Your Job is to Salivate and Beat the Drums


“The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a noise that set one’s teeth on edge and bristled the hair at the back of one’s neck. The Hate had started.” – George Orwell, 1984

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has accused Iran of supplying Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement with missiles to attack Saudi Arabia. [bbc]

Nikki Haz missile parts

So, is the substance of the US’ complaint that Iran is supplying the Houthis more missiles than we are supplying the Saudis? What the what? The US’ $320 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia included a variety of missile systems including Multi-Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) and short-range antiballistic missile systems – Patriot and THAAD. It was a gigantic deal for Lockheed Martin and other branches of the US Imperial Military Industrial Complex. $13.5 billion dollars just for 7 THAAD batteries – wow, have you noticed how the US is talking up the ballistic missile threat in Yemen, Saudi, Japan, and South Korea? It’s almost as if there’s a marketing push to create a captive base of THAAD customers, isn’t it?

The US has also been providing direct military assistance for Saudi air strikes, including in-air refuelling and satellite reconnaissance. [stderr]

So, what is the US’ complaint?

It “might as well have had ‘Made in Iran’ stickers” on it, she [Nikki Haley] said, adding that Iran was violating UN resolutions.

Well, naturally! It would have been a trademark violation if someone had put “Lockheed Martin” stickers on it.

She added that it had the potential to kill hundreds of civilians, and that this highlighted the “undeniable fact that the Iranian regime’s behaviour is growing worse”.

“We must speak with one voice in exposing the regime for what it is – a threat to the peace and security of the whole world.”

Hang on, I have to go wrap some kevlar shock-batting around my irony meter, I’m afraid it’s going to explode and fill the room with shattered bits of glass and plastic. All you have to do is google search for “Saudi air strike yemen kill civilians” and you can see that the US is deeply concerned about civilians being killed.

This is exactly what ‘conservatives’ are complaining about when they talk about “moral relativism” – the idea that there’s no right or wrong, that actions must be judged neutrally. Moral relativism bothers authoritarians because it leads inevitably to questions like, “hey, if it’s OK when we do it to them, why is it wrong when they do it to us?” Authoritarians have problems answering that question – there’s really no good answer except, “we’re special.”

But, it’s not OK for Iran to provide the Houthis weapons because there’s a UN resolution saying that it’s not OK for them to do that. There is no UN resolution that says that it’s not OK for the US to provide Saudi Arabia with weapons. It’s almost as if the UN is a sort of … puppet mouthpiece … controlled by the US. Isn’t it?

The Two Minutes Hate

Meanwhile the Iranians seem to be pretty sensible:

Iran’s mission to the UN said the evidence was “fabricated” to serve a US agenda.

“These accusations seek also to cover up for the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, with US complicity,” a statement by the mission’s spokesman read.

Americans are expected to react to this news like the “Two Minutes of Hate” – conclude that Iran are the bad guys, beat the war-drums, scream with rage, throw the young imperial mercenaries into the fire to kill and die to protect Lockheed Martin’s profit margin.

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If that rusty thing Haley is pointing at is a missile, it’s a piece of crap. For one thing, it looks like it’s steel – hence the rust. Proper missiles (like the ones Lockheed Martin sells!) are made of aluminum, carbon fiber, and ceramic. The poor Houthis can’t afford US-made stuff because they can’t sell oil on the open market. See how that works?

Comments

  1. jrkrideau says

    One of my favourite lines:
    Cet animal est tres méchant; Quand on l’attaque il se défend.

    If that rusty thing Haley is pointing at is a missile, it’s a piece of crap. …The poor Houthis can’t afford US-made stuff

    I had not thought of that. Perhaps a few Houthis went on a training course in Gaza?

    Does anyone remember the famous yellowcake “evidence” in the run-up to the Iraq invasion?

    Perhaps Nikki Haley is trying to repeat Colin Powel’s stellar performance in front of the Security Council?

  2. says

    Dunc@#1:
    The point is they’re not allowed to fight back. Nobody is allowed to fight back.

    That’s right. Their job is to hunker down and accept these “freedoms” that we drop on them, in good cheer.

  3. says

    jrkrideau@#2:
    Perhaps a few Houthis went on a training course in Gaza?

    Some of the Houthis have gotten their hands on more advanced weaponry, including some advanced anti-tank guided missiles. There was a bit of a kerfuffle a while back [wa po] when they potted a Saudi destroyer with what appears to be a Kornet ATGM. I have to admit, I got a chuckle out of that: points for creativity and disproportionate impact.

    The Houthis also fired at US warships, which netted them a cruise missile counter-strike. Oh, did I mention that the US is not merely assisting the Saudis? They’re doing naval gunnery support, apparently. [reuters].

    Perhaps Nikki Haley is trying to repeat Colin Powel’s stellar performance in front of the Security Council?

    She’s not smart enough to do a performance that stupid. They sure hung Powell out to dry on that one. Mobile bio-weapons labs! I was sitting there with my jaw hanging going “WHAAAAAAATTT!?!?!” Why on earth would anyone make mobile bio-weapons labs? They’d put that stuff way down underground – like the US did at Ft Detrick, MD. And they’d put it near a minor population center as human shields – like the US did at Ft Detrick, MD. My ex-wife’s father was in charge of the medical research there for a number of years. When he started dying of his brain cancer, strange things and paranoia started to come out. Was it true? I don’t know. But it sounded to me like the US was violating every international treaty about bioweapons research…

  4. komarov says

    But it sounded to me like the US was violating every international treaty about bioweapons research…

    Nooo…. they would never do that, would they? Well, unless they decided they could. Or they simply wanted to and didn’t care what anybody else thought. That doesn’t sound like the US I know. Not one bit, no, sir.

  5. bmiller says

    “War is a Racket” is one of my favorite screeds of all time. It helps that the author was a Marine General who knew his stuff. General Smedley Butler should be lionized in every venue in the land.

  6. says

    komarov@#5:
    That doesn’t sound like the US I know. Not one bit, no, sir.

    Yeah, it must have been hallucinations from the cancer working in his brain.
    The bad part about that particular thing is that I already knew a fair bit about Ft Detrick because that’s where the Japanese bio-weapons unit that was “repatriated” after WWII took up residence. Von Braun and his rocket-makers went to NASA, and Shiro Ishii [wik] and his little band of war criminals wound up in Maryland. That’s where the strain of anthrax that was mailed to Washington came from – though the FBI still is unsure who weaponized the spores, etc. Ft Detrick is also where Ken Alibek worked for a while – he was a Russian defector from their biopreparat agency (the Russians also cheat on the bioweapons treaties) who came over and taught some classes about the state of the art in Russia. A friend of mine who worked for a branch of CDC, at the time, attended them and was terrified for years afterward.

    During the gulf war there was a priceless moment on TV, where a US government spokesperson demonstrated a spray nozzle designed to aerosolize anthrax, “this is the kind of thing Saddam Hussein could equip planes with!” The media talking head asked “where did that come from?” and the interview ended.

  7. komarov says

    The media talking head asked “where did that come from?” and the interview ended.

    Typical. I really hate cliffhangers.

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