US Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at the imperialist Hudson Institute, accused China of "interfering" in elections to oust Trump from the White House. Beijing hit back, slamming the claims as "ridiculous".
Then we had Britain’s pipsqueak Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson denouncing Russia as a "pariah state" over allegations that the Kremlin has been conducting a "global computer-hacking campaign".
Surely, the hypocrisy can’t get more superlative than this.
Pence’s diatribe against China over "interference" follows the barrage of humongous trade levies imposed on Chinese exports by the Trump administration, as well as the recent sale of billion-dollar weapons by the US to Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province.
Just days before Pence uttered his unctuous words, a US warship was involved in a near-collision with a Chinese navy vessel after the Americans breached Beijing’s proclaimed territory in the South China Sea. The incident — which could have sparked a war — was but the latest in a series of provocative incursions by US forces into China’s maritime spaces, under the guise of "freedom of navigation" exercises.
As for Britain’s defense minister Williamson, his rhetoric about Russia being a pariah state reminds one of the admonition to not throw bricks in a glasshouse. After its spate of criminal wars in the Middle East, destroying millions of lives — and that’s just counting the most recent years — Britain is not in any position to indict others for pariah status.
Specifically though, Britain’s pious flourishes this week concerned allegations against Russia for conducting cyberattacks in various countries. The British claims were conveniently amplified by NATO allies, including the US, Canada and Netherlands, as well as partners Australia and New Zealand.
Again, the hypocrisy and hyper preciousness here are cringe-making. US and British state intelligence are known to run the biggest, most pervasive illegal hacking of telecommunications across the entire globe. American whistleblowers Edward Snowden, William Binney and other honorable people, have provided irrefutable evidence of the mass global hacking carried out by the CIA, NSA and Britain’s GCHQ.
Recall just one example: the Americans spying on personal phone calls by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
What’s particularly nauseating, however, is when the criminals who have been caught redhanded on numerous grave violations then turn around and accuse others of alleged misdemeanors. That is what we may call "hyper-precious hypocrisy".
In the case of Mike Pence’s grandstanding on alleged Chinese attempts to oust Trump from the White House, what he was referring to was Beijing’s retaliatory trade sanctions on US exports from agricultural states. The corn-belt states of Iowa, Idaho and Illinois were crucial to electing Trump in the 2016 presidential race.
The Chinese government also paid for advertorials in an Iowa newspaper last month which criticized Trump’s policies for inciting a trade war, in which US farmers could suffer consequences from retaliatory measures. There was nothing underhand in what Beijing was doing. It was simply explaining to American voters the damaging impact of starting a trade war — an explanation that the US president has not been leveling to his rural supporters.
For the Trump administration to launch into shrill accusations against China of "interfering" in American democracy is a sign of how far Washington has become divorced from reality.
We can go way back to the Boxer Rebellion in the late 1800s, when American and British troops slaughtered Chinese civilians in order to prop up a corrupt regime so that they could sell narcotic opium to a lucrative oriental market.
Over the past century, the Americans and British have subverted more foreign governments and elections than any other foreign power. The American and British hacking into elections is off the charts, involving hundreds of occasions, which often resulted in bloody mayhem and failed states, wracked by poverty and sectarian violence.
If we can set aside the rank hypocrisy for a moment, what about the latest US, British and other NATO claims of Kremlin hacking operations around the world?
It was claimed this week that Russian military intelligence agents were involved in trying to hack into numerous entities. Those entities targeted by supposed Russian computer-espionage related to the Skripal poison affair in England; meddling in US elections; the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in 2014; the use of doping by Olympic athletes; and investigations into chemical weapons in Syria.
Western media reports came up with the imaginative theory that Russian state hackers were trying to "clean up" past illicit operations.
What’s really going on here is now a concerted effort by the NATO powers to consolidate all their desperate, bankrupt anti-Russia propaganda into a neatly fortified package. It’s called getting your stories straight.
Each one of the sensational stories impugning Russia, from the Malaysian airline disaster to the alleged poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal, have been failures. Failures, that is, to galvanize world public opinion against Russia’s so-called "malign activities". People around the world just don’t buy the absurd, hollow accusations slated by NATO powers.
That’s why the NATO powers, especially the biggest liars America and Britain, are being forced into consolidating their voices and bizarre accusations against Russia. They are now being forced to use loudspeakers and chorused hymn sheets to try to win their failing information war.
But shouting lies ever louder does not make these lies more credible.
Perhaps Russian agents were trying to hack into various systems in NATO countries. We don’t know. But in the murky realm of all foreign powers being involved in information gathering and espionage, the alleged transgressions are relatively redundant. Again, look at the massive surveillance being carried out by the US and Britain.
Another possible factor is this: it would be reasonable for Russia to want to learn what NATO powers and their partners are concocting in the way of fabricated incriminations against Moscow. If that were the case, it still does not justify the hysterical claims made by the US, Britain and others this week of Russia running global cyberattacks.
Indeed, we have entered a sort of twilight zone of propaganda and hypocrisy.
The Trump administration itself accuses domestic political opponents of conducting witch-hunts, "fake news", and contriving accusations.
Yet this administration, along with its NATO minions, shows the same reprehensible tendencies towards Russia and China.
Russia and China are right to be wary of the madness that has taken hold in the West’s political class. The madness is beyond reason and therefore highly dangerous. As Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned this week, the NATO powers are pushing the rest of the world down a dangerous path, at the end of which is the abyss of world war.
The Western public must get rid of their warmongering political class before it’s too late. Ironically, and absurdly, such observation coming from a Sputnik columnist will no doubt be construed as "evidence" that Russia is inciting revolution in Western states. Such is NATO hyper-hypocrisy in the twilight zone.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.