Beyond the Axis of Evil
May 6, 2002 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Beyond the Axis of Evil - The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to its "axis of evil" - nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons. The Under Secretary of State also warned that the US would take action.
posted by Stuart_R (53 comments total)
Cuba is evil?


How much bullshit will the American public continue to swallow?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:11 PM on May 6, 2002

Is it just me, or is the US angling to square up sides for the next World War?
posted by Neale at 6:39 PM on May 6, 2002

Nah, Neale. No big scary countries on that list, such as China, which is obviously not developing weapons of mass destruction, since it already has them.
posted by riviera at 6:42 PM on May 6, 2002

The thing that gets me about the "axis of evil" is that the definition given by Bush for inclusion is basically "a nation seeking to aquire weapons of mass destruction." This is entirely disingenuous, particularly for a man like Bush who claims to pride himself on "speaking plainly." If the WoMD criterion were sufficient to qualify a nation as "evil", then the US is evil, as are China, Russia, the UK, Israel, and France (well, France is evil anyway, OK?).

Bush should say what he means: these nations are "evil" because they have repressive antidemocratic governments; that's the difference between us and them. Unfortunately, allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia share similar governmental structures, so maybe that's not such a great "evil" criterion. Maybe the real solution is for Bush to admit that the world is not as black and white as he seems to want it to be, particularly from a political position as complex as that of the United States. The continued use of the "axis of evil" rhetoric, however, makes me suspect that he is not capable of appreciating such complexity.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:43 PM on May 6, 2002

I think Mr. Bush is capable of appreciating those complexities... but either he and his advisors feel the American public is not, or they fear the American public might decide the good / bad thing for themselves, and not present a unified image internationally. (United we stand etc...)
posted by Stuart_R at 7:04 PM on May 6, 2002

Beyond the Axis of Evil

Is it just me, or does that sound like either a self help book title, a horror movie sequel (most likely), or just plain horrible script writing?
posted by adampsyche at 7:12 PM on May 6, 2002

They're eeevil. Kill them.
posted by pekar wood at 7:15 PM on May 6, 2002

"Bush should say what he means: these nations are "evil" because they have repressive antidemocratic governments;"

Not really, he shares his bed with Pakistan, and they (people on the ground, misguided, sure) announced their intent to shoot at the US military today.

You are right riviera, little too late, the cats out of the bag.
posted by bittennails at 7:17 PM on May 6, 2002

Obviously the USA is such a peace loving country and isn't developing (and doesn't posess) biological or chemical weapons of its own.
posted by wackybrit at 7:40 PM on May 6, 2002

posted by boaz at 7:59 PM on May 6, 2002

The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to its "axis of evil" - nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons.

The U.S. will not, however, be adding The Netherlands, Australia or Nauru, nations that are accidentally seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons.
posted by waldo at 8:03 PM on May 6, 2002

Cuba? Doesn't the US have, like, prisons there or something? Would an evil state allow that?

posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:08 PM on May 6, 2002

They lease the Guantanamo Naval base from Cuba.
posted by Zool at 8:39 PM on May 6, 2002

I've said it before and I'll say again - the Bush administration is responsible for the most inept saber rattling in the history of diplomacy.

I wasn't a big fan of Clinton's foreign policy, which was a bit too random for my tastes, but this is just...I mean, first of all, talk about picking scary enemies...Libya? LIBYA? They haven't been a threat to anything since the '80s! SYRIA? Oh, COME ON. Oh, and Our Ancient Adversary Cuba's developing weapons of mass destruction - and fine, fine cigars.

But this entire bullshit regarding "evil"...not since Ronald "Two Brain Cells Constantly Missing Each Other" Reagan has "evil" been bandied about so casually. Oh, wait, sorry - Bush Sr. branded two-bit thug Saddam Hussein a "Hitler", didn't he? Can't we invoke Godwin's Law in regards to foreign policy discourse as well?

