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We’ll Always Have Paris

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Posted on Dec 14, 2007
Sarkozy and Gadhafi
AP photo / Francois Mori

French President Nicolas Sarkozy greets Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi upon his arrival at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

By Barry Lando

France is seething over the official visit of Moammar Gadhafi to Paris—a landmark affair, considering that President Nicolas Sarkozy’s invitation was the first such offer from a Western leader since Gadhafi’s notorious rupture with the West in the 1980s.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the Libyan tyrant happened to coincide with World Human Rights Day.  But the predictable political uproar in Paris raises as many questions about the hypocrisy of those who criticize Sarkozy for playing host to Gadhafi as it does about the morality of the event itself. In fact, the issue resonates far beyond the borders of France.

Not only was Gadhafi received formally—if coolly—at the Elysees Palace, but the onetime international pariah, whose secret services blew a couple of packed airliners out of the skies, was invited to address the French National Assembly—an event that the majority of assembly deputies boycotted. He was even allowed to pitch his heated Bedouin tent in the garden of the mansion where foreign dignitaries are traditionally put up. 

The French government was quick to point out that Gadhafi is no longer the notorious revolutionary leader he once set out to be. He has renounced his nuclear weapons program, declared he no longer supports terrorism, and informed the French National Assembly that the violent era of national liberation movements was over.

“If we don’t welcome countries that are starting to take the path of respectability, what can we say to those that leave that path?” Sarkozy explained before the visit.

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The trip was notably sweetened by Gadhafi’s signing agreements to purchase more than $14 billion in French products, from the Airbus to a nuclear reactor (for water desalination) to advanced jet fighters. Industrialists and oil companies in France are salivating over further possibilities.

Just the same, many leading French—including some from Sarkozy’s own government—were outraged. Bernard Kouchner, a longtime defender of human rights, now minister of foreign affairs, declared that “by happy coincidence” he would be unable to attend the official dinner because of a prior diplomatic engagement. 

France’s Secretary of State for Human Rights Rama Yade said, “Col. Gadhafi must understand that our country is not a doormat on which a leader, terrorist or not, can come to wipe the blood of his crimes off his feet.”

Such firestorms over the ethics of dealing with this or that head of state regularly flare up in the West. Just a few days ago, for instance, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown raised African hackles by boycotting the summit of European and African leaders in Lisbon because of the presence of Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe. 

But the issue raises a series of tough questions that cut to the heart of what international relations should be all about.

Which heads of state should be beyond the pale and why? Which tyrants’ visits should we get upset about?  Which should we accept?  Which—if any—leaders should we spurn?  Which should we talk with?

Mao’s China, for instance, was the empire of evil par excellence—until Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger finally traveled to Beijing and pronounced its leaders fit for international consumption. Certainly China is not the repressive regime it was under Mao; on the other hand, does anyone claim that the country is a beacon of democracy, either at home or abroad? Witness its backing of Iran and Burma and Robert Mugabe.

In their dealings with the world, the Chinese tend to ignore the burning issues of morality and human rights that, in theory, are supposed to influence the politics of the West. What counts is what leader has the resources the Chinese need, not the way he runs his country.

But do Western leaders have a different approach when vital national issues are concerned?

Gadhafi, for example, was excoriated by the West for his support of terrorism and his nuclear ambitions. For years, however, American leaders have exchanged warm red-carpet visits with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose secret police covertly backed al-Qaida and the Taliban, and whose top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, peddled nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea—almost certainly with the knowledge of leading Pakistani officials. Khan’s clandestine network may even have had dealings with other countries. We don’t know, since Musharraf continues to shield the scientist, who is still a national hero.

One gets the impression that many of the international pariahs tend to rule over smaller countries that lack huge resources.

The leaders of Burma, for instance, are considered untouchables here in France and certainly throughout most of the rest of the West. They run a corrupt, brutal regime, murdering or imprisoning hundreds of civilian opponents. By the same standards, when should Vladimir Putin be removed from the international A-list? 

Maybe we need some kind of score card, perhaps on a per capita basis. How many journalists or other opponents, for instance, have to be assassinated, how many elections have to be trumped up, how much money has to be stolen, before it’s considered immoral to deal with a head of state?

