Defending Lord Byron against high society’s disapproval of his marital arrangements, Baron Macauley exclaimed that “we know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.”
These words spring to mind when contemplating the contrived fury in the media, the Democratic Party and US-ruling class circles about contacts between US President Donald Trump’s family and political circles, on the one side, and assorted Russian lawyers and diplomats on the other.
The horror that some of the citizens of another country should try to interfere in the sancrosanct proceedings of a US election campaign!
The shame that foreign offers to dish the dirt on saintly Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were not immediately reported to the US authorities by the Republican Party candidate’s son!
The treachery that some of Trump’s other associates also spoke to … Russians!
Worse still, they did so without immediately providing a record of said conversations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this hallowed “land of the free!”
On the stump in last year’s presidential campaign, Trump committed the cardinal sin of not sharing the Pentagon’s war psychosis about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia.
Some shared geopolitical and business interests between Trump, Putin and their respective oligarchies probably lay at the bottom of Trump’s reluctance to bang the war drum, rather than anything more elevated. But the victor in November’s election has since had to be pushed, harried and shamed into line and make the required warmongering noises at the Kremlin, although Trump still appears as if he doesn’t really mean it.
He and his team, not least his son Donald Trump Jr, have blustered and lied about seemingly inconsequential contacts with minor Russian figures in a vain effort to blunt the attacks of a frenzied “liberal” media.
Trump refers to the allegations and speculations as yet more examples of “fake news,” drawing yet more abuse and ridicule upon his head as a result.
Certainly, he merits little or no sympathy from anyone who holds truth and facts in even the slightest regard. But still there is something ridiculous and even repugnant about the moral self-righteousness with which his liberal and Establishment critics now assail him.
Since when has the US and its corporate, political and military elite believed in the non-interference of one country in another country’s elections?
When did the US-ruling class and its CIA and military-industrial complex begin respecting the sovereign right of a nation to choose its own political, economic and social path?
When, for that matter, did the US Establishment and mass media not engage in the mass manufacture of “fake news” to promote US monopoly capitalist interests around the world?
The litany of US crimes against democracy and national sovereignty in the 20th and early 21st centuries will be depressingly familiar to veteran Morning Star readers.
Covert financial and material assistance was given to many right-wing, anti-communist and even fascist movements in Italy, France and other countries in Europe and Latin America. Democratically elected governments were brought down from Guatemala to Chile and Iran to Indonesia to be replaced by bloody dictatorships, death squads and US-trained torturers.
US military interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Cuba, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere have led directly to the deaths of millions of civilians.
And all these atrocities and many more were accompanied by barrages of “fake news” disseminated around the world by US media empires, lying prolifically about US foreign policy and anyone who dares to defy it.
Trump is an artless novice when it comes to the nefarious arts of US state power.