American Realpolitik: “US Interests” Do Not Include Human Welfare
Listening to Morally Myopic Obama tonight on the NewsHour giving the old "razzle dazzle," now talking about wanting to send a CLEAR message about the violence and potential further violence in Libya, I felt nauseous. Clear message? Maybe pseudo-clear message to America’s ostrich citizenry. Certainly not to the Arab world that has seen the craven and massive violence that US, Israel, and western power interference entails and has entailed. The cost of millions in death, maiming and/or displacement. Obama's concern about a “bloody” situation? Drone-happy Obama is concerned about blood being shed? Okay. Maybe he does care about the sight of blood, and that is why he prefers horrifying weapons of instant incineration? That is my bitter take.
The Obama administration, like the Bush administration, can not honor the needs and will of the citizenry of its own country. Why on earth would it heed the welfare of the courageous and endangered peoples in other countries? HYPOCRISY on steroids.
Why, destabilization, according to Rahm’s theory if you remember, is one further OPPORTUNITY for plunder. I think of Westmoreland’s justification in Viet Nam, “We had to bomb the village in order to save it.” Yeah, that is rich. “Collateral damage” to the amoral gamesmen and gameswomen lost to the war addiction and the greed addiction is a small price to pay for their imperialist agenda.
So re the Arab world, we -- the US and its friendly, fellow imperialist bullies -- had to and have to destroy massive numbers of a country’s citizenry and its country’s infrastructure in order to rape that country’s natural resources, especially oil, for the oligarchy, the same way the American political elite has raped its own middle, working and non-working class citizenry of their rights to health care, employment, security, etc., with more massive destruction to come. We are becoming fast one of the third world countries paralleling the countries the US has profoundly damaged through the decades. The gated community opportunism of the super rich uber alles.
I continue to get headaches watching American corporate news because I know I am being spun by an administration I lost trust in long ago that is shoveling out disinformation as fast as it can to justify its soon craven agenda.
So America’s amoral political gamesmen and gameswomen, pimped by corporatists, will “cherry pick” humanitarian justifications to insinuate ultimate avalanche-destructive leverage in yet more Arab countries. Countries where they have been propping up despots who have been torturing and starving their own citizens. The US didn’t care. US interests? America’s officialdom is sure as hell uninterested in human rights and human welfare.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The amoralists don’t really want different results. As for the American sheeple, they will play Lucy and the football forever with Obama and the media it would seem. They too will not take responsibility for the millions of lives of fellow human beings, whether the elderly, women and children, or young men who deserve to live out their lives in peace and not on military suicide missions, driven to fighting the weapons of massive over-kill by bullying super-powers subscribing to “might makes right” hegemony while razzle-dazzling with talk of concern about helping maintain "stability" and humanitarian conditions. Yeah, the mighty strings attached to that! As the US hastens to install the next despot puppet friendly to said "American interests."
I am no Middle Eastern scholar. But I know when the truth is being buried and has been. I am a harried American citizen who knows the reality of her craven, amoral and cowardly own administration, Congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle, and of the military industrial security complex killing machine.
You remember “Collateral Murder”, the video that was released allegedly by Bradley Manning to Wikileaks, maybe the first item, maybe not (the first I saw, anyway). It showed not only hopped up seemingly homicidal soldiers aiming at and killing obvious civilians (which has been contested by some), but then it revealed further an even more clear-cut example of homicides, clear-cut defiance of the Geneva Convention precepts, even more damning than the initial bloodshed by the Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. They were killing clearly unarmed Good Samaritan rescuers of the wounded from the first hail of bullets. There were children involved who were injured in the second stage. Again, CLEARLY an unarguable and illegal VIOLATION. And yet, there was no, no, NO, accountability for this. The obtusely clueless or craven call for Manning’s death for revealing the basement floor of immorality on the part of members of our army, of the US killing machine, that will recklessly and extrajudicially destroy human lives.
What does the majority of the citizenry do about the immorality allegedly Manning and Wikileaks revealed? Why, they ignore that the administration is torturing the messenger and let the corporate media comfort them that justice is being done when quite the opposite is happening. And now we are served up more plates of hypocrisy and mendacity. Heaping plates of it?
Here are some points of view that are worth heeding regarding the US “American interests” agendas involving Libya, etc. and then Pakistan, perspectives that won’t get much play in the corporate media for sure.
Seumas Milne in the Guardian.
The "responsibility to protect" invoked by those demanding intervention in Libya is applied so selectively that the word hypocrisy doesn't do it justice. And the idea that states which are themselves responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in illegal wars, occupations and interventions in the last decade, along with mass imprisonment without trial, torture and kidnapping, should be authorised by international institutions to prevent killings in other countries is simply preposterous. The barefaced cheek of William Hague's insistence that there would be a "day of reckoning" for the Libyan regime if it committed crimes or atrocities took some beating.
