Getting Through : Lighten Up
Bin-Laden's Mother Worried Sick
from Shaka - Wednesday, October 18, 2006
accessed 1134 times
Bin Laden's Mother Worried Sick
October 10, 2006 | Issue 42•41
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA—With rumors swirling about Osama bin Laden's possible death from typhoid fever in Pakistan, Hamida al-Attas, the al-Qaeda leader's mother, said she is "worried sick" about her son and wished that he would send "some sort of sign" that he is alive.
"I can't sleep at night not knowing where he is," said al-Attas, clutching a framed eighth-grade school portrait of bin Laden in the living room of her Jeddah home.
"He could be dead in a ditch somewhere and I would have no idea," al-Attas added.
The fact that al-Qaeda has not staged a major attack in over a year, coupled with the new rumors of bin Laden's death, have increased al-Attas's anxiety over the whereabouts and welfare of her son.
"It's like he disappeared off the face of the earth," al-Attas said. "All I ever see of him is the occasional grainy videotape, and he looks so skinny, I'd hardly recognize my own son if it weren't verified by the CIA. I just hope he's taking care of himself."
Saying "it's a mother's right" to know her child's whereabouts, al-Attas admitted the only time her mind is put at ease is when her son occasionlly checks in with acts of terror such as the Bali nightclub bombing, the Madrid train bombings, and last year's London subway attacks. "I wish [Osama] would understand the pain he causes me, the worry," al-Attas said. "Doesn't he know that his actions can affect others?"
"For his dear mother's sake, I wish he'd carry out an attack," al-Attas continued. "Just so I know he's all right."
Instead, al-Attas said she is left to torment herself with dozens of conceivable scenarios of bin Laden's fate. "What if an elite group of Delta Force assassins ambushed him in a remote Pakistani mountain pass?" said al-Attas, wringing her hands at her kitchen table. "What if some unscrupulous local informant revealed his hidden location? What if he slept in one of those dirty hotel comforters I saw on the news that are covered in germs? No mother should have to go through this with her son."
Even if bin Laden is alive, his "neglectful" appearance gives al-Attas no less reason to worry about his state. "If I know my Osama, his [cave] is a shambles," said al-Attas, who noted that his beard was "getting a little out of hand" in the last photos she saw of him, and that his fatigues and Afghan-style headdress "didn't look warm enough." "When he's on his own, he doesn't look after himself properly. I can't tell you how many times his father and I have gotten on him about that. But I guess he's always been stubborn."
"It's only because I love him so much," she added.
Admitting that bin Laden was no longer "the nice boy who'd come home from al-Thager Model School all eager to tell me about his day," al-Attas said she regretted the fact that he has not been a part of the extended family in so long. "Since he never gets to the yearly reunions, I bet he doesn't even know that his 14th half-sister [Iftikar] just had a baby," al-Attas said. "His younger cousins would love to spend some time with him, but they wouldn't even know what he looked like if it wasn't for all those propaganda posters."
Although al-Attas said she realizes bin Laden is busy, and understands his line of work requires focus and constant travel, the fretful mother said, "I just wish he would pick up a phone every once in a while" between meetings to let her know he is all right.
"My friends tell me that he's a big boy, and that he can take care of himself," al-Attas said. "But it's all I can do not to rush out and scour the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan myself."
"He could be Allah knows where doing Allah knows what," she added.
Al-Attas has even contemplated releasing a videotape of her own urging bin Laden to let her know he's alive, and to tell her whether he is wearing the mukluks she sent him in 2002.
But whatever trouble he may be in, al-Attas said she hoped bin Laden knew that he would "always be my baby" and that "he can always come home."
"I can't imagine a world without him," al-Attas added.
More Onion News
Reader's comments on this article
Add a new comment on this article
|from words from....|
Friday, October 20, 2006 - 09:45
Keith Olbermann has been calling it like it is. His "Special Comments" are indeed special because no other talking head outside of Cafferty is willing to step up to the plate and say what needs to be said on 24/7. "Your words are lies, Sir." They are lies, that imperil us all.' Sounds about right to me.
Video - WMV Video - QT
Olbermann: And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.
We have lived as if in a trance. We have lived… as people in fear.
And now — our rights and our freedoms in peril — we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid… of the wrong thing.
Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy. For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:
And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.
We have lived as if in a trance.
We have lived… as people in fear.
And now — our rights and our freedoms in peril — we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid… of the wrong thing.
Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy.
For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:
A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.
We have been here before — and we have been here before led here — by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.
We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives — only to watch him use those Acts to jail newspaper editors.
American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote, about America.
We have been here, when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives — only to watch him use that Act to prosecute 2,000 Americans, especially those he disparaged as "Hyphenated Americans," most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.
American public speakers, in American jails, for things they said, about America.
And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that Executive Order 9-0-6-6 was necessary to save American lives — only to watch him use that Order to imprison and pauperize 110-thousand Americans…
While his man-in-charge…
General DeWitt, told Congress: "It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen — he is still a Japanese."
American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did — but for the choices they or their ancestors had made, about coming to America.
Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And each, was a betrayal of that for which the President who advocated them, claimed to be fighting.
Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.
Many of the very people Wilson silenced, survived him, and…
…one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900-thousand votes… though his Presidential campaign was conducted entirely… from his jail cell.
And Roosevelt's internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States, to the citizens of the United States, whose lives it ruined.
The most vital… the most urgent… the most inescapable of reasons.
In times of fright, we have been, only human.
We have let Roosevelt's "fear of fear itself" overtake us.
We have listened to the little voice inside that has said "the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass."
We have accepted, that the only way to stop the terrorists, is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.
Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets, was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.
Or substitute… the Japanese.
Or the Germans.
Or the Socialists.
Or the Anarchists.
Or the Immigrants.
Or the British.
Or the Aliens.
The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And, always, always… wrong.
"With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?"
And ironic ones, Mr. Bush.
Your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act.
You spoke so much more than you know, Sir.
Sadly — of course — the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously… was you.
We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
But even within this history, we have not before codified, the poisoning of Habeas Corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.
You, sir, have now befouled that spring.
You, sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.
You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.
For the most vital… the most urgent… the most inescapable of reasons.
And — again, Mr. Bush — all of them, wrong.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done, to anything the terrorists have ever done.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted again that "the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values" and who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.
