Posts Tagged ‘Democracy’

The real face of Iran must be known

March 26, 2010

I’m going to be on my way to Tijuana, Mexico in a matter of hours, but I have some strong emotions about Iran I would like to transfer to the blogosphere first.

Mousavi supporters rally in Tehran

As I write this, I wonder to myself if society has become so deformed and deranged that human beings have lost touch with one another…we have forgotten that we are all one people who share the same world. I’m thinking this because I am repulsed by the news that has been coming out of Iran lately. It looks like the world is intent on watching the aging Islamic theocracy in that country dismantle its younger generation piece by piece, whether its hauling a student off to a Sharia Court and labeling him an enemy of God, raping a young woman, or busing rural, uneducated fundamentalists into Tehran to make it seem as if the establishment maintains any degree of credibility, as was done with February’s pro-revolution rally. Even many months after the June elections, Iranians have managed to come out into the streets, risking everything, to show the world that they are not one with Khamenei and Ahmadinejad. Today, there is a very clear line between Iran and the government holding it hostage. The two are NOT one in the same.

Meanwhile, what is happening in response? Clueless American leftists remain lost in the Vineyard, the right is throwing a tantrum over healthcare, the Arabs in the Middle East remain silent, Europe does business as usual, and the President of the United States would rather make childish, fiercely partisan jokes about his opposition at home. Its shameful and embarrassing, all of it.

I suppose there is only so much I can ask from my country and the rest of the world to help the people of Iran. If nothing else, I just wish that the UN, Obama, and the international community would realize that the young people of Iran — who make up 70 percent of its population — are the face of that country, not the “Marg bar Amreeka!” rallies featuring the bearded mullahs and their dwindling sympathizers. Ahmadinejad is not the elected leader of Iran…the government is illegitimate and not worthy of any international recognition…working with him as a head of state is an insult to those who have died trying to stand up against him.

Since the elections…or moreover, since I began meeting Iranians, I have refused to use the name of the country, “Iran”, in reference to actions taken by Khamenei or any of his thugs. If only the UN could do the same, it would call the regime out and there would be no sanctions or violence required.

The world we live in is not the one they want

February 15, 2010

If you read the news headlines last week, you may have been led to believe that “hundreds of thousands” of Iranians rallied in support of “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he spoke in Tehran on February 11th, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Waves of police and Basiji terrorists were deployed across the city to stifle the opposition…and not one non-state media outlet was permitted to cover events outside of the official government rally.

Those of us in society who value freedom of speech and religion don’t have to be subjected to lies like this anymore. Google Earth, which is shown above, firmly debunks the government claims of popular support. According to these images, they were not even able to fill the square with supporters around Azadi Tower, where the fraudulent “president” puffed out his hot air.

Its easy to see why the “Islamic Republic” would prefer to live in the dark ages, isn’t it? The regime recently opened fire on Google by announcing the indefinite suspension of Gmail (this is unfortunate, as I use this with many of my Iranian friends). Its good to see Google bite back — and this time, Ahmadi can’t blame this one on “mistranslation” like his supporters have done with many of his stupid statements and rants.

Once again, Khamenei’s thugs set their sights on their own people

December 6, 2009

It’s both fascinating and sickening to see how the clerical regime in Iran believes it will intimidate the western world by killing its own people. As if the Pentagon, the CIA, or the Mossad will look at the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their Basiji subhuman accomplices with fear because they have the courage to ride by on motorcycles and open fire on unarmed, defenseless students. Well they really do seem to believe this, and Iranian students are once again getting ready to face down Khamenei’s goons, who will have every weapon from kidnapping to rape and murder at their disposal.

From Times Online:

December 7 is traditionally the date when the Iranian Government stages rallies to commemorate the deaths of three student demonstrators killed by the Shah’s security forces in 1953. The tables have now turned. Today the security forces will attempt to crush student demonstrations against its own brutality and repression.

On campuses across Iran, students outraged by the regime’s alleged theft of the presidential election in June, and the subsequent suppression of the opposition, will attempt to hijack the state-sponsored Students’ Day rallies — just as they did last month’s commemoration of the US embassy siege and the annual Palestinian solidarity rallies in September. The regime cannot cancel these events without losing face, but it is doing its utmost to stop today’s protests.