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, with his strange despotic ways, sprawling prison camps and starving population, was long considered the epitome of despotism. Definitely beyond the pale: part of the “axis of evil”—a “pygmy,” George H.W. Bush called him.  Now the New York Philharmonic is on its way for a round of concerts in North Korea, with blessings from the White House.

But let’s get down to basics. If two leaders want to talk face to face, one of them has to travel. Perhaps an international body could prepare a sliding scale of formal honors that would or would not be permitted, depending on the moral rating of the visiting head of state. Are red carpets acceptable at the airport? Reviewing an honor guard? Are state dinners OK? How many courses? What about state dinners with entertainment? How about laying a wreath at the local war memorial? An invitation to address the national assembly or congress? A visit to the Crawford ranch?

Of course, somewhere you have to draw the line, right? Another Hitler, for instance. Except that for most of the ‘30s, many of America’s leading industrialists—and many political leaders—were among Hitler’s admirers and supporters. For instance, in 1938 Henry Ford, on his 75th birthday, received one of Germany’s highest decorations from the Fürher.

How about Josef Stalin—a despicable tyrant who probably killed more of his own people—20 million, it’s estimated—than did Hitler. Back in 1943, Life magazine dedicated an entire edition to the Soviet ruler. An in-depth condemnation of his bloody regime? No way. The entire issue was a paean to the patriotism, the valor, the economic pioneering and planning of Stalin—the Father of the Russian People, America’s great ally against Hitler. The photographs and articles, which included lengthy assurances of Stalin’s benign postwar intentions toward Europe, could have come straight from The Daily Worker.

A final question: Gadhafi claims to have turned his back on his violent past, but how to handle other controversial heads of state—despised in much of the world—who show little inclination to change and little remorse? A leader, for instance, who ordered his forces to invade another nation, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, the injury and exile of millions more; a leader who condones torture by his intelligence agencies and secretly dispatched prisoners to be brutalized by the secret services of other countries, at the same time locking up hundreds of others for years on end without any charge. 

Do you invite him to the Elysees for dinner? Does he get to set up his heated tent in the garden of your official guest residence?

Barry Lando is the author, most recently, of Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush.


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By al m, December 23, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

EXCELLENT editorial!

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By Blueboy1938, December 20, 2007 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

As always, international relations are based on national interest.  The French are, yet again, feathering their nests by dealing with a repressive regime with much moola, or in this case dinars, to enrich their commercial enterprises.  If the French are satisfied that the proven liar, Mohammar Khadafi, is now telling the truth when avowing a new orientation away from supporting terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation, they they are entitled to offer a ceremonial gift of recognition to him.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that he is an autocrat with blood on his hands.

Of course, what isn’t in the article is the supposed warming of French relations by Sarkozy with the Bush administration, which many in the world consider an out-of-control, war-mongering, torturing, civil liberties trampling, anti-environmental regime headed by a wacko messianic.  There doesn’t seem to be much outrage at that.  Of course, we’re happy as pie, or at least Bush is, that the leader of another country besides the U. K. and Germany is signaling something less than disapprobation for our benighted foreign policy and taking our eye off the terrorism ball with the distracting, destructive, and disastrous Iraq adventure.  Of course, if Bush keeps trying to “massage” Chancellor Merckle, Germany might drop out of that triumvirate.

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By Paul_GA, December 19, 2007 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

This country desperately needs a foreign policy of non-interventionism and to quit playing favorites with the rest of the world—-in other words, to have a foreign policy of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none” (Thomas Jefferson).

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By larry brandes, December 19, 2007 at 6:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ll bet most people don’t know that when Regan bombed Gadhafi’s military base, the radio chatter that was used as an excuse was a Mossad plant. Who can tell what any truth is, when lies and deception are the norm for countries that label themselves as freedom fighters.

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By Howard, December 18, 2007 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

RE:  post by #120938 by 1drees on 12/18 at 3:12

=============================


Very interesting, and a perfect identifier of the differences between the Israeli and Arab societies. Israel criticizes itself, and even though the Arab in question probably deserved torture, most Israelis will be disgusted by this behavior.

Question: when Muslims torture Jews or Christians, does the Arab press criticize it and call the perpetrators to account?

