Once you've sacked entire cities it's probably too late to start worrying about moral high ground
- "America’s purported “moral authority” is not being lost. It never had any in the first place. What’s being lost is the illusion of authority."
It's not Russia which has destroyed America's moral authority but its own conduct
It’s parallel universe time when US Pentagon chief James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis complains that America’s “moral authority” is being undermined by others – specifically Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
This is the ex-Marine general who gained his ruthless reputation from when illegally occupying US troops razed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in the 2004-2005 using “shake and bake” bombardment of inhabitants with banned white phosphorus incendiaries.
A repeat of those war crimes happened again last year under Mattis’ watch as Pentagon chief when US warplanes obliterated the Syrian city of Raqqa, killing thousands of civilians. Even the pro-US Human Rights Watch abhorred the repeated use of white phosphorus during that campaign to “liberate” Raqqa, supposedly from jihadists.
These are but two examples from dense archives of US war crimes committed over several decades, from its illegal intervention in Syria to Libya, from Iraq to Vietnam, back to the Korean War in the early 1950s when American carpet bombing killed millions of innocent civilians.
For Mattis to lament during a speech at a naval college last week that America’s moral authority is being eroded by Putin is a symptom of the delusional official thinking infesting Washington.
According to Mattis, the problem of America’s diminishing global reputation has nothing to do with US misconduct – even though the evidence is replete to prove that systematic misconduct. No, the problem, according to him, is that Russia’s Putin is somehow sneakily undermining Washington’s moral authority.
Mattis told his audience: “Putin aims to diminish the appeal of the western democratic model and attempts to undermine America’s moral authority.” He added that the Russian leader’s “actions are designed not to challenge our arms at this point but to undercut and compromise our belief in our ideals.”
The US Secretary of Defense doesn’t elaborate on how he thinks Russia is achieving this dastardly plot to demean America. It is simply asserted as fact. This has been a theme recycled over and over by officials in Washington and Brussels, other Western government leaders and of course NATO and its affiliated think-tanks. All of which has been dutifully peddled by Western news media.
It is classic “in denial” thinking. The general loss of legitimacy and authority by Western governments is supposedly nothing to do with their own inherent failures and transgressions, from bankrupt austerity economics, to deteriorating social conditions, to illegal US-led wars and the repercussions of blowback terrorism and mass migration of refugees.
Oh no. What the ruling elites are trying to do is shift the blame from their own culpability on to others, principally Russia.
American political analyst Randy Martin says that Mattis’ latest remarks show a form of collective delusion among Western political establishments and their aligned mainstream news media.
“What a powerful delusion Mattis and Western leaders like him are encumbered with,” says Martin. “The US undercuts and compromises its own avowed beliefs and ideals because it has lost any moral integrity that it might have feasibly pretended to have due to decades of its own criminal foreign conduct.”
The analyst added: “America’s so-called moral authority is the free pass it gives itself to topple democracy in Ukraine, replacing it with neo-Nazis; it has turned economically prosperous Libya into a wasteland, after murdering its leader Muammar Gaddafi; it funds and openly sponsors the MKO terror group in Iran for regime change in Tehran; and it is neck deep in fueling the Saudi coalition’s genocidal war in Yemen.”
Despite this litany of criminality committed by the US with the acquiescence of European allies, Washington, says Martin, “preaches a bizarre doctrine of ‘exceptionalism’ and somehow arrogates a moral right to dominate the world. This is the fruit of the diseased minds of sociopaths.”
This week, three headline-making issues speak volumes about America’s declining moral authority.
First, there are the harrowing scenes of thousands of migrant children being ripped away from parents at the Mexican border, forcibly housed in wire cages, sobbing relentlessly from the trauma. There has been an outcry around the world over the heartless “zero-tolerance” policy by the Trump administration. The United Nations condemned it as “unconscionable”.
One editorial writer for the Washington Post called Trump’s policy “barbarous”, and said it was inflicting “great damage to the fabric of our democracy”.
Secondly, the Trump administration is recklessly pushing ahead with a trade war against China and its Western allies. The unilateral imposition of tariffs by the White House in disregard for international trade laws has prompted European officials to deplore how Trump is “undermining the global rules-based system”.
Thirdly, there is widespread horror at the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen where millions of civilians are in danger of starving to death due to the US-backed Saudi and Emirati offensive on the critical port city of Hodeida.
Lastly, the US withdrawal this week from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, which UN ambassador Nikki Haley lambasted for being a “cesspool of prejudice”against Israel, caused consternation that Washington was cynically trying to shut down criticism of its support for Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
In all three issues, US global standing is tarnished by its own policy-making, decisions and conduct. Increasingly, Washington is becoming the full-fledged rogue regime that many observers had already concluded it was from decades of illegal wars and subterfuges. What is different now is that the rogue image is becoming impossible to not notice or to conceal by self-serving propaganda and myths that the Western media indulged in for decades.
Mattis’ protests about the US losing its moral authority are more to do with a growing fear of one’s own nakedness. Like the emperor who had no clothes, the naked ugliness of American global power is becoming more and more exposed.
Arguably, it is not a case of US power becoming more malevolent or wayward over time. That has always been the case; only in the past the perniciousness was handily concealed by an efficient, servile news media.
With increasing global communications and alternative sources of news and analysis, the erstwhile media monopoly that the US enjoyed along with its Western lackeys is no longer dominant. Western public in particular have more information sources to allow a more critical, independent assessment of their governments and the official narratives. This is why the supposed “moral authority” of the US government is being challenged. People are seeing through the veil of lies and misinformation, and making the correct conclusions.
Not only no clothes, but the emperor’s hands are covered in blood from massive crimes against humanity and atrocious wars of aggression that were previously denied or hidden.
One suspects that what’s really agitating Mattis and other apologists for US illegal wars and malevolent conduct is that the unvarnished truth is being told by alternative sources.
America’s purported “moral authority” is not being lost. It never had any in the first place. What’s being lost is the illusion of authority.