Democracy, Translated

According to this NY Times story, Vietnam is requiring that anyone who wants to launch a Web site get government permission first. Here’s the story. What jumped out at me was this mention of what happened to someone for posting an article on democracy:

In March, police arrested physician Pham Hong Son for translating and posting an article on democracy from a U.S. State Department Web site and posting it on the Internet.

Question: why doesn’t the U.S. government do a little translating to begin with? If we had translated that article into Vietnamese, perhaps – just perhaps – this guy wouldn’t be in jail. Now I’m not saying it’s our government’s fault that he is in jail; I am saying that we need to do a better job of translating democracy into languages the world can understand.

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