Thursday, March 29, 2007

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

The monarchical rulers of our bestest buddies, BFF Saudi Arabia, are closely connected to the Bush family and run the sort of repressive government that serves as inspiration for people like Alberto "Abu" Gonzalez.

So, what love note does our BFF send us this week?

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: "In beloved Iraq, blood is flowing between brothers, in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and abhorrent sectarianism threatens a civil war."

If Arab leaders recover trust in each other and regain their credibility, “the winds of hope will blow on the nation, and then, we will not allow forces from outside the region to determine the future of the region, and only the flag of Arabism will be raised on Arab soil,” Abdullah said.

Sweet. Looks like the Bush administration is doing the same thing in the Middle East that it did in New Orleans.

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11 Comments:

Blogger les said...

I'll be surprised if the US has a foreign ally left by the (blessed) time Worst.President.Ever leaves office. Not that the Saudis were ever allies of much more than the oil industry.

3/29/2007 9:18 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I hate this war as much as many of you, but I ask two questions.

What if the Brits that are being held in Iran are executed? What should the position of the U.S. be? What should the position of the UN be?

3/29/2007 9:26 AM  
Anonymous STL Anonymous said...

Dan,

Why do you insist on driving the current wedge deeper between the left and right? What ever happened to honest and open discourse in this country? You seem like such a reasonable guy at times - but you always start off with some ridiculous rant!

The conflict in the Mid-East has always caused dubious relations between the US and the Arab nations, regardless of who the president was or what country we were wooing at the time. President Carter's problem was the Iranians - can't really blame him for Iran taking US Embassy hostages. It is interesting though, that the Iranians released them just as Reagan was taking office - but for the sake of argument, we'll chalk that up to coincidence! Similarly, we sided with Saddam to help gain leverage against Iran – only later to invade Iraq. Then there’s Afghanistan, whom we helped to defeat the Russians, only to have them (and SA!) spawn terrorists groups and swell guys like Bin Laden. The current problem is the bond we have tried to forge with Saudi Arabia – which I believe was Bin Laden’s original home nation - I could be wrong on that, it's not unheard of that I would be.

The only consistent ally we have had in the region is Israel. Not coincidentally, that's the primary reason that the Arabs don't really like us, but have tolerated us when it suits their purpose. You can’t really blame them, we have done the same to them – only making nice with those countries that benefit us at the time.

However, this new fall from SA'n grace is all about their fear that we may not be as committed to the new "peace" proposal they offer as they would like us to be - so they're simply turning up the heat! "Land for Peace" has been the rallying cry forever for the Arab nations - unfortunately every time Israel takes them up on it, they get their hand slapped when the Arabs then want even MORE LAND for the same "peace". It doesn't take an expert in foreign policy to see what that is eventually leading up to, especially when many Arab leaders (including Iran’s Mahmud Ahmadinejad) openly admit that their goal is for complete Israeli extermination.

So, where does that leave us? Well that question DOES take an expert in foreign policy - one that apparently does not exist because no US administration yet has been able to forge a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians - and as long as everyone wants the same hunk of holy ground and won’t share it, there will be unrest in that part of the world. The US has found itself thrust in the midst of it for decades for legitimate reasons; 1.protecting Israel, 2.national security in the form of, yes I said it, oil! I need it, and so do you , so get off your high-horse about blood for oil. Ever since oil was found useful, it’s been blood for oil because oil is the precious commodity that helps keep our industrial machine going; and every president since before any of us were born has been doing what he can to keep us in it. It’s an ugly fact of life, but one we all must live with for now. Speaking of which – that’s something we all should be able to rally behind - a viable energy substitute that will allow us to get out from under Arab control, and stop funding terrorism with our own oil addiction.

Whether or not you agree with any of the reasons for, or level of, US involvement in the Mid-East, every president has struggled with that delicate balance – each in his own way and each with limited results. So bottom line is, this is nothing more than a power play by SA and the other Arab nations to pressure Bush, whom they are fully aware has his own problems here and in Iraq, to lessen his support of Israel in their rejection of the Arab’s latest land for peace sham. How about a PEACE FOR PEACE plan – why do the Israelis always have to give something up for a tentative and temporary “promise” of peace that never really happens. There is where your outrage should be directed, Dan.

I don’t even get the New Orleans reference – the damage done by Katrina was neither caused by Bush, nor prevented by decent planning by him or any of the National, State or Local leaders that preceded him – but that’s a whole other debate. The aftermath was botched by all (Bush included), but that has no bearing or similarity at all to the situation with SA and the other Arab nations. You just put NO in to turn up the volume on your website – a cheap ploy.

So I give up on this, and all BLOGS. I have found the experience to be a pointless battle of wits between folks who have made up their minds on an issue before they have heard all the facts. Then they sharpen their swords and twist whatever the news-d’jour is to support their forgone conclusion. No one is ever convinced of anything – never really listens to the other guy - it’s not a true discourse – and so it disintegrates into a sparring match for sport. The cheap shots tell it all!

No thanks!

Sincerely your friend,
STL-Anonymous

PS I apologize in advance for any spelling errors - not my strong suit.

3/29/2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger les said...

