26 November 2006

General Pinochet accepts responsibility

In a move long waited for by victims rights advocates and human rights organizations, General Augusto Pinochet has finally accepted responsibility for his inhumane and brutal actions as a fascist dicatator in the south american state of Chile from 1973-90.

A quick primer: a democratic and free election in 1970 in Chile brought Salvador Allende to power. He was a legitimately elected socialist president with Marxist ideals, so enter the US government. In its fanatical zeal to eradicate communism at any price from the globe, the, " United States tried unsuccessfully to prevent his taking office.". Upon not finding a legal leg to stand on, the CIA enlisted the help of one, General Augusto Pinochet to have an illegal coup and take power by force and consequently slaying the legitimately elected president of the country, Salvador Allende.

In the ensuing chaos, political oppression by the fascist conservative regime was rampant and violent, with over 3,000 people "disappearing" (ie. abducted by the secret police, tortured, and executed), with many more thousands suffering ruthlessly by the same security services, all under the gunboat diplomacy umbrella of the CIA in the USA.

The evil dictator controlled the country for 17 years, only letting his iron clasp go when the supreme court of Chile agreed to absolve him of any crime he or his cohorts committed during his reign of power. You may remember the case in which Spain had the UK arrest him years ago for a EU warrant for murdering Spanish citizens during his tyrranical conservative rule, only to be released after a shady back room deal when the press coverage died down 2 years later.

In any case, this proves 2 integral points. First, the US government is intimately involved in the overthrow of legitimally elected foreign governments (you can place a lions share of the blame on Nixon for this case). Remind that to the neocons and their bullshit line of supposedly promoting democracy abroad (see Pakistan for a more recent example). Second, if there is no justice, there can be no peace. When killers like Pinochet are allowed to go free and unpunished for the repression and mass murder (some may even claim genocide) that they allow or encourage, there is no justice. Old and feeble or not, he deserves to at least be incarcerated for his crimes against humanity.

There is a dire moral responsibility this country has to stand up for what is right. This desire for impartial justice has always given the USA legitimacy in foreign affairs. Unfortunately, the conservatives seek to push an American empire above all other considerations. We need to push for justice in Chile and here at home to ensure we are not just another global power seeking domination. We need to reassure the world that our ideals are just and righteous, so let Pinochet stand trial.

23 November 2006

Civil War Erupting in Iraq

The wonderfully detailed International Herald Tribune has a good article on the latest sectarian bloodbath in the nation formerly known as Iraq. Over 150 are dead after a string of highly coordinated and devastating blasts in the Shiite slum of Baghdad called Sadr City (formerly known as Saddam City). The response from the radical Muqtada al Sadrs Medhi "Army" (a bunch of fanatical gunmen) was swift, with mortars falling in a densely packed Sunni neighborhood and close calls to one of Sunni Islams most holy shrines (although honestly, every Muslim shrine seems to be considered "one of the most holy").

This is the latest in an increasingly bitter battle in Iraq between the majority and stricter Shia and the minority (and strangely enough, more moderate) Sunnis. This is one of the things that what we liberals have been warning of all along. King George and the shady neocons once again have their heads stuck deep in the sand, not seeing the obvious developments from their shortsighted and risky maneuvers.

We liberals warned from the start that there was no hard evidence of WMDs. Alas, no WMPs existed. We warned that Iraq was not pursuing nuclear weapons. They were not. We yelled out for all to hear that there were NO ties between Al Qaeda or similar Islamic fundamentalist groups and the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. Again, we were correct. The radicals who infiltrated the country after the invasion (and ensuing lawlessness) are an after result, and this too was easy to see beforehand.

King George implied Iraqs vast oil wealth would pay for the costs of reconstruction. Here we sit nearly 4 years later, with over half a trillion dollars spent (from borrowed money mind you), much of it going to corrupt contractors who just so happen to be big Bush and Republican campaign contributors. Our troops were not greeted as liberators, and a vast majority of Iraqis hate them (and us) today. The country is more dangerous now than ever, despite continued promises by King George that the Iraqis would "stand up" to take responsibility for themselves. Despite claims that this would be a short and relatively painless adventure, we are embroiled in a long and bloody conflict today, with no end in sight.

