Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

US takes a break from condemning tyranny to celebrate Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia

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Just as the US condemns other nations for cyberspying, so the US condemns harsh dictatorships except for those it likes. Glenn Greenwald writes in The Intercept:

Selecting the year’s single most brazen example of political self-delusion is never easy, but if forced to choose for 2013, I’d pick British Prime Minister David Cameron’s public condemnation of George Galloway. The Scottish MP had stood to question Cameron about the UK’s military support for Syrian rebels. As is typical for Western discourse, criticizing western government militarism was immediately equated with support for whatever tyrants those governments happened to be opposing at the time: “Some things come and go,” proclaimed the Prime Minister, “but there is one thing that is certain: wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the world, he will have the support of [Galloway].”

What made Cameron’s statement so notable wasn’t the trite tactic of depicting opposition to western intervention as tantamount to support for dictators. That’s far too common to be noteworthy (if you oppose the war in Iraq, you are pro-Saddam; if you oppose intervention in Libya, you love Ghaddafi, if you oppose US involvement in Ukraine, you’re a shill for Putin, etc. etc.). What was so remarkable is that David Cameron – the person accusing Galloway of supporting every “brutal Arab dictator” he can find – is easily one of the world’s most loyal, constant, and generous supporters of the most brutal Arab despots. He has continuously lavished money, diplomatic support, arms and all sorts of obsequious praise on intensely repressive regimes in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, and Egypt. That this steadfast supporter of the worst Arab dictators could parade around accusing others of supporting bad Arab regimes was about as stunning a display of western self-delusion as I could have imagined . . .

Until this week. Tommy Vietor was President’s Obama National Security Council spokesman during the first term. He left to form a consulting firm (along with Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Favreau) that trades on his White House connections by forming messaging and communications strategies for corporations that have extensive business with the government, although he still literally adorns the walls of his home with multiple large posters of President Obama (see this remarkable 3-minute video profile of Vietor and his new work, which a friend sent with the title “the care and feeding of a young imperial bureaucrat” (it features a bonus pre-Snowden quote angrily condemning the Chinese for hacking)). Vietor’s function, which he performs quite faithfully, is simple: to express and embody the most conventional, defining views of official imperial Washington about itself. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

29 March 2014 at 12:15 pm

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