What wackiness to wake up to on a Sunday morning! On CNN’s State of the Union, Joe Lieberman tells Candy Crowley that the government should police the internet - taking China as an example!
A stunning example of the fact that, as I have written elsewhere, however different their regimes, and notwithstanding their external antagonisms, political leaders share a common attitude vis a vis their subjects.
But would internet security suddenly have become a burning issue had the cooperatively-run internet site Wikileaks - which, coincidentally, Wikipedia says was founded by Chinese dissidents some years ago - not recently show an American helicopter gunship deliberately targeting and killing a dozen civilians and wounding two children in Afghanistan? The footage, complete with the two-way ground-to-air conversation was leaked by an American soldier, who has been arrested, and a hunt is on for Julian Assange, the Australian who is the public face of Wikileaks, now and not for the first time, in hiding.
But let’s not lose the thread here: Senator Lieberman is proposing legislation that would authorize the White House to prevent use of the internet that could threaten our national security - as does China, a country which is officially Communist, and in any case recognized as an authoritarian regime. Yet Senator Lieberman, like most of his colleagues in the Congress, would not be caught dead recommending that the United States emulate in any way, shape or form, the social-democratic countries of Europe, which, as the world stands today, are widely considered to be the best that humans have achieved so far in terms of governance.
As for where the world stands today, an Arizona lawmaker proposes that birth certificates be denied children of illegal immigrants, never mind that according to the Constitution, any person born on U.S. soil is an American citizen; and Israelis of European origin demonstrate against having their children schooled together with those of Sephardic, usually North-African, origin.
More encouragingly, civilians around the world are increasingly adopting similar attitudes toward those that govern them, whether it be Americans on the Gulf Coast tired of waiting for government and BP to clean up the oil mess, college students voting to divest from companies doing business with Israel, West bank Palestinians boycotting settler products, South American Indians or Africans of the Niger Delta suing big oil for polluting their lands.