We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-American citizens "Unlawful Enemy Combatants" and ship them somewhere — anywhere — but may now, if he so decides, declare you an "Unlawful Enemy Combatant" and ship you somewhere - anywhere.
And if you think this, hyperbole or hysteria… ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was President, or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was President, or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was President.
And if you somehow think Habeas Corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this: If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an "unlawful enemy combatant" — exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this Attorney General is going to help you?
This President now has his blank check.
He lied to get it.
He lied as he received it.
Is there any reason to even hope, he has not lied about how he intends to use it, nor who he intends to use it against?
"These military commissions will provide a fair trial," you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush. "In which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney, and can hear all the evidence against them."
'Presumed innocent,' Mr. Bush?
The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain "serious mental and physical trauma" in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva Conventions in their own defense.
'Access to an attorney,' Mr. Bush?
Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court, that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant, on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.
'Hearing all the evidence,' Mr. Bush?
The Military Commissions act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.
Your words are lies, Sir.
They are lies, that imperil us all.
"One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks," …you told us yesterday… "said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of the end of America."
That terrorist, sir, could only hope.
Not his actions, nor the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.
Habeas Corpus? Gone.
The Geneva Conventions? Optional.
The Moral Force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.
These things you have done, Mr. Bush… they would be "the beginning of the end of America."
And did it even occur to you once sir — somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, intentional, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11 — that with only a little further shift in this world we now know — just a touch more repudiation of all of that for which our patriots died —
Did it ever occur to you once, that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office, some irresponsible future President and a "competent tribunal" of lackeys would be entitled, by the actions of your own hand, to declare the status of "Unlawful Enemy Combatant" for… and convene a Military Commission to try… not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?
For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.
And doubtless, sir, all of them — as always — wrong.
Joe Scarborough is next.
Good night, and good luck.
(reply to this comment)
| From No more HABEAS CORPUS|
Friday, October 20, 2006, 09:57
Today, 135 years to the day after the last American President (Ulysses S. Grant) suspended habeas corpus, President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006. At its worst, the legislation allows President Bush or Donald Rumsfeld to declare anyone — US citizen or not — an enemy combatant, lock them up and throw away the key without a chance to prove their innocence in a court of law. In other words, every thing the Founding Fathers fought the British empire to free themselves of was reversed and nullified with the stroke of a pen, all under the guise of the War on Terror.
Jonathan Turley joined Keith to talk about the law that Senator Feingold said would be seen as "a stain on our nation's history."
Turley: "People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system.—The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It's otherworldly..People clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're gonna change back anytime soon."
History does not play well at this White House. Expressionless faces would probably greet references to how John Adams ended his political career by insisting he needed the Alien and Sedition Acts to silence his critics in the newspapers, or how Franklin D. Roosevelt's executive order to seize Japanese-Americans during World War II necessitated a formal presidential apology eight presidents later.
But even so, somebody probably should have told President Bush that today was the exact 135th anniversary, to the day, that President Grant suspended habeas corpus in much of South Carolina for the noble and urgent purpose of dispersing the Ku Klux Klan and making sure the freed slaves had all their voting rights, neither of which has yet truly occurred. It is your principal defense against imprisonment without charge and trial without defense thrown away for no good reason, then and now.
Our fifth story on "Countdown": President Bush, happy Habeas Corpus Day.
First thing this morning, the president signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned, provided the president does not think it should apply to you and declares you an enemy combatant.
Further, the bill allows the CIA to continue using interrogation techniques so long as they do not cause what is deemed, quote, "serious physical or mental pain." And it lets the president to ostensibly pick and choose which parts of the Geneva Convention to obey, though to hear him describe this, this repudiation of the freedoms for which all our soldiers have died is a good thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: This bill spells out specific, recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees, so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law. And this bill complies with both the spirit and the letter of our international obligations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Leading Democrats view it differently, Senator Ted Kennedy calling this "seriously flawed," Senator Patrick Leahey saying it's, quote, "a sad day when the rubber-stamp Congress undercuts our freedoms," and Senator Russ Feingold adding that "We will look back on this day as a stain on our nation's history."
Outside the White House, a handful of individuals protested the law by dressing up as Abu Ghraib abuse victims and terror detainees. Several of them got themselves arrested, but they were apparently quickly released, despite being already dressed for Gitmo.
To assess what this law will truly mean for us all, I'm joined by Jonathan Turley, professor of constitutional law at George Washington University.
I want to start by asking you about a specific part of this act that lists one of the definitions of an unlawful enemy combatant as, quote, "a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a combatant status review tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense."
Does that not basically mean that if Mr. Bush or Mr. Rumsfeld say so, anybody in this country, citizen or not, innocent or not, can end up being an unlawful enemy combatant?
JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR: It certainly does. In fact, later on, it says that if you even give material support to an organization that the president deems connected to one of these groups, you too can be an enemy combatant.
And the fact that he appoints this tribunal is meaningless. You know, standing behind him at the signing ceremony was his attorney general, who signed a memo that said that you could torture people, that you could do harm to them to the point of organ failure or death.
So if he appoints someone like that to be attorney general, you can imagine who he's going be putting on this board.
OLBERMANN: Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?
TURLEY: It does. And it's a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn't rely on their good motivations.
Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.
It couldn't be more significant. And the strange thing is, we've become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. I mean, the Congress just gave the president despotic powers, and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to, you know, "Dancing with the Stars." I mean, it's otherworldly.
OLBERMANN: Is there one defense against this, the legal challenges against particularly the suspension or elimination of habeas corpus from the equation? And where do they stand, and how likely are they to overturn this action today?
TURLEY: Well, you know what? I think people are fooling themselves if they believe that the courts will once again stop this president from taking over—taking almost absolute power. It basically comes down to a single vote on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy. And he indicated that if Congress gave the president these types of powers, that he might go along.
And so we may have, in this country, some type of uber-president, some absolute ruler, and it'll be up to him who gets put away as an enemy combatant, held without trial.
It's something that no one thought—certainly I didn't think—was possible in the United States. And I am not too sure how we got to this point. But people clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're going to change back anytime soon.
OLBERMANN: And if Justice Kennedy tries to change us back, we can always call him an enemy combatant.
The president reiterated today the United States does not torture. Does this law actually guarantee anything like that?
TURLEY: That's actually when I turned off my TV set, because I couldn't believe it. You know, the United States has engaged in torture. And the whole world community has denounced the views of this administration, its early views that the president could order torture, could cause injury up to organ failure or death.
