(I owe the link on Al-Jazeera to Roderick’s News from the Front)
Now that Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical regime is nothing more than a terrible memory, and resistance to the new, friendly, liberal regime is just about almost sorta kinda crushed, we can no doubt look forward to dramatic progress toward the creation of a vigorous, free, American-style democracy in Iraq. For example:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Police ordered Al-Jazeera’s employees out of their newsroom Saturday after the Iraqi government accused the Arab satellite channel of inciting violence and closed its office for 30 days.
Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the stationa chance to re-adjust their policy against Iraq.
They have been showing a lot of crimes and criminals on TV, and they transfer a bad picture about Iraq and about Iraqis and encourage criminals to increase their activities,he said.We want to protect our people.
You might think I’m just being sarcastic–and very heavy-handedly so. Not at all: I really do think that, in spite of many obvious differences, the new state of Iraq and the polity of the United States are growing more alike with every passing day:
Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie,Fahrenheit 9/11,on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.
At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore’s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.
In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC’s agenda for today’s meeting, the agency’s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.
The opinion is generated under the new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, which prohibits corporate-funded ads that identify a federal candidate before a primary or general election.
. . .
The FEC ruling may also affect promotion of a slew of other upcoming political documentaries and films, such as “Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War,” which opens in August, “The Corporation,” about democratic institutions being subsumed by the corporate agenda, or “Silver City,” a recently finished film by John Sayles that criticizes the Bush administration.
. . .
Since the FEC considers the Republican presidential convention scheduled to begin Aug. 30 a national political primary in which Bush is a candidate, Moore and other politically oriented filmmakers could not air any ad mentioning Bush after July 30.
Welcome to the new Iraq and the new America: where democracy is defended by giving the State massive new powers over citizens, and where speech is free as long as you don’t criticize the government.