Imperialism and Its Despotic Friends: An Alliance for Money and Power Dragging the World Through Terror and Wars
Some people, when you talk to them about the goings on in the world, will tell you that it’s become a dangerous world, that there are too many problems without an easy answer and that things are complicated. If you’re one of those people who think like that, I say you’re wrong! Things are actually not that complicated.
Now, I’m not one who will simplify things to avoid a sober and realistic analysis of the socioeconomic, political-economic and geopolitical realities of our times. Nor do I paint things in black and white and make uncalled for generalizations or give overly simplistic or infantile explanations, leaving out information vital to our understanding of the world around us. I always thought, for example, that a “creator” creating the entire cosmos and everything in it in 6 days and “resting” on the seventh was too simplistic, lazy and infantile, leaving far too many questions unanswered. But, sometimes much of, if not all, the current “problems” do have one single source. If you happen to have a tumor growing in your body, you may feel a multitude of symptoms, from pain to lack of appetite or sleep to having fever to throwing up etc. Likewise, all or most of the problems and danger spots in the world that we see or hear about today, such as terrorism, wars, massacres, assassinations, human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine, political chaos and instability, economic crises, famine and mass starvation and rapidly spreading infectious diseases can be traced to one source: world imperialism headed by the U.S. government – the empire of large multinational banks and other giant corporations, headquartered in a few industrialized nations’ capitals, under the leadership of the U.S. military industrial complex, headquartered in Washington – which is the government of the multibillionaires who are the one tenth of one percent of the US population who set the agenda and policies of the US government with far reaching policy and socioeconomic implications throughout the world, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has been turned into a hotbed of violence and chaos threatening to drag the world into a dangerous conflagration, all thanks to the US. Those who say that there are too many problems and dangers without an easy solution need to reconsider.
Los Angeles Times reported (January 19) that on Sunday, January 18, Israel attacked a Hezbollah convoy with an airstrike “in the Quneitra region of southern Syria, close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights”, killing a number of its members and an Iranian general who was accompanying them. Iran confirmed the unprovoked attack the following day. On January 26, AP wrote from Jerusalem about the attack, writing that “striking one of the group’s positions … for the first time since the sides fought a war” in 2006, “Israel has opened a new front … as part of a risky policy that could easily backfire by triggering retaliation”. The retaliation came yesterday when Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military vehicle, killing two soldiers and wounding 7. Israel responded to the retaliation by shelling inside Lebanon and threatened “an all out war”, which the US State Department once again quickly defended, repeating the line that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, saying nothing about the Israeli airstrike that caused the Hezbollah retaliation, in the first place. “Israel has the right to defend itself” really means two things: “Israel has the right to attack anyone at anytime” and “only Israel has the right to retaliate”.
Incidentally, the US considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, which should always make one think the group must be doing something right. And, indeed, they are. Hezbollah is the organization that was able to drive Israel out of Lebanon, which it had invaded and occupied since 1982. In 2006, 4 years after being kicked out, Israel attacked Lebanon again, undertaking massive bombings, similar to what they did last August to the defenseless people of Gaza, who had no way of protecting or defending themselves (remember: “only Israel has the right to defend itself”), or fighting back, save some harmless homemade missiles that landed in the desert. Not so in Lebanon where Hezbollah fighters made Israel suffer heavy losses and end its attack without any military or political gain. It’s that patriotic and spirit of resistance that has won the group the support of even most of Lebanon’s Christians as well as the honor of being on US “terror list”. incidentally, the US has another longer “terror list”: the list of nations and leaders it targets with its own terror, but that’s another topic.
Also, worth noting is that when Israel Attacks a convoy belonging to a group inside another country, without that group having attacked it first, it’s reported by US media as an airstrike with a legitimate purpose, such as preventing the group from obtaining weapons. That’s how the Israeli airstrike of January 18 was reported by news media, including AP, which I quoted above. But, when reporting Hezbollah’s retaliatory strike, it’s a “terrorist attack”, just as Hamas’ firing its primitive and useless rockets was reported which the group fired in retaliation for the siege and starving of Gaza and the “targeted killings” of some and arresting of hundreds of others of its members, which went largely unreported.
