Wednesday, February 22, 2006


The President, who has made a career out of and salvaged his ratings with Arab and Muslim bashing, is now threatening to veto any legislation that would impede the sale of U.S. port management services from a British firm to a Dubai firm.

I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, 'We'll treat you fairly'.

All of a sudden holding Middle Easterners to a different standard? This isn't all of a sudden. Americans have been told time and time again by this administration that Arabs and Muslims are such a threat, both here and abroad, that

  • their phone calls should be tapped
  • they should be thrown into Abu Ghraib without any question about their guilt
  • they should be thrown into Guantanamo Bay with no chance of a trial just because the government tells us they are guilty of some unknown crime
  • mosques should be monitored for radiation
  • Arabs and Muslims should be restricted from certain high security clearance jobs
  • they shouldn't be allowed to fly, play paintball or videotape national monuments.

And the American public has bought this nonsense hook, line and sinker. It is no wonder they are finding it hard to accept that their God, GW Bush, would allow an Arab firm to manage the operations of key American ports. Bush and his junta have played the race/religion card throughout the Emperor's time on the throne and they now ask the fickle, uneducated masses who believed the lies to now accept the opposite. Bush is telling the Congress and America not to be racist against Arabs? Huh?

The flurry of contradictions this episode is producing would be comical if they weren't so pathetic. For years, the Republicans have been assuring the rest of us that the Emperor knows what he is doing; that we should take his word on anything and everything because he is such a wholesome, honest guy who cares about nothing more than the security of America. They even went so far to justify wiretapping Americans with cliches like, "we don't know what our leaders know and so we have to trust them." When the President violates civil liberties, we are supposed to trust him; when he oversteps executive authority, we are supposed to trust him; when he pisses on the Constitution and then uses it to wipe himself, it is for our own security. He is God and we should put our faith in him. When he agrees to sell a port management operation to an Arab firm, however, Congress must get a backbone and demand explanations.

Watching the Democrats jumping on the bigotry bandwagon in all this is equally amusing. In the excitement over a non-issue that distracts the masses from their otherwise drab lives, the supposed promoters of tolerance are now arguing that race should be a factor in determining who gets to own a port operations company. Out of nowhere, the Democrats have become "tough on security". Could it be an election year?

Never mind that at least 90 terminals at major U.S. ports are operated by foreign governments and businesses. The governments of China and Singapore own companies that hold terminal leases along the West Coast, Japanese businesses control dozens of terminals nationwide, and a Danish company runs nearly a dozen major ports on the East Coast.

For a great analysis of what is going on, check out the following article:

Has anyone forgotten that the Enron trial is going on?


At 10:25 AM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Possum said...

You are absolutely correct.

It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would to say that...

I took a different angle on the same topic. I pointed out that
1) to have a US company requires a phone line, address and a secretary
2) the middle management or labor guys that would "facilitate smuggling" could be bribed to do it now
3) the ratio of containers to inspectors is so outrageous, smuggle it anyway because you are more likely to get struck by lightning than be caught

So maybe there is money greasing the deal, or maybe it just really will never matter who owns what because there is a way around the law any way you write it.

At 10:41 AM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Possum -

Today is a glorious day because I never thought the day would come that we would agree on anything. Especially this issue! :-)
Did you read Justin Raimondo's article? He speculates that Longshoremen are, in part, behind the raucus, since World Dubai Ports is non-union. That wouldn't surprise me.

At 10:43 AM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Har! Check out the wingnuts at the New York Post; their headline is "DUBAI DUBYA IN DOCK SHOCK"

It's my personal view that being concerned about this is not an indication of racism, no matter how much Dubai Dubya (I'm loving that) would like it to be so; rather, honestly, concerns about the integrity of the government of the UAE have merit.

:-), StS

At 10:49 AM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

StS - if China gets to run its own terminals, what is the problem? Rumsfeld spends an inordinate amount of time railing against the China threat, yet no one says a word about China having port terminals in the US.

