The Proud Left

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Career for King Gyanendra

I read recently that dictator/King Gyanendra of Nepal was going to allow the countries political parties to form a government. Sure, he says the government will have to maintain the Monarchy but lets face it - the King might need a new line of work soon. I have an idea for his second career.....A role on the next season of America's Top Model. He meets all the criteria - clearly an egomaniac, clearly a meglomaniac, and clearly obsessed with how he looks and what look he conveys publically. One imagines he will be very "bitchy" and "moody" which makes for great television. Where in the world does one get the idea for a hat like he is rocking. One wonders what his look is for more contemplative times. This is clearly a man who believes that clothes are critical to conveying mood. Do you think he has a dungeon outfit for torturing times? Maybe a Doctor Strangelovian get up?

Of course it gets better...This man understands high fashion. One cannot truly appreciate his fashion range until we have seen him represent his different moods sartorially. For instance, when he is feeling, lets say "insecure" he compensates with his "Military" Look. Rarely has one person been able to fit so much piping with so many medals in one uniform. You can see how he will potentially get into fights with the other contestants when he tries to hoard all the baubles.

Anyway, if he isnt killed by the Maoists or his public soon he clearly has potential on American reality television. I truly hope, for his sake, that some executive takes advantage of this unbelievable opportunity to discover a new star.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Democracy: Do What We Say - Not What We Do

The Age (Australia) tells the following story today:

A heckler from the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who entered White House grounds as a reporter, interrupted a formal arrival ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao today, prompting President George W Bush to apologise to his guest. After being welcomed by Mr Bush, the Chinese President was just beginning his response when a woman, who had been allowed into the press section, started shouting. She was escorted away by a uniformed US guard. "President Hu, your days are numbered. President Bush, make him stop persecuting Falun Gong," the woman yelled. US officials later identified her as Wang Wenyi, 47, a reporter with The Epoch Times, an English-language publication strongly supportive of the meditation movement that is banned in China. "This was unfortunate and I'm sorry this happened," Mr Bush told Mr Hu, according to Dennis Wilder, a senior official with the National Security Council. The Secret Service charged Ms Wang with disorderly conduct under local statutes. The US Attorney's office was weighing federal charges of "willing intimidation or disruption of a foreign official", said Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren.

In addition they show a picture of a Secret Service officer literally covering Wang's mouth so she cannot continue to talk.

Before we talk about the Falun Gong, lets remember some recent Bush statements about the importance of Democracy Promotion throughout the world:

From his state of the Union

"it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

More from the state of the Union

"The only force powerful enough to stop the rise of tyranny and terror, and replace hatred with hope, is the force of human freedom," said the president. "Our enemies know this, and that is why the terrorist Zarqawi recently declared war on what he called the 'evil principle' of democracy.

Perhaps most important to this subject, however, was another speech. On March 29th 2006 Bush spoke specifically about the importance of Freedom of Speech:

"Free societies are peaceful societies. When governments are accountable to their own citizens, when people are free to speak and assemble, when minorities are protected, then justice prevails. And so does the cause of peace. "

In other words, we think freedom of speech and assembly are important to peace and prosperity just not when those ideals come into conflict with Presidential meetings with the leaders of dictatorial countries? What about the Chinese government and the Falun Gong. Was
Wang being unfair to Hu Jintao?

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says:

But the protesters' message on the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Seattle today and Wednesday was grisly. The Chinese government, they alleged, is killing Falun Gong followers in a Nazi-style concentration camp in Liaoning province and harvesting their organs.

Even if that is not true, when all the international cameras are turned on to see the interaction between Hu Jintao's China and Bush's America, after all of his public speaking for Democracy, ought Bush be showing the world how we support free speech and assembly?

Can there be any other message taken from this other than "Do what we say and not what we do?"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Coalition 2: The Clone Wars

Condoleezza Rice decided last week that enough was enough concerning this Iran business. You see China and Russia were blocking support for strong moves against Iran and we know what happens when we get blocked in the UN.....Its time.....Time to build a coalition....A coalition of the willing. Yes, its time for "Coalition 2: This time we have Djibouti." explains:

Rice told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in Chicago that U.S. President George W. Bush “doesn't take his options off the table” in tackling the Iranian nuclear issue.She said that Washington was hoping to “mobilise” and “unify” the international community around the view that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon and that in order to dissuade Tehran from such a goal the international community must be prepared to use “political” and “economic” measures at hand.“I think that we have options at our disposal that are not even necessarily fully within the Security Council. You know that there are states that have been saying that if we don't get meaningful measures inside the Security Council, perhaps a coalition of the willing will think about other financial or political measures that could be taken”, Rice said.

Obviously, in the best case we get Israel to not pre-emptively attack Iran and join the coalition. Lets be honest, the most terrifying part of Iran openly disclosing that they can produce nuclear materials is that Israel has to be on the hair-trigger to end all hair-triggers. This might be the ONLY good thing about "Coalition 2" it could constrain Israel from acting alone against Iran. I mean Iran has been threatening to erase them from the map since the UN created the state of Israel all those many years ago. However, the problem with constraining Israel probably means we would have to ATTACK IRAN.

Who else might join the coalition? So far, the Bush administration has been quiet. Should we expect a return appearance from Poland? Some of our Central and Latin American friends? Maybe someone new and exciting and powerful like maybe......Trinidad and Tobego?

The real question will be how the US military can open a new operation in Iran at a time where we are losing (or at least eroding) in Iraq and maintaining a force in Afghanistan. Are we going to talk to Yoda about raising a clone army?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Decider in Chief?

Yes, there is not much else to this story....but how can you not laugh sometimes at comedy jewels like this:, today

Pressed to respond to critics who say he is ignoring the advice of respected former military commanders, Bush vigorously stood by Rumsfeld. "I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision," he said. "And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld. "I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."

Decider? If you were in elementary school...and the teacher said "I am the decider" you would maybe fire them....Its the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. We should all be proud today that we live in a land where W can be elected once for sure and twice kinda.