Friday, December 28, 2007

Bhutto assassination conspiracy

With Pakistan in chaos for months and the recent murder, I knew I had to bite the bullet and write something about it. Not that what I say about it matters or makes any difference. I'm no Pakistani, neither do I know the politics asside from what the news tells me. And maybe it sounds crazy if I say Bhutto wasn't killed by terrorists, but I have a feeling the authorities are using Al Qaida and the Taliban as a scapegoat.

There's no reason why it shouldn't be either of them. In fact, they'd throw acid in the face of people like Bhutto because she appeared publically without bhurka. Her political activism and ex-presidency is seen by those types and a threat to the male dominated societies they strive to impose. But they're simply not the only enemy Bhutto had, and not even the most powerful one.

I prefer to blame General Musharraf. From everything the man's done so far, this seems like an act of desperation. People like Bhutto had been gnawing at his ankles with moderate success: he lost his post as commander-in-chief. The country's lawyers abandoned him, leaving him with just his obvious lackeys in the courts to perpetuate his fake democracy. The man who he stole the presidency from is coming back with a vengeance. And like Adolph Hitler, he's picked a fight with the wrong neighbour (Osama bin Laden) while he was already embattled and allied a Musolini comparison (Bush).
After 9/11 he pretty much hoped to win legitimacy for his usurped position as president by scoring brownie points when he joined the "War on Terror" hype by handing over a bunch of 'sand ******s' persecuted on thrumped-up charges. The poor sods now live in Gitmo without there having been any investigation into the past. Those that have returned are suspected for what they may or may not have done to deserve such treatment. But having shown his colours, he was marked by the Taliban and their allies in the indominable mountains in north Pakistan as an enemy of Islam. In a pathetic show of force, Musharraf's army was soundly defeated during an attempt to evict the dug-in islamists and the concessions he had to pay the warlords more than made up for the losses they led, and humiliated Pakistan in the face of the world. And yet the propaganda value of the defeat made the truce between Musharraf and the warlords only a military one, it spread word of the strength of the warlords to influentianable southern provinces accelerating dissent.
Bush's pressure on Musharraf and unilateral strikes by the US reinforced the message that Musharraf was not the man who would defend Pakistan. And led to the situation seen throughout the year. Conservatives fortifying mosques and Taliban allies taking over whole cities. Musharraf's retaliations have distanced him from his people who now seek his removal even while extremists are bearing down on the whole state. Bhutto was the only 'ally' he could make who was of any use against the extremists as she could calm the people who listened to her, but Musharraf was clearly going to lose influence as he couldn't lead Bhutto on.

It's just a theory, but I believe he sacrificed her as a martyr to plead for solidarity from her supporters and point at the dangers of Islamic extremism in an attempt to secure the elections in January and rally Pakistan around him, using the ever present threat of terrorism the way it's been used in America and how Communism was used in the same way by Hitler and McCarthy. In this way Bhutto is clearly worth more to Musharraf as he will not have to fear an electoral victory from her anymore and if succesful it takes away a huge number of dissenters.
What does seem to contradict it is that the assassin was a suicide bomber. Governments like Musharraf's usually don't inspire the kind of fanaticism it takes to drive a man to murder himself along with his target. At the same time, Musharraf's government does have much greater reach and legal assistance for such a plot that the Taliban and her allies. The cover-up is pretty obvious already: blame terrorists for her death as misdirection and hastily eliminate the evidence. The fact that the killer blew himself up clearly doesn't allow an interrogation.

Rather than risking a three-way civil war between democrats, government and islamists, Musharraf now only faces civil war between islamists and the government. Interesting how the death of one woman can mean such a huge difference. Is this the new JFK conspiracy of the century?

Runts with firecrackers

There's a couple of things that never fail to piss me off. Like George Bush, flag-waving idiots or irresponsible snotbags with firework. I suppose it's a world wide problem, but every year I have to put up with some lardbags in the neighbourhood who light their fireworks long before it's New Year. Everytime I get startled by a loud explosion, I hope with a passion that moron just blew his hand off. I seriously feel like curb-stomping any idiot I catch with lighting a rod or a rocket.

Just as I was reading the news about how the country was increasing police surveilance around the holiday season to catch these misfits, a Big One went off somewhere in the neighbourhood accompanied by the hysterical screams of an adult and little girl, accusing some pinheads who must have thought it was fun throwing their rubbish at people to watch them react. I also heard police sirens a little later. These sons of dogs will probably be forced into a week of community service. A little kid might now be handicapped for the rest of his life.

Injustices like this make me savor every anecdote about fireworks justice I have. Like my schoolmate, a real nazi-rat, who lighted a cracker just as police come around the corner. Too frickin' bad my school was responsible for him, because I really thought he deserved his fine.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Balinese Treat

The news from the Bali conference on climate has been unsurprising to me. I generally shy away from hippie, evil corporations and Bush being a corporate pawn clich├ęs, but it's like he wants us to think in those terms. Like always, Bush's administration moderates its tone when its critics are proven right, but it remains as unwilling to adress the problem. This time the US is unwilling to bind itself to an international agreement (again) that obliges it to interfere with domestic economy and CO2 output. Yeah, it is supported by Japan and Canada in this stance, but when you get down to it, you can scrap those of the list just as soon again since a) Japan has in the past already made such large contributions to cutting CO2 that it's really difficult for them to find anything else that could be cleaner without conflicting with a core value of Japanese: consumerism. And b) Canada is held hostage by a conservative government, so I do what I do best and blame those rather than Blame Canada.

