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7697: Re: Bush praises OAS (fwd)
From: Greg Bryant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ah, subtle! Bush issues classic Republican crud:
>"We need to build on successes like these," he asserted, adding that the
>hopes the OAS can serve as well as "a valuable mediator in Haiti, between
>President Aristide and the democratic opposition."
It's that last phrase: "President Aristide and the democratic opposition."
The word "democratic" is gratuitous: "the opposition" would have been
sufficient, and more accurate. It's not even *called* the "democratic
opposition," but the so-called "Democratic Convergence." Why use the
adjective here? To imply that the opposition is the democratic force, that
Aristide didn't get there democratically.
Why does this bother me? Because the western hemisphere leaders are very
proud of a so-called "democracy clause" they've included in the draft of
the FTAA agreement recently drafted in Quebec: countries have to be
"democracies" to participate in the free trade agreement, it says. If a
state "ceases to be democratic," it's out.
I was a little suspicious at this announcement, since the US certainly has
not made democracy a drop-dead prerequisite for trade relations in the
past. Now I see what the game is: they'll define "democratic" however the
hell they want to.
This is a warning shot across Aristide's bow: "If you start making populist
noises again, we'll define you out of the picture." They don't mind
Aristide unless he insists on all those troublesome principles the people
elected him to uphold. "Act like Duvalier and we'll let you play.
Otherwise... well, you know the drill."
Right-wingers like to confuse the words "capitalist" and "democratic." If
populism threatens capitalists' interests, they'll use this jargon
confusion to simply disqualify Haiti from the trade club and put it under a
trade embargo similar to that being used to oppress Cuba. I tell you, this
makes me sick.
Did Bush write this stuff? I doubt it. Someone much more skilled at smarmy
political speech wrote this for him, and he read it apparently without
screwing it up. But it's still crud.
Who on this list was it that said American politicians are amateurs at the