Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fighting Tyranny

The Whitehouse has released its updated National Security Strategy; the first revision since the last publication in 2003. In it the US Government lists countries which it regards as despotic regimes that are a threat to security or are outposts of tyranny. The list includes Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Belarus and Zimbabwe. These countries certainly aren't the most democratic of places. Iran and Belarus have had elections though Iran is still a theocracy and the Belarusian elections were not the most free and fair. Still I don't see how Zimbabwe of all countries could be a threat to anyone. With a currency that's virtually worthless and massive starvation, dictator Robert Mugabe drove Zimbabwe into the ground and just kept going.
The US has tried to promote countries like Pakistan which has been an ally in the war on terror. And Secretary of State Condi Rice visited Indonesia which is a key ally and promoted as an example of a peaceful Muslim state (as opposed to some Arab countries). Of course 'peaceful' is a relative term. I'm sure the people of Indonesia are nice and peaceful, but the Indonesian government hardly has a peaceful past. Genocide in East Timor has ended with its independence. Suppression in Aceh ended shortly after the tsunami (though it continued during some of the aid operations there). Suppression of the independence movement there continues in Irian Jaya aka West Papua which has large mineral resources and major mines.

There have been major protests in the US regarding some proposed legislation that would put harsher restrictions on illegal immigrants and people without status. This has angered many latino Americans. The changes and extending walls along the US Mexico border have caused migrants across the country to take to the streets to speak out against the proposed law. Considering the large number of migrant workers in the US, especially those that come in from Mexico as day workers, this doesn't seem like an overly bright move. To appease people like the Minute Men as opposed to the millions of illegal immigrants and hard working people hoping to become citizens.

The Christian Peacemaker team that was being held in Iraq has been released. The two Canadians: James Loney and Harmeet Sooden, and the Briton were released and in good health. The American captive Tom Fox however was found murdered a few weeks ago. Fox was 54 and is mourned by his fellow former captives and family.

The Israeli election is also coming up this week. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seems to be a likely front runner but we'll have to wait and see what happens. Olmert has promised more unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, though this likely does not include major settlements and strategic military locations there.

When the government fears the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government, you have tyranny.
-- Thomas Jefferson


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