Why Do We Always End Up With Liars And Hypocrites As Our Leaders?
After all the news about the events in Ukraine, which were followed by public and official condemnations of President Putin by the White House and the State Department for sending troops to Crimea, and then Obama coming out and expressing opposition to Crimeans voting on the future of the Peninsula, it became hard for some – though few – liberal commentators to avoid pointing out the glaring hypocrisy of US officials.
This was itself important news, as such admission of the hypocrisy of their leaders, who are normally presented as having good and noble intentions and a commitment to freedom and democracy, is rare, if not unprecedented. Military interventions, occupations and bombings are normally presented as an attempt at spreading democracy, or ridding a nation of a brutal dictator and liberating its people.
It’s only many years later when some of such lies and double standards are revealed and admitted to, if at all. It took 30 years for the US to admit that Saddam was using chemical weapons, given him by the US, against the Iranians, during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988. The US was siding with Iraq, even though, it started the war, by invading Iran. Not only did the US not protest that aggression, as they are now vociferously about Russian “aggression” in Crimea, which has caused no casualties, they were giving Saddam coordinates of Iranian soldiers’ positions, knowing they would attack them with chemical weapons. When the Iranian Ambassador to UN complained at a UN meeting, about the use of chemical weapons in the war, the US dismissed the complaint, even though they knew they were telling the truth. Yet, when they wanted to get rid of Saddam and get their hands on Iraqi oil, they made a huge deal of his stockpile of chemical weapons and his use against the Kurds. They did the same thing about Syria, when they decided it was time for Assad to go, too.
Even now, as they condemn Russians for their intervention in Ukraine, they’re trying to destabilize Venezuela, and while they were decrying the police violence in Kiev and demanding that they pull back from the the protesters’ positions, they were and still are quietly giving weapons and crowd control equipment and ammunition to the dictator of Bahrain to crack down on protests for democracy, which still continue. Unlike the police in Ukraine, not only Bahrain police does not pull back from protesters, they shoot and kill and even go to hospitals where the wounded are treated and beat and arrest the nurses and doctors for treating them.
The US also admitted recently, after 60 years, their role in the 1953 coup in Iran against a democratically elected Prime Minister. But, just as they were admitting to that, they were pouring $5 billion into Ukraine, as revealed on December 5th, 2013, by Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, in order to accomplish regime change. It could not have been a coincidence that the “guy” mentioned by Ms. Nuland as “our guy” for the Prime Minister’s position, ends up to be the Prime Minister, once the government is toppled. Yet, they decry Russia’s intervention. And while all the media, including MSNBC hosts, mock and dismiss Russia’s concern for the safety of Russians in Crimea, none, including MSNBC, mentions that Reagan’s stated pretext for invading Granada in 1983 was to protect the lives of American students at the University who were never threatened. To them that, which is not ancient history and they all know about, was not a laughable excuse. When four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated, all in the last few years, Iran blamed it on the most likely culprit, namely, the US. How many years will it be before they admit to those cold blooded murders, too, which will be, if they do at all, long after people have forgotten about them? And what other assassinations will the government of the time be involved with as they admit to those?
None of these and many other double standards that I did not mention here, have been pointed out by major news networks. Admission in the media to such hypocrisy as was done in the last couple of days is very rare, indeed. But, now that people have caught a glimpse of it, it’s interesting to see their reaction to it. Some react by saying: “yes, that is hypocritical of them, but, others are worse, or yes, that’s true, but, …” and they go back to focusing on their newly found “enemy”, Putin. Still others react in an apathetical manner by saying: “that’s how politicians are”, as if that’s the norm and how it’s supposed to be. It’s as if some “invisible hand”, hand-picks them for the job and puts them in office. They fail to understand what it is that requires politicians to be liars and hypocrites, not to mention why we have to accept that. They fail to see the connection between such individuals and the socioeconomic system that requires and produces them.
The fact is: every socioeconomic system produces the kinds of individuals it needs for its continued functioning. A system that requires lying, will pick out, train, encourage and produce liars. If it’s predicated on wars of plunder and conquest of weaker nations, it will promote war, making it acceptable and the norm. And, if it relies on deception of the public, it will find, promote and put into office politicians who will do that. Lying and duplicitous politicians are the direct and necessary byproduct of a system that plunders the poor of the world to enrich a tiny minority of super rich. It couldn’t have been otherwise. It could never work with honest, just and compassionate individuals who care about people. Leaders of such a twisted system have no choice but to constantly lie and deceive. Capitalism picks the worst among us, promotes them to high offices, and then brings out the worst even in those it picks who are already cut out for the job. Dick Cheney who comfortably and without hesitation would lie and lie often when Vice President, was not an exception, but the rule. He was a typical company CEO, as all other company CEO’s who are now dictating policy to their President Obama. And so are the CEO’s of major banks who defrauded and are still defrauding consumers, while still getting their huge bonuses. The culprit is not the individual, but the economic system that creates and promotes and places in a leadership or decision making position individuals who will serve its interests.
The fact that the revelation of our leaders’ hypocrisy and duplicity can be shrugged off and accepted as the norm or natural is itself very telling about the kind of twisted world we live in. How logical is it to accept that our leaders upon whom depend our and our children’s future, our livelihood, our health and our well being and the future of the planet and who decide on matters of war and peace, will naturally be liars and frauds? Why is such a thing acceptable? Would we trust known rapists and murderers to babysit or teach our children?