Tag Archives: elections

Burma Thugs–Off With Her Presence!

The military thugs who run Burma as their private kingdom of fear are trying something new this year– an election! Naturally, if one is going to allow people to vote the least you can do is ensure they vote for the correct candidate. After all, who wants an election in which the wrong candidates win? The National League for Democracy(NLD) whose leader, Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for daring to speak her mind in a nation which claims it allows freedom of speech–of course, that freedom is restricted to those who agree with the government, has been informed they can participate in the upcoming election if they expel their leader. After all, she IS a person who has been convicted of the crime of free speech.

The Nobel Prize winner has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest and her recent conviction was simply a ploy to keep her away from voters during the election. Oh, in the last time there was a free election the NLD won the overwhelming majority of votes. This correspondent can guarantee he knows the outcome of this year’s election– at least 95% of votes cast will be for government candidates. Come to think about it, why bother with an election, just count the votes that you already have cast?

Karzai Offers VP Choice To Noted Thug

Eight years ago, everything looked so wonderful as the Taliban fled Afghanistan and triumphant forces took over the country with promises of ending discrimination against women and helping to foster modern economic and social ideas. Eight years have passed during which time the people of Afghanistan have once again been confronted not only with the Taliban but a new government composed of swindlers and thieves who will rob the nation blind. President Karzai is running for re-election and he shocked the western world and human rights activists by reaching out to select Muhammad Qasim Fahim who is known as an individual with hardly the best recommendations for honesty. He associates with criminals, has been charged with drug charges and is responsible for the death of many people.

President Karzai did offer an explanation for this intriguing choice. He said although human rights people might not like his choice, the warlord will bring him votes and, after all, what is democracy for but gaining votes? OK, so he hangs around with gangsters, but he can get them to vote and anyone else who would like to stay alive.

Mandela Supports African National Congress

It is impossible to separate Nelson Mandela from the political world of South Africa because he embodies the spirit that led to creation of a democratic society. Therefore, it was not surprising he announced that he would endorse the African National Congress ticket in the upcoming elections. He made clear that he regards the ANC as the group which has been in the forefront of the fight for social justice in South Africa. However, although we admire and respect Nelson Mandela as among the great leaders of the world, it is sad that he will not express views on the totalitarian behavior of some ANC leaders and attempts to silence the views of opponents. Mandela urges the ANC to adopt a positive attitude and not speak ill of opponents, but there are already signs ANC activists are attempting to silence those who disagree with their platform.

Mandela remains silent about the horror that is taking place in Zimbabwe, but he can not remain silent concerning efforts in his own country to silence opposing voices. He must speak out loudly and, if necessary, withdraw support from ANC members who refuse to accept democratic procedures.

Arabs Fear Rise Of Right Wing Israel Politics

The apparent triumph of right wing Israeli parties to the leadership of their nation has sent fears running through the spines of Arab leaders who believe the last hope for peace in the Middle East has been lost. The prospect of having to deal with conservative Benjamin Netanyahu means there will be scant possibility of compromise on the part of Israeli leaders which may doom the prospects for peace. Openly anti-Arab leaders like Avigdor Lieberman only seek to drive out all Palestinians and gain control of as much of Palestine as they can obtain either legally or illegally. The Syrian government run Al Thawra commented: “the Israelis are electing war and extremism.” This theme is being echoed in newspapers throughout the Middle East.

Years of diplomatic failure on the part of both sides have resulted in feelings of doubt that any real change in the region is possible under current leadership. A few Arab leaders who have worked with right wing conservative, Benjamin Netanyahu believe he is capable of genuine compromise in problem solving. Perhaps, it will take a right wing conservative to implement peace with Israel that entails equitable resolution of several land issues.

Arab Israelis Stand Up For Rights

The surge of power by right wing Israeli political parties which has brought to prominence bigots like Advigdor Lieberman has frightened the Arab community of Israel. Dr. Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli Arab who serves in the Knesset was greeted by thousands at a recent rally which included many who wish to defy people like Lieberman who seek to deny the right of Arab citizens to cast their votes or to elect their candidates to parliament. Arab Israelis(most prefer to be called Palestinians) have been subjected to discrimination in education and at work and most live in a segregated world apart from Jewish citizens. Traditionally, the Arab vote has been small, but many are prepared in this election to show right wing Israelis that their votes are important.

It is time for Palestinians living in Israel to use the weapon of the vote in order to exert their power. African Americans and Hispanics in America use their voting power to dilute the power of bigots, it is a good example for any who are subject to prejudice and bigotry. Stand up and VOTE!

Editorial: The Political Dirty Wars Are In Operation

Editorial of the Week: “The Political Wars Are In Operation”

Polls show Senator Barack Obama’s lead over Senator John McCain is growing which is an absolute guarantee, dirty tactics will grow in political intensity. Rumors of Barack Obama being a Muslim continue circulating, and the latest twist is, even if he is not a Muslim, he is part of Marxist radical Christian theology. The boys of summer will soon be replaced by the dogs of Fall wars in which anything and everything that can be summoned up on the part of either side, will be circulating on the Internet or in the media.

In all honesty, political smear tactics are an old standby in American politics. Al Smith was the first Catholic to run for the presidency and he was subject to continual attacks about his alleged connections to the Pope. On the night of his defeat, the ever humorous governor of New York told reporters: “I just sent a telegram to the Pope saying he could unpack his bags.” Franklin Roosevelt’s wife, Eleanor, was accused of being a lesbian, having love affairs with Negro men, and being a secret communist.

