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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-12-04 15:05:46)


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  • Saudi Arabia Again Fails Human Rights 101 (UNHRC)
    • Oil excuses anything. There's nothing that the Saudi elites could do either to their own people or to others by way of bankrolling Wahhabism that'd trigger any kind of response from the West.

      That Saudi Arabia of all countries works well with Israel against Iran (and Hezbollah) as well as against grassroots Muslim movements like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood is icing on the cake.

  • Did Ariel Sharon get a pass on War Crimes because he was White?
    • Israel has a powerful patron and so does Syria. Qaddafi did not have a patron and neither do most African countries today - though during the Cold War many brutal dictators flourished: from Idi Amin and Mobutu to various Communist warlords. South Africa's apartheid regime did not fall until years after the USSR did: i.e. when anti-communism was no longer a valid excuse to defend a regime that most people considered repugnant. They became an embarrassment (as Qaddafi did, who'd otherwise been very well-behaved) and paid the price for that.

      Race has got nothing to do with it. Sharon could have been an Ethiopian Jew with dark skin and nappy hair and he'd still have been safe. This is because the US is deeply invested in Israel regardless of who's in charge and will not allow any judgment of the country, its policies, or those who plan and/or execute them.

  • Top 10 Ways the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World
    • Corruption in the global south is less about personal gain and more about family/tribal/sectarian loyalties. In those societies, you'd be seen as a bad person if you didn't do favors for your family, friends, family of friends, friends of family, guys from your hometown, coreligionists, etc.

      The American attitude that a commercial transaction between complete strangers with no other link or interest in each other is somehow more ethical is frankly alien to them. It makes us look like a nation of mercenaries.

      Also, even the selfish element of global south corruption is different, being more status-oriented than money-oriented. By being in a position to do favors for people, you are seen as a person of ability, influence, and honor. You're not doing it simply for a short-term payback, but to pull them into your web of dependency and tribute, where they (and their relatives and posterity) will pay you back far more over time.

  • Scrooge Republicans prefer Pentagon White Elephants to Food Stamps for Poor Children
    • The American people won't wake up. They prefer the dream of American exceptionalism: unchallengeable military power, best health care in the world, etc. ... and they definitely don't want people darker than themselves to benefit from a change in government spending priorities. Conservatives even view white recipients of government aid as somehow morally depraved or even mentally defective.

  • Militant Secularism in the Middle East?
    • Why do we want the Muslim Brotherhood to be active in Egyptian politics? Why would the Egyptians themselves want it?

      People can be for parliamentary democracy and not be liberals. It makes perfect sense for the MB to embrace democracy then and now when the Egyptian military keeps proving to them that they can't gain power any other way. Turkey is much the same way: the JDP got power by portraying itself as democrats against de facto military rule and by appealing to populist aspirations and resentments against a secular, Westernized urban elite.

      But what happens when populist aspirations and resentments are themselves Islamist? What is the "silent majority" of an Arab and Islamic society likely to vote for?

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