Capitalism and the Middle East

Posted in Uncategorized by @honestcharlie on August 20, 2011

The last upload omitted the footnotes, so I’m reposting it with them returned.


          Perhaps it is time to reflect on what unifies policy, U.S. policy, and in fact western policy, in the Middle East, as it is confusing to so many people.  The major issue, surprisingly enough, is not religion, human rights, or even oil in itself.  It is capitalism.
          Capitalism is the accumulation of wealth and nothing more.  Usually this is done by selling things to others and hence the importance of markets.  However, it can also be done by charging interest on a loan.  As a matter of fact, if the capitalist interest could simply take the money outright, it would be quite happy.  Any sort of service or product involved is purely incidental to the main objective.  Very important to this system is growth for, without ‘growth’, there is no further accumulation.  This is almost a tautology.
          Socialism, on the other hand, is an interest in the welfare of society.  It is quite clear that there is a tremendous potential for conflict between these two systems.  While those living in a socialist system are quite happy to exist under it, the capitalist interests find Socialism as very contrary to their single objective and therefore as an obstacle to be eliminated or at least overcome.
We can observe the so-called “Arab Spring,” which is another idiotic word as the phenomenon is not a season, and point out the U.S. and European reactions to it in these terms.
Tunisia came first.  There was not much reaction to it other than some hand wringing about how poor the country has become and how the educated cannot find employment.  However, this is also quite true of the United States and other capitalist countries, so we did not react other than to show some mob scenes on television.  The leader went to Saudi Arabia (as did Idi Amin earlier) and that was pretty much the end of the story.  After all, Tunisia never interfered with anything; especially capitalism, and its leader enriched himself as much as possible before he left in a fine capitalist spirit.
Egypt followed in what is called the #Jan25 revolution.  Now the United States did not want any changes in Egypt because it followed our orders in respect to Israel and had an ill-advised treaty with Israel.  However, as the US makes quite a show of being “pro-democratic,” it had to allow things to play out without interference.  The demonstrators were also quite pragmatic as they embraced the Army, a huge capitalist enterprise (mainly real-estate and tourism), when it intervened.  Mubarack made a big show of never leaving Egypt, so he is still on trial although many still think he is running the country.  There have been few changes in policy since his departure and what there have been have all been pro-capitalistic.
The first country that we jumped on was Libya.  Libya was a socialist with free medical care[1], free education, a high literacy rate, fairly liberal attitudes towards women’s rights, and it is founded on the “Green Book,” written by Gaddafi, a book that reads much like a pamphlet from the Fabian society and could have been written by Sidney Webb, H. G. Wells, or Bernard Shaw.  It was also quite wealthy because of its oil.  That was not a problem, but the wealth from the oil was distributed to the people and that is always a problem.  It sets a bad example; rather, it becomes the crime of setting a good example.[2]  The fact that Gaddafi is a colorful character and says things that can be attacked is helpful to US interests as that is used to justify attacks against him.
Perhaps the most obvious violation of human rights has happened in Bahrain and there is a revolution there.  Any doctor who treats anyone is punished.[3]  To assist them in maintaining their rule, Saudi Arabia sent troops to occupy the territory.  Bahrain sees no western interference as it is home to the United States’ Sixth Fleet (which is used to protect “liberty” another euphemism for Capitalism).  Furthermore, a majority of citizens of Bahrain would like to ally with Iran, another anti-capitalist force.
Yemen is another country seeing a great deal of “unrest”.  In fact, the people have tried to assassinate their leader, but merely wounded him.  He is currently recovering in, you guessed it, Saudi Arabia.  We like him because he allows us, even takes credit for, our drone attacks in what we call Al Qeada locations.  Bin Laden, as you know, led that organization, and now that we have killed him, we still need to attack them.  After all, who has come out in support of them or it?  Besides, there is not much money to be had from Yemen.
Syria is another country we love to hate because, after all, it is socialist as well.  Fortunately for it, it is not very wealthy and it does cooperate with us in dealing with Israel and torturing the occasional prisoner we send there.  So, we will not attack it militarily (it also has a fairly disciplined military), but we can make all sorts of statements about how horrible it is and that Assad has lost his legitimacy as a leader.[4]  Hillary, especially, enjoys asserting her manhood by verbally attacking him.  She does want more sanctions against him, but then we do not do any business with him so she is a bit at a loss.
There are other examples, but only one thing unifies all Arabs and their leaders – they are in favor of a Palestinian state.  Israel demands, among many other things, the recognition of its right to exist AS A JEWISH STATE.  I know of no other religious state in that manner with the possible of the Vatican, one square mile in Rome, which has existed for centuries and has no nuclear weapons.
Earlier, Iraq was a horrible place as it allegedly was responsible for 9/11.  Now anyone remotely familiar with the Mideast knows full well that Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden hated each other.  Saddam would have gladly killed him if he had the opportunity.  We supported him when he was warring against Iran (an impediment to capitalism).  However, as he had universal free health care, free education, free housing, etc., he became an anti capitalist force so we needed an excuse to dispose of him.  We also wanted a military base there as he was no longer acting as our proxy.  Therefore, we invaded and occupy the country to this day.  We have promised to leave by December 31, unless they ask us to stay.  The more violence there, the more likely our servants there will be to ask us to stay, so there will be increasing violence.
If we stray from the Mideast, we can see that this is a universal practice of capitalism.  Today, in lands to the south of us, Chavez is the leader of Venezuela and a Socialist, who therefore does a great deal to benefit his people.  It is for this reason that we carried out a coup against him and recognized immediately the new government.  However, pesky as he is, Chavez reads and learns from history.  He hid out for a day and then retook his place as leader.  Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and Co. were very unhappy with that.  He vastly helped his people, especially in the area of healthcare, mainly by importing many Cuban doctors.[5]
If you ask anyone in South America about 9/11, they are most likely to think of Salvador Alliende, the elected leader of Chile.  He announced that he was a socialist or, even worse sounding, a communist, so Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, and others[6] overthrew him, killed him, and installed Pinochet in his place.  To this day, Kissinger dares not travel overseas openly because of a World Court indictment against him, the same one that got Pinochet into so much trouble a few years ago.
Nicaragua is another case in point.  Daniel Ortega was elected President and was a socialist, so Ronald Reagan[7] make a deal with Iran to deliver arms to Honduras where we had a mercenary army to overthrow Ortega.  Ortega won a lawsuit against the US at the World Court, but we do not recognize it (it is not pro-capitalist enough).  He was ousted, but is back again.
Oh yes, Cuba.  We have to go way back in time for this one.  Fidel Castro ousted Battista, our capitalist and mafia friendly puppet in Cuba.  He wanted to be friends with the United States at first, but things did not work out.  First, he nationalized our corporations.  Well, this is hardly Capitalism-friendly behavior.  He did offer to pay the owners the valuation, however.  They said that the property was worth far more than the listing.  He agreed and would pay their requested amount, provided they pay the back taxes at that rate.[8]  They refused, so he just took them.  That led to the Bay of Pigs and his alliance with the Soviet Union.
It is no wonder, then, that Chavez choose him as a friend.  He also gave Obama one of Noam Chomsky’s books that explains all of this far better than I am doing here, but Obama didn’t read it, or so I am led to believe.
One final observation: for years, Al-Jazeera has covered all of the middle east very well and thus been a target for the capitalist states.  It is now available in English, fairly easily, and even Hillary Clinton has praised it.  It is no secret that its integrity has declined and many staff have resigned.


[1] And it is obviously a good one as the man set free from Scotland with only six motnhs to live has survived almost four years now.
[2] He was also evil enough to support the Irish Liberation movement.
[3] This also happens in capitalist countries, but they are simply deprived of part of their income.  In Bahrain, they are incarcerated and tortured.
[4] Assad, an opthamologist, is reported to have said that this is unfair talk about his mother.
[5] Remember Cuba?  More about that soon.
[6] Notably, Coca-Cola and the US phone company.
[7] Also know as Ronnie Ray-Gun.
[8] Has anyone ever told you that he went to law school?  Also, if the New York Yankees had signed him as a pitcher, all this could have been avoided.  But live and not learn.



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