So you take an isolationist except-when-we-want-something attitude, a Manichean worldview, and a willingness to bomb the fuck out of a nation without accomplishing professed goals - why haven't we heard word one about Osama bin Laden, dread mastermind behind 9/11, lately? - plus you set the State and Defense Departments at each other, and you have what appears to be a colossally inept, stupidly aggressive foreign policy. And I'm not even getting into the whole Middle East thing.

I can't imagine any other President being able to squander the goodwill shown towards the U.S. after 9/11 so quickly and effectively.
posted by solistrato at 8:57 PM on May 6, 2002

Ouch. I think you're going down on that list next, sjc. You're evile!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on May 6, 2002

Excuse me, Cuba?

What a bunch of crap. Why don't we just rename this list "countries that actively disagree with us, or have in the past".

Btw, note that itsn't bush saying this but some dude named "Bolton".
posted by delmoi at 9:28 PM on May 6, 2002

I reckon Colin Powell will be resigning soon.
posted by dack at 9:49 PM on May 6, 2002

I keep a-waitin' for Cowboy Bush to name that one country to his "axis of evil" know the country I mean...gol-blamed country's name escapes me at the's the one that had it's OWN anthrax turned loose in it's own post know...dammit, what's the name of that country...the only one to ever use atomic weapons in the entire history of history...and, heh... used them ol' Fat Boys on civilians to boot (don't call that terrorism, though, son, or things'll get nasty...)

Hell, I just can't remember.

Must be that ol' amnesia that me and my fellow countrymen suffer from at times.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:52 PM on May 6, 2002

pure idiocy. it'll scupper chances of peace in the middle east now that sryia is officially evil.
posted by quarsan at 10:45 PM on May 6, 2002

Seriously, does anyone think that Bush has a say in anything?

Wasn't that one of the talking points, that Bush had people more qualified than him to make these decisions?

Does he strike you as a take charge kind of guy?
posted by dglynn at 11:06 PM on May 6, 2002

Don't we actually maintain official ties with Syria? Weird.

Cuba, Libya -- guffaw.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:21 PM on May 6, 2002

At least we can stop laughing about Bush's latest malapropism, and start busting a gut over the drooling cretinism of his entire administration.

This is a good thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:09 AM on May 7, 2002

And they're sticking to their squirtguns about this "Axis of Evil" misnomer. It's like they're daring the comics and humorists now. Or negating them. It can't be funny and inane anymore if it endures and endures. It simply enters the lexicon. For instance: "WMD". Oh and we're just supposed to know what that means. I guess we do now.
posted by crasspastor at 3:55 AM on May 7, 2002

> They lease the Guantanamo Naval base from Cuba.

Lease? That's no normal lease. It was signed in 1934 under an entirely different Cuban government. That's as if the post-revolutionary American government were expected to honor agreements signed by the pre-revolutionary government in North America. The US refuses to leave (it is an occupier) and it pays only a token amount ($4000 a year) for the 45 square miles of land and water at Guantanamo Bay.

Anyway, to the main topic:

Possession of WMDs -- what is an aircraft carrier group loaded with jets and cruise missiles and submarines if it is not a weapon of mass destruction? -- has little to do with anything, except that even the shadow of a WMD in an enemy country offers an excuse for the US to use its own WMDs. How else can the US maintain absolute control of the playground and the pockets full of lunch money therein?

The countries in the Axis of Evil (a name straight from the comic books) are countries that piss off the US (mainly by not helping US corporations make money), that don't cower, that don't have pink people, and that are small enough that the US (exhibiting the classic pussy mentality of a bully) isn't afraid to threaten them. The US would never threaten China or Russia or any other state that has actual usable WMDs, because the US is afraid of them.
posted by pracowity at 4:29 AM on May 7, 2002

dglynn: well, Bush told Trevor McDonald that he 'doesn't do nuance', and this is about as un-nuanced as you can get, so there's obviously no wellspring of nuance to assist him within drinking range right now. As for the 'dude named Bolton', he's Colin Powell's deputy, a right-winger who never saw an arms treaty negotiation he didn't want to derail. You'd think, almost, that he wanted to ensure that the Bush regime had a set of little countries it could keep threatening till 2008.
posted by riviera at 5:29 AM on May 7, 2002

You'd think, almost, that he wanted to ensure that the Bush regime had a set of little countries it could keep threatening till 2008.

