"The G-8 finance ministers have shown collective amnesia, choosing to forget their promises to Africa," said Max Lawson of Oxfam International. "(German) Chancellor (Angela) Merkel has got just 18 days to show true leadership, berate her fellow leaders into action and avoid embarrassment in the eyes of the world and the denial of hope for millions. The German G-8 must not be remembered as the summit of shame."

The "official" watchdogs for this election are maintaining their focus, and will not let the organizational chaos or widespread persecution dim their enthusiasm.. Last July, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza provided a glowing report, claiming the elections were "moving ahead," and predicted that a one-month extension of registration would solve the problems. Registration was eventually extended over two months, during which time the police arrested Fr. Jean-Juste and the death squads massacred the Grande Ravine soccer fans. When the latest dates were announced, Mr. Insulza conceded in retrospect that "the electoral process was slow to get off the ground," but trumpeted that now "considerable progress has been made, which allows us to be cautiously optimistic about having organized, orderly and credible elections early in the new year.

Obama is one of those politicians whom journalists like to decorate with words as "adroit" or "politically adept" because you can actually see him trimming to the wind, the way you see a conjuror of moderate skill shove the rabbit back up his sleeve. Above all he is concerned with the task of reassuring the masters of the Democratic Party, and beyond that, the politico-corporate establishment, that he is safe. Whatever bomb might have been in his head has long since been dis-armed. He's never going to blow up in the face of anyone of consequence.

It did not matter much to the "international community" at the time that the mass of the Nigerian people had been disenfranchised by a military transition programme that denied pro-democracy groups and others the right to participate in the elections. General Abdusalami Abubakar (who became Head of State after his colleague, General Sani Abacha dropped dead in unclear circumstances) had decreed elaborate conditions and criteria for political parties to meet for participation in elections. Some of the criteria included having offices and staff in Abuja and in the over 700 local government councils across the country. Only retired soldiers and politicians that had participated in the grand looting of Nigerian oil revenues could cough up the money and hire people to meet those conditions. And at the end of the day, the military junta registered 3 political parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) and Action for Democracy (AD).

To pull this feat which with all things being equal would have been met with indignation by the U.S. citizen, Bush II in addition to fanning the flames of nationalism and holding up the bible to the Christian Right also adopted the image of the every day blue-collar worker. Bush II, a child of privilege if there ever was one has carried himself as an everyday man; one who isn’t academic in approach to things and therefore doesn’t unnecessarily intellectualize. He is a man who acts, who cuts to the chase, a straight shooter. With a Texan drawl and the confident strut of ‘missions accomplished’ in Afghanistan, Iraq and New Orleans, he tries to give the image of a man in charge.

In Latin America this contradiction is best captured by fight for water. The attempt to privatize water, a natural resource that as far as most people are concerned falls free from the sky comes to symbolize the New World Order and the myth of a global village. If water rights can be sold off to the highest bidder and the village watering hole belong to a United Something Company, where it will stop? Take Bolivia for example. The Bechtel Corporation is granted a 40 year water right by the Hugo Banzer’s government. Immediately Bechtel doubles the water rates for the already poor. The poor take to streets; the government meets their protests with riot police in which lives are lost. More protests and the government concedes defeat and the contract is cancelled.

A brief history of the IRI is as follows: In a bid to make the world friendlier to US interests, President Ronald Reagan (a supporter of Apartheid South Africa) called for the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983. The US, he claimed, needed an organization that would “foster the infrastructure of democracy--the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities--which allows a people to choose their own way, to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.” Out of these three organizations, the IRI and USAID are the most active in the promotion of a world safe for US Democracy. The IRI at first “focused on planting the seeds of democracy in Latin America,” according to its website. After the “Cold War, [it] has broadened its reach to support democracy and freedom around the globe.” USAID states that U.S. foreign aid helps in “furthering America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world.”

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