The administration has already established that it has engaged in things like waterboarding, which is not just torture. We prosecuted people after World War II for waterboarding prisoners. We treated it as a war crime. And my God, what a change of fate, where we are now embracing the very thing that we once prosecuted people for.
Who are we now? I know who we were then. But when the president said that we don't torture, that was, frankly, when I had to turn off my TV set.
OLBERMANN: That same individual fell back on the same argument that he'd used about the war in Iraq to sanction this law. Let me play what he said and then ask you a question about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yet with the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few. Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously? And did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Does he understand the irony of those words when taken out of the context of this particular passage or of what he perceives as the war against terror, and that, in fact, the threat we may be facing is the threat of President George W. Bush?
TURLEY: Well, this is going to go down in history as one of our greatest self-inflicted wounds. And I think you can feel the judgment of history. It won't be kind to President Bush.
But frankly, I don't think that it will be kind to the rest of us. I think that history will ask, Where were you? What did you do when this thing was signed into law? There were people that protested the Japanese concentration camps, there were people that protested these other acts. But we are strangely silent in this national yawn as our rights evaporate.
OLBERMANN: Well, not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but I think we've done a little bit of what we could have done. I'll see you at Gitmo. As always, greatest thanks for your time, Jon.
TURLEY: Thanks, Keith.
Keith gave us another special comment tonight, but with a different target. Tonight he went after Bush himself.
Keith: "More over, Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety."
Nothing could be truer than that right there. Its not only insulting that Bush once said "they hate us for our freedoms" and then proceeded to strip away those freedoms with such things as the Patriot Act and the warrantless wiretapping, but he also constantly says how the key tactic of the terrorist is fear, while his administration is out on a daily basis delivering speeches that are geared towards scaring us.
Transcript below the fold (compliments of Bloggermann)
It is to our deep national shameand ultimately it will be to the Presidents deep personal regretthat he has followed his Secretary of Defense down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his policiesor even question their effectiveness or executionto the Nazis of the past, and the al Qaeda of the present.
Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 without ever actually saying sothe President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.
Make no mistake herethe intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the media.
The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.
Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:
The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one wordmediathe honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.
That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.
Mr. Bush and his colleagues have led us before to such waters.
We will not drink again.
And the Presidents re-writing and sanitizing of history, so it fits the expediencies of domestic politics, is just as false, and just as scurrilous.
In the 1920s a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan super-state in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews, President Bush said today, the world ignored Hitlers words, and paid a terrible price.
Whatever the true nature of al Qaeda and other international terrorist threats, to ceaselessly compare them to the Nazi State of Germany serves only to embolden them.
More over, Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek - a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety.
It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administrations recent Nazi kick is an awful and cynical thing.
And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:
Have you no sense of decency, sir?
(reply to this comment)
Friday, October 20, 2006 - 09:31
Upon Red Rivers of Genocide
Living Inside Hell on Earth
By Manuel Valenzuela
10/19/06 "Information Clearing House"
Daily upon the rivers that birthed civilization can the flow of crimson colored blood be seen journeying over liquid roadways through the land of Mesopotamia, its accumulated and growing volume the result of scattered bodies, bullet hole riddled men and bloated humans, all silent witnesses to the devastation that has cursed the Iraqi people.
Tainted with the flow of human wickedness, the Tigris and Euphrates spread their polluted waters over the entire culture of Iraq, like sewers of human waste contaminating land, water and air, their toxins of evil and torture and murder and suffering spreading a noxious fog over cities and towns, its cocktail of death and destruction infecting the fabric of society, the very foundation of Iraq cracked and shattered by the spillage of human energy, that crimson liquid granting life.
Upon red rivers of genocide do twenty five million human beings sip out of, forced to endure the aftertaste of rotting flesh, drinking from the chalice of human violence, swallowing the red liquid of their nation's blood, bathing in its corrupted waterways as their country slowly, yet surely, hemorrhages to death. Unable to close a gaping and now pussing wound, unable to stitch back together lacerated flesh, millions upon millions of human beings have become the gangrened body infected by America's disastrous debacle, slowly rotting from within, turning vile in color and putrid in smell with each passing day, their only salvation the amputation of the whole, the division of their nation, the destruction and partition of Iraq.
To twenty five million Iraqis hell on Earth has been introduced to their land by the demons roaming the halls of American power that care not an ounce for the misery and wickedness now roaming like a vulture over Iraq's skies. For human evil has been imported into the Cradle of Civilization, an export birthed, nurtured and molded by Old Glory itself, under the watchful eyes of Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington, crafted by debasement and corruption, becoming the most successful product launch America has sent abroad in many, many years. For the war culture has perfected the art of sadistic mass murder, a new edition introduced like a software program, resurrected every few decades to enrich war profiteers and greed mongers while making comfortable the lives of those residing inside the belly of the beast. Like a virus the American angel of death has spread far and wide, free of antidotes or miracle cures, given the freedom that is denied Iraqis, like a haze enveloping almost every city and town, village and farm, infecting madness and hatred and vengeance and anger into the minds of millions, injecting civil war upon Iraq and genocide upon the Iraqi people.
Upon the affliction that has befallen them, born of lies, deceit and criminality, against all precepts of human and international law, rising out of smoldering ashes and destroyed skyscrapers, fashioned by incompetent daydreamers and pathological deviants, Iraqis – whose only true curse is having evolved for millennia in the lands pregnant with the devil's excrement – find themselves stuck in a nightmare whose waking hour will not come and whose terror cannot be made to disappear. To them, the nightmare is all too real, as evident as the smell of burning flesh or the concussion of the next explosion, as real as the searing shrapnel tearing and ripping open body parts or the decapitated and mangled head of a loved one.
This nightmare does not wake, nor does it allow eyes to open, becoming as real as the destruction of homes, livelihoods or rape of an older sister. Whether murdered execution style with a bullet to the head or murdered by an American smart bomb, the Iraqi nightmare seems only to end upon the last breaths of life, upon the expiration of human energy. Only then does fire and phosphorous and bullets and missiles and beheadings turn to nothingness; only then does hell on Earth subside and peace prosper.
