Sunday, May 29, 2005

In Memoriam for the Death of Democracy

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Newsweek recently published a report that interrogators in Quantanamo had flushed the Koran, the Moslem equivalent of the Bible, down a toilet to humiliate and distress Moslem prisoners. Moslem communities throughout the world took to the streets to express their moral outrage.

The Bush administration demanded that Newsweek retract the story and apologize. It is not as if the story isn’t true.

Numerous similar reports of interrogators attempting to humiliate Moslem prisoners by trashing their religion have emerged since the Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, to say nothing of stories of systematic beatings, shocking detainees’ genitals, putting simulated menstrual blood on their faces, setting vicious dogs upon them, forcing them to masturbate in public and simulate homosexual sex acts, reports detail that some prisoners have been beaten to death, others nearly to death. These reports have been coming from the most reputable of sources – FBI agents and American soldiers who have personally observed these horrors in Gitmo, Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush could end the torture and the revolting renditions to foreign allies known to “take off the gloves” in interrogations with a stroke of his pen, but he hasn’t. Attorney General Gonzales is still defending his treatise on why the Geneva Convention’s prohibition of torture is obsolete. The Pentagon’s response to the myriad reports about US interrogators and guards torturing prisoners, has been to issue orders prohibiting soldiers from bringing their cameras in range of any of our foreign jails, detention camps or interrogation rooms.

Given all the credible evidence that Bush’s policies have expressly permitted not only torture but sexual and religious humiliation, you have to almost admire the colossal arrogance of the Bush Administration’s response to the Newsweek story.

Speaking on behalf of President Bush, press secretary Scott McClellan complained: “This [Newsweek] report had serious consequences. People have lost their lives. The image of the United States has been damaged abroad.”

What has damaged the image of the United States abroad is that over a hundred thousand civilian Iraqis, the majority children under the age of fifteen, have been bombed, shot, beaten, raped and starved to death. Over 1600 American soldiers have been killed, some 30,000 soldiers seriously maimed, made limbless, and handicapped for life by either physical wounds or the emotional trauma of witnessing their buddies being blown to bits or seeing that the passengers they drilled with hundreds of machine gun bullets thinking they were suicide bombers turned out to be an innocent Iraqi family with a passel of young kids.

Their suffering was not a result of a story in Newsweek. It was the result of an arrogant and ignorant administration which took this country to wars on a pack of lies. Bush’s fraudulent invasion “has had serious consequences… People have lost their lives…The image of the United States has been damaged”.

No, not merely damaged. The image of the United States has been irretrievably destroyed throughout the world. We are the most feared of all the terrorists. We are the terrorists who are holding the whole world to ransom, demanding control of all its oil and the use of its land for our military bases.

We threaten war against Iran and North Korea for trying to develop nuclear weapons, while we are the ones actually using the nuclear weapons – for that is what depleted uranium is – and leaving the peoples of Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq with radiation that will keep killing their inhabitants for the next four billion years.

Oh, the US has finally admitted that many of our Gulf War I soldiers – one out of every four of them, are sick and many are dying from depleted uranium poisoning, the poison that damages their genes, producing horribly deformed children.

It is time that we Americans stand up and express our fierce moral outrage at the horrendous acts of terrorism and destruction our government has unleashed in the Middle East and on our own young men, young women and their innocent children.

Monday, May 02, 2005

US Seeks Political Help from Saddam

Via TalkLeft, Al Jazeera reports that Ynetnews reports that Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports that Donald Rumsfeld paid a secret visit to Saddam Hussein during his visit to Iraq two weeks ago. The purpose of the visit? Rumsfeld "offered him freedom and a possible return to public life if he made a televised request to rebel groups for a ceasefire with allied forces."

Another rumor has it that Saddam agreed to help Rumsfeld out by stopping the insurgency, but drew the line at Rumsfeld's next request.

When Rumsfeld asked Saddam to join a dog and pony show to increase support for privatization, negotiations collapsed.

"That pig just won't hunt." Saddam said, " I refuse to waste my considerable political capitol on a dead pig like privatization of social security. George should give up trying to sell that pig, even with all the lipstick he's put on it."