Glenn Greenwald International

Glenn Greenwald: Joe Biden’s Revealing Embrace of Saudi Despots

Biden's immediate abandonment of his 2020 vow to turn the Saudis into "pariahs," and his increasing support for the regime, shows the core deceit of U.S. propaganda.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Mar. 22, 2018. (DoD photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kathryn E. Holm)

By Glenn Greenwald | Substack

In 2018, President Trump issued a statement reaffirming the U.S.’s long-standing relationship with the Saudi royal family on the ground that this partnership serves America’s “national interests.” Trump specifically cited the fact that “Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world” and has purchased hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons from U.S. arms manufacturers. Trump’s statement was issued in the wake of widespread demands in Washington that Trump reduce or even sever ties with the Saudi regime due to the likely role played by its Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

What made these Trump-era demands somewhat odd was that the Khashoggi murder was not exactly the first time the Saudi regime violated human rights and committed atrocities of virtually every type. For decades, the arbitrary imprisonment and murder of Saudi dissidents, journalists, and activists have been commonplace, to say nothing of the U.S./UK-supported devastation of Yemen which began during the Obama years. All of that took place as American presidents in the post-World War II order made the deep and close partnership between Washington and the tyrants of Riyadh a staple of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Yet, as was typical for the Trump years, political and media commentators treated Trump’s decision to maintain relations with the Saudis as if it were some unprecedented aberration of evil which he alone pioneered — some radical departure of long-standing, bipartisan American values — rather than what it was: namely, the continuation of standard bipartisan U.S. policy for decades. In an indignant editorial following Trump’s statement, The New York Times exclaimed that Trump was making the world “more [dangerous] by emboldening despots in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere,” specifically blaming “Mr. Trump’s view that all relationships are transactional, and that moral or human rights considerations must be sacrificed to a primitive understanding of American national interests.”

The life-long Eurocrat, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt, lamented what he described as Trump’s worldview: “if you buy US weapons and if you are against Iran – then you can kill and repress as much as you want.” CNN published an analysis by the network’s White House reporter Stephen Collinson— under the headline: “Trump’s Saudi support highlights brutality of ‘America First’ doctrine” — which thundered: “Refusing to break with Saudi strongman Mohammed bin Salman over the killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Trump effectively told global despots that if they side with him, Washington will turn a blind eye to actions that infringe traditional US values.” Trump’s willingness to do business with the Saudis, argued Collinson, “represented another blow to the international rule of law and global accountability, concepts Trump has shown little desire to enforce in nearly two years in office.”

Perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump’s ongoing willingness to maintain ties with the Saudi regime were then-Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. As a recent CNN compilation of those statements demonstrates: “In the years prior to taking office, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and many of their administration’s top officials harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s lack of action against Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.”

In a 2019 Democratic primary debate, Biden vowed: “We were going to in fact make them pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are,” adding that there is “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.” Harris similarly scolded Trump for his ongoing relationship with the Saudis, complaining on Twitter in October, 2019, that “Trump has yet to hold Saudi officials accountable,” adding: “Unacceptable—America must make it clear that violence toward critics and the press won’t be tolerated.”

That Joe Biden was masquerading as some sort of human rights crusader who would sever ties with the despotic regimes that have long been among America’s most cherished partners was inherently preposterous. As Obama’s Vice President, Biden was central to that administration’s foreign policy which was driven by an embrace of the world’s most barbaric tyrants. So devoted was Obama to the U.S.’s long-standing partnership with Riyadh that, in 2015, he deeply offended India — the world’s largest democracy — by abruptly cutting short his visit to that country in order to fly to Saudi Arabia, along with leaders of both U.S. political parties, to pay homage to Saudi King Salman upon his death. Adding insult to injury, Obama, as The Guardian put it, boarded his plane to Riyadh “just hours after lecturing India on religious tolerance and women’s rights.”

The unstinting support of the Saudi regime by the Obama/Biden White House was not limited to obsequious gestures such as these. Their devotion to strengthening the despotic Saudi ruling family was far more substantial — and deadly. Obama’s administration played a vital role in empowering the Saudi attack on Yemen, which created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis: far worse than what has been taking place in Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24. In order to assuage the Saudis over his Iran deal, “Obama’s administration has offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, other military equipment and training, the most of any U.S. administration in the 71-year U.S.-Saudi alliance,” reported Reuters in late 2016, just months before Obama and Biden left office.

Beyond the enormous cache of sophisticated weapons Obama/Biden transferred to the Saudis to use against Yemen and anyone else they decided to target, the Snowden archive revealed that Obama ordered significant increases in the amount and type of intelligence technologies and raw intelligence provided by the NSA to the Saudi regime. That intelligence was — and is — used by Saudi autocrats not only to identify Yemeni bombing targets but also to subject its own domestic population to rigid, virtually ubiquitous, surveillance: a regime of monitoring used to brutally suppress any dissent or opposition to the Saudi regime.

In sum, no hyperbole is required to observe that the Obama/Biden White House — along with their junior British counterparts — was singularly responsible for the ability of the Saudi regime to survive and to wage this devastating war in Yemen. But that is nothing new. The centerpiece of U.S. policy in the Middle East for decades has been to prop up Saudi despots with weapons and diplomatic protection in exchange for the Saudis serving U.S. interests with their oil supply and ensuring the use of the American dollar as the reserve currency on the oil market.

That is what made the hysterical reaction to Trump’s reaffirmation of that relationship so nonsensical and deliberately deceitful. Trump was not wildly deviating from U.S. policy by embracing Saudi tyrants but simply continuing long-standing U.S. policy of embracing all sorts of savage despots all over the world whenever doing so advanced U.S. interests. Indeed, what angered the permanent ruling class in Washington was not Trump’s policy of embracing the ruling Saudi monarchs, but rather his honesty and candor about why he was doing so. American presidents are not supposed to admit explicitly that they are overlooking the human rights abuses of their allies due to the benefits that relationship provides, even though that amoral, self-interested approach is and for decades has been exactly the foundational ideological premise of the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy class.

