Egypt, human rights and being caught on the wrong side of history

The people of Egypt continue to show extraordinary courage in taking to the streets en masse – and in the face of apparently orchestrated violence – to demand the human rights which have been denied them for so long.

Countries like the US (and the UK) have been well aware of these human rights violations by the Mubarak administration for many years. Indeed, the US State Department compiles its own annual human rights report for Egypt. Pick any particular year you like. It makes for pretty damning reading, detailing the systemic use of torture and a suppression of the will of then people.

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eamonn McCann quotes a summary from the February 2009 report which is highly relevant to the events of the past nine days:

The Government limited citizens’ right to change their government and continued a state of emergency that has been in place almost continuously since 1967. Security forces used unwarranted lethal force and tortured and abused prisoners and detainees, in most cases with impunity … Security forces arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals, in some cases for political purposes, and kept them in prolonged pre-trial detention. The government’s respect for freedoms of Press, association and religion declined during the year.

Of course, it is that approach which has been key to keeping Mubarak in power for the past 29 years and, as previously noted on Slugger, making Egypt a destination for US “torture flights”.

While knowledge of the human rights violations is not in doubt, concern for them from the upper echelons of Washington certainly has been. As noted by Craig Scott on OpenDemocracy, in an interview in March 2009, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton practically dismissed the relevance of the just-published annual Department of State’s country report on human rights in Egypt:

We issue these reports on every country. We consider Egypt to be a friend and we engage in very forthright conversations with our friends. And so we hope that it will be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, that we all have room for improvement

It is an annual report. It is not in any way connected [to an invitation to Mubarak to visit the US]. We look forward to President Mubarak coming as soon as his schedule would permit. I had a wonderful time with him this morning. I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.

Right now the ordinary people of Egypt are demanding the right to exercise Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country… The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government…”

To do so they must be permitted to exercise their universal rights to “freedom of opinion and expression…” (Article 19) and “to freedom of peaceful assembly and association” (Article 20). As global citizens, perhaps we can all play a small role in standing in solidarity with them.

It may be late in the day but it’s still not too late for the US, UK and other governments also to stand up meaningfully for the Egyptian people and their rights.

Even if it’s for no better reason than not wanting to be caught on the wrong side of history.

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  • Patrick, the people need to proceed with caution; they could go from the frying pan into the fire.

  • pauluk

    Bleeding-heart liberals, including Obama, mocked and ridiculed Bush for his ‘Freedom Agenda’. So it`s a little rich to say that people need to `to stand up meaningfully for the Egyptian people and their rights` when Bush and Condi Rice tried, specifically with Egypt, but received little or no support from those `liberals` who are now making the most noise.

    In 2003 Bush said: As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment and violence ready for export.” He asked: “Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?” He also acknowledged that 60 years of American and Western diplomacy had failed to prevent the current Islamist terror campaign and an Arab world, free from despots and dictators, would be far better place.

    He was obviously miles ahead of so-called progressives in politics and the media in understanding the root problems, but, ironically, liberals did everything in their power to undermine Bush`s push for freedom and democracy in the Arab world.

    On their heads be it!

  • pippakin

    It is a very dangerous time in Egypt. If the rebellion succeeds, many of the protesters could find a change of government is merely a change of prison.

  • oracle

    Pauluk

    Would you ever catch yourself on, Egypt under its present leadership is a staunch ally of the US and US intrests.
    Bush was at no time referring to Egypt but was actually referring to Iran Iraq Syria Yemen Libya Lebanon Afghanistan Sudan and Somalia, basically any country that has a Muslim population that isn’t kissing American ass and humbly apologizing to Israel just for having the audacity to exist.

    Yemen Sudan Somalia while having large or sizable power bloc’s of fundamentalists have no natural wealth to make invasion financially feasible for the right wing think tanks that gave Bush his thoughts speeches and political direction (as he was too dumb to have any of his own)

    Libya Lebanon and Syria had their fundamentalists under tight control and were of no threat to Israel so are left alone indeed Syria was given $1 billion in credit notes to buy arms from US firms as part of a sweetener for supporting US action in Iraq.

    Iraq and Afghanistan are just so fucked as entities thanks to your wonderfully enlightened Bush and his war-criminals that they’ll never ever reach the dizzy heights of third world status ever again.

    That only leaves Iran and we’ve seen the bombardment of propaganda at every opportunity from the US and British puppets like Blair through the BBC and any other garbage media eager enough to regurgitate their demonization program about how awful and evil Iran is and how they threaten world peace.

  • pauluk

    Interesting little rant there, Oracle.

    Some people’s hatred of George W Bush ran so deep that they were quite happy to see tens of millions of Muslims continue to live under brutal and murderous dictatorships so long as Bush’s Freedom Agenda didn’t succeed. And these people shamefully call themselves liberals?!

    Is it any wonder modern-day liberalism has lost so much ground?

    Mark my words, in twenty years time – probably less – liberals will be eulogising George W Bush in much the same way they are Ronald Reagan today – although I do wonder how genuine it is. Of course liberals hated Reagan with a passion when he was president, maybe even more than they hate Bush.

    Liberals sometimes are slow learners, but credit where it is due: the editorial in yesterday’s liberal Boston Globe had a very interesting piece entitled ‘The Vindication of the Freedom Agenda’. Not all pro-Bush, but obviously enlightened.

    Of course, there are some dyed-in-the-wool liberals who will never see sense. Some of them, I’m convinced, hang around Slugger!

  • While Tunisian Ben Ali and Egyptian Mubarak parties have been removed from the Socialist International website they are are still members of Socialist International until a two thirds vote of the member Parties at Congress. Or perhaps parties can be expelled when they get a bit embarrassing (17th Jan and 31 Jan respectively).

    5.1.3 Expulsion of Parties
    Decisions to expel parties and organisations from membership may be taken only by the Congress by a majority of two-thirds of parties voting.

    Seems it is not just “Countries like the US (and the UK) have been well aware of these human rights violations by the Mubarak administration for many years.” Perhaps those from their, until recently or officially still, sister Party the SDLP would like to comment?

    Not that hypocrisy ever stopped self righteous lefties having a go at the capitalist forces of imperialism. Those same ‘progressives’ attacking Bush’s ‘Freedom Agenda’ just defending their mates.

