Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coddlin' Them Dictators

The Republicans were apoplectic.

There he was: THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - THE LEADER OF THE FREAKIN' FREE WORLD - disgracing the martyred souls of the glorious dead who gave their "last full measure of devotion" for this grand and glorious land of ours. If they had not seen it on FOX Noise with their very own eyes, they would not have believed it to be possible. But true it was. Barack Obama had been caught - red handed and in living color - being gracious toward Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

It was very possible that all over the nation, these crazy, wing-nut geezers - some of them on the verge of a complete psychotic breakdown - might click on the April 23, 2009 edition of "The Rant" and nudge their poor wives in utter rage and disbelief:

"Did you see that, Margaret? Barack WHO-sein Obama shook the hand of YOU-go Chavez! Just take a good look at that picture picture up there on the left! And whaddaya know! Doesn't it just figure that Tommy "The Commie" Degan would plant that photo at the top Left corner of the article? He hates America, you know."

"Wait, Margaret! It gets worse! Barack WHO-sein Obama not only accepted a book from the dreadful little turd, he actually smiled at him - AT YOU-GO CHAVEZ, for the love of Mike! Someone pass me my nitroglycerin pills!"

Now! Now! Let's all take a nice, deep breath.

As I mentioned in the previous column (Is it pretentious to refer to these things as columns?), the GOP - and the far-right extremist kooks who pass as their spokespersons nowadays - are desperate for issues that will distract the American people. They are years past the point where they could talk about ideas. Why is this, you ask? Because their ideas suck, that's why. They are now attempting to do to Barack Obama what they did to Bill Clinton when he was president: Go after him with every thing including the kitchen sink.

Karl Rove was one hell of a role model for these idiots. They took the Rove playbook and they ran like hell with it - over the mountain, down into the valley and across the river. American politics is no longer about issues; it's not about ideas, and it's certainly no longer about We The People. It's all about insinuation and accusation - oh yeah; and money - lots and lots of money. Statesmanship and ideas have gone the way of the typewriter and the 8-Track tape.

When President Obama arrived home in Washington the other day, the Republican spin machine went into full-tilt, freak-out mode. "He's making nice with that evil dictator!", they shouted in unison. What was Obama supposed to do when Chavez approached him - punch him in the nose? Should he have performed a Moe Howard maneuver and poked him in both eyes with his middle and index fingers? How the hell would that have looked?

Barack as Moe: Take that, ya chowderhead! Nyurk! Nyurk! Nyurk!
Hugo as Curley: Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!

What on earth could the president have possibly done other than smile graciously and politely accept the book from Chavez? By now it is a given that the only kind of diplomacy the knuckleheads and neanderthals on the Far Right understand is the cowboy diplomacy that was practiced for eight long years by the Bush Mob - and look how much good that did us! Diplomatic negotiations are not - and have never been - about simple issues of black and white. It is all about shades of gray - and yet these people have never been able to figure out this simple fact that is understood by every Freshman Political Science student.

And if the reaction to the Chavez incident was not weird enough, they're now having a positive hissy fit because the Obama administration is hinting that they want to normalize relations with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Oh, Heaven forfend!


Ah, Fidel! The man we just love to hate! I don't like putting myself in the position of defending the guy, but it must admitted that in the Hall of Fame of evil, despotic tyrants, poor old Fidel is pretty low rent, don'cha think? The Cuban people do not live in constant, mortal fear of their government. A lot of them, maybe even most of them, may not care too much for Fidel or his brother Raul, but he is no better (or worse) than the man he ousted from power in 1959, America's faithful ally, Fulgencia Batista.

When Jack Kennedy imposed the Cuban embargo on February 3, 1962, I was not yet four years old-years-old. Barack Obama was one day shy of turning six months old. I turned fifty last August. Barack Obama is now president of the United States. The embargo has done neither country any good. It's time to end it.

And don't you dare deny this: Fidel Castro in a damned sight better than our "allies" the Saudis. You don't believe that? Let me ask every gentleman reading this: If you were forced at gunpoint to choose, where would you prefer to live - Cuba or Saudi Arabia? If you're attempting to prove a foolish political point by answering "Saudi Arabia", that's fine; I'll accept your answer. Now let me pose that same question to the ladies: Where would YOU choose to live? Saudi Arabia? Where women have virtually no rights whatsoever? I didn't think so. HEY GUYS! Where would have your sister or your mother live? Saudi Arabia? Really??? Come! Come! Time for your medication, boys.

