Friday, February 29, 2008

Update: Robert Mugabe Still a Douchebag

Mugabe has launched his re-election campaign. I admit, I’m surprised there will even be an election, I suppose I should credit to MDC for that. The stiff stench of corruption is already in the air with Major-General Paradzayi Zimondi, head of Zimbabwe’s prisons ordering his staff to vote for Mugabe. Mugabe took the opportunity to continues to blame all the country’s problems on the White oppressors this time saying Black Zimbabweans were being cheated out of their share of the mining business and that once he corrected this prosperity would return to the people.

In a brief over-view of Mugabe’s rule of the Zimbabwe UNICEF announced the number of reported cases of children being raped in Zimbabwe has jumped more than 40% in the last 3 years. Thousands of White farmers (the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy) have been forcibly deported or murdered. Around 3 million starving Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa (that’s right, these people have fled into the “rape capital of the world”). What was once the largest grain exporter in all of Africa now relies on food aid to feed itself and the average life expectancy has dropped from 60 under White rule to 37 under Mugabe.

The ANC government of South Africa continues to prop up Mugabe to repay him for his aid to them when they were a rebel group and out of the sense that action against Mugabe would serve to vindicate the white government he fought against.

South Africa and the world at large continue to fail to do the right thing and replace Mugabe with a democratic government. Or at a minimum, with a leader who can make sure none of his people starve to death in what was a major food exporter 25 years ago. And why do they fail to do this? Why do African leaders continue to support such a vile despicable man? Because Mugabe seized control of Zimbabwe from Ian Smith, the white leader of the racist minority government that ruled Zimbabwe when it was known as Rhodesia

But honestly now – how bad was Ian Smith? Unfortunately that question will never be honestly debated because the one who answers maybe stepping into a racial minefield and it is for that fear of being painted a racist that people of Zimbabwe will be made to continue to suffer – oh the irony!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hillary sucks at offence

Though it is not yet do or die time for Hillary it is game time and she is not playing well. Hillary is now behind Barack by 16 points nationally and by 100 delegates, she is now officially the underdog and that gives her the right to go on the attack, and she should, but she sucks at it.

Hillary’s attacks are heavy-handed and are making her look worse than her opponent; During a recent debate she mocked Barack’s “change you can believe in” by saying he is “chance you can Xerox” – weak burn Hillary – the dude who originally made that statement encouraged Barack to use it and her slogan doesn’t rhyme with the old one. And there are so many better things to mock Obama about! If he gets it McCain is going to rip into him – why can’t Hillary? This recent photo is a great example – if it is from their camp it should have been released in a way that it couldn’t have been traced, if it wasn’t their camp they should call Obama dishonest turning the guilt on him (and getting more people to look at that goofy photo).

Hillary’s campaign staff was shaken up two weeks ago, I suspect the original members were appointed more for political reasons than performance as they have been replaced with more fiscally conservative old-hands. After these recent blundering excursions into negative-land she might want to shake up some more of that staff.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The New Cuba?

Yesterday Cuba got a new leader, and with him America may get a new outlook on Cuban-American relations. There has been a lot of talk of normalizing relations with Cuba, it has even been argued at the Democratic debates but I am weary.

Raul Castro is a huge pillar of Chavez’s “Bolivarian revolution”, Cuba is still actively trying (and often succeeding in) infiltrating our intelligence agencies and most importantly he is still the leader of a repressive communist dictatorship with a terrible human rights record. We should be willing to negotiate with Raul (we should be willing to negotiate with anyone, if Osama offered to turn himself in for a candy bar we should give it to him) but we shouldn’t expect too much. There is a chance he will give in to democracy but that’s a slim one – let’s make small, limited exchanges before we get our hopes up and put removing the embargo on the table.

On a related note - shame on Obama for pledging to meet with Raul “without preconditions”.

Friday, February 22, 2008

HRC – down, but not out

On February 7th 2008 Mitt Romney, knowing his presidential campaign had become a hindrance to the Republican Party dropped out of the race. I was there when he did it, he was magnanimous. He still stood a chance, he still had cards to play but he dropped out for the advancement of what was always his paramount goal; the common good of the United States. Hillary shares no such goal.

