Sunday, December 03, 2006

Liberty's Receeding Tide

When freedom comes
I'll be long gone
You know it has to end
--The Verve
Where to start?
Troops start disarming police in Fiji
Appears to be first step of coup

Associated Press

SUVA — Troops entered at least two police compounds in Fiji on Monday and removed weapons in the apparent first step toward seizing control of the South Pacific country.

Acting Police Commissioner Moses Driver denounced the actions as “unlawful, unwarranted and unnecessary,” but said there was no violence.

He also told reporters he had no knowledge of the military moving to replace the government, as has been threatened by armed forces commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

...and more in SE Asia...

MANILA — The Philippines’ promotion of southeast Asia as a compassionate
community and itself as a reinvigorated developing economy could prove to be
a hard sell when it hosts the region’s annual summit this month.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s choice, “One Caring and Sharing Community” as the theme for the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) jars with a deterioration in human rights across the region

Uh, like Thailand becoming a military dictatorship, and the continuing inability of ASEAN to reign in Myanmar? ....

Yes, realpolitik is back with a vengeance. While the west has focused on the ME, or in Europe's case just Turkey, the rest of the world is decidedly moving towards an earlier time of authoritarianism. It's hard to recall that even on Sept 11, 2001, Colin Powell was in S. America negotiating the FTA's with Latin America. Since that time, the US has lost focus on its "backyard" and the region has fallen under Chavez's influence. Democracy, not surprisingly, has also fallen in stature according to polls. Expect more military build up, and a possible challenge of the Falklands by Kirchner.

Meanwhile, former democracies are dotting the map from Pakistan and beyond. Of course, this isn't all the fault of the US, but it is the fault of the west as a whole. Europe's faltering economy means it has no economic means to resist dealing with underhanded regimes (Russia, Iran) and a lack of moral fortitude and an increasingly inward focus has meant neglect in foreign influence. Not to worry, however, as amoral petro states flush with cash and arms are more than willing to fill that power vacuum.

It's all connected, down to the last major international event. I'm not sure where this is going, but it's not in our best interests.

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