,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

 

Our Friends, Our Enemies


Double Standard of the Dept of State * National Parks Service dying a slow death


Teodoro Obiang Nguema is president of Equatorial Guinea, "Africa's third largest oil producer". An editorial in the Post,"With Friends Like these....",reads: " According to State Department reports, the president's goons have urinated on prisoners, sliced their ears and smeared them with oil to attract stinging ants." So, what did head of the State Department do? Offered a warm welcome to President Obiang Nguema! Fidel Castro is an enemy---don't ask why.
  • In the global rankings of political and civil liberties compiled by Freedom House, only seven countries rate worse than Equatorial Guinea. If President Bush and Ms. Rice want anyone to take their pro-democracy rhetoric seriously, they must stop throwing bouquets to odious dictators. The meeting with Mr. Obiang was presumably a reward for his hospitable treatment of U.S. oil firms, though we cannot be sure since the State Department declined our invitation to comment. But Ms. Rice herself argues that U.S. foreign policy spent too long coddling corruption and autocracy in Arab oil states. Surely she doesn't have a different standard for Africa?
Is the Post being facetious? It is a known fact that we observe double-standard in deciding who are our friends. If a murderous dictator happens to be head of a country with large oil deposits and he opens the door to American oil companies, he is a friend and he can do no wrong.

Inching Toward Privatization

Buried in Page A11 of the Post was an item about the slow bleeding of the Park Service. Squeeze until the ground becomes ready for privatization. The president failed to convince the nation of the benefits of privatizing Social Security but he could succeed in accomplishing his goal for the National Parks. "The Bush administration has ordered America's national parks to show that they can function at 80 percent or less of their operating budgets, which is forcing some parks to cut services for visitors as summer approaches."

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