October 26th, 2006

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(no subject)

"The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution..." - GWB

... or not.

Horror at the bloodshed accompanying the U.S. effort to bring democracy to Iraq has accomplished what human rights activists, analysts and others say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been unable to do by himself: silence public demands for democratic reforms.

"Talking about democracy and freedom has become very difficult and sensitive. The people are not believing these thoughts anymore. When the U.S. came to Iraq, it came in the name of democracy and freedom. But all we see are bodies, bodies, bodies."

"The Americans came to Iraq to make it an example to the other countries to ask for change. But what happened was the opposite. Now everyone is saying we do not want to be like Iraq."

And so, yet another rationale for the war in Iraq bites the big one.

And if you think they feel that way in Syria, imagine how they must feel in Iran, where the hardliners are expecting to boost their power in upcoming elections, while disorganized reformers are gradually being silenced. As a result, Ahmadinejad doesn't appear to have divided Iran, so much as established himself as a strong man, having consolidated his power and established an unexpected level of defacto internal unity. There simply appears to be no one who can oppose him.
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Poetry time in the Global War on Terror..

The Brown Man's Burden

By Henry Labouchère

Truth (London); reprinted in Literary Digest 18 (Feb. 25, 1899). 

Pile on the brown man's burden
 To gratify your greed; 
Go, clear away the "niggers" 
Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly 
'Tis useless to be mild 
With new-caught, sullen peoples, 
Half devil and half child. 

Pile on the brown man's burden; 
And, if ye rouse his hate, 
Meet his old-fashioned reasons 
With Maxims up to date. 
With shells and dumdum bullets 
A hundred times made plain 
The brown man's loss must ever 
Imply the white man's gain. 

Pile on the brown man's burden, 
compel him to be free; 
Let all your manifestoes 
Reek with philanthropy. 
And if with heathen folly 
He dares your will dispute, 
Then, in the name of freedom, 
Don't hesitate to shoot. 

Pile on the brown man's burden, 
And if his cry be sore, 
That surely need not irk you-- 
Ye've driven slaves before. 
Seize on his ports and pastures, 
The fields his people tread; 
Go make from them your living, 
And mark them with his dead. 

Pile on the brown man's burden, 
And through the world proclaim 
That ye are Freedom's agent-- 
There's no more paying game! 
And, should your own past history 
Straight in your teeth be thrown, 
Retort that independence 
Is good for whites alone.