"There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by (U.S. programs)... To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa." - Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
The fact that the US wants and ABC approach in combatting AIDS in Africa is no secret. As a refresher, ABC stands for:
For some reason the UN and the anti-AIDS committe have always had a problem with the ABC approach. They only want two things; money and the right to break drug patents. With the money they want to buy condoms and manufacture cheap drugs to maintain those who already have AIDS.
This approach will not stop the spread of AIDS in Africa.
Presently too many people in Africa are having sex without condoms. this is a clear sign that people either do not know about AIDS or don't care about getting AIDS. If they knew about the dangers of unprotected sex and high-risk sex there is no way that any sane person would have unprotected sex. It would be worth it to them to spend a couple of cents it would cost to buy a condom.
Concerned that people in Africa cannot affort a condom? That is a load of Bull as one of the main ways that AIDS is spreading through Africa is through sex with prostitutes. If the guy can afford to buy a prostitute, he can also afford to buy a condom. Perhaps the UN does not want to educate the Africans to the point that they could be that self-reliant not to mention being RESPONSIBLE adults.
The situation is made even worse by the UN giving away condoms all over Africa. They have destroyed the commercial condom market leaving Africans no alternative source of condoms. Then again, if you do not bother to teach people why they should be wearing these things, they are not going to need one anyway.
In addition the the ABC approach to fighting AIDS, the US has put another restriction on donations:
The United States contribution to the Global Fund is subject to certain U.S. legislative restrictions, including that, during 2004-2008, no U.S. government contribution may cause the total amount of U.S. government funds contributed to exceed 33% of total contributions.
You can look at the list of who is giving what here.
Some notable contributors:
This is such a non-story. The shortage is taking place in Uganda. what does the Ugandan Government have to say about this national crisis:
"It is not true that there is a condom shortage... There seems to be a co-ordinated smear campaign by those who do not want to use any other alternative simultaneously with condoms against AIDS." - Health Minister Jim Muhwezi of Uganda.
So the health Minister of Uganda, a country the UN is trying to help by calling attention to their crisis, is calling this for what it is, Pure Politics. Worse, it appears that the UN is attempting to userp a national government. Even if Uganda is short of condoms, it is up to them to say that there is a shortage. Lets also try to think that it is their responsibility to provide for thier people, not the UN.
With all of this in mind, I have a suggestion for Mr. Lewis. How about clicking on the link below. It turns out that they sell condoms in bulk. Need some money? How about asking your fellow UN Diplomats to stop getting parking tickets and contribute those funds towards buying condoms. After all, the US is doing its fair share in this crisis. Let some other country buy the condoms. Aren't we all suppossed to working together in this fight? Where is the rest of the team?
Sweden is giving almost $128 Million. Wouldn't it be fitting to use their donation to buy the condoms?
Right now the world is a bit pissed that our tax money is currently fighting in Iraq. Well it is the habbit of the world to ignore the good things that America does and when they do acknowledge America's contribution, they have to criticize it. Take the Billions the US pledged to fight Aids in Africa. That money came with strings attached to it. See, it was not for purchasing condoms, it was for education. Sex education including abstinance (no sex) education. This was not good enough for the rest of the world. You see, we need to drop condoms from the sky in Africa. That will help the Aids crisis, not education. Well the US did not change thier plans. Anyway the world is full of countries besides the US, and why not have some other countries fund the condoms for Africa program. The last time I checked, condoms were not that expensive. Anyway, if the africans had proper education about aids and how they catch it, they for sure would not even think of having sex without one. What does this have to do with the title of this entry, not much I think, so back to the issue at hand:
In December 2004 a tsunami struck countries boarding the Indian Ocean. Hundreds of thousands of people died. One reason for the massive loss of life was the lack of an operational warning system. Now there was opportunity to have one that the US would install at no cost to these governments, but they passed on the gift as each country would need to put up the funds to man their own operations and setup domestic warning systems to get the alarm out to the people.
