Tag Archives: Middle East

Western Hypocrisy Raw in the Middle East

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As things fall into the hands of more military regimes in the Middle East, democracy is not spreading, it’s failing.

The failure of democracy in the Middle East exposes the lavish hypocrisy of our own leaders.

Unfortunately, the great enablers of the dictators and tyrants of the world are us.  The people of the ‘West’.  Our governments – on our behalf – are deciding every day that it’s OK to support Ghadaffi Duck, but we have trade embargoes and can’t support someone like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran.  It’s not because they’re cut from the same cloth, but because the Libyans seem to have come to terms with Israelis committing genocide against the Palenstinians whereas the Iranian leader is just learning about these crimes and wants to do something about the situation.

Westerners have a history of picking their dictators more out of who’s friend with Israel as opposed to who’s friendly with their own people.

Our hypocrisy is showing.

The first thing I heard yesterday was how Moammar Ghadaffi had arranged to have jet planes shoot down citizens indiscriminately.  This is the same man that runs the same regime that we have been doing business with for decades.

As we enable this type of behaviour, we say ‘hey … it’s OK.  Keep it going, keep your people quiet, but just don’t let the flow of oil stop.’

What we need is a comprehensive list of any company that is doing business in countries like Libya and arrange a boycott of their products and start a campaign that says ‘we understand that you’re gluttonous and greedy bastards that could  give two shits about the lives of peons, but we’re not buying your crap anymore.’  A consumer boycott is ultimately the most effective route to follow because it does two things:

  1. It ‘outs’ the corrupt economic agents that pretend to represent us when they do business with dictators
  2. It hits them where it hurts:  the pocketbook.

Act now.  Save Libyan lives.

Was Egypt’s Gentle Coup an American Takeover?

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Gee … I can’t imagine what life under a dictator would be like (maybe Canada could do with a little regime change?), but I know this:  life under the military will likely be harder for Egyptians.

The “Walk Like an Egyptian” campaign staged by hundreds of thousands of people seems to be subsiding, but let’s repeat who’s in charge now:  The military.

In most circles, a transition of power from the leader (regardless of how he or she got there) is called a coup d’etat.  As defined by Wikipedia:

A coup d’etat is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military — to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military. A coup d’état succeeds if the usurpers establish their dominance when the seated government fails to disallow their consolidation of power.

In the case of Egypt, I would call it a gentle coup.  The military waited and they seemed to get what they wanted.  Not to sound cold, but few people died in the transition and right now, it actually seems like a responsible host of military leaders will help Egypt emerge from dictatorship.

Or will they?

In Egypt, we need to know to whom the military is beholden.  Are they representatives of Egyptians or an extension of the American military?

Don’t forget that Egypt is America’s second largest recipient of financial and military support – after Israel.  That kind of funding has to generate some kind of internal connections.

Did the turnover in Egypt occur because Hosni Mubarak wasn’t buying billions in new hardware?  In December, Wikileaks showed that the US made repeated attempts to encourage Mubarak’s regime to upgrade their military.  Substantial investments didn’t occur, resulting in Council of Foreign Relations expert Steven Cook to say this:

The cables reveal a military deeply reluctant to take part in regional counterterrorism efforts, and the focus on weapons necessary for desert battle is a reflection of that.  The Egyptian military is not good at or interested in, quite frankly, projecting power. It is there to ensure the survival of the regime and protect the country’s borders.

Not to defend Mubarak, but shouldn’t that be the priority of any government?

We also see that Israel was worried about Egypt’s commitments in the Middle East:

Meanwhile, Israel remains worried about Egypt’s current appetite for weapons. A July 2009 cable from Tel Aviv paraphrased political military chief Amos Gilad as saying “the Egyptian military led by Defense Minister [Mohamed] Tantawi continues to train and exercise as if ‘Israel was its only enemy.’ He added that … [Egypt’s] peace with Israel ‘is too thin, too superficial.’ ”

Looking at this information, one can’t help but wonder what was behind the activities for the last three weeks.  Was it a a pissed off Egyptian populace or an even more irate US industrial-military machine that was no longer getting support in Egypt’s upper echelons?  If bills weren’t being paid and hardware wasn’t being upgraded, could this have provided enough of a spark to overthrow Mubarak?

Other issues are at stake here, particularly the Suez Canal and the Gaza Strip.  The Suez is the most important oil asset to Europe and Gaza represents some of the most important real estate for Israel.  What happens next with these two locations will also reveal clues to why things happened the way they did in Egypt.

To sum up, as the military takes control, who they report to – the US or Egypt – will tell the full story.  Big, gluttonous upgrades and changes in real estate ownership will be the first sign to everyone that this had nothing to do with the will of the people.

Canada Reaching Up to Touch Botton: Vote Against Human Rights

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In a new shameless low amongst what I was hoping would be the last of shameless lows with the Harpercrite regime, Canada has voted against a resolution to condemn the massive violations of human rights by Israel in Gaza.

Thanks to Canadian Dimension Blog for the head’s up .

And thanks to the Disaffected Lib for his spin on Iggy and Harpie’s perspective on Afghanistan .

Now, I might have understood (but not really) if we were amongst other world leaders in this decision, but CANADA WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY AMONGST 34 OTHERS TO VOTE AGAINST THIS IMPORTANT RESOLUTION .

This is not an area in the global theatre where I’m content with Canada being a ‘trend setter’.

That said, I don’t know what frustrates me more:  the lack vertebrae amongst our so-called leaders or the lack of objective coverage by the country’s media.  Or both.

This is a shameful day.  Once again, Canada has sunk to a new low and will be reaching up to touch bottom.

Canada Declares War on the UN?

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Yesterday, in a shameless and defiant act against the UN, Israeli forces mercilessly pounded a UN-funded Palestinian school in the Gaza strip.  While the number of dead are unconfirmed, most will likely be children. Story here .

Israelis and other claim that the Hamas were using the school as a ‘shield’.  It’s very possible, but still doesn’t vindicate this kind of wrath.

By definition, this should be perceived as an act of war against the UN.  UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has declared that act "completely unacceptable".

Canada, it seems has also declared an act of war against the UN by showing support for this Israeli action, blaming the Hamas on the deaths of dozens of innocent civilians .

Canada’s junior foreign minister, Peter Kent, said that despite sketchy details on the school strike , it is clear that Hamas "bears the full responsibility for the deepening humanitarian tragedy.

"We really don’t have complete details yet , other than the fact that we know that Hamas has made a habit of using civilians and civilian infrastructure as shields for their terrorist activities, and that would seem to be the case again today," he said in an interview.

He added: "In many ways, Hamas behaves as if they are trying to have more of their people killed to make a terrible terrorist point."

Without full information, members of the Harper regime are quick to blame.  Mr. Harper has said nothing.

Under the Harper regime, Canada has failed yet again to show impartiality towards these situations in the Middle East.  Canada used to be an objective leader.

Shame on you Mr. Harper.  Shame.

Internet Cut Off In the Middle East

Over the last week, this story was very ‘under-reported’:

http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/much-of-the-middle-east-is-internet-free/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7222536.stm

Story 3

The concensus seems to be that Iran is being literally cut off from the rest of the world. Kevin F at Cryptogon.com speculates that it could be related to the launch of the Iranian Oil Bourse . It’s obvious we’ll never know, but when that puppy opens, there’s no doubt that it will kill the US dollar.

I’m a visual person, so if anyone has a map or visual showing affected areas, that would be really useful.