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By 1drees, December 18, 2007 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘Now you are paralyzed, as we promised’ - Shin Bet

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/871239.html

smile finally a report from Haaretz, Something that our dear old RESIDENT EVIL can believe coz if its not from an Israeli source then “deny everything - admit nothing - make counter accusations”

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By Howard, December 17, 2007 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

re:  post by #120769 by 1dree5 on 12/17 at 11:24 am
=================

Man, oh, Man, here is a report we are suppsed to comment on about France and Libya.  Can’t you refocus on That, like the rest of us?? Israel has nothing at all to do with this article.  Not even mentioned.  Except in your mind.

YOU are the only one to keep bringing up that little country which is not the topic here.  It has nothng to do with the discussion at hand. Save it for when it might count Get a sign and walk up and down Piccadilly Circus or ‘sumpin in the meantime.

Or did some girl from that country say ‘no ‘ to you ? Leave you with a frustrated feeling?  Apparentely thats why its the only thing you can discuss in such a diparaging way. Stop making Israel out to be the Evil Empire.  Get a life, fast; man.

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By Daniel, December 17, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Kudos Mr. Curley.

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By jojo, December 17, 2007 at 5:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Barry Landos is out to lunch on this one. He’d make a good Bush shill.
France is now controlled by Israel,an MOSSAD agent.Let us go back to Iraq 1980’s.France built him a nuke plant,give him Missiles. Knowing that Israel will bomb the plant and them missiles turned out to be duds 1991. Sucker Saddam got milked by France. Libyia has oil you fools.Jewish Zionist France is being the good sucker cop.
Landos is Jewish. I wish the dink would read up on that downed plane before he makes an ass of himself…......USA brought the plane down—goofball

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By bachu, December 17, 2007 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

because of the “pygmy” label poor guy - Bloomberg could not run. He happens to be barely an inch taller than Kim. I love american politics!

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By Expat, December 17, 2007 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

#120575 by WR Curley on 12/16 at 9:49 am
(Unregistered commenter)

That was supposed to be “not nearly as well as you”.......

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By Expat, December 17, 2007 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

#120575 by WR Curley on 12/16 at 9:49 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Truthdig is an establishment joint.

Yes, I’ve said as much, but nearly as well as you.  We are sucked into the game of being baited and constantly switched.  We run from one topic to another.  I’m tired.

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By Paolo, December 16, 2007 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

As a libertarian, I have to say that you guys are all correct! Gadhafi is a tyrant. Stalin was a tyrant. Hitler was a tyrant (and Ford supported him). The Israeli government tyrannizes the Palestinians. Most of the Arab nations are just as bad, or worse.

And the USA tries to step in and referee the whole mess. Governments, unless hamstrung and under constant watch by a vigilant people, inevitably evolve towards dictatorship. Unless you vigilantly restrict government to a very few, carefully delineated powers (like the Constitution used to do before everyone started ignoring it), you will end up under a dictator.

Republicans and Democrats are both leading us down the primrose path to the everlastin’ bonfire.

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By TAO Walker, December 16, 2007 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

WR Curley (#120575) is right on-the-mark in pointing-out that the petit kings of “truthdig” (and their establishmentarian retainers) are for the most part as stark raving naked as any of the wannabe emperors cavorting along the banks of the Potomac.  His insistent observation that it’s really just a cheap trick to get (and keep) otherwise sensible people embroiled in dead-end brouhahas about flocks of fatally false premises, is trenchantly worthwhile.  It is also an ongoing subtext in much of what this old Indian has offered here over the past year.

So even if an extended visit to relatives “south of the border” (and without easy, or even difficult, internet access) wasn’t starting tomorrow, it is maybe time to admit there isn’t really a whole lot left to say here about the degraded and disintegrating condition our domesticated Sisters’ and Brothers’ condition is in.  To go on about there being absolutely NOTHING within the contraption they inhabit that will serve to get them free of it, would only be useless nagging from here on.

Anyhow, more argument will only be more wheel-spinning, when what we all need desperately is to get out of the “cars,” back on our feet, and start-in walking The Way back into our organic functional integrity as Human Beings.  It’s no mere coincidence that this is The Way out of this strangling captivity, as well.

Many good-hearted people here have given some of their precious attention and natural vitality to efforts meant to shed some light in a virtual world-o’-hurt kept intentionally shrouded in smothering secrecy.  That can’t help but help. 

Still, there comes a time to quit lighting matches in this shitstorm of criminal enterprise, and to simply abandon its captains and crew to their fate.  There’s light, fresh air, clear water, and a purified Mother Earth all ready for those who’ll let go their fear and emerge from the manufactured darkness.  Us surviving free wild Peoples look to see many of you here amongst us one of these fine days.