Yesterday security forces began to seal off campuses in Tehran and warned nearby householders not to open their doors to protesters or let anyone take pictures from their roofs. The regime has cut internet services to hamper the opposition’s preparations, and banned journalists employed by foreign news organisations from working on the streets. Dozens of student leaders are understood to have been arrested.

Despite flooding the streets with police and breaking up anything that resembles a non-government sponsored rally, the Islamic Republic has been unable to put a lid down on the anger over last June’s presidential election. While some may disagree with me, I think the future of global extremism is centered around Iran’s internal struggle…a collapse of the Mullah regime would be a deathblow to their beneficiaries in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah, and to some extent, Hamas. I also think that the next chapter in Iran’s future is more important than the debate over Afghanistan, which has already become a political meltdown among the United States, its politicians, and it’s allies.

Persia was not always this way and many Iranians know that. It was once the most powerful and advanced society in the world. It produced inventions that we still use today. Iranians are intelligent–most of them who live in the United States, Europe and other parts have found wealth and success. They hold prominent positions in society in the medical, legal, and technology fields. Therefore, its all the more insulting when Khamenei thinks he can play the “Marg bar Amreeka” card and expect to lead his sheep back to the slaughterhouse.

I’m not expecting anything from my government tomorrow–what, with singers bickering onstage and all–but I hope that everyone who believes that freedom and the right to self-expression to be human rights will join me in solidarity with the Iranians who will try to stand up against their oppression tomorrow, whether they manage to defy the government and organize rallies or if they are forced to stay home and wish for a better tomorrow.

Time to call it as it is

July 30, 2009

Yes, Iraq still exists. There was a time when it was the biggest story out there. It was in a state of complete chaos, devastating bombings rocking the country on a daily basis and militias roaming the street day and night, terrorizing and killing anyone who visited the wrong mosque. The situation was labeled a “civil war” by the media and just about anyone who tried to prove the opposite—that hope was not lost— was dismissed as a neocon or a “warmonger”. That was the past.

Iraqi army soldiers

These days, the Baghdad correspondents who many Americans invited into their homes in the evening to tell tales of death and destruction have gradually disappeared. Often, a Google search of certain Iraqi cities will yield few results. With two successful elections this year, stunning security success, and a departure of US troops from major cities, Iraq is on track to succeed.  But, despite a dramatic drop in news coverage that trends opposite a rise in progress and stability, you can still find regular articles in the newspaper, on TV and on the internet about the” War in Iraq”; usually they are about troop withdrawals or an attack that the enemies of humanity—the “minutemen”, as Michael Moore termed them—manage to pull off against Iraq’s civilian population. Either you hear that, or you hear nothing…that’s an industry that’s supposed to bring fairness and accuracy to the American population at work for you. Quite an achievement in society, isn’t it?

Although there is much work to be done, its time for the media to stop referring to the situation as “the war” and focus instead on Iraq’s emergence as a sovereign country with a fully capable army and police force that brought law, order, and stability to major Iraqi cities that were once deemed “lost” to the insurgency by conniving politicians, like Harry Reid, and hatchet-piece news reports that have had an awful tendency to dot the front pages of the New York Times and the evening news. In fairness to the Iraqi people, whether or not Iraq is “at war” can rightfully be questioned. Misleading the public by portraying Iraq as something it’s not is detrimental not only to society, but to humanity. Its hard to argue that a stable Iraq is in everyone’s interest, unless of course it doesn’t fit into your zealous political aspirations.

The biggest indication that Iraq’s dark days are behind it is the face of the insurgency, or lack thereof. Zarqawi is dead. Abu Ayyub Al-Maasri, his replacement, has not been heard from since 2007 and reports suggest he is in Afghanistan.  Al-Sadr and his hiddeous deputy, Abu Deraa, have scurried off to Iran without even a whimper. As of today, every man who has taken a major role as a leader in the insurgency has been killed, jailed, or fled the country, leaving the so-called resistance without leadership or any form of  logistical organization. Running gun battles and ambushes targeting the Iraqi Security Forces are down almost one-hundred percent while the ISF rules the streets in Basra, Ramadi, and Diyala. Then there are the elections. Last January saw a peaceful and successful democratic election that gave Iraqis the chance to join other democracies without having suicide attackers and car bombs detonate as they lined up. Last week, Iraq’s Kurdistan region went to the polls in a peaceful and efficient election, bringing a death blow to the once-resilient criticism that Iraq could never become a functioning democracy.  In layman’s terms, it’s over…everyone who wanted to see the Iraqis fail at building a stable, democratic society has lost, pure and simple. And “everyone” covers a lot of ground, from the despotic Arab regimes that surround Iraq, to the still blood-soaked streets of Tehran, and the halls of Congress that were witness to countless resolutions drafted up congressmen and woman who sought to derail the success of Iraq and Iraqis to protect their political investments. The latter have both a (D) and an (R) in front of their names.

Iraq still faces trouble, particularly from its neighbors. As the uprising in Iran refuses to give up, its hard to predict what the regime in Tehran could do if 70 million people hungry for democracy and secularization bring it into its death throws. We all know the horror of what the Baathists, Saddam supporters, and Sunni extremists did to Iraq after they fell from power, there is no doubt that, if Khomeinism implodes, it could spew out the same terrorism—such as market and café bombings—and Iraq could bear the brunt of this, especially if the Mullahs and their allies sought to shift media attention away from their demise, which is becoming more of a possibility each day. Personally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence June saw an increased rate of high-profile attacks against Iraqi civilians as protests raged next door in Iran. Of course, a desperate and humiliated Al-Qaeda in Iraq was also eager to make it seem as if their attacks, not the June 30th deadline, were driving American soldiers from Iraqi cities and back to their bases. Despite rabid media hopes and speculation, the violence that hit parts of Iraq in June has not spilled over into July, and this month looks to be as calm as May, which was the calmest month in Iraq since 2003.

A congragulations and an apology to the people of Iraq from politicians across the United States should be in order. I’m not naïve though, and you shouldn’t be either. In the eyes of the Reids and Pelosis of the world, Iraq mind as well have spun off the earth’s axis. It was a subject that scored them a few cheap political points and could be swept under the rug when everything backfired. In fact, if it wasn’t for the financial crisis, I can’t help but feel that American voters might have seen what had been going on behind the curtains and rightfully voted against these people. It amazes me how a Senator can declare an effort lost and refer to a 4-star general as a liar without being ran straight out of office. 2010 could bring some solace to those of us who stood by Iraq in the most difficult of times, but the real solace comes in the continued growth and success in Iraq: the markets re-opening, the schools being built, and the brave young men and women who enlist into Iraq’s security forces and take an oath to protect their fellow citizens, so they can bring their children in a nation that could prove to be the Middle East’s greatest success story.

Not giving up

June 29, 2009

I found this video on Twitter. Its a protest that took place in Tehran yesterday.

This morning, CNN removed its special “Iran coverage” section of its website. The global community seems more fascinated with Bernie Madoff and the rash of celebrity deaths. Ahmadinejad, who makes Madoff seem like decent person, continues to make a mockery out of the people of his country. Today he suggested that Neda’s death should be “investigated”.

Here’s the story from AP/Fox:

 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked Iran’s cleric-controlled judiciary on Monday to investigate the killing of Neda Agha Soltan, who became an icon of Iran’s ragtag opposition after gruesome video of her bleeding to death on a Tehran street was circulated worldwide.
 
Ahmadinejad’s Web site said Soltan was slain by “unknown agents and in a suspicious” way, convincing him that “enemies of the nation” were responsible.
 
The regime has implicated protesters and even foreign intelligence agents in Soltan’s death. But an Iranian doctor who said he tried to save her told the BBC last week she apparently was shot by a member of the volunteer Basij militia. Protesters spotted an armed member of the militia on a motorcycle, and stopped and disarmed him, Dr. Arash Hejazi said.

