Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Atrios and the UAE Leadership

I'm always a big fan of Atrios but I just read what may be the stupidest thing I've ever seen on his site.

It's not racist to object to us cozying up with truly shitty governments. I imagine the people of the UAE might be fine people. But the people who run the country are just a bunch of shitty human rights abusing suffrage opposing terrorist hanging out with assholes.

By comparison to other countries around the world, let alone that region, on human rights the UAE is a shining example of human freedom and dignity and hardly worse than the United States where we hold people without trial and execute children and the mentally retarded.

The issue of child labor and trafficing has/is being addressed. I don't like everything that happens in the UAE but they are willing to address, and fix, human rights complaints and labor issues, if even out of embarrasment.

By the definitions being bandied about, Clinton would be a shitty leader because we executed juveniles during his term. The Emirarti have been called out on their child labor practices and have changed them, unlike us who still execute children.

The UAE is the model of what an Arab aristocracy should be in that it takes its wealth and reinvests it in the people of its nation. That they have diversified from oil, liberalized their laws and welcomed foreigners is a testament to their foresight and effort to ensure a high standard of living.

That you preface your statement by claiming the people of the UAE might be fine people just highlights your fear of looking prejudicical when a complete understanding of the facts, such as the high standard of living enjoyed by most residents, would actually serve you better.

In no sense is the UAE above criticism or scrutiny but castigating the "the people that run the country" as "shitty human beings" shows an obvious lack of knowledge about the country and the Emirs and I suspect your misconception is based in a prejudicial image of 20th century Arab dictatorship.

If you don't even know the names of the people running the country, you need to find that out first before declaring them shitty.


Anonymous said...

Everyone is racist on some level. The ever shrinking world just brings it out. Even the "big" lefty blogs get exposed all the time. SO you see....there's no point being divided on these lines (left-right, liberal-conservative, or repub-dem) Steve Gilliard is one of the biggest racists you'll ever find. The best part is....he think's he's immune to the label! It's just a long running joke which will come to an end in a few years. Text blogs will be gone (not getting any hits, that is) within five years. Good post though.

elemental said...

Thanks Sean, I agree that people hold biasis, and I'm not really accusing Atrios of being racist as much a victim of innuendo and slander.

Shame really because he's normally better than that.

Epaminondas said...

My mind is still open on this fiasco, but Atrios is probably thinking about Somoza, Batista, and Mossadegh-Pahlevi idiocies. In that way of thinking anything not a democracy is to be avoided as an ally. Just look at the events in Uzbekistan since 2001. We couldn't hold our nose with Karimov. He expects more of the USA (and we all should)

Who can blame him?

Ironically he is, in this below the level of words expression, agreeing with the neo cons...the security of the american people ****in the long term**** is best sevred by fostering democracy everywhere, and allying ourselves with it.

Benevolent dicatorships are only as good as their press in his way of thinking, I suppose.

Richard said...

I saw a cartoon about the ports deal which had Mr. Spock & Captain Kirk coming down to Earth only to see the usually decisive George Bush waffling on the ports deal and the normally tolerant Dems calling for "keeping them [Arabs] out" of the country & calling for "war" against the ports deal.

Kirk says to Spock: "Beam us up Scotty, we've landed in an alternate universe where everything is upside down."

When I read normally intelligent people like Atrios talking like ranting idiots I truly believe I'm in some alternate universe & certainly not planet Earth as I thought I knew it.

elemental said...

Arabs have lived in Sheikdoms for centuries, that the emirs run their country well, meaning their people are well cared for, an insistance on democracy seems mighty authoritarian of us.

But even if Atrios meant democracy over autocracy it still doesn't explain the language he uses to describe them. Even dictatorship is not the right descriptor considering the connotations associated with the word.