The omnipotent darkness of genocide, American style, has been resurrected in lands ancient and mesmerizing, where history began and where humanity was nurtured and reared. From the fertile bosom and succulent nectars of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers humankind took a great leap forward, advancing in civilization, growing in numbers, evolving in time. Today, from rivers once offering life only death and the products of human malevolence can be seen, courtesy of greed, arrogance and apathy, of the self-aggrandized narcissism and inexperienced idiocy that blinds and insulates populations smeared in comfort and willful ignorance. Through the silence and acquiescence of Americans, through the complete indifference to the plight of 25 million Iraqis, genocide has become America's foreign policy in Iraq, becoming Iraq's new normal, rising to the present as it once did in the past, a disease thriving wherever America's armies land, just as it once did in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, where in the span of a century the lives of tens of millions of human beings were systematically erased from the face of Earth.
Genocide, that most malevolent of human activities, that most common of historical realities, that most useful of American foreign policy objectives, a demon that invariably never fails to leave our mammalian psychology, becoming as common to our history as music is to our culture, has been birthed in the land of sand and dunes, becoming as common as scorching temperatures, rising like ancient Babylon once did to lay claim to Mesopotamia. Upon rivers that once brought life now only death floats by; where fertile mud once flowed now human blood gushes. Where sustenance once flourished only misery can now be irrigated; where once fish were pulled out in bountiful amounts now bodies of rotting human flesh are fished out of the water.
For what can you call what is happening in Iraq in the first decade of the twenty-first century anything but genocide, the complete and systematic decimation – the annihilation – of an entire culture, of an entire society, of an entire nation? What do you call the death, mostly by violent murder, state sponsored terrorism, American birthed civil war, sectarian violence and counterterrorism operations, of 655,000 human beings if not mass murder, genocide, the genesis of Holocaust? Two to three percent of the Iraqi population has been exterminated, never to breathe life again, never to see children grow up, never to see mothers give birth or see fathers become proud grandfathers. Two to three percent of Iraq's people lie six feet under, buried under the massive and monstrous American military machine. If two to three percent of America was killed in the span of three years, a number reaching 6 to 9 million individuals, what would happen to the United States? What would happen if a city the size of Los Angeles or New York or Chicago was wiped off the face of the nation? The equivalent of this hypothetical is happening today in Iraq.
Entire families have disappeared, entire ways of life extinguished; the devastation of daily anarchy, occupation, chaos, thirst for vengeance and civil war results in several hundred deaths by murder every single day in Iraq. Every month in Iraq at least 3,000 civilians die at the hands of human wickedness, creating an Iraqi 9/11 every 30 days, every 720 hours. Rivers and puddles of blood flowing through Iraq's streets never seem to run dry, with each new day spawning the next bloodbath of body parts and devastated flesh. The Iraqi genocide refuses to relent, thriving off of human psychology, off of a culture of revenge and honor, off of a brutal guerilla resistance to foreign occupation. In each case of murder, torture or intolerable suffering, the common denominator is always the invasion of Iraq by America and the subsequent occupation that has become a catalyst to the horrors facing average Iraqis today. Each day only seems to make things worse; each year only cements the continuing decent into human Hell. From the bowels of hell the demons of mankind have risen in the land of Mesopotamia.
Children rise one day to innocence only to fall asleep to malevolence. Teenagers once full of idealism, hope and love are now possessed by hate, anger and psychological maiming. Young adults hoping for a fruitful life now have only the memories of the past to sustain them, their potential and opportunity now eroded, their talents and abilities quashed. Mothers and fathers once hoping for a better tomorrow for their children now see nothing but decades of decimation to come. Grandmothers and grandfathers look at the present and remember the past, cursing the devil's excrement, condemning the Anglo-American world, shedding tears over the crushed vibrancy of a destroyed society. Through the eyes of babies a world of violence and murder becomes routine, along with bloated bellies and diseased bodies, hungry mouths and depleted brain power. Through the eyes of babies Iraq and its cities burn in a fiery inferno of man killing man, its pillars crumbling under the weight of the evil birthed through American intervention. This, today, is reality and truth to 25 million Iraqis, or to those who remain, unable to flee.
Genesis of Holocaust
The lives of 25 million human beings lie in ruins, destroyed like the rubble and mortar that lines city streets and boulevards. The Iraqi genocide is what we at present see, a reality fated to continue well into the future, without a hint of when it will stop, a direct and proximate cause of America's war crimes and its illegal and immoral occupation. The curse upon Iraqis, begun with the act of economic genocide called sanctions, imposed, implemented and supervised by America in the 1990's – which resulted in the death of up to 1.5 million Iraqis, 500,000 of them children lacking proper nourishment or medicines – and continued with Bush's Crusade against Iraq, an operation of blatant terrorism disguised under the state's veil of Lady Liberty and Old Glory, has in the span of a decade and a half become a shameful and criminal Holocaust, resulting in the death of perhaps two million human beings. If the mass murder by radiation through America's weapon of mass destruction, depleted uranium munitions, is added to the calculations, the Iraqi Holocaust approaches some of the worst crimes of human civilization in the brief history of our species.
The monster engendered by George W. Bush, the military-energy industrial complex and the neocons has become an unstoppable force whose momentum has spiraled out of control, its life growing and evolving not in accordance with the commands from Washington but rather from the vicious cycle of devastation now feeding its unquenchable appetite for blood and malice. Like a hurricane it gains speed and strength from warm liquid, in this case human blood, becoming a vicious circle of mass murder that cannot be halted.
Has the greed and hunger for unsurpassed wealth and power been worth the genocide of Iraqis? Has it been worth the indescribable pain and suffering and anger and hatred emanating from millions of Iraqis against the United States? To you and me the answer is surely no; to the war mongers and greed addicts in power, however, it has been worth every penny, for they care nothing for ordinary Iraqis, having not one drop of remorse or empathy or humanity in their ice cold veins from where only the green of the Almighty dollar and the thick black oil of the devil's excrement is allowed to flow. To them, the Iraqi genocide is seen only through the macabre vision of dollar signs and enhanced power. To these individuals, they would just as easily squash a cockroach than care about 300 deaths a day in Iraq.
How high will the final tally of dead Iraqis reach? How much killing and murder and maiming and destruction is left to achieve? How much longer will the blueprint for Central America during the Cold War be implemented in Iraq, with its counterinsurgency operations full of torture, disappearances, mass executions and death squads? Will the final death count approach the two to three million dead that were recorded in Vietnam, that the American military left in its wake as it retreated from its embassy's rooftop? Will the killing stop only when there is nothing left to kill, only when the enemies of America have exhausted destroying each other, when they realize that they have been made to fight each other so as not to unite and fight the common enemy, just as the pathological occupiers desired in a classic example of divide and conquer?
