Tag Archives: foreign affairs

John McCainosaurus, lonely Cold Warhawk

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., second from right, speaks during a news conference alongside, from back left, Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Dick Durban, D-Ill., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, March 15, 2014. McCain and a team of seven other senators concluded their visit in Kiev on Saturday with a news conference in which they reaffirmed their support to the interim Ukrainian government. (AP Photo/David Azia)

Associated Press photo

Shadow President John McCainosaurus speaks at a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday, demonstrating his solidarity with the right-wing plutocrats who wish to rob Ukrainians blind in the names of “freedom” and “liberty,” blah blah blah. I’m pretty sure that we Americans twice democratically elected Barack Obama to be our commander in chief and our diplomat in chief, so to speak…

Shadow President John McCainosaurus, freshly returned from a visit to the Ukraine, claims that he doesn’t want “reignition of the Cold War,” but helpfully adds that

“Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. It’s kleptocracy, it’s corruption. It’s a nation that’s really only dependent upon oil and gas for their economy. And so economic sanctions are important. Get some military assistance to Ukrainians, at least so they can defend themselves. Resume the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. …”

McCainosaurus doesn’t want to reignite the Cold War, you see, but he wants to give the Ukrainians military assistance and resume missile defense systems within range of Russia’s borders. Because things like that couldn’t possibly reignite the Cold War.*

Aside from the fact that it’s undignified, irresponsible and unstatesmanlike for a so-called “dignitary” whose “expertise” is in foreign policy and foreign relations to dismiss an entire sovereign nation of people as “a gas station masquerading as a country,” those words struck me, because very apparently the Repugnican warhawks sure thought of Iraq only as “a gas station masquerading as a country.” And while it was perfectly fine for the U.S., under the unelected “leadership” of the BushCheneyCorp, to illegally, immorally, unprovokedly and unjustly invade and occupy the sovereign nation of Iraq primarily for its use to American plutocrats and corporatocrats as “a gas station,” it is unconscionable! for Russia to gobble up the small peninsula of Crimea, which always has been Russian anyway.

(Similarly, like the United States is not a corrupt kleptocracy that values planet-killing fossil fuels so highly. The hypocrisy of the right is stunning. [It shouldn’t still stun me, but it still does.])

In the same breath, McCainosaurus recognizes that Americans have no appetite for his warhawkishness — to most Americans, the little peninsula of Crimea is as important to U.S. interests as were the Falkland Islands to Ronald Reagan — yet wishes to shove it down our throats nonetheless. Because he knows better, you see, and as long as he is able to draw breath, he will remind us of the “mistake” we made when in 2008 we elected Barack Obama and not him.

Like the Vietraq War always only ever was for the benefit of the plutocrats, the struggle over Crimea also is only for the benefit of the plutocrats. This isn’t about “freedom” or “democracy” or puppies or kittens or butterflies or fluffy-tailed baby bunny wabbits. This is, as usual, all about money, about the plutocrats being driven nuts when there is something, anything, that they can’t grab with their greedy grubbies.

And these same plutocrats of course don’t care about the Ukrainians. They only want to saddle Ukraine with Western debt, to make the Ukrainians slaves to them instead of to Vladimir Putin.

The Crimeans are better off with Russia. With Russia, at least they know what to expect. With the West, they’ll be promised “freedom” and “democracy” and “prosperity” and sugar and spice and everything nice, but what they’d actually get will be no better than what they’d get from Mother Russia. The only thing worse than Communism is Capitalism.**

*Reuters reports:

Moscow — A Kremlin-backed journalist issued a stark warning to the United States about Moscow’s nuclear capabilities on Sunday [yesterday] as the White House threatened sanctions over Crimea’s referendum on union with Russia.

“Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash,” television presenter Dmitry Kiselyov said on his weekly current affairs show.

Behind him was a backdrop of a mushroom cloud following a nuclear blast. …

Yeah, I’d say that in the current geopolitical environment, now is not the time for let’s-reignite-the-Cold-War-but-say-that-we’re-not-trying-to-reignite-the-Cold-War words or action.

**For symmetry, I’ll capitalize it to refer to the toxic American/Western brand of the economic system.

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Party hacks are giving Obama his bogus war on Syria

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Middle Eastern nation of Syria was going to be proclaimed a “national security threat,” and the Obama regime has obliged us.

This “national security threat” is even more risible than was the “national security threat” that the members of the Bush regime claimed Iraq posed in their run-up to their Vietraq War.

At least the treasonous war criminals of the Bush regime lied to us that Iraq itself posed the “national security threat.” The war criminals and would-be war criminals of the Obama regime are lying to us that Syria is a “national security threat” by proxy — that is, if we don’t lob some missiles at Syria for no other apparent reason than to spook Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and to flex our military muscles again in the Middle East, other nations, especially Iran and North Korea (with Iraq, the other two members of the Bush regime’s “axis of evil”), might — gasp! — feel emboldened!

