Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi sets out to expose the government of Morocco, which Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has commended for taking steps toward democracy, as a "subtle dictatorship." He first presents three reasons to believe that Morocco is indeed democratic—the permission that has been given to political prisoners to speak of their abuse, the country’s system of free elections, and polls that have shown high levels of satisfaction with the king. Benchemsi then returns to each of these points to reveal the truth—the political prisoners cannot utter the names of the police officers who mistreated them, freely elected politicians have little power in the monarchical government, and the magazines containing the above-mentioned polls were burned. Even though they recorded positive results, authorities destroyed them, following the reasoning that the king is sacred and above any sort of polling. These realities suggest a dictatorship, not a democracy, but a dictatorship less vulgar than others in the region. Yet the resistance is subtle, too, Benchemsi notes. Protesters have convinced the king to create a commission that will draft a new constitution, which will then be submitted for democratic editing before being voted on by the public. Benchemsi hopes that such "subtle shaking of subtle dictatorship" will continue and that his country can bring about reform without unnecessary conflict and casualties.
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