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Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialism

By JEAN BRICMONT | CounterPunch | March 8, 2011

The whole gang is back: The parties of the European Left (grouping the  “moderate” European communist parties), the “Green” José Bové, now allied with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who has never seen a US-NATO war he didn’t like, various Trotkyist groups and of course Bernard-Henry Lévy and Bernard Kouchner, all calling for some sort of “humanitarian intervention” in Libya or accusing the Latin American left, whose positions  are far more sensible, of acting as “useful idiots” for the “Libyan tyrant.”

Twelve years later, it is Kosovo all over again. Hundred of thousands of Iraqis dead, NATO stranded in an impossible position in Afghanistan, and they have learned nothing! The Kosovo war was made to stop a nonexistent genocide, the Afghan war to protect women (go and check their situation now), and the Iraq war to protect the Kurds. When will they understand that all wars claim to have humanitarian justifications? Even Hitler was “protecting minorities” in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

On the other hand, Robert Gates warns that any future secretary of state who advises a US president to send troops into Asia or Africa “must have his head examined”. Admiral McMullen similarly advises caution. The great paradox of our time is that the headquarters of the peace movement are to be found in the Pentagon and the State Department, while the pro-war party is a coalition of neo-conservatives and liberal interventionists of various stripes, including leftist humanitarian warriors, as well as some Greens, feminists or repentant communists.

So, now, everybody has to cut down his or her consumption because of global warming, but NATO wars are recyclable and imperialism has become part of sustainable development.

Of course the US will go or not go to war for reasons that are quite independent of the advice offered by the pro-war left. Oil is not likely to be a major factor in their decision, because any future Libyan government will have to sell oil and Libya is not big enough to significantly weigh on the price of oil. Of course, turmoil in Libya leads to speculation that itself affects prices, but that is a different matter. Zionists are probably of two minds about Libya: they hate Qaddafi, and would like to see him ousted, like Saddam, in the most humiliating manner, but they are not sure they will like his opposition (and, from the little we know about it, they won’t).

The main pro-war argument is that if things go quickly and easily, it will rehabilitate NATO and humanitarian intervention, whose image has been tarnished by Iraq and Afghanistan. A new Grenada or, at most, a new Kosovo, is exactly what is needed. Another motivation for intervention is to better control the rebels, by coming to “save” them on their march to victory. But that is unlikely to work: Karzai in Afghanistan, the Kosovar nationalists, the Shiites in Iraq and of course Israel, are perfectly happy to get American help, when needed, but after that, to pretty much pursue their own agenda. And a full-fledged military occupation of Libya after its “liberation” is unlikely to be sustainable, which of course makes intervention less attractive from a US point of view.

On the other hand, if things turn badly, it will probably be the beginning of the end of the American empire, hence the caution of people who are actually in charge of it and not merely writing articles in Le Monde or ranting against dictators in front of cameras.

It is difficult for ordinary citizens to know exactly what is going on in Libya, because Western media have thoroughly discredited themselves in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine, and alternative sources are not always reliable either. That of course does not prevent the pro-war left from being absolutely convinced of the truth of the worst reports about Qaddafi, just as they were twelve years ago about Milosevic.

The negative role of the International Criminal Court is again apparent, here, as was that of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the case of Kosovo. One of the reasons why there was relatively little bloodshed in Tunisia and Egypt is that there was a possible exit for Ben Ali and Mubarak. But “international justice” wants to make sure that no such exit is possible for Qaddafi, and probably for people close to him, hence inciting them to fight to the bitter end.

If “another world is possible”, as the European Left keeps on saying, then another West should be possible and the European Left should start working on that. The recent meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance could serve as an example: the Latin American left wants peace and they want to avoid US intervention, because they know that they are in the sights of the US and that their process of social transformation requires above all peace and national sovereignty. Hence, they suggest sending an international delegation, possibly led by Jimmy Carter (hardly a stooge of Qaddafi), in order to start a negotiation process between the government and the rebels. Spain has expressed interest in the idea, which is of course rejected by Sarkozy. This proposition may sound utopian, but it might not be so if it were supported by the full weight of the United Nations. That would be the way to fulfill its mission, but it is now made impossible by US and Western influence. However, it is not impossible that now, or in some future crisis, a non-interventionist coalition of nations, including Russia, China, Latin America and maybe others, may work together to build credible alternatives to Western interventionism.

