Friday, 23 February 2018

On motes and beams

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about motes and beams. The moral of the story is that one will be held to the same standard that one judges others. This is a parable that is daily shown to be completely lost on the American political media elite.

The US political media elite daily express moral outrage at the mere suggestion that Russia somehow (the details constantly change) meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Senior politicians and media pundits constantly characterise the alleged meddling as an act of war, comparable to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. According to this narrative, posting information on the Internet that might be perceived to have an effect on the politics of another nation is equivalent to waging a war of aggression.

Yet the very people who are so assiduously pushing this line, criticising an imaginary Russian mote, seem to be completely oblivious to America's own beam. The US has a long and consistent history of meddling in the affairs of other countries. In 1953, for example, the US (along with the United Kingdom) overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and imposed the Shah as their puppet. This was done to promote the interests of corporate capitalism. The following year, the US overthrew the government of Guatemala; again to promote the interests of corporate capitalism. In 1973, the US overthrew the Allende government in Chile for the same reason. These violent coups d'etat caused misery, death and destruction on a massive scale.

In 1979, the US, under Jimmy Carter, came up with the wheeze of using jihadists as proxy fighters to destabilise the government of Afghanistan, creating a war that continues to this very day. Indeed, the tactic of using jihadists is one that the US and its allies have used constantly from that time. They used it in Bosnia, where the KLA provided a rationale for the Nato bombing of Serbia and the destruction of Yugoslavia. They used the tactic in Iraq after the 2003 illegal invasion. They used it in Libya, where again it provided a rationale for the US and its allies to bomb the country, turning the most advanced country in Africa into a failed state. They employed the same tactic in Syria, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced.

In the Ukraine, the US preferred to use fascists and neo-Nazis for their illegal regime change operation, just as they had traditionally done in Latin America.

These examples of US meddling in the affairs of other countries are just the tip of a very large iceberg. Yet, to listen to the American political media elite, one would think the US had never attempted to meddle in the domestic affairs of another country; one would think that America is a shining beacon of respect for democracy, the rule of law and freedom of speech. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The US meddles in the affairs of other countries constantly and it does so to promote the interests of US corporations, without regard for democracy, the rule of law or freedom of speech.

The hypocrisy of the US elite defies belief. It is beyond reason. It is truly delusional. When the US and its allies destroyed Mosul, they said civilian casualties were unavoidable in such operations. Yet only months before, when Syria had conducted a similar (albeit far less deadly) operation in eastern Aleppo, the US and its allies had denounced the operation as war crimes. Jesus might well have been addressing the US.

For the US political media elite, whatever the US does is good because America is good, and whatever the enemies of the US do is bad because they are bad. It does not matter that the actions are objectively the same. In fact, it does not matter that there is not even any comparison between the two as the US moral indignation around the alleged Russian meddling in the US presidential election demonstrates all too clearly.

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