Thanks, and….

HokaHey!

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By WR Curley, December 16, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truthdig is an establishment joint.

This site is a stalking horse for the MSM. The intent is to offer the illusion of impassioned dissent while moving the Establishment agenda along.

Propagandists are subtle. The article’s lead baldly states that Gadhafi’s “...secret services blew a couple of packed airliners out of the skies.” There is no proof that Gadhafi or the government agencies under his administrative control had anything to do with the Locherbie bombing (think for yourself: where’s the upside for Libya?). Gadhafi chose to settle the consequent confrontation with the West by acknowledging that rogue operatives connected to his intelligence services may have assisted in the outrage, and by agreeing to pay reparations to the families of the victims (after sanctions threatened to cripple Libya’s economy, and after the US had bombed his residence, killing one of his daughters, among many others).

The author of this piece knows this history. So do the editors of this site. Why, then, do they choose inflammatory and simplistic rhetoric instead of dispassionate recitation of fact?

By most unbiased accounts, Gadhafi’s people practically worship him for rigorously marshaling the nation’s petro resources on behalf of the poor and the powerless. There is universal, free education and health care. There is an income distribution network, which may not guarantee wealth, but will at least proscribe starvation. There is a national system of local democratic assemblies, which elect delegates to regional assemblies, which elect representatives to carry the concerns of the populace to the “supreme leader”. Gadhafi is reverent in his espousal of accountability to his Bedouin brethren. This is why he wears robes and lives - in relative austerity - in a traditional Bedouin tent. This is ostentatiously symbolic and of uncertain sincerity, but then so is the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey on the White House lawn. Doubtless the Libyan system is flawed, but who’s isn’t?

Gadhafi’s damning trait is not that he’s a “tyrant”. Mushareff is a tyrant. Ibn Saud is a tyrant. Mubarrak is a tyrant. These are tyrants because the oppressed majorities of their nations - proud, devout Muslims shamed by their serfdom to neocolonial corporate masters - would cheerfully overthrow them if they could.

No. Gadhafi is damned in the eyes of the West because he is a pan-Arab populist, and a very popular one at that. He sees the Arab peoples as one people, who ought, by inalienable right, to have control of their ancestral sands and to the assets beneath those sands.

The West would kill him if it could, but we need the oil.

Truthdig could elucidate fact and allow you to reach your own conclusions. The editors choose instead to wed - once again - the image of France and “radical Islam” in a dramatic photo and a headline, trusting they can elicit and entrench an establishment-sanctioned response in the public consciousness.

(Note, glibly: “...flatten them with a little shock and awe”, the blood of some one million Iraqi civilian dead on our hands…) 

Don’t waste your time here. You’re being had.

Yours for a self-enlightened citizenry,

WR Curley
Elizabeth, Colorado

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By Mudwollow, December 16, 2007 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

100% about OIL.

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By Johny Kettzup, December 16, 2007 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where is “The Second Chance” praised so much in american culture?

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By Expat, December 16, 2007 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

#120391 by P. T. on 12/15 at 8:18 am
(393 comments total)

It may not be suited to Florida- or Ohio-style democracy.  But many people in Asia have been jailed for struggling for genuine democracy.

Jailed, yes, that’s correct.  But what is genuine democracy?  I’m not sure.  Do we have “genuine” democracy?  Surely not.  Democracy is highly over rated and open to abuse.  I submit a “genuine” democracy cannot exist without an active, involved citizenry; anything less falls to the corporatists (fascists). 
“They” have been jailed because they fought the lack of a free press, free speech, and ongoing human rights violations.  Democracy doesn’t guarantee freedom from this!  The Burmese weren’t screaming for democracy, they were upset because of the fuel prices.  That it did lead to larger demos and Ang Su Key has benefited from this is a positive developement.  Even if she were to gain power, do not expect a western form of democracy.   

Very few S.E.Asians have any real idea of our form of democracy, nor do they really want it.  We need to get over ourselves as the bastion of some semblance of righteousness.  Most of the people here in S.E. Asia where I live couldn’t tell you anything about democracy; but they can tell you what they want.  Even if they become a democracy, you wouldn’t recognize it as U.S. style democracy; the rampant corruption alone defeats that notion.