But this has been the core propagandistic framework employed by the DC ruling class since Trump was inaugurated. They routinely depicted him as an unprecedentedly monstrous figure who has vandalized American values in ways that would have been unthinkable for prior American presidents when, in fact, he was doing nothing more than affirming decades-old policy, albeit with greater candor, without the obfuscating mask used by American presidents to deceive the public about how Washington functions.

Beyond the Saudi example, this same manipulative media scam could be seen most vividly when Trump welcomed the brutal Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the White House. As I reported at the time, the mainstream Washington commentariat depicted Trump’s meeting with and praise for the Egyptian strongman as some sort of shocking violation of bedrock American principles.

In fact, the U.S. has been by far the largest benefactor of Egyptian tyranny for decades. It armed and supported the Mubarak regime up until the very moment it was overthrown. Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, praised the military coup engineered by Gen. Sisi against the country’s first democratically elected leader, as an attempt to protect democracy. And shortly before the Arab Spring began, Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, declared her personal affection for Sisi’s predecessor, the monstrous dictator who ruled Egypt for three decades: “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family, so I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States,” Clinton gushed in 2009, while Obama ensured that the flow of money and weapons to Mubarak never ceased.

While the bipartisan political and media class has spent decades insisting, and still insists, that the core foreign policy goal of the U.S. is to defend freedom and democracy and fight tyranny around the world, the indisputable reality is the exact opposite: propping up the world’s most brutal dictators who serve U.S. interests has been a staple of U.S. foreign policy since at least the end of World War II.

The only attribute that differentiated Trump from his predecessors and the rest of the mainstream D.C. ruling class was not his willingness to do business and partner with despots. There are few policies official Washington loves more than that. It was his honesty about admitting that he was doing this and his clarity about the reasons for it: namely, that the real goal of U.S. foreign policy is to generate benefits for the U.S. (or, more accurately, ruling American elites), not to crusade for democracy and human rights. To the extent that one attempted to isolate any other difference between Trump and official Washington, it was that he was often insistent that “American interests” be defined not by “what benefits a small sliver of U.S. arms manufacturers and the U.S. Security State” but rather “what benefits the American people generally” (hence his eagerness, and his ultimate success, to be the first U.S. president in decades to avoid involving the U.S. in new wars).

In sum, the U.S. always has been, and continues to be, not just willing but eager to support and embrace foreign dictators whenever doing so serves those interests. They are just as willing and eager to overthrow or otherwise undermine and destabilize democratically elected leaders who are judged to be insufficiently deferential to American decrees. What determines U.S. support or opposition toward a foreign country is not whether they are democratic or despotic, but whether they are deferential.

Thus, it was not Trump’s embrace of long-standing U.S. partnerships with Saudi and Egyptian despots that represented a radical departure from the American tradition. The radical departure was Biden’s pledge during the 2020 presidential campaign to turn the Saudis into “pariahs” and to isolate them as punishment for their atrocities. But few people in Washington were alarmed by Biden’s campaign vow because nobody believed that Joe Biden — with his very long history of supporting the world’s worst despots — ever intended to follow through on his cynical campaign pledge. It took no prescience or cleverness to see it as nothing more than a manipulative attempt to demonize Trump for what official Washington, and Obama and Biden themselves, have always done with great gusto and glee.

This is why it comes as absolutely no surprise, repellent as it may be, that Joe Biden aggressively abandoned this core 2020 campaign foreign policy vow regarding Saudi Arabia the first chance he got. Far from turning them into a “pariah” state as he pledged, Biden has seamlessly continued — and even escalated — the U.S. tradition of propping up and strengthening what is quite plausibly the world’s single most despotic and murderous regime.

Just one month after Biden’s inauguration, the Director of National Intelligence made public a long-secret report that announced: “We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill” Jamal Khashoggi. Yet the White House, while imposing some mild sanctions on some Saudi individuals, adamantly refused to impose punishments on Crown Prince bin Salman himself, dispatching anonymous officials to friendly media outlets to explain that they were unwilling to jeopardize the significant benefits that come from the U.S./Saudi partnership. That was exactly the argument Trump made in 2018 in defense of his identical decision which caused so much faux indignation. One would, needless to say, be very hard-pressed to find similarly vehement condemnations of Biden for vandalizing sacred U.S. principles by refusing to sever or even meaningfully reduce the American partnership with the Saudis due to their murder of Khashoggi.

But this was merely the start of Biden’s embrace of the Saudi regime. Last November, “the U.S. State Department approved its first major arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under U.S. President Joe Biden with the sale of 280 air-to-air missiles valued at up to $650 million.” Just a few weeks later, the U.S. Senate, reported Politico, “gave a bipartisan vote of confidence to the Biden administration’s proposed weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, blunting criticisms from progressives and some Republicans over the kingdom’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war and its human rights record.” A group of dissenters — led by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Mike Lee (R-UT) — argued that the arms sales would fuel the war in Yemen and embolden the Saudi regime, but they were easily swept aside by a status-quo-protecting bipartisan majority led by the two party’s leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

And it was during that same time — long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine — when Biden had all but abandoned any pretense of weakening ties with the Saudis, let alone turning them into the “pariah” state he promised during the campaign against Trump. “Mr. Biden was already prepared to end the isolation of Prince Mohammed as far back as October when he expected to encounter the Saudi leader at a meeting of the Group of 20 leaders and most likely would have shaken hands,” explained The New York Times last week (bin Salman was a no-show at the meeting).

And now, it appears that Biden is planning a pilgrimage to Riyadh to visit his Saudi partners in person. Last week, The New York Times reported that Biden “has decided to travel to Riyadh this month to rebuild relations with the oil-rich kingdom at a time when he is seeking to lower gas prices at home and isolate Russia abroad.” During the trip, “the president will meet with” bin Salman himself, who Biden’s own DNI said oversaw the murder of Khashoggi. The rationale offered by The New York Times for Biden’s planned trip was virtually identical to the arguments Trump used in 2018: “the visit represents the triumph of realpolitik over moral outrage, according to foreign policy experts.”