Unlike the Latin American left, the pathetic European version has lost all sense of what it means to do politics. It does not try to propose concrete solutions to problems, and is only able to take moral stances, in particular denouncing dictators and human rights violations in grandiloquent tones. The social democratic left follows the right with at best a few years delay and has no ideas of its own. The “radical” left often manages both to denounce Western governments in every possible way and to demand that those same governments intervene militarily around the globe to defend democracy. Their lack of political reflection makes them highly vulnerable to disinformation campaigns and to becoming passive cheerleaders of US-NATO wars.

That left has no coherent program and would not know what to do even if a god put them into power. Instead of “supporting” Chavez and the Venezuelan Revolution, a meaningless claim some love to repeat, they should humbly learn from them and, first of all, relearn what it means to do politics.

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Jean Bricmont teaches physics in Belgium and is  a member of the Brussels Tribunal. His book, Humanitarian  Imperialism, is published by Monthly Review Press. He can  be reached at Jean.Bricmont@uclouvain.be.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Blackmailing dissent: you’re either with Obama or you’re with the Tea Party

By Luciana Bohne | Intrepid Report | March 8, 2011

The Manichean heresy in early Christianity (Augustine had been a youthful adherent) divided the world into an earthly battleground of spiritual warfare between Satan and God, who shared power equally over the fate of humanity.

An example of late-Manichean thinking was typified by President Bush’s paranoically inane rallying call to choose between the terrorists and his governing clique in the aftermath of the massacre of civilians on 9/11, perpetrated by an ideological group spawned by the West’s secret services in the 1980s.

Because the United States has only two parties, both championing business interests, Manichaean thinking is second nature to the American electorate. You’re either with educated, enlightened humanitarian Democrats or you’re with the fascistic, racist Republicans, from the liberal point of view. Conversely, from the conservative point of view, you’re either with tradition, custom, and the tested way as a Republican or you’re with the bleeding-hearted, budget-wasting, morally lax, socialist Democrats.

This either/or proposition obviates the need for thought and makes voting a matter of choosing between good and evil. More sophisticated Americans resign themselves to voting for the lesser of two evils—which, in the end, is voting for evil. Thus, American elections have become an exercise in political neurosis. For example, in historically racially scarred America, the blackness of a presidential candidate was an irresistible lure to liberals, suffering from an irritable—and in their view—undeserved sense of guilt and shame. Conversely, the candidate’s blackness served to release the vilest resentments of misled know-nothings who gravitate to the more vermin-infested folds of the increasingly moldy conservative party, rabid with the success of a one-sided, bi-partisan, 30-year-long class war

It doesn’t take genius to figure out who benefits from Manichaeism in America—the business interests. They very cleverly support and fund now the Republican candidate, now the Democrat. Makes no difference to them whether a candidate is a Democrat or a Republican so long as he (or the much-awaited she) transfers the public wealth into private hands, depresses taxes on the wealthy, slashes social services, gives grotesque subsidies and handouts to banks and corporations, and carries out the seizure of markets, cheap labor, and resources abroad through domino-effect imperialist wars that transform America into the economic equivalent of whichever third-world country the elite are militarily devastating.

The promotion of Obama to the presidency of the United States by the financial aristocracy, let’s be honest, was a stroke of genius. Just as Clinton, a poor boy from Arkansas, was launched to wage war on the poor, so Obama, an eager and willing black American with the conveniently or inconveniently Muslim-sounding name, depending on one’s allegiance to identity politics, was installed to continue the imperial wars against the blackish populations of the world, while, of course, sustaining the pauperization of working Americans, black and white, at home, which Clinton, in the manner of Reagan, had done so much to secure.

Now you see why, in my liberal circles, thinking like mine sounds like the ravings of a tea-partier. If you have nothing to fall back on but a Manichean thinking equipment, where do you place a view that dissents from either the Republican or the Democrat cookie-cutter model of neatly dividing the lumpy, malformed dough of American politics into “us” and “them”? Where but against the wall? Garden-variety liberal Democrats I know have taken to calling themselves “progressives,” which leaves me no room from which to argue for ending the wars; demanding respect for international and national law in the matter of torture, rendition, and the closing down of Guantanamo; protesting against the extension of Bush’s tax law, giving breaks to the rich that devastate our communities; pointing out that there is a connection between the war on American workers and the wars abroad that consume masses of public wealth for the greed of the military-industrial-financial complex?

