In the mid-19th century, American patriots coined the words, “Manifest Destiny.” The doctrine was widely held that American settlers would fulfill their and the nation’s destiny by expanding towards the Pacific Ocean.
Within a century, Manifest Destiny had become twisted. It was the mantra of the far-right neoconservatives who have shaped American policy since John F. Kennedy’s presidency. It had become a mandate from God. Essential in this mission, America would spread freedom and wipe tyranny from the globe, with God’s help if necessary.
In 2003, George W. Bush told the BBC that he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
To date, no word on how God feels about George given the anarchy that is now rife in those two countries.
Unfortunately the United States under Bush II and President Barack Obama did not have a consistent Middle-East policy. The neocons in the Bush administration had the plans it needed for invasion but did not even consider occupation. Obama won the 2008 presidential election on his campaign promise to withdraw from Iraq. The last of the U.S. troops left Iraq on December 18, 2011.
ISIS filled the vacuum of the U.S. withdrawal. On a limited basis with specialized troops, the United States has attempted to arrest the implosion of Iraq with varying degrees of success.
After spending more than $1 trillion on the Iraq War, Washington is left with a Middle East closer to a major war than it has been since the early 1970s. This is the reason Saudi Arabia, one of the only stable, oil-producing nations in the region, is vitally important to the United States. The problem for Democrats is that they have to overlook the internal policies in Saudi Arabia; a country which bans Christianity and executes homosexuals. It has the world’s largest inexpensive oil reserves and it is a counterbalance to Iran. This has left…
Democracy is a distant second to oil
Sometimes the U.S. government is at odds with the reputation it built for decades as a defender of democracy. Such was the case in 2014 when former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who, while unpopular, was the democratically-elected president. Yanukovych is pro-Russia, and that put him on a collision course with the radical right whose fathers and grandfathers fought for Hitler and committed atrocities against Jews and Soviets in World War II.
In February 2014, violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Kiev culminated in the Maidan coup d’état which caused Yanukovych to fear for his life and flee to Russia.
If, as alleged, the United States helped initiate the coup or provided aid for its outcome, it would just be one of the 100 or more foreign-national elections that Washington has interfered with since 1947. So, when the CIA states that Russia intervened in this past November’s U.S. election, I don’t doubt it. The CIA has written the book on influencing elections.
If karma exists, then Hillary Clinton has been paid in kind.
Last summer in Lakewood, Colorado, a Bernie Sanders delegate, Kim Netherton, told The Huffington Post it’s beside the point whether agents of Russian President Vladimir Putin hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails, as reported this month. And it may come with a little poetic justice for Hillary Clinton, according to Netherton.
“Isn’t it interesting that her campaign is now experiencing the same thing that she perpetrated on other countries,” Netherton said.
“She did this in Haiti, she did this in Honduras and now it’s coming back on her and she’s all verklempt about it,” Netherton added. “It’s a little bit of her own medicine, but unfortunately I don’t think she’s open minded enough to see that for what it is.”
Russia isn’t so much aggressive as it is paranoid
Russia’s influence on foreign elections is likely seen as a way to protect itself. During the last two centuries Russia has been invaded three times, twice to the gates of Moscow. The cost to Russia has been more than 33 million dead. And those 33 million Russian dead don’t even include those who perished during their bloody civil war.
America’s total war casualties since the American Revolutionary War through this year’s raid on Yemen totals less than 1.4 million dead. Exclude the 620,000 killed in the American Civil War and fewer than 1 million Americans have died in foreign wars. And the nation has never had to face conquest.
It is not difficult to see why Russia is afraid of conquest. It has been part of their history back to the Vikings. Many of the guarantees that the Soviet Union received in terms of influence over Eastern Europe have been removed or, in many cases, flipped on its head.
Yalta became controversial after Soviet-American wartime cooperation degenerated into the Cold War. Stalin broke his promise of free elections in Eastern Europe and installed governments dominated by the Soviet Union. Then American critics charged that Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died two months after the conference, had “sold out” to the Soviets at Yalta.
After the war, Winton Churchill told a journalist: “Stalin never broke his word to me. We agreed on the Balkans. I said he could have Romania and Bulgaria and he said we could have Greece… He signed a slip of paper and never broke his word. We saved Greece.”*
Truman was not going to allow Greek or French self-determination if it meant Communism and that meaningless babble that persists today about nations having a right to self-determination if they employ democratic standards is nonsense. Yes, America supports self-determination if that country supports America. In such cases, democracy isn’t needed. That is certainly the case in the Ukraine today.
Once America had a monopoly on atomic weapons, Truman broke the guarantees that Stalin and Roosevelt had worked out. Roosevelt wanted the west to come under the U.S.
With the collapse of the old Soviet Empire, Russia became a shadow of the Soviet Union.
This breakdown shows that the United States spends 10 times what Russia spends each year on defense. The Pentagon has almost a 6 to 1 advantage in tactical aircraft.
Most of Russia’s military has technology that dates back to the Soviet era of the 1990s. Every day Putin sees Russia get weaker.
In October 1990 the country that the Kremlin has always feared the most, Germany, was reunited. And since 1999 the following countries, former satellites of the Kremlin, have become members of NATO. Listed in the general order they joined are: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania and Croatia.
Rather than ease Kremlin worries of absorbing a first strike in a nuclear war, its fears were heightened as nations like Poland were provided with the most advanced anti-ballistic missiles on the edge of Russia’s borders and are aimed eastward.
The U.S. Navy is planning to construct 48 Virginia-class submarines, each armed with new technology and able to sail beneath the waves at a blistering 25 knots.
Vladimir Putin feels vastly outgunned, and he is. Russia has one nuclear aircraft carrier. The United States has 10. But military hardware is not the only reason Putin is insecure. He wants a buffer zone between a unified Germany and his motherland, thus his involvement in Ukrainian politics following the ouster of the democratically-elected Ukraine Yanukovych who was forced to flee for his life and was replaced by an non-elected, anti-Russian hard liner, Petro Poroshenko. The new government, encouraged and financed by the CIA, is pro-European Union. According to Global Research June 2014:
While the death toll among civilians is growing in Ukraine the United States continues its policy aimed at escalation of the conflict. It offers all kinds of support to Kiev including military aid. Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said the cooperation is going to get a new impetus with instructors sent to beef up the modernization efforts of Ukraine’s armed forces.
The truth is that the United States does not act as it preaches. American Manifest Destiny with regard to the Ukraine is not the act of a benevolent superpower but only serves to further U.S. influence along the Russian border.
The America presented by the media is not the real America. Blaming Putin is Washington’s propaganda that diverts us from the truth — that the U.S. is collapsing beneath itself from debt and the growing divide between the alternative right and the radicalized left who are a loose alliance of progressives, Marxists and Greens within our borders.
Yours in good times and bad,
*Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States, (Gallery Books, New York, NY), 2012), 207.