Hillary is behind in the national polls by a fair bit but there will be no Mitt Romneyesque bowing out for Hillary. Hillary is, and always has been in it for herself and as long as she stands any chance at all she’ll stay in the race and she still has one hell of a chance. She isn’t too far behind in the delegate count, she is still ahead by a lot in PA, she is making inroads into Barrack’s pledged delegates and more importantly still has Florida and Michigan to play. If Hillary can bring this to convention there is a great chance that she, the bureaucratic in-fighter with years of national experience, will be able to win over more delegates in backroom deals than an inexperienced Illinois state senator can.

The news has been talking about Texas/Ohio a lot recently, saying Hillary will be finished if she doesn’t win at least one of them by a large margin. But they’re doing that because they’re the news – they want you to think this race is as suspenseful as possible so that you’ll watch it. Don’t expect HRC to back down unless she loses by at least 60-40 in both big states.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kosovo: should it stay or should it go?

I am a nationalist, among other things. That is to say I believe states function more smoothly and have greater national cohesion when they are founded on, well, nations. I also believe a race has a much better shot at preserving its language, its culture and itself when it has a state to call its own. As such, Kosovo is a tricky situation for me.

Kosovo is currently a part of Serbia, a nation of Serbs, yet it is a province distinctly lacking in Serbs. It is filled with Albanian Muslims, the majority of whom want Kosovo to be a free country, and the following are the reasons why I believe they should not be.

1 – Kosovo is home not only to a large Serbian minority but also to many of the landmarks of Serbian culture and history. Those people will not stop wanting this land back. NATO may forget about this in a few years, generations from now those Serbs will still be wanting that land back and recent history says that they’ll eventually be in a position to get it and that they will fight for it.

2 – Kosovo was originally Serbian, overwhelmingly Serbian, it only became Albanian after Christian Serbs were kicked out by the late Ottoman Empire and then by the puppet government put up by fascist Italy during WW2. Transferring land from nations based on a demographics shift is a dangerous notion. As a drastic example, most of the counties around where I was born in Iowa could easily be awarded to Germany on the basis of race. As a more probable example, large portions of northern Macedonia could go to Albania on this precedent.

3 – Serbians have a lot of faults, they have done a lot of bad things but they are a repressed minority in Kosovo and if IFOR leaves in the wake of Kosovar independence things will get bad for them, very bad.

4 – Most importantly, we will piss off the Russians immensely. The Slavs see this as a broader blow against them (in a way, it is) and they will unite behind Putin who will promptly screw over several of our interests in that region in retaliation. If we allow Kosovo to become independent and hurt Russia’s ally (Serbia) they will allow Abkhazia to move toward independence and hurt our ally (Georgia). It will be a decided net lose for American interests if Kosovo becomes independent.

Kosovo deserves recognition of its special status, but more along the lines that Scotland has now and the Serbs are willing to give it that. We should not let Kosovo go, it is the wrong thing to do in principle and pragmatically it is terribly disadvantageous. If Kosovo declares independence we should not recognize it and support reunification under some sort of a federation.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

South Africa slips further away from freedom.

What has been hailed as South Africa’s most effective police unit is set to be disbanded for investigating high ranking party officials in what is increasingly becoming a one party state. The “Scorpions” are an elite unit of law enforcement agents legally separated from other branches of the regular South African Police Service (and thus, from political influence) and tasked with tackling organized crime and government corruption. Unfortunately for open government they’ve been investigating the wrong people. The Scorpions have been major actors in leveling charges against Jackie Selebi (former commissioner of the South African Police Service and president of Interpol) and Jacob Zuma (President of the ANC and presumably the next President of South Africa). The same ANC that elected Zuma its president doesn’t want to see him go to jail for corruption so in the name of politics it is about to destroy what appears to be the nation’s greatest crime-fighting apparatus.

I believe this move represents the continuing march of a once-great country toward second-rate dictatorship. If Nelson Mandela is half the man my teachers and professors have made him out to be he should intervene as the father of the ANC and put his party back on task before the principles he fought for erode away under the waves of instability his progeny have brought crashing down on his nation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Post

I’ve started this blog at what is a critical time in American history, and thus, in world history. After the Potomac Primaries it seems that America will be faced with a choice between a man who would shirk away from our duties in this world and a man who would embrace them. I believe, firmly, that America has become the City upon the Hill, that we, more than any other nation at any other time, have the capacity to lead the world toward enlightenment, justice, peace and prosperity. I also believe that if we do not, no other nation will. In 9 months time this country will have to make a choice between our domestic desires and our international responsibilities, in that time I’d like to make a case for the latter.