Can Hillary Clinton really be that unaware of the irony in this statement? Maybe she just didn't notice the arrests of G20 demonstrators in Canada last week, or the increasingly common usage of sound cannons, Tasers, tear gas and rubber bullets against American citizens? Can she really be too busy to notice?
Intolerant governments across the globe are "slowly crushing" activist and advocacy groups that play an essential role in the development of democracy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday.
She cited a broad range of countries where "the walls are closing in" on civic organizations such as unions, religious groups, rights advocates and other nongovernmental organizations that press for social change and shine a light on governments' shortcomings.
Among those she named were Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, China and Russia.
Hmm. Secretary Clinton, do you suppose you're leaving some countries off that list?
"Some of the countries engaging in these behaviors still claim to be democracies," Clinton said at an international conference on the promotion of democracy and human rights. "Democracies don't fear their own people. They recognize that citizens must be free to come together, to advocate and agitate."
That's exactly right. Citizens should be able to advocate and agitate -- but they're not. Not here, anyway.