Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here’s What Tyranny Actually Looks Like

After the Putin predicted conviction of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky the west ridiculed the Russian Prime Minister and his nation’s corrupt judicial system.  Putin and his state thugs doubled down by arresting liberal opposition leader Boris Nemtsov after he spoke out against the Khodorkovsky verdict.  It is obvious Putin is the real leader of this authoritarian regime and that Dmitry Medvedev has as much power and influence as trash collector in Vladivostok.
Illiterate Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi has been convicted of blasphemy against the prophet and is facing execution amid the ever growing religious intolerance in Pakistan.  It was this case that led to the murder of Punjab Governor Salaam Taseer by his bodyguard for suggetsing Bibi be pardoned.
Tunisian President Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali abruptly abdicated power and fled the country when it became obvious that he had lost the backing of the army amid protests from the lower and middle classes.  Ben Ali had ruled Tunisia for 23 years and now leaves a country with little constitutional and legal institutions and no opposition to fill the void.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has cleared the last remaining hurdles, albeit short ones, to maintain his authoritarian leadership in Kazakhstan for a third decade. In power since the Soviet breakup in 1989, Nazarbayev can run for an unlimited number of terms under constitutional changes introduced by his party in 2007. Kazakhstan holds one of the world’s largest untapped oil reserves and uranium deposits and has never held an election judged free and fair by international observers.
Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez added to his increase totalitarian powers by changing the laws of the national assembly to in effect make the legislative body powerless.  Chavez did this when the opposition won a majority of seats in the 2010 elections, so while his followers still held power during a lame duck session they passed these neutering changes.  This is just the latest in Chavez’s authoritative actions ranging from nationalization of foreign-owned private enterprises and the electricity, media, and telecommunications industries, reduction in state’s powers, and packing the judiciary with his cronies.
So why do I care about these foreign instances of totalitarian regimes?  Because I am sick and tired of hearing the right wing bombastic blowhards bellow bullshit about Obama the Tyrant and our loss of freedom.  You know who you are and if you listen to them and parrot their spiel, shame on you. 

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