Currently the UN is investigating how best to impliment warning systems in each of these countries. The US has just announced that they are going to install the tsunami detecting equipment giving countries in the region the opportunity to be fore-warned if another tsunami winds up heading in their direction. By the looks of the press release, the US is going to do most everything from end to end:
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced the launch of the United States government's Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) program in response to the December 2004 tsunami disaster. This two-year, $16.6 million effort will contribute to the development of integrated early warning and mitigation systems that allow countries in the Indian Ocean region to detect and prepare for tsunamis and related coastal hazards.
The program involves a number of key U.S. agencies, each contributing specialized expertise in tsunami warning and disaster management. USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia in Bangkok will lead the U.S. effort, with technical support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and USDA Forest Service (USFS). USAID also recently contracted with a joint venture between the International Resources Group (IRG) and Tetra Tech, Inc. to provide overall support to the U.S. program as its "Lead Program Integrator" contractor. IRG-Tetra Tech's principal sub-contractor, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), will contribute additional on-the-ground technical resources.
The U.S. program involves close collaboration with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The IOC has the lead responsibility for developing the Indian Ocean's regional warning capabilities. At the national and local levels, U.S. technical assistance will primarily support efforts in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Maldives - the countries most severely affected by the December 2004 disaster where over 220,000 people perished.
Tim Beans, Mission Director for USAID's Regional Development Mission Asia based in Bangkok, states, "We have been extremely motivated to work with our counterparts at the IOC, other donor nations, and national governments in the region to assist with establishing a fully functional warning system for the Indian Ocean. This is one of our top priorities in Asia, and an important part of the U.S. post-tsunami reconstruction effort. This new program follows directly from years of U.S. Government disaster management assistance to the region. We are ready to help not only deploy the technologies needed to prevent future disasters, but to build up the uman and institutional infrastructure to make sure these systems are interoperable and sustainable for years to come."
Working in collaboration with the international community, the U.S. program will provide technical assistance using an "end-to-end" approach that addresses all levels of early warning capabilities from community-level disaster readiness to national and regional-level tsunami and earthquake detection and warning communications systems. The U.S. approach also promotes "multi-hazard" solutions that strengthen capabilities in the Indian Ocean to respond not only to tsunamis, but to other serious coastal hazards such as cyclones, sea swells, and floods as well as earthquakes. The program expects to have catalytic impact by sharing and replicating best practices elsewhere in the region and leveraging the additional resources of other donor nations and the private sector. Regional cooperation, real-time sharing of data, transparency, and harmonization will be underlying themes in the U.S. program.
In addition to leading the U.S. effort, USAID will support technical training, educational exchanges, and sharing of best practices across the region, and work closely with each of its U.S. agency partners in a number of technical areas. NOAA will contribute to designing and developing the regional warning system with the IOC and its members. In addition, NOAA will support the deployment of detection buoys and related technologies in the Indian Ocean, strengthen national and regional warning communications systems in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization, and implement a Tsunami Resilient Communities program. USGS will support seismic technology transfer to the region, capacity building for data analysis and associated earthquake hazard mapping and modeling related to tsunami hazards. The U.S. program will also include sharing USFS expertise in introducing emergency response operations into national disaster response frameworks. In addition, USTDA will identify opportunities for accessing private sector investment and expertise in communications and related technologies necessary for the tsunami warning system.
David McKinnie, NOAA's Program Coordinator for IOTWS, commented, "NOAA feels privileged to be able to participate in this important effort, and we have had very productive discussions to date with the national governments and international partners, particularly at the IOC's meeting in Perth, Australia earlier this month. NOAA shared a conceptual design for the regional early warning system, which we believe was very well received and provides a strong starting point for agreement on what the best approach should be."
"It remains critical to the U.S. to ensure the regional system is designed to save the ost lives in the region," Mr. McKinnie added. "We look forward to refining this plan through the IOC with our national partners, and to further sharing our own experience in building a system that makes the most sense technologically and economically."
Until a regional system can operate autonomously, part of the U.S. program will involve providing interim support for detecting earthquakes and possible tsunami conditions in the Indian Ocean, through the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii and the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Colorado.
The U.S. has already engaged directly with representatives from the IOC and national governments in the region, and plans to develop specific program activities through further dialogues in the next two months.
