Blog of Mass Distraction

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I saw an interesting op-ed piece in the paper the other day by Gwynne Dyer. While only mentioned in passing, the democratic opposition to mass privatization comment was very interesting.
This is something that very key in defining a friendly democracy.
And there's a long history of examples to show this. Some recent ones would include US support for Suharto in Indonesia. The Clinton government couldn't have cared less about his massacring and slaughter, because he let US business interests come first and he bought lots of US weapons. The Clinton administration even held off the UN Security Council while the slaughter continued in East Timor.
It was similar in Serbia during the Kosova invasion. The US screamed bloody murder when the Serbs cracked down on the KLA. Consider though, that the KLA was actually conducting acts of terrorism (with US support no less); granted this is not a justification for abusing the Kosovars but it is an explanation (poor though it be). Consider also that the Serb crackdown on Kosovars was nothing compared to what was happening in Turkey: the slaughter and abuse of the Kurds, also with US support. On top of what was already mentioned in Indonesia, and all the other perpetual violations and atrocities that the US supports, the Serbs were light-weights.
In fact the massive loss of Kosovars did not occur until after the US bombing began. This was predicted and yet didn't stop NATO. Anyhow, the US invaded and subsequently helped Zoran Djindjic come to power and politically eliminate Vojislav Kostunica (who became impotent at the time because of reforms pushed through by Djindjic); and then came the payoff. Djindjic allowed US businesses into Serbia (which was hands-off during Milosovic's time). In so doing he also hurt the Serbian economy and many Serbs lost their jobs, but the US was happy. Now that Djindjic is dead, there had been trouble electing a new leader since a certain percentage of voter turnout was required and repeatedly missed. Currently Vojislav Kostunica (former President) is Prime Minister and Boris Tadic is President. I'm not sure how much power Tadic has as President, it's an elected role but it seems the Prime Minister is the main man in government. Furthermore, the two men seem to be rivals and Tadic's party is not part of the ruling coalition...
Finally, in Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taleban, the US put Hamid Karzai in place. That seemed like a pretty blatant or brash move since Karzai was formerly the liaison between the Taleban and Californian oil giant Unocal on the pipeline deal that fell through in '98. Anyway, he became leader and the pipeline deal went through. Now the estimated $3 billion pipeline is underway, even though there isn't the money or resources available to subdue the warlords that are rampaging across the countryside.
In the end, when these countries are "helped" and democratized, the end goal is opportunity for profit. When money is sent as aid for rebuilding, it goes straight back to the US and into the corporate coffers. It's a sick and twisted kind of corporate welfare with American taxpayers footing the bill.

On a much lighter note, I recently saw a piece about the new Mercedes CL65. While it doesn't look too different from other Merc coupes, this is in fact (for the time being) the most powerful (publicly available) car in the world. The V12 engine can generate over 600 horsepower; this thing is sick! Of course that's very bad and you should buy a reasonable and fuel efficient car that's good for the environment... ahem... yeah.


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