Compared to the Saudi Royal Family, Fidel Castro is starting to look more and more like Thomas Jefferson.

The fact of the matter is that the United States has gotten really cozy in the past with vicious despots far worse than Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. The Shah of Iran comes immediately to mind. In 1953 the Central Intelligence Agency of Dwight D. Eisenhower overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran - or "Persia" as it was then called. They swiftly installed Reza Pahlavi who ruled by means of murder, torture and intimidation for a quarter of a century. The birth of violent Islamic extremism can be traced to the CIA-engineered coup of 1953. It somehow seems like poetic justice that the Shah would become their first real victim in 1979 when he was forced to flee the country in fear of his life. Two score and sixteen years later, the world is still paying a severely heavy price for Eisenhower's disastrous foreign policy. Just ask the poor, suffering people of Guatemala.

By 1955 the Guatemalan people were into their tenth year of a very real and flourishing democracy. The people were beginning to prosper in ways they could scarcely have dreamed about a mere decade before, and literacy rates were rising at a speed unheard of in most Latin-American Countries of that era. There was only one problem: the government of Jacobo Arbanz had this silly notion that the farmland that grew the fruit, their main export, should be controlled by the people - not the American-owned, United Fruit Company - so they nationalized that land. Bad mistake. John Foster Dulles, who was Eisenhower's Secretary of State, owned mucho stock in the Delmonte Canned Fruit Company. The CIA was again called in to do the dirty work. Goodbye Democracy! Hello Despotism! Fifty-four years later, Guatemala is a fucking dictatorial cesspool. Thanks, Ike!

By the way, I don't buy Delmonte products. You shouldn't either. Food for thought - no pun intended.

The brutal Somoza family (the folks who put the nasty in dynasty) ruled Nicaragua for generations. President Roosevelt once famously said of the elder Somoza, "He may be a son-of-a-bitch; but he's our son-of-a-bitch" (Although it is no secret to anyone who regularly reads this site that I am a great admirer of FDR, I'll be the first to admit that he was far from perfect). In 1979 Anastasia Somoza was overthrown by Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas, bringing to that country the first real (albeit imperfect) democracy in living memory. Two years later the government of Ronald Reagan began an eight year military campaign against the Nicaraguan people, forcibly trying to return them to totalitarianism - in direct violation of the Boland Amendment. The very fact that Reagan was never impeached still rankles all these years later.

On his historic visit to China in 1972, Richard Nixon insisted on going out of his way to be filmed and photographed with an ailing Mao Tse Tung. Did meeting with one of the twentieth century's worst tyrants prove that Nixon hated America? Of course it didn't! Watergate proved that all by itself.

And while we're on the subject of American leaders coddling these awful thugs, just look at the 1982 video image at the top of this piece. That is Reagan envoy Donald Rumsfeld (remember him?) embracing our then-ally, Saddam Hussein.

And whom do you think it was that Franklin Roosevelt tried to negotiate with in good faith at the Yalta and Tehran conferences as World War II drew to a close - Nadya Kominish? Yakov Smirnov? It was Josef Stalin, the man who is in serious competition with Adolf Hitler for the title, "Most Despicable Human Being of the Past Two-Thousand Years".

Call it a silly hunch on my part, but I have a feeling that in the long scheme of things, Barack Obama's acceptance of a book and a handshake from Hugo Chavez is no imminent threat to the peace and security of the free world. Appeasing the likes of Saddam Hussein, Reza Pahlavi and the Somoza Clan, on the other hand, was a very real threat.

The president made this country proud on his mission to Trinidad last week. Isn't it a neat thing to once again have a chief-executive with an I.Q. in the triple digits? I sure think so!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Declassified Eisenhower
by Blanche Weisen-Cooke


I will try to do this in one-hundred and forty characters or less....

Here is why I will never - EVER - sign up for Twitter:

Ideas are not boun


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

I have never understood the double standard on Communist countries. Russia? Bad. China? Good. Cuba? Bad. I would much rather befriend a country 90 miles off our shore then buy products made by abused humans in China - which is getting damn near impossible to do. Can anyone explain the difference between good communists and bad communists?