“While Israeli experts agree that Israel would never want to help al-Qaida”, AP article of January 26 continued, “in this case Israel and the al-Qaida-linked fighters have as a common goal opposing Hezbollah and its alliance with the Syrian government. This puts them at least indirectly on the same side”. That’s right; Israel – and the US – are fighting “on the same side” as Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, including ISIS. US imperialism and its client settler state, Israel, have no problem working with groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, as long as they help overthrow the Syrian government, even if it means creating another fertile ground for terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda to come in and set up shop, as it happened after their regime change in Iraq and Libya, where they replaced stable and secular governments with groups of Islamic fundamentalists vying for power and committing mass murder and before that, in 1980’s, in Afghanistan by supporting Mujaheddin who were the precursors of the Taliban.
The US even cooperated with and gave its military and political support to fascists and Neo-Nazis in Ukraine to help overthrow the democratically elected government in Kiev, and continued its full support to the new government which included the Neo-Nazis, even while they were massacring those in the East who opposed the coup, calling them “pro-Russia separatists” and calling on the coup government to crush them with heavy weapons. Hundreds of people were burnt alive in a trade union building in Odessa, when Neo-Nazis burned the building to ground, without any US corporate media reporting on it. Compare that to a Palestinian killing an Israeli occupation soldier in desperation. By the time Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, stood with Senator John McCain, shoulder to shoulder with the victorious Neo-Nazis in Maidon square in Kiev, handing them cookies to celebrate their victory, seeing US government officials standing next to Neo-Nazis was not as much of a shock anymore to those who had been following the events in Syria. By then, we had already heard about the cooperation between the CIA and Al Qaeda forces to overthrow the Syrian government.
The AP goes on to explain that Israel doesn’t mind that Syrian government and Al Qaeda forces with whom it’s cooperating are killing each other. Thats not a first; that’s what Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988: “let them kill each other off”, he said. That’s the attitude of the US about the people of Middle East: honor and bow to those who help with imperialist agenda for total hegemony and control over the region and its oil, including barbaric medieval and despotic kings like the late King Abdullah who died a few days ago, who beheaded people, cut arms and legs for punishment, stoned gays to death, ordered journalists whipped and jailed and treated women like cattle, but when it comes to those who refuse to toe the Washington line, like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine (and in the future Iran), invade, bomb and overthrow their governments or sabotage and try to incite opposition as in Venezuela and elsewhere.
Present at King Abdullah’s funeral, wasn’t just US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia or Secretary of State John Kerry or Vice President Joe Biden. It was in the words of a TV reporter “who’s who” of the U.S. government, including top ranking House and Senate members such as John McCain and Nancy Pelosi and of course President Obama and his wife, who in the presence of the Saudi men coming forward to greet Mr. Obama, had to stand behind her husband, ignored by the Royal male family members and all-male Saudi government officials who, one by one, stepped forward to shake hands with Obama, turning and walking away from the “First Lady” because they don’t consider women equal human beings or worthy of respect. King Abdullah to whom Washington made sure to pay its utmost respect didn’t allow women to even drive. Women in Saudi Arabia don’t have the same rights as men. Their testimony in court doesn’t count as much as men’s. They don’t even have custody rights over their own children.
Obama left his India visit, leaving in the middle of a spectacular festival of songs and acts and performances the Indian government had prepared for him and his wife (a big mistake) to attend the funeral of a king who had personally spent about $200 billion over the years to promote the most extreme and fanatical branch of Islam, the Wahhabi sect, which forbids girls from attending school and stones women to death for leaving their husbands.
