How Short Our Memories — 8 Comments

  1. Okay, I’m going to hop about here in response to your post. I’m gratified you felt strongly enough to make an entire post to respond to one of my comments, so I’ll happily attempt to reply to you.
    Your original post equated even pro-war American politicians who have expressed reservations about its progress with Tokyo Rose, a WW2 propaganda mouthpiece of the Japanese Empire.
    Now, that mightn’t be you seeking to quell dissent in relation to the war, but I would argue it is the intent of that piece’s original author. Only the most rabidly partisan Republican could even seek to equate the two. There is clearly a world of difference between democratically querying the progress of an expensive and bloody conflict halfway round the world and the enemy seeking to undermine military morale during a war.
    I mean, do you REALLY think that Hilary Clinton and the others actively desire the defeat of America? Really? Why would they desire that? What would they possibly gain compared to what they would lose? Those people aren’t stupid. Their patriotism is sound, but they question current foreign policy. Like I said, dissent is the hallmark of democracy.
    There is little doubt your current President has lied to you. The weapons of mass distraction, sorry, destruction, never existed. The dossier presented by Colin Powell at the UN was NOT the ‘most uptodate and reliable information available.’ It was a known farrago of lies concocted deliberately by British military intelligence to make the case for a war the UK and US leaderships desired. This was demonstrated by both the UK press and by Hans Blix before conflict commenced.
    For sure there were UN resolutions against Iraq. There are significantly more serious UN resolutions against Israel, but I don’t see America carpet-bombing Tel Aviv. If the US wants to be the world policeman, then it doesn’t matter what the UN say or do. If they want to respect the will of the global community, however, then why didn’t they start at the top of the offenders’ list and work down?
    East Timor, West Papua, Rwanda, Sudan… There are all manner of UN resolutions against all manner of horrors going on in the world. But America chose to pursue only one of those horrors. Why? Oil, of course. You’re running out, and this was an easy oil-grab.
    And to sweeten the deal, paid for with the lives of British and American troops, Cheney’s company has hoovered up billions of US tax dollars. Suitcases containing millions of US tax dollars have simply, and literally, vanished in Iraq. To what end? Hard to say, given that Iraq is a bigger mess now than it has been in hundreds of years, which is really saying something if you read the history of the region.
    I’m happy to discuss diversity and tolerance with you. You might be intrigued to know that so are the vast majority of the world’s Muslims. The big lie of the present era is that Muslims are in what you described as a ‘war of conscience’ with western civilisation. That somehow this is the Crusades Part Two, and it’s a fight to the death.
    That’s dangerous because seeking the eradication of over a billion people is obscene, which is where that thinking ends. It’s also dangerous because it’s a vicious circle.
    Militant responses to moderate Islam produces militant Islam, which produces 9-11s, which produces more militant responses, which leads to more moderate Muslims becoming militant, which leads to… Anyhow, you get my point, I guess.
    I’ve travelled throughout much of the Islamic world. In places like Egypt, Syria and Palestine, the people are wonderfully friendly, perplexed at why their way of living is under so much threat from another, and concerned about the upscaling of conflict around the planet. Sound familiar? Yup, they’re very like Americans right now.
    Furthermore, you can get a drink in those places, the local women can wear bikinis and make-up if they wish, and diversity is tolerated and warmly welcomed by the people, if not by the leaderships.
    But there are problems. A lack of democracy is a major issue in most of those countries in North Africa and the Middle East, especially in those places seen as ‘friendly’ by the US, and I’m thinking of Saudi and the gulf states in particular there, as well as Iran, which isn’t friendly.
    And when you consider that the combined economies of the Maghreb states amounts to less than that of Belgium, you can see that trade and inward investment are major issues too.
    I’d love nothing more than to see America move towards developing democracy throughout the Arab world. It’s what those people deserve and it’s the role that America and only America can currently achieve.
    But the current US leadership is not motivated by such lofty ideals. It’s interested only in what oil can be stolen at the cost of US lives. Resolving the Palestinian conflict would be the single biggest step towards peace globally, since the theft of their land and country by Israel is a major issue of anger and resentment to other Arab states. And if the sting was taken out of that anger, it would not be plausible or possible for the extremists in Pakistani madrassas (yup, another ‘friendly’ Islamic country, currently under military dictatorship, that I don’t see America overthrowing, despite their nuclear capacity) to preach hate to young people.
    We’re at a crossroads in world history, where America can either pursue a global peace and the spread of democracy in places that greatly desire it, or continue to occupy sovereign nations, lose their own troops and money, oversee civil wars and conflict, suffer terrorist attacks and support corrupt regimes worldwide, all in the name and interest of stealing oil and lining Halliburton’s deep, deep pockets.
    The world objects to the hypocrisy of the US leadership, and sees through the lies they feed the American people to the truth of their grubby motivations.
    If America is concerned about democracy, why won’t it push to see democracy introduced in Saudi, Egypt, Pakistan, in the apartheid state of Israel? If America is concerned about nuclear proliferation, why doesn’t it take action against Israel and Pakistan, two known nuclear powers in a tinderbox part of the world?
    Clearly the American leadership is not motivated by the things it says it is motivated by. Hence they are lying to you and continue to lie to you, all the while lining their pockets with Saudi kickbacks and stolen Iraqi oil and US tax dollars at the cost of American and Iraqi lives.

