Archive for the ‘Pres. Bush’ Category

Shoes versus Pres. George W. Bush, pelting eggs on a Romanian leader & a pepper spray for a Manila socialite

December 23, 2008

There is always something to laugh about or be concerned for when we read that a head of state like President George W. Bush got shoes thrown on his face by a hateful angry Iraqi. The outgoing US president has been blamed for almost anything that has gone wrong—-from the war Afghanistan, the economy, business, and social security. On his last visit to Iraq, he got insolent treatment.

The journalist who threw the shoes has been charged for endangering the life of a head-of-state. Since December 14, 2008, Muntadhar al-Zeidi complains of having been rough-handled and beaten by authorities. According to his brother, the apology he made for the crime was forced; he liked doing it again to the delight of his supporters.

Shoe-throwing-by Filipinos

The shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad had mixed reception in all cultures of the world. Many took it as a prank worthy of a loud laugh. The intelligence community thought of it as a security breach, an insult to visiting dignitaries. Overseas Filipinos (OFW’s) took the event as an occasion to display their own displeasure of Gloria M. Arroyo (GMA,) the president whose administration had been bugged by rising scandalous corruption. They too pulled angry shoe-throwing displays, making GMA’s photos as the apt target.

Egg-throwing in Romania

In the ceremony marking the people revolution of 1989, irate Romanians pushed, jeered, and pelted eggs on Ion Iliescu, the leader who replaced Nicolae Ceausescu. The latter was Romanian’s dreaded communist dictator who was violently ousted and executed in an uprising two decades ago.

A three-time elected leader of Bucharest, Iliescu was blamed for failing to go into the bottom of the deaths of more than 1,000 people during his predecessor’s bloody regime. A 79-year old aggrieved man who lost a son was arrested for throwing eggs.

Pepper-Spray Scandal in Manila

A brawl of two flashy socialites resulted to eye injuries which led Neny Montinola to visit the emergency room of a swanky hospital in the Philippines. According to reports, at a party in the “Embassy,” in November, Patricia Panilio-Cu-Unjieng, a Filipina of alleged upscale breed and wealth, angrily pumped pepper-sprays on her rival’s face to vent rage—at the acme of her “jealousy.’

Controversies which passed the ears of their patrons ensued until the two women decided to end their catty dispute. They chose to bury the scandal’s dagger in the spirit of Christmas. Supposedly bred in some exclusive schools in Manila, the two war-weary ladies reconciled. A public apology was reportedly issued, though no one seemed to have paid attention. The people of the country were too focused in their own mundane concerns.

THE AFTER-THOUGHT

This is the world we are in. People can just attack someone without thinking of the consequences. Anyone can make an apology whose sincerity is up for questions. Whether they are justified in their actions isn’t much of an importance. Violence in whatever form must not be condoned.

We better watch out. There are legitimate ways to protest and redress wrongs in civilized cultures. But it appears the avenues to get justice are threatened by the fraying of ethical traditions and the warping of our own moral beliefs. (Photo Credits: http://www.ChinaDaily.com; http://lakwatsera1.com; Luky-luke; Bo Madsen=0=

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A shoe fly-by for Pres. George W. Bush

December 15, 2008

A shoe from an irate journalist in Baghdad was thrown on Pres. George W. Bush when he attended a news brief about the war with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The US president made light of the incident after he dodged being hit before the man, restrained by security service personnel, was whisked out of the conference room. Shouting invectives, the disruptive hysterical Iraqi hurled the second shoe on Bush, but landed off target just the same.

Pres Bush’s unannounced farewell visit in Baghdad was probably the last before he ends his presidency in January 2009. (Photo Credit: AP) =0=

NOTE: The general reaction of the Arabs and Muslims about the shoe-throwing tips support for the journalist. This speaks of how people in that part of the planet view what is right and wrong. There are those who applaud the show of rage. They celebrate suicide bombers and wail in full drama when someone gets killed violently. Others wonder if there is anything to be damned about the angry shoe. But certainly, in the civilized world, in a saner environment, it’s not the way to treat a head of state, no matter how unpopular he can be.

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Americans looking for solution(s) to the financial mess are better off to decide if they know who are accountable

October 1, 2008

When Pres. George Bush aired the dire warnings of US Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserves Ben Shalom Bernanke that the $700 billion bailout plan must be carried out quickly because the financial crisis can ruin the economy of the nation, America was in panic. Many reflexively agreed to pass a fast legislation for an economic rescue, when the initial shock of the experts’ warning dissipated. The men in the main street started asking what would be the implications if government, at the expense of taxpayers’ money, bails out the ailing privately-run Wall Street. They worried about the future of their homes, savings, credit lines, investments, businesses, and retirement portfolios.