 

 An investigation seems legitimate if it meant that the Iranian government would summon and punish the Basiji and the other thugs roaming the streets–the thugs who, according to an Iranian doctor and many eyewitnesses, murdered Neda in cold blood–but instead it meas that the investiagtion will focus on whether or not “foreign agents” were involved in the killing. In other words, Ahmadinejad is harping on the same card being used by his puppet master, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, blaming the United States, Israel, and the UK for the hatred his countrymen feel for him. Well Mr. Ahmadinejad, I have news for you: when you steal an election and begin a campagin of killing when the people speak out, those people are going to hate you. It doesn’t take an international conspiracy involving MI5, the CIA, and the Mossad to make that happen. And I have more news: its going to take more than a few “Marg bar Amrika! Marg bar Israel!” chants from your dwindling crowd of supporters to help you maintain your grip of power. You can only keep the blood of the innocent hidden under your perverted interpretation of Islam and the false pretense of democracy for so long.

How many more people are going to have the die in vain while the world shrugs its shoulders and lets out a cold sigh of indifference?

More protests from far and wide

June 28, 2009

I’ve come to realize that I have devoted my blog to giving the Iranian people a voice these last few weeks. Blogs are not like the news, which has unfortunately found much more interest in celebrity deaths and the scandal involving South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Instead, blogs can stay focused on the most important things.

Amidst all this, the Iranian people are not giving up…and their supporters are not giving up either. On Thursday, I attended a rally in San Francisco’s Union Square for a third time. it was my third event in 3 days. Just two days earlier, Iranian-American City Councilman Ross Mirkarimi succeeded in pushing the city to adopt a resolution in support of the protesters in Iran.

The evening concluded with the release of hundreds of green and black balloons, which dispersed above the city. 

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Meanwhile, in Iran today, thousands of people rallied outside of the Khobr Mosque, shouting slogans against Ahmadinejad and Khamenei and demanding that their votes be recognized.

Here’s what happened. Remember, its impossible for news sources to verify what’s happening in Iran right now because of extreme reporting restrictions. But the eyewitness accounts of thousands of people taking part in this rally appear to be very true. Even in light of brutal government repression, which President Mousavi’s (that’s the fitting title) wife has termed “martial law”, the Iranian people are still trying to change their country for the better.

Here are a couple more photos from Thursday’s rally…

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I thought this was a really great photo…hats off to the designer of the sign.

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Tehran protests reach the Bay Area

June 18, 2009

The reports that the rallies in Tehran are stretching more than 5 miles across the city may be incorrect. 8,000 plus miles might be more fitting. Over vast oceans, Iranians from around the world are joining with their countrymen and women who are fighting  for their rights in their homeland.

I spent Wednesday evening in San Francisco’s Union Square, standing with the Bay Area’s Iranian-American community to protest the “re-election” of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the brutal crackdown that is causing mayhem and suffering across Iran’s major cities. I was happy to see so many cars honk their horns as they drove past the gathering. Some occupants even yelled to us in support while motorcyclists revved their engines to show that they stand in solidarity with the Iranian people.  

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The message was very clear: Iranians from far and wide, all over the world, are not going to stand for what Ahmadinejad has done. Some protesters waved pictures of Mir Hossein Mousavi, declaring that he is the real president of Iran, not Ahmadinejad. . Chants echoed by the protesters included “Oh Iran, please stay well. Ahmadi, go burn in hell!”. I myself held up a sign with a message calling for President Obama to declare his support for Mousavi.

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Protesters also called on the UN for support, urging the world body to step in and intervene. Personally, I have little hope that the UN will do anything to help ensure that the will of the Iranian people is represented. After all, this is the same UN that brought Ahmadinejad in as the keynote speaker at a racism conference in Geneva (I have the link to his tirade in my post below). On my way to the protest, I walked past the United Nations Plaza and saw the UN flag flapping in the wind.

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After walking through the plaza and meeting up with the protesters, it reminded me that we all live in one world and need to work together to make it a better place. I’ve always thought that was the main message of the United Nations. Right now, the rest of the world isn’t doing enough to help Iran in its struggle for freedom. However, there was no shortage of American citizens who were ready and willing to stand with the Iranian people. Now if only our leaders had that same will…

I will be attending Thursday Night’s protest and hope to have many more photos to post. I urge everyone to follow the election unrest in Iran very closely.

 

Iran’s election reveals two fraudulent leaders

June 15, 2009

“Hope and Change” probably sounds like a great phrase for the millions of people who are revolting against the theocracy in Iran right now.

