Thursday, March 10, 2005

Democracy, Good Cop/Bad Cop, Unions

[11/03: link to Zogby poll in Lebanon, Uruguay's population added]

Hundreds of thousands protest for the removal of Venezuelan President Chavez, which is achieved in a coup.

Hundreds of thousands protest to keep their elected President Chavez, who manages to regain his power.

Chinese students protest for (among others) press freedom, the army dissolves the protests, people are crushed by tanks.

Sadrists protest for press freedom (after the first in US viceroy Bremer's series of provocative clampdowns on the Sadrists that led to the first uprising: closing off the Sadrist newspaper for nothing more than criticising Bremer), the US army dissolves it, people are crushed by tanks.

Hundreds of thousands follow the Orange opposition's call to protest in Kiew against election fraud in Ukraine.

Hundreds of thousands of Blue supporters turn out to protest in other Ukrainian cities.

A hundred thousand, mostly from minorities in Norther Iraq, turn out to protest election fraud in Iraq.

After calls from Maronite and Sunni leaders and the weasely Druze warlord who 'found' the perpetrator of a political assassination without any evidence, up to 70,000 Lebanese protest for the withdrawal of Syrian occupying forces (which entered in the first place with the then US government's green light, whose even earlier predecessor rigged the 1957 elections there) and for new elections which are skewered to favor Maronite Christians,

After calls from Lebanese Shi'a political party/militia Hezbollah and some Sunni and Shi'a political groups fearful of a returning civil war and Israeli/US intervention (and earlier smaller protests mainly by Sunni), 500,000 Lebanese turn out for pro-Syrian demonstrations.



Thousands protest against terrorism in the Iraqi town of Hilla after a suicide bomber kills more than 100 would-be policemen lined up for the medical check.

Those same protesters demand that authorities imposed by the US resign for failure to ensure security.

George W Bush is iaugurated for a second time as US President with lavish parties and ceremonies before exclusively screened guests.

Tabare Vazquez, Uruguay's first Socialist President is inaugurated with half a million joyous supporters present (in a country of 3.4 million).



Now guess which of these was spun by the US media (and by those European media that follow it) as a pro-democracy upswell, to be celebrated on cover pages and the first news slot; and which was spun as say the fanatic followers of X marching on command, and relegated to the back pages.

One could also recall the US media's coverage of 'anti-globalisation' and later anti-war mass protests.

The Lebanon example (BTW Juan Cole predicted that pro-Syrian Lebanese are in majority) also nails the coffin of old weasel French President Jacques Chirac's recent attempt to make peace with the Bush junta by playing good cop/bad cop in the Middle East and elsewhere. Already in the second attempt (after the disastrous (for Haitians) test run in Haiti). France authored the UN SC resolution to demand Syria's withdrawal (which would have been less hypocritical had it also called for Israeli and US withdrawals from occupied territory). Arabs did take notice of it[*]. Proving my point in my confronting of Phil Hunt @ Cabalamat Journal after he advocated a European good cop/US bad cop strategy.

Finally, a story from Iraq overlooked by most - assassins (by - well - assassinations) and the Allawi government (by dissolving them) clamp down on unions.

[*] I reiterate it again: when you read Raed and may be put off by his on-off extreme rambling, remember that he is not a fundie but a secular Iraqi with a secular Iranian girlfriend, who one year ago still believed the US could correct its mistakes and help build secular democracy in Iraq. (The original reason I put him in the "Uploading/Downloading" category on my blogroll; now he's there for some simplicisms in - well - his extreme rambling...)

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