I dread turning on the American news. Friends of mine (not only in America, where a close friend recently said "I cannot watch any news channel for longer than 30 seconds, CNN, MSNBC, FUX, or anything", but throughout Europe and in fact all over the world) and other sources all agree that the American media specifically portrays world events in such an inaccurate way as to distort the average viewer's perceptions of events, thereby taking away any possibility of an accurate and rational judgement to be made.
I was always under the impression that "The News," and the very art of journalism itself, existed for the purpose of providing Facts to the viewer; of presenting an impartial and balanced recollection of pertinent information related to Whats Going On outside the realm of our firsthand observations of the limited venue in which we live our daily lives. Unfortunately, that is not the current state of affairs.
I dread the announcement of American Press Conferences. Here they present a man whose power is so expansive that he could wipe out life on earth at a moment's notice. He stands akwardly behind the podium, lips dripping with the poisonous froth of deceipt. I shudder as the onslaught of lies begins.
As the torrent of inaccuracies slowly abates and eventually ebbs to a halt, I am astounded by the fact that as we return from The Big Liar to the "journalist" who is supposedly going to give us a balanced assessment of what just happened, the inaccuracies keep coming.
"Is this what I've allotted some of my valuable time for?" I ask myself.
The answer is obvious. I power off my Indoctrination Device (made by SHARP: removing the reasoning-center of your brain one painful stab at a time), get up, and head out for a long walk. I might as well enjoy Nature while there is still Nature to enjoy.
(Not applicable to residents of Baghdad: it is recommended, for your own personal safety, that you Stay In Your House to enjoy the freedom we have brought you.)
I dread turning on the American news. Friends of mine (not only in America, where a close friend recently said "I cannot watch any news channel for longer than 30 seconds, CNN, MSNBC, FUX, or anything", but throughout Europe and in fact all over the world) and other sources all agree that the American media specifically portrays world events in such an inaccurate way as to distort the average viewer's perceptions of events, thereby taking away any possibility of an accurate and rational judgement to be made.
America has recently attacked Iran's statements that they may as well pull out of the NNPT (Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty) if the UN takes action against them for enriching uranium, as Iran being an abiding signatory to the NNPT is doing nothing for them.
(I should note, when I make such a statement, that there has been no evidence uncovered by the IAEA that Iran is pursuing any kind of nuclear weapons program, according to all of the related official IAEA documents. I should also note that the same UN Security Council Presidential Statement that urged Iran to reinstate its suspention of uranium enrichment "for the purpose of building confidence in the international community" also specifically stated, in no uncertain terms, that enriching uranium for the purpose of producing nuclear power is a right enshrined in the NNPT.)
As such, it is interesting to note that The Telegraph of Calcutta, India, has today noted that the U.S. is threatening to withdraw from UN nuclear agreements as well, and on much less pretext.
(my font type alteration)
"Stephen Rademaker, the US assistant secretary of state for international security and non-proliferation, has said in Geneva after formally tabling a draft Fissile material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) before the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) that the Bush administration wants the treaty to be approved for signature by the international community “by the end of this year’s CD session”.
India now has to think long and hard before extending any support for the latest US non-proliferation initiative because Rademaker also issued a veiled threat at the CD to pull America out of this UN body unless its members were ready to toe the Bush administration’s line."
The rest of the story is here.
How can americans be so blind as to the Hypocrisy of the rhetoric versus the actions of their "democratically elected" government?
Oh yeah, I forgot... they're brainwashed.
Posted by misneach at 15:10
From the Asia Times story
Why all is quiet on the American home front
By Sreeram Chaulia
" Aware of the media's capability and propensity to expose the ugliness of the Iraq war, the Bush administration left no stone unturned to co-opt and muzzle it. US citizens are being kept in an uninformed Orwellian condition through such mechanisms as "embedded journalists", the "code of conduct" on reportage imposed by the former US administrator in Iraq, L Paul Bremer, and the Department of Defense's censorship of print and audiovisual media.
As the Cable News Network's Christiane Amanpour confessed, media powerhouses went along with draconian state encroachments on their freedom and even practiced shameful "self-censorship" to please political masters.
Unless the true face of the US occupation of Iraq is unveiled to the larger American public (Abu Ghraib being the tip of the iceberg), the passion and relentlessness of the anti-Vietnam War era cannot be realized. To say that new-age technologies such as the Internet are enough to overcome weaknesses in the traditional media misses the point that common Americans do not search for critical stories on the war on Iraq without being initially prodded and startled by newspapers, radio stations and television. In a media-saturated environment, the Internet is merely a secondary tool when it comes to politics and news. "
This story was not written by the Blog Author, but rather by Sreeram Chaulia, a writer for The Asia Times. The Blog Author cannot claim any responsibility for the content of the article. Its presentation here is strictly to bring attention to it from people who do not normally frequent the website of The Asia Times. I (the blog author) sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding.
The Recent Hype about Iran requiring Religious Minorities to wear color-coded armbands, which was fabricated, but yet was latched onto by the western neo-cons as part of their propaganda push.
c/o News Favorite The Asia Times
A report by a prominent neo-conservative journalist, Iranian-American Amir Taheri, asserting that Iranian authorities plan to make non-Muslims wear colored insignia marking them as such - with yellow for Jews, just as in Nazi Germany - has been happily picked up by various mainstream publications. The story has been widely rubbished, but it refuses to die. - Jim Lobe
Click here for the original article, "A color code for Iran's 'infidels'" (which has not been withdrawn by Benador Associates, the neo-con PR outfit for which Taheri writes).
Amir Taheri addresses 'queries'
"On color schemes, however, there seems to be consensus ... Religious minorities would have their own color schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia ... Jews would be marked out with a yellow strip of cloth ..."
This, Amir Taheri says in response to his critics, is just his "opinion", and anyone who thinks otherwise is "jumping the gun". Now he tells us.
This was actually posted as a comment on the 24 Steps to Liberty Blog, but its long and includes some foul language, so to avoid losing it altogether it's going to go here as well.
It was written in response to a string of comments by someone referred to as TexAg03. Comments on this blog (this one, here, misneach) are also welcome.
First of all, you make broad, incorrect assumptions based on republican "talking points" rhetoric that generally has little or no basis in reality. To give one example, you refer to those who oppose American occupation of Iraq as "rejectionists" and go on to make them out to be the bad guys, no different from the true terrorists who commit cold blooded murder in the name of ethnic purity, racial purity, religious purity, or whatever the excuse-of-the-day is. The fact that you accept the doctrine of "rejectionists" being the bad guys as truth is really, really starting to irritate me.
I don't mean to scream at you through my shift button, but there sometimes doesn't seem to be much other way to get through to you, and you often come across as adamently opposed to dissenting opinions. You also seem to be failing to realise that the definition of "terrorism" that Rupert Murdoch's Republican Talking Points Dissemination System has beaten into your brain is, for lack of a better discription, WRONG.
Resisting an occupying force that has illegaly invaded your country and is repressivly occupying your country IS NOT THE SAME as murdering someone in cold blood because they pray in a different manner from you.
