[free-sklyarov] How to fight DMCA and why the arrest of Sklyarov?
jei at cc.hut.fi
Sat Dec 1 04:46:04 PST 2001
The article quoted below isn't on topic, but I think the opinion
and situation it describes can also be seen as explaining (at least
to me) why in the world Sklyarov is being harrassed and DMCA is
being enforced, as well as other civil liberties are being eliminated.
The thing is all about politics. MPAA and RIAA want the powers
to go after people for simple economical reasons, and they lobby
the FBI and politicians who decide to go after the people.
People need to form a political coalition showing that this
is bad karma for politicians and does not pay off for them.
Right now, the view is contrary, and politicians feel they
even benefit from stripping the people naked of their rights,
as long as the "terrorists" are caught, anything related is
allright in the political and policing arena.
This goes well with Adobe, MPAA and RIAA, and FBI is happy
to get more fame, work and money.
Well, the POLLS need to tell a different story, or civil rights
will be eliminated.
I suggest people set up web-pages to give politicians some
real figures and ask real questions, instead of letting Adobe,
MPAA and RIAA feed their fixed polls to the politicians telling
how it's OK to all eliminate civil rights and let the military
take-over to continue.
Essentially, all the big cases are about politics, and POLLS
are what decide their outcome in the US. Those who control the
polls that the politicians see, control the US.
On Fri, 30 Nov 2001, Mario Profaca wrote:
> The Iraq Debate As It Is
> By Dr. James J. Zogby © President Arab American Institute
> Aug. 2, 1999
> I recently participated in a live debate carried on one of the Arab
> satellite networks. It was not so much a debate, however, as it was an
> exercise in frustrationfor both my opponent and myself. The difficulty was
> not that we disagreed, rather, it was that we spent the better part of our
> hour-long discussion, talking past each other.
> My opponent was the editor of a pan-Arab newspaper. Our topic was U.S.
> policy toward Iraq and Libya. He was eloquent and forceful in making his
> caseone that is, no doubt, shared by many in the Arab world.
> He argued, for example, that the United States maintained a double standard
> in dealing with the Arab world, and with the implementation of UN Security
> Council Resolutions and international law. The United States, he claimed,
> was the worlds sole super power, bent on imposing its political will not
> only on a weak Arab world, but on Europe, Asia, and Africa as well. In too
> many instances, he argued, the United States turned a blind eye to
> violations of human rights and international law when these were committed
> by U.S. allies or when they occurred in regions of the world not critical to
> U.S interests. He further argued that the United States reserved its wrath
> for Arab countries, especially for those that did not bend to U.S. dictates.
> The United States determination to indefinitely continue economic sanctions
> against Iraq and push for the overthrow of the regime in Baghdad and the
> commitment to continue sanctions against Libya despite that governments
> decision to turn the Lockerbie suspects over for trial, both, he concluded,
> undercut the authority and legitimacy of the United Nations and transformed
> the UN into a powerless tool which the United States used for its own
> This I believe was the essence of his case, which I hope I have conveyed
> correctly. In my response, I could not present the hollow rationalizations
> for U.S. policy that all too frequently are used to justify U.S. actions. In
> some instances I would not refute his observations about U.S.
> policybecause, as observations, they were legitimate.
> I would, if I had so desired, make some of the same criticisms of U.S.
> policy that he had made. For example, there is a double standardI cannot
> argue with that. But an endless recitation of criticism, I believe,
> accomplishes little. The point (to paraphrase the German philosopher) is not
> to observe or criticize realitythe point is to understand and then to
> change reality.
> What I, therefore, sought to do in my rebuttal was to explain the "why" of
> current U.S. policy toward Iraq.
