In every case I can think of over the last 16 years, I oppose American foreign policy. My opinion is my own, my opposition to US war policy stands alone on the facts and is in no way dependent on any other country’s policies, whether their policies are similar or dissimilar to my opinions. However, in every single known case in international relations over the last 16 years, what Russia does, I generally agree with. The reason for that is because Russia’s behavior is consistently sane, reasonable, decent, and respectful of other people and other countries. Which is a strong contrast (that is an absolute certainty) with US foreign policy over the same period.
Caity Johnstone writes, again, as always, an extremely important article: Why The New McCarthyism Is So Dangerous. I think her counter argument against McCarthyist smear needs to be stronger though in one way.
I don’t think it’s enough to say, “No. I’m neither paid nor influenced by Russia.” Personally I go further than that. I mean, I just write comments on Facebook and (here) on my blog that no one reads. I mean, nobody cares what I say. But I get the same reaction (the smear) from friends, in the real world.
To them I say this:
- I’m not influenced by Russia. I have opinions that are based on principle and reason. Russia — like many other countries, and like many other groups of people, and like many individual people — happens to share my critique and opposition to US war-mongering all over the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and East Asia. War mongering is wrong. I won’t change my position on war-mongering (I oppose it) because some other country or some other people happen to agree with me and also oppose it. I say what I believe no matter who agrees or doesn’t agree.
- My loyalty is to sanity, not to mass murder. I am loyal to American principles, not to US wars of aggression. It is my patriotic duty as a loyal American to oppose American policies that I disagree with.
- It is important to directly contrast US policy and Russian policy at the current time. US policy is wrong and gravely criminal. Russian policy is correct, reasonable, sane, decent, and based on respect for other people and other countries. The US policy is based on conquest at any cost, including the cost of destroying civilization over entire regions of the earth. US policy is totally insane and I am totally opposed. More on my blog, specifically regarding Syria and Ukraine/Crimea: https://dagsljus.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/loyalty-to-sanity/
- Americans have to, they really have to, if civilization is going to continue, learn that their country CAN BE wrong. This comes first. Most Americans cannot and do not believe that their country can be wrong. Because of this belief, no amount of evidence that the US is wrong, and is acting criminally, will be admitted into their minds.
- War is criminal; initiating one war of conquest after another, and after another after another, is gravely criminal. Countries that defend themselves against our wars of aggression are not criminal. We are. They are engaging in self defense against our invasions (direct invasions and invasion by proxy), on their own territories!
- But no evidence of this has any impact on most Americans. The reason is that they BELIEVE that their country CANNOT be wrong.
- This has to be confronted directly. It’s not enough to say “I have my own opinion, based on the merits and uninfluenced by Russia.” The McCarthyist answer to that is: “then you’re an UNWITTING dupe.“
- The counter has to be sufficient:
“I’ve examined US war policy (regime change here, here, here, here and here) and I find it unjustifiable and criminal. Russian policy and action, in contrast, is reasonable, principled, decent, sane, respectful of other nations and people, and Russia does not seek regime change, and does not conduct regime change wars (neither direct nor by proxy), while the US does, all over the world.”
My assessment (which is plain, simple, and obvious) stands on its merits, with or without agreement from others, including with or without similar opinion among nations (like Russia). When other nations agree that war of aggression, and war of world domination is wrong, then their agreement is noted and valued, as it should be. And I wish my own country shared this kind of value. Sadly it doesn’t.
- My opinion on US policy both predates and stands alone from Russian policy and action. My opposition to US wars predates Russian opposition which came only since 2014 (Ukraine) and 2015 (Syria, 4 years late). My opposition is based on principle, not preference for one country or another: the principle of opposing wars of aggression and mass murder. Therefore my position has zero dependency on Russian policy, and zero reliance on the opinion and policy of any other entity. And, my opinion is not malleable, won’t change in response to any country (Russia or any another) holding either similar or dissimilar opinions.
Let’s look at specifics.
In the case of Syria, Russia is defending Syria from our heinous act of aggression (invasion direct and by proxy), and I find the Syrian and Russian position sane, reasonable and justifiable, morally and legally. This Syrian society https://youtu.be/EhL8D0wYevo (secular, gender-equal, non-sectarian, socialist, modern, peaceful) deserves to defend itself against our proxy foreign invasion force comprised of ISIS and Al Qaeda, whom we arm, pay, train and direct to overthrow the sovereign country of Syria. By any sane account, the Syrian position is the correct one, along with the Russia position: defense of Syria, preventing Syria from becoming what Libya has become since the US destroyed it.