The Iraqi genocide will not be destroyed until America is kicked out of Iraq, until its bases are overrun, until the Green Zone is sacked, until the last remaining Americans are evacuated with helicopters from the rooms of Saddam's old palaces, for it will never leave voluntarily. It has created a mess it cannot extricate itself out of, both strategically and financially. It has invested too much precious treasure, to say nothing of blood, in the pursuit and control of Iraq's energy resources. It has built more than a dozen permanent bases, it has firmly planted itself in a most geostrategic location, the easier to wage battle against tomorrow's rivals, Russia and China. America has made the first move in the great chess match for control of Earth's remaining petroleum. It cannot now simply pack up and leave, no matter how costly the enterprise, no matter how much blood is spilled. With its reputation in tatters, with its military trapped in quicksand, with its leaders as incompetent and arrogant as they are unwise, America will, like a spoiled and undisciplined child of wealth, thinking itself privileged and enveloped under hallucinations of chosen grandeur, refuse to listen to reason, preferring to suffocate under the immense weight of the greatest strategic disaster in the history of the nation than declare defeat and retreat.
The killing and destruction will continue, with America as catalyst, as the malignancy destroying the invaded nation with the cancer of human wickedness, until the term genocide is replaced by the word Holocaust, until millions lie in graves, their bodies returning to dust and earth and grass, the winds carrying radiation poisoning becoming the silent reminders and perpetual killers of America's foray into the Iraqi deserts. Millions of Iraqis, those already born and those yet to come, are destined to die at the hands of what America wrought. Thousands will die of bullet holes to the head, while thousands more will be murdered by bombs and missiles. Still many more will die of preventable disease, dead for lack of sanitation, lack of potable water, lack of electricity, medicine and nutritious food. Tens of thousands will die of lack of security, as anarchy and chaos and civil war devastate Iraqi culture and society. Untold numbers of Iraqis will die of cancers and diseases resulting from radiation poisoning caused by the use of hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions. Thousands of newborns will be born mutated or deformed, distorted in ways human babies have never looked before; thousands more will never be born at all, for stillborn will they enter this planet, becoming the lucky few to escape the human hell their parents must confront and escape.
Up to a million Iraqis, those lucky enough to possess some form of infinitesimal wealth, have fled their native country, never to return to their homes, their lives left behind. Displaced by America's occupation and the resulting insecurity and guerilla warfare, uncounted millions have decided that it is better to risk leaving Iraq than remaining under the real threat of becoming one more statistic in a Baghdad morgue. The Iraqi Diaspora has begun, with those allotted a little luck in money and fate creating a mass exodus from Mesopotamia, choosing poverty abroad rather than insecurity and constant threat at home. Already hundreds of thousands of professionals have left the cities, from professors to doctors, leaving Iraq a desolate and anemic society, never to return to the nation of their birth. As a result, hundreds of thousand of students are without teachers, millions of civilians are without doctors.
Yet for the poor of Iraq, for those comprising the salt of the earth, the great majority of Iraq's citizens whose resources prevent escape from the gates of hell on Earth, only the certainty of living in constant fear of death or injury awaits, their lives reduced to an understanding that the last breath they take could very well be their final gasp of air. For the poor of Iraq, America and its brutal occupation, with its massive debacle of historical proportions, makes Saddam Hussein seem like Franklin D. Roosevelt. Indeed, how many Iraqis today wish Saddam was still in power? Iraq, after all, was safe, secure and at peace with him at the helm, a reality that today does not exist.
While brutal and a dictator, he was nonetheless the fulcrum upon which all of Iraq stood united, in control, free of terrorism, a non-threat to its neighbors, much less to George W. Bush's America. Yet even today his war crimes pale in comparison with those unleashed by George W. Bush, yet it is Saddam that will soon hang from a noose. It was Saddam that acted as the thread and needle needed to stitch Iraq together. Without him the entire deck of cards has come tumbling down. With a western created nation such as Iraq, with borders delineated according to European interests and not ethnic or religious realities, only a strong-arm despot sponsored by the west could maintain control, becoming the thread holding the nation together. Unfortunately for America, George W. Bush and his neocon handlers have no interest in learning history or its many lessons.
The Folly of Ignoring History's Lessons
What those who discard or ridicule the study of history fail to realize is that history – not the kind that is written by powers or winners but by reality – is but the decoded pattern of repeated psychologies and behaviors of our past and the blueprint for understanding our present and future. It is our demons, mistakes, lessons, triumphs, wonders and evolution as a civilization outlined for us to learn from and study, to absorb fully into our existence. For it is indeed true that those who fail to learn history are utterly, and faithfully, condemned to repeat it, which is what has happened in the American disaster in Iraq, as well as in the brewing failure in Afghanistan. Had the history of the region been taken seriously, had it been studied and learned from, Iraq would have never become the inferno it is today. Quite simply, Iraq should have never been invaded and occupied. Yet wisdom and intelligence are almost always mutually exclusive from politicians, elites and their legions of yes-men and women.
By throwing away the readily available history of Mesopotamia, with its plethora of lessons and warnings for arrogant yet ignorant imperial seekers saturated with the honey of hubristic honey, America and her so-called leaders embarked on a course towards debacle from the very beginning, preferring to believe those whose minds dwell in fantasy, delusion and theory espoused in books over those whose decisions are based on history, experience, wisdom and reality. America's so-called leaders chose to smell the sweet yet delusional aroma of being greeted as liberators, believing they would be welcomed with flowers, candy thrown at their feet. Instead, they were greeted with AK-47s, rocket propelled grenades and IED's, along with the collective and growing anger of the Iraqi people. Because of this gross incompetence, because of complete negligence and disregard for reality, American soldiers were sent into a hornet's nest, straight into a pit of quicksand designed to meticulous tear apart one soldier at a time, trapping citizen soldiers in a guerilla war that was never going to be won and was always going to end in disaster.
