Comedy Gold Power

Did she really say this [expletive deleted] with a straight face?

Clinton: US using “smart power” for Libya, Syria

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the U.S. response to crises in Libya and Syria on Tuesday, saying the Obama administration is projecting “smart power” by refusing to act alone or with brute force to stop autocratic repression in the two countries.

. . .

Clinton said Libya was a study in the use of “strategic patience,” whereby the United States resisted the impulse for immediate intervention and instead helped to build support for the country’s nascent opposition, which the U.S. now recognizes as Libya’s legitimate government. She said the unprecedented NATO-Arab alliance protecting civilians on the ground was a key result of the tactics of smart power.

“This is exactly the kind of world that I want to see, where it’s not just the United States and everybody is standing on the sidelines while we bear the costs,” she said.

In Syria, Clinton said Washington had adopted a similar stance. The administration has imposed sanctions to protest a ruthless crackdown on reformers but has thus far resisted calls to make an explicit demand for President Bashar Assad to step down, something it did with Qaddafi.

Clinton said it would be a mistake for the administration to demand Assad’s ouster on its own because it wouldn’t be effective given Washington’s long-strained ties with Damascus and limited U.S. influence and trade with Syria.

See also:
U.S. taking “smart power” approach to Libya, Syria
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
Clinton: Libya, Syria show ‘smart power’ at work
‘Smart power’ at work, says Hillary Clinton
Clinton defends U.S. response on Syria
Clinton Passes Up Chance to Call on Assad to Step Down as Obama Remains Silent
A Conversation with Secretaries Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta

Let’s recap: for months now, we’ve been bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya, a country that isn’t a direct threat to U.S. national security, killing civilians, destroying infrastructure, and backing a “rebel” movement containing elements of al Qaeda. That’s “smart power” and “strategic patience”, check. Meanwhile, Bashar Assad in Syria, a dictator in a country with plenty of American blood on its hands and a huge threat to U.S. national security, is killing civilians on a daily basis, with a death toll totaling in the thousands, and we’re doing nothing, because our relationship with Syria is “strained”. That’s also “smart power”, as well as “protecting civilians”, check.

What manner of counterproductive, nonsensical bull[expletive deleted] foreign policy is that? Smart Power my ass!

/are you seriously telling me that we have to put up with these moronic clowns for another year and a half?


Syria Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve seen varying degrees of serious Muslim unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, and Oman. Now, it appears that Syria is also on the verge of descending into chaos.

Thousands continue protests in Syria

Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting “Syria, Freedom,” a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said.

The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed.

. . .

No additional violence was reported Thursday, but human rights activists said a number of Syrian writers and journalists who reported on the unrest in Dara had been arrested.

. . .

Presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban pledged to consider ending the emergency law in place since 1963 that has allowed the government to detain anyone without a warrant or a trial.

She said the government was also drafting a law that would allow political parties other than the ruling Baath party to operate, and loosen restrictions on news media. She also promised wage increases and health insurance for public servants.

But the human rights activists noted that the promises were not binding and pledged to move forward with their plans for Friday protests.

See also:
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure
The Syrian revolt
Syria: patience of people running thin
Thousands Protest At Syrian Funerals
Thousands of Syrians chant “freedom” at Deraa mosque
Reports of bloodbath in Syria
Syrian Police Kill at Least 15 Protesters
Syria changes tack, promises reform
Syria offers reforms to calm violence
Syria crisis: Can reforms appease protesters?
Obama administration condemns Syria crackdown
2011 Syrian protests

Like Libya, here’s another revolt that I can heartily root for. Bashar al-Assad has buckets of American and Israeli blood on his hands and I would thoroughly enjoy watching his corpse being dragged through the streets. Tomorrow’s planned Day of Rage, after Friday prayers, could be a tipping point as to whether the Syrian government will fall or brutally repress the protesters. Stay tuned.

