Everything Is Either Good or Evil!
When Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s president, invaded Iran on September 22, 1980, he was a “good” dictator. His invasion of the neighboring country was not only approved by the United States and its Western satellites, but also universally supported by them. Unlike secular Iraq, Iran was led by so-called vicious Islamic clerics.
They had committed the crime of spearheading a popular movement to overthrow Shah Reza Pahlavi, who had been swept into power by the Americans and the British but was abhorred by the Iranians. In the eyes of the American and British governments, however, Pahlavi was a “good” dictator.
His predecessor Mohammed Mossadegh, a democratically elected president, who they hounded out of office, was regarded as “very bad” because he defended the interests of his own country and tried to nationalize its oil. Saddam’s “good,” eight-year war against “evil” Iran was the deserved punishment for the misdeed of the insurgent Iranian clerics.
Even the use of chemical weapons, with their horrendous consequences, against Iran did not cross any “American red line” because Saddam was a “good” guy at the time. Unlike, say, Syria, with “evil” dictator Assad in charge, which was bombed by America because of chemical weapons use by someone else.
Unlike the Iranian theocrats, the Afghan Taliban were God’s Warriors for many years, doing good according to the name: Thanks to more than $2 billion in weapons, logistical support and training the CIA channeled to the mujahideen between 1979 and 1989, they defeated the “evil empire” (according to U.S. President Reagan), i.e., the Soviet Union (Russia from 1991), in Afghanistan.
The fact that in the process they also overthrew and murdered the Afghan president, who advocated a multi-party system and built schools for girls throughout the country, had not bothered governments and media figures in the West. After all, he was a “bad” guy because he did not turn down material support from the “evil empire.”
The tide turned for the formerly “good” Taliban after the 9/11 terrorist attack. Washington condemned them as irresponsible and evil, although they were not involved in the terrorist attack themselves and even offered the U.S. government extradition of those al-Qaeda terrorists who were in Afghanistan. The U.S. government and its Western aides did not accept the offer, preferring to carry out an undoubtedly “good” NATO invasion of Afghanistan, albeit one that violated international law, because of the Taliban, now perceived as entirely evil.
Even the formerly “good” dictator Saddam was amazed when his status metamorphosized into “evil” dictator almost overnight—after he invaded Kuwait, with U.S. encouragement! Perhaps he overlooked the fact that his intention to sell oil in currencies other than the American monopoly currency was totally heinous. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, American intelligence agencies accused him of running a secret program to develop weapons of mass destruction. The accusations turned out to be bare-faced lies, which America and its vassals (also called the “coalition of the willing”) used as a pretext to carry out a “good” invasion of Iraq, although illegal under international law, in order to get rid of a now evil dictator.
Wars, including proxy wars, are not “evil” per se; they can be “very good” and useful. This is universally true if they are led or supported by the West, and for which Washington and its allies always put forward good reasons. Since 2015, for example, “good” Saudi Arabia has been waging a “good,” albeit very dirty, proxy war in neighboring Yemen against its regional rival Iran (still “very bad”!). Saudi Arabia, which is far less democratic and a lot more inhumane than Iran, has been massively armed by the self-proclaimed bulwarks of democracy and human rights, the U.S., UK and France.
According to the UN, this war is the biggest humanitarian catastrophe of this century. It has already claimed hundreds of thousands of victims and 20 of the 30 million Yemeni inhabitants are starving in the war-ravaged country. Had the West preferred it that way, this war would never have transpired or would have ended long ago with the stroke of a pen. The “good” Saudi regime could not have survived for two weeks without American support, as then-U.S. President Trump told his hosts in Saudi Arabia in his own very direct way. Because the people of Yemen have the misfortune of not being “good” Ukrainians, they are subjected to a “good” war driven by the liberal democratic West. Western media barely reported on the massacre. Expressions of solidarity from politicians and celebrities have been sparse compared to those heaped on Ukraine, and sanctions against the perpetrators and supporters of this “good” war, which claims many more lives than Russia’s evil Ukraine war, are not being sought.
