Thursday, May 1, 2008

What the hell is happening?

Barack Obama has been doing rather badly in recent polls. There are a few reason - the resurfacing of Rev. Wright, the larger-than-optimal loss in Pennsylvania, the possible association with certain Weathermen (Weathermans? I'm not entirely sure). But what's interesting is the Hillary Clinton, the obvious beneficiary of all this, isn't getting more popular. It's just that Obama's support is eroding. What this means is that if Clinton manages the nomination, she won't be any stronger against McCain for having defeated Obama.

McCain continues to be relatively quiet, saying some fuzzy things about health care and the current financial crisis. His solutions are disturbing for some Republicans because they tend to be much more comfortable with Big Government mechanisms that are often lambasted as 'Democractic' ideas.

Meanwhile, it seems that even Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe is willing to say that the opposition won. Yet Morgan Tsvangirai claims he won 50.6%, which would mean he does not have to engage Mugabe in a direct run-off. Mugabe's government seems near to releasing results in which Tsvangirai won, but was under the 50% threshold. If Mugabe actually plans to relinquish the Presidency, he is not acting like it. I personally believe he won't give it up willingly and that he plans to intimidate the opposition and rig the vote in the run-off election. China has attempted to ship weapons - suspiciously ordered right after the first round of elections - into the country but South Africa and now Angola - a big Zimbabwe and China supporter - have prevented the goods from reaching Mugabe's men. Mugabe's government is currently recounting votes, possibly stalling for time while they try to obtain weapons.

And you know that food shortage we've been hearing about? Apparently it's struck hardest in repressive regimes like Zimbabwe and Egypt and Haiti. While I am not disregarding the human aspect of the shortage, the political aspect has caused the weakening of a number of vicious and illiberal regimes. Maybe this will make people reexamine their commitment to food aid for foreign countries where American grain may prevent famine at the expense of propping up an authoritarian.


Anonymous said...

that is food for thought, in a perfect world food should not be a tool to gain leverage. it is easy to sit at our computers and say to do this or that until you put a face to the hunger. do more or less people die by not sending aid or living under a repressive government. we need king solomon's wisdom to cut that baby in half.

2 bad choices

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