19 September 2003

Committee for a New Europe

[source, source]
Today, it is the responsibility of the democratic world to support representatives of the Cuban opposition, irrespective of how long the Cuban Stalinists manage to cling to power. The Cuban opposition must enjoy the same international support as political dissidents did in divided Europe. […] Europe ought to make it unambiguously clear that Castro is a dictator, and that for democratic countries a dictatorship cannot become a partner until it commences a process of political liberalisation. At the same time, European countries should establish a "Cuban Democracy Fund" to support the emergence of a civil society in Cuba. Such a fund would be ready for instant use in the case of political changes on the island. Europe's peaceful transitions from dictatorship to democracy, first in Spain and later in the East, have been an inspiration for the Cuban opposition, so Europe should not hesitate now. Its own history obliges it to act.
-- Vaclav Havel, Arpad Göncz & Lech Walesa
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Of course I wasn't serious!

[source, source] Abu Mazen, the former "prime minister" of the Palestinian Authority, openly admits that he had no intention of and made no effort to follow the "Road Map":
Abbas told the PLC [Palestinian Legislative Council] on Saturday that, contrary to reports in the American and Israeli press, he had never sought to wrest control of the Palestinian security forces from Yasser Arafat, nor had he agreed with Washington on establishing a unified security apparatus. […] Abbas admitted that, his signature on the document notwithstanding, he had rejected America's expressed desire that he unify the PA security forces and place them under his command.[…] Appearing to list off his accomplishments as prime minister, Abbas told the PLC: "The road map calls for the unification of the security services. We surmounted this obstacle. It called for striking and uprooting the [terrorist] organizations. We surmounted this obstacle, too." […] In this way, Abbas continued, "we got over or tried to get over the tragedy in which we would have put ourselves if we had listened to them [the Americans and Israelis].
A bit like "Kruschev's speech":http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1956khrushchev-secret1.html …
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Zinger of the day

[source, source]
Republican consultant Bill McInturff said, "NOW is a marginal political organization with no impact or clout, that no one takes seriously, and now they endorse a candidate that no one takes seriously, so they're perfect together."
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Big Media bias watch

An "Instapundit":http://instapundit.com inspired rounded up of anti-American reporting from Iraq. Chief Wiggles weighs in. Wiggles is actually in Iraq so he's a bit more knowledgeable than the average weblogger.
I am forced to ponder the value of a news-media that only reports a distorted view of events based on what they determine will sell papers and magazines or news that supports their own biased political attitudes. What is the value of news that doesn't tell the true story, but only a one-sided biased interpretation predetermined before the news events even occur. Why should the political bias or personal agenda of the news agency be so intertwined with the facts of the event, so as to purposely influence the attitudes of the reader?
From a "local newspaper":http://www.townonline.com/belmont/news/local_regional/bch_feabhiraq09172003.htm
Cheung [a just returned soldier] agreed that the media reports he read while in Iraq seemed so much different from what he was seeing for himself. One of the things he read that goaded him the most was that the Iraqis did not want the troops over there. "I talked to so many Iraqis - adults and children - and they thanked me, invited me to their house, asked if they can cook a meal for me and offered me everything they have," he said. "Because we were there, they have the freedom we enjoy in this country every day. They waved to us and a lot of times they worked with us."
From "Andrew Sullivan":http://andrewsullivan.com/index.php?dish_inc=archives/2003_09_14_dish_archive.html#106394444461984778
Johann Hari, a writer for the Independent in London, was close to many Iraqi exiles - refugees from the Baath dictatorship - and was worried when they went back home at the end of the war this spring. But many have just returned for a brief visit to London and have been reporting what they found. His worst fears dissipated when he first saw them in his apartment, "beaming and speaking at a hundred words a minute."
In contrast to wanting the Americans to leave as soon as possible, the more common concern is leaving too soon:
There is a terrible fear among many Iraqis that they will not be able to match the Kurds' achievement if they are abandoned by the Americans once again. "The memories of 1991 are so vivid," says Sama. "People still fear that somehow the Americans will abandon us and Saddam will claw his way back from the grave. They say, `It happened in 1991, it could happen again.'
That's a far more understandable concern than worries about "American Imperialism". Of course, we must keep in mind that not everything is going well, but Big Media tracks the bad parts with a focus that borders on fanaticism. UPDATE: "A whole column":http://www.msnbc.com/news/856672.asp on the subject with possible motives outlined.
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