Monday, May 30, 2005

France rejects the Constitution

The French obviously don't know the meaning of "responsibility" - or they just don't want to have any of it. When they're given the chance they reject it. Why it doesn't surprise me that a poll conducted by "Telegraph" indicates that other Europeans don't view the French very positively? They're widely seen as arrogant and self-centered. Ever wondered why their English is so bad? They won't start studying it at school until they turn 11 - and even then they go for it for only two hours a week (according to Time's "Letters"). They're in love with their
culture and their past - for the right reasons? Okay let's not generalize too much - about 42% (pretty early estimate) of the French did vote "yes" - so thanks for that at least.

A few months back I considered Bill O'Reilly to be an idiot for calling people to boycott French products - but now I understand him perfectly. First the French rejected the opportunity to participate in taking down Saddam's regime (not that they were the only ones to do that - they just did it more fiercely than anyone else) and therefore they rejected the US. Now they have rejected us - the Europeans. Many Europeans will remain oblivious to what happened today - they're way too much bothered with their self-centered lives. If voting "yes" doesn't show in their salary they will not understand the meaning of "yes".

Partly the blame goes to Chirac. Some people voted "non" to the Constitution as a vote against Chirac. If you have a chance to get your hands on last week's issue of "Newsweek" I suggest you do so. It analyzes Chirac's political career pretty well and states that the Constitution might have succeeded if Chirac had promised to the people that he will resign if they vote "oui".

But the bottom line remains that this is exactly why we have a system of "representative democracy".We - the common folks - are too bothered with our self-centered lives and we're too lazy to find out about things. That's why we vote for other people to find out about these things and vote for us. People don't know enough about important issues to vote for them - they vote for someone who knows. Here we see once again how perfectly stupid the majority of all people are and how democracy can fail when it's misused.

Then why should You vote for the EU Constitution? You should do so in order to preserve. We should all take a look back at the last sixty years and see how much we have achieved. We should clearly see how the direction we have chosen is ten times more vital than any direction we used to have before the Second World War. If you want to preserve this way of life and this direction you should vote for a bright future within a strong, democratic, peaceful and prosperous EU. But what will the ordinary and ignorant self-centered European do? He/She will take a look at the numbers in his salary and will vote for himself (or that's what he thinks) instead of voting for the future.,2933,158030,00.html


Monday, May 23, 2005


Winds of change blow in the Middle East. Aggressive policies have the ability to bring great changes and reforms. Now that the women of Kuwait have the right to vote it's time to take a look at some of the US allies and see what they're up to at the moment. While many regions are going through significant times there are still those who seek to conserve old and weak policies.

Freedom House released a survey about three days ago which has a focus on women's freedom in the Middle East. It reveals that Saudi Arabia - a strong ally of the US - is the worst violator of women's rights.
Saudi Arabia's system is based on Wahhabism - The Saudi version of Sunni Islam. The Islamic laws in Saudi Arabia do not recognize men & women as equal beings. Men are in charge of their women but are also responsible for their "wrong doings" (can't think of a worse crime than dressing the way you like):
"...such as eating in a restaurant with an unrelated male, it is usually the woman's male guardian or her mahran (her husband or closest male family relative) and not the women herself, who is likely to be punished by the court with either fines or imprisonment."
A Saudi woman does not want to end up in a court. The judges are men, the lawyers are men and a woman can't even pursue a legal case if she can't get a man to do that:
"A woman is not considered a full person before the court. In accordance with the Saudi interpretation of Shari'a, the testimony of one man is equivalent to that of two women."
Sounds fair? Wait - there's more:
"Women of many nationalities were detained for what is considered inappropriate behavior, such as dining in restaurants with unrelated males, riding in a taxi with a male who is not their relative, or appearing in public with their heads uncovered."
Remember that fire a few years back in a girls' public school where the Saudi religious police didn't let some of the little girls to escape the fire because they weren't properly dressed? And that's just a small part of it. There's tons more. Check Freedom House for the study and cry:

The Saudi oil makes the situation even worse. The Saudis have invested a lot in the US and the Royal Family has a full control over the oil. If the Saudis wanted they could do some serious damage to the US economy. It seems that the Royal Family are Islamic fanatics (or at least enjoying the benefits of it) but they're not anti-USA (one reason why the Family is not very popular among Saudis) and therefore they have been a key allie of the war on terror. They have bought time but if you ask me that time should be over already. The fact of course is that the US could also do some serious damage to Saudi economy and that's the key here - more international pressure and sanctions - but carefully.

