In Russia, pen writes you! But seriously. Putin and/or his allied assassins will kill you if you speak against them. Here in the lands of George W. Bush (the less charismatic, one-eight-as-intelligent, noodly-armed, faux-cowboy-toughguy, combat-duty-avoiding, non-Judo-ass-kicking Putin) we just ruin your life economically, socially, and ensure you never work in a national market again.
Since Russia enshrined freedom of speech as a constitutional right in 1993, a total of 152 journalists have been murdered there. A database set up this month by two media monitoring organisations, the Glasnost Defense Foundation and the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, sets out the details of each case. Yelena Tregubova is trying hard not to be the 153rd.
“I am not going to keep silent, because if I do, they will kill me silently,” Tregubova declares. “I am in a privileged position because I can speak freely. Many of the colleagues I left behind in Moscow think as I do about what is happening, but they can’t speak up. I don’t have nuclear weapons, I don’t have an organisation like the KGB behind me. Journalism is my only weapon.”
But forget about oil-less places like Russia and North Korea. We need to concentrate on the smoldering rubble heaps we’ve invested so much in — Iraq and Afganistan (the war that everyone except Canada has forgotten about). See, what we’re fighting here isn’t nuclear ambition and totalitarianism anymore. That’s so 1982. That’s so Reagan. What we fighting is a war to ensure the wealthy get wealthier and the rest of the world remains oppressed by Western consumerism. So its perfectly fine for Russia and NK to go about their business of rattling sabres while eroding what freedoms reamain, assassinating opposition and quietly aiming weapons at the rest of the world. So long as the oil money keeps flowing. There. That oughtta draw out a few of the crazies in the comments.