Ukraine and the American Interventionist Disease

America cannot live in liberty with a government equipped to meddle in foreign countries.


If the purpose of U.S. intervention in the affairs of other countries is really to help suffering people, the program has a fatal flaw. (This should surprise no one familiar with other government programs.) The flaw is that the U.S. government does opposition movements no favors when it gives credibility to the charge that those movements are tools of foreign — particularly American — interests. I call this taint the American disease.

Opposition movements have a hard enough time fighting authoritarian regimes without the U.S. government's "help."

After so many years of U.S. intervention throughout the world, one reasonably suspects that whenever opposition arises in a country not allied with the United States, that opposition is assisted by the American administration, even if the dirty work is done by so-called nongovernmental organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is involved in Ukraine. "NED was created in 1983," Robert Parry writes, "to do in relative openness what the CIA had long done in secret, nurture pro-U.S. operatives under the umbrella of 'promoting democracy.'" Headed by Carl Gershman, Parry notes, "NED had 65 projects operating in [Ukraine] — training 'activists,' supporting 'journalists' and organizing business groups, according to its latest report."

In other words, Ukrainian Russophiles were not out of their minds in believing that the not-so-hidden hand of the United States was behind the recent turmoil and regime change. From Iran and Guatemala in 1953, to Chile in 1973, to Egypt in 2013, it was hardly the first time something like that happened. (I'm not counting outright military invasions and occupations, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

Americans don't like foreigners meddling in their politics. Let's recall how upset people were when they thought the Chinese were doing just that via foreign donations during the Clinton-Gore years. Why would people in other countries like intrusion of a much more extreme form — regime change, IMF impositions, phony privatization, kleptocratic cronyism, and the rest of the "neoliberal" program?

One of the tragic consequences of this sordid American history is that even a genuine liberal movement opposing a truly odious regime will be tainted by a suspected American connection, furnishing propaganda with which rulers can fan the flames of nationalism. The American record in foreign affairs, that is, has been and continues to be an obstacle to the advancement of liberty abroad.

I've been thinking about this matter ever since I read a Newsweek interview with Stephen F. Cohen, the veteran Russia scholar associated with Princeton and New York universities. Cohen is one of the few prominent and knowledgeable commentators urging us to look at the full context of what is going on with Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, the United States, and NATO, rather than reflexively demonizing President Vladimir Putin and Russia. As happens too often in American discussions of foreign affairs, Cohen was condemned merely for trying to see American policy from the perspective of those on the receiving end. "Putin's not innocent," Cohen said, "but we can't get out of this unless we share some of the responsibility."

What seized my attention, however, was not what he said about the Ukraine crisis, but what he said about the American reaction to the Russian LGBT propaganda law, passed by the Duma and signed by Putin last year, which criminalizes the distribution of "propaganda" in support of "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors. As Wikipedia states,

[T]he statute was criticized for its vague wording, and for being an effective ban on promoting the rights and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The law was also criticized for leading to an increase and justification of violence against LGBT people, while the implications of the laws in relation to the then-upcoming Winter Olympics being hosted by Sochi were also cause for concern, as the Olympic Charter contains language explicitly barring various forms of discrimination.

The American officials who loudly protested and snubbed Putin at the Olympics, Cohen said, did not help the gay community in Russia, whatever their intentions:

The Russian law was a stupid law, because, first of all, legally it's not enforceable. Secondly, it incites homophobia.

But the fact is there is no substantial popular opinion in Russia that favors gay rights. None. Nor was there any here 30 or 40 years ago. I don't remember any Russians coming over here and telling American gays how to fight for their rights.

I grew up in the segregated South. I don't recall any Russians coming over here and telling black folk how to get their rights. This is a universal rule. You win your rights in your own country or you never have them. All we've done is made it worse [for Russian gays]. As my gay friends in Russia say, "Yesterday I was a f****t [slang term for a homosexual]; now I'm an American f****t." It's just made things worse for gays there. And sensible gays, politically conscious gays in Russia, will tell you that.

