Tag: cnbc

Egypt, Jordan, and Fear Based US Foreign Policy

So here I sit to face

That same old fire place

Gettin’ ready for the same old explosion

Goin’ through my mind

And soon enough time will tell,

About the circus in the wishing well

And someone who will buy and sell for me

Someone to toll my bell

Jimi Hendrix, Burning of the Midnight Lamp

In 1991 Sheldon L. Richman at The CATO Institute virtually gave away the US Foreign Policy game for anyone who hadn’t already seen through the long years of the “spreading freedom and democracy” smoke and mirror show emanating from every US administration since Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex, in a long and very detailed policy analysis article titled  “Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention:

After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.[3] The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region’s political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East.


If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.“[4]

Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region.[5] In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses.[6] Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided.[7] When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington’s claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to “moderate,” pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term “regional stability.“[8]

Is CNBC a co-conspirator in inciting violence?

TPM has a story that needs to get out:


Tea Baggers are hoping for a literal “riot” at an upcoming town hall event, in order to create a spectacle for CNBC’s cameras. And the event will be hosted by a Democratic congressman who this week had a swastika painted on a sign outside his district office.

Yesterday, Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin sent an email, obtained by TPMmuckraker, to a Tea Party google group. Martin told the group: “We have a media request for an event this week that will have lots of energy and lots of anger. This is for CNBC.”


Later that day, a Tea Bagger named Pat Wayman responded with a suggestion, also obtained by TPMmuckraker: “This one should be a riot! literally….” he wrote.

Wayman then posted information for an upcoming town hall meeting hosted by Rep. David Scott (D-GA).

So, if this is true, CNBC is asking Teabaggers to create a riot or near riot so they will have good footage and their right wing TV personalities can play Glenn Beck.  If it is true.

There are at least two things that CNBC/GE Legal really should look at: (1) Potential criminal liability as a co-conspirator if any laws are broken; (2) Potential civil liability for any personal injury or property damage under joint and several liability principles.  

WTF is all I can say.  GE needs to rein in CNBC before someone is hurt.

The Media Wars

It’s pretty well accepted that to participate on the grand stage in the 21st century (and this was obviously true of the 20th century as well) requires a media strategy and that the major players will, of course, have competing media strategies that seek to further their own goals and impede those of their ideological opponents.

It’s interesting to consider two recent multi-day stories in this light.

First off, just this afternoon, over at Talking Points Memo, I saw what is evidently a new development in the the whole “Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party” imbroglio.

Just to backtrack a little – it’s certainly been interesting to watch the whole Michael Steele/Rush Limbaugh fiasco especially in light of the power that Limbaugh unquestionably holds in the party.  Back at the end of January President Obama reportedly told Republican congressional leaders “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.”