  • pauluk

    For the record:

    Oracle: Bush was at no time referring to Egypt

    Oh, yea?

    Boston Globe: …in his second inaugural address [Bush] promised “all who live in tyranny and hopelessness’’ that “the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.’’

    Within days, the administration was making it clear that this “Bush doctrine’’ would apply even to autocratic US allies like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. When Ayman Nour, a leading Egyptian democracy activist, was arrested on bogus charges and thrown in jail, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cancelled a planned trip to Egypt in protest. Her trip was rescheduled only after Nour was released, and upon landing in Cairo in June 2005, she delivered a ringing defense of democracy and the right of peaceful dissenters to be heard.

    “Throughout the Middle East, the fear of free choices can no longer justify the denial of liberty,’’ Rice said. “It is time to abandon the excuses that are made to avoid the hard work of democracy.’’

    Bush is on the right side of history. Liberals? Not so much!

  • slappymcgroundout

    pauluk:

    You tell ’em. Now to borrow from Vanity Fair (of all places):

    “This afternoon’s news that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has reportedly decided against running for another term—what with all the mass demonstration against his current tenure—speaks to the transformative power of peaceful protest. It’s the dream of every neoconservative—many of whom are now pointing to the unrest in Egypt as evidence of the soundness of George W. Bush’s foreign policy.”

    That related, what the libs forget is that some actually made nice for a while there when they thought that Dubya might make war on them to “impose” democracy. That ended with all the opposition to Iraq here at home and in the West at large. And then with change in regime here, Hillary went to Syria, told them that diplomacy over the big stick was the mantra of the day, and so the day after she left the Syrian regime rounded up scores of dissidents and threw them in prison.

    But the best thing here? Puts the lie to this line:

    “He [Mubarak] said the main cause of instability in the region was the unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

    This whole affair certainly puts the lie to that. Sorry, friends, the main cause of instability is as Dubya said at the one conference (from the BBC):

    “Both leaders’ speeches contained strong criticism of the other. And it appears neither wanted to be present as the other spoke.

    Mr Bush’s sarcastic remarks about Arab politics were clearly offensive to the Egyptians, as well as to other Arab officials.

    He said that “too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail”.

    Mr Mubarak has been in power for nearly three decades and many of his political opponents are in prison.”

    That line I qouted above, again, that was from Mubarak’s speech, once again using the “evil Joooooos” to deflect criticism from his despotic regime. It isn’t that people are beat, imprisoned and outright murdered, nope, it’s those “evil Joooooos”. Just like now. And so Israelis and other Western spies in Cairo causing trouble, or so the state television reports. With companion state television reports of Israeli spies being arrested. And even some of the government friendly private stations got in on the act, with our girl with her face hidden who said that she attended school in the US and was trained by those “evil Joooooos” to topple the Egyptian government. It would be downright hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. And I can forgive the Egyptians for not knowing, since the society is somewhat closed. Can’t forgive the libs here in the West who fall for that some absurd notion that all would be well in the Middle East if only Israel wasn’t there. Again, this whole affair puts the lie to that nonsense (though Oracle still hasn’t seemed to grasp hold of the message).

  • oracle

    Pauluk,

    Have you ever seen Fox News? or should I ask have you ever seen anything else?
    Best you toddle off home now paul the stuffing is falling out of your sides and making a mess

  • tacapall

    Yemen Sudan Somalia while having large or sizable power bloc’s of fundamentalists have no natural wealth to make invasion financially feasible for the right wing think tanks that gave Bush his thoughts speeches and political direction (as he was too dumb to have any of his own)

    Totally wrong, there is vast amounts of oil, gas and natural minerals in all those countries otherwise America would not be interested in bringing their version of democracy to them, no different than Iraq and Afganistan.

  • pauluk

    Oracle, what are you muttering about?

    Fyi, I can honestly say that I haven’t watched a Fox News programme on TV for at least 2 years. Online, I read the occasional item, usually unrelated to politics, linked to Fox from Google or Yahoo News, so, I’m asking myself, why you are so obsessed with Fox News?

    Slappy,

    I enjoyed your little spiel. 😉

  • Reader

    Patrick Corrigan: It may be late in the day but it’s still not too late for the US, UK and other governments also to stand up meaningfully for the Egyptian people and their rights.
    May Ireland be excused as it is busy with an election right now?

  • oracle

    Tacapall,

    Wikki on Yemen “Yemen’s economy is weak compared to most countries in the Middle-East, mainly due to Yemen possessing very small quantities of oil”

    So no “vast quantity” there

    Sudan pumps 500,000 barrels a year of oil, 80% of this reserve is in the southern area who have been threatening under American and European influence to break away which they voted for very recently so that leaves Sudan with 100,000 barrels that means Norway produce 28 times more oil than Sudan

    So no “vast quantities” there

    As for Somalia it is hoped that its proximity to the Arabian Peninsula means that it has untapped oil reserves but no one know and they haven’t found anything substantial yet, so they’ll have to make do with pirating.

    So no “vast quantities” there.

    Slappy,

    Keep taking the tablets, it’ll clear up one day

  • ThomasMourne

    From http://www.royal.gov.uk

    State Visitors have included:
    July 1991 President and Mrs. Mubarak of Egypt
    May 1994 President Mugabe of Zimbabwe
    Nov 2001 King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan
    Nov 2007 The King of Saudi Arabia

    An undemocratic head of state cannot pick and choose her dinner guests, can she?

  • qwerty12345

    God, look at the those on here reducing the world to “libs” and “cons” how insultingly myopic, must everything be about America?. As the joke goes “How many yanks does it take to change a lightbulb – just one, he holds the bulb and the whole world revolves around him”

    American policy in the past is what it is now. There is no real interest in democracy or rights, just the same old self interest. America backs democracy or dictatorship whenever it suits THEM or their pals.

    That there are people in the US who actually believe that George Bush OR Obama are interested in anything other than this just goes to show the level of wilful ignorance and self regard that abounds in the home of the “free”

    Meanwhile in the real world, they still use power drills on limbs in “liberated” Iraq (a sure vindication of Bush’s freedom policy) and Omar Suleiman has lots of friends in Washington…..

    Nice to see Slappy posting links to Al Jazeera in the last days though. Maybe theres hope.

