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Hypocrisy of This Magnitude Has to Be Respected

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20701.htm Hypocrisy of this
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7, 2008
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      Hypocrisy of this Magnitude has to be Respected.
      By William Blum

      06/09/08 "ICH" - -- Im sorry to say that I think that John McCain is
      going to be the next president of the United States. After the long
      night of Bush horror any Democrat should easily win, but the Dems are
      screwing it up and McCain has been running more-or-less even with Barack
      Obama in the polls. The Democrats should run on the slogan "If you liked
      Bush, you'll love McCain", but that would be too outspoken, too direct
      for the spineless Nancy Pelosi and her spineless party. Or, "If you
      liked Iraq, you'll love Iran." But the Democrat leadership is not on
      record as categorically opposing either conflict.

      Nor, it seems, do the Democrats have the courage to raise the issue of
      McCain not having been born in the United States as the Constitution
      requires. Nor questioning him about accusations by his fellow American
      prisoners about his considerable collaboration with his Vietnamese
      captors. Nor a word about McCain's highly possible role in the brutal
      Georgian invasion of South Ossetia on August 7. (More on this last below.)

      Obama has lost much of the sizable liberal/progressive vote because of
      his move to the center-right (or his exposure as a center-rightist), and
      he now may have lost even his selling point of being more strongly
      against the war than McCain -- if in fact he actually is -- by
      appointing Joe Biden as his running mate. Biden has long been a hawk on
      Iraq (as well as the rest of US foreign policy), calling for an invasion
      as far back as 1998.[1] In April, 2007, when pressed in an interview
      about his vote for the war in 2003, Biden said: "It was a mistake. I
      regret my vote. ... because I learned more, like everybody else learned,
      about what, in fact, we were told."[2] This has been a common excuse of
      war supporters in recent years when the tide of public opinion turned
      against them. But why did millions and millions of Americans march
      against the war in the fall of 2002 and early 2003, before it began?
      What did they know that Joe Biden didn't know? It was clear to the
      protesters that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were habitual liars, that
      they couldn't care less about the people of Iraq, that the defenseless
      people of that ancient civilization were going to be bombed to hell; the
      protesters knew something about the bombings of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos,
      Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan; they knew about napalm, cluster bombs,
      depleted uranium. ... Didn't Biden know about any of these things? Those
      who marched knew that the impending war was something a moral person
      could not support; and that it was totally illegal, a textbook case of a
      "war of aggression"; one didn't have to be an expert in international
      law to know this. Did Joe Biden think about any of this?

      If McCain had a role in the Georgian invasion of breakaway-region
      Ossetia it would have been arranged with the help of Randy Scheunemann,
      McCain's top foreign policy adviser and until recently Georgia's
      principal lobbyist in Washington. As head of the neo-conservative
      Committee for the Liberation of Iraq in 2002, Scheunemann was one of
      America's leading advocates for invading Iraq. One of McCain's primary
      campaign sales pitches has been to emphasize his supposed superior
      experience in foreign policy matters, which -- again supposedly -- means
      something in this world. McCain consistently leads Obama in the opinion
      polls on "readiness to be commander-in-chief", or similar nonsense. The
      Georgia-Russia hostilities raise -- in the mass media and the mass mind
      -- the issue of the United States needing an experienced foreign policy
      person to handle such a "crisis", and, standard in every crisis -- an
      enemy bad guy.

      Typical of the media was the Chicago Tribune praising McCain for his
      statesmanlike views on Iraq and stating: "What Russia's invasion of
      Georgia showed was that the world is still a very dangerous place," and
      Russia is a "looming threat". In addition to using the expression
      "Russia's invasion of Georgia", the Tribune article also referred to
      "Russia's invasion of South Ossetia". No mention of Georgia's invasion
      of South Ossetia which began the warfare.[3] In a feature story in the
      Washington Post on the Georgia events the second sentence was: "The war
      had started, Russian jets had just bombed the outskirts of Tbilisi
      [Georgian capital]." The article then speaks of "the horror" of "the
      Russian invasion". Not the slightest hint of any Georgian military
      action can be found in the story.[4] One of course can find a media
      report here or there that mentions or at least implies in passing that
      an invasion from Georgia is what instigated the mayhem. But I've yet to
      come upon one report in the American mass media that actually emphasizes
      this point, and certainly none that put it in the headline. The result
      is that if a poll were taken amongst Americans today, I'm sure the
      majority of those who have any opinion would be convinced that the nasty
      Russians began it all.[5]

      What we have here in the American media is simply standard operating
      procedure for an ODE (Officially Designated Enemy). Almost as soon as
      the fighting began, Dick Cheney announced: "Russian aggression must not
      go unanswered."[6] The media needed no further instructions. Yes, that's
      actually the way it works. (See Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Iran,
      Bolivia, etc., etc.)