There is urgency in the passing the bail-out package. It looks like the Democrats who control the Congress saw this and Nancy Pelosi (D,) the majority speaker of the House of Representatives and her cohorts announced that a deal was about to be reached. Psyching the people, they made it appear that a bipartisan consensus was in the offing only to reveal later the legislation didn’t pass for lack of votes. This caused the sharp drop in the Dow Jones industrials and huge losses in the market reverberated all over the globe.

Pelosi (D,) was quick to blame politics. In a very nasty statement characteristic of partisan politics, she alleged the Republicans killed the legislation. But in truth a third of her party (95 Democrats) didn’t support the bill she wanted to pass. The new bill had to be rewritten for another vote probably on or earlier than Thursday, October 2, 2008.

The bail-out package bill was killed partly due to apparent rush and lack of deliberation. Many legislators in both political parties needed clarification of the nature of the bail-out. There were lots of questions to be answered before a decision could be made. That was what the American people demanded for the bill they barely could understand.

Democrats and Republicans alike in the meantime called on to stop blaming those who were responsible for this financial meltdown. Speaking in the name of “patriotism” to focus on problem-solving, they were successful in keeping the angered public silent as they were warned of dire consequences if nothing was done quickly.

But as disgusted Americans pondered on their future, many demanded to know who were responsible for this mess. They realized knowing these people was as important as coming up with the solution and deciding whom to vote in the November presidential election. They asked why they, the taxpayers, had to answer for the indiscretion, greed, recklessness, and lack of oversight of Wall Street.

There have been talks that Sen. Barack Obama (D) is somehow involved in the fall of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which triggered the financial market crisis which doesn’t have easy solution to date. Few Democrat supporters including the liberal media are interested to talk about culpability lest they stymie the gains their candidate over McCain (R) in the campaign trail. On the other hand, the Republicans who were in the administration failed to prevent the financial catastrophe that they knew was coming.

The genesis of the money problem dates back longer than the Carter years, but majority of the biased media expediently pinned blame almost solely on Pres. Bush. Moreover, the media had been mum of past attempts of Pres. Bush and Sen. John McCain to make changes in the mortgage lending system, long before the meltdown, but their attempts were foiled by the Democrats, many of whom had been emboldened by interest groups which supported them as politicians. Some of them are the most vociferous in trying to bail-out a failed system that they helped create.

As the Americans try to put together the broken pieces, there is a picture that emerges. If they miss the correct interpretation, they may end up choosing the less qualified president who has to deal with the serious repercussions of this financial mess which is expected to persist. Whichever political party the public looks up to, there is just too much blame and accountability that must be bravely and honestly confronted. The time to do this is now. Isn’t this what the Democrats refer to as “multi-tasking,” the ability to do more than one thing at a time? (Photo Credits: SilveryLily; MacRonin47; Winnie0917) =0=

Refusing to take off from the campaign: a clue to Obama’s questionable decision making?

September 25, 2008


With Sen. Barack Obama gaining fresh lead over Sen. John McCain, the presidential candidate of the Democrats, in projecting that he can do multi-tasking if elected, repudiated McCain’s call to temporarily stop the campaign and postpone the political debate with Obama on Friday September 26, 2008 to help in solving the financial crisis that threatens collapse of the economy, the worst since the Great Depression.

In a display of bipartisan leadership, McCain takes another smart move which if successful, will make Obama puny in governance and inexperienced in setting priorities. It’s from the backlash of the financial crisis on the Republicans that he earns a significant lead over McCain, a GOP member tied up by party affiliation with the Bush administration.

Obama wants to pursue votes instead of being with the legislators to tackle the $700 billion bail-out package proposed by the administration and objected to by the Democrats. But Obama,confident that he can do many tasks at the same time, agrees to meet with Pres.George W. Bush and McCain on this issue. The readiness of McCain to sacrifice losing an election to solve a high-profile economic issue is suggested by his decision. He halted his campaign including a stop on all his advertisements.

McCain comes along consistent with his campaign message of putting the country “first” above all other ambitions. But surely, the Democrats dismiss his decision as part of a McCain’s “photo op” with the congress. It remains to be seen whether the maverick in McCain will have windfall in his decision the same way he got in choosing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Certainly, the financial crisis is tops on the minds of Americans right now. Photo Credit: Mario Zucca; Afrael=0=

Amidst complacency and denial, terror persists, USA & the world still on the edge

September 10, 2008

Two days before the 7th year after 911, a bipartisan report suggests that the United States is still dangerously at risk of being attacked by weapons of mass destruction (WMB’s.) Democrats critical of Pres. George W. Bush are quick to highlight the dangers. And they don’t leave the psyche of Americans traumatized by the randomness of the attack.