So, quite Orwellianly, a “national security threat” no longer means that another nation is actually poised to actually strike the United States — a “national security threat” now has been redefined to mean that it’s a “national security threat” should the U.S. maybe appear to be weak or irresolute or some other synonymous adjective in the eyes of any other “bad” nation.

Wow.

This is even worse than the Bush regime’s “pre-emptive strike” bullshit. Again, at least the Bush regime lied that the U.S. had to strike Iraq before Iraq could strike the U.S. (Iraq, of course, never had any such capability, which we all knew before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War); we now have the Obama regime lying that we have to strike Syria so that other nations don’t strike the U.S.

What the fucking fuck?

Perhaps even more pathetic than this, though, is that very apparently whether or not the typical American supports a particular war depends upon his or her party affiliation and the party affiliation of the current occupant of the White House.

Most Democrats in D.C., if they’re not happy about the Obama regime’s plan to attack Syria just to attack Syria, don’t have the balls to stand up to the Obama regime, so they’ll keep their mouths shut. (Even my own Democratic/“Democratic” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, I am deeply sorry to report, was one of the 10 “yes” votes on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 10-7 vote on Wednesday to allow the Obama regime to use military force against Syria.* Et tu, Babs?)

And many (if not most) Americans who voted for Obama, primarily only because they voted for him, won’t oppose the Syria misadventure like they opposed the Iraq misadventure.

I opposed the Vietraq War because it was an unprovoked, unjust, immoral and illegal U.S.-led war upon another sovereign nation, but apparently the primary or even only reason that many if not even most so-called Democrats opposed the Vietraq War was that it was the Bush regime’s war.

To be sure, that the regime that first had stolen the White House in 2000 because enough Americans just allowed them to then went on to launch a bogus war in March 2003 (because enough Americans just allowed them to) was and remains a problem for me — the crimes of the stolen presidential election and the resultant illegitimate regime’s bogus war still have not been punished or nationally atoned for, and therefore they remain open wounds on the nation — but the Vietraq War would have been just as fucked up and wrong had it been waged by a “Democratic” president like Obama.

But progressive columnist David Sirota notes in his latest column:

… So what happened to [the anti-war] movement? The shorter answer is: It was a victim of partisanship.

That’s the conclusion that emerges from a recent study by professors at the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Evaluating surveys of more than 5,300 anti-war protestors from 2007 to 2009, the researchers discovered that the many protestors who self-identified as Democrats “withdrew from anti-war protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success” in the 2008 presidential election.

Had there been legitimate reason to conclude that Obama’s presidency was synonymous with the anti-war cause, this withdrawal might have been understandable. But that’s not what happened — the withdrawal occurred even as Obama was escalating the war in Afghanistan and intensifying drone wars in places like Pakistan and Yemen.

The researchers thus conclude that during the Bush years, many Democrats were not necessarily motivated to participate in the anti-war movement because they oppose militarism and war — they were instead “motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments.”

Not surprisingly, this hyper-partisan outlook and the lack of a more robust anti-war movement explain why political calculations rather than moral questions are at the forefront of the Washington debate over a war with Syria. …

This is red-versus-blue tribalism in its most murderous form. It suggests that the party affiliation of a particular president should determine whether or not we want that president to kill other human beings. It further suggests that we should all look at war not as a life-and-death issue, but instead as a sporting event in which we blindly root for a preferred political team. …

That’s just some fucked-up shit.

I mean, as much as I detest Repugnican U.S. senators John McCainosaurus and closet case Lindsey Graham, for instance, at least they consistently are pro-war. There isn’t a war that they wouldn’t support. (Canada? Hey, they’re too close for comfort! Sweden? Their “pacifism” is just a facade, a ruse!) McCainosaurus wants to look tough and bad-ass and so does Graham, apparently trying to overcompensate for his very apparent homosexuality by trying to create the persona of an uber-macho war hawk (it’s not working, girlfriend!).

Love them or hate them — and I hate them — but at least we know what to expect from the likes of McCainosaurus and Graham.

What can we expect from the “Democrats”? Oh, it depends upon the party affiliation of the current president!

That only a minority of Democrats in D.C. truly embody the spirit of being anti-war — which is that you don’t take the nation to war unless it really, really, really is necessary, because war is a gravely serious thing — is a testament to the extent of the moral decay of the so-called Democratic Party of today.

And don’t kid yourself; there is no fucking guarantee that lobbing missiles at Syria will remain a “limited” military operation, as the liars who comprise the Obama regime would have you believe.

