Saturday, September 09, 2006

Iraqi Democracy Comes without Freedom of Speech Option?

Can the new Iraqi government not afford the upgrade, the version of democracy that includes freedom of speech? In a move sure not to win the hearts and minds of the Middle East the government banned another Arab news channel, Dubai based Al Arabiya. The latest move sounds a bit “Rumsfeldish” with his great concern over the use of information. One Iraqi national had this to say:

“Initially they banned Al Jazeera, and now Al Arabiya. It shows that the Americans want to keep what goes on in Iraq a hush-hush affair. The Iraqi government seems like just a tool in the hands of Americans. Now the Arab world lost the chance to know what is exactly happening in Iraq. When a Danish daily published blasphemous cartoons, the Western media branded it as freedom of expression. Why all of them shut their mouth now?”

Restricted speech can be added to detaining people without charges, government sponsored torture, corruption, and banned political parties. It sounds a bit “Saddamish”, the difference being lawlessness came with Iraq’s new found freedom.

The United States has the freedom to tamper in the region to what end? We can contract out port operations to a Dubai company but not trust reporting from a media company in the same thriving Middle Eastern country. A different twist on the domestic front, what penalties might the FCC impose on ABC for any factual inaccuracies in their soon to air 9-11 dramatization? Will their New York based news bureau be closed for their factual errors?

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