FEBRUARY 2, 2013 11:17PM

U.S. Hearts Saudi Despots

Rate: 5 Flag

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.

Greenwald writes:

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...

snip

... 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.

snip

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 correntwire] 

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Since the USA and its three branches of government, the executive, the judicial, and the legislative give their complete attention, not to the needs of the general population, but to those sectors willing to corrupt the electoral process with bribes the previous somewhat democratic system is systematically defunct and basically not all that far away philosophically and operationally from that of the Saudis. The cover stories about freedom and decency it uses as a standard excuse for its military activity to control the natural resources of the world for the corporate interests that are now in total control in the country fools only the most gullible of its citizens. China and Russia are the competitors in this brutal exercise and the people in the unfortunate areas are being mashed into a bloody pulp as a consequence. This is the story behind Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Mali and many other areas as well as the generally threatening attitudes towards China and South East Asia and Iran. The camouflage is so transparent as to be almost invisible.
"Have we as a citizenry ever gotten a good answer on why the U.S. went after Iraq ... ?"

No "good answer" needed because it's self-evident.

Jackass, blowhard Iraqi leader who hinted at WMD and wouldn't allow UN inspectors to tour facilities. Also, Iraq had previously invaded Kuwait and had to be removed.

Iraq leadership deserved to be "taken out".

Haven't seen Saudis invade any other country.
Yup. The House of Saud had their hand so far up Bush's ass that he looked like a hand puppet and Obama can't even get Israel to attend their own UN Humans Rights Review, while maintaining virtual veto power over his cabinet selections.

It's a tight race between the Arabs and the Jews on who actually owns our government.
[r] Jan, always appreciate your strong take and agree. As we claim to be wanting to help foreign countries -- only when they are not dangerously armed with nukes and economically/resource advantageous to us (and are convenient for "regime change" thanks to our fellow thug nations and we are even willing in some countries to enable the same jihadists we were fighting and who were killing our troops in another neighboring nation we are that craven and that "ends justifies the means" non-caring about the masscres of civilian populations) -- to help them fight for a chance at freedom and democracy (which is not what the US wants at all -- it HATES developing leftie, citizen-focused nations) we as a country are becoming more and more fascistic as our bill of rights gets stripped away and our prez behaves like an emperor rather than one of the three checks and balances branches.

The proxy wars we fight with Russia and China because of our arrogant insanity that no one must be more profitable than us when our country is going bankrupt from the insane and evil wars and we are becoming more and more morally and economically bankrupt as a country. Our gangster contracts with Israel and now SA that ignore justice and morality. The US used to be a world leader and had some moral authority. It no longer does. Thanks to the horrifying droning it is reviled and is making more and more enemies.

The myopic leaders of the government don't care they are dooming so many, including this country for the future, dooming our troops and making sure they will be tortured or killed by our enemies since barbarism is now a tool for the US and its mercenaries, and are answering the sociopathic call for stealing wealth by the corporate capturing class.

The craven corporate media says whatever propaganda is necessary to foster denial or minimization in the citizenry.

We live in a spiritual dark age, indeed. The horror that the personality cults of war criminals like Obama and the Hillary continue to thrive shows the power of media and political party cronyism and the incredible capacity for denial and minimization of the inhumanity. Heart of darkness time in America.

best, libby
JS-

The First Gulf War was about Kuwait not GWB's second one.

The UN inspectors were ordered out by us prematurely since they weren't finding WMDs of course and that was the last thing Bush and Cheney wanted to confirm, that there were NONE (which they had intel that there were none).

Saddam and bin Laden were deliberately conflated as being BOTH responsible for 9/11 by our administration even though they were NOT tied at all, our media and our low-information citizenry let that incredible notion percolate.

Saddam had been our ally when he was doing monstrous things to his own people which our leaderships didn't mind at all until they decided time was ripe for going after the oil and wreaking 9/11 vengeance onto Iraq for regime change advantage and then began expressing outrage over human rights which they hadn't cared about.

So they got the drumbeat going about the WMDs and they lied about the yellow cake uranium to the UN and they decimated the country at first convincing the citizens they were interested in "helping" them. Destabilize with civil strife and then betray the people seems our MO. Massive civilian deaths or displacement, no biggie.

And the list of those 7 countries to be decimated for the New World Order that Wesley Clark disclosed about so long ago is getting a lot of cross-outs thanks to team Bush and now team Obama.

