This from Gregory Barrett, writing in CounterPunch on June 15. It’s a tad heavyhanded in its sarcasm but please set that small peccadillo aside, in a piece brimming with damning and factually accurate indictments of the world’s mightiest and most dangerous power.
The Russians did not overthrow the government of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in order to put Shah Reza Pahlavi on the Peacock Throne, to then murder and torture his way into history via his dreaded secret police SAVAK, leading to the revolution which made Iran an Islamic Republic. No, that was the United States via the CIA, under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. The Strangelove Brothers, Kissinger and Brzezinski, later kept the love flowing for years, although their Iranian buddy’s nasty habits were well known.
The Russians did not use the CIA to support Osama bin Laden and other islamist jihadis fighting the Soviet client government in Afghanistan in the late 1970s, provoking the Russian invasion, and resulting in the birth of Al-Qaeda (after bin Laden became outraged over the presence of US military bases in his native “holy land” of Saudi Arabia). Again, that was the United States, with help from the Saudis, at the behest of Dr. Strangelove SORRY I MEAN Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Russian-hating Pole, beginning in the late 1970s.
The Russians did not support and arm Saddam Hussein in Iraq for years, ignoring his brutal crimes against his own Shiite population and backing him in his war of aggression against Iran. That would be, yet again (but you’ve guessed it by now) the United States, which later — embarrassingly! but some of these people simply refuse to behave at some point — found itself spending vast sums of money to massacre a large part of his army, and still later … but we’ll get to that shortly.
The Russians did not enact draconian sanctions against Iraq which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 500,000 civilians, many of them children, due to a lack of desperately needed medicine, simultaneously carrying out regular “no-fly zone” bombing raids … that would be (surprise!) the United States under the Clintons, whose not-particularly-sentimental Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said of those dead children, “… we think the price is worth it.” Some fanciful observers have spread silly theories that such policies could inspire resentful persons to turn to terrorism.
The Russians did not invade Afghanistan — in person this time! — in 2001 following 9-11 – because the Russians had already left, after requiring a mere 10 years to ascertain that Afghanistan is not easily subdued. They did not begin an occupation there which has now lasted 16 years, involving not only the USA but other NATO members as well, which has made the Taliban more powerful as an insurgency than it was as a government, and which has consumed some 4 trillion dollars in American funds; killed at least 100,000 persons; resulted in the institution of torture being adopted by the US government; seen the heroin trade grow to gigantic proportions; created fertile ground for more corruption than ever; produced a huge flow of refugees into Europe; and led to the current spike in terrorist suicide attacks, even in the allegedly safe capital of Kabul. No, once again the culprit is America.
The Russians did not invade Iraq in 2003 in order to avenge the humiliation of their President’s father after the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein remained in power, and the same Russians did not mount a massive propaganda campaign with the help of presstitute media such as CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, including an award-winning performance by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations where he displayed falsified evidence of fictional Weapons of Mass Destruction, to persuade Americans and others to support this illegal invasion. Personally, I don’t even think such a thing would ever have occurred to the Russians.
The Russians, therefore, are not responsible for the destruction of the Iraqi state, for the more than one million civilian casualties since the invasion, for the massive waves of terrorism and sectarian violence and refugees entering Turkey and Europe which have resulted, or for the birth of ISIS in the US-controlled Abu Ghraib prison — the same ISIS which was formed by former Saddam military officers imprisoned there. These officers had been a bit irritated when the US disbanded the Iraqi military after the invasion and left them to fend for themselves, another brilliant decision by former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld administered through US Imperial Viceroy J. Paul Bremer, he of the three-piece suit worn with combat boots. Some of those same Iraqi officers had previously worked with Al-Qaeda in Iraq (first formed there AFTER the US invasion), so one could say that the United States is doubly responsible for the existence of ISIS. At any rate: we can assert with a high degree of confidence that it was NOT THE RUSSIANS.
The Russians did not join together with the UK and France in 2011 to destroy the Libyan state in a major bombing campaign which killed an estimated 30,000 civilians, following US/UK support for Libyan rebels designed to set up the “revolution” in Africa’s most prosperous nation. The Russians then did not abandon the country to its fate, which soon turned out to be rival governments and militias, a growing ISIS presence, actual slave markets where helpless refugees are sold like cattle, and thousands of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean after paying human traffickers to take them to Europe in tiny, overloaded boats. The Russians did not respond to a question about the death of Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi — by sodomization with a long blade — by laughing maniacally and loudly on national US television and proclaiming, “We came, we saw, he DIED! Ha ha ha!” That would be a certain former US Secretary of State who thought at the time that she was a shoo-in to be the next President. And anyway, Russian dramatic performances tend to be a bit more tasteful and skillful. No, the failed state that is Libya today, oozing terrorism and refugees, is once again on the account of … three guesses and the first two don’t count … well, this time America had help from two other NATO partners, let’s be fair.
The Russians did not provoke the war in Syria. Nor did Bashar al-Assad. The Russians did not encourage demonstrations in Syria which produced a predictable heavy-handed response, and the Russians did not then proceed to arm and fund islamist fighters from both inside and outside of Syria in a war which has killed half a million persons, and has drawn a large number of countries into a proxy conflict still mendaciously referred to in NATO media as a “civil war”. The Russians have long been allies of the Assad family, which enjoys the support of a substantial majority of the Syrian population. Believe me. The Russians did NOT do it. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did it, working from a blueprint which had been created by earlier US governments.
Which brings us to Ukraine, where we REALLY have a bit of mass confusion to deal with. It is common knowledge that the Russians provoked that mess by “invading Ukraine and annexing the Crimea” in 2014, right? Surely I’m not going to challenge THAT conventional wisdom?!
Actually … yes. I am.
It was not the Russians who promised themselves, in return for their agreement to support German reunification in 1991, that NATO would not expand eastward. And it was not the Russians who appointed former Dick Cheney staffer and leading neocon Victoria Nuland as Assistant Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It was not the Russians who spent (by Nuland’s own recorded admission) five billion dollars to lay the groundwork for a NATO-EU presence in Ukraine. No Russian accompanied her and Senator John McCain to pass out cookies on the Maidan in Kiev and encourage crowds to finally overthrow Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych, which shortly thereafter came to pass with the help of a number of participating murderous snipers who have yet to be identified. Once he was out of power — in a US-supported coup directly on Russia’s borders in violation of numerous commitments, obviously involving designs on Russia’s naval presence in the Crimea — Russia did in fact respond rapidly to protect its national interests and those of the Russian-speaking majority there, who gave that action widespread support. But Russia did not “invade” Ukraine. That, once again, was America. Invasions do not always involve troops. Sometimes they involve money and subterfuge … in the case of the CIA and friends, quite often in fact.
And Russia did not “annex” the Crimea, unless a vote of 98% of the population to return to Mother Russia, of which they had always been a historical part until the 1960s, is considered invalid. No responsible party has challenged those numbers. What could be more legitimate? What’s that you say? International Law? And who is citing “International Law”? Would that be, by any chance, a country which does not recognize the International Criminal Court? Puh-LEEEEEZE. No, the Russians did not “annex” the Crimea. ONCE AGAIN it was … well this time it was NOBODY. The population of the Crimea was overjoyed to rejoin its cultural homeland.
I have not even mentioned drone killings with thousands of collateral civilian deaths, or a number of other terror-producing factors. Nor have I discussed Israel’s role in this history, nor gone into any detail about Saudi Arabia and its war against the Houthis in Yemen, which the Russians are not supporting as I write this.
But we’ll save all of that for another piece. Let’s sum things up here. It won’t take long.
Much of the catastrophic, disastrous, ruinous conditions in large swaths of the modern world, particularly the Middle East, North Africa and the Hindu Kush, and much of the islamist terror which continues to spread there and outwards into NATO countries — through the auspices of a very sophisticated public outreach program by ISIS — can be pretty directly chalked up to United States and NATO policies since the 1970s, very often administered and carried out by the CIA and/or the US military with or without their allies; and much of that policy was initially conceived as a means to contain and weaken Russia. Of course, the roots go much farther back. This paranoid, delusional obsession with Russia has been at the root of much Western insanity and horribly destructive policy since the Bolsheviks 100 years ago. Russia IS a nation armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. But America can take responsibility for that too — and for the entire dynamic beginning in 1946 which engendered the Cold War and the arms race between NATO and the Eastern Bloc, under the incredibly ignorant, racist and power-drunk direction of that great American, Harry Truman — as brilliantly documented by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick in “The Untold History of the United States”.
The Russians did not do it. But thanks to a poorly “educated” population which barely remembers last year, much less the history of recent decades, and forms many of its ideas regarding the rest of the world through watching vulgar Hollywood movies and TV shows featuring evil Russians victimizing innocent Americans, the Russians make damned convenient patsies.
By the way, the Russians did not “interfere in our Democracy” either. We have no democracy.