Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tell me more about the moral scruples of US dictatorships: a small question for the Wall Street Journal.

Well, it seems some big shit is goin' down in some place full of crazy Muslims wearing towells on their heads over there somewhere. Somewhere near Iraq, I think.

Actually, in Iraq too. I mean what the fuck is that about? We gave those ungrateful fuckers democracy. Some people are just always looking for an excuse to be upset.

God only knows what the hell is going on over there these days, though I must admit, as far as that place with pyramids and mummies is concerned, I found a very informative site called IsMubarakStillPresident.com

But, the more I looked at the situation over there, there more something strange struck me: the United States of America, which is the World's Greatest Democracy by presidential decree, has gotten itself in a bit of a pickle.

Despite doing their very best to support the democracy in the region, as President Barack Obama emphasised so strongly in his 2009 speech in Cairo, they have somehow ended propping up vicious dictatorships that, in a total coincidence, just happen to then implement policies favourable to the interests of US governments and corporations.

This has begun to worry me a bit, as it isn't a great look.

Now my love, admiration and respect for the United States of America and the values it upholds is very well known.

And so I was very heartened to hear just last December US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say after a visit to Bahrain that its monarchy is, like, a *totally* modernising govnerment.

"I am very impressed by the progress Bahrain is making on all fronts — economically, politically, socially," said Clinton.

I thought it was actually quite lucky, really, seeing as the US has a quite important airforce base there and had just signed an agreement to significantly increase the US navy presence. To strengthen democracy.

But it *would* seem unfortunate when impoverished people, many from the persecuted Shiite religious majority, took part in protests to ask the king - not to resign but for a few reforms that might alleviate their crippling suffering. And got rather rudely met by soldiers opening fire on them, killing simply *dozens* of unarmed people.

Investigate journalist Robert Fisk wrote from the scene, in a really quite unpleasant story: "'Massacre – it's a massacre,' the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh ...

"One poor youth – 18, 19 years old, perhaps – had a terrible head wound, a bullet hole in the leg and a bloody mess on his chest. The doctor beside him turned to me weeping, tears splashing on to his blood-stained gown. 'He has a fragmented bullet in his brain and I can't get the bits out, and the bones on the left side of his head are completely smashed. His arteries are all broken ...'

"Blood was cascading on to the floor. It was pitiful, outrageous, shameful. These were not armed men but mourners returning from a funeral, Shia Muslims of course, shot down by their own Bahraini army yesterday afternoon."

And then I thought about this a little more. And I must admit it seemed to me, without trying to be unfair to the no doubt sincere intentions of the United States government, that this was a little similar to what happened in Egypt.

The US kindly gave the now former president Hosni Mubarak about US$1.3 billion a year in military aid and next thing you know more than 300 pro-democracy protesters were killed by Mubarak's security forces and 20 million people were on the streets forcing the poor guy out.

And, now I think about it, when people protested against the US-backed regime of Ben Ali in Tunisia, the United Nations said more than 200 people were murdered by the security forces.

The US has had a really bad run of luck. They really seem to be poor character judges, what with them loving democracy and yet so unfailingly ending up supporting murderers and torturers.

It is just like that friend with a terrible taste in partners, but you are never sure whether it is polite to point it out.

I was starting to get worried about this. But then I read a thoroughly reassuring editorial in one of my personal favourite newspapers, the Wall Street Journal, on February 16.

But it also raised a further question in my mind. So I wish to take the opportunity to ask the journal a question from a friend.

Dear Wall Street Journal,

I have been worried about all this apparent evidence that the United States of America has been backing brutal dictatorships in the Middle East.

So, as you might imagine, I was *very relieved* to read the following in an editorial in your February 16 edition: "To put it another way, pro-American dictatorships have more moral scruples. The comparison is akin to what happened in the 1980s when U.S. allies led by authoritarians fell peacefully in the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan, even as Communist regimes proved tougher."

This is a real load of my mind.

It would seems, *yes* America does actually prop up dictatorships. But it really is not *that* big a deal, as you explain, because *your* dictatorships have more moral scruples than dictatorships not allied to the Land of the Free.

But I must confess to some lingering questions.

I am hoping that perhaps the good people at the journal will prove kind enough to answer my questions and resolve my confusion (I know you are all *great* fans of the blog so will see this request).

I was thinking about this and, basically, what I want to know is *how exactly* do you torture someone utilising moral scruples?

Does this perhaps mean the torture implements have been blessed by the Pope?

I mean, what *exactly* is the moral procedure?

I was wondering about how this worked in the case of the torture of Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib in Egpyt - personally carried out by Egyptian intelligence head Omar Suleiman.

There must have been some exerising of moral scruples, because when the democracy uprising was underway in Egypt, Suleiman was the man the US pushed to replace Mubarak - and I am confident that would not be the case unless Suleiman had some moral scruples of which to speak.

Dictatorships, and ones that more or less belong to the United States are yet to prove much different, have a nasty tendency to kill opponents - be it through extrajudicial assassinations or "disappearances".

Or just - as in Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain (and for that matter Libya, seeing as Gaddafi has been a pretty reliable friend of the West for quite few years now) - by gunning people down in cold blood in the streets when they protest unarmed.

So, what I am interested in, for my own understanding, is exactly how many of their own people do dictatorships have to butcher before they can be considered to have lost their moral scruples?

I am wondering, you see, about the case of Indonesia. In 1965, the CIA helped organise a military coup that overthrew a nationalist government and brought General Suharto to power.

Estimates of the number of people killed over a four month period in 65-66 range from 500,000 to three million.

Now I realise most of those killed were members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and that the only good red is a dead red (unless it is shiraz, in which case it is far better drunk).

Given that we can *all agree* that the life of a Communist Party member is worth less than the life of someone in full agreement with the aims and practices of US foreign policy, I am wondering: how many of the workers, farmers, slumdwellers, students and intellectuals who made the choice to join the PKI would have had to have been killed before it could be considered that Suharto had lost his moral scruples?

And then I was wondering about East Timor. The occupation of East Timor, started with US approval in 1975 by Suharto and finally ending in 1999, one year after Suharto's overthrow, resulted in the death of about one third of the Timorese population.

It may be an impolite question, and I would never dream of being intentionally rude to a nation so great it has produced your journal, but given the fact that the ratio of those killed was greater than in Cambodia during Pol Pot's reign, exactly how many Timorese would have been killed had Suharto not enjoyed the moral scruples belonging to pro-US dictators?

And, also, did Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge develop moral scruples when the United States started to back them after Vietnamese forces ending their genocidal rule?

If so, with these new found moral scrupples, should the new US-backed Khmer Rouge have found it was way back in power, how do you think they would have applied their new found moral scruples to the second round of their genocde?

Also, I have to ask, is it *really* true that the struggle that bought down the US-backed Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines 1986 was "peaceful"?

It is just I happened to be in Manila last year and there was this giant wall called the "Wall of Heroes" and it had all of these names, more than I could count, of people who were said to have been killed in the struggle against the Marcos dictaotrship - whose military, armed and trained by the United States, had an awful tendency to murder and torture opponents.

I was told the wall did not come close to naming all those who fell fighting the pro-US dictatorship.

Again, I realise quite a number of those killed were Communists, but far from all.

I would also be interested to hear about the application of moral scruples in Chile under Pinochet, Guatemala under succesive US-backed military regimes, El Salvador, Nicaragua or any of the other military dictatorships across Latin America in the 70s and 80s that commottied horrific crimes and were US trained and backed.

Oh, I nearly forgot, also the US-backed dictatorship in Honduras, how does it apply moral scruples when it assassinates farmers, democracy activists and gay rights activists?

I thank you for your patience in dealing with so many questions on the role of moral scruples as it relates to the killers and torturers promoted by the United States. I do realise you are busy with the complicated task of explaining how it is that the democracy-promoting United States has got itself tangled up with promoting so many brutal dictatorships.

It is just that it does some raise some uncomfortable questions that all us proud supporters of the United States and its freedom agenda would be very glad to have clarified so we can continue our full support for the US-led struggle for democracy just absolutely *everywhere*.

I await with eagerness for your reply.

Your friend in the fight for freedom,
Carlo Sands.

Oh, and by the way, I nearly forgot: FUCK YOU, GADDAFI. Muammar Gaddafi is Carlo Sands pick for Arab ruler most likely to end up like Mussolini.

1 comment:

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