Last Thursday evening a senior Republican (US) official issued what must count as one of the most outrageous tweets issued by a senior politician. Lindsey Graham tweeted “is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world-a great service. Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness, you need to step up to the plate.”
The only good thing that can be said is that Graham’s remarks were not endorsed by his fellow United States politicians. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said: “while we are praying for peace and the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous and unhinged. We need leaders with calm minds and steady wisdom. Not bloodthirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations. Americans don’t want war.”
One naturally applauds these voices of reason. But the question has to be asked: where were you during the long decades when the United States military and its lackeys from multiple western countries ran roughshod over international law and invaded, bombed and otherwise undermined more than 70 nations in the post-World War two period alone. The answer from the Western media which has been almost universal in its condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine is a stunning silence.
One can look for example to the United States invasion of South Vietnam. For more than a decade the United States waged war on North Vietnam in a desperate attempt to prevent the unification of that country and its inevitable rule by a Communist government from the North. In that war they were liberally supported by Australia, among other Western nations. What vital Australian interests would be protected by joining that war? A dispassionate observer would be hard pressed to nominate a single vital national interest that was protected by joining that manifestly illegal and aggressive war. Now, with typical hypocrisy, the United States government is striving mightily to enlist Vietnam’s support in its struggle against the rise of China. They should look closely at the recent humiliating visit of the vice president to Vietnam for lessons on how not to behave when visiting that country.
The experience of the Vietnam war was insufficient to deter the Americans from multiple other foreign misadventures. In this century alone there has been at least four major interventions by the United States and its loyal adherents in the affairs of foreign countries. The century began with the invasion of Afghanistan, falsely blamed for the events of 11 September 2001. Even after they had captured and killed the alleged perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, years after the New York Times had published his obituary following his 2001 death from natural causes, the United States and its lackeys continued their occupation of Afghanistan for a further decade. They eventually retreated in humiliating circumstances (without informing their “allies”) but that was not the end of their vengeance. The United States has affectively stolen several billions of Afghanistan’s precious foreign reserves, leaving the country in a desperate position with at least 40% of its population facing premature death from being unable to access basic food and health requirements
That misadventure was followed by a similar debacle in Iraq. United States experience in conquering Iraq is always worth keeping in mind when one hears their protestations about alleged atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine. More than 1 million Iraqis were killed in enforcing that occupation. The United States and Australia are still there, 19 years later, despite a demand from the Iraqi Government that they should leave.
In October 2011 the Americans killed Muamar Gaddafi. That country has been a mess ever since with at least two groups claiming power, theft of their oil reserves by the Americans (a repeat of what they did in Iraq) and a generally unstable situation the most important legacy of the murder of the country’s leader.
In 2014 the United States again intervened in a middle eastern country, this time Syria. They are still there, refusing to leave, and still, in a familiar pattern, stealing Syria’s oil. Another familiar pattern in the United States occupation (apart from its utter illegality) is the overt support provided to terrorist groups that share its ambition to overthrow the legitimate government of Assad.
In this case the United States ambitions were thwarted by the 2015 intervention of Russia in the country. The big difference is that the Russians were invited by the Assad Government to intervene. Their presence was a turning point in the war, with the government gradually reclaiming more of their territory. Apart from the Americans and their terrorist allies, Syria has also suffered from an Israeli bombing campaign. Not content with stealing Syrian territory in the Golan Heights the Israelis have continued their aerial attacks on Syria, although, with Russian assistance, they now seem to be reaching an end.
When one looks at this history, and it is far from being a complete chronicle of United States misdeeds around the world, it is astonishing that the Americans and their loyal European allies could have the temerity to criticise Russia’s actions in Ukraine. One of the many items consistently missing from the Western accounts of what is happening to their Ukrainian friends, is the long history of the brutal treatment and attempted genocide of the Russian speaking people of the Donbass region. This is a chronicle that has almost completely disappeared from the Western narrative, as has the major influence of the fascist supporters of the Ukrainian regime.
It is yet another illustration of the selective nature of the Western chronicle of events in Ukraine. The true military picture strongly suggests that the war will be over in a matter of 2–3 weeks. We are unlikely to see a return to the pre-Russian intervention era with normal trade relations resuming. My impression is that the Russians no longer care. They have other ambitions to the East. The West has no one to blame but itself for their rampant hypocrisy.
James O’Neill, an Australian-based former Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.