Thursday, June 22, 2006  

Utterly ridiculous

are the new guidlelines in Afghanistan against journalists who criticize the government or the US troops there.

These spring from the able minds at the Ministry of the Interior,
Lawmaker Shukria Barikzai, a former editor of a women's magazine, said the restrictions violated the constitution.

"From any angle we look at this, it cannot be in the interest of Afghanistan and its commitment to the international community," which has been pushing the country towards democracy, she said.

The sanctions include, in part:
Considering the "present situation," media reports should not "weaken people's morale and affect the national interests," it says, referring in part to stories about the regular Taliban attacks.

The list, marked "not for publication," says there should be no interviews with "terrorist commanders" and that criticism of the
NATO and US-led forces based in Afghanistan is forbidden.

This is part of a 24 point list delivered to editors.

Any time the "Ministery of the Interior" does something like this anywhere, one should be VERY nervous because the secret police tend to hang out in places like this, preparing to pounce at the Ministry's behest.

Just who is behind this and isn't this criticism of Nato and US-led forces...hmmm...shades of several years ago in the US- except we have (had?) such an entrenched freedom of the press that it didn't work.

Which goes back to a point I made in a previous post- why is it that we seem to reserve certain freedoms for ourselves but not support them for others? And why is there no statement from the White House to the effect that we encourage free speech even when that means the freedom to criticize us? The silence is deafening...

read more.
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zazou, saw your passionate post on donkeyphant and you were a bit more articulate than me as I was terribly distracted while writing but I think your point by point clarifications should have come across clearly and intelligently. I took a truth and propaganda class back in Carleton University (ottawa canada), which interestingly enough, was a philosophy/mass communication class (these days, it ought to be a mandatory poli sci class). The one thing that stuck with me clearly is that when people have a belief in something (issue, people, God), they will not change it, but only edge away from it depending on the influence. The person you were commenting on at Donkeyphant's most likely will not change his mind, hopefully we've all 'nudged' him a bit further into opening his mind.
Still, there are many tyrannical and intolerant influences all around and imagine the kinds of things you hear when you're in the military surrounded by that kind of influence. He's been in there since he was 17 so, he's been indoctrinated. Still, like I said, the tyrannical forces are all around, as it is sadly obvious from your post. No critizing in order to preserve moral? aside from utterly ridiculous, it's also pretty pathetic. How transparent is that?
Hope to see more of your comments, people with passionate opinions are more interesting than those who don't have any..
Thank you, Ingrid! You are very kind. Sent you an e-mail back.

Everybody, please check out Ingrid's blog: Blogger Roundtable. Very interesting stuff! @
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