But, none of that matters because the King gave hundreds of millions of dollars to terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS to overthrow the Syrian government, which the US and Israel wanted to see gone, sent troops to crack down pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, which has a pro-US dictatorship and is home to a large US military base including the Fifth Fleet of US Navy, right next to Iran, was hostile against Iran, was indifferent towards Israel’s genocide against Palestinians and even cooperated with Israel “in regional security matters”, helped the U.S. drive down the price of oil to squeeze Russian and Iranian economies that are dependent on it and bought a huge amount of expensive and sophisticated weaponry from the US and its allies, returning much of its oil money back to US weapons companies, ostensibly and supposedly to defend “against Iran”, which never threatened it. These are some of the services the Saudi King provided to US imperialism.
As if all that outpouring of honor and respect that the US political establishment paid to a brutal Islamist despot wasn’t enough, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, established a “research and essay competition in honor of King Abdullah” hosted by the National Defense University. The Web site of the Department of Defense (DoD) says: “The king, who died Jan. 23 at age 90, oversaw the modernization of his country’s military during the time he spent as commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a position he held from 1963 until he became king in 2005”. He said: “the essay competition is a fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch”. Yes, who could forget the billions of dollars of weapons he bought from the US to “modernize” his country’s military?
Number two in the pack of imperialist wolves, British prime minister David Cameron, also praised Abdullah for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths” and ordered Flags to be put at half-mast at official buildings across London on Friday. US secretary of state John Kerry called him a “man of wisdom and vision”. “This is a sad day,” he said, adding: “The United States has lost a friend”. The praise for the medieval King in whose honor, Michelle Obama had to stand back and be ignored by the all male group of dignitaries because she’s a woman, went from outrageous to ridiculous and outright laughable when IMF head Christine Lagarde said: “In a very discreet way, he was a strong advocate of women”!
Offering effusive condolences, President Obama said: “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.” Yes, the conviction to stone women and gays to death, the conviction to cut arms and legs and behead people and the conviction to whip journalists who dare write anything critical of the government. By the consent of the King, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, to be meted out 50 at a time, to prevent him from dying before all 1000 lashes were completed, simply for writing in a blog dedicated to freedom of speech.
The King also leaves behind a country where Christians are banned from practising their faith, no church has been allowed to be built despite the presence of an estimated 1 million Roman Catholics, and where some have been detained for worshipping in their own homes. Compare that to the Iranian society, which the U.S. and its allies consider an enemy, where the largest Jewish Population in Middle East outside of Israel openly and freely practice their religion in their many synagogues and Christian Armenians practice theirs in their many churches. And, while you’re making comparisons, also compare the reaction and attitude and statements of US leaders about the untimely death of democratically elected and popular President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, with their statements for and reaction to the death of the Jihadist King. And, imagine their reaction from Washington to London to Paris when Fidel Castro dies. That alone should tell you all there is to know, but there is more.
The fact of the matter is: for imperialism, it all comes down to money and profits for corporations. Guardian of London noted: “European relations with Saudi Arabia are particularly affected by commercial concerns. France and the UK especially have vied to sign huge arms contracts with their biggest Gulf ally”. “The Saudis are too important economically and politically. Financial concerns are key”, said Julien Barnes-Dacey, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Faced with criticism for ignoring and whitewashing the atrocities of the dictator, Obama recited the old Pentagon line of “constructive engagement” that was used in 1980’s when President Reagan was being criticized for the close ties between the U.S. and its ally, the apartheid regime of South Africa.
What I hope I’ve been able to show in this piece is that there is no humanity or benevolence or good faith or good intentions of any kind or any moral values in anything that the U.S. military industrial complex and its allies in Europe do, despite disingenuous statements about freedom, democracy, liberty and human rights. It’s all about corporate profits for their giant corporations and their billionaire shareholders. To achieve maximum possible profits and accumulate maximum possible wealth of the world, the government of the 1% – or 0.1% – wages wars, commits massacres, overthrows governments, executes coups, supports brutal dictators, crushes revolutions, cooperates with and supports terror groups and Neo-Nazis, Attacks and invades countries and helps with the genocide against the Palestinian people with the help of its allies who are partners to its crimes. The group of bullies headed by the U.S. is thus directly and indirectly responsible for most of the instabilities, wars, terror and violence that’s engulfing our world today. Martin Luther King Jr. said 47 years ago that the US was “the biggest purveyor of violence in the world” and he had not seen a fraction of what it’s doing today.