Try thinkin about it this way: If a foreign country INVADED AMERICA, then proceeded to indiscriminantly kill American men, women, and children (innocent civilians, by the TENS OF THOUSANDS), throw random Red Blooded Americans in jail for no reason and subject them to torture, flatten ENTIRE AMERICAN CITIES with carpet bombing, and then proceed to tell Americans "hey, you should thank us!" would you (a) say "yeah man, you're great!" or would you (b)GET YOUR SMITH AND WESSON AND GO AFTER THE BASTARDS. I would do the latter, and I think you would do the same.
If your answer was (b), then, according to YOUR OWN definition of terrorism (provided by the Republican Talking Points Machine), YOU ARE A TERRORIST. According to YOUR OWN DESCRIPTIONS of Nadia or TAI, you would be a "rejectionist" for not choosing the "(a)" response.
Most importantly to this point, you would be, by the Bush/Rupert Murdoch over-broad and incorrect definition of terrorism, be NO DIFFERENT FROM THE PEOPLE WHO KILL OTHERS SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE THEY PRAY IN A DIFFERENT WAY. (That is, basically, the main difference between Shia and Sunni according to my understanding, based on my reading of Iraqi Blogs). People who do that are, in my opinion, sadistic psychopaths. That is all. They ARE NOT THE SAME as those who would seek to resist an illegal occupation by a foreign power.Do you not see that there's a difference?
You often lump those who are "rejectionists" (who resist the american occupation) in with those who would seek to murder their fellow countrymen strictly based on small differences in praying rituals (it would be like a bunch of methodists trying to wipe out episcopalians). That is again, for lack of a better term, wrong.
Additionally, you may recall from recent blogger coverage of the clashes between Residents, Militants, The Iraqi Army, and the U.S. army a couple of weeks ago in Adhamiya and of other similar situations that, not really knowing what to do in certain situations, the U.S. forces tend to just open fire "at anything that moves." That does not exactly engratiate them with the local population, and as such, the local population would reasonably "reject" their presence. Would that not be a sensible thing to do given the circumstances?
While Saddam was a brutal dictator (I'll not get into the fact that during his worst atrocities he was a close ally of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, Donald Rumsfeld, and a large percentage of the current administration that has been recycled into government from the previous tenures of the current regime, Reagan and Bush I), you should be well aware from your constant reading of Iraqi blogs that between 2002 (when saddam was still in power) and 2006 (after 3 years of american occupation) their quality of living has gone from basically normal to ABSOLUTELY UNBEARABLE. How can you be presented with facts like this but yet still lash out at those who are critical (or worse) of the American occupation. Do you not see the correlation?
For the past 3 years straight, Mercer Human Resources Group has determined that Baghdad is the worst city to live in in the world. America has been occupying Baghdad for, yes, THREE YEARS. Do you not see the correlation?
If Saddam had been removed (without the complete and utter destruction of infrastructure and slaughter of civilians that the invasion has brought about), and GENUINELY FREE AND OPEN ELECTIONS (wherein the Iraqis could choose between whomever they wanted to rule their country, rather than a bunch of people hand picked by the U.S. forces based on their willingness to do the Bush Administration's bidding) had been held, then perhaps people would now be saying more positive things about the american invasion.
However, that is not what has happened.
(As I have already taken up like a dozen pages on the blog, I'm going to leave it at that, although I should really also mention that there should have been a better handling of the post-war situation, security, etc.)
[Don't worry, as this is a blog post and not a comment anymore I can add a bit more detail to it, so perhaps this post will get even longer, and more refined...]
I hate it when people accept the media's "uncritical reiteration of official statements" to be facts. Have people forgotten the American Truism "Politicians Lie" ?!?! If you base your opinions on "official sources" or media sources that use only "official sources" (not to name names REUTERS), or on other peoples opinions that are based solely on the aforementioned sources, then your opinions are GOING TO BE INHERENTLY WRONG based on the fact that they were formed based on misinformation. That is not a judgemental statement to the effect that "my opinion is better than yours," it is just a statement of fact.
"When I left home this morning, the streets were full of people who were going to work and schools with full determination as if there were no clashes and bombs an hour earlier"
-Baghdad Treasure post BOOOM Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Some of today's news stories that I feel should be read...
(not necessarily by you of course, but...)
Iraq doctor brings evidence of US napalm at Fallujah
"EVIDENCE to support controversial claims that napalm has been used by US forces in Iraq has been brought to Australia by an Iraqi doctor."
So that's where the WMDs were! With the Americans!
Dozens Killed In Wave Of Bombings
The post-"victory" security situation in Iraq isn't getting any better.
So far the American Invasion of Iraq has lead to the deaths of
FOURTY THOUSAND PEOPLE ...
Why all is quiet on the American home front
...yet people don't seem like they really care.
The state of the world's human rights
Report by Amnesty International, regarding a topic important to those of us who believe that Torture is Wrong.
Israel turns blind eye to attacks on Palestinians:
AFP story on the report from Amnesty International
(I think perhaps they should stress Israeli attacks on Palestinians, rather than attacks Israel "turns a blind eye" to, but who am I to say...)
Amnesty concerns over Shannon Airport use
RTE story (from Ireland) about the CIA using Shannon Airport to transport detainees to the "secret detention facilities" brought to light by the International Committee of the Red Cross. This story is also regarding today's Amnesty International report.
Haniya offers long-term truce in exchange for pullout
Hamas offers to recognize the State of Israel, and also offers a long term Truce. Sources include Israeli Ha'aretz daily news, and the story is brought to you by Monsters and Critics (a news aggregate favorite of mine)
"Review of the Arab press - May 22"
from Monsters and Critics News
(My personal favorite) A noise that should be dispelled
China's rebuttal to recent American Media reports about "China's technological threat"
Russia, China discuss bilateral cooperation and within SCO
from ITAR-TASS, Moscow--- Discusses the SCO, which I have previously mentioned in this blog, including the Conspicuously absent entry and other linked entries.
The propaganda Blitz is on against Iran now. I wonder how many months it will be before the War Drums are beating so loud that we can't hear ourselves think.
Just today, the AP ran a story that I came across in the Bucharest Daily News regarding the fact that some Israeli lawmakers are planning on filing a lawsuit against the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which claims, and I am not making this up:
A group of Israeli lawmakers and former diplomats plan to sue Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accusing him of conspiring to commit genocide, one of those involved said yesterday.
Ahmadinejad recently said Israel should be wiped off the map and dismissed the Nazi Holocaust as a "myth."
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said Ahmadinejad's comments violate the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention, to which Iran is a signatory.
Ok, perhaps there is no common sense in the world, but can I possibly be the only person who finds it ludicrous that the Iranian president's comments are a violation of the Geneva Conventions according to Israel, but their genocidal slaughter of tens of thousands of Palistinians are not?!?!