Likewise the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, which effectively claimed Sevastopol for the US Navy: criminal, and insane beyond measure. And the Russian response: predictable (no other alternative possible) and legally sound, reasonable, principled, and decent. Contrast that with US policy — which is violent, murderous, insane beyond all measure — and it should be to any reasonable person perfectly clear that opposition to US policy need be motivated by no special sympathy for Russia, nor for Putin. Opposition to US wars of choice and aggression stands alone on its own merits, regardless of Russia.
My opinions on Syria and Ukraine/Crimea predate Russian response, by 4 years in Syria, and by a day or so in Ukraine. So the argument (that critique of US policy is influenced by Russia) is unfounded even chronologically.
- The US is wrong in Syria.
- Syria should not be destroyed and run by ISIS/AL Qaeda.
- Russia and Syria are right.
- Syria should defeat ISIS/Al Qaeda.
- Syria should continue to exist.
- The US is wrong in Ukraine.
- Sevastopol should not be a NATO/US Naval Base.
It is a Russian Naval Base, as it has been continuously since before the United States existed, since the 1700s. To claim Sevastopol for the US, as the US did claim in 2014 by coup d’etat — the coup government announced on day 1 after the coup its intent to renege on the Kharkiv Treaty — is absolutely crazed behavior, dangerous beyond measure, cannot be justified by any argument.
Russia on the other hand needs no justification for accepting Crimea back into Russia, after an overwhelming majority of Crimeans (96%) voted by referendum to rejoin Russia after the US coup d’etat in Ukraine put in power a government largely comprised of Nazis who these days are busy renaming streets in honor of WWII Nazis and putting a 94 year old WWII Jewish Ukrainian war hero on trial for killing a Nazi in a firefight in 1952.
- There is no conceivable scenario in which ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine and Crimea will consent to being governed by Nazis, nor by any government installed by US coup d’etat.
The following is compiled by Christopher Coman:
“This crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull the Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure”(1) “including a concerted attempt to draw the Ukraine into Nato.”(2)
“The EU [had] been pushing Ukraine to sign an association agreement, offering loans for austerity, as part of a German-led drive to open up Ukraine for western companies.”(2) “President Yanukovych rejected [the] European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which [had] also propped up Ukraine’s economy with discounted natural gas.”(3)
“Ukrainians are deeply divided about both European integration and the protests – largely along an axis between the largely Russian-speaking east and south, and traditionally nationalist western Ukraine… It’s that historic fault line at the heart of the Ukraine that the west [had] been trying to exploit.”(2)
“Financing from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other US sources, played key roles in destabilizing and overthrowing the democratically elected president”(3) including “fund[ing] scores of bogus ‘pro-European’ groups.”(4)
“In December, 2013, US senator John McCain travelled to the Ukraine…appearing on stage with leaders of the three opposition parties leading the protests, including the far-right Svoboda party.”(5)
US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland “ was at work planning for ‘regime change’, encouraging disruptive street protests by personally passing out cookies to the anti-government demonstrators. “(3)
Also in December, at a US-Ukraine Foundation Conference, Nuland commented that “the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals.”(6)
In late January, 2014, a recorded conversation between Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, unveiled the following insight into the US’s plans for the Ukraine.
“Nuland: I don’t think Klitsch [Vitaly Klitschko, one of three main opposition leaders] should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea…I think Yats [Arseniy Yatsenyuk, another opposition leader] is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience…
Pyatt: Yeah, no, I think that’s right. OK. Good. Do you want us to set up a call with him as the next step?”(7)
The coup d’état was complete in late February, 2014, when a new government was formed and “Nuland’s choice, Yatsenyuk, emerged as prime minister.”(3) In May, during a House of Foreign Affairs hearing, Congressman Dana Rohrebacher confronted Victoria Nuland regarding who the US was supporting in the Kyiv protests.
“Rohrebacher: We did have a legitimate election before, and the legitimate president was removed after we had major street violence. There were pictures of people running around, that we were told were neo-Nazis”.
