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  • First day ends in UAE elections ~ However....the voters were carefully chosen....

    12/16/2006 10:39:30 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies · 376+ views
    BBC ^ | Saturday, 16 December 2006, 17:36 GMT | BBC Staff
    First day ends in UAE elections Only 1% of citizens will be allowed to vote Polling has ended on the first day of landmark national elections in the United Arab Emirates, in which under 1% of citizens are allowed to vote.Voters hand-picked by the government are choosing half of the Federal National Council, an advisory body. Voting began in two of the UAE's seven emirates, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. Other emirates vote during the coming week. Early results confirmed a woman, Amal Abdullah al-Kubaissi, as the winner of one of four seats in Abu Dhabi. "This is an honour...
  • Bush: Freedom Has Brought Hope to Millions

    08/20/2006 1:46:47 PM PDT · by SandRat · 50 replies · 961+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Steven Donald Smith
    WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2006 – The advance of freedom will help protect the U.S. homeland, defeat terrorism and bring hope to people around the world, President Bush said yesterday. “Freedom has brought hope to millions, and it's helped foster the development of young democracies from Baghdad to Beirut,” Bush said in his weekly radio address to the nation. The recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is part of a broader struggle between freedom and terror that is unfolding in the Middle East, he said. The president said it was not a coincidence that the two nations that are building...
  • Other Arabs Noting Iraq's March to Democracy, Abizaid Says

    03/15/2006 3:07:07 PM PST · by SandRat · 12 replies · 461+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Steven Donald Smith
    WASHINGTON, March 15, 2006 – Arabs throughout the Middle East are taking note of Iraq's extraordinary march toward democracy, the commander of U.S. Central Command said here yesterday. "It's interesting when I go around the rest of the Arab world; everybody wants to talk about Iraqi politics," Army Gen. John Abizaid told a congressional subcommittee on military and veterans affairs. "That's interesting because they can talk about Iraqi politics, but can't necessarily talk about politics in their own countries." Abizaid said he believes the Iraqi people are confident they will be better off in the future than they were under...
  • King Of Nepal Calls For Talks On Democracy

    02/19/2006 5:23:01 PM PST · by blam · 1 replies · 416+ views
    King of Nepal calls for talks on democracy (Filed: 20/02/2006) Nepal's King Gyanendra made his first formal approach to the country's estranged political parties yesterday, urging them to join talks and try to put democracy back on track a year after he seized absolute power and fired the government. "We, therefore, call on all willing political parties to come forth to fully activate, at the earliest, the stalled democratic process in the greater interest of the nation," King Gyanendra said in a national democracy day statement. The king also urged anti-monarchy Maoist rebels to shun violence and rejoin the mainstream....
  • US to devote 75 million dollars to promoting democracy in Iran

    02/15/2006 9:45:08 AM PST · by freedom44 · 11 replies · 333+ views
    Reuters ^ | 2/15/06 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US administration will ask Congress for another 75 million dollars to boost democracy in Iran amid growing concern over Tehran's nuclear program, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. She told a Senate committee the money, which amounts to more than a doubling of the funding for pro-democracy activities in Iran, would go to stepped-up radio and television broadcasts and other programs. "The United States has been at the forefront of nations seeking to take Iran to the UN Security Council on fears that it is seeking nuclear weapons," Rice said in prepared testimony for the Senate...
  • Bush is right, the Middle East is ripe for democracy

    02/02/2006 12:25:08 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 17 replies · 598+ views
    The Australian ^ | 3rd February 2006 | Michael Costello
    THE election of Hamas in Palestine, together with the strong showing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and of the Shia parties in Iraq, is being cited by many on the Left and the Right as proof that it's naive folly for the US to not just support but propagate democracy to the world at large, and the Middle East in particular. The reasons given for this are many. They are wrong. Let's begin with the most common, which is that, although these elections were free and fair, they are likely to produce a Hamas government committed to the destruction...
  • Democratic Disaster?

