February 27, 2006

The "Friendly Indians" Phenomenon

The War on Terrorism Bites Bush in the Butt

In perhaps the biggest miscalculation since their ascention to power six very long years ago, the Karl Rove/Dick Cheney White House tried to sneak their approval of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based-company takeover of six major U.S. ports past a normally submissive and complacent Congress.

The problem was, they forgot to teach the unwashed masses the difference between "friendly indians" and "bad ones." And, they failed to consider the fact that they had been playing the muslim/arab terrorist fear game so often since 9/11 that the strings on the violin were bound to pop.

Now we all know that Tonto of Lone Ranger fame was a "friendly indian" -- or if you prefer, an "Uncle Tom-Tom" as his character was sometimes labeled by native American activists of the 1960s and 70s. Tonto served his masked master without complaint and without concern for his own interests or identity, or the interests of his people. The Tonto and the Lone Ranger series was one of many propoganda-like programs and movies that helped introduce the "friendly indian" concept to the rank and file. "Sabu", "F-Troop", and a host of Hollywood "B" movies in the 1950s all trumpeted the "friendly indians versus the bad indians" theme. Even Kevin Cosner's more recent and well-intentioned "Dances with Wolves" has Cosner as the white renegade army officer helping the "good native Americans" kill the "bad ones."

Unfortunately for the White House, "friendly" arab/muslim images have been in short supply since much of the post-9/11 corporate media has been in overdrive when it comes to the fear mongering of anything arab or muslim. Although in fairness to the White House, it's difficult for them to come up with positive arab or muslim images when the White House "friendlies" are corrupt tyrants and oil-rich billionaires whose countries are run by monarchal dictatorships. The task of finding "friendlies" becomes even harder when you are raining down death and destruction on selected Middle Eastern countries whose governments or governmental policies displeased the Bush klan.

On the Republican side of the fence, it's an election year and nobody wants to be too closely identified with a bumbling president who is below 40% in approval ratings, and a vice president whose ratings are approaching single digits. On the Democratic side, it's been a long time since anyone fed this out-of-power party some raw meat, so they were not about to miss a chance to score some points, even if their motivations are purely opportunistic and blatantly pander to racism.

BUSH: "The UAE is a key ally in the war on terror."

THE SLIME: The key phrase here is "ally in the war against terrorism," which translates into Bush's version of "friendly indians." Unfortunately, Bush's own Republican friendly media has already told the masses that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the Switzerland of the Middle East, and that its banks contain most of the funding that goes to Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda as well as the funds which financed the 9/11 operations.

Of course, the president made no mention that our own government has been financing terrorist operations in numerous other countries virtually non-stop since the second world war. The real question to ask is why should any foreign government be running U.S. ports? This is a very unpopular subject to raise because in reality, large segments of the U.S. economy are already owned and operated by various foreign countries, often to the detriment of workers both here and abroad.

DAN BARTLETT: According to presidential adviser Dan Bartlett, "President Bush was unaware of the deal until he heard reports of the congressional uproar."

THE SLIME: If you believe that, we have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn that you'll love. Taking care of billionaire trading partners in the Middle East has been at the center of Bush family politics for two generations. The recent centerpiece of this practice has been negotiating a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates. It is inconceivable that the president would not have been aware of the approval of the port acquisition deal for a UAE-based company. Rove probably figured he could take heat off the president by playing the "Dumbo" card.

That said, we might have believed Bartlett had he merely stated that "the president was not consulted with" on the matter.

DAN BARTLETT: "The process was done by the book.""

THE SLIME: Yes. The book which says that Bush family trading partners get taken care of at all costs.

HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY MICHAEL CHERTOFF: "We look at what the issue of the threat is. If necessary, we build in conditions or requirements that, for extra security, would have to be met in order to make sure that there isn't a compromise to national security . . . and I can assure you our national security has not been jeopardized."

THE SLIME: In other words, "trust us." Just like we trusted Chertoff and his agency to handle the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

BUSH: "People don't need to worry about security."

THE SLIME: We agree, there's no point in worrying about something that no longer exists.

BUSH: "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company."

THE SLIME: For the same reason Bush decided to invade and bomb a Middle Eastern country even though it had posed no threat whatsoever to the United States. Bush sowed the seeds of this prejudice, and now it's being reaped.

BUSH: "I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We’ll treat you fairly.’"

THE SLIME: That may go over well in some of the quail hunting counties in Texas among the diehard faithful, but don't anyone try to sell that lead balloon to the Iraqis or the Palestinians.

Blog Sources:

The dirty little secret behind the UAE port security flap.

UAE, Port Security & the Hariri Hit.