Today's report by Amnesty International about their data gathered for 2005 touches on this subject:
Killings and attacks by the [Israeli] army:
Some 190 Palestinians, including around 50 children, were killed by the Israeli army in the Occupied Territories. Many were killed unlawfully, in deliberate and reckless shootings, shelling and air strikes in densely populated residential areas, or as a result of excessive use of force. Some were extrajudicially executed and others died in armed clashes with Israeli soldiers. Hundreds of others were injured.
Seven children aged between 10 and 17 were killed and five others seriously wounded in an Israeli air strike as they were picking strawberries in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya on 4 January. Those killed included six members of the Ghaben family – Rajah, Jaber, Mahmoud, Bassam, Hani and Mohammed – and Jibril al-Kaseeh.
On 27 October, Karam Mohammed Abu Naji, 14, Salah Said Abu Naji, 15, and Rami Riyad Assaf, 17, were killed when the Israeli army launched an air strike on a car travelling near the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. As well as the three child bystanders, all four people in the car were killed. Nineteen other bystanders, including seven children, were injured. Two members of a Palestinian armed group were believed to be the intended target.
On 3 November, 12-year-old Ahmed al-Khatib was fatally wounded by Israeli soldiers during a raid in Jenin refugee camp and died three days later. The army stated that he had been playing with a toy gun and soldiers had mistaken him for a gunman.
This is from the Human Rights Watch report on
Human Rights Issues in Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories
While the total number of Israeli and Palestinian casualties fell in 2005 following the February ceasefire, the overall human rights situation in Israel and the OPT remained grave. Since the beginning of the current intifada in September 2000, Israel has killed nearly three thousand Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, including more than six hundred children. During the same period, Palestinian fighters have killed more than nine hundred Israelis inside Israel and in the OPT. Most of those killed on both sides were civilians.
In July 2005, the Israeli Knesset approved legislation that effectively bars Palestinians from the OPT from suing Israel for death, injury or damages caused by Israeli security agents. The amendment to the Civil Wrongs (Liability of State) Law, 5712-1952 further strips Palestinians of an effective remedy for serious human rights abuses, which is required under international human rights law. The Knesset passed the bill at a time when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had criminally investigated fewer than ten percent of the Palestinian civilian deaths since September 2000, and have convicted only a handful of IDF soldiers for causing death or injury. In August, an Israeli court handed down an eight year sentence, by far the longest of the past five years, to the soldier found responsible for lethally shooting Briton Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2002. The IDF maintains the policy that killings of Palestinians will be investigated only under “exceptional circumstances,” which neither the IDF nor the government has ever defined. The Israeli authorities’ failure to bring perpetrators to justice fosters a culture of impunity.
(By the way, these reports only cover published reports of civilian casualties [which can be limited in their scope]. They do not cover those dying from malnutrition or other aspects of this Humanitarian catastrophe.)
All of these reports are limited to the PAST YEAR.
This has been going on since 1967.
Yet somehow, the Iranian president saying Israel should be "wiped off the map" and asserting that the Holocost could be a "myth" somehow constitutes the War Crime. The Iranian President explained himself a small bit in his letter to the U.S. president:
"I am sure you know how – and at what cost – Israel was established:
-Many thousands were killed in the process.
-Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.
-Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, townsand villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing for sixty years now. A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures, and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique – or at the very least extremely rare – in recent memory.Another big question asked by the people is “why is this regime being supported?” "
He also notes:
Young people, university students, and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them. Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times. Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did not exist. They show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
His rhetoric regarding Israel being "wiped off the map" is actually quite literal, not a genocidal threat, at least according to my (hopefully logical and not emotionally-based) interpretation of the situation: the state of Israel was an artificial creation that does not belong, and as such should be removed.
I am not saying that I agree with his views. I am only saying that presenting such a viewpoint is not Genocide (especially when compared with the last 50 years of systematic Palestinian slaughter at the hands of Israel).
But, such an accusation fits perfectly with the current war that's being waged. Yes folks, the west is at war (again!). It's not a terror war, it's not an imperialist war (although the latter exists and the former is the nom-de-guerre for a current policy of repression and oppression):
It's a Propaganda War.
And it's going on all around us.
Wikipedia Entry regarding Israel and War Crimes
(not "verified as objective," but substantiated nonetheless)
Afghanistan air raid kills
up to 80 Taliban,
at least 16 civilians
Photo Courtesy of The Daily Times with their story.
AFP story: exerpts below, specifically things that disturbed me about the situation.
|To skip to my other news highlights click here.|
When did human life become so meaningless that airstrikes on civilian areas were an acceptable means of accomplishing a military goal? Also, if America has the best military in the world (as conservative pundits would like us to believe), why are they not capable of sending troops in to take out the enemy fighters, why do they have to instead wipe out the entire village? And when did the proclamation by the "coalition" that the Taliban had been handily "defeated" become untrue? And why is no-one pointing out this irregularity?
"Coalition forces conducted a significant operation early this morning in the Kandahar region near the village of Azizi that resulted in the unconfirmed deaths of possibly up to 80 Taliban members," a coalition spokesman said.
Unconfirmed... possibly up to... doesn't sound too convincing from the Coalition.
"Kandahar provincial governor Asadullah Khalid told reporters that at least 16 civilians were killed and 15 wounded in the attack"
"An elderly man, Attah Mohammad, said at the hospital that 24 members of his family, including some children, were killed in the bombing.
"They started to bomb our village at midnight and continued up to this morning," he said.
A doctor said that security forces had not allowed ambulances into the sealed-off area to fetch the wounded.
An 18-year-old with wounds to his face and chest said that there had been Taliban in the village but that they disappeared when the bombs started to fall.
"One hit my house. I was wounded and my two brothers were killed," said the teenager named Azizullah, adding that he had seen scores of dead and wounded on his way to the hospital.
A 45-year-old man named Nasratullah said that he had been having dinner with his in-laws. "Suddenly the bombardment started - there was big fire in our place. I managed to escape but I don't know what happened to my in-laws," he said. "
The New York Times vs. Hugo Chavez
FAIR Media Views reports: This title was taken by FAIR from CounterPunch, regarding the Front Page of the New York Times yesterday.
Daring Depraivity Blog, my interesting find of the night
US figures out how to solve UN Torture Crisis...
Foreign Law does not apply to the U.S.
JERUSALEM, May 22, 2006 (WAFA)- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the ability of Palestinians to move inside the West Bank (WB) has significantly worsened in the past nine months.
In a report on "territorial fragmentation of the West Bank, May 2006", OCHA stated that a combination of checkpoints, physical obstacles and a permit system has effectively cut the West Bank into three distinct areas in addition to East Jerusalem.
"Within these areas further enclaves have been created - also bordered by checkpoints and roadblocks - that has led to one Palestinian community being isolated from its neighbour," it said
more at the Palestinian News Agency
An Op/Ed from Pravda Russian News
If United States can occupy Iran, or at least change the regime in Iran to something that is subservient to the American interests, then U.S. can have over half of the world’s oil reserves under its control. There are four countries in the Middle East, that combined, have over 50% of the world’s proven oil reserves. These countries are: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
the story continues here...
