Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Silence of the Hams

9:39 AM

I wonder if Dubya and his team of thespians could qualify for an Oscar, or perhaps, rather, a Razzie. After that soul-stirring [read sarcasm here] speech at his second inauguration, he created the ultimate sound byte with his "spreading freedom" idea. At the time I remarked that it was a smart political move designed to put opponents on their "back feet" because they would:

(a) be too busy sputtering in disbelief to do anything;
(b) not have expected him to say anything remotely close to that after the poor planning and implementation in Iraq.

As far as I know, for the Texan who claims to have an accurate moral compass and all that political capital the notion of spreading freedom is merely talk. A story that has been notoriously absent in the media is the continued oppression and abuse of human rights in Uzbekistan. As a despotic leader continues to attack his own people, ostensibly to crush religious fundamentalists, the United States has been silent. The UN and the UK have openly criticized Uzbekistan's 16-year ruler for violent responses to peaceful (in most cases) protests. Here is one article on the situation. You can also read more at this excellent site covering Central Asia.

Unfortunately, the death of innocent civilians in Uzbekistan is a result of the Administration's continued belief that it can practice a pre-emptive, aggressive strategy in the 'War against Terror' and expect everyone else to play by a different set of rules. Not so. Despots like Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov are more than willing to use Washinton's bellicose, morally condescending vocabulary—and its rather primal tactics—to frame their own system of oppression. In circumstances like this, which I believe will only increase in number, Washington's silence implies tacit approval at worst, or absolute indifference at best. Furthermore it implies that the President was far more interested in sounding good than actually being good.


Now to that really large steaming pile of news that has 'confirmed' America's distrust of the media. How, oh how, pray tell, could Newsweek make such a grievous error in judgement? How could they print inflammatory assertions that were obtained from a single source and never independently verified by anyone else? Such actions are irresponsible and have led to the deaths of innocents civilians. The Whitehouse is enraged! Scott Mcllellan plays the part of dishonored damsel perfectly. "The have ruined America's image abroad," he says. "They must help repair the damage."

I nearly laughed my damn ass off.

As you will find in this Slate article, that assertion, coming from this administration is quintessential 'pot calling the kettle black.' Considering that the invasion and ensuing occupation of Iraq came from forged documents, manipulated evidence, and no-source 'evidence,' I think Bush and Co. need to chill out. In addition, the heinous abuse of power rampant in detention centers from Afghanistan to Guantanamo (some of which are documented in the Slate piece) was far more damaging to the American image than the Newsweek article. This is not an attempt to excuse shoddy work by any means; it's simply an attempt at keeping perspective.


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