US warplanes are once again pummeling the Middle East. US allies are once again helping out, second-fiddle-style, as usual. The UN Security Council did not vote on this, neither did the US Congress, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. The so-called international community is sitting back, pleased with itself for “condemning evil” and “backing what’s right”, waiting to see how this ordeal unfolds, but not really wanting to get too involved. Everyone appears to be on the same page. Even the Syrians are surprisingly tolerant with America bombing their soil.
That, of course, is understandable. US warplanes are pummeling what is probably the most serious Islamist threat since Al Qaida and the Taliban. Everyone knows how bad the “Islamic State” is, no need to repeat the horror stories of mass executions, genocide, rape camps, Sharia street patrols and a billion dollar budget from clandestine oil sales. It’s true, the bastards deserve their fiery deaths from above. Go F16s! Vive La France! and whoever else is “helping out”.
But still something seems a bit off about this whole thing. Something that from beyond the star-spangled veil of self-righteous “let’s get ‘em!” rhetoric, which the Americans are so good at, still reeks of double standards, half-truths and understatements. No, it’s not about Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing yet another sovereign nation (mentioning this is a boring cheap shot, so we won’t). And neither shall we resort to such low blows as “US helped and funded the Syrian rebels, including current ISIL members” or “most of the weapons ISIL uses are US-made”.
We’d rather talk about more complex and abstract things, like America losing its moral authority and along with it — its self-proposed status of being “the leader of the free world”. How did this ever happen? Let’s play the blame game. Blame the cowardly and irresponsible “shit happens” foreign policy. Blame the incompetent people in charge of it, from the uninformed, out-of-touch-with-reality think-tank “experts” to the smug, out-of-place secretaries, advisors and spokespeople. Jen Psaki is symbolic, make no mistake about it. There used to be Dulles, Kissinger and Schultz. Wisemen. Gentlemen. Smart and careful sons of bitches. Having them as adversaries during the Cold War could’ve been considered an honor. Now there’s John Kerry, the walking fail.
And last but not least, blame the president. Idealistic, yet in a blind, arrogant, ignorant and neglectful way. The man who salutes his own troops with a cup of coffee and chews bubble gum to the rhythm of a close ally’s anthem. It’s all about attitude, and Obama’s attitude seems to be that of ultimate ignorance and disrespect, even to those who are on his side. He thinks he knows best, but he doesn’t. And sadly, there aren’t too many people around him who are any better.
Therein lies the problem. The human factor. The 20th century was America’s century. The US has accumulated a level of wealth, power and military might unseen and unheard of in all of human history. This is both a blessing and a curse. An incredible advantage for years and years to come – and at the same time – baggage so heavy, it takes truly great men to carry it. The people who are now responsible for America’s diplomacy and foreign policy are not fit for such a task.
They went to best universities in the world, but they lack the education. They live in the information age, but they outside world is still mostly fog of war to them. They have dozens of assistants, writers, researchers and advisors, but they still mix up facts, names and numbers.
They think they can start wars, revolutions and regime changes half the globe away because they have the resources for it and because it supposedly serves America’s “national interests”, but there has not been a single instance in the past few years when they were able to predict the consequences. Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya all backfired and it’s only getting worse. Poke the shit with a stick and see what happens, as someone described it. What we have as a result of this dangerous blend of opportunism and hypocrisy is pure chaos, and not of the controlled kind, if the story of ISIL is any indication. Everyone is taking damage.
“Power corrupts”, as the tired old saying goes. By this logic, America’s superpower status has corrupted its ruling elite to the core, hence the perverted goals and dirty playing. In the sphere of world politics, an area ruled by such notions as “resources”, “geography”, “realpolitik”, and “interests”, this is especially obvious.
So don’t be surprised with Putin “breaking international law”. It’s been violently raped long before the first of “the little green men” ever turned up in Crimea. Putin just seized his chance when it presented itself. And at least he did in his own backyard (or front yard, depending on how you look at it). Yes, he’s now the cornered rat, the cat stuck in a tree, the world villain, and we Russians have to deal with the fallout, but that doesn’t excuse America in any way. Plus, would Putin have dared such a feat had the United States retained its “clean sheet” and moral authority? The question is rhetorical, of course.
So, go ahead, drop those bombs. Kill the terrorists you helped create. Not exactly as epic as Cronos consuming his children, but still kind of entertaining. The irony is beautiful and, America, we look down upon you as sane and sober as ever. Whatever happens now, whatever happens next.