"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, May 16, 2005

From the paper...

that allows Mark Steyn to say "Whatever one feels about it, the United States manages to function. The UN apparatus doesn't. Indeed, the US does the UN's job better than the UN does." comes some home truths about how the US (along with its aids) actually functions:

Bush silent on ally regime killings

Conor O'Clery, North America Editor, in New York

UZBEKISTAN: The shooting dead of hundreds of demonstrators by Uzbek soldiers has drawn only muted reaction in Washington, where Uzbekistan is considered a close ally in its war on terrorism.

...And recently it emerged that the US has another use for Uzbekistan: Washington has sent terror suspects there for detention and interrogation.

...International human rights groups have accused Uzbekistan of torturing prisoners with the use of boiling water and electric shocks on genitals, as well as plucking off fingernails and toenails with pliers.

...The country "is not a democracy and does not have a free press", it states on its website. "Several prominent opponents of the government have fled, and others have been arrested. The government severely represses those it suspects of Islamic extremism, particularly those it suspects of membership in the banned Party of Islamic Liberation (Hizb ut-Tahrir). Some 5,300 to 5,800 suspected extremists are incarcerated."

...Asked about renditions at a press conference on April 28th, Mr Bush said: "We operate within the law and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people. But let me say something: the United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us ... We still [ are] at war."

Mr Bush has welcomed President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan to the White House, and the US has given Uzbekistan more than $500 million for border control and other security measures.

The official US view is that Uzbekistan is "a strong supporter of US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and of the global war against terror" and the US "in turn, values Uzbekistan as a stable, moderate force in a turbulent region".

Full Article: The Irish Times

But this isn't set to last, one can be assured democracy building will be back on the agenda soon, probably on a day there's fewer deaths to report.

So other reports only manage to retort administration rhetoric with other reports. Hence, X number of Iraqis killed today, as Ms. Rice says "we are winning etc." Are we to believe, if no Iraqis are killed on a particular day, then what Ms. Rice says is true?

Rice arrives in Iraq for surprise talks with leaders

Arshad Mohammed and Ian Simpson in Baghdad

IRAQ: US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice met Iraqi leaders yesterday to discuss the battle against an escalating insurgency, and authorities said they found the bodies of 34 men killed by guerrillas.

..."We are fighting a very tough set of terrorists who are, it seems, determined to stop the progress of the Iraqi people," Ms Rice told a news conference with Mr Jaafari.

US national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Ms Rice's trip was part of a US effort to reach out to minority Sunni Muslims. Sunni Arabs dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein and make up the backbone of the insurgency.

"Obviously, she is going to continue that process, because that is really the way forward over the long term to bringing a conclusion to this terrorist effort," Mr Hadley told CNN.

...Journalists travelling with Ms Rice were not made aware of any meetings with Sunni officials.

Full Article: The Irish Times

Whatever the failings/inadequacies of the UN, they represent the only (thin as it is) barrier to US hegemony.