For 3 days now I have been following the elections in Iran and I am keeping close contact with some of my Iranian friends who are actively involved in the protests that have nearly brought life in Tehran to a halt. These protests are the most significant since 1979, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the religious ruler of Iran who hailed the results as a divine victory from God, must be shaking under his robe. Ahmadinejad continues to slap his people in the face by saying the outrage that has set the streets alight is no different than the anger after a soccer match. But what can expected from someone who makes a fool of himself at a UN racism conference and mocks the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Most people I have talked to, even a hard-left European aquantaince I spoke to the other day, believe that Ahmadinejad is nothing short of a fraud, or Ahmadine-fraud, as the media has begun to call him. When the elections started, I felt almost certain that this would happen, because its what you can expect from a thuggish theocracy. That said, my anger is not only reserved for the Mullahs in Tehran, it lies with three of my own politicians who are milling around Washington and elsewhere in the world, grappling to find the right words–or more likely, the better way to keep alive the planned “negotiations” with Ahmadinejad and Khamenei as the legitimate rulers of the Iranian nation. These three would be President Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One of my favorite authors, Christopher Hitchens, scorched Clinton in his most recent article about the elections in Iran:

Shame on all those media outlets that have been complicit in this dirty lie all last week. And shame also on our pathetic secretary of state, who said that she hoped that “the genuine will and desire” of the people of Iran would be reflected in the outcome. Surely she knows that any such contingency was deliberately forestalled to begin with.

I strongly recommend reading the rest of this article by Hitchens, who is far more experienced on the subject than I am and has traveled to Iran several times, including multiple visits to the mosques that preach the anti-American, anti-Israel diatribe that has allowed the Khomeinists to stay in power these last thirty years.

Anyhow, I am appalled by the lack of outrage expressed by President Obama. Apparently, there isn’t enough “Hope and Change” left over for the people of Iran, who are crying out for help and are being met with a muted response. Who could forget the speech Obama gave the night of his victory? I recall the President vowing to stand up to “those who would tear this world down.” So much for that I guess. At least, many Iranians must be thinking this as they are beaten, electrocuted, and even shot by revolutionary thugs armed with guns by the Iranian authorities.

As the protests rage, Iran holds the potential for a brighter future. My concern right now is that the millions of people marching against theocratic rule are lacking a strong leader who can redefine the meaning of “revolution”. Sure, Mir Hossein Mousavi would have been a better and more receptive leader than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but at the end of the day, he’s still part of the establishment and, according to Kenneth R. Timmerman, played a vital role in the creation of Hezbollah, the Shiite terrorist group that has brought much mayhem to Lebanon, the Middle East, and the world. Luckily, the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, suffered a humiliating defeat in Lebanon’s recent election. While mentioning this subject, I would like to quote Mr. Hitchens again, who, like me, cannot accept that a demagogue like Ahmadinejad was able to secure re-election while the tide turns on Islamic fundamentalism elsewhere in the world.

The obvious evidence of fixing, fraud, and force to one side, there is another reason to doubt that an illiterate fundamentalist like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could have increased even a state-sponsored plebiscite-type majority. Everywhere else in the Muslim world, in every election in the last two years, the tendency has been the other way. In Morocco in 2007, the much-ballyhooed Justice and Development Party wound up with 14 percent of the vote. In Malaysia and Indonesia, the predictions of increased market share for the pro-Sharia parties were likewise falsified. In Iraq this last January, the local elections penalized the clerical parties that had been making life a misery in cities like Basra. In neighboring Kuwait last month, the Islamist forces did poorly, and four women—including the striking figure of Rola Dashti, who refuses to wear any headgear—were elected to the 50-member parliament. Most important of all, perhaps, Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah was convincingly and unexpectedly defeated last week in Lebanon after an open and vigorous election, the results of which were not challenged by any party.

Indeed. Hitchens’ summation certainly makes a lot of sense, and I wish that President Obama had the decency to say exactly that in a direct address to the people of Iran–not an address to reach out to the bloody and repressive theocracy, but an address to the Iranians, both young and old, who are tired of living under a country that is ruled by Sharia law and ravaged by unemployment and economic stagnation.

President Obama, you have a chance to stand up for everything you campaigned on. Face the reality that Ahmadinejad and Khamenei are not, and will never be, trustworthy partners in peace. Iran, the United Sates, and the entire international community are at a crossroads that, with or without a good outcome, will be of historical proportions.

