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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Foreign Policy hypocrisy, ineptness continues

Editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett
Reaction depends on who is 'cleansing,' whose ethnic group is being 'cleansed'

International affairs author Ted Galen Carpenter wrote the May 4 article “The Hypocritical Strain in U.S. Foreign Policy.” These are some of his thoughts on a two-faced standard, which is clear to everyone except U.S.A. Provincial and, of course, the delusional barons hunkered down inside the Beltway who believe the world’s peoples are as willfully ignorant as are the barons and their loyalists.

Washington’s hypocrisy today is evident, Carpenter writes, “in its strident condemnation of government crackdowns on pro-democracy demonstrators in such places as Syria, Iran, and Libya; and its tepid, perfunctory criticism of such crackdowns by pro-U.S. regimes in Yemen, Iraq, and Bahrain. … [And] populations throughout the Muslim world are noticing that double standard and drawing their own, rather unfavorable conclusions.”

Long precedent in two-facedness

The recent “manifestation of U.S. foreign policy hypocrisy is nothing new,” he continues. “Throughout the Cold War, Washington purported to stand for freedom, democracy, human rights, and noninterference in the internal affairs of other societies.” … At the same time, the United States helped to stage coups and took other measures to destabilize governments (including ‘democratic’ governments) Washington deemed insufficiently supportive of its regional or global objectives.

A series of U.S. administrations forged close ties with some of the planet’s most corrupt and brutal rulers — “from the Shah of Iran, to Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko. … U.S. leaders publicly lavished praise on those bloody tyrants as though they were legitimate ‘free world’ figures.”

President Obama’s Secretary of State’s husband

“The [William Jefferson] Clinton administration expressed horror at the violence in Bosnia and Kosovo following the breakup of Yugoslavia, exaggerating the civilian toll and making over-the-top comparisons to the Holocaust.” Carpenter writes…; but “as the bloodshed in the Balkans was taking place — far, far greater numbers of civilians” were being slaughtered in Sierra Leone and Liberia” yet, in the face of these deaths, the [Clinton] administration barely shrugged. Ethnic cleansing by Serb forces was outrageous but not so much when ‘allied’ Turkish forces ‘cleansed’ Greek Cypriots.

“Washington’s reaction to incidents of ‘ethnic cleansing’ depended heavily on who was doing the deed.…

“Washington has been far too promiscuous in its use of foreign policy double standards over the decades and it … appears the Obama administration — in its hypocritical, very selective reaction to examples of the ‘Arab Awakening’” — may be on the same path.

Though “no nation can be entirely consistent in its foreign policy — there will always be cases in which double standards cannot be avoided, or at least avoided without major damage to vital national interests — but policymakers should not casually engage in hypocrisy. That kind of behavior undermines credibility and creates needless enemies among foreign populations.”

This is what goes for leadership in Washington. 

Bill Clinton’s Wife — 
“Even as we mark this milestone [Sunday’s assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden], we should not forget that the battle to stop al-Qaeda and its syndicate of terror will not end with the death of bin Laden. 
 “Indeed, we must take this opportunity to renew our resolve and redouble our efforts. In Afghanistan, we will continue taking the fight to al-Qaeda and their Taliban allies while working to support the Afghan people as they build a stronger government and begin to take responsibility for their own security.” — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

To which Brave New Films founder and President Robert Greenwald responded Tuesday on Democracy Now —   
“I think it’s a horrible statement in every way. The notion of tying the Taliban to al-Qaeda has been disproved over and over again; they are separate forces. The Taliban …  it’s a civil war that we’re engaged in. 
“If you could impeach Secretary Clinton for that statement, I think we should impeach her. It’s unconscionable, after what has gone on, the loss of lives and the loss of money, and for her to continue to try to escalate this misguided war.”

Sources and notes

“The Hypocritical Strain in U.S. Foreign Policy”  (The Skeptics, Ted Galen Carpenter), May 4, 2011,

International affairs author Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. Among his books is Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington’s Futile War on Drugs in Latin America. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest and blogs for The Skeptics, http://nationalinterest.org/profile/ted-galen-carpenter; http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics

Democracy Now Tuesday, May 3, 2011, “10 Years Too Long: Rep. Barbara Lee Renews Calls for End to Afghan War After Killing of Osama bin Laden,” http://www.democracynow.org/2011/5/3/10_years_too_long_rep_barbara

Cyprus — Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sectors

Cyprus is the third largest Mediterranean island, after Sicily and Sardinia. It lies about 40 miles (65 km) south of Turkey, 60 miles (100 km) west of Syria, and 480 miles (770 km) southeast of mainland Greece.

In 1960 Cyprus became independent of Britain (it had been a crown colony since 1925) as the Republic of Cyprus. The long-standing conflict between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority and an invasion of the island by Turkish troops in 1974 produced an actual—although internationally unrecognized—partition of the island and led to the establishment in 1975 of a de facto Turkish Cypriot state in the northern third of the country. The Turkish Cypriot state made a unilateral declaration of independence in 1983 and adopted the name Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Only Turkey recognized its independence.

In the 1990s, the Greek Cypriot sector increasingly transformed itself into a centre of international transit trade, merchant shipping, banking, and related services (the Turkish-occupied area has not experienced the same prosperity). The republic’s Greek-run government established special tariff arrangements with the European Union and from 1990 sought admittance to the EU whose member countries account for about half of the island’s imports. In 2004, the Greek Cypriot sector joined the EU. [Britannica note]


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