By Anthony F. Shaker
Western propaganda about Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, and a host of other so-called "human-rights files" around the world, is being churned out on an industrial scale these days. Working in unison with the politicians are NGOs like Human Rights Watch, which is currently beating the drum of war at a frenetic speed, much as we remember Amnesty International doing at the height of the Cold War. True, the arguments presented to the public stand, almost invariably, on wild assumptions and claims that have no basis in reality except in the minds of armchair strategists, secret plotters and lunatics.
One recent example is an article in Foreign Affairs, a major establishment policy journal ("The Good and Bad of Ahrar al-Sham. An al Qaeda-Linked Group Worth Befriending," by Michael Doran et al.). Its authors actually tried to promote American rapprochement with Wahhabi and Saudi-sponsored jihadism around the world, as if this has not already happened. However, the mock ignorance behind this moral acrobatics seems to reflect a far more sinister design than even the larger and expanding rivalry into which the US is now locking itself with the Russian Federation.
The first question that comes to mind, even if the authors are correct in distinguishing good from bad Wahhabi terrorists, is to what end? What do the authors hope Obama would achieve with such an alliance? Liberty? Some antiquated American version of "democracy"?
The tragedy is that the United States is operating, more than ever, under the cloak of "revolutionism," one based on the notion that human rights must be practiced according to US values and whenever the US dictates.
Naturally, this new tribal redefinition of liberty requires the demolition of "regimes" that refuse to embrace such a divinely ordained "self-evident truth." But because nobody has the patience to listen anymore, the Obama administration regularly has to issue military threats, sanctions, etc., just to be heard over the growing din of misery around the world.
Most disturbingly, the US has returned to its old tactic of deploying armed local militias, as it has done against Nicaragua, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, of course Afghanistan under the Soviets, not to mention other nations. Bloodthirsty terrorists--and literally, cannibals who film themselves eating human flesh--apparently pose no problem. We nickname them freedom fighters--more offensively, "activists."
Is this how human rights and democracy are to be established in countries we claim to care about? Or, is it a useful instrument with which to demolish states that the governments of both the US and Israel feel are blocking their view of the glorious future awaiting us all under Americo-Israeli "guidance."
That is a cartoonish interpretation of the world at the intellectual level of Bibi the Bomber during his comical address at the UN. I say this because it has become amply clear the US is on a fast-track to the "dustbin of history" on this march (as the "evil Communist revolutionaries" once used to paint their capitalist opponents).
The purpose of using Saudi- and Gulf-sponsored armies of Wahhabi jihadists around the Islamic world, most devastatingly in Syria, is not to build anything, but to pave the way for direct foreign control in an increasingly desperate situation for the US and the EU on nearly every front (geopolitical, diplomatic and, for the EU, economic).
We get glimpses of the US's survival strategy and its reach deep inside other countries, thanks to tapped conversations (like that of the US official caught mouthing off with expletives about the EU's irrelevance) and the NSA revelations.
Unfortunately, in its desperation, the Atlantic Alliance is grasping straws, particularly the dry straw of borderless Israel, whose future as the only racially based state in the world, is now in serious doubt (judging from a wide range of political opinion inside the US itself).
True, the EU is increasingly irrelevant. To put it bluntly, though, it is not the EU that's in question now. Western world hegemony as a whole is collapsing after around 150 years, all told. She wouldn't have uttered those words otherwise, and this is not merely a passing phase in the history of the world.
The US's pseudo-revolutionary strategy and rhetoric are not even meant to reestablish American domination anymore, a forlorn hope. Rather, they are designed for an orderly retreat, as far as humanly possible.
But this is not going very well either, thanks to the destructive and unabashadly tribal nature of American policies. The US has reduced itself to demolishing as many independent states as possible (partly at Israel's behest)--any state that refuses to toe the line--before the coming collapse.
It need not be so.
Human rights have been an instrument of manipulation since the Cold War. But we should ask ourselves, who really disagrees with the idea of human dignity and rights. It's not as if it was invented by the West. No, this instrument is being used as a Trojan horse or battering ram to destroy entire societies. It allows foreign puppeteers to move quickly from small street demonstrations to the dismantlement of economic infrastructure and the destruction of vital military installations.
After all, we invented these tactics during the war against Nazi Germany. Today, one has to be pretty desperate to embrace them with a straight face. And the Atlantic Alliance is desperate.
The United States has taken on an artificial mantle of "revolutionism" that seeks to emulate that of the Soviet Union. The Neocons have been at the forefront of this new, revolutionary conservative push (actually invented by pre-Nazi German ideologues and philosophers of the extreme right) since Pres. Reagan. How Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski laments the lost historical opportunity offered to us with the collapse of the Soviet Union! We had a chance to build new relations with the East...maybe even a new, more tranquil world, God forbid!
Brzezinski uttered those words when the longevity of the so-called Postwar was being seriously debated. The Postwar Era, indeed, saw a lasting relative peace (no world wars) and economic growth. Not because of American leadership, wisdom and that irreverent pragmatism and down-to-earthiness that Old Worlders used to find so cute about "America." Rather, it was because the world had been bled dry--nearly 85 million dead from two world wars. This is the context against which the current preaching of "human rights" should be read today.
Western interference in the Ukraine may very well mark the official end of this "tranquil" period. Today, the US is a dangerous, destabilizing force, though one quickly running itself ragged. Who knows, it may have run aground already.
Anthony F. Shaker
Anthony F. Shaker is a Visiting Scholar at McGill University and a specialist in Islamic civilization and thought. He authored several works and was an elected member of the party executive council of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament.