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Hypocrisy of U.S. Foreign Policy Produces Terrorism

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The President of the United States or any member of Congress has tremendous gall anytime they stand in front of an audience and proclaim that the United States is still the great beacon of the world when it comes to justice and human rights. It no longer is. Through its foreign policy, our government continually brushes aside those principles in the name of national security. We support through money, military aid, and international diplomacy what is supposed to be the very antithesis of our own governing system – undemocratic, ruthless, and corrupt autocrats all because they are with us and not against us in our war on terror. At the end of the day, we must ask ourselves, are we comfortable with violating our principles for what seems to be a fleeting safety? Can we rest easy knowing that our support of tyrants brings carnage and chaos to millions? Lastly, and most importantly, are we sure that our betrayal of American ideals abroad makes us safer or does it just, like many experts believe, provide a huge recruitment boost for terrorist organizations?

For 23 years the U.S. government turned a blind eye to Tunisian dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. In Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s speech in Doha last week he mentioned a conversation he recently had with a friend in the joint special operations business. The friend was devastated that Ben Ali had been overthrown because, “he was such a good friend” of the United States. You see as long as he supported us in our “War on Terror” he had the full blessing of Washington. Never mind that he ruled his country corruptly by stealing successful private businesses and abusing political contacts to enrich himself. Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was our “guy” in Tunisia because he was for us and not against us in our fight against terrorism.

Of course many analysts are predicting that the Tunisian revolt is just the tip of the iceberg. Right now in Egypt violent upheaval against the long time rule of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak is well underway. Mubarak is a man much despised by his own people but supported by the U.S. because he again supports our war on the so-called “bad guys.” When I was in Egypt last year I asked several Egyptians their opinion of their president. None responded at all or simply changed the subject. Understand that unlike in the U.S. any dissent against Mubarak in Egypt is brutally put down. After 29 years of his rule, many Egyptians still live on about $2 a day. It is the widespread poverty caused by high unemployment and rising prices that have sparked the most recent turmoil. Oh, and throw in a few alleged stolen elections by Mubarak and you have the recipe for a major revolt.

And just what has been the reaction of our leaders to Egypt’s strife? As expected, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton spewed the standard pablum delivered at a time like this, “We believe strongly that the Egyptian government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” Blah, blah, blah. You mean to tell me that it takes violent protests in Egypt to get Hilary Clinton to realize Mubarak is a thug? Besides it’s a little late now given the regime has resorted to killing its own people in the streets. But again, Mubarak is our buddy. What are several dead Egyptians when the larger “War on Terror” is at stake?

An analysis of our government’s hypocrisy would not be complete without a discussion of our unconditional support for Israel. Let’s face it, with U.S support Israel is perpetuating an apartheid state no less egregious than the one that existed in South Africa pre-1994. Within Israel the movement of Palestinians is restricted. Millions are imprisoned in cramped quarters in Gaza and the West Bank. New Israeli settlements expand onto previously held Palestinian land. Essentially, the Palestinians are at the complete mercy of the Israelis with Washington’s full support.

Now we have the release of the so-called “Palestine Papers.” These are secret documents that have leaked out detailing conversations between American and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials about the Goldstone Report. The report was a culmination of the United Nations’ probe into war crimes committed during Israel’s invasion of Gaza in 2008-2009. If approved by the U.N. the report would have opened the door for international tribunals to try Israeli officials accused of war crimes. According to the leaked documents, the U.S. connived the PA into stalling a U.N. vote on the report in the name of Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations. Additionally, U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell got the PA to agree to the following:

“The PA will help to promote a positive atmosphere conducive to negotiations; in particular during negotiations it will refrain from pursuing or supporting any initiative directly or indirectly in international legal forums that would undermine that atmosphere.”

So essentially, the U.S took away about the only bargaining chip the Palestinian people have in their negotiations with the Israelis, namely the ability to prosecute Israeli war criminals in front of the world. How could this happen and why would the PA agree to this? It has been speculated that perhaps the U.S. threatened to cut off aid to the PA, or simply that Israel threatened to release tapes implicating PA president Mahmoud Abbas helping Israel coordinate the attack on Gaza. Abbas has been accused of this treasonous act because at the time Hamas was on the rise and he sought to destroy them in Gaza. Either way it was an enormous sell out of the long suffering Palestinian people. And once again, the United States was there helping a regime (Israel) orchestrate a massive injustice.

So the next time we hear some politician proclaim that America is that “shining city on a hill” for upholding the high standards of justice, democracy, and human rights around the world don’t believe them. It is all hyperbole. Behind the rhetoric are millions who are suffering because of our support of tyrannical regimes. And that is why they (extremists) hate us. It is not because of our freedom, but because we contribute to taking away theirs.

 

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • Richie

    Well Written & Stated :-)

  • Stan Burnitt

    The ‘in the name of national security’ argument has been making me laugh for years.

    The machine-like generation of highly motivated and provoked enemies — in combination with imminent fiscal insolvency — make Americans quite insecure, in every way.

    When will they get it? In another life?

  • Ruvy

    HAMAS! HAMAS!! JEWS TO THE GAS!!

    Those terrible JOOS did it all, huh? Should they be pushed back into the gas chambers that the American Army Air Force NEVER bombed? Should Auschwitz be rebuilt to murder off the rest of the evil JOOS – the ones who survived to create an advanced nation that is slowly leaving you Americans and Europeans (not to mention Arabs) eating our dust?

