A Look at Our Friends and Foes Chosen For Us by Our Government
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.