All of this, though, is just wishful thinking. The fact is, the situation in Iran, as well as the insanity that is threatening to plunge the Korean Peninsula into nuclear war, has revealed Obama to be a phony and a leader who is incapable of standing up for justice. His first 100 days have been dedicated to protecting the rights of mass murderers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and he has been very vocal in his opposition to the “Previous Administration”, but sadly his concern for oppression and human rights doesn’t seem to apply to anywhere but his own country.

Echoes of political strife

May 3, 2009

I found this story story about Nepal to be particularly concerning. In case you did not know, Nepal was locked in a bitter civil war between government forces and Maoist rebels throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s. Thousands of people were killed and the country’s tourism, unfortunately, took a hit. Peace has taken a hold with democratic elections held in 2008, along with the abolishment of monarch. However, the new government, which is dominated by Maoists, including former rebels, has fired the Chief of the Army over policy differences. As a soon-to-be visitor, I am very aware that this could have an impact on my trip. Hopefully, this isn’t going to amount to anything serious but it is worth posting. I feel confident I will be able to lend my hand to the people of Nepal, regardless of politics and government bureaucracy. Honestly, I think this current situation in Nepal seems a lot less tense than the political atmosphere here in the United States. The link to the story is just below.

From BBC News:

Nepal’s army chief has been fired by the ruling Maoists in a row over integrating their former fighters into the armed forces.

General Rookmangud Katawal was forced out during a special Cabinet meeting, the information minister said.

He was accused of defying government orders to stop hiring new recruits and to get rid of eight generals.

The government wants to integrate former Maoist rebel fighters into the army – a move opposed by generals.

Correspondents say the row could undermine the peace process which ended the civil war in 2006.

The Maoists fought the army for more than a decade before giving up their armed revolt in 2006 and joining a peace process.

Thirteen-thousand people died in the conflict.

It would be quite difficult to engage in community development if guns and explosions are going off. Given the humanitarian interest in Nepal from so many different agencies, the political factions in Nepal have an obligation to make sure these new tensions do not broil into anything serious so that the deep poverty the country is facing can be addressed. So far, Nepalese citizens I have talked to don’t seem to reflect the hostilities between the Army and the Government, instead they have a kind, generous nature and are looking towards a new future.

This is something to keep an eye on…but in the end peace and democracy are going to prevail in this festive, mountainous country full of culture and history.

Update: Nepal’s President is unwilling to go along with the decision made by the Prime Minister and the Maoist government…the Maoists are unhappy about this.

From The Himalayan Times:

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s ruling Maoists warned that the Himalayan nation’s peace process was “in peril” after the country’s president attempted to stop them sacking the powerful army chief.

The ultra-leftists fired General Rookmangud Katawal for refusing to integrate former Maoist rebel soldiers into the regular army, a key part of a 2006 peace deal that ended a decade of civil war.

But centrist President Ram Baran Yadav has told the army chief to stay.

Maoist spokesman and cabinet minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara told AFP that this was tantamount to a “constitutional coup” and vowed to fight back with street protests.

“The president is… violating constitutional norms. The president’s move has put the peace process in peril,” he told AFP. “Our party has taken the president’s step as a constitutional coup and we will fight against it.”

“The executive power to sack and appoint an acting army chief lies with the government and not the president. We will stick to our decision. We don’t have any plans to quit the government,” he said.

He said that the decision to sack the head of the army — traditionally a bastion of Nepal’s elite and former monarchy — was necessary to bring the army under civilian control.

 The opposition Nepali Congress party described the army chief’s sacking as “undemocratic and autocratic” and an attempt by the Maoists to “impose dictatorial rule” on Nepal.

Nepal does not need this right now. Politicians are always so focused on their own differences they easily forget about the people they are supposed to serve…this doesn’t just apply to Nepal in particular, because my own country hasn’t exactly been leading the way in a post-partisan politics, unfortunately. Anyway, there is widespread poverty all over Nepal, as I mentioned, and there are people in refugee camps throughout the country. Maybe the Maoists, the Opposition, and the Army could address that instead of argue and threaten a hard-earned peace process.