    We didn’t create the evil in the Middle East, Jeff, the Wahhabi trash and their hatred did – and they were financed by good Protestant American bankers – bankers who backed Hitler and who wanted to make a huge profit – AND WHO HAVE. Leave us out of the mess YOU created and take responsibility for your own sins for once.

  • Ruvy

    Sorry – that should have been Kenn, not Jeff. Was thinking of another not so smart fellow….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    I would say that it’s not so black and white as you purport. While I don’t like to be as cynical as Kissinger was when he uttered his maxim that nations don’t have friends, but nations have interests, I also realize that in international politics and diplomacy, sometimes you’ve got to support the local dictator…particularly when the strongest opposition group wants to destroy you.

    A great example is Pakistan – it’s a dictatorship that is corrupt to the core, but if we don’t keep the dictator in power we run the very real risk of al-Qaeda gaining control of the country and its nuclear weapons.

  • Deano

    I don’t disagree with the assessment that the US has a long history of supporting dictators and authoritarian regimes, as noted by Glenn realpolick tends to overrule both moral and ethical concerns in international politics. I am however, routinely surprised that this is actually treated as shocking, suprising or unusual news…

    If I may quote Casablanca:

    Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
    [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
    Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
    Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Great article, Kenn! All points well-taken.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    sometimes you’ve got to support the local dictator

    I am completely disgusted by your opinion, which I find unfathomable and without empathy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    @7 Indeed, I’ll take a libertarian, such as Kenn, any time of day over liberals like Glenn. At least they stand on principles, whereas our “progressives” have neither gumption, nor principles, only that fuzzy warm feeling in the pit of their stomach. God save us from well-meaning liberals. We’d all be better off without them.

    Interestingly, Kenn doesn’t need to assess the situation on the ground in order to clearly articulate his stance on the current developments in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, but our Glenn does. In fact, he’s already referring to these developments as “riots/”

    Amazing!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Wait a minute. Glenn has already made his pronouncement – occasionally we ought to support the local dictator, he says. You’re surely outdone yourself, Glenn.

    Which brings another thing to mind. Your worries about finishing your tour of duty in the military by not rocking the boat have all been in vain. You’d always have a career in our State Department. Not too late to re-consider. Hillary needs you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Interesting how my comment on this thread was deleted – so I’ll post it again.

    Why? Because my use of the word ‘riots’ was condescendingly marked in this thread as in another thread…and I feel I should have the opportunity to defend myself in both threads.

    =========== comment paste begins ===========

    Hm. Lemme see here – Conservative news outlets Fox News and the New York Post are referring to the “riots” in Egypt…and their counterparts on the Left, MSNBC and the New York Times also refer to them as “riots”…

    …but somehow, I’m the bad guy here.

    Gee, will somebody tell me how my use of the word “riots” was so incredibly offensive or inaccurate?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#11), haven’t you heard? Commenting on BC’s editing of comments is forbidden on this site. Come on, Glenn. Get with the program.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, your comment here was deleted here simply because you also posted the identical comment on the original thread where the remarks it addresses were made. As it had no relevance here I assumed it was an error on your part…

    Alan, it isn’t forbidden, it’s boring, particularly when the same information is given repeatedly and apparently wilfully ignored. Get with the program yourself!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Glenn, I haven’t accused you of being a bad guy (just because you choose to lump yourself with TV pundits). Let’s just say I expected better from you than what one hears on the networks. Besides, I don’t watch “news.”

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    The problem is by supporting the “local dictator” makes us as bad as the dictator in the eyes of the locals. Ironically, thus, Al Qaeda benefits from our self-serving policy by being able to recruit more to kill the “Great Satan”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Oh, the good old pragmatic argument. For a while I was under the impression that it was a principled stand.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn and Roger –

    What’s going on is not merely an uprising against a dictator, but is instead part of something much larger.

    Remember Iran in 2009? They tried with limited success to shut down the internet, till Twitter flexed its muscles. And the free flow of information likely had much to do with the victory of the moderates over Hezbollah in Lebanon later that year.

    But this isn’t just going on in the Islamic world. Look at the Great Firewall of China…and Myanmar’s oh-so-convenient nationwide internet outage in the week prior to their national elections this past November. Their internet ‘miraculously’ came back to life the day after the election.

    What we’re seeing, people, are skirmishes, battles, preemptive strikes, and fortifications in the war between totalitarianism and the free flow of information…and for the first time in history, I believe freedom of information has the edge.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    At last you’re talking, Glenn. Why did it take you so long to say it?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Probably because he had to spend so much time defending barbs over semantics first…

    Just a guess, though.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Oh no, it just dawned on me – when Mubarak is gone where will we send our detainees to be tortured? Now, that’s a dilly of a pickle!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    “The difference between a good officer and a great officer is about ten seconds.” ~ Admiral Arleigh Burke.

    What took so long is the fact that I’m not a natural leader. When presented a situation I cannot react as quickly as I wish I could. I have to think about it, ruminate, cogitate, and occasionally defecate as I alliterate.

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    In other words, I tend to realize what I should have said…about ten minutes or even ten hours after it needed to be said.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Don’t worry about timing, you’re not in the Army now (just kidding).

    Anyway, I’m pleasantly surprised. Haven’t heard such an illuminating statement from you in a very long time. If we just all try to forget for a while, or at least suspend, the idea of American interests and adopt a wider perspective, we’re halfway there.

    Till tomorrow.