Of course, the U.S. has always been in favor of “good,” overt invasions and wars, such as in Vietnam, and “good,” covert ones, such as in East Africa, regardless of how many millions of innocent lives are lost. The American war, as the Vietnamese call the Vietnam War, cost the lives of at least three million Vietnamese alone.
Driven by a vast, untamable war industry, they will probably never stop aspiring to make the whole world happy with their great “values.” Propaganda and economic wars, subversion and clandestine operations, and overt use of force are the “good” tools of the American establishment to achieve “good” all over the world. In any case, these efforts have given American corporations—not only those producing weapons—mostly only favorable results.
Of course, there have always been “good” and “bad” dictatorships since World War II, even in Europe. The “good” ones were helped, the “bad” ones were contested. The former dictatorships in Salazar’s Portugal, Franco’s Spain and the military junta’s in Greece, which were perceived by their citizens as brutal and bloodthirsty, enjoyed support and sympathy from Western democratic governments because they were good and a bulwark against the “evil empire.”
Then, of course, there were the “evil” dictatorships, especially in Eastern Europe, as in contemporary Russia, which is being oppressed by “Vladimir the Terrible.” In the latter case, there is also the fact that Putin’s Russia represents its own interests, independent of those of the United States, which Washington regards as genuinely evil and therefore worth combatting.
There are also “good” and “bad” independence movements
It is not only the separatists in Tibet or in China’s Xinjiang province, but also the glorious independence fighters in Taiwan, a Chinese province also recognized by the United States and the rest of the West, that are supported by the West in every plausible way. It is simply a matter of the “good” Chinese on the island being threatened by the “evil” Chinese on the mainland and therefore best supported in another “good” war, ideally provoked by the West.
Surround Russia? That has already been done, including five rounds of NATO eastward enlargements. Now it is a matter of surrounding China and, if possible, provoking another good war. The next “Cuban missile crisis” is already in the making, but this time rapidly and crudely: The U.S. wants to spend $27.4 billion to encircle China with missiles along the “first island chain,” including Taiwan.
The West and the U.S.-led NATO alliance also supported another “good” secession, that of Kosovo from Serbia, with a uniquely “good” war that they even called “humanitarian.” The territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, of which Serbia is the legal successor, was guaranteed by a UN resolution, but the otherwise “good” international order based on the rule of law, which is so highly praised by the USA and which it decisively coined, was in this case rather a hindrance and therefore somewhat “evil.” It is clear that the Serbs were not choirboys and did not shy away from atrocities. But the West behaved not only in violation of international law, but also in a war-criminal manner: NATO planes bombed infrastructures, schools, hospitals and even the embassy of China, which resisted the secession. For this, three Chinese diplomats paid with their lives.
In addition to the “good” independence movements in Serbia, China and elsewhere, there are also the vicious ones: The People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, founded in 2014 by Russian-speaking Ukrainians seeking autonomy from the UKrainian government, have been considered particularly brutal as they were portrayed in the West as a bad, Russia-instigated conspiracy.
Yet this comes with a caveat: Jacques Baud, a former colonel and Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations and a former NATO official, participated in programs to assist the new government in Ukraine that rose to power after a Western-supported regime-change operation in 2014, explains: “The referendums conducted by the two self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in May 2014, were not referendums of ‘independence’ (независимость), as unscrupulous journalists have claimed, but referendums of ‘self-determination’ or ‘autonomy’ (самостоятельность).”
He adds: “The qualifier ‘pro-Russian’ suggests that Russia was a party to the conflict, which was not the case, and the term ‘Russian speakers’ would have been more honest. Moreover, these referendums were conducted against the advice of Vladimir Putin.”
However, Kyiv’s war against these “evil” Ukrainian secessionists was hugely supported by the West with NATO equipment and many years of training. Only recognized by Russia in 2022, it has been raging since 2014, claiming thousands of lives. Unsurprisingly, however, the Western mainstream media have not featured this “good,” unofficial war against the separatists and the war atrocities committed by Kyiv. The possibility that the Ukrainian war would not have started in February 2022, but as far back as 2014, by Kyiv and the Western powers behind it, the good Western string-pullers, of course, reject far away.