The Middle East is an oil-soaked tinderbox, and you cannot drop a match anywhere there and guarantee that you’ll scorch only a “limited” patch of it.

Perhaps direct comparisons of Syria and Iraq can’t be made, but at least one disturbing similarity between the Vietraq War and what’s happening now is that over time we saw the treasonous members of the Bush regime making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” that Iraq posed to the U.S. (such as the “smoking gun” coming in the form of a “mushroom cloud”), and now we are seeing the members of the Obama regime (I am regretting that I once supported John Kerry, since he now is shilling for Obama’s bogus war on Syria) making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” posed to the U.S. by Syria — such as that if we don’t attack Syria, we can expect attacks from other nations, like Iran and North Korea.

The more that the war hawks ratchet up their ridiculous rhetoric, the more you know that their casus belli is for shit.

*Tellingly, of the seven U.S. senators on the committee who voted “no” on Obama’s desire to attack Syria, only two are Democrats and the rest of them are Repugnicans. Of the 1o who voted “yes,” seven are “Democrats” and three are Repugs. Newly minted Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who should have voted “no” if he calls himself a progressive, voted “present.”

Obviously, partisanship trumps morality in D.C.

Again: This is some sick fucking shit.

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Skipping toward another debacle in the Middle East

The elites of D.C. have been out of touch with the wishes of the majority of Americans for years now, but are they really going to launch a military attack upon another Middle Eastern nation — one that borders Iraq, no less — that the majority of Americans do not want? Will U.S. President Barack Obama ignore the right-wing political taunts that he’s a wimp, or will he rush in to Syria like a fool, causing even more civilian deaths?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed yesterday that “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.”

“Make no mistake,” Kerry added. “President [Barack] Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Wow.

I’m trying to wrap my head around the mega-double standards that are spewing forth right now from D.C.

The casual use of killer drones against poor people in the Middle East is not the use of “the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people”? (Killer drones aren’t heinous? When’s the last time that you had to try to dodge a drone that was trying to kill you? Have you seen “Oblivion”?)

Is the method of the slaughter truly of more importance than the fact of the slaughter itself?

What’s with this fucking nerve-gas fetish?

If I shoot you or bomb you (the conventional way or with one of my “more humane” killer drones), it’s OK, it’s perfectly pardonable, hey, you have to crack some eggs to make a Freedom™ omelet — but if I gas you, that’s really heinous?

March 2003’s so-called “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (it couldn’t be “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” because that spells OIL, you see) — the U.S.-military-led invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, which was in violation of the wishes of the United Nations Security Council — and its aftermath caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

If you simply claim, as the goody-goody-two-shoes United States of America always does, that your goal is to bring “democracy” and “freedom” and “liberation” and puppies and kittens and cute, fluffy baby bunny rabbits, does that mere claim justify, does that mere claim excuse, a body count of tens of thousands of civilians?

Oopsie! Your loved ones are dead! But it was for [fill in noble goal here]!

It widely is reported that an estimated 100,000 people, presumably on both sides, have been killed in Syria’s civil war of about two years now. The conservative estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians who died because of the bogus Vietraq War exceeds 100,000.

I’m trying to understand why the vast majority of Americans have not lost any sleep over the staggering number of Iraqi civilians whom the U.S. war machine has snuffed out over the past decade in the name of “liberating” them, but some Americans now claim to care so much about the alleged — emphasis on “alleged” — gassing deaths of a few hundred Syrian civilians.

If it’s really all about the safety and welfare of the Syrian civilians, where is the concern that even more Syrian civilians would die in the U.S.-led military bombardment of Syria and in the further chaos that easily could ensue, just like it did in Iraq? Have we really forgotten all of this already?

Is this about the well-being of Syrian civilians or is this about the United States of America (1) collectively egoistically wanting to save face because President Hopey-Changey proclaimed the Santa Claus- or Easter Bunny-like existence of some “red line” and (2) wanting to periodically flex its big military muscles on the world stage like the narcissistic, bullying nation that it is?

Given the United States’ own track record of the casual slaughter of civilians casually dismissed as “collateral damage” and refusing to be held accountable to any international body, John Kerry’s lofty words — such as “the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders” being “a moral obscenity” and the necessity of “accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people” — ring pretty fucking hollow.

If Americans, except for a perma-minority of pro-military wingnuts (most of them chickenhawks) — aren’t clamoring for a U.S. attack on Syria (and they’re — we’re — not) — maybe, just maybe, part of the reason for that is that enough Americans realize how incredibly hypocritical it is of the United States of America to talk of the lawlessness and mass-murderousness of any other nation.

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Team Mittens three for three abroad

Wow. In my post of last night I joked about Team Mittens fucking up not only in the United Kingdom and then in Israel, but also in Poland, the third leg of Mittens’ three-nation tour, meant to show the world how ready he is to be the leader of the so-called “free” world.