For more information about the U.S. IOTWS Program, please contact Mr. Tim Beans, Mission Director, USAID Regional Development Mission/Asia, tel. +66-2-263-7400.
Actually, I am not sure what, if anything, the International Community is contributing to this effort. The US was criticized for it's initial response to the effort. As we can see months later, the US is still involved. Where is the rest of the world?
USAID Rebuilds Lives After the Tsunami - More on the US Response
The Diplomad - Great coverage of the initial UN and US Response. (No longer Blogging)
030122-N-0780F-002 Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (Jan. 22, 2003) -- USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), a Mercy-class hospital ship, enters the harbor during her transit of the eastern Mediterranean. The U.S. is repositioning some of its military forces to support the President's global war on terrorism, and to prepare for future contingencies as may be directed. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley. (RELEASED)
I could have put a picture of the USNS MERCY in support of Tsunami victims but thought this pic was cooler. You can look at other MERCY Tsunami pics here. The MERCY is one of TWO hospital ships of this size that the US operates. The other one is currently supporting the operations in Iraq. It is the USNS COMFORT.
P.S. Image how those who hate the US could twist news of the US funding condoms in the third world.... Add to that paying for abortions in the third world.... Sounds like we would be trying to stop the population from continuing there. Look at Nigeria and the Polio vaccine. Rumor was that it was an American trick to spread Aids. Too bad not taking it spread Polio.
There are those calling for the US to pull out of Iraq. Once again we should look to history. Al Queda has. They know that if the US Military is hit hard, that we will give up? Just look at:
US withdrawls from each of the above-mentioned countries gave strength to those who were fighting against us.
So they say the reason that we went to Iraq (WMD) was 'false.' Should we give Saddam his country back then? Should we give the radicals another victory, just because some will do most anything to make the current President look bad including damaging the country itself in order that the President wears the country's black-eye.
"Bush=Hitler." That correlation drive me nuts. So many bad people on this planet are ignored by the global community, yet they have no problem lecturing the US. Perhaps it is partly Bush's fault that he is on the receiving end of all this criticism. It's not like he is going to punch Chirac in the face the next time they meet. But some of these other 'leaders' might take an interest in funding terrorist activity in their country if they speak out against North Korea, for example.
then we have Saddam. Well, he was no upstanding member of a modern global society. He was nothing short of a madman, who also happened to be a head of state, with one of the worlds most powerful armies, which happened to possess tons of WMDs. Disagree if you want, but be sure that you have reviewed Saddam's rap-sheet:
So, the US went to war without UN approval. Now we have the Oil-For Food scandal that most likely tainted the UN Security Council from acting without undue influence from Saddam.
Was Iraq Clean? Hardly. Those aluminum tubes nobody could agree on were probably for rockets, and not nuclear enrichment. What nobody bothers to mention was that Saddam was not allowed to build missiles of those types either. So no matter the purpose of the aluminum tubes, Saddam was in violation for trying to import them. Thanks to the weak inspecting by the sanctions firms, who knows what else they tried to import. Also, one can legitimately question the behavior of our 'partners' on the UN Security Council.
