An update on the "New Axis of Evil"TM
Bolivia, a nation of only nine million people, is giving Washington (and the fine folks at PNAC) conniptions. They are getting ready to elect--democratically--their first President of indigenous Indian background. Sounds pretty democratic to me. Pretty egalitarian. The people are voting against a history of colonialism and North American influence. Kind of like Iraq. Who could find fault with this?
Well, the Bush administration for one. You'll notice they are not trumpeting the upcoming elections--which heavily favor former coca farmer and labor leader Evo Morales--as a "milestone" (although it is as much, if not more, of a milestone than yesterday's election in Iraq) in the history of democracy. in fact, they are doing everything they can to make it appear to be a symptom of dangerous chaos. The US State Department has sent our advisories that Sunday's election has created a "climate of potential violence."
Current Bolivian President Eduardo Rodriguez said yesterday that he "deplored" the insinuations that this particular election would somehow be marred by violence.
This is, of course, a CYA operation for the US State Department, a first step in delegitimizing the election should Morales win. Since Morales has a strong ally in Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, since he opposes free trade agreements with the US, since he supported a bill in the Bolivian Senate that increased taxes on foreign-owned oil companies ten times and is likely to follow Chavez's lead in nationalizing the oil industry, we may need to have some "intelligence" that rationalizes an invasion someday.