  • RepublicanStones

    Do we seriously have people on here thinking that we should take a US president at his word. Do we seriously have people on here thinking that because Bush mentioned the words ‘justice’ or ‘freedom’ means these were his concerns?

    Lets have a bit of a reality check from Matt Duss

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/01/28/rescuing-democracy-promotion-from-cynics/

    And try this from Juan Cole

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/09/19/egypt

    “How did the Bush administration reply to this litany of authoritarian actions and sad parodies of “democracy”? Bush called Mubarak to congratulate him on his “victory”! Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan was trotted out to say, “This election represents an important step toward holding fully free and fair competitive multiparty elections, and both supporters and opponents of the government have told us that it has occasioned a vigorous national debate in Egypt on important issues.” Contrast these reactions to the Bush administration’s dismissal of Iran’s June presidential election as “illegitimate.” In Iran, the ideological difference among the candidates was if anything greater than among the Egyptian candidates. The turnout was more than twice what it was in Egypt, and the president won by a smaller margin. It is true that the Iranian elections were marred by dirty tricks, exclusion of liberal reformists from running, and very possibly fraud. But it is not entirely clear that the Egyptian elections, marred by voting abuses, were any better. To most people in the world, Bush’s selective outrage about elections is so egregiously hypocritical that it appears he is intentionally flaunting it.”

    And heres a rather prescient prediction from Daniel Luban

    ” However, I think we can all predict what will happen once the dust settles. If the protests are ultimately unsuccessful, the neocons will attack Obama for letting the protesters twist in the wind; if the protests are ultimately successful, they will claim the events in Egypt as vindication for the Bush democracy promotion agenda (as Jennifer Rubin has already tried to do with Tunisia).”

    http://www.lobelog.com/more-silence-from-americas-democracy-promoters/

    Do us a favour lads…

  • RepublicanStones

    Do we seriously have people on here thinking that we should take a US president at his word. Do we seriously have people on here thinking that because Bush mentioned the words ‘justice’ or ‘freedom’ means these were his concerns?

    Lets have a bit of a reality check from Matt Duss

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/01/28/rescuing-democracy-promotion-from-cynics/

    And try this from Juan Cole

    “How did the Bush administration reply to this litany of authoritarian actions and sad parodies of “democracy”? Bush called Mubarak to congratulate him on his “victory”! Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan was trotted out to say, “This election represents an important step toward holding fully free and fair competitive multiparty elections, and both supporters and opponents of the government have told us that it has occasioned a vigorous national debate in Egypt on important issues.” Contrast these reactions to the Bush administration’s dismissal of Iran’s June presidential election as “illegitimate.” In Iran, the ideological difference among the candidates was if anything greater than among the Egyptian candidates. The turnout was more than twice what it was in Egypt, and the president won by a smaller margin. It is true that the Iranian elections were marred by dirty tricks, exclusion of liberal reformists from running, and very possibly fraud. But it is not entirely clear that the Egyptian elections, marred by voting abuses, were any better. To most people in the world, Bush’s selective outrage about elections is so egregiously hypocritical that it appears he is intentionally flaunting it.”

    And heres a rather prescient prediction from Daniel Luban

    ”However, I think we can all predict what will happen once the dust settles. If the protests are ultimately unsuccessful, the neocons will attack Obama for letting the protesters twist in the wind; if the protests are ultimately successful, they will claim the events in Egypt as vindication for the Bush democracy promotion agenda (as Jennifer Rubin has already tried to do with Tunisia).”

    Do us a favour lads eh…..

  • pauluk

    Who in the world are Matt Duss, Juan Cole and Daniel Luban?

  • RepublicanStones

    Their not Elliot Abrams, Jen Rubin or Daniel Pipes. That should narrow it down for you.

  • JAH

    Alas the Middle East is not Eastern Europe. However much the media shows the educated talking about democracy, Eqypt still has a large ill educated and very religious majority who will invariably vote for whomever plays the Koran card the best.(The Orange Order and Catholic Church played the same cards to keep Ireland it in an infantile state for generations.) The fear is a rerun of Iran with the secular forces routed within a year and another group of hardliners in power.

    For the West to openly interfere would probably be catastrophic in the short term. And for the Copts probably terminal. The cleansing of Christians from Iraq will surely be a real risk if an Islamist party gains control. Just count the number left in Turkey today.

    Sometimes keeping mum is the best course of action.

  • lamhdearg

    The middle east is changing, it will change from being a place from which the west takes and tells, to a place that runs its own affairs. I will be glad that its people will shape their future even if it costs me more at the pumps.

  • RepublicanStones

    An admirable comment lamhdearg. I agree.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Do we seriously have people on here thinking that we should take a US president at his word. Do we seriously have people on here thinking that because Bush mentioned the words ‘justice’ or ‘freedom’ means these were his concerns?”

    Yes, we do. As Bob Geldof reported in Time:

    “The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.”

    Next, from your part of the world, the Telegraph UK:

    “In the last year of Bill Clinton’s presidency, America’s direct bilateral assistance to Africa was only Pounds 700 million. Mr Bush has almost quadrupled this sum.

    Combating Aids once played virtually no part in America’s development policies. Mr Bush has established the biggest fund ever devoted to fighting an epidemic.

    The President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, funded to the tune of Pounds 7.5 billion, is paying for hundreds of thousands of Africans to receive the life-saving drugs which hold Aids at bay.

    Mr Bush has also made America the biggest single donor to the Global Fund for Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, contributing one third of its Pounds 5 billion.

    No other leader has given as much money to the World Food Programme as Mr Bush. America now provides about half of all the emergency food aid distributed across the globe.

    Countries which desperately need this help often have viscerally anti-American governments. The rulers of Sudan and Zimbabwe, where millions depend on emergency food supplies, probably do not grasp the irony of the man they vilify keeping so many of their own people alive.

    Bob Geldof, the anti-poverty campaigner, has often praised Mr Bush’s “Africa story”. Overall, however, this side of the president’s legacy has earned him few votes and precious little international credit.

    The point, as Mr Geldof stresses, is that Mr Bush helped Africa anyway.”

