Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nosy Bastards

Did you ever have a co-worker or friend in school that was always so damn annoyingly nosy? You couldn't get from the front door to your desk without being asked questions on what you did last night, if a Roman orgy is the reason you look tired and you have a slight limp...
Well, that's kind of how we are, or US is...
Obama's little tour of parts of Asia ended with little accomplished other than making a few predictable speeches about partnership and outlining what he expects other countries to do for us in exchange for not being put on our "to bomb" list.
For example, when he visited Indonesia, he praised them for their religious tolerance, remarking how their moderate form of Islam was a beacon to other countries. Simultaneously, however, he was sure to mention the still acute threat of terrorism in the region, and offered financial backing to Kopassus, the anti-terrorism special forces. Interestingly enough, Kopassus is more of a pro-terrorism organization, having more than a slightly checkered past including human rights violations against mostly their own people...hmmmm, well done Obama.
His stay at the G20 summit was about as uneventful as a flight over the desert, and just as barren of fruitful gains. The only thing he really accomplished was argue with China, something of a sticky subject considering they own us. But we just couldn't help but stick our noses in their financial business and smelling the acrid airs of competition, wave our flags and cry out foul play. Of course, we're doing the same exact thing we accused China of: manipulating the currency to keep it at artificially low levels with the hopes of bolstering trade.
From there, Obama's visit in India was just as much a sugar coated gun to the head as Indonesia. He praised India's "beauty and dynamism," prophetically promising that their relationship would be "one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century." At this climax, he furthered the ecstasy of his praise by publicly announcing his support for India's permanent membership on the U.N. Security Council, something India has long coveted. I'm not really sure as to why - the U.N. is more effective at diplomatically wooing hot actresses and taking notes on disasters than actually doing anything, but as per usual in politics, the title is what matters.
As the applause roared through the crowd, Obama turned the speech towards thinly veiled demands, giving a perfect example of what Naomi Klein so aptly named "The Shock Doctrine." He noted how India was too laissez-faire when it came to the doings of it's terrorist neighbours such as Iran and Myanmar. Basically, if you want that seat, you have to be a nosy bastard like us, so get to work. He further chastised India's other neighbour, Pakistan for harboring terrorists and failing to work with the global community in a fight to bring them to justice. Meanwhile, outside Obama's cushy Indian quarters, Hindu extremists slink from injustice to injustice under the noses of Indian authorities who couldn't give a shit how many Kashmiris they brutally murder. As with any political favoritism, there are dollar signs behind this one. India is yet another country supporting our cash flow while recently allowing the US to sell them over $10 billion worth of goods, thereby creating tens of thousands of US jobs. So who cares that you allow atrocious terrorist actions against your own people? Oh, will you sign that check please, thanks.
The nosy bastards have an agenda. The US might suck at governing our own people but we seem very keen on telling other countries how to govern by steering them with our bullying power.
Meanwhile, back at home, our economy is still royally fucked and Obama hasn't said much about it since the heinous results of his midterm elections. He should focus less on funding international guns and dictating their aim and focus more on the doings of his own country.
Isolationism isn't an option anymore but piloting the actions of foreign governments shouldn't be either. We need to back the fuck off. Maybe if we knew more about the countries we so brashly police and attempt to govern, we could support our nosiness with at least a solid base. However, we don't. There is nothing up for debate there. Obama knows dick about Indonesia's governing system, despite his extensive four years there as a small child. He also doesn't even begin to fathom the complexities of a country like India. It's not as easy as saying you support these people and fuck those people. You can't make promises like that, you can't pick and choose enemies when it's not all that black and white.
It's more important for us to mind our own business, particularly now. The more alliances we form, the more people we shut out, the worse it gets for us. Let's step away from the Bush-style "America's the best" mentality and focus in on our needs as a country. Counter-terrorism starts with our mindset, our dealings and workings all across the globe, and this nosy bastard, do this and that approach isn't the answer.


John said...

Indonesia’s Kopassus role in counter-terrorism is minimal. In fact, Kopassus terrorized and killed far too many civilians to count. Its crimes occurred not only in the past, but continue. U.S. training of Kopassus will set back efforts to achieve accountability for past and recent human rights violations and will not discourage future crimes, according to the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (

For decades, the U.S. military provided training and other assistance to Kopassus, despite the demonstrated failure of international assistance to improve its behavior. The widely acknowledged abuses and criminal activity of Kopassus just went on.

Restrictions on U.S. military assistance to Indonesia provide leverage to support democracy and human rights in Indonesia. Working with Kopassus, with its long history of terrorizing civilians, will undermine those fighting for justice and accountability in Indonesia and East Timor.

Rooftop Revolutionary said...

Hey John,

Thank you for the elaboration on Kopassus history and current events. I'll post it on a blog entry today as a note. Thanks for reading.