One has to wonder whether Moscow planners intend, as one of the effects of their current anti-terrorist (using US parlance) operations in Syria, to highlight US hypocrisy. Intentional or not, this aspect of the Russian campaign has been stunning.
As soon as Russia began doing in Syria the same thing the US claims to be doing, Syrian victims magically switched from “collateral damage” to “civilians”, and suddenly bombing, as long as it is Russia doing it, “will only fuel more extremism and radicalization”, according to the White House, which has increased terrorism in the Mid-East approximately “by a factor of seven”, according to experts, since illegally invading Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. (Iraq, reeling from the US invasion, saw almost four thousand people killed in September.)
At the same time as the US accuses Russia of “attacks on Syrian…civilians”, US-backed death squads in Yemen (led by US-coordinated/supplied Saudi Arabia while the US also bombs directly) carried out a massacre at a wedding, executing over 130 people and making Kill Bill look like an episode of My Fair Wedding. (The US itself also directly attacks weddings regularly.)
At the same time, the US, in classic racist/supremacist fashion, refuses to apologize to a Yemeni man whose entire family the US massacred, rejecting “Faisal bin Ali Jaber’s offer to drop his federal lawsuit in exchange for [the same] condolences Obama has given to western victims of [the same] 2012 strike”. (Even this reporter has to say “wow…” to that one.)
Also simultaneously (or, to be precise, “one day after” pointing entrail-draped fingers as Russia), the US spent about an hour bombing the only hospital in North Eastern Afghanistan, which is well-known to all sides and for which the US/NATO had exact coordinates.
Greenwald mentions that the US has long been hostile towards the Doctors Without Borders staff at this hospital for treating both patients who collaborate with and resist the US empire, so, while DWB frantically called Washington and NATO, telling them to stop detonating bombs in the building, the US continued its detonations for about an hour, murdering 12 DWB staffers and 7 other people in the hospital.
Gallup’s finding last month that distrust in US corporate media has hit a new high of 60%, particularly among ages 18 to 45, might suggest that people are catching on to the ridiculousness of getting “news” exclusively from giant, shady organizations run by oligarchs with massive conflicts of interest related to international markets and private capital and with intimate connections and a revolving door to US government positions controlling an unprecedented global military empire.
However, Gallup found last year that almost half of respondents (47%) believe corporate media is too “liberal”, reminding us that much of the grievance with corporate “news” is motivated by a belief that it is not nationalistic/US-supremacist enough.
But for the 53% who did not say their issue with corporate “news” is that it is too “liberal”, it is hard to imagine that current US actions, as particularly exposed by Russia’s new moves in Syria and Washington’s reaction to them, are not creating a little cognitive dissonance – mental discomfort/inconsistency – in at least a couple more of these US-Americans.
And as Frederick Douglass put it, for an enslaved (or in this case, obedient) person to be fully subservient and “contented”, he or she must “be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery”, and must be convinced of “its absolute rightfulness”. For even “one crevice through which a single drop can fall, …will certainly rust off the slave’s chain.”
While nationalism is, as Orwell would point out, certainly harder to crack than slavery, if Douglass’s statement is applicable in any way, and if more people, even a few at a time, are able to catch onto the US government/corporate ruse, the question then becomes, “When?”
But to end on a somber note, Andre Vltchek, on a recent trip to the US, found that the number of people wise to the game is “too tiny to stop the crimes that the Empire is committing”, a stark reminder for concerned parties to keep hammering away, trying new tactics, and forging new alliances.
Author focuses on force dynamics, national and global, and also writes professionally for the film industry. Contact on Twitter.
Also see the Doctors Without Borders statement on the hospital attack. DWB president: “This attack is abhorrent and a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. We demand total transparency from Coalition forces. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life will simply be dismissed as ‘collateral damage’.”