Saturday, September 10, 2016

America's Hypocrisy on Foreign 'Provocations'

Because we are used to our own side, and see ourselves as okay people, it is hard to view ourselves as an enemy. So the West doesn't realize that when the US sails its warships off the coast of other countries it can seem very intimidating to them. Well, we most certainly do come across as a dark force, and we probably are, looking at the track record.

A new mini-crisis erupted in late August near the Strait of Hormuz when small patrol boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted and continued to sail within a few hundred yards of a U.S. destroyer, the USS Nitze. The Nitze responded by firing warning shots.
U.S. officials immediately condemned the incident as a terrible provocation, a theme that members of the American media obediently echoed. No one seemed to question why it was not provocative for the United States to sail a heavily armed destroyer (along with other warships) six thousand miles away from the American homeland to operate within a few miles of the Iranian coast. Yet Iran’s interception of that warship was automatically deemed provocative.
Likewise, American hawks consider Russia’s intervention as outrageous and an indication of odious motives, even though Syria is barely six hundred miles from the southern Russian border, and the governing Assads have been Russian political clients for decades. Even the Obama administration has seethed about Vladimir Putin’s audacity in sending Russian aircraft to back the beleaguered regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Throughout the American media, as well as the political and foreign-policy communities, Moscow’s military intrusion in Syria is considered utterly illegitimate. And yet America’s intervention from six thousand miles away is widely viewed as not only proper but inescapable, for both strategic and moral reasons.


Ryan Harris said...

There are real hostilities and real political disagreements to be sure, but routine operations by most navies are done professionally and without provocation. The Russians also patrol the persian gulf, gulf of aden, and have returned to their base in vietnam to help maintain peace in the south china sea.

When The Queen sent her war ships to patrol the South China Sea last summer, I really don't think people were all that fearful even though the UK has pretty much invaded every country on earth. Russia has worked extensively with the US off Somalia to protect commerce. The United States cooperates with and bases in Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the gulf. In the 20th century oil imports from the region were important to the US. Current data show Canadians have replaced much of those imports from the persian gulf. As more of the oil exports go to China now, the Chinese are taking on more responsibility in patrolling the shipping lanes in the persian gulf. They've had exercises with the iranians and have built port facilities around the region.

US Ports regularly host foreign navy ships from countries that are fairly hostile toward the United States. A few years ago, Russia made a port call with a cruiser in San Francisco Bay "in the spirit of friendship" to commemorate the Russian military role in the US civil war. That was rare. China sent an entire flotilla into Pearl Harbor to have a visit. Hundreds of foreign navy ships make call in the US each year. From Ecuador to Japan, it's not really a threat. The oceans are enormous and the more military ships that can keep piracy controlled and seas open to navigation is truly better for everyone. It shouldn't be seen as a threat unless someone is launching an invasion.

Ryan Harris said...

Kaivey said...

Good points there, Ryan.