    01/30/2006 8:17:03 AM PST · by Valin · 12 replies · 1,030+ views
    American Enterprise Online ^ | 1/30/06 | Alan Dowd
    A year ago this time, it appeared as if freedom, at long last, was working its miracles in the stubborn sands of the Arab world. The Purple Thumb Revolution was sweeping through Iraq; Palestinians had given Mahmoud Abbas a resounding democratic mandate; and the Cedar Revolution was primed to push Syria’s puppets out of Lebanon. With a mix of worry and wonder, Fouad Ajami played Middle East meteorologist and concluded, “Now, the Arabs, grasping for a new world, and the Americans, who have helped usher in this unprecedented moment, together ride this storm wave of freedom.” Last week, the storm...
  • Daniel Pipes: Region not ripe for democracy

    01/29/2006 12:32:31 PM PST · by Dark Skies · 58 replies · 1,377+ views
    The Australian ^ | 1/30/2006 | Daniel Pipes
    NOW that Hamas has apparently won the Palestinian elections, the West is hoist with its own petard. On the one hand, Hamas is a terrorist group that unabashedly targets Israeli civilians and calls for the elimination of the Jewish state. On the other hand, it just won what observers deem to have been a reasonably fair election, and so enjoys the legitimacy that comes from the ballot box. Every foreign ministry now confronts a dilemma: nudge Hamas to moderation or give up on it as irredeemably extremist? Meet Hamas members or avoid them? Continue to donate to the Palestinian Authority...
  • Three Cheers for the Bush Doctrine

    01/27/2006 11:38:40 AM PST · by Austin Willard Wright · 30 replies · 1,697+ views
    Time Magazine ^ | May 27, 2005 | CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
    Jon Stewart, the sage of Comedy Central, is one of the few to be honest about it. "What if Bush ... has been right about this all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may ... implode." Daniel Schorr, another critic of the Bush foreign policy, ventured, a bit more grudgingly, that Bush "may have had it right." Right on what? That America, using power harnessed to democratic ideals, could begin a transformation of the Arab world from endless tyranny and intolerance to decent governance and democratization. Two years ago, shortly before the invasion...
  • Poll: Afghans, Iraqis most optimistic

    01/24/2006 3:56:50 PM PST · by Kaslin · 24 replies · 1,667+ views
    UPI via The Washington Times ^ | Jan. 24, 2006 | Unkn
    An international poll done for Britain's BBC says Iraqis and Afghans are most optimistic about their economic future, while Italians are among the downcast. Joining the Italians in the pessimism category at people in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, says the poll of 37,500 people in 32 nations. Joining the Afghans and Iraqis in the optimistic category are Canadians who are bullish not only about their own finances (64 percent), but also about their country (63 percent). In Afghanistan, 70 percent of respondents said their own circumstances are improving, and 57 percent said the country overall is on...
  • Bush: Progress Toward Freer, More Peaceful World Made in 2005

    12/31/2005 10:05:38 AM PST · by SandRat · 3 replies · 269+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Dec 31, 2005 | Rudi Williams
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2005 – This has been a year of strong progress toward a freer, more peaceful world and a more prosperous America, President George W. Bush said in his weekly radio address today. "This year we watched the Iraqi people defy the terrorists and suicide bombers and hold three successful elections, voting to choose the only constitutional, democratic government in the Arab world," Bush said." We also saw the people of Afghanistan elect a democratic parliament in a nation that only a few years ago was ruled by the Taliban. "These are amazing achievements in the history of...
  • Out of disaster comes the peace (Indonesia)

    12/29/2005 8:49:48 PM PST · by Valin · 1 replies · 409+ views
    The Times ^ | 12/30/05 | Nick Meo
    THE last batch of combat soldiers in Aceh assembled on the dockside yesterday in full kit and armed to the teeth, ready to embark on their troopships as the final act of a bloody 29-year guerrilla war. Supaidin Adi Saputra, Aceh’s military commander, told them they should be proud of fighting to keep Indonesia intact — then told the watching Acehnese: “The flame of peace is burning and we must not let anyone extinguish it.” The head of the feared Indonesian military in Aceh was doing what was almost unthink-able only a year ago; telling its people that the war,...
  • Aceh rebels disband armed wing

    12/27/2005 9:01:46 PM PST · by Valin · 307+ views
    AP ^ | 12/28/05
    PEACE ACCORD: The move was part of an agreement that ends Asia's longest-running separatist insurgency, and sets the stage for the guerillas to run in elections Indonesia's Aceh rebels formally disbanded their armed wing yesterday, fulfilling a crucial part of a tsunami-inspired peace accord to end one of Asia's longest separatist conflicts and paving the way for the guerillas to enter politics. "The Acehnese national army, or the armed wing of the Free Aceh Movement, has demobilized and disbanded," Sofyan Daud, one of the group's commanders, told reporters. "The Aceh national army is now part of civil society, and will...
  • Democracy Is Spreading, Freedom House Finds

