America with all good intentions still does stupid shit around the world

US and the world

Serge Galitsky writes: The statement supposedly made by Barack Obama — “Don’t do stupid shit” — succinctly expresses what should have been the guiding principle of US foreign policy (“The simple reason America can’t stop doing stupid things”). But even Obama couldn’t help himself and he quickly engaged in the “democratic” coup in Kyiv, the origin of the hideous war in Ukraine.

The “liberal” cheerleaders are enthused with the good fight and encouraging the poor Ukrainians to suffer and die so that Western liberals can feel good. Enthusiasm for the good fight has now ensured that any questioning of the crusade means that you are a Putin apologist and no friend of democracy. The US very wisely will not commit to the fight except to bankroll Ukraine and impose increasingly ineffective sanctions on Russia with unpleasant repercussions on its own allies.

I have to congratulate Crikey on publishing the Stephen M Walt article. Hitherto Crikey carried little mention of Ukraine apart from the usual Ukraine boosterism. The rest of Australia’s mainstream media is a desert. There is no intelligent comment on the publicly funded ABC, and SBS produces nothing. I look to the internet for comment from informed writers such as Walt and John Mearsheimer as well as Colonel Douglas MacGregor and Scott Ritter. American commentators shine. The British scene is bleak; if anything the Brits are even more invested in boosterism. And in dear little Oz we celebrate 50 years of foreign policy independence under Whitlam with tepid acquiescence to American silliness by Richard Marles and Penny Wong.

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Could not a real ally politely suggest that it is time to stop doing stupid shit?

William Morgan writes: Should the US mind its own business? This is a tricky one. When we look at the Bay of Pigs affair in Cuba, Vietnam, the Iraq War and the support of repressive governments in South America and the Middle East we could say that it should not have intervened. However, it supported France and Britain against Nazism and Australia against Japan in World War II. The Marshall Plan allowed western Europe to rebuild and prosper, all the while protecting it against Soviet expansion and repression with NATO. The isolationism of pre-World War II and more recently Donald Trump often has a white nativist anti-Semitic quality. All I know now is with an expansionist China and Vladimir Putin waging war in Europe (not the other way around as the author suggests) I am grateful the Biden administration is engaged in world affairs.

Calling the shots

Margery Clark writes: The decision to go to war should have been decided by Parliament years ago — that would have avoided our participation in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Vietnam (“Defence says the Parliament should have no say on whether Australia goes to war”). Australia is always joining wars in places that we are in no danger from, and the money that is squandered by these adventures is disgraceful.

Meghan and her prince charming

Ian Robinson writes: Great piece by Madonna King (“The ferocious pile-on over Harry and Meghan says more about us than them”). As a republican I wasn’t going to watch their Netflix documentary but in the end I did to see what the fuss was about.

It’s not the best television I’ve ever seen but despite its boring bits, it clearly shows an admirable young couple valiantly trying to make their way in a hostile world, where they are the targets of racism and the prejudices of a privileged elite and the machinations of an unscrupulous media. The net effect was to increase my admiration for Meghan and Harry and to reinforce my disgust for the forces lined up against them. The negative reaction of the latter to the doco simply proves the point.

Gayle Davies writes: Having lost my mother in a car accident in my first year at high school, I identify with Harry, and understand his reasons for simply wanting a family life of his own, independent of the seething familial tensions he grew up with. I don’t understand the furore over the documentary, or even why people are watching it — except perhaps as an expression and outlet for their own familial tensions.

Gerri Hupfeld writes: Meghan and Harry do not deserve the vitriol and bias they have received. However, it was always on the cards that it would be so because there are trolls out there. But why would a reporter say she nearly lost her breakfast over the first episode? Are reporters not required to just state the facts and keep personal opinions to themselves? Do they not realise they have influence even as they decry this couple for being influencers? Leave this couple alone. They have been through enough.

No comment

Richard Cobden writes: You may well have switched off comments on “Prosecutor Shane Drumgold should never have pursued Bruce Lehrmann’s case” for the usual reason that comments on such trials and their underlying events can all too easily cross a boundary and give offence. But in doing so you protect Adam Schwab and his perspective and treatment of the issue from criticism. And criticised they should be.

With all the benefit of hindsight, and loftily above the pressures from #MeToo and a huge groundswell of public opinion, Schwab condemns the ACT director of public prosecutions Shane Drumgold for prosecuting Bruce Lehrmann while throwing in a tendentious, irrelevant and vicious reference to Drumgold’s sad family history.

I subscribe to Crikey because it exposes journalism like that, not because it perpetuates it.

Mutt and Jeff

Sharman Grant writes: I was interested to read Stephen Mayne’s article on Jeff Kennett’s master strokes (“What does Dan Andrews’ plan to ‘bring back the SEC’ actually mean?”). Why didn’t he mention the hospitals and care facilities that Kennett closed? What was the cost to the community of those decisions?

Also: “The whole point of Victorian energy sector privatisation was to fix Victoria’s debt-laden balance sheet and break up a lazy government monopoly by introducing competition.” Good prices and good products should be the desired outcome and the so-called competition did not get Victorians anything like that. No one can even understand their power bills. “Competition” is not an outcome, mate!

The Musk sticks

Peter Clifton writes: Elon Musk is fed up with the left-wing media and US Democrats’ manipulation of big tech and the damage that causes to free speech in a cancel culture environment (“The Twitter Files are becoming Elon Musk’s QAnon”). So he’s exposing Twitter’s past complicity in that anti-democratic endeavour. If Cam Wilson is so much smarter and so much more knowledgeable about the real world than Musk, why is it that Musk who started from scratch but now dominates EV world production, puts space vehicles into orbit, is now one of the richest men in the world? (Editor’s note: Musk’s father ran an emerald mine in South Africa.)

And Cam Wilson? All we know is that he is a socialist nobody who builds nothing except distrust from people looking for genuine news. Interesting questions?

Susan Wood writes: I closed my Twitter account soon after Musk took over. I really liked Twitter and spent too much time on it. I was mainly interested in politics and the opportunity to share my ideas and opinions about events, politics, comments and articles. It was an addiction which I’ve had to give up, on principle, since I don’t approve of Musk. I’ve decided to use my suddenly available free time to learn another language.

Z force

John Amadio writes: The “Z” symbol, a well-known and recognised symbol of Nazism, should be banned in any public place (“Ukrainian Australians say pro-Russian abuse is on the rise after attack at rally”). Those who display it should face prosecution, including jail time. Any thug-like tactics should be responded to fully.

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