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High life

You can't make friends with Uncle Sam and survive for long

The record of American-backed rulers in the Middle East makes Putin look good

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

Can somebody tell me when America last got it right? Uncle Sam’s track record in selecting leaders in faraway places reminds me very much of my own where libel is concerned: plaintiffs 5; Taki 0. Let’s see, the good Uncle overthrew Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran back in the early 1950s in order for the Shah to become his man in Persia. The Shah went gallivanting in St Moritz, threw very expensive parties in Persepolis and spent money like a Saudi camel driver-turned-prince on American weapons. But once the Shah became a pariah, the Home of the Brave chickened out. The Shah became Shah who? Only Henry Kissinger admitted knowing him and even managed to get him a bed in a cancer hospital.

What about the Diem family before that? They were bosom buddies with Eisenhower and the Kennedys until insiders in Washington started to talk down Madame (Diem’s sister-in-law) Nhu’s habit of spending lotsa moolah while Buddhist monks ignited themselves in protest against her Catholicism and corruption. The Diems were slain by generals who had been given the go-ahead by JFK, whose life was also terminated three weeks later. And America’s man in Panama, old Pineapple Face, was overthrown by Papa Bush once it became obvious he was selling happy dust to gringos, the very same dust George W. must have been on when he invaded Iraq in order to make Israel safe to bomb women and children in Gaza.

Nah, I’d rather be an enemy than a friend where America is concerned. Netanyahu craps on American presidents and gets three billion smackers annually in return. And just look at the camel drivers. They sponsor terrorism everywhere with their financing of schools that teach how to kill the infidel, and the Yankees openly genuflect in front of them almost as much as the Brits do. Not to mention the Qataris, who paid Islamic State cold hard cash to get them going in their chopping-off-heads business. There is no end in sight. As they say, Washington doesn’t know its ass from a hole in the ground, but it means well. The folly of forcing freedom on those who don’t want it makes Americans feel good when they get home and turn on the TV. Nothing is as important as that.

Which brings me to old Vlad the Impaler — no, not the Romanian Count Dracula, but Vladimir Putin, the man everyone in America and Europe hates, which is very good news for Russia. Putin is neither Shah nor Diem, and no Pineapple Face either. He will go on the offensive at any sign of foreign interference. What the bureaucrooks of the EU forget is that economic embargoes and trade sanctions are a form of strategic warfare. Washington can push small Central American countries around, as the EU did with Austria when it tried to go to the right some time ago, but Russia is now a strong state again that takes neither crap nor outside interference. And many Russians are eager for revenge in what they see as a humiliation after the fall of communism.

Putin’s annexation of Crimea made him a hero in many Russian eyes. Now that America and the EU see him as the baddest guy on the planet, Putin’s theory that America uses its power to foment revolution has come full circle. He knows that one cannot be Washington’s friend and survive for long. He also knows that America uses covert force against regimes it doesn’t like. He most likely thinks that Uncle Sam covertly financed the jihadists in Chechnya. And why is that so crazy? Uncle Sam financed the Taleban against the Soviets and gave them missiles that are still used against American and Nato troops in that miserable country, Afghanistan. He also knows the neocons in Washington rule the roost and want him encircled and humiliated.

The trouble is that Putin is no Saddam. Even Assad was no Saddam. So the neocons, in cahoots with the EU crooks, have declared an undeclared war on Putin’s Russia, one that doesn’t exactly make the Kremlin shake in fear. After the Cold War was over, George Kennan, an expert’s expert on the Soviet Union, fiercely opposed the eastward expansion of Nato and other measures that would take advantage of Russia’s weakness. He also advised against humiliating a great country such as Russia, whose soul is somehow different from that of, say, Puerto Rico or Monaco. Kennan also fulminated against America’s hypocrisy. He insisted that America should put its own house in order first — I write this as Ferguson, Missouri, burns — and become a republic known for its decency and humanity and social success. Putin has read Kennan and looks at Brussels the way I look at the Papandreou clan in my own country, as a bunch of midgets who couldn’t punch their way out of a wet paper bag.

And, while I’m at it, I am a great admirer of Radek Sikorski, who has good reason to distrust the Russkies. But he should not count on any help from Brussels or the Americans. They will both sell Poland out quicker than you can say Munich. Our problems here in the West have nothing to do with Russia, but with the inability of anyone except Rod Liddle in these here pages to tell the truth. Removing kosher food from shelves had nothing to do with us Christians. So why doesn’t Stephen Pollard say so? It’s the Muslim extremists among us who are causing all the mess, not the Russians nor the Shiites.

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