Secretary Clinton: Thanks, but no thanks.
Since post-revolution Egypt is now banging on the doors of democracy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cairo a few days ago to express support and the readiness of the American government to support our transition to democracy.
According to America.gov she also said the following:
We’ve had a lot of struggles along the way. We’ve had our own problems in overcoming divisions, fighting a civil war, reaching out to include women, people of different religions and backgrounds and races — all in the American democracy.
She forgot to mention genocide, imperialism, colonization, slavery, and exploitation of the world’s resources as other factors. In any case, I thank you for your support Secretary Clinton, but I hope you don’t take it personally when I tell you I genuinely and sincerely hope that our democracy looks nothing like yours.
Why? Because when I look at the way American citizens are treated by their own government, I can’t help but ask myself: What’s the point of democracy if the government can still get away with all that? Let me give just a few examples.
Example Number 1
In Wisconsin, after around 100,000 people protested against a controversial piece of legislation that would sharply detract from the collective bargaining rights of public employees in the state. This was the largest protest ever seen by the state, larger than protests during the Vietnam war, and in addition to that, 14 senators fled the state in protest over the bill and in attempt to stall it. And yet, governor Scott Walker ignored all this and signed the bill anyway. You might wonder, how did he manage to pass this bill even though public opinion is clearly against it. DemocracyNow interviews a democratic state rep. who explains some of the mechanisms of passing this bill which manipulated the democratic process to effectively silence their voices.
Example Number 2
Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist and economics student, saw that public land was being auctioned off to oil companies for drilling, with absolutely no regard for the will of those who technically own this land: the American people. He decided to try and stop this atrocity by joining the auction and bidding on the land even though he did not have the money to pay for it. He succeeded in bidding on a large part of the land, and later raised the money necessary to pay for it. However, he was charged and convicted with “disrupting a government auction”. Here’s what Democracy Now has to say about it:
A federal jury in Salt Lake City has convicted environmental activist Tim DeChristopher of two felony counts for disrupting the auction of more than 100,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling. DeChristopher was charged in December 2008 with infiltrating a public auction and disrupting the Bush administration’s last-minute move to auction off oil and gas exploitation rights on vast swaths of federal land. A student at the time, DeChristopher posed as a bidder and bought 22,000 acres of land with no intent to pay in an attempt to save the property from drilling. He faces up to ten years in prison.
You can listen to his interview with DemocracyNow at the link above, or watch this interview with RT.
Example Number 3
I came across a documentary by Josh Fox called Gasland. This is the synopsis of the film according to Wikipedia:
Following the lease offer, he looked for information about natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale under large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio andWest Virginia. He visited Dimock, Pennsylvania where natural gas drilling was already taking place. In Dimock, he met families able to light their tap wateron fire as well as suffering from numerous health issues and fearing their well water had been contaminated.
Fox then set out to see how communities are being affected in the west where a natural gas drilling boom has been underway for the last decade. He spent time with citizens in their homes and on their land as they relayed their stories of natural gas drilling in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Texas, among others. He spoke with residents who have experienced a variety of chronic health problems as well as contamination of their air, water wells or surface water. In some instances, the residents are reporting that they obtained a court injunction or settlement monies from gas companies to replace the affected water supplies with potable water or water purification kits.
It’s almost ironic that the American government sends billions of dollars to other countries to help poor citizens get access to clean drinking water, when some of their own citizens don’t have this luxury. When they can literally light their tap water on fire.
Example Number 4
I don’t even need to get into Guantanamo and the way the American government bullies the world, because what they do to their own citizens is enough. Another example is the case of Bradley Manning, the 22-year old army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. He has been incarcerated for over 7 months, and he is yet to be convicted of any crime. Let me make that clear once again: Manning has not been convicted of any crime, and yet he continues to be imprisoned under horrible conditions. This excerpt from Salon.com describes the situation:
In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig’s medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.
So I reiterate to Secretary of State Clinton: Thanks but no thanks. I don’t want your so-called democracy. I would prefer to go back to the dark days of Mubarak rule because at least then the people weren’t fooled.
I want real freedom and justice. And I know that I will be far away from any semblance of justice if I take America as a model.