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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Outposts of Tyranny


What an imaginative term to describe the "worst" countries? 'Outposts of Tyranny' was used by none other than United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

And any guesses which all countries that comprises of?

1. Iran - Yeah, it should be there. After all the chaos created in Iraq (just because they thought that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction), Iran is the normal choice for the world police to practice its militray skill on. The only problem is that there is a guy out there called Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who will take any chances to get things done. And it was last day that he hinted they are making nuclear weapons, but it will take some three to seven years.

Any guesses on what the word "Iran" means?

It means 'The land of Aryans'.

2. Cuba - As any schoolboy can say, Cuba has been in the list for a long time. From the time of Castro US is getting nothing other than headache whenever they think about this communist island. Its true that there are many problems of human rights violation and censorship, Cuba does the same thing that People's Republic of China does. So why don't they include China also into the list. And don't forget that Cuba is also a member of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which was founded by our own Jawaharlal Nehru.

3. North Korea - Its a default entry into the list. The problem between US and NK doesn't seem to end. The nuclear program and the US threats have subsided with Iran coming to centerstage, but NK never loses importance when it comes to America's foreign policy. And I agree that a part of the allegations are true as NK has a very poor image in running its own system and in its foriegn policies. And the political system of the country is described as an 'organized dictatorship'

These were the three guesses that I could make when I heard the term, 'Outposts of Tyranny'. A google search gave me the rest.

4. Myanmar - Hmm....I remember the photo in which thousands of Buddhist monks in saffron robes taking over the streets of Naypyidaw...(Naypyidaw? What is it? Hmm..its the new capital..Rangoon(renamed Yangon) is no longer the capital). Well..there is utter chaos in the country now. The military junta has made life miserable for the middle class and the poor in an otherwise resource rich country..And the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi from 1990 that continues to till date...seems like it comes under tyranny..and it is estimated that last year, 40% of the budget was for buying arms...

5. Zimbabwe - Robert Mugabe is there..thats all i knew..so I needed another search to find why it falls into the 'special' catergory of US...Officialy, its a democratic rule in Zimbabwe, but Mugabe party 'Zimbabwe African National Union' was the centre of attention in the elections..there are lot of allegations of vote rigging, election fraud and antimidation. Also, there has been lots of reports about wide spread human rights violation especially against opponents of the government. And media is also restricted. Even BBC and CNN has been banned.
Under the leadership of current president Robert Mugabe the economy of Zimbabwe declined from one of the strongest in Africa to one of the weakest and political tension has never been higher.80% of Zimbabweans are unemployed and inflation has soared to well over 15,000%.

These are the facts but it has happened in many African countries before. And I don't think US maintained such a list at that time.

6. Belarus - This came is as a complete surprise. Belarus is a landlocked country in eastern Europe. Its a republic. The Belarusian President since 1994 has been Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko was quoted as saying that he has an "authoritarian ruling style" that he uses to run the country. The Council of Europe has barred Belarus from membership since 1997 for undemocratic voting and election irregularities in the November 1996 constitutional referendum and parliament by-elections. The Belarusian government is also criticized for human rights violations and its actions against non-governmental organizations, independent journalists,national minorities, and opposition politicians. Belarus and Russia has close economic and strategic ties. Freedom of press is a problem there also but it is also present in China.

Thats all I think are the problems in Belarus as far as other countries are concerned. I didn't read anywhere that they are making WMD or nuclear weapons. The think that came up in my mind is the fact that Belarus is near Russia and a deployment of forces in near future gives them a very good strategic position.

To read more about Belarus, check this out:

I came across this term the other day when I was reading some article that talked about foreign relationship management. Eventhough they are the world power, this comment by Rice shows the degradation of their foreign policies.
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