Monday :: Oct 3, 2005

Always Looking For A Bright Side

by pessimist

Things are not going well for the PNAC plan to reorganize the world along lines that Diebold can manipulate at will. The news from Iraq indicates that the predicted civil war is close to open eruption as the various factions discover that they are being taken for fools by the other factions:

The political wrangling deepened the splits between Iraq's three main communities amid a constitutional process that was aimed at bringing them together to build a democratic nation. Kurds complained that Shiites were monopolizing the government, while Sunnis — who have made up the backbone of the violent insurgency — accused Shiites of stacking the deck against them in the political process.

Nothing good to see there! Time to change the channel!

While PNAC technicians sort out the troubles in Baghdad, maybe it would be best to redirect America's attention toward the recent 'successful' Afghan elections.

Or not:

EU, UN Cast Doubts on Afghan Polls

"I simply don't think this election is going to produce a sustainable form of political debate and a healthy political life," Emma Bonino, the head of EU election observers, told the Financial Times. Similarly, the UN Special envy to Afghanistan also drew Thursday a bleak picture of Afghanistan ahead of the milestone elections. "I think that the collapse of the democratic experiment will come sooner from the popular disappointment with the lack of dividends from democracy before it comes from the fact that there is not enough money to go around," Jean Arnault told Agence France Presse (AFP).

It looks as if M. Arnault may well be correct.

Former Afghan expatriates have returned to their native land - and they aren't impressed:


“Nothing has changed since I came back to Kabul after 25 years where I spent most of my time in Germany where I used to teach," said Khalilullah Jamili, a professor of political philosophy and director of the cultural council at Kabul University. “The current parliamentary elections were supposed to bring professionals, intellectuals and real politicians into parliament so that they can legislate for the good in the country. However, what we see is the return of the same people who brought destruction here,” Jamili added. “There will be another civil war as after six month, the contradictions will emerge and people will start pointing figures, blaming everyone they have elected. Guns will then remain the final answer to every problem, like it has in the past,” Jamili concluded.

Western observers seem to agree:

Officials fear sore election losers will resort to violence

Sore losers, including powerful warlords, former militants and militia leaders, could well resort to the gun. “Right now, almost everyone has some stake in these elections, so they are all waiting to see who wins,” a Western diplomat said. “If they don’t get what they want, that’s when you’ll see them go back to their guns.”

Election observers are worried by the so-called “assassination clause”, which allows a loser to take the place of a winning candidate if he dies before taking up his seat. The clause was blamed for a rash of assassinations in Cambodia after elections there in 1991, the last time such a rule was used.

Analysts fear the system is likely to produce a weak parliament paralysed by internecine squabbling that will disappoint the aspirations of ordinary Afghans for a functioning democracy. Security officials refer to the expected three weeks of vote-counting as the “free-fire” period of violence as the results become clearer. The failure of former and current Taleban allies at the polls could also encourage a return to the insurgency by those who had given up the fight.

This is why 239 Americans died to 'bring freedom and liberty' to the Afghan people???

Other observers are as equally sanguine:

Afghani Elections: Analysts Pessimistic

[T]he US and its allies have spent billions of dollars chasing members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Other billions were spent on the “reconstruction” of Afghanistan and the “spread of democracy," according to Reuters.

Professor Barnet Robin, an expert in Afghani Affairs at the University of New York, believes that people should not pin high expectations on the coming parliamentary and municipal elections since the Afghani political institutions are still way undeveloped and weak, according to Reuters Monday, September 12.

He added that without an Afghani “legal” economy and efficient political institutions, parliament will not be more than a rubber-stamp, unable to undertake real change or reform.

Observers say that many Afghans are bitterly dissatisfied with unfulfilled American promises of better economic, political and social conditions.

We can confirm that straight from the source:

Many Afghans have raised questions about the credibility of these elections, saying their votes would not make a difference as police would force them to vote as they did in the presidential election. "We don't see our future, we don't know if it will be good or not," 40-year-old Mohammed Khan told Reuters. "We don't know the benefits of the election. Election -- what does it mean?"

Others believe that no improvement will be done to their living standards. "For me, what is the difference? What is democracy?" asks Sardar Khan, who doesn't know how old he is but could be anywhere between 50 and 70, according to Reuters.

"In the time of the Taliban we were poor Kuchi (shepherds), if this democracy comes, we will still be poor Kuchi."
The United Nations painted in February a bleak picture of the situation in Afghanistan. The first ever Afghanistan Human Development Report warned that unless the lack of jobs, health care, education and political participation were addressed, "the fragile nation could easily tumble back into chaos."

Way to go, Yore HindNi$$! Another job well done when it was supposed to me medium rare! Are you shocked to discover that the turn-out in Afghanistan's parliamentary election was 20 per cent lower than in the presidential election last year? Seems like "Afghans were growing disillusioned with democracy less than a year into the experience", as shown above!