Concerns about UAE's integrity are fine, but the hysteria thus far has been nothing but racism. Dubai World Ports run facilities across the world, so unless someone can point to instances of security breaches on their watch, it is nothing but racism.

At 1:03 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

To be honest, anything that G. Walker Bush supports so fervently HAS to be bad. That's my knee-jerk reaction to this whole mess - I don't particularly care how the shipping world runs it's business, but if Bush likes it I automatically hate it and distrust it and wonder who's getting paid for it.

Ain't that sad?

II - as always, you've pointed out aspects of the situation I hadn't considered. You gotta stop doing that. It makes my pointy little head hurt.

At 1:25 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

The China example is actually very apropos. One of the things that always makes me angry about what I cringingly refer to as Bill Clinton's foreign policy is that his administration acquiesced in the acquisition of the Panama Canal facilities by a Hong Kong based firm owned in part by the Chinese military.

The concerns about DPW are obviously others than in that example. But generally, I think there's a good case to be made that the operators of our ports should be politically reliable.

Just my $0.02.

:-), StS

At 2:03 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Chris - I share the same distrust. When I heard the story, I wondered "who is getting paid for this"? That's what makes his newly found racial tolerance so disgustingly disingenuous.

StS - If the ports are such an important part of the national security landscape, they should be run by American companies. One article I read said that no American firm submitted a big to buy P&O. Deciding whose reliable is dangerous. An Israeli company was given the contract for the phone lines in the White House and, a few years ago, it was discovered they were tapping the lines.

Things like that should never be oursourced.

At 2:07 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

This is pure politics that has morphed into a racial issue. I'm sure there are some strong business interests opposed to this deal. Still, I find it distasteful that people are opposed to an "Arab" company operating ports.

At 3:15 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

An Israeli company is operating the what oh never mind. I agree, that falls under egregious stupidity as well; Jonathan Pollard comes to mind.

That said, I am really getting a great deal of amusement out of watching Dubai Duhbya's partisans twisting in the wind, torn between their hatred of anything vaguely Middle Eastern and their instinctive servility to their king. Our friend Fool is likely picking up the pieces of his exploded head from the floor at this writing.

:-), StS

At 7:35 PM, February 22, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

Wow! I personally, don't have the same feelings of mistrust toward "W" as alot of people (all?) in this thread.

Call me a fool if you'd like, but I feel that any president of the US deserves a certain amount of latitude when making military and foreign policy decisions (unless they want to give this country away to the UN - then all bets are off for me).

However, I don't like the UAE thing any more than I like the China, Danish, whatever - even Canadian interests running our ports.

As far as the unions: hey, if it wasn't for unions, we wouldn't have a weekend, time and a half for hours over 40 per week worked, insurance, or any of the other things we take for granted today. If the unions don't like 'em, I usually don't like 'em either. We've got enough problems with rich, white Americans trying to bust up unions, let alone trying to add rich foreigners into the union-busting mix - but hey, that's just me.

At 7:31 AM, February 23, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! You know why else I love your blog? You know when to turn up the heat! The sad reality is that the lip-service of the current government (Republican and Democrat alike) is, for the most part, driven by short-term personal agenda. Go Oil!

At 8:03 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger mrsleep said...


Yes our President does deserve some latitude, as long as that latitude doesn't involve abuse of power.

W has had plenty of latitude. Pretty much, the Nation and Congress gave him lot's of latitude on the story supporting to remove Sadaam from power. Now it is quite clear that story had lot's of holes in it, and the Administration knew about those holes, or best case ignored other intelligence which refuted the argument. This is not intended to harp on this point, but use it as an example of "Latitude".

At some point, the Public and Congress has to step back and review the latitude provided to the "Leader of the Free World", and assess the collective decisions in their entirety.

If that latitude has been abused, then the latitude needs to be removed. That is why we have a balance of power in this nation.

