Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We Come In Peace, Shoot To Kill...

Okay, so you either remember The Firm and their excellent "Star Trekkin'" or you don't. This line from the song does, however, illustrate a wonderful dichotomy happening in India today.

Apparently we aren't the only country in the world who doesn't trust Bush any further than they can throw him. And he seems to be as blissfully unaware of it there as he does here at home.

Two different AP stories on the wire today concerning the shrub and his trip to Afghanistan and India. The first is devoted to the speech he gave in Kabul, where he sent a message to all Americans from a safer place than the White House where more press might have been on hand to question him, I guess. The message was that he's confident Bin Laden will be brought to justice - despite the fact that it's been five years and nobody seems at all interested anymore, least of all the shrub's own regime. He also went on to describe how:

"It's a thrill to come to a country which is dedicating itself to the dignity of every person who lives here...We're impressed by the progress your country is making. I come as a friend and an ally"

And a conqueror - forgot that part. Oops.

It's a good thing that it's "Mission Accomplished" over there in Afghanistan too, and that the embassy workers in Afghanistan are on "The front line of freedom's march" since it would be awful if "Bush's entourage flew into the city from Bagram Air Base in a flotilla of heavily armed helicopters. Two door gunners on a press helicopter fired off a short burst of machine gun fire at unknown targets as the aircraft flew low and fast over barren countryside. "

Oh wait...

Then he was off to India where "Our relationship with India is broader than our discussions about energy," Bush said. "Ours is a strategic relationship."

Which brings us to story number two from this morning, entitled "Tens of Thousands Protest Bush India Visit"

Funny thing. Tens of thousands of Indians waving black and white flags and chanting "Death to Bush!" rallied Wednesday in New Delhi to protest a visit by President Bush.
Surindra Singh Yadav, a senior police officer in charge of crowd control, said as many as 100,000 people, most of them Muslim, had gathered in a fairground in central New Delhi ordinarily used for political rallies.
"Whether Hindu or Muslim, the people of India have gathered here to show our anger. We have only one message _ killer Bush go home," one of the speakers, Hindu politician Raj Babbar, told the crowd.

And: Muslim groups also have called for a daylong strike to protest Bush's visit to Hyderabad, a key center of India's booming information technology industry. Muslims account for nearly 40 percent of the city's 7 million people.

And: Members of the leftist Students Federation of India and the Communist Party of India burned effigies of Bush at three intersections in Hyderabad on Tuesday. The communists, who are key allies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, also plan to protest Thursday at India's Parliament in New Delhi, a few miles from where Bush and Singh will meet.
"Up to 50,000 people will take part in the march, and we have the police permission to express our feelings," said Pushpender Grewal, secretary of the Communist Party of India.
"We will protest against the U.S. policies, especially the inhuman atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq, a likely invasion of Iran and its continuing support to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine."

And the same story goes on to talk about how the shrub is more popular here than he is in many countries.

So this kind of begs the question, when you have millions of people all around the world telling you that you're on the wrong track, how long do you continue down the megalomaniacal path you're marching down? There was a time when America had the backing, support and sympathy of most of the clear-thinking peoples of the world. The country had been attacked by a bunch of loonies at the behest of a mega-loony known as Osama Bin Laden. Everyone wanted to help us to bring this guy to justice. We knew where he was. We even had guys in the area. Had the shrub thought it necessary to send in a large contingent of troops, we could have rounded him up and brought him in. No harm, no foul. No other country in the world would have begrudged us our justice.

And maybe, with a different presidency at the helm, that's precisely what would have happened. A president who had half an idea about foreign relations. A president who didn't already have an agenda to "liberate" those parts of the world he deemed in need of liberation. Or at least the assets of those countries.

But unfortunately we had a whole different animal at the head of the country. A group of neo-cons whose mission was to create an American empire, replete with conquered nations and puppet governments. I'm not sure whether they really believed that the targeted nations of the world would just be so overwhelmed at the idea of western democracy that they'd throw themselves to the floor and kiss our jackboots, or whether, like most other megalomaniacs throughout history, they just didn't give a damn.

Either way, it's sad to look back at the chances we had to be the better person in the fight, and how we blew them by manufacturing evidence to back up assaults on peaceful (against us anyway) nations. When you look at the money that has been spent in this nation building effort, and how our children, old folks and veterans are suffering in order to finance it, it's a criminal shame. And what do we have to show for it? Those countries which don't hate us with a passion, don't trust us. There is no goodwill anywhere in the world with the exception of Britain which has always followed blindly along behind whatever garden path America has taken it.

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