily curse the 'great Satan' –America. The Iranian leadership threatens 'just retribution'.

"By order of Trump, the Americans essentially killed the second [most important] man in Iran - General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Several leaders of the Shiite militia of Iraq were killed along with him. On the New Year's Eve, pro-Iranian Islamists attempted to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad. Washington connected this attack with Soleimani, who was also behind a series of attacks against the Americans and American military target. He has the blood, according to the Pentagon, of dozens of US citizens’ (since the first war in Iraq), not counting [the blood] of other countries' citizens [on his hands]. He, like the entire Quds division, in the process of stamping Iran’s “personality” on the greater Middle East, was declared a terrorist in America and was under sanctions. So, they 'got' him deservedly (a drone with a deadly load), by American standards.

"But there is a nuance. It's called international law. The phrase even here if often preceded by the definition “so-called”, but which is often brought up when someone does something that displeases us and we can’t do anything about it.

"Soleimani was an official of a sovereign member state of the UN. And to just go and 'take out' [Soleimani] without trial, like any bandit, purely due to anti-American offenses… Something like this has not happened in world politics for a long time. But the Americans just went ahead and killed the general, an important Russian ally (albeit a difficult one, he played his own game) in Syria. [He was] the one, they say, who played an almost decisive role in “persuading” Putin to intervene in the Syrian civil war on the side of Assad. (Which, I think, is an exaggeration).

"The 'sovereign' general was 'whacked' as a number of notable terrorists before him were also 'whacked', Osama bin Laden being the first. Same thing we did with [Chechen leader Dzhokhar] Dudaev. America did this without bothering herself to complain to the UN Security Council about the embassy seizure, ​​as [Russian FM spokesperson] Maria Zakharova retroactively advised. Because: a) everyone knows the price of appealing to the UN Security Council and the helplessness of this organization, b) America simply can afford to do it. Additionally, Trump remembers very well what the attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi (when the US ambassador was killed) cost the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She lost the presidential election. And, in general, people like Soleimani do not greatly fear the UN. They only understand force.

"References to the so-called 'international law' contain not only guile, but also envy. Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi [Latin what is allowed Jupiter is not allowed an ox] - this is obvious, as they say. But many want this freedom too. Because "international law" sometimes has some benefit in diplomatic disputes. However, everyone is well aware that it often bends before the right of the stronger party.

"If our politicians in 2014 could 'allow themselves' in the current American sense to send similar "warm greetings" to, say, Ukrainian 'ultra', like [interim president Oleksander] Turchinov or even [former Ukrainian interior minister Arsen] Avakov, would they not have sent it?

"And the Novorossiya project would have been reinforced with more powerful arguments. In general, they would not have allowed the establishment in a neighboring country of such a hostile to Moscow regime. If they only could have done so.

"On the other hand, if, in the same 2014 in Moscow, after the not fully legitimate, to put it mildly, overthrow of Yanukovych, the subservient worship of 'international law' in its American interpretation would have carried the day (and that interpretation, it must be noted, is always subjective), then Crimea would not only remain Ukrainian, but would now be subjected to intensified Ukrainization. A lease agreement for Sevastopol with the Black Sea Fleet would be terminated. The other "uncles" would be digesting the former Russian Navy bases, and Ukraine itself would already be in NATO along with Georgia.

"So it is better to support the discussions on international law with a solid military potential, and even better to carelessly wave a big 'nuclear club'. Then the conversation turns out to be more constructive

"However, “quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi” now mostly relates to America. They will reprimand us for the ugly extermination (in a well-kept German zoo) of a scumbag from a Pankisi gorge named [Zelimkhan] Khangoshvili, who has slightly less Russian citizens’ blood on his hands than Soleimani had American’s blood on him.

"In addition, we promised Trump to 'squeeze out' the pro-Iranian units from Syria further away from Israel. Now they are fulfilling part of our promises for us. And before that they warned Moscow through special services about terrorist attacks being prepared in Russia. So Americans have 'their fingers in every pie', and the corresponding means to do so.

"Great agitation arose throughout the Middle East.[3] Some (like Israel) are afraid that the pro-Iranian Islamists, like Hezbollah (still another of our allies in Syria) will start throwing rockets. Others are afraid of Tehran’s tricks and activation of its nuclear program (although if Iran activates it [nuclear program], they will receive another American military strike, and Tehran is well aware of that). America itself has been wary of Persian cyber-attacks. Sunnis like the very same ISIS (organization banned in the Russian Federation), for their part, were quite thrilled: General Soleimani was their biggest enemy.

"However, despite the curses hurled by Shi'ites of all stripes and Iranian ayatollahs at America, this outrage will not end in anything serious. They will have to take it. One can't fight guns with sticks. And funerals of "American hegemonism" around the world are at least premature.

"Trump's America is being cursed also in the very same Europe (but at the same time [Europe] asked to keep NATO’s 'umbrella' over it, [paid for] mostly by American money), as well as around the world, for neglecting international alliances and acting selfishly. This is true. Because [America] simply can afford it and acts accordingly, in the knowledge that anyway without it, no serious global problem can by and large be solved.

"America withdrew from Paris Agreement on climate? Yes. But US environmental standards are stricter than in many signatory countries. In America has a huge public debt, already about 22 trillion dollars. So what? There are many serious economists who argue that this has no practical significance whatsoever in the foreseeable future. On the New Year’s Eve, I read another horror story in one of the state-owned media that the dollar would “collapse”. How many times it was proclaimed dead, but it still remains alive. And even growing China still holds hundreds of billions in American debt securities. And [China] was terribly frightened, when the White House threatened (and not even seriously) to expel Chinese companies from the US stock market.

