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June, 2003

Democracy Is the Free World's Whore

   NEW DELHI -- Acclaimed author Arundhati Roy has blasted the US-led war in Iraq and branded democracy as "the Free World's whore" in a blistering article in a leading Indian magazine.
   Roy, who makes the cover of the latest edition of Outlook magazine published this weekend, is well known as a social activist and critic of the United States and globalization.
   Her article, a reprint of a speech she made in New York on May 13 at the Center for Economic and Social Rights, brands the US as the "American Empire" where "facts don't matter."
     "Apart from the invented links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, we had the manufactured frenzy about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," she said.
   "We once again witnessed the paranoia that a starved, bombed besieged country was about to annihilate almighty America ...
   "The war against Iraq has been fought and won and no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Not even a little one. Perhaps they'll have to be planted before they're discovered."
   Roy, who won the Booker Prize for "The God of Small Things," which has sold more than six million copies in over 40 languages, criticized US President George W. Bush and other leaders for not listening to public opinion against the war.
   "Democracy, the modern world's holy cow, is in crisis ... every kind of outrage is being committed in the name of democracy. It has become little more than a hollow word, a pretty shell, emptied of all content or meaning," she said.
   "Democracy is the Free World's whore, willing to dress up, dress down, willing to satisfy a whole range of tastes, available to be used and abused at will."
   Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market means they are on sale to the highest bidder, she said.
   Last year Roy spent a day in prison after being found guilty of criminal contempt by India's supreme court.
Published on Sunday, May 18, 2003 by Agence France Presse. Copyright 2003 AFP

 

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