Atlas Monitor | 11 June 2016
Two posts were published recently on the University of Auckland’s Political Studies department blog Pacific Outlier that illustrate the pseudo-liberal bias in academia and in particular the social sciences.
The views expressed in the articles demonstrate the susceptibility to popular memes with presumably left-leaning scholars that manifest as political tribalism rather than impartial critical analysis. What is perceived as liberal, whether or not facts support that designation, is embraced favourably. Conversely what is perceived as conservative or right-wing, whether or not facts support that designation, is met with hand wringing platitudes. These perspectives are based on unfounded assumptions and are demonstrable of the political correctness that has reached cult-like status amongst trendy-lefty pseudo-intellectuals. This is particularly evident with the coverage of the US election primaries.
The first blog post Why a trump presidency would be dangerous, authored by Dr Chris Wilson, argues that Donald Trump as president would be a dangerous proposition based on his campaign rhetoric. The second post Hillary makes history, by Associate Professor Jennifer Curtin, extolls the virtues of a woman such as Hillary Clinton as Democratic Party presidential nominee and POTUS.
Wilson claims that Trump is dangerous because he has 1) called for the execution of the families of terrorists; 2) campaigned for building a wall to keep Mexicans out; 3) refused to disavow the KKK.
What is interesting about point 1) is that in 2011, under the Obama administration and while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, Abdulrahman al-Alawaki the 16-year-old son of alleged terrorist Anwar al-Alawaki was killed in a drone strike. The point here is that while Trump has called for the execution of the families of terrorists; under Obama and Clinton – it happened. Furthermore, in Clinton’s attempt to attack Trump on this point she absent-mindedly admitted that the killing of civilians with drones is a war crime. The irony cannot be overstated.
Abdulrahman’s murder followed the murder of his father two weeks earlier. To be clear these were the extrajudicial killings of US citizens, on Obama and Clinton’s watch, which Clinton has called a war crime. A current and ongoing FBI criminal investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server has discovered that she personally authorized CIA drone assassinations from her cell phone. The Obama administration’s indifference to the murder of an American child is exemplified by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs who suggested that Abdulrahman al-Alwaki ‘should have had a more responsible father’ (video below).
On point 2) in a 2006 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations – Hillary Clinton called for deportations and the building of a ‘physical barrier’ to keep Mexicans out of the US. She argued that the policies of Mexico are ‘pushing migration north across our border’ and said the US government needed to ‘secure our borders’ with ‘physical barriers’; implement ‘tougher employer sanctions’ for those hiring illegals and ‘deport’ those who’ve ‘committed transgressions’. Clinton’s flip-flop on the immigration issue, now that she is in the middle of an election campaign, is a clear case of saying whatever it takes to get votes from the migrant community.
On point 3) Trump did in fact disavow the KKK as well as former leader David Duke multiple times; including, on NBC and through his various social media accounts such as Twitter. Trump is on record explaining that he left the Reform Party because it had people like David Duke as members. Trump referred to Duke as ‘a bigot, a racist, a problem‘. However, the mainstream media meme that was spun around the world was to the effect that Trump was an honorary member of the KKK. This can be understood as a case of mainstream media, with an obvious pro establishment-lefist political bias, playing games.
In brief, if one argues that Trump is dangerous one should also point out that Clinton’s record is questionable. One should not forget her support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq which is a major contributing factor to the region’s instability; and the widespread devastation in Libya which is now a failed state. Before the NATO invasion Libya was one of the richest countries in Africa with the highest standard of living. In a CBS interview Clinton summarized the Libya campaign by triumphantly declaring ‘we came, we saw, he died’ before chuckling with ghoulish delight. That is hardly becoming conduct for the highest ranking US diplomat, let alone president.
There seems to be somewhat of a blind spot for left-leaning commentators when it comes to Clinton and a not entirely balanced critique when it comes to Trump. It seems that because Clinton is a Democrat she must be liberal despite her abundantly obvious neocon policy towards Iraq and Libya as well as Russia.
In Jennifer Curtin’s celebratory and triumphant blog post Hillary makes history Curtin argues that women in government ‘tend to give more attention to issues related to families and children’ as well as to ‘women’s health and reproductive rights’. That might be theoretically possible; however, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State US drones were killing families and children in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Clinton also played a critical role in the State Department’s policy of providing military aid to the army of South Sudan despite her knowledge that it was recruiting child soldiers. This was done in contravention of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act. Survivors of her husband Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults on women have recounted details about how Hillary tried to silence them. Bill Clinton settled an indecent assault case brought against him by a former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones for US$850,000 in 1998. The case precipitated the impeachment proceedings. Jones has alleged that Hillary threatened her and told her to shut up. Other women have reported similar incidents. The suggestion that Hillary Clinton will be a champion for women and families is not supported by her and her husband’s questionable history.
Perhaps the most chilling example of indifference to human suffering by a woman in a position of considerable power is former Secretary of State (Clinton administration) Madeleine Albright who told 60 Minutes that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children was ‘worth it’. A 1995 Harvard study published in science journal The Lancet estimated that up to 576,000 Iraqi children may have died as a result of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. According to Albright it was a hard decision but ultimately the right one to make because it served US interests.
During a 2008 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Rep. Robert Wexler presented former National Security Advisor Condolezza Rice with 935 documented false statements and lies made by the Bush administration including 56 she personally made preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Following the invasion, which was based on cherry-picked intelligence, Iraq collapsed into a failed state and became a breeding ground for ISIS which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. One million Iraqis died following the 2003 invasion including families and children. In the aftermath of the invasion and occupation, huge areas of Iraq are contaminated with depleted uranium which has been linked to an exponential increase in birth defects. This is a health crisis that has affected almost a third of a million people. One wonders just how much attention Clinton, Albright and Rice have given to families and children in Iraq. One wonders about the state of women’s health and reproductive rights there at the moment.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has been an atrocity enabler supporting the brutal apartheid regime in Israel, perhaps the only active colonial settler state in existence today. Power was also influential in pushing Obama to attack Libya, transforming a functional state into a destabilized battleground for local warlords and jihadists. In 2014 four Palestinian boys were killed when an Israeli gunboat shelled a Gaza beach. Women and children have suffered the most in post-Qaddafi Libya. Children as young as eight have suffered rape, sexual assault, human trafficking, economic exploitation and have been impressed into serving warring militias. One wonders just how much attention Power has given to families and children in Gaza and Libya.
Let’s not forget about Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett the “eminence grise” of the White House. She is reported to review every one of Obama’s decisions. Therefore, she presumably advised him in his decisions to push perpetual wars in seven countries and keep a secret kill-list whereby individuals are selected for assassination without due process; no arrest, no trial, just a death sentence in an Alice in Wonderland process of ‘sentence first, verdict afterwards’. At least Alice got a trial, which is more than she would have got if she had been on Obama’s list.
Pseudo-liberals like to cultivate the meme that Trump is a fascist without clearly defining exactly what fascist means. If it means excessive use, wide scope and long reach of executive orders; secret assassination lists; prosecuting multiple undeclared wars; as well as expansive government surveillance powers and attacks on whistleblowers then Obama is “il duce”. If it means the intimidation of victims of sexual assault; a sense of imperious entitlement and the merger of political-State and corporate power (Google is running Clinton’s election campaign), then Clinton fits the bill. Of course there are the unsavoury details of the countless scandals; including emailgate, Benghazigate and the questionable activities of the Clinton Foundation. To suggest that Trump would be a dangerous president, without acknowledging the dangerous course Obama has been steering; the support for the jingoistic US foreign policy demonstrated by Clinton; and her cavalier approach to running the office of Secretary of State, suggests a liberal bias.
To argue that women in positions of power make more compassionate and empathetic decisions and are more oriented towards family values is not supported by the record of certain women who have commanded the pillars of power in the US government.
The gimmick of the first “African-American” president is being quickly followed up with the gimmick of the first “woman” president. Taking this to its logical conclusion we should expect to see further gimmicks including the first “gay” president and the first “transgender” president.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald has noted; this will simply serve to buffer establishment candidates from proper scrutiny. Criticism of Obama was chilled by the fear of being labelled “racist”. Criticism of a female president will be silenced by charges of “misogyny”. Criticism of a gay president will evoke squawks of “homophobia”. Criticism of a transgender president (if the term “president” hasn’t already been censored by the thought police) will be met with howls of “transphobia”.
The distraction of leftist identity politics is an example of a next generation system of warfare where academia and media are weaponized by being dumbed down to trivial matters such as the symbols on public toilets and skin pigmentation. This distracts attention away from real issues and the important task of speaking truth to power.
While the phoney leftist pseudo-liberal progeny that is Generation Snowflake roll out pretentious social justice warriors to obsess over “white-male-privilege”, “trigger warnings”, “microaggressions” and “safe-spaces”; the central bankers, think tankers and private councils of power will reinforce and expand the status quo into full spectrum domination. This will ensure that the banking-military-security-surveillance-intelligence industrial complex will remain the masters of our brave new world.