Tag Archives: election

Did Democracy Triumph In Afghanistan?

They had an election in the so-called democratic nation of Afghanistan. There was more than one candidate, those running could speak freely, and they even had ballots cast by ordinary citizens. Up to this point, Afghanistan had a democratic election. Initially, outside observers reported the election was close and most probably President Karzai and his main opponent, Abdullah Abdullah both had about 40% of the votes. However, within a few hours, the president’s office claimed Karzai had won about 70% of the vote. Most probably, Karzai consulted with President Ahmadinejad of Iran on how to fix the election.

A third candidate, Ramzan Bahardost ran a surprising strong campaign arguing about corruption in government. Other candidates have joined in the clamor about fraudulent counting of votes, stuffed ballot boxes and so on. There are over a thousand complaints about the election, but the counting goes on. The question is who is doing the counting?

Oh well, just another footnote in America’s drive to bring democracy to the benighted peoples of the world.

Iran’s “Michelle” Zahra Rahnavard Iran’s Secret Weapon!

Today is the day President Ahmadinejad may learn he made a huge mistake attacking the wife of his opponent. Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Hossein Mousavi has become a secret weapon in his campaign for the presidency. She is the first Iranian woman to campaign alongside her husband, and Ms. Rahnavard has not hesitated to speak her mind concerning women rights and the need for freedom in her country. At a recent press conference her supporters were overwhelmed when 150 reporters showed up to interview the woman who wears her black chador loosely and her headscarf is printed with a colorful floral pattern. The lack of an independent poll makes difficult ascertaining the outcome of the election, but there is no doubt thousands of women have been energized by her public comments.

She was asked if Iran should see her as their version of Michelle Obama. “I am not Iran’s Michelle Obama…. I am a follower of Zahra(the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad). I respect all women who are active.” On second thought, she certainly is shorter than Michelle.

Will Ahmadinejad Accept Defeat?

Iranians will go to the polls tomorrow to elect a president and most experts believe moderate candidate Hossein Mousavi has increased his lead and is close to obtaining anywhere from fifty percent to up to sixty percent of votes cast. Saeed Lalyaz, a respected political analyst says the evidence displays a surge toward Mousavi, but, “I worry about the impact of any announcement that Ahmadinejad wins in the first round… If Ahmadinejad is president for the second time I worry about another Tiananmen Square experience.” After three weeks of campaigning the powerful Revolutionary Guards have warned that any attemptat a popular “revolution” would be crushed. There are reports that even elements of the military are supporting Mousavi who has promised to extend freedom to the people of Iran.

If Mousavi gains a victory, he must move slowly to reach out to Western efforts of peace. Any immediate response to the Obama offer will anger conservatives. A moderate Iranian leader has to be shrewd and bring about change slowly in order to gain support of those who fear change in their nation.

Iran Reformer Withdraws From Presidential Race

Iran’s moderate candidate for president, Mohammad Khatami, suddenly withdrew his name for the presidential campaign that will occur this spring. He was expected to be a strong challenger to the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. However, Kahatami said he would support another moderate candidate whose name is yet unknown. The June election will be important because many moderates were hoping Khatami would be receptive to discussions with President Obama and would be receptive to possible changes to accomodate Western requests about its nuclear program.

It appears Khatami decided to withdraw because he feared there would be two reform candidates and they would split the vote which would ensure victory for Ahmadinejad. There are reports the other moderate will be former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi. Many reform supporters are concerned because they do not believe Mousavi has the strength to gain a majority of the votes.

In the end, the most important vote is that of religious leader Khamenei.

Is Racism A Factor In The Presidential Race?

Democratic Representative John Murtha created a turmoil yesterday by bluntly stating that race was an issue in his district and many of his constituents would vote against Barack Obama because he is a black man. He felt this was particularly true of older people who had never shaken loose from childhood experiences. Republican critics were quick to attack Murtha for daring to suggest race was an issue. John McCain insists he has never been a racist and to even infer that Americans are voting based on race is unfair.

A local Republican group in California distributed a newsletter which portrays Barack Obama on a fake $10 bill adorned with a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken. Of course, those food items were frequently used to depict lazy and shiftless “colored folk” in the good old days of segregation and prejudice. Diane Fedele, president of the Chaffey Community Republican Women Federated which distributed the newsletter said there was no racist intent in what was printed, ‘It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”

The newsletter is simply proof of what Congressman Murtha was referring to when he said racism was present in the minds of some voters.

Editorial: Who Is The Real John McCain?

The John McCain campaign for the past several weeks has asked the question: “Who is the real Barack Obama?” It increasingly is evident, the question that bedevils Americans is “who is the real John McCain?” The topsy turvy up and down campaign being wages by McCain has left the American public completely confused as to who he is and what does he stand for. For example, during the past three weeks he has:
1. Claimed the economy was basically in good shape.
2. Claimed he was going to suspend his campaign to rush to Washington D.C. to save an economy that was collapsing.
3. Accused Barack Obama for associating with terrorists and was an individual not to be trusted.
4. Aroused his right wing fanatic audience to a frenzy so many were shouting to “kill Obama.”
5. Assured a member of the audience that Barack Obama was a decent man and she should not worry if he became president.
6. The same day he reassured the audience that Obama was a decent man, his campaign ads were asking about Obama’s association with Bill Ayers and terrorism.
7. Remained silent when the person introducing him made certain everyone knew it was Barack Hussein Obama.
8. A few days later assured his audience Obama was a Christian and a good man.

