jebbypal: (Default)
Inside Mugabe's runoff election strategy
Wow - this stunning piece has reports from people that were in meetings and notes that were taken at the meetings where Mugabe's violent strategy was born. Most telling, initially Mugabe was prepared to hand over power after the initial election. The head of his armed forces told him he couldn't. And the rest, is tragedy. Also, there's a film of vote rigging too.

No surprised, Bush administration ruling would turn vast tracts of forests into subdivisions. ironic that the administration's economic policies mean that few people will be able to buy them.

Canada to rehear US soldier's request for asylum

Bush heckled at July 4 event. In reply, he states "We believe in free speech in the United States of America". Ironically, he does so as Secret Service and undercover officers remove the hecklers.


Jun. 22nd, 2008 10:06 am
jebbypal: (jeppy by luridmuse)
MDC withdraws from Zimbabwe runoff election in an effort to stem the ongoing campaign violence.

I wish this wasn't an outcome that could so easily be forseen when Mugabe's government dictated that Tsvangirai hadn't won enough votes to forego a runoff election. Especially when Mugabe himself has stated that he will never accept a Zimbabwe run by the MDC.
jebbypal: (elisha fist)
Run-offs agreed to iin Zimbabwe
However, no date has been set and the opposition MDC can't freely campaign. Plus, veiolence is being used to keep suspected MDC supporters out of certain regions of the country. And if you get beaten, you're given a certificate so you can show it to soldiers the next time they come around. How...quaint.

Hand, mouth, and foot disease has killed at least 34 children in China. The sheer numbers of children initially affected (around a week or two ago when the story broke) meant that China was unable to conceal this outbreak as long as it did SARS. That, plus the numbers of foreign journalists in the country as the Olympics approach.

McCain abandons his straight shooting, no-negative ads facade and instead tries to link Obama to Hamas. This is just...well, about as stupid as the rumor that Obama had been raised in militant Islamic schools. When Obama suggested that McCain was "losing his bearings" from his normal scripted persona, McCain freaked out. Because it is far worse nowadays to be accused of being the normal Republican than it is to be accused of being too old for the job (though McCain's continual confusion over Shia and Sunni does that pretty well itself. Of course, MSM never harps on it...)

Taser abuse isn't limited to US authorities.

An essay on the Post-American age
jebbypal: (Default)
However, aid providers are unlikely to pursue unilateral deliveries like airdrops [to rural Myanmar regions] because of the diplomatic firestorm that it could set off. (credit: MSNBC)

Officials have said only one out of 10 people who are homeless, injured or threatened by disease and hunger have received some kind of aid since the cyclone hit May 3.

The government's abilities are limited. It has only a few dozen helicopters, most of which are small and old. It also has about 15 transport planes, primarily small jets unable to carry hundreds of tons of supplies.

"Not only don't they have the capacity to deliver assistance, they don't have experience," said Farmaner, the British aid worker. "It's already too late for many people. Every day of delays is costing thousands of lives."

WTF?? Look, I'm sorry, but I think this is one of those times that diplomatic feelings should be told to piss off. Is the Myanmar regime actually a military threat to anyone (other than it's own populace)? Or is this about not pissing them off so they won't cut off access to their natural resources for the foreign governments that prop them up?


Not doing aid drops is tantamount to actively participating in ethnic cleansing. There are a large portion of the people not being given aid (with the propaganda that this foreign aid is a "gift" of the ruling regime) even as the country goes ahead and participates in a national referendum to continue the military junta's power. Ie, those they don't want to vote aren't, and oh by the way, they'll probably be dead by month's end.

Look, foricibly involving your country in another's affairs (*cough*Iraq*cough*) is bad. Ignoring what's happening for the sake of diplomacy or the idea that interfering in a civil war is not only criminal, it's immoral. (see Rwanda, Uganda, Darfur, Bosnia, etc). We've seen that sometimes, interference actually improves the situation (Liberia, anyone? Of course, I'm refering to the latest interference that helped allow peaceful elections and not all the crap that came before). Yes, it's a fine damn line. However, when there's 100,000 lives at stake that are just being ignored, it's not that hard.

