Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Oh really?

President Obama solemnly informed a Russian audience the other day that "State sovereignty must be a cornerstone of international order".

This is a bit rich, coming from the leader of a country which since 1890 has made more than one hundred incursions (many of them military) into the territory of other states. The full list is here; it does not include the systematic US economic penetration and domination of many sovereign countries described by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, or the global ring of American military bases established on foreign soil – including that of the United Kingdom - on the pretext of ‘defence’.

President Obama, unlike his abysmal predecessor, is an intelligent and well-educated man, and now he occupies the highest office he must be more familiar than most with the inside history of American imperialism during the twentieth century.

Why, then, does he adopt such a hypocritical tone? If state sovereignty and the integrity of independent states was indeed the cornerstone of American policy, there would have been no invasion of Iraq just to cite the most obvious instance. Nor would there have been a United States of America, because the colonists would not have presumed to rebel against the government of George III, nor would the North have fought a bloody civil war to prevent the secession of the Southern states who wished to leave the Union.

If the USA aspires to be an acceptable leader of the Western ‘free’ world, it should do some long overdue heart-searching and adopt a tone of greater humility and less blatant humbug when it lectures others on their shortcomings.


Bodwyn Wook said...

I for one would like to see for example Minnesota, Western Wisconsin and Hither Dakota secede from the "United" States. Or at least a much looser confederation of states. Perhaps to resume self-government under the original Constitution w/especial emphasis on the 14th Amendment to insure, precisely, /equal/ treatment & protection under the law.

The contemporary college-trained ("educated" is not the word in the American case!)and professionally certified statists and Public Liberals of ALL parties naturally smell in this the end to their self-importance, and so are "dead agin" it.

The American nationalists' real problem is not having acted like the British Empire before them, and I might add at every point of the compass. Their real problem is having set dangerous precedents for "self-determination" in OTHER ramshackle low ratholes, like Yugoslavia. This is about to rise up and bite them in the ass, perhaps, and so President Obama has to pander on this one to Russian pretension in the Caucasus, Chechneya, Georgia and so on. The deal being then that the ex-Reds will keep out of OUR Georgia, the Monroe Doctrine and all that.

I note that the Russians are perfectly willing to aid and abet us in reaching for our ration of foolishness now, in Afghanistan...all that in return for some hypothetical committment to a later (!?) nuclear reduction haggle....

I am only glad we have no reports as yet that the Russians, who can be pretty uncultured and delight in roughhouse pranks on so many levels, did not in private offer the President and his family a dish of bananas and some watermelon, and give to his little girls a beautifully bound Russian translations...of the Uncle Remus and Curious George stories.

anticant said...

This article by John Pilger says more eloquently than I can what one of biggest unaddressed problems is - the rose-coloured spectacles through which most Americans view themselves and their society:

Its not just an American trait, of course - we Brits were equally guilty of it during our Imperial phase, as I can vividly remember from my childhood.

As Charles Cumming, the spy thriller writer, says (commenting on Eric Ambler's dissection of the hypocrisy of the British political classes in 'Journey into Fear'): "There's always been this belief that we have the monopoly on virtue, whereas in reality we've been setting people up and double-crossing them for years."

Bodwyn Wook said...

What matters be like though if we went whole hog for the NeoCon "realism" and just "-- you! This is what we do 'cause we LIKE it!"

That was the metier of the oldtime Assyrian kings and such, as one can see from the friezes for oneself in the British Museum:

"I, Smackelfarts, King Of The God-Damned & These Dirty, Filthy Grubby Mesopotamian Skunks Too, Crucified & Impaled [exact numbers are a feature of this pre-NuLabour bureacucracy, too!] 647,829 Prsioners On This Spot, On Sunday, Sonofabitch 12th, In The Year 1814 BC!"

I rather expect our practice in hypocrisy is, or was anyway, some sort of an iota of moral gain: at least we came to feel anyway gulty enough about lie.

anticant said...

The point is, human nature doesn't change. There are no "exceptional" peoples or countries. All that changes are the banners under which powerful people pursue their virtuous or evil designs. But it's human nature to believe that your lot of scumbags are better than the other lot of scumbags.

Jose said...

Place of birth or place of residence? The latter makes persons more fanatic than the former.

Americans' original places of birth are everywhere in the world, as are the origins of all of us. We descend from any historical ethnicity: Celts, Iberians, Romans, Huns, Goths, Visigoths, who all of them in their turn descended from who-knows-who.

If we believe the scientific discoveries about DNA, then we today should have the same tendencies regarding the known aspects of the human nature as our ancestors of who-knows-what ethnicity had millions(?) of years ago.

Peoples only need a catalyst to become empires. They needed it in the past and they need it today.

It's always used to be pride, honed, sharpened pride, and sharpeners we all know who they are:

Those who will have something to earn out of it.

Ergo: I believe there no differences among the human beings of any nationality. We are all almost equal. With just slight differences in our DNAs.

Bodwyn Wook said...

It is 23 July and I am "farming away to beat Hell" here, oats, barley and wheat (combining) and have no time for controversy, but...IK hope all you devils are keeping well & NOT playing up too badly in the wardroom scullery, with the captain's port!