The "let's take out" anyone who is not a convenient leader for us in the world despite international law and morality is thuggery. We used to have a national code that honored due process and international law and the Geneva Conventions. More mafia type thinking with no feeling and behaving, no empathy,no deep exploration of what is really going on and respect for humanity and the environment.

Over-identification and over-trust with the home team leaders and "truthiness" on part of citizens, which is why we are getting fleeced economically by our own elected representatives including and especially the prez, is so devastating for us.

SA has iron hand on its own people, helps Bahrain oppressors with theirs. Is so freaked out by the Arab Spring movement and the U.S. is there to protect the House of Saud and Bahrain from those nasty citizens who are inspired by the hunger for democracy triggered first in Tunisia.

SA helped enable Libyan overthrow and now in Syria has been providing money and weapons (from US) to the al-Qaeda linked jihadists in Syria to take down Assad.

best, libby
Thanks, Amy. Agree with your sensibility on SA and Israel! best, libby
Why do you hate the United States so much, always the negativity, with zero clue about practical issues, and cowardly hiding behind a mask all the while. For all we know, you could a Russian or Chinese intelligence officer or paid source.
Gee, Don... way to attack the messenger.

I also noticed that you didn't even TRY to refute any of Libby's very valid points. THAT is pretty telling as well, Mr. Hasbara.
I love the U.S. -- what it used to stand for if not fulfill -- and I love the constitution and I have empathy for the troops who are so much cannon fodder and empathy for the victims of corporate wars and torture and detention and whistleblowers who also care about the U.S. who get shoved in jail and set up as examples to the rest of us.

Your demonization of me as an "enemy" underscores my point of the denying comfort zone bubble of so many of my fellow citizens who will not acknowledge the horrors our government perpetrates in our name with our tax dollars. Whether Republican or Dem controlled.

Do you think drone assassinations are okay? Do you think illegitimate wars are okay? Do you think torture program engineers should go unpunished? CIA death squads should bring down governments that are not really a direct threat to us? Do you not think due process should be extended to all American citizens as the US Constitution used to guarantee? Do you think crony capitalists who have committed fraud should not go to jail and in fact not keep getting government money and sweetheart deals from the the politicians they bought off? Do you think prez's can wage secret wars with the CIA and other paramilitary groups without having to confer with Congress or the people? Do you think we should be constantly surveilled as citizens while real criminals are getting away with massive fraud and corporate war murders? Do you not think the US is perpetrating terrorism? That our government lies to us about its motives constantly?

So you come after me for being a messenger of an uncomfortable and horrifying reality you won't acknowledge or you minimize.

Who is the real enemy of America? Enablers of crimes against humanity or those calling them out?

Don't read me then.

Sorry to be such a denial-buzz kill.

What say you that we support tyrannies for our economic "interests" and human rights and diplomacy have disappeared down the bowl long ago as far as our government and apparently much of our citizens are concerned?

Patriotism should not be conflated with over-trust and willful ignorance of reality. It is not that. Real patriotism, at least.

Geeeeez. You seem to be telling me to stop being negative about such a negative behaving government? Leave you and others to comfortable jingoism and denial? Is that what you are telling me?

Or are you threatening me like with the old McCarthyism type of pressure more than that? The loyalty oath kind of stuff. Here on OPEN salon?

Project your anger where it deserves to go. I'm just being a messenger. The truth hurts or is emotionally inconvenient.

But maybe you aren't for freedom of speech, either.

libby
Thanks, Amy. It would be so refreshing to have criticism that actually addressed the issues. best, libby
ps I figure since I read a lot of stuff from alternate media not corporate-controlled that many people don't have time for or know of why not share it. until access to those sources gets censored which is a possibility given what is happening it is something I can do for now to bring information that is not propagandized by government or corporations which have such non-stop megaphones to distract or disinform. Sometimes the reality of grotesque injustices and atrocities is hard to hear about especially in a timely way. there seems to be a whole assembly line of fresh hells. we all have crisis fatigue. we must not let it make us complacent or passively cynical or learned helpless.

libby
Don, I'm sure you are a decent enough guy. At least that's what you think. But, the human mind can and does rationalize anything. We are rationalizing engines. And, that is what you are doing. You are like an attack dog for the status quo. Seriously. You throw down this line that anyone who dissents from massive injustice, corruption and unprecedented institutionalized murder, aka war, is un-American. It's the same line used by Bush - you are either with us or against us. It is the same line used by the corporate state to justify its endless injustices by attacking anyone as un-American who doesn't support the troops. It's a form of Nazi-esque intimidation meant to shut people up.

