President Biden’s condemnation of Russia at the UN on Wednesday, where he claimed Russia had violated the UN Charter by invading Ukraine, a country he ludicrously posed “no threat” to its larger neighbor, is epic hypocrisy coming from the leader of a country that not long ago invaded and destroyed Iraq based on a total fraudulent claim asserting that country was developing or even already had weapons of mass destruction.
It is illegal under the UN Charter for any country to invade or threaten to invade another country unless it is sanctioned to do so by the UN Security Council, or unless it faces an imminent threat of attack by that country.
Now under that Charter, which is a formal treaty signed and adopted by both the United States and the Soviet Union and its successor Russia, President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is to be sure illegal and a “Crime against Peace” under the UN Charter, but the US, of all nations on the UN Security Council, is the last country, and Biden, as president of the US, is the last world leader of such nations to be leveling that accusation.
How many nations has the US invaded illegally, just since WWII? Let’s see, should we start from the most recent and go backward? There are so many, none of them ever posing a threat — imminent or otherwise — to the US:
- There is right now Yemen, where the US has sent in Special Forces and US combat aircraft including bombers as well as Hellfire missile-armed Drones, and has also engaged in targeting assistance to invading Saudi troops armed with US-supplied weapons and illegal anti-personnel explosives.
- There is Syria, where the US had had troops battling Syrian army troops and insurgent forces of IS for at least three presidential administrations including the Biden administration.
- There’s Afghanistan, where the US illegally invaded claiming it was pursuing Al Qaeda forces said to be responsible for the 9-11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center in New York, but quickly shifted that to a two-decade war of mayhem against the indigenous Taliban government of the country, which it ousted, and the people of rural Afghanistan, not a single one of whom ever threatened or attacked the US.
- There’s Iraq, which the US invaded twice in 1990 and 2003, and continued bombing and attacking in the intervening years, causing four million displaced people and killing by various estimates anywhere from 100,000 to one million people, most of them civilians, and most of the rest fighters trying to free their country from the US attacker and occupier.
- There is Libya, where the US exceeded (by design!) its UN-authorized establishment of a no-fly zone and using it to support the overthrow of the country’s government, leaving a destroyed nation that has never recovered.
- There is Niger, where the US has waged a secret war for years against forces operating in that country, exposed only because some Special Forces soldier were killed there in an ambush.
- There is Haiti where the US sent military forces into the country and kidnapped elected leader President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and flew him into exile in South Africa, then occupying the country with US forces.
- There is Cuba, where the US has refused to leave its stolen Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, the lease for which long ago expired (the US continues to sent annual cheques for the token “rent” which Cuba refuses to cash, as the lease it long over) — something similar to Russia’s recovery of Crimea, though Russia still had a valid lease on its Naval base there, which Ukraine wanted to take over.
- There is the tiny island nation of Grenada, which the US invaded in October 1983, killing defending Cuban workers at a civilian airport under construction, and overthrowing the government without even warning Britain, when Grenada was a part of the British Commonwealth, and certainly posed no threat to the US.
- There was of the Dominican Republic, which US Marines invaded in 1965.
- And of course there was the US invasion of Vietnam which began, in terms of US forces landing and beginning to directly fight Liberation forces in the south, in 1965, expanding into air attacks on and saturation bombing of the north. That war, ultimately involving over 500,000 troops in the south of Vietnam, later expanded to include massive bombing and Special Forces incursions into neighboring Laos and Cambodia. As may as three million Vietnamese, Lao and Khmer people were killed in that war, the majority of them civilian men, women and chldren, and the rest fighters for the independence of Vietnam.
I know I have left some US wars and invasions out, including the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba that involved US-trained Cuban exiles the used hoping to create an uprising in 1961 against Castro’s government that would allow the US to enter the battle on some pretext.
The point is, the US, the primary violator in the world since World War II of the UN Charter, not to mention the primary perpetrator of massive war crimes against civilian populations over that period, is simply in no position to criticize the Soviet Union, even if its invasion of Ukraine is illegal under the Charter.
This is especially true because it is undeniable that the US helped orchestrate the coup and immediately backed its ouster of the pro-Russian electedgovernment, actually hand-picking an unelected fascist and anti-Russian replacement government in 2014 that began threatening, harassing and attacking ethnic Russians, particularly in eastern Ukraine. It is also undeniable that the US has long hoped to pull Ukraine away from Russia and to bring it into NATO, which would allow it to put military bases and US planes and rockets there, only minutes away from Russia’s capital and industrial heartland.
The difference between the threat posed by US actions in Ukraine, especially since 2014 and what the US considered “threats” in any of its wars listed above is incredibly vast.
I don’t believe that Russia should have invaded Ukraine. That country’s government was apparently ready to avoid war by agreeing to remain neutral, not to join NATO or allow US bases or weapons systems on its territory, and probably to reach some deal on autonomy or independence for the far eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, but Putin decided to try for a whole loaf, or a larger piece of Ukrainian territory, which hasn’t been going very well for him.
That said, Biden, head of a country that has wasted trillions of dollars on unjustified and illegal wars since the end of World War II — wars that have killed millions of people, the vast majority civilian men, women and children — should STFU and start working for an end to that conflict starting with a ceasefire in place and negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable end to the mutual blood-letting.
Biden has no standing to call Russia a war-criminal nation. The US holds the unassailable prize in that wretched category. It was true when Martin Luther King Jr. said it at Riverside Church in 1967 as the US invasion of Vietnam was underway, and it is even truer today after another half-century of criminal US wars.