Divided they stand, Democrats and Republicans, united by forces they refuse to identify in the pursuit of self-destruction within the unfolding disaster that is America’s future. What can one do but resign oneself to being called names? It’s the only power either constituency has at present.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Full Spectrum Dominance | Leave a comment

Egypt: A Virtual Smoking Gun?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | The Passionate Attachment | March 4, 2011

On January 12, 2009, US Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman joined a group of Egyptian political bloggers from the Virtual Newsroom of the American University in Cairo.

Less than two months earlier, Glassman and Jared Cohen from the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff had given an on-the-record briefing on the State Department’s alliance with ten partners in the private sector—including Facebook, Google, MTV, AT&T, Howcast, Access 360 Media—to form the Alliance for Youth Movements (AYM). During the briefing, Glassman singled out Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement for special mention, saying that some of its members would be in attendance at the inaugural AYM youth summit in New York from December 3-5. Asked about “the risk of unleashing something here that is going to come back to bite you, especially with our allies,” Glassman replied:

We are very supportive of pro-democracy groups around the world. And sometimes, that puts us at odds with certain governments.

When pressed by the questioner, Glassman added:

Now, we have to work with those governments. And let me also just say, there’s a difference on an operational level between public—what we do in public diplomacy and what is often done in official diplomacy. We are communicating and engaging at the level of the public, not at the level of officials. So you know, it certainly is possible that some of these governments will not be all that happy that—at what we’re doing, but that’s what we do in public diplomacy.

Commenting on Cohen’s point that “these organizations online that are coming together are more of a new kind of civil society organization” that “eventually makes the transformation,” Glassman acknowledged that the US government has “been engaging with such civil society organizations in places like Egypt for a long time.”

As Al Jazeera revealed in a behind the scenes look at Egypt’s non-violent coup, the State Department-linked April 6 Youth Movement played a crucial role in making that “transformation,” by organizing and directing the protests that toppled America’s erstwhile ally Mubarak. The April 6 leaders also received training from the Belgrade-based Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), which works closely with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). The ICNC was founded and funded entirely by Peter Ackerman, the junk bond “teflon guy,” who chaired Freedom House from September 2005 until January 2009. Freedom House is funded in part by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US government-sponsored neoconservative-led regime change specialists.

On April 19, 2010, Ackerman attended an event entitled “Cyber-Dissidents and Political Change” sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute, which Glassman has headed since September 3, 2009. “Inspired by President and Mrs. Bush’s unwavering commitment to freedom for all people,” its website states, “The Bush Institute works to embolden dissidents and freedom advocates, creating a powerful network for moral support and education.” Among the cyber-dissidents in attendance at its Dallas event were Rodrigo Diamanti from Venezuela; Arash Kamangir, from Iran; Oleg Kozlovsky, from Russia; Ernesto Hernández Busto, from Cuba (who lives in Barcelona); Isaac Mao, from China; and Ahed Alhendi, from Syria. Clearly, some countries are seen as more deserving of Mr. and Mrs. Bush’s freedom advocacy than others.

In 2007, Glassman became Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a US government agency that provides propaganda to non-American overseas audiences via the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). Norman J. Pattiz, the “founding father” of Radio Sawa, which is increasingly popular in Egypt, sits on BBG’s board. Pattiz is also on the national board of the Israel Policy Forum, which is “committed to a strong and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship and to advancing the shared interests of the United States and the State of Israel.” Its Israeli Advisory Council is comprised of prominent figures from the Israeli military and intelligence establishment, mostly notably David Kimche, who was once described as “Israel’s Leading Spy and Would-Be Mossad Chief.” According to a Washington Report profile:

The “man with the suitcase,” as Kimche became known by colleagues in Israel, would appear in an African country a day or two before a major coup, and leave a week later after the new regime was firmly in control, often with the aid of Israeli security teams. (One of Israel’s protege allies in Africa whom Kimche helped to groom was none other than the continent’s most infamous ruler, Col. Idi Amin of Uganda.)

