♬ I might not know what a friend is
All I know is what you’re not
Cause you’re one of them
— “My War,” Black Flag
Proto-Emo Henry Rollins1 captured the false friend trope as well as anyone ever. And what tales that tells.
From the Serpent duping Eve to Mohammed bin Salman ordering the torture and execution of Jamal Khashoggi, amigos often compel their compadres to demand better. But MBS BFF, the Boy Adventurer himself (a.k.a. Full Metal Jackass), Jared Kushner fulminates no fleeting fuck for the couptastic Saudi crown prince’s heinous crime.
Kushner can claim august company in insisting that the U.S. government overlook cruelty and oppression by favored foreign regimes. A literal murder’s row of many of the 20th century’s absolute worst people operated under the aegis of the American Eagle. Start running off the list with the fulsomely named Fulgencio Batista of Cuba and do not pause for breath before reaching the actual Nazi hiding in plain sight as two-time secretary-general of the United Nations Kurt Waldheim of Austria, and you cannot deny that these United States of America have too much blood on their collective hands.
The Lady Macbeth layers of unwashable ichor began accumulating early, certainly as soon as Francophile and slaveowner Thomas Jefferson decided that the universe of all men created equal and endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness contained no room for Haitians under Toussaint Louverture. Siding with the bad guys continues uninterrupted, lighting this shining city on the hill with flames from the pyres of protestor and proletarian alike incinerated by the likes of Our Guy in Paraguay Alfredo Stroessner and the dastardly duo of Sukarno and Suharto in Indonesia.
♪ I’d kind of like to be the president
So I can show you how your money’s spent ♪
— “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” War
War members Howard Scott. B.B. Dickerson, Lonnie Jordan, Harold Brown, Papa Dee Allen, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar and kind of amazing to read his Wikipedia entry producer Jerry Goldstein2 raise an interesting counterpoint to what your recriminatory Weekend Politics Thread host recounted above.
Why not just get along? In geopolitical terms, this has sufficed in keeping things mostly nice with Canada and the once and future members of the European Union. But some idiot always needs to float a turd in the diplomatic punchbowl.
**POLITCADOS: SET DOWN YOUR BREAKFAST OR OTHER MEAL/SNACK ITEMS BEFORE READING THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. THE MODS ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR UVULAR PUTTING YOU OFF YOUR FEED.**
Maybe all the NAFTA gave Donald Trump gas and what he assumed would pass as a little embarrassing flatus arrived as an unending stream of feces. Too bad the world ran out of TPP at that exact moment.
**DO NOT SAY NO ONE WARNED YOU.**
We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.
— Speech to the House of Commons, March 1, 1848, Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Lord Palmerston3 prefaced this persistently paraphrased summation of Realpolitik with the almost never quoted
I hold with respect to alliances, that England is a Power sufficiently strong, sufficiently powerful, to steer her own course, and not to tie herself as an unnecessary appendage to the policy of any other Government. I hold that the real policy of England — apart from questions which involve her own particular interests, political or commercial — is to be the champion of justice and right; pursuing that course with moderation and prudence, not becoming the Quixote of the world, but giving the weight of her moral sanction and support wherever she thinks that justice is, and wherever she thinks that wrong has been done.
In other, lesser words, might makes right when might achieves right. As unseemly as, say, giving succor to the Somozas of Nicaragua proved, at least the U.S. administrations of FDR through Ford could claim a noble — hypocritical, but defensible in the court of public opinion — purpose of someday, someway establishing a liberal democratic world order. To make a fully functioning mixed global economy governed by republican mechanisms, you need to break a few billion bodies.
Trump and his Trumpists have no recourse to such rhetorical refuge. Trump again gave the great game away last Thursday by double lying about an arms deal so lucrative that he would not even admonish MBS over murdering Kashogi. Leave it unsaid except for here and pretty much every else that the U.S.-manufactured arms and armaments the Saudi military does purchase end up getting used consistently to betray U.S. interests in Yemen, Syria, Qatar and elsewhere.
No fine line separates cynicism from evil. A cynic denounces evil even while elbow deep in the pits of perversity. Expect no flicker of conscience from the bad batch currently coddling and covering for criminal against humanity.
Denounce them your own damn self in the comments below.