Indeed, the explanation offered by Biden’s Secretary of State for the president’s ongoing embrace of the Saudis is virtually indistinguishable from the rationale offered by Trump that sparked so many outraged denunciations about the fall of American ideals supposedly caused by his willingness to do business with undemocratic regimes:

“Saudi Arabia is a critical partner to us in dealing with extremism in the region, in dealing with the challenges posed by Iran, and also I hope in continuing the process of building relationships between Israel and its neighbors both near and further away through the continuation, the expansion of the Abraham Accords,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Wednesday at an event marking the 100th anniversary of Foreign Affairs magazine. He said human rights are still important but “we are addressing the totality of our interests in that relationship.”

Despite Biden’s clear abandonment from the start of his campaign pledge to distance the U.S from the Saudis, this trip is being justified by the need to plead with the Saudis to make more oil available on the market in order to compensate for U.S.-led sanctions on Russia. As The Times put it: “Russia and Saudi Arabia are close to tied as the world’s second-largest oil producers, meaning that as Biden administration officials sought to cut off one, they concluded they could not afford to be at odds with the other.” After the Times report, Biden officials said the trip had been postponed to July, but did not deny that it was happening.

What cogent moral argument can be advanced that it is preferable to buy Saudi oil as a means of avoiding the purchase of Russian oil? Whatever one’s views are on the extent of autocracy under Putin’s rule in Russia, there is no minimally credible argument that it is worse than the systemic tyranny long imposed by the Saudi ruling family. Indeed, it is virtually impossible to contest that, at least prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, civil freedoms were more abundant in Russia than in Saudi Arabia. And while one can certainly contend that Russia’s three-month war in Ukraine has been more a moral atrocity, there is no basis — none — for arguing that it is worse on any level than the indiscriminate violence and destruction the Saudis have been unleashing for seven years in Yemen (unless one values the lives of European Ukrainians more than non-European Yemenis).

And even if one did insist upon the view that absolutely nothing on the planet is worse than the Russian invasion of Ukraine and that everything must therefore be done to maintain the sanctions regime imposed on Russia, how would that dubious moral claim justify overlooking Saudi atrocities and sending Biden, on his knees, to beg bin Salman for more oil? If suffocating and punishing Russia is the highest moral and strategic priority, why would it not be more prudent and more moral for the U.S. to lift Biden’s restrictions on its own domestic drilling as a means of replacing Russian oil, especially if that would avoid the need to further strengthen the Saudi regime?

But herein lies the unique truth-providing value of the U.S. partnership with Saudi Arabia. Of course U.S. foreign policy is not devoted to spreading freedom and democracy and fighting despotism and tyranny in the world. How can a country that counts the Saudi monarchs, the Egyptian military junta, the Qatari slave owners, and the Emirati dictators as its closest partners and allies possibly claim with a straight face that it opposes tyranny and fights wars in order to protect democracy? The U.S. does not care, at all, whether a foreign country is ruled by democracy or tyranny. It cares about one question and one question only: whether the government of that country serves or hinders U.S. interests. Donald Trump’s sin was admitting this obvious fact.

This has been the central deceit shaping the virtually closed propaganda system imposed by the West around the U.S./NATO role in the war in Ukraine. If Western leaders had simply acknowledged from the start the obvious truth about their role — that they regard Russia as a geopolitical adversary and seek to exploit the war in Ukraine to weaken or even break that country — at least an honest debate would have been possible. Instead, they and their corporate media allies did what they always do whenever a new war is newly marketed: they draped it in fabricated moral fairy tales about freedom-fighting and opposition to tyranny.

Thus, the popular Western moralistic narrative imposed a series of claims about U.S. motives that should not have even passed the laugh test, yet became virtually obligatory articles of faith. The U.S. is not involved in this war in Ukraine because it sees an opportunity to advance its own interests by sacrificing Ukraine in order to weaken Russia (a truth they began admitting in private: their goal is not to end the war but prolong it). Nor is the U.S. motivated by an opportunity to enrich the weapons manufacture industry which lost its primary weapons market after the U.S. withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and which wields enormous power in Washington. Nor does the U.S. government, with its posture of Endless War, seek to justify the ever-increasing budget and power of the U.S. Security State and the sprawling Pentagon bureaucracy. Perish these thoughts.

The massive benefits conferred on those powerful sectors by every new war are always just happy coincidences. Only a deranged conspiracy theorist would believe that profit and power for these factions — whose unrestrained growth was the target of Dwight Eisenhower’s grave warnings when leaving office in 1961: long before their power exploded even more due to Vietnam, the ongoing Cold War and especially 9/11 — is ever a factor in shaping U.S. war policy. Good American patriots view the military-industrial complex as just a chronic lottery winner: they just keep hitting the jackpots purely through immense strokes of luck.

To sustain popular support for the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in new foreign wars, the population must be fed a morally uplifting framework, a sense of righteous purpose that leads them — at least at the start — to believe these new wars are moral necessities. Thus, rather than self-interest in Ukraine, the U.S. is acting benevolently, with the noblest of motives, with nothing but a desire to help others.

The United States, you see, is a country that cares deeply that the peoples of the world remain free, that they enjoy the right of democratic rule and self-determination, and that they should never suffer under the repressive thumb of despotism — and we are so magnanimously devoted to these values that we are even willing to expend our our vast resources to ensure the prosperity of others. Those kinds of grandiose morality tales are always deployed to secure American support for new wars (hence, the war in Vietnam was about defending our South Vietnamese democratic allies from aggression and invasion by North Vietnamese Communists; the war in Afghanistan would liberate oppressed Afghan women from the Taliban; the first war in Iraq, beyond “liberating” Kuwait, was to stop a tyrant who tore babies out of incubators, while the second war in Iraq, beyond WMDs, was about freeing Iraqis from Saddam’s tyranny; the wars in Libya and Syria would rid their long-suffering populations from the brutal thumb of Gadaffi and Assad, etc. etc.).

It is the great enduring mystery of American and British discourse that the U.S. and UK Governments can still have employees of media corporations genuinely believe that their governments fight wars not to advance their own interests but to defend democracy and fight tyranny — even as these very same media figures watch those very same governments prop up the most repressive tyrannies on the planet and lavish them with weapons, intelligence technologies, and diplomatic protection. Somehow, without the U.S. press batting an eye, Joe Biden can deliver a speech righteously touting his commitment to protect democracy in Ukraine and stop Russian autocracy, and then board a plane the very next minute to go visit Mohammed bin Salman and General Sisi, heralding them as vital American partners, and announce new aid military and intelligence packages to each.

