U.S. Hearts Saudi Despots
Have we as a citizenry ever gotten a good answer on why the U.S. went after Iraq when a whopping 15 of the 19 Al Qaeda hijackers in the 9/11 attacks (according to wikipedia) were citizens of Saudi Arabia? (The four others were from Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE.)
Have we ever gotten a good answer as to why negative focus has never been directed by U.S. administrations or corporate media against the despotic monarchy of Saudi Arabia (our main weapons customer) while it oppresses its own people and enables other despotisms to oppress theirs?
Some of us know the bottom-line realpolitik about what “American interests” are really about. All of us should know by now. But in the present ethical freakshow of administration and corporate media mis-communicating over-kill, the mythology that American militarism and intervention is always justifiably triggered in defense of freedom and democracy for poor, desperate foreign peoples fighting oppression is forever forwarded.
Just like with the movie Groundhog Day. Here we go again. Hearing the same BIG LIE. Our government donning the white hat to protect the family of man (and woman).
Now, in Mali, and might as well get ready for it -- all of Africa!
Fool us once, blame the treacherous liars. Fool us how many times is it now with the same bullshit?
Look at all the freedom- and democracy-enabling in our deadly wakes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and in our shadowed deadly wakes in Syria, Pakistan, Yemen ... (well, that list can go on forever).
Anybody want to buy a nice bridge in NY that leads to Brooklyn?
Anybody tired of playing bobble-headed enabler (with our massive collective silence not to mention our tax dollars) of war crimes for the agendas of sociopathic corporate pirates aided and abetted by deranged war addicts -- very much including neo-lib faux-“humanitarian interventionists” these Obama days -- so enthusiastically embraced by MSNBC and even PBS, let alone Fox?
Hell, what’s a little ethnic genocide when it comes to profit-making a/k/a the real “American interests”?
You can bet everybody on the planet BUT most American citizens know that the United States is not overrunning the globe with troops, either officially or -- increasingly under Obama’s watch -- covertly (via CIA or mercenary death-squads or assassinating drones) for the sake of humanity.
And those puppet-master “disaster capitalists” are so darn good at making lemonade out of the lemons of death and destruction, it seems perpetual war will continue to doom the bottom 99% of humanity inhabiting our planet. There are more and more alternate media references to a World War III. Hyperbolic? Not really. As with all addictions, if not stopped, war addiction will find its deadly, ultimate "bottom".
War’s impact at this point is on a continuum, striking frontline victims as a killer tsunami. Others in the safer, cheap seats (for now) feel it in the form of increasingly inconvenient economic ripples.
Ben Schreiner in an article entitled "Containing China by “Fighting Al-Qaeda” in Africa" offers his penetrating analysis of a mendacious administration abusing its military might:
But as U.S. officials talk up the al-Qaeda threat in Mali, one can't help but recall the assertion made by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta back in 2011. As Panetta then declared, the U.S. was “within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda.” Yet, after the West’s support of Islamists fighters in Libya and Syria, that handy al-Qaeda specter has evidently been roused sufficiently to haunt the Western mind once more.
Of course, despite all the public claims to the contrary, defeating al-Qaeda has never really been a genuine pursuit of the U.S. anyway. After all, a vanquished al-Qaeda would really denote something of a strategic setback for Washington. It would deprive the U.S. a source of proxy war foot soldiers, while also leaving Washington struggling to justify its global garrisoning. In the end then, the al-Qaeda menace — that gift that keeps on giving — is simply too useful to defeat.
One needs look no further than the intervention into Mali to see the al-Qaeda threat bearing fruit for the West. All the attention on combating al-Qaeda in northern Mali has provided the perfect cover for the U.S. and its junior Western partners to pursue their grand strategy of containment against China. And with China increasingly out competing Western interests throughout Africa, one understands the sudden neo-colonial urge in the West.
As for the U.S.’s ever-expanding alliance with Saudi Arabia, it is Exhibit A of the grotesque hypocrisy of the BIG LIE pulled out whenever there is a new front for U.S. militarism or military collusion. Militarism that creates more and more enemies of the United States anyone with even a few brain cells can easily figure out.
Glenn Greenwald in a January 19th article in the Guardian entitled “Brookings' Bruce Riedel urges intensified US support for Saudi despots” cites a newly published memorandum to Obama written by Riedel, a senior fellow at Brookings Institute and a 30-year CIA veteran, that spells out the absolute embrace of Saudi Arabia by the U.S. establishment -- particularly our foreign policy pundits or “mavens” as Greenwald calls them -- and how human rights issues never even make it to that proverbial table.
Riedel begins by noting that "Saudi Arabia is the world's last absolute monarchy" and "like Louis XIV, King Abdallah has complete authority." Moreover, "the Saudi royal family has shown no interest in sharing power or in an elected legislature." The Saudi regime not only imposes total repression on its own people but is also vital, he argues, in maintaining tyranny in multiple neighboring states: "they have helped ensure that revolution has not unseated any Arab monarch" and "the other monarchs of Arabia would inevitably be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia." Specifically:
"The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are city-states that would be unable to defend themselves against a Saudi revolutionary regime, despite all their money."
So given this extreme human suffering and repression imposed by the Saudi monarchy in multiple countries, what should the US - the Leader of the Free World and the self-proclaimed Deliverer of Freedom and Democracy - do? To Riedel, the answer is obvious: work even harder, do even more, to strengthen the Saudi regime as well as the neighboring tyrannies in order to crush the "Arab Awakenings" and ensure that democratic revolution cannot succeed in those nations.
Two weeks ago Obama revealed the closeness of our alliance with the House of Saud. He hosted the Saudi Minister of Interior -- “a mere minister not a head of state” explains Greenwald -- in the Oval Office. Greenwald:
Indeed, the Obama administration has continuously lavished the Saudi Kingdom with a record amount of arms and other weapons, and has done the same for the Bahraini tyranny. He has done all this while maintaining close-as-ever alliances with the Gulf State despots as they crush their own democratic movements.
Greenwald derides U.S. double standardism in terms of Iran and that cliched mendacious argument for US/NATO aggression.
Riedel also says that "the Saudis have also been a key player in containing Iran for decades." But when it comes to repression and tyranny, Iran - as atrocious as its regime is capable of being - is no match for the Saudis...
... the point here is not to object to US support for the world's worst dictators; it is, instead, to urge that this reality be acknowledged. Despite this obvious truth - that the US has no objection whatsoever to tyranny but rather loves and supports it when tyrants are faithful to its interests - hordes of foreign policy "experts" shamelessly pretend that the US and its Nato allies are committed to spreading freedom and democracy and fighting despotism in order to justify every new US and Nato intervention.
Just listen to the patently deceitful rhetoric that spews forth from US political leaders and their servants in the Foreign Policy Community when it comes time to rail against anti-US regimes in Libya, Syria and Iran. That the US and its Nato allies - eager benefactors of the world's worst tyrants - are opposed to those regimes out of concern for democracy and human rights is a pretense, a conceit, so glaring and obvious that it really defies belief that people are willing to advocate it in public with a straight face.
But they do and they will continue to -- lie with their straight faces.
And some citizens will bob their heads and believe them.
Hopefully more and more of us will not, even with corporate media's 24/7 insistent propagandizing and the seduction of political party team cronyism and exceptionalism.
[cross-posted on open salon]