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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Imperial Hubris: Ukraine as a 'regime change' too far for the American Empire

Fireworks at Kiev

Joe Quinn

All anti-imperialists that have been secretly longing for the day when the last great Empire of our 'modern' era would finally do what all the 'best' Empires have done - overextend itself in both reach and hubris for all to see and usher in its collapse - should be looking at the situation in Ukraine with hope and expectation.

Well, maybe I'm getting a little carried away there, but the US-Ukraine-Russia debacle does seem to be presenting 'we the people' with a rare opportunity to see the great American Empire as the monolithic edifice, composed largely of lies, propaganda, rhetoric, fear and public credulity that it is. There is, perhaps, a chance to see that the emperor really is naked, and that our overblown overlords and their "greatest democracy on earth" exist and persist only because we all believe their carefully crafted lies served up to us in the yellow journalism of the Empire's fourth estate, the mainstream media.

As the empire fades and the hubris of its leaders increases however, it seems even those carefully crafted lies aren't having the desired effect. This week, both Obama and John Kerry exposed America's vaunted 'exceptionalism' as being based on exceptional dishonesty when they made statements about Russian intervention in Ukraine. The funny thing is, both Obama and Kerry were actually trying to do the opposite - present themselves as paragons of righteousness. Apparently the Neocons from whom they take their orders failed to mention to these two spokesmen for Empire that 'chutzpah' should never be pushed too far, lest you expose your unmitigated effrontery and impudence for all the world to see.

In attempting to rally world public opinion behind him and against Russian President Putin, Kerry stated:

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext."
Emphasizing the point, he inadvisedly added:
"You just don't invade another country on a phony pretext in order to assert your interests."
Obama stated:
"any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity [...] would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. Throughout this crisis we have been very clear about one fundamental principle, the Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future [...] human beings have a universal right to determine their own future".
I probably don't need to go into too much detail about why, on the basis of these statements alone, the Nobel Committee should invent a new category called 'most hypocritical statement by a politician in the history of the world' and immediately present it jointly to Kerry and Obama, so I'll just throw out a few country names: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria. On Iraq, Kerry voted for the 2003 US military invasion on completely trumped up charges about non-existent WMDs that were used as a phony pretext so that people like Kerry could 'assert their interests'. 1.5 million Iraqi civilians died as a result and today the country is in ruins and plagued by bombings and assassinations. Kerry went on to defend his vote during his run for president in 2004 against Bush. Obama authorized the March 2011 NATO bombing of Libya without congressional approval on completely trumped up charges of "protecting civilians" and justified by "right to protect" that completely denied the Libyan people their purported 'universal right to determine their own future'. The bombing ultimately caused the deaths of 40,000 Libyan civilians and installed a fundamentalist Islamic government.

Attaboys! Kerry with his new Prime Minister and President...I mean 'Ukraine's'...
It's also worth noting that, just a few weeks previous to Obama and Kerry's statements on Ukraine, a plot was being hatched behind the scenes between US Asst. Sec. of State, Victoria Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. Note that Nuland's husband is Council on Foreign Relations member, PNAC founder and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Robert Kagan. The Brookings Institution is one of Washington's oldest "think tanks" and ranked "the most influential think tank in the world" which means that it is the source of most of the US government's policies on "strengthening American democracy and securing a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system", which is a covert way of saying, 'how to make the world safer for American corporate and banking interests'.

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