German Foreign Minister Urges Flexibility to End Iran Stand-off
Britain, France and Germany are preparing a package of trade, technology and security benefits if Tehran stops enriching uranium, a process which creates fuel for power plants but can also form the core of a nuclear bomb
the story is here, from the German news source Deutsche Welle
Iraq: children suffer as food insecurity persists, UNICEF reports
From the U.N. News Center
on the issue of torture
It is quite often pointed out that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad is viewed as the following, in washington:
"Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler"
They also make the erroneous claim that the IAEA has determined that Iran is actively seeking to build a Nuclear Bomb (that is COMPLETELY FALSE, man do I hate it when they lie to me).
Most troubling for me is the fact that people actually believe all of these claims. To those people I say this:
I'm not even going to get into the Humanitarian Catastrophe that is Palestine, due to an IDF stranglehold on the region and a systematic destruction of all of their indegenous crops, because discussing it just makes me more upset.
It really, really surprises me that in this day and age of supposed enlightenment people are so gullible when it comes to official propaganda.
On Iran, the full text of the recent letter sent from President Mahmood Ahmadi-Nejad of Iran to President Bush is available here.
Have a look while you can!
Here's the story as I understand it. This gentleman, Tomlinson, used to work for MI6. He has had a row (fight) with them that's been going on for a decade, and in his frustration has started a blog.
I cannot verify the accuracy of any of this, but here it is anyway.
A story in the Observer that brought this to my attention:
Leaks Feared as Sacked MI6 Spy Launches Blog
The Blog itself:
Tomlinson vs. MI6
That blog location is gone.
However Tomlinson v MI6 is not gone.
Find out more on the latest post on the subject available through this website here.
We'll see how long the blog stays up...
In my last entry I discussed a blog post that I interpreted as being an expression of tacit support for the illegal detention and torture policies of the American regime. It was also, however, an expression of displeasure with the western media.
I agree with the premise of the increasing worthlessness of the western media, and as such I thought I might highlight some other worldly news sources I have been compiling on another website, affectionately named the Misneach Homepage. My resource of news sites (that I'm trying to ensure provide a different perspective from the western media) is here , and any comments or suggestions are always welcome.
The news story I like the most so far today is from The Iran Daily:
May 19--President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday global problems should be resolved by honoring justice.
Addressing a public gathering in Komijan, the president said if attention is paid to justice, the world would be free from tyranny and oppression, IRNA reported.
“The grave problem of today’s humanity is that some big powers have distanced themselves from justice,“ he said.[...]
[there's more to the story here.]
A different perspective (from the one that tells us we should hate him) indeed.
I was reminded of this while reading a post on the American liberal discussion forum My Left Wing in an article entitled:
Dial Up Your Bullshit Detectors: Neocon DisInfo Campaign on Iran
I have discussed the Iran issue in detail on this blog, including (but not limited to) the following posts:
War Mongering America
Iran, U.S. Lies...
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
I was also quite perturbed to note when reading an article on the Chinese State-run news agency Xinhua how the threat of the U.S. using Nuclear Weapons was a very real possibility. Does it worry anyone else that China sees America as being that dangerous and demented? Or am I the only one who thinks lowering the threshold for use of nuclear weapons is a Very Bad Idea.
The disturbing bit:
"Over a long period of time, Washington called Libya, together with Iran and others, a "rogue nation," which allegedly supported terrorism, and was one of the seven countries that could be subject to possible US nuclear strikes."
Is such a threat so widely accepted as possible that it can be mentioned in such a way (by the Chinese State Run news agency) without so much as a little discussion?
Post on another blogspot blog:
USS Neverdock: Reporting on Terrorism, Terrorists, Islam, and biased media
the full text here:
UK - BBC bias tricks
Here's another bias trick the BBC use.
The headline, in scare quotes, reads thus: US 'must end secret detentions' Notice how the BBC make you think they are quoting someone, presumedly an important person, saying the US "must" end secret detentions. And they also imply that such facilities exist.
Now read the story.
The US should close any secret "war on terror" detention facilities abroad and the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, a United Nations report has said. The UN Committee against Torture urged the US to ensure no one was detained in any secret facility. The report followed the first US appearance before the committee since the 11 September 2001 attacks. A legal spokesman for the US state department said the report contained "factual and legal inaccuracies".
Which is usually true of BBC reports.
The US has been holding hundreds of terror suspects arrested since 11 September at facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. It has been accused of operating secret prisons and transporting some detainees to states which use torture.
Accused by whom? The BBC does not say of course. Nor does the BBC mention that two EU investigations found no evidence that any such facilities has ever existed.
Just a thought, in response:
It has been accused by the UN Committee on Torture in their report, the subject of the article.
Spokesmen (Legal or otherwise) for the U.S. State Department are most often given their press briefings from the following State Department Bureaus:
Office of Public Diplomacy
Bureau of International Information Programs (quote from their site: "IIP informs, engages, and influences international audiences about U.S. policy and society to advance America's interests")
Advisory Commision on Public Diplomacy
These bureaus are some (though only a small fraction) of the propaganda dissemination units that are a part of the U.S. government's Executive branch. They provide "information" to the media much the same way as the German government provided "information" to the media in the 1930's and 1940's.
If you read the report that was the subject of the article (which is available here courtesy of the BBC) you will note that they state that the U.S. should close these "war on terror" detention facilities because they are contrary to the U.N. convention on torture, which the U.S. is a party to. As such, the U.S. violation of this convention is, by definition, a War Crime (using the definitions of "War Crimes" set out in precedent at the Nuremburg Tribunal after the second World War).
The idea that "no evidence that any such facilities has ever existed" is assumed when something is referred to as "secret."
Also on the subject, refer to my "Torture" posting, including comments, and my posting regarding the same story (poorly presented due to the annoying limitations of the "copy to clipboard" function, but there in it's entireity nonetheless) that you cover here.
I was not able to publish this as a comment on the originial posting because of "too many links." Therefore, it goes here.
Individuals such as the author of "ussneverdock" are the most basic example of genuinely ignorant and ill-informed individuals who have become completely indoctrinated by official propaganda into adopting a very dangerous mentality, prevalent in U.S. government circles. While (most likely) a person who tries to be moral and upstanding, this person obviously needs to Wake Up To Reality as far as the true nature of their ill-founded beliefs.
Bloggers Against Torture
" The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party should enact a federal crime of torture consistent with article 1 of the Convention, which should include appropriate penalties, in order to fulfill its obligations under the Convention to prevent and eliminate acts of torture causing severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, in all its forms.
The State party should ensure that acts of psychological torture, prohibited by the Convention, are not limited to "prolonged mental harm" as set out in the State party’s understandings lodged at the time of ratification of the Convention, but constitute a wider category of acts, which cause severe mental suffering, irrespective of their prolongation or its duration.
The State party should investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators under the federal extraterritorial criminal torture statute."