The events and aftermath of Katrina were horrible. One wonders if the Myanmar junta took lessons from Brownie's FEMA or if this is the way things would have gone anyways.

One thing is for certain, Myanmar learned well from the popular protests earlier this year about how to control the media. The few journalists in the area must avoid the army and the lack of electricity hampers much real reporting. In a few years, Myanmar may join N. Korea in being a black hole for news.

MotherJones has an account of the price gouging and other scenes of desperation
jebbypal: (ff river story)
I know most of the links I've posted with regard to Iran are from blogging sources that aren't exactly verifiable. But here, [ profile] liz_marcs has collected both national and international news posts about the signs indicating the possibility of imminent attack against Iran.

You know, some days, I really wish the nation had California's recall elections.
jebbypal: (Default)
Naval LSO says all signs still point to battle with Iran
"I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", she said. "But we’re all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there’s no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That’s really weird. It’s also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not we should be staging a massive attack on Iran."

I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth.

"I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway."

"Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But that he was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actually followed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke a cigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices. It’s like we aren’t allowed to ask the questions that we always ask before combat. It’s almost as if the average seaman or soldier is doing all the policy work."

Like never before, I really hope this isn't so.

Something just occured to me. Maybe the reason that Pelosi and Reid have been so ferverent in stating that "impeachment is not on the table" is that they somehow believed that saying so would allow them to reason on issues like this with the White House. Because all sane people truly want to believe that anyone with power would be rational and logical before launching our country into war with, not only another sovereign nation, but an entire culture.

Naive, some might call it. But the alternative, admitting there's nothing we can do and that even if we start proceedings, it's not like we have any more control over what might be done in world affairs with our military, well.....One's naive. The other lays to question whether our democracy is going to survive until the next inaugaration.

I really hope that someone is speaking truth to those with the ability to influence and make decisions. I hope -- I know. But being an optimistic cynic has always been my curse. Otherwise, it's all to easy to see a replay of the start of the second world war. Except this time, we won't be the isolationists sitting on the sideline for most of it. No, we'll be the ones who started it.

Oh, and [ profile] toddalcott has an insightful post on Senator Craig and Ben Stein and what it shows about the Republican power party.
jebbypal: (Default)
And to think, just six years ago, I thought worries about WWIII were behind us for a long long while

Okay, I'm ready for us to be isolationist again. At least till the world recovers from our not-do-gooding.


Jun. 20th, 2005 11:25 pm
jebbypal: (Default)
More about Pakistani oppression of Women from Nicholas D. Kristof

Augh, it's a toss up of what pisses me off more about this. The fact that our government is seriously considering selling Pakistan F16 fighter planes or the way that crimes against women are treated in that country.

Hello, Mr. Bush, you are about to sell F16 - PLANES CAPABLE OF CARRYING NUCLEAR WEAPONS - to one of the few countries that has actively threatened to use it's nuclear weapons on a neighboring country in the last 5 years!!! Are you nuts? I'm sure that India is loving this. i can't believe that the president who is supposed to be so concerned about nuclear proliferation in the third world is selling advanced military transport planes to a nuclear capable country!!

Who's next? North Korea?

And then that the White House would invite into the oval office the leader of a country that publically commits such flagrant human rights abuses against it's population?? Outrageous.

From Kristof's NYTimes column:under the cut due to graphic descriptions )

That the leader of this country has invited the President of Pakistan to meet in the oval office not a week after that leader was instrumentally in illegally detaining an innocent woman for the simple act of speaking up about injustices that she and every other woman in that country face on a daily basis is shameful.

Actions speak louder than words, Mr. President. And I've yet to see a single act on the behalf of your administration that has in any way encouraged true democracy or even simple gender equality in the third world. You should reexamine your agenda and reconsult the New Testament.


jebbypal: (Default)

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