"Beijing reluctantly 'surrendered' under the pressure of a persistent Trump, made concessions in the trade war, fearing to lose the access to the American market and, most importantly, to American technologies, which it learned not only to copy through espionage, but also to develop further.

"It is America that imposes its rules of the game on financial markets today around the world. US unilateral (bypassing that very same "international law") sanctions are being complied with by everyone who does not want to become a world outcast. It spends more on military purposes than all the other countries of the world combined. And sometimes it uses its military force, like an elephant in a china shop: the destruction of Iraq, by NATO forces, Libya’s transformation, which flourished under Gaddafi, into a true failed state, the creation of Taliban movement in Afghanistan (an organization banned in the Russian Federation) and the already mentioned ISIS in Iraq (it must be pointed out that this organization is banned in the Russian Federation; this phrase removes the curse)[4]. However, with some exceptions such as the 'September 11 attacks' all the problems that arose from this fell mainly on the shoulders of the “natives” and on the very same Europe. As for September 11 attacks, America has learned a number of lessons: she transformed state into a technologically equipped 'Big Brother', redid the entire global financial system according to its own rules, and that includes a fight against objectionable offshores.

"Moreover, many began to realize that a world without the supervision of the “world gendarme” could become even worse or fall under a new 'gendarme' (for example - Beijing), compared to which “Uncle Sam” would seem like the most delicate prince charming.

"America remains the leader in creating the latest technology in diverse branches of industry and areas of life. Its total expenditures on science and inventions exceed $ 500 billion per annum, of which only a third are government ones (it occupies second place globally in terms of research and development expenditures per researcher - about 360 thousand dollars). China is catching up (more than 450 billion, the 8th place in the world in terms of expenditures per researcher - more than 260 thousand dollars). Moreover, China overtook the United States in the number of patent applications filed (1.4 million applications in 2018 compared to 606 thousand in the United States and 36.8 thousand in Russia). However, in the number of applications filed for international patents (according to the results of 2018), the United States is still in first place: 56.14 thousand applications, versus 53.34 thousand in China and 49.7 thousand in Japan. By comparison, Russia has only about 970 [applications for international patents], and this is an eloquent figure. As of on October 2019 out of the 14 million patents that are in force in the world, the United States had 3.1 million, China 2.4 million, Japan 2.1 million.

"America is the undisputed leader in medical and biotechnological development; it owns nearly half of the entire global medical and pharmaceutical market. Its lifestyle, forms of consumption or entertainment are directly or indirectly being followed, and that includes the countries that hate it. Every year, tens of thousands of immigrants legally or illegally go to America, and not China.

"In absolute terms, the US GDP still holds first place in the world; in 2019, its size exceeded $ 21 trillion (20% of the world GDP), and more than a fifth of the companies from “Fortune Global 500” rating are American ones. China is catching up here as well, and in purchasing power parity it has already overtaken America (nominal GDP - 13.3 trillion, PPP - 25.27 trillion). By the way, according to the same World Bank assessment criteria, Russia is now at the 11th place: nominal GDP - 1.63 trillion, PPP - 4.21 trillion (sixth place after Germany in terms of PPP).

"America continues to be a “missionary country”, trying to remake the world for herself and according to her own understanding. It [America] got this apparently from the founding fathers, who entirely were Freemasons. Same as the conquistadors tried to carry the "mission" to South America, the Catholic preachers did the same in new lands in general. Same as the Soviet Bolsheviks tried to remake the world. To redo, while sometimes not reckoning with local 'features.' [All the while] getting offended and punished when the world resisted: 'how come, inside America herself everything works fine and people live generally good satisfying lives and with more freedom than in most countries of the world?'. America even remade part of China for herself. This part is called Taiwan.

"China does not seek to bear its 'mission' and to impose some specific model on the rest of the world. She uses the rest of the world for purely utilitarian purposes, accepting local 'features' as long as they do not interfere with Chinese goals. Which, of course, is more comfortable for local elites: they are not taught to 'live' correctly and [China] even shares 'bonuses' with them.

"Against the background of not always 'delicate” US behavior, the task of overthrowing their [the Americans'] 'hegemony' is declared by many countries, not realizing in what world we can find ourselves if there would be no 'world gendarme' in it or if it will be a different one, but even someone less delicate.

"Just do not make me laugh with the talks about international law and the 'constructive role of the UN.' No one has yet succeeded in overthrowing or even significantly diluting this dominance. Not a single country in the world has succeeded in achieving successful development, while quarrelling with America. It is possible only to cause a small discomfort [to America], with unobvious benefits to oneself. It is still much better to reach agreement with America.

"Many argue that this is impossible, although most likely they mean that it is impossible to come to terms [with America] for their personal benefit, and not for their country as a whole. However, the reality is that it will be harder to agree with China in every sense. And it would be even funnier to appeal to “international law”, when something that Beijing wouldn’t like occurs. They are still reluctant to admit it, but sooner or later they will do so."


[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8467, Russia’s Officials And Media Commentators React To The Killing Of Soleimani, January 6, 2020.

[2], January 6, 2020.

[3] In the original author uses a pun. The word “киппиш”, in addition to the meaning of “agitation”, “excitement” also means a type of fraud in Odessa, which came to the Russian language from Yiddish.

[4] The author is taking a swipe at art. 4 of the law “On Mass Media”, which obligates him to insert the phrase “organization banned in the Russian Federation” before the names of organizations included in the corresponding list of the Russian Federation Justice Ministry.

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