Somehow, this severest cognitive dissonance — watching a government insisting with one hand that it fights wars in order to protect democracy and vanquish tyranny and then, with the other, send aid to the world’s most repressive tyrants — eludes these savvy journalistic gurus. Perhaps this cheap, repetitive, and transparent propaganda works with the journalistic in-group because the officials inside the U.S. Government who disseminate these fraudulent tales are the friends, colleagues, neighbors and vital sources for the country’s wealthiest and most prominent journalists, who therefore see the world the way they see it and want to assume the best about the intentions of their socioeconomic and professional comrades.

Perhaps it is due to the great career benefits that are inevitably conferred on journalists who uncritically cheer and help sell the lies behind U.S. war propaganda (the path that led Jeffrey Goldberg from writing full-on Iraq War agitprop for The New Yorker in 2002 to becoming editor-in-chief of The Atlantic today). Perhaps it is because bolstering U.S. war propaganda fosters widespread elite applause, while doubting it fosters attacks on one’s patriotism, loyalty, competence and sanity. Perhaps American journalists feel a sense of jingoistic pride and psychological pleasure by believing that their government, unlike most in the world, involves itself in an endless stream of new wars due to magnanimity rather than more craven motives. When it comes to the uniquely gullible and herd-like U.S. and British press corps and their unyielding faith in the noble motives of U.S. war planners, all of those dynamics are likely at play.

Notably, this self-evidently manipulative propaganda — U.S. foreign policy is devoted to spreading freedom and fighting despotism — works only in the U.S., the UK and various parts of Western Europe. The rest of the world — especially those regions whose democracies have been on the receiving end of the CIA’s violence and destabilization efforts — react to such claims not with gullible credulity but scornful laughter. This is why, as The New York Times reported this week, the Biden administration has been encountering increasing levels of resistance around the world for his Ukraine war policies, because most countries understand that what the Western press refuses to acknowledge: namely, that the U.S’s motives in Ukraine — whatever they might be — have nothing to do with safeguarding democracy and fighting despotism.

The same dynamic was vividly apparent with Biden’s failed attempt to summon Latin American countries to Los Angeles for his so-called “Summit of the Americas.” After the Biden administration announced the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua on the ground that those countries are insufficiently democratic, numerous other Latin American nations, led by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced they were likely to refuse to participate. Mexico ultimately boycotted the event, whereas Brazil attended only after Biden acceded to the demands of its president, Jair Bolsonaro, to hold a one-on-one meeting with him and refrain from criticizing Brazil over environmental policies in the Amazon.

Again, nobody outside of the U.S. and British media takes seriously the claim that the U.S. — loyal patron to the Saudis, Emiratis and Egyptians and countless CIA coups in their region — is so offended by authoritarianism in the three excluded Latin American countries that they cannot abide participating in a conference with them. Such a claim is particularly unsustainable in light of reports that Biden officials were all but begging Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro to sell oil on the market to compensate for sanctions on Russia in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela (indeed, why is it more moral to buy oil from the Saudis than the Venezuelans)?

The reason for the U.S.’s shunning of those countries has nothing to do with America’s antipathy to autocracy and everything to do with the political importance of rapidly growing immigrant communities in Florida and other key swing states who fled those Latin American countries due to contempt for those governments. What possible cogent moral argument holds that it is permissible to maintain relations with the Saudis and Egyptians due to geo-strategic benefits around oil and international competition but not countries in the U.S.’s own hemisphere such as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua? If American interests compel the U.S. to “overlook” or even sanction grave human rights abuses in their close Gulf-State-dictatorship-partners, why do the benefits for American citizens from relations with these Latin American countries not compel the same?

The undeniable reality is that Kissingerian realism — the question of what is in the self-interest of the United States, or at least what is in the interests of a small sliver of American elites — is and long has been the core, animating, overarching ideology of U.S. foreign policy, as is true of the foreign policy of all great powers. The bit about crusading for human rights and democracy and battling tyranny and despotism is just the propagandistic packaging for domestic media consumption. That is why both presidents Obama and Trump, and every president before them, were willing to embrace many of the world’s most repressive regimes: because they perceived that doing so would produce tangible benefits for “American interests,” however that might be defined. It is that same mindset that caused both of those presidents, for instance, to view Ukraine as a vital interest of Russia, but not the United States, and therefore not a country worth risking war with Moscow in order to defend.

The core deceit about U.S. foreign policy — that it is designed to spread democracy and vanquish tyranny — serves no purpose other than to manipulate the American public, through the government tool known as the U.S. corporate media, to support whatever new wars, obscene spending packages, or authoritarian powers are demanded in its name. And therein lies the real value of the long-standing U.S./Saudi partnership, the reason that Biden’s immediate abandonment of his campaign pledge to scorn the Saudis, is so illuminating. For any rational person, watching Joe Biden continue and even escalate the decades-long love affair between Washington and the murderous despots in Riyadh should dispel these myths once and for all and illuminate the reality, the actual motivational scheme, that drives the role that the United States plays in the world, both generally and in Ukraine.

64 comments

  1. Americans prioritize oil and gasoline prices well above human rights in other countries. Nothing new about this.

    There is no mention of the petrodollar in this essay. In order to properly and adequately discuss U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations, the petrodollar must be discussed. Until the U.S. gets rid of the petrodollar, it will be required to militarily defend Saudi Arabia, and to provide it with weapons.

  2. The deceit and hypocrisy are the trademark of the Empire of Lies. The entire world knows it, except it seems for the citizens of the empire, who are ignorant, programmed from birth, propagandized endlessly and live in a fantasy reality all their own, filled with ideas of exceptionalism, fairness, justice and freedom that simply don’t exist and haven’t existed for along time, if they ever did at all.

    What I find the most amazing is their seemingly inability to remember…anything beyond five minutes ago. Obvious patterns of lies, criminality, warmongering, and tyranny are beyond them. Totally unable to connect the dots they fall for the same scams and cons over and over again never once questioning themselves or those who perpetrate them.