Asked by Newsweek if he thinks things are worse for gay people now, Cohen responded,

I don't think it, I know it. I can give you the names of Russian legislators who told me that they wanted to get rid of [the law] and wanted to talk to Putin. But you can't do that when you turn it into another barricade between America and Russia. Do you think this Ukrainian thing is going to be good for Russian gays? [Emphasis added.]

When reminded that conditions for gays are "dire" in Russia, Cohen said,

I didn't say they were doing fine. But how is that our concern? Are we supposed to form a brigade and go there and liberate Russian gays? You win your rights whether you're a black person or a Jew or a gay or a person of Islamic descent in this country by fighting for them. That's the way it works in a democracy.

Why is it America's job to go over there and sort out the gay problem when 85 percent of Russians think they should have no rights? They've got to struggle at home and most intelligent gays know that. That happened in this country over and over and over again.

By the way, before we get too sanctimonious, I read in the New York Times that violent acts against gays in New York City doubled in 2013 over 2012. Can we clean up our own house first?

Cohen is neither a libertarian nor a conservative of the pro-civil-liberties, noninterventionist variety. But he has this exactly right. We here in America cannot live in liberty with a government equipped to meddle in foreign countries — even for what appear to be worthy causes; moreover, the meddling does not help others. The only thing I'd add is that the appearance of a worthy cause is just that: an appearance. In fact, U.S. intervention is motivated by the ruling elite's hegemonic and economic interests.

This column originally appeared in the Future of Freedom Foundation.

NEXT: The Local Cops May Be Listening to Your Cell Phone Calls

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  1. Judging by American law, America doesn’t even like it when Americans interfere with American politics.

    1. Zing!

    2. Sad but true.

      One of Richmond’s better articles. We would be very pissed if other nations came here and told us how to do stuff. Why do some Americans assume the rest of the world is just waiting for their enlightened ways?

      1. Cuz there is always some cute empty headed girl making youtube videos about how the US needs to come and save her from her own country.

      2. Start earning with Google. Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. Its actually the nicest job Ive had. Linked Here

      3. I wouldn’t be pissed (in fact I’d like it) if foreign powers interfered here in my favor, only if they interfered in my disfavor. See The Monitors.

      4. We invaded Panama and captured Manuel Noriega and brought him to trial in the US. We also did the opposite in 1994 in Haiti, bringing back Aristide to power.

        Nobody seemed to object then or now, because, I suspect, Noriega was a right wing dictator and Aristide was a left wing dictator.

  2. Why did they hit her fist with their faces? Feminist indignant that pro-life demonstrators harassed the UC Santa Barbara porn professor simply because she stole their sign:

    “According to their own video, which they uploaded, Joan Short videotaped Miller-Young without her consent. She and her sister harassed Miller-Young as she and the two students crossed a plaza and entered a building. The Short sisters followed her all the way into an elevator, where they sought to impede her ability to go to her office. Miller-Young repeatedly told these people to leave her alone and let her get onto the elevator, but they kept harassing her and refusing to let her enter the elevator and get away from them….

    “…On Fox News, Thrin Short commented, “I’m sorry if these signs offended her in any way but after all, she does show porn to her students so she’s not really the one to talk about offending images,” as if Miller-Young’s professional research on pornography can be equated with the incendiary imagery the Survivors group shows. In just a handful of examples, we see how the coded language of race operates to justify the intimidating actions of two young, white women. This kind of language is also a form of violence, drawing on histories of racism, sexism, and the regulation of Black women’s bodies.”…..J8.twitter

    1. All other issues aside, jerks vs jerks, this comment jumps the shark:

      Just a suggestion, “stand with” is abelist toward those who are unable to stand. Other alternatives would be: support, solidarity, back, advocate.

      Otherwise, the article is great and I fully support Professor Miller-Young and all she’s gone through.

      1. Coming soon: Stephen King’s The Sit!

      2. “jerks vs jerks”

        One side engaging in free speech in a “free speech zone,” the other side assaulting and stealing from the first group.

        Why not “a would-be censor versus people with incorrect views”?

        1. Assuming they were following her around campus and impeding her from getting to her office, they were being jerks. No excuse for the professor’s behavior, but it’s hard to feel sorry for those who are actively instigating, and probably hoping for, a reaction.

