Dimitri Lascaris and a host of others, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Scott Ritter, John Helmer, Yves Engler, Ben Norton, Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson, Aaron Maté, John Mearsheimer, Vijay Prashad, Jeffrey Sachs (and here you can add me to the list) are inundated by people who accuse them of being ‘one-sided’ Russian stooges who never criticize Russia’s past warmongering.
As anyone who follows the above writers and analysts, this is, of course, patently false. Moreover, I have on several occasions done just this—especially when this involved the Soviet invasion of Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
I have also said that Russia’s current military incursion into Ukraine was (like America’s invasion of Iraq) in contravention of UN resolution 3314: ‘the illegal invasion of a State by the armed forces of another State, with or without occupation of the territory’. However, unlike America’s unprovoked invasion of Iraq, Russia’s decision to use military force was most definitely the result of 40 years of US expansionism and NATO provocation—and this history of imperial expansionism and provocation was reasonably seen by Vladimir Putin as an existential threat to Russia as a sovereign nation.
Finally, two comments that would be fairly obvious to anyone reading my writing: First, I am in complete agreement with Chris Hedges that war is the greatest evil. Second, I will say, unequivocally, that I despise autocratic leaders and this includes Putin and Xi Jinping. I also loathe historically imperialist, colonialist powers and apartheid regimes, and here I include France, Britain, United States, Belgium, Israel, and Canada
However, all this said, there is a very simple and quite justifiable reason for my deciding to focus on the US and Canada’s illegalities, human rights abuses, and war crimes: these are the regimes I am closest to, and in a significant sense, live under—not Russia or China. So, one can rightly say Putin is responsible for deciding to invade Ukraine, and that is not good. But in the very same sentence, you can and must make the verifiably true claim that the US empire provoked this invasion, and this latter conclusion would be considered by anyone with even an ounce of fairness to be equally wrong. The United States WANTED this war against Russia because they aspire to be the world’s number one hegemonic power. ‘First, we defeat Russia by way of proxy war in Ukraine, then we defeat China’. This latter is not some wild accusation of a crazy conspiracist, but a conclusion that can be very reasonably derived from documentary evidence from the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA.
For the past 50 years, the US has been the most powerful and destructive government on earth. It has hundreds of military bases (over 800) and surveillance systems around the world It wages wars that have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century. That simply cannot be said of either Russia or China. American economic sanctions and blockades are often illegal and clearly a form of war that continuously targets civilians with deadly force in nations like Venezuela, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. The appalling truth is that as of 2021, the US had 9421 sanctions on foreign countries it didn't like. American genocidal sanctions against Iraq are responsible for 1-1.5 million Iraqis dying from malnutrition and inadequate healthcare. The US illegally and unilaterally seized (stole) $300 billion in Russian assets that belong to the Russian people and are held in Western banks. Again, this level of American crimes against humanity, military aggression, piracy, and sanctioning of other countries simply cannot be said about either Russia or China. The US works to destroy any nation not sufficiently servile to its interests by toppling their governments via CIA coups, proxy armies, economic sanctions, and partial and full-scale invasions. Russia and China have done none of this for the past 50 years. There is just no ethical or human rights comparison. As Noam Chomsky and others have said again and again it is the U.S. desire for hegemony that poses the greatest threat to world peace, not Russia or China.
Now, of course, none of this means that Russia or China are faultless or have not committed human rights violations. They surely have. What it means, instead, is that the country most in need of a critical appraisal for its egregious aggression against other nations is not Russia or China, but the United States. If this emphasis on US aggression is concluded as one-sided, then it is, by any legal or moral measure, a reasonable conclusion given the historical reality of the past 50 years. The scandalous and distressing reality is that US crimes are often papered over or go untold first because the CIA, NSA, and the Pentagon are serial liars and masterful propagandists, and second, because the mainstream media in the US and Canada are more like servile stenographers who cozy up to the powerful rather than journalists who ask politicians critical and probing questions.
The entire Western political/media class aids and abets the criminal activities and economic interests of the US empire. So, when I write or post stories on my Blog or on Facebook testifying to this reality it is simply because I wish to restore some balance by focusing on the lies, distortions, and aggressive warmongering that the US is currently involved in. We are literally inundated by mainstream media (CBC, MSNBC, CTV, FOX, New York Times, Globe and Mail) who almost exclusively focus on ‘evil Putin’, autocratic Xi, or ‘Russian/Chinese crimes’, and spend no time talking about American warmongering or Canadian corporate mining exploitation of the third world countries. In a world of lies and war propaganda, the truth will appear 'one-sided' to the uninformed.
So, at one level I understand those surprised or bothered by my seemingly one-sided posts, since these often fly in the face of what they have been for years and years propagandized into assuming—they are simply conditioned to believe that America and Canada are the good guys and China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and others are run by evil autocrats. So, when someone like myself comes along and instead critically zeroes in on the US—which by any measure is the planet's most destructive, powerful, and dangerous government—it appears to them as unfair and one-sided. But, clearly, it IS NOT!
As Yves Engler has accurately noted “Canadian and American propagandists are being paid to call anyone who disagrees with the official narrative “Russian propagandists”. Unfortunately, the propaganda-addled minds of those who uncritically repeat these official narratives against Russia and China will consequently tend to be suspicious of anyone who dares to turn the tables and focus criticism on the United States, the world’s most dangerous and destructive regime.
Indeed, what they conclude as one-sidedness, narrowness or venality in others is precisely a measure of their own lack of historical geopolitical knowledge and their constant and uncritical repetition of conformist narratives and official orthodox opinions—or more simply put, their shocking inability to think for themselves.