In 2014, long before Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s hero-worshipped president in the West, became president, he declared, “In the east and in Crimea, people want to speak Russian. Leave them alone, just leave them alone. Give them the legal right to speak Russian. Language should never divide our country….We are of the same color, the same blood, regardless of language.”
Since then, new laws discriminating against Russian-speaking Ukrainians have been passed in the country. In addition, Zelensky censored Russian-speaking Ukrainian journalists and banned all opposition parties, most of which represented Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Apparently, these were all “good” measures, because they did not bother anyone in the West, where Zelensky is hailed as a defender of democracy and freedom of expression.
The U.S. president and commander-in-chief in front of his troops in Poland: America’s “organizing principle” is to be enforced not only in Ukraine but also worldwide, including by force of arms.
Of “good” and “evil” war criminals
President Biden called Putin an evil war criminal. Western politicians of all stripes and the media, who are also at war, naturally agree with him. The U.S. government would prefer to put the criminal before a war crimes tribunal. Putin is really unfortunate: He has a “bad” Russian passport instead of a “good” American one, which would protect him from all evil.
When “good” American soldiers blow up innocent families, bomb hospitals or cause a new My Lai massacre, they are never tried for war crimes. Only America’s evil enemies, such as Putin, are deemed punishable for their crimes.
During the Vietnam War not only Vietnamese but also some U.S. soldiers were sprayed with dioxin poison by the U.S. Air Force. A settlement from 1984 onward paid out the pittance sum of $200 million in compensation to some 52,000 U.S. veterans or their survivors.
The Vietnamese victims, on the other hand, have received nothing. A corresponding class action lawsuit in the USA was dismissed in 2005. Additionally, victorious North Vietnam was forced to assume South Vietnam’s debt in order to obtain international credit and end the trade embargo of the United States.
This does not justify Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. But the demand for war crimes tribunals in Ukraine compared to U.S. crimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere, which remain unpunished to this day, illustrate the hypocrisy, double standard, one-sidedness and selective memory of history.
Of “good” and “bad” oligarchs
Everyone knows it: Russian oligarchs are “evil,” so evil that the rule of law had to be overturned in Western countries because of them. The esteemed noble principles of property guarantee, presumption of innocence and proof in court against accused persons do not apply to Russian oligarchs. The only sure proof of their crimes according, apparently, to Western authorities is that they have or had the same passport as the belligerent Russian president. There may also be footage showing them in a photo with Vladimir the Terrible. That’s enough to seize their yachts, planes, villas and money. “Seize,” here, is a useful euphemism for “steal.”
Law was replaced by a simple pronouncement from the American leader. In his much applauded State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress on March 1, 2022, President Biden addressed the Russian oligarchs directly: “We will join with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury homes, and your private jets. We will take your ill-gotten gains.”
Fortunately, in addition to the evil Russian oligarchs, there are also the good ones who are protected by the rule of law. These include, for example, the Ukrainian oligarchs, who are politically a lot more powerful in their country than the Russian ones are in Russia. For example, with extensive help from the most controversial oligarch in Ukraine, Ihor Kholomoisky, Volodymyr Zelensky, a man who hid his ill-gotten millions in secret offshore bank accounts, was enabled to become president of Europe’s most corrupt country. A nation that got a worse “democracy” ranking in 2022 by the majority U.S. government-funded “Freedom House” than Hungary, a target of vitriolic criticism by the same Western politicians and journalists who are so apologetic about Ukraine.
Oligarchs generally started almost from scratch and became rich through connections to Ukraine’s highly corrupt but democratically elected government during the transition from a state to a market-based economy. It was not so different in Russia: When state resources were sold off at ridiculously low prices to private parties under Russian President Boris Yeltsin, his chums were in the forefront, and have quickly become nouveau riche oligarchs.
The then-Russian president was a “good” president because he opened the doors wide to the corporations of American oligarchs; American and Russian oligarchs also became firm business partners in Russia. However, Vladimir Putin, President Yeltsin’s successor, dared to limit the scope of Russian and American oligarchs. Therefore, Washington considered him a bad guy and began to work toward weakening Russia and regime change in Moscow.