If our Founding Fathers were alive today, they would be leading a revolt against the shameless power grab by the Administration, and the abdication of enforcing balance by Congress.

At 8:14 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger mrsleep said...

On the port issue, it just makes me nervous, that we continue to outsource control of our borders.

UAE is not necessarily the issue, it is the issue of the policy behind it.

At some point, there are certain things we cannot outsource, that have to be managed and controlled by U.S. resources.

At 8:53 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Can someone explain to me why exactly the chimp is deserving of latitude? Isn't that the core issue here - that he does not deserve the trust that would allow him to be given the kind of latitude he's demanding as of right?

I'm sorry, but whenever I hear the 'just trust me' argument coming from chimp, my hackles go up and I suspect there must be some dangerous tomfoolery involved.

:-), StS

At 9:35 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I'll let Boris defend that position. The Emperor has proven time and time again that he cannot be trusted, he is a liar, he's only out for the good of his corporate benefactors, he will screw the poor, the military, the middle class, the Constitution, the world and justify it with scare tactics over "terrists".

At 10:50 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Possum said...


Your column agrees with Ann Coulter?!?


This IS a weird topic.

At 11:22 AM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Possum -

First Bush is telling America and Congress to be nice to Arabs, then you agree with me, then Ann Coulter makes SOME similar arguments. The universe must be out of alignment. I can handle Bush doing an about face and agreement with you, but sharing an opinion with that Satan-worshipping shrew is too much. :-)

At 12:04 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

In the interest of precision, let it be noted that Ann Coulter is Satan.

:-), StS

At 4:55 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

There's no doubt in my mind that everything you said on my blog is the truth.

First of all, why associate the whole country with the hijackers, just because they came from there?

Well, we have a mosque about 45 miles north of where I live. In fact, some of the members of that mosque have recently made the news for various terror related hijinx.

I've never been in that mosque, but I've been told (and it's been reported in the Toledo Blade) that the imams who give sermons at that mosque get their sermons faxed to them from Riaydh, Saudi Arabia. It's a Wahabbist mosque.

I've always been under the impression that the Wahabbists are pretty much the "spiritual advisors" of the house of Saud. Don't know if it's true, but that's an impression that alot of people have.

We here in the midwest constantly hear stories about Wahabbist doctrine being responsible for the "death to Israel, death to America" style of indoctrination that's being taught in madrasses from the Saudi peninsula to the islands of the Philipines and Indonesia.

It seems like it would be difficult to extract, given the Saudi royal family is sitting on a house of cards anyway.

Wasn't the whole reason behind King Faud kicking Usama Bin Laden out of Saudi Arabia, because UBL wants to integrate Wahabbist doctrine into Saudi Arabia's foreign policy, and make cheap oil contingent upon each country's ability to assimilate into a Wahabbist government?

Saudi politics are interesting to me, because the town I'm from is headquarters to a very large oil company. As a result, our university has recruited royals from the Middle East, by advertising on Al Jazeera.

I had a guy who claimed to be a member of the Saudi royal family in my health class. No doubt in my mind he was. We had to stand up and introduce ourselves by telling us our name, major and our intended profession upon graduation. Of course most of the students fresh out of highschool are very nervous, and they poured their hearts out in their introductions.

Then, it came to the guy beside me. He stood up, looked around the room with a look of complete comtempt on his face as though he was smelling shit, defiantly folds his arms and announces: "I am a member of the Saudi royal family," then sits down.

That all by itself didn't convince me he was royalty. What convinced me, was the end of the class, when a bunch of really hot looking women - women who would probably make the quarterback's heart pound - came up to him, asking him all kinds of questions about whether or not he was a prince (he looked the part) and so forth.

They were all anxiously awaiting his answer, and that same look of contempt swept over his face, and with a motion of his hand like he was shooing away flies, he said, "get away." It was obvious he was disguisted. He then turned his back.