Why don't you share with us what a "practical" issue is rather than simply making an obscure remark. I really want to know. And I will listen with an intent of discovery. Then we can debate it to hone discovery and truth. To find what is real versus what is attack dog politics. The forum is all yours.

I suspect "practical" issues is what is more plainly referred to as the ends justifies the means. Our Constitution and rule of law is meant to protect us from an end justifies a means government. These are simply delusions. They are the whims of man and not the rule of law. That is why we have a Constitution. Otherwise, practicality turns into anything goes or the ends justifying the means.

It is the passion of a great love for humanity and a desire to see a better world that causes true patriots to dissent from this evil or "practicality" as Thoreau noted in Civil Disobedience. I share Libby's enthusiasm for her love of country. And the aspirations to be better that practical. Just like the 2% that always pushed the aspirations higher throughout human history. And, dragged the rest of humanity along with them.

Why don't you join us? I'm serious. You would be embraced with open arms.
Don Rich has accused you of hating the USA because you find so much to correct in the country's agenda. There is an interesting interview of Noam Chomsky at
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175645/tomgram%3A_noam_chomsky%2C_why_it%27s_%22legal%22_when_the_u.s._does_it/#more

which interestingly analyzes this insane view that criticizing a country implies hatred. It also is a nice understanding of general US general foreign policy throughout the world which fundamentally indicates the USA feels free to brutalize any country which refuses to kowtow to US policies or display any independence of US economic or business demands. It is, of course, rather critical of the general propaganda of the USA in that it tries to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world by sending out military and CIA thug teams worldwide to suppress and destroy any disobedience of US policies. It's worth reading.
Who ever accused you of hating the USA is over the top. Corruption is not only tolerated by the average Joe here in our nation, it's ignored. Why? Why do honest, peace loving people listen to FOX News? It beats my two pair.
Libby I see you or at least Mr. Greenwald has discovered the real brains behind Dear Leaders ruthless expansion into the Islamic World. No surprisingly enough it is not Don. It was also “Ex-CIA” (you see when you have become useful enough to them you are an ex or never was. You become what is in effect a “Hidden Master”) official Bruce Reidel’s comments in Washington in Dec of 2011 amid speculation over Asif Ali Zardari’s future, he believed that the 'creeping establishment' of Pakistan's fifth military dictatorship is underway right now”. With that Dear Leader blotted out the sun over Pakistan with drones. Nobody wants to see a fifth military dictatorship in Pakistan, particularly one which is in collusion with the Pashtun. http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-establishment-of-paks-fifth-military-dictatorship-underway-reidel/20111219.htm.

Libby you yourself need to understand the real reasons why people do things. Stop watching the MSM completely or you are in danger of becoming the anti-Don. In short play with dogs and you will get fleas.
Hey Libby,

I don't have a problem understanding the first Gulf war versus the ultimate overthrow of Iraqi leadership. My point was the constant saber rattling by Saddam has consequences. And most Americans didn't care about the details. One can't implore the U.S. to insert itself into global issues (offshore drug smuggling, human trafficking, starvation, genocide, etc.) while conversely stating that other world events are none of our business. Personally, I'm not thrilled with the idea of America being "world police", but if that's what it is, so be it.

Can you explain the "alternate media not corporate-controlled" thangy?

I have questions:

1) How do you distinguish between total whack jobs versus something that should be taken seriously in the not-main-stream media? I mean, I once saw a blogger post a very-detailed explanation (referencing alternate media) about how the nuclear power plant disasters in Japan was going to totally-screw the rest of the world with radiation; notably, the U.S. Yet here we are with a few unradiated/low-radiated washed-up items on the west coast and Toyko ranked #1 as the most expensive city in the world; indicating that there is a tremendous demand to live in Japan, especially from the rich (who have access to all kinds of data/information).

2) By "corporate-controlled", you mean what, exactly? Wouldn't some of the workers, say gay or minority or female or PETA-supporters or (insert worthy-cause here) at such an entity, make sure that their voice/views are broadcast, too? Or, are all of the workers at corporate-controlled media (from producers to writers to reporters to researchers to support personnel) rich, Caucasian, conservative, males? -- seems implausible.

3) Why ever reference some mainstream media when citing a source that supports a position? If one is so anti-corporate-controlled media, then why use it at times? Seems like opportunistic cherry-picking and a little hypocritical.

