Monday, March 28, 2011
Deja Vu all over again...
Are we living in The Twilight Zone? It sure appears that way when a Head of State refuses to return a Nobel Peace Prize after it was belatedly realized that he did not deserve it. And then we have actor Steven Seagal riding alongside militant Sheriff Joe Arpaio on a tank with SWAT teams raiding a house owned by a man named Jesus—accused of cockfighting. Need more proof of a police state? The lunacy unfolding in front of our eyes feels even more unreal when it is presented on television absent any mass public outrage.
History all too often teaches us that the tactics used in foreign policy usually return in the form of those used in domestic policies. Ergo, the inane use of a tank to stop a cockfight actually becomes akin to the imperial hubris of conducting the bombing of a people in order to help the people. In the case of Mr. Jesus: “Thousands of dollars in damages were made to the property and 115 birds were euthanized on the spot.” By which Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies later claimed to have “erred on the side of caution”. Some error: it was their tank plowing into the house that killed all the chickens.
In such an insane world, we can actually draw several parallels between these disparate events. All due to wrapping violence in the latest pretense: Humanitarianism.
The tank used in Phoenix and the bombs dropped over Libya have similar objectives:
* Terrorize populations.
* Advertise the effectiveness of the arsenal in order to generate revenue.
* Incrementally establish new methods as the status quo.
* Discourage disobedience through violent intimidation.
Setting Humanitarian Precedents
In a well-crafted speech, Obama justified why he refused to return his peace prize:
I think the American people don’t see any contradiction in somebody who cares about peace also wanting to make sure that people aren’t butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power.
What’s even more hypocritical is that when Obama was interviewed by Justin Webb from the BBC, he was asked if he regarded Mubarak as an authoritarian ruler; Obama’s response was boastfully: “No, I tend not to use labels for folks.”
Apparently this is why Obama did not see fit to enforce a no-fly zone when Mubarak was torturing his people. Or perhaps it was because the US actually helped train the brutal Egyptian secret police. One cable dated November, 2007 and published by the Telegraph, describes a meeting between the head of the SSIS, Egypt's secret police, and FBI deputy director, John Pistole, in which the secret police chief praises Pistole for the "excellent and strong" cooperation between the two agencies. SSIS chief, Abdul Rahman, said the FBI's training sessions at Quantico were of "great benefit" to his agency. As an aside, how grand that the FBI was training the SSIS and now its former deputy director, John Pistole, is in charge of the TSA. In all fairness, TSA abuses are tame by comparison.