War On Democracy: That’s Right, Do What He Says, He’s Your Friend

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President George W. Bush on Sunday toned down his rhetoric on democratic change, as he sought to persuade the Gulf states to reduce their ties with Iran.

Delivering the set-piece speech of his Middle East trip to an invited audience in a $3bn Abu Dhabi hotel, Mr Bush hailed the United Arab Emirates for having “shown the world a model of a Muslim state”.

Ah yes the UAE, and who better to judge a theocratic state than George W. Bush! Who’s with me? Anyone?

Ooh look you can use Hamed Saber’s Firefox add-on to get round internet censorship there, then you could report on the kind of nation Bush finds so appealing-

  • freedom of expression in all its forms – has still to be achieved in the UAE in spite of its media explosion. The hrinfo report begins with the most obvious example of censorship: the state-ordered shut-down of two Pakistani TV channels, Geo and Ary One, at the request of Pakistan’s military dictator, General Musharraf.
  • Authorities have blocked the formation of independent human rights organizations and exerted censorial pressure on a wide range of social activists…
  • The UAE has not signed most international human rights and labor rights treaties. Migrant workers, comprising nearly 90 percent of the workforce in the private sector, are particularly vulnerable to serious human rights violations.
  • Since 2000, the government has barred 12 prominent UAE commentators and academics from disseminating their views. In 2006 the government increased its persecution and prosecution of human rights defenders. In June 2006 the Federal High Court issued an arrest warrant for Muhammad al-Mansoori, president of the independent Jurists Association
  • Abuses against migrant workers include nonpayment of wages, extended working hours without overtime compensation, unsafe working environments resulting in deaths and injuries, squalid living conditions in labor camps, and withholding of passports and travel documents.
  • In March the government announced that it would legalize trade unions by the end of 2006, but as of November 2006 it had taken no steps to do so. Instead, in September the government introduced a law banning any migrant worker who participates in a strike from employment in the country for at least one year.
  • According to the US State Department, human trafficking to the UAE is an endemic problem.
  • The US, Japan, and the European Union are among the UAE’s main trading partners. In April 2004 the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US, and the two countries in November 2004 began negotiations toward a Free Trade Agreement. The UAE is also negotiating free trade agreements with the European Union and Australia.

Hey, how does the CIA’s own world factbook compare eveeeel Iran with the UAE? Let’s have a look shall we?

  • Suffrage: (y’know voting) UAE- erm…none, on 18-20 December 2006; the new electoral college – a body of 6,689 Emiratis (including 1,189 women) appointed by the rulers of the seven emirates – were the only eligible voters and candidates.
  • Iran- universal once over 18. Which seems sort of democratic-ish, hmmm?
  • Judicial branch: UAE- Union Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president).Hmm, no universal vote and a judiciary packed by the President, no wonder George is keen.
  • Iran: The Supreme Court and the four-member High Council of the Judiciary have a single head and overlapping responsibilities; together they supervise the enforcement of all laws and establish judicial and legal policies; lower courts include a special clerical court, a revolutionary court, and a special administrative court.

Now what about that being a danger to the world and backing armed groups in other countries..

Mr. Bush focused not only on what the United States suspects are Iran’s nuclear ambitions but also its suspected support for Islamic groups and militants in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Oh my God!!! Evil Persian troublemakers in 4 other countries! And you can rely on Mr. Bush to tell the truth about these things, golly yes. Well that’s done it, clearly Iran has to be stoppe…sorry what was that? Over a thousand…a thousand what? Oh military bases, in what? 140 countries. Oh my god it’s worse than I thou…Sorry what? America, the USA has over a thousand miltary bases (or large armed groups directly supported by the US you could say) in 140 countries. Not Iran then? Oh…, erm, oh dear, that would seem to make Mr.Bush a bit of a cheeky motherfucker for giving such a speech, like a bully looking to get applause for knocking another country over. Hmmm.

Hey but don’t worry I’m sure the press will pick up on this, I can see it already, huge banner headlines

  • President and Military Chief of poverty stricken America continues aggression in plot for world domination!
  • Scared countries cower before drug crazed emperor’s warmongering speech!
  • Boozed up monkey boy spews some more shit only retards, bigots and ruling elites would buy!

So, having failed to appeal to opposition to Ahmadinejad (hey get rid of this guy and say hello to America, y’know remember the Shah and everything! You’d get free ‘Baywatch’ reruns!). And their own establishment throwing cold water on their plans, the war pimps (including their sidekicks in Israel) are selling an attack as a protective measure to the other countries in the region, or more like a mob protection racket- It would be awful sad if your country burnt down fella, why not help me out with this little Iran deal and I’ll make sure nuthin’ bad happens. Huh?

6 Responses to “War On Democracy: That’s Right, Do What He Says, He’s Your Friend”

  1. libhomo Says:

    “Scared countries cower before drug crazed emperor’s warmongering speech!”

    I love it!

    Anyway, I think there is lots of opposition to Ahmadenijad (sp?), but there are at least two different elements thwarting it.

    1) A hugely repressive government.

    2) A bellicose foreign government that poses a threat to the country of Iran and the lives of so many people in it.

  2. A Very Public Sociologist Says:

    Of course, in Bush’s mind democracy is synonymous with neoliberalism. Let’s be clear, the UAE is as near to a neoliberal dystopia you’re going to get. Terrific wealth, mega construction projects … and all for what? So the theocracy can continue to coin it when the cash runs out.

  3. RickB Says:

    Hey Libhomo, yes I think they are helping Ahmadinejad by their rhetoric and yeah the state apparatus suffocates many people. But I think there is huge appetite for an Iran that is neither a US puppet or a conservative state, the worst thing for that would be an attack, just like 911 favoured Bush’s reign.

    AVPS- Yes, a good point, in a way they are tipping the wink- this is what we really want for all the earth. Authoritarian capitalism and any ruling elite that signs up to that is BFF.

  4. naj Says:

    UAE: nouveu-richism!

  5. RickB Says:

    Are you saying they ain’t classy?!!!???!!!
    http://guide.theemiratesnetwork.com/living/dubai/the_world_islands.php
    Mmmmm tasteful!

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