Prior to his involvement with “democracy promotion,” Glassman was a resident fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, the propaganda mill that hatched the “global war on terror” primarily to advance the national interest of Israel. While there he founded The American, a magazine of ideas for business leaders, published by the AEI, and was its editor-in-chief from 2005 to 2007. Clearly, his neocon paymasters were not put off by his unenviable financial track record. In his 1999 book “Dow 36,000,” written shortly before the dot-com bubble burst, he predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would rise to 36,000 within a few years. Commenting on the “hysteria” that fueled the deregulation-induced financial crisis nine years later, Ralph Nader singled out Glassman’s bestseller, joking that he would send it back to Glassman with one of the zeros missing.

As evidence of what a small neocon world we live in, Glassman’s co-author, Kevin A. Hassett, was an economic advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Sen. McCain, who chairs NED’s Republican wing, the International Republican Institute, recently paid a visit to Tahrir Square with his inseparable travel buddy, Joe Lieberman, “the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress.” Surveying the post-revolutionary scene, an “optimistic” Sen. Lieberman declared:

“This is a remarkable situation, and frankly, we should feel very good about the assistance we have given the Egyptian military over the years since the Camp David peace with Israel, because the Egyptian military really allowed this revolution in Egypt to be peaceful and let the people carry out their desires for political freedom and economic opportunity.”

Update: Jared Cohen’s buddy, Nicole Lapin, the daughter of a former Miss Israel, has been romantically linked to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, whom Cohen contacted in June 2009 to help keep Iranian dissidents twittering.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | Leave a comment

13 injured when Israeli settlers and army attack the village of Qusra

International Solidarity Movement | March 8, 2011

In the afternoon of the 7th of March 2011, villagers from Qusra, south of Nablus, were attacked by settlers from the surrounding illegal outposts who shortly were accompanied by the Israeli army. Thirteen Palestinian men were injured and taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus. Nurses reported that the ambulance staff were prevented from reaching the wounded people.

Several of the victims were seriously injured. Ibrahim Hassan, 15 years old, was shot by a live bullet which entered his back and went through his kidney before it exited. His condition is reported to be stable, but he might loose his kidney. Qaher Oude, 25 years old, was first shot in his left leg and then beaten. The settlers beat him on his upper body with stones and sticks and then used a big stone to completely crush his right leg. He will have his surgery tomorrow.

“I heard that people were injured, so I went there to help them and suddenly I got shot. The settlers came from nowhere.” Said Qaher Oude.

Three farmers were working their land outside the village of Qusra when they were attacked by settlers from the nearby illegal outposts. At 16.30 the village imam called for help for the farmers and the people of the village came to their aid. When villagers arrived four Palestinians were already injured and the Israeli army was there, protecting the settlers. In total, there were about 50 settlers accompanied by the Israeli army. The residents of Qusra reported that the Israeli soldiers did nothing to stop the settler violence, but instead actually took part in the beating and shooting of civilians. Some of the injured people reported they had been shot and beaten by soldiers and some by settlers. “They were shot by Israeli bullets, it’s no difference”. Said one of the villagers.

Among the injured in Qusra today were people shot by live ammunition and rubber coated steel bullets, people beaten by settlers and soldiers, and people who suffered the asphyxiating effects of gas inhalation.

Qusra with its 4,000 inhabitants is situated 22 km south of the city of Nablus, near the illegal Israeli settlement of Migalim. This is the second serious incident involving violent settlers in Qusra in the last two months.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Leave a comment

Israel Seeks Extra $20 Billion US Military Aid in Wake of Revolutions

Al-Manar | March 8, 2011

In a remarkable Israeli position in terms of its background and connotations, and referencing the extent of anxiety and fear the Israeli entity is witnessing in the wake of revolutions in the Arab world, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel might ask the US for additional $20 billion in military assistance.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Tuesday, Barak said that Israel should not fear regional changes or the risk of offering valiant concessions to the Palestinians.

Barak said that while Israel did not “face an immediate threat to its security, the issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you [the US]. Israel should not fear the movement of Arab societies toward modernity.”

He nevertheless stressed that the Egyptian public might influence the new leadership in such a way which could cause it to distance itself from the peace treaty with Israel.

“It might be wise to invest another $20 billion to upgrade the security of Israel for the next generation or so….A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabilizer in such a turbulent region.”

