There is an old saying in the Caribbean: "look at the pot telling the kettle its bottom is black." What this means is that you're guilty of the same thing that you're accusing me of. And as I watched the spectacle of a bunch of pompous, gaseous-sounding United States senators sounding off in self-righteous anger against Russia for supposedly meddling in the United States elections on behalf of Donald Trump I had a real LoL moment. The smug, holier-than-thou Senator Ted Cruz and a cabal of elected officials with trust and honesty ratings in the sewer, sought to imperiously lecture Russia on its hacking of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails, passing them to Wikileaks, who dutifully made them public just to give Trump the edge.
And if all of that was not pure exercise in comic relief content - not that I'm downplaying the possibility of Russian mischief in any way - President Trump was having quite a few "Twitter moments" and associated meltdowns for "disparaging the intelligence community" for its historical shenanigans and "false flag" [see below for explanation] operations. Infact, Trump's distrust of the American Intelligence Community does carry some valid currency given the checkered past of these organizations to meddle and mislead. As recently as the presidency of George W. Bush the CIA fed this quisling president a hill of baked beans about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's weapons and nuclear potential and capabilities that turned out to be a stinking tissue of lies, half-truths, speculations and conjecture.
So looking at this phalange of stern-faced white men grilling generals and intelligence hacks over Russia's and President Vladimir Putin's alleged role on the recent US elections, I got the distinct urge to start giggling uncontrollably, morphing into a certifiable celebrity candidate for Bellevue. I also had immediate visions of black-bottomed kettles and pots all banging together in a cacophony of hypocritical caterwauling.
For Trump winning the Electoral College vote and getting creamed by the popular vote does that to a bombastic egotist and his little hands that just loves early morning tweets over the mundane intelligence briefing. His knee-jerk, zany remarks in the wake of this admittedly manufactured excuse for American international embarrassment abroad, was vintage Trump -- just be a Troll and do something, heck anything, that deflects from the issue at hand that calls for some cohesive and coherent thinking -- things that Trump has a seriously bad relationship with. Does the phrase "winning it" come to mind?
But try as they may the Senate Hearing into Putin's naughtiness did not expose a smoking gun and fell far short of what was expected, even by US Senate standards, since the process was whittled down to a grandstanding venting session, with guys trying to out do each other for the assembled media. So the billion-dollar question is: did ole Vald (not to be confused with The Impaler) really hijack the US elections? It is plausible I grant you that it's entirely possible. And if he and his trolls in possible that Russian meddling was designed for both domestic consumption in Russia and to provoke the kind of response by the United States that we're seeing now.
The oft characterization of Putin in the United States media -- that he's some mindless, incompetent fool of a spent power and therefore easily intimidated by a tough-talking United States -- is just so much hogwash. The fact that the United States senate has taken him seriously enough and President Barack Obama is so enraged with him as to slap new, ineffective sanctions, on Russia is testimony to Putin's political skills. At EVERY turn he's outwitted and outmaneuvered the United States. From his invasion of Georgia 24-hours after sitting with and chatting President George W. Bush, his lightning occupation of the Crimea, his deliberate break up of the Ukraine and intimidation of the smaller states, his threats to cut of the gas spigot to Eastern Europe, his insertion of Russian military in Syria, his closeness to Iran and his teaching Turkey a bitter economic lesson and now his exclusion of the United States (and Great Britain) in a peace deal with Turkey over Syria (resetting Turkish/Russian relations), makes Vladimir Putin a political genius of sorts.
If indeed, as the US claims, Moscow did the dirty deed to the DNC and used Julian Assange as a pawn to front it and take the blame, then the US Republicans must be miffed that they did not think about that themselves. Moreover, the Democrats attempts to pin their humiliating loss to a bloviating nincompoop on Russia is just plain lunacy. Fact is the United States has long lost any moral credibility around the world that it's a fair player and honest non-meddler in political processes all over the planet. Yeah, yeah I get it. Vladimir Putin is a tough, old former KGB thug, charismatic though he is, who sits atop a regime populated with kleptomaniacs, corrupt and self-serving sycophants that run the country as their own personal fiefdom. He's a bully and ruthless political leader who answers to no one and could care less what the United States does. His record is one of invading and visiting untold misery on any and all countries that dare to go against the Putin Doctrine.
