Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 10th, 2010

Another day, another dictator

Posted by Charles II on November 10, 2010

William Fisher, IPSNews:

In the face of police brutality, crackdowns on political parties and media, and a host of other violations ahead of Egypt’s Nov. 28 parliamentary election, human rights advocates are calling on President Barack Obama to use U.S. leverage to persuade Egypt to reform its electoral process, allow international monitors to assess the election, and conduct transparent and accountable balloting.

The Egyptian parliamentary election – and the presidential election to follow in September 2011 – is playing out against a background of years of police brutality and political corruption, buttressed by a so-called Emergency Law. That law, which has been in effect for three decades, gives police and security services sweeping powers to arrest and detain with little or no due process.

The US does not have a very good choice of horses to back in the Middle East. But the Mubarak dictatorship–and at this point it’s very difficult to call it anything but–is not a good alternative, even if the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be the main opposition. Egypt is by instinct a moderate country, but 29 years of rule under a “state of emergency” have pushed it toward extremism. Here are some examples of what the government does (from the above article):

Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), imposed new restrictions on text-message news services and mobile phone companies, in an apparent attempt to preempt possible anti-government activism during the polls.

And the Egyptian Ministry of Information now compels satellite channels to obtain licenses before broadcasting an event live or distributing news reports to other television channels.

The anti-media campaign has also included the firing of one of the country’s better-known veteran journalists, who was editor of the main opposition newspaper. He had recently also been fired from his television talk show.

Then there’s this about other Middle Eastern countries, by Thalif Deen:

The U.S. administration’s decision last month to sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to potentially unstable Arab nations in the Gulf – including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain – have triggered fears of possible risks to the United States, if history repeats itself.

The biggest single arms deal – up to 60 billion dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia – has been described as the largest in U.S. history.

Jobs, jobs, jobs… is weapons all we have to offer to the world?

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Posted in abuse of power, Conflict in the Middle East, totalitarianism | Comments Off on Another day, another dictator

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 10, 2010

An important American institution has its birthday today.

This one:

Happy birthday!

PW (sister of a Marine)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

They Approve Of Wikileaks In Germany

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 10, 2010

From what I can judge in Der Spiegel. Here’s a recent sidebar on Der Spiegel’s English-language site:

A ‘Dumb War’: Taking Stock of the Iraq Invasion

  • The WikiLeaks Iraq Logs: A Protocol of Barbarity
  • Hellfire from the Sky: Iraq War Logs Reveal Details of Dubious Apache Attacks
  • Iraq, Nov. 23, 2006: A Day in Hell
  • Outrage, Applause, Indifference: US Reacts to WikiLeaks Iraq Documents
  • The Atlas of Horror: An Iraq War Logs Interactive Graphic
  • Posted in international, Iraq war | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »