November 20th, 2003


Another example of the Bush administration's support for democracy...

I heard the other day that the US has been sending members of our military to Georgia. No, not Georgia as in Atlanta, but Georgia as in former Soviet state Georgia. There are plans for at least 200 US troops to be sent there to train Georgia's military. Over $70 million has been spent thus far in training and arming Georgian forces, and the US has donated numerous US helicopters to Georgia as well. This comes on top of $1.1 billion in US foriegn aid, plus $408 million in surplus Department of Defense / humanitarian donated commodities since 1992.

I would feel a whole lot more comfortable about this if Eduard Shevardnadze, the current president of Georgia, didn't just oversee an election which international experts say was riddled with massive and blaintaint fraud. In some regions of the country, there are reports that more votes were cast than the number of registered voters. International groups documented ballot stuffing and noted that large numbers of voters were unable to vote, their names omitted from the voter registers. Independent exit polls (taken against the wishes of the Schevardnadze government) indicated a sweeping victory for the opposing party, but despite the fact that the final results of the vote aren't scheduled to be released until today, a Shevardnadze official has already announced that his party has won by a considerable margin.

Shevardnadze refuses to step down and says that whatever happens, the election results will stand.

Protesters opposing Shevardnadze are converging on the capital from all over Georgia today, and the chairman and a prominent host of the country's television network stepped down, claiming that the network was forced to present a biased view of the news in favor of Shevardnadze and had to have all interview guests approved by the president first.

The US officially "does not have a position", but rest assured, we'll still be sending our soldiers to Georgia to keep training their military for them anyway. Of course, the US' position has nothing to do with a planned pipeline that will run from the rich oil fields of Baku all the way to Turkey. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way.

Wherever Bush goes, terrorism isn't far behind.

Bush's visit to Britain was overshadowed today by the bombing of the British Consulate and the London-based HSBC bank in Turkey, killing at least 26 people, including the British Consul General, and wounding 450 more.

The blast was powerful enough to blow out windows in buildings all over the center of Istanbul, such as in semazen's school.

There's something about the nature of Reuters' video of the attack which is both familiar and horrific. It feels like 9/11 all over again...

When is a fishtank not a fishtank?

Did you know that the entirety of Love & Rocket's The Haunted Fishtank is viewable online? Like most of my sizable videotape collection, I have this one in a box somewhere... but it's nice to have the band's best videos so readily available.

Yea, verily, never more shall I be bereft of bubblemen. (I think I know what my costume for next Halloween should be...)