Birds of a Feather
I have earlier pointed out that the present White House Occupant gives lip service to fighting Terrorism while inviting convicted anti-Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch to sit with him in Florida as he gave a speech.
Well, it seems Mr Bush is about as sincere in his championing of Human Rights and Democracy; expediency seems more the norm for him and his Administration. Case in point: Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov.
"The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) focuses only on establishment of democracy, the protection of human rights and the freedom of the press. I am now questioning these values." - President Karimov, after the OSCE criticized the 1999 parliamentary elections. Agence France-Presse, January 8, 2000.
Stop by The Memory Hole to see photos of Mr Bush and such champions of Democracy as Rumsfeld and Powell smiling and handshaking Mr Karimov's hand. Brings one back to the image of ol' Rummy shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. And they should smile: Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the region that like the US. And whats not to like? The US gave Mr Karimov's nation 500 million dollars in aid last year, while looking the other way.
Independent human rights groups estimate that there are more than 600 politically motivated arrests a year in Uzbekistan, and 6,500 political prisoners, some tortured to death. According to a forensic report commissioned by the British embassy, in August two prisoners were even boiled to death.
The US condemned this repression for many years. But since September 11 rewrote America's strategic interests in central Asia, the government of President Islam Karimov has become Washington's new best friend in the region.
The US is funding those it once condemned. Last year Washington gave Uzbekistan $500m (??£300m) in aid. The police and intelligence services - which the state department's website says use "torture as a routine investigation technique" received $79m of this sum.
The pictures point out the simple truth that Saddam is not the last well documented deadly dictator to be welcomed by Rumsfeld and company with open arms and checkbook. Kind of weird to see recent history repeat itself, don't you think? When Rumsfeld worked under Reagan he delivered Saddam Hussein a gift of gold spurs- G.W. may give Karimov something more practical, a gift that offers the cachet of Democracy with none of the chanciness that working with mere media control and passe` bother that physical and economic violence can bring- the Black Box Voting machine system.
Why should a 21st Century Dictator have to worry about the will of the People? Not every nation has a partisan Supreme Court to appoint a reactionary corporate shill who represents merely the top earning (and contributing) percentiles of the citizenry and while not winning the popular vote much less the votes of the Electors of the Electoral College. And how many populaces are coddled enough to just let such a coupe happen without an uprising anyway. Not many, my friend. But Black Box Voting takes the possible suffering out of suffrage for the modern Dictator and his patrons. A bit of electronic sleight-of-hand and "Whalla", the folks who know what is best for you and your class are in office.
Picked this up from Dr. Menlo Presents
"Inside A U.S. Election Vote Counting Program" . Please take time to peruse the many links. This is your Democracy on Fascism, folks, stultified and stunned by money and power. By greed. Over at Seeing the Forest you can explore this linkfest "Voting Machine Story Link Collection" to get a fuller picture of what we decent (and honest) Americans are up against. Yup, a lot of reading; be sure to share all you learn.
Look at who the folks in power right now support; look into their history, see just how many world leaders that have gotten into power with US help are truly fostering Democracy, the values of liberty and justice shining through. E-mail me their names and countries. Consider how many are authoritarian leaders cultivating an elite while growing economic disparity. When the best interests of the majority, of the common person are treated as "Special Interests" by ones government it is pretty obvious Democracy is not being served.
One has to realize something is broken to want to begin fixing it. From the initial "election" to the plundering of our rights, laws and environment to the Iraq attack lies and the 9/11 investigation it is becoming more and more obvious even to overworked and underpaid Joe and Jane Sixpack (folks like me) that the present White House and its administration are anti-American and anti-us, the people. Let's not let the media sweep these potent bits of political reality under the carpet. It is really up to us. Spread the word. As the Bush regime has shown us with their lies Information is Power.
Power to the People (Write on!)