The report and supporting studies describe the failure of international cooperation to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, which they call a major problem. Many countries continue to ignore a United Nations mandate to prevent the spread of weapons; the ability of many countries to monitor potential bioterrorism is “essentially nonexistent,” and dangerous chemical weapons stockpiles remain in some countries, including Russia and Libya, the report said.” AP (09/09/08, BlackledgeB; SullivanE.)

In spite of moves to make the homeland secure, the nature of terrorism makes it hard to wipe out the threats. This worry is part of the legacy of 911 when the rules of engagement of war have been defined by a small group of extremists who are bent to make America and the rest of the civilized world accede to Al Qaeda’s and other Islamic toxic ideology of hate.

Bringing America down has serious implications in emerging and poor countries like the Philippines whose economies will further suffer in the midst of a threat of war, worldwide recession, dwindling resources, and exploding population. Though Pres. Bush must be credited for foiling a number of plots and in improving security during his administration, many don’t look at it this way. It is hard to see success in prevention that has an astronomical price tag.

The cost of underwriting a protective shield for Americans and the world is causing a toll on the US economy. Only when another attack as spectacular and hideous as 911 will Americans, (especially the cynical and complacent) will realize that the world they know has been turned upside down by a few rogues who wait for the singular chance to do harm and damage. Terror resonates in 911 and the attacks in Madrid, London, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Nairobi, Bali, Manila and other cities worldwide. As security experts experts have said, it’s not a question of if that another attack will be waged, but when. (Photo Credits: AP/TayloC;bp.blogspot)=0=

Pres. George Bush & his fading presidency

August 13, 2008

It’s a hell of a job to be the president of the United States. Pres. George W. Bush, for all his efforts to make his second term appealing to the Americans and the world, has been met with doubts, opposition, and ridicule.

He is accused of lying about Iraq though he decided to wage war on the basis of bipartisan approval by the US legislature, on the series UN resolutions versus Saddam Hussein left unimplemented, and on data supplied to him by CIA and the intelligence circles. Since 911, there is no major terrorist attack in the American heartland. Al Qaeda has withered and the troop surge in Iraq is showing positive results. That’s consoling enough for some grateful Americans, but not for the majority.

There are worrisome issues on the economy, homeland security, healthcare, illegal immigration, social security, climate change, abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research and education which stand on the way— on which the verdict of his presidency will be based. Though history hasn’t spoken, the president’s enemies have dunked him, even campaigned for his failure. His call to drill for oil which is supported by fellow Republicans and 70% of Americans to ease up future fuel shortages, have been rebuffed by Democratic party leader Nancy Pelosi.

As Pres. Bush fades towards November, when the election of a new president comes, he visibly enjoys a respite at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the sands of Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground, in August 9, 2008, he exchanged fun and laughter with Kerrie Walsh, a veteran US Olympian. (Photo Credit: Reuters/Downing, L)

Beijing Olympics & China’s Human Rights Record

August 8, 2008

A nation of 1.3 billion people welcomes the world as it hosts the Beijing Olympics which started on 08/08/08. (Photo Credit: AP) Beaming with national pride, China pulls out a rousing 3 ½ -hour program of pageantry and fireworks to usher in the onset of competitions. It’s an occasion to show its best, after its modern transformation since the communists came to power in 1949.

In regions ravaged by the earthquake in May which killed 70,000 people and rendered close to 5 million people homeless, the people in the countryside and city took time to revel on the glitter of the moment, congregating in villages to watch the spectacular event in TV. About 70 world leaders which include Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Nicholas Sakorzy and Philippines’ Gloria M. Arroyo came to greet Chinese President Hu Jintao. More than 100,000 security personnel were deployed to assure the orderly conduct of the spectacle which was viewed by the largest audience ever: 2.3 billion people worldwide.

Costing about $70 billion, the sporting event has been hounded by political and environmental concerns in spite of government officials’ diplomatic maneuvers and efforts to curb air pollution. Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes.

The city is moderately polluted (air pollution index of 94 vs. WHO’s recommended level of <52.) Participants raise environmental concerns and fret over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games.

The world seems not ready to forget China’s poor human rights records. From various places worldwide protests have erupted against China’s domestic repressive policies. Critics and political activists condemn China’s supply of arms to the genocidal regime of Darfur. The Chinese government hasn’t opened a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama to resolve Tibet’s autonomy and desire for self-rule. In a speech which irks Chinese officials, US Pres. George W. Bush said the people of China deserve to enjoy basic liberty, the natural right of very human being.

In spite of government measures to curb pollution, Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes. The city is moderately polluted prompting participants to complain over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games. The Olympic organizers are closely monitoring the air safety and weather to determine if competitions need to be rescheduled.

As Beijing Olympics play on, we can’t ignore the positive forces of peace, friendship, understanding and goodwill that propel the holding of the games. Yet, behind the sublime intentions of nations, there are political, social, economic, and environmental concerns which stick out as urgent challenges for the people of the world to tackle.=0=