    12/25/2005 6:42:43 PM PST · by Names Ash Housewares · 25 replies · 665+ views
    NY Sun ^ | December 20, 2005 | MEGHAN CLYNE
    WASHINGTON - As the political battle intensifies over President Bush's efforts to spread democracy to Iraq and the Middle East, an influential human rights organization, Freedom House, has found that the past year brought significant improvements in personal and political rights across the region. Reports of increased freedom emerged from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian territories, and observers attributed the results to the Bush administration's support of fledgling democracies worldwide.
  • In the Mideast, Democratic Momentum

    12/19/2005 3:06:06 AM PST · by liberallarry · 28 replies · 739+ views
    Washington Post ^ | December 19, 2005 | Jackson Diehl
    Though Iraq has now held the freest election in Arab history, conventional wisdom in Washington and the Middle East still dismisses the Bush administration's hope that its military intervention will catalyze democratic change around the region... That's one of the perverse effects of the war: Amid all the noise of suicide bombings, talk of a quagmire for U.S. troops and a sectarian conflict that could lead to Iraq's disintegration, most people haven't noticed that in the rest of the Arab Middle East, the political momentum of the past year has been . . . distinctly democratic.... any honest examination of...
  • King shocks tiny nation by saying he'll quit

    12/19/2005 10:22:12 AM PST · by CarrotAndStick · 44 replies · 1,474+ views
    Chicago-Sun Times ^ | DEC 19, 2005
    GAUHATI, India -- The king of the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan has said he will step down as ruler in 2008 and hold the country's first national elections for a parliamentary democracy, state media reported Sunday. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck said he will be succeeded by his son, the crown prince. ''Bhutan will remain strong and glorious and our country will achieve greater prosperity with the sun of peace and happiness shining on our people,'' the king said. The king has been circulating a draft constitution for months that would end almost 100 years of monarchical rule in the...
  • Bush's New Arab World

    12/15/2005 11:57:05 AM PST · by flixxx · 2 replies · 527+ views
    the weeklystandard ^ | 12 15 05 | Duncan Currie
    REMEMBER THE "Arab Spring"? That ephemeral blip of, oh, six or seven weeks last February and March when scattered Bush critics second-guessed their opposition to the Iraq war and the president's Mideast-democracy project? Given that most Americans now deem the war a mistake, it's easy to forget that, only 9 months ago, conservatives and liberals alike were hailing George W. Bush as the 400-pound gorilla of a nascent transformation in Arab politics.
  • UAE to hold first elections

    12/01/2005 5:19:05 AM PST · by F14 Pilot · 7 replies · 408+ views
    CNN ^ | Thursday, December 1, 2005
    The United Arab Emirates will hold its first limited elections for half of its consultative National Council, part of a move towards reform, the Gulf Arab country's president said on Thursday. "In light of the changes and reforms our region is witnessing ... we decided to begin activating the National Assembly by electing half of its members," Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nayahan said in a speech to mark the UAE's national day. The speech, carried on state news agency WAM, gave no date for the election to the council, whose 40 members are currently all appointed by the seven semi-autonomous emirates...
  • Egyptians Vote in Rare Contested Election

    11/09/2005 5:40:59 AM PST · by Wiz · 158+ views
    Associated Press via Yahoo! News ^ | 2005 Nov 9 | Nadia Abou El-Magd
    CAIRO, Egypt - Egyptians cast ballots Wednesday in their most robustly contested parliamentary election in more than 50 years, but no one expected the vote to unseat the long-dominant party of President Hosni Mubarak. Democracy campaigners see the elections as a test of the 77-year-old Mubarak's promise to open up the political system. Popular confidence in the polls will be demonstrated by the turnout. The ruling National Democratic Party is pushing for a large turnout after the disappointment of a September vote, when Mubarak was returned to power. Only 23 percent of 32 million registered voters took part. An independent...
  • Freedom on the March in Liberia (Bush's Fault Alert)

    11/07/2005 6:32:41 PM PST · by HHKrepublican_2 · 4 replies · 310+ views
    Election officials and UN peacekeepers say everything is ready for Liberia's presidential run-off on Tuesday - the first after the end of 14 years of war. Over the weekend, tens of thousands of rival supporters marched through the capital, Monrovia but there were no reports of any trouble. Ex-football star George Weah is facing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - seeking to be Africa's first elected female leader. Some 15,000 UN troops are in Liberia to ensure the election goes smoothly. They say they will deal swiftly with any trouble-makers. They are being supported by some 3,000 newly trained Liberian police who were...