          1. The professor stole their sign and they were trying to get it back. What if some thief took your property, would it be harassment to follow them?

            And as she admits, she went back to her office so she could cut the sign up with scissors.

            1. That information makes a difference, obviously.

              1. You’ll have to pardon my slow reading comprehension this morning. Migraines suck.

                1. Sorry about your migraine, I’ll speak more quietly.

              2. “…Miller-Young said that ‘she just grabbed it [the sign] from this girl’s hands.’ Asked if there had been a struggle, Miller-Young said, ‘I’m stronger so I was able to take the poster.’

                “Miller-Young said that the poster had been taken back to her office. Once in her office, a ‘safe space’ described by Miller-Young, Miller-Young said that they were still upset by the images on the poster and had destroyed it. Miller-Young said that she was ‘mainly’ responsible for the poster[‘]s destruction because she was the only one with scissors.”


                1. The burning of books/ records/ movies / signs is cathartic for idiots I suppose, but in their minds they are actually winning an argument by diminishing their oppositions argument.

                  Hint for animist idiots: destroying an inanimate object with an opposing argument recorded on it has no effect on the strength of that argument.

      3. Just a suggestion, “stand with” is abelist toward those who are unable to stand. Other alternatives would be: support, solidarity, back, advocate.

        Otherwise, the article is great and I fully support Professor Miller-Young and all she’s gone through.

        Poe’s Law at work. Because that’s either the insanity of true belief, or the some very dry and wonderful sarcasm.

        1. I assumed option #2.

          1. The commenter followed up:

            “As you can see, she changed the title and thanked me for the comment. Perhaps you should try to understand why it’s important to choose words carefully.”

            She’s either an idiot or a first-class troll.

            1. See I would have overegged the ol’ pudding. Added something like:

              Otherwise, the article is great and I fully support Professor Miller-Young and all she’s gone through. It’s not very easy to rip signs from the hands of fascist demonstrators, as we’ve recently seen as the people defend their revolution in Venezuela. Keep fighting the good fight professor, speaking truth to the power those so called students are serving as the tools of.

            2. Yeah that was a really good comment done in a thoughtful way. I am always disappointed in my comprehension of disability solidarity. So I really appreciated your comment as well.

              My brain is screaming “bullshit!” but I manage to ignore it anyway. /prog

            3. UNDERstand?! That’s even more othering!

        2. The ‘back’ bit sounds ableist, too; how about those with chronic back pain? Might be triggering for them as well.

          1. “support” is ablist toward those who can’t walk without support.

            “advocate” is anti-shy-people because shy people are too timid to advocate for anything.

            “solidarity” is a trigger for our Communist brothers and sisters who resent the Solidarity movement in Communist Poland.

            1. +3 language policeperson

              1. Thank you, but –

                “police” is a trigger on H&R

                “person” contains “son,” which is male chauvinist piggery. What about daughters?

                1. ‘Trigger’ is a trigger for anti-firearm people.

                  You’re right: “language police individual” is better. Except for those who are into community policing.

            2. “Solidarity” is a trigger for persons on liquid diets, or with unfortunate digestive problems.

          2. “Solidarity” others non-white women.

            “Somehow the survival, safety and security of WOC (cis and trans), of poor women, of disabled women, of undocumented women, of anyone that wasn’t a white middle class/upper middle class woman felt unimportant relative to creature comforts and makeup choices.”


            1. “Second, he is white, cisgender, male and affluent. All of these conflate to make him the “expert” in whichever field he picks. It’s not just that he has the influence to insert himself into spaces but his entire culture socialized him (and us) to accept him as an “expert.” This is at the root of what feminism has ALWAYS critiqued, the patriarchy! He IS the patriarchy and he infiltrated feminism because we are socialized to accept that white men “deserve” to occupy spaces.”

              1. “Look, if it wasn’t for white cis male privilege, the same people who posted that would have been screaming for his head.”

                I don’t know who/what these hens are cackling about, but I find it fascinating. It’s like watching porn with ugly fat people.

        3. Given the insane position of Miller-Young and her supporters….I suspect that person is sincere.

          I can’t decide if I should laugh or cry. Who let those morons out of their cages?

          1. “Who let those morons out of their cages?”
            Hey, if they run around loose, we can put a bounty on ’em.
            My question is: Who hired that woman as a ‘teacher’?

        4. I can assure you that this is most likely not sarcasm.

      4. Wait, why is “back” not ableist! Lots of people with broken backs in wheelchairs!

    2. Student evaluations from Rate My Professors…

      1. What a useful website. They allow you to rank the professor’s “hotness”. Miller-Young either isn’t, or wasn’t rated.

        1. ISN’T, definitely ISN’T.

      2. She is usually unprepared for class, cannot stand it when you disagree with her and lacks basic communication skills. She assigns shock value reading to make points that she could otherwise not validate. When she feels she is loosing (sic) a debate she resorts to insults and intimidation.

        I think this one about sums it up. The premise is the same as the other critical ones I came across.

    3. Remind me why Fraulein Professor wasn’t charged with petty theft, arrested, and then forced to make bail again?

      1. She’s been charged[link to pdf].

          1. USA! USA! USA!

    4. So, I ventured over to theFeministWire, skimmed through article and read some of the comments. BIG MISTAKE. I think my IQ dropped a few points because of the utter idiocy I witnessed. There is really something to be said about those that have no clear principles. That is they have contempt for any rational debate and any form of consistency on positions.

    5. Um…

      Funny that there is no mention of Young stealing their private property, taking it to her office and destroying it..


    6. Joseph on March 21, 2014 at 2:13 am

      “) If you can read, please pick up a copy of the United States constitution- that, or just do some simple web search. The first amendment guarantees U.S. citizens the right to free speech without direct government intervention. Citizens are guaranteed the opportunity to voice their opinions on public property- like the free speech area at UCSB. But private citizens also have the right to evaluate “free speech,” and if needed, remove its platform and speaker under the first amendment. In other words, “freedom of speech” ONLY pertains to direct government intervention. Mireille acted as a private citizen, in the defense of other private citizens. There isn’t a case here.”

      1. The government can’t censor people, but individuals can?

        This is the sort of stupidity that can only come from a graduate degree.

        1. But private citizens also have the right to evaluate “free speech,” and if needed, remove its platform and speaker under the first amendment.

          Perhaps they could be tried in a People’s Court?

      2. Mireille acted as a private citizen

        If that’s the best they can do, whoops! She took the sign to her office. You know, the one provided by her government employer.

        But private citizens also have the right to evaluate “free speech,” and if needed, remove its platform and speaker under the first amendment.

        I’m gonna have a few margaritas at lunch. Anyone wanna be my designated driver? I need a lift over to the offices so I can remove a speech platform as permitted by the first amendment.

      3. I guess Bo is Joseph.

  3. “I grew up in the segregated South. I don’t recall any Russians coming over here and telling black folk how to get their rights.”

    The Soviet regime made political capital out of segregation. Russians may not have “com[e] over here,” but Soviet agents were busy in the Third World publicizing America’s shortcomings. And American Communists tried to latch on to the anti-Jim-Crow movement, eg., with the Scottsboro Boys. Which isn’t to say the Commies took over the civil rights movement, which was almost exclusively an indigenous American movement many of whose members (eg, the NAACP leaders) were actively anti-Communist. I’m speaking of the Soviet’s effort to capitalize on the issue.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t this lead to segregationist claiming that the anti-segregation movement was a communist plot, as a means of discrediting the movement itself? This reinforces Cohen’s point.

      1. Indeed.

        1. So if anyone ever disagrees with you, you should not take sides in anything, because that’d just be reason for them to oppose that too.

    2. “The Soviet regime made political capital out of segregation”

      When Stalin was head of the Comintern, he took advantage over his influence in the USA by insisting that the CPUSA integrate with non whites. As a result, the CPUSA became the first modern political party to become fully integrated.

      These days it seems that all US political parties have no trouble following Stalin’s lead.

      1. The Republican Party was integrated long before the CPUSA. Between 1876 and 1965, the only elections in the South that blacks could vote in were the Republican Party primaries.

        1. “the first modern political party to become fully integrated”

          Southern blacks voting in primaries falls somewhat short of full integration. Since its inception, the Republican Party has yet to run a non-white candidate for president, or even vice-president. Still you have a point. The Republican Party, especially in its earliest days, shares something with Stalin’s proudest contribution to American political culture.

          1. Yeeeeah, considering that Stalin was the architect of some of the most stunning forcible population transfers and ethnic massacres in history, I’m gonna go ahead and say that his minor decision intended to thumb his nose at America’s (much better) system is, well, less than admirable in the context of his record.

            I must say, it is hardly surprising to see your indulgence when it comes to the topic of bloodthirsty Soviet tyrants.

            1. Stalin’s history of tyranny in America is surprisingly thin. I’ve never read of him being responsible for any American population transfers. Or American massacres. The most significant population transfer in America was undoubtedly the millions who were taken from Africa. Can’t pin that on Stalin. His influence on American political culture is more benign and probably more appreciated by non-whites who gained more than whites in political integration.

              For American whites, I advise a look into Soviet domination of the muslim republics like Kazakhstan, where up to half the population died under Stalin’s rule. The propaganda that justified this tyranny is remarkably similar to the American justifications for the war on Afghanistan a bit more than a decade ago. Even in these pages, the Afghan adventure is justified by self styled libertarians on the same grounds as Stalin used.

              1. Stalin’s history of tyranny in America is surprisingly (?) thin.

                …your point?

                For American whites, I advise a look into Soviet domination of the Muslim republics like Kazakhstan, where up to half the population died under Stalin’s rule. The propaganda that justified this tyranny is remarkably similar to the American justifications for the war on Afghanistan a bit more than a decade ago.

                Sure, buddy. Whatever you say.

                1. “..your point?”

                  Read the thread, it’s not long or difficult. Notorious G.K.C. started it with his meditation on Soviet meddling in American politics. I simply fleshed this out with a concrete example.

                  “Sure, buddy. Whatever you say.”

                  In fact, if you want to read a little, you wouldn’t have to go by what I say.

  4. But, but, but… intentions!

  5. Jabba the Hut wants to know why commercial airliners don’t have surveillance cameras in the cockpits. Because teh terrrrists are everywhere.

    1. Nancy Grace?

  6. Heh, taint.

  7. Candy Crowley.

    1. Cha too ma leia kahnkee, ya ee eema loh kah yah lee.

      1. U kulle rah doe kankee kung!

        1. Space Ghost comes to mind

      2. Koonyah mahlyass koong! Ees too rong tah oong jedi mind trick!

    2. I had to Google her. Yikes! Ugly dude.

      1. And not exactly an impartial debate moderator.

        1. Thanks to the huttesse immediately preceding your post, and probably with help from your handle as well, I misread that as “an imperial debate moderator”.

  8. Now that sleazy totalitarian shitbag Chertoff is on Meet the Press.

    These guys are so fucking desperate to make this into a terrorist plot it’s unbelievable.

    “I don’t want to accuse them of anything, but THE MOOOSLUM PILOTS DID IT!!!!”

      1. I really don’t want you to be right. You called it way too early on.

        1. Don’t worry. Odds are I’m wrong. Pilots always speculate about crashes when given only the scant (and usually wrong) facts from the media. In the dozens of incidents I’ve been privy to, I’ve only guessed one correctly, and that was the Air France crash.

          But my theory discounts foul play and fits most of the crew’s known actions. Like Brooksie said, these idiots in the media would sacrifice body parts for it to end up being a hijacking. They should be talking with pilots rather than government officials.

          1. But my theory discounts foul play and fits most of the crew’s known actions.

            The only problem is there are other theories which fit most of the crew’s known actions. There is no one theory which fits all of what we know.

            Personally, I think some of what we know is wrong. And when we find the aircraft — and I think we will — we will learn what happened.

            1. The only thing that cannot be explained by an electrical fire is the last two known turns in the Indian Ocean. They allegedly turned north and then NW after crossing land.

              As you say, I’m beginning to question the accuracy of those two turns given the search is now focusing in the opposite direction.

              1. I want to be right about something, so here’s my prediction:

                This will be the most expensive recovery/investigation in history.

                1. Playa, if you aren’t correct already, you will be soon.

              2. If the pilots (or whoever had control of the airplane) made those turns then the airplane could have been landed. This wouldn’t have been the first time an airliner landed without communications.

                If the pilots did not make the turns then the fire took out most of the aircraft’s communications (except for the maintenance system satellite handshake)and took out all positive control of the aircraft (pilots and passengers did not have control of the aircraft) but was not a strong enough fire to damage the structural integrity of the aircraft. Possible but I don’t think it is likely.

                1. I haven’t flown the 777 and am not familiar with its operations, but one of the first steps for an electrical fire, in every aircraft I have flown is to turn off all the electricity to put the fire out. Then turn it back on one component at a time to try and isolate the offending component.

                  If the pilots turned, shut shit down, turned on the standby power (who knows, it may come on automatically), and subsequently were incapacitated, it would explain everything except the last turns (if they ever really happened).

                  I googled the Emergency checklist and found this. There is nothing here that even talks about an electrical fire, but it does talk about the remote possibility of landing with total ac failure. In the blurb below it tells you that there is one radio available when using the emergency power. That accounts for the handshake.

                  1. Electrical
                    Approach and Landing on Standby Power
                    The probability of a total and unrecoverable AC power failure is remote. Because
                    of system design, a NNC for accomplishing an approach and landing on standby
                    power is not required. However, some regulatory agencies require pilots to train
                    to this condition. During training, or in the unlikely event that a landing must be
                    made on standby power, the following guidelines should be considered. During
                    this discussion, assume both battery and RAT electrical power are available.
                    Complete all applicable NNCs and approach preparations. The left navigation
                    radio, CDU, and communications radio are operable on standby power. The
                    captain’s and first officer’s electronic flight instruments are also available.
                    The captain’s control wheel trim switches and the alternate trim switches on the
                    aisle stand are operable. Normal flap extension and position indications are

                    Fly the approach on speed. Antiskid is not available, and with the higher approach
                    speed, any excess speed is undesirable. Auto speedbrakes and thrust reversers are
                    not available.

                    1. Sorry for being so late. The satellite handshake comes from the maintenance system. If the Malaysian airline company had subscribed to the system, the 777 maintenance system would have transmitted aircraft information on the state of the aircraft to the satellite and then to Boeing and the engine manufacturer (I believe that is Rolls Royce). Even though the airline company did not subscribe to the Boeing maintenance data system collection, the aircraft still transmitted pings to the satellite. This is how we know (or think we know) the aircraft had power for hours. I think the last ping was at 8:11 am, or more than hour and a half after the plane was supposed to land at 6:30 am.

                      Personally I would extend the flight path from the last known radar hit and look on the sea floor along that line. But that is just me.

                    2. The satellite handshake comes from the maintenance system.

                      It is sent through the VHF/SATCOM and that’s the component required for the handshake.

      2. It was an electrical fire.

        I’ve been saying that, possibly with explosive decompression.

        The idea of a hijacking coming off this way would require exquisite secrecy, training and coordination. It would be cheaper to purchase the airplane through a third party. I don’t buy it.

  9. If only there were some way to hang it around Putin’s neck, these guys would jizz all over the ceiling.

    1. You should totally get a Twitter.

  10. So one of my spring cleaning projects is getting my library in order. Main goals are to collate and tag all my ebooks, get them sorted out and cloud stored, and then to donate/sell all my redundant dead tree versions, at least for certain books. Obviously my (slim) collection of signed books and other “nice” copies will be hanging about, but I’m finally going to be able to ditch the many shelves of thrillers and scifi that have been made redundant by glorious technology.

  11. Snowden is working for the ROOOOOOSKEES!

  12. Anyone else still playing that damn math game?

    1. 2048? Yeah, I made it to the 1024 tile a couple times.

      1. 1704 second time

        1. 3316. Not sure what victory is.

          Until I went and played with numbers.

