« I am become profit | Main | Partition: Not what it used to be »


By Michael J. Smith on Saturday March 19, 2011 01:22 PM

From Mike Flugennock, who writes:

President Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner, quoted by Al Jazeera in a statement as opposing violence against civilians – on the same day that his Predator drones engaged in more slaughter of civilians in Pakistan – has sold a shit-ton of weapons to Saudi Arabia who, in turn, has joined the army of Bahrain in the massacre of unarmed civilian protesters in the streets of Bahrain. Is that pretty much it? Have I missed anything here?

Comments (11)


That "civilian" word is really military-speak. It has nothing to do with the Latin root, or any aspect of western philosophical thought related to it, but is an operational term, describing one end of a graded scale pilots flying at 500 MPH use to decide whether to pull the trigger or not.


In the case of Bahrain, the overarching self-exculpatory script that will be trotted out and read from ad nauseum is a toxic mixture of fact and fantasy made up primarily of the hoary Shi'ite-Sunni cleavage trope:

As a result, the tendency in the United States to blame "sectarian conflict" and "long-simmering hatreds" for the Sunni-Shi'ite violence in Iraq is, in effect, blaming the victim.


I can't help but think that the invasion of Libya is being used to distract from the sickening events in Bahrain.

Also, I agree with Angry Arab that Bahrain has exposed the true nature of aljazeera. Not such great guardians of truth and justice, eh?

The invasion of Libya is probably not a distraction from Bahrain - whom no one cares about and few citizens of the UK, US or France could probably find on a map - in so much as a reactive wedge driven into the heart of Arab revolution.

Adding to the above - Egypt would not be governable by any foreign power, and Tunisia has nothing of value which could justify "peacekeeping" forces.

Libya has a manageable population size, and plenty of loot.

Establishing a friendly regime there allows NATO to drive a stake into the heart of revolution, keep Tunisian and Egyptian radicals separated by a war zone, kills the aspirations of radicals in Algeria and Morocco, as well as further isolating Lebanon and Palestine from the growing Arab ferment and foment.

Libya was ripe for the taking - not an exact analog to Iraq, but with the several preconditions necessary to the sell back home.


Yeah, I'm really just referring to the way it is being handled by AJ. The lack of coverage is quite frustrating. Obviously the decision to invade Libya wasn't based on events in Bahrain

" no one cares about"

Depends on who you mean by no one. I'm sure that the US Navy cares quite a bit, as do many people in the region.

By "no one" I mean anyone paying attention to the sell, re: Libya, or anyone who drives a car, or anyone who buys food at now weekly increasing prices, smiles glumly, and makes the needed adjustments.

Most people.


huh? I'm not sure what point you are making here. Do you mean that Al Jazeera is right to not cover Bahrain because their audience is not interested in the events in Bahrain?


A comment on a Humanitarian Intervention debate that recieved the highest number of 'thumbs up' from viewers:

If it's in the interests of our oil companies then it's in our interests as well. Our economy depends on them. We depend on them to drive anywhere and to power our homes. If the Libyan people want us to intervene and the UN want us to intervene, and also it is financially viable for us to intervene, then why is it a bad thing to intervene? We can afford to intervene in Libya because we gain from it economically. We can't afford to intervene in Yemen. Why is it so bad to admit that?


"ripe for the taking"
Nice comment, Crow. It fits so well with US interests, you could almost imagine it was planned that way.

I don't quite see how it isolates Lebanon and Palestine from the Arab ferment, unless you consider Egypt a lost cause.

How do you read the US media (interviewed generals, experts, etc.) sounding off so quickly about the contradictions of the policy, the difficulty of achieving regime change -- the real aim of the policy?


My knowledge of the region is supplemented by a very Saudi perspective (family member), so I always take it grano salis, but:

Egypt is likely to come out of this more firmly tied to the US than not. Mubarak's reign was coming to an end, and the Egyptian people unknowingly gave London and Washington an easy solution to the problem of the lesser Mubarak. Gamal was universally detested, even by those who supported the elder lifetime President. He was unlikely to hold onto all the factions in his father's camp, especially since he was seen as soft, Westernized and beholden to foreign interests and banks.

Now, the succession doesn't matter, and the generals have a firm hand over parts of Egypt that Gamal would have had to re-secure politically. Given legitimacy by a popular uprising and US toleration for it, the US financed Egyptian military is better suited to resume doing what Mubarak the Older used to do - run the Empire's outpost quietly and securely, for the benefit of those who want the Suez open to shipping and Egypt's farming and factory poor kept in agreeable servitude.

So that unless the Egyptian uprising becomes a full fledged revolution - or civil war and stasis - it's present condition suits the West and anti-revolutionary forces just fine.

Or something like that.

This gives Israel a very secure shield at its back, in the Negev and along the troubled border with Gaza, freeing it up to continue its shenanigans in Gaza and its planned solution to the instability in Lebanon.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Saturday March 19, 2011 01:22 PM.

The previous post in this blog was I am become profit.

The next post in this blog is Partition: Not what it used to be.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31