Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Measuring the "Success" of American Foreign Policy

The Americans blindly go around the world making bad situations worse while slapping themselves on the back and congratulating themselves about "spreading democracy" and "American values" throughout the world. The poor American public has no idea and little interest in the failed policies of their political leaders.

Here is a bit from an excellent article in the UK's Guardian newspaper giving an example of how Iraq has been "lifted up" from the horrors of Saddam Hussein's dark torture state to the light of a... what? a new torture state...
The walls of Um Hussein's living room in Baghdad are hung with the portraits of her missing sons. There are four of them, and each picture frame is decorated with plastic roses and green ribbons as an improvised wreath for the dead.

Um Hussein had six children. Her eldest son was killed by Sunni insurgents in 2005, when they took control of the neighbourhood. Three of her remaining sons were kidnapped by a Shia militia group when they left the neighbourhood to find work. They were never seen again.

She now lives with the rest of her family – a daughter, her last son, Yassir, and half a dozen orphaned grandchildren – in a tiny two-room apartment where the stink of sewage and cooking oil seeps through a thin curtain that separates the kitchen from the living room.

Um Hussein looks to be in her 60s and has one milky white eye. She is often confused and talks ramblingly about the young men in the portraits as if they are alive, then shouts at her daughter to bring tea. She told the Guardian how she had to fight to release Yassir from jail.

Yassir was detained in 2007. For three years she heard nothing of him and assumed he was dead like his brothers. Then one day she took a phone call from an officer who said she could go to visit him if she paid a bribe. She borrowed the money from her neighbour and set off for the prison.

"We waited until they brought him," she said. "His hands and legs were tied in metal chains like a criminal. I didn't know him from the torture. He wasn't my son, he was someone else. I cried: 'Your mother dies for you, my dear son.' I picked dirt from the floor and smacked it on my head. They dragged me out and wouldn't let me see him again.

"I have lost four. I told them I wouldn't lose this one."

Afterwards, the officers called from prison demanding hefty bribes to let him go while telling the family he was being tortured. Um Hussein told the officers she would pay, but they kept asking for more. First it was 1m Iraqi dinars (£560), then 2m, then 5m.
George Bush was an idiot whose ideology blinded him and allowed him to create horrors under the flag of "nation building" and "bringing democracy to the Middle East".

Obama is a much more sophisticated thinker who actually understands foreign policy, but sadly Obama continues the blunder and outrages of American "policy". It is clear that these horrors go deeper than just an "administration". What the US is doing around the world is obviously driven by a cynical need to control the world for the benefit of the rich elites in the US. The veneer of ideology or the cynical use of worlds like "freedom" and "democracy" and "women's rights" are rolled out to plaster a veneer of respectability to what is in fact a horror story passing for "foreign policy".

No comments: