A propos of the mess in the Middle East, Daniel has an interesting post about enablers. While I do not agree with his views regarding what the future holds for Europe, Brazil and the USA -owing to their notorious support of terrorist regimes that oppress its peoples- I do think that his post about enablers is very pertinent, in the sense that, if anything, what popular dictators-toppling uprisings of late have shown is the utter hypocrisy of European countries, and the USA.
Tony Blair, and his chum George Bush, were quick on the gun with regards to Saddam, undoubtedly a tyrant that deserved nothing but to be kept incommunicado in an underground hole for three consecutive lifetimes. However, what position did Tony and Georgie boy had on Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gadaffi? These other dictators were evidently all right, part of the club, friends with fat wallets from whom arm industries and oil conglomerates could profit, until Tunisian, Egytian and Lybian peoples decided that enough was enough. Now, in what can only be termed as an incredible turn of events, we hear the UK government saying that it will investigate the source of funds and assets of some of these tyrants, when past UK governments and royalty have been doing deals for ages, and laughing at every stupid utterance in order to please that lot. The hypocrisy is beyond nauseating, and the entire political and business class are in it.
Take a walk any day around Hampstead, South Kensington, King's Road, Mayfair, the finest areas of London. And what does one see? Arabs, and Russians, blowing money like there's no tomorrow in obscene manner. Where does that money come from: hard, honest work? Are they hiding their wealth? How about the industries that are raking it in making deals with such regimes? So how can these enabling posturers have the chutzpah now to criticise what Gadaffi is doing, when not two years ago the governments of England and Scotland bowed to pressure from big oil and released a convicted terrorist, responsible for the lives of many? Where was the 'angered' David Cameron then? That the London School of Economics took money from Saif Gadaffi? Where the outrage when an Oxford visiting professor organized a gig for Chavez in 2002, for which he was handsomely rewarded? What about the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, accepting $32 million from Chavez to subsidize transport, getting into Chavez's payroll, agitating on his behalf, misusing public resources for propaganda purposes, and attacking innocent London residents?
Closer to home, how have Europe, the USA, or Brazil, impeded the totalitarian march of Hugo Chavez? Where can we hear cries of indignation due to arms sales to Venezuela, when even Jose Maria Aznar sold forbidden gear to Chavez, in clear violation to EU regulations? Where can we read that any authority, anywhere, is investigating the sudden wealth of many Boliburgueses? And the answer is quite simple. Hugo Chavez is the $2 trillion dictator. I won't even venture a guess, as per the amount of money that Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Gadaffi have seen during their repressive reigns. Forget about Warren Buffet, Gates, Slim, the Google boys or Mark (sucker)Berg. This is serious money we are talking about, the sort of money that would put to ridicule the world's largest personal fortunes, money that's spent without having to explain anything to any board, regulating authorities, or congress. And money, these days, is the best presentation card. For no one questions money. No one says no to money. Money has no political colour, and moneyed thugs are revered, welcomed and celebrated by all sides of the political / business spectrum, everywhere. Ask Frank Williams. No political or business class, anywhere in the world, puts moral principles, or human rights, over money. Fuck the oppressed, fuck peoples, if a few deals can be had with über wealthy dictators. That's the prevailing mantra, here, in DC, in Brasilia, Bogota and Peking. Chavez knows that well, and so does Gadaffi. They know that money talks, and European, or American, so called liberal-democratic bullshit walks.
What is even more incredible, is that Western leaders think they are entitled to criticise opposition movements in countries run by dictators, when it is decided that revolt, and rebellion is the only way out. To us, Venezuelans opposed to Chavez, they stabbed in the back. In 2002, and in 2004. We shall never forget that Brazilian thug, Lula, founder of the largest criminal organization in South America, a man who hailed from union ranks, siding with Chavez, and breaking the spine of a union strike in Venezuela. We shall never forget Jimmy Carter, and Jennifer McCoy, and the OAS, turning a blind eye on a massive electoral fraud in Venezuela, in August 2004. But the quintessential example of Western hypocrisy was in Honduras, in 2009, when the much celebrated Lula, and his Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Cuban sidekicks, were up to their noses dismantling Honduran democracy and attacking Hondurans. Unbelievably, the rest of the world sided with Chavez et al. Enablers are not only ever so prone to side with the wrong side, for a few bucks, but more insultingly, they ensure tyrants have enough powerful and technologically advanced arsenals to crush popular struggles.
We live in difficult times, but more than ever, we live in times when Eurocentric socio political notions have shown to be useless, devoid of meaning, dated forms of imperialism. Post modern racism. The world is in a state of revolt, noble savages will gain their freedom, sooner or later, regardless. History will serve its final verdict on today's enablers, and we should show for the latter the same consideration they get from those who oppress us.
Update 27 Feb: William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, in a BBC show this morning "revealed that diplomatic immunity in the UK for the Libyan leader and his family has been removed." So the mad dictator has been warned, that the UK won't welcome him, or his family. Alas no word about similar measures vis-a-vis Mubarak, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe, Putin or Lukashenko. Life can get tough for a 40-year-ruling tyrant. We must expect that popular justice will be setting its sight on humble abodes acquired by the Gadaffis. The French or Italian Rivieras will have to do then.