    Here, some more for you:

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2009/jan/25/fazaldin125_20090123-210918-ar-95887/

    Borrowing from our gal there, maybe you can borrow from those in the Sudan and name your newborn boy, George Bush.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/15/georgebush.usa

    So, you were something about justice and freedom? Bush did all that because he wants injustice and lack of freedom.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Here’s my man the Sandmonkey on CNN:

    http://parkerspitzer.blogs.cnn.com/category/mahmoud-salem/

    And a piece in Bloomberg from one of his mates:

    http://bloom.bg/gzI2Wq

    Lastly, leave it to CNN to not do their homework. He was already known by his regular blog readers. How that came to pass is a whole other story in itself (and for another time and place). And CNN cannot take credit for any other outing, as both NPR and Bloomberg identified Mahmoud about a week ago. But if false credit is what it takes to get Mahmoud more airtime, then so be it. Oh, and now that Mahmoud’s been outed as having from graduated from a US university, no doubt the state television story will be, Mahmoud Salem, agent provocateur trained in America by those “evil Joooooos” to topple the Egyptian government and destroy Egypt. They are so damned predictable.

    Almost forgot, but in the vid, note the “facebook” and “twitter” on the walls. Facebook and twitter, weapons of regime destruction.

  • pippakin

    Perhaps its time the west learned that our democracy is not one size fits all. For decades the US, UK and others have spent billions propping up dictators they wouldn’t tolerate in their own countries. In doing this the natural growth of other countries has been stunted and deformed. The result has been resentment and anger directed at the west and anything (Christianity?) seen as connected to the west.

    The west needs to step back and let countries develop as they will. If that means the price of oil goes up and the Israeli government goes down, so be it.

  • abucs

    I heard from a friend that her brother in law in Egypt is taking turns with other residents to guard their apartment complex as there were bands of armed men roaming around looking for targets. Not sure how typical that is, but her brother in law was quite scared at the moment.

  • tuatha

    Human rights/democracy in arab world = chocolate teapot.

  • RepublicanStones

    Yes, we do. As Bob Geldof reported in Time:

    LMAO, so Geldof says it, so Bush is exonerated. Theres a little bit of a difference between increasing aid for Africa and Bush being a champion of freedom and democracy. (or any US president for that matter). In essence your argument means that because the Saudi’s have upped their international aid in recent years, means they too are champions of freedom and democracy eh?

    If Bush was really concerned with freedom and democracy, he sure made a strange appointment for his ‘Democracy Czar’. None other than Reagan’s Contra bagman and Mozote massacre denier Elliot Abrams.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2113690/

    As one of his former State Dept official David Mack admitted –

    “The Bush administration’s policy toward democracy in the Muslim countries is essentially bankrupt…All we did, from the point of view of democracy advocates, was raise unachievable expectations and behave in a hypocritical manner.”

    The Bush regime was so concerned with democracy and freedom that they mistook Tunisia for having both

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/americas/2011/01/20/what-happened-nice-tunisia-rumsfeld-told-us-about

    And the bringing of freedom and democracy to Iraq was such a success they had to pay the people they were fighting to switch sides and rule over regions like warlords. Not to mention the incalculable benefit it has brought to the Persian Roy Keane living next door.

    The conclusion of a report by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is worth quoting at length…

    Getting the United States back onto a better track with regard to democracy promotion will not be easy. The damage that the Bush administration has wrought in this domain is considerable. Bush policies have engendered powerful suspicions abroad about the very idea both of the United States as a democracy promoter and of democracy promotion itself. This is true especially in the Middle East, the focal region of the Bush democracy drive. Agile antidemocratic leaders on several continents are taking advantage of these sentiments to mount a serious pushback against Western democracy support programs and policies. These facts, together with the general loss of momentum of democracy’s third wave, make this the most daunting environment for democracy promotion in a generation. The negative effects of Bush policy on democracy promotion are also felt at home. The U.S. public is now less supportive of democracy promotion than at any time in recent decades, with a sizeable percentage doubting the value to the United States of such efforts and the ability of the United States to have much positive impact in this domain. The doubters are distributed along the ideological spectrum, causing uncertainty and debate within both the Republican and Democratic parties. Adding to these muddied domestic waters is considerable confusion among many Americans about what the much-trumpeted Bush push on democracy abroad has consisted of in actual practice. The case of Iraq and the constant pro-democracy rhetoric from the president have misled many people to view the United States as having gone over the top on democracy promotion worldwide, heightening the sentiment that the United States should pull back significantly from it. Nevertheless, positive change is possible. The intense personalization of the global antipathy toward Bush foreign policy—the remarkable concentration of that antipathy on President Bush himself—means that the next U.S. president will have a real opportunity to change America’s negative image in the world. Furthermore, the policies that have done so much harm to America’s status as a symbol of democracy and human rights are mendable. Every established democracy facing a terrorist threat struggles to get the balance right between the rule of law and the imperatives of antiterrorism. But finding a balance that substantially preserves rights and core democratic principles is possible. In addition, although the state of global democracy is unusually challenging, a majority of citizens in most parts of the world favor democracy at least in the abstract (even when they are frustrated with the democracy they have), almost all the most developed, successful societies are democracies, and some of the main structural drivers of democratization, like economic development, are still advancing in many places. Although Bush policies have done significant harm to the image of U.S. democracy promotion, the quieter side of democracy promotion—the technical assistance programs carried out by the community of experienced U.S. democracy promotion organizations, and low-key, locally targeted diplomacy at crucial

    Just to finish, this conclusion from a report by The Century Foundation

    The so-called freedom agenda of the Bush administration was a failure of both conceptualization and implementation—an overly militarized approach to promoting democratic reform and an effort that failed to match the lofty rhetoric of President Bush with actions on the ground that reflected democratic values. As a result, the region has not become more democratic because of U.S. actions than it was in the previous decade. Even in Iraq, where the U.S. military ousted a brutal dictator from power, the current ruling authorities have demonstrated a weak respect for human rights and the rule of law.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “For decades the US, UK and others have spent billions propping up dictators they wouldn’t tolerate in their own countries. In doing this the natural growth of other countries has been stunted and deformed.”

    Yes, Pip, we have. Since you clearly haven’t internalized the table as of yet, one more time:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.TAB1.GIF

    See the 110,286(000) there in the middle? That is the best estimate. As I’ve related prior, the total war dead for the entire 20th century is just under 40 million. So, combined, the regimes listed in that table managed to kill double the number that died in war last century. We propped up dictators favorable to us as a lesser evil. You can discern for yourself the deaths caused by those regimes. I don’t know what the best estimate is, but I am absolutely certain that it is less than the 40 million who died in all wars last century, and more to the point, less than the 110,286,000 there in the table.