Cowboy diplomacy has worked just fine these past eight years for the Neo-Con agenda. They have made Americans paranoid and afraid of everyone and in the process made every country hate and fear us. I have no doubt that we will reap what they have sewn - crazy terrorists from every region - including the US- will be gunning for us and I can't blame them. If someone invaded my country, killed all my friends and family in the name of profit, I think I would want revenge. Darth Cheney says that they prevented more attacks - I think it is just a matter of time for these disenfranchised people to implement their plans.

We got a whole lot of whoop ass coming our way if someone does not extend their hand to these people with a promise to start anew.

Obama is making the effort even though the poor guy will take the blame for reaping the bad kharma that the Cowboys sewed.

I don't trust my own government anymore - thanks to the Neo-cons, no one does.

Peace to all of us,

Jo in Arizona

At 1:15 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,

Well said, and you really summed it up. The GOP has no ideas, nothing positive to offer and can only obstruct and make noise. The silliness is that the refuse to see how hypocritical their posturing is. They are pathetic beyond belief.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Hello, Charles. You've got the right word for it: PATHETIC, or Pathos. We're a loved one of mine shilling for these clowns, I'd weep with embarrassment for them.

Peace to you as well, Jo. Great post!

I have no doubt that President Obama is going to be blamed for the hideous aftertaste of the Bush Mob.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Great writing Tom! Although I always enjoy your prose and your particular brand of wit, I have to say this column (which, by the way, it most definitely is, so says American Heritage® Dictionary) was one of your most profound and best I've read. If AlterNet or OpEdNews (or anyone else for that matter), doesn't pick-up this gem, they're missing out on truly good journalism.

The extent and reach of our modern-day foreign policy cannot be overstated, and of course you just scratched the surface with your fine remembrances. As you already know, but some of your faithful readers may not, the signatory agreement for decades between both parties has always been to covertly and economically blackmail underdeveloped and undeveloped nations around the world through institutions commonly associated with being benefactors for the good of humankind (i.e., the World Bank, USAID, etc.). Saddled with huge debts they could not hope to pay, these countries were eventually forced to acquiesce to political pressure from the United States on a variety of issues -- without the United States having to fire a shot. It was the modern equivalent of imperialistic colonialism; almost solely for the benefit and enrichment of multinational corporations and the international banking syndicate.

The tentacles of corruption, deceit, and deadly corporatist values run deep and go way back.

Again, I tip my hat to you! Great column. Have a great weekend Tom!

By the way, your afterthought regarding Twitter wasn't lost on me. I'm still laughing...

At 8:29 AM, Blogger JRD said...

And might I just add for good measure that the word "dictator" does not apply to Hugo Chavez. He was elected democratically in polls that were arguably fairer than what our own citizens saw in Ohio and Florida in 2000 and 2004. In my eyes he has more legitimacy than the Bush-Cheney junta ever had.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous John said...

Great column, great comments.

South & Central American nations have long been the targets of the extortion Jefferson's Guardian described. Part of the package that our government bestows upon a regime that shows independence (or even if they are following suit) is a propaganda campaign that can span the whole world.

I hardly know what to think about Chavez knowing much of what we hear is misleading or completely false. One part that is quite obvious however, is that Venezuela is rich in our favorite natural resource - thus Washington's great interest. Also the United States does not have a very good track record with the southern neighbors, particularly those with abundant natural resources...

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Tom, you should be a history professor. Better yet, you should be teaching in the public schools, not that most public school districts would let you get away with administering those doses of historical fact like that.

Am a little surprised that you didn't find the space for honorable mention of Napoleon Duarte & his death squads in El Salvador, but perhaps that would've been overkill.

Great post & it made the point.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous John said...

I've got to lurch off-topic here. I think change is coming on the torture issue - thanks to Sean Hannity's inadvertent volunteering to be water-boarded for charity due to a great question by Charles Grodin.

Every one of the shills will soon find themselves with an opportunity to raise huge sums of cash for various charities. The choice for these guys will be to renounce water-boarding as torture - or endure it until they shit their pants on national tv - and then renounce it.

