Saturday, December 02, 2006

One rule for Ukraine, another for Lebanon

Masses of people have descended on Beirut and set up camp with the explicit aim of forcing the government out of office. They are angry at a government which let them down during the savage Israeli punitive strikes this autumn and fear that it will not protect them against future Israeli expansionist ambitions. They accuse Siniora, helped into office 18 months ago during popular protests promoted by Western nations, of being pro-Western and anti-Syrian. Since Israel was defeated in the Lebanon the public mood has swung in favour of Hizbollah.

For those whose attention span is longer than the day's CNN headlines, the "orange revolution" in the Ukraine a year ago immediately comes to mind. Popular protests of people camping in the capital Kiev vowed to force the just elected government out of office, stating that the elections were rigged. The US, Britain and other European nations hailed this as an expression of popular democracy, and when the demonstrations, supported and financed by the West, finally succeeded they opened the doors for Western banks and businesses to enter this former Soviet controlled country in what "The Banker" described as a gold rush.

One should therefore think that the US and EU would also welcome the voice of the people in the Lebanon as a milestone on the road of Middle Eastern democracy. Instead, the demonstrations were denounced as "threats of intimidation and violence" by the US, and its UN ambassador John Bolton called it "part of the Iran-Syria inspired coup". As with the Palestinian elections in favour of Hamas, the people of the Middle East have once more misunderstood the concept of Western democracy and voted for the wrong side. In Western democracy you are free to vote for the right parties only, those safeguarding the interests of the West.

UK foreign secretary Margaret Becket, helped to power by her strongly Muslim constituency, is even planning to pay Mr Siniora a visit in order to provide moral support for this beleaguered premier against his own people. It probably isn't too difficult for her to sympathise with him, seeing that her own government is just about as unpopular as it can get.

Comparing the two recent events in world history provides an interesting study in the relationship between propaganda and power politics in the modern era. The myth of freedom and democracy has been dealt another blow whilst the old "one rule for one, another rule for another" has been injected with new life.

3 Comments:

At 2 December 2006 at 17:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course what you say is true, but we are all powerless to do anything about it. Not only do the power group 'do what it wants', it also presents its own monologue and clearly defined discourse/propaganda to justify itself. No mainstream radical criticism is allowed to enter the sealed and self-sustaining system of tyranny which is 'democracy'. It is worse than Hitler's Germany, you are told what to think and do and made completely powerless.

 
At 9 December 2006 at 11:17, Blogger Rowan Berkeley said...

Worse than Hitler's germany? You mean, it's something more like Stalinist Russia? I agree.

 
At 13 December 2006 at 02:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if being told what to do and how to live is something used against the US and Europe...then what does that suggest about every other nation in the world?!! Funny how Ahmadinejad said today that his country is the example of total freedom...yet he expels anyone who speaks out against his government..and still denies the Holocaust. I guess his total freedom is for only those who believe the way the Ayotollah believes. Stalinist!?? So the Europeans and Americans are slaughtering their own people? In fact, I think some crazy Islamist just blew himself up, along with many innocent Iraqis, posing as someone who had jobs for the jobless....suddenly the U.S. and Europe sounds pretty darn good to me!!!

By the way Mustaqim...where do you live? Can't be that bad, if you think it's good enough for you to live in a nation so evil!!

 

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