Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Ambassador from Monsanto?

The petulant pout pictured below is worn by Craig Stapleton, the George W. Bush administration’s ambassador to France, who once co-owned the Texas Rangers with Bush and has since bought a stake in the St. Louis Cardinals in Monsanto Corporation’s home town.

Petulant pout

Former ambassador Craig Stapleton:
The expression says it all.
[ Image Source ]

Apparently, however, Stapleton’s partiality for Monsanto preceded his move to Missouri. As this article, based on a cable released by WikiLeaks, reports, when France resisted using Monsanto seed because of concerns about genetically modified products in 2007, Stapleton recommended “retaliation” against that country, advising causing “pain” across the EU since France’s decision had been “a collective responsibility” but concentrating on France as “the worst culprits.”

This illustrates three principles.

First, as we also saw during the early months of the Iraq war, when France, Germany and Russia declined to participate in the invasion, the U.S. was unwilling to let their choice stand unchided. “France is an ass” was the phrase on every conservative American’s lips, and Congress went so far as to relabel a popular appetizer in its cafeteria “freedom fries.” “Old Europe,” we were told, was made up of effete cowards of suspect sexual proclivities, and a decision was proclaimed: We would, said National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, “punish France, ignore Germany and forgive Russia.” This is not the attitude of one ally, first among equals, to another; it is the imperious foot-stamp of a spoiled hegemonic child used to getting its way, and outraged that one of its servants has crossed it.

Second, the surest way to incur Washington’s enmity is to deny to any American industry the “open market” it demands. A dozen countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East can attest to this, having experienced at some time in the past century the perfect willingness of the U.S. to overthrow governments that are insufficiently hospitable to its most powerful corporations: United Fruit Company (now Chiquita) in Honduras, BP in Iran and ITT in Chile have all been the beneficiaries of “regime changes” at their behest. Here, too, the government that brought the world the “Bush Doctrine” (that the U.S. will tolerate no rival) has made clear its intent to crush, by one means or another, any resistance to the desires of its ruling elite.

Third, and perhaps most important, we can see in Stapleton’s behavior precisely why WikiLeaks is necessary: The real interests of citizens — as distinguished from elites — in both the U.S. and France are not served by “retaliation” or “punish[ment]” directed by the one at the other out of pique or for the benefit of a private company that exerts unwholesome influence in the capital. But as long as governments can choose and execute such measures in secret, those citizens have no power to ensure that their needs are not being forgotten. Today, thanks to one small website, that power is being restored.

My sincere thanks to WikiLeaks. May it clear from our eyes the pout of Stapleton, the smirk of Bush, the sneer of Cheney, the supercilious smile of Obama, the sanctimonious scowl of Biden; and keep from our ears the petulant maunderings of the pudgy, pink-faced superannuated frat boys at the helm of an empire gone senile. Let them rather tremble in their sancta lest we who have read their secret plans shall find them wanting and remove them from power forever.

Originally published as a review of a truthout.org article on hegemonic hubris. Update: As of 12 March 2015, this page is not available.

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