Open letter to the future President of the United States of America
It is surprising that out of 300 million people, the United States of America presents Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the two main candidates for the Presidential election in 2016. But that is a matter for the citizens of the United States of America and it is not my intention to open my letter by being rude. Perhaps there are hidden qualities in either candidate, maybe Hillary Clinton does not represent the war lobby, maybe Mr. Trump fluffs his lines at the wrong time but in there is an astute and shrewd entrepreneur ready to take the next step and bring some fresh air to Washington. This is none of our business. Where it does become our business, however, is in the area of foreign policy. And here we have something to say.
For certain, the next President of the United States of America will be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It is pointless for a non-American non-resident to opine on the domestic issues because they have nothing to do with the rest of us. But due to the fact that a Presidential election somewhere along the way engenders the reiteration of the expression "The USA is the leader of the free world", which is synonymous with intrusion, meddling and interference, here the non-American non-residents have indeed a word to say, and here I echo the thoughts of countless millions of people around the globe.
Let us start with the precept that US foreign and diplomatic policy since the end of the Second World War has been an abject failure. A growing number of people around the world deride the United States of America as a hypocritical travesty of justice and international law and where it sticks its nose there results death, destruction, failed states, violence, terrorism, murder, broken families, joblessness, a spiral of chaos and an absence of freedom for the citizens "freed" by cowards in the sky. Secondly, this word "freedom" is used almost blasphemously because today it is meaningless. It is a hangover from the Cold War when western propaganda was painting anything non-NATO with the same brush, printing negative stories and creating frightening images then ruling through the manipulation of the fear they had created.
One look at the map and we see that Vietnam, for instance, recovered only after the USA stopped meddling. We saw the hand on the CIA in the instability in Afghanistan, we saw the lies, the sheer, shitfaced lies, in the build-up to the illegal war in Iraq, we saw the war crimes, we saw the state destroyed with nothing to replace it, we saw the growing influence of Al-Qaeda, unchecked, around the world, we see today ISIS, which grew up under the nose of whom? We saw the repeated failed strategy in Libya, a country which was turned by the USA and its European lapdogs into a failed state whereas before their campaign it was the African country with the highest Human Development Index. We see the social programs in Latin America directly attacked by interests close to Washington, we see the dream of the African Union rendered helpless and hopeless with the murder of al-Qathafi, or Gaddafy.
These are the reasons why people hate the USA, this is the reason why I say the policy has failed. And why?
It has failed because the United States of America is not one government elected by one people with one voice, it is a motley collection of business interests directed by the Lobbies (the BARFFS - Banking, Arms, EneRgy, Finance, Food, PharmaceuticalS) which in turn dictate policy as they close ranks around the President whose State Department uses Agencies including NATO as the cutting edge in their policymaking. It is not about democracy because not a single one of these organisms which in fact dictate policy is democratic, because nobody elected their faceless barons who pull the strings.
This model is normal for a developing country which is moving away from the Medieval Feudalism into a more representative socio-economic reality, with the growing power of the mercantile class and the waning diktat of the ruling landed elites and aristocracy, and it is normal that the USA inherited this model in its embryonic state from its European colonizers.
At the time when this model was being formed, some European powers came together in 1648 to sign the Treaties of Westphalia, which were at the time a politically correct attempt to seal the status quo, reset relations and grow together inside recognized borders. They were even signed in two rooms - one for Catholics and another for Protestants. Since then constant attempts have been made to perform a diplomatic reset but they have all failed for the same reason.
This reason is that the socio-political system controlled by lobbies bypasses any diplomatic settlement through constant economic subversion and trading of interests behind the scenes. What use is an invisible frontier if indeed it only exists for some? African frontiers are meaningless - they do not keep intrusive interests out, they hold the African citizens back while their resources are syphoned off on a one-way street, outwards.
So, like the Medieval feudal model, the post-Medieval mercantile model we have seen develop is outdated and while the United States and its "allies", let us try and be polite, continue to press the same Clausewitzian buttons in a non-Clausewitzian world while at the same time undermining any movement on the diplomatic stage, we will continue to have conflict, subversion and violence and this means misery, insecurity and joblessness downstream. (Von Clausewitz was a Prussian military theorist who developed the theory that conflict could only be waged between or among States and that non-State players were powerless and therefore not subject to any form of control).
Under Saddam Hussein, most Iraqis had bread to put on the table. Under Gaddafi, most Libyans lived in peace and relative prosperity. Whether or not they were despots is not up to the United States of America to decide - after all whenever someone questions US policy the reply is "Mind your own business". The pendulum swings two ways, not one.
And we see a continuation of this old, outdated policy against the Russian Federation today. The western media had a field day when Georgia attacked Russian peacemakers and murdered them in South Ossetia. Georgian missiles firing northwards were reported as Russian missiles firing southwards and nobody spoke about Georgia's failure to implement the referenda detailed under the terms of the Soviet Constitution in any event of voluntary dissolution of the Union, which happened upon its transformation into the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Nobody spoke out against Georgia's intended invasion of Abkhazia. In Ukraine, nobody has spoken about the murder of demonstrators in Independence Square, Kiev, by snipers on the fifth and sixth floors of Hotel Ukraine, where the western assets were stationed, to then blame the President and create a cause. This OTPOR style of sweeping up the leaves off the streets into a flash Revolution, often after a color revolution has taken place, bringing in politicians on the fringes of policy-making into the front line (and under control) has been seen time and again. The results are tremendously negative as are the effects on the livelihoods of the citizens. Little or nothing was said about the massacres which were perpetrated by forces close to Kiev or controlled by Kiev against Russian-speaking Ukrainians - cleaning ladies were strangled with telephone wire then burnt and hurled out of windows to the sound of braying and cheers from the crows below. These were the forces the West supports.
We remember the one-sided approach in Kosovo, in which terrorists from Ushtria Çlirimtare ë Kosovës were supported by the West as they carried out terrorist attacks against the Serbian authorities and civilians, we remember the fields of cereals in Iraq being strafed by NATO aircraft to deprive the people of food. This is a war crime, as was the murder of Gaddafy's family in Libya by a NATO pilot. We remember the idiotic statements by Vice-President Biden about Serbs.
We remember the collusion with terrorists in Libya, we remember the collusion with terrorists in Syria, we remember the lies peddled about chemical weapons, when in fact the rebels (terrorists) used them. Today we see the USA admits to have paid Iran 400 million USD in leverage to release five prisoners when to everyone's face they say they do not do such deals. We remember the Iran Contra affair when the USA was supporting Iraq against Iran but in fact selling arms to the Iranians at the same time.
This is not straight, this is not diplomacy, it is skullduggery. It does not represent where we are today, it belongs to yesteryear.
So it is time for a new beginning which respects the hearts and minds of the international community, not the unelected lobbies which pull your strings. What that beginning is, and how far-reaching it is, depends a lot on you, on how long-lasting you want it to be and how polished a political epitaph you wish to adorn your portrait when you finish your term.
We could start with some serious media reporting about Russia, not lies, we could start with less insolence and we could start with some serious reporting as to what your side is in fact trying to do, namely provoke through constant prodding and meddling. We could start with some serious geo-political action to replace the hypocritical, cynical, unilateral and in many cases, criminal approach Washington has followed and which has created the world we live in. From the other side, you will find a mountain of willingness to cooperate in forming an international community which is based upon development and not deployment, which is not ruled by corporate interests and which strives together to create a pleasant life for the fellow human beings who cohabit this beautiful home, our planet. It belongs to all of us, not just to you.
Ball in your court, Mr(s). President!
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.