Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Presidents "Robert Bush" vs "George W Mugabe"

BBC (Aug 4, 2007) reports:
Mugabe Approves Surveillance Law

    "Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has approved a new law allowing the security services to intercept postal, internet and telephone communications. The law also establishes a state-run communications monitoring centre.

    Officials say the new law is meant to provide security and prevent crime but critics say it is aimed at stifling opposition to Mr Mugabe.... Both houses of parliament approved the new law in June."
Two days later, New York Times (Aug 6, 2007) echoed: Bush Signs Law to Widen Reach for Wiretapping

    "President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

    ...the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens."
To many laymen like me, it will remain a mystery why these two gentlemen don't see eye-to-eye with each other! (*_^)


Supratim said...

This has nothing to do with your current post, but I thought you may enjoy it.
Ant & Grasshopper

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the Ant is warm and well fed.

The Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.

Modern Version

The Ant works hard in the withering heat all summer building its house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The Grasshopper thinks the Ant's a fool and laughs & dances & plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering Grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the Ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

NDTV, JANMAT, AAJ TAK, BBC, CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering Grasshopper next to a video of the Ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

The World is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be that this poor Grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Arundhati Roy stages a demonstration in front of the Ant's house.

Medha Patkar goes on a fast along with other Grasshoppers demanding that Grasshoppers be relocated to warmer climates during winter.

Amnesty International and Koffi Annan criticizes the Indian Government for not upholding the fundamental rights of the Grasshopper.

The Internet is flooded with online petitions seeking support to the Grasshopper (many promising Heaven and Everlasting Peace for prompt support as against the wrath of God for non-compliance)

Opposition MPs stage a walkout. Left parties call for Bharat Bandh in West Bengal with Kerala demanding a Judicial Enquiry.

CPM in Kerala immediately passes a law preventing Ants from working hard in the heat so as to bring about equality of poverty among Ants and Grasshoppers.

Laloo Prasad allocates one free coach to Grasshoppers on all Indian Railway Trains, aptly named as the Grasshopper Rath.

Finally, the Judicial Committee drafts the Prevention of Terrorism Against Grasshoppers Act' or POTAGA, with effect from the beginning of the winter.

Arjun Singh sets up Special Reservation for Grasshoppers in Educational Institutions & Government Services.

The Ant is fined for failing to comply with POTAGA and having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, has his home confiscated by the Government and handed over to the Grasshopper in a ceremony covered by NDTV.

Arundhati Roy calls it A Triumph of Justice.

Lalu calls it Socialistic Justice

CPM calls it the Revolutionary Resurgence of the Downtrodden.

Koffi Annan invites the Grasshopper to address the UN General Assembly

Many years later...

The Ant has since migrated to the US and set up a multibillion dollar company in Silicon Valley

100s of Grasshoppers still die of starvation despite reservation somewhere in India...

As a result of losing lot of hard working Ants and feeding the Grasshoppers, India is still a developing country!


Renegade Eye said...

Very good post.

Mugabe took over the machinery of colonialism, instead of destroying the institutions. That was the basis of his turning corrupt.

A revolution has to destroy the old system, or you end up just changing faces.

tinkertoon said...

Bush has the justification that he's doing this for the good of the general American, even if a handful disagree...

Mugabe is a small fish in the global pond, and struggling to keep his house in order...

aren't you trying to compare applees and oranges here?

Supratim said...

Actually, more than a handful disagree with Bush .... as he and his party found out in the last elections and the point will likely be reinforced in 2008.

In this area, I agree with you, Prof. Bush has been a disgrace and probably one of the most incompetent presidents in US history. He has eroded civil rights, given undeserved tax breaks to the super-rich while eroding social security benefits, failed in providing an efficient adminstration, and fought an illegal war. The damage he has caused to the US reputation is immense, and we (the people who, in general, like the US) will be glad to see him go.

In this respect, as you rightly pointed out, there is no difference between Mugabe and Bush, and Bush is the far worse offender as he is curtailing civil rights in a democracy. (As an aside, he and his NSA spooks probably learnt from the masters - Stalin, Krushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Putin)

"When you start giving up your freedoms for your security, you will find that you end up with neither"


Supratim said...

Re: Renegade,

I can think of no revolution, apart probably from the French revolution (and even that took a few iterations), that actually helped improve the condition of the general population in a sustained manner.

Generally, a revolution is about a new group of b***dards wanting to grab power!!!

And, the American "revolution" was about taxes! Which turned into a war of independence.

Supratim said...

Interesting opinion piece: