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Uncle Sam’s double standards

Columns 2022-08-07, 8:14pm


Jehangir Hussain

Jehangir Hussain

More than a year and a half into the tenure of president Joe Biden, his administration’s approach to strategic priorities is surprisingly consistent with the policies of the Trump administration, analysts say.

Biden vowed on the campaign trail to break from the paths taken by the previous administration, and in some ways on foreign policy he has done that.

He has repaired alliances, particularly in Western Europe, that Donald J. Trump had weakened with his ‘America First’ proclamations and criticisms of other nations.

But in critical areas, the Biden administration has not made substantial breaks, showing how difficult it is in Washington to chart new courses on foreign policy.

That was underscored when Biden travelled to Israel and Saudi Arabia, a trip partly aimed at strengthening the closer ties among those states that Trump administration had promoted under the so-called Abraham Accords.

In Saudi Arabia, Biden met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite his earlier vow to make the nation a ‘pariah’ for human rights violations, notably the murder of a Washington Post writer in 2018.

Behind the scenes, the US still provides important support for the Saudi military in the Yemen war despite Biden’s earlier pledge to end the war.

Since the 19th century, the United States interfered, both overtly and covertly, in the replacement of several foreign governments.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the U.S. government initiated actions for regime change in Latin America and the southwest Pacific, including the Spanish- American and Philippine-American wars.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the US shaped or installed governments in many countries around the world, including  in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

During the 2nd World War, the U S helped overthrow the Imperial Japan government as well as regimes in the Philippines, Korea, the Eastern portion of China, and much of Europe.

In the aftermath of World War II, the U.S. government struggled with the Soviet Union for global leadership, influence and security in the context of the Cold War.

During the Eisenhower administration, the U S feared that national security would be compromised by governments propped by the Soviet Union’s involvement and promoted the domino theory, with later presidents following Eisenhower's precedent.

Subsequently, the US expanded the geographic scope of its actions beyond traditional area of operations, Central America and the Caribbean.

The US and the United Kingdom orchestrated 1953 Coup de tat in Iran and supported the overthrow of Soekarno by General Suharto in Indonesia.

The US interfered in the national elections in Italy in 1948, the Philippines in 1953, and Japan in the 1950s and 1960s as well as Lebanon in 1957.

The US was involved in overt and covert interventions in elections at least 81 countries between 1946 and 2000.

The US was also involved in 64 covert and six overt attempts at regime change during the Cold War.

After the dissolution of the Soviet, the US led or supported wars to determine the governance of a number of countries.

It fought in Afghanistan and was defeated by the Taliban, it overthrew the government in Iraq on the pretext that it had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

Both the US and Russia claim their escalations in Ukraine are defensive, responding to threats by the other side.

The resulting spiral of escalation only makes war more likely.

Germany is refusing to funnel more weapons into Ukraine, in keeping with its long-standing policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones.

The Minsk Agreements were applied neither by the US nor Russia.

The most critical events that have been airbrushed out of the West’s political narrative are the violation of agreements by Western leaders at the end of the Cold War not to expand NATO into Eastern Europe and the US backed coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Western mainstream media only blame Russia for the crisis in Ukraine since Russia’s reintegration of Crimea in 2014. 

But these actions were responses to the US-backed coup, in which an armed mob led by the neo-Nazi Right Sector militia stormed the Ukrainian parliament, forcing the elected President Viktor Yanukovich and members of his party to flee for their lives.

The remaining members of parliament voted to form a new government, subverting the political transition and plans for a new election that Yanukovich had publicly agreed to hold the day before, after meetings with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland.

The US role in managing the coup was exposed by a leaked 2014 audio recording of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt working on their plans which included side lining the European Union and shoehorning in US  protégé Arseniy Yatsenyuk as prime minister. 

Both of Nuland’s hand-picked puppets in Ukraine, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and President Poroshenko, were soon mired in corruption scandals.

Yatsenyuk was forced to resign after two years and Poroshenko was named in a tax evasion scandal revealed the Panama Papers.

Is there a shift in the one-China policy the US maintained over the last four decades plus, ask diplomatic analysts. 

Though the Biden administration officially distanced itself from speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan trip, far from convinced, china has sharply reacted against her visit'.  

The policy changed during the Nixon presidency.

The shift began since US secretary of state Henry Kissinger paid a secret visit to Beijing in July 1971.

In 1979, the US changed its earlier policy of recognising Taiwan as the sole representative of China and recognised the People’s Republic of China.  

The US snapped its relations with Taiwan, withdrew its embassy from there replacing it with a non-governmental American Institute in Taiwan.

Now the concern is more about China overtaking the US economically and the US suddenly began a propaganda war  calling China as not democratic.

But the contradiction is that the US and its western allies support countries where there is no democracy.  

China has no democratic pretensions and was never involved in overthrowing elected governments as the US did time and again.

Unlike China, the US fought far away in Vietnam and was defeated by it.

The US also fought in Afghanistan and was defeated more recently.

Uncle Sam’s another stark double standards is support for fundamentalist Israel which made the tiny Zionist country so powerful to violate human rights of Palestinians with total impunity and continue to occupy the Golan Heights violating UN resolutions.

Uncle Sam has no qualms that it supports fundamentalist Israel violating the US Constitution.      

One wonders whether the US is the same country that was once led by Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

(The opinions expressed in this article are of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of this online paper.)