Archive for August, 2007
I’ll be honest. I’d rather be writing about almost anything other than Dick Cheney’s desire to attack Iran. This story has been with us ever since a senior Bush administration official joked in May 2003, “Anyone can go to Baghdad, real men go to Tehran.”
On August 4, under pressure to take action before leaving Washington for the summer recess, Congress voted to approve a measure that effectively legalizes, for the next six months, many of the illegal and unconstitutional acts of surveillance that the Bush adminstration have been involved in for years.
Former Marine officer and U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, an early opponent of the Iraq War, has turned his attention to holding the Bush administration accountable for its abuses of power such as torture, secret prisons and warrantless surveillance.
“President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and hisÂ God, by becoming ‘ex-president’ Bush or he can become ‘President-for-Life’ Bush…. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world?”
The essence of democracy is that we are able to speak out like Benchemsi did without the slightest fear of reprisal. But perhaps freedom of expression and democracy, which Morocco proclaims endlessly and without shame, are merely a way to numb our thoughts, and our future is really quite narrow, limited to the voice of one man.
“For me, this looks like a scripted scenario designed to inaugurate a new period of unlimited personal rule for the king, and to put to rest the illusions some people had of the possibility of a parliamentary, democratic monarchy. Personally, I think Morocco is screwed!”
On July 30, Mohammed VI gave his annual speech from the throne. Journalist Ahmed Reda Benchemsi wrote a provocative response that was printed in Nichane. The offending issue was confiscated by the authorities as soon as it appeared on the stands, but not before a few people got hold of copies.
As a kid, when I heard a train whistle in the distance, I would get on my bike and ride half a mile to the railroad track, so I could count the cars of the train as it went by.
Senator Obama, I am ashamed of you for saying you would send U.S. troops into Pakistan unilaterally, without the permission of the Pakistani government or, presumably, the U.N. You’ve lost my vote with this one.