• Tale of Two Dictators

    February 15, 2012

    Tags: , , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State, Iraq

    If you’re Syria’s evil dictator, Assad, the Secretary of State and her running dog UN Ambassador call you bad names. The say “your days are numbered” and that “you have lost all legitimacy.” Some Foggy Bottom lickspittal says that you are a “dead man walking,” and in a somewhat weird mix of things, refers to your country as “Pyongyang in the Levant.”

    However, if you are the dictator of Yemen, the nice one who turned a blind eye to US drone attacks in his own country and even covered up drone strikes by claiming the bombs were his own, the State Department rolls out the red carpet.

    Your dictator-in-residence status package begins with a medical visa, the travel document of choice for pro-US dictators such as the former Shah of Iran. Yemen’s thug Saleh is apparently staying at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York City while he gets his “medical treatment.” Subtlety is not a dictator trait.

    Better yet, the State Department treatment does not end with your visa. State will in fact cover your dictator ass even as you relax in the Ritz’ spa.

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in the United States with full diplomatic immunity, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s legal advisor has written the Pentagon, and should not be compelled to provide sworn testimony for the Guantánamo war court. State Department Legal Advisor Harold Hongju Koh (photo above in his crazy ’70’s ‘do) wrote the letter to the Pentagon’s chief war crimes prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, opposing a request for a subpoena.

    Koh’s letter makes no mention of Saleh’s medical treatment. Rather, Koh invoked “the particular importance attached by the United States to avoiding compulsion of an oral deposition of President Saleh in view of international norms and the implications of the litigation for the Nation’s foreign relations.” He did not describe those implications in the letter.

    So, to sum up: Middle East dictators we don’t like get outed. Middle East dictators we do like live at the Ritz and are given immunity. Arab Spring cheerleaders, please make a note of this.

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  • Recent Comments

    • jim hruska said...


      we were so wildly successful in Libya that we must continue the march in Syria.
      what is so disturbing is that we never seem to question the consequences of our actions.
      we arm insurgents in syria/libya etc.. and kill them in afgh and iraq.some insurgents are good and some are bad, and fortunately we have a HRC to decide who lives or dies.
      it’s a self licking ice cream cone.
      keep up the fire, but keep your cover. don’t move without covering fire.
      shoot low and stay low.
      i admire your stance, but i fear for you.

      02/15/12 2:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Devin September said...


      Where support is given or not is highly aligned to the greatest potential for defense (and State Dept) spending and growth.

      Other requirements:

      – How will actions impact my political career;
      – How well can we use fear motivation so American’s accept our actions;
      – How easy will it be to spin reality

      02/15/12 3:33 PM | Comment Link

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