You could tell he wasn't gay, and given these were extremely attractive women, I would imagine he probably has a whole harem at home.

But back to the point: it seems like the Wahabbist doctrine and the House of Saud are pretty much intertwined, whether either one of them likes it or not; and that relationship I think, defines how the West perceives Saudi Arabia. The fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, doesn't help that perception.

Stalin the Shark's assertion that Bush doesn't deserve lattitude: I'm going to tie that in, with what Intellectual Insurgent said on my blog, which is, follow China; wherever they are, the US is sure to follow. She said China is quickly becoming a world power. (Yeah, thanks to Wal-Mart, but that's a whole different discussion!)

Can "W" be blamed if he's doggedly pursuing what he thinks is an agenda that will attempt to maintain America's superpower status? He is after all, the president of the United States.

I come from a Red State. We have alot of Blue here too, but we are mostly Red. Around here, people see whatever the president does to perserve America's power (short of nuclear annihilation) as a good thing. I realize not everyone thinks that's the case, but around here, it is.

I have mixed emotions about Bush.

I know he's bleeding blue collar jobs away from this country - and that is fueling China's military/industrial complex (again, the Wal-Mart thing) but I also would like to think that Bush (however misguided he might be) is doing what is in his judgement, the best he can for this country. It may not always be perfect, but there are quite a few people who think that.

In fact, I tell people at work about these blogs. They can't believe there are so many bloggers who're against Bush. They aren't connected to the coastal point-of-view. I think it's been a fact of life that politics on both coasts is much more liberal than it is in the interior of this country (where I'm from).

The people reading this, may be just as shocked to find out that people around here think Bush Jr. is the best thing since Ronald Reagan - which means you'd have to think Reagan was all that and a bag of chips to start with - and they do.

At 5:14 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Chris said...

Dear Mr. Yeltsin,

Being from Iowa, I know whatcha mean. There are a few of us left wingers here in Iowa, but we are few, far between, and very quiet. And lonely. Very, very lonely. Even the college educated gentlefolk hereabouts are conservative.

A friend of mine moved here from the left coast. "In Seattle I was considered middle-of-the-road," he told me once. "But in Iowa they think I'm a flaming liberal..."

My neighbors consider me to be an activist because I vote. That scares me.

At 5:49 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris -

Wahhabism is the essence of Islam in Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden grew up on Wahhabism and, once the royal family allowed American troops in the country, he argued that they aren't really Muslim. In other words, the royal family doesn't follow the Islam it brutally imposes on the society and, in that regard, Bin Laden has a point. Islam prohibits gambling, but the royals are notorious for losing millions in Vegas. Islam prohibits alcohol, but I've seen that Saudi filth come to Egypt and head straight to the bars looking for hookers. Bin Laden is calling them on their shit and essentially saying that they should practice the Islam they preach. That's why they hate him so much.

With regard to Bush, if all of this was pragmatic moves to preserve the empire, I might respect it. But, as a lawyer, I cannot ever trust a president who is willing to throw the US Constitution out the window to expand his power. He has overstepped the bounds of executive power, he has began a terrible slippery slope of infringing the rights that make America what it is, he has screwed the people who are fighting the colonial war for him, the only people he cares about are his corporate benefactors. And all the while the average Joe thinks GW gives a rats ass about him. It's really sad.

I feel sorry for those people in the midwest who are losing their jobs to China, are losing the unions that have given them a decent wage, are voting to get rid of social security because they worship GW and don't want public healthcare. Those of us on the coasts will fare much better than those poor morons who are voting for their own destruction.

At 7:09 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

The night club I used to work in was a hot-spot for the Middle Eastern royals; not just the Saudi royal family, but royals from other countries as well. (The Saudis have wonderful taste in clothes and cars - the rest seem to have a ultra-cheesey sense of style with bright, funky, neon colors.) They all get wasted on imported beer; they all seem to exclusively like Heineken.

Yes - they're hypocritical. That's the beauty of life with royals, which is why the Marshall Plan and the Japanese Occupation included getting rid of the royals in Europe and Japan.

The royals of the Middle East need to go too, but there's no way we could ever get rid of the Saudi royal family because they're said to be direct descendants of Mohammed. Therein lies the problem.

I think that Bush may be excersizing a "Hail Mary" by trying to get democracy introduced to Saudi Arabia via democratic Muslim countries (that have yet to be democratic) in the Middle East.

Is it a long-shot? Probably. But I honestly think it's worth a try, because I think the Wahhabists will become the mainstream of Islam (with their big bucks financing PR campaigns to make their brand look better than everyone else's) and they won't be satisfied until they make every government on the planet a Wahhabist state - despite the hypocrisy of the Saudi royal family.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me like there's a major shortage of moderate Muslims who command media attention denouncing terrorist attacks. I have seen moderate Muslims who denounce the terrorists, but it doesn't appear as though they have a strong following. Maybe I'm wrong because I'm not part of the Islamic community, but that's the perception the media pushes.

What percentage of mosques in America are not Wahhabist? I know you probably don't have an answer right off the top of your head, but it would be interesting to know.

I don't know what it is about the geography that makes the politics so different. When you're immersed in one region's way of thinking, it becomes easier to accept it, because people aren't freaked out and hateful about talking about their point of view, so it doesn't seem as threatening, therefore, it seems easier to digest.

Are they getting rid of the unions? Absolutely! But in my opinion, when the Mafia got out of the union business, that pretty much signaled the beginning of the end for them anyway. What threat to the company is everyone's drinking buddy bringing to the bargaining table anyway? That's who winds up representing the local, and it's usually a guy who can hold his liquor real well, is fun to be around at the bar, and plays a mean game of pool - but what threat does he bring if the company he's negotiating with can fire all of the union rep's workers and not think twice of it?

It's a sick, sad world sometimes!

At 8:14 PM, February 23, 2006 , Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 23 06

You are spot on and in a rare case you and Born Again Redneck agree! Huh? Yeah, the port plan is plainly and simply IDIOTIC!!! Screw that. Good post II. There is nothing coherent about it!

At 7:58 AM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Well, just a few points:

- I'd like someone to explain to me just what Bush policy exactly has been to the strategic or general foreign-policy benefit of this country. My argument against the invasion of Iraq was always and remains that it is a strategic, geopolitical disaster. Once Iraq is wrapped up, and it will be, we will have no large bases in the entire Middle East, because chimpie decided it was a good idea to give up the backup bases we had in Saudi. The withdrawal from Saudi, BTW, fulfilled bin Laden's central demand; so much for standing up to the tayruhrists. Add in to that that our relationships with Latin America are in the toilet, that we have no China or Russia policy, and that Europe is rapidly integrating to the detriment of our own interests, and I do not see the security that Bush is giving us. I've heard Bush's statecraft compared unfavorably with that of Wilhemine Germany. Sorry.

- As far as Bush support in the heartland is concerned, I went to an event last night with the Democratic governor of Montana. His name is Brian Schweitzer, and he was very well received by a bunch of us effete East Coast Liberals. That said, the chimp presently has positive approval ratings in ten states, ratings above 50% in only six. Link.

I was in correspondence for a long time with a right-wing friend who has since passed away; but I told him in 2000 that Bush, if elected, would harm America and destroy the repug party. I've never retreated from that analysis, and everything that I'm seeing today confirms it.

:-), StS

At 10:14 AM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


I don't think the port deal is idiotic and I have yet to hear anyone explain why, other than offering a weak plot of an episode from 24. The point of the post was the irony of GW doing an about face on his hatred of Arabs, watching his base flouder in confusion. They like him when he is racist and whine to the Congress to do something when he is not. Hypocrites!!! Why aren't all those reichers trusting him now? They trust him to piss on the Constitution, to wiretap Americans, to start one war and threaten another, but he can't allow a company from Dubai to operate ports? That just illustrates how rotten those people really are. And to watch the Democrats jump on the racism bandwagon only confirms how disgustingly weak, unprincipled and phony those Republican Lites really are.

