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GW BUSH has this week welcomed KAZAKHSTAN's President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, and praised him as - guess what - a friend of democracy, an ally in spreading FREEDOM round the globe, a vital cog in the war on terror, etc.

This is a guy who has been in self-elected power for SIXTEEN years and counting!
At the last election the only opposition got - supposedly - a mere 6% of the votes.
One pesky opposition figure was found dead just before the elections and the state authorities declared it a suicide ... until details leaked out about how he had shot himself three times, once in the head, with a silencer on.

Even the U.S. State Department contradicts the Bush/Cheney position - as this highly critical document shows!

(Compare & contrast fact with euphemisms in this joint Bush-Nazarbayev press release from 2001.)

Good article ['Here's how George W Bush spreads freedom around the globe'], which sums things up pretty well, at this blog [Brilliant at Breakfast] which I hadn't come across before, but is very good reading.

Kazakhstan hasn't exactly got a great record on what most of us would think of as democracy and freedom ... but what it DOES have, is a shitload of as yet un-mined OIL.

And the Bush administration wonders why large sections of world remain deeply suspicious of his (oh so selective) anti-tyranny pro-freedom "crusade".

Or do they? Do they give a shit, really? You can almost hear the cynical back room laughter when they scripted this praise of an arch dictator. (Didnt Bush once make some 'off the cuff' remark about how it'd be much easier if he could be allowed to just get on with it and be the dictator he thinks he should be allowed to be?) Think I'm being cynical in my turn?

Check out THIS example of wonderful BUSH family humour at the great RIGOROUS INTUITION site, in which GW - in the presence of Martin Luther King's widow - actually makes a sniggering LYNCH MOB joke. (And just in case you think this is some kind of clever CONSPIRACY set-up or exaggeration - go to the Official White House transcript HERE, which actually includes the '(Laughter)' parenthesis, just in case we were in any doubt.)

Or there was the appalling sight earlier this week of a press conference BUSH having the gall to try and improv parse the GENEVA CONVENTION, in re Common Article 3 which prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment". It's actually, I think, the most animated I've ever seen Bush - as he gibbered out an ad hoc meditation on the meaning (or preferably not) of the concept "personal dignity", which he damned as way too ... "vague". "It's VAGUE, inn't? 'Dignity'. What is 'dignity'?" (Why is it so not surprising that he has such difficulty grasping an abstract humane concept with no price-tag attached?) And the upshot of the 'compromise' Torture Bill that Congress eventually passed is that the ultimate decision or interpretation of what is or isnt acceptable as far as torture techniques go, lies entirely with Bush.

Talk about your Pyrrhic victories. Not only do most (even right wing) experts agree that torture is virtually useless in obtaining any form of reliable or accurate information, but this is precisely the sort of post-Guantanamo post-Abu Garib f*ck-you bad PR that virtually ensures more 'radical' Islamic recruitment and terminal backwash.

And I still have my doubts about the precise sub (or not so sub) textual reason that, in the midst of the LEBANON bloodbath, the one book BUSH highlighted as essential summer reading was Camus' infamous 'A.K.A. Killing An Arab' L'Etranger.

posted by Ian 9/30/2006 08:20:00 AM

BTW: did anyone catch this week's edition of QUESTION TIME, in which a flailing and shamefully waffling Jack Straw was torn to pieces by a) an angry studo audience b) the boorish Piers Morgan and lastly but most convincingly c) Ken Clarke over how Labour sold us on the reasons for war "with" Iraq?

Whatever the opposite of gravitas is - Straw has it in spades.

If, in the mid 80s you could have crystal balled us with this and shown how a Labour [ex] Foreign Secretary could make you ashamed unto death to be 'left of centre', in contrast with the slimy Clarke, who actually came across with maximum and un-gloating non-bully boy dignity - well, what are the Hegelian odds?

Dont even get me started on the Labour Party Conference and that slimebucket Clinton ...
One of the reasons that STRAW's position was so manifestly and painfully baseless, as the LibDem Jenny Tonge pointed out, is that Blair's justification for what might seem like blind, poodle-like following in the USA's wake was always that he had been given airtight assurances that *in return* dizzying and essential progress would be made on the Palestinian "road map [to peace]".

And what has happened? Conditions in Gaza are now worse than ever before: a shameful, hypocritical and inexcusable engineering of CRISIS POINT tactics.

When Hamas was elected into governance in January (which the US and EU had backed as the "most DEMOCRATIC ever held in the Middle East"), the US simply refused to accept it: Palestinians had voted for the "wrong" party. Hamas even elected for a ceasefire.

And what "roadmap" have U.S.-Israel delivered? A callous and destructive BLOCKADE of Gaza, which is now reaching crisis point; the slaughter of 260 Palestinians (at least half of them civilians); countless buildings destroyed; 70% of agricutlrual land destroyed; and permanent power cut.

Way to go, George & Tony.
Way to back the 'democratic' process.

Great recruiting drive for the waiting fanatics.
BTW, out of that approx 260 bodycount, 37 were children under the age of 18.

For a full list of their NAMES and injuries, go to: www.palestinechronicle.com/story-09280682226.htm

- since our own ethnocentric media almost NEVER bothers itself with such detail. When one of "ours" dies, the fullstory is offered up. When one of "them" is killed or injured or traumatized, they are usually just noted, anonymously, en masse. "Today, in Gaza, twelve..."
Back to comedy kipple - anyone noticed how Sasha-Baron Cohen's objects of ridicule tend to be muslim/arabic?
The whole hoo-hah about Ali G seemed to miss the fact that the joke was he was a Muslim Asian 'acting Black' (ALI?!?).
His Borat character comes across as the West's worst stereotype of Muslim societies ("our hobbies include rape"... "camels can vote but women can't" ....?!?).
I'm not one to throw around 'Zionist' much, but Baron-Cohen's early career has a fair share of Zionist activism...
Funny how there's been no protests about this over-exposed, over-rated bigot!!!
Looks like the US are loving him, too....
Did anyone see that ABSOLUTE FUCKING PEICE OF SHIT David Aaronovitch on C5 last week?
His disgusting fear-mongering about muslims? The usual horseshit about America's misunderstood 'noble mission'? Those poor widdle Israeli troops and those evil hairy Lebanese?
The moody music and horror movie video effects whenever Galloway, Livingstone, Michael Moore or EVERY anti-war protestor appeared onscreen?
The hideous and disgusting claim that those 'liberal left' who oppose the war are anti-democratic, woman-hating, gay-bashing, racist, mass-murdering 'degenerates'? The childish, lazy comparisons with WW2?
And if I hear the word 'Islamofacist' one more time, I'm gonna say it with semtex (ONLY KIDDING, GCHQ!).

That clueless (yet oh-so-vocal) tub of shit has got his work cut out for him at News International (on his way to Fox News, no doubt). How long is it before Amis ('inside the bathroom of Mohammed Atta' - fuck you, you Bellow-blowing twat and your drunken, nazi daddy), Nick Cohen (wasn't he 'left-wing' once?) and both of the chinless Hitchens twerps follow him there? I'm sure the satanic Australian paedophile's got a lovely salary waiting for them...
straw - yes it's interesting that some of the old Tories do seem to operate from a moral centre, whereas straw, blair etc are like holograms
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