Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The United States of Do-as-your-fu*king-told
I've written about the pathetic excuse for democracy the U$ offers the citizens of its empire and the stories continue to emerge of what it's brand of inclusive government really looks like.....

In the belly of the beast, a friend, meeting for a bite to eat in a cafe is detained by armed police. His crime was to be a South Asian immigrant. An American citizen nonetheless, he makes the mistake of believing he has rights; "We insisted that we had every right to leave and were going to do so. One of the policemen walked over with his hand on his gun and taunted: Go ahead and leave, just go ahead." How about a lawyer? "When I asked to speak to a lawyer, the INS official informed me that I do have the right to a lawyer but I would have to be brought down to the station and await security clearance before being granted one. When I asked how long that would take, he replied with a coy smile: Maybe a day, maybe a week, maybe a month."

The Governor of Britain, Tony Blair, warned the anti-counties camp to fall in line and get rid of any silly notions of creating 'rival centres of power' heedless of the fact that in some places (e.g. Germany) the state actions are democratically mandated (for what its worth!). In Belgian, a lawyer says he is preparing a case that could see the Imperial General Franks, charged under the law for war crimes which allows the prosecution of non-Belgian citizens. Rather than democratically fighting the case in the courts as mandated by a democracy, the U$ is bringing heavy pressure on the lawyers country of origin. The message is clear; behave.

In the province of Iraq, dissenters got a taste of Imperial democracy when 13 people were shot dead at a demo over the U$ troops use of a school as a base. The U$ claimed they were shot at first, which could turn out to be true but the Guardian reporter noted; "No bullet holes were visible yesterday on the school..."

But don't look to the socialist state of Cuba for answers as Castro begins his own egalitarian brand of repression. To me the message is clear; don't look for democracy in a state: Look for it within yourself, defend it in others.

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