    If it sounds like I am disgusted, it’s because I am. If it sounds like I am filled with contempt, it is because I am. If that upsets you, then freaking prove me wrong. But you can’t, can you. I didn’t think so.

    1. It just goes to show you how limited our intelligence is, along with our sanity and our hearts.

      But our violence has no limits. It always makes up for the other shortcomings in our makeup and socialization, especially whenever we see something we want. That includes our psychological violence of lies that we perpetuate in support of our material violence in pursuit of wealth.

      When all else fails, organizing and being violent works well for us. So does never admitting it. That’s how you get trained from the top down when the whole place is run by sociopaths, excuse me, I mean, the “elites.”

  3. On the whole Glenn Greenwald gets this right, but I don’t understand why he doesn’t once mention the US embrace of Israel as an ally worthy of American intelligence and military aid, despite its illegal, apartheid, and tyrannical policies vis a vis the Palestinians. Of all the despotic regimes the US does business with and props up, Israel is right up there with Saudi Arabia et al. Why does Greenwald give Israel a pass?

    1. Pierre, his subject is Saudi and US. I’m sure he can, if he hasn’t already done so, write an entire piece on Israel. These types of posts are short and to the point by design.

      1. Why then, out of 29 articles on Scheerpost by Greenwald, not a single one mentions Israel? Certainly, the genocide of Palestinians rates at least one mention. And, interestingly, despite publishing articles about Israeli atrocities by Jonathan Cook, there is no “Israel” tag on Scheerpost.

        That can’t be accidental.

        The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

      2. @Bob Dobbs
        First, you sound more like a pink than like Bob Dobbs. Bob not only has slack, Bob IS slack!

        Second, if you want an article about Israel, write and submit one. Telling others what they should write about has no merit. There is nothing wrong with Glenn Greenwald just because he doesn’t write columns about subjects in which you are interested.

    2. Good question, Pierre. Let’s see if he answers.
      I do appreciate Glenn calling out hypocrisy everywhere else.

    3. Topic of Greenwald’s essay: Joe Biden’s Revealing Embrace of Saudi Despots.
      You’re assuming that he gives Israel a pass.
      You seem to know the major reasons, so why attempt to conflate Saudi Arabia with Israel.
      Another assumption of yours: Israel as an ally worthy of American intelligence and military aid,
      Does the foregoing statement make the Ukraine a worthy ally of the US, despite its attempted suppression of the Russian language — “ethnic cleansing” of Russian culture, in eastern Ukraine, or like Israel, just another exceptional useful idiot successfully conducting, by proxy, US foreign policy objectives in western Asia in the name of world Jewry; further sullying the name of a religion along the way?
      Don’t fret, just another extrapolated lil assumption!

  4. Excellent recapitulation of our innumerable acts of wanton cruelty in the name of benevolence around the world – something we’ve been doing since before our founding as a nation.

    One wonders what would happen if enough of the American populace finally woke to the truth – would those same ‘benevolent’ tools be turned against a rebellious populace?

    1. You bet they will. Ruling elite would not think twice before using any tools against the populace. In fact they are using it already.

  5. Trump is/was pretty good buddies with the bone-saw crowd.
    Right Glenn?
    The next Sarah Huckabee?

  6. Gee Glenn – nice to know that you admire Trump’s “candor and honesty” – oh please, give me a break – so, can you do whatever you like as long as you do it with candor and honesty? Is that the Ds sin, that they are bums but are not honest bums?
    Look, Glenn, we all pretty much know the stuff you are talking about – why do you feel the need to point it out? Hmm, you say here what you have been saying all along, essentially, that Trump is no worse than the “other” side re policy – but better in his “candor and honesty” – a pretty low bar if you ask me ….

    I subscribed to your site some time ago – but after reading and participating in conversation there for some time – I concluded that it was no place i wanted to be … Don;t get me wrong,I think the Ds are schmucks, but so is Trump and no amount of “candor and honesty” qualifies him as a “lesser of two evils” which seems to be the gist of your site – neither bunch deserves my vote and hasn’t for decades – one of my descriptions for the duopoly has been that the Rs will face you, frown, and shoot you in the belly, the Ds will smile, put their arm around your shoulder and stab you in the back – they add insult to injury – but that, in my estimation, is no cause for honoring Trump for his “candor and honesty” – your disdain for Ds drips off you but, apparently as a believer in TINA (there is no , alternative), think Trump is the LOTE ….

    I

    1. Nothing in Glenn’s essay even implies that he admires anything about Trump, I don’t know where you got that idea. Greenwald merely pointed out that what pissed off the establishment about Trump wasn’t his actions, but the fact that he was saying things that the establishment doesn’t want to say out loud. I agree that “honest and candor” wouldn’t have been the way I described it — more like too stupid to keep his mouth shut and so arrogant that he doesn’t give a damn — but I see nothing here indicating admiration.

      1. To Jeff,
        Of course you don’t … Are you subscribed to his site? Have you read him on a regular basis?

      2. @SH
        Yes and yes. And I’ve also heard the criticisms of him from people who think that he supports Republicans. It’s no different than Democrats claiming that Julian Assange supported Trump. It’s just Democratic Party BS in a dishonest response to being called out by people like this who do actual reporting. As a Green, you know both parties are full of it, so why trumpet Democratic Party BS?

      3. To Jeff,
        Who said i was a Green? I am registered non-aligned – not a Party person – I pick and choose on the basis of person/platform , i.e. a good person with a good platform – a person with integrity who hasn’t (yet) been bought with a good platform …
        I do agree with Greenwald in the sense that Trump ripped the mask off of US foreign policy so he was “honest” and candid about that – I also think that the origin of SARS Cov2 needs a deeper dive – the problem for me there is that Trump, with his “China virus” routine politicized it – the issue for me was not “who” did it, but the technology that indeed could do it, technology used in several places in the world, including the US – instead it became a “Wuhan vs Ft Detrick” issue – and the important part, ,the “baby” if you will, got tossed along with all the bathwater – Rand Paul’s exchange with Fauci was interesting – got media attention for awhile but failed to produce needed f/u
        Did Greenwald use his “investigative skills” to examine that? The info is out there – interestingly it was the Intercept, i believe that did do a deeper dive, along with the Bull. of Atomic Scientists – did Greenwald’s beef with the former keep him from examining the evidence as it might have led him to agree with them?