    Next, as for stunted growth, you been to Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, etc., lately? Those people can only wish that they were as stunted as the folks living under the dictators that we’ve propped up.

    Next, please read the Sandmonkey’s blog, scroll down the page and see the heading in the right column titled, Top 15 posts. Read no. 10, “It wasn’t about the Oil, stupid”. Here, I’ll save you some trouble, and you’ll have to click the stop or red X button almost immediately, since for reasons that the Sandmonkey is still trying to discern, the page redirects back to the front page if you don’t hit that red X fairly quickly:

    http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/04/it-wasnt-about-oil-stupid.html

    And Mahmoud is now risking his life, but as you can note on that page, the motto was and is:

    Support the Neo-con American Right-wing Zionist Christian Imperialist Conspiracy in the Middle-east!

    So some confused Egyptians won’t be even more confused, or put off, he’s temporily deleted that from the front page. Was there until the evening before the revolution. You’d think there’d be a lesson in his having that on his page for years…

    By the way, that’s why, when qwerty12345 feels all insulted, well, sorry mate, but Mahmoud is shoving it in your face with his plea for support. And he’s Egyptian, living in Cairo.

    Lastly, when dear ole Eire does something besides send condolence on the death of Hitler maybe you might have a point. Until then… Or in other words, don’t tell us how to run the world when you can’t even run a country of 4.5 million without managing to indenture yourselves to Brussels and the IMF. Now for the utter poor taste of the America bashing provided by you and some others here on Slugger, if US corps bag out from dear ole Eire when the Germans insist on corp tax rate hike, then back to the Stone Age for you, since your purely domestic economy isn’t worth speaking of. By the way, the absurdity of your local boycott Israel campaign is in the fact that almost of Israel’s export and import with dear ole Eire is with US corps in Eire; that’s how little of the economy is well and truly yours, so boycott away.

  • oracle

    Slappy,

    You’re a stark raving lunatic!!!! where in this world did you extract those nonsense figures from????

    YOU SAID “As I’ve related prior, the total war dead for the entire 20th century is just under 40 million.”

    **** THERE WAS 63-65 MILLION IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR ALONE ****

    I could go through your daft table and blow it out of the water entry by entry but it would be a waste of any fools time it’s so childishly put together

  • RepublicanStones

    Seems Slapp that Sandmonkey, your man (and over 18,000 other people’s ‘man’) ignores several key issues. He seems to think that the US administration would have been put off invading for oil based upon the expenditure required. Here he misses one key issue. And it’s ancillary to the oil issue. That being that ‘War is good’ for business. Specifically all those businesses that profit from slaughter. The cost of the war wasn’t carried by Haliburton or BAE systems, rather the ordinary US taxpayer. it costs the US taxpayer, but profits all those large companies who lobby the US govt. Why did ‘your man’ leave that out? Your ‘man’ seems to think that when people say it was about oil, they mean that Bush wanted US soldiers controlling the oil wells. Again your ‘man’ misses the point. To say it was about oil (which I think is only one issue among several) does not mean this. One certified result of invading Iraq would be to drive the price of oil up, which it did. Who did this benefit? Probably the man and his mates who saw their stock rise 3281%. Another issue which your ‘man’ misses or willfully omits, is the little matter of the currency Saddam was trading his oil in. This issue was virtually ignored by the MSM media in the US. Saddam had the nerve, the cheek, the petulance to switch his oil trades from the $ to the euro. this seriously undermined the worldwide standing of the $ particularly if his fellow OPEC brethren were going to follow suit.

    “The Federal Reserve’s greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar’s steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html

    So here we have a couple of issues, oil, and also consideration of possible depreciation of the $. Which is why as soon as they got into Baghdad, guess what Uncle Sam did? Thats right, switched Iraqi oil trading back from the Euro to the dollar. When you consider this, it helps shed new light on the Anglo-American vs European split on the decision to go to war. We could also go into the way Bush and his cronies restructured the entire Iraqi economy to suit international conglomerates, but thats another issue (as i mentioned) aside from the oil.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEpp9E6aJGw

    Perhaps you can let your man Sandmonkey in on it, then he could update his thread.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Stones:

    The Century Foundation? “Progressive Ideas That Advance Security, Opportunity and Equality”. But they have no ideological axe to grind, or so they claim. Like what you undoubtedly call Faux News, I’m sure they’re fair and balanced. You might otherwise want to tell them that the only thing certain to “progess” is time itself.

    And I don’t suppose that Egypt today does anything to dispel the notion that the Arab world is dispirited when it comes to democracy? Egypt alone more or less renders null and void the recitations in the cited material from the Carnegie and Century Foundation respecting the legacy of Bush. Here we have a popular uprising in Egypt, with no leaders, just some going on out there and protesting for democracy and freedom. But according to the folks at Carnegie:

    This is true especially in the Middle East, the focal region of the Bush democracy drive. Agile antidemocratic leaders on several continents are taking advantage of these sentiments to mount a serious pushback against Western democracy support programs and policies. These facts, together with the general loss of momentum of democracy’s third wave, make this the most daunting environment for democracy promotion in a generation.

    Most daunting, but yet there they all are in Tahrir Square. Stones, tell me, do you not understand what your eyes are telling you? Again, Egypt today, all on its lonesome, proves your “experts” wrong. So we don’t need to add that the King of Jordan just replaced some in his land so as to better meet the cries of some. Pity that you live in a wet place, since if you didn’t, you’d have some idea of a wildfire is. What with the scrub Med climate of LA, I’m familiar with the same. Like wildfires, democracy is, as Dubya said, contagious. What your friends didn’t consider was that most can see now that the US doesn’t have those bad motives some, your friends on the left, attributed to the US re Iraq. They can see that we will leaving shortly and that Iraqis will rule themselves, with purple fingers.

