< < <
Date Index
> > >
Fwd: [surgelocal] Arafat calls for democracy in the U.S.
by Threehegemons
27 June 2002 12:40 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >

Students United for a Responsible Global Environment -

Booktalk June 26, 2002

Arafat Calls for Democratic Elections in the United States;World Reaction
is Mixed
by Rahul Mahajan

Palestinian Authority President Yasir Arafat stunned the world yesterday
by demanding that the United States hold democratic elections for a new
Chief Executive before it attempts to continue in its role as broker
between Israel and Palestine.

"Mr. Bush is tainted by his association with Jim-Crow-style selective
disenfranchisement and executive strong-arm tactics in a southeastern
province controlled by his brother," said Mr. Arafat, who was elected with
87% of the vote in 1996 elections in the West Bank and Gaza, declared to
be free and fair by international observers, including former
U.S. president Jimmy Carter. "Our count shows that he would have lost the
election if his associates hadn't deprived so many thousands of
African-Americans, an oppressed minority, of the right to vote. He is not
the man to bring peace to the Middle East."

Hugo Chavez, elected president of Venezuela with 62% of the popular vote,
concurred with Mr. Arafat. Chavez has long been a victim of Bush's
anti-democratic attitude, as the Bush administration funneled hundreds of
thousands of dollars through the "National Endowment for Democracy" to
anti-Chavez forces and reportedly gave the go-ahead for an attempted
military coup by those forces. "After it was over and I was back in
power," said Chavez, "his administration actually told me 'legitimacy is
not conferred by a majority vote.' Unless, of course, it's a majority of
the Supreme Court. I respect the local traditions, however quaint, of the
United States, but he hardly sets the best example for the Middle East,
does he? Why don't we get back to that idea of an international conference
to settle the question of Palestine?"

Bush was not without his supporters, however. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, elected head of a country that legally discriminates among its
citizens on the basis of religious belief, forbids political candidates
from advocating an end to that discrimination, and disenfranchises an
entire people through military occupation, dismissed the call as "absurd."

Hamid Karzai, recently "elected" head of Afghanistan by a grand council,
or "loya jirga," in which a foreign body, controlled by the United States,
selected delegates; unelected warlords who had ravaged the country were
permitted to control the meeting and to threaten delegates who refused to
vote their way; and the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay
Khalilzad, refused to allow at least two other candidates to stand for
election, added his support for Mr. Bush in his hour of need. Said Karzai,
"In Afghanistan, we have the loya jirga. In the United States, you have
your own process -- as we understand, it's traditional over there for
corporations to play a large part in electing officials and writing
legislation. We're very interested in looking into that kind of system

Vojislav Kostunica, chosen head of Yugoslavia in an election where the
United States spent an estimated $25 million to influence the results, was
also keen to rush to Bush's defense, indicating that he saw no procedural
problems with the 2000 elections.

And Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, long derided for his claim that "Asian
culture" is at odds with universal human rights, added, "The elections are
strictly an internal matter, and should have no bearing on the status of
the United States as a broker. The Palestinians' high-handedness is a
serious threat to national independence."

In a surprise move, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, long an ally of the
United States, supported Arafat's call, saying, "While we're at it, let's
take another look at our agreement on American independence. George
Washington was not only unelected, he did rather associate with
terrorists. Benedict Arnold would have been a much more suitable partner
for peace, n'est ce pas?"

Arafat, busy working on a plan to find a new Israeli leader not tainted
with the massacre of hundreds of innocents in Sabra and Shatila to
negotiate with, could not be reached for further comment.

Rahul Mahajan is the Green Party candidate for Governor of Texas and
author of "The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism," (Monthly Review
Press, April 2002). He serves on the National Board of Peace Action and is
a founding member of the Nowar Collective. He can be reached
at: rahul@tao.ca

from www.counterpunch.com 

John Cox
Chapel Hill, NC

This week in history:
June 20, 1953 Soviet filmmaker V. Pudovkin dies
June 21, 1964 Civil-rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and
Michael Schwerner killed by KKK, sheriff's dept of Neshoba Cou Miss.
June 25, 1876 General Custer dies, Little Big Horn
June 25, 1903 George Orwell born, Bengal, India
June 26, 1975 Two FBI agents killed while raiding Oglala Sioux
reservation; Leonard Peltier later framed for the deaths
June 27, 1905 IWW founded, Chicago
June 28, 1969 Stonewall rebellion triggered by police repression, NYC

You are currently subscribed to surgelocal as: Threehegemons@aol.com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-surgelocal-1076525M@listserv.unc.edu

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >