He was a Bastard, but he was our Bastard
by Gary G. Kohls on 04 Mar 2011 0 Comment

Czechoslovakian independence leader Eduard Benes is unique among national leaders for having been forced into exile twice in his political career. The first time was for opposing the Austro-Hungarian Empire before and during World War I and the second time was before World War II, for resisting Nazi Germany during Hitler’s takeover of the Sudetenland. The anti-monarchist, anti-fascist Benes once said: “Every imperialist nation looks strong until the last five minutes.”


I suspect that that saying could be justifiably applied to the views of the propaganda arm of the Mubarak regime: Egyptian state TV. And I think it could be applied also to the views of Mubarak’s 28,000 security police and hired thugs, some of which wounded thousands and murdered over 300 unarmed demonstrators in Liberation Square, trying to stop the unstoppable Young People’s non-violent pro-democracy revolution.


The anti-democracy right-wingers who had prospered during Mubarak’s 30-year rule were suddenly and rudely awakened from their delusions of grandeur, less than the proverbial five minutes after hearing that Mubarak had turned tail and fled Cairo. They had been asleep in their comfy beds, assured of their continued personal security after hearing their president-for-life’s out of touch bedtime speech the evening before.


I’ll bet that the ex-Air Force general himself was in massive denial about the impending end of his imperial rule.


And I also suspect that he is also denying his guilt in the massive crimes against humanity that he orchestrated during the reign of terror, a horrific period of Egyptian history during which arbitrary arrests were common, torture of suspects was routine and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of dissenters occurred. And while this repression was happening, tens of millions of innocents were living in poverty, humiliated and demoralized while the ruling elite were living in luxury. Dictators never relinquish power voluntarily. They always die hard.


”Steal a little and they throw you in jail; Steal a lot and they make you king”


A pertinent quote that applies to the recent revolutionary activities comes from Bob Dylan: “They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings; Steal a little and they throw you in jail; Steal a lot and they make you king.”


Mubarak was a scoundrel who stole a lot, and he became a self-proclaimed “president-for-life”. He was an evil dictator that brutalized his people while being financed and embraced by a string of American presidents, starting with the darling of US conservatives, old “666” himself, the right-wing dictator-loving Ronald Wilson Reagan.


Mubarak was a bastard, but he was our bastard, because he was able to create some stability to the oil-producing region that was important to the US economy. The first time I ever heard the American mainstream media use the word “dictator” for Mubarak was a few weeks ago when the courageous heroes on the streets of Cairo kept uttering the unwelcome but truthful word.


Of course, any careful observer of an obvious police state like Egypt could have figured that out. Any national leader who keeps getting “re-elected” with 98% of the vote has to be a military-backed dictator, who orchestrates fraudulent elections and maintains his power by some process other than democratic rule. We obviously have been deceived by our corporate-controlled media into thinking that Mubarak was something other than a fascist dictator.


Mubarak was actually only one in a long line of strongmen around the world who have been installed and then financed by a succession of US presidents whose foreign policies have been shaped by the interests of US-based predatory, multinational corporations that have conspired to gain control of, by hook or by crook, the natural resources of other nations.


The title of this essay says a lot about the co-called “ethics” of way too many US presidents and politicians. Those politicians who are most heavily “in bed” with war profiteering corporations are the most likely to look the other way when the bastards do their dirty work for American business interests.


Politics makes strange bedfellows


It is a truism that “politics makes strange bedfellows”, and the politicians who accept the most bribery money (AKA campaign “contributions”) are also the ones who are the most blindly pro-business. And, of course, the biggest “donors” are also the ones who are the most demanding that their “investments” reap profits as soon as possible (note the rapidity with which the Koch Brothers-funded Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is trying to institute their proto-fascist agenda of crushing the unions. Hitler would have been envious. His Nuremberg Law agenda took him several years to implement and he didn’t have elected officials to worry about.). Wealthy elites who own politicians expect legislation that advances their pro-corporate agendas and they want it ASAP.


The list of fascist military dictators who have been supported by US presidents is long and smelly. Here are a few examples. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first US president to use the phrase “he might be a bastard, but he’s our bastard” when he was describing an early Central American dictator. He was talking about the Nicaraguan military dictator Anastazio Somoza, a West Point graduate who wasn’t embarrassed to be called “El Yanqui”.


Somoza had political, military and financial help from the US in the bloody coup that began his family’s dictatorial rule that lasted for two generations. Twenty years after the 1936 coup, President Eisenhower uttered the same sentence in describing Somoza.


Examples of infamous US-supported fascist dictators


A partial list of countries where infamous US-supported fascist dictators ruled (and who were also CIA “assets”) include South Korea, many Persian Gulf States, Pakistan, most African nations (including Ronald Reagan’s favorite, Apartheid South Africa) and many Central and South American military dictatorships in countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Chile, Colombia, etc.


I will mention a few specific examples. President Eisenhower and his CIA Director Allen Dulles were instrumental in overthrowing democratically-elected leaders in both Iran and Guatemala, installing the hated Shah of Iran and a Guatemalan military junta. Both were very good for business.


President Johnson supported a number of odious Southeast Asian dictators. Nixon and Kissinger arranged the assassination of the Chilean president Salvador Allende and installed the infamous torturer Augusto Pinochet. Ford and Kissinger gave massive armaments to the Indonesian dictator Sukarno, who then proceeded to orchestrate a massacre in East Timor.


Ronald Reagan extended the massacres in Central America and regarded the infamous Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos as his close friend. And ex-CIA Director George H.W. Bush had a cozy relationship with the cruel Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.


The list could go on and on, but it is sadly true that the CIAs, the Pentagons and the multinational corporations of probably every president for the last hundred years have been guilty of supporting brutal dictators whose countries had natural resources or other business opportunities that US multinational corporations wanted to exploit. Stability for doing business, not promoting messy and time-consuming democracies, comes first when business interests are job # 1, and nothing is more stable and business-friendly than fascist states. Ask I.G. Farben, I.G. Auschwitz, Siemens, Bayer, Thyssen, Deutschebank, Krupp, Woolworth, Daimler-Benz, Ford Motor Company and George W. Bush’s grandfather, all of whom profited handsomely in the atmosphere of Hitler’s Nazi regime.


True democracy often turns out to be just another carrot that is promised to the people while the stick is used to enslave the workforce. Democracy often is just a dream to be implemented much later - but not now. It is a dream that is usually delayed or forgotten, if greedy business interests have any say in the matter.


Nonviolent revolutions do not create endless enmity; US support for dictatorial bastards does


The history of US governmental support for dictatorial bastards should make moral Americans ashamed of their governments. Resistance to oppression and refusal to cooperate with evil should be a no-brainer for people who are truly pro-democracy. Understanding the historical facts about American foreign policy over the last century should help to de-mystify the confused thinking about why America is among the most hated nations of recent past history. And Americans need to remember that the memory of the people who have suffered at the hands of our American Empire is long.


So it is long past time to reject the demonic notion that might makes right and that the domination of others works out in the long run. America needs to stop installing and then supporting the brutal bastards of the world who are doing the dirty work that benefits our government and/or our multinational corporations. Rather, we need to follow the operating principle of the Egyptian Young People’s Revolution that nonviolence is the logical and very practical tactic if a revolutionary movement desires to achieve long-term peace and justice - even in a violent world.


In fact, it is the only way to be on the right side of history.

Dr. Kohls, MD, is involved in peace, nonviolence and justice advocacy and resists fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism and other movements that are anti-democratic

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