Dover Bitch

Friday, July 13, 2007

Weakest Link

(Cross-posted at Hullabaloo)

The news about toothpaste made of antifreeze and dumplings made of cardboard have gotten quite a bit of attention on television lately (quite rightly). But odds are, the television you're watching was also imported. And on top of that, there's a pretty good chance the shows you enjoy first aired somewhere else. For example, The Office or American Idol, both of which originated in England.

The United States is also bringing in quite a few movies from other parts of the world. Last year's Oscar-winning Best Picture, The Departed was based on a film called Mou gaan dou. I can't tell you how upset I am that a remake is in the works of what is possibly my favorite film of all time, Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru.

I was visiting Steve Clemons' Washington Note and saw the show America absolutely must import from England:

The BBC has a must-listen show on radio tomorrow titled Called to Account (times noted further below) offering a theatrical version of Tony Blair's indictment for Iraq War-related crimes. This may inspire many on this side of the Atlantic pond to think about various strategies to hold America's current political leadership accountable for duplicity and mismanagement of America's national security portfolio -- and particularly for the Iraq War.

Democracy has become a term derided in much of the world today because for many beleaguered peoples it has come to mean Western duplicity, uneven standards between the mighty and the weak, an excuse for invasion and occupation, a code word for regime change, or obsessive focus on ballots rather than healthy civil society institutions like courts and a free media that help to keep power accountable.

If 'Democracy' is ever going to shed its bad name, accountability must be one of its fundamental pillars in any genuine system of checks and balances. There should be a price paid for serious errors by national leaders -- and an even higher price paid by those who wield power with impunity and who lie to their publics in so-called democracies.

Sounds like a good idea to me. If Congress won't hold Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. accountable, let Hollywood do it. They can do a better job scripting an indictment than any Senate or House committee. As compelling as C-Span has been since November 2006, the lack of coordination in these hearings is incredibly frustrating.

Who would you cast for the prosecution? It doesn't have to be an actor. Fred Thompson can try to defend his friends if he wants, though.

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