Month: December 2006

Saddam, Ford: One Killed, One Pardoned

Call me superstitious, but somehow I always tend to hope for the maxim that speaks: All’s well that ends well. And hence, certainly in the last week of this month, I had not imagined the year 2006 would leave such bitter memories behind. It all started with one death: Gerald Ford’s. And ended with one execution: Saddam Hussein’s. What has Ford got to do with Hussein? I would probably have not wondered aloud such an analogy on another occasion. After all, one was the celebrated president of world’s oldest democracy, and the other was the disgraced president of a dictatorial regime. For celebration of Ford’s legacies, there are museums, schools, world leaders and history books. For Hussein, only condemnations follow from all above quarters. We are observing memorial services cherishing the memories of Ford beginning Friday, whereas the global condemnation ceremonies to mark the former Iraqi head have started from Saturday. New York Times while pouring in rich tributes for Ford churned out a news story out of an obituary, headlined its editorial as “Gerald …

Sean Bell lives on in unFree America

The legend of Sean Bell will forever ring a bell. And it is in the interest of the larger humanity to remember this. His brutal murder by the “50 Shots” of state power is a grim reminder of the times we live in: of the democratic forces being reduced to serve the plutocratic interests. Police force is not separable from state machinery. Indeed, the state power is as big as its police power. The more the state emerges powerful, the more it is so because of the cloak of brute power it wears on its sleeve. Often times, on its grave. Today’s massive demonstration in the heart of New York City by people from all quarters of life displaying their disgust at American police state will go down as irrelevant by the mainstream media. Indeed, it will not be quoted by the White House officials, not aired by FOX and CNN alike. It may not even find a place in the national dailies of China (as prominently as the New York Times decides to showcase …