Thursday, September 12, 2013

Putin Correct to Warn About American Exceptionalism

I know it's "politically incorrect" (at least American-style) to applaud and assert a foreign leader is spot -on in his perceptions, but no matter what the blowhard punditocracy says, Putin nailed it in his NY Times op -ed  ('A Plea for Caution from Russia') today.  Among the things Putin wrote, with which no sane or rational person could disagree (especially after last night's NBC News segment showing radical jihadis staging in Turkey then moving into Syria with IEDs etc.):

"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism."

After seeing the pro-Syrian opposition jihadis whipping a couple for marrying non-Muslims on the same NBC segment, I believe it! And the U.S. would be dumb as a sack of hammers to oust Assad by helping these "rebels" - when it will likely be a replay of their dopey ignorant move helping Osama and his rebels in the 1980s, to harass the Soviets who had occupied Afghanistan. Stay with the devil you know, in other words, instead of unleashing tens of thousands of devils you don't. As one of the jihadis interviewed on the NBC spot put it:

"We want the Americans and Assad forces to fight, then when Assad is weak we can move in!"

Really? Hope Obama is paying attention here!

Putin went on:

"It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa."


"No one doubts there was poison gas used in Syria, but there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army but by opposition forces... to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists"

Well, where have we seen this before? In Afghanistan, in the 80s, as I already noted, siding with Osama bin Laden to harass and punish the Russians. And more recently, in Egypt, siding with the Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi.....well, how did that turn out?

Putin then hit the chord with American exceptionalism, a meme American Neoliberal Presidents have fed to their charges since the Reagan era - trying to take the minds of the hoi polloi off the vast and expanding economic inequality that's emerged as a direct result of their allowing and enabling the war state's meddling ....from Reagan in Nicaragua and Honduras, to Bush I in the Gulf (after encouraging Saddam's reckless expansion), to Clinton in Kosovo, to Bush II in Afghanistan and Iraq - when the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. But then Bush's oilmen had special deals with the Saudis, so couldn't go after them- hence allowing the bin Laden family to leave the country in the wake of the attacks.  Oh, and Obama now wanting to meddle in Syria if the Russians "aren't serious".

Putin wrote:

"It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional , whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy"

According to the corpora-media blow drieds this a.m.  the WH dismissed it as "posturing" but they shouldn't. Whether really posturing or not, the words contain more than the proverbial grain of truth - in fact, they contain a store house of truth.

One can debate about whether Putin was "posturing" or "hypocritical" in lecturing on democracy, but he was dead on in terms of sounding the dangers of American exceptionalism.

Exceptionalism refers to the virulent meme that Americans and the U.S. are somehow "special" in history and hence, are charged with acting "special" on the world stage. That ranges from valuing American lives much more than foreign ones - embodied in the U.S. refusal to sign on to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions - which explains how military strikes and aggression can be carried out without being mindful of collateral damage, to indiscriminately messing in other nations' because the U.S.  feels it's a sole superpower's "right" to do so.

In regard to the devaluation of foreign lives one can look at travesties from meddling in Honduras and Guatemala - see e.g.  leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, as well as extended internal instability to the malignant  exceptionalist invasions sponsored by the Bushies in the name of the so-called "Bush doctrine".   These, when the historical savvy person examines them, little different from the Nazi ideology of Lebensraum, see e.g.

The point is, the maniacal Bushie Neocons believed their own puffed up bullshit that this nation is "exceptional" and has the right to lord it over all others, by intervening and "policing" any time it chooses. No bigger pile of horse shit has ever been conceived as national policy and Americans would do well to reject it.

Does that mean the rational American rejects ALL wars? Of course not! There ARE just wars, just as there are unjust and ILLEGAL wars!  World War II was a just war because first, Americans were attacked by the Japanese Empire at Pearl Harbor, and second the Axis Powers and especially Japan and Nazi Germany, were bent on global domination. Not to have responded would have invited a nightmare world we can only imagine today.

Vietnam, by contrast, was an ILLEGAL war! The conflict was started on a pretext, i.e. the Gulf of Tonkin incident,  wherein the Turner Joy and Maddox were allegedly attacked without provocation in the summer of 1964. The claim of baby killer LBJ was that the attack(s) were initiated by the North Vietnamese.  But in 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there were no North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident of August 4.

The report stated regarding August 2:

“At 1505G, Captain Herrick ordered Ogier's gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats fired first”

and regarding August 4:

“It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...] In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2

In other words, the U.S. "exceptionalist" aggressors used it as a pretext to demand the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and launch a war that killed nearly 58,000.

Here's advice for every real red -blooded American, as opposed to the paper patriots, including cook and bottle washers who pound their chests for having "served their country" but never saw more than a soup spoon and kettle: Don't trust anything any leader says if he uses the words "exceptional" as applied to you the citizen or the country as a whole, or  employs manipulative bafflegab throwaways like "freedom" and especially "defending our freedoms".

Oh, and if he asserts:  "Y'er either with us or against us!" Tell him to fuck himself!

See also:

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