America is confused about John McCain. He has most probably conducted the most vicious and nasty political campaign since George Bush conducted such a campaign against McCain in the 2000 Republican primary. If John McCain in October, 2008 has a platform, he is the only one who knows such a thing exists. He jumps around from day to day making confusing statements that, on occasion, match the convoluted language of Bush attempting to explain his policies.

John McCain is a graduate of Annapolis and the son of an admiral and the grandson of an admiral. Among the important lessons taught at Annapolis is placing competent people on one’s staff and not promoting incompetent individuals because of personal factors. The selection of the ignorant, dim wit Sarah Palin is undoubtedly the most blatant example of selecting an incompetent person for a high political office in American history. Yes, she can arouse a crowd of right wing kooks, but does any person in their right mind want Sarah Palin making decisions about war and peace?

At this point in his political history, John McCain is a person to pity. He has sold his soul for an opportunity to obtain power. What price salvation is the real question for McCain?

Tragedy Of Zimbabwe Over But Continues

The nations of Africa including many of its leaders such as Nelson Mandela have decried the tragic events in Zmbabwe in which Robert Mugabe has conducted one of the most vicious and cruel elections in the history of the continent. He has killed at least 80 members of the opposition, beaten and tortured hundreds and driven thousands from their homes. But, from the perspective of the megalomaniacal Robert Mugabe, he alone represents peace and justice. “We have some of our brothers in Africa,” he told a rally, “making that call(postpone the election) pushing to violate our own law and we have refused to do so, we are sticking to our law.” Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been forced to seek refuge in the Dutch embassy to escape the thugs who roam the streets, gave Mugabe until Friday to postpone the election. “Negotiations will be over if Mr. Mugabe declares himself the winner and considers himself the president. How can we negotiate?”

If a few months ago, President Mbeki of South Africa had exerted his leverage and forced Mugabe to negotiate, the present farce of an election might have been avoided. Mugabe believes no African leader will do anything to him and thus he feels free to brutalize his own people. In a sense, he has the Hitlerian idea, “apres mois, le deluge.” His nation can literally go to hell, he intends to maintain power. It is too late to halt this crazed man.

Morgan Tsvangirai Debates Continuing In Election

Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change(MDC)s in Zimbabwe is debating the issue of whether to continue his attempt of campaigning in the farce that is known as an “election” in Zimbabwe. The death total for members of the MDC is now at 85, its second in command is in jail based on charges he is attempting to subvert the government and he insulted President Mugabe, while thugs and police run wild beating up and killing anyone who opposes the Mugabe re-election. Innocent Gonese, of the MDC, stated bluntly: The people have been subjected to violence and intimidation” and they have no legal recourse because those doing the beatings belong to the police, the armed forces or local thugs who are members of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

There are many in the MDC who believe it is hopeless to continue the farce known as the run-off election. President Mugabe has used the power of his administration to beat and kill opponents and he has made clear that under no condition would he allow Tsvangirai to become president. So, why participate in the election? That is the question for MDC leaders. In a sense, they are trapped in a Catch-22 situation in which continuing to participate only results in injuries or death to their supporters while leaving the field allows Mugabe to claim the MDC was afraid to participate.

Mugabe Mouths Hate And Violence

The nation of Zmbabwe is supposedly having a run-off election to determine who will be the next president. In an earlier ballot, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, gained more votes than incumbent President Mugabe. However, Mugabe is using the full force of his police and military to ensure no such defeat will ever again occur. Yesterday, he told cheering soldiers and a crowd that “we shall never, never accept anything that smells of…. the MDC. These pathetic puppets taking over this country? Let’s see. That is not going to happen. We are prepared to fight for it if we lose it in the same way that our forefathers lost is(to the British colonists).

The farce that is termed an “election” continues even though Mugabe has made clear he won the election before the first ballot was cast. Morgan Tsvangirai is a noble and honest man, but he is making a mistake continuing the election. The entire continent of Africa knows what is going on and it is time for him to end the fiasco that is now occurring in Zimbabwe. Too many lives have already been lost and many more will if the election proceeds.

Violence Escalates In Zimbabwe

A pro-govrnment rights outfit in Zimbabwe has urged President Robert Mugabe to consider declaring a state of emergency to stem a tide of post election violence. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Justice(ZLJ) said a state of emrgency would help protect lives and property from violoence that it blamed on opposition activisits. “In view of the current situation, ZLJ appeals to the government and President Mugabe to consider the possibility of declaring a state of emergency to quell the disturbances.” President Mugabe can legally have a state of emergency for up to six months.

The plea by this pro-Mugabe group may well be part of a plan by Mugabe to declare the state of emergency in order to maintain power and hope the intervening six months would enable him to completely quell any effort by opposition forces to organize a political campaign against him. The violence was initiated by members of the ruling Zanu-Pf which sent thugs into villages and towns in order to beat up, torture, and kill those who dared oppose the president. Naturally, some members of the Movement for Democratic Change(MDC) fought back which then allowed the Mugabe goons to claim they were being attacked.

At least 30 people have been killed by Mugabe forces, thousands of others beaten up, and thousands more displaced from their homes. Mugabe is attempting to create a feeling of chaos in the country in order to find justifcation for imposing martial law and ending any pretense of a fair election. The UN and African groups have documented the violence on the part of Zanu-PF activists, but Mugabe is still frightened of holding a free election since he knows it would only result in his defeat.

The world should not be surprised if Mugabe goes the route of martial law in order to keep himself in power. He has tried every other tactic.