> In the case of Iraq, in particular, it is important to understand the extent
> to which this issue has become a matter of U.S. domestic politics. At one
> point, I described the Iraqi leader as the "Willie Horton" of U.S. foreign
> policy. Horton was a convicted murderer who was released from prison in the
> 1980s by then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. A short time after
> being freed, Horton murdered again. During the 1988 presidential campaign
> Republican candidate George Bush used the Willie Horton issue in television
> debates against his Democratic opponent, Dukakis.
> The message of the ad was that Dukakis was a weak leader, soft on crime. He
> freed Willie Horton once, hed do it again. Could you trust him to be
> The impact of the ad was devastating to the Dukakis campaign.
> Shortly after his election in 1992, President Bill Clinton indicated that he
> might rethink U.S. policy toward Saddam Husseins regime. The reaction was
> swift and quite forceful. To let the Iraqi out of his box was a political
> risklike freeing Willie Horton. Clinton learned the lesson and did not
> repeat his "mistake."
> A powerful coalition of domestic political forces has formed against the
> Iraqi government. It is now led by a Republican majority in Congress, which
> has, at times, used Iraq policy as a wedge against the Presidents party.
> They have argued for increasingly tougher policies against Iraq. Having
> virtually no opposition, this majority has now gone so far as to pass the
> Iraq Liberation Actwhich requires the United States to support the
> overthrow of the regime.
> This is, like it or not, where the political debate is in the U.S today.
> The regime in Iraq, with its bloody and brutal past and present, doesnt
> present a compelling counter argument. It has no defenders, nor has its
> behavior earned it any.
> Where there is U.S. concern, and some U.S. debate, is over the fate of the
> millions of innocent Iraqi people who are, in effect, hostage to their
> regime and its policies. Given the limits on what the U.S. Administration
> has felt is possible, they have argued for a substantial increase in the oil
> for food programever careful to ensure that the regime is not seen as
> benefiting from this program.
> As the human toll of sanctions continues to mount, a legislative effort has
> been mounted by a small, but courageous, group of Congressmen. They are
> introducing a bill to end sanctions. But it is a politically risky move
> since they are all aware of how their domestic opponents may seek to use the
> "Horton" arguments against them.
> This is where the debate is, at this point. One can, if one wishes, argue
> that it is unfair, but that will not change it.
> Policy in the United States is always a function of politics and politics is
> a function of several factors that politicians must consider when shaping
> policy. The most critical of these factors is how the majority perceives an
> Unfortunately, policy is not based on whether an issue is right or just or
> even consistent. More important consideration is given to how an issue is
> understood and whether or not voters will be supportive of a specific action
> or will punish the politician who takes that action.
> Saddams invasion and occupation of Kuwait, his refusal to leave, and his
> bizarre behavior (burning the oil fields) when he was forced to leave,
> established his reputation in the United States. Since then, the regime has
> continued to confound efforts to change policy by changing public
> perception. At every turn, the Iraqi regime has acted in a manner that has
> reinforced the arguments of its enemies, by reinforcing public perceptions
> of its irredeemable nature.
> Even those U.S policy makers who are uncomfortable at being in the position
> of enforcing the Iraq Liberation Act, are hard pressed to see a way out of
> the bind created by the real circumstances that define the current debate:
> the powerful domestic political pressures that are driving the U.S policy
> debate and the continued hostile behavior of the Iraqi regime that only
> serves to spur that debate forward.
> This is the situation, as it exists, that I sought to explain during the
> television debate. I could not argue, as my opponent had sought to, the
> merits of this or that Security Council Resolution on the standing, or lack
> thereof of, this or that statute of international law.
> My political arena is within the United States. It is the context in which I
> operate and it is the policy made here that I seek to change.
> If it is true, as my debate opponent would have it, that the United States
> is the sole superpower imposing its will on the world, than it is important
> for me to understand my political world and its dynamics in order to help in
> the process of changing it.
> Criticizing reality doesnt make it changeengaging it does. My opponent and
> I participate in very different worlds and face such very different
> challenges. That is why we were talking past each other.
> For comments, contact
> jzogby at arab-aai.org
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