A tragedy and injustice of enormous magnitude is taking place in Palestine and the only reason it’s continuing without an end is because not enough people in the West, especially in the U.S., which is the main enabler of this unfolding catastrophe, know about it, and the little that they do know is what their corporate and Zionist media has told them, which without exaggeration, is all lies, and I don’t say that lightly. We all have heard that two peoples are fighting over the same piece of land, that this has been going on for ages, that it’s a clash of religions, and that there is no solution or at least an easy solution, etc. The “fairest” of such assessments, held by some liberals, puts the blame equally on “both sides” and holds that they both must make sacrifices and compromises for a lasting peace. Well, the truth is something entirely different, on all these accounts. One way to avoid a just solution, in fact, is to posit that there is no solution. That removes the burden of doing what’s right and just and dodges responsibility. One must ask herself or himself why is it that this “irreconcilable conflict” between two peoples took place only in Palestine. The fact is that a colonial settler state was established by occupying Palestine, through brute force, including mass killings and terror, by European Jews, using their political and military advantage, with the goal of ethnically cleansing Palestine, which was controlled by the British Empire at the time, of its Arab and other non-Jewish population, in order to create a “Jewish state”, which was and still is understood as for “Jews only”. The “Jewish state” was then to be settled by anyone from anywhere in the world who is a Jew or claims to be a Jew, in homes built by the state on land confiscated from non-Jewish Palestinians, after they have been evicted and made refugees and their homes have been demolished.
What’s important to understand is that there cannot be a settler state for a people of a particular ethnicity or religion, without serious and disastrous consequences for the people being evicted and displaced to cleanse the land and make room for settlers coming to settle on the land. The whole idea is racist and unjust and will by necessity and by purpose involve massacres, “targeted killings”, home raids, violent arrests, incarcerations, torture, home demolitions, military checkpoints, wall of separation and acts of resistance by the occupied that will give an excuse to the occupier to commit even more massacres, more detentions, more incarcerations and more atrocities. What should be clear is that the idea of Zionism is a racist idea, which tries to drive away one people to make room for another. This is the problem. This is what results in the killings and massacres and acts of resistance and even more massacres. What will end the “conflict” and killings is an end to ethnic cleansing and purposeful extermination of the Palestinian people. This is the root of all problems and this is what needs to stop.
Any ideology that prefers one group of people over another, and worse displaces one to settle another is unjust and will lead to atrocities, massacres and genocide. Such racist ideologies, if left unchecked, will lead to genocide. Genocide is the only conclusion of such racist ideas, if left to continue, and that’s exactly what’s taking place. I see no other way to end this catastrophe and genocide except by spreading the truth to as many people as possible, especially in the US, and urge them to boycott Israel.
The photo shows Israeli occupation Forces (IOF) moving an arrested Palestinian child to a military vehicle to take to prison. As reported many times by human rights organizations, Israel routinely arrests and tortures Palestinian children. There are currently hundreds of such children in Israel’s prisons. According to Palestinian Commission of Detainees, Israeli forces kidnapped 3755 Palestinian children in the last four years, including 1266 in 2014.
A government can say many things about itself. It can claim to be “exceptional”, with high moral values, tasked with helping other nations, on a mission from God to spread democracy and freedom around the world and much more. But if you’re really interested, as a citizen, to know the real character of your government, all you need to look at is whom it considers its friends and whom its foes. That alone will tell you all you need to know.
So, let’s see who are the close friends and allies of the U.S. and who its enemies. One of its closest allies is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where in 2014 alone, 87 people were beheaded at the order of its King, King Abdullah, who died the other day, similar to how ISIS kills its kidnapped captives. Any criticism of the Kingdom will subject the person to prison and lashes. A journalist who only criticized the government was sentenced to 10 years in prison and one thousand lashes. They only stopped whipping him because one more lash would have almost certainly killed him. A police officer who videotaped a recent beheading of a woman, was arrested and will probably be beheaded, too. The punishment for petty theft in the Kingdom is cutting off the arm. Bigger theft has the punishment of cutting off of both arms and legs. They also stone people to death in the case of infidelity or homosexuality. Women in Saudi Arabia aren’t even second class citizens. They’re treated like cattle owned by either their father or husband. They don’t even have the right to drive. They also are not recognized as the legal guardians of their own children. That right is entirely the husband’s.