/of course, the Muslim country government that I would most like to see circle the drain is the Iranian regime, directly responsible for well over 90% of all the terrorism on the planet, maybe, hopefully, soon

Squelching Dissent, When Free Speech Becomes An Enemy Of The State

Venezuela to Add Charge Against Globovision, Cabello Says

Venezuela will open a sixth administrative proceeding against the Globovision television network and will “inspect” 29 radio stations after some media outlets supported marches against the government this week.

Diosdado Cabello, who as minister of public works and housing oversees the state telecommunications regulator, announced the measures today in a speech at a pro-government march in downtown Caracas shown on state television.

Cabello took 34 radio stations off the air July 31 and opened five earlier proceedings against Globovision. He said today that the mass media were behind marches against President Hugo Chavez around the world yesterday and a thousands-strong march through Caracas today by foes of Chavez.

State-run Venezolana de Television spent the day showing images of the pro-Chavez rally where Cabello spoke. Globovision broadcast from the opposition march for hours. Other news broadcasts showed both marches.

Cabello said he had ordered that Globovision be charged over viewer messages that scroll across the screen during a talk show. He said the station allows viewers to post messages in favor of violently overthrowing Chavez while filtering messages critical of Globovision.

See also:
Chavez minister vows more Venezuela radio closings
Venezuela opens new probe into anti-Chavez TV, announces 29 more broadcasters will be closed
Venezuela opens new probe into anti-Chavez TV
Critics denounce Venezuela’s Chavez in multi-city protests from Argentina to Honduras
“No More Chávez” worldwide rally begins
Venezuela rivals march in Caracas

And, in a disturbing, eerily parallel tangent to this story, check out who praises Hugo Chavez and admires the way he handles the Venezuelan media.

Now, you may ask yourself, who the hell is Mark Lloyd? Well, he’s the Obama administration’s Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the Federal Communications Commission.

Chavez comes to the FCC

If for a moment you thought the Obama administration was going to sit there placidly while some on talk radio were so bold as to criticize its actions, think again, because here comes Mark Lloyd, the new diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission and a man with a mission.

It’s not a pretty mission, not if you value free speech, but it is a mission made clear by Mr. Lloyd’s own words.

There he was in 2008, participating in a conference on “media reform,” telling us what a wonderful leader Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was and wincing at an unpleasantness the dictator had to deal with, the uppity owners of media, people who had some objections in mind.

He spoke of Mr. Chavez’s “incredible revolution, a democratic revolution,” and of the “property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela” who “rebelled” and who “worked to oust him.” Still, said Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Chavez “came back with another revolution, and then … began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

Dang those property owners. Aren’t they a pain? Mr. Lloyd seems to think they are a pain in this country, too, at least those who own radio stations. As much becomes clear when you read a report he and some others produced for a left-wing think tank that said conservatives dominate talk radio, not because they are more popular than liberals, as the evidence clearly shows, but because most station owners are white men who apparently heed their monolithic ideology more than the marketplace and their pocketbooks.

The solution to this supposed problem? The report advised limiting how many stations can be owned, which means you would take property away from some people. You would get a lot tougher on renewing licenses of those who don’t play the game according to profit-eroding, make-local-groups-happy rules, and you would assess enormous fees to give money to public radio if there was insufficient saluting of all this. It adds up to go broke or go broke.

Do you maybe begin to see that Mr. Lloyd is not as distant as you might like from Mr. Chavez, who has been happily revoking radio licenses of the politically non-compliant in his country? To Mr. Lloyd, as he wrote in a 2006 book quoted in an Internet article, the whole free speech thing is at any rate a bit of a fraud meant to serve global corporations and obstruct policies of the kind our society needs.

See also:
Don’t call this ‘diversity’
FCC’s New Hire Targeted Conservative Radio Stations in Writings
Two surprising appointments by Obama administration
Mark Lloyd – the Federal Communication Commission’s Chief Diversity Officer

/if you’re a free speech advocate, Mark Lloyd, given his public pronouncements and published writings about the media, seems to be an odd, even scary, choice to be appointed to his current FCC position by the Obama administration, is there an agenda here?