      The president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, is an American poodle to
      an extent that would embarrass Tony Blair. Until their 2,000 troops were
      called home for this emergency, the Georgian contingent in Iraq was the
      largest after the US and UK. The Georgian president prattles on about
      freedom and democracy and the Cold War like George W., declaring that
      the current conflict "is not about Georgia anymore. It is about America,
      its values,".[7] (I must confess that until Saakashvili pointed it out I
      hadn't realized that "American values" were involved in the fighting.)
      His government recently ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post. The
      entire text, written vertically, was: "Lenin ... Stalin ... Putin ...
      Give in? Enough is enough. Support Georgia. ... sosgeorgia.org"[8]

      UK prime minister Gordon Brown asserted that Russia's recognition of the
      independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and
      Abkhazia was "dangerous and unacceptable."[9] Earlier this year when
      Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, the UK, along
      with the US and other allied countries quickly recognized it despite
      widespread warnings that legitimating the Kosovo action might lead to a
      number of other regions in the world declaring their independence.

      Brown's hypocrisy appears as merely the routine stuff of politicians
      compared to that of John McCain and George W. re the Georgia fighting:
      "I'm interested in good relations between the United States and Russia,
      but in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations," said
      McCain [10], the staunch supporter of US invasions of Iraq and
      Afghanistan and leading champion of an invasion of Iran.

      And here is Mahatma Gandhi Bush meditating on the subject: "Bullying and
      intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the
      21st century."[11]

      Hypocrisy of this magnitude has to be respected. It compares favorably
      with the motto on automobile license plates of the state of New
      Hampshire made by prisoners: "Live Free or Die".

      Our beloved president was also moved to affirm that the Russian
      recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia: was an
      "irresponsible decision". "Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and
      complicates diplomatic negotiations," he said.{12] Belgrade, are you

      It should be noted that linguistically and historically- distinct South
      Ossetia and Abkhazia had been autonomous Russian/Soviet protectorates or
      regions from early in the 19th century to 1991, when the Georgian
      government abolished their autonomy.

      So what then was the purpose of the Georgian invasion of Ossetia if not
      to serve the electoral campaign of John McCain, a man who might be the
      next US president and be thus very obligated to the Georgian president?
      Saakashvili could have wanted to overthrow the Ossetian government to
      incorporate it back into Georgia, at the same time hopefully advancing
      the cause of Georgia's petition to become a member of NATO, which looks
      askance upon new members with territories in dispute or with military
      facilities belonging to a nonmember state such as Russia. But the nature
      of the Georgian invasion does not fit this thesis. The Georgians did
      none of the things that those staging a coup have traditionally found
      indispensable. They did not take over a TV or radio station, or the
      airport, or important government buildings, or military or police
      installations. They didn't take into custody key members of the
      government. All the US/Israeli-armed and trained Georgia military did
      was bomb and kill, civilians and Russian peacekeeper soldiers, the
      latter legally there for 16 years under an international agreement. For
      what purpose all this if not to incite a Russian intervention?

      The only reason the United States did not itself strongly attack the
      Russian forces is that it's a pre-eminent principle of American military
      interventions to not pick on anyone capable of really defending themselves.

      Unreconstructed cold warriors now fret about Russian expansionism,
      warning that Ukraine might be next. But of the numerous myths
      surrounding the Cold War, "communist expansionism" was certainly one of
      the biggest. We have to remember that within the space of 25 years,
      Western powers invaded Russia three times -- World War I, the
      "intervention" of 1918-20, and World War II, inflicting some 40 million
      casualties in the two world wars alone. (The Soviet Union lost
      considerably more people to international warfare on its own land than
      it did abroad. There are not too many great powers who can say that.) To
      carry out these invasions, the West used Eastern Europe as a highway.
      Should it be any cause for wonder that after World War II the Soviets
      were determined to close down this highway? Minus the Cold War
      atmosphere and indoctrination, most people would have no problem in
      seeing the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe as an act of self defense.
      Neither does the case of Afghanistan support the idea of "expansionism".
      Afghanistan lived alongside the Soviet Union for more than 60 years with
      no Soviet military intrusion. It's only when the United States
      intervened in Afghanistan to replace a government friendly to Moscow
      with one militantly anti-communist that the Russians invaded to do
      battle with the US-supported Islamic jihadists.

      During the Cold War, before undertaking a new military intervention,
      American officials usually had to consider how the Soviet Union would
      react. That restraint was removed with the dissolution of the Soviet
      Union in the early 1990s. We may now, however, be witnessing the
      beginning of a new kind of polarization in the world. An increasing
      number of countries in the Third World -- with Latin America as a prime
      example -- have more fraternal relations with Moscow and/or Beijing than
      with Washington. Singapore's former UN ambassador observed: "Most of the
      world is bemused by western moralising on Georgia" ... While the western
      view is that the world "should support the underdog, Georgia, against
      Russia ... most support Russia against the bullying west. The gap
      between the western narrative and the rest of the world could not be
      clearer."[13] And the Washington Post reported: "Saif al-Islam Gaddafi,
      Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi's influential son, echoed the delight
      expressed in much of the Arab news media. 'What happened in Georgia is a
      good sign, one that means America is no longer the sole world power
      setting the rules of the game ... there is a balance in the world now.
      Russia is resurging, which is good for us, for the entire Middle East'."[14]

      Dan Clore

      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      Lord We├┐rdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
      in charge on this island?
      Professor: Why, no one.
      Skipper: No one?
      Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
      -- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"
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