Skip to Content

Trust and Verify and Vomit

Is Dithering Always Bad?

I’ve been quite critical of Barack Obama for cozying up to the military, for being led by the nose by a powerful militarist cabal rather than being the commander-in-chief doing the leading. I’ve also been critical of the post-Vietnam War John Kerry for selling out the antiwar movement as he clamored up the ladder of Washington power.

But Obama’s dithering and Kerry’s vacillations with his Russian counterpart feel like something different for a change. Time will tell. Trust and verify.

Russian Minister For Foreign Affairs Sergev Lavrov and US Secretary of State John KerryRussian Minister For Foreign Affairs Sergev Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry

This is how Putin ended his op-ed: “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

It’s pretty clear Putin got some Washington DC-savvy help on the piece. The closing mention of “the Lord’s blessings” is a nice touch, don’t you think?

Putin knows the American people have had enough of war. And he’s right in slamming “American exceptionalism” as a noxious myth that drives the American inclination to bomb people to solve problems. What the myth tells Americans is other people just don’t deserve to live as much as we do. This writer and many other Americans have criticized the Myth of American Exceptionalism for years as the prime ideological narrative driving this nation down a path to future ruin. While myths may be immune to legislation, they do evolve as realities change.

If it takes a narcissistic thug like Vladimir Putin to lend traction to such a powerfully true argument against US hubris and bombing, then let’s hear it for shirtless macho buffoons on horseback. Critics of the current US/Russian/Syrian negotiations seem to resent that Putin has gained in stature from the episode. What these critics need to grasp is that this is so only because US imperial militarism is past-due having its wings clipped.

The fact is US imperial hubris has become so notorious, especially in the Middle East, it allows Vladimir Putin to look good.



story | by Dr. Radut