Monday, November 19, 2007

“Our” Friends

Whither(ed?) Moral Authority?

This past weekend, we saw Presidential candidate Barack Obama get rightfully steamed at a wingnut disruptor at one of his Iowa “Town Hall” meetings. The grumpy agent-provacateur/windbag tried to hammer Obama with a 28-cent, Russert-esque conflating of two very different issues—tying freeper fanaticism over border security to the war on terror and the 9-11 attacks.

The normally unflappable Obama became visibly agitated at the incessant needling and outright misinformation the admitted opposition supporter breathlessly kept yammering about.

“I want to know specifically what you would do to protect this country from terrorism,” said the woman, who later introduced herself as Jane Svoboda, 64. “And are you going to close the borders and get rid of the illegal immigrants?”

“Those are two separate questions,” Mr. Obama said.

“Probably,” she replied. “Maybe three or four.”

So Mr. Obama launched into a long answer, arguing the United States took its eye off the biggest terrorist threat by waging war in Iraq and allowing Osama bin Laden’s network to prosper in Afghanistan. He said the United States must forcefully pursue radical Islamic terrorists who are intent on launching an attack on America, but also work to build goodwill around the world to change minds of those who revile the United States.

The answer seemed to not sit well with Ms. Svoboda, who interrupted Mr. Obama. Later, she wondered whether Democrats were as equipped to protect America as Republicans.

“This is a part of the world that I’ve studied deeply,” Mr. Obama said. “This is part of the misinformation that’s been coming out of this administration.”

As they exchange continued, the volume and intensity increased in Mr. Obama’s voice.

“My job as commander-in-chief is to keep the American people safe,” he declared. “I’ve got a 9-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old daughter. Don’t think that I care any less than Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney about making sure that my daughters don’t get blown up.”

Now, this little exchange in itself is I guess a sick “fun” for those who sit around salivating about how “life is a campaign”, (it isn''s just fucking life, and those navel-gazing obsessives really need to hear that thrown back in their blotchy, barking faces) but it speaks to a bigger issue I think, about America itself. About our grossly misplaced priorities insofar as foreign policy, and why some of us feel the need to apologize, or flat out repudiate the way our government conducts itself as those now besieged American bridge players did.

“Hey, wait! It was just some batty wingnut sniping at Obama! Where do you get all that geopolitical shit from?”

Well...let's take a look at what Obama said, again:

He said “the United States must forcefully pursue radical Islamic terrorists who are intent on launching an attack on America...”


“This is a part of the world that I’ve studied deeply,” Mr. Obama said. “This is part of the misinformation that’s been coming out of this administration.”

And then take a look at this disturbing piece of news breaking big over the last 72 hours or so—via Jessica at Feministing:

Rape victim in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 200 lashes

Let's file this under the what-the-fuckety-fuck-I'm-going-to-cry files:

A court in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishing a female victim of gang rape with 200 lashes and six months in jail, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The 19-year-old woman -- whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms -- was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” the Arab News reported. (Emphasis mine)

There's no word fit to describe the ugliness of that story. None whatsoever.

Now...bear with me as I ask you to look again at the trenchant little snapshot from the recent past that graces the top of this post—a favorite of Steve's as it speaks volumes—yet again:

If you don't quite remember who that gowned and burnoosed fellow on the right (quite appropriately) is, who Bush appears to be tenderly escorting to the Georgetown Park Mall for a TCBY date, it's Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia—a top dog in his oil-soaked country, America's biggest oil supplier, and close family friend of the Bushes—the elder and the lesser.

Now let's go back to Obama's frustration with that haranguer of his, because the above picture perfectly encapsulates what he was saying in response to her. People like that mock-high dudgeoned questioner have no clue—either via ignorance or simply willfully ignoring the facts at hand as to thing the first about a real Goddamned “war on terror”. Wingnuts scream about the terror threat, and how Iraq is so key to it, but the truth is as Obama said to the woman during their exchange: Saddam Hussein and Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.

It's a simple statement I myself have had to say to a wide variety of frothing GOP crazies once they get their inner Wurlitzer cranked up—although I hit them with this super-salient, extra bit of detail.

Of the 19 9-11 attackers, 14 OF THEM CAME FROM SAUDI ARABIA—the land of those government-funded religious madrasas—cultish, hyper-fundamentalist “Islamic” schools where hatred of all things Western is taught alongside a brass-knuckled, highly-oppressive version of al Islam.

Why did our government put NO pressure to bear on the land where the vast majority—3/4 of the 9-11 attackers hailed from, and were taught their hate at government-funded academies?

In the back—can we get that slide again, please?


Clowns like that questioner, and this present government she backs haven't the right to a sliver of self-righteousness or a dollop of dudgeon about a Goddamned thing involving terror, and consequently not a shred of moral authority on anything worth a tinker's damn when they look the other way on the documented coziness of Bush, Big Oil and those backward, oppressive regimes that so nakedly mean us no good.

They do not get to cry about “spreading democracy” when they go on about the oh-so-cool, purple-fingered “freedom babes” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but flat-out ignore the human rights debacle that is the case of the aforementioned Saudi woman, so abused multiple times—first by her attackers, and then again by the “Friends of Abdullah and Bandar”, and by extension—Bush, in the Saudi “judiciary”.

The people who who financed the schools where the 9-11 attackers double-majored in Backwardness and Hate, and the people who back the Saudi “justice” system that has so grievously punished this woman—a victim— are one and the same.

These are “our friends”. A star chamber of spoiled, inbred petro-princes who according to Bush and his hardcore minions, like Obama's weekend annoyer (she of the “24%”)—can do no wrong. The right's level of understanding about what we're dealing with over there goes no further than what they can glean from a scratchy 45 of “Ahab the Arab” and TNT's reruns of “The Mummy Returns”. They know nothing, and want to know even less, while braying confidently about right and wrong. But you see, when I go off about the Saudis and their fingers in various pies of perfidy, I actually can speak with a certain level of moral authority.

I don't just have a passing, post 9-11 acquaintance with al-Islam. I have been a Muslim for most of my life, and I know for a fact that the lunatic Wahabbism practiced and supported by Bush's friend Abdullah is just a freaky, twisted version of Islam designed to keep people dumb and time-locked. Far away from any practice of democracy that would threaten present controllers of those precious oil-dollars, and the wee-souled man who amorally profit from them—be they the aforementioned spoiled, inbred petro-princes in gowns abroad or the ostrich-skin cowboy boot-sporters here in America.

What tenuous moral authority we may have had, burned to a cinder shortly after 9-11 when the value of selective American “palliness” trumped doing the right thing, and then loudly pancaked like the Twin Towers two years later when we stupidly embarked on a “war on terra” against a non-aggressor.

The old saying goes, “You are known by the company that you keep.”

This is the company we keep.

To that nattering wretch who bedeviled Obama about the great, brown-skinned bugaboo, dimly equating it with terror, and her fellow eye-averters who effectively support the world's leading financier and exporter of terror to our shores, as well as the number one stumbling block to democracy in the have signed off on their purchasing...lock, stock and slippery oil barrel the “friendship” of your addition to his silence and yours for their their every vile transgression. And you apparently have absolutely no problem with it.

So please...fucking spare us progressives, your convenient enemy of choice—your disingenuous...and sanctimonious bullshit.

As you lay down talking-point covering fire for our so-called “friends.”

Begging your pardon...your so-called “friends.”

Fate will not be kind to you for your craven moral relativism...and I can only hope...we can only hope—that our nation as a whole somehow survives in spite of it.

For all of our sakes. Even a few of you dumb-asses.