Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

04.23 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again

04.23 Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70tn climate impact – study

04.23 US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

04.21 Trump and impeachment: where Democrats stand after Mueller

04.21 Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm [A replacement for lost Arctic ice?]

04.21 We’re altering the climate so severely that we’ll soon face apocalyptic consequences. Here are 9 last-ditch ways we could hack the planet to reverse that trend.[Hail Mary pass ideas]

04.18 'We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See': New Video From AOC Envisions a #GreenNewDeal Future [7:35 video]

04.18 'Decades of denial': major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble

04.17 Thawing Permafrost Emitting Higher Levels of Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Previously Thought: Study

04.16 'That Backfired': Watch Bernie Sanders Counter Right-Wing Talking Point, Make Case for Medicare for All on Fox News

04.16 Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a 'black box' for origin of disease

04.16 Scientists Unveil World's First Human Heart 3D-Printed From Patients' Own Cells

04.15 What It Was Like to Have a Baby in Sweden

04.14 'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

04.13 With Youth Climate Actions Backed by Leading Experts, Latest Round of Protests Highlights Call for Bold and Urgent Action

04.11 Will You Rise Up for Climate Justice Next Week? Don’t Let Fatalism and Cynicism Hold You Back

04.11 300+ Groups to Congress: #GreenNewDeal 'Must Transform Our Food System and Revitalize Rural America'

04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]

04.10 Is there a beautiful, briny solution to the world’s clean water crisis?

04.08 'The perfect storm': hydrogen gains ground on LNG as alternative fuel [Good!]

04.08 Himalayan glaciers on the eve of destruction

04.08 Russia moves to free nearly 100 captive whales after outcry [Good!]

News Media Matters

04.12 DOJ Charging Docs: Julian Assange Committed Journalism

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

04.23 'A Really Exciting Proposal': Elizabeth Warren's Education Overhaul Would Wipe Out Student Debt, Provide Free Public College

04.23 To Reassert Congressional War Authority, Sanders Demands Vote to Override Trump Veto on Yemen

04.23 BALTIMORE POLICE TRIED TO KILL KEITH DAVIS JR. PROSECUTORS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONVICT HIM OF MURDER EVER SINCE.

04.21 Trump's moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove him from power

04.21 Pentagon Spending Set to Hit Near-Record Levels, But 'Establishment Says We Can't Afford' Progressive Policies

04.19 14 Must-Read Moments From the Mueller Report

04.19 No One Listens to the President

04.19 'Whimsical, uninformed': French ambassador's parting verdict on Trump

04.19 Mueller report: press secretary Sarah Sanders admitted to lying to reporters

04.19 Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border

04.19 Mueller report unable to clear Trump of obstruction of justice [PDF]

04.19 Nadler says Mueller report shows 'disturbing evidence' of obstruction of justice – video [2:41 video]

Justice Matters

04.21 In Ruling on Coal Mining, Federal Judge Issues Latest Rebuke of Trump's Attack on Public Lands

04.19 The Mueller Report Is Clear: Donald Trump Repeatedly Tried to Obstruct Justice

High Crimes

04.17 'Shameful': With Millions on Brink of Famine in Yemen, Trump Vetoes Resolution to End US Complicity

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

04.23 The “disintegration” of global capitalism could unleash world war 3, warns top EU economist

04.23 The financial sector must be at the heart of tackling climate change [A reversal of their history of bad behavior]

04.21 Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron [For the good of the public and healthier economic growth, can we make government and financial markets behave morally?]

04.19 The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit [pdf; Until the Pentagon can pass audits, use their allocated budget to fight causes of global warming]

04.19 The Public Banking Revolution Is Upon Us

International & Futurism

04.23 To stop global catastrophe, we must believe in humans again

04.21 Frustration grows among migrants in Mexico as support fades

04.21 Decrying 'Toxic Alliance' of Macron and Polluters, Climate Campaigners Stage One of France's Largest Ever Acts of Civil Disobedience

04.21 Yellow Vests Demonstrate in Paris as Notre Dame Donations Highlight Wealth Inequality

04.21 The Observer view on the Mueller report: Trump is a disgrace not welcome in Britain

04.21 The Government Is Still Massively Complacent About Climate Change

04.19 Ways to Save the World

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Speech Therapy: Pretty Words in Cairo Hide Brutal Realities of Power
Newspaper logo

VIEWPOINT:

Speech Therapy: Pretty Words in Cairo Hide Brutal Realities of Power

by Chris Floyd
Thursday, 4 June 2009

The "progressive president" who is telling Muslims how they misunderstand American values is himself a supporter of "indefinite detention" and "preventive detention" and is seeking ways to entrench these unconstitutional (not to mention immoral) concepts into formalized law.

