12.20.2008

FREEDOM TO DISSENT

In a recent interview with CNN, Foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria wisely points out that last week's shoe-throwing incident highlights both pent-up anger at Iraqi losses and a huge advance in Iraqi freedom. Throwing a shoe at a foreign leader may still be a crime in Iraq as it is most of the free world, but the incident suggests that other, acceptable forms of dissent are now more possible than ever.

If that's the case, let's hope for more, in Iraq and around the world. I mean, isn't expressing your disgust with your leaders what makes election-year conversations more fun? I certainly have enjoyed sticking it to Bush, Obama, or Congress in this space when I disagree with them.

In fact, not only is dissent allowed, it's a necessary part of modern democracy. That's why I'm so nervous about China and Russia; Thailand, are you listening? In the US, we don't jail dissidents, we give them prime-time cable shows. Let's hope Iraqis soon have the same luxury.
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