Wednesday, January 19, 2005

19 January 2005: Outposts

More of the same? Yes, but...

Condoleezza Rice, the new Secretary of State over in the US, isn't exactly going to change the way things are run, but there was one tiny little shift in her (and therefore the Bush administration's) viewpoint yesterday: Zimbabwe is now, finally, on the agenda.

In her appearance before the Senate, which has to ratify her appointment (not that there's any question that they won't), she stuck to the party line completely, including the worrying-but-hey-we're-getting-used-to-it idea that Iraq II has gone completely according to plan, no mistakes were made and there's nothing we'd change about it in retrospect (hint, Condy: Weapons of Mass Destruction?). The 'Axis of Evil' has apparently now changed its name to 'Outposts of Tyranny', which is a kick in the bread-tray for one of my songs (the one entitled 'Axis of Evil') but which allows for a re-defining of who's in and who's out of the current most-likely-to-receive-a-military-kicking next list. Out, it seems, are Iraq (well, done that), Libya and (for some unknown reason) Syria; in come Cuba (I knew they couldn't stay away long), "Burma" (actually called Myanmar for a number of years now, but we won't worry about that), Belarus (?!) and, finally, Zimbabwe.

About time. For too long, standing up to the disgusting, murderous regime of Robert Mugabe has been the exclusive job of the England Cricket Team and Henry Olonga. I'm not suggesting that the US is right to continue its self-proclaimed role of world police-person, but the fact that Zimbabwe is mentioned in such a list at least shows that some attention is being paid to states who torture and murder their own citizens, implement apartheid and even give police backing to ethnic-cleansing programmes, even if there is no oil in the country. After we missed the boat with Darfur (perhaps the worst genocide since Rwanda, and that's saying something when you consider Bosnia and Kosovo), it is somehow encouraging to see the US, and therefore Britain (like we're going to disagree??), saying something about it. Finally, Nassar Hussein has some backing.

Final point: since we're talking about countries that murder their own citizens, implement apartheid and (occasionally) ethnic cleansing and things like that, it's worth remembering which country is currently in breach of more UN Security Council resolutions than any other, by some distance. Israel, please stand up. Interestingly Turkey are second on this list, and they're about to join the EU.

Postscript: Blogspot's spellchecker thinks 'Condoleezza Rice' should be corrected to 'Candle-wick Rice'. Sounds like a kids TV show to me, maybe a spin-off from Camberwick Green?

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