Carry on.
TL, thanks for role modeling such frankness and bluntness but at the same time openness and willingness to engage. (I am still feeling a little tasered by being asked if I were a foreign operative and that made me feel defensive as well as dismayed!!! I felt like a character being accused of being a witch in Arthur Miller's The Crucible suddenly! Or a victim of Joe McCarthy "loyalty" campaign)

Appreciate what you say here:

"It's the same line used by Bush - you are either with us or against us."

The America "love or leave it" slogan used I remember re anti-anti-Vietnam protesters. Or "my country right or wrong" belligerence!

I love what you say here especially, too:

"I share Libby's enthusiasm for her love of country. And the aspirations to be better that practical. Just like the 2% that always pushed the aspirations higher throughout human history. And, dragged the rest of humanity along with them.

"Why don't you join us? I'm serious. You would be embraced with open arms."

end of your quote

TL, your points made both to Don and to me. Thank you!!!! :-)

best, libby
"I love the U.S. -- what it used to stand for if not fulfill -- and I love the constitution and I have empathy for the troops who are so much cannon fodder and empathy for the victims of corporate wars and torture and detention and whistleblowers who also care about the U.S. who get shoved in jail and set up as examples to the rest of us.

Why is this so hard for some people to understand?

Can they, amid all of their denial, character assassination attempts and personal slurs, actually disagree?

Are they really that egocentric, myopic and selfish???
Jan, so grateful to see you here, too. Thanks for the link. Even the intro from Tom E. says so much:

"In any case, when you see what’s happening these days, first thank the American unilateralists of the 1990s, our own financial jihadis. They dreamed of organizing a planet subservient to American financial power and ended up, in 2008, blowing a hole in it instead. A decade later came George W. Bush and his neocon followers, dreaming of doing the same thing in military terms, with similarly disastrous results. If the neoliberals helped create the 1% world of Middle Eastern oppression that a young Tunisian with a lighter set afire, Bush’s visionary militarists, with their catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq, did even greater damage. They punched a hole directly in the oil heartlands of the planet and set what they already liked to call “the arc of instability” -- little did they know -- aflame. Between them, they drove us through what, in 2004, Amr Moussa, then head of the Arab League, called “the gates of hell,” imagining they were the gates to an imperial paradise.

"Now, from Pakistan and Yemen to Mali and Niger, Washington's drones, special ops, and cyber warriors are now blindly pushing that process of destabilization forward, even as they further undermine American power in the region. ..."

Jan, I found this quote from Chomsky in the article fascinating:

"Take the Clinton doctrine. The Clinton doctrine was that the United States is entitled to resort to unilateral force to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.” That goes beyond anything that George W. Bush said. But it was quiet and it wasn’t arrogant and abrasive, so it didn’t cause much of an uproar. The belief in that entitlement continues right to the present. It’s also part of the intellectual culture."

This is also wonderful from Chomsky:

"I do think that Magna Carta and international law are worth paying some attention to.

"I merely mention that to illustrate that in the intellectual culture, even at what’s called the left liberal end of the political spectrum, the core principles haven’t changed very much. But the capacity to implement them has been sharply reduced. That’s why you get all this talk about American decline. Take a look at the year-end issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal. Its big front-page cover asks, in bold face, “Is America Over?” It’s a standard complaint of those who believe they should have everything. If you believe you should have everything and anything gets away from you, it’s a tragedy, the world is collapsing. So is America over? A long time ago we “lost” China, we’ve lost Southeast Asia, we’ve lost South America. Maybe we’ll lose the Middle East and North African countries. Is America over? It’s a kind of paranoia, but it’s the paranoia of the superrich and the superpowerful. If you don’t have everything, it’s a disaster."

And this one:

"So, for example, Saudi Arabia is the most extreme fundamentalist state in the world, a radical Islamic state. It has a missionary zeal, is spreading radical Islam to Pakistan, funding terror. But it’s the bastion of U.S. and British policy. They’ve consistently supported it against the threat of secular nationalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt and Abd al-Karim Qasim’s Iraq, among many others. But they don’t like political Islam because it might become independent.

"The first of the three points, our yearning for democracy, that’s about on the level of Joseph Stalin talking about the Russian commitment to freedom, democracy, and liberty for the world. It’s the kind of statement you laugh about when you hear it from commissars or Iranian clerics, but you nod politely and maybe even with awe when you hear it from their Western counterparts.