Ironically, in the process, even “good” President Yeltsin’s former cronies were transformed into “Putin’s oligarchs” by the West. This maneuver served as justification for Russia’s enemies, who are engaged in economic warfare against Russia, to take away the property and residence permits of Russian oligarchs in the new Wild West, to restrict their freedom of movement, and to thwart their ability to conduct legal business.
The U.S. Pentagon (Department of Defense) is the largest and most powerful organization in the world, both now and historically. It is also the largest employer in the world, with 3.2 million men and women on its payrolls; and since these are evidently insufficient, it hires large numbers of mercenaries, known as “private contractors” for its wars.
In addition, America’s elephantine private-war industry accounts for 20% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs (Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Carlyle Group, and many more). It also provides thousands of other jobs in high-profile technology companies also owned by American oligarchs, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Palantir, which receive billions of dollars in contracts from the U.S. military. American oligarchs, who benefit handsomely from American wars and with blood on their hands, are “good” oligarchs, however, because they support and profit from the wars of America, God’s own country. That distinguishes them from the “bad” Russian oligarchs who don’t make money from Russian wars.
The U.S. Center for Responsive Politics reports that, over the past two decades, the defense industry’s extensive network of lobbyists and donors has used “$285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying expenditures” to influence defense policy.
A rare, shocking moment of honesty from Senator Joe Biden, who admits here that the system is corrupt: “I don’t think you should assume I’m not corrupt. It takes a lot of money to get into office. And the people with that money always want something.”
Unlike the powerful war industry, the innumerable homeless have no lobby in Washington. It is therefore not surprising that, while the U.S. recently transferred another $3.3 billion in lethal aid to Ukraine and now spends more than $200 million a day for the Ukraine war, countless Americans, including a quarter of students living on the street in many areas, are forced to somehow survive like stray dogs, instead of being allowed to enjoy life as dignified citizens in the U.S.—the richest nation in the world.
For fiscal year 2023 Washington has earmarked $813 billion to spend on the military, or more than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.
On the other hand there is no program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry, nor is there any relief for $1.7 trillion in student debt or a minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. As Chris Hedges explains, “the permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the U.S. debt to $30 trillion, $6 trillion more than the U.S. GDP of $24 trillion. Servicing this debt [interest payments] costs $300 billion a year.”
“More children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members,” explains the Scientific American. Not just in the United States: Arms control experts decry global slaughter by American weapons. The world’s only country with almost daily mass shootings is more interested in getting involved in new “good” wars abroad than in addressing the root causes for the rampant violence at home.
A 2014 book published by Cambridge University Press showed that government actions almost always conform to the wishes of wealthy and powerful U.S. elites. It concluded with the following central finding: “Business elites and interest groups can influence U.S. government policy—but Americans who are less well off have essentially no influence over what their government does,” co-authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page summarize.
What should be added is that, in the United States, political opposition also exists in name only. The same phenomenon is not limited to the U.S. as it is also prevalent in other Western countries such as Australia, Britain and Germany. When America’s political parties—in this de-facto one-party state with two brands and oligarchs being the controlling paymasters for both brands—play their game every few years with, in essence, the same economic, social and war-making policies to convince voters that they are different, the outstanding window-dressing is presented by its beneficiaries as an exceptional “democracy.”
Australian writer, scholar and documentary filmmaker John Pilger exposes a political scam called “democratic elections.”
Jeff Bezos is one of the richest oligarchs in America and, indeed, the world. He built his Amazon empire on his ability to sell products online without paying sales taxes, in contrast to his competitors who ran stores. He also paid low wages, and almost no income taxes, unlike his employees, as well as the many shop owners he forced out of business. Bezos also profits massively from the gigantic military-industrial complex, from which he receives billions in contracts.
Bezos also supports the spy organizations: Recently, he received a US$10 billion contract to implement a large cloud project. His client is the National Security Agency (NSA), the American government organization that spies not only on French presidents and German chancellors, but also on you and me. NSA needs huge cloud-storage capacity to effectively monitor the world’s population on behalf of the American government, and this is now being developed for them by “good” oligarch Bezos.
