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Russia, Russia: Righteous indignation or lust for plunder?

OPINION
By Frank Ellsworth Lockwood

Ironically, the official problem the USA had with Russia used to be that they were supposed to have been a "communist" country, so the excuse for the cold war was that Russia would export communism to US trading partners and nationalize resources from which our oligarchs wanted to skim profit. But then the sham was lifted because the breakup of the Soviet Union turned Russia into a capitalist dog-fight. So now, some US war lovers are trying to play it both ways, convincing people that Russia, the great empire, is set on gobbling up other nations. The narrative may have convinced a lot of people. I am not convinced, however. Yes, it is true that, although the great Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia still has more land mass than the USA, and surely that must stick in the craw of some US nationalists.

It seems worth thinking about the fact that various groups have been advocating a similar collapse of the American federation, splitting the USA in to regions or splitting off states, although it does not seem to have dawned on most people that what happened to Russia could actually happen here in America. That the Federal Government could ve forced to just walk away rather than try to keep the states together. Some people might like that idea. I don't, at least not at this point.

Some Greens seem to think it would be a good thing if America were disbanded. I disagree: That is not t he kind of decentralization that I want. I think the problem is not that we have a federation, but that our federation has fallen into the wrong hands: The power of government has been transferred to corporations and some very wealthy individuals with mixed loyalties, whose empires consist, not of nations, but of corporate organizations that actually control most of what goes on in the world, in commerce, in territorial disputes, in wars, in trade agreements and so on.

On the other hand, while I support the continuance of the United States, fifty states, I wonder: Isn't there a point of diminishing returns on "bigness"? I was told years ago that overreach was a major  factor in the collapse of the  Roman Empire, that Rome was over extended and could not put out all the fires and that taxes became too burdensome to maintain the empire. Is that happening to us?

The pretense that we are against Russia because it is an evil empire that wants to gobble up nations, seems so hypocritical, given the global reach of the US government and military.

Yes, I understand that Russia annexed a part of Ukraine that was largely Russian in sentiments and loyalties. And yes, I understand why Mr. Putin may not be everybody's favorite, that he may be a brutal competitor.

But let's think about brutality for a second here:  Who is behind the drone killings all around the world? Maybe I have missed it, but I have yet to read in the news of Russia doing drone assassinations and bombing hospitals and schools. Maybe they did, maybe I missed it. Let me know. I was aware of some casualties when Russians help rout ISIS from one city, but there have been at least hundreds of civilian casualties in American attacks on various targets as well.

Yes, there were allegations that Putin poisoned his enemies. UK says he did, he says he didn't. According to The Guardian, "Vladimir Putin said ... it was nonsense to think that  Moscow would have poisoned the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who are critically ill in a British hospital." I don't know if it is nonsense or not, and if he did that, of course it was a terrible thing. But let's put this in perspective.

Allies of the USA have done equally horrible things without our officials foaming and venting and imposing sanctions. As reported by USA Today and others -- journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured, murdered dismembered in a Saudi consulate,  did our media describe that nation as an evil empire?

No! The opposite was true, and our President said we needed to sell weapons to the Saudis, so that was that. The US government has been backing an increasingly unpopular Saudi war against Yemenis. In the way of background, the Saudi war against Yemen is despised because are starving people to death, and bombing a Shiite nation mercilessly to support a Sunni royalty. Bombing and starving what is said to be the most impoverished nation in the Mideast. 

I am not about to try to characterize the Yemen war as if I were an authority: I am not, and I don't have the bandwidth to do that, but Yemen has been described at Saudi Arabia's "Vietnam." Since the USA has been providing the Saudis weapons, we are complicit, and with a strong profit motive at play. Supposedly the war was (and is) to destroy ISIS, but others are saying the war in Yemen has not had that effect.

I said all the above to say this: The obsession over Russia, Putin Syria and Assad come across to me as ironic, hypocritical and profit motivated. I can't help wondering, in spite of all the military and political posturing and postulating: Is this war really about US security, or is it more about plunder, pillaging and nation building? In other words, who is evil empire, really, that is gobbling up the wealth of other nations?


Note: Frank Ellsworth Lockwood, MS in Education, is a founding member of Green Party of the Mid-Columbia in Washington State, and Administrator of World Beyond War of Tri-Cities, Washington - Home Facebook page. 


#russia #putin jillstein #evilempire #plunder #pillaging

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