Another close ally and friend of the U.S. is the racist and apartheid state of Israel that has for the last 67 years, been occupying and stealing Palestinian land, demolishing their homes, evicting and displacing them from their homes and settling those who are or claim to be Jewish on land cleansed of Palestinians. Non-Jews in Israel have no rights that the state is obliged to respect. They can’t own any property, must carry and show an ID and cannot use the same roads as the Jews. Millions of Palestinians have been driven from their homes into refugee camps where they live in squalid conditions without adequate clean water or services. Palestinians can’t go anywhere without going through military checkpoints, where they are stopped and searched and subjected to beatings and humiliation. Going through such military checkpoints often takes several hours or an entire day. Pregnant women have at times given birth at a checkpoint or suffered miscarriage. Palestinian homes are often raided and members of family taken without a charge or explanation and jailed where they are beaten and tortured or killed. Such charge less arrests and imprisonments are called “administrative detention”. Human rights organizations have reported on children as young as 13 years old being jailed and beaten or tortured. Every few years, Israel finds an excuse to conduct a massive attack on the defenseless Palestinian population of Gaza, using tanks, fighter jets, attack helicopters and navy vessels in what they call “mowing the lawn”. In the last such massacre, last August, they killed about 2000 Palestinians in Gaza, including 500 children, who had already been condemned to living under the Israeli siege which amounted to an open air prison with nowhere for people to go. The purpose of the siege was to starve them, or as the Israeli officials called it, to “put them on a diet”. Basically, what they’re doing is ethnic cleansing and displacement of an occupied people to make room for new settlements for foreign settlers, which is strictly and unequivocally prohibited by international laws. Israel is also in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions, despite the fact that the US has vetoed many more. Their actions against the indigenous Palestinian population is so egregious and inhuman and barbaric that the U.S. often stands alone or almost alone in the UN as the defender and protector of the apartheid Zionist state. Even its closest industrialized allies such as Britain, France, Germany, Canada and others often vote with the rest of the world in condemning their illegal actions, atrocities and massacres. Yet, the US government gives the settler state $3 billion every year, unconditionally, which is a staggering amount, considering its small population.
Other US allies include the most backward, dictatorial, medieval, Islamic fundamentalist kingdoms of the Persian Gulf, such as Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait , Yemen and others, each with a brutal dictator like in Saudi Arabia. Egypt is another ally where the military overthrew an elected government and established once again a military dictatorship and which arrests and jails for years any critic, including journalists. Same is in the Kingdom of Jordan, another dictator closely allied with the U.S. The U.S. and its allies, including Israel’s Prime Minister and other top Israeli officials, as well as the head of the Egyptian military dictatorship and the President of Turkey, another US ally, were among participants in the front line of the so called “March for freedom of expression” in Paris, after the terror arrack on Charlie Hebdo magazine! There could not have been a bigger show of hypocrisy.
Now, let’s see who the US considers among its enemies: Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Cuba. The difference between these and the group mentioned before is that the government in these countries place people’s needs over the profits of imperialist nations’ multinational corporations. And, with the exception of Cuba, they all have elected their presidents through elections, unlike US allies in Middle East. Even in Cuba, which doesn’t hold presidential elections, it’s the interests of the working people that the “dictatorship” protects not those of international banks and a small minority of super wealthy parasites and oppressors like in capitalist dictatorships. Compare the reaction of both the U.S. government and the corporate media to the death of the brutal Saudi Dictator-for-life, King Abdullah, who ordered beheadings and arm and leg amputations and forbids women from driving, to their reaction to the death of Venezuela’s democratically elected President, Hugo Chavez. That alone should tell you a lot.