Of course, there is hardly an American oligarch who has not benefited from the U.S. government. For example, Elon Musk has received billions in subsidies and contracts for his automotive and space projects. When Musk and his SpaceX were both virtually out of cash before Christmas in 2008, NASA made him a huge gift, in the form of a juicy contract that saved his venture. Bill Gates has also profited from government contracts. His Microsoft was the first company to participate in the PRISM surveillance program, according to leaked NSA documents obtained by The Guardian. In addition, he parlayed aggressive patent strategies and shameless business practices to achieve his own oligarchic status.
An oligarch, representative of other American oligarchs, not only makes money with wars but also influences the pro-war narrative with his own media. And, as this example shows, his journalists use the media to defend his personal interests (in this case not to pay a fair share of taxes) with shamelessly gross PR-like texts.
The anti-Russian Cancel Culture also bans famous Russian writers, musicians and other artists who had lived and died long before Putin was even born. Its latest hate object is two centuries-old Russian trees.
Of “good” and “bad” propaganda: In the West, Russian news outlets have been prohibited for spreading propaganda. On the other hand the good Ukrainian regime can make any claim and the Western mainstream media will, without verification, publish it as a news story. Even the Ukrainian parliament is more skeptical of Ukrainian claims, disagreed with Ms. Denisova, the source of these and many other stories about alleged Russian atrocities, and fired her as she had no evidence to support her claims.
There is even an “extremely bad” and a “much less bad” standard for police brutality, defined by the self-proclaimed, self-righteous “International Community” and its Western-media echo chamber: the genocidal one for bad China and the occasionally abusive one for the U.S.
Are you surprised when mainstream media tell you that Christian Ukrainians are “better refugees” than non-Christian, non-Ukrainian ones? Luckily, they teach you to be able to clearly distinguish between superior religions and races (the “good” ones), and inferior religions and races (the “bad” ones).
What and who is “good” and what and who is “bad” was determined long ago: in Washington!
Interestingly, the authors of this book, published seven years before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, prophetically foresaw the bellicose development. Rather than dissolve NATO after the dissolution of its Soviet counterpart, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and other influential U.S. hawks wanted to use NATO to expand U.S. global dominance and not only maintain but accelerate arms purchases and sales. Thus, Brzezinski proclaimed that “an expanded NATO will serve well both the short-term and longer-term goals of U.S. policy.” Significantly, he “designated” Ukraine as the pivotal country to defeat Russia. It appears that this very gambit is now being vigorously implemented.
As a comedian at the time Barack Obama was president of the U.S., Volodymyr Zelensky echoed this bitter truth here: “Today our president—the most important one, Barack Obama—promised that we will join NATO as an American stooge. Please send copies of ‘Mein Kampf,’ it’s sold out here.” The irony of history is that he, of all people, as the current president of Ukraine, has now been squeezed into this very role as America’s myrmidon.
Is this an evil pope with very politically incorrect beliefs who could become a legitimate target for assassination or attempted overthrow by the CIA?
Decades before the Ukraine war, leading American politicians warned of NATO’s eastward expansion and the fierce reaction to be expected from Russia as a result. Among them was Robert McNamara, who as Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War achieved the deplorable record of making Vietnam the most bombed country in human history. At least three million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans lost their lives. Henry Kissinger, who supported the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, one of the most bloodthirsty in human history, also spoke up against NATO expansion. They sullied their hands with blood for the glory and honor of the American Empire and are certainly undeniably American patriots who cannot be suspected of being traitors because they opposed NATO’s eastward expansion.
U.S. President Joe Biden strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as “unprovoked” and therefore announced and unleashed massive retaliation. Yet he belonged to the same group of U.S. politicians who had warned against the disastrous U.S. policy of Russia and NATO expansion.
As early as 1997, Senator Joe Biden, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted that NATO expansion to the Baltic states would provoke a “forceful and hostile” Russian military response. Instead of preventing that response with a security guarantee for Russia, which would have been low-cost and painless for all parties involved, he proactively helped provoke it!
What more can be added when the self-confessed corrupt and warmongering Democrat Joe Biden is praised, even by his Republican rivals, as so “good a man as God ever created”?
Creating the conditions for a new good, i.e., useful, war.
