A rather large portrait of Hamid Karzai, affixed to a wall in some dusty town in Kumar province, Afghanistan, was the target of a few stones thrown by an American soldier. The portrait was large enough so that the stone thrower could not have missed, according to the New York Times. Local officials, who heard of the stone throwing, were upset.
Karzai is thoroughly corrupt, and my guess is that the local officials who complained about the stone throwing are as well. It is fitting, I suppose, that we are leaving behind a kleptocracy in Afghanistan, shaped in our own image, but with a bit less subtlety. I sincerely hope the stone throwing soldier is on his way back home now, and never again will have to participate in "training" the Afghan "police" in methods of suppressing popular anger against their president.
If our government gives that soldier a hard time for exercising a little free speech, then we are no better than Afghanistan — or China, or Russia. Barack Obama has not been, exactly, the civil liberties president.
There is a movement in the British Labour Party to get back to its socialist roots. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a movement in our own Democratic party to get back to its liberal roots?
(I guess the real liberals just don't have enough money.)