Bush's logic is always free market oriented when it's not really such a strong arguement. He wants to protect the market from cheap Chinese cars so he wouldn't be caught dead telling the auto industry how to make cars. I heard somewhere a Ford cars wouldn't pass even China's enviromental standards. Or he says the US cannot make the change without incredible effort. If so, I'd like to hear him explain why Putin had Russia sign Kyoto. You'd think the older Russian industry would have an even harder time than a country much richer than itself. Of course that is if Putin wasn't just out to score brownie points with left wing critics who care about enviroment and human rights in equal measure.

What truly made Bush the laughing stock was his own little conference in Washington half a year ago. No bald faced liar could have humiliated himself more than that. His administration claimed it was leading on enviromental protection and Europe should follow their example. Sorry, but if the Netherlands followed that example I'd be typing this blog from a refugee camp in the German Alps now since our dykes would have broken like the levees of New Orleans. They then had the arrogance to expect other nations to contribute financial and scientific resources to improve the world. A cynic would say Bush wanted to rummage through the donations bin, pick out contributions he liked, and then throw in a half burned cigar and call it 'his contribution'. The rancid cream on top was a press statement by his lackeys, so they could cart the news teams off to somewhere so nobody would see the insulted and gravely disappointed delegation as it left.

I figure there may be a few climate change sceptics reading who will say "why waste money on something that hasn't been proven?". Okay, so if a 100+ reports on climate change are not proof, let's take a hypothetical situation, hmm? Ask yourself what the enviromentalists (mostly scientists, greens and left wingers) stand to gain from being right, then ask what the critics (corporations, free market proponents and right wingers) stand to gain from being right. I can see no benefit for enviromentalists that are material, and they cannot be driven to press for such sacrifices if there wasn't anything wrong to begin with. The critics however, if right, won't have to make expensive changes to increase their efficiency and cut their polution, so for them it's about the money.
Still nor convinced? Well, let's say the enviromentalists get their way and we make all those suggested changes, but climate change isn't just avoided, but it turns out to have never been a threat. Then we will have invested huge sums of money in biofuels, renewable energy, hydrogen fuel and even fusion power, while water and air pollution is brought back considerably, increasing the health and welbeing of people living in industrialized regions, and forfeited any tiffs over oil trade while economically strangling a few brutal regimes that are only tolerated and sucked-up to because of their fossil fuel reserves. Not a bad way to be proven wrong, is it?
And what about if we do things the way Global Warming sceptics want it and they are proven wrong? Well, I'd hate to see what the world will be like then. I'd also hate to be in any redneck's shoes when he has to explain to refugees from Shanghai, New York or Amsterdam why he didn't want to make a little effort to prevent pollution before it led to global floods and other disasters.

Ironically, Bali is an island in the Indonesian archipelago that is rather small and will probably lose significant amounts of land to the sea if it does not disappear entirely in the event of global flooding. My mom used to buy Balinese Treats at a baker but nowadays it's impossible to get those even at a specialized sweets baker. I estimate that if Bali is all washed up, they'll be even harder to get. We may as well call them sea snacks then, and I reckon if Bali is gone, we'll be having plenty of those here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Take the NIE for a spin

It seems that once again the White House had the intelligence agencies dig up dirt on their enemies. This time it's Iran's nuclear program. The conclusion is that there is no evidence of a weapons program. Not in years anyway. This sounds contradictory to the things you hear from Bush and his cronies, who speak like there's no question Iran is close to getting the Bomb. Where have I heard these contradictory statements before? Could it be Iraq? Are we going to find out the hard way in Iran there is no WMD program as well?

Sure, I don't trust Ahmadinejad. I didn't trust Saddam either. Both together still sound more reliable than Shrub does. There is something blatant about them that is as transparant as Hitler's ambition to subjugate Jews and lesser people, one only needs to listen to their speeches. There's no doubt Bush believed he was presenting the truth as it is when he talked about 'smoking guns' and Iraq. This guy actually believes what his hawks are telling him. And if there is one group of people who have shown themselves un-reliable, un-patriotic, un-American and un-sanitary then it's war hawks. They'll push for war if the whole world is against them. I don't know how they can lack so much common sense. Must have been the kinds of worms they were fed when they were but chickenhawks.

So, Bush is pretty much set on invading anyway since so far there has been no change in attitude since the NIE. They only send out the spin doctors again to warp the facts they like to support their little adventure. Well I hope they do. If there's anything worse then being sunk into the mud in Iraq, it's being sunk into the mud in both Iraq and Iran! This should give those idiots a 2nd Vietnam. Take notes this time people, because that failed for a reason to!