Around the World

Well, it looks like Zimbabwe is heading for another sham election process.  Not only have they denied several news outlets access (per CNN), but are already trying to intimidate the opposition.  The arrest (for unspecified charges), of the private contract pilot for the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai, is just the latest.  The army and police, personal thugs for Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF ruling party, have denied permits for opposition rallies, have violently moved against opposition meetings, and have openly threatened a coup if Mugabe loses.  As if the economic melt down precipitated by Mugabe hasn’t been bad enough.

NIcholas Sarkozy is just bouncing around politically.  Yes, he took a hit in some local elections recently.  But not a bad or irreperable hit.  But now his second wife is stirring up some controversy.  How some 15 year old nude photos of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are more important than the new French deployment plans for Afghanistan, or Sarkozy’s threatened boycott of the Beijing Olympics is beyond me.  Then again, in this day and age of tabloid press, and the more salacious the story the better, it really shouldn’t. 

Oh those fun and games with China.  We’ev got Tibet and the Olympics.  The leftists talk about our presence in Iraq as an “illegal occupation.”  If you want to see a real illegal occupation, one tacitly approved by the world, look at the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet.  For over 50 years, the PRC has attempted to subjugate the people of Tibet, taking over thier religion (imposing a pro-PRC Dalai-Lama), trying to eliminate their language, and generally trying to destroy their culture.  Despite several risings over the years, the Tibetan people have been up against a juggernaut, one that continuously has rolled over them.  This latest upsurge in dissent in Tibet is well timed for international coverage, but probably ultimately fruitless. 

Meanwhile, across the Taiwan Straights, an “oopsie” on the part of the US DOD has generated quite a bit more controversy.  Seems the DOD “accidentally” sent some missile parts to Taiwan (aka Republic of China, aka Nationalist China).  This would be in “violation” of some treaties, and certainly a tweak at the nose of the People’s Republic of China.  Arms sales to Taiwan are always sticky when it comes to the PRC.  A now 80 year old struggle is still a sore spot for the Communist Chinese, and US policy has been muddled as regards it (at best).  For some reason, I don;t think this was a “mistake,” except in that it became public.  All parts “mistakenly” shipped to Taiwan have been “recovered.”  Again, for some reason I doubt this, but then again, I have no problem with it. 

A US vessel fired on some small boats that ignored warnings while transiting the Suez Canal.  So what?  The security detail on the cargo vessel did exactly as they were supposed to.  After what has previously happened (USS Cole), such measures are necessary, more so to avoid a USS Cole type situation in a vital choke point such as the Suez.  The reports are contradictory, much like the incident with the Iranians in the Persian Gulf.  Neither US Navy, or Egyptian authorities had any indication of any casualties.  From the Navy and Egypt, all shots fired were warning shots, and all shots were accounted for, all hitting the water, not any boats or individuals.  But not to let an opportunity pass, some people jumed up with reports of deaths and severe inuries.  Have yet to see any offical word on this, or any reputable reports from outside sources confirming this.

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