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May 11, 2006



I understand the spirit of your comment but, still, I find it very unfortunate. It's obvious that the issues are very different in democratic and authoritarian countries and they must be addressed in different ways (among many reasons because violations in a democracy are the exceptions, in a dictatorship are the norm). So, it's perfectly consistent a Freedom Act focusing only on authoritarian countries. At the same time it's right to criticize NSA programs. But making clear that we're talking about very different issues, very differents contexts and very different problems. Comparisons are not always useful to undesrtand. This is a clear example of comparison producing confusion.


As for the sentence:

"But unfortunately, as a result of the Bush Administration's behavior, it becomes increasingly difficult for an American person to advocate for freedom of speech in China and be taken seriously"

of course it will give you some applauses by some leftwingers but, again,it's completely out of touch.
If for chinese people the problem were only a phone number list, I think we could be very, very, very happy.

That said, I really appreciate your work. A not so brilliant post sometimes just happens.

bobby fletcher

ER, I find your "USA is not China", "we are still better" argument troubling.

In what sense are we better when we the master of these ideals betrays or own principles?

Hasan Diwan

The British and American governments, under guise of protecting the citizenry from terror, have gone berserck. One needs only look at the cases of Craig Murray -- http://craigmurray.co.uk -- and Maher Arar to read what our governments will resort to to silence dissent and cover up their mistakes.


There is no surprise here except why did it take so long to expose this? I thought these eavesdropping and spying happened all the time during the cold war era in America.

America is a BI-AUTHORITARIAN state not a real democracy. There are only TWO political parties that have any chance winning the presidency.

If China were to split the Communist party into 2 political Communist parties, then the system in China is going to be nearly the same as America. That's all it takes to stoop to America's level. No other reforms are needed except for the Communist Party of China to split itself in 2 and we would have a system similar to America's 2 party system.

Also, America's cabinet ministers are not elected by the people. They are all appointed by the President. A lot of other democracies' cabinet ministers are also elected representatives. They have the people to answer to.


Rebecca, dou you understand why I told you that your post was unsuitable? It was easily predictable that it would have uncorked the idiotarians bottle.

Rebecca MacKinnon

e.r., mahatir fan is my resident anti-U.S. troll and didn't need this post to come uncorked. Unfortunately it's not me who gives him ammunition, it's the current executive branch of my government. Naturally, one need look no further than Steve Colbert's recent White House roast of the President to show how fundamentally different the U.S. system remains from China's.

May it stay that way. I believe that Democracy is something that can't be taken for granted. It's like a relationship, if you don't work on it, if you don't fight to keep it healthy, one day you'll wake up to find it has evaporated. No nation is immune, IMHO.


Rebecca, I share your last sentence but I mantain that it's preposterous to apply it to this situation.
Some articles you didn't quote:


Keep up the good job.


First link was incorrect. This is right:



Sorry, I can't post it right. I think you read it yesterday on WP.

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