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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

June 03, 2012

Surely a Little More Bombing Would Get Me the Love That's Rightfully Mine

So Gallup has discovered that majorities or pluralities in every Arab country they polled (Algeria, Comoros, Palestine, Mauritania, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia and Morocco) opposed the NATO intervention in Libya.

It's not groundbreaking to discover that Arabs don't love it when Arabs are bombed. But here's the funny part: according to a long article by Michael Hastings, a big point in favor of attacking the Gaddafi government for the Obama administration was that it would make the Arab world finally like them:

During the internal debate over Libya, [Hillary] Clinton started off questioning the wisdom of intervention. … But [ ] she was rattled when a coalition of Egyptian youth groups refused to meet with her. According to several State Department officials, the snub left her thinking, "We didn't get off to such a great start with Egypt – let's reverse that with Libya."

The president apparently shared the impulse to use Libya to make up for the administration's slow-footed response to the Arab Spring.

It would be one thing if Clinton's reaction had been: "Well, of course young Egyptians don't want to meet with me. I proudly said their dictator, whose intelligence service raped children as a matter of policy, was a close family friend of mine. Then there's the fact my husband strangled Iraq via sanctions for eight years, probably killing about half a million people. Then I endorsed the invasion, which killed at least as many more. And now that Benzion Netanyahu's dead, I've moved up from the world's 2nd-most fervent supporter of all of Israel's wars to number one. But who cares, that's the price you pay to run the biggest empire in history."

But no. Instead, she was not only "rattled" to find out that the sky is blue, it hurt her feelings.

It goes to show the U.S. political class is, psychologically, an even more dangerous version of Wall Street. Like Wall Street, they jaunt around the world obliterating millions of people's lives, and then they're shocked, wounded and infuriated when those people fail to be properly grateful for everything they've done for them. At that point, like Wall Street, they decide: We've got to make everyone love us again! By doing more of what's made them hate us!

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at June 3, 2012 09:42 AM

Sure is the way it seems.


Posted by: Poicephalus at June 3, 2012 12:27 PM

I thought they hated us for our freedoms. Or loved our freedoms...or something. Is this about our freedom to bomb them freely? I'm so confused now...

Posted by: darrelplant at June 3, 2012 02:04 PM

Hilarious and fantastic insight.

Posted by: Jay at June 3, 2012 09:55 PM

I can't decide whether the alleged thought processes of Clinton and Obama are BS propaganda skillfully filtered to Hastings via planned leaks and meant to give the false impression that the American government actually does care about freedom, whiskey, sexy in the Arab world or whether those folks are just that f-ing delusional and are able to handle that much cognitive dissonance.

I really want to believe that it's pure propaganda, because the alternative just blows my mind.

Posted by: Rojo at June 3, 2012 11:18 PM

Is this the same Hillary Clinton who gave the Iraqis a finger wag for not taking advantage of the democracy/sexy/whiskey the US bestowed upon them?

Posted by: Happy Jack at June 3, 2012 11:21 PM

Welcome, my Friends
Welcome to Machine---Pink Floyd

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 4, 2012 02:44 PM

From The Galaxy Song, by Monty Python:

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

Posted by: Freddy el Desfibradddor at June 4, 2012 04:10 PM


"The American Government" is not a will of its own; per Lewis Mumford, it is a machine, a structure, so I don't think one can ask whether it as a whole is sincere.

I believe that politician-figureheads are more likely to be delusional, as you put it; and career technocrat-operatives are more likely to be conscious Machiavellians; but you will also find examples of the reverse. It takes all kinds to make an Empire. If all our politicians were Kissingers, people wouldn't buy the mythos; that's why the Empire needs Clintons too.

I recommend the fantastically profane and hilarious film In the Loop, if you've not seen it.

Posted by: Cloud at June 6, 2012 01:38 PM

What did you dream?
Its alright
We told you what to dream----Pink Floyd

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 6, 2012 02:57 PM

You made some respectable factors there. I seemed on the web for the issue and located most people will associate with with your website.

Posted by: escort bayan at June 8, 2012 04:29 PM

missus charley was asking me "are they really so stupid"? and i said it's stupid if you think the objective is to win the 'war on terror'. if the real goal is to keep the war going then drone murder is just what is needed. so in other words our leaders are not stupid - they are evil. i hope that helps.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at June 8, 2012 10:15 PM

The last Colin Powell thread is closed; anyway — I see that Powell is scheduled to appear on The Daily Show this Tuesday.

So ... yeah, I don't know why I'm typing this. Maybe a vague hope that (in some alternate universe at least) Mr Schwarz's documentation of Powell's bad faith could influence Mr Stewart's approach to the interview ... it's kind of an embarrassing hope. My generation puts too much stock in The Daily Show.

Posted by: Cloud at June 8, 2012 10:28 PM

Cloud: Stewart has just the best job in the world, "rocking the boat". Sometimes though, to KEEP the best job in the world, one doesn't rock the boat.

mistah charley ph.d. And the war drones on---into forever.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 8, 2012 11:05 PM