Because of the complete ignorance festering at the top of America's pyramid of hierarchy and inside the decrepit neocon nest of vultures, in three years 655,000 Iraqis have died, more than a million Iraqis have become refugees, countless more have suffered maiming of both body and mind, and an entire society has been decimated, raped of its vibrancy and usurped of its peace and unity. With years yet to go before the madness is halted, with America unable and unwilling to extricate itself from the tar pit it has nosedived into, the genocide now taking place will only grow, easily surpassing the present evil in the Darfur, the past wickedness in Rwanda and the Congo, and threatening to reach levels of genocide America created and furthered in both Vietnam and Cambodia, which resulted in millions of deaths.
If this is the case, the time honored American tradition of waging invasion and occupation against a concocted enemy nation will continue, as always biting off more than it can chew, refusing to change the course, through guerilla war waged by resistance forces being forced to retreat, in the process engendering and furthering genocide, creating a bloodbath in the process, and eventually leaving the nation it originally invaded a wasteland of destruction, suffering and death. Its time honored tradition of killing millions through invasion, occupation and through a barrage of state sponsored terrorism every two or three decades will thus continue. Which country, which people, we should all wonder, will be next to become the blood needed by the Pax Americana to gorge on? Which nation will be next to suffer the wrath of American genocide that invariably helps sustain the comfortable standard of living of those residing inside the belly of the beast?
For those residing in the reality based community and not the fantasy based bubble of delusion, the Iraq debacle has become even greater than originally thought, becoming, in the span of three years, a disaster of monumental proportions, a comma of history that will be studied and analyzed as the greatest strategic disaster in the history of the United States. It will become the comma of history that is used, along with that other comma called Vietnam, as a case study of how not to hand incompetent greed addicts and war mongers the reigns of military power, becoming, as all disaster usually is, a harsh lesson taught future generations so that they do not repeat the mistakes and disasters of their forefathers. Unfortunately, the same was once said of the Vietnam experience.
Forever Remembered, Never Forgotten
The Iraq genocide from 1991 through the Bush Crusade will forever be remembered in history books, just as the president wanted, though not for the reasons those who concocted and furthered it thought. It will be remembered not for triumph or grandeur or to memorialize America or its leaders but rather for the crimes against humanity, for the war crimes, the horrible suffering and the genocide perpetuated by America along with the shameful indifference, acquiescence and silence of an American people that have lost all sense of shame, or decency, preferring to bask under the glow of purposeful ignorance than have their lives of comfort and materialism interrupted by the destruction and genocide their country is committing in the Middle East.
The Iraq/Bush Crusade will be remembered for the greed and lust for oil of the American people, of millions upon millions driving gas-guzzling SUVs while Iraqis were forced to spend entire days in line to fill up their cars. It will be remembered for a housing bubble that granted Americans inflated and borrowed comfort, allowing them the opportunity to purchase enormous cookie cutter homes and a myriad number of toys, wants and luxuries, even as our war machine destroyed the lives of 655,000 human beings, even as our beautiful minds placed the entire decimation of another nation by our government out of sight and out of mind.
The Bush Crusade will be seen for what it has become: the utter failure of the American people to act during our most loathsome hour. At a time when America hit the nadir of morality and virtue, the American people of the first decade of the 21st century will be judged guilty of complicity in the first mass genocide of the new millennium. Our callous complicity in supporting criminals and murderers, while living lives of gluttony and apathy, have made us all guilty in what has certainly become a crime of the highest order. But for our terrible passivity in the face of an illegal and immoral invasion and occupation, obvious war crimes, and the decadence of American virtue and principles, perhaps the Iraq genocide might have been avoided, saving the lives of millions of human beings, both Iraqi and American, and perhaps saving our honor and reputation as well.
As a result of this most incompetent of administrations, Iraq and its valiant resistance has disemboweled the grand American military machine, gutting its power, re-opening the large scab that refuses to heal, bringing the American imperial project to its knees and proving to humanity, yet again, that asymmetric guerilla warfare cannot be defeated by a conventional military, no matter how arrogant or powerful it claims itself to be. In the streets of Iraq battles are waged according to the dictates of the resistance, a fragmented amalgam of native mujahadeen whose knowledge of Iraq, patience in attacking, discipline in retreating and noble cause in fighting off a brutal occupation, have allowed it to bruise and make bloody the American military on a daily basis, slowly, yet surely, tiring out the powerful giant.
With 95 percent of the resistance born and bred in Iraq, fighting for the independence of their nation and not for an al-Qaeda ideology, with 90 percent of the civilian population supporting them, America will never defeat the insurgency, no matter how hard it tries to divide and conquer, no matter how many times it tries to foment sectarian violence and civil war, no matter how many billions it spends on a monthly basis, no matter how many permanent bases it decides to build. Shiite and Sunni may be fighting each other, yet their common enemy remains America.
A culture of vengeance and of honor, a society brimming with anger and a people thirsting for freedom from America cannot be defeated, no matter how many times the occupier decides to stay the course on a most defective ship. Iraqis fight for freedom and independence; they fight to prevent their oil from being stolen; they fight for family and honor, for the death of loved ones and against the dehumanization by the occupier. They have reason to fight, possessing passion knowing they are in the right, which cannot be said of American soldiers. What does America fight for? What cause guides it forward? What passion drives its momentum? How is America in the right? This war is all about control of oil, all about greed and engorging the bank accounts of the military-energy industrial complex. The Bush Crusade is about pillage of resources, plundering of the treasury and securing for tomorrow the oil fiefdoms that will further enrich and empower the American elite and its corporations. How do you get American soldiers to believe in a cause and fight for a war based on lies, deceit, manipulations and for the greed and power of a tiny minority that have sent them to become the cannon fodder of the wealthy?
The Shame of America
Make no mistake, America will prefer to stay the course, for to its alpha male leaders it can never "cut and run." Her so-called leaders will always choose to sacrifice thousands of sons and daughters of poverty so leaders' and their reputations and legacies survive intact. It is not their sons and daughters bleeding to death, it is not their relatives being maimed in body and mind. No, America never loses a war, it never suffers defeat, for in the national narrative, in the fables and myths told the masses, America is blessed by the Christian god, she is good and everything else evil, she is right and all else wrong, her soldiers fight only for freedom and democracy, not for corporate and elite power. In the national fiction a war on terror exists and Iraq is the central front, the place where evil must be confronted because it hates us for our freedoms, not our foreign policy.