"The State party should recognize and ensure that the Convention applies at all times,whether in peace, war or armed conflict, in any territory under its jurisdiction and that the application of the Convention’s provisions are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument, pursuant to paragraph 2 of its articles 1 and 16."
"The State party should recognize and ensure that the provisions of the Convention expressed as applicable to "territory under the State party’s jurisdiction" apply to, and are fully enjoyed, by all persons under the effective control of its authorities, of whichever type, wherever located in the world."
"The State party should register all persons it detains in any territory under its jurisdiction, as one measure to prevent acts of torture. Registration should contain the identity of the detainee, the date, time and place of the detention, the identity of the authority that detained the person, the ground for the detention, the date and time of admission to the detention facility and the state of health of the detainee upon admission and any changes thereto, the time and place of interrogations, with the names of all interrogators present, as well as the date and time of release or transfer to another detention facility."
"The State party should ensure that no one is detained in any secret detention facility under its de facto effective control. Detaining persons in such conditions constitutes, per se, a violation of the Convention. The State party should investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities and the authority under which they have been established and the manner in which detainees are treated. The State party should publicly condemn any policy of secret detention.
The Committee recalls that intelligence activities, notwithstanding their author, nature or location, are acts of the State party, fully engaging its international responsibility."
"The State party should adopt all necessary measures to prohibit and prevent enforced disappearance in any territory under its jurisdiction, and prosecute and punish perpetrators, as this practice constitutes, per se, a violation of the Convention."
Those Quotes are just a fraction of the recommendations. The U.S. has obligations under international law pursuant to the Geneva Conventions, The UN Charter, and UN resolutions. Protection of human rights is also written into the U.S. constitution. Pursuing a policy that takes away a person's basic inherent human rights is a dangerous direction to be going.
Torture Awareness Month Amnesty International
A just war? Hardly
by Noam Chomsky
May 9 2006
"SPURRED by these times of invasions and evasions, discussion of "just war" has had a renaissance among scholars and even among policy-makers.
Concepts aside, actions in the real world all too often reinforce the maxim of Thucydides that "The strong do as they can, while the weak suffer what they must" — which is not only indisputably unjust, but at the present stage of human civilisation, a literal threat to the survival of the species."...
...there's more at Khaleej Times Online
Also from Khaleej:
Bush and the 'flip-flop'
By Mohammed A. R. Galadari
19 May 2006
"BY SIGNING an order to restore normal diplomatic relations with Libya, the Bush Administration has, if anything strengthened the impression that it is being flippant when it comes to policy matters."
from the Khaleej times,
and there's more...
The restoration of normal relations with Libya was timed to perfectly coincide with a speech given by GW regarding immigration and (1)building a wall on the U.S./Mexico border, and (2)using National Guard troops to patrol the border. This immigration topic has once again been put up by the Administration to distract people from other, far more dangerous issues that they are hoping will pass by unnoticed.
I wrote a small bit about the Bush immigration smokescreen speech on MyLeftWing, attached to an article regarding the wall and available for perusal here, under the title "walls".
Another interesting article regarding the "Iraqi Resistance" that was brought to my mind when reading some recent comments on Baghdad Treasure and thinking back to my own Terrorism posting from this blog, unrelated to the story in The Asia Times that is below.
This story recently went up on the Asia Times:
The Iraqi resistance: 'Why we fight'
By Brian Conley and Muhammad Zaher
"BAGHDAD - Call them terrorists, call them resistance fighters. By whatever their name, they have their own reasons for fighting the Americans in Iraq. Abu Ayoub, a 35-year-old living in Baghdad, is a member of the Islamic Army. He spoke in the Adhamiya neighborhood about why he joined the fight..."
the rest of this story is available here courtesy of Asia Times online.
This story was not written by the Blog Author, but rather by Brian Conley and Muhammad Zaher, writers for The Asia Times. The Blog Author cannot claim any responsibility for the content of the article. Its presentation here is strictly to bring attention to it from people who do not normally frequent the website of The Asia Times. I (the blog author) sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding.
My brain has been about turned to mush by CNN recently with their neverending coverage of the "Immigration" issue from the U.S. They are meant to be a worldwide news agency, and the news we get here is supposed to be their non-U.S. version, yet all they seem to talk about is this contrived issue that has little or no bearing on much greater issues facing the world. They barely mentioned the imposition of Sanctions against Venezuela by the U.S., strictly because Hugo Chavez had the gall to criticise Bush, but instead follow this contrived "immigration" issue like it's the be-all and end-all of our existance. Come on people, there's alot more going on than this.
Bush now claims that Libya (LIBYA!) is "one of the good guys" in the world because they "renounced terror." Somehow, the fact that the Hamas government in Palestine renounced "terror in all its forms" but is still under the gun (so to speak) from the American regime... doesn't get mentioned! Ain't the western media great?
For alternative WORLDWIDE news sources, try going to Misneach Homepage and clicking on "news" link at the top.
This blog entry highlights work from diligent journalists throughout the world working to provide fair and objective news. These stories are not the work of the Blog Author, and he can claim no responsibility for their content.
The committee told the US to end secret detention
The US should close the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba and any secret "war on terror" detention facilities abroad, a United Nations report has said.
The UN Committee against Torture
said that detaining persons in such conditions was a violation of the UN Convention against Torture.
It also urged the US to put in place "immediate
measures" to eradicate torture of detainees by its troops.
report follows a hearing in early May into US conduct.
"The state party
should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention
facility," the 11-page report said.
It also told the US to ensure no-one was
detained in any secret detention facility.
"The state party should
investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities and the authority
under which they have been established and the manner in which detainees are
treated," the report said.
The report also urged the US to "rescind any
interrogation technique" that constituted torture, such as the use of dogs to
It criticised vague guidelines that it said had led to
serious abuse of detainees and techniques which "have resulted in the deaths of
some detainees during interrogation".
The report was compiled by a panel of
10 experts who heard testimony in early May from a delegation of US officials
into its "war on terror" conduct.
THEN this story was put through their bleach cycle, and came out like this an hour later:
US 'must end secret detentions'
The committee told the US to end secret
detentionThe US should close any secret "war on terror" detention facilities
abroad and the Guantanamo Bay camp in Cuba, a United Nations report has said.
The UN Committee against Torture urged the US to ensure no one was detained
in any secret facility.
The report followed the first US appearance before
the committee since the 11 September 2001 attacks.
During the hearing in
early May, the US neither confirmed or denied the existence of secret prisons.
UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
in full (131K)
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Download the reader
The US has been holding hundreds of terror suspects arrested since
11 September at facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. There are also reports
of CIA-run secret facilities in other countries.
The committee told the US
to provide more information on secret detention facilities.
"The state party
should investigate and disclose the existence of any such facilities and the
authority under which they have been established and the manner in which
detainees are treated," the 11-page report said.
It also called on the US to
end detentions at the Guantanamo Bay camp and close it.
Detaining people in
such conditions was a violation of the UN Convention against Torture, it said.