It is amazing that change requires this type of situation. This is truly a ridiculous society.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous John said...

Almost forgot. I'm going to follow Olbermann's lead on this.

I pledge one dollar to one of the local food pantries for each full minute of water-boarding that any tv or radio personality who supports US water-boarding endures.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous John said...

One more thing, I'm going to contribute an additional $100 the first three times that a new recipient is continuously water-boarded for three minutes.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Anna Van Z said...

The neocons have been willing to overlook any human rights problems if a country has something they want, or lucrative business deals can be made. The ridiculous charade of goppers "outrage" is laughable.
I've noticed the MSM never mentions how much heating oil Mr. Chavez has been giving to the poor in America, or how Venezuela was providing rescue and relief services after Katrina way before BushCo and Brownie could be bothered to respond.
And I didn't hear a peep from these self-righteous windbags when their corporate masters cheerfully exported millions of American jobs to China, and when China funded the neocon war mongering efforts. Remember Tiananmen Square? The wholesale destruction of Tibet? Torture? Oh wait - we do that too. And since no one was bigger cheerleaders for torture than the wingnuts, they have no standing to be dissing Castro, Chavez, or anyone else.
It's a real statement about how pathetically lacking the MSM has become when they feature these moronic noise-makers on "news" programs - and pretend not to notice when the neocon stooges pull this shit out of their asses.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Mike Weber said...

Hey Tom, I was struck in particular by the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich's attack on Obama. This country has set up more Latin American military dictatorships than Del Monte has bananas. The difference seems to be that the so called "bad" dictatorships happen to be socialist while the preferred American brand of dictatorships seem to be military fascists who can be bought.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Hey there, Mike Weber....

I checked out the link - very good! I am impressed! I particularly liked the tortured Statue of Liberty! Might I use that in the next piece I plan on writing?

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

Great column and lots of great comments. It really is disturbing that the republicans won’t even give him a chance to try a different approach. The cold shoulder approach certainly didn’t work. Although, I have my doubts that he will make much progress without making concessions conservatives may consider unacceptable; probably why they are irritated. I think it is very important for us to make nice with both dictators before the Russians do. Both parties believe this, it’s just how to go about it.

Tom, I don’t think you should minimize Fidel’s dictatorship. Having lived and worked with Cuban immigrants in Miami for ten years, I can tell you for certain he is not a benevolent dictator. Still today, there is no freedom of speech or religion in Cuba. Comparing him to the Saudi prince is not reasonable as their countries couldn’t be much different sociologically. Let’s just say being a woman in Saudi Arabia sucks worse than it does in Cuba.

Our foreign policies and immigration policies have always been hypocritical; or at least whatever suits our purpose at the time, which they should to a great extent. I remember Haitians being picked up on the beach after spending days on a raft only to be sent right back to Haiti to face a firing squad or prison. But if you are talented athlete, scientists, musician, etc., it doesn’t matter where you come from or why you want to come to America. We are happy to make your dream to become rich and famous a reality. There is no equity, and I’m afraid there never will be.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

"Let’s just say being a woman in Saudi Arabia sucks worse than it does in Cuba."


Hats off to you. You make an excellent point. But let's revise the quote (and I'm sure you won't disagree with this) While it may "suck worse" being a woman in Saudi Arabia, it sucks a whole hell of a lot worse. It ain't even close, pal.

Fidel Castro - bad as he is - is no Pol Pot. He is no Saddam Hussein. He is no Napoleon Duarte. He is no Adolf Hitler. He is no Josef Stalin....

Aw, shit, he ain't even Manuel Noriega!

And remember this, my friend, the Cuban Exile community in Florida have done more damage to the American political process than any other group since the Know Nothings. But for Elian Gonzalez (was that his name?) and the fuss they made in 2000 to keep him from the custody of his father, Al Gore would have been elected in 2000 and this beautiful country might have been spared the eight years of the most corrupt, incompetent administration in the history of human stupidity.

Most of them have not even lived in Cuba in decades.

Castro is no Batista. Flaws and all, the Cuban people are all the more better for it. When Batista was running the place in 1958 (the year I was born) Cuba was known across the globe as "America's Whore House". God bless Fidel Castro. He made prostitution illegal.