Sure, the appearance of withdrawal of forces will be concocted to appease the grumbling masses, enough to satisfy their beautiful minds, yet tens of thousands of troops will remain, protecting pipelines, refineries, permanent bases and the oil fields that now fly the great red, white and blue. You do not think the American state would spend a trillion dollars in the Bush Crusade simply to expel a despot from power, right? You do not think a trillion dollars will in the end be spent to bring freedom and democracy to a partitioned tri- state, do you? Because of oil and its strategic location in the Middle East and near Central Asia, Iraq will remain an American colony for decades to come or until that time that Iraq's oil fields run dry. It will be infested with American troops protecting America's corporate interests until the day arrives when America and her military are forced out of the nation by a resistance that continues to gain momentum, strength and support. Only by force, and with her tail between her feet, will America stubbornly relent and retreat in the face of a perpetual bloodbath.
To her leaders, as well as to most of her citizens, the Iraqi genocide is of no more significance than last week's episode of Survivor. Out of sight and out of mind, hundreds of millions of Americans could care less about Iraqis and their plight. To America's so-called leaders, genocide is part of doing business, part of war profiteering and greasing the engine of perpetual war for perpetual profit. To most Americans, both leaders and civilians, Iraqis are subhuman dark skinned Arabs and the death of 655,00, or the displacement of one million, are of little importance or consequence, whether or not the American state perpetrated crimes against humanity in their name.
Why be bothered by the misery and suffering of Arabs in the Middle East when a pedophile was just forced to resign from the Congress? Why feel any ounce of sympathy for the plight of Iraqis when Democrats will only continue the massacre when they regain control of the legislative branch? Why feel extreme sadness and guilt and shame at what is done in our name when we have trouble even finding Iraq on a global map? Why feel indignation at the genocide taking place when more than 40 percent of Americans still think Iraq was involved in the inside job of 9/11?
As a result of what America has unleashed upon Iraq, given the silent passivity and blind acquiescence of the masses, given the loyal support granted Bush by 59 million voters in 2004 and the perpetual support of 30 percent of American sheeple, given the reprehensible indifference and racist xenophobia towards Iraqis by many Americans, given the astounding mortality figures rising out of Iraq in the last fifteen years as a result of American involvement, it is both a shame and an embarrassment to consider oneself American. In this day and age, to consider oneself proud to be an American is to be in serious need of psychological assistance, psychotropic medication, or both. It is to be so brainwashed and manipulated by the state and the corporate media that the labeling of someone as ignorant is a valid affirmative defense.
To show no remorse against the myriad number of crimes against humanity and the war crimes perpetrated by the American government and its president is to lack the basic tenets of what it is to be human. It is to dwell in the land of sheeple and lemmings, immersed in a population of pathological sadists more concerned for the health of fictional television characters than in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of real human beings. To salute the red, white and blue today is to give comfort to terrorists and blind loyalty to criminals. It is to support the destruction of the Constitution, of democracy, international law and human decency. In short, saluting the American flag today is to declare war and commit treason against all the United States has ever stood for, all it has ever fought to preserve. It is to appease the real terrorists, aiding war criminals and granting blind loyalty and faith to the United Corporations of America, a nation of, by and for the corporate world and the elite that control it.
How sad that in the worst cluster of years in our history the American people decided to do nothing, preferring to sit on our ever expanding buttocks hypnotized by the corporate media, failing to act at the most important moment of our lives, our only contribution being remaining silent to the avalanche of war crimes and crimes against humanity that have laid waste to Iraq. How sad and pathetic Americans have become, in the first decade of the 21st century, becoming the ignorant, fearful, xenophobic, acquiescent and indifferent army of good Americans. A once virtuous and honorable people, at one time possessed of intelligence and free thinking minds have, in the span of a few decades, been transformed into the epitome of cattle, sheep and any other unthinking creatures of group mentality, today lacking the cognitive qualities used to reason and use logic to think independently of what the state and the corporate world inculcate.
Ignorance has prevailed over knowledge, eroding the very foundation of democracy, for an unthinking populace cannot possibly question its leaders, their motives, or be given the vital responsibility of electing representatives to act in their interest. With a population bred over decades for ignorance, incurious about the world, unaware of other cultures or lands, conditioned to fear what is not known, the state can act without accountability or restraint, for the blind masses have become too numb minded to even care or be concerned. This is the reality in America today, and the reason genocide goes silent, why it goes unquestioned or why it remains relatively unknown, much like that mass murder that took place in Vietnam. The truth is that Americans would rather not know what their government does in their name, fearing their comfortable lives would become upset with the knowledge of what is transpiring in Iraq at the hands of the American military machine.
Unthinking and easily manipulated, those residing inside the belly of the beast are mere clay in the hands of the powerful, easily molded into the cookie cutter drones of the corporatist state. Combined with the xenophobia, patriotism and nationalism spawned by 9/11, a dumbed down populace thus cares nothing for genocide committed in their name, regressing down a few steps down the evolutionary ladder, devolving into a knuckle dragging proto-primate only a nose hair separated from our chimp cousins. To the average American citizen, better a dead Iraqi than a night without the comfortable glare of the omnipresent television monitor. Better 655,000 dead subhuman Arabs than a day living without a gas-guzzling SUV tank.
To the 25 million Iraqis whose lives have been condemned to hell on Earth, courtesy of the United States, please accept this man's sincere apology for what this wicked nation has done to your land and people, to your daily lives, culture and society. I know I speak for many who live in the United States when I say that I lower my head in shame at what is done in my name. Today, more than ever, I am ashamed to be American. I am ashamed for what this nation has done, for what it will continue doing, for what it has become and for the continued and silent acquiescence of the American people.
As much as words can traverse entire oceans and deserts, as much as they can never replace lives lost or family members buried, as much as they can never make right what has been wronged, please accept this digital apology for a horror many of us detest and abhor. I am truly sorry, from the bottom of my heart, for the curse that has befallen your beautiful land and culture. I apologize for the 30 to 40 percent of Americans that are one-step away from complete mental retardation. I apologize for the lazy, gluttonous and complacent millions whose only experience with life is the nightly glow of television. I apologize for the tens of millions of so-called Christians that call themselves the culture of life even as they drool with glee at the genocide taking place in your nation. I apologize that the Bush Crusade has not been stopped, that the American people have not hung the neocon cabal from the rafters and that the war culture will only continue laying waste to the peoples of the world.
