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Archive for the tag “US imperialism”

Conflicted about Trump

This last week has seen lots of controversy involving US President Donald Trump. He has been accused of disrespecting world leaders at the G7 summit. Very undiplomatic.

So there are all these cartoons and photos showing Trump as being immature and childish, and how bad it will be for the USA if he annoys these important world leaders who are supposed to be US Allies.

And then I recall that in the past when these G(numeral) summits have been held there have been massive protest demonstrations at the summit venues, which have tended to be very disrespectful towards the gathered world leaders. I don’t recall reading about such demonstrations this time. Perhaps they were there, but if they were, the media didn’t report on them much. According to the media reports, the one carrying the anti-globalisation flag this time was none other than the much-despised Donald Trump.

Now Trump is meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

And on TV there is this bloke complaining bitterly that Trump is not going to demand that North Korea give up nuclear weapons totally and unconditionally  Not that he expects that the US would offer to give up nuclear weapons unconditionally itself as a quid pro quo. That seems to be quite unthinkable in the eyes of the media pontificators. Previous US presidents were criticised for being too imperialistic, but now Donald Trump is being criticised for not being imperialist enough.

So if a world leader like Donald Trump does the right thing for the wrong reasons, is he any worse than his predecessors who did the wrong thing for the “right” reasons — like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair with their “humanitarian” wars?

 

Stability

Stability is an important and valuable quality in a country, except when it isn’t. Stable countries promote peace, development and freedom, except when they don’t.

How do we know whether they do or don’t?

By believing what the US State Department tells us, that’s how.

Sam PF’s Journal – Good news!:

Good news from Egypt – the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak is stable, according to Hillary Clinton. Despite the courage of tens of thousands – possibly as many as 750,000 across the country according to some reports – of ordinary Egyptians in taking to the streets to protest against the brutality, corruption and grinding poverty brought by the Mubarak regime, thank God they are doomed to failure! No threat of unpredictable democracy coming to this strategically crucial country (Arabs being, after all, unfit for democracy). No danger of the US losing one of their most important client thugs in the region. Who apparently, also according to Clinton, is eagerly looking for ways of benefiting the people he has held down and preyed upon for the past nearly 30 years.

So clearly stability is important in Egypt.

Where is it not important? Where is instability desirable and needing to be promoted?

Why, in Belarus, of course.

Notes from a Common-place Book: The World Out There (3):

One doesn’t hear much about Belarus these days. What is reported is usually some variant along the theme that President Alexander Lukashenko is nasty autocrat, indeed dubbed ‘Europe’s last dictator,’ who perversely and resolutely refuses to follow the script we have prepared for the post-Soviet republics. The current controversy centers around the recent election which saw a turnout reported in excess of 90%, with Lukashenko receiving 79% of the vote. Protesters tried to storm the Parliament. The police responded in force and hundreds were arrested. Eurocrats–excluded from monitoring the process-dismissed it as ‘flawed.’ The fact is that Lukashenko does not pretty-up well. And he does not care.

As one commentator puts it:

Belarus: Still No Country For Sold Men : Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture:

But Lukashenko, whose government was called the “last dictatorship in Europe” by the U.S. government, claimed that the election was free and fair and vowed to maintain order. By now he knows what he is against. He has said in the past, “In our country, there will be no pink or orange, or even banana revolution.” More recently he said some people in the West think that Belarus is ready for a color-coded revolution, but they are not getting any; “all these coloured revolutions are pure and simple banditry.”

So, now we know that there will be no banditry in Egypt (thank Mubarak), but it’s such a pity that there won’t be banditry in Belarus.

And the “orange shift” in Tunisia was doubtless a mistake.

Neil Clark: Why did we never know how rotten Tunisia was?:

Tunisia stands at number 143 out of 179 countries when it comes to freedom of the press. It’s a place, where, according to a 2008 Amnesty International report, human rights abuses by its security forces ‘continue unabated and are committed with impunity’.

Yet if you’ve been living in the west, and getting your news from the mainstream media, you’ll have been cheerfully oblivious to all the nasty, undemocratic things that were going on in the northernmost country in Africa, a country that many of us have visited for beach holidays in Hammamet and Jerba.

And back to Belarus:

Neil Clark: Letter from Minsk: Belarus- a country unspoilt by capitalism:

A woman sits bolt upright in the middle of the night. She jumps out of bed and rushes to the bathroom to look in the medicine cabinet. Then, she runs into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator. Finally, she dashes to the window and looks out into the street. Relieved, she returns to the bedroom. Her husband asks, “What’s wrong with you?” “I had a terrible nightmare,” she says. “I dreamed we could still afford to buy medicine, that the refrigerator was absolutely full, and that the streets were safe and clean. I also dreamed that you had a job, that we could afford to pay our gas and electricity bills.”
“How is that a nightmare?” asks her husband. The woman shakes her head, “I thought the communists were back in power.”

That Bulgarian joke, as told by Maria Todorova in the Guardian and now doing the rounds across eastern Europe, doesn’t work here in Minsk. This is a capital city where the streets are safe and clean, where ordinary people can still afford to buy medicine and basic foodstuffs and where the unemployment rate is less than 1 per cent. It’s the side of Belarus you won’t read much about.

And let’s not confuse the issue still further by talking about Venezuela.