Abuse of detainees
The committee also urged the US to act against
ill-treatment of detainees, calling for "immediate measures to eradicate all
forms of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by its military or civilian
personnel, in any territory under its jurisdiction".
It called for an end to
interrogation techniques it said constituted torture, such as the use of dogs to
The recommendations are not binding but the BBC's Imogen
Foulkes says the committee's conclusions will not make comfortable reading for
the US, with the assertion that secret camps do constitute torture.
has maintained that it is engaged in a long term war on terror and that some
aspects of the convention on torture may not apply.
But the UN committee
rejected this, our correspondent says, saying the total ban on torture applies
in time of peace, war or armed conflict and anyone violating the convention
should be prosecuted.
Human rights groups welcomed the report.
that the United States will take heed of this report and really begin to rethink
and change its policies on a number of practices, including secret prisons, lack
of accountability for abuse, and transfer of prisoners to places where they may
be tortured," Jennifer Daskal of Human Rights Watch told Reuters news agency.
Both of these stories (were actually the SAME STORY and) were available at the following link:
The fact that these Human Rights abuses were a violation of international law was pushed to the bottom of the story in the second version, as though that was an irrelevant fact. I wonder why...
As I have mentioned in previous posts, the US government exhibits a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life and also for any kind of law and order. American soldiers are commiting acts for which Nazi leaders were brought before a Crimes Against Humaity tribunal, but yet it continues with no end in sight. It has also been pointed out, even in Reuters news, that American military leaders not only know of this sytematic disregard for human rights and human life, but they encourage it as well (see: Rumsfeld Indictment? ). This is yet another case of a continuing string of War Crimes and other violations of international law that no-one can or will do anything about.
Truth About Iraqis: No firefight in Iraq atrocity - Marines killed women and children because they could
Also Covered on Talking About Iraq: US Must Withdraw from Iraq Now.
Unfortunately, there is no way for international law to be enforced, and as we see from history, only the losers of wars are ever brough to justice for their crimes. However, that is not to say that International law is not applicable. Without some method to enforce them, however, laws are a moot point. The US military falls within the jurisdiction of International Law as the US is a member nation of the UN
Article 93 of the UN Charter:
"All Members of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice."
The International Court of Justice at the Hague is relevant to this situation based on Article 36, Section 2 of the Statute of the Court, to which all UN member states are responsible:
"The states parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other state accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes concerning:
a. the interpretation of a treaty;
b. any question of international law;
c. the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation;
d. the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation."
A specific international obligation agreed to by the U.S. has the following position on such matters as the murder of civilians:
Article 48 of the 4th of the Geneva Conventions:
"In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives"
Indiscriminate murder of civilians is in violation of countless provisions of international law, of which this is just one relevant example. The U.S. government cannot be allowed to continue to violate all international laws and relegate our civilisation back to feudal times. Perhaps other world powers could have the courage that is so lacking in any other political representatives in America to step up and say enough is enough, and take steps to bring these criminals to justice and put an end to this sad chapter of world history.
Some additional resources:
CCR comments on the illegal war in Iraq, the investigation of war crimes, and the obligations of an occupying power. CCR urges that the United States be investigated for war crimes along with Iraq.
International Humanitarian Law timeline:
"December 10, 1984: UN General Assembly adopts the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment."
Aggressive War: Supreme International Crime from truthout.org
Progressive Punch resource of Recent U.S. votes regarding Human Rights or Civil Liberties.
On the topic of "democracy" (as opposed to real representative democracy) it's sad that everywhere one turns there are powerful forces at work trying to put an end to any notion of true democracy, yet simultaneously professing to be spreading "democracy." The American government, for example, is not really a representative democracy for a number of reasons, just one being how there are only 2 choices in major elections; only 2 choices could never possibly reflect even a small percentage of the wishes of a very diverse country.
Another example is the current "democratic" (if you believe the western media) government in Iraq, referred to so affectionately as "the puppets" by the famous Riverbend. I don't profess to know as much about Iraqi elections as I would like, but based on my understanding a number of secular ex-pats who hadn't been in Iraq in ages were brought together by the occupying forces (sorry, the "coalition") to be the choices in the election. Choosing between such people, none of whom would have the best interests of the Iraqi population at heart, is not really a choice at all, and not in any stretch of the imagination what could be termed "democracy."
We must also remember the 1953 American-sponsored coup in Iran that did away with their Democratically elected government in favor of a monarchy that was more receptive to American demands (give us your oil!). That monarchy was what paved the way for the 1979 revolution that brought about the current regime that the west is all up-in-arms about, I wish they would look in the mirror before trying to always blame everyone else.
Even in the "most democratic" (supposedly) of places in the west, regardless of the lies they are saying about wanting democracy, they have absolutly no support for any real democracy, as that's not what's in their best interests.Average citizens of any country don't want to hand over everything they have to some foreigners, so in the eyes of those same foreigners any real democracy (that would reflect the wishes of the people) is a threat to their interests.
The saddest part of all of this though, in my eyes, (other than the countless slaughtered civilians) is the fact that there are so many people who actually believe that any of this has anything to do with actually bringing any real democracy. I think it has to do alot with the "truth" that's shoved down our throats on a constant basis by those whose interests are served by hindering democracy.
Originally Posted as a comment at:
Talking About Iraq: Slowing down the democratization process
I'm a smoker. I've narrated this fact into posts before, but I generally try to avoid discussing personal issues in this particular (news-based) forum. The fact is, though, that smoking itself is a political issue (Politics is defined as "the total complex of relations between people living in society" by Webster's dictionary, and smoking very much affects people's relations in society) so I think I can sneak it in.
I'm quitting smoking. It has started, now, already. I've gone a few days without having to light up more than once a day, so I think I'm making progress. I need to quit smoking. Full stop. There are the usual reasons: the lung cancer thing, other dangers to my health, that unique "smoker smell" that permeates my clothes and my being, the fact that it's an unnecessary waste of money, etc. To be honest though, these aren't the issues that have finally pushed me to the point of wanting to become a non-smoker.
The Truth is that we smokers know how dangerous smoking is, we just don't care. It's a highly addictive drug, and one that also CALMS US DOWN immensely. My blood pressure jumps when my nicotine level drops. Just one day without cigarettes and I'm almost overcome by this irrational rage towards anything and everyone around me. It's a drug, I'm an addict, and quitting isn't easy. It must be done however.
Most smokers are well aware that cigarettes/tobacco kill more people each year than cocaine, crack, and heroin combined. What many fail to recognise, however, are the other inherent dangers of smoking. Not only is every cigarette we smoke doing us damage, but also every pack we buy damages the environment, increases a world perpensity towards dismissal of basic human rights, removes personal freedoms, and increases growing threats to not only world peace but also the very survival of our species. What I'm referring to here is the fact that American "Conservative" (a misnomer, but commonly used; I would prefer the term "Fascist") politicians have been in bed (so to speak, any sexual congress is purely speculation) with the tobacco industry ever since there was a tobacco industry. Just to give one example, Altria (formerly Philip Morris) which owns the Philip Morris brand (which produces the brands I most often buy, Marlboro and L&M) has donated nearly 7 million dollars to the republican campaigns in the U.S. for the 2000-2004 elections. The tobacco industry in general has donated countless millions to the campaigns of many prominent republican representatives, which at one point even included the terrifyingly dangerous Jesse Helms.
