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August 15, 2004 - New Factors













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Here is the curious trigger –

International team to monitor presidential election
Observers will be part of OSCE's human rights office
David de Sola - CNN Sunday, August 8, 2004 Posted: 8:22 PM EDT (0022 GMT)

And the bare bones of the story?

 

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A team of international observers will monitor the presidential election in November, according to the U.S. State Department.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was invited to monitor the election by the State Department. The observers will come from the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

It will be the first time such a team has been present for a U.S. presidential election.

"The U.S. is obliged to invite us, as all OSCE countries should," spokeswoman Urdur Gunnarsdottir said. "It's not legally binding, but it's a political commitment. They signed a document 10 years ago to ask OSCE to observe elections."

Thirteen Democratic members of the House of Representatives, raising the specter of possible civil rights violations that they said took place in Florida and elsewhere in the 2000 election, wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in July, asking him to send observers.
After Annan rejected their request, saying the administration must make the application, the Democrats asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to do so.

The issue was hotly debated in the House, and Republicans got an amendment to a foreign aid bill that barred federal funds from being used for the United Nations to monitor U.S. elections, The Associated Press reported.

In a letter dated July 30 and released last week, Assistant Secretary of State Paul Kelly told the Democrats about the invitation to OSCE, without mentioning the U.N. issue.

"I am pleased that Secretary Powell is as committed as I am to a fair and democratic process," said Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, who spearheaded the effort to get U.N. observers.

"The presence of monitors will assure Americans that America cares about their votes and it cares about its standing in the world," she said in a news release. ...

 

And the item goes on in more detail about the process.

And what reaction did this announcement trigger?

Needless to say, some folks are angry with this. The folks at Free Republic, one of the somewhat right of center websites out there, suggest that this calls for armed defense of our country.

 

See a UN inspector?  Shoot him (or her) dead.  This is what you do when a foreign force invades your country.

Here are some of the comments (since removed for obvious reasons) -

 

If I see one BLUE HELMET ... No threat - just a promise! They do not have to be wearing the helmets or uniforms (then they are illegal agents) either.

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic ... SO HELP ME GOD.

Just let me see the blue helmet at my polling district. The person that's wearing it will not be harmed but don't count on that "Petty Blue" thing surviving.

I wonder how many of them have been paid by George Soros to pass themselves off as Democrats and vote.

This is bull-shiite! I'll be wearing my Sig P239 in full view. And the wife with her Walther PPKS. If a blue helmet peers behind the curtain there will be a reaction... Confrontation! This is a slap at AMERICA's face.

It is totally and 100 percent against everything I was taught about America and why I FOUGHT for this country and, yes, I even have three Purple Hearts of my own to go with it, but a hell of a lot of scars to go with them. I will continue to fight to the DEATH (theirs) to keep my family, my friends, and my country free. As the unofficial USMC motto states: I am not here to die for my country - I am here to make that other son-of-a-bitch DIE for his!

 

You get the idea.  The UN dudes will be in some danger.  Folks are ticked off by this item.

Colin Powell and Assistant Secretary of State Paul Kelly better watch their backs too.

Curiously, when it comes to the shooting part, the somewhat left of center folks do have a problem.  They favor gun control laws, and probably don’t have any guns handy.  Oh well.

Personal Note: A few years ago I was dating a woman who taught French at UCLA, and one evening while driving down Sunset, near La Cienega as I recall, with the top down on the car, she asked me if I had a gun.  Convertibles can, I suppose, make one feel vulnerable.  She was amazed I didn’t keep one handy in the car and another at home.  I told her packing heat never occurred to me.  Well, it hadn’t.  At first she just snorted derisively, but as we talked that derision soon turned to deep anger.  How could I be so careless with my safety, and so cavalier with her safety?  Ah, maybe she had a point, given how things are heating up these days.  Needless to say that relationship didn’t last long.































 
 
 
 

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
 
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