Nuland: “First of all, the vast majority of those who were participating on Maidan were peaceful protesters. There were mothers and grandmothers and veterans…
Rohrebacher: “I saw those pictures and I also saw a lot of people throwing fire bombs at groups of policemen. There were people shooting into the ranks of police. So, yes, there were mothers with flowers, but there were also very dangerous street fighters engaged in those demonstrations. …The question is: were there neo-Nazis involved?”
Nuland: “There were many colours of Ukraine involved, including very ugly colours.”(8)
In February, 2015, Obama commented “… after we had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”(9)
Note: “In mid-April, 2014, CIA director John Brennan was confirmed to have travelled to Kiev.”(10) “[In late April] US vice president Joe Biden [met] Ukraine’s acting prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev”(11) and in May came “the appointment of Hunter Biden, son of…Joe Biden, as a member of Ukraine energy giant Burisma’s board of directors.”(12)
(1) Seumas Milne, It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war, The Guardian, 30 April, 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/…/russia-ukraine-war-kiev…
(2) Seumas Milne, In Ukraine, fascists, oligarchs and western expansion are at the heart of the crisis, The Guardian, 29 January, 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/…/ukraine-fascists-oligarchs…
(3) Robert Parry, What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis, Consortium News, 2 March, 2014: http://consortiumnews.com/…/what-neocons-want-from…/
(4) Christopher Booker, Fresh evidence of how the West lured Ukraine into its orbit, The Telegraph, 9 August, 2014: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Fresh-evidence-of-how-the…
(5) Ukraine: far-right extremists at core of ‘democracy’ protest, Channel 4, 24 January, 2014: http://www.channel4.com/…/kiev-svoboda-far-right…
(6) Remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Conference, US Department of State, 13 December, 2013: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2013/dec/218804.htm
(7) Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call, BBC News, 7 February, 2014: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26079957
(8) House grilled Nuland over US’ Cooperation with Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, NSNBC International, 9 May, 2014: http://nsnbc.me/…/house-grilled-nuland-us-cooperation…/
(9) Ukraine Coup: Obama Admits to ‘Brokering Power Transition’ in Kiev, The Pontiac Tribune, 2 Feb, 2015: http://pontiactribune.com/ukraine-coup-obama-admits…/
(10) Tony Cartalucci, West visits newly installed regime in Kiev, New Eastern Outlook, 23 April, 2014: http://journal-neo.org/…/west-visits-newly-installed…/
(11) US vice president Joe Biden meets Ukraine’s acting prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev, ABC News, 23 april, 2014: http://www.abc.net.au/…/joe-biden-meets-arseny…/5405220
(12) Tony Cartalucci, Ukraine and the Battle for South Stream, New Eastern Outlook, 27 June, 2014: http://journal-neo.org/…/ukraine-and-the-battle-for…/
The key point is that US policy is interventionist, violent, expansionist, war-mongering, aggressive, and it claims for US military control, not only whole regions of the earth, all over the earth, but including territory that has been integral to Russia since the 1700s: Crimea and Russia’s Naval Base on the Black Sea at Sevastopol. That Russia acts defensively in response, in self defense, requires no justification whatsoever. Russia exists. It has a right to continue to exist.
The US asserts otherwise and is wrong. And any reasonable person would take the only reasonable position in this, the Russian position. Americans loyal to the founding principles of the United States won’t recognize US conquest of the entire globe as a defensible or legitimate position and will also take the reasonable position: Russia has the right to exist.
To be loyal to America is to be loyal to reason, not loyal to lunacy, and not loyal to maniacal war-mongering. Reasonableness no longer exists in the United States though. There is only war, the expansion of war, and the expansion of war over the whole globe, and the propaganda that stupefies Americans into accepting it.
Here’s an example:
Oliver Stone filmed Vladimir Putin in conversation for 22 hours. For that he gets a few minutes to talk on American television, with most of the few minutes taken up by demonization. Stone should have an hour on TV, in meaningful discussion with informed people. That’s not what Americans get on TV anymore, ever. Instead they get only garbage, like these pundits’ total lack of analytical capacity, and total lack of understanding of anything that matters about their own country (now in its third decade of war on the whole world), or any other country.
How it is that any intelligent person can watch this “interview” above and not be ashamed for the treatment of Oliver Stone — and ashamed for humanity — is, to me, a total mystery.
Occasionally on the margins of American media, where no one reads, a decent article slips in like this one: https://www.thenation.com/article/oliver-stone-talks-to-the-nation-about-his-new-documentary-the-putin-interviews/