Posted on September 5, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
What takes one by surprise when seeing leaders at the NATO meeting in Britain is the glad-handing and smiling. With over 2,600 killed in Ukraine (some estimate a higher number), many thousands more injured, and somewhere between 500,000 to 1,000,000 men, women, and children displaced, it is very difficult to connect those saddening facts to NATO attendees’ smiles.
On second thought, it is impossible to connect.
One becomes reminded of the despicable “comedy” of then-President George W. Bush where, while on stage at a gathering of aristocrats in tuxedos and their bejeweled wives – whom George jokingly called “my base”, he presented a video of him “searching” for weapons of mass destruction in the Oval Office – looking in desk drawers, closets, and behind drapes – each time as narrator hilariously saying “no weapons of mass destruction there” and “nope, no weapons here” then “where could those weapons of mass destruction be?”
The room responded with loud laughter, appreciation, and applause. This while the Iraq War was ongoing. Some have called this type of behavior arrogance or hubris, but frankly Bush’s humor that night was sick. So, when viewing the following video of “The Debate”, the out-of-place smiles were the first impression to stand out. If the saddening facts about Ukraine mentioned weren’t enough, God only knows what hardships Ukrainians are facing which will only intensify as the weather gets colder. One would think this NATO meeting to be a solemn, serious, and sad affair; certainly not an occasion for sharing laughs.
Some would say there’s a difference between the sick humor of George W. Bush and leaders at NATO smiling. But is there? Imagine you are president of Ukraine like Petro Poroshenko, you were at this NATO meeting aware of what death, destruction, and despair is being experienced by your country’s men, women, and children, and it is your responsibility to solve the problems which led to such devastating consequences.
Would you, during such a truly sad situation, find anything to smile about?
After listening to the following debate between former U.S. Marine Ken O’Keefe and journalist Brent Budowsky, take a few moments imagining how Mr. O’Keefe would have reacted to Petro Poroshenko’s smiles if next to him at NATO’s meeting. Just guessing, but Ken O’Keefe would probably have taken actions which erased that smile without hesitation. Usually Brent Budowsky appears on “The Debate” with filmmaker/journalist Danny Schecter, and their debates are more discussions because Mr. Schecter’s personality is, shall we say, a little more “low-key” than Ken O’Keefe’s.
The issue under discussion is NATO. Brent Budowsky begins by saying NATO’s role is to protect the sanctity of national borders, that Russia has crossed the border and attacked Ukraine, and that ISIL is a menace in the Middle East because of its erasure of borders there. Ken O’Keefe responded by talking about NATO’s war in Afghanistan, on the pretext of 19 hijackers directed by Osama Bin-Laden – who was never charged for 9/11, as no evidence has ever been presented which proved he was the so-called mastermind.
Budowsky responded by referring to MH17 and the 400 (actually 298) passengers who died because Russian weaponry had been used to bring down the airliner, and that 98% of the U.S. military would agree with him. O’Keefe came back saying Ron Paul had more support while running for president than all the other candidates combined, and that Vladimir Putin is the next “bogeyman” along the lines of Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and others. The bogeyman becomes necessary to manipulate the American public’s minds to accept the next “imperial war”.
Budowsky and O’Keefe then fail to reach common ground on their different views of ISIL; Budowsky calling for destroying “murderers, terrorists, and psychopaths”, and O’Keefe responding with the assertion that ISIL has been financed, supplied, and trained by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and other governments. O’Keefe’s answer to Budowsky’s question on how he’d deal with ISIL was to cut off its funding at the source, “get rid of the traitors” in Washington, and stop the United States in its role as the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.
Brent Budowsky is usually more open-minded when he appears with Danny Schecter, but here he doesn’t acknowledge O’Keefe’s mention of 9/11 or who created and supplies the arms, training, and money to ISIL. Budowsky asserts O’Keefe is against destroying ISIL, not acknowledging O’Keefe’s point that ISIL has carried out its psychopathic killing in Syria for over three years, but only when they threaten Israeli/American oil interests in northern Iraq does the West show concern.
O’Keefe ends the debate saying: “…never, never ever, are we going to have justice – much less peace – in this world as long as we allow the empire of America and all its pathetic, crony minions in NATO and the EU to carry out these insane policies. They’re not intended to bring peace; they’re intended to foster a never-ending cycle of war”.
Some will appreciate O’Keefe’s style and some will not. There’s no denying this debate is an energetic one. Could his enthusiasm be described as anger or righteous indignation? Television personalities like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilley and others have enthusiasm which comes across as anger, but Ken O’Keefe expresses righteous indignation. There is a huge difference.
(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)