Monday, June 26, 2006

Bush decides to give Swaziland defense aid...?

Presidential Determination No. 2006–16 of June 19, 2006: Eligibility of the Kingdom of Swaziland to Receive Defense Articles and Defense Services Under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act

Pursuant to section 503(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2311), and section 3(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2753), I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to the Kingdom of Swaziland will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace.

My question is: What kind of defense articles and services do you intend to provide, Mr. Bush? How does Swaziland, a country with a 40% AIDS incidence in the population, that has an average 32 year life expectancy, is ruled by a monarch that holds open elections for only 55 of 95 seats in the parliament and appoints everyone else in government, fit into the United States' national security strategy? How will arming a monarch strengthen world peace?

Swaziland has been described as an island of dictatorship in a sea of democracy

Swaziland: Police crush pro-democracy rally

The Danish delegation which recently visited the Kingdom to assess the country's political climate has urged the international community to impose sanctions on Swaziland.

Patrick Mac Manus, the spokesman of Southern Africa Contact, said increased pressure is required to push for democratic changes in the Kingdom. Manus said Swaziland is facing unremitting crisis and without urgent democratic renewal, the country will face further decline and desperation.

”Throughout the years SAC has supported the democratic movement in Swaziland, both in material and political terms. As the successor organisation to the Danish Anti-Apartheid Movement, we feel such involvement natural.”

“In Swaziland the great majority of the people must submit to a status of second-class citizenship, deprived of political rights by an authoritarian regime, employing an oppressive interpretation of Swazi culture to legitimise the rule of the royal clan,” said Manus.

King Mswati III, the last African absolute Monarchy has been under-fire from various sections of the international community to allow political democracy in the tiny kingdom.

SAC said governance is in deep crisis in Swaziland and the crisis must be brought to a head by a mass democratic movement which seeks to make the country ungovernable, not least in the rural areas.

“Without deep political, social and economic transformation the very survival of the nation would seem to be at stake,” Manus added.


Unless the monarchy can squelch any democratic uprising with the new defense articles Bush will be sending over...

More evidence Bush isn't truly interested in the spread of democracy, just furthering his family's dynasty.


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