Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, February 24, 2006

Jingo Blowback

the digby

Last night Kevin approvingly linked to the same William Greider piece that I did and said:

On a related note, it makes me feel almost nostalgic to watch the toxic stew of cherry picking, half truths, and outright misrepresentations currently being used to demonize the UAE as a virtual arm of al-Qaeda. You know what it reminds me of? The way Bush & Co. tried to sell Saddam Hussein as Osama's best buddy in the Middle East. It's poetic watching the Bushies squirm when they're on the receiving end of this stuff.

I think this comparison is off base. To the extent it is demagogic, this UAE outcry falls into the category of political ox-goring, the likes of which are seen every day in our system. Comparing it to the lies, distortion and institutional manipulation that led the nation into a war is vastly overstating it.

This would be better compared to the white house having a fake case of the vapors over Newsweak reporting that Korans had been defaced at Guantanamo and "causing" the riots in the mid-east. The head of the joint chiefs of staff said the whole thing was used as an excuse by the heavies in Afghan politics, but that didn't stop the administration from lecturing the press about revealing these accusations. Many people accepted the idea that Newsweak erred, particularly when it was shown that the report was unreliable. Bush and his boys had been saying that revealing information about torture and abuse was playing into the enemies' hands for months, so this fit perfectly with their "loose lips sink ship" rhetoric. In this case, Bush has been saying "we're fighting 'them' over there so we don't have to fight 'them' over here" for years. Saying now that it's ok to bring "them" into our ports creates cognitive dissonence. They have only themselves to blame for the outcry.

In both the UAE port outcry or the Newsweak outcry, the demagogic argument coming from the administration is that these things will harm our image in the middle east and make it more difficult for us to prosecute the war on terror. It works fine as long as it doesn't conflict with one of their other demagogic arguments. But neither of these flaps come close to the invasion of Iraq for sheer bad faith and demagogic overkill.

Besides, there is a legitimate reason to be wary of the UAE being involved with US port management and calling it racism, in particular, is puerile nonsense. Like Pakistan, another close ally in the war on terror, the UAE have been playing both ends against the middle for a long time. We all understand that and accept it. They have to deal with the vicissitudes of their own political situation which doesn't always accrue to our benefit. Welcome to the real world where the black and white formulation of "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" is shown as the bullshit it always was. As Yglesias says here:

... the UAE isn't a strategic partner of the United States in the way that the UK is. The number of countries who have British-style security relationships with the United States can be counted on one hand, if not one finger. We share intelligence with the British that we wouldn't share with Portugal, much less Dubai. An ally as close as Israel has been known to screw us over in defense and intelligence matters because, hey, countries have different interests. A private British firm operates in the context of the rule of law; a state-owned enterprise in Dubai . . . not so much. These are different countries in a thousand ways that have nothing to do with skin color. Pretending not to see the difference is childish and absurd. That a country hosts American military bases proves almost nothing -- we have bases in all kinds of places.

I would suggest that if the UAE is holding access to their ports over our heads as a way to ensure this deal goes through, then we may have to evaluate whether they are even the nominal ally in the war on terror we think they are. That's called blackmail. They can't interfere with our domestic policies any more thaan we can interfere with theirs.