U.S. political elites like Henry Kissinger, who wanted to avoid provoking an armed conflict with Russia and who had solid arguments against the aggressive NATO expansion, were sidelined by the super-hawks of U.S. politics.
Knowing full well that it would constitute a very serious provocation for Russia, NATO, led by President Clinton, a hawk, accepted the Baltic states, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary into its alliance in 1999. Moscow declared it a red line against Georgia and Ukraine also joining NATO. Unlike the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) that, historically, were independent states, Ukraine and Georgia were Russian state provinces.
Today’s Ukraine was historically also a marching-in and marching-through area for aggressors from the West against Russia. At the 2007 Munich Security Conference, President Vladimir Putin made his concern and anger public. He also reminded that the OSCE’s Charter for European Security commits states “to respect each other’s security interests and not to strengthen security at the expense of other states.”
Putin made it clear: NATO’s eastward expansion is a threat to Russia’s national security. NATO missiles along its long borders were not acceptable. William J. Burns, who was U.S. Ambassador to Russia and is currently CIA Director, wrote in 2008 that he knew no Russian who disagreed with Putin on this. Yet Putin’s words went unheeded.
So NATO did not accept Russia’s red line and instead made Ukraine an offer of membership. Ukraine even wrote the goal of NATO accession into its constitution. In response, Russia classified NATO and Ukraine as a threat to Russian security in a new military doctrine. Russia remembered the NATO attack on Serbia in 1999, the NATO bombing of Libya in 2011 and the war NATO had been waging in Afghanistan for many years.
In 2014 a U.S.-instigated and EU-supported coup (called “revolution”) drove democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych from office. The smoking gun proving U.S. involvement in the coup in Kyiv was recently removed from YouTube after eight years.
In the aftermath of the violent “revolution” Crimea, with two-thirds of its population being ethnic Russians, was annexed by Russia. Although Ukraine’s accession to NATO was only a mutually announced but not yet realized intention, Ukraine’s new government had the Ukrainian military trained and rearmed by NATO and participated in NATO maneuvers. Since 2014 the U.S. has spent more than three billion dollars on training and equipping Ukraine’s armed forces. Unsurprisingly, Russia had to fear that Ukraine would try to take back Crimea and the separatist areas in the Donbas militarily.
NATO-backed Ukraine was now perceived as a threat coming too close to Russia in the east and driving out the Russians in the Black Sea.
For Russia, the red line had been crossed.
Russia had no desire to wait until Ukraine was fully armed. And even less did Russia want to wait until nuclear-tipped missiles and missile defense systems were operational on the Ukrainian side of the 2,000-kilometer (1,243-mile) common border.
Russia finally decided to adopt a threatening posture with large-scale military maneuvers on the border with Ukraine. Putin set an ultimatum, demanded and waited for weeks that Ukraine renounce joining NATO. He also demanded that Ukraine put an end to the Nazi battalion, which has been rampaging through the Donbas with the blessing of the Kyiv government, and to the neo-Nazi group C14. Zelensky and NATO did not respond to either demand, but incessantly repeated that every country has the right to join NATO. But from Russia’s point of view, NATO, with missile sites on its borders, is an existential threat.
Propaganda megaphones of the U.S. Empire:
“Eastward expansion has been the most successful thing in U.S. foreign policy in the last thirty years.” – Historian Anne Applebaum
“NATO’s eastward expansion has saved the Baltic states and probably all of Eastern Europe from Russia.” – Hillary Clinton, March 28, 2022, in The New York Times
America brutally defending its large hemisphere’s a good thing, Russia trying to merely protect its borders is a bad thing
No great power accepts a policy of encircling by an adversary directly on its national borders, especially, with the most modern weapons. For two hundred years, the U.S. has enforced the Monroe Doctrine: No enemy missile is tolerated not only in neighboring states, but throughout Central and South America.
The U.S. would not wait if Cuba, or even faraway Venezuela, allowed Russia or China to station missiles in their country.