STL-Anonymous, you raise some interesting posts. I think the Saudi position may be simpler, tho. Yeah, it's an oppressive dictatorship with tight gov't controls; but, the US has never been popular outside the monarchy--remember where Osama and most of the 9/11 perpetrators came from. Now, George is losing it in Iraq--and the Saudis may be stuck trying to save a Sunni minority in Iranian/Shia dominated Iraq, instead of tsk-tsking about a Sunni dominated secular dictatorship next door.
I don't know about left/right wedge. Yeah, maybe Teh Left is less sanguine about foreign military adventurism. But this is mostly about blinkered, historically and socially ignorant behavior driven by ideology, without regard to reality on the ground. Not ot say glaringly incompetent. And it is fundamentally damaging to this country.

Finally, why harsh on Dan? It's the king of SA saying that our occupation is illegal; our formerly biggest buddies in that part of the world. GWB and the neocons have lost us another ally; I don't see how you blame Dan or Teh Left.

Unless you subscribe to the notion that reality has a liberal bias.

3/29/2007 12:08 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

STL - "How about a PEACE FOR PEACE plan – why do the Israelis always have to give something up for a tentative and temporary “promise” of peace that never really happens."

Why do the Israelis always have to give something up? Ummm, let's see, that's a tricky one. Could it be because everything they have they fucking stole from the from the people who were there before 1948?

And then weren't satisfied with that so they stole even more in 1967?

And have continued to expand and steal at every opportunity.

And their claim to the land is what again? Oh yeah, GOD gave it to us. Love to see the paper trail on THAT deed search.

The reason that Israel and the U.S. are so universally hated is because we both take the same attitude on the world stage: "We are going to do whatever the fuck we want to do and if you don't like it, meet us in the alley and we will kick your ass until you beg us to stop and promise to shut the fuck up."

That's not Leadership. That's just being a dick.

3/29/2007 6:33 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Travelingal -

Honestly, I don't know. I sincerely doubt they will execute them, so I hope the question remains hypothetical.

The position of the US ought to be to shut the heck up.

The position of the UN ought to be strong condemnation.

3/29/2007 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

XO
So tell us, who did the Palestinians steal that land from before Israel stole it from them? Name any country in existence today that didn’t seize their “homeland” from some other group somewhere along the way. You can't, because the act predates history. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s such a universal human act that it’s hypocritical to point out one single government and indignantly say “they f*ing stole it!”

3/30/2007 10:59 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I sincerely hope they are not executed either. I don't think we can do "nothing" however. We must support our closest world friend in some way, hopefully without military conflict.

If, however, they execute the hostages, then I say if the UN will do nothing, we immediately pull out of the UN. As for Iran itself, I don't know yet how I feel as to what action would be necessary.

3/30/2007 2:30 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

Jim - You're right. We all stole our land from somebody. That's why I find it so ammusing when people in this country complain about "illegal immigration". I remember Tony from TKC quoting his grandfather (I think) when he said "We didn't come to America...America came to us!"

But given that what you say is true, Israel needs to drop all the righteous indignation about having to give up land that they so blatantly stole. Give up something you have no legitimate claim to in order for some legitimacy and peace? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Just as we should shut the fuck up about "illegal immigrants" in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and all of the other territories we stole from Mexico.

Don't even get me started on Hawaii. No fucking way that could be considered part of our so called Manifest Destiny.

At least we bought Alaska, fair and square, from someone who didn't actually own it.

3/30/2007 6:48 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

Too tired to argue the point of illegal immigration tonight, but rest assured, there shall be a damn good debate some day, XO.

xo

3/30/2007 7:26 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

STL -

I'm sincerely sorry that your experience with blogging hasn't been satisfactory. My model for blogging is much more a bar room conversation than a graduate level seminar. Soemtimes, things need to be stated strongly to convey their urgency.

I'm a little confused by your points, though. When you bring up Carter's problems with Iran, are you intentionally raising the painful memory of Reagan's treason, and the Iran/Contra affair? There truly should have been some hangings to come out of that dark moment of Republican history - but they got pardons instead of nooses, because, really, it's okay if you are white and republican, no matter what you do.

There I go again . . .

But, some things really do piss me off. Behavior like Bush's botching of the Middle East, where things are far worse than they had been when they were merely awful, is not something I can accept as a small miscalculation to be forgiven politely. How, when Republicans are calling me a copperhead and saying that I hate the troops because I want them home alive, am I driving the wedge?

The fact that all presidents have struggled with the Middle East doesn't explain why we are bogged down in a war we should have avoided. This is different. It's like if Reagan or Carter had fired nuclear missiles at Moscow and, in the resulting nuclear winter, had waved his hands and said, "Oh, well, all presidents have had trouble with them . . ."

You don't see the connection with New Orleans, but I do. There, we were stuck with an incompetent Republican federal response that Bush tried to bluff his way through (heckuva job, Brownie) because the government run by patronage and for cronyism was more important than the human lives lost in the flood. Same thing in Iraq, but bigger.

As for your point on the pointlessness of blogging - are you my wife? But I do see the point of debate. I learn a lot from the comments, both in my favor and against my positions. But if it's not your cup of tea, I can see that. Too bad - you had some interesting points to share.

3/31/2007 10:38 AM  

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