The Iraq Genocide is a curse upon us all, a shame for all humanity, a crime of the highest order that should bring those responsible to deserved justice. In a more perfect world, there would be confidence that criminals and murderers and malfeasant authoritarians would be brought to justice. In the real world, however, they are promoted, elected and made much more powerful. They are given bonuses and pats on the back, allowed to join the elite membership of privilege and power. Such is human civilization that the genocide of 1.5 million a few years ago, 655,000 Iraqis the last three years, perhaps that of millions tomorrow, will be glossed over and forgotten, becoming one comma of history, not unlike many others that have come before, not unlike many others that are sure to follow, becoming yet one more reality of this self-destructive species called humankind. Genocide comes in many shapes and sizes, monopolized by nobody, suffered by all. Upon red rivers of genocide is Iraq being flooded with, released by America through its spigots of human wickedness.
May we one day be forgiven for the madness that has contaminated us. May Iraqis one day offer us the humanity we seem to have lost. May we find our way, if not for us, then for our progeny. May our children learn from our ways, evolving a better culture than we are leaving behind. Shame on us all for what we have allowed our government to become. Shame on us all for what we have allowed it to do in our name. Shame on America. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com and at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info as well as at other alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela is also author of Echoes in the Wind, a fiction novel. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
(reply to this comment)
| From steam|
Friday, October 20, 2006, 09:59
While I have a serious dislike of the insane far right and the black and white way they wish to paint things. I also considered the war insane from the begining (with the caveat that if they found vast stockpiles of WMD when they got there it might have had some merit). This article is at least as ridiculous in it's own black/white portrayal of the situation. Not even bringing up that Saddam was a horrible oppressor (like many in the world that we don't take action against so this is not a good reason for war, but is still a factor). It makes it out like the intention of the U.S was to simply destroy Iraq and make the citizens suffer, which clearly was not the aim, although regretably has been a consequence). I also agree that war crimes have been commited by the U.S in the use of weapons like "cluster bombs" (research these awful devices). But come on,h this guy is way off base in his overall characterization. It pisses me off when there are so many legitimate critiques to have someone out there creating associations of those opposed to the U.S policy there with this kind of thinking.(reply to this comment)
Friday, October 20, 2006 - 09:29
Republicans bring in their mate Osama for Election Time
Date: Oct 19, 2006 7:01 PM
Neo-Fascists Threaten Terror Unless Voters Approve Dictatorship
Bush junta deploys Osama campaign videos to frighten sheep into tacitly supporting unitary decidership
Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | October 20 2006
The Bush junta has potentially unveiled its "October surprise" in a desperate last gasp effort to salvage its power monopoly, a rash of lavishly funded campaign videos in which Osama Bin Laden is used to threaten Americans with terror attacks unless they vote Republican in the mid-term elections.
The Associated Press reports,
"The Republican Party will begin airing a hard-hitting ad this weekend that warns of more cataclysmic terror attacks against the U.S. homeland."
"The ad displays an array of quotes from bin Laden and his top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that include bin Laden's Dec. 26, 2001 vow that "what is yet to come will be even greater."
The Neo-Fascists have employed their most loyal servant - Osama Bin Laden - to star in campaign videos threatening the American people with armageddon unless they tacitly approve the occupational dictatorship of George W. Bush.
When questioned on exactly what he meant in promising an "October surprise," Karl Rove made reference to the formulation and massive investment into the production and dissemination of these ads.
The fact that the terrorists within the Bush administration would again threaten terror unless the dissenters and the waverers got back in line is hardly a surprise. The only real stunner is that they still have the temerity to believe this lowest common denominator propaganda still has a significant impact on the body politic of the nation - in the face of example piled atop example of hoax terror alerts that have left the public fatigued to the rumor mill of "the inevitable attack."
Don't forget the bush administration has rewritten the constution to revoke habeus corpus , a right we have fouhght for for 200 years. The right to stand trial and know and answer 'crimes' against you.
Bush Betrays Democracy and Truth in Signing Military Commissions Act
by Matthew Rothschild
George Bush just signed the Military Commissions Act, the bookend to the Patriot Act on the shelf marked "Assault on Democracy."
It allows the President himself to decide what is covered by Geneva Conventions, and what is not.
In short, it gives the President a green light to torture.
Bush, with his usual flare for falsehood, said it "will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to continue its program for questioning key terrorist leaders."
But this isn't about questioning them. It's about torturing them. It's about subjecting them to such things as waterboarding, a medieval instrument of sadism.
Bush repeated that "the United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values."
But he knows full well that the CIA used waterboarding against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and he even cited Mohammed by name to justify the continued use of the CIA "program."
Bush also asserted, falsely, that the Military Commissions Act will enable the United States to prosecute captured terrorists "through a full and fair trial."
It will permit secret evidence, hearsay evidence, and even coerced testimony.
With this new law, Bush can have the CIA torture someone into a confession, and then use that confession against the person at trial.
In fact, the person can be executed on the basis of testimony that was beaten out of him.
In his statement, Bush also completely avoiding mentioning one of the most egregious aspects of the Military Commissions Act: the stripping of habeas corpus protection that has been enshrined since the days of the Magna Carta and codified in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. "What this bill will do is take our civilization back 900 years," warned Senator Arlen Specter, when he tried to amend the bill by restoring habeas corpus. (When it failed, 51-48, Specter inexplicably turned around and voted for the bill.)
The Military Commissions Act authorizes the President of the United States to designate anyone—foreigner or citizen alike—as an "enemy combatant." He can then detain this enemy combatant indefinitely, and if that person is not a U.S. citizen, that person has no recourse whatsoever.
"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination," the new law states.
This gives the President "the privilege of kings," as Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has noted. But Bush doesn't want you to care about such little things.
"Over the past few months, the debate over this bill has been heated, and the questions raised can seem complex," he said, just before signing it. "Yet, with the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?"
Note that Bush does not believe that history will be concerned with the question: Did we uphold our Constitution?
Bush said the law sends a "clear message: This nation is patient and decent and fair, and we will never back down from the threats to our freedom."
But there is nothing "decent and fair" about it, and it only increases the threats to our freedoms.
For it shows us to be hypocrites, and it makes barbarism the rule.
Matthew Rothschild has been with The Progressive since 1983. His McCarthyism Watch web column has chronicled more than 150 incidents of repression since 9/11.
© 2006 The Progressive
(reply to this comment)
Friday, October 20, 2006 - 09:19
The onion rocks.
(reply to this comment)