For whom the Liberty Bell tolls

freedom       2002-08-29 
FROM the outset, the struggle against al-Qaeda was cast by George Bush as a war for freedom, and for most people, in most places, the 350 or so days that have passed since last September 11th will not be associated with any noticeable diminution of their freedom. For most Afghans, and especially Afghan women, they will surely be associated with liberation. For a few people, though, the aftermath of September 11th has brought unfair arrest, detention without trial, enforced expulsion or some other form of intrusion or repression. Even for those not directly affected by al-Qaeda's attacks, the war in Afghanistan or the anti-terrorism measures taken almost everywhere, the past 12 months may yet come to be seen as an annus miserabilis as far as freedom is concerned.