Why stop at 2008? USA as military empire in a permanent state of semi-war/guard duty probably seems like a practicable doctrine, obviously good for the republican party. Compromise with international nuancy-boys can then be done on US terms. The questions for the conservatives are whether it's as much of a short-term economic booster as building roads used to be, and how much more anti-US sentiment will be engendered worldwide?
posted by liam at 6:16 AM on May 7, 2002

how much more anti-US sentiment will be engendered worldwide

I thnk they're pretty much maxed-out. If they can deal with this, they can deal with anything, is perhaps the thinking.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:36 AM on May 7, 2002

I reckon Colin Powell will be resigning soon.
not before he tries some gay sex in the middle east!
posted by quonsar at 6:39 AM on May 7, 2002

I wish Canada could get added to the axis of evil. I mean we kick olympic hockey ass and we vacation in Cuba. Surely we are evil too!
posted by srboisvert at 6:45 AM on May 7, 2002

Silly, yes. Evil, no.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 AM on May 7, 2002

Btw, note that itsn't bush saying this but some dude named "Bolton".

Michael, by any chance?
posted by adampsyche at 7:01 AM on May 7, 2002

Given the sorry state of Cuba's economy, the only chemical weapons they can actually build must be based on rotten bananas and dirty socks. It's amazing the amount of bullshit that the Pentagon's trying to peddle with the Cuba thing.
But since it's almost 45 years that Washington has been thinking about an invasion of Cuba, and the CIA botched it so badly at the Bay of Pigs, and all those poisoned-cigar assassination attempts have proved unsuccessful, they might as well do it the right way now.
After all Castro's regime is still unwilling to collapse ( unlike those evil Soviets who at least had the decency to vanish ). Let's just invade Cuba and convert them to Christianity.
Or something.
posted by matteo at 7:20 AM on May 7, 2002

Michael, by any chance?
That no-talent ass clown!

Seriously though, the thing I get most mad about is the fact that most of the Press just go along with it. It is if the DOD and the press corps merged into one huge propaganda machine. I guess this is what you get when you get multi-nationals owning the major media outlets. I know, I know, if you want alternative views go on the ‘net and you can find it. But the majority of the US citizens don’t. Case in point, my father just found the internet about 6 months ago. Since he was freshly unemployed, he had lots of free time to surf the internet. Where did he go? Straight to and! Even after I gave him links to other places [indy news, MeFi, SlashDot, altnet] he STILL goes to the same mainstream sites. So what we have is 1. Spineless Dems who won’t attack or put up much resistance, 2. Media that protects its bottom line and doesn’t want to rock the boat. 3. An Executive that has a shopping list and a seemingly Carte Blanc to work from.

posted by plemeljr at 7:30 AM on May 7, 2002

i keep a cuban flag in my closet. why? (bare the meme) Because i hope it to be free in my life time. free. no Fidel. no americans going there to 'rebuild'. free. to show support for a people, a country and not get involved in the politics is almost impossible. I wont let anyone take it down. not a cuban. not an american. If fidel retires, really just gives it up, grows his tomattas and all...things would be better. I think things would be better if this vendetta thingie but put aside. allow Fidel to live out his years in peace. the history is old, this fidel thing. most of us know this. I mean, how does one ask fidel to retire?
is this what Bush is saying? or simply 'we have your eyes on you' which to me is antagonism.
posted by clavdivs at 11:28 AM on May 7, 2002

It would be salutary to squish Castro, but it's not that important.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:44 AM on May 7, 2002

really paris, then why is cuba mentioned.
after all, fidel
wont live for ever.
squish one bug, gotta squish another.
thats how this shit started.
posted by clavdivs at 12:26 PM on May 7, 2002