I didn’t really think that Team Mittens would create any controversy in Poland, but then I woke up to this ABC News story today:

Warsaw, Poland — A Mitt Romney spokesman reprimanded reporters traveling with the candidate on his six-day foreign trip, telling them to “kiss my ass” after they shouted questions from behind a rope line.

As Romney left the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and walked toward his motorcade parked in Pilsudski Square, reporters began shouting questions from the line where campaign staffers had told them to stay behind, prompting traveling press secretary Rick Gorka to tell a group of reporters to “kiss my ass” and “shove it.”

He later apologized.

As Romney wrapped up his visit to the historical site, a CNN reporter had yelled, “Governor Romney, are you concerned about some of the mishaps of your trip?”

“Governor Romney, do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” a New York Times reporter shouted.

“What about your gaffes?” yelled a Washington Post reporter, referring to a number of missteps the candidate has made during his trip, including one in which he said there were some “disconcerting” developments leading up to the London Olympics, drawing the ire of the British media, and another suggesting that culture was to blame for the difference in economic success between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Romney campaign has called the reports on the candidate’s remarks about Palestinians a “gross mischaracterization.” [I read the full quotes, and no, they are not a “gross mischaracterization.”]

Gorka told reporters answering questions to “show some respect.”

“This is a holy site for the Polish people,” he added.

“We haven’t had another chance to ask a question,” one reporter noted to Gorka.

Gorka told another journalist to “shove it.”

Romney last took questions — three — from the traveling press corps Thursday in London. Romney did not address the media that’s flying with him on any of the three charter flights – two that lasted more than four hours — either. Romney has conducted several television interviews during the trip.

Gorka later called both reporters to apologize for his remarks, telling one that he was “inappropriate.” …

If Romney wants to be president of the United States of America, he can expect to be asked questions.

Again, this past week Romney has been showing us his true colors. In the UK, he showed that he’s always the best man in the room — hell, in the nation, wherever that nation may be.

In Israel, we saw what a chauvinist Romney is, how he will ignore one group’s vast advantages over another group but proclaim the unfairly advantaged group to be naturally superior to the disadvantaged group.

This, to me, is like saying that the white European colonists are naturally superior to the natives whom they decimated on this continent (and elsewhere in the “new” world), wholly ignoring the whites’ advantages of, as Jared Diamond put it, guns, germs and steel.

And in Poland, we have seen that Team Mittens has contempt for members of the news media who are not willing to act as doting stenographers and public relations staffers, but who are willing to ask uncomfortable questions.

We also saw how Team Mittens is willing to use someone else as a human shield, politically speaking: “This is a holy site for the Polish people,” the Team Mittens spokesnake hissed to the reporters.

Gee, do you really think that that was Team Mittens’ actual concern — the feelings of the Polish people? Or the fact that the members of the media were asking questions that Team Mittens didn’t want asked?

The unelected Bush regime used to do that all the time — most notably, any time the Bush regime’s military misadventures were criticized or called into question, the treasonous fascists who comprised the Bush regime would equate this with an attack on our troops.

They did that repeatedly in order to try to evade all responsibility for their own shit, and it’s what we should expect from a Romney regime.

Indeed, Romney’s Rainbow Tour has shown us his true colors.

The only question is whether enough Americans are blind enough to allow him to sit in the Oval Office.

We progressives have no reason to believe that Americans aren’t that blind.

After George W. Bush, anything could happen.

P.S. Lest you believe that all Poles love Mittens, these facts were buried at the end of this Associated Press story:

Romney’s visit to Poland was not without controversy.

Campaign officials said the visit with [former Solidarity leader Lech] Walesa came at his invitation, but the current leadership of Solidarity distanced itself from the event and issued a statement critical of Romney.

Solidarity characterized Romney as being hostile to unions and against labor rights. It emphasized that it had no role in organizing Romney’s visit and expressed support for American labor organizations.

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WTF is the matter with Mittens? He’s a multi-millionaire baby boomer, for starters

Raw Video: Romney headlines tabloids in London

Associated Press image

A London tabloid expresses its opinion of Mittens’ visit to London on the occasion of the city’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic games.

The 2012 Olympics have gotten off to a great start — and I’m not even into sports. (Well, men’s diving and men’s gymnastics are OK…)

As others have noted, all that Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney really needed to do in London this past week was (1) to just show up and (2) to not make a total ass of himself. But very apparently, he could accomplish only one of those two objectives.