Love and Peace,

Tom Degan

PS - Joel, you really add to this site, pal. You stir the pot! Keep 'em comin', pardner. Keep 'em comin'!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

On Friday, I posted a link on Facebook--the Hannity/Grodin exchange as covered on Huffington Post. It will be interesting to see how this progresses. I, of course, agree with you and hope that what you said comes to pass, the sooner the better.

What the heck--having paid attention, we've turned out to be correct before, about good and bad things.

At 1:15 AM, Blogger Ex Glacies said...

No less a person than President Obama himself has tried to smooth-talk the American people (and indeed, the world) out of focusing some much-needed attention on the crimes the Bush Junta got up to over the past eight years.

Why is that? This isn't a partisan issue, except that the crimes were commissioned and committed at the behest of the Republican government.

This isn't a question of bureaucratic malfeasance.

This isn't even a question about who's behind the trillion-dollar pickpocketing, though the people around that issue would be exposed as a welcome consequence.

No, this is a question as fundamental as, "Is the United States of America still a constitutional republic?"

We may all have our handy ad hoc answer to that, but how can any real change be effected until a real investigation is undertaken and a real judgement is made one way or the other?

Obama makes it sound as if, gosh, it sure will hurt a lot to rehash all that stuff. How can it hurt any less than another million Americans losing their jobs every two months? How can it hurt less than entire streets and blocks consisting of empty, foreclosed homes?

All Obama needs to do is get the ball rolling. Krugman points out that no one except the Department of Justice needs to do much, so give them the god damned job!

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

Great blog. Love it.

Two things:

1) We all know by now that it is in fact the practice of using the CIA to foment terrorism and coups abroad (Vietnam started out this way, for example) that gets a lot of possibly innocent people in trouble. Like the illustration of "Persia", we have a good solid handle on the process: CIA ops come in and start spreading cash around to peasant population; then come the leaflets. I've seen two such leaflets from the Vietnam era - well before official US involvement - the first showing propaganda against the popular (way popular) communist government, the second showing with line sketchings, how to construct a pipe bomb.

Jump forward to Cuba, and yes, you can see how outrageous it might seem to some there in Cuba that anyone at all would side with a US regime that was an obvious violent exporter of terrorism (I mean, it might be what we call a bombing run, but a plane destroying a field or a factory, a CIA-sponsored pipe bomb in a department store, all well documented, is pretty terrifying), and yes, you could conceivably, under siege, lock people up for "political reasons". I'm NOT defending the practice... but I'm asking: how does the US treat people it haphazardly defines as enemies of the state? There are still 600 prisoners in Bagram that won't ever see anything like due process. So when people in this condition in Cuba, under siege, speak out against the government and speak up for the US, you can forgive me a little, maybe, if I say "well, it IS how we do business abroad, mistakes are going to get made... we might have as much share in the blame for the condition of the 200 political prisoners in Cuba as Castro does - we certainly haven't lead the way in righteousness."

We know for a fact that the US sponsored a coup attempt against Chavez - a duly elected leader - in Venezuela. It almost worked. I'm more surprised Chavez' people didn't flip out when he was photo'd shaking hands with Obama. And it was done the same way it is always done, starting with the CIA, propaganda, cash, leaflets... it almost worked.

2) The subversion of foreign democracies - even ones we implement - has to stop. It just has to stop. We can't even continue, as a country, entertaining the notion that it is in any way correct to take away people's votes. It just isn't our business. None of it is. I'm working on a story about my understanding of Afghanistan, where an incredible statement was used over and over in most of the press when announcing Obama's expansion of the "correct" war into Pakistan. That statement, in defense of our new plan to install a Prime Minister in order to marginalize OUR MAN Karzai whom we no longer 'like' - went something like "The problem is that Karzai will most likely win re-election."

Wait - what??? This is the kind of nonsense we hear about Cuba - even our own State Dept. (What a very North Korea sounding name for a Dept, by the way) reports that, sadly, Castro, Fidel or Raul for that matter, would win a so-called "free election" tomorrow.

Of course, there is a big problem - the press isn't talking about how they know that Karzai would win a re-election - and quite possibly they don't know, since the releases sound an awful lot like they are just taking cues from the Pentagon.