In the words of the late great Bill Hicks:
"The Surgeon General's warning [on cigarette packs] ought to read:
'Smoking has been determined to cause cancer, heart disease, and Rednecks with seniority.' "
And, we need not even mention to current regime and their constant attacks on all things that sustain life on this planet (peace, the environment, etc.). So every time I buy these (delicious relaxing) carcinogen sticks I'm throwing another dollar into the "lets destroy life on earth!" fund, and I won't do it anymore!
Fight The Power! Quit Smoking!
A new day is dawning, the sun is just starting to peek through the windows, and the sounds of the world around you coming to life are starting to make their way into your consciousness through the painfully-early morning haze. A haven't-had-that-first-bit-of-caffeine-yet America lies with its eyes half closed; the blaring of the alarm clock is barely audible as a faint background noise in the dream that hasn't quite ended, and the instinctive reach towards the snooze button has already begun...
However, as some of us realize, now is not the time to be going back to sleep. It's time for eyes to open and moves to be made to hop up out of the confort of the sleeping quarters; much more delay, and you could find yourself too late. There are deadlines to meet, promises to keep, and many miles to go before one can again contemplate a restful sleep (to paraphrase a well known American poet). But then again, who wants to wake up anyway? Who wants to leave the confort and warmth of our reverrie?
This dream is a fun place, a relaxed place, a place with no worries; full of happy images, sitcoms, and professions of neverending freedom, and always being congratulated for being so moral, mighty, and respectable. Of course, we have no wish to wake up to a world of lies, pain, death, despair, and destruction. Who would.
To stray from the normal confines of acceptable opinion these days is to be as annoying as a buzzing alarm clock interrupting a nice dream. Such opinions are hushed, as an alarm's "snooze" function, through omission or even direct attack. Many dissenting opinions (such as my own) that point out disturbing recurrant themes are summarily dismissed as "conspiracy theory" babble. Those who would seek to push dissenting opinions away with such characterisations do so because they have to; their belief structure cannot continue to justify actions that for those of us with a critical eye cannot be rationally categorised as moral while these individuals maintain a necessary self image of taking the moral high road; much the same as people who have lost a loved one fighting wars (read: Iraq) to further imperialist agendas need to believe that the death was not for this purpose and not in vain, but rather that the person genuinely died for the "cause of freedom." It is too painful for them to think about it any other way. To do so would be the equivalent of having a bucket of ice water dumped on yourself to wake up, an unacceptable jolt from their reverrie; sometimes reality can be just too hard to face.
As far as critical minds being lumped into the category of a paranoid schitzophrenic and labelled as "conspiracy theorists," this is just another way to sidestep any real dialoge on important issues. As far as any actual belief in some X-Files type conspiracy, what exactly constitutes a conspiracy anyway? According to my understanding of the word (and that of webster.com as well) a conspiracy is people working together in secret towards a shared goal. To forget the negative connutations of the phrase for a second, is one to assume that un-related people or groups who all have the same goals in mind and are all working towards those goals are not basically striving for the same end result as a "conspiracy" would have? Are you saying that, for example, the owners of the major media companies in America and other business leaders and also the business-centered leadership of the American government don't have the same goals in mind (maximising profits, increasing business share value, increasing personal wealth)? But nobody is pretending that any of this is a secret, at most it's just conveniently ignored as a facet of our "liberal" economic system (only economically liberal, not "bleeding-heart" style liberal).
To illustrate just one of the many examples of the so-called "conspiracy" outlined above, lets have a look at one of the American media giants, NBC. NBC, MSNBC, etc. are all owned by General Electric (to make the situation sound sweet and nice it's referred to as the "parent company"). GE has, at a minimum, $850 Million worth of "defence" contracts developing and building weapons for the American military. As such, why would one of their business want to sabatoge another of their business. Put more literally, why would NBC want to point out problems with american military aggression: no aggression, no need for huge military expendetures, no demand for weapons systems, and GE loses a ton of money. Losing money rather than making money is the exact opposite of any definition of the "American Dream" that I have ever heard, and what American company wants to be un-American?
[ To digress, for a moment, I would like to note that the American Dream is embodied in the pursuit of riches. There is also the idol-status of those who made it big then died very young; Marilyn Monroe and James Dean are two examples that come to mind. If "live fast, die young" is an ideal, then America's near-suicidal attempts to provoke military conflicts that are ever-increasing in their magnitude is much more understandable. Lets assume for a moment that nobody really wants a slow and painful death, instead they want it to be instant and painless. Lets also take into account that a modern nuclear warhead would wipe out a very large city in a matter of seconds, leaving nothing behing; near instantaneous death for all those near the center of the explosion. For those people living in large urban centers like New York and Washington, DC, perhaps stoking the fires that may well one day lead to a final showdown and nuclear war is merely a manifestation of the administration's desire to help push everyone down a path towards the American Dream and the status of an idol; attack everyone to maximise short-term financial gains, then when judgement day arrives go out in a blaze of glory, thus the culmination of our attempt to have ourselves heroified in folklore. This may seem to be an extreme interpretation, but it still seems to be supported by the facts and insofar as the direction in which America (and, sadly, with it the rest of the northern hemisphere) is headed. ]
Dick Cheney was right when he said fairly recently that those who didn't support America's (imperialist) Iraq war were Un-American. If you hold to the belief that the pursuit of the american dream is a pursuit of material riches, then taking over a country rich in valuable resources is very much in keeping with this ideal, and his perplexion is understandable. It's more than evident in the corporate culture of America that individual lives mean little, if anything, as evidenced by the trend of layoffs-to-maximise-profits. Who cares that John Q. cannot feed his family as long as the bottom line is solid. Similarly, who cares if tens of thousands of John Q.'s or Muhammad R.'s die as long as their sacrifice brings us a large influx of cash. Empathy and compassion fly in the face of the very notion of "every man for himself" that the capitalist system embodies. We could all learn something from VP Cheney's insights; eat or be eaten.