Maybe Diebold can fix things for you! Or, rather, maybe they already have, and the typical Afghani - unlike his Red State American counterpart - already knows what that means:

Afghanistan: It is Naive to Expect Free Elections

Despite the worsening law and order, Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) officials - sitting behind fortified walls of their office - are optimistic of peaceful holding of the elections and a high turn-out. But ordinary Afghans, fed up with the unending trail of murder and mayhem, are wary of taking security-related assurances at face value.

"The cosmetic measures won't go too far in working the 'sick man of Asia ' back to health," remarked a woman candidate, who did not want to be named. She believed the huge amount of money being spent on the "farcical exercise," unlikely to bring about any propitious change, could be better utilized for building schools, hospitals and roads.

Meanwhile, filthy rich candidates are generously dishing out to voters and supporters precious gifts including caps, cell-phone sets, bicycles and bikes to coax them into canvassing for them. One witty analyst, intrigued by turbaned men campaigning for bumptious youths, said in a light vein: "Money makes the man (sic) go."

Reserved for Hindus and Sikhs together is a solitary Wolesi Jirga seat an urbane woman, Anarkali, is eyeing. "Many of us didn't file nomination papers, because no one is willing to grant Hindus and Sikhs their due rights. As a result of continued indifference shown to the two minorities, they are disillusioned with Afghanistan's political and governmental affairs."

The thought occurs to me that this reaction to the US 'gift' of 'freedom and liberty' may well be part of the plan. It may be that popular voting has to be demonstrably a miserable failure, ending any rationale for decrying the termination of popular sovereignty when the US moves in to stay, like is happening in Iraq:

Permanent Occupation
By Rep. Barbara Lee
September 29, 2005

Anyone familiar with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) should be skeptical about the administration’s claims that it does not have plans for a permanent military presence in Iraq. PNAC, many of whose founders, including Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, went on to serve in the Bush administration, published a document in 2000 titled Rebuilding America’s Defenses. It plainly cites the objective of an increased U.S. military presence in the region as a rationale for invading Iraq: “While the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification [for U.S. military presence], the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

No one disputes that many of the installations under construction are of a physically permanent character. The issue revolves around the policy question of whether Iraq will be under permanent U.S. military occupation. In discussing the 14 “enduring bases” then under construction, Army Brig. Gen. Robert Pollman, chief engineer for base construction in Iraq, raised the question, “Is this a swap for the Saudi bases? I don’t know,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “When we talk about enduring bases here, we’re talking about the present operation, not in terms of America’s global strategic base. But this makes sense. It makes a lot of logical sense.”

There have been many reports, not loudly broadcast, that tell of the motivation for fighting Bu$hCo's plans for Muslim countries:

Larry Diamond, former advisor to Paul Bremer, then head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, is a Hoover fellow and author of Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq. He writes:

We know from a variety of sources, private as well as public, that intense opposition to U.S. plans to establish long-term military bases in Iraq is one of the most passionate motivations behind the insurgency.

There are many different strands to the violent resistance that plagues Iraq: Islamist and secular, Sunni and Shiite, Baathist and non-Baathist, Iraqi and foreign. The one thing that unites these disparate elements is Iraqi (or broader pan-Arab) nationalism — resistance to what they see as a long-term project for imperial domination by the United States.

Neutralizing this anti-imperial passion — by clearly stating that we do not intend to remain in Iraq indefinitely — is essential to winding down the insurgency

Instead, what we offer to the Arab is a blatant symbol of our scornful disdain for their revered religious beliefs and traditional way of life:

Magazine ad "unleashes hell" for Boeing and Bell

Boeing and its joint-venture partner Bell Helicopter apologized yesterday for a magazine ad published a month ago — and again this week by mistake — depicting U.S. Special Forces troops rappelling from an Osprey aircraft onto the roof of a mosque.
The building depicted in the ad has an Arabic sign that translates as "Muhammad Mosque."
The ad may deepen concern overseas that the war on extremists is a war on Islam, said Corey Saylor, government-affairs director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based Islamic civil-liberties group. "This can be used by the extremists to reinforce that — and we certainly don't want that," he said.

The prompt damage control should help contain the public-relations fallout for Boeing and Bell, said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation and military analyst for the Teal Group of Fairfax, Va. Still, it amounts to a [diplomatic] black eye.

"You can explain this," Aboulafia said. "But people see what they want to see."

And what of that brilliant future of world domination and cheap oil promised to the Topper$ by the BFEE/PNAC Petroleum Pirate Posse, a division of Bu$hCo World Domination Enterprises, Inc.?

It's in the latrine bucket next to that Guantanamo inmate's Qu'uran.

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