"If you look at the record, the yearning for democracy is a bad joke. That’s even recognized by leading scholars, though they don’t put it this way. One of the major scholars on so-called democracy promotion is Thomas Carothers, who is pretty conservative and highly regarded -- a neo-Reaganite, not a flaming liberal. He worked in Reagan’s State Department and has several books reviewing the course of democracy promotion, which he takes very seriously. He says, yes, this is a deep-seated American ideal, but it has a funny history. The history is that every U.S. administration is “schizophrenic.” They support democracy only if it conforms to certain strategic and economic interests. He describes this as a strange pathology, as if the United States needed psychiatric treatment or something. Of course, there’s another interpretation, but one that can’t come to mind if you’re a well-educated, properly behaved intellectual."

end of quote

You know I read on the www yesterday that a Saudi Arabian young girl brutally raped then beaten up by her father (he actually broke her back) she finally died after over a year of hospitalization. The father was jailed for only a shortish time and was asked to pay a nominal fine (blood money) to his wife, the grieving mother of the child. In Saudi Arabia, apparently, a father OWNS his children and wife, and when he commits crimes against the family the degree of minimization by the law there is horrifying. But, what the hey ... American businessmen and US government will look the other way in this Post-Morality world with our BFF. This is a country we are weaponizing and promoting and enabling help to with their enemies. Who cares what second class citizens women are, for one thing. Meanwhile people like McCain bring up plight of women in countries they have economic ulterior motives regarding to go to war with. Just to get good-hearted but naive citizens on board with their bullshit humanitarian focus. But then we have such hypocrisy with our friend countries who are oppressing women but it suddenly matters not in the least to the hypocrits launching wars not for humanity but for profits!!!

best, libby
Marie!!! thank you!!!! As Humphrey B. said to C. Rains at the end of Casa Blanca, "Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!" :-) best, libby
Thanks, Jack. So great to see you. Appreciate your revelation on Bruce Reidel as you write "a 'creeping establishment' of Pakistan's fifth military dictatorship is underway right now”. and going on (I gulped as I read), "With that Dear Leader blotted out the sun over Pakistan with drones." Too true.

Jack, I have stopped watching MSNBC almost entirely. I sometimes watch Up With Chris Hayes which has more honest debates than rest of MSNBC but still Hayes has a leash on.

I watch NewsHour just to stay current with things happening that the corporate media is willing to acknowledge but I try to counter-frame the stories which isn't easy and then I run to the internet or flip to Democracy Now or Moyers to get more of the REAL stories!!!

The dogs/fleas warning is good for me and for all the international entities!!!

You take care!

best, libby
JS - appreciate your coming back and I want to address your comments and questions thoughtfully. Especially re some valuable sources I have that often network me to other sources. Also to expand on my profound heartbreak over the pathetic propaganda coming out of the mainstream media. The internet is awesome right now in getting information and perspectives. It is crazymaking to see so many stories and disclosures that deserve national discussion going ignored instead. So much happens and mainstream media has only that little penlight of narrow focus and they point it in the darkness often away from where the real stories are and the real betrayals of our government to the 99%ers, either domestically or globally.

I pray we continue to have access but I wish more of that information could get a real forum. But the mainstream media is almost entirely controlled by 6 transnational conglomerates and their seemingly sociopathic CEOs. 6 powers that be people can use the massive echo chamber to frame propaganda for the world. Murdoch one of the better known one. How insane that is to start with!!!

Hope to continue as soon as I can! If work is nutty tonight it will have to be well into tomorrow morning.

Amy, nice to see you again!! Thanks!

best, libby
While I, too, am really fed up with Obama lying to us (and the incredible amount of money wasted on defense expenditures) , I am inclined to agree with Noam Chomsky's view the the US is steadily losing its energy and strategic allies in the Middle East and Africa. Obama is just moving deck chairs around on the Titanic. It's similar in a way to to the shell game he's playing to make it appear the US is in recovery. All he and Bush have to show for a decade of proxy wars against China and Russia is exactly nothing.
JS: Finally getting to your comment with some sleep behind me.

You write: "My point was the constant saber rattling by Saddam has consequences. And most Americans didn't care about the details."

I certainly agree with the second part of that, most Americans didn't and still don't tragically care about the details -- especially because they are so brainwashed with lies from our administration and our media! they also don't seem to care about bottom line morality and empathy.