          Doctor Who, I guess it’s getting to the last Doctor.

          1. 3256. Not that big on DrW, but I have several friends who don’t seem to know that.

      2. I finally won the other day.

        And I posted a link to the game a week ago in the AM Links. Where’s my hat-tip? 😉

  13. President of NCAA is a scumbag. I never would have guessed.

  14. “If the purpose of U.S. intervention in the affairs of other countries is really to help suffering people, the program has a fatal flaw.”

    The purpose stated here is the fatal flaw. The purpose of American foreign policy should NOT be altruism–help suffering people, or promoting democracy, or vague gay rights; it should be and only be protecting American interest and Americans citizens. That is the only moral purpose of government.

    WWII became a moral war after the Japanese attacked and a couple of days later, the Germans declared war on the US. American citizens were killed at Pearl Harbor in an unprovoked attacked. All of the other Wars since then until 9/11 were stupid altuist wars which were specifically not in American interest or protection, but in the supposed interest of others.

    After 9/11 war should have been DECLARED on any country that supported or harbored the criminals who perpetrated the attack: Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Time should have been given for these countries to turn over agents that perpetrated the atrocity, but then the full might of the America’s military should have been unleashed destroying these threats to America. American would have been right and justified based upon self-defense. Instead the war on terror just became another altuist war, with American denying their right to defend itself and its interest.

    Richmond is on to something, but he doesn’t complete the argument.

    1. Richman is on to something…

    2. Even when Sheldon is right, he’s wrong. Your post rocks but not all our wars since WW2 were stupid or (purely) altruist. Grenada and Panama were in our interest, and I think those count as wars. The Bay of Pigs was absolutely in our interest and would have prevented near-nuclear apocalypse if fuckhead JFK had prepped Congress to authorize air support for the liberation of Cuba.

      1. Without the bay of pigs and the sanctions after Cuba might not have been so closely aligned with the USSR.

        Also the lack of sanctions may have opened up Cuba like trade has a tendency to do.

    3. “Iran”?

      Please to clarify

      1. OK. You have a point. But listen, Iran’s previous history and support of terrorism against the US primarily through Hezbollah makes them part of the mix, although their involvement with 911 is unclear or tangential at best:

        Embassy takeover of American Embassy in Nov. 1979, 1983 bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut, TWA flight 847 highjack where 1 Navy sailor was killed, numerous attacks on our only ally in the Middle east, Israel, threatening the annihilation of your only ally in the middle east, Israel.

        Arming and training of Iraq terrorist that killed and maimed scores of American troops.

        Yes, some of the instances where American troops were in harms way were unjustified, but that does not justify killing of these troops who are ostensibly protecting us.

        Iran is a clear enemy of America and supporter of those who have done harm and threatened to do harm this country. They should be neutralized as soon as possible.

  15. “If the purpose of U.S. intervention in the affairs of other countries is really to help suffering people…”

    Its not.

    Who suggested that it was?
    (in sincerity, as opposed to covering for venal self-interests)

  16. The flaw is that the U.S. government does opposition movements no favors when it gives credibility to the charge that those movements are tools of foreign ? particularly American ? interests. Sheldon Richman calls this taint the American disease.,

    Stupid and even weaker than Chapman’s post on Russia and Ukraine. If you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t matter what America does it will be Teh Bad Guy anywhere. Liars gonna lie.

    1. it doesn’t matter what America does it will be Teh Bad Guy anywhere.

      Not true.

      The natural tendency of political/social entities is to hate their neighbor.

      If the US had just kept the fuck out of most of the conflicts it put itself into over the past 100 years most of the real bad guys would not even be thinking about us.

  17. To add to the illogic of Richman’s newest-and-lamest argument as to why “Nonterventionism!” is just the greatest non-policy EVAH = he’s conflating “US meddling in Russia itself (in supporting ‘human rights’) with US passive opposition to Russian intervention in Ukraine.

    The fact that the US Govt gave significant support to opposition groups is unsurprising, given the Ukrainian government has been undermined and controlled by the Kremlin for at least the last decade. I doubt such support would be needed or desired were that not the case. Richman seems to suggest that we should be concerned with upsetting “other people’s puppets”; was there some specific reason to be concerned with the sensibilities of the “Russophiles” again? They of course are ‘taintless’ themselves. Its only *wrong* when Americans do it?