From the beginning to today, this entire fiasco has been a colossal disaster. The responsibility for this lays squarely on the shoulders of King George, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, in fact the entire "neo-conservative" backdrop in general. They are deceitful, short sighted, and incomptetent and have led this nation astray, both internationally and here at home. The spiraling civil war erupting is yet further evidence of this. Just watch and see, this is only going to get worse, just as I predicted years ago on this blog.

21 November 2006

Lebanon mourns

The BBC reports that yet another moderate politician in Lebanon was assasinated. "At least three gunmen ambushed Mr Gemayel, ramming his car with their vehicle before spraying it with gunfire from point blank range." Unlike the assasination of Former PM Rafik Hariri, this one has no signs of CIA involvement, and was likely carried out by Syrian trained agents or more likely Hezbollah gunmen.

The region has destabilized as a whole, and Lebanon in particular will prove to be a central flashpoint in the months and years ahead. With any luck, the radical islamic elements can be marginalized, with the cooler heads of moderates gaining a solid foothold on the leadership of this volatile place.

12 November 2006

Giuliani misunderstands roots of terrorism

Rudolph Giuliani stated today on the 'First in the Nation Forum' in New Hampshire that terrorism is caused by repressive foreign governments that do not give its citizens religious freedom and freedom for women. What a profound misunderstanding of the roots of terrorism he has. Maybe he will continue the failed policies of the 'Bush Doctrine' by allowing radical Islamists to take over further nations in the Muslim world. Remember that once allowed to genuinely participate, Hamas won in a landslide against Fatah in the Palestinian territories. Similarly, Egypt and Pakistan would likely turn fundamentalist would there not be repressive regimes in place there. And this Iraqi 'democracy', mark my words, within 5 years there will likely be an Iranian style Shia theocracy in its place. Wake up and smell reality Giuliani.

Rumsfeld finally gets fired

Donald Rumsfeld, the chief architect of the Iraqi debacle has finally, at long last been fired. His misinterpretation of history (equating the Iraq war to WWII for instance) and misguided perceptions of international realities led this nation to the quicksand situation we are in today. He NEVER should have achieved this much power in the first place, and thousands of people paid the price for his ignorance with their lives.

In his final speech, Rumsfeld attempted to evoke one of the most brilliant speeches in american history, that of Eisenhower in his final remarks as president. However, what Eisenhower was talking about was the dangers of the military industrial complex, that evil enterprise that Rumsfeld is at the center of, not global terrorism. This is a typical tactic of the neocons, to blatantly distort the reality of the situation for short term political gain. Anyone who corrects them is attacked as a terrorist lover. This brutal onslaught of rhetoric and merciless intimidation is nothing short of fascism my friends, pure and simple.

Let us remember that Rumsfeld was one of the central personalities that had close ties to Saddam Hussein in the 80's, meeting with him personally (see the picture above for undeniable proof) and contributing to the conservative thinking that led to our nation selling him massive amounts of weapons. How hypocritical that he then pushed for war with Iraq not many years later. I guess if he had any type of insight or wisdom in the first place, he might have used his influence to try to persuade the other conservatives NOT to sell Hussein weapons. Ignorance + power = danger.

None the less, the damage is done, but at least Rumsfeld is gone. May history judge him as the moron he was.

USA 2006 Elections

The elections are over, and the people have spoken. Prior to Tuesday, 3 straight election wins of Karl Roves fascist tactics had most of the country disillusioned. Finally, people stopped listening to the Republican and conservative attack machine that spews hate instead of constructivity. Finally. Of course, all it took was 3 years bogged down in the Iraqi quagmire by incompetent leadership (King George) and thousands of lives for this to finally sink in.

The final results are that the Democrats seized at least 230/435 seats in the House of Representatives (the most sensitive barometer to the current political climate) and in the biggest victory, wrested control of the Senate from the polarizing Republicans (only 49 senators are democrat, but the 2 independent ones will caucus with the them making a majority of 51 seats/100).

Congratulations to all those who stayed in the game, making sure the Republicans did not steal the close elections again. And a further congratulations to all the 3rd party candidates that stayed in the game to make this a true democracy.