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President Bush sees himself as a divine messenger of freedom and liberty. On his watch, a great and ancient people have risen up to shake off the chains of oppression. They look to America and its leader for help and encouragement. And what do they find? He ignores them. He is too busy with his plans for wars–past and coming. The democratic moment is on the world stage now. It is played out in Burma. And Bush and his crew turn a blind eye on it.
It’s a day to remember the challenge of the tyrant. And a day to remember the words of W.H. Auden:
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
–W.H. Auden, Epitaph on a Tyrant (1939) in: Collected Poems p. 183.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”