  2. OH, and just to add, I have indeed read Bush’s speeches. Often with horror.
    See here:
    And in relation to the outsourcing of US torture, something I omitted to mention above, you could usefully see here:
    And in relation to Iran and Israel, see here:
    In relation to Saudi, see here:
    In relation to American support for Saddam Hussein, see here:
    And in relation to the demonisation of Arabs in US media, see here:

    As you can see from the above links, I am fairly well informed about the global geo-politik going on here, both within the US, and around the world. I feel it is a terrible shame that the US public are not made aware of their leadership’s shoddy and dangerous involvement in foreign affairs. If they were, I am sure that they would inform their leaders that such activities are deeply un-American and run contrary to the very principles which founded the United States.

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  4. Hi brian, an interesting read from you and JC. I’m inclined to agree with JC for the most part – I view America as being founded on solid, decent principles, but the current administration is clearly (to many of us outside America, at least) a mouthpiece for greedy industry. I don’t claim to have the extensive knowledge that you or JC have, but it’s clear that America’s involvement in Iraq is vastly different to their involvement in somewhere like Sudan, where they’re still in the throes of the Darfur conflict. What’re your thoughts on the reason for this, if you reject the notion of oil being a factor?

  5. Unfortunately Brian, I have to say that I too am with JC. While it seems to be in the nature of most Americans to be well-meaning and generally decent folks, the current administration has developed a siege mentality towards their war. It was not a war backed entirely by public support and Congress got it tight to authorise it too.

    As JC said, the choice of states seen as allies by the US is bewildering. After all, in London, an Islamic school recently won a court case in which it was defending its sright to call Jews ‘pigs’ and Christians ‘Crusader animals’. That is frankly the most offensive threat to my religion I’ve heard in a while, and the school is bankrolled by Saudi money. Is this what they want to impose on people in England?

    I digress though. While I do think that America should foster democracy, it should also take itself out of the whole Israel situation. That has been nothing but bad news for all concerned, and I don’t see the point in supporting a nation that has actually started wars. The only thing that is happening is that America is being associated with Israel, and is getting a bad reputation off the back of that. Definitelly, Israel should be disarmed, because the day will come when their paranoia reches fever pitch, and they’ll launch a nuke at Tehran, Damascus, or Riyadh. America will be dragged through the mud with the scenario that will unfold there.

    If it wants to be seen as a genuine bringer of peace and hope to the Arab people, it needs to dissociate itself from the perceived enemy of the Muslims. While Bush will never do that, if the next administartion can stop supporting Israel at all costs and encourage a Palestinian state*, then maybe peace could be brought to the region.

    Right now, though, Bush is in a serious hole, and he is going nowhere but down with it. Whoever’s next to be Commander In Chief better be ready to deal with the shit he leaves in his wake.

    *If you’ve heard of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign – shower of cunts, they are – I’d like to point out I have nothing to do with them. A two state solution just seems logical to me.

  6. Dude! I just listened to some of your podcasts – you have a voice as deep as mine! Holy hell!