When 9/11 happened, many countries around the world felt sad for the United States but also there was also this distinct whisper that basically was telling the Americans "welcome to the club."
This was the first time that America had been attacked on its soil. Many countries around the world have been at the receiving end of all sorts of violence committed directly and indirectly by the United States.
There was another Sept. 11, back in 1973 when the democratically elected leader of Chile named Salvador Allende was removed in a coup supported by the United States that brought to power one Augusto Pinochet.
On the day of the coup, Allende committed suicide. Pinchet unleashed a reign of terror and human rights abuses. In 2004, the first democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by U.S Special Forces and flown to the French-controlled Central African Republic.
In 1989, six Salvadoran Jesuit priests along with their housekeeper were killed by the Atlacatl Battalion, an elite unit of the Salvadoran army created at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas.
The support for juntas and other human rights abusing dictators around the world, after removing democratically elected leaders, has been the norm in American foreign policy. The CIA in one of its early experiments in 1953 removed the democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammad Mosaddeq and installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whose reign is marked by horrific human rights abuses.
A year later, Guatemalan leader Jacobo Arbenz was removed in a coup orchestrated by the CIA. The stories are numerous, but the point is that others have experienced forms of violence as bloody as the horrible 9/11 attacks at the hands of the United States. That is what was meant by "welcome to the club."
The Ukraine claims
Today, the American media is heavily consumed by President Donald Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy. In that phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to find dirt on Hunter Biden, son of Joseph Biden, who is a serious presidential candidate for the 2020 election.
President Trump tried to ask a foreign leader to help him in his re-election campaign. Such a foreign intervention by Russia, it is believed, helped Trump the first time around. He wants to use the same recipe. The bone of contention is that President Trump did this for personal benefit rather than for his country's good.
However, the media discussion is a perfect case of self superiority and hypocrisy. If it is such a sin for an American president to solicit foreign help for re-election that he could be impeached for it, then why is it accepted and actually done to other countries?
America has been for decades engineering elections and manipulating outcomes to suit its own interests.
The United States openly advocates for regime change in countries such as Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and so forth. Just as the framers of the constitution of the United States included the seeking of foreign help and foreign intervention for personal benefit by an American public official as an impeachable crime, those countries the U.S. intervenes in overtly and covertly also believe in electing a leader who is not under foreign influence.
The most basic understanding of hypocrisy is when one doesn't accept the same standard one has for others.
When a puppet regime is installed in a foreign country to serve Western interests, the United States reflexively labels it "internationally recognized" government, which is a code word for a puppet who obeys its master.
The mindset is that foreign meddling is only reserved for us, it is an elite game. It is what we are supposed to do to others, not in reverse.
The self-righteous and self-aggrandizing belief called the American exceptionalism holds that we can do to others whatever we want but the same must not be done to us by others. The bad we do is for the good. Crimes are what others commit, not us, because we say so.
Criticism over Trump
The media punditry in America is completely overtaken by this discussion. News anchors and the so called expert analysts are all in sync criticizing Trump's action.
Not a single voice is suggesting a simple question: Don't we do it on a much larger scale to other countries as well?
Another simple question that nobody dares to ask is regarding President George W. Bush using the information from a foreigner called Ahmed Chalabi in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.
The invasion of Iraq, just like Trump's quest for finding dirt on the Bidens, was not done for the U.S. national security, but rather for Bush's personal urge to punish Saddam.
All of that intelligence provided by Chalabi on which Bush made his war case, proved to be completely false. Nobody talked about impeaching Bush or prosecuting him at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for that matter.
The truth is that another country was invaded. Someone else was at the receiving end of that firepower. The foreigner who assisted Bush in lying to the Congress and to the American people about the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) was not meddling in American elections but rather in another country called Iraq.
Even though he was tweaking American foreign policy but that sort of meddling in American politics is kosher because Israel has been doing it for decades now.
The message to future foreigners is this: don't meddle in the election, let the Americans elect their president.
Once that happens, then use all kinds of methods to influence what that president would do abroad.
In other words, don't manipulate the minds of our people about whom to vote for, rather manipulate the person they vote for. Because American exceptionalism dictates that only we manipulate the elections, others can only manipulate policies and actions of our president.
* Pakistan-based political analyst