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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
Length in days of the sentence Russian blogger Alexei Navalny served for leading an opposition rally last year:
Israeli researchers developed software that evaluates the depression of bloggers.
A teenager in Singapore was convicted of obscenity for posts critical of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding father, that included an image of Lee having sex with Margaret Thatcher.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”