Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Exporting Terror

We've all watched fascinated and repelled as America's political right shambled off a cliff in unison.  A political movement captured and overwhelmed by its own lunatic fringe as the 'Foxification' of America's politics bears its bitter fruit.

Hitherto the ignorance, thinly veiled racism, drooling hatred, religious intolerance and quasi-fascist authority worship in service to economic elites has been traits we can only shake our heads at and be glad it doesn't affect us.  But even without a Republican in the White House this is a malevolent influence on the whole world.  Here in Canada, we know there are strong links between America's network of right wing politicians, 'think-tanks', lobbying groups and foundations and our own.  This network of connections is duplicated to a greater or lesser extent in countries all over the world.

And that's just places where they're satisfied with only undermining working within democratic structures.

Exhibit One:  When the legally elected President of Honduras was overthrown by an elite led military coup the whole world condemned it as an illegal abrogation of democracy.  Republican Senator Jim DeMint, extremely influential on the far right wing of the American Republican Party on the other hand, supported the coup.
"The people of Honduras have struggled too long to have their hard-won democracy stolen from them by a Chavez-style dictator. The Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military have acted in accordance to the Honduran constitution and the rule of law."
Now another Republican senator shows his contempt for democracy by throwing his support to a President refusing to leave power after losing an election.
The west African nation of Ivory Coast has been in turmoil ever since incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing an internationally certified election in late November. As forces loyal to Gbagbo have killed civilians and been accused of crimes against humanity, and as the number of refugees from the country has ballooned to as many as 1 million, observers have described the situation as worse than the Libyan conflict.
While the crisis has gotten substantial press attention, one aspect of Gbagbo's past -- and present -- has flown under the radar: his longtime ties to the Christian right in the United States, a movement in which he still finds at least some support.
That includes a U.S. senator and acquaintance of Gbagbo who declined to intervene in the crisis when asked by the State Department earlier this year, a former congressman who was hired by Gbagbo as a lobbyist, and a Christian right TV network that ran a fawning profile of Gbagbo, even as violence engulfed Ivory Coast. The senator, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, today released a letter to Hillary Clinton calling for new elections in Ivory Coast, putting him in direct opposition to the view of the Obama administration, the United Nations and the African Union that Gbagbo lost a fair election.
In the case of Gbagbo, apparently long a pet project of the American Christian Right, the fact that his opponent is a Muslim appears to trump the fact that Gbagbo actually lost an election.  Religion and ideology trump democracy.

If Stephen Harper somehow loses this election, will his network of American right wing supporters be calling for the military to step in to keep him in power?    They seem to react badly when their preferred candidates lose power.

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