Thursday, December 11, 2003

US hypocrisy and stupidity

Even by the nutty standards of the Bush Administration, the hypocrisy and sheer muddle-headedness of recent days stands out:

  1. Bush recently gave his big speech on democracy, with the implication that the reason for the American illegal presence in Iraq was to instal American concepts of democracy and freedom there and throughout the Middle East. Since that speech, the Americans have done everything possible to ensure that elections not take place in Iraq. Bush has now cautioned Taiwan against holding a referendum on whether the Taiwanese people want to demand that China withdraw the hundreds of missiles aimed at Taiwan and renounce the use of force against it. There is not even a hint of realization from the Bush Administration that there might be some form of contradiction here, or that Bush's Taiwan policies might put the lie to his position that America is the provider of democracy.

  2. Countries that opposed the war in Iraq will not be allowed to bid on reconstruction contracts in Iraq. Of course, the United States has no right under international law to dictate the details of the reconstruction of Iraq, and is also party to international trade agreements which make this prohibition a breach of these agreements. The Agreement on Government Procurement, to which the United States, Canada, France and Germany are parties, prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin in government procurement contracts (the Americans are probably trying to fit under the national security exemption in Article XXIII, which seems to be a stretch). The non-binding but influential and American-supported OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (see also here) also support 'National Treatment', which is the commitment by a country to treat enterprises operating on its territory, but controlled by the nationals of another country, no less favorably than domestic enterprises in similar situations. It is in the interests of American business to encourage non-discrimination in tendering, and against American interests to set a precedent of discrimination on the basis of national origin. The announcement of this odd and unnecessarily edict concerning Iraqi procurement, a gratuitous slap at long-standing American allies in Europe (not to mention Canada), was made by Wolfowitz, and it probably represents part of the Zionist plan to drive a permanent wedge between Europe and the United States. It was unnecessary as it is not likely that most corporations could begin reconstruction work in Iraq given the state of security there, and in any event it will not prevent European participation in subcontacts and supply contracts. Any effect it does have will just raise the cost of reconstruction to American taxpayers. It was a pure insult to America's closest allies. The extra insanity of it is that Bush has just sent James Baker to negotiate with these same European countries over forgiveness of the sovereign loans owed by Iraq. It was going to be difficult for Baker to convince the Europeans to take a haircut on these loans, especially as we do not see the United States agreeing to allow other poor countries off the hook, and everyone knows that the sole reason for the reduction of the loans is simply to allow American corporations to steal more money from Iraq. Baker's job will now be impossible. Americans can also probably kiss goodbye any more financial contributions from any of these countries, putting more of the onus on American taxpayers. There is nothing in Wolfowitz's crazy plan that benefits the United States.

  3. Americans attacked an Afghan house from the air, killing nine children. They apologized. What did they then do? They killed six more children and two adults in a combined air and ground assault on a house. Killing children in air attacks that can't possibly discriminate between enemies and children is the best way to create hatred in the Afghan people.

  4. Israeli commandos and intelligence units are training American Special Forces units in what amounts to the Israeli specialty of targeted assassinations against those Iraqis who are identified as resistance leaders. The Israeli assassinations have been a disastrous failure in Israel, and will prove to be no less disastrous in Iraq. Assassinated leaders are immediately replaced, and the resistance grows with each death. The crazy part is the fact that the Americans are admitting that they are taking assistance from the Israelis on this. Do they not have any idea how this will be received in Iraq? It is like waiving a red flag in front of a bull. This is the influence of Christian Zionist General Jerry Boykin, who considers the Arabs to be some form of vermin, and no doubt likes the fact his men are being trained by the experts in Arab killing. Along with forced Iraqi recognition of Israel, and the gleeful way American and Israeli officials are discussing opening an oil pipeline from Iraq to Haifa, the Israeli targeted assassinations are the best kind of Iraqi resistance recruitment, not to mention al-Qaeda anti-American terrorist recruitment, that I can imagine.

One of the things that we tend to forget about the Bush Administration - something that is lost amongst all the various forms of venality - is that these people are incredibly stupid.