They both never seized to astonish the world. If we draw a vertical line on a sheet of paper, and try to compare their conquests* through time, we will be amazingly surprised. Or shall I say appalled?
Few days ago, the US Secretary of State had the courage to declare: “Russians are invading another country on the basis of state-of-the-art fabricated pretexts”; and he complained, like his European allies, about “violating the integrity and the territory of a Sovereign State”!!
Shortly afterwards, as if it was a green light coded sign, most of the American and European conservative newspapers and TV networks started airing and publishing opinions analysing the Soviet era invasions on ‘Sovereign States’.. Reminding:
· 1953, the Soviet tanks opposing the East Berlin workers;
· 1956, the Soviet tanks spear heading the bloody repression of the Hungarian revolution;
· 1968, the Soviet tanks suffocating the “Shy Prague Spring”.
Yet the media headings ignored the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, because it “represents a totally different political perspective”. In addition, they agreed to qualify the Russian aggressions as “The Russian Vice for Tanks”! Nevertheless, they all have deliberately overlooked the other side of the Coin.
Ø If the Soviet, now Russian, vice are the tanks; the Americans’ and their allies’ is the “Vice for Fighter-Bombers”. Otherwise, in 1999 long before September 11, how would anyone explain the 72 days American & Co’s bombardments on“Belgrade” (producing 5500 civilian casualties); if not a the “violation of the integrity and the territory of a Sovereign State”?
Ø What will they say about the 2001 American & Co’s invasion/occupation of Afghanistan; predominantly maintained by the excessive use of a wide range of Air Force artifacts, including the well armed and remotely guided unmanned drones?
Ø How else to define the 2003 aggression on Iraq (160000 civilian casualties officially declared), if not the “invasion of a country on the basis of state-of-the-art fabricated pretexts” (in reference to the Arms of Mass Destruction farce of Collin Powel at the UN Security Council; or the famous 45 days Iraqi readiness to launch the Nukes of Tony Blair)?
Ø And in 2006/2007, how could they justify the aggression on Somalia, only because its Islamic Courts have committed the unforgettable mistakes of defeating local “War Lords” and bringing order and unity among the population?
Ø Which excuse could they furnish about the 2011 aggression on Libya? To take out a dictator, and replace him by no one knows exactly who?
If the crushing roars of the tank belts seem terrible to them; the deafening rumbling of air bombing is my horrifying nightmare.. You can stand before a tank (remember the immortal resisting citizen at the Tien Nan Men square). But, there’s nothing you can do, while sitting with your children and neighbours in a shelter, (if you’re lucky to reach it in the first place) other than listening to the whistling of a delivered bomb getting stronger in its way down, until its devastating explosion over your head.
I can tell, for I have passed through a miniature of that hell (at the time they used the 155 caliber mortar shells), back in 1975 while visiting friends in the Bekfaiyeh zone, up on the Lebanese mountain just 3 days before the burst of the Civil War.
I invite you to let your imagination grasp, if you can, the complexity of feelings and thoughts passing by your entire being, mind and body, while going through a similar experience.
Uncle Sam and the Russian Bear seem to be two bullies obsessed by a consuming desire for Imperial Grandeur. Racing one another to control the world’s resources, and even possess as much as possible – if not all – of the oxygen we all are still breathing!!
Most optimists are awaiting hopefully the rise of the Chinese Dragon. While I fear the day when the two bullies would ally together to stop the Dragon’s fast stride.
Pass On The Word.
*Conquests in every domain: political, scientific, colonial, technological, economical, space, war, even crime…etc; were all geared to achieve Hegemony. Never to satisfy human needs and render human life better. These conquests destroyed too much and built too little.