And he's confounded, thwarted and angered the United States by his adventures forcing President Obama to helplessly look on with only sanctions and political rhetoric left to amuse Putin and company. Thing is Russia is not Iraq, Libya or Syria there the United States could intervene on a presidential whim or fancy. Russia is stocked up to the gill slits on nuclear weapons, thousands of tanks, modern missile technology, very sophisticated air defenses and other war materials that make war against them is not a feasible proposition and borderline lunacy. The United States knows that quite well despite its saber-rattling rhetoric. And so does Europe that has remained silent, uncharaterrically so, in the face of Russia's aggressive behavior.
But after all this is said and done if some Americans are all jacked up over Putin's latest political mischief they should not be calling the Russian kettle's bottom black. Because their own pot's bottom is just as black or even blacker. The United States is the world leader in meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign independent nations. If the truth was told Russian meddling is minuscule when compared to US overthrowing of governments, assassination plots against leaders it does not like (ask Cuba), and all kinds of other direct and indirect meddling. Here are the facts: between 1946 and 2000 the United States and Russia together intervened in one way or the other over 117 times in foreign elections. That's one out of every nine "free and fair" elections conducted by independent, sovereign nations around the world.
That's why this new-fangled "Russian bogeyman" that's messing with our "Democratic system" is so hilarious. The much-touted American Democracy is as mythical as the Dodo Bird, and as deeply flawed as the sacredness of the American vote. Heck, this last presidential contest exposed these long-held myths. Two unpopular, elitist and very rich candidates duked it out so that "we the common, ordinary people" could choose either a millionaire that gives six figure speeches to Wall Street fat cats, or an egotistical, race-baiting, bigoted billionaire. Both campaigns were short on real "bread and butter" issues and long on personal attacks, insults and banal, divisive rhetoric. In the end Americans get to choose the face of a new oppressor every five years in a system where 538 unelected, faceless, and unknown people -- mostly white men -- get to choose or "select" the President of the United States regardless of the overwhelming majority of votes cast for another candidate.
Democracy you say? No wonder Putin was right at home in an increasingly corrupt and undemocratic system. The point is that in order to comprehend the "New Cold War" between Russia and the United States, we have to go back to the CIA's toppling of Salvador Allende in Chile, Jacobo Abenz in Guatemala, coddling Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and the underhand role of countless "advisors" to favored governments. In fact, as recent as 2009 the United States intervened in the political life of Honduras. When President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a military coup, then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton refused to condemn it because Zelaya was seen as "too populist" for US tastes.
Had she done so that would have automatically triggered a suspension of US aid and military assistance to the armed forces in Honduras. So Clinton simply ignored the coup, looked the other way, and with a nod and a wink, called for new elections - as if elections were the problem -and not an illegal and illegitimate military overthrow of a democratically elected president. This green light by the US Secretary of State created the conditions for a brutal military crackdown, revitalization of the death squads, and national repression not seen since the 1970s and 80s.
So spare me the self-righteous, hypocritical whining and finger pointing. If Vladimir Putin's minions could simply sit in a dingy apartment in Moscow with a laptop, and waltz into the DNC's database, then we're in really doo-doo. And if after everything, American Democracy, with all of its flaws, is so fragile as to be jittery as soon as Russia poops, then we're in just as bad shape. Still, there is a glaring double standard here because it now seems that meddling in the internal affairs of foreign nations is only outrageous and reprehensible when the United States is getting kicked in its butt for dong the same thing. Russia is simply giving the United States a taste of its own medicine. And its sure tastes nasty as hell.
[FALSE FLAG - The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them.]