Saddam’s Sword, Putin’s Missing Shirt and the American Left

When the US decides to bomb or invade a country and the media promptly tells us why it’s the right and moral thing to do, the reactions among the American left vary from accepting the official line to its unequivocal rejection. I have a hard time considering someone of the first group, who goes along with the government explanation and pretext for military intervention, part of the left.

But, there is another group on the left, who take somewhat of a middle ground. Their position goes something like this: we agree the situation is dire, people are suffering or dying or the dictator poses a danger to his neighbors or the government is brutal and commits crimes against humanity and must be stopped, but, nevertheless, they end their position by saying “US Out” or “NATO Hands off”. Case in point: Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria (hopefully we won’t have to include Iran to this list in the future, but, I’m not so optimistic).

In the case of Ukraine, there’s been a relentless and nonstop propaganda against President Putin. Just as they repeatedly showed Saddam pulling out his sword to make him look scary and evil (which he probably was), now, it’s Putin’s turn and what they’ve got on him is his shirtless horseback riding. Again, the point isn’t if there’s truth in what we’re told, repeatedly and ad nauseam. Does Putin have anti-democratic tendencies? Probably? Is he anti-gay? Looks like it. But, so are many other leaders. In fact, there’s a certain president of a certain country, who maintains a “kill list”, from which he picks whom to execute, goes to war without congressional approval, punishes whistle blowers severely, and has signed a National Defense Authorization Act, which gives him the authority to order anyone detained indefinitely, without charges or legal representation. That seems pretty dictatorial to me.

So, the question is not if there is any truth to what the media suddenly decides to tell us, repeatedly, on behalf the Pentagon, but, why. Is it a coincidence that they start showing Saddam with his sword, over and over, before they invade the country? They could have shown such images in early 80’s when the US was giving him chemical weapons. And, is it necessarily a coincidence that they begin focusing on Putin and his shirtless ride, before a rowdy and violent protest breaks out in Ukraine that ends up toppling the government with the potential for Russian intervention? It could be, but, given the history of this country, it’s reasonable to be at least skeptical. It’s reasonable to assume there was an ulterior motive to such persistent negative propaganda, right before Obama starts issuing warnings to Putin.

The point is: whether a certain president or King is a tyrant, or not, or whether he commits crimes, or not, the US never acts on the basis of morality and its objective is never to help people. Its actions, instead, are always calculated, usually long in advance, to advance the empire’s agenda.

The left accomplishes nothing by joining with the TV networks or major newspapers in drilling into people’s heads what the empire has decided on, in order to meet its imperial objectives. Agreeing with them that Putin, for example, is a dictator or a “gulag” and that he has sinister motives in Ukraine, even if he is and he does, is not helpful to the cause of raising political consciousness and understanding, even if we finish our statements with: US and NATO hands off Ukraine..


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

One response to “Saddam’s Sword, Putin’s Missing Shirt and the American Left”

  1. peteybee says :

    As far as foreign policy is concerned, the left in the US has been in a stupor for a pretty long time. There was some resistance to the Iraq war, that was the last I remember.

    A few faint signs of life the blogosphere resisting the propaganda of the Syria situation, but we ironically were saved from yet another middle-eastern disaster by Putin’s willingness to negotiate. (I recall the US media was pushing the plan of handing out guns to Al Quaeda to overthrow the government, bombing if necessary, and then sending in troops to join an 800 year old 3-way enthnic and religious conflict? how many times do you have to try that before you learn?)

    This time, to overthrow the admittedly awful pro-Russian puppet government, we’re asking them to pick a new, pro-NATO crew from a former boxing champ, a former politician accused of selling out by both sides, a former banker who wants to bring in the IMF and confiscate whatever has not already been stolen to pay off debts, and a real live neo-nazi who gets his popularity by physically beating up or pointing guns at rival members of the government, and putting the tape up on youtube?

    I admire the attitude our foreign policy people have. Not a care in the world. The US media, on the other hand… puts Pravda to shame.

    But that’s all right. Hypocrisy on this level will be a beautiful, easy-to-follow primer to teach another generation how to read between the lines. I suppose that is step 1.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: