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My Democracy Is Better Than Your Democracy!

December 7, 2006

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was in a “debate” with a relative about Venezuela. The point my relative was making is that Hugo Chavez is a communist. To prove his theory he pointed out that the Chavez government has been suppressing free speech in the media. I said that may be and I was not aware of the exact actions that the Venezuelan government has taken against journalists. I countered that the real reason the Bush administration hates Chaves is because he nationalized the oil industry and forced the oil companies to pay up dues that they owed Venezuela.Freedom of The Press?

I had to admit that my relative was correct in the fact that suppressing free speech is wrong and will ultimately backfire on those that suppress it. I did, at the time, mention that the US basically suppresses the media but in more subtle ways. In the states reporters may not be thrown in jail for reporting on the truth, but it is harassed. Harassed in the sense that they will be fired or lose choice assignments. Since most of the mainstream media is owned by five major corporations that have close ties to the Bushtards it is not that hard to stifle true journalism. The more obvious recent examples are with ABC canceling Nightline that was hosted by Ted Koppel and CBS firing Dan Rather.

Then I began to think about direct political oppression of journalism. The most example of American Democracy repressing journalistic freedom is not in North America but in the newly formed Iraqi government. In fact the US military has arrested reporters and is currently holding onto one right now. The reporter is an Iraqi working for the Associated Press named Bilal Hussein and the US military has been holding onto him since since April 12, 2006.

THE DETENTION OF AP PHOTOGRAPHER BILAL HUSSEIN

The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein since April 12, 2006, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing. “We want the rule of law to prevail,” says AP President and CEO Tom Curley. “He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable.” Military officials say that Hussein was being held for “imperative reasons of security” under United Nations resolutions. A Pentagon spokesman reiterated that stance Sept. 18. Hussein is a 35-year-old Iraqi citizen and a native of Fallujah. AP executives said an internal review of his work did not find anything to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and any evidence against him should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system. Hussein began working for the AP in September 2004. He photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained. Bilal Hussein is one of an estimated 14,000 people detained by the U.S. military worldwide — 13,000 of them in Iraq. They are held in limbo where few are ever charged with a specific crime or given a chance before any court or tribunal to argue for their freedom. In Hussein’s case, Curley and other AP executives say, the military has not provided any concrete evidence to back up the vague allegations they have raised about him.

So the questions that I have for people like my relative are the following. Is the US any better than the “communist dictator” Hugo Chavez of Venezuela regarding freedom of the press? Are the dissenting journalists in Venezuela more likely to be ostracized and jailed than US reporters or those working for US new agencies?

How can we as Americans look down our nose at Venezuela and Chavez when our military is detaining over 13,000 prisoners in Iraq with out being charged or allowed a day in court? How can we call the Chavez government oppressive when the United States has more people in jail than any other country in the world? Is the Bush administration standing up for its own citizens rights when it sets up wiretaps on journalists and ordinary citizens without a court warrant? Is the Bush administration supporting our constitutional right to freedom of speech when it keeps databases on anti-war activist activities?

Given the current administrations track record on human rights, freedom of speech, and respecting the rights of sovereign nations, I think that the US in general doesn’t have much to brag about. I don’t honestly know the answers to the questions about the Chavez government. However, my suspicion is that the Bushtards hate of Chavez has little to do with “freedom of the press” and more to do with oil and politics.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Conservatards Mom permalink
    December 7, 2006 4:41 pm

    I agree that Chavez is a communist, but he’s an elected communist. And our interest in Venezuela is mainly oil. Chavez is subsidizing oil so that citizens can have cheap oil. So he has to get the money somewhere. I’ll bet he sells to China. A new market, so he can trash the US all he wants.
    What do you think of Baker? Everyone is kissing his feet. Is he worth it?

  2. Mike Moore permalink
    May 3, 2007 11:55 pm

    I can’t thnk of a bigger as****s that you butt pirates and by the way liberal is a four letter word you f****** communist coward faggot sh** head. And by the way… don’t bother with the typical conservitard or whatever the f*** you libturds are calling conservatives on this gay dating site of yours doing nothing but name calling because I am only calling you what you actually are. And it makes me feel good and my friends laugh. So f*** you AND the horse you rode in on you morons… because while you are fighting for your enemies, your girlfriends, the few straight ones of you that there are are busy giving head to US Soldiers… real men by the way… the kind you faggots wish you could date but can’t. Go kiss chavez you f****** coward ass jerkoffs.

    Editors Note:

    Mr. C. decided in the name of fairness to publish an edited version of this post. The only edits that were made were some of the more agergious swear words were **** over.

  3. May 8, 2007 7:11 pm

    Thank you. I was just making this point the other day. It’s not wonder the rest of the world hates us. We don’t hold ourselves to the same rules and standards we hold everyone else to.

    And wow…what an angry person Mike Moore is. Maybe he needs to get laid?

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