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    Time yet again to hit the fuck..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00 | Main | AIM and Salon join forces to b..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00

    The Economist came out with an interesting report on a report by some Arab commissars on the backwards state of the Arab world. Included is an assertion in the first paragraph that the Arab world "shook off its colonial or neo-colonial legacies long ago". The problems with that assertion can be dealt with elsewhere. About two dozen paragraphs later they explain further:

    "Blaming outside intervention for the region's sorrows is not as fashionable as it was during the cold war. But it still has some validity. Since September 11th, for instance, outside events have provided authoritarian rulers with an excuse to get away with doing some pretty nasty things, particularly if done to Islamist dissidents. Syria, for instance, is usually prominent on America's list of outcast states. But right now its security services are engaged in questioning an alleged al-Qaeda leader under torture, with America's tacit approval and encouragement."

    Shipping suspects off to our autocratic client-states in the mid-east for torture isn't anything new, and in fact has been going on for decades. We've pumped billions in military aid and funding into the hands of Arab despots. It would be a mistake to understand these issues without recognizing that the US has participated in the problem, rather than the solution.

    It also refers to a Freedom House survey as reporting "that no Arab country has genuinely free media, and only three have 'partly free'. The rest are not free." Before almost mistaking that for a description of the Western press I thought of Al-Jazeera. The Freedom House report on Qatar says "The satellite television channel Al-Jazeera operates freely." Adding to which one should observe that it is only "free" in the strict sense as used in the West.

:: posted by buermann @ 2002-11-20 02:00:00 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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