What you see may lack a proper referent

In some circles, the abuse of power by the US administration and the evils of the US in warmongering and imperialism are considered beyond question. This paradigm is interesting in that contemporary comparisons for these concepts are readily available. There is a scale upon which to measure an administration’s abuse of power and the manners by which a country engages in foreign conflict. Wretchard notes Brand A and Brand B as a case in point.

The Russian campaign in Chechnya is interesting as a control case to Iraq not only because it lets the historian examine a counterinsurgency waged without American political constraints but also provides a real-world benchmark for what constitutes a truly brutal campaign as opposed to one only imagined that way by Hollywood directors like Brian de Palma. The Chechen campaign provides an an actual example of a counterinsurgency waged by an ex-socialist country compared to the actions of what has been described as a bestial colonial power, the United States of America. It’s a contemporaneous side-by-side comparison by two different systems waged against a similar foe. And how have the two fared?

There are other “contemporaneous side-by-side comparison by two different systems” that can be made. The Venezuela situation is an example of an effort to turn a democracy to a dictatorship by the abuse of administrative power. The fact that such ready references are tossed aside does not speak well for the conclusions of those who are very quick to castigate their personal villains.

Comments are closed.