Archive for January, 2011

What is good for Egypt is not good for America

January 31, 2011

Yet another arrogant “intellectual American” lecturing the rest of us about what we should make of the uprising in Egypt, confirming a long American tradition of utter disregard to other countries own ambitions, voice, aspirations, interests, rights, and dignity.

From his pulpit at the  The New York Times, under the header “The Devil We Know”, Ross Douthat insinuates that we might be replacing a devil we know with a worse devil.

Mr. Douthat apparently was untouched by the passionate account of what is happening on the streets of Cairo an Egyptian woman protester wrote today for his paper citing the brutality and the atrocity of  the Mubarak regime. She writes about a dignity that has been lost, freedom that has been elusive. She speaks of brave people young and old, poor and affluent, Muslims and Christians, religious and secular that have had enough of this rotten regime. She writes about how the brave protesters are sprinkling vinegar on their Kaffias to dampen the effect of tear gas and how they’re even challenging the live bullets of this rotten regime that Mr. Douthat, a devout Catholic by the way, is not sure whether we should let go of.

I am not going to comment on the fallacies and distortions about the role of America in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, and Lebanon  that Mr. Douthat injected into his article. I’d like to remind him only of this: When is it that “our intellectuals” are going to get it through their thick heads that “other countries” have their  own dreams, their own ideas about how  to run their own affairs. And that may or may not agree with our  self-interests, our  ambitions, and our affairs.

Whether the people of Egypt elect the Muslim Brotherhood or Ayman Nour into office, it is their own call first and foremost.  Most certainly it is not up to Douthat and his ilk, or any of “us” for that matter, to decide.



Callous Biden doesn’t know if the claims of the Egyptians are legitimate

January 29, 2011

Here is what the vice president of the United States of America, the guardian of democracy on the planet, the country that went to war against Iraq to allegedly  spread democracy in the Middle-East,  said Thursday night on PBS  about the tyrant of Egypt who’s been ruling for 30 years under emergency laws:

” We’re encouraging the government . . . to try to engage in a discussion as to what the legitimate claims being made are, if they are, and to try to work them out,” .

Has he no shame? The guy was so callous he didn’t know whether over 80,000,000 people who have had no participation whatsoever in their government, that have been ruled by oligarchy of highly corrupt billionaires and generals for 30 years, who have been living on  under two dollar a day for the most part, suffering  from unemployment for decades, and who sleep in cemeteries because there are not enough houses for everyone, have legitimate claims??? How shameless, stupid,  arrogant, obtuse,  and condescending can you be?

He added:

I would not call Mr. Mubarak a dictator”  and ” I did not think he should step down.”

Yeah well, the only problem with that Mr. obtuse Biden is that there are over 80,000, 000 Egyptians who think he is a dictator and he should step down.

This is your government at work!


With bombs only: Spreading democracy in the Middle-East

January 27, 2011

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked about the demonstrations going on in Egypt, she threw the administration’s weight behind the 82-year-old tyrant Mr. Mubarak, who’s been ruling Egypt for 31 years and is preparing to extend his rule for 6 more. Here is what she said:

Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people…”.

To be sure, this is an authoritarian, brutal regime that has been in power for 31 years ruling with an iron fist that we’re talking about here. 

I guess, when it helps our defense industry corporations and war machine, we “spread democracy” under the barrel of a gun. But to support a homegrown movement to topple despots like Mubarak?…Naaah, we take a pass because, as Hillary put it, “it is a stable government…. ” (as if Saddam’s wasn’t.) 

Anyone on this planet is still fool enough to think America stands behind democracy and cares about human rights?


Mr. Mikati: Pro West or Pro Hezbollah? Make up your mind WP!

January 25, 2011

A headline in the Washington Post today declares

Hezbollah-backed candidate in line to become Lebanon’s new prime minister” 

Aha, I thought. Hezbollah must have pulled off a coup d’etat. I read further 

 “But even as Hezbollah worked to install its candidate as prime minister, the group tried to play down its role in the new government.”

It gets better! Israel has a say so about what government Lebanon can or can not have:

“Silvan Shalom, an Israeli vice prime minister, called the possibility of a government dominated by Hezbollah “a very, very dangerous development,”

At this point, my suspicions were confirmed.  Nassrallah himself is going to be the next prime minister in Lebanon.

But wait a minute. Toward the end of the referenced article , you read this about the new prime minister:

“The American University of Beirut graduate, who also studied at Harvard, served as Lebanon’s prime minister briefly in 2005. He is known as a moderate with good relationships with Syria, Turkey, Arab neighbors and the West.”

If that is  Hezbollah’s man, then they cant be all that bad, can they?

Can anyone just point out to me how to square that circle? 


Of the Funders, by the Funders, for the Funders

January 22, 2011

The headlines today  are worth a thousand lectures. They display the race of both the government and the congress to sell out and appease the actual ruling class: Corporations.

The Washington Post this morning (1.22.2011):

Corporate contributions have surged for new Republicans leaders in House.

 ‘The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews. ‘

The washington Post this morning (1.22.2011):

Obama taps GE chief Immelt for jobs role, continuing outreach to big business

“President Obama on Friday tapped one of the country’s top corporate executives as his chief adviser on how to help American companies create more jobs at a time when Washington’s options for bolstering employment through public spending have narrowed.”

Well, there you have it folks. A government  of the funders, by the funders, for the funders.


The New York Times Fuzzy Math

January 20, 2011

If 1 + 1 = 2 in America, then 1 + 1 = 2 in Haiti also, right?

Not according to the New York Times. Here is an op-ed today from the Times

“Mr. Duvalier, who fled the country in 1986, should also answer for his squalid legacy of disappearance, torture and murder.”

Where was the loud voice for human rights and freedom of the NYT and its outrage at Obama and his aides when they were asserting the need to “look forward and not backward” to justify not prosecuting those who were responsible for, well, “disappearance, torture and murder” ? Abu Ghreib, Guantanamo, renditions, secret CIA prisons, murder of civilians by drone attacks, assassination programs for our own citizens, etc.. I am too sick to continue the list….

In fact, the NYT doesn’t even use the word torture to describe any of the heinous acts when we commit them but doesn’t have a qualm to use the word when others do. 

By now it should be obvious to anyone with pulse in their brain that the rules stop at our borders and they don’t actually make it in. We lecture everyone about the rule of law when we’re one of the leading “civilized” nations that flout the rule of law.


Wikileaks and Tunisia’s Revolution: An Inexpensive Regime Change?

January 16, 2011

If  Wikileaks had the  honor of toppling only one corrupt autocratic leader (without actually going to trillion-dollar wars or killing millions of people,) then it would have been a worthy and noble cause.

The Ney York Times reports today     that ”Those cables, from the cache obtained by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks and made public in recent weeks, helped fuel the anger on the streets that culminated Friday with Mr. Ben Ali’s flight after 23 years in power. Posted on a site created last month called TuniLeaks, the diplomats’ disgusted and lurid accounts of the kleptocratic ways of the president’s extended family helped tip the scales, according to many Tunisian commentators.”

To all of our democracy loving leaders (Biden, Obama, Huckabee, Palin, etc…) and to all of our leading, enlightened press and media figures, including the New York Times itself, who collectively have been condemning Wikileaks and , in some cases, calling for the murder of Assange, shouldn’t you be cheering on an organization that espouses freedom and democracy and exposes the corrupt governments for the rotten scoundrels they are?

The Washington Post has an op-ed piece this morning hailing the ousting of the Tunisian leader and calling for more democracy  in the Arab world. The irony is that the pages of the  WP have  been  adverserial to Assange and Wikileaks who  had actually done something to help spread democracy and freedom that The Washington Post so purportedly loves.


Cherry picking season at the Washington Post

January 14, 2011

Anyone who doubts  our establishment media’s job is to keep us in the dark while putting on their human-right-defending face ought to take a look at this piece from today’s Washington post (asa Likud Post).

They’re pointing to the annual report of Freedom House reporting on the freedom decline in the past year.

The Post conveniently cited all the bad players: Russia, China, Egypt (one of our strongest ally), Burma, etc….

However, what the post failed to even mention, the abysmal human rights record of our own country.

A report card issued by the group “Human Rights First” gave the Obama administration an “F” on “the Accountability for Torture”. Obama “has failed to hold accountable those who authorized and perpetrated torture against prisoners in U.S. custody”; independently, the failure “to provide redress to victims (see ‘State Secrets’ below) is a violation of international law and diminishes the credibility of the United States as standard-bearer for human rights worldwide.”, the group said ”

Listen to  Gen. Barry McCaffrey say:   “We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.”  In fact, it is likely a 100 or more, but you’re not going to know if you read the Washington Post.

The list of our human rights violations is copious. From  indefinite detention without charges  and national security courts  to  “preventive detention”. From the program that allow the government to assassinate American citizens without due process whenever they’re deemed “dangerous” by Obama. This is not to mention the Patriot Act, The indiscriminate killings of civilians by drones, the warrantless spying on citizens, etc.. . etc…

Any nation with a rap sheet half as long, would be making the op-ed page of the Post and the Times on a biweekly basis,

But no! We are puritan. We are the defenders of democracy. And those damn Russians and Chinese are corrupting the globe.


Open market everywhere except in the market

January 12, 2011

Open market ethos is prevalent in almost every aspect of our society, except perhaps the market itself (the recent massive bailout for the banks comes to mind.)

Education, religion, government, press, politics, media,  etc… Everything is about the bottom line.

Nothing is genuine anymore. Truth and justice are the first casualty.

Politicians and pundits on radio and television attack Muslims, immigrants, or minorities just to boost their ratings.

Religious figures From Graham to Robertson (just to name a few) openly support wars and  military ventures. They  play on the primal fear of simple people while they rake it in and live the life of Riley. 

The press relentlessly plays the role of the government watchdog and faithfully repeats the government line on almost every  foreign policy issue. As a treat, they get to hobnob with government officials and even party together on the lawn of the white house.  Not just a press that is exclusively subservient to government but even to the financial giants.  Remember John Stewart’s classic “in Cramer we trust”? 

At schools and universities, I know first hand how teachers eager to get tenure or promoted inflate students’ grades in return for good evaluations.

I could go on and on as I see examples of this, day in and day out. Everything is for sale. Anything at all.

If I am sure of one thing, I am sure of this. Society and our humanity will suffer tremendously sooner or (not much) later to say the least.


The nut-rocker and the air head

January 10, 2011

I never thought I’d live to see a headline like this in serious publications in America.

So ” Ted Nugent isn’t on board with Palin’s presidency” after all, huh. And it gets better.

“…[S]he makes sense when she talks, she says all the right things, she’s sincere, she’s knowledgeable, she’s articulate, plus she’s damned good-looking”, says the mega mind rocker on CNN of all places.

This is so painful it makes me laugh.

What better sense she makes than in her interview with Kati Couric, or her video from Alaska, or her “refudiate” tweet?

You know we’ve come a long way on the road to  irrelevance when this is a headline news. A good-looking air head  and a nut case red neck rocker are pontificating to the rest of us about how to  choose the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet.

Meanwhile, people like Ralph Nader and the world top intellectual  Noam Chomsky are pariahs in our culture.

What a farce!