None of this should come as a surprise. If a government represents the interests of the corporate oligarchy, which also owns all the mass media, as is the case in the US, it can try, using its vast propaganda machine, to portray itself as the protector of democracy and freedom in the world and claim to be a gift to humanity from God – which would be true if humanity were defined as the class of billionaires alone – but it cannot escape some naked truths that are out there for everyone who is interested to see.
You don’t have to be an economist to see. For example, how banks that make fraudulent loans, which they know are a time bomb, get bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, causing huge deficits, which working people have to pay and make up for and suffer its consequences by losing jobs, benefits and social services. You don’t have to understand how imperialist countries such as the US, Britain, Germany, France and others, whose banks cause economic mayhem by extending bad loans, impose huge debts with high interest rates on poorer nations, such as Greece, using the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, in order to bail out the giant international banks that caused the problems in those countries, in the first place, that the working people end up paying the price for, with back breaking “austerity measures”, making them even poorer and keeping them poor, while making billionaires bankers even richer. And, you don’t have to understand the politics of militarism and endless wars, under the pretext of “war on terror”, or how imperialism helped create much of the terror groups operating today in Middle East to undermine governments it finds undesirable to realize that there is something fundamentally wrong here. Just look at how one by one, the U.S. and its allies topple governments, making formerly secular and stable nations ungovernable, which then attracts Islamist terrorists, who fill the vacuum and provide the pretext for even more wars. They did that in 1980’s in Afghanistan to cause the overthrow of a secular pro-Soviet government, by helping to bring to power the Taliban, whom they later went to war with in 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They completely destroyed Iraq, replacing the secular and stable state with a fundamentalist Shia government and making it ungovernable, which drew in opportunist terror groups. They did it again in Libya and they’re trying to do it in Syria, where they armed and funded Islamist Jihadists and terrorists, including ISIS, among others, with the help of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf states, in order to overthrow yet another secular and stable government. Is there any wonder there are terrorists wreaking havoc in the region? Is there any wonder there is no stability which the US says it wants, when all it’s done and is doing is destabilizing the region, bringing to power Islamists and creating chaos which gives the US more reasons for war?
You don’t have to consider any of that. As I said, just look who the friends and foes of the US are. That alone will tell you enough.
What’s disgraceful about the monarchy of Saudi Arabia isn’t just its medieval, reactionary and misogynist leaders like King Abdullah who died yesterday at the age of 90 and his brother who is in line to take the throne, or the beheadings that they do everyday for punishment, including of their political opponents, or how they treat women, not even allowing them to drive. All that is disgraceful, despicable and revolting in this 21st Century, and to be expected of such backward, corrupt and despotic religious fundamentalists, who sell their vast amount of oil to support their lavish and wasteful lifestyle and use billions of dollars of the proceeds to spread the most extreme and fundamentalist branch of Islam called Wahhabi, which is the driving ideology behind groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. That too is disgraceful. But, what’s even more disgraceful and despicable is the US government that considers such reactionary despotic and fundamentalist criminals their close ally in the region, along with other despots like the King of Jordan or General Al Sissi of Egypt, who overthrew an elected government and established a military dictatorship and who kills and tortures his opponents and jails journalists. It really is disgraceful how the U.S. sells billions of dollars of weapons to such dictatorships and criminal regimes like Saudi Arabia and turns a blind eye on how they fund terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS, which end up killing Americans and other Westerners. It’s disgraceful how the U.S. joins forces with such reactionary despots to undermine and overthrow governments they find unhelpful with their plans for world domination for their multinational corporations.
President Obama only had praise for King Abdullah on the occasion of his death yesterday because he cooperated with Washington, not so much in “the war on terror” that the President speaks of and that President Bush and Cheney before him spoke of – Saudi leaders have contributed to terrorism, not acted against it – but because he cooperated with the U.S. imperialism to advance “US interests”, which of course means the interests of US multinational corporations.
King Abdullah, whom CNN and other corporate news outlets can’t stop admiring, was a major contributor to the barbaric Jihadis of ISIS, which the US has declared war on. And while ISIS fighters were only massacring the Syrian people, the US was okay with them and their barbaric beheadings because, like Saudi Arabia, the US too found the Syrian government undesirable and wanted it gone. The US fight against ISIS started only after they became a threat to “US interests”. Compare the treatment of US corporate media of such a despicable despot as King Abdullah with their treatment of Fidel Castro or the late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, who didn’t cooperate with US corporate Empire to enrich US billionaires. There is of course no comparison. And, while we’re on the topic of US “friends” in Middle East, how can we forget the colonial settler state of Israel, which using US taxpayers’ money and the full support of US government, is committing ethnic cleansing and genocide against the occupied and defenseless people of Palestine? King Abdullah had no problem with that, either.
A barbaric misogynist despot who for geopolitical and economic reasons was a close US ally is dead and the corporate media and the corporate President only have kind words to say about him. Imperialism has absolutely no shame, no decency and no humanity. Their God is money and money knows no such unnecessary niceties as shame, decency or humanity.
Bill Maher isn’t just an Islamophobe and a misogynist, but also an idiot. He calls those who try to get Rush Limbaugh off the air “babies” who “don’t get free speech”. But apparently, he gets it. He lectures liberals that being liberal means tolerating all kinds of stupid shit thrown at people, including racist, xenophobic, misogynist garbage and total lies and misinformation, broadcast on public airwaves, in the name of “free speech”. We, as people, apparently should not have a say as to what gets sent into our living rooms. Anyone who objects and tries to change that is a little baby and doesn’t understand free speech. If you order food and instead, day after day, get harmful junk that makes you sick, you’d object, or try to change that, but I suppose receiving false information and poisonous ideas and lies and prejudices fed into our and our children’s brains is okay.
But, Bill Maher is right about one thing: trying to get Rush Limbaugh off the air is a “liberal” thing. The reason liberals target Limbaugh is because he’s the most offensive, not because he’s different, in any real or fundamental way, from all the others who spew all kinds of racist, xenophobic and misogynist rants and lies and participate in the brainwashing of the people, everyday. He’s singled out, because he goes too far even for liberals and crosses their line of sensibility and sensitivity. But, Bill Maher proudly proclaims that he’s the true liberal because he has no such demarcation line. For him, everything goes, in the name of “free speech”.
Now, why do I call him an idiot and what’s wrong with “free speech”? Because there is no such thing. Speech that can be heard by thousands and millions of people isn’t free, at all. In fact, it’s quite expensive and only big corporations with big money can afford to purchase mass media outlets that can reach so many people and hire racist, homophobic, Islamophobic idiots and liars like Limbaugh, O’Reily, Hannity and Bill Maher and through them broadcast their own opinions and mindset to millions of people, including the very idea that anyone with the kind of money that takes to own Newscorp, Time Warner, HBO or others, should have the ability and authority to broadcast their ideas to the population, even though only a very tiny section of the population can do that and naturally they would propagate and promote only the ideas and ideology of that tiny minority, shaping the society’s culture and groupthink, which is anathema to the principles of democracy, which Bill Maher prides himself to possess.
I don’t try to get Limbaugh off the air, because I don’t think the problem is any one individual talkshow host; rather, I believe the problem is systemic, as in the system, that allows and produces such disparity, absence of democracy and propagation of lies, disinformation and brainwashing, which Mr. Maher himself is a part of. Case in point: he got to say to tens of thousands in his last HBO show, and thousands more read on the Internet, his idea of “free speech”, which he “gets”, not necessarily because his ideas are the right ones, but because he happens to be hired for big bucks by a corporation, which has no problem with what he says and which expects him to say the “right” things. I’m sure he remembers all too well how he got fired in 2001, by a big corporation with the “right” to “free speech”, which was not free and on the contrary was quite expensive, for not saying the right thing, meaning the line of the corporation. He realized then that “free speech” for him wasn’t quite the same as for the corporation that hired him. And precisely because their “free” speech had been paid for, it gave them the authority to stop Mr. Maher’s own “free speech”, which we, as well as Mr. Maher himself realized he didn’t have, after all. So, for him to forget that corporate and powerful part of that equation is quite ironic.
