Friday, October 26, 2007
Headline of the Day
Ecuador wants military base in Miami —Reuters
Reporter Phil Thompson explains the deal—
Ecuador's leftist President1 Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador's Pacific coast.
Correa has refused to renew Washington's lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009. U.S. officials say it is vital for counter-narcotics surveillance operations on Pacific drug-running routes.
"We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base," Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy.
"If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States."
Correa, a popular leftist economist, had promised to cut off his arm before extending the lease that ends in 2009 and has called U.S. President George W. Bush a "dimwit".
Good for Correa! But don't be shocked if sometime between now and 2009 you see the headline "Ecuadorean President Loses Arm."
But Correa, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, told Reuters he believed relations with the United States were "excellent" despite the base closing.
He rejected the idea that the episode reflected on U.S. ties at all.
"This is the only North American military base in South America," he said.
"So, then the other South American countries don't have good relations with the United States because they don't have military bases? That doesn't make any sense."
1I'm always fascinated when the mainstream media (MSM) pin an epithet such as "leftist" on a foreign leader. I did a little search for "leftist president" in Google News and turned up 122 hits. In the media the "leftist presidents" are Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and now Rafael Correa.
Then I did a search for "rightist president" and "right-wing president." "Rightist president" yielded one hit—and that was in Workers World and referred to Sarkozy of France!
"Right-wing president" produced 9 hits, but only 2 were from US news organizations: an online columnist at About.com referred to Bush as such, and the New Albany Tribune quoted from former Soviet Premier Gorbachev's recent speech in the US in which he used the phrase to refer to Ronald Reagan.
"Right-wing prime minister" produced one hit from the British Guardian that referred to Polish prime minister Kaczynski.
In other words, as I write there is not a single instance of a news story from a major American news organization that characterizes any foreign president or prime minister as "rightest" or "right-wing" despite the plethora of thugs where the characterization might fit.
If it is true, as the Right claims, that the American media are dominated by liberals and leftists, they are certainly doing an excellent job of hiding their tendencies. [back]