Posts Tagged ‘John Boehner’

The Young Turks on the Sheer Craziness of Michael Savage

February 25, 2016

In my last blog post, I posted a piece from Secular Talk discussing Newt Gingrich’s statement to Fox & Friends that they had created the political Frankenstein’s monster that is Donald Trump, now currently rampaging across America. Kulinski stated that he thought Gingrich was slightly wrong in that it wasn’t just Fox & Friends who were responsible for Trump, but the entire Far Right milieu. For twenty years or so they have been pushing a very nationalist, anti-immigration agenda, very similar to Trump’s. All he has done is to make it absolutely blatant, without the coded language previous politicians and right-wing pundits have used to disguise it. They’ve loudly denounced ‘political correctness’, and the result is Donald Trump, who very loudly proclaims that he is not ‘politically correct’. Hence the misogyny and derogatory comments about women and immigrants, particularly Muslims and Mexicans.

In this clip, Cenk Uygur discusses one of the other long-standing denizens of American extreme right-wing talk radio, Michael Savage. Savage isn’t someone people in the UK have generally heard of, although I can remember reading a feature on him about twenty years or so ago in the colour supplement of the Mail on Sunday. He also got a brief moment of notoriety over here when Bliar’s government banned him from coming to Britain. The Islamophobic right put this partly down to New Labour desperately trying to prove they weren’t racist by banning a token White right-winger, when most of the others on the list were Islamist hate-preachers. From what I’ve heard, Savage is extremely nationalistic to the point where he has been accused of anti-Semitism. This is ironic, as I think Savage is actually himself Jewish. His real surname is Wiener. He changed it to Savage after a particular individual, who managed to survive for months on a raft after being shipwrecked, if I remember the Mail article correctly.

Uygur begins by discussing Savage’s ratings. He’s supposed to be the second highest rated radio talk show host in America. Uygur says that the statistics are debatable, because the way the stats are collected is confused and nonsensical. Nevertheless, Savage’s show is broadcast in many American cities, and his message resonates with many Americans.

In the clip, Uygur discusses Savage’s statement on his radio show that what America needs is a ‘nationalistic party with a strong charismatic leader’. This could come from the Tea Party, but they don’t have a charismatic leader at the moment. Uygur points out that the Tea Party at the time of the video -2013 – was at its lowest point of 8%. If Savage had his way, it’d be down to 4%, though he’d probably say it was the best 4% ever and exactly what was needed to go about winning back America. He also makes the point that a ‘nationalist party with a strong, charismatic leader’, was the exact definition of the Nazis, and asks the question how Savage doesn’t know that. My guess is that Savage probably doesn’t consider the Nazis properly right-wing or nationalist. I think like many right-wing Americans, he sees collectivism as equalling socialism, which equals Communism and Nazism, because the Nazis claimed they were ‘National Socialists’. Nevertheless, the Nazis were very proudly nationalistic, and the Fuehrer was explicitly intended to be a charismatic figure. It was all part of the general cult of the leader. He was supposed to be a charismatic figure, who would energise his subjects, cutting through the layers of bureaucracy that traditionally separated and dulled the relationship between ruler and ruled.

He also attacks Savage’s condemnation of the Republican party. Savage states that there is no Republican party. They are just one wing of the Democrats. At one end there is ‘the drunk John Boehner’, and at the other there’s the pseudo-Crypto-quasi-Communist, Barack Obama. Uygur asks the obvious question how Obama could ever be considered a Communist, considering that he has just ratified and made permanent 99% of the tax cuts put in place by Dubya, never sent a single banker to jail for wrecking the economy, bailed out the banks with billions of dollars, and gave $68 billion to the big corporations.

Uygur compares Savage to Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist, and Glen Beck, another extreme Right-wing broadcaster, who also seems to believe that America is about to be overrun with godless Communists any second. Uygur states that he thinks that Savage is delusional, and needs medication and psychiatric help. I think he’s probably wrong about Savage being clinically insane, no matter how stupid or bizarre his political beliefs are. What I think is clear is that Savage has been one of the right-wing media figures, who have been pushing the Republicans generally into a position so extreme, that they make wretched Ronald Reagan look like a liberal. Savage is therefore, in my view, part of the same extreme right-wing milieu that has created Donald Trump.

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Republicans Demand Obama Lead Saudi War in Yemen

April 4, 2015

Earlier this morning I put up a video by the American internet news programme, The Young Turks, commenting on the airstrikes last week by Saudi Arabia against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Houthis are Shi’a and have revolted against the persecution and marginalisation inflicted on them by the state’s Sunni authorities. Saudi Arabia is an extremely strict Sunni state, and so has led a coalition of other Sunni Muslim nations to strike against the rebels. The coalition includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, with additional support promised by Pakistan and Turkey. The airstrikes raise the terrifying spectre of a war between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims erupting across the Middle East, plunging the region into bloodshed and chaos.

Both the EU and America have decided to keep out of the conflict. The previous video explains why this is a good policy, if America is to carry out successful negotiations with Iran on that country’s nuclear programme. Both countries are also fighting a common enemy in ISIS in Iraq. Iran is a Shi’a nation, and are probably aiding the Houthi rebels. Any attack by America on the Houthis would damage the tentative negotiations with Iran, as well as alienate Shi’a throughout the Middle East. It there’s one thing the West does not need in the region, it’s fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda on one side, and the Shi’a on the other.

This, apparently, is not good enough for the Repugs. John Boehner, the Republican speaker in the Senate, has condemned Obama for doing nothing, and claimed that ‘the world is starving for American leadership’. He has therefore demanded that American join the Saudis in attacking Yemen.

The Young Turks here point out exactly why this is nonsense, because of the above reasons. And also because Obama has also been vigorous in continuing to prosecute the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also shows how keen the Republicans are for America to continue fighting the Saudis’ proxy wars for them.

The video’s an object lesson in why the Republicans should not be allowed anywhere near American foreign policy. Their ignorance and sheer belligerence threaten to escalate an already perilous situation into an international conflict, where millions could die, and the rest of the world suffer disastrous consequences through the effect on the oil supply.

There is another reason for not wanting to do what the Saudis tell the West in this instance. Saudi Arabia is a strictly Wahhabi nation, where other religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and so on are not permitted. Nor are other forms of Islam, such as the Shi’a. It is therefore wrong and unfair to require members of these faiths to fight for a country that does not recognise them, and persecutes their believers if they attempt to worship within its borders.