Uzbekistan - once a necessary partner to fight the war on terror but now it's nothing more than a potential and corrupt dictatorship. A few weeks back public unrest rose and anti-government demonstrations were held. Karimov sent the army to take care of these protests - 500 civilians were shot.
"The United States and European Union should support the U.N. request for an independent investigation into the killings in Andijan." said Holly Cartner of the Human Rights Watch
Also check the fantastic "The Weekly Standard" for an article by William Kristol (one of the brightest political people in the US) titled "Our Uzbek Problem"
Of course there's always the danger of Islamic radicals taking over the government which would only worsen the situation. But that doesn't justify Karimov's war on progress.

As you should know there's more but Saudi Arabia remains maybe the most significant problem and Uzbekistan has received some headlines during the past few weeks.
There's some hope (a lot of it actually) - if things in Israel/Palestine improve and if democracy and freedom in Iraq succeeds the Saudi problem might get solved without any direct US involvement.
By no means this means that the US is in any way responsible for what these countries do - and by all means these countries have benefitted the US war on terror (the Saudis have chased radicals aggressively ever since the acts of terror in Riyadh in 2003). However - the US should use its power and authority to put more pressure on its allies. Thanks to the war in Iraq the US now has more authority in the Middle East than ever before. And while there are reasons to treat the Saudis carefully there's absolutely no reason to support countries like Uzbekistan anymore.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Bush says No to Russian view of ww2

The West is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the end of the second world war. As the years pass by the East - Russia - is twisting historical facts for its own political ambitions. Now they're saying that the Baltic region was never occupied, their school textbooks lack significant information about Stalinist ages and about the Holocaust and statues of Stalin are being placed in public display. As other western leaders celebrate the achievements of Soviet veterans in Moscow the US President Bush travels to Latvia to make a political statement - that the West sees the East not as liberators but as occupiers and that Stalin never was any better than Hitler. At times like this - the importance of the US role in global politics should only become more obvious.

I don't want to sound as if I'm trying to degrade the veterans who fought for Mother Russia. They defended their motherland against vile invaders. But the fact remains that they never were liberators. And another thing is that the Soviets could have done better against the nazis if Stalin hadn't killed some of his top officers. Stalin also played an important role in initiating the second world war. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact served Stalinist ideas. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski (interviewed in a Finnish newspaper) - official documents from Soviet times prove that Stalin considered Hitler's war beneficial to Communism.

Putin's Russia is doing its best to turn the Russian public into mindless drones. Press freedom is being limited and school textbooks twist history. Who's going to expose the corruption that dwells within the Russian government when there's no free press to do that (luckily Russians are still able to access the internet)? How are the Russians going to learn from their past mistakes by denying them? Stalin and Communism made Russia the corrupt place it is today. Yet a great number of Russians yearn these times and want the old "glory" (which was built on blood and fear) to return.

While this day marks something special to other Europeans (or at least it should) to Finns it marks something else. Because Finland was never occupied (although we fought two wars against the Soviets) we were never liberated by anyone. The Soviet "Victory" (they never managed to occupy us) over Finland saved us from ourselves but the fact that we managed to maintain our independence and freedom made it possible for us to adapt to new European standards which the Americans helped to form - democracy and free enterprise. That helped us to stay independent and grow while the East choosed another direction.

Today Germany - once again - apologized. And what Putin's Russia did? It asked why it has to apologize since they have already done so (back in -89). Germany learned from its mistakes and remains humble - Russia never did and maintains its arrogant attitude. With this attitude there's no bright future for Russians.

So on this remarkable day - I'd like to thank the US and other Allied nations and the veterans who fought for freedom against both the nazis and the Soviets.

"The world's tyrants learned a lesson: There is no power like the power of freedom and no soldier as strong as a soldier who fights for that freedom" -George W. Bush -8th of May 2005,2933,155681,00.html,2933,155835,00.html