Even without the threat of hostile missiles, the U.S. punishes countries in its hegemonic sphere for behaving in a challenging manner (e.g., when they want to carry out nationalizations) and for not granting unlimited access to U.S. corporations. The UN General Assembly condemns the U.S. blockade and sanctions against Cuba year after year, voting 184 to 2 in 2021, with only the U.S. and Israel voting in favor. These votes are barely worth a passing mention in the Western-leaning media. The U.S. even overthrew democratically elected governments, such as the ones in Chile and Panama, replacing them with military dictatorships.
Over more than half a century U.S. presidents have behaved like emperors, including the outlier Donald Trump who was feared to be a dangerous isolationist by the defenders of the empire. They were worried that he would stop warring abroad and re-allocate some of the huge resources used by the military to fix America’s domestic problems. Yet Trump not only had the military budget massively increased but resorted to the traditional coercive empire tools too:
His White House was, for example, considering a blockade on Cuba and a war against Venezuela and he was bombing Syria with cruise missiles under a false pretext. He even attempted to provoke another war against Iran by carrying out the public assassination of Iran’s top military commander when the latter was on a peace mission in neighboring Iraq, additionally, and recklessly, violating Iraq’s sovereignty! An act of war that Iran didn’t rise to.
This makes it clear that the U.S. would not pull back one inch from its Monroe Doctrine no matter who is its president. It wants to keep rival troops and missiles far from its borders despite the extensive protection afforded by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, thus making it a lot less vulnerable than Russia and China which are both surrounded by many countries, some of which the U.S. uses as military bases. The same United States that claims that Ukraine and any other country in Russia’s proximity is entitled to join its NATO alliance goes as far as to threaten military action against the Solomon Islands if it established a security pact with China. These tiny islands are more than 7,000 miles away from the United States!
Whereas it considers “bad” troops and missiles near (or even very far) from its borders as unacceptable, it feels entitled to station its “good” troops and missiles in countries neighboring its rivals and perceived enemies, from the Korean peninsula to Poland. One U.S. missile base in Poland is just 115 miles from Russia.
Outside the immediate U.S. hemisphere, in Germany, the G7 declared at its latest meeting that it “will never recognize borders changed by force.” This selectively refers to Russia in Ukraine and not to NATO member Turkey, which has annexed parts of Syria. In addition, Ankara has been using the cover of the Ukraine war to intensify its incursions into Syria, drive Kurds from their land and slaughter them. As this is a good Turkish instead of an evil Russian aggression, it is, naturally, not a subject of G7 discussions and mainstream reporting and condemnation.
Selective accountability U.S. government-style: “Bad” atrocities by Russia in Ukraine have to be held to account; “good” atrocities by Israel in Palestine do not.
The G7 policy of “never recognizing borders changed by force” applies even less to Israel, which expanded its national borders, not entirely peacefully, and has made the theft of Palestinian land a state maxim, which is not, apparently, sanction-worthy for the supportive U.S.-led G7.
“Good” and “bad” money launderers
Because of America’s smart war against Russia allowing it to “wage war by proxy without losing soldiers” on Ukrainian soil, far from its own lands, and the West’s deafening howl of war, leading Swiss politicians may have felt under pressure or saw an opportunity for themselves to join America’s and its European satellites’ all-out economic war against Russia. This move will, above all, hurt ordinary Swiss citizens rather than Russia’s elites.
Even Washington was surprised when they sided with the U.S. against Russia. Seemingly no longer caring about the constitutional guarantee of “comprehensive, armed neutrality,” a centuries-old survival strategy of a small state, surrounded by major European powers. They appeared to forget that neutrality had also prevented the division of the German-, French-, and Italian-speaking groups that make up Switzerland in conflict situations between its large neighbors, the “parents” of these disparate language groupings.
These politicians flirt with the idea of joining the increasingly warmongering U.S. empire-serving European Union (EU). This would open new career opportunities, as Eurocrats in distant Brussels. Harbingering elevated power and prestige, a higher income and a lot less accountability than in their home country, characterized by political neutrality and independence, federalism and direct democracy including proportional representation, the latter giving its citizens a sway over them which politicians perceive as inconvenient. It is a unique privilege Swiss citizens would lose if their self-serving leaders could persuade them to become EU citizens.
