Yes, yes, I know I’ve been awfully quiet. Major events happened recently, and I haven’t blogged about them here (mainly because I’ve been busy tweeting about them instead).
Damn, so where shall I start?
As you can recall, I was mightily pissed off a few months back when Biden refused to acknowledge that Mubarak was a dictator, and the Obama administration reacted to the Egyptian uprising in one hell of a confused and disappointing way.
Eventually, we began noticing the shift in Obama’s US foreign policy towards the region, which went from a rather one-size fits all “yay let’s support these dictators for the sake of stability” to “let’s actively support democracy where we can and avoid doing so in the case of regimes we can’t afford to ditch.”
Things have gotten better in some ways, but not in regards to others.
In the case of Libya, kudus to Obama, Hillary and Ambassador Rice for helping save Benghazi from a bloodbath. The United States did the right thing, and then understandably stepped away after initial operations. I wish it would do more though along with Qatar and UAE, especially in light of NATO’s inability to more actively protect civilians.
On a related note, it was hilarious seeing some people on Twitter demanding that the United States do something to stop the impending massacre in Benghazi, and then jump up and down with anti-US slogans once American forces actually stepped in and began heavily pounding the Zanga Zanga Clown’s forces.
Ah, knee-jerk anti-Americanism is aways fun to watch.
Yes, there was Vietnam, and the disaster that ensued in Iraq thanks to George W. Bush, Dickhead Cheney and Donald Rumsfailed, but then we too easily forget the Marshal Plan, South Korea and Bosnia.
Moving on to Bahrain now. Bahrain, oh Bahrain. I feel truly disheartened every time I think about the crackdown in Bahrain. And don’t even get me started with the graphic violent videos I watched of dead and injured young Bahraini protestors.
Of all the Arab countries that witnessed a pro-democracy uprising, in the long-term, I think Bahrain is in the shittiest situation. Sandwiched between the world’s largest oil exporter, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, Bahrain surely finds itself in the middle of a crappy geopolitical Halloween party full of ugly costumes and overly intoxicated unwise people who might start projectile vomiting all over each other if they don’t resolve tensions.
It’s messed up. Activists are getting arrested left and right, and a few have already ended up badly tortured and dead in the dungeons of the monarchy, which then gave the most ludicrous reasons for their death. The reasons given might have as well just been “oh so and so stepped on a banana peel, slipped, fell, hit his head on the floor and died. It wasn’t us!” Or “he sneezed, chocked on his own tongue and died. Ops, sorry, seriously, we didn’t do anything.”
Like I said, it’s messed up, and again, I find myself wishing that countries like the United States which have influence and leverage would do more to help. At the very least, the United States can press the Bahraini monarchy to release political prisoners and activists as a gesture of goodwill, but then again, with Saudi involvement, the worsening American-Saudi relations, and of course oil and the Fifth Fleet, Bahrain becomes one of those countries the United States is too reluctant to pressure. Still, silence means being complicit to an extent, and that needs to change.
Yay to interests being more important than values and morals. I mean, can’t we have interests aligned with decent values?
No? The world is too messed up?
What’s the latest news from Syria? If a prize for the most courageous people should go to anyone, I think it should go to the Syrians. Unlike the Egyptians, they don’t enjoy the same level of media coverage that could provide a decent protective cover, and unlike the Libyans, they don’t have a coalition bombing the armies that are killing them. Yet, they still continue to protest in the face of a military onslaught that includes tanks.
One word. Balls.
Moving on to my final thoughts for this post.
OBL’s death. Two words. Good riddance.
Unfortunately though the infamous Sudanese Islamist leader Al-Turabi, the man responsible for hosting Bin Laden in Khartoum in the early 90’s, had to ruin the moment with his expected lovely remarks on OBL’s death.
The leader of Sudan’s opposition Popular Congress Party gave a cautious reaction to news of bin Laden’s death in a U.S. raid in Pakistan on Monday.
“All Muslims are sad today. I don’t like the killing of any human,” he told reporters at his house in Khartoum packed with supporters and friends celebrating his release.
“Osama bin Laden had some good intentions but that does not mean I approve everything he did,” he said, describing the 9/11 attacks as a mistake.
Really? All Muslims are sad today? All Muslims? Speak for yourself oh beloved Turabi. Speak for yourself and your constituency. You already have a lot to answer for. Don’t make things worse.
And people, don’t fall for his attempt to try and seem compassionate with the line “I don’t like the killing of any human.”
Al-Turabi is responsible for the deaths of thousands upon thousands of Southern Sudanese thanks to the self-serving opportunistic “holy jihad” he unleashed on them, and I’m rather concerned by his attempts to mobilize Sudanese in the north for political change. He is to be carefully watched and never trusted. Remember that!
That’s it for now. More later.