Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Hold The Hysteria
Although there's every reason to be vigilant and indignant about the Bush administration's multiple infringements upon our civil liberties these past six years, it's also important to recognize how lucky we are to live in (or in my case, to come from) a country with such a strong tradition of free speech.
Take the US Army's website, for instance, and in particular it's News page. Sure, it's peppered with the kind of fluff pieces and propaganda excercises that you'd expect. But if you take a look at the righthand sidebar you'll see a box titled, "World Media News Today". Here are the headlines I found today when I checked in with the site:
- Retired U.S. Army Generals to Make TV Commercials Criticizing Bush's Handling of Iraq War (IHT);
- U.S. Attack Kills Iraqi School Children (Al Jazeera);
- How Bush Sabotaged Reconstruction in Iraq (Counter Currents).
This isn't the first time that I've found highly critical articles linked to on the site. In fact, it's a pretty common occurence. It's not uncommon to hear people claim that America is slowly becomong a police state. But police states don't allow that kind of criticism to see the light of day, let alone diffuse it. By comparison, for example, it's pretty well-known that criticizing the Russian government and military these days can be dangerous to a reporter's health. So while there have been some excesses in the past six years, ones that need to be corrected, it's important to keep things in perspective.