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?

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Algeria Circling The Drain

First there was political upheaval in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and now Algeria is the latest Muslim country domino to teeter on the edge of open revolt.

Thousands in Streets of Algiers Demanding Change of Government

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Algeria’s capital and other main cities demanding the government’s ouster, mirroring protests in fellow North African countries Egypt and Tunisia.

A day after pro-democracy protesters drove Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak from power, Algerians were in the streets demanding their own President Abdelaziz Bouteflika leave office.

Protesters chanting, “No to the police state!” and “Bouteflika out!”. News reports say crowds were in the thousands but far out numbered by riot police.

Protests also took place in other cities, including the Mediterranean hub of Oran, also against government orders.

See also:
ALGERIA: Clashes, arrests reported at banned anti-government demonstration
Thousands protest in Algeria, defying government warnings; 400 arrested but ‘the fear is gone’
Thousands Defy Ban To Protest In Algeria
400 arrested in Algeria at rally demanding reforms
Thousands rally to demand Algerian leader resign
Hundreds arrested as Algeria defies protest ban
Police and protesters clash in Algeria
Algerian opposition says 5,000 people participate in demonstration
Algeria: Police And Protesters Clash
Algerian police crack down on protesters
Algeria begins crackdown on pro-democracy demos
Algerian Riot Police Break Up Protest

I’d sure like to believe that the anti-government demonstrations in all these countries, one after the other, represented a wave of Western democracy marching through the Muslim world, but color me skeptical. None of these countries has any democratic history and their populations are decidedly non-secular. Even the countries held up as models of Muslim “democracy”, such as Turkey or Indonesia, have societies heavily steeped in Islamic law, antithetical to Western values.

/one thing’s for sure, whatever becomes of these Muslim countries currently embroiled in various stages of popular rebellion, the end result, in the aggregate, is likely to be decidedly less secular and less friendly to the West

Yemen Circling The Drain

Okay, Yemen was already pretty much circling the drain. But now the Yemeni government, that was marginally helping us in the war against al Qaeda and radical Islam, is under pressure. Who knows what manner of government might come to power if the current one falls?

Massive protests erupt in Yemen to demand ouster of president

Around 15,000 protesters took to streets in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Thursday, calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“People want to change the regime, want the president to leave, ” protesters uproared with pink belts wrapped around their heads, which symbolized freedom, waving pink flags together in the largest public rallies organized by the opposition parties in four areas in the capital.

The protesters are mainly university students, opposition party members and supporters, as well as some workers and the unemployed, mostly of whom complained about unemployment and poverty.

“We are sending our message today to the president and his government that we demand improving living conditions, combating corruption as well as political reform. We want better future for our children,” a protester from the opposition Islamist Islah party told Xinhua.

See also:
Yemen protesters demand change of government
Now, people’s power sets off tremors in Yemen
Political Unrest Spreads as Yemeni Protesters Rally against Long-time Ruler
Thousands in Yemeni capital protest regime
Thousands of protesters urge Yemeni President Saleh to resign
Thousands march in capital in support of reforms
Thousands of Yemenis demand change in government
Sporadic Protests Continue in Egypt as Protest Movement Spreads to Yemen
Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave
Yemen protests: ‘People are fed up with corruption’
Canada urges Yemen to allow ‘freedom of expression’
Yemen president slams Al-Jazeera TV by phone call with Qatar Emir
US backs Yemeni right to protest

Let’s see, the pro-Western governments of Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, and now Yemen, have all been toppled or are under extreme pressure from opposition groups looking to overthrow the current regimes. And what’s Obama’s response? He’s throwing them all under the bus by encouraging the opposition protests under the guise of “freedom of expression”. Doesn’t Obama realize that the world could end up with a whole slew of new, anti-Western, Islamic governments? Wouldn’t that be fun?

/Obama is really naive and stupid or he actually approves of the possibility of a bunch of new, anti-Western, Islamic governments, either way, it’s extremely unsettling, remember, Obama didn’t lift a finger to help or utter a peep of support when the mass protests were against the Islamic regime in Iran

Tunisia Circling The Drain

First the government of Pakistan breaks down, then the Lebanese government, and today, Tunisia’s government. See a pattern here? These are all Muslim countries and the toppled governments were all friendly to the United States.

Tunisians drive leader from power in mass uprising

Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drove Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power Friday after 23 years of iron-fisted rule, an unprecedented popular uprising in a region dominated by strongmen who do not answer to their people.

Tunisians buoyant over Ben Ali’s ouster immediately worried, however, about what’s next: the caretaker leadership of the prime minister who took control, and the role of the army in the transition.

The upheaval took place after weeks of escalating unrest fueled partly by social media and cell phones, as thousands of demonstrators from all walks of life rejected Ben Ali’s promises of change and mobbed the capital of Tunis to demand his ouster in the country’s largest demonstrations in generations.

At least 23 people have been killed in the riots, according to the government, but opposition members put the death toll at more than three times that.

See also:
Tunisia: PM Takes Power Amid Deadly Riots
Exit Ben Ali – but can Tunisia change?
Tension Grips Tunisia’s Capital After Leader Flees
Tunisia in turmoil as President flees from the anger of the dispossessed
Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out
Constitutional debate after Ben Ali
Arab activists hope Tunisia uprising brings change
Tunisia: a ‘wake-up call’ for Arab leaders
Patrick Cockburn: Troubles like these are brewing all over the Middle East
Al-Qaeda supports the events in Tunisia and Algeria
France did not prepare to welcome Tunisia’s Ben Ali: Foreign Ministry
Montreal eyes possible arrival of ex-Tunisian leader
Obama calls for free and fair Tunisia elections

That’s three governments in three Muslim countries in about as many weeks. How far will this trend spread and what government will be next to fall? It looks like we have a fast paced game of geopolitical dominoes going on here and it’s being played for keeps. And it could end up with Islamic interests being the eventual winners.

/it almost goes without saying that, chances are, the successor governments will be more hostile to the United States and Western interests