The US WMD Report states:
"One aspect of Saddam’s strategy of unhinging the UN’s sanctions against Iraq, centered on Saddam’s efforts to influence certain UN SC permanent members, such as Russia, France, and China and some nonpermanent(Syria, Ukraine) members to end UN sanctions. Under Saddam’s orders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MFA) formulated and implemented a strategy aimed at these UNSC members and international public opinion with the purpose of ending UN sanctions and undermining its subsequent OFF program by diplomatic and economic means. At a minimum, Saddam wanted to divide the five permanent members and foment international public support of Iraq at the UN and throughout the world by a savvy public relations campaign and an extensive diplomatic effort." - Page 138
"Saddam directed the Regime’s key ministries and governmental agencies to devise and implement strategies, policies, and techniques to discredit the UN sanctions, harass UN personnel in Iraq, and discredit the US. At the same time, according to reporting, he also wanted to obfuscate Iraq’s refusal to reveal the nature of its WMD and WMD-related programs, their capabilities, and his intentions." - Page 139
"The former Iraqi Regime sought a relationship with France to gain support in the UNSC for lifting the sanctions. Saddam’s Regime, in order to induce France to aid in getting sanctions lifted, targeted friendly companies and foreign political parties that possessed either extensive business ties to Iraq or held pro-Iraqi positions. In addition, Iraq sought out individuals whom they believed were in a position to
influence French policy. Saddam authorized lucrative oil contracts be granted to such parties, businesses, and individuals." - Page 69
"The Regime sought a favorable relationship with France because France was influential as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and was in a good position to help Iraq with lifting sanctions." - Page 90
"Asked by a US interviewer in 2004, why he had not used WMD against the Coalition during Desert Storm, Saddam replied, “Do you think we are mad? What would the world have thought of us? We would have completely discredited those who had supported us.” Iraqi use of WMD would deeply embarrass France and Russia, whom has cultivated Iraq. Use of WMD during Operation Iraqi Freedom would serve to justify US and UK prewar claims about Iraq’s illegal weapons capabilities. Such a justification would also serve to add resolve to those managing the occupation." - Page 97
"Figure 16 reflects the general proportion of the nationalities targeted to receive Iraq’s oil allocations by volume of oil allocated, according to a former government official with direct access to the information. The top three countries with companies or entities receiving vouchers were Russia (30%), France (15%), and China (10%)—three of the five permanent members of the UNSC, other than the US and UK."
"Moreover, the IIS paper targeted a number of French individuals that the Iraqi’s thought had close relations to French President Chirac, including, according to the Iraqi assessment, the offi cial spokesperson of President Chirac’s re-election campaign, two reported “counselors” of President Chirac, and two well-known French businessmen. In May 2002, IIS correspondence addressed to Saddam stated that a MFA (quite possibly an IIS offi cer under diplomatic cover) met with French parliamentarian to discuss Iraq-Franco relations. The French politician assured the Iraqi that France would use its veto in the UNSC against any American decision to attack Iraq, according to the IIS memo." - Page 200
And my favorite:
“Senior military officers and former Regime officials were uncertain about the existence of WMD during the sanctions period and the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom because Saddam sent mixed messages. Early on, Saddam sought to foster the impression with his generals that Iraq could resist a Coalition ground attack using WMD. Then, in a series of meetings in late 2002, Saddam appears to have reversed course and advised various groups of senior officers and officials that Iraq in fact did not have WMD. His admissions persuaded top commanders that they really would have to fight the United States without recourse to WMD. In March 2003, Saddam created further confusion when he implied to his ministers and senior officers that he had some kind of secret weapon.” If Saddam's Military was not sure if Iraq had WMD, then how could we. Not to mention the French, Germans, Russians and British who all also believed that Iraq was hiding WMD.- Page 94
Now why does any of this matter?
Could it be that we are all traveling down a similar road with Iran? Some of the similarities can be haunting, like Sean Penn visits Iraq just before the US Military. Now he just got back from visiting Iran.
"Next-generation optical disks that are robust enough to stay relevant for more than 10 years are required to take advantage of high-definition video and high-quality audio, and the 0.1 mm (Blu-ray) disk structure is advantageous in this regard," - Taro Takamine, Sony
"This morning I read that military options are now on the table. My answer to that is: 'Dear friends in Europe and America, let us work out a strong negotiating position. But let's take the military option off the table. We have seen it doesn't work',"
- Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany
The question of this piece totally ignores an equally relevant question ‘Can Europe go to war?’ Europe has steadily reduced their military capabilities for years and the US has many times commented that Europe needs to spend more on defense. This did not happen in most of the ‘Old Europe’ countries, as the money was needed more for social programs and a military did not exactly fit with the utopian future that the E.U. was working towards. It also did not sit well with the pacifist nature of Europe. After all, how can you start a war without a military to fight it with? Too bad Europe’s utopian future view did not take into account that the E.U. did not encompass the entire planet and that some countries were eager to build strong military capabilities.
