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Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 03:45 am:   

"By jailing journalists, this nation (the USA) is giving political cover to repressive regimes in other countries. Already, the governments of Cameroon and Venezuela have pointed to the contempt charges against Miller and Cooper to justify their own actions limiting press freedom." - from "A threat to the press and the public", an editorial in the St Petersburg Times, hardly a leftist bastion.

This editorial also talks about the "real mystery" (though the real mystery to me is why there's no real caring about this mystery in heartland America, as people are dying for ... what? freedom? rule of law? a right to uncorrupt government, a right not to live in a theocracy?), "The real mystery is why Robert Novak, the conservative columnist who published the initial story naming Plame, apparently has nothing to fear from the special prosecutor. Novak has refused to say whether he has cooperated with investigators, but he obviously has the information the prosecutor and grand jury seek. Miller never even published a story about Plame; and the story Cooper wrote followed Novak's revelation and focused on what motivated the leak. Novak's refusal to explain his own conduct or to speak out in defense of his colleagues shows he has little regard for his profession's standards or press freedom."

But the latest Pew poll finds that Americans are disturbed by the press in a different way: that the media doesn't "stand up for America enough".
"More Americans unhappy with media organisations"

So I guess that the current climate explains the lack of headlines when America's own Chemical Ali uttered the one true statement and prediction of his public life, ""We will succeed in Iraq, just like we did in Afghanistan." How many Americans know what's going on in the utter state of big time corruption in the Iraq regime, while the on-the-street police haven't been paid in four months? An excellent article in the Daily Star (Beirut) "The loser in Iran was the western media"
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=1628 8
spoke about the media covering who they knew, and ignoring anything (and the state of everyone) else. Anyone tuned to Iran could see that the corrupt and moral vacuum Rafsanjani had nothing going for him internally,yet the mayor of Tehran had everything going for him, in a country in which most of the people are poor and unemployed, and he even has the advantage of not being a cleric. The result of the election was denigrated as undemocratic by Rummy and the democrat evangelists (see Michael Ignatieff's NY Times column on the "crusade","Who are Americans to that freedom is theirs to spread?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/26/magazine/26EXCEPTION.html?pagewanted=2&incamp= article_popular
though the election in Iran was a damn sight more democratic than the farce in Iraq. The editorial in Arab News (Saudi Arabia) post-election: Man of the People, explained it well. "Thus the key to Ahmadinejadís triumph must lie in the electoral promises he made to the poor and unemployed...This month unemployment reached a record 14.8 percent. An extraordinary half of all Iranian voters is under 25 ó and the voting age is 15."

I expect that in the current climate in America, we will see an increase of articles like this one in the new, reforming New York Times and IHT, "On the streets of Tehran, 'We like America' by Michael Slackman.

But does it matter whether Americans "get" the outside world? Possibly, tragically, it doesn't, as the world has already changed so much in the rush to make a buck around the world. Moral high ground? There isn't any any more, not when there's deals to be made, and the largest market carrot held out that the world has ever seen. The stick? Who's looking?
"Anti-American feeling leaves China top in popularity poll" - Financial Times
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/e3b8c01e-e406-11d9-a754-00000e2511c8,dwp_uuid=d4f2ab60- c98e-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html

The power has already shifted. China is doing big deals to secure resources,markets, and voting allies all around the world--Latin America (which the US has either bullied or ignored), Africa, and even the US' friendliest little pimple on George Bush's bum, Australia, which is being bullied more successfully by China than it is by the US, which has maintained a relationship of "we'll cut you off from more markets if you don't let us in", which we've recently cut the biggest deal in our history, to supply liquid gas to China. That's why with this current defector spot of worry we're having, the Australian government let Chinese officials interrogate the guy. A sign of changed world alliances is the decision announced today about France winning the contest to be the site for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. In one corner: The US, Japan, and Korea--for Japan. The other corner: The EU, China, and Russia (not that the EU counted for anything, except to cook Freedom Fry pie for the Americans to eat).
"France chosen as site for nuclear fusion project" - Taipei Times
Well, I guess I should stop now, as I should have stopped before I started. Maybe there are spelling mistakes. So what? I'll regret all of this, but then life is full of regrets.

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