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By Btoven, December 15, 2007 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

I bet Suharto is cracking a smile.

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By Howard, December 15, 2007 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

re:  Post by #120447 by weather on 12/15 at 3:32 pm

=====================

Man, oh, Man, here is a report we are to comment on about France and Libya.  Can’t you refocus on That, like the rest of us??

YOU are the only one to keep bringing up that other little country which is not the topic here.  It has nothng to do with the discussion at hand. Save it for when it might count Get a sign and walk up and down Piccadilly Circus or ‘sumpin in the meantime.

Or did some girl from that country say ‘no ’ to you ? Leave you with a frustrated feeling?  Apparentely thats why its the only thing you can discuss in such a diparaging way.  Get a life, fast; man.

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By weather, December 15, 2007 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Howard you have the brass balls to ask if Iam embarrassed?
If Israel didn’t help engineer 9/11, they sure as hell were the cause of it.
No Howard your and Israel’s sense of entitlement is only exceeded by the girth and depth of the denial. A denial so thick, Freud himself could cut it w/a chainsaw.

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By Don Stivers, December 15, 2007 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Didn’t we do this with the Emperor of Japan after WWII?

Seems like we let the snake go.

No justice for those who have died at the hands of a tyrant because money is now involved.

Hmmmm…...

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, December 15, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

#120372 1dree5 wrote,

    “Madame/Sir, I am really starting to fall in love with your writings ...... and some like this one are ENLIGHTENNING.”

I very much appreciate your kind words, at least, I hope you’re not being sarcastic.  You see, I set myself apart from other highly learned people by recognizing that I have very little to contribute.  I believe that it’s the “learned people” who have made a mess of our world.  I, on the other hand, do very little.  That way, I’m, how do you say it, more or less innocuous.  It has been said that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  If you agree with that, then you can just imagine how dangerous a lot of knowledge can be, especially in the hands of egoists who turn their knowledge into destructive, regressive action, like the Bush administration and congress and the Iranians after they get the bomb that Oppenheimer and his friends used their considerable knowledge to invent and PhD’s who have become experts in the field of education and invent new math and whole language so kids will learn better and quicker and sell it to towns looking to satisfy their taxpayers quest for answers to “why Johnny can’t learn,” only to make things considerably more confused and the results poorer. I could, but shouldn’t go on.

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 15, 2007 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

#120391 by P. T. on 12/15: “Asia….may not be suited to Florida- or Ohio-style democracy.  But many people in Asia have been jailed for struggling for genuine democracy….”

They certainly are willing to put more effort into getting democracy that Americans are willing to put into keeping theirs, uhh….....

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

“Asia is not suited to western style democracy.”


It may not be suited to Florida- or Ohio-style democracy.  But many people in Asia have been jailed for struggling for genuine democracy.

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By Daniel, December 15, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

What surprises me most is that Gadhafi has yet to pitch his tent on the White House lawn.  What’s the matter with all our arms merchants, oil businessmen?  They all seem to be asleep at the wheel?  Not so fast…they already are in Tripoli, and have been for a while, lowering their trousers.  It is just that in the US, we may be more discreet than in France, and we don’t have what is call an “opposition party”

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By little green, December 15, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Which tyrants’ visits should we get upset about?”

Any one from a member of the Bush Administration?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, December 15, 2007 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

I have made it a point to always trust my government’s opinion and declaration on who in the world is good and who in the world is evil.  Bottom line: England and Isreal, good; everyone else, evil.  That way, I can resume thinking about important stuff like sex, beer, football and shopping.  Viva Liberty Toast!!

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By since1492, December 15, 2007 at 7:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

International political whores pimping themselves. So what else is new?
Hoa binh

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By Howard, December 15, 2007 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

RE:  post by #120356 by 1dree5 on 12/15 at 5:33 am
====================

Certainly a web-site made up of ‘fictional’ tales !
Unsubstantiated and most likely a Hamas web site if I ever saw one.

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 15, 2007 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

20327 by Verne Arnold on 12/15: “...who the hell are we to be telling/intimidating the rest of the world to follow our example….. Democracy (our version) is not the only form of government acceptable in the world.  Asia is not suited to western style democracy….”

