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Thread: Free elections could spell danger for U.S.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Born in London, bred in Yorkshire, laid in Dublin.

    Default Free elections could spell danger for U.S.

    Big News Network (Bangladesh Sun Newspaper)
    Saturday 22nd January, 2005 (UPI)

    For three years, we have been reminded that we are a country at war -- first against al-Qaida and its global affiliates and then against Iraq's bloody tyranny that was an integral part of transnational terrorism. Almost 1,400 American servicemen and women have given their lives in a war that President George W. Bush deliberately avoided mentioning in his inaugural address. It was a classic case of censorship by omission. But why?

    One former ranking national security specialist, a Republican, confided at one of the inaugural bashes, albeit not for attribution, 'I am beginning to smell disaster in Iraq?' Another Vietnam, we asked?

    'Worse than the Vietnam debacle,' he replied, 'because the stakes are so much greater.' Six out of 10 Americans told a Harris poll they did not expect the situation in Iraq to improve.

    This could also explain why Bush is attempting to shift the blame on national leaders who deny their people freedom. The 'fire of freedom' is the second Bush administration's new global crusade that will dwarf Iraq as Iraq dwarfed Afghanistan.

    One wise, old European ambassador with a career that has spanned four continents commented, also not for attribution, 'It took us Europeans 1,000 years to realize Crusades were not a good idea. Now President Bush wants to embark America on a similar crusade for democracy.'

    Democracy and freedom mean different things to different peoples around the world. For countless millions in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and China, it means the freedom not to emulate America's anything-goes freedom -- where surveys show the rich getting richer and the poor standing still, and almost daily mega-swindles on Wall Street. For almost half of humanity, where survival is on $2 a day or less, it means freedom from want, hunger and disease.

    Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a recent three-page essay on the world's most urgent and critical problems, listed 1) manmade world climate change and 2) the agony of sub-Sahara Africa. He had no mention of freedom.

    If freedom, mentioned 27 times by Bush, means authoritarian governors must learn to trust their people and allow them to vote leaders in and out of power, that is precisely what Algerian leaders did in December 1991. A free election gave a majority to Islamist extremists. Algeria's military declared the results null and void and a civil war broke out that killed some 100,000 people in the following 10 years.

    A free Western-style election in Saudi Arabia would almost certainly give a majority to extremist slates that see Osama bin Laden as a freedom fighter. In Pakistan, President Pervez Musharraf had to rig free elections to prevent pro-Taliban and pro-al-Qaida emerging as a majority in parliament. As it were, the clandestine fixing didn't prevent extremist politico-religious parties -- whose leaders are friends of Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar and bin Laden -- from winning majorities in two out of Pakistan's four provinces. They also happen to be the two provinces that share a common border with Afghanistan.

    Lest there be any doubt we wouldn't like the results of free elections in countries that are now in the friendly-to-U.S. column, the Pew Foundation's survey on global attitudes, found bin Laden voted as more trustworthy than Bush by huge margins in Jordan and Morocco. In Muslim countries with a total population of 450 million, bin Laden also edged out Bush on the trust scale.

    The White House keeps forgetting that for all Muslim countries, America and Israel are look-alikes. And when Vice President Dick Cheney warned in an interview on the day of Bush's second inaugural that Israel 'might well decide to act first' and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, the Muslim world believes in a nanosecond this is a green light for Israeli bombs away.

    Librarian of Congress James Billington, just back from Tehran, speaks of a thriving underground press, almost 100,000 Web loggers, or bloggers, in Iran alone, and about the only country in the world with a pro-American youth that is fed up with decaying theocracy. But one bomb dropped either by the United States or Israel or both would rejuvenate the aging ayatollahs. Any kind of military action against Iran would guarantee a friendless United States on the world stage. Britain and Italy and other European governments, increasingly disaffected by an Iraqi campaign gone sour, would cease resisting the anti-Bush public mood.

    The administration is justifiably proud of its accomplishments in Afghanistan where free elections were held without major incident. But Afghanistan is now a narco-state where the opium poppy, virtually eradicated by the Taliban regime, is now the principal source of income in all of the country's 32 provinces.

    China is an ancient civilization that has struggled through 5,000 years of history without any conspicuous U.S. advice. If China followed Bush's remedy of freedom and democracy, a unitary state of 1.3 billion people would fall apart and communist-style warlords would be back in business.

    Bush indirectly referenced Iran, Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (where the U.S. Central Command's advance headquarters is located), Pakistan, China, and most of sub-Sahara Africa as countries that must opt for free elections and democratic institutions or our own freedoms will be imperiled. One can argue, equally convincingly, that if these countries followed Bush's prescription, our freedoms would indeed be imperiled.

  2. #2
    sheramil's Avatar Maracite Inreach program
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    winterside Raummir

    Default Re: Free elections could spell danger for U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightingale
    For three years, we have been reminded that we are a country at war -- first against al-Qaida...

    technically, (i should probably look this up first) wars can only be waged between sovereign nations. al-Quaeda isn't a nation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Born in London, bred in Yorkshire, laid in Dublin.

    Default Re: Free elections could spell danger for U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheramil
    technically, (i should probably look this up first) wars can only be waged between sovereign nations. al-Quaeda isn't a nation.
    Well, yes. However, the US is at war against drugs and terrorism which, technically, is impossible since neither are sovereign States and both are fairly subjective entities. The war in Iraq was not against the Iraqi people, it was against a regime. The cold war ...

    The US continues its war against terrorism and quotes al Quaeda as being the main enemy, and warmongers need to have an entity that they can focus on, that they can point at and say 'That's the bad guy' no matter how difficult it is for the people to visualise that enemy.

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