Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rant #2 - No News not Good News

Very little news coming out of occupied Iraq and occupied Palestine. Mainstream media busy covering pedophiles, Tom DeLay, border issues and Black congresswomen "attacking" heavily armed Capitol police with dangerous cell phones. (Ouch!) At least there are no runaway brides this week.

But seriously, when the mainstream media is quiet about the war, I start to panic. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is making noises about not wanting Ibrahim Jaafari to hold office. The media alternates between referring to the young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a "firebrand", a "radical", a "terrorist" and a "militia leader". The administration and media refuse to accept that Iran just might want to enrich fuel to generate electricity. Just how many Iranian spokespeople can say it, how many ways, before the US accepts that they might just be telling the truth? (And just when is Ambassador John Bolton's term up as a recess appointee to the UN? Not soon enough, I fear.) Nor can anyone in power believe that the last thing Iran wants or needs is an uprising on their long, long border with Iraq.

Unreported, the true locations of the insurgency and the fighting. "Somewhere west of Baghdad", "somewhere north or south of Baghdad". What does that mean? Why don't they just own up to the fact that fighting going on in Tal Afar (the US military success story of the month), in Fallujah (which looks worse than Rafah in the Gaza Strip or Jenin after 2003), in Baghdad (where only the Green Zone is secure) and around Balaad (where the US has built a mega-base complete with fast food joints and cinema -- a hard, permanent base complete with shopping malls and underpaid foreign [non-Iraqi, non-American] workers.)

The leader of the "Free World", with his zeal and fervor to spread "democracy and the rule of law", should probably consider accepting the votes of the majority in Iraq, Palestine, Venezuela, Bolivia, Haiti, Iran. Last time I looked, democracy did not mean meddling in the business of foreign entities and sovereign states, nor did it mean national building or micro-managing the planet and executive power only.

And in the same vein, someone in Washington should look up the meaning of "rule of law". They obviously don't know since they use it to justify all sorts of malfeasance.

"Rule of law" means that "no branch of government is above the law, and that no public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law". It also means that "no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice that transcend human legal systems". It does not mean issuing secret "signing statements" along with the signing of legislation, basically saying that the chief executive does not have to abide by the law just signed (i.e., Patriot Act and anti-torture legislation) and ignoring international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions. In other words, crossing one's fingers behind one's back while putting pen to paper and saying "Na nana na na" just doesn't cut it when we're supposed to enjoy separation of powers.

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