Showing posts tagged foreign policy

As a Sudanese, I am concerned not because I would like foreigners to stay out of internal affairs, but because the view Clooney is presenting to the world is not an accurate one. This is not out of any deliberate manipulation on his part, but Clooney’s campaign is rooted in a political culture that does not care for nuance.

It all really goes deeper than the criticism aimed at his Enough Project, the Save Darfur campaign, or the “genocide paparazzi” satellite monitoring scheme – all of which are symptomatic of an overarching failure in US foreign policy, which promotes a black-and-white understanding of some situations, often underscored by moral superiority. After all, “Arabs are genocidally massacring blacks in the Nuba mountains” is far sexier and easier to digest than “the people of the Nuba mountains sided with the Southern People’s Liberation Movement during Sudan’s decades-long civil war between north and south, and after the secession of the south last year, a disgruntled SPLM candidate for governor lost what he believed were rigged elections and then took arms against the government in Khartoum in co-operation with the residual Nuba SPLM cadre, whose grievances had still not been addressed”.

Sudanese writer Nesrine Malik explains why George Clooney isn’t helping Sudan (via guardiancomment)

Relevant to most politics, but especially the politics of humanitarianism. Simple sells, but it’s not simple at all.

(Reblogged from abcsoupdot)
(Reblogged from caraobrien)
(Reblogged from mohandasgandhi)
(Reblogged from caraobrien)
Nobody should expect to find Boy Scouts on the agency’s payroll.

Those interested or surprised by today’s NYT story that Gaddhafi had close ties to the CIA — ” There were at least three binders of English-language documents, one marked C.I.A. and the other two marked MI-6” — should check out this Time piece from a few years ago.

The CIA spokeswoman said to the Times, “It can’t come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats.”

And, well, yeah. How do people think, otherwise, the foreign-policy sausage gets made? 

(via moorehn)

(Reblogged from pantslessprogressive)
motherjones:

thenationmagazine:

“In the eighteen years since the infamous ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Mogadishu,” The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill writes in an exclusive report in this week’s issue, “US policy on Somalia has been marked by neglect, miscalculation and failed attempts to use warlords to build indigenous counterterrorism capacity, many of which have backfired dramatically.” But now the US is intensifying its military and intelligence efforts in the country.
According to Scahill’s on-the-ground investigation in Mogadishu, conducted with filmmaker Richard Rowley, the CIA has not only opened a new base in the capital city, but also uses a secret prison in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency.
Credit: Richard Rowley, Big Noise Films

Read this.

motherjones:

thenationmagazine:

“In the eighteen years since the infamous ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Mogadishu,” The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill writes in an exclusive report in this week’s issue, “US policy on Somalia has been marked by neglect, miscalculation and failed attempts to use warlords to build indigenous counterterrorism capacity, many of which have backfired dramatically.” But now the US is intensifying its military and intelligence efforts in the country.

According to Scahill’s on-the-ground investigation in Mogadishu, conducted with filmmaker Richard Rowley, the CIA has not only opened a new base in the capital city, but also uses a secret prison in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency.

Credit: Richard Rowley, Big Noise Films

Read this.

(Reblogged from motherjones)
Nothing explodes like an oil refinery and rioters tend to like to burn things.

Peter Zeihan, VP of — ahem — analysis for a private intelligence company, talking about Libya. Your faith in humanity is really encouraging, Pete.

Also, Pete? This. Is. Not. About. Oil.

(via motherjones)

Well, except that it’s totally about oil for everyone outside of Libya. And that’s probably part of why Gaddafi feels like he can act with bloody impunity against the Libyan people to hold onto power.

But, yeah, Pete’s analysis is, uh, less than dazzling.

(Reblogged from motherjones)
In the context of the last several decades, American opposition to Council action is utterly unsurprising. The United States has repeatedly blocked Council resolutions critical of Israel and has consistently sought to avoid significant Council involvement in Middle East negotiations. The reasons are clear: the United States doesn’t like the balance of power in the Council, where it is surrounded by states less accomodating of Israel, and wants to preserve its privileged position as arbiter. Historically-minded Obama administration officials may also be mindful that the Carter administration paid a political price for allowing Council criticism of Israel, an incident that led to an embarrassing retreat.

It’s not yet clear that the United States will be forced into a corner on the settlements resolution. No doubt American diplomats are still working hard to avoid a vote. But it’s possible that a Council confrontation—and an American veto—will be unavoidable.
(Reblogged from caraobrien)
But in a global context we have to ask as dispassionately as we can: What do these events say about America’s culture, and what are their impact on America’s ability to lead? Many will reflexively note that other societies also have similar shortcomings. That is no doubt the case. But no society that holds itself up as an example to the world should, as the United States does, brazenly shrug off what are clearly deep national character flaws when it comes to our love of guns or our celebration of hate politics. Tragedies like that which unfolded in Arizona this weekend not only wound the victims, but also America’s ability to lead and to advance our interests and values worldwide. Think, to take just one example, how the shadow of events like this and the patterns and history they reveal impact America’s ability to advance its human rights agenda internationally — as it will no doubt attempt to do during the upcoming visit of China’s president next week.

The problem is that we are not talking about the aberrant behavior of a lone gunman here. Instead we should see that what we are discussing are grossly uncivilized aspects of American society, aspects of ourselves that we ought to change not because we fall below international norms, but because we fall so short of doing what is right, moral, or sensible.
(Reblogged from greenstate)
The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.

Henry Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized, and excluded. No more dinners in his honor; no more respectful audiences for his absurdly overpriced public appearances; no more smirking photographs with hostesses and celebrities; no more soliciting of his worthless opinions by sycophantic editors and producers. One could have demanded this at almost any time during the years since his role as the only unindicted conspirator in the Nixon/Watergate gang, and since the exposure of his war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Argentina, Cyprus, East Timor, and several other places. But the latest revelations from the Nixon Library might perhaps turn the scale at last.

The Nixon tapes remind us what a vile creature Henry Kissinger is. - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine

(via brooklynmutt)

(Reblogged from brooklynmutt)