Anyway, the Iranian military is the 8th largest in the world, slightly smaller than a theoretical combined French-German army. Regardless, there is no chance that the E.U. could (or would) go to war. We all know this, especially the Iranians. So Europe is missing a useful tool for negotiations (with rogue states,) the threat of military action.
Negotiating with Iran is no piece of cake as we can all see. Iran has its oil exports that it can hold over the negotiators head. That is a powerful bargaining chip as most of the E.U. Countries import oil from Iran including Italy, France and to a lesser extent, Germany. Europe combined receives approximately 9% of their oil imports from Iran, averaging about 860 thousand barrels/day. In addition, Japan receives approximately 12% of their oil imports from Iran. There are no real alternate sources to replace this oil if Iran decides to turn off the tap if the E.U. negotiators attempt to push Iran on permanently halting their (alleged) nuclear weapon program.
The US is often accused of doing most anything to get its hands on more oil. So it might seem strange that the US imports NO Iranian oil. Neither does the UK and Canada. Canada and the UK are actually net exporters of oil. (While Canada and the UK import oil, they are both net exporters of oil.) This situation is to Iran’s benefit, as the major Allied military powers are not dependant on a drop of Iranian oil. So Iran can turn off the tap without the threat of retaliation from any of these countries.
The US can hardly do more to Iran without actually attacking it, already with cut diplomatic relations, frozen assets in the US and Sanctions. Provided that Iran does not get too brazen about their nuclear ambitions, until they actually develop a bomb, the threat of the military action from the US is pretty low. “No Blood for Oil for france!” might be a catchy slogan.
There have been threats that Iran’s violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT,) which it is a signatory will be reported to the Security Council for debate and possible UN sanctions. UN sanctions are not likely either as France, China and Russia will probably end up falling over each other to veto any sanctions that come up for a vote. France would most likely veto any sanctions due to its dependence on Iranian oil. China would veto for a promise of a guaranteed oil supply, and Russia simply to keep the US in check.
So what is Europe to do? We saw the first step recently when the E.U. 3 caved and presented a solution that would allow Iran a peaceful nuclear energy program. They would assist Iran to obtain nuclear energy plants, in essence, meeting their demands. The offer was ejected before it even cooled. This was followed by comments from the Iranian Government on how they fooled the E.U.3 for about a year in order to finish a phase of their nuclear program. This is a perfect example of how serious they view those who they are negotiating with. The E.U. negotiators are nothing more than tools to the Iranians.
To make the E.U. negotiators position worse, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany decided to lecture President Bush that military action is not an option in getting Iran to abide with the will of the international community. It does not appear that they have many other options left. Of course Chancellor Schroeder could have taken a moment to lecture the Iranian Government, but perhaps that slipped his mind.
The E.U.3 have another problem. They are all working to get more access to Iran for French, German, and British businesses. It must be hard to push the Iranians one minute on the nuclear issue and the next minute ask for access to more business opportunities. Could the negotiators the US is depending on compromise themselves any more than they already have?
Europe keeps lecturing the US to not act unilaterally and search out peaceful solutions through the international community. Now Europe has a perfect opportunity to solve the Iran problem on their own. The question is, can they do it before the US warms up their cruise missiles to cancel the Iranian nuclear program before Iran becomes nuclear armed. Perhaps they might want to play good-cop, bad-cop (or carrot and stick.) Simply tell the mullahs running the country to either deal with them now or deal with the Cowboy in control of the US. So lets see how Europe handles a difficult to solve problem President Bush has little faith that these negotiations will work and neither do I. I hope they do, I really do. After all it does the US no good to lecture the E.U. about how they royally screwed up the Iran issue if in the end we have to attack Iran.
See Michael Ledeen’s piece in the National Review for a sobering look at the new Iranian Government: Iran the Model - National Review
Schröder campaigns against Bush - Secular Blasphemy
Germany rejects Iran military option - ABC News Australia
Iran and EU - Captain Marlow
Update 22 Aug 05:
Opinionjournal has a great editorial laying out What two years of "non-cowboy strategy has achieved." It is a good read and points out even more reasons that the current negotiations will not work:
Iran and Diplomacy (How the negotiating strategy is working so far) - Opinionjournal.com
So the wife and I are going to wait. We have a nice park-side apartment with a balcony that extends into Rock Creek Park. When the leaves drop in the fall, we can see the million-plus homes on the other side of the park. Our rent is cheap and all utilities are included. We plan on looking again in about a year, once the bubble has deflated. My guess is that prices will drop dramatically and then start their way back up. The trick is knowing when the market hits bottom.