        Did Greenwald, during the Trump era, critique Rs as he does with the Dems in the Biden era? Not that I saw ….

        For me, there is quite enough hypocrisy to go around – Greenwald seems to keep his thumb on the scales when he “examines” it ….

        All politics, in the end, is personal – and until we tease out the real issues, the important ones, and consider them on their own merits, and not on the “merits” or the lack thereof, of the people promoting them – we will make no “progress”, it seems to me ….

      4. @SH
        I basically agree. Our difference is that we see the same thing different ways. I fully agree with Greenwald’s criticisms, and you seem to also. But I take them as they are, whereas you say, Hey, why aren’t you also criticizing ________.

        I totally disagree with people who think that journalists have an obligation to report on certain issues or people. If you want criticisms of ones not being reported or commented upon, write your own articles or columns. It’s not up to Greenwald to write about what you or anyone else wants.

        And BTW, Greenwald has listed his criticisms of Republicans, and they’re as numerous as his criticisms of Democrats. He said that he debunks BS when he sees it, regardless of which side it comes from. Republicans don’t lie as much as Democrats; Republicans don’t generally pretend not to be evil, whereas Democrats do. That’s the main difference between them.

      5. To Jeff,
        Indeed, they have no “obligation” – but you rather missed the point – did he fail to investigate, or even comment on, what, IMO, is potentially a blockbuster issue – because he had a beef with those who did ..
        As for his critique of Rs – what, precisely, are they – oh, I know, I should do my own research, eh – you have “no obligation” to do it for me – but I did for close to a year, having “paid to play” on his site – and finally got pretty disenchanted, to say the least, by his posts and his followers comments – and nothing I have seen since on his “free” posts has done anything to change my mind – he has a particular audience and their tenor gives a pretty good idea of where he is coming from –
        As a fan of his, do you subscribe to his site?

      6. @SH
        When the U.S. and the EU started censoring RT, Chris Hedges, and Lee Camp, I subscribed to those two, to Greenwald, and to Jimmy Dore. I only pay the absolute minimum because I can barely afford that, but I wanted to support people who try to counter U.S. propaganda.

        Right now, the Democratic Party is running things, and I’m good with Greenwald focusing his criticisms on them. When the Republicans take over Congress after the upcoming elections, I expect that he’ll change his focus to them. I thoroughly hate both parties, so criticism of either is fine with me.

        As to what you said your point is, fair enough. If you think that Greenwald is failing to criticize people for some illegitimate reasons, that’s a different issue and maybe you’re right. But that’s not that important to me, I just want to see U.S. propaganda debunked, whether that propaganda is from Democrats or Republicans.

      7. To Jeff,,
        Please, tell me how and when Greenwald and Dore are criticizing Reps …
        You say criticize Ds as they are the ones “running things”, wow, who knew? – so is the critique, the really important one, in my estimation, that they are not using the power they have to do what they told the folks over and over again they would do if folks voted for them, especially considering that folks oughta know by now they won’t, or is it their “hypocrisy” – and those are not the same thing … the former critique is one I could get behind – but that goes back to my “favorite critique” – if folks know that, why are so many still voting for them ….
        So we gotta wait for the Rs to “return” to power to expect anything in the way of critique? Well, that’ll be soon enough – and if those folks actually do start doing that, they may find they lose a bunch of their appeal … “Hey, we tuned in to see you bash Dems!”

        I’m not saying Greenwald’s reasons for not covering certain things are illegitimate, I am suggesting perhaps they are “simply” personal …. I supported Greenwald and Dore with some bucks – until I watched and read them for awhile – when I saw Rs basically getting away scott free – I thought” silence is assent” and because I had seen and heard quite enough in various venues over the years to know what schmucks the Ds are – both their “contributions” to the discourse were like bringing coals to Newcastle – and, insofar as the Ds were painted as the Devil incarnate – what are folks to do but vote LOTE – the Rs, because, wait for it – “3rd parties can’t win”

        I put both “major” parties in the same garbage collector business – but critiquing them both might actually suggest to folks they need to vote 3rd party – and we can’t have that, now can we …

      8. @SH
        Gore constantly says that Republicans are also crap; he just said so on Tucker Carlson. Gore is involved in starting a 3d party called the People’s Party. Dore also constantly says that there is little or no difference between the 2 parties. Greenwald has said that he’ll point out and criticize lies from both parties.

        If this is an issue for you, then whatever. It’s not an issue for me. The Republicans didn’t betray me because I never liked them, unlike the Democrats. I don’t need to hear criticism of Republicans, I’ve never supported them and don’t know anyone who does.

      9. To Jeff,
        Is it Gore or Dore? If I have a problem with acronyms, you seem to have a problem with names …
        The problem for the PP is that, as the new kid on the block, I doubt very much they are prepared for what faces them in the arena – stuff the GP has faced for decades – and do you think that “prop. rep” is also necessary for them to get anywhere?
        So, do you think that Dore (or Gore?) is a good choice for their Pres candidate, as i understand they seem to be excited about the prospect. I have to admit it would be fun to watch a debate between Dore and Trump throwing insults at each other – they are both so good at that – with the winner of the debate being the one with the best zingers … that is if Dore would be allowed in the debates – is he willing to get arrested for an attempt to be included, and be hand cuffed to a chair for hours?

      10. @SH
        There’s no way Dore would be allowed in one of these phony debates; the debate would no longer be phony if he were part of it. You’re correct that Dore unnecessarily insults people — my one criticism of him is that he needs to be less acerbic — but there’s a huge difference between him and Trump. Dore could cite true facts to make his points, whereas Trump would just lie, like all the Democrats and Republicans do.

      11. To Jeff,
        As to critiques – is it that those folks can choose to critique whomever they want, whenever they want, but I am not supposed to critique them, and will get critiqued for doing so and … you can see where this leads …. they have posts and sites and are getting “supported” for what they write ….

  7. Yes, the Clintons, Bush’s, and many US pols have long nurtured personal friendships with Saudi royalty.

    1. Money talks …. and the DLC corporate Democrats have very sensitive microphones to pick up even the smallest whisper, because they don’t want to miss out on a single penny.