Re the USA, Verne:-

Quote: “...the crisis of the “settler society” — a society that appears incapable of resolving its own contradictions —let alone the contradictions of occupying the… continent…... There is an apparent lack of capacity by “settler society” to resolve — let alone understand — the contradictions of living….. in a world threatened by escalating environmental destruction…” http://womenforwik.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=17

#Quote Barry Lando: “But the issue raises a series of tough questions that cut to the heart of what international relations should be all about….”

Well, it will be about climate change in future - and how to survive it. The military armaments industries will soon fade - one way or another - or it will be too late for all of us.

Likewise nuclear energy will break us - or saddle our grandchildren with a back-breaking burden! None of the imperatives of this age will matter for much longer.

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By Verne Arnold, December 15, 2007 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

My question is; who the hell are we to be telling/intimidating the rest of the world to follow our example?  Democracy?  As practiced by us?  Come, come, get a grip on reality.  Democracy (our version) is not the only form of government acceptable in the world.  Asia is not suited to western style democracy.  Democracy is not the only form of government allowing free press and free speech.  The Middle East is not suited to our style of democracy or possibly any form of democracy.  Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are certainly not democracies, but we give them a pass.  Only when our very special form of blatant hypocrisy ends will anybody listen to us…..which is as it should be!

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By Douglas Chalmers, December 15, 2007 at 3:05 am Link to this comment

#120303 by P. T. on 12/14: “The way the U.S. ruling class sees it, the fact inequality has become so extreme in China proves it is becoming more free and human rights are improving….”

Global warming/climate change will soon correct all of these appaarent anomalies, P.T. The few surviving Chinese will be happy, rich or poor. The few surviving Americans will be rich because they finally have it all but unhappy because they have no-one to serve them, uhh.

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By P. T., December 15, 2007 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

The way the U.S. ruling class sees it, the fact inequality has become so extreme in China proves it is becoming more free and human rights are improving.

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By Thomas Billis, December 14, 2007 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment

It is all about the money.The patritism and the human rights rhetoric is only for the peasants when they want to move them in a particular direction.You do not give up your kid for Exxon Mobil but to fight the” axis of evil” to push democracy on downtrodden people or any one of a thousand reasons to cover the real economic reasons.In order to gain power you have to keep the Cubans in Florida happy so the insanity of the sanctions against Cuba continues.If we can control the process we are for democracy if we cannot and we can control the country with a dictator in place we will do that.Sometimes dictators in place are good just to marshall the American people to spend waste enormous amounts of money on defensive weaponry we do not need a la Stalin.I think being able to destroy the world once was enough.Ameicans are the least informed people in the western world.By the way Kaddafi came with 14 billion worth of contracts.If he came with 30 billion he could have pitched a tent on the lawn of the Elysee Palace and Sarkozy’s ex wife would have visited him after mid nite or for an extra couple of billion Sarkozy himself would have slipped into the tent.

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By Davian, December 14, 2007 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Barry Lando’s sanction of “Shock and Awe”, if just a “bit”, is enough reason to stop reading his inevitably flawed rendition of history. Hard to imagine who his intended audience is if his subject matter requires more than a cursory familiarity with history. I would think Truthdig would demand more Truth.
I certainly do.

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By P. T., December 14, 2007 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Although this article’s failure to address U.S. financing and arming of Zionist expansionism sticks out like a sore thumb, in fairness to Barry Lando, he has discussed Palestine/Israel in a previous article on Truthdig.

As for the mainstream media, they would far rather talk about human rights in Burma.

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By Howard, December 14, 2007 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment

RE:  #120247 by weather on 12/14 at 3:27 pm

yep,  another essay/report which has ‘nutin to do with Israel.  Absolutely nothing. BUT, brought up within the first 3 comments.

Like clockwork. 
Very noteworthy.
Your agenda is showing.
Are you not embarrassed ?

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By P. T., December 14, 2007 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Right now the U.S. is trying to starve the Gazans for having voted the wrong way.  And Cuba has never been forgiven for defying U.S. imperialism.

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By msgmi, December 14, 2007 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Barry Lando should mention in his ‘tyranny’ article what truly happened to the American Indian.

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By weather, December 14, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment
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Barry Lando, If it’s tyranny you really want to take to task then look at Israel and stop your self-righteous slobering all over your keyboard about Gadhafi.
He’s but a game warden in a park people hardly use anymore.
You want to see Ugly, look at Ariel Sharon’s bed sores before he went into his faux coma.

This World’s upside down Lando and you’re in it w/out a watch and GPS.

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