“This is a sad day,” remarked Secretary of State John Kerry (State Department, 1/22/15) over the death of Abdullah, the dictator of Saudi Arabia. “The United States has lost a friend,” he continued, and “the world has lost a revered leader.” The monarch–whose regime routinely flogs dissenters and beheads those guilty of “sorcery”–was, in Kerry’s words, “a man of wisdom and vision” (BBC, 1/22/15; 6/19/12). Vice President Joe Biden (White House, 1/22/15) announced that he “will be leading a presidential delegation representing the United States to pay our respects.” President Barack Obama himself fawned over the late autocrat: “I always […]
Search Results for: Keane Bhatt
Abdullah, tyrant who beheaded 'sorcerers,' was 'force of moderation'
Elite media don’t see Human Rights Watch’s closeness to power as a problem
This week on CounterSpin: Another fatal school shooting, another round of media stories about what we as a society need to talk more or more honestly about. One effort now gaining ground says there are some things we can do besides talk. Jennifer Fiore is executive director of the Campaign to Unload. She’ll join us to talk about divesting from gun violence.
Also on the show: Two Nobel prize laureates have joined scores of academics in publishing letters to Human Rights Watch, challenging the prominent human rights group to scuttle a revolving door policy that has seen top staff land jobs in the US state department and vice versa, and noting times when the group seems to put aside neutrality to side with the US. Keane Bhatt, the activist and writer behind the effort, will join us to talk about that.
Washington Post’s prestige based on proximity to power
Vietnamese general’s obit recalls imperial grievances
During the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon persuaded South Vietnam through back channels to withdraw from peace negotiations just as a breakthrough was imminent. Under a Nixon presidency, “they would get a much better deal,” he secretly promised through a campaign adviser (BBC, 3/22/13). With the peace process stymied, Nixon narrowly defeated Vice President Hubert Humphrey. He then expanded the conflict throughout the region via secret, illegal carpet bombings over Laos and Cambodia, overseen by National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Nixon presided over four more years of war and the deaths of over 20,000 US soldiers—more than a third of […]
Washington's role is a story not worth telling
On the evening of December 4, 1982, President Ronald Reagan informed reporters assembled at an Air Force base in Honduras that he had just engaged in a “useful exchange of ideas” with Efraín Rios Montt. The Guatemalan military general was the most recent in a succession of U.S.-backed dictators who had been governing the country since the CIA first toppled its democratically elected president, Jacobo Arbenz, in 1954. “I know that President Rios Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment,” Reagan continued. “I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to […]