    Which lastly brings me to one more by way of rebuttal:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/claudiarosett/bush-was-right-about-that-democracy-thing/

    The alarm bell that tells one that a piece is an ideological hack job is when some insist on perfect when all any reasonable soul ought to expect is “messy, incomplete and imperfect”, I mean, it’s not like they’ve had some recent experience in democratic practice that they can draw on, right? The fact that your cited folk don’t even begin to concede that point tells me and the rest of the non-biased world that something is amiss in their analysis. Egypt right now is only confirming that reality.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Stones:

    Nice try with your Euro thesis. Problem is the Saudis. The won’t change. Unless of course, you Euros who don’t want to get your hands bloody just up and decide to be their protectors.

    Oh, and Stones, you’ll to trust me, but I was reading the Sandmonkey and commenting well before he had so much as 1,000 followers. You see, he was big on America in Iraq from the beginning. As the one soul relates in one comment, I too found him through the other blog called Iraq The Model.

    Oracle:

    Here, you can tell RJ Rummel that he’s wrong:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/welcome.html

  • slappymcgroundout

    Oracle:

    You can email RJ and dispute this:

    “Our century is noted for its absolute and bloody wars. World War I saw nine-million people killed in battle, an incredi ble record that was far surpassed within a few decades by the 15 million battle deaths of World War II. Even the number killed in twentieth century revolutions and civil wars have set historical records. In total, this century’s battle killed in all its international and domestic wars, revolutions, and violent conflicts is so far about 35,654,000. ”

    See:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/WSJ.ART.HTM

    In the meantime, since RJ is patently less daft than you, I’m sticking with him on this one.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Oracle:

    For when you go line by line, the complete summary table. You’ll need to magnify or zoom:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB16A.1.GIF

    And here’s the piece with the link to the first table on Communist democide that I provided (the table is Table 1 in the fifth paragraph down)(the numbers only get worse with later revision, so I am cutting the Reds some slack by using Table 1):

    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM

  • madraj55

    Oracle You’re right of course. Bush chose carefully which arab states to leave out of his list, obviously those his country has been in bed with for decades. The crisis now in Egypt exposes the double standards of the us IN SELECTIVELY CALLING FOR DEMOCRACY in the mideast. They’re worried now that their ‘Israel at all costs’ policy is harming their own credibility in the the eyes of the rest of the world. They are thankfully now no longer a force in the middle east. and that will give the arab populations the freedom that the US never wanted them to have.

  • RepublicanStones

    But they have no ideological axe to grind, or so they claim.

    Lovely rebuttal there Slapp. Sure all those pundits now (erroneously) trying to claim ‘Bush was right’ can then be dismissed with a simple ‘they are politically biased’ throwaway line as well eh? And to think I went to the bother of highlighting those studies for you. what a waste of time that was.

    Most daunting, but yet there they all are in Tahrir Square.

    Indeed. Its taken leaderless bottom-up civil unrest to do the job. Not some grand programme that any US president (particularly Bush) had in mind.

    So we don’t need to add that the King of Jordan just replaced some in his land so as to better meet the cries of some.

    LMAO, yeah, the King of Jordan firing his govt last week was the result of Bush’s strategy. Not as a result of the civil unrest, the toppling of a seeming stable dictator, Ben-Ali, whom the Bush regime supported, and nothing to do with the likely ousting of Mubarak, whom Bush also supported, and who the current Secretary of State, Lady Macbeth, counts as a family friend.

    They can see that we will leaving shortly and that Iraqis will rule themselves, with purple fingers.

    Yeah with the former insurgents paid off and ruling as before, with those lovely termed ‘Awakening Councils’ in place.

    Which lastly brings me to one more by way of rebuttal:,/i>

    Lovely a report written by none other than… “Richard Grenell, who served during the George W. Bush presidency as spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations” What was that you were saying about ‘axes to grind’?

    And imperfect is a rather lovely euphemism. Seems everybody was up to their necks in fraud.

    Nice try with your Euro thesis. Problem is the Saudis. The won’t change. Unless of course, you Euros who don’t want to get your hands bloody just up and decide to be their protectors.

    Bit more than just a thesis Slapp. kinda blows your belief that it had nothing to do with oil right outta the water. And why would the Saudis need protecting if they switched their sales to the euro? Who would come after them? Ahhhhhh…..starting to get the picture 😉

    Heres the report again for any interested reader to have a look at. But remember, Slapp knows better 😉

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html

    Heres another little article about the Euro-Dollar war

    Until November 2000, no OPEC country dared violate the dollar price rule. So long as the dollar was the strongest currency, there was little reason to as well. But November was when French and other Euroland members finally convinced Saddam Hussein to defy the United States by selling Iraq’s oil-for-food not in dollars, ‘the enemy currency’ as Iraq named it, but only in euros. The euros were on deposit in a special UN account of the leading French bank, BNP Paribas. Radio Liberty of the U.S. State Department ran a short wire on the news and the story was quickly hushed.[2]

    This little-noted Iraq move to defy the dollar in favor of the euro, in itself, was insignificant. Yet, if it were to spread, especially at a point the dollar was already weakening, it could create a panic selloff of dollars by foreign central banks and OPEC oil producers. In the months before the latest Iraq war, hints in this direction were heard from Russia, Iran, Indonesia and even Venezuela. An Iranian OPEC official, Javad Yarjani, delivered a detailed analysis of how OPEC at some future point might sell its oil to the EU for euros not dollars. He spoke in April, 2002 in Oviedo Spain at the invitation of the EU. All indications are that the Iraq war was seized on as the easiest way to deliver a deadly pre-emptive warning to OPEC and others, not to flirt with abandoning the Petro-dollar system in favor of one based on the euro.

    http://www.currentconcerns.ch/archive/2003/04/20030409.php

    Oh, and Stones, you’ll to trust me, but I was reading the Sandmonkey and commenting well before he had so much as 1,000 followers.

    I guess that makes him ‘your man’ then Slapp, doesn’t it? Perhaps you can provide us with an article from your man, which highlights the rather blatant way the US restructured the Iraqi economy with new laws benefiting, not the Iraqi people, but US business interests? Im sure ‘your man’ must have penned one.

  • oracle

    Slappy,

    Stop your silly waffling and evasion and answer the question

    Do you dispute the internationally recognised death tally for WW2 of 63 million

    and claim it to be 20 million, I think all on Slugger would like to know your answer try not to keep us waiting too long eh!