The mind of Mittens is a terrifying place to explore, but my blogger’s psychoanalysis of Mittens is that his London Olympics trip was meant to underscore the fact that he was in charge of the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City and was meant to show that he — and not Barack. Hussein. Obama. — is the man who should be representing the United States of America abroad. (I hate it when someone like Mittens acts like a shadow president — it’s deeply undemocratic, since we have not elected Mittens to act as our shadow president.)

And the wingnuts’ view of foreign relations, of course, is much closer to George W. Bush’s than it is to Barack Obama’s. And that view is that the United States of America must act like a drunken, aggressive, narcissistic frat boy, treating others in the manner of a complete and total asshole. 

On that note, I just signed on to this open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

An open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

We are writing to express our concern over Mitt Romney’s recent comments, and to let you know that he does not represent how most Americans view your great country.

First, we do not believe, as Mitt Romney implied in 2007, that you have become a second-tier nation. Rather, we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage.

Additionally, we do not share the opinion which Romney expressed in his 2010 book, No Apologies, that “England [sic] is just a small island,” and that “with few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.” Please continue sending us your many wonderful products, especially the upcoming third season of “Downton Abbey.”

We look forward not only to the London Olympics, but also to many years of continuing the special relationship between our two nations. Rest assured we will do our level best to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming our next president.

Cheers!

I hope that before the organizers send the letter on to the Brits, they delete that reference to “Downton Abbey”* — that bad joke seems actually to reinforce Mittens’ contention that the UK is not a serious contender on the world stage — but I agree with most of it. (If you want to sign on, you can do so by clicking here.)

Of course, when we state that “we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage,” we need to be careful that with such broad statements we are not endorsing some of the UK’s atrocities, which include the subjugation and in some cases even the decimation of the natives of Africa, Australia, India and neighboring Ireland, and which also includes the UK’s government’s support of the Vietraq War, in which the United States and the UK were partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Indeed, if the U.S.’s rap sheet of atrocities is shorter than the UK’s, that’s only because the U.S. is a much younger nation.)

All of that said — and all of that reinforcing  yet another reason why it was an incredibly poor idea for a henchman of Mittens to assert earlier this week that Mittens Romney better understands the “Anglo-Saxon heritage”** shared by the UK and the United States than does Obama — it was incredibly pompous for Mittens, as a guest of the UK, to state his opinion just before the opening of the 2012 Olympics that London wasn’t ready.    

My guess is that such boorish behavior comes from the fact that Mittens is an American baby boomer — as a group, these selfish narcissists vastly overestimate their talents, abilities and worth, and as a group, they know no fucking shame — and from the fact that as a overprivileged (Daddy was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973, and Mommy ran for the U.S. Senate for Michigan in 1970, for fuck’s sake) multi-millionaire (from his vulture capitalism) who is used to others sucking up to him, Mittens is uncomfortable in any other role than being the uber-alpha male, the frat-boy asshole on crack.

My guess is that Mittens feels like he’s in charge wherever he is, and that he saw nothing wrong with telling his hosts on the topic of hosting the Olympics: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Of course, again, those on the right subscribe to the George W. Bush School of Foreign Policy, so it’s not like in their eyes Mittens did anything wrong. They want their president to be the biggest bully on the international stage. Unless the U.S. president is hated worldwide, he isn’t doing his job — that’s their credo.

So, as usual, in November it will come down to the “swing voters.”

I don’t imagine that a huge chunk of them really cares either that Mittens conducted himself like a jackass in London this week, since their area of concern usually doesn’t extend more than a few miles’ radius, but if Mittens gets the reputation as a bumbler on the world stage — because he is — that might cost him a significant number of votes.

We’ll see, but in the meantime, it is instructive, I think, to examine Mittens’ personality traits that have been on display on the world stage this week and to ask ourselves what these personality traits would mean for us here at home should he ever sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Of course, we Americans just allowed George W. Bush to blatantly steal the White House in late 200o — what bad events possibly could follow a blatantly stolen presidential election? — so of course we can’t write presidential wannabe Mittens off.

*I purchased and watched the first two seasons of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” and my impressions of the television show are that one, while the series is watchable, the first season was better than the second, and that two, “Downton Abbey’s” American target audience seems to be limousine liberals. (That said, I’m quite middle- and working-class myself. I’ve never even been inside of a limo.)

“Downton Abbey” seems to be making structural and institutional socioeconomic equality seem OK because the lord and lady of the manor are fairly decent individuals, are not individually abusive to their servants. Of course, the whole setup — an overprivileged class that is served by an underprivileged class — is abusive, but apparently we are to overlook that.

Thus, again, “Downton Abbey” should be a fave among the limousine liberals, like my baby-boomer uncle, who owns several homes and is a U.S. military contractor but who nonetheless in all seriousness calls himself a “socialist.”

**While I haven’t studied my own genealogy, I suspect that I primarily of am British stock, as many white Americans are. (Wikipedia notes that “German Americans [16.5 percent], Irish Americans [11.9 percent], English Americans [9.0 percent], Italian Americans [5.8 percent], French Americans [4 percent], Polish Americans [3 percent], Scottish Americans [1.9 percent], Dutch Americans [1.6 percent], Norwegian Americans [1.5 percent] and Swedish Americans [1.4 percent] constitute the 10 largest white American ancestries.”)

While there is much about the UK that I admire — such as the incredibly useful and expansive English language, of course — I think that it’s vital to recognize a nation’s wrongdoings as well as its successes. Thus, when Mittens said this in “defense” of his henchman’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” remark, it was not a save: “It [the United States’ and the UK’s shared ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage’] goes back to our very beginnings — cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be, but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

Yes, among other things, the United States and the UK have in common their colonization of other nations, the raping, pillaging and plundering of other, militarily weaker nations (including, of course, slavery) so that the UK and the U.S. could maintain a standard of living much higher than that of the average member of Homo sapiens on planet Earth. (And for this so-called “Anglo-Saxon” “success” you will get no apologies from Mittens Romney!)

When the British empire waned, the American empire rose up to replace it, and now the American empire wanes.

And you gotta love Mittens’ assertion, “So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be.” How much control, exactly, does Mittens have over his own campaign?

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UN looking into legality of slaughter of bin Laden

Was this past weekend’s assassination of Osama bin Laden legal?

Unsurprisingly, in the articles that I’ve read online, Americans tend to say that of course it was — he was an “enemy combatant” with whom we were “at war”; U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder actually called, quite speciously, bin Laden’s assassination “an act of national self-defense” (and not, say, a revenge killing); and besides, Barack Obama had said when he was campaigning for president that if we got bin Laden in our sights then he would order him killed (as though if you simply warn someone that you will do something illegal, such as rape her or murder him, if you get the opportunity to do so and then do so, then your actual act is not illegal because hey, you’d given him or her a warning!) — while those outside of the U.S. are much less likely to make such a certain pronouncement, expressing problems with the facts that bin Laden was unarmed and that the raid on his compound was conducted without the consent or even the prior notification of the government of the sovereign nation of Pakistan. Bin Laden should have been captured, if at all possible, and put on trial, since everyone, even the likes of bin Laden, has the right to due process, these dissenters have expressed.

One of these dissenters, Kent University international lawyer Nick Grief, called bin Laden’s killing what it apparently was: an “extrajudicial killing without due process of the law,” and he noted that even Nazi war criminals were brought to trial at the end of World War II.

Louise Doswald-Beck, former legal chief for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said that bin Laden was not an enemy combatant but that “He was basically head of a terrorist criminal network, which means that you’re not really looking at the law of armed conflict but at lethal action against a dangerous criminal.”

Another British lawyer, Michael Mansfield, said, “The serious risk is that in the absence of an authoritative narrative of events played out in Abbottabad, vengeance will become synonymized with justice, and that revenge will supplant due process. … Whatever feelings of elation and relief may dominate the airwaves, they must not be allowed to submerge core questions about the legality of the exercise, nor to permit vengeance or summary execution to become substitutes for justice.” [Emphasis mine.]

And it looks as though the United Nations is investigating the legality of bin Laden’s assassination. Reports The Associated Press today:

Geneva – The United Nations’ independent investigator on extrajudicial killings* has called on the United States to reveal more details of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideaway to allow experts to assess the legality of his killing.

South African law professor Christof Heyns said in a statement [today] that Washington “should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards.”

Heyns says “it will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture Bin Laden.”

His statement echoed similar appeals from other UN officials, human rights groups and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

U.S. officials say the raid is legal under U.S. and international law.

Of course “U.S. officials say the raid [was] legal under U.S. and international law.” How often does the perpetrator of a crime admit it?

In any event, it’s not like the U.S. is going to respect any adverse finding by the UN anyway. The UN Security Council would not rubber-stamp George W. Bush’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, but the Bush regime went ahead and launched it anyway in March 2003. The U.S. respects the UN only when it is convenient for the U.S. to do so, which is one of the many reasons that the U.S. is so hated throughout the world: its blatant hypocrisy and double standards.

I still believe that the assassination of Osama bin Laden was meant, at least in part, for Barack Obama’s political gain. I believe that Obama wanted to show that he’s just as bad a bad-ass as George W. Bush tried to pass himself off as, and also, what’s better to counter the charges that Obama is not really an American and actually is Muslim than to snuff out Osama bin Laden, to take him dead or alive dead?

The so-called “swing voters” are susceptible to such wingnutty charges that Obama isn’t a citizen and that he’s actually a Muslim, and it’s the support of the “swing voters” (he’s screwed his progressive base) that Obama so very badly wants for his re-election.

Weirdly, though, in the White House photo of the gathering in the Situation Room during the operation to assassinate bin Laden that everyone has dissected to death —

In this image released by the White House and ...

— to me, Obama doesn’t look like the leader of all of it. To me, he looks like he’s just kind of shrinking in the corner, a bit bewildered and perhaps overwhelmed by all of it, and hell, just from this photo, Secretary of State Billary Clinton appears to be more in charge than Obama does. Obama appears in the photo to be an onlooker at most.

In any event, Osama bin Laden is dead, which even Al-Qaeda has acknowledged, and it’s not like there will be formal repercussions for the U.S. government for once again very apparently having violated international law.

But it will be interesting to see for how long the U.S. can maintain its position as the global bully. Bin Laden’s actions significantly weakened what he believed to be the “great Satan,” the American empire, costing the United States at least $3 trillion, pundits are saying. (Of course, much if not most of that $3 trillion went to greedy war profiteers, not for the actual benefit of the U.S., and much of it simply disappeared and remains unaccounted for to this day.)

And as China is poised to become the world’s No. 1 economy within the next decade, as the U.S. economy continues to teeter on the brink of collapse, how long will the U.S. be able to call the shots globally?

It is in the long-term interests of the United States of America — and any other nation’s — to follow the rule of law. It is easier and more convenient, in the short run, to circumvent the law, but to circumvent the law often bites you in the ass later, often (if not usually) costing you more than if you had just done it right the first time.

Because he was not put on trial, but was assassinated, Osama bin Laden is now, to many in the Muslim world, a martyr whose manner of death only proves his assertions about American abuse of power against Arabs and Muslims to be correct. We Americans can, and should, fully expect bin Laden’s death to be avenged. And then we’ll avenge that. This tit-for-tat bullshit bloodshed can go on for years and years and years, which is exactly what the war profiteers and the weasels of the military-industrial complex want.

And just as the United States was somewhat recovering from its reputation as the global asshole that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime earned it, Barack Obama, by mimicking George “W. for Wanted Dead or Alive” Bush, has taken us backasswards again.

Can we at least take away that Nobel Peace Prize that he so prematurely was awarded while the UN investigates the legality of his unilateral order to assassinate bin Laden?

P.S. Reuters reports a little more thoroughly today of the United Nations’ looking into the legality of bin Laden’s assassination. Reuters reports today:

Martin Scheinin, UN special rapporteur on protecting human rights while countering terrorism … and Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that in certain exceptional cases, deadly force may be used in “operations against terrorists.”

“However, the norm should be that terrorists be dealt with as criminals, through legal processes of arrest, trial and judicially-decided punishment,” the independent experts said in a joint statement.

“In respect of the recent use of deadly force against Osama bin Laden, the United States of America should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards,” they said. “It will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture bin Laden.”

Scheinin, a Finnish law professor who teaches in Florence, and Heyns, a South African human rights law professor, report to the UN Human Rights Council, whose 47 members include the United States. …

Navi Pillay, the top UN human rights official, also called this week for light to be shed on the killing, stressing that all counter-terrorism operations must respect international law.

“We’ve raised a question mark about what happened precisely, more details are needed at this point,” her spokesman Rupert Colville told a briefing in Geneva [today].

*Those Obama apologists and American jingoists who take exception to the word “assassination” (as though only, say, an American president could be assassinated) at least cannot argue that bin Laden’s killing was indeed, at the least, an extrajudicial execution.

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Only thing stopping a free Egypt is U.S.

Responses to my optimistic post of yesterday on the future of Egypt have been pessimistic.

It is true that real democracy is never assured. It is difficult to attain and perhaps even harder to maintain.

But American pessimism on Egypt’s future seems to stem from at least three things that have nothing to do with the abilities and talents and intelligence and resourcefulness of the Egyptian people.

One of these things is the belief, held even by so-called liberals, that other nations can do nothing without American aid, because Americans are superior and other peoples of the world are inferior. (Indeed, the vast majority of Americans need to be reminded that, in the words of anthropologist Wade Davis, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”)

The “white man’s burden” began with the British empire, and this chauvinistic mentality was transplanted to the British colonies that became the United States of America.

A corollary of this phenomenon is that the U.S. government, through its military and its Central Intelligence Agency and other thuggish apparatuses, has a long history of making sure that real democracy never takes root in other nations whose leaders look out for the best interests of their nations’ peoples instead of for the best interests of the American capitalist system and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

The U.S. government and the U.S. ruling elites do their very best to cripple certain nations whose leaders refuse to submit to Washington — like Cuba — and then proclaim that these nations are struggling or failing not because of U.S. attempts to make them fail, because of their supposed inherent inferiority.