Most Americans and most ALL corporate media don't get into serious details, unless we are talking the classy corporate media that is really good often with only one side, the corporate side, of the cherry-picked details that can be used for framing propaganda. Or to tease people of conscience doing a good job on some issues but on others BIG LIES for their own corporate funding and their access and their cronyism.

Saber rattling in other countries when we have McCain, Graham and Joe Lieberman and a congress and administration so obsequious to Israel?????

When the bomb Iran drumbeat because they might build a nuke is so insane when intel has said that there is no nuke building but our government and media don't care and they keep on harping on it over and over and over because of their ugly corporate and proxy war agenda to counterpoint Russia and China and to enable Israel.

We are not "world police" JS. We talk as if we are at times which is hypocrisy. We used to be at times and helped do country building or re-building but though trillions are spent, how much makes it to the poor people whose lives our militarism has destroyed? we are really world "mafia". We enable convenient mercenary types, war lords to help kill for regime change, without conscience so very often. We, meaning our government.

Diplomacy? Dead in the water. The US could role model it but it has trashed it. Look at the arrogant and deadly defiance of International law and the UN (except trying to manipulate it to cover violence to occupy and control a struggling but resource wealthy country) and the Geneva Conventions. That this country is having a so-called national discussion about torture is an abomination. Torture was illegal and still is and is immoral and should never be used by anyone and that the international community should enforce this was a given.

Diplomacy is replaced by mafia-cronyism. Like in our own Congress. Lock step cronyism rather than integrity and tough love over issues. All gamesmanship, practically, no statesmanship. In the UN, genocides are enabled because of cronyism voting. It is horrifying.

I just read a blog focusing on the Dark Zero Thirty film and how it is going to be taken internationally. In America it is held to be a pro-torture, pro-CIA, pro-American military propaganda film. But internationally Bigelow has given the world an anti-America propaganda film. Droning has made us enemies. Now we have her American-critic and public heralded movie that will communicate to world countries American "exceptionalism" and unconscionable cruelty and profound disrespect to other peoples and how the ends justifies the means and might makes right and killing anyone any time is justified to Americans to get whatever or whomever they want. No justice. No law. No morality. No respect for the sanctity of human lives.

As for global issues you say we fight. Our banks enabled major cartels to launder money. They haven't gone to jail, those banksters involved. Starvation and genocide you say we fight? We are helping with them or expanding them. Are you serious? And we are supporting allies who are participating in expanding them, too. Look at Israel and its treatment of Palestine.

You ask, "Can you explain the "alternate media not corporate-controlled" thangy?"

Thangy?

Corporate controlled is mainstream television and newspapers and radio, etc., with heavy hitting corporate sponsors and networking for access to the establishment in power. MSNBC Rachel has to deal with GE as one of the major companies that wants Rachel to appeal to progressives but she is on a GE leash re her show. They often give an extraordinary length at times for ratings and viewers but ... well, Rachel never acknowledged that a Green Party is out there and a Jill Stein was running for president and had some non-corporate alternatives for American recovery. And she could have done so much to help the people of conscience. Olbermann was one of the few who used his power for an important while in corporate media to push hard for truth and call out hypocrisy. One of the only ones to go that far.

Rachel talks about the illegality of Obama's droning but then she frames it as Obama's "punch a hippie moments". Punch a hippie? Dear God, Rachel. et tu???? I promoted her so long when she was up and coming but she as successfully seduced. Sure she and Chris Hayes bring up important stuff but squint and you see the leashes. Obama is continuing to shred the Constitution like Bush. But Rachel voices concern but stays in the Dem stable and minimizes and plays the lesser evil card. She has a paycheck and she has access.

Colbert and Stewart do great satire, but they are also sponsees of the establishment with guests they enable to charm the audience, guests who have done down and dirty things. The harshest Stewart has ever been as I have seen him is with Chris Matthews pitching his book. I am no fan of Matthews by a long shot, but let's invite on war criminals and giggle with them?

On the NewsHour after the BP crisis they had a a string of pr-spinning guests from BP and Obama's administration to minimize it and LIE about it. Carol Browner was EPA Administrator and liar for Obama and told Judy Woodruff that the Gulf would be "fine" and not to worry because Mother Nature very shortly with its rains and dilution of the toxins would shortly have the Gulf cleaned up 80%. EIGHTY PERCENT???? You could see Judy Woodruff silent shudder of shock at such an audacious LIE, but she simply politely paraphrased that bullshit for the American audience and never challenged!!!!!!