  • oracle

    2 Hours have gone by now Slappy…. yet still no answer

  • pauluk

    Methinks, the next generation will be referring to Bush’s ‘Freedom Agenda’ in much the same way as people today talk about Reagan’s ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ rallying cry.

    Some newspaper editorials are already making that connection.

    But, of course, some blinkered liberals will never wise up or have the courage or decency to acknowledge that they again, as they obviously did with Reagan, got it massively wrong!

  • oracle

    Pauluk,

    Go away you’re only a daft troll.

    Slappy nearly 4 hours now still no reply?????

  • pauluk

    Yea, right, Oracle. I’m on topic. You are the troll with your silly, irrelevant questions.

    You can’t change the subject. Once again, following Iran and Honduras, Obama the Liberal is on the wrong side of history. He twisting in the wind, absolutely startled, not having a clue what to do about Egypt. Latest word is that Obama’s special envoy says Mubarak must stay.

    For crying out loud, when are liberals going to show some guts?

  • tacapall

    Oracle.

    http://www.aacc.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41&Itemid=42&c9eaf5837e83f673747cb78a37e2c56c=c428f0698c4e0c9bd06b25a2cc46bd5e

    Sudan is the largest and one of the most diverse countries in Africa, a home to deserts, mountain ranges, fertile agricultural lands and rain forests. The country borders the Red Sea and is located between Egypt and Eritrea. Its natural resources are substantial, but its main resources are oil and gas. Other resources include iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver and gold. Sudan has huge oil reserves, including potentially large undiscovered reserves, which makes it attractive to foreign investors. The country has suffered from protracted internal disputes over many years and been subject to sanctions as a result of unresolved political conflicts in regions like Darfur.

    In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves. Western countries including its major oil producers ( Canada, the US, Norway, the UK, Denmark and Australia) control approximately 4 percent of total oil reserves. (In the alternative estimate of the Oil and Gas Journal which includes Canada’s oil sands, this percentage would be of the the order of 16.5%. See table below).

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4347

    The largest share of the World’s oil reserves lies in a region extending (North) from the tip of Yemen to the Caspian sea basin and (East) from the Eastern Mediterranean coastline to the Persian Gulf. This broader Middle East- Central Asian region, which is the theater of the US-led “war on terrorism” encompasses according to the estimates of World Oil, more than sixty percent of the World’s oil reserves.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?aid=16786&context=va

    For some months the world has seen a steady escalation of US military involvement in Yemen, a dismally poor land adjacent to Saudi Arabia on its north, the Red Sea on its west, the Gulf of Aden on its south, opening to the Arabian Sea, overlooking another desolate land that has been in the headlines of late, Somalia. The evidence suggests that the Pentagon and US intelligence are moving to militarize a strategic chokepoint for the world’s oil flows, Bab el-Mandab, and using the Somalia piracy incident, together with claims of a new Al Qaeda threat arising from Yemen, to militarize one of the world’s most important oil transport routes. In addition, undeveloped petroleum reserves in the territory between Yemen and Saudi Arabia are reportedly among the world’s largest.

    Dont believe what fox media tell you

  • pauluk

    What in the world are Obama and his people up to? Can they not even coordinate a consistent message. Talk about confusion and chaos.

    ‘Smart diplomacy’, eh?

    Absolutely useless!

  • Brian

    RIght now, the Egyptian revolution is broad-based. But so were the French and the Russian and the Iranian revolutions. Indeed in Iran, the revolution only succeeded – the shah was long opposed by the mullahs – when the merchants, the housewives, the students and the secularists joined to bring him down.

    And who ended up in control? The most disciplined, ruthless and ideologically committed – the radical Islamists. Which is exactly what’s going to happen in Egypt.

  • slappymcgroundout

    tacapall:

    What color is the sky in your world? Kuwait. How many people live there? How large is the place? Kuwait has as much oil as Iraq. So why didn’t we just commandeer the oil in Kuwait? Who would stop us? That’s the fatal contradiction in all of your nonsense about oil. And you need remember your history. You leftie loons were also saying that Viet Nam was about oil, but yet we didn’t do much to maintain control over the Spratly Islands, which is where the oil is. And it truly was there for the taking. And we didn’t. But don’t let that get in the way of a good anti-US screed.

    Lastly, you’d be better served by citing to someone other than globalresearch.ca (an “independent” research and media group of “progressive” writers, scholars and activists committed to curbing the tide of globalisation….). Read their Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation. We are genetically modifying seeds in order to wipeout the non-white races so that whitey can take over all of their natural resources. Also doubles as a Rockefeller conspiracy to destroy seed gene diversity and means that in addition to wiping out the brownies, we’ll have to use oil based fertilizers. See how that dovetails nicely with their oil ramblings? Which means that Halliburton isn’t really the enemy, as that would be Monsanto, Dow Corning, Dupont, and some others.

    Do you have a tinfoil hat that you can loan them?

    pauluk:

    Absolutely. Obama is near clueless here and Hillary didn’t really want her job (horrible consolation prize)(no doubt she’s still seething over her loss to the messiah). Lastly, maybe one of these days they will figure this one out. Not that hard. 2 billion in aid a year, most of which goes to pay for those jets and tanks we see on the tele. Their officers attend US military schools. So get on the damn phone to the real power in Egypt, the colonels who command their respective units. Let them know the score. Let them pressure the chief of staff and if that doesn’t work, let them work the coup. That’s the other thing I don’t get. Most Egyptians respect their armed forces, so if Mubarak is out and the parliament dissolved, and a plan announced to have elections and/or amend the existing constitution, draft a new one, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with the military in control for a while. Contra to that failed AIG exec named Wisner, the military can run the transition just as well as Mubarak or Suleiman. Lastly, for the wholly Orwellian nature of Wisner’s remarks, it’s not like Mubarak hasn’t had 30 years “to get a national consensus around the preconditions of the next step forward”, so what makes anyone, Wisner included, think that Mubarak would be so inclined.

  • tacapall

    Slappy I just love this.

    The American Armchair Revolutionary

    “Heck, them folks are killin’ themselves out there. Our boys gonnna whip their assess. Sand-niggers. They ain’t got shit on us. Gimme a doughnut; make it extra large. Make it with two eggs, Momma. Yes, Siree, no son-of-a-bitch gonna screw with us. Not in my basement.