Swiss citizens vote three to four times a year on a wide range of national, cantonal (states) and municipal issues. At the municipal level, for example, they decide on education (kindergarten and elementary school), waste management, municipal roads, local infrastructure, cultural and sports centers, municipal police, spatial planning and forest management, citizenship and municipal taxes.
The Swiss also have the right of referendum, which allows them to confirm or overturn decisions of parliament, and with the additional right of popular initiative they can push through amendments to the constitution. A recent popular initiative, for example, to prohibit tobacco advertisements wherever they are visible to children and young people was approved by a popular vote of 56%. These two central political civil rights in Switzerland allow its citizens to exert direct influence on politics by preventing or obtaining changes in the law.
In addition, any constitutional amendment proposed by Parliament must be approved by a majority of the people and the cantons in order to take effect.
Direct democracy has limited centralization and power accumulation, leading to moderate and better targeted public spending and a small, more citizen-friendly bureaucracy.
The world’s biggest bully had used coercive policies, directly and indirectly, against diminutive Switzerland: Under massive American pressure, Switzerland had given up its infamous banking secrecy, while at the same time America became by far the largest paradise in the world for all those who seek and require secrecy in their financial dealings. The South American drug mafias appreciate the fact that they can safely stash their dirty money in their neighborhood.
The United States also forced Switzerland to become a member of AIA, an agreement adopted by the G20 member states, to automatically exchange financial account information with the U.S. and other countries aimed at improving international tax compliance. However, the U.S. itself refused to become a member of AIA or to reciprocate financial information with Switzerland and the other 90 AIA member nations. On the contrary, with its own Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), it demands extraordinarily intrusive and costly extra-territorial information from Switzerland, and other countries around the world, regarding anyone who is, or could be, liable for tax in the United States. And woe to any Swiss or other financial institution that overlooks something.
It cannot be repeated often enough, so that perhaps everyone will get the message: Most of the black money in the world is in the USA. Not just bank secrecy but the most opaque company constructions including “creative” real estate acquisition schemes for the purpose of concealing the real owner, have been set up in the “United States of Dirty Money.”
“Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming have all spent years marketing themselves around the world as a welcome home for anonymous shell companies, providing legal secrecy and protection to anyone looking to bury their finances away from investigators and authorities,” writes The Atlantic. South Dakota alone “is sheltering billions of dollars in wealth linked to individuals previously accused of serious financial crimes.” According to the Pandora Papers South Dakota trusts now host some $360 billion in anonymous, untraceable assets. So the largest and safest haven for all criminal money in the world, from drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, slavery and exploitation of children, have never been in bad Switzerland, Singapore or Panama, but in the great U.S. of A.
Headline in Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger: “Emigrants suddenly without bank account.”
Swiss expats were suddenly perceived with general suspicion of laundering and depositing dishonestly earned money in Swiss bank accounts. As a Swiss citizen living abroad, banks in Switzerland had closed my decades-old bank accounts almost overnight some years ago, as they did to all other Swiss expats, for fear of American “sanctions.” If I really had had illegally acquired money and would have wanted to hide it, I would not have done it in “bad” Switzerland, but in much safer and good Delaware instead.
Might makes right
When Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, said that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he expressed his observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. In the case of the world’s only superpower its leaders and supporters believe that their immense power entitles them to do whatever serves the empire while self-righteously believing it is morally just.
And from what we have seen “good” is first and foremost what the powerful elites, in particular those of that superpower, consider as good and just; and “bad” or evil is what they consider as bad for their own interests.
Greek philosopher Thrasymachus (c. 459 – c. 400 B.C.E.) put it into context: “Justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger” and “justice is obeying the laws of the ruler(s).” It is “really someone else’s good, the advantage of the man who is stronger and rules.” He made it plain that laws and policies are made in the interest of the powerful: for the tyrant in a tyranny as much as for the oligarchs in an oligarchy or “democracy.” At least as long as those ruled by them accept their fate.
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About the Author
Felix Abt is the author of “A Capitalist in North Korea: My Seven Years in the Hermit Kingdom” and of “A Land of Prison Camps, Starving Slaves and Nuclear Bombs?”
He can be reached via his Twitter account.