You say "whack jobs" implying that the alternate media is crawling with them. The internet is huge but there are so many people of conscience and intelligence and morality out there who are doing awesome journalism for mankind. But whom corporations, with you remember the personality profiles of psychopaths since they are for profit and hang the consequences on humankind, don't want to be heard. Are striving to censor as is our government.

The boycott of Jill Stein Green Party candidate was just the latest Exhibit A for me on that. Jill got arrested three times just before the election for major issues, keystone, home foreclosures, and a corporate debate that forbade third party candidates to be heard and not a whisper of those arrests. No word on her to encourage Americans to listen to her non-corporate perspective on American recovery, for jobs and climate and peace!!!!.

Well, NewsHour finally mentioned the third party candidates had had their own debate for half a second. That was it? Jill Stein wanted to seriously help students and their monster debts. She wanted to legalize marijuana and especially medical marijuana -- Obama was targeting medical marijuana use which was not known to many but some younger people knew the truth, but then the NewsHour does a segment on how younger people feel about the candidates. They only talk to pro-Romney, pro-Obama or absolutely non-interest young people. Don't give young people who like Stein or who like the other candidates ANY air time unless you they can demonize them a bit like Ron Paul followers.

As far as corporate American media is concerned there is no one left of Obama. BULLSHIT!!!! OBAMA IS ANTI-LEFT. There are lots of us who are horrified by what Obama is doing to our constitution and how he is enabling the rich and dooming the middle class and working class or ex-working class and poor.

Even when John Edwards was an official third candidate and made the debates, Charlie Rose had a round table about who would win, Hillary or Barack, totally ignoring Edwards and support for his populism. Populism? You expect sycophant Charlie Rose to abide that at his table? No, I am not defending Edwards and his conduct in his personal life. But what he was saying about the social and economic divide in this country, the two Americas, was soooo important. Edwards actually mentioned the homeless. Imagine!!!

Charlie Rose and Meet the Press, etc., treat wars as chess games on the international board. And the power brokers come on and are so incredibly conscienceless about HUMAN LIVES.

You are naive if you don't think radiation is dangerously leaking out of those Japanese reactors still and we are all safe because we are not hearing about it on the media. COVER UPS. And nuclear radiation is insidious and deadly. That Obama's love of building more nuclear generators (since those corporations are so generous to his campaigns and must be rewarded with government funding and sponsorship) in this country is dangerous. DANGEROUS.

Once Al Gore was talking about how much denial tobacco raising states especially were in about the dangers of cigarette smoking. He quoted a famous line about how when one's paycheck was involved it impacted one's capacity for honoring universal morality and rationality. I wish I could find it, the quote. sinclair lewis maybe?

Like climate change enemies now. Climate change considerations about our environment will get in the way of short term profits. Even if the world is doomed, the earth is doomed, the addiction to profits is number one. Even having billions spent to disinform the public to protect this. Most of that money goes to convincing people that the jury is still out when the scientific jury is back and has been back about how the earth is doomed and we are at a tipping point whereby we soon, VERY soon, can't save the planet. NO BIGGIE????

Are you asking me why I offer links to my opinions from alternate media sources? Often the links offer expansion of what I am saying and further links of their own to research done to prove the contentions. Strange criticism.

It is the mainstream media that so often espouses "truthiness" based on LIES of the American administration and transnational corporations and the corporate media globally is primarily controlled by 6 conglomerates run by their CEOS who have a mind-boggling echo chamber to frame what so much of the low-information populations of the world here. To brainwash them at will. I call Murdoch who is one a "whack job" ... a mercenary and power hungry one. Ends justifies the means to people like that. Too big to go to jail.

There are so many incredible sources of truth and reality and people of conscience. Democracy Now. Bill Moyers. I cross-post with correntewire that is industrial strength honesty and analysis especially of the economic bullshit we are dealing with re obama as they were with Bush. Very sophisticated and knowledgeable and witty sensibility there.

