Two elections, different outcomes, different headlines at the Wall Street Journal (6/6/11). When the left loses: Portugal Decisively Ends Leftist Rule Portugal on Sunday voted decisively to end six years of leftist rule, electing the country's main conservative party and boosting prospects for austerity measures tied to a $114 billion aid package from the EU and IMF. But when the left wins: Peru Votes in Divisive Runoff for President Voters in one of the world's most dynamic economies went to the polls Sunday to choose between two divisive presidential candidates. The latter piece included this: "Financial markets, which have been […]
Washington Post editorialist Lee Hockstader wrote a puff profile on Haiti's thuggish President-elect Michel Martelly ("Haiti's 'Sweet Micky' Martelly Turns Presidential," 4/24/11), whom he depicts as a fresh, vital force on the political scene, bringing with him energy and a new (mostly untested) crop of advisers, unbeholden to any recent political establishment. Little wonder that in the runoff election, Martelly, who is 50, beat a professorial 70-year-old former first lady 2 to 1. How can you write about Martelly's run-off "victory" without noting that both rounds of the election had historically low turnout–not just for Haiti, but for the Western […]
Here is Michel Martelly, one of the two conservative candidates vying to be next president of Haiti, courtesy of Kim Ives in an Institute for Public Accuracy release: In the years following Aristide's restoration to power in 1994, Martelly became obsessed with hatred for the man. In a video from not too long ago, which can be seen on YouTube, the candidate threatens a patron in a bar where he has performed. "All those shits were Aristide's faggots," he says. "I would kill Aristide to stick a dick up your ass."… [Video] The New York Times has a profile today […]
CNN/Time pundit Fareed Zakaria is considered one of the smartest guys in elite policy/media circles.Speaking with CNN host Anderson Cooper on Friday(3/4/11), he advocated CIA intervention in Libya. Deriding a no-fly zone as something less than a "magic solution," he explained: ZAKARIA: There's a lot of covert stuff we can do. We can effectively fund the Contra war against Gadhafi the way we did in Afghanistan. COOPER: So you think the opposition should be armed? ZAKARIA: I think the opposition–I think that the CIA should start looking into covert actions that can fund the rebels, that can provide food, logistics, […]
It was certainly surprising to see former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier return to the country on January 16. To say he hasblood on his hands is an understatement–the Duvalier regimes were responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and widespread abuse, and stole millions of dollars from the country. Soon thereafter, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide announced his intention to return to his country.Aristide, twice elected andtwice removed from office, remains a popular figure in Haitian politics. His first stint in office was remarkably peaceful; his second, during which he faced armed attacks that eventually succeeded in overthrowing his government, was […]
Today's New York Times (12/20/10) brings the latest from the WikiLeaks cables, an interesting pieceabout how Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) went to Honduras after the coup to praise the new government and hopefully arrange business deals for his friends. Unfortunately the Times bungles the story of the coup itself: Honduras had grabbed international headlines starting in June 2009, when its president at the time, Manuel Zelaya, was detained and then sent into exile, based on a fear by other elected officials there that he was scheming to remain in office despite a one-term limit in HondurasÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢ Constitution. Mr. Rohrabacher, challenging […]
NewYork Times (12/3/10): Mr. Karzai first burst onto the international stage in the style of Che Guevara, slipping over the Afghan border from Pakistan in 2001 as United States forces pounded the Taliban, before being installed by the West. President George W. Bush invited him to his first State of the Union speech after September 11, 2001, where Mr. Karzai sat in the audience as a symbol of heroes who emerged from the terrorist attacks. Yep, just like Che–you remember when he was installed into power by the U.S., and then invited to the State of the Union address.
The emerging hero of the Chilean miners' story–in Latin America and elsewhere, if not in the U.S.–is Luis UrzÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÂºa, a topographer who took a job at the San José mines as a shift foreman while awaiting the start of new a job in his field. NASA officials working on the rescue called UrzÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÂºa "a natural leader," but his most important accomplishment was getting the 33 miners through the first 17 days of their crisis, when all they had was enough food for two days, dirty water and no idea if a rescue effort was even underway. Besides implementing food rationing […]
After the miners' rescue Wednesday, talk in Chile turned to mine safety and the conduct of Compania Minera San Esteban, the corporation that owns the San Jose mines where the miners were trapped. On Thursday, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera publicly addressed safety issues, vowing "fundamental changes in how businesses treat their workers." Stories about San Esteban's horrible record are legion (e.g., here and here). The company has been host to a number of deaths at its mines in recent years, and accusations of safety violations including the charge that it ignored orders to install safety equipment–a condition of its reopening […]
Longtime Hugo Chavez critic Jackson Diehl leads his Washington Post column today (9/27/10) Debate in Washington about Hugo ChÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÂ¡vez –to the extent that it exists–generally centers on whether the Venezuelan strongman is a genuine threat to the United States or a buffoonish nuisance who is best ignored. This narrow debate over Chavez's rule in Venezuela is something FAIR has documented on the country's top op-ed pages. Of course, Diehl's point is that Chavez is a genuine threat, so anyone who takes the other position–that he's merely an annoying buffoon–is naive.
Daniel Hernandez wrote an article for Extra! last year (6/09) about the tendency of U.S. corporate media to treat Mexican violence as a phenomenon that threatens to "spill over" into the U.S.–as in New York Times headlines like "Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over From Mexico, Alarming U.S." (3/23/09) and "Wave of Drug Violence Is Creeping Into Arizona From Mexico, Officials Say" (2/24/09). Hernandez's article, "Does Violence 'Spill Over' or Come Home to Roost?," questioned this framing of the story: It is a treatment of Mexico's crisis as something foreign, unknown and dangerous, as opposed to a threat affecting an intimately […]
As Steve Rendall explained here last week,the recent Washington Post editorial ("Colombia Proves Again That Venezuela Is Harboring FARC Terrorists") doesn't really back up its argument that there is some sort of Venezuelan conspiracy to aid the Colombia rebel group FARC. "That Venezuela is backing a terrorist movement against a neighboring democratic government has been beyond dispute since at least 2008," the Post claimed–though there is most certainly a dispute about that evidence. On Saturday (7/31/10), the Post printed an article by Latin America correspondent Juan Forero, which took a look at this controversy.What's most notable is that he doesn't […]
The Washington Post's latest attack on Venezuela comes in an editorial headlined: "Colombia Proves Again That Venezuela Is Harboring FARC Terrorists." The editors don't say why a point already proved needs be proved again, but before offering the new evidence, they recount the old claim that laptops captured by Colombia from FARC guerrillas have clearly established links between the Venezuelan government and the FARC: That Venezuela is backing a terrorist movement against a neighboring democratic government has been beyond dispute since at least 2008, when Colombia recovered laptops from a FARC camp in Ecuador containing extensive documentation of Mr. Chavez's […]