W can expect to hear all about Senator McCain’s connection to the famous Keating bank scandal of the 1980s, his wife will be accused of failing to pay taxes, and there will be cynical remarks about how come he allowed himself to get shot down. Smear tactics are simply the American way of engaging in political warfare. Perhaps, the difference in 2008 is the presence of MySpace and Facebook, which now allow a single nut case to spread his/her smears across the entire nation within a few moments.

Senator McCain did offer an interesting proposal in suggesting a series of town hall meetings with Senator Obama which would allow the nation to observe an intelligent discussion between the candidates. Obama turned it down for the reason he saw no reason to offer his opponent an opportunity to get free air time. It is unfortunate Senator Obama did not engage in this form of political discussion since it would have moved the campaign away from smear tactics to political discussions.

Elections-Zimbabwean Style-One Choice Or Else!!

President Robert Mugabe is tightening the screws on any form of dissident opinion by arresting and detaining the opposition candidate for president as well as his supporters. Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, was again arrested and only released due to a personal plea from President Mbeki of South Africa. Eric Matinenga, lawyer for Tsvangirai and a prominent MDC leader, was again arrested for inciting violence only to be released and then arrested again. All week police have been closing off areas where the MDC was trying to hold rallies. In Magabeland, the police said, “people are free to campaign as they choose,” but Tsvangirai has broken the law by not securing permission to speak.

After weeks of police violence against the MDC, at least 60 of its members are dead and thousands have been displaced from their homes. International agencies which have been feeding poor people are now forbidden to operate leaving thousands without food.

The height of hypocrisy was stated by Mugabe’s chief election agent, Emmerson Mnangagwa who claimed if Mugabe lost both he and his boss would turn over power because “we brought democracy to Zimbabwe and we should defend it.” Mugabe has an interesting way of defending democracy by arresting the opposing candidate and not allowing him to speak!

Fat Lady Sings And Mugabe Makes It A Duet

The entire world knows the Zimbabwe election was won by the Movement for Democratic Change but President Mugabe simply will not leave the stage of power. Zimbabwe’s ambassador to the UN, Boniface Chidyausiku warned everyone not to “write him off. There is a possibility of a run off if neither of the candidates gets fifty percent plus one of the total vote cast and I’m sure he will take that opportunity, if the opportuity presents itself.” He insisted President Mugabe will remain in his homeland and will never seek refuge elsewhere.

Zimbabwe police raided offices of the DMC and arrested two foreign journalists including the New York Times correspondent, Barry Bearak. President Mbeki of South Africa urged the Mugabe government to release election results but none have been forthcoming.

At some point the figures will be released, but the real issue is to what extent can anyone trust what will be given as accurate election results. Nearly a week has gone by without the final figures. There is no doubt heated arguments have been raging among Mugabe stalwarts who face the reality that once he surrenders power, their vast wealth is threatened by a new government. If the Mugabe band of criminals refuses to leave, what other choices remain for the people of the terrorized nation?

Just Say No–To Burma Military Junta!

The Myanmar military junta is proposing a new constitution which was written in secret without any input from other components of Burma society. The pro-democracy supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi urged their nation to be brave and vote against this constitution in next month’s referendum. The National League for Democracy(NLD) issued a statement calling on the public “to clearly and bravely vote ‘No’ when you mark your ballots.” Although the public has yet to be given a copy of the constitution indications suggest it will allow the military junta, which overthrew democracy, to continue in power for several
more years. The NLD statement noted the proposed constitution: “is not in accord with the basic dcemocratic principles that the sovereign power power of the state is derived from the people” and it does not protect human rights of free speech.

Most of the 54 million people in Burma have neve been allowed to vote so the junta even had to issue a one page statement which explains what voting means and how it is to be conducted. The junta insists it is building a “discipline-flourishing democracy” whatever that means. It lso rejected a UN offer to dispatch observers and provide technical support during an election.

Obama Sabotaged By Hysterical Minister’s Remarks

The campaign of Senator Barack Obama hit a brick wall after remarks from a black minister who ranted and r aved about rpejudice in America. The Reverend Jermiah Wright, preacher at the church Obama attends, made incendiary remarks about prejudice in America that angered millions of people. Senator Obama denounced the minister’s comments as “stupid” and a distraction to the political process. A new Rasmussen poll published yesterday said Wright’s comments made 56% of the electorate less likely to vote for Obama.

One assumes Mr. Wright would like to see one of his parishoners become president of the United States, but he has done everything in his power to prevent this from happening. In a sense, Minister Wright is a black version of Ralph Nader, two self righteous individuals who would rather rant and rave to satisfy their own egos than support efforts to end the Bush era of disaster for America. Obama, in an interview with Jim Lehrer, said Wright reflected the past and struggles of the 1960sand 1970s. And, it was time to move on. Unfortunately, the past continues casting its shadow on the present.

Minister Wright most probably feels very smug and satisfied at this moment since he let out all of his rage against whites, discrimination, and so on. Of course, in the process he damaged efforts to improve the racial climate in this nation. But, for Wright, the important thing is dealing with his own neeeds for self importance. Damn America he says, and damn the candidacy of Barack Obama, just let me spew hate and discord. Mr. Wright is no servant of God, he is a servant of his own emotional needs to take center stage.