Happy 2006, everyone…hope you’re not too hung over to read. I’m sure as hell not too drunk to write…
Since everyone and their dog seems to have a top five or ten or whatever of the year’s past stories, I’m not going to go that route. Instead, I’ll be looking into the ol’ crystal ball for mine. Consider this to be Swami Sabinananda’s psychic Top 10 News Stories of 2006:
1. Another failed coup attempt on Hugo Chavez, who will romp to yet another landslide re-election in December. Chavez will further embarrass Washington and the CIA by publicly proving them to be behind this one, as they were in 2002’s “dictator for a day” flop-a-palooza. Venezuelan opposition will continue to wilt and wither, whining all the while about how “autocratic” Chavez is, what a “dictator”, yadda yadda yadda. Also more whimperings about his friendship with Fidel Castro as an “alarming” sign of communist encroachment in Latin America. Only Washington and Pat “Fatwa” Robertson will be fooled.
2. Fidel Castro will continue to defy all of Washington’s efforts and still be alive and well at the end of the year (his 80th, for those keeping track.) Likewise, Cuba will remain independent and not turn into another Puerto Rico, much to Washington’s dismay.
3. US trumps up a war on Iran, and probably Syria as well. Look for fudged dossiers, intel failures, and self-interested “informants” galore. Said false informers will be uncommonly cozy with high-level members of BushCo, particularly Condi Rice. Another goofy-ass deck of cards will be issued, this one full of black-turbaned mullahs and the occasional woman in a chador. Priceless Persian antiquities will be looted. Only building in Tehran not ransacked or destroyed in fighting will be the Oil Ministry, which will enjoy a heavy guard of US marines.
4. Evo Morales will take a leaf from Hugo Chavez’s book, and make multinational companies looking to tap Bolivia’s natural gas dance to his piping. He will raise their taxes and hold them to pay; also look for joint ventures only, with Bolivia holding controlling interest. Proceeds to go to impoverished Bolivians for a change. Huge improvements will result. Wealthy Bolivian oligarchy will take a leaf from that of Venezuela, and whine about his friendship with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Again, alarming noises of nonexistent communist encroachment. Only Washington will take it seriously. Look for another fatwa from Patwa.
5. Augusto Pinochet will finally go down for crimes against humanity. This time, though, he won’t be able to use poor health as a “get out of jail free” card. Judge who was bamboozled once, saw interview footage taken shortly after, in which the old dictator appeared surprisingly hale and hearty for one supposedly at death’s door. Said footage is now admissible in court as evidence that the accused was trying to evade prosecution. If Pinochet should pop off when the guilty verdict is read, it will be poetic justice for the families of those his regime killed and tortured and “disappeared”. US will fear the legal repercussions as those apply to it, as well.
6. European Union will hold Washington’s feet to the fire over CIA torture flights landing at various international airports. Look for plenty of tapdancing from Condi.
8. Black residents of New Orleans return one by one to find their homes rebuilt–and unavailable to them, but occupied by white folks far better off. And it won’t be any coincidence, either. Meanwhile, Michael “Drownie” Brown will find his latest business venture flopping, to no one’s surprise except, perhaps, Dubya. Halliburton, on the other hand, will continue to make out like the bandit it is.
9. Mexico will join the great left-flowing tide of Latin America, and elect former Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador president. Washington bootlicker Vicente Fox will be heard whining in the background about how the new president is an “autocrat” and a “dictator”, if not an outright communist. Also look for an excellent showing by the newly-fledged Zapatista party, accompanied by more anxious noises from Washington. Friendlier relations with Cuba and Venezuela (and probably Bolivia as well) on the horizon. Heads-up for possible coup/assassination attempt on Obrador and/or Subcomandante Marcos from right-wing rump roast, aided by CIA and preceded by yet another fatwa from Patwa (who, with any luck, will bust a blood vessel at this juncture and so be rendered inoperable.)
10. Iraq war continues to be in its “last throes”, but with end mysteriously nowhere in sight. Death count of US military alone will top 5,000 by year’s end. Iraqis? Your guess is as good as mine. (Mine is that it will top the half-million mark if it hasn’t already.) Meanwhile, on the home front, the blossom will go off Karl Rove’s turd for good as Patrick Fitzgerald indicts him for treason and/or perjury in the outing of Valerie Plame. Look for explosions galore–and not from July 4 fireworks, either.
Check back again, this time, next year. I predict that Ye Olde Crystal Ball will have been remarkably accurate.