Leaders of other nations who actually look after their people’s best interests instead of the U.S. government’s and U.S. ruling elites’ best interests are called “dictators.” Like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (whom the CIA tried but failed to overthrow in 2002). Even though Chavez has been democratically elected repeatedly, with international observers (including Jimmy Carter) certifying that the elections were on the up and up, because of the center-right propaganda happily trumpeted by the “free” mass media owned and operated by corporations that allow only pro-corporate speech, most thoroughly corporately brainwashed Americans incorrectly go along with the label of Chavez as a “dictator.”

Actual dictators, on the other hand, like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has kept his grip on power for more than three decades, get a free fucking pass as long as they kiss U.S. ass, as Mubarak always has done.

The second source of the pessimistic belief of so many Americans that Egypt can’t get it together democratically stems, I believe, from the fact that Americans can’t get it together democratically, and therefore, they don’t want anyone else to. Call it democratic jealousy.

Americans just sat on their asses while two presidential elections in a row were stolen and bogus wars in the Middle East were launched in their name. Americans have just allowed corporations to render our democratic system meaningless, because decisions in Washington are made not by our elected officials, but by the highest bidders via our bribed elected officials. (And speaking of elections, way too many elections are won by the highest bidder.)

Speaking of our elected officials, “Whose side is Obama on anyway?” asks a piece on Salon.com today, noting:

The Egyptian people are fighting, not only to end the 30-year reign of dictator Mubarak, but for democracy. So far, our government has continued its de facto support for the Mubarak regime by paying lip service to the need for “reform” at the same time that it lauds Mubarak as an ally and source of “stability” in the Middle East.

President Obama and his spokespeople have carefully avoided the fundamental issue. The Egyptian people are not asking their government to reform itself. They are demanding an end to the entire autocratic and kleptocratic regime they have endured for even longer than Mubarak’s rule. They want democracy.

The answer to the question of whose side Obama is on is a fucking no-brainer: Obama is on the side of the Israel-first lobby, which wants Egypt to remain under the thumb of a U.S.-controlled dictator. Israel doesn’t want Egyptians to have self-determination, and because the Israel-first lobbyists’ hands are so far up the asses of the elected officials in Washington, what Israel wants it usually gets from its meat puppets in D.C.

Obama isn’t concerned about democracy in Egypt — or anywhere else. He’s concerned about his political survival (and his hollow slogans, which he very apparently views as his vehicle to continued political success [hey, they worked for him in November 2008!]).

Not that Egypt needs the spineless, slimy, slippery, ethics-free Obama and his regime of Clinton-era leftovers. What Egypt needs for democracy to take root there is for the United States of America to leave Egypt the fuck alone. Only without U.S. interference can true democracy take root anywhere. What’s been happening in Latin America for the past several years — because the gaze of the Eye of Sauron, which sits upon the White House, has been focused upon the Middle East instead of upon Latin America since late 2001 — is proof of that.

A third reason for pessimism over Egypt’s future, I surmise, is that the relatively few Americans who aren’t drunk on the jingoistic Kool-Aid know all too well how much their own government historically has prevented actual democracy from taking root elsewhere in the world, and they expect this pattern to be repeated in Egypt.

But this pessimism overlooks the fact that fortunately, the American empire is so weak from the military and economic overextension of the reign of the unelected Bush regime (um, yeah, there were actual consequences of the fact that Americans just allowed the Bush regime to steal the White House in late 2000) that its ability to quash democracy elsewhere now is limited.

But most Americans are drunk on the Kool-Aid, and they are so adverse to actual democracy taking root elsewhere on the planet that even while a new Egyptian leader already clearly has emerged in Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, these intoxicated Americans are wringing their hands, wailing, “But whooooo will lead Egypt?”

What the fuck?

ElBaradei appears to be the Egyptian people’s choice, but Americans are largely fucking ignoring that.

Is it that Americans don’t want the Egyptian people to choose their next leader? Are Americans that addicted to their governmental elites choosing the leaders of other nations, especially those in the Middle East, such as the current leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan?

That was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: Yes, they are. They’re that brainwashed, that ethnocentric. To most Americans, all that is important about Egypt is that Egypt continue to serve the wishes of the government in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. government’s pimp, the Israel-first lobby — the Egyptian people be damned.

My hope is that democracy takes root in an Egypt unmolested by the U.S. government and spreads elsewhere in the Middle East. The United States of America never could transplant true democracy to the Middle East or anywhere else on the planet because the USA only ever has its own greedy interests in mind.

My hope is that in my lifetime democracy spreads throughout the world, like a domino effect, to the extent that democracy is established in the United States of America before I die.

Perversely ironically, it seems to me that the United States of America will be the last domino to topple to the spread of actual democracy.

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