    Richman here highlights possible ‘negative consequences’ of US involvement in Ukraine. He makes great effort to avoid any comparison of these ‘negatives’ to more significant ones that Ukrainians actually face themselves = loss of their national integrity and soon, possible self determination. Richman sang the same tune before Russia annexed Crimea – “non intervention is always best”; now he has nothing to say about that particular success story. When the Russians are rolling into Kiev, what will the next story be about? How we never really had much in common with Poles?

  18. “Islamic descent”?

    Apparently religion is genetic now.

  19. my co-worker’s step-mother makes $63 every hour on the computer . She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $18624 just working on the computer for a few hours. i was reading this…….

  20. Uh, the Soviet Union had an extremely active program of infiltrating the African-American community and supporting the Civil Rights movement, via the CPUSA, which was on Moscow’s payroll. This is normally something the Left is either quite proud of, taking its contribution to the Civil Rights movement as one of its great achievements. It’s also something that the segregationists played up in their propaganda, using it as a reason to keep racial segregation in place.

    So, this a rather unbelievably stupid article for Richman to be quoting so favorably, even for someone with such a long track record of foreign policy stupidity as Richman. Cohen is a rather infamous denier of the crimes of the Soviet Union, has been for a long time, and is married to the editor of the far-left magazine “The Nation,” who recently compared the Russian annexation of Crimea to an hypothetical Russian annexation of Mexico, asking how America would react to that. She apparently forgot about Cuba, which was effectively annexed by Russia in 1959, which America promised to leave alone in 1963, which promise has been kept by America ever since.

    1. “Uh, the Soviet Union had an extremely active program of infiltrating the African-American community and supporting the Civil Rights movement, ”

      That’s possibly true, but whatever effort they put up certainly paled beside the efforts of the US security services who had infiltrated groups like the Black Panthers and even had plants in top leadership positions. You probably know about cointelpro. That’s what it was always about. And however the active the Soviet programmes were, they were not influential. Not compared to US security services or even the Chinese Maoists who were admired while the Soviet revisionists were scorned.

      They called that whole movement of the 60s ‘the new left’ to distant it from the old left, or, to be blunt about it, the Soviet Union. Have you actually made it till now without realizing that?

      However active the Soviet Union was in the civil rights and leftist movements, in the US anyway, their influence was small. They were scorned as brutes and bureaucrats.

  21. The Soviet sponsored Communist parties and movements all around the world, which all had both “legal” and “illegal” parts. The Legal parts were devoted to setting up popular front groups for political agitation, the illegal parts were devoted to espionage and violent revolution. All the US does is sponsor peaceful dissent in some countries, such as Ukraine. Richman is buying into the Kremlin’s attempt to find the two morally equivalent and project the Kremlin’s own tactics onto its enemies.

    Yanukovich had bankrupted his country building mansions and filling his foreign bank accounts to the point where he was selling his country into debt-slavery to Putin. Putin required that peaceful dissent be banned in Ukraine as a precondition for the loan. Yanukovich obediently passed such a law so he could be Putin’s bitch, but the Ukrainian people had none of it, peacefully demonstrating in the Maidan until they had to defend themselves against Yanukovich’s riot police and snipers, who killed 88 Ukrainians while suffering zero casualties themselves. Then Yanukovich lost his nerve and fled the country. Such a leader doesn’t deserve to hold office, and the Ukrainian legislature agreed.

    Ever since then, the Kremlin and its Western toadies have been blaming this upon Western meddling in Ukraine. Richman has just proved himself to be part of that chorus.

  22. But of course this is true any time anyone helps anyone else about anything in opposition to someone else. “You’re helping hir just because….” So this argues for never taking sides, because you’ll just bring in more opposition, i.e. whoever’s already opposed to you. “Oh, so libertarians are for this? Then I’ll be against it, because I’m against libertarians.”

    However, this does not apply to covert aid if you can keep it covert.

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