First published by AntiWar.com – Tuesday 18th February 2014
Diplomacy is a four letter word
The Neocon Triumph
by Philip Giraldi
Why is the United States so reluctant to negotiate with other countries and so prone to leap immediately to the option of using force or chicanery in lieu of a more deliberative foreign policy? It might partly be because we Americans are not very good at the subtlety and give-and-take that diplomacy requires, but it could also be because our framework for operating, which shapes what we do and how we do it, is hopelessly skewed. One might even argue that the dominant neoconservative way of thinking has thoroughly infected both parties’ perceptions of how a foreign policy is supposed to work, leading official Washington to see everything in terms of "us and them" while at the same time exonerating every American misstep by citing the largely bogus national security argument to explain places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.
The vitriol unloaded on Russia since the rise of Vladimir Putin and most recently to ridicule almost every aspect of the Olympic Games is astonishing. By all means criticize Russia for its slide into authoritarianism, but turning it into a target of choice for ignorant media, politicians and White House spokesmen is just downright stupid. Moscow’s cooperation is essential to resolve a number of international crises and the hostility radiating from Washington only makes the world a much more dangerous place for everyone.
The sustained pressure on the Ukraine over the past several months has likewise been remarkable and, under other circumstances, it would all be difficult to explain but for the fact that it and Russia are essentially two halves of one policy that is being orchestrated by the same group of neoconservatives, some of whom have now, fortuitously enough, attached themselves to the party in power in the White House, which is the Democrats. It was easy enough to do as many neocons are basically liberal Democrats if one excludes their aggressive foreign policy views.
Remember the pastel revolutions in Eastern Europe that were sponsored by the United States and some western nations but which are now best forgotten? Involvement of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in places like the Ukraine and Moldova sure turned out well, particularly when the biggest baddest NGO of all, the National Endowment for Democracy <http://www.ned.org/> (NED) got involved. When the Russians and others complained about the activities of NGOs interfering in their domestic politics NED was what they were referring to. NED instinctively favored people who called themselves democrats and were able to speak English, polyglot ability somehow demonstrating their political reliability. They turned out to be as corrupt as their predecessors and no less inclined to fool around with the electoral system they inherited. Tinkering in Georgia <http://www.realclearpolitics.
Those who are aware of the insidious activities of NED, an ostensibly private foundation that spreads “democracy” and is largely funded by Congress, know that it has a Democratic Party half in its National Democratic Institute, and a Republican Party half in its International Republican Institute. Madeleine Albright is in charge of the NED Dems while John McCain leads the NED GOP. Which is not to say that there is much in the way of adult supervision, probably a good thing as otherwise NED would be even more meddlesome than it already is.
After wrecking Eastern Europe NED has gone on to do yeoman’s work relating to the Arab Spring, the results of which are clearly visible in Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq. But now the focus is again on the former Soviet Union with millions of dollars going to opposition parties, this time with the full force of an uncritical mainstream media behind the effort. Easily forgotten are two indisputable facts relating to Russia and the Ukraine. First, before the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, there was an understanding that the US and Europe would not use the situation as an excuse to expand their spheres of influence into Eastern Europe. NED and other groups violated that understanding almost immediately and now Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and Poland are in the European Union and also in NATO, an organization that has absolutely no raison d’etreapart from serving as a military alliance against Russia.
Second, today’s Ukraine <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
The US State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland has been a leader <http://www.infowars.com/
Victoria Nuland’s access to senior levels of government began when served as <http://www.reuters.com/
Like her husband, Nuland, backed by the White House and politicians including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, is consistently hostile<http://ronpaulinstitute.org/
Nuland was recently intercepted <http://ericmargolis.com/2014/
Victoria Nuland’s call over an unencrypted phone line <http://www.infowars.com/
Ideologues like Victoria Nuland, who might serve as a poster child for what is wrong with the US government, constitute only one element in the dysfunctional White House view of the world and how to interact with it. Former Senior State Department official James Bruno asks <http://www.politico.com/
All of these splendid examples of American officialdom have one thing in common: they gave a lot of money to the Obama campaign. Raising $1.79 million is now the going price <http://www.politico.com/
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