Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So Much For Peaceful Transitions, Secret Prisons In Iraq Keep al Maliki In Power

Thomes Friedman
David Ignatius
Michelle Goldberg
"Our eventual goal is to create an equal society, not a society of privileges and class distinctions. Social justice is the first rule for peace and stability in society." - Hosni Mubarak 1981
"But I fear Israel could make its situation even more perilous if it succumbs to the argument one hears from a number of senior Israeli officials today that the events in Egypt prove that Israel can’t make a lasting peace with the Palestinians. It’s wrong and dangerous." - Thomas Friedman
"It was never entirely clear how the right's support for political freedom in the Muslim world meshed with its overwhelming contempt for Muslim people... Now, as Egyptians pour into the streets and demand control of their political destiny, an interesting divide is opening up on the right. On one side are those who actually took all that democracy stuff seriously. On the other are those who see the Muslim world only as an enemy to be crushed and controlled. With a Republican primary approaching, it remains to be seen which view of Middle Eastern policy will triumph among conservatives."  - Michelle Goldberg

Well, so much for a peaceful transition of power in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak must have been watching late at night those old tapes of the Iranian government cracking heads in the streets of Tehran, which inspired him to release his own mob of "supporters" to go out there and beat the crap out of those peaceniks, focusing especially on foreign reporters, with the result of over 400 injured, as well as CNN's Anderson Cooper. What did you expect? Here's a man who had every vain whim catered to for over 30 years, with a penchant for putting his opponents in jail and violently suppressing other groups he found threatening. His version of a smooth transition of power is to go down in flames, taking as much as he can down with him, something Egypt's Army should have forseen. But the Army chose to be neutral, and went off to play with itself and guard a few museums, put out a few fires... Years of inaction has made them a force of wishy-washiness that will roll over Egypt like a drunk pissing in an alley...

Former US President George W Bush calls Mubarak, sympathizes and tries to cheer him up. :"Good job, Muby!" I can hear him say. Barack Obama calls him, too, and ten minutes after that phone call, Mubarak unleashes his supporters, who also might be Glenn Beck fans: "Signs that the pro-Mubarak forces were organized and possibly professional were abundant. When the melee broke out, a group of them tried to corner a couple of journalists in an alley to halt their reporting. Their assaults on the protesters seemed to come in well timed waves.

Some protesters reported that they had been approached with offers of 50 Egyptian pounds, about $8.50, to carry pro-Mubarak placards. “Fifty pounds for my country?” one woman said, in apparent disbelief

There is a contradiction between calling on the transition to begin now, and the calls which President Mubarak himself has made for an orderly transition,” an Egyptian official said Wednesday. “Mubarak’s primary responsibility is to ensure an orderly and peaceful transfer of power. We can’t do that if we have a vacuum of power.”

The official said that the Egyptian government has “a serious issue with how the White House is spinning this.” Evidently, Obama should have used Mr Bush as his proxy, as Bush had better luck in bonding with dictators. What about Saddam Hussein, I hear you say? Well, take down one dictator in the Middle East, give another $5 billion dollars, I always say...

Elsewhere, around the region: "King Abdullah II of Jordan fired his government on Tuesday after weeks of demonstrations challenging his regime..." Of course, the King changes his cabinet almost as often as he changes his socks, I guess it depends on which ones is getting smelly first. And: "In Yemen, the government, fearing new protests, offered concessions to the opposition, which promised to call a demonstration every Thursday until March, when it will evaluate whether its demands have been met." The Yemenese president has agreed not to seek re-election. He has been a follower and copycat of Mubarak's style of politics, so it's probably wise for him to make a smooth transition out of power... "In Syria, calls for a “day of rage” this weekend against the government of President Bashar al-Assad were spreading on Facebook, which is banned in the country, and on Twitter." Just yesterday, the Syrian government had been bragging how things were different in Damascus, because they were more stable. Syria could be the most interesting protests of all, because they have the double-whammy of repression, the government for secular repression, and Hezbollah for religious repression... Finally, the Palestinian Authority hastily called for new elections in the West Bank and Gaza. I had been wondering what it would take for them to do this, and it took the fear of their own people rising against them to do so...

That's quite a lot of major changes in a short time. Like any bloated and overweight region that loses a lot of pounds overnight, there will be the cellulite and overhanging skin to keep it from looking pretty... The biggest quandary faces dedicated jihadists, who are witnessing the largest revolution and they are not a part of it, they don't even share any of the same beliefs since jihadists don't believe in human rights or dignity. They face being swept away into the dustbin of history... The other major problem are the Israelis, but they can't do anything constructive until the right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu and his inept band of conservatives are also swept from office. Until then, they will always make the wrong decision and pretend to work towards a working peace with the Palestinians... This really is too much for the US intelligence and diplomatic bureaucracies to handle. Again, another series of world-shaking events that the CIA got wrong, and our endless think tanks that suck money like parasites from our universities and corporate America have done diddley...

Ironically, the only other two leaders in the region who are trying very hard to reach dictator status are Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Nuri alMaliki of Iraq, both propped up and supported by the US. How's that democracy thingy workin out for ya? Now comes a report on Iraq that would make Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld push out their chests and swell with pride, that al Maliki has kept open secret prisons for the purpose of rounding up and torturing his opponents. Seems he was taking more than notes when those shadowy US military intelligence spooks gave him instructions...

In 2008 al Maliki created his own private militia, whose job it was to round up certain "terrorists," detain them in special prisons where the persons may or may not ever be released or sent to trial. These: "... security forces controlled directly by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki continue to hold and to torture detainees in secret jails despite his vows last year to end such practices, according to a statement from Human Rights Watch released Tuesday.

The statement renewed longstanding criticism of Mr. Maliki that he has violated the Constitution by having some security forces in charge of pursuing terrorists report directly to his office. About 280 detainees are being held at Camp Justice, a military base in northern Baghdad, with no access to lawyers or their families, according to the report. They are being held by brigades that are supposed to report to the Defense Ministry, it said."

Maliki has his own militia, while other dictators like Baby Doc Duvalier had his Tonton Macutes. More civil countries use groups like the CIA, FBI, Mossad, and KGB that act beyond the law to further their country's ends. I guess Obama lacks his own militia, as our spy groups react more to what Hillary wants. The day that he and his family dons sunglasses and replaces the Secret Service with the Black Muslims is the day we can start worrying... Damn, there I go, giving Rush and Glenn ideas for their next 20 shows...

The President, he's got his war
Folks don't know just what it's for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We're chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

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