“Freedom of speech, just watch what you say”
The U.S.-led coalition in Iraq on Sunday closed a newspaper sponsored by a popular anti-American Shiite cleric, accusing it of creating unrest and inciting violence against occupation forces.
To many Iraqi readers, however, the articles in Al Hawza seem more like shrill tabloid fare than dangerous rhetoric that would merit the serious step of closing a newspaper Ã¢â‚¬” especially given the potential backlash. Many Iraqi newspapers routinely publish articles that are blatantly untrue, although most avoid tangling with the coalition.
This is just another example of how the ham-fisted tactics of the Bushies backfire. Their forced closing of the newspaper caused demonstrations in Iraq – and was the front page lead story in the L.A. Times this morning.
And of course, you can’t pretend to be for democracy and freedom, then shut down newspapers because you don’t like what they say.