Krugman at 4 AM — Bad News on the Doorstep, and Ringing the Chimes

February 7, 2011

As events continue to dramatically unfold in Cairo’s Liberty Square, the US also persists in propping up other assholes around the world beyond Hosni Mubarak, who is clinging to power despite the last two weeks.
The US hypocritically loves dictators while crying for democracy.

And this bullshit slaps the face of the Egyptian protesters:

As if deliberately bragging about this disconnect between pro-democratic rhetoric and undemocratic reality, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Arab television: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”

The US will one day pay dearly for this two-faced slapping.

(Illustration found here).

And Jumping Joe Biden kept the family feelings all together.
In an interview on PBS (via The Hill):

When asked if Mubarak was a dictator, Biden responded, “Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things and he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interests in the region, Middle East peace efforts, the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing the relationship with Israel … I would not refer to him as a dictator.”

Well, what would Joe say about this list of non-dictators?

  • 1 — Paul Biya, Cameroon
  • 2 — Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov (or Berdymukhamedov), Turkmenistan
  • 3 — Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea
  • 4 — Idriss Deby, Chad
  • 5 — Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan
  • 6 — Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia
  • 7 — King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, Saudi Arabia

All these guys are not very nice to their own people and the US backs them to the hilt.
And they could be next in line and Jumping Joe might have to claim these assholes are not dictators either despite all kids of noted and reported human rights abuses along with all kinds of other nefarious shit.
The US needs to wake-up and smell the revolution.

Paul Krugman in his New York Times column this morning touches upon a landscape these non-dictators do not want to venture out into, despite there’s no real stopping it — food and the impact of climate change.
A couple of bits:

The consequences of this food crisis go far beyond economics.
After all, the big question about uprisings against corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Middle East isn’t so much why they’re happening as why they’re happening now.
And there’s little question that sky-high food prices have been an important trigger for popular rage.

Still, food prices lagged behind the prices of other commodities until last summer. Then the weather struck.
Consider the case of wheat, whose price has almost doubled since the summer.
The immediate cause of the wheat price spike is obvious: world production is down sharply.
The bulk of that production decline, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, reflects a sharp plunge in the former Soviet Union.
And we know what that’s about: a record heat wave and drought, which pushed Moscow temperatures above 100 degrees for the first time ever.
The Russian heat wave was only one of many recent extreme weather events, from dry weather in Brazil to biblical-proportion flooding in Australia, that have damaged world food production.

Don’t let the snow fool you: globally, 2010 was tied with 2005 for warmest year on record, even though we were at a solar minimum and La Niña was a cooling factor in the second half of the year.
Temperature records were set not just in Russia but in no fewer than 19 countries, covering a fifth of the world’s land area.
And both droughts and floods are natural consequences of a warming world: droughts because it’s hotter, floods because warm oceans release more water vapor.

But the evidence does, in fact, suggest that what we’re getting now is a first taste of the disruption, economic and political, that we’ll face in a warming world.
And given our failure to act on greenhouse gases, there will be much more, and much worse, to come.

Dictators or not, change is rattling its coming.

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