      But to hear the cries of workers, well, they don’t tune to that frequency.

      Hmmm, I’m old school, from back in the day when you ‘fixed’ the radio by giving it a sharp whack …. and it did often succeed in getting a better signal, at least for awhile before you had to whack it again.

      1. @Casey Jones
        You’re all missing the real reason for the U.S.-Saudi relationship. When Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard and replaced it with the petrodollar, the U.S. was obligated to defend Saudi Arabia militarily (including sending it weapons), in exchange for Saudi Arabia requiring that anyone who buys oil from it do so in U.S. dollars. Money per se isn’t the problem here, at least not the way that you portrayed it.

      2. @SH
        If the U.S. fails to live up to its obligation here, Saudi Arabia would simply start accepting payment in other currencies instead of demanding U.S. dollars.

      3. To Jeff,
        So we have “obligations” to sell weapons, but not to respect human rights …
        Was this a Treaty with SA? or have the force of a Treaty? Shucks, even if it were, that wouldn’t keep the US from breaking it – ask innumerable NA tribes

        I repeat, it keeps “obligations” only as it think it is in its, read politicians’, best interests to do so – in this case politicians seem to think it is in their best interests to try to keep gas prices low for their “constituents” … never mind all that other “silly” stuff …

      4. To Casey,
        Do you think the same thing would work with politicians, metaphorically, of course …

  8. Inevitably, Glenn Greenwald uses his rather obvious sleight of hand to appear as the above-politics-truth-teller. In the process it is a certainty that he will attempt to find a way to rescue Trump from blame. In this instance Greenwald employs his often-used zero-sum approach: If Biden has lied about his attitude to Saudi Arabia then why blame Trump for his suck-up to Saudi Arabia? The truth is that both Biden and Trump are practiced, conscienceless liars. Next is Obama who, in Greenwald’s words, first praised India, the “world’s largest democracy,” then went directly to Saudi Arabia and laid kind words on that murderous autocracy. Ask Muslims and Sikhs whether India is the “world’s largest democracy,” and you are likely to hear that Narendra Modi is a despicable despot who loathes Muslims, blaming them for virtually any atrocity anywhere in India. Ask a Dalit (Untouchable) if you can get one to talk without fear, about the undisguised disgust and contempt with which Modi views them. Greenwald, for his own purposes, seems to view Scheerpost readers as lamentably gullible.

    1. You are conflating fascist Modi and corrupt elitist Indian politics that serve the upper classes( just like USA) with the 12k year old Hindu Culture that respects all Life and Many Diverse Approaches to Social Organization….
      There are no democracies in the world. The main political organization of almost ALL countries is industrial fascism.

      1. No conflation here, Yogi.
        Even in the earliest spiritual books, including the Upanishads, one finds approval of the caste system. Indian scholars have occasionally blamed it on the Aryan invasions, but now it is commonly accepted that the unspeakable caste system with many millions of Dalits treated with less respect than the “lowest” animal existed long before the Aryans.
        Point is that Modi is scarcely less despotic than the Saudi leadership, a fact which exposes Greenwald’s argument as another bit of legerdemain.

      2. @Blackorpheus
        You are the only one here who mentioned Modi. This is obviously your obsession, and has nothing to do with Greenwald’s essay.

    2. To Black,
      Not just his Scheerpost readers – remember, this is from his own Substack – and his readers like him … draw you own conclusions – frankly glad to see him, occasionally, on Scheerpost – where you don’t have to “pay to say” – or see “the other side” without having to go to Tucker …

      1. When the hard-to-look-at Tucker removes his phantom mask, who appears?
        Some observers insist it is that elusive “progressive” Glenn Greenwald.

      2. To Black,
        Greenwald a “progressive”? On what planet? I think maybe he became a “prog” hero for publishing (some of) the Snowden files – but my impression is that he is a Libertarian at heart …

      3. @Jeff

        You’re trippin, Jeff. Have another look at my comment. I mentioned Modi strictly in reference to Greenwald’s sleight of hand reference to India being the World’s largest democracy. That’s a lie that any Muslim living in India or any Dalit would angrily contest.

        I know something about India, having lived there for nearly two years and written about it (Sacred Abject, Anti-Oedipus Press).

      4. @Blackorpheus
        Really? And do you consider the U.S. — which lacks proportional representation, is basically one-dollar-one-vote, and where it was proven by a Princeton study that what voters want is totally unrelated to what the government does — to be a democracy? If so, you”re full of it.

        The term “democracy” is somewhat fluid, and every country that has elections has at least a slightly different definition of it. There are oppressed people here too who have virtually no say in anything, they’re called Natives. And Black people are almost as oppressed as they are. So yeah, cry me a river about Muslims in India, a foreign religion that invaded that Hindu country.

  9. Glen Greenwald is a good writer, does terrific research of course but reading this stuff about American ball breakers day after day just makes non-Americans just suicidal, I’m sorry to say.

    1. To SH

      You write with an assumed authority, so you must have some idea about Orpheus, and perhaps the Orphic mysteries. Conceivably you are even remotely familiar the the 1959 “art” film Black Orpheus. In a word, referring to me as “Black” is impertinent, even hostile. Please refrain from doing that.

      1. To Blackorpheus,
        Sorry, I usually start my replies To and a short version of the poster’s name. You tell me you find that ” impertinent, even hostile ” in your case – but the ? is why? I am really curious – of course you don’t have to explain, but seeing this reply quite understandably makes me wonder and I, of course, being human, will draw my own conclusions, which may well be false, as your conclusions about me because of this may also be false – so, although neither of us may care what one thinks about the other – and, as I don’t know why this bothers you, I might, inadvertently, repeat my offense in some other way …

        I assume no authority – not familiar with the film, nor particularly conversant with Orphic mysteries – think you assume too much …

    2. @Jeff
      Whatever version you have of India you are still missing my point. Greenwald tried to tar Obama and Biden with the same brush as Trump (none of whom I admire, incidentally), by citing Obama’s purported hypocrisy when he praised India, the “largest democracy in the world,” as Greenwald put it, then went on to Saudi Arabia and did much the same with the murderous rulers there.
      The idea, as usual with Greenwald, was to rescue Trump from having done deals with Saudi Arabia. However hypocritical and ineffectual Obama and Biden were and are, Trump trumps them by a very considerable margin.

