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In Tunisia and elsewhere, the U.S. will always side with the dictators

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:28 PM
Original message
In Tunisia and elsewhere, the U.S. will always side with the dictators
A Reader's Response to The Baltimore Sun:

In appealing to the U.S. government to "promote democracy" in Tunisia, the authors of "http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-tunisia-20110125%2C0%2C3251562.story">In Tunisia, history repeats (sort of)" (Jan. 26) are asking the U.S. to completely reverse its decades-long policy of supporting dictators throughout the world who allow their populations to be used as low-wage labor for multinational corporations. Short of a popular revolution here, no such radical departure will occur. Under Democrats, under Republicans, dictators are supported while meaningless phrases about supporting democracy are uttered to the public by politicians from both pro-business parties.

The last thing the U.S. establishment wanted in Tunisia or wants in Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco or Algeria (where similar large protests against unemployment and the general dire economic situation have taken place recently) is for their loyal despots to be overthrown by their populations. Such popular uprisings will likely lead to economic reforms that will in turn lead to a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, and, of dire concern to Western elites, will cut into the profits of multinational corporations.

Michael Melick, Baltimore

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-tunisia-letter-20110126,0,5783330.story
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. List of dictators the USA did not / does not support
King George III
Kim Jong-il
Ayatolla Khomeini
Ayatolla Khamane'i
Saddam Hussein
etc. etc
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You went back all the way to George III and only came up with 5?
One of which, Saddam Hussein, is totally, undisputable wrong.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Any comment on the body of the text rather than the title? n/t
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. an outdated over simplification
'popular uprising' 'redistribution of wealth' -- that's like Beat Nick stuff.

I think our government serves corporations. Sometimes the corporation wants the dictator in power, sometimes they want him over-thrown. The meat of this thing is the specifics and why.

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. 'popular uprising' is outdated?
Maybe you haven't been keeping up with international news lately?
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I think the idea that popular uprisings create a redistribution of wealth
is outdated. Iran had a popular uprising that replaced the Shah with Khomeini and Iran is more homogeneous income wise now but mostly because anyone with the wealth to do so left.

The French Revolution, which is where this mythology seems to come from, is not easily replicated.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Maybe in Eurocentric/Anglocentric eyes. This article will help shed some light on the context...
...a "let them eat bread" context, if you will...


The 'bread compact'

The bread compacts which framed the political order in much of the Arab world came unstuck in the mid- to late-1980s.

In the 1960s, regimes committed to the distribution of bread (subsidised goods) in return for political passivity. In the 1980s, the new political fix shifted to giving the vote instead of bread. Who can forget the 1988 bread riots that eventually brought the Islamists to the verge of parliamentary control of Algeria in 1991? The riots in Jordan at around the same time inspired state-led political liberalisation in 1989.

For Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan and Egypt, the impoverished Arab states, in need of the liquidity of Euro-American and International Misery Fund aid, infitah (open-door policy) was the only blueprint of forward economic management. Within its bosom are bred greed, land grab, corruption, monopoly and the new entrepreneurial classes who exchange loyalty and patronage with the political masters as well as the banknotes and concessions with which both fund flash lifestyles.

Thus the map of distribution was gerrymandered at the expense of the have-nots who are placated with insufficient micro credits or ill-managed national development funds. The crumbs - whatever subsidies are allowed by the new economic order built on the pillars of privatisation, the absence of social safety nets and economic protectionism - delay disaffection but never eliminate it.

Below the surface the pent-up anger of the marginals simmers.

Full article: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/201111413424337867.html
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. I wouldn't know, but I do know it's back in style if that's the case.
And the desire for it is sweeping across continents like wildefire. First, Latin America, threw out all their dictators, now Africa and Asia, and maybe soon, here.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Bautista, Pinochet, Stroesser, Somoza, Pahlavi. etc.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. King George III was not a dictator. The English Civil War was from 16421651
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Saddam was a bought and paid for US employee until he got uppity n/t
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Did not support "Saddam Hussein" ?
:rofl:
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. did not "ALWAYS support"....
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. The U.S. CREATED Saddam Hussein. You need to read some history
He was their guy from the day they hired him to assassinate the elected democratic president of Iraq, through Reagan who adored the guy, and up to the point where he got uppity and decided to make oil deals with Russia and China.

The Ayatolla is a religious leader. We would never befriend someone who threw out one of our favorite dictators anyhow

The list of dictators is long, in fact, I may make a list as it's a question that is being raised now a lot as these dictators and allies of the U.S. are being toppled by their people.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Baby Doc back in Haiti comes to mind. n/t
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-11 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. Dictators usually mean a stable market and cheap labor
And if there's two things big business likes, it's dependable quietude and lots of people willing to work for cheap.
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. the letter did not say 'always'
the letter makes good points and the newspaper gives it a headline that is easy to refute and distracts from the good points.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-11 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. The only support right-wing dictators.
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