Friday, September 12, 2014
As NATO whines about the fact that there are still 1000 Russian troops on Ukrainian soil, it carps not a whimper about the 30,000 American troops that have been in Afghanistan for more than a decade, nor does the eviscerated American press, secure in their position as toadies to power, care to bring up the fact that there would be zero US troops in Afghanistan had not the West, in the guise of Shock Troops for Freedom, invaded that hapless land to 'protect' them from a Soviet invasion in the dying days of the Cold War. Not with our own troops, of course, since the USSR had thermonuclear weapons with which to retaliate, so we used stealth bombers in the form of Wahhabi-trained mujaheddin from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries as proxy warriors, stirring up rabid Islamic fundamentalism in much the same way the Republicans stirred up rabid Christian fundamentalism in the US to further their own agenda.
Now, whereas you might be one of the people who agreed with the US intentions in the closing years of the 1980's to isolate and trap the Soviets into engaging in a land war in Afghanistan, and think that the result was a salutary one, I would argue, that, given the state of the Soviet State at the time, which the over-funded and incompetent CIA, NSA, And DIA, just to name the triumvirate of US intelligence services -there are many more- in other words, intelligence agencies that were then and are now, swallowing up by the vault-load the productivity of both American industry and American Citizens in order to do absolutely nothing except create, and eventually arm, a constant stream of new recruits for any American -haters on the planet (while simultaneously supplying them with ever-grander excuses for "hating us for our freedoms": ie, our freedom to bomb sovereign States, our freedom to send drones into other nations' airspace on missions of assassination, freedom to listen in on other countries' leaders' personal telephone calls, freedom to go into other States, kidnap their citizens from their streets and send them to puppet regimes to be tortured and imprisoned, freedom to work with Israel to spread a computer virus to destroy nuclear centrifuges in Iran as well as murder scientists we believe are working on projects we've decided they shouldn't be working on, etc etc.).
And they can do this, always in secret, their actions never admitted to, nor known, nevermind condoned, by the citizens on behalf of whom they're supposedly performing them, yet who are 'asked' to bear the brunt of the repercussions from those actions. Demockracy in action.
One of those repercussions being the Sept 11 attack on the WTC, the anniversary of which was yesterday, yet not a word was murmured about the fact that it was the actions of the US government, actions taken with neither the consent nor the knowledge of the American people, that brought the wrath of Islam, enabled by citizens of our staunchest ally in the region to whom we have kowtowed for decades, and with whom our sitting president and Vice president at the time of the attacks, had a closer relationship with than anyone else in the world, an action that can be directly traced to the Reagan administration's brilliant idea of using fired-up religious zealots, the fire of their religious hatred bellowed into a roaring blaze in US-funded Wahhabi schools teaching religiously inspired intolerance, as proxies, in a supposedly "Cold" War with the USSR. A USSR, that, BTW, was teetering on the brink of collapse, as documented by several academics, such as Andrei Amalrik, who's prescient book, asking "Will the Soviet Union Survive until 1984?" was a much better assessment of the state of the Soviet State, than the CIA's, and was therefore ballyhooed. Because the retention of their well-paid, and even better pensioned, plush positions in power depended on all of us believing that the Soviets were a threat, when in fact they were more of a threat to themselves than to anybody else, including the Afghans, to whom our meddling in their country's affairs has brought them decades of unparalleled strife, religious intolerance and physical destruction.
And all for what? If the US had never blundered into Afghanistan in the Eighties it is abundantly clear by now, yet never, ever, brought up, the Soviet Union would have followed the exact same trajectory that it did, and, being as it couldn't hold onto satellites in its own orbit, and given that the mightiest military power in the history of the world has been unable to - without the Afghans receiving any help from any outside force - bring Afghanistan under its control, and yet has bled its own citizens dry, unapologetically leaving millions and millions of them without healthcare insurance, jobs, pensions, or even a roof over their heads, while pouring billions, oh sorry, as horrible as that sounds, it's now trillions, of its treasure, emptying its vaults of bullion to fight ... exactly what? do you really know? ... to keep the powerful country of Afghanistan from what, attacking its neighbors? oh you mean to protect the dictatorship in Uzbekistan, or our favorite enemy, Iran, from Afghanistan aggression? Or to keep the Taliban from reforming, that same Taliban to whom the Bush Administration gave $43million to in May 2001, a mere four months before Sept 11, with which they were able to fund Al-Qaeda?
If the US had let the Russians wallow in their own stupidity, none of the horrible repercussions that we're still paying for, along with creating a cascading number of new ones, as we stumble from one self-inflicted calamity to the next, all while blaming everybody else but ourselves, the US and the entire world, would not be reeling from the consequences of our blundering as it is to this day.
So what do we propose to do? Oh yeah, we're gonna tighten up on more sanctions on the Russians while we bomb Syria, we're gonna save those poor Ukrainians like we saved the poor Afghans, and saved the Iraqis and the Egyptians, and the Libyans, and Somalians, so now we can have an entire other country filled with people who will organize to attack their neighbors while shouting "Down with America". What fun!
The US, instead of railing against the Russians, should be thanking them. They are corrupt, brutal, and vain, thinking themselves superior to everyone else (sound like any other country you know?), and these are traits that sow the seeds of their own destruction. The US need do nothing but let them do what Russians do so well: shoot themselves in the foot. It took no US sanctions, no US armies, no US propaganda, to blow up the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, the built-in obtuseness of the Soviets' design did that for us, and the folly of Russian designs will have the same outcome in Ukraine today if we just let if follow its destined path: it will likewise blow up in their face.
But because we insist on believing our might gives us the right to act like moronic idiots stumbling around destroying one country after the other with our "Aid", we will continue to impose a burden of incalculable suffering and destruction on the world on a scale that no AxIs of evil could ever hope to match, while impoverishing our own citizens and imposing the additional burden of a rigid militaristic surveillance State on them, which they then are forced to pay for in the bargain .
Judging by the outcome, more than a decade later, it now appears that that was the "Mission Accomplished" the Bush Neo-cons were so proud to have achieved and that the current administration is so anxious to maintain. Such is the high price of self-righteous crusades. Just ask the Christian Fundamentalists who so sanctimoniously railed against a non-existent "Gay Agenda", with orange-juice-queen Anita Bryant at their head, in the eighties, before there ever was one. It was only after the smear attacks and the mean-spirited abuse by the Moral Majority that an otherwise hedonistic, disunited minority were forged into a political force that called for and achieved the milestone of Gay Marriage in the US. It wasn't even an issue any but a few homosexuals even considered, most of them scoffing at the very idea of it; but thanks to the mendacity of the Christian right, it is now a reality across much of the country. We might want to think about that as we climb onto our high horse yet again to impose our will upon a situation about which we know nothing.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 2:21 PM