It's actually quite interesting that the USA is getting all gung-ho on war. I mean.. we're talking about a country that barely participated in WW1 and didn't come in to WW2 until three years after it started. What happened to the libertarian isolationist policy?
posted by wackybrit at 7:18 PM on May 7, 2002

It would be immensely satisfying to spend a weekend deposing Castro, and then have him watch his little dystopia disintegrate. He could be set free at some point to enjoy the disintegration.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:28 PM on May 7, 2002

Got shot down. Typical behaviour, wait till you are stronger and in a better position...that is human nature right?

Moneeey, don't you know... ;)
posted by bittennails at 7:29 PM on May 7, 2002

Stop messing up the flow, PP...
posted by bittennails at 7:30 PM on May 7, 2002

It really grates on your nerves to see a socialist society actually work, eh, Paris? Imagine what Castro could have accomplished if the US hadn't enacted punative trade restrictions on the nation. It'd be a paradise, and you'd be discontented with your government.

But, hey, the US did punish Cuba, and you are a good little sheep, so you're content. Bend over the barrel! Baaaaa!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 PM on May 7, 2002

fff: you're showing that your dellusions and real political orientation are global. OK. Cuba works.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:24 AM on May 8, 2002

fff: you're showing that your dellusions and real political orientation are global. OK. Cuba works. Please go there. Now.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:26 AM on May 8, 2002

If the US would lift those idiotic sanctions, I wouldn't mind trying the place out. Cuba looks beautiful. And if the US is tired of Cubans in boats, the fastest way to reverse the flow of people would be to let Cuba make its own money.
posted by pracowity at 1:52 AM on May 8, 2002

Cuba is beautiful. And I would love to go there before the architecture crumbles and the horrid fast food lands. But Castro should still be shot asap. Or at least deposed.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:03 AM on May 8, 2002

It's ridiculous how little to say the citizens of either country (Cuba or USA) have of their leadership. I can't see any real difference other than that the US is more powerful and has better, unfettered access to the mediums that make worldwide propaganda possible. Isn't it all plausible that Cuba has been allowed to remain Cuba because it might prove useful to have an "enemy" in our hemisphere?
posted by crasspastor at 2:43 AM on May 8, 2002

> But Castro should still be shot asap. Or at least deposed.

His government is certainly no worse than plenty of governments the US has supported. Why do you want to kill Castro? Did your pappy have all of his retirement money invested in sugar stocks or something?
posted by pracowity at 5:19 AM on May 8, 2002

No. He's just a tropical, less loved version of Arafat: dictator responsible for many deaths.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:49 AM on May 8, 2002

In other news, PP gives up law and becomes blanket salesman.
posted by riviera at 6:26 AM on May 8, 2002

Paris, can you go 5 minutes without wishing someone was dead?
posted by zzero at 9:01 AM on May 8, 2002

Poor Paris, so filled with rage and hate. He'd make an excellent dictator.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 AM on May 8, 2002

fff: I agree wholeheartedly. Still theres plenty of time to get there before "Axis of Evil III: Bush is the Bandit".
posted by DaRiLo at 9:09 AM on May 8, 2002

paris, i see a change. you went from 'shot' to 'deposed'. He was a dead man for allowing nuclear weapons on cuban soil. He is a sell-out, a sneaky, semi-connected intellectual. But its still his ball game and an assassination would do more harm then good. and if he's up to funny bizness....well paris, you can whack him yourself. sometimes dictators dont die, they fade away. start a farm and fleet in argentina, 7-11 in Compton. watching fidel decay just strenghens the cuban peoples resolve to embrace a more moderate type of govt when he does leave. perhaps allowing him to retire and watch him be the the badguy elderstatesman, once commie, embrace change, plant the tomattas, write a book, hob-nob in libya. rah-rah, shows character, shows compassion, redemption, forgiveness. all that good- will shit.
posted by clavdivs at 9:41 AM on May 8, 2002

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