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Thursday, February 3, 2011

This is what happens when you enable dictators

Apparently the Egyptian security forces have started rounding up foreign journalists in Cairo.

The Globe's Sonia Verma's last tweet, at the time of this post, was about two hours ago. She also tweeted about being surrounded by aggressive groups of young men, about having her car commandeered, and about being taken into custody.

On the CBC news this morning, one of the correspondents talked about security agents going door to door in hotels, searching rooms and confiscating cameras and memory cards.

Really, is anyone surprised? This is what happens when authoritarians are backed into corners. They don't want the rest of the world to see what's going on, so they want to be able to suppress the release of any images or recordings. Who can really be surprised after what's happened to internet and cellphone service? Not as if it hasn't happened before.

All of this, of course, sets the background for the U.S. condemnation of violence against journalists, exposing it as the standard paint-by-numbers hypocrisy that it is. Banal, by rote and platitude it may be, but that doesn't make it any less nauseating. The final flourish on the dispatch, the part that talks about the journalists being rounded up for their own protection, is just the cherry on the shit sundae. And even that's being recycled.

Oh, but wait! Obama says he's praying for peace in Egypt! I guess we were all wrong about him.

Can we finally, please, lose the illusion that there are any substantive differences among Reagan, Clinton, the Bushes and Obama? They're all serving the same masters, after all.

(h/t Buckdog)

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