Monday, September 11, 2006


What's wrong with this picture?

There is no picture today; I didn’t get it.

I’m just scratching my head over the underlying concept of the extraordinary effort of Gov. Bill Richardson’s diplomatic expertise. He went to Sudan to retrieve Columbus, N.M., resident Paul Salopek, who is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune journalist, freelancer for the National Geographic Society and former Albuquerque Journal writer

I commend Salopek’s efforts to go into war-torn areas of Africa to show Americans what is going on in some of the most unstable regions of the world.

No doubt he could not get through the front door, diplomatically, and had to enter the country without a visa if he was going to get his story. Any country that has a law that charges journalists for "writing false news" is seriously flawed on the freedom scale. Let’s remember that Sudan, the largest African nation, is spilt between the government-controlled Islamic north and the racially divided and economically devastated south that is attempting to revolt. The government could easily see telling the truth of its efforts to crush any revolutionary ideas, by journalists, as writing false news….

I join those who applaud Richardson’s diplomatic coup. However, the one little point that seems to stick for me is that he jumped on a jet and rescued the day by extracting, what in this country now amounts to an internal boogey-man, an illegal immigrant who entered Sudan for economic gain and got caught up. Don’t get me wrong, I think what Salopek did, in the grand scheme of things is admirable; it’s the hypocrisy of condemning “illegal aliens” in this country and threatening them with expulsion that gnaws at me….

Why is it OK to save Salopek from a morally reprehensible situation in a third world country, but entering our country to work for economic gain is not also considered morally reprehensible here?

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