We partly have to thank all of the investors who bought up many of the properties. When we first moved here in 2001 I went to one development looking for a house and was told that they were all sold already. I was shocked to hear that because none of the houses were build yet, just recently poured foundations. Well the houses are built and the investors have them up for sale. Good luck to them . They're going to need it.
Update: Long Island Housing Bubble Popping - Posted 20 Sept
Update: DC Housing Bubble: Popped - Posted 13 November
Market Cools in the Washington Area - DC Examiner (19 Aug 05)
"that is what is wrong with all you Americans. You always hope for the best while the rest of us always expct the worst."
Thanks to Boxing Alcibiades for considering the piece worth reccomending.
I am sure that the left really wants to protest outside the Iranian Embassy for their bad behavior, but don't think that they have one in the US. Well, turns out that they do, located inside the Embassy of Pakistan:
See you there!
Story and photo at:
Gen. MacArthur statue spawns Korea protest - China Daily
Gen. MacArthur statue spawns Korea protest - Boston.com
macarthur statue korea - Google News
Things that you can do in a Fascist State:
Now it was Cindy Sheehan who was thinking that existence of the Internet as the saving grace for preventing the US from descending into a fascist state. Well with the quick list I drew up above, I think we have a long way to go before we end up anywhere near the type of horror Mrs. Sheehan fears.
I too am thankful for the Internet. I now have a place to express my thoughts and enjoy my First Amendment Right. In addition, I think that conservative-minded persons like myself have even more to thank for the internet, considering that the Mainstream media is so left-leaning. If it wasn’t for the internet, CBS probably would not have been caught accusing the President with fake documents. Nor would we know that the only public copy of the Downing Street Memos were typed out by the secretary of the reporter who broke the story of their existence and that there are no originals or copies of the 'original' documents, or even if they exist at all.
We would not know that Cindy Sheehan posted an open letter to the President calling for his impeachment two days after the election. In a fascist State that would have been enough to give the government reason to silence her. Yet there she is, down the road from the President, with an ever-larger group of protesters by her side, to support and protest her. Thankfully, since we do not live in a fascist state, and we can judge them on their own words and actions.
Code Pink Protesters protesting outside the White House (December 2002)
They don't look afraid do they?
Free Speech does not extend everywhere, like at work:
The Sept. 11 commission knew military intelligence officials had identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida who might be part of U.S.-based terror cell more than a year before the terror attacks but decided not to include that in its final report, a spokesman acknowledged Thursday.
The information did not make it into the final report because it was not consistent with what the commission knew about Atta's whereabouts before the attacks, Felzenberg said.
“It has been seven months since your ignorant and arrogant lack of planning for the peace murdered my oldest child. It has been two days since your dishonest campaign stole another election…but you all were way more subtle this time than in 2000, weren’t you? You hardly had to get the Supreme Court of the United States involved at all this week.”
“If you think I am going to allow you another four years to do even more damage, then you truly are mistaken. I will fight for a true vote count and if that fails, your impeachment. Also, the impeachment of your Vice President. The only thing is, I'm not politically savvy, and I don't have a Karl Rove to plan my strategy, but I do have a big mouth and a righteous cause, which still mean something in this country, I hope.”
“The 56,000,000 plus citizens who voted against you and your agenda have given me a mandate to move forward with my agenda. Also, thanks to you and your careless domestic policies, I am unemployed, so this will be my full-time job.”
“By the way, George, how many more innocent Iraqis are your policies going to kill before you convince them that you are better than Saddam?”
"I can only assume the Americans who checked out the Web site subsequently checked out our winter temperatures and further took note that the National Hockey League was being locked out and had second thoughts," - Toby Condliffe, Canadian chapter of Democrats Abroad