Wednesday, March 24, 2021

033 The Erickson Report for March 11 to 25, Page 4: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Outrages]

033 The Erickson Report for March 11 to 25, Page 4: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Outrages]

Now for the Outrage, and we have two, or in a way one and a-half as they involve the same person and the same topic, but two different examples.

The person is President Joe Blahden; the issue is his foreign and military policies.

On February 25, on Blahden's order, the US dropped seven 500-pound bombs in eastern Syria on what is claimed to have been a site housing Iran-backed militias. The attack, which killed 22 people according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, was undertaken without Congressional authorization and was not in response to any imminent threat. In fact, it was avowedly labeled retaliation for a rocket attack a week earlier on a US base in northern Iraq, a base which the Iraqi parliament said a full year ago it wanted closed. To what should be no one's surprise, this "retaliation" did not stop and more likely provoked the rocket attack which followed the bombing.

It was so far removed from any useful military purpose that military experts quoted by USA Today said it was actually about "sending a message" that the US intended to remain "engaged" in the Middle East.

Perhaps the worst part of this was when White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the bombing, "when threats are posed, he has the right to take an action at the time, and in the manner of his choosing" and insisted it was within his "Article II authority," adopting exactly the same sort of "presidents can do whatever they damn please with the military, we don't need no stinking Congress" attitude that has plagued our nation with war for decades without resolution or end.

Our second example shows that on the other hand, Joe Blahden doesn't always have to show he's tough enough to "take action." Consider the case of Saudi Arabia.

As a candidate, he promised to make Saudi Arabia "the pariah that they are" over the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

But when it came time to actually do something, he refused to take any action against Saudi Crown Prince and dictator Mohammed bin Salman even in the face of a US intelligence report concluding bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi's murder.

State Department spokesman Ned Price blew off the moral collapse by calling Saudi Arabia "a hugely influential country in the Arab world.” In other words, "Hey what did you expect?"

Instead, Price said, the US is "recalibrating" its relationship with the kingdom, a “recalibration” that looks a lot like another case of Obama 2.0: tsk-tsking and tut-tutting about massive human rights abuses, oppression, imprisonment, torture, kidnapping, and now murder while doing absolutely nothing so long as a few lessers can be thrown under the bus for the sake of appearances.

So again it's about "sending a message." It's just that this time, the message is "if you're at the top, then no matter what, so long as you sell us your oil and buy our guns, it's business as usual."

That is, the usual Outrage.

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