Now, I called him an idiot, but I have to qualify that. People like Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh, with whom he has more similarities than most liberals would admit, are products of a profit based system, who learn how to sell themselves to the corporate world to become “successful”. It’s a “win-win situation”, as they, from Wolf Blitzer to Rev. Al Sharpton and from the NPR reporters to PBS broadcasters all serve the corporations with their propaganda needs. As for the rest of us, we only hear about that elusive “free speech” and get to adopt their ideas of what it even is.
After repeated killings of unarmed innocent black men by racist white police in several cities in the U.S. engendered a national movement against police brutality and helped raise consciousness among people about the issue, the police and their supporters within the government were put on the defensive. Then, a deranged individual killed two police officers in Statin Island, NY, and suddenly the police found the opportunity to go on the offensive and push back against the protesters, even going as far as turning their backs on Mayor de Blasio during his eulogy for the killed officers for having criticized the police for choking unarmed Eric Garner to death for which no one was indicted.
A similar thing happened on 9/11 of 2001, when a terrorist attack on the US put an end to “anti-globalization” protests against IMF, World Bank and neoliberal policies of the West, and gave the US a blank check to begin its endless wars, attack civil liberties at home and increase the level and breadth of its surveillance against its population.
What happened in Paris a week ago was even more similar to the terror attacks of 9/11 and its aftermath. After Israel massacred over 1200 defenseless people in Gaza, more than 500 of them children, awareness of the US/Israeli genocide in Palestine rose significantly in the World, including in Europe and anti-Zionist sentiment reached new heights. Then, some deranged individuals attack an Islamophobic pro-Israel publication and kill 12 of its staff and once again everything changes. The Zionist French media and political leadership go on the offense against pro-Palestine activists in France, arresting many, including a popular comedian, on charges of being antisemite and pro terrorism, not because of anything they did, but because of things they said! And this happened ironically and amazingly right after the entire French government led a “march for freedom of expression”, to defend the right of the Islamophobe magazine to say anything they want about Islam and Muslims! Apparently, the “March for freedom of expression” was not for those who criticize Israel. For them, there is a completely different standard. For them, speaking against Israel is hate speech and aiding terrorism which is a punishable crime!
Good luck improving your relations with the Muslim world France!
I don’t support the assassination of the staff of a magazine, no matter how racist or prejudiced it is against a group of people. But, I also don’t support a magazine that mocks any group of people for their religion, especially if it’s one sided and focuses on one particular group of people, and especially if the target of its mockery are people against whom there already is too much prejudice and discrimination, which is the case with Muslims in Europe and specifically in France.
I don’t support a magazine that’s owned and controlled by a Zionist neocon who supports Israel and fires a cartoonist (Sine) on charges of anti semitism for being against Israel.
I also don’t support a sham and hypocritical “March for freedom of expression”, whose attendees, in front lines, include mass murderers like Benjamin Netanyahu, Al Sissi and Erdogan and European leaders, who for the sake of economic and strategic interests of large capital and greedy bankers that they represent and serve, maintain relations with the Zionist entity that commits genocide against the defenseless people of Palestine.
I also don’t support the racist and xenophobic atmosphere that these hypocritical leaders are creating so they can take away real freedom of expression in the name of “freedom of expression”. French authorities are now arresting people for posting their opinions on Facebook on charges of supporting terrorism. Clearly, the French political establishment is taking advantage of the xenophobic and racist atmosphere to attack freedom of expression, right after marching “for freedom of expression”. Clearly, a reactionary situation has been created, just as it happened in the U.S. after the attacks of 9/11, which U.S. imperialism took the most advantage of to attack people’s civil liberties and start new “endless” wars of imperial conquest. The same phenomenon is now taking place in France and the French imperialism is taking the most advantage of it.
So, no; je ne suis pas Charlie!