Anyway, great stuff, we need more outrage in this country directed at ourselves for accepting this all as inevitability. I'll be back soon.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

I don't think I was clear enough on the issue of Castro imprisoning people for political reasons - I mean that if he denounces detractors as being in the pay of the CIA, that they couldn't possibly, genuinely be against the Revolution, or be FOR the US sponsored terrorism - when he insists he smells a rat - it is hard to say he is completely wrong. I don't in any way think this is how any leadership should deal with the problem, nor do I think that any one person should be in power despotically forever. I like elections. I like due process. I'm just pointing out that if the Castros say "This suspiciously looks like the way the US operates in every other country in every other time in their history" then we can't defeat that argument. We just can't. We have to stop this within ourselves as a country, we have to be above this kind of suspicion. We just can't have these practices going on as recently as ...oh, today. I'm a loyal citizen and I DON'T believe us. What on Earth do we expect the world to believe?

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

I've been informing people on Central America and the CIA for years.

Boycotting Delemonte is easy for me in Canada. HOWEVER, something I find to be beyond the pale is people celebrating their "fanhood" for shopping at a store that explains the entire downfall of Central America: Banana Republic. What the hell?

Never, ever will I purchase or wear hand-me-downs from a place with such a heinous name, although for those "intelligensia" (as in, people who read) we know how the phrase "Banana Republic" was devised and used to deride those "disgusting" little socialists in Panama, Guatemala, etc.

The damn store is probably stocked with items from child laborers, tortured prisoners in China, penny-a-piece sewers in Bangladesh, India and other parts of the world the Bush regime delegated to provide what the "cowboy economics" promotes: "Buy, buy, buy!"

Banana Republic put it on your boycott list.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

Tom, I'll give you that Fidel is a teddy bear compared to the others, and that the Elian fiasco shouldn’t have been such an issue, but I still think Al Gore is a putz.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


I wouldn't necessarily condemn poor old Al Gore to the chasms of eternal putzness - although there is a case to be made - no question about it. But this much must be conceded:

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the man ran the stupidest campaign in the history of American politics.



Tom Degan

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

Perhaps, but I think you could find more than a few McCain supporters to disagree with you.

Cheers to you too.

PS I thought this was one of your better pieces.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

YES!11:03am CST, Arlen Specter to switch to the Democratic Party!

This guy has history and some smarts. I've liked him as a Republican who can disagree without being disagreeable. This is great news!

Now, with Al and Arlen, we get the "A" team of 60!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...


I just got the news when my friend Kevin Swanwick e-mailed me. Then I read your post and I knew I wasn't dreaming!

Good ol' Arlen! I always liked that guy!


Tom Degan

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


As one of the "Twitter" members "Tweeted" on CNN, "Cancer makes you rethink priorities. Arlen Specter has been through all of it and has seen the Heath Care issue from the inside. Although *he* had the ability to get good care, he saw those who were unable to pay, those who's insurance was a coupon, etc."

Now, if that ignoramous Coleman would just shut up and concede.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


Those Republicans are throwing out enough sour grapes we will have EXCELLENT Wine for our victory parties! Yee Ha!

At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Patrice Ayme said...

Excellent work! Judicious logic! The same extends to... Afghanistan!Which free women would want to live in an Islamist country, "republic" or not? Besides the deeply submissive masochists?

The dirty little secret (as Barack would say) is that the sexism in Wahhabism (Saudi Islam) is straight out of their sacred book.

See my recent:

I agree this is a problem for those who are in awe with God.

This brings in a deep question about what the USA, and NATO, are really doing in Afghanistan.

Patrice Ayme

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Seems that the three major western religious institutions have sexism as part of their doctrines, not only the Wahabist interpretation of the Koran. Whether it's (in chrological order) Judaism, Christianity or Islam, it seems that the patriarch-minded can make learned arguments for making women as chattel part of a society's institutions. Add to that grinding poverty for a majority of the population, and you have something like a "shock doctrine" economy that will keep a society unstable enough to be malleable to the small power elite.

Religion doesn't always have to bring out the worst, of course, but the faith of believers is often abused in this way & everyone winds up suffering in a theocracy.


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