In response to an FT article by Martin Wolf on 16th September 2014, entitled 'Russia is our most dangerous neighbour'
All empires throughout history have employed a number of 'strategies' to create or defend hegemony. These include:
1. They wrap up their territorial/economic ambitions in the fabric of a more noble objective
2. They seek to impose their values and/or religious beliefs on other cultures
3. They demonize their rivals, inventing a narrative that is laughable from the perspective of a few hundred years, or even decades, but seems perfectly acceptable to the majority of people at the time
4. They sacrifice 'human rights' at the drop of a hat when it suits them
5. They take their countries to war at times which are very convenient from the perspective of a government wishing to distract their population from economic or domestic concerns
6. They carry out false flag incidents, and lie about military intelligence in order to demonize their rivals and justify war
7. They persecute and attempt to undermine journalists, honest politicians and/or members of the public who attempt to expose their hidden agendas; and in many cases such people subsequently seem to find themselves involved in unfortunate accidents or mysterious suicides
8. They lie to their people about their activities at 1 to 7, leaving historians to spill the beans for them at a later date
9. They manage to convince their populations that history stopped with them…that there is no number nine…this is the most insidious lie of all
Just a few years ago, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair presented fabricated evidence to the US Congress and the UK Parliament, in order to justify the invasion of Iraq - number 6. Many of us were fooled, we thought 'no they wouldn't lie to us'. They did. Number nine was alive and well and living at number ten.
If we want to understand geo-politics, now or in the past, we have to learn that the really big lesson of history is that governments lie to their people, paint themselves as whiter than white, and their opponents as very dark indeed. This has gone on throughout history, and it is going on now. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that right now - the US is 'at it', Russia is 'at it', Ukraine is 'at it', China is 'at it', and they are all 'at it'.
We always see, and are encouraged to look at, our opponents 'games'. We are always encouraged to ignore our own games. That is what is going on here.
Anyone who doubts this should read the recently declassified 'Northwoods Document' produced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in March 1962, outlying a plan for false flag incidents and press manipulation to create support for a US invasion of Cuba. The plan included hijackings and other covert operations, which were designed to create a public groundswell of support. It was thrown out by President Kennedy. Anyone who thinks that this kind of thing doesn't go on now is naive. Anyone who thinks the Neocons are just a group of non-compromising supporters of Western values should read the original version of the Wolfowitz doctrine, which was leaked and then hastily re-written when people saw it for what it was.
Personally I condemn empire and hegemony whether it's the Russians, the Americans, the Brits or the French, and if the Telly Tubbies ever decide to do it I shall condemn it in them too.
Further, anyone who thinks you can demoralize an opponent like Mr. Putin by accusing him of stuff that you do yourself is either incredibly arrogant or incredibly foolish.
I don't buy your analysis Mr. Wolf and I don't buy your certainty. I leave the last word with Mr. Chomsky:
"There is a principle of ideology that we must never look at our own crimes, we should, on the other hand, exalt in the crimes of others and in our own nobility in opposing them."
Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, MIT - Four Horsemen