The reality is that the western powers which have backed authoritarian kleptocrats across the Middle East for decades now face a loss of power in the most strategically sensitive region of the world as a result of the Arab uprisings and the prospect of representative governments. They are evidently determined to appropriate the revolutionary process wherever possible, limiting it to cosmetic change that allows continued control of the region.
In Libya, the disintegration of the regime offers a crucial opening. Even more important, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, it has the strategic prize of the largest oil reserves in Africa. Of course the Gaddafi regime has moved a long way from the days when it took over the country's oil, kicked out foreign bases and funded the African National Congress at a time when the US and Britain branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist.
Along with repression, corruption and a failure to deliver to ordinary Libyans, the regime has long since bent the knee to western power, as Tony Blair and his friends were so keen to celebrate, ditching old allies and nuclear ambitions while offering privatised pickings and contracts to western banks, arms and oil corporations such as BP.
That is clear in reaction on the ground in Libya to the threat of outside intervention. As one of the rebel military leaders in Benghazi, General Ahmad Gatroni, said this week, the US should "take care of its own people, we can look after ourselves".
No-fly zones, backed by some other opposition figures, would involve a military attack on Libya's air defences and, judging from the Iraqi experience, be highly unlikely to halt regime helicopter or ground operations. They would risk expanding military conflict and strengthening Gaddafi's hand by allowing the regime to burnish its anti-imperialist credentials. Military intervention wouldn't just be a threat to Libya and its people, but to the ownership of what has been until now an entirely organic, homegrown democratic movement across the region.
The embattled US-backed Yemeni president Ali Abdallah Saleh claimed on Tuesday that the region-wide protest movement was "managed by Tel Aviv and under the supervision of Washington". That is easily dismissed as a hallucinogenic fantasy now. It would seem less so if the US and Britain were arming the Libyan opposition. The Arab revolution will be made by Arabs, or it won't be a revolution at all.
James Carroll in the "Boston Globe".
THE REVOLUTIONS in the Arab streets, whatever their individual outcomes, have already overturned the dominant assumption of global geopolitics — that hundreds of millions of impoverished people will uncomplainingly accept their assignment to the antechamber of hell. The United States, meanwhile, has been faced with the radical obsolescence of its Cold War-rooted preference of strong-man “stability’’ over basic principles of justice. In 1979, with Iran’s popular overthrow of the shah, America was given a chance to re-examine its regional assumptions, but the Carter Doctrine militarized them by threatening war for the sake of oil. In 1989, when people power dismantled the Soviet empire, Washington declared its own empire, and replaced the Communist devil with an Islamic one. But what if the devil has a point
The Obama administration’s initial ambivalence toward the popular Arab uprisings resulted less from uncertain political instincts than from the iron grip of a half-century old paradigm, the core principle of which, in the Mideast, is that oil matters more than human life. That paradigm is broken now, and Washington is chastened by the clear manifestation that its policies have been self-serving, callous, and even immoral. It is impossible to behold such developments without asking: What next? And to ask that question is to follow an automatic shift of the gaze toward Pakistan.
The United States has been preoccupied, as ever, more with the power elite of Pakistan than with the plight of its people, which makes it as wrong in its strategy toward that pivotal nation as toward the others. For the usual reasons of realpolitik, Washington has cozied up to one Pakistani dictator after another; ignored their corruptions; downplayed their mortal complicity in the most dangerous nuclear proliferation on the planet; turned a half-blind eye to the Pakistani military’s double game in Afghanistan. All the while, the same pressures that have blown the tops off half a dozen Arab states have been building there, too.
Pakistan is a country of 170 million people, 60 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day. Nearly that many are illiterate. In the last three years, unemployment has almost tripled to 14 percent, with the same increases in the cost of basic necessities that sparked unrest elsewhere. But Pakistan has also been staggered by last summer’s floods, which directly affected more than 20 million, and so devastated the nation’s agricultural infrastructure that by autumn the World Food Program was warning that 70 percent of the population lacked adequate access to nutrition. As if these “normal’’ pressures of natural disaster and economic inequity are not destabilizing enough, a massive Islamist insurgency, building on the primacy of tribal loyalties, increasingly threatens the Islamabad government. Early this month, as protests mounted to his west, the Pakistani prime minister made the by-then mandatory show of reform by dissolving his cabinet.
And speaking of last week, what were those frenzied crowds in Pakistani streets calling for if not the lynching of Raymond Davis, the CIA operative who faces a murder trial in Lahore for his January killing of two Pakistanis? That Davis is tied to havoc-wreaking CIA drone strikes is enough to enrage a population, shackling his nation, once again, to the wrong side of history.