At 1:19 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

Actually, don't you think (and I don't agree with everything they do, trust me) but don't you think it's the Democrats who've been racist all along? They claim to be the party of inclusion, but only if you walk in lock-step with their ideology. Look at Zell Miller's speech at the RNC. There are a ton of Democrats who feel betrayed by their party.

Now, back to the Democrats being the party who I think may have been the racist ones all along:

Don't you think it's racist to underestimate your enemies, just because they live differently and think differently?

The Republicans know the extremists are smart- very smart. They're not cutting the extremists any slack - and for good reason - they're smarter than I think the average American gives them credit for.

I think the upper-echelon of the Democratic party has somewhat of a condescending attitude toward people of Middle Eastern descent, by trying to convince people Islamic extremists aren't a threat to this country - at least not enough of a threat to justify things like intercepting phone calls from known extremists. They want us to believe that it's more important to give known extremists cell phone privacy, than it is to give us the security of knowing that our government is doing everthing it can to protect us from threats that are known to be credible and very dangerous.

No extreme is a good extreme. I don't care if it's Islamic extremism, right-wing extremism, or left-wing extremism. All forms of extremism suck! And if we let our gaurd down for one second - what UBL wants will come true.

What has Bush done that's beneficial? Has he really alienated other countries like they claim?

European countries have a large percentage of Muslims who are part of the electorate. Hold on to your hats now: maybe European politicians are putting on a big anti-American show in Europe to satisfy their electorate, while behind the scenes, thanking God there's at least one country on the face of this planet that has enough balls to stand up to Islamic extremism.

Funny how we get so much cooperation from Interpol. That's strange, given the public anti-American stance their governments show on the outside. Maybe it's not so anti-American after all.

I saw a BBC report on Usama Bin Laden's master plan, which he has had out in book form, for quite some time now. I should do a post on it, because it makes complete and total sense as to why the World Trade Center was chosen as a target. Hint: if they really wanted to kill as many Americans as possible, and they had command of 4 jetliners that were loaded with enough jet fuel to fly those jets across the continent, don't you think they could have killed 100 times as many people if they would have aimed those jets at the pitcher's mound of major-league baseball games? Their goal is not to kill as many Americans as they can: their goal is to kill our economy so we'll get fired up enough to blame whoever somebody with a solution wants us to blame. (The Jews.)

At 3:21 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris -

Behind every Islamic "extremist" movement is CIA training. You have bought the administration line wholeheartedly, but a bunch of holy rollers couldn't threaten the U.S. on their best day without incredible training from elsewhere. Please - visit a Muslim country sometime and you will see what a bunch of buffoons those religious nuts are.

And all that nonsense about "Wahhabi" mosques in America is doublespeak for hating Muslims. Wahhabism is a "strict constructionist" approach toward the Quran and is prevalent in Saudi Arabia -- an incredibly pro-American country.

The U.S. doesn't want "democracy" in Saudi Arabia. You have accepted so many assumptions that simply do not hold water. It is the Wahhabi Saudi government that has made Bush and his cronies rich and they aren't going to do anything to disturb the relationship. In any event, who says the Saudis want democracy or perhaps the answer to that question is irrelevant within the manifest destiny paradigm. There are many nations out there that are happy monarchies. I am convinced that even Americans would accept a monarch if he convinced them he was benevolent (the way GW has).

At 4:32 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

I've been under the impression that the CIA has always kept countries in the Middle East fighting eachother, so they won't turn against America. (This would keep everyone dependant and anxious to receive Uncle Sam's perceived benevolence.)

