Over at RaceForIran, Richard Steven Hack posted a link to a Salon article by Glen Greenwald. I'm quoting the first two and then the last paragraphs of it. In the body is an example of the New York Times euphemistically encouraging US opposition to Egyptian policy being set by Egyptian voters. It is an extremely well written piece about US policy in the Middle East.
Media coverage of the Arab Spring somehow depicted the U.S. as sympathetic to and supportive of the democratic protesters notwithstanding the nation’s decades-long financial and military support for most of the targeted despots. That’s because a central staple of American domestic propaganda about its foreign policy is that the nation is “pro-democracy” — that’s the banner under which Americans wars are typically prettified — even though “democracy” in this regard really means “a government which serves American interests regardless of how their power is acquired,” while “despot” means “a government which defies American orders even if they’re democratically elected.”There is not much I could add to the piece itself. I strongly suggest reading it in full. Instead I'll try to place Greenwald in context of the US policy opinion spectrum.
It’s always preferable when pretenses of this sort are dropped — the ugly truth is better than pretty lies — and the events in the Arab world have forced the explicit relinquishment of this pro-democracy conceit. That’s because one of the prime aims of America’s support for Arab dictators has been to ensure that the actual views and beliefs of those nations’ populations remain suppressed, because those views are often so antithetical to the perceived national interests of the U.S. government. The last thing the U.S. government has wanted (or wants now) is actual democracy in the Arab world, in large part because democracy will enable the populations’ beliefs — driven by high levels of anti-American sentiment and opposition to Israeli actions – to be empowered rather than ignored.
The Post explains that Iran has now “opened six new missions there — in Colombia, Nicaragua, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Bolivia — and has expanded embassies in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela”; Iran’s President, the article informs us, is now embarking on a trip to Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Nicaragua. Other than Cuba, all of those nations are governed by democratically elected leaders. But many of them periodically defy American dictates and act against American interests; they are thus magically transformed into “despots.” By contrast, try to find any high-level American official using such a term to describe, say, America’s close friends ruling Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. That is what is meant by “democracy” and “freedom” and “despots” when used in establishment American foreign policy discussions.
Greenwald is part of the anti-colonialist fringe of the US political spectrum. The pro-colonialist mainstream right and the pro-colonialist mainstream left of the US political spectrum are united in their pursuit of the policies as well as the deceptions in support of those policies that Greenwald describes. Barack Obama is far closer to George W. Bush than he is to Glenn Greenwald. Juan Cole and MJ Rosenberg are far closer to Jeffrey Goldberg and Caroline Glick than they are to Greenwald.
To a person outside of the US pro-colonialist mainstream, Obama, Bush, Cole, Rosenberg, Goldberg and Glick are not substantially different from each other in their agendas, their objectives or their methods. The United States is a far more profoundly colonialist - and also profoundly racist - country than anyone with limited experience with the country might guess.