He believes it is too early to tell whether Iran is taking advantage of regional unrest to expand its influence. Barak also noted that prior to the wave of Arab protests “You could see Arab leaders starting to hedge their bets on who is the strongest leader here, Iran or the United States.” In the interview Barak said that according to a senior Egyptian official, whose name he did not mention, Israel should expect “the cold shoulder” from Cairo if it fails to advance the Palestinian peace process.

Israel spends roughly nine percent of its gross national product to guard from potential threats. Its military expenditure amounted to USD 17 billion this year, of which US aid is USD 3 billion.

Tel Aviv has kept a wary eye on a recent tidal wave of anti-government protests that has raced across the Middle East, originating with revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, which have swept longstanding autocratic rulers from power.

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Related - IMEMC

Several Israeli media agencies, known for their close affiliation with Israel security and political devices, published a number of reports slamming the new interim Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr. Isam Sharaf, and described his as an “enemy to Israel”, and also described him and the new Foreign Minister as anti-smite.

Israeli TV stations, Channel 7 and Channel 10 along with The Marker and Maariv newspapers held extensive coverage of the swear-in ceremony of the new government headed by Dr. Sharaf.

They claimed that Dr. Sharaf is “known for his anti-Israel positions”, and opposes the Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people, and that Sharaf “insisted on showing his anti-Semitism by choosing another anti-Semite, the new Foreign Minister, Nabil Al Arabi”.

According to some Israeli reports, Dr. Sharaf and his new government “pose a threat to Israel and its interests, especially with Egypt”, and that he adopts stances that reject normalization with Tel Aviv.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | 3 Comments

Lukashenko decries regime change masterminds

The Passionate Attachment | March 8, 2011

Interesting exchange between the Washington Post and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko:

Are you thinking of changing Section 193 of the criminal code, which makes it so difficult for NGOs to register and thus to act without fear of prosecution?

It is no problem to register a nongovernment organization, provided they do not violate the laws.

That’s not true. What about the Belarusan Christian Democrats?

In Belarus, the Christian Democrats will probably never get registered. They participated in the riots. . . . They are not Christian Democrats, they are bandits.

Why did you kick out the U.S. ambassador in 2008?

Why do we need an ambassador who is masterminding the actions of the fifth column?

Do you really believe this?

I am the president of Belarus. I know this.

Asked about recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, Lukashenko warned:

This will backfire for you. . . . The fact that the entire Arabic arc is being radicalized . . . is a really big thing. And you want to mastermind a regime change in Belarus. . . . It’s better to cooperate with us.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | Leave a comment

Temporary Injunction against New Building in Palestinian Village Destroyed in 1948

By Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center | 08 March 2011

An Israeli court has issued a temporary injunction on selling luxury lots on the site of the historic Palestinian village of Lifta, whose residents were expelled and forced out in 1948.

lifta

Israeli Judge Yigal Marzel issued a temporary injunction on Monday (7 March) ordering the Israel Land Administration to freeze publication of the results of a tender to lease plots for building in the historic Palestinian village of Lifta.

The tender was issued following the Jerusalem Municipality approval of construction of 268 housing units, one hotel and a number of community institutions on the site of the ancient Palestinian village, the residents of which were expelled in 1948.

The petition to save Lifta was submitted on Sunday by Attorney Sami Arshid on behalf of Jerusalem activists, including descendents of Lifta, the Bnei Lifta Association, Rabbis for Human Rights and the Jafra Association.

According to the petitioners, “in the given situation and according to which the village of Lifta is an abandoned village and its original inhabitants live as refugees at a distance of only a few hundred metres from their village, it would have been befitting to abstain from all construction in the area and certainly to prevent building that would result in destruction of the village and the complete dispossession of the rights of the original inhabitants of the place”.

The petitioners further write that the “marketing of plots for building in the village of Lifta and furthermore the construction of new buildings on the village lands and in place of the existing village could thwart the ability to preserve the existing village and foil any possibility of reconstructing the historic structure of the village, and everything that is derived from this.”

Before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, more than 3,000 Palestinians lived in Lifta, but the village was depopulated during the 1948 war and partially destroyed. It is one of the few of the 500 villages that had not been completely destroyed by Israeli forces in the time since.

The AIC spoke with Meir Margalit, a member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council, about the situation in Lifta. He told the AIC, “I am extremely fearful that Lifta will eventually turn into an exclusive neighborhood, similar to neighborhoods such as Mamilla and other places where flats were sold to Jews from France and New York. I fear that Lifta will be a ghost neighborhood.”