    You see, I get to make all the decisions around here. I choose to watch any channel I wish. I am the King of the Armchair. I don’t like what I’m seeing? Hell, no problem. I can change my reality at the flick of a switch. I want my Rush, my Tea Party, my Palin. I want action stuff. I want fightin’ talk!

    You know, what we need right now is action. Take America back. Let’s kick those bums outta Washington. The new guys will be different: they’ll make everything kind of cute and cool and candy sweet. Like it happened before. I think. Not sure, but I think we did. Maybe.

    I gotta a gun.

    Nobody ain’t ever gonna fuck with me. You know what I’m saying, buddy? Tread on my express takeaway and you have a whole heap of trouble coming your way. I got rights. Don’t know what they are, but some wise-guys wrote it all out for me a long time ago, and what they say is just fine with me. It’s in the constertooshoon. Or whatever.

    I gotta a nuke.

    You mess with me, and I got one aching, angry shit of an itchy finger. I’m sitting in my armchair, and I’m getting kinda mad. Those Iranians look real mean to me. The Chinese got it coming. I like their cheap shit but they got fat faces and smile too much for my liking. They gotta be commies. Gimme cheaper stuff or we gonna nuke your fat faces. Commies always have fat faces. Or run around yelling “Napalm!”

    We got traitors running our country. We’re gonna take ‘em out, you bet. Just after “American Idol”. And the Super Bowl. That’s the clincher. My side loses, and you’re gonna see a revolution. Bush or whatever his name. Yeah, that Obama guy. Or is it Clinton? What the hell do I know?

    You see all that Eurotrash burning cars, rioting in the streets? Pussies. All they got is bricks, and fists, and molotov cocktails, and baseball bats, and a whole lot of yelling.

    But I gotta gun.

    I’m safe here, in my armchair. They ain’t never gonna come for me. Nobody ain’t ever gonna mess with a real American patriot. We’re ready. I gotta a pizza in the microwave just in case. Triple cheese.

    My best buddy’s got a real deep bunker. No fat-faced commie Chinaman gonna find us unless they sell us cheaper crap, and it better be for real, like bulk-buying for cents on the sweat of those communist kids they got sleeping under tables. They hate our freedoms.

    I gotta a dollar.

    Take a close look at my dollar, Pal: ‘In God We Trust.’ You telling me that ain’t worth shit, then you’re a god-damned atheist and I’m gonna fill your head full of lead. You don’t believe me? We can pump out more dollars by the hour than those sand-niggers pump out anti-Semitic kids in a day.

    We own ‘em. We got some guys up there in the Fed, and they print this stuff faster than you can say the fastest thing that comes into your head, which is going to be a slug, my side. And I’ll be right in your face if you tread on my Doritos. Yeah, them Jewish boys take good care of us. See, God blesses those who bless the guys at the Fed.

    They gonna take my house away. Some sort of commie mortgage scam. You think I care? Hell, no! I’m a patriot.

  • Brian

    Tap

    Was that supposed to be funny?

    Only someone who fanatically hates America and all those who live in it, and who believes everything bad he hears about it, could possibly find any amusement in that.

    Come live here. You may be surprised.

  • tacapall

    Brian. “Only someone who fanatically hates America and all those who live in it, and who believes everything bad he hears about it, could possibly find any amusement in that.

    Come live here. You may be surprised”.

    First of all Brian I dont hate anybody, I disagree. I dont believe the bull that the American and British governments and their lackeys in the global media spin of “The war on Terror” as the only terrorists I see who sell their armies to the highest bidder is America and Britain do you seriously believe its about bringing democracy to Iraq or more about oil.

    UK Daily Mail
    Friday, March 19th, 2010

    Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.

    The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.

    Mr Blair – who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 – also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq’s neighbour Kuwait.

    American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush:

    “no other political family in the United States has had anything remotely resembling the Bushes’ four-decade relationship with the Saudi royal family and the oil sheikhs of the Persion Gulf”.

    The investment firm, The Carlyle Group, is run by the Bush crowd (George H.W. Bush, James Baker III, and Frank Carlucci have been/are its top managers and advisers). The Carlyle Group served as an interface between these Bush characters and the Saudi bin Laden family. “Some commentators felt that some connections between the bin Ladens and their black-sheep relative (Osama bin Laden) persisted”. This connection directly links George W. Bush to Al Quaeda and leads to the logical question: In spite of the president’s rhetoric, are Mr. Bush and Osama actually working together? Could that be why Osama bin Laden hasn’t been caught?

    “Greg Palast (asked) ‘What made this new president [George W. Bush] take particular care to protect the Saudis (after the September 11 terrorist attack), even to the point of stymieing his own intelligence agencies?’ The answers, he said, kept coming back ‘Carlyle’ and ‘Arbusto,’ the two prominent interfaces between the finances of the Bush family and those of the bin Laden family”.

    The Bush administration demanded major deletions (especially in the 28-page section dealing with the role played by the Saudis and other foreign governments) in the 2003 joint report of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the origins of the 9/11 attack and how it might have been prevented.

    Then theres Afganistan when I see the “theatre of war” as its called it just looks like the surface of the moon its just mountains and sand, how anyone can live there is amazing but –

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_26/b4184011396010.htm

    The Pentagon announced last week that Afghanistan is sitting on mineral wealth worth $1 trillion—one thousand times the government’s annual revenues—the resulting excitement overshadowed one simple fact. Much of the wealth is inaccessible due to war, political chicanery, and outright corruption.

    It sorta depends on who defines war or corruption dosen’t it is their corruption any different than yours or is their killing someone in their war any different than Americans or British soldiers doing the same thing bringing “Democracy” to them.

    As for going to America to live dont make me laugh we have our own corrupt politicians here who made sure those they fooled could never go there.

  • RepublicanStones

    Right I think we have the jist of this argument now….It seems that mouthing a few platitudes and saying ‘everyone deserves freedom’…’isn’t democracy great’ whilst selectively deciding who can avail of it, is enough to get you credited, when the people who lived under a dictator you supported, decide to strike for the freedom and democracy denied them.

    With this in mind, let me declare the following…

    “World Peace would benefit the whole of humanity, lets work for world peace”

    Now remember to credit me when world peace breaks out 😉