Posted by: quiscus | March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011

1.  “TSA ‘cooked’ data on airport security”

2.  “Interrogator in the Assange case friend with woman accusing Wikileaks founder”

3.  “Rage against the House of Saud

Moreover, this is a society where for many “reform” is a sin, and with the rulers handing out education to fanatic clerics, constructive criticism and intellectual debate are also widely considered sins.

People for instance still vehemently defend the medieval Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice as essential for good governance. The Saudi Minister of Religion is always a member of the al-Sheikh family (descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahab). Wahhabism is rigid as a rock, allows no interpretation, no “idolatry”, veneration of statues, or even works of art. Not to mention no smoking, no shaving of beards, and very few rights for women. And if you don’t follow it, even if you’re a Muslim, you’re the enemy. No wonder this society produced al-Qaeda and jihadis – and no science or ideas.

Make no mistake; for all their glitzy skylines and investor-friendly self-image, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are all ruled by secrecy and fear. No political parties, no trade unions, no defense of workers safety, no defense of immigrant rights, no women’s groups, and very few legal organizations to ensure a fair and independent judicial process. If you’re branded as an “al-Qaeda” opposition (or an Iranian agent) you can be detained indefinitely without trial – Guantanamo-style. Or you disappear in jail after a grotesque trial. Torture is of course endemic. And foreign workers – especially non-Muslims – live in perpetual fear.

Washington and European capitals are shaken to the core with the prospect of those northern African winds producing a freedom storm in Saudiland – and the Persian Gulf.

So forget about “democracy” or “human rights”. Enter the brand new Barack Obama administration “regime alteration” doctrine, where popular aspirations in the Gulf – from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain and Oman – are ditched to the benefit of the “stability” afforded by “key allies”, swing producers House of Saud and hosts of the 5th Fleet the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain. Moreover, the House of Saud has told the al-Khalifa that if they do not crush their own Shi’ite-majority revolt, Saudi forces will. And Washington won’t bat an eyelid. As it won’t bat an eyelid if this Day of Rage turns into a bloodbath. ”

4.  Any politician who blames Obama for the deficit is a maliciously evil human being who is acting in purposeful bad faith:

“The Dynamics of Right Wing Politics in America

Having miniaturized their moderate wing and neutered the neoconservatives, the Republican high command evidently believes the time has finally come to overturn some of the social advances gained through the struggles of the Sixties and the Great Depression. They are taking a page out of Naomi Klein’s book — “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” — by cynically exploiting the economic disaster to implement regressive economic and social policies.

Right wing politicians are now fallaciously claiming that the federal government is “going broke,” or “facing bankruptcy” due to the high federal deficit, and therefore “deep cuts are required” in spending programs intended to benefit working people and the poor. This is an old GOP canard, which the New York Times defined March 2 as “obfuscating nonsense.”

The sky-high deficit is largely the product of three things: the Bush Administration’s huge tax reductions, especially for the rich ($1 trillion extra to the richest 2% in the last 10 years), the economic recession (caused by the banks, Wall St. greed and government deregulation) and vast increases in military and national security spending during the last decade. ”



  1. I’m writing a thesis on Public Trust in WikiLeaks, the Media and the Government and need to know what your opinions are. The online survey is multiple choice and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Please follow the link: Would be great if you would encourage others to do the survey also.

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