The conflict between Russia and Georgia — besides killing a good number of innocent people and possibly enabling a new fraudulent “cold war”, to the delight of defense contractors everywhere — provoked a stunning amount of hypocrisy from U.S. officials. Consider Condoleeza Rice, speaking to to reporters on Monday:
“Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used whenever it wishes to deliver a message and that’s its military power,” Rice told reporters en route to an emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers set for Tuesday. “That’s not the way to deal in the 21st century.”
This from a woman who sold a war on an impoverished country on the other side of the globe on the basis that maybe — contrary to evidence available at the time — Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program and was preparing to maybe, just maybe, nuke an American city? Hypocrisy truly knows no bounds among those in the upper echelons of power. As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald writes:
Whatever one’s views are on the justifiability of each isolated instance, it’s simply a fact that the U.S. invades, bombs, occupies, and interferes in the internal affairs of other countries far more than any other country on the planet. It’s not even a close competition.
Just during the time Rice has served in the Bush administration, we bombed, invaded and occupied Afghanistan; did the same to Iraq; repeatedly bombed Somalia, killing all sorts of civilians; fed bombs to Israel as they invaded and bombed Lebanon; top political officials (led by John McCain and Joe Lieberman) have repeatedly threatened, and advocated, that the same be done to a whole host of other countries, including Iran and Syria. That’s to say nothing of the virtually countless interventions and bombings in the pre-Bush, “peacetime” years — from the Balkans and Panama to Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and on and on and on.
But, as Greenwald notes, war isn’t loved just by those in the White House, but by the elite media as well:
The most enduring and predominant rule of American politics is that every national politician must demonstrate their willingness, even eagerness, to start wars. On the day in 1989 that the first George Bush ordered the deadly U.S. invasion of Panama, The New York Times’ R.W. Apple approvingly wrote on the front page that starting wars like that was “a Presidential initiation rite,” and that “most American leaders since World War II have felt a need to demonstrate their willingness to shed blood to protect or advance what they construe as the national interest.” Thus, proclaimed Apple, Bush’s attack on Panama was an example of his “showing his steel” and “has shown him as a man capable of bold action.”