Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Strange freedom posted by Richard SeymourAs you will undoubtedly have heard, the Iraqi journalist who lobbed heavy duty leather shoes at Bush has been beaten and tortured in custody. Hardly a novelty in the 'new Iraq', where torture has reached such a scale that the UN described it as being worse than under Saddam Hussein. In light of which, this Times leader column seems not merely inapposite but actually grotesque. It claims that the protest "demonstrated how far Iraq has come", and that Iraqis "have learnt to enjoy freedom of expression." It would be redundant to go through all the ways in which this disgusting reverie constitutes both a moral and intellectual insult. But one has to wonder: if a Times journalist was bleeding internally, with broken ribs and a smashed arm after suffering a severe beating by police, would its leader column be waxing wistful and ironical about 'imperfect' freedom?
Update: More freedom of expression - US Troops Open Fire On Fallujah Students at Shoe Rally.