Numerous organisations, especially BIMKOM, Zochrot and FAST have lobbied for the village to be listed by UNESCO as a heritage site, as a symbol of reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, and for alternative plans they have formulated with the Land and Housing Research Centre.

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine in 2005 placed an advertisement in the Times, signed by over 350 architects and planners worldwide, many of them eminent figures including academics, to help save Lifta for its original Palestinian inhabitants.

Esther Zandberg in Haaretz has again written a moving plea for the village to be symbolically returned to those who were forcibly removed from there, instead of building 212 luxury apartments that will be bought only by Jewish people, in the proposed decade-long project (plan number 6036) that the Israel Land Administration wishes now to commence.

According to a press release from the Coalition to Save Lifta, the court petitioners have requested that the court order an annulment of the tender to sell plots in Lifta and order the Israel Land Administration to desist from any action that would damage the physical and cultural heritage of the place, until an inclusive planning process is completed that includes the area of Lifta. This would ultimately include planning for preservation of the site in accordance with professional standards and with public participation.

“There are 37 Lifta refugees in East Jerusalem and Ramallah, and we have a Lifta Association; and now the internet makes it possible to keep in touch with those that have moved further away,” said Yakub Odeh, a Lifta refugee.

“We all want to return to our village. I’m sure we can achieve our dream through peaceful means….We will never give in. They say that every human being is born in the land, but for us Palestinians, our land is born in us.”

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Why is Hillary Not Defending the Rights of Saudis to Protest?

By Eric Blair |Activist Post | March 8, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been exhaustively in front of cameras promoting the right for people to protest in Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Libya.  She’s been touting the freedom to use social networking sites as a way for Arab people to organize against their oppressive regimes.  Now, the Administration is even considering arming the opposition in Libya.

Clinton’s perpetual propaganda efforts exposed her blatant hypocrisy when a silent peaceful protester was violently removed from one of her recent speeches on the very subject. However, the hypocrisy now seems to go much deeper in her deafening silence over the prospect for protests in Saudi Arabia.

After Human Rights Watch revealed that a nationwide “Day of Rage” protest had been planned in Saudi Arabia for this week, March 11th, Bloomberg reported that the Saudi government claims that demonstrations and marches are “strictly” prohibited by law.  A Saudi Interior Ministry official said protests “contradict Islamic values” and “They harm public interest, infringe on the rights of others, spread chaos and lead to bloodshed.”

This prohibition of popular dissent proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Saudi Arabia is indeed the most tyrannical authoritarian regime in the Arab world.  Yet, U.S. Administration officials have been strangely silent about supporting the people’s uprising there. Perhaps they think the protests won’t be large enough to warrant a response.  Well, that certainly didn’t stop their best propaganda push to stoke the puny protests in Iran, so the size or ferocity of unrest shouldn’t matter to their exploits of supposedly backing human freedom.  And one would think that given what has happened to oil prices due to the unrest in Libya and Egypt, even a minor protest in the largest oil-producing dictatorship in the world would draw more public response from the White House.

Or perhaps the Administration believes that the hastily-crafted $35 billion social aid package ordered by King Abdullah will be enough to tamp down escalating tensions in Saudi Arabia.  So far, there have only been reports of small Shiite protests in Saudi Arabia, mostly demanding the release of political prisoners held by the Sunni monarchy.

These protests would seem to be very minor in comparison to the sea of people revolting in Cairo. However, the revolutionary whispers must clearly be getting louder as the Saudi stock market plummeted 11% in just two days of wild trading to its 7-year low on fears of civil unrest.  It’s noteworthy that the plunge was reportedly led by large banks and insurers.

If Clinton is to stand by her new-found rhetoric, certainly she’ll call for restraint on the part of the Saudi government should a protest erupt, right?  And surely she’ll demand that the kings of Internet censorship in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, will open communication channels so the people can freely unite, right?  And if push comes to shove in Saudi Arabia, she’ll definitely support arming the people’s opposition to the royal family, right?  Eh hum . . . don’t count on it.

Regardless, many analysts believe the Saudi regime is the next to fall with or without the prodding of the U.S.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Civil Liberties, Deception | 1 Comment

   

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