      1. @Blackorpheus
        That’s patently false. Overall, Trump was about average as president in what he did or didn’t do. For example, he didn’t start any wars (not for lack of trying, but still), which is a big plus. If you obsess on Trump and/or have TDS, you’ll never get it until you cure yourself. Trump isn’t anywhere near the problem, he’s just a symptom of it.

        And BTW, I’d be willing to bet that Glenn Greenwald doesn’t in any way support Trump and never tried to “rescue” him as you put it. Greenwald just exposes lies and corruption, regardless of which evil gang does it (Dems or Repubs). Blaming Trump for Saudi Arabia is ludicrous. Nixon started all this by basing U.S. currency on the petrodollar, and every president since has had to bow to Saudi Arabia because of that. Trump was no different than any of them, except for superficial things that are pretty meaningless, like dancing with them.

  10. There is a virtual army of hysterical Greenwald haters who show up to condemn him no matter what. It’s just something one has to deal with.

    1. To Tim,
      And there is a “virtual army” of Greenwald supporters who show up to defend him no matter what – it’s just something one has to deal with …

    2. @SH

      Simple, my friend, Blackorpheus is my nom de guerre.
      So if you refer to something I post here use Blackorpheus instead of “Black.”

  11. The weapon of “Quiet American Propaganda” is more deadly than even Gary Wills’ “Bomb Power” [2010], in that the strength of controlling the world’s Propaganda makes America into “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”.

    Nuclear explosions would certainly tear bodies apart, but a world controlled by the #1 in Propaganda cleans and eliminates even the thought of thinking , loving, and progressing ends in a Full Stop of any sentience.

  12. How sad that this site continues to allow millionaire Fox News apparatchik Glenn Greenwald to publish his garbage here. Greenwald and his ilk are essentially Q-Anon for somewhat more sophisticated folks.

  13. many childish narcissistic comments above—greenwald is accurate—truth matters…biden Obama etc clearly more imperialist, fascist than trump…one of a few regimes that did not bomb a new nation. rather than examine evidence and actions children will inevitably personalize demonize…don’t expect any social change in a nation like this

    1. @george simmel
      What you said is quite correct. However, Trump is a vile pig who broke many people’s brains, aka TDS. Any decent person would be thoroughly disgusted with Trump’s public behavior and statements, and the vast majority are so superficial that they look at that instead of what he actually did or didn’t do as president. While his actions and inactions as president were overall about average, one of the areas where he stood out positively is that at least he didn’t start another war like most U.S. presidents do. The problem was that since he only cares about his money and his ego, he never got anything positive done in this regard either, both because he had evil war mongers like Pompeo & Bolton in his administration, and because he was unwilling and probably unable to stand up the military/intelligence/industrial complex when they pushed back against things like making peace with North Korea, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, or not selling weapons to Ukraine.

    2. “High-minded,” but also contemptuous and sloppily written, as though Simmel had to nudge himself to address the hoi polloi.

    3. @Simmel

      “High-minded,” but also contemptuous and sloppily written, as though Simmel had to nudge himself to address the hoi polloi.

  14. As Marx and all Marxists observe subjectivism is the primary sign of a society near collapse….tolerating lies and stupidity, shallowness predicts amerikan collapse
    “the last virtues in an empire near collapse are apathy and tolerance”. Aristotle

  15. This should be called the “Dead Journalist Tour”

    One gets the impression from current events as if Israel felt slighted by the plan trip to the Oil Sheiks, and thus started killing more journalists in recent weeks in order to make sure that they qualify for an Imperial Visit. Now that Israel has murdered an appropriate number of journalist, Emperor Joe can give a royal wave from the armored limousine during his Imperial progression.

    What I find quite interesting was that during all of the Russiagate nonsense, the Democrats never realized that there really was foreign influence behind Trump. It came from the two nations Trump always favored, not surprisingly. Israel, and the KSA. Now Biden’s Imperial “Dead Journalist” tour shows why the Democrats never pointed this out. Biden and the Democrats are friends with the same people. Human rights goes out the windows when it is time to dine with friends and toast to the dead journalists who will never bother them again.

    1. @Casey Jones
      Spot on again! Israel has tampered in U.S. elections far more than Russia could ever dream of doing. Not that the lying perpetrators of the Russiagate BS actually believed any of that; it was just propaganda to convince people that Clinton didn’t lose the election because she’s a Wall Street neoliberal war monger, but because Russia rigged the election. And as a bonus, the establishment got major hatred of Putin and all things Russian brainwashed deeply into Americans’ minds so that when the Ukraine situation arose, the foundation for irrationally and immorally hating Russia had already been laid.

  16. The trail of ‘the left’ from “Love Greenwald” back during the Cheney regime to the current “Hate Greenwald” says more about ‘the left’ than it does about any change in Mr. Greenwald, who appears to say much the same things.

    And it is not, I believe a coincidence, that another part of the change is that the Cheney’s are now apparently Democrat Heroes, and that the lady who was a foreign policy advisor in Dick Cheney’s Office of the Vice President is now Joe Biden’s Undersecretary of State in charge of starting World War III, to the great acclaim of the Democrats and complete silence of any opposition from ‘the left’.

    This by now seemingly reflexive carping at Mr. Greenwald really only shows how very far towards an authoritarian right that the Democrats and the Left have moved. There is no longer any room for neither peaceniks nor constitutional lawyers in the modern Democratic Party.

    1. @Casey Jones
      Spot on, totally agree! The leftists who disparage Greenwald here just can’t stand to hear the truth when it says bad things about their side. BTW, I don’t know whether those people are really leftists, and that’s another issue.

    2. But Greenwald has changed. Go back and look at his columns from the distant past on topics like, oh say, prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Compare the topics in his current columns to the old ones – many of his old concerns seem to have gone missing.

    3. To Casey,
      Don’t know how you can put Ds and “the left” in the same sentence – the Ds and “the left” haven’t even been in the same football field for decades ….

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