Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 13,
Volume 7,
21 August 300 AP

The Story behind the news.
Edition
Economics
Pensions; the government or private way?
Savaj Netopik's aggressive takeover


Election 300
The Military: Utania's latest political tool


Politics
Carlyle and the New Democrats


International
I'ana, the occupation's effect
Old Zartanian communists "revenge"


Sport
Golf: the Utanian Open, final preparations
Football: Round eight


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What IS a Zeitgeist?

Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported news.
The Military: Utania's latest political tool

On Thursday morning last week, Utanian army personnel stormed ashore the thirty or so islands in the I'ana archipelago. The group of islands are south of Utania, and effectively bridge Utania and Ptica island, therefore providing a security threat to Utania's shores, according to military analysts. But, not everyone agrees on the motivations for wresting the islands from UNV control.

"The formerly UNV-controlled, now Utanian military occupied I'ana archipelego is the latest casualty of the lengthy Utanian election campaign in which President Hope is apparently seeking to continue his term as President at all costs."

This may well be a very cynical perspective. For there is no doubt that the I'ana islands in foreign hands represent a somewhat significant security threat to Utania's southern shores. Any invading force would be in a good position to invade using the islands as a supply base. However, it seems suspicious that President Hope would seek to occupy the islands two weeks after David Kapur's amalgamated poll showed that the "hawkish" Liberal Nationalists were gaining support quickly from the Democrats and Conservatives by exploiting voter fears over the state of the country's defences.

The quote above was made by Peoples Party leader, George Okarvits. He sees the situation as being a clear-cut case of the President attempting to use the military as an electoral tool, convincing voters that he too is a "hawk", also dedicated to the defence of\ the nation, and to the militarist aims of the nationalists. To Okarvits, it is all about stealing, from the LNP, the votes that the Peoples-lead opposition lost to the LNP. However, even Okarvits concedes that the I'ana archipelago should never have been on the table, that it should have been viewed as part of Utania from the start.

Others are less cynical. The Democrats have cautiously endorsed the President's actions, supporting the occupation, supporting the Utanian claim to the islands (in fact, no party in Utanian politics has disputed that), but warning against "asceding to the needs of the militarist few".

Pacifist parties have been vocal in their condemnation for the use of the military for such an action. Naahi Bennett of the Utanian Burovian Movement is leading the charge. "It was simply unnecessary and sends a very strong message to nations around us that I don't think we wish to send, that we will resort to weapons of warfare as soon as we don't get our way." He also said the consequences are possibly very far-reaching. "This will be the ball and chain around our ankles for years to come, starting a regional arms race, ever having to fight to get what we want. It was such a foolish move."

The Free Green Collective agrees. "Whenever the military is used to solve problems, we become forever beholden to them to continue to do so. The consequence is that we can never disarm, we can never reduce our military capacity, we must always expand (the military) to meet the demands of playing this role. Now the possibility of coup d'etat by the military has increased" said Dawn K'njosa.

The Nationalist and Liberal Nationalist Parties disagree. To them, the action was necessary to promote Utanian interests and to assert Utanian independence from the "meddling" UNV, which both parties have resented. In addition, the idea would have been initiated or at least received much support from having Nationalist Party leader Thomas Abels in Cabinet. After Friday's press conference, Abels was vocal in counter-condemning the "naive few" who believe that without a "strong and definitive action from Utania" the islands would have gone to Armatirion. To Abels, they are "kidding themselves about an unarmed peace between Utania and Armatirion". Kyle Langley is equally vocal.

The most damaging negative response, however, has been the disappointment from some members of President Hope's own Conservative Party. Leading Conservative backbencher, Max Boornal, a former banker with ties into the international finance industry, has been quietly fuming about the President's actions which, his spokesman says, "are beneath the standard of a conservative President."

International reaction has been, to date, somewhat muted. The Zartanian Empire was the first, and only, to react, saying they understood that national security measures outweighed all else, but were waiting with interest to see Utania's next move.

To the people that count, however, the electorate, polls have not yet shown any impact of the occupation on voters, because the event is too recent, the polls are not recent enough. However, the next Kapur-Zeitgeist poll, due to be performed on Wednesday to Friday of next week, will be published in the August 28 edition of Zeitgeist, will clearly show the effect of the I'ana occupation on voters. It will be interesting to note how the President reacts to the poll, if at all. Should he react to counter negative opinion, opposition figures can rightly point out that the President is unfit for the office - reacting to every poll released.

The test on the President's nerve is yet to come.

Previous Editions:

New poll signals LNP rise

Hope faces the skeptical

Angorit meets with Areopatré

Electorate Profile: Navoomi

Football: Luka v Utan Krysaror - Could violence break out?

Election 300 Special

Savaj give away their votes

Luka Herald's July poll

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

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©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)