The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Our ambivalence about Evil Dictators

I heard Juan Williams, who is a tool of this administration, interviewing Condi Rice, who is a tool in this administration, on NPR this morning. The usual questions with the usual non-answers. He asked if having troops in the gulf region compromised our diplomatic efforts. She said "The president has said many times that war is his last option." (Brrawwwk! Whistle!) It really amazes me that this administration thinks that by repeating words over and over again, that they have some meaning. Nobody actually believes Bush when he says war is his last option. I can think of hundreds of options he still has besides war, but that is the one he is going to choose. What is even more galling is that they seem to be getting away with it. I can't believe that just by repeating something obviously false that people fall in line to believe him. Who knew our system was so very fragile?

Then, Williams asked some question like, what would be so bad about delaying the invasion, waiting for the inspections and disarmament to happen? Condi said, "We cannot delay because there is a dictator in Iraq." This is the line of argument I'm so tired of. We are just shocked, SHOCKED, that there is a dictator somewhere in the world. Never mind that we brought his party to power. Never mind that we armed him with weapons. Never mind that we didn't care a fig when he "gassed his own people". Never mind that we left him in power after the last gulf war. Never mind that he was such an unimportant issue that he was never brought up by Bush in the campaign, and never brought up in public until last September.

The US shows an incredible tolerance for evil dictators. Many of them are our allies, from Musharref in Pakistan to Putin in Russia. In fact, we don't just support evil dictators, we have a long history of overthrowing relatively enlightened leaders in order to put evil dictators in place. Patrice Lumumba was replaced by evil dictator Joseph Mobutu by the CIA in the Congo in 1960. Salvadore Allende was replaced by evil dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile, I think that was 1973. The CIA elevated Manuel Noriega to power. Just this February, our CIA tried to do it again and overthrow the government of Venezuela and replace it with evil dictators. (The Venezuelans actually had the stones to take to the streets and stand up for their democratically elected leader, though, God bless 'em, and that coup failed.) Our love for evil dictators is such that the CIA actually runs a school in Georgia, funded by US-taxpayer dollars, called the School of the Americas, which trains Latin American law enforcement to terrorize their own populace. Noriega is a proud alumnus, as are many people who were on the wrong side of the fights in Nicaragua and El Salvador, to name just a few. And the CIA toppled the government in Iraq many decades ago, clearing the way for the ascendancy of Saddam's Baath party.

Some other current evil dictatorships include North Korea and Burma. The Burmese government is so evil and repressive they make Saddam look like an amateur. Somehow we aren't marching off to war in Burma, though.

As to Saddam, we've all heard Fox news going on about how he has "gassed his own people", but we have yet to hear them mention that he gassed them using helicopters he bought from us (or that the broker of that deal was Don Rumsfeld - see "The Saddam in Rumsfeld's Closet"). In fact, it is well documented that we sold Saddam not only helicopters, but lots of chemical and biological weapons. In fact, congress tried to stop those kinds of sales after Saddam gassed the Kurds, but that legislation was vetoed . . . by Reagan. Saddam was our bestest buddy during the Iran-Iraq war, and we (by "we" I mean the Reagan administration, and especially Poppy Bush since Reagan was out of it) happily gave him all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. We even used our satellite photos to help him target Iranian troops with the poison gas that we gave him.

Are you starting to smell the hypocrisy yet? (Of course, it turns out that we were actually selling Iran weapons, too (and by "we" here I mean Poppy Bush, Weinberger, Poindexter, North, etc.) even though we were calling the Iranians terrorists at the time - so the people who were arming them were _really_ "helping the terrorists". Poindexter and North are felons whose convictions were overturned only by technicalities. Poindexter finds himself in the highest echelons of the current administration, by the way, so maybe helping terrorists is not such a bad thing, after all). So Saddam fits a familiar pattern of being an evil dictator built up by arms contractors who then requires a military action to disarm - we've seen it with Noriega, in Iraq, with the Taliban, etc. You'll note that arms contractors profit on both ends of that cycle. Poppy Bush personally profits enormously by all of this selling arms to people we then have to take out with our armed forces because he is a director of the Carlyle group ("Blowback" is not only a well-known consequence of CIA meddling in the world, but also a nifty money-making racket). And of course all of that blood money will be inherited by George Jr.

Why can't people wake up and smell the bullshit? I realize that it is a hard lesson in growing up to discover that the leaders of your country are not only flawed humans, but rather evil ones at that. But most of the people who are blinded to this are the same ones who were happy to opine and rage against an evill blowjob. How can we be naive enough to think that decisions in this country, especially this particular decision to invade Iraq, are made on the basis of humanitarian concern?. We make decisions based on "National Security", which usually means "Which arms contractors stand to profit?"

Why can't anyone discuss the real motives for this war? Iraq sits on top of the world's second largest supply of oil, North Korea has nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them across Asia and we aren't going to war with them, NO link between Al Queda and Iraq has been established (despite Rumsfeld and Cheney's desperation to find one and/or pretend there is one), and Iraq has been shown by people who monitor such things to pose no threat to American citizens _unless_ we invade them). But why do they continue to insult our intelligence with the "Saddam has to go because he is a bad man" propaganda?

Howler Watch

Somerby comments on the press's pathetic, scared, scripted, performance at the Bush press conference, and also issues another warning about the media and its treatment of Democratic candidates (this time it is Kerry).

Doubleplusgood Watch

Here is an example of an interesting technique through which the Bushies control their message in the media. They find out what people want, then they claim that their (already chosen) policy will bring it about, despite all logic. By throwing us off with this kind of doublethink, they keep the debate unbalanced and illogical, to the point where eventually people just have to base their policy choices on "belief" instead of thinking things through. Perhaps you can see the technique at work in the title of the article, "Bush says ousting Hussein could aid peace in the Mideast". So, people obviously want peace in the mideast. Bush wants a war. His solution? Tell people that his war will bring about peace.

This same argument works with democracy in Iraq. People would like to see democracy, instead of the dictatorship of Saddam in Iraq. Bush's message? His war will bring about democracy. Bush's tax cut will improve the economy (and bring budget surpluses). Increased "accountability" for public schools will improve their performance and education in general. Attacking an Arab state will make us safer from Islamic retaliation! See, once you move the debate out of the realm of logic, and into the world of belief, you can do almost anything. You must _believe_ that war is peace, Winston.

Jakob the Liar Watch

Sorry, of course I mean Bush. A blogger has compiled a list of "lies, distortions, and deception" from this administration.

Humor Watch

If you read Thomas Friedman at all, check out this hilarious parody of his columns.

Also, here is a not-so-humorous essay from Barry Crimmins on Dennis Miller, and how he has sold himself out to the current power structure.

Finally, and most importantly, a new addition to Get Your War On!!

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