Upstairs and downstairs salon has some incredible political writers. Glenn Greenwald now at the Guardian is awesome. I go to Jill Stein of Green Party for her analyses. Well written and well-researched. I go to the alternet, to common dreams, to dissidentvoice (where I sometimes find two of our fine writers cross-posted there, Dr. Stuart B and Sean Fenley). I go to international clearing house and buzzflash that have collections of articles linked to other sites like NYT, WP, Huffpo, Rawstory, Counterpunch, Crooks and Liars, firedoglake, truthout, truthdig, asia times (pepe escobar does great international commentary re wars), russia times (yes!), press tv (iranian-yes!), aljazeera (from Qatar!), chris floyd, arthur silber, world wide socialist website (that has incredible writers who are abreast of issues that won't surface in mainstream media until months later and so much after the fact and harm and still with propaganda spin are they presented), physicians for a national health care that was and is awesome with perspectives on universal health care benefits, and Black Agenda Report with glen ford and his fantastic group of writers call out the Obama administration with incredible passion AND knowledge of reality. World Can't Wait has incredible anti-war articles from people like Ray McGovern and Debra Sweet and our Dennis Loo (on the board iirc) and British Andy Worthington (who has done awesome work on the Gitmo tragedy) (I have been honored there at times and been cross-posted). World Can't Wait readers and writers walk the walk not just talks the talk!!!!

I could list hundreds of writers whom when I see their names must read their articles. And new writers who are passionate because they are new and fed up and often up close and personal to horrors like fracking have so much to share that is being shut out of mainstream media. Survivors of droning sorties have much to share. Residents of Iraq and Afghanistan have much to share about the reality there. Residents of Libya and Syria or anywhere.

Colbert and Stewart also unearth hypocrisy and I give them big points for that.

Chris Hayes goes far in his corporate-sponsored show at times.

Sometimes NewsHour does good work. Sometimes Frontline.

I have only touched on what is out there and even what I have come across and when i post this comment I will feel guilty about not having listed more and more of my favorite writers and more sites. Yes, there are whack jobs out there. Sometimes I come across them and hopefully leave them alone. I do my best with my knowledge and my intuition and my passion.

I get that I am considered by some on open salon a "whack job" myself. Maybe you do. So be it. Freedom of speech is important.

I write from my own heart, mind, experience and conscience. Best as I can.

I feel like Amy. How can people take issue with wanting what Stein emphasizes as important, PEOPLE, PEACE AND PLANET???? Why does that freak people out so much? The Constitution matters, why doesn't it seem to matter these days with so many Democratic Americans or Republican for that matter? Empathy with those here and abroad suffering? The horrifying numbers of humans impacted by our war machine? Our own troops dying from wars or at their own tragic hands? What is so troubling to so many people with caring about those things????

I am glad you engaged with me. Thanks for that, JS. I am sorry I get defensive sometimes. They say there are two intentions that run individuals I have read. The intent to protect, or the intent to explore. We all must learn to be more courageous and explore more than protect (ego or whatever) in this what Maddow has called "ethical freakshow of a universe." We are in deadly crisis as members of the human family and the planet.

best, libby
Well put, as always, Stuart!!! Deck chairs indeed. I agree with your the prognosis. Jill Stein was for PEOPLE, PEACE AND PLANET. What is the status quo government for really? The matrix of the military industrial medical industrial security media complex is dooming all of us. Moral bankruptcy and amoral violence. best, libby
Libby,

Thank you for answering some of my questions with a very comprehensive response. As a follow-up ...

1) Saddam's saber rattlin' and consequences. No, I don't believe it's "tragic" that Americans don't care about the details. Just this morning, on the news, I heard that an armed robber was killed by the shop's owner in Philadelphia. My response, "good". I think most people have a gut instinct about people and situations based on universally-accepted guidelines. Some may claim it's simplistic, to which I respond, well I'm sure there's a way to "rationalize" every heinous act. Rapist? Well, that guy was beaten by his father, his mother was a drug addict, and he learned how to treat women from a stripclub. Can't blame him. (bullshit)

2) In your proposed "rich-run-the-world" theory, wouldn't the uber-rich have access to all available data from the best scientists? If so, why do half of the ten richest people in the world have homes in Japan, if it is so radiated?

3) You never did answer my question about the actual picture readers should have in their minds when you throw-around the phrase "mainstream media". Should it only be the CEO's face we think about? What about all of the researchers, writers, support personnel, producers, and reporters who work at "mainstream media"? Don't you think they are compassionate, intelligent people, many of whom are minorities, women, LGBT-oriented, etc. that would find ways to use their position in media to spin the news in ways that allow them to sleep at night? Or are you suggesting that everyone in mainstream media must prostitute themselves and their ideals to "toe-the-corporate-line"?

Best wishes.