January 6, 2012 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Hand On Your Gun is a music video dedicated to suit-wearing arms dealers and champagne-drinking depleted uranium droppers from British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey. A few of his other videos: Obama Nation, Terrorist?, Obama Nation part 2, Soundtrack To The Struggle
posted by finite (11 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Because as we all know Ron Paul Victor Bout is more liberal than Obama!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:42 PM on January 6, 2012

50 foreign governments you say?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2012

But...Obama is way less evil than Bush!

I'm always torn about these criticisms of US imperialism. There's several different benchmarks you can use to judge the behavior of a nation (in this context). There's the benchmark of how well it lives up to its own supposed values and standards. There's the benchmark of how it compares to other nations of similar similar power and influence. There's the benchmark of how it compares to the best-behaving nation (in this context). There's the benchmark of how it compares to the average. There's the benchmark of how it compares to the worst.

Obviously, most every nation looks quite good compared to the worst. So let's set that aside.

Pretty much, the US only does well on the second one (compared to its peers in power). And that's a bit problematic because only the USSR compares in the post-war period and so, beyond that, we have to look to earlier historical examples where standards of conduct were much, much different.

You might consider the EU as a peer, and it is in terms of economic might (it's bigger), and it could be in terms of military if it wished. But there's numerous reasons why it's not really comparable, not the least of which that it doesn't have a unified foreign policy. And the closest thing there is, NATO, looks an awful lot just like the US.

The US looks sort of okay compared to the average, but that's because the average sucks, even now. There's less atrocity than there used to be, but there's still a lot of it.

With regard to the best behaving nations, well, the US sucks. It's evil by comparison. But, the thing is, there's a particular profile of the best behaving nations, and basically it amounts to the nation not really having much incentive to be evil. They're relatively wealthy, small, regionally stable and secure, not too reliant upon imported foreign resources, etc. I want to believe that some or all of these countries would behave much better than the US were they in its situation, but I doubt it.

I think, as I've long thought, that what's most damning about the US's militaristic imperialism (and other imperialism) is that on the first benchmark—its own stated values and standards—it's so badly failed. It's deeply hypocritical. This is true of most every nation, of course, but it's much worse in the case of the US because the US espouses a particular set of values that most other nations do not. It explicitly portrays itself as the good guy, the white-hatted cowboy, who does the Right Thing regardless of self-interest, who pursues justice and freedom and all that for everyone. No one else makes such grandiose claims about their geopolitical actions. (Well, the USSR did.) But, to most of the rest of the world, it's patently obvious that this is all a bunch of bullshit.

There is a school of thought on the left among US foreign policy wonks that the US consistently does the most damage to its international reputation by being so hypocritical in this way. They argue that either the US ought to simply confess to the fact that its foreign policy is deeply self-interested, brutally so; or, alternatively, actually live up to the values it espouses. One or the other. Opinion differs on which, because those inclined to realism argue that the latter would be a disaster for everyone. I'm not so sure; but ultimately I'd be happy with the US being less self-righteous and actually more righteous.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:31 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Guns are baad, Mmm'kay?
posted by dabitch at 4:37 PM on January 6, 2012

So it's like a British Immortal Technique?
posted by FatherDagon at 4:58 PM on January 6, 2012

I like this, whereas I very much dislike Immortal Technique, save "No More Strings".
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:04 PM on January 6, 2012

So it's like a British Immortal Technique?

That's what I got out of it.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:17 PM on January 6, 2012

This sounds really good. Small demerit for the useless DU reference, though.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:59 PM on January 6, 2012

I have a hard time dealing with a rapper who sounds exactly like Ali G.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 11:30 PM on January 6, 2012

Interesting to compare this to The Clash's 'Guns of Brixton.' A generational change.
posted by BillW at 9:11 AM on January 7, 2012

I have a hard time dealing with a rapper who sounds exactly like Ali G.

Well, he has for real the accent/style that the Ali G character is trying to pretend he has, so I don't think that's very fair, unless you think all inner city Londoners should shut up because of their similarity to Ali G.
posted by Summer at 1:43 AM on January 8, 2012

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