When Fox News commentator, former Democratic Member of Congress, and presidential contender Tulsi Gabbard confronted New York Republican Congressman-Elect George Santos about the long list of lies he used during the recent election campaign, the best defense he could come up with was that Democrats do the same.
In this rare case, Santos was telling the truth, since it is hardly a secret that many politicians do lie to get elected and continue the practice while in the office.
According to Alan Dershowitz, a prominent Harvard Law School professor and criminal defense lawyer “For better or worse, under American law, lying is not a crime.”
Tulsi Gabbard is correct when she says that “Every one of our elected leaders in Washington has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. There is no greater form of disrespect of democracy and the Constitution and the American people than lying and attempting to deceive us…. That’s not a functioning democracy. That’s a dictatorship.”
What is worse is that the lies are not confined to domestic issues but extend to foreign policy as well, which directly affects U.S. and world security. Here are a few examples:
“NATO is not moving one inch eastward.” – This lie, according to former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union George Kennan, was “a fateful foreign policy error.”
“Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.” This whopper led to endless Middle East wars resulting in huge human and material losses, as well as the rise of ISIS.
“Trump-Putin Collusion.” So-called Russiagate was fake but actual collusion between lying politicians, intelligence officials, and media who tried to get Hillary Clinton into the White House was all too real. It succeeded in destroying Trump’s presidency along with its declared goal of improving U.S.-Russia relations.
“Hunter Biden’s laptop has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” This lie helped Joe “the Big Guy” Biden get elected in 2020, and his dramatic failures in domestic and foreign policies.
The most recent lie by the Democrats is that the demands of some Republicans to audit the over $100 billion showered on Ukraine “have been influenced by Putin’s propaganda.”
This is just a small sample of Washington’s lies but they can be traced to the roots of the current crisis in Ukraine, which has a high risk of escalating into World War III.
Another of Biden’s lies is that his military and financial backing of Ukraine “for as long as it takes” is meant to support that country’s nonexistent democracy, when in reality its goal is to weaken Russia for rejecting US global hegemony and instead offering a win-win cooperation.
The United States had a unique chance to turn freed-from-communism Russia into its most important strategic ally. Mikhail Gorbachev, and all Russian leaders who followed him, including Vladimir Putin, plus the overwhelming majority of the Russian people, were ready for integration with the West, but Washington was not interested. Instead, it chose the role of the world’s hegemonic leader, thus squandering a historic opportunity for U.S.-Russia, and more broadly, East-West mutually beneficial cooperation – and here we are, on the edge of the abyss.
The list of prominent experts worried about the current situation and calling for de-escalation and an exit from this crisis through diplomacy keeps rising, but so far the Washington establishment is not listening.
Still there is a small hopeful sign that the numbers of “dissidents” in both the Senate and the House will increase and in the New Year 2023 reach a critical threshold, if not to change dramatically US foreign policy, at least to begin the process.
Likewise, it is the time for ordinary folks and, especially, the younger generation, to exercise some real democracy. Here is a quote from the late William Polk, who helped to steer a wise and just foreign policy for the United States, including serving on JFK’s three-man crisis management team during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is how he concluded his speech to graduating students at Bennington College in 2008:
“Refuse to be marginalized,…You are national assets. And you owe the country the best you have. Do your jobs as citizens. Demand that your candidates tell you the truth and act with intelligence…Participate. You cannot afford to sit back and do nothing. If you do, you are almost certain to pay for your laziness. A democracy is not a holding company to be run by a board of directors. You are stockholders. Your life and your well-being are at stake. If you care about them, protect them. After you inform yourself, make your voice heard and put your actions where your mouth is. Be a leader. Get your generation into action. Together you are strong. Our future is in your hands. This is your country, your world, and your time.”
Edward Lozansky is president of the American University in Moscow. Reprinted from New Kontinent US with permission from the author.