There will be those (just west of the atlantic) who say my premises are absurd, and will proceed to call me crazy. "America wants a nuclear showdown and doesn't care about human life? Man, you're nuts" is what they will say. But lets just have a look, for a second, at what the american regime has been up to recently, since we're on the subject of sanity. And remember that, as we have been told, those in power in America are the ones that the majority of americans (supposedly) "gave a mandate to" in the last presidential election to continue what they were/are doing. As such, the world is led to believe that the wishes of the Bush regime are the wishes of the American people. Then lets take a minute to reflect upon the recent statements and actions from the Bush regime regarding China and Russia. First there was the state/non state visit by Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, where he was more welcomed by Bill Gates in the U.S. than he was by G.W., and the rhetorical attacks by the Bush administration against China regarding Human Rights abuses (an issue that America is in NO position to be lecturing on at this stage: close Guantanamo and quit flying "suspects" who haven't been charged with anything all over the world to be tortured and then MAYBE you can start talking). Then, follow those up with recent attacks against Russia about democracy (again, NOT IN A POSITION TO SAY THAT since you stole the office of the presidency in 2000 and then spent 4 years of propaganda making sure you got it for another 4 years) and their capitalistic use of their energy supplies. Ok, so, you want to pick a fight with China, pick a fight with Russia, and also threaten with DEVASTATING NUCLEAR ATTACKS their CLOSE PARTNER IRAN (see my previous postings on the subject). Goading the next strongest militaries (behind the american $500 billion per year one) to yours into a fight when you can't even control defensless Iraq and protect yourselves from a humanitarian disaster created by a hurricane (read: Katrina). Picking fights with everyone in your path, but somehow it's the rest of the world that's crazy. Americans are the sane ones.
Ok guys, sure. Just remember that when the people in white come to give you a free jacket and take you to the "safe place," they're your friends.
It's no wonder that those who point out reasonable (yet terrifying) observations about the current situation are ignored or silenced (where is that snooze button!). Sadly, those of us who care about the world we leave (or don't leave) our children and grandchildren are pushed off to that tiny section of the consciousness that is overpowered by the part that wants, or needs, to stay in the dream. Who wants to wake up to a reality like this? Instead we can lose ourselves in this dream (with scrubs, and seinfeld, friends, and desparate housewives) and just assume that everything is ok: if the (fictional) characters on these tv shows can go around all day without a care in the world about a bleak future, then surely we can as well! Besides, those who "society" (based on music contracts, tv, magasines like Cosmo) tell us we should idolise keep getting younger, so perhaps those of us over the age of 20 who aren't famous millionares have outlived our opportunities anyway, so why should we fear a catastrophic end. Perhaps we should just embrace it, maybe that truly is the culmination of the dream, of the american ideal. Why worry about any of this when the powers that be have provided us with so many distractions to keep our minds from contemplating anything that could be dangerous to the status quo.
Just go back to sleep America. Stay in your dreams, ignore the alarm.
Yeah, you heard me. I honestly believe that those who control our "news" supply in the west give us ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT FOR INTELLIGENCE. This is what greeted me when I went to yahoo today:
REUTERS/Department of Defense/Handout"
REUTERS DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HANDOUT?!?!?!?! What is wrong with you people?!?!?! This isn't news this is propaganda, how the fuck can you call yourselves providers of news?!?!?!?!?!
When Stalin took control of Russia through forced-socialist revolution, all news media bodies were seized by the government and turned into venues for government Propaganda. When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in the 1930s, all of the german media outlets were also one by one turned into propaganda providers for the Reich or were shut down. It is absolutely pathetic that western "news media" sources are no different today than German media sources were when Hitler took power, or the state run news agencies of Communist Russia.
I get more objective news from Xinhua (the Chinese government-run news outlet) than I get from yahoo and reuters. How sad is that.
It has been recently brought to my attention (by people who actually concentrate on my comments or posts rather than my profile) that some of my statements come across as sympathetic to what is colloquially defined as "terror."
I am not, nor ever have been, supportive of terror, terrorism, or any other related actions; I feel that they fly in the face of basic morality.
As far as the question of "do the ends justify the means" (as in, if a positive goal is achieved does that justify the negative way it was brought about), I believe that they most certainly do not.
Call me a dreamer, but I believe that human beings have within their nature the capability to accomplish their goals without sacrificing basic human morality.
Regarding morality, I agree with conclusions reached by Plato and Aristotle that not only is morality the most effective means to achieve one's objectives, it is also it's own reward.
That having been said, there is an important aspect of this dialogue that is not being covered. It is important to contemplate the difference (?) between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist," especially as it relates to one's self image.
If I may, I would like to leave you with a question. Or a few, perhaps. Of the following, whom would you consider to be a "freedom fighter" and whom a "terrorist." Or are they neither? Or both? (What exactly constitutes "terrorism" these days anyway?) Furthermore, does their view of themself hold true to your characterisation, and does the historical record agree with your point of view, or theirs? Does that historical record change with the times? So what are they, really, then?
Nelson Mandela? Gerry Adams? Osama Bin Ladin? Yassir Arafat? Shimon Peres? Emmanuel Constant? Bobby Sands? James Connolly? George Washington? Robert E. Lee? William Wallace? Che Guevera? Fidel Castro? Ronald Reagan? George Bush? Abu Abbas? George Shultz? Leon Klinghoffer? Kemal Zugheyer? Bill Clinton? Margaret Thatcher? Bobby Seale? Ali Akbar Mohtashemi? Wolfe Tone? Txabi Etxebarrieta?
And, perhaps most importantly, why?
Whoever is in charge of this guy's Public Relations could teach Karl Rove a thing or two.
"Last week the president revealed his seldom-seen softer side by ordering an end to a decades-old ban on women entering stadiums for major sporting events, including football matches"Now, before all you propaganda-believers out there start bitching and moaning about how women aren't treated fairly in Iran and they have such a horrible record when it comes to womens rights, I would like to point out that gender equality is still a major problem in countries all over the world. I know full well that women are treated quite poorly in general in Iran, more so than in most western countries, but in fairness women's rights is a worldwide issue, and the propaganda campaigns against Iran that have highlighted degrading treatment towards women specifically do so to hurt the country's stature in the international community. Lets just take a moment and think about how much more equal things could still be in many other countries in the world, and how many countries are doing (pardon my language) sweet fuckall about it. America, for one, still has a long way to go before women are treated the same as men. For a middle east example, lets have a look a Kuwait. Does anyone out there remember Kuwait, the country that America went to war to protect in 1991 against the "terror" that was Saddam Hussein? The country that the U.S. government seems to love oh so much? The close ally of america in the "war on terror?" Women are now allowed to vote in Kuwait, and have been allowed to vote now for ONE WHOLE YEAR. I'm sure those Kuwaities are patting themselves on the back for that, but if I were in touch with people in the American government, and I cared enough about womens rights to make my opinion heard as far as Iran was concerned, I would ask them why such a close ally of america didn't let women vote until 2005. But it's Iran's record that gets picked on, not the record of an ally, I forgot, allies can do no wrong. My mistake, sorry.
Anyway, Pres. Ahmadinejad has gone and pissed off the Iranian hard-liners (same as he's pissing off the U.S. government these days, boy he's good at that) by stating that
"Any distinction between men and women that leads to their separation hurts women. In places where women are present, the atmosphere is healthier,"
and, responding to critics of the plan, remarked that
"sadly, when we speak of corruption the finger is pointed at women. Are men without reproach?"
So the guy is not only fighting for Iran's right to use Nuclear Power (so they can have more oil to sell and have more money in their budget), but now he's fighting for women's rights in Iran as well.
I know the western press keeps telling us that we should hate the guy and that he's a danger to the world, but I've gotta admit, I quite like the guy. He's got panache.