Monday, September 01, 2008

John McCain - More of the same?

It would certainly appear so. After all, much like Bush, John McCain is enthrall to the oil industry. Bush and McCain may not like each other very much (and many people don't seem to like either of them), but you could barely get a fag paper between the two of them (nb. US readers, fag=cigarette, not some offensive term for homosexuals). Expect more of the same attempts by the US to control oil supplies across the globe if McCain comes to power (God forbid - although the alternative ain't exactly on a different plain).

Since 1989, McCain has received around $700,000 from the oil industry. Furthermore, McCain has worked :

....tirelessly to advance the interests of the oil industry. For example, McCain’s tax plan gives the top five oil companies $3.8 billion a year in tax breaks. McCain meanwhile has voted against reducing dependence on foreign oil, has twice rejected windfall profits tax for Big Oil, and has voted against taxing oil companies to provide a $100 rebate to consumers. If that were not enough, McCain also made a risky political decision recently to back new offshore oil drilling in the US.

Vote McCain, and you most definitely get more Bush (in terms of the President, not women you misogynist fool). But it doesn't end there. What about McCain's supposedly superior experience in international affairs? Ok, put aside his comments about Iraq and Pakistan sharing a border. And don't mention his acknowledgement of the state of Czechoslovakia (ceased to exist in 1993). Despite these gaffes, McCain has a very serious agenda on the international stage, particularly as a result of his relationship with the International Republican Institute (IRI). And just what are his links to the IRI?

Since 1993, McCain has served as Chair of the outfit, which is funded by the U.S. government and private money. The group, which receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year, claims to promote democracy world-wide. On the surface at least, IRI seems to have a rather innocuous agenda including party building, media training, the organization of leadership trainings, dissemination of newsletters, and strengthening of civil society.

The hottest country in which IRI currently operates is Iraq. According to the IRI’s own web site, since the summer of 2003 the organization “has conducted a multi-faceted program aimed at promoting the development of democracy in Iraq. Toward this end, IRI works with political parties, indigenous civil society groups, and elected and other government officials. In support of these efforts, IRI also conducts numerous public opinion research projects and assists its Iraqi partners in the production of radio and television ads and programs.”

Furthermore, the IRI has been instrumental in events in Haiti. Funding from the IRI was used to foment a violent coup in Haiti against the leadership of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Funding was also used to support opposition parties in the country, and an IRI representative persuaded the opposition parties to avoid compromising with Aristide. It is highly unlikely that Senator McCain was unaware of these events, although it is equally hard to say that he authorised them. However, with such a background in backing violent coups against democratically elected governements, he is perhaps perfectly placed for the role of US president. And, should that day arrive, it doesn't take a genius to work out which country will be first in the firing line. Somewhere rich in oil perhaps?