If you can’t decide which countries need “stability” and which need “regime change”, you’re probably worrying unnecessarily about things that don’t concern you. Just leave it all in the safe and competent hands of the US State Department. After all, they know

Paul Craig Roberts: The War on Terror

Paul Craig Roberts: The War on Terror:

Does anyone remember the “cakewalk war” that would last six weeks, cost $50-$60 billion, and be paid for out of Iraqi oil revenues?

Does anyone remember that White House economist Lawrence Lindsey was fired by Dubya because Lindsey estimated that the Iraq war could cost as much as $200 billion?

Lindsey was fired for over-estimating the cost of a war that, according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, has cost 15 times more than Lindsey estimated. And the US still has 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Does anyone remember that just prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the US government declared victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan?

Does anyone remember that the reason Dubya gave for invading Iraq was Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, weapons that the US government knew did not exist?

Are Americans aware that the same neoconservarives who made these fantastic mistakes, or told these fabulous lies, are still in control of the government in Washington?

The “war on terror” is now in its tenth year. What is it really all about?

What can one say but “We told you so”?

Hat-tip to The Western Confucian: Paul Craig Roberts Asks, “What’s It All About?”.

Now the US bullies Scotland


When Barack Obama became president of the US, some of us hoped that among the changes we were urged to believe in would be the US abandoning its role as self-appointed bully of the world.

But it seems that this was a change we could not believe in.

Laurence White: Lockerbie case has more to do with politics than justice – Laurence White, Columnists – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk:

The Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, is equally convinced. Indeed, such is his fury at the release of al-Megrahi, that he wrote a letter to the man who set him free, Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, in such vitriolic terms it is a wonder it did not spontaneously burst into flames when exposed to the open air.

There can seldom have been such a missive sent from the security services of one country to a its friendliest and longest standing ally. He described the decision to release al-Meghrahi as making a “mockery of the rule of law”.

FBI director rips release of Lockerbie bomber – Terrorism- msnbc.com:

‘Your action,’ he wrote MacAskill, ‘makes a mockery of the grief of the families who lost their own on December 21, 1988. You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution.’

He ended the Lockerbie letter with a frustrated question: ‘Where, I ask, is the justice?’

Perhaps he should ask where the justice was when William C Rogers did not spend any time in jail at all. Doesn’t that make a mockery of the grief of the families that lost their own on 3 July 1988, just six months before the Lockerbie crash?

Are there no limits to US hypocrisy and bullying?

The ugly face of US imperialism just got uglier

The ugly face of US imperialism just got a whole lot uglier.

Notes from a Common-place Book: Time to Move On, We’re Told

Condeleeza Rice is losing patience with Serbia.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was time for Serbs to accept that Kosovo is no longer theirs. She also suggested it was time to drop centuries of grievance and sentimentality in the Balkans. ‘We believe that the resolution of Kosovo’s status will really, finally, let the Balkans begin to put its terrible history behind it,’ Dr. Rice said Friday.

Oh, really. Her message to Serbia seems to be something like this: We are America and we know what is best for you. We have divvied-up your country in a manner we think best, and it is high time for you to stop your whining and learn to live with it.

But I have saved the best for last. Rice continues:

‘I mean, after all, we’re talking about something from 1389 – 1389! It’s time to move forward.’

With the President out of the country–last seen getting-down, so to speak, with some Liberian tribal dancers–this statement is easily the most inane commentary coming from the Bush administration in recent memory.

Of course, unlike the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, this one was not created by the Bush administration, but was one they inherited from the previous Clinton administration. But they seem to be handling it just as ineptly.

Any doubts that the USA saw its role as bully to the world have now been laid to rest — we’ve just had it from the horse’s mouth.

The ugly face of US imperialism just got uglier

The ugly face of US imperialism just got a whole lot uglier.

Notes from a Common-place Book: Time to Move On, We’re Told

Condeleeza Rice is losing patience with Serbia.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said it was time for Serbs to accept that Kosovo is no longer theirs. She also suggested it was time to drop centuries of grievance and sentimentality in the Balkans. ‘We believe that the resolution of Kosovo’s status will really, finally, let the Balkans begin to put its terrible history behind it,’ Dr. Rice said Friday.

Oh, really. Her message to Serbia seems to be something like this: We are America and we know what is best for you. We have divvied-up your country in a manner we think best, and it is high time for you to stop your whining and learn to live with it.

But I have saved the best for last. Rice continues:

‘I mean, after all, we’re talking about something from 1389 – 1389! It’s time to move forward.’

With the President out of the country–last seen getting-down, so to speak, with some Liberian tribal dancers–this statement is easily the most inane commentary coming from the Bush administration in recent memory.

Of course, unlike the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, this one was not created by the Bush administration, but was one they inherited from the previous Clinton administration. But they seem to be handling it just as ineptly.

Any doubts that the USA saw its role as bully to the world have now been laid to rest — we’ve just had it from the horse’s mouth.

US imperialism has created the worst of all worlds

US imperialism has created the worst of all worlds, says the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

clipped from timesonline.co.uk

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the United States wields its power
in a way that is worse than Britain during its imperial heyday.

Rowan Williams claimed that America’s attempt to intervene overseas by
“clearing the decks” with a “quick burst of violent action” had led to “the
worst of all worlds”.

He said the crisis was caused not just by America’s actions but also by its
misguided sense of its own mission. He poured scorn on the “chosen nation
myth of America, meaning that what happens in America is very much at the
heart of God’s purpose for humanity”.

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