When Clinton decided to balance the budget, the first thing to go were the programs that the CIA put together to keep a balance of power in the Middle East by getting Arabs to fight Arabs.

Is this a correct assumption? The CIA got Arabs to fight Arabs to keep them dependant?

It's always what I thought. International chess. Hopefully, it never gets to the point where one side can say, "Checkmate!" Either side could at any time - and that's what makes this a scary world.

At 5:27 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Boris -

What Arabs fought Arabs? Besides Saddam going into Kuwait (which has its own sordid story), what other battles between Arabs have there been?

At 6:59 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

Lebanon vs Syria for one. The Kashmir region and the opium trade in that whole tri-country area of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. War lords fighting for turf in Africa (Somolia).

Mainly warlords who control the local scene, which in my opinion, is the most important scene, because nothing can impact you more than your own hometown.

Muslim countries in Africa and south Asia seem to have more than their fair share of warlords, fighting for control of regions within provinces. To me, that's Muslims vs. Muslims. Iran vs. Iraq. That was big. I'm a news and history junkie. I could probably go on and on, but why?

Does anyone care that America captured Slobadon Milosivich? That was no easy task. They shot down what we thought was an undectable stealth fighter, the first night of hostilities. Ouch!

At 7:03 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

If you are talking about Muslims v. Muslims, that's a different story. You originally said Arabs v. Arabs and, in that regard, Lebanon and Syria have never gone to war with each other and none of the other nations you mentioned are Arab.

I don't know enough about warlords in either Africa or Asia to comment, but I am not sure what the point would be. Each region has its own geopolitical context, so I am sure if we looked at each one, we could see the business interests lurking in the background. Rumor has it that the Darfur genocide was done in cahoots with the Chinese who are making deals for natural resources throughout Africa; the killers wanted the money from the deal.

It is rare that religion is, in and of itself, a reason for war. It's usually the slogan that rallies the stupid masses to fight the wars of the rich who need the conquests to enrich themselves further. There is no reason to believe that Africa, Asia or wherever else would be any different.

At 7:54 PM, February 24, 2006 , Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I agree about Bush's two-faced appearance here and I seem to agree with what you're saying, so how come it looks like we don't agree, when I think we do?

At 6:22 AM, February 25, 2006 , Blogger Boris Yeltsin said...

You're right: I did say Arab vs. Arab, and I meant to say Muslim vs. Muslim.

Syria and Lebanon never fought? I thought up until recently, Lebanon was occupied by Syrian troops. I just assumbed Syria invaded Lebanon in order to occupy them.

As far as the other point about the rich needing a cause to get the masses fired up: funny you should mention that, because I work beside a "good 'ol boy" from Kentucky. He hates the Confederate flag though - but not for the usual reasons most people do.

He says the Southern plantation owners were just off-shoots of British royalty who were trying to recreate England in the South.

He said they couldn't make it as big-time royals in England - but they did have some money, and they used that money in an attempt to recreate another England in the South, where they would be the big-time royals - so they could thumb their nose at the people back home who snubbed them.

He said the whole idea of working for the company store (selling your soul to the company store) and how badly people were forced to become economic slaves (according to him, blacks were treated the worst, but poor whites and other immigrants weren't any better off - they just had the appearance of being free) and in order to maintain the high profit margins of the cotton industry that only slave labor would allow, the British gentry got the poor white folks all fired up, convincing them that the North was another country - in cahoots with Canada - who was in cahoots with England - to take over their country.

He said the people who fought for the Confederate side didn't know it, but they were fighting to keep themselves enslaved economically. Interesting perspective - I wish I had the time to research it.

Anyway, you're "spot-on"!

At 11:25 AM, February 25, 2006 , Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Captain - I think we agree and I left a comment at your blog.

Boris - your friend is quite intelligent. You need only read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" for confirmation of that point. Zinn does an excellent job of laying out how the rich whites played off the Indians, blacks and poor whites against each other. Hmmm... kinda like what's going on these days.

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