Monday, November 14, 2005

Just two tonight, despite a backlog of excellent posts to tackle. Sometimes less is more.

Bruce Kesler's " From Every Mountain Top Let Freedom Ring" at The Democracy Project. an excerpt:

"The World Summit on the Information Society meets in Tunis this week to attempt to place the Internet under international controls.

Is freedom divisible? Less and less so, as national and individual actors have the technology and ease to slip near and across borders. Borders are less barriers today than weakening filters.

...Yesterday’s London Times quotes me, with respect to the effort to place control of the Internet under U.N. control:

“ ‘This issue, this outrageous putsch attempt, deserves an uproar heard around the world on the internet,’ wrote blogger Bruce Kesler at Democracy Project. He criticized the EU for its ties to ‘such stalwarts of smothering internet freedom as China, Cuba, Iran.’ ”

The London Times also quotes two leftist bloggers, one calling this “the US conservative spin machine turning this into a battle between the democracy-loving US Government protecting the internet from censorship from the dictators and thugs who run the UN,” and another, the leading leftist blogger Markos Moulitas of Daily Kos, saying, the U.S.’ “international belligerence” undermines the world’s faith that the U.S. should regulate a “global medium.” The U.S., unmentioned, has not regulated, but invested in and maintained a completely open forum, anathema to tyrants and those who travel alongside."

Bruce has been beating the drum on this issue and he's completely right - the U.N. is neither capable of governing the internet well in a technical sense or a political one - as the states most anxious for UN control are the ones most alarmed by the internet's freewheeling nature.

I also have note that while there are a lot of smart, thoughtful and persuasive liberals in the blogosphere, Moulitas, on the other hand, is only a hop, skip and a jump from the crackpots over at The Democratic Underground. If the Bush administration were feeding the hungry, the DailyKos would find a kind word for starvation.

From Chirol " A PNM Take on The Riots" at Coming Anarchy. An excerpt ( but click the link for Chirol's beautiful graphic ilustration of the concepts).

"France’s minorities, living in ghettos separated from the rest of society have developed their own culture and implicit rule sets. On top of that, French law, i.e. explicit rules, according to reports, does not extend very far into these areas. Thus, we have weak enforcement of explicit rules in the form of police presence which simultaneously reinforces the growing ghetto rule-set. Thus, this violence is NOT an abberation but rather a norm in sync with the gap’s rule-set. However, it’s now spilling over into the core, instead of staying inside the gap.

Instead of concentrating on the specifics here, think back to the basic Core/Gap theory and the blueprint for action needed to connect these areas and keep them connected. Instead of thinking of poverty or radical Islam as problems, think of them as symptoms for disconnectedness. France needs to take a hard line jailing and deporting who they can, but at the end of the day, their job is to connect these ghettos and like Barnett said, the boys aren’t coming home. Granted we aren’t talking about soldiers here, but his point stands that a sustained effort over a long period of time will be necessary to increase the “flows” and ultimately connect France’s gap."

Chirol has out-Barnetted Barnett !!
The chickens are beginning to come home to roost, and this is just one little part of it.

The Bush administration's rush to war (for reasons we still can't get straight) and its mangling of justification for that war has, as many commentators suggested at that time, damaged US credibility.

Now any US proposal in international fora is tainted by the question of cui bono?, who benefits? A fair enough question, but now the presumption is that some set of ideologists in the American government or their allies are driving it.

This is what happens when a government chooses to overturn its historic/historical role in the world.

[sigh] I can't suggest any quick remedies, and President Bush's recent speech suggests it's going to be at least three years before we can even start...

Speaking of smart and thoughtful liberals...

Hi Cheryl,

The Bush administration has broken the china on a lot of issues but the ongoing political immaturity of the Europeans makes this a multidimensional problem.

Our European friends would like a post-Cold War partnership with the United States where they are consulted equally on all key decisions from which we then - eventually- will reach a Western consensus. That is to say, where benefits to themselves are concerned they want power.

When it comes to policy costs, the Europeans, who are equally wealthy, do not care to share a proportional burden of responsibility. They wish to continue the old Cold War arrangements of the U.S. taking the heat, the lead and a majority of the expense while they are free to pursue narrow national interests with the very states Western policy is attempting to remediate.

The recent internet putsch is just the latest Euro-move in a long, long, diplomatic habit to play up to the third world at American expense. " You aren't the world's policeman except when you are to play ' the bad cop' for us" is not a sustainable basis for relations between the EU and the U.S. This was justifiable during the Cold War when Europe was recovering from WWII and really shared a common defense with America. It does not make sense today.

If the Europeans are unhappy with Iraq then it would have been better if France had not campaigned since 1994 in the UNSC to dilute and undermine the enforcement of sanctions and weapons inspections for the benefit of France and Germany. If the Europeans are unhappy with American " unilateralism" in terms of intervention, their sorry performance in regards to Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo spoke volumes as to their level of seriousness in bein a positive force in world affairs or as a co-equal security partner for the U.S.

This problem neither begun with Bush and it will continue long after 2008; if Europe does not get its own foreign policy house in order, America will ultimately find de facto allies elsewhere.

This isn't just me talking on the last score - EU officials like Patten see this dysfunction as well. But nothing is ever done to remediate it.
So I guess the next step is for the UN, EU, and a bunch of the world's most heinous dicatorships deciding that since Hollywood movies have a global impact then control over movie production in the US should be under the control of the UN. After all they can use their control to encourage filmmaking in developing countries and of course "diversity" in film content, by which they mean content that gains the approval of China, Cuba, the Saudis, the French and other well known champions of liberty. There is a tremendous arrogance that just presumes to have the ability to demand control of something like the internet. They just decide that they want it, they hold a conference in which all the members except the US vote to approve the appropriation of the internet. And that's it. Voila! These are countries that are hostile to property rights, the rule of law and individual liberty. And the Tunisian conference is a great example of the anti-liberty, anti-individualist, and pro-arbitrary gov't mentality. It won't end here.
Thanks for the kind words and link Mark. Been busy lately and only noticed the post today while catching up on my Zenpundit!
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