Monday, August 30, 2004

Republican National Convention

The Republican National Convention begins today in New York, where George W Bush will formally accept the nomination for a second term. Over the weekend, thousands of protesters gathered around to voice their opposition to the Administration's policies. Minnesota Public Radio did a great story on the history of the Grand Old Party (GOP), and it's inception as a group that as anti-slavery. In fact, they began as a pro-civil rights party, and produced presidents such as Abraham Lincoln. It was in the late 19th & then early 20th century where they became more conservative & today's party is dominated by the neo-conservatives of the 60's. The Republican Party has always been more disciplined compared to the Democratic Party, is strongly influenced by Christian (mainly Protestant) values & is deemed as more patriotic.

The FBI is investigating disturbing reports of a spy for Israel who worked closely with the Secretary of Defense & was giving valuable information about Iraq & Iran. I have not followed it too closely, but it looks like AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) was connected. I don't know how much the mainstream US media is covering the issue, but here are reports from the New York Times & Washington Post. Here's a report from Israeli liberal newspaper, Haaretz and by Juan Cole.

The Olympics ended on Sunday with great finesse. I watched the marathon & was upset by the brief episode when Brazil's Vanderlei de Lima was pushed by a protester into the crowd & lost his lead. However, he was a great sport & celebrated his bronze medal with great joy. Brazil is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reconsider the results.

And the results are finally in for the popular music show of the Arab World. The winner of the Superstar is Libya's Ayman al-Aather. The two finalists came on stage carrying each other's flag in a show of unity. I apologize for saying earlier that Ayman is from Lebanon - the show is based in Lebanon.

Another interesting article by the Christian Science Monitor on the continuing problems in Afghanistan.