We are told that Barack Obama gave a  "major address" on the subject of US-Muslim relations. He was speechifying in Cairo, capital of one of the most repressive regimes in the Middle East, following a sleepover with the Saudi king, Abdullah, ruler of one of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Regarding the deep impact of this landmark event, we defer to the observations of Professor As'ad AbuKhalil, who provides this incisive commentary:

Who cares about what Obama will say or not say? I mean, why should people care about what the visiting White Man (yes, as soon as you run for the American presidency you assume the role of the White Man, regardless of the color of your skin) will preach to Egyptians and Muslims? I await that speech the way I await sequels to Rocky movies.

We heartily recommend the professor's website for a whole series of pertinent views on Obama's trip -- and for information and analysis of the region generally. He also points us to this piece by Hossam el-Hamalawy, who was graciously vouchsafed a small scrap of space in the New York Times:

President Obama should not have decided to come to Egypt. The visit is a clear endorsement of President Hosni Mubarak, the ailing 81-year-old dictator who has ruled with martial law, secret police and torture chambers. No words that Mr. Obama will say can change this perception that Americans are supporting a dictator with their more than $1 billion in annual aid....

As for the other host of the president’s visit, Al Azhar University, one of its students, Kareem Amer, is languishing in prison after university officials reported his “infidel, un-Islamic” views to the government, earning him a four-year sentence in 2007. In advance of the visit, Egyptian security forces have rounded up hundreds of foreign students at Al Azhar.

We do want allies in the West, but not from inside the White House. Our real allies are the human rights groups and unions that will pressure the Obama administration to sever all ties to the Mubarak dictatorship. Their visits to Egypt are more meaningful, even if unlike Mr. Obama, they do not get a lavish reception.

We might also note the nature of President Obama's journey through the capital of this friendly, close American ally. From the NY Times:

Mr. Obama arrived in Cairo at 9 a.m.  and was greeted by the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmad Aboul Gheit. The streets surrounding the university and across the city were largely quiet and empty on Thursday. Many workers in the Egyptian capital had been told to stay home. The sidewalks were closed to people, but lined by hundreds of uniformed soldiers — some dressed in black, others in white — who had been standing in place for hours before Mr. Obama arrived.

As you can see, "they love him, they really love him," as Professor Juan Cole eagerly informed us earlier this week.

But strangely enough, even as the president was meeting with the unelected despot of Saudi Arabia and the authoritarian tyrant-for-life in Egypt, over in Iran -- which, as we all know, is the site of a monolithic mullah state bent on nothing less than the destruction of the world -- they were having a heated debate on national television, with the nation's president -- whom we all know is an absolutist dictator just like Adolf Hitler -- being roundly denounced by his political opponent, who assailed him for, among many other things, questioning the Holocaust.

(As we noted here last year, one of the most popular television shows in recent Iranian history was a series about an Iranian diplomat who worked to rescue Jews in wartime Paris. But nothing will shake the carefully cultivated Western caricature of Iran as a horde of slavering anti-Semites -- not even the fact there is a Jewish community, and Jewish member of Parliament, in Iran -- something you would never see in the judenfrei realm of Obama's "wise and gracious" friend, King Abdullah.)

During the speech, we heard many nicely-turned phrases and heartfelt pieties from President Obama as he sought to "correct the misunderstandings" that Muslims have about America and its benevolent policies around the world. But what speaks far more loudly to the reality of those policies is a small story already being shunted aside by the tsunami of gushing press devoted to the empty flapping of presidential jaws in Cairo -- the suicide of a Yemeni man held captive, without charges, in the Guantanamo concentration camp since 2002:

A Yemeni captive died in an apparent suicide at the detention center for foreign terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba, the U.S. military said on Tuesday....A military statement said 31-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih, also known as Al Hanashi, "died of an apparent suicide" on Monday night, but did not say specifically how he died....

The dead man had been held without charge at Guantanamo since February 2002. He had been on hunger strikes in the past to protest his detention, but was not among the more than two dozen long-term hunger strikers currently being force-fed at the camp, a Guantanamo spokesman said....

Human Rights First condemned the death as "a stark reminder of the inhumanity of indefinite detention without charges or trial." The American Civil Liberties Union said it illustrated the need to resolve the detainees' fate in a regularly constituted court with long-established rules.

"There is no room for a system of indefinite detention without charge or trial under our Constitution," the ACLU said. "Those against whom there is no legitimate evidence must not be given a de facto life sentence by being locked up forever."

It would of course be superfluous in us to point out that the progressive president who even at this moment is in Cairo telling Muslims how they misunderstand American values is himself a staunch supporter of "indefinite detention" and "preventive detention" and is seeking ways to entrench these unconstitutional (not to mention immoral) concepts into a formalized imperial law.

But we would certainly not want the Muslim world to misunderstand America's abiding commitment to justice, freedom, liberty and peace. We are sure the president made it all crystal clear in this "major speech" from the heart of a brutal, repressive, American-funded regime. Let's just hope there are no major mass civilian slaughters in America's Terror War operations in the Muslim lands of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan today, after the president's lyrical waxing in Cairo about how America "rejects the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children." That would sure put a crimp in the old PR.


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on June 4, 2009.

 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland