Friday, February 11, 2005


By Chris Mansel

An item on CNN.COM reported on Friday, January 21, 2005 stated, “ Bush called on the "force of human freedom" to "break the reign of hatred" and "expose the pretensions of tyrants in the world.”

Ok, President Bush, on February 10, 2005, I call your attention to the situation in Nepal. The AP reports from Katmandu, Nepal, “ Police in Nepal's capital arrested 12 rights activists and quashed a rally to protest the king's emergency rule Thursday, while rebels in the southwest killed five policemen and freed comrades from a jail during a raid on a town.”

In Nepal, the government is detaining activists who are pro-democracy, Mr. President. Now you called on the “force of human freedom” to “break the reign of hatred” and “expose the pretensions of tyrants in the world” remember Mr. President? You have said now and then, time and again, all the time and very often that you have supported those that seek freedom. But then, Mr. President, I recall that there are men and women who believe in peace that are jailed all around the world and you haven’t done anything to help them either. The AP continues with, “Police in Katmandu detained the activists as they arrived for a rally by human rights group Peace Society Nepal, hustling them into police vans and slapping a security cordon around the planned rally site to block other activists from gathering.”

In this land, which is the exiled home to His Holiness, the Dali Lama, the government is acting like a tyrant Mr. President. Mr. President the AP also reports, “It was one of the first attempts to hold such a rally since Feb. 1, when King Gyanendra sacked an interim government, imposed emergency rule and suspended civil liberties, saying the moves were needed to control the intensifying Maoist insurgency. Security forces have arrested dozens of politicians and activists, drawing strong protests from foreign capitals including Washington, which urged Nepal to return to the "democratic path."

Mr. President someone in your administration has issued a return to the “democratic path” in Nepal. But Mr. President, imagine if the “left-wing extremists” in this country prevented your own Jeff Gannon to pursue his civil liberties in establishing porn websites, what if your own Scott McClellan wasn’t able to call on members of the press sympathetic to your cause or ability to answer their questions? Well, I hope you or someone in your administration will look into this matter in Nepal. Just close your eyes Mr. President, and pretend there are vast oil fields in Nepal, huge contracts for Halliburton. If nothing else Mr. President, do it for His Holiness, you have met him before and spoke to him, remember? If you don’t I have a photograph of this meeting I can send it to you.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Mansel Report: Let Freedom Cling

aid workers pass in airports
commenting blurrily of the previous war’s inferno
the remains of bloodied and shattered car windows
have replaced the oil fires

the numbers of civilian dead rarely detail the number of children
their little faces twisted into metal, gored by dust
where will you find a mass grave in the sand of Iraq?

through an interpreter that we don’t need
we can understand the anguish of the mothers
just like we understood them in Rwanda, and Kosovo
we knew what they were saying in Vietnam, in Poland
but we ignored their cries and brandished their lives
with democracy and freedom
just like the Christian missionaries that ventured into the rainforest
we brought sickness and death in order to save their souls

How much has changed?

- Chris Mansel