turned the front page of the newspaper face-down.
It was not enough to know it's not worth the fiber
it is printed on and never has been, I had to remove
the picture from view. I will state the paper's bias
right off which is a lot more than they give their
daily readers: the paper is pro-elitism and pro-war.
Yes, war, unless threats to confidence and finances
push a moderately critical stance when war is already
a done deal. A stance devoid of much moral judgement.
War, if that's what it takes to do the bidding of
the parties shoveling money to the appropriate bank
accounts, offshore or on. Conservative viewpoint they
call it. Nice word, conservative. Soothing. Monuments
and ceremonies along with a flag to wave will be our
reward later on. Oh, and of course, democracy for
everyone. A bevy of lawyers will write it up on fancy
the rote memorization of battle dates as the focus
of America's mainstream history education - one which
glorifies past presidents and considers revealing
discussions of their failures and shortcomings to
be treasonous - with the narrow education supplied
by a few approved textbook publishers, information
that supports the complicated bureaucratic system
in place - one so loaded with legalese that the average
citizen loses interest in participating - and the
result is a mass of people relying on self-proclaimed
experts and lawyers to control their political affairs.
People in command who think they are more intelligent
than you, more important than you, more powerful than
you, so they are, right?
who properly estimates the political intelligence
of the masses can easily see that this is not sufficiently
developed to enable them to form general political
judgements on their own account...- Adolf Hitler.
newspapers and television are the primary sources
of education for adults after they leave school. Media
fails to educate and fails miserably. Worse yet, their
intent is to fail, either by purposeful design or
by engaging in a series of rewarding negatives. I'm
not sure that all of these people are in control of
deception or if some of them are just slaves to the
habit of doing it. If either of these media had done
anything to educate with a fully humanitarian and
truthful focus rather than the emphasis on grasping
consumption as self-preservation up until now, we
would not be at war. For some of them to adopt a moderate
anti-war stance at this juncture is hypocrisy. Now
that some of the complicit are voicing worries about
endless full-scale military invasion, it highlights
just how dangerously insane this war is. The cushy
plan just went runaway without brakes.
Americans struggle with the notion that politics and
its offspring war are taboo topics of discussion,
like religion. Pro-war opinions might be strong although
their proof rests on nothing more solid than reactionary
and tribal loyalties, suspicions, prejudices, limited
information. Shouting matches are a defense against
shaking the foundations too hard and having to change,
something that must be avoided in 'civil' society.
That's why the current political discussion, the overwhelming
opposition to war even before it started by an unusually
diverse and united social contingent, has the handlers
in a panic. Stronger controls have been put into effect.
If those fail to contain unrest, even stronger controls
will be implemented. 'Patriot' Act II. And then what
follows? Patriot Act III? Martial law? Internment
this newspaper encouraged readers that they are moderate,
open, a forum where all can speak. They started printing
anti-war letters, letters scathing to the politicians,
right alongside the most selfish, hollow, lying, stupid
pro-kill propaganda that a slovenly mind can cultivate.
Publishing a myriad of views demonstrates that the
paper is democratic, who could argue with that? But
democracy was absent while the newspaper was in the
business of educating and influencing, when readers'
learning habits and opinions were being developed.
The full story will continue to be absent. The focus
will complement other societal controls. Certain information
will be overemphasized while quickly passing over
the rest, if it's mentioned at all. The bias will
never be stated honestly.
attitude seems to be, go ahead and write letters
to the editor about how you feel, the massive U.S.
war protests we ignore or minimize in our newspaper
are making us sweat although we'll never let you see
it. In fact, the more you talk, especially in a circular
sense, arguing issues relentlessly and endlessly with
people who aren't listening and learning but who are
willing and anxious to confound the same points over
and over, the more you will provide distractions for
yourselves, ensuring that you will stagnate in one
place while we continue "business as usual"
without disturbance. (That tactic is used against
dissenters, worldwide. Think about it.)
York's massive anti-war turnout on February 17 was
grossly underestimated in this paper even more so
than in other controlled media reports. So was the
failure to mention unsolicited police brutality by
the New York Police Department, a department headed
by the newly-appointed former director of the CIA.
The NYPD Mounted Police Unit's shameful brutality
against peaceful protesters and the Unit's own dissenting
horses was passed over although the Unit can be certain
American equestrians like myself watched it and we
aren't likely to forget.
York's event was mentioned briefly on the front page,
buried in the third paragraph of a narrow right-hand
side column. The protest article was prepared by a
London Knight Ridder correspondent, "reporting
from London", not by a newswriter from America
which is standard procedure for national news. But
the news wasn't reported as a national phenomenon
unlike anything in our history. Instead, the article
focused more on what was happening in remote foreign
places than on the massive protest that was underway
at home. The anti-war, anti-Bush protest article was
dwarfed by an entire full-page blazing color photo
of the golden rotunda and tomb of a former president
from this state entitled - with the largest typeface
I have ever seen - Hail To The Chiefs. "Hail
To The Chief" is America's anthem for the President,
played ceremonially over the years to announce the
entrance of the president. "Because of its military
nature and appropriate title, the Department of Defense
[Pentagon] made Hail to the Chief the official
music to announce the President of the United States,
TO THE CHIEF
Hail to the Chief we have chos-en for the na-tion,
Hail to the Chief! We sa-lute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge co-op-er-a-tion
In proud ful-fill-ment of a great, no-ble call.
is the aim to make this grand coun-try grand-er,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm be-lief.
Hail to the one we se-lect-ed as com-mand-er,
Hail to the Pres-i-dent! Hail to the Chief!
- Words by Albert Gamse, Music by James Sanderson
can't say I knew the words until just now and I find
the message to be chilling in the light of political
history up to this point in time. Hitler said the
common masses of people are unable to comprehend abstract
ideas and must be controlled with emotion. Oaths are
used to arouse patriotic emotion, thinking is replaced
by the repetition of slogans: "We have chosen
for the nation" "We pledge cooperation"
"proud...a great noble call" "Yours
is the aim to make this country grander" "...our
strong firm belief" "...selected as commander".
"We selected"; it rhymes with and suggests
'we elected'. The word 'hail' is generally used in
our culture only when addressing God and in the other
meaning of ice precipitation on the ground. Hail is
the English version of heil. "Heil Hitler!"
was a pledge of blind obedience, 'cooperation'.
front page devotion to our presidents insisting on
our truly 'patriotic' duty to them, along with the
dwarfing of the news of powerful dissent against the
president, was well-timed manipulation. This is only
one example of the results: Someone I know just recently
developed a strong political opinion during this post-9/11
terror climate and the push for war. His opinion is
formed almost exclusively by information from the
newspaper, daily doses of Rush Limbaugh's terror-pounding
radio broadcasts, CNN and Fox News. "Patriotism
means you obey your government and your leaders, the
experts, especially in times of war and you don't
ask questions!" This person has never voted and
the reason stated was that not voting was an attempt
to "fix them" because they were all bad
anyway and didn't deserve to get the vote. Still,
we must obey these people who are not worth our time
to vote and obey unquestioningly? Why? Because "they
(terrorists) are going to get us." and "Disagreement
is not patriotic. It is anti-American. It is against
the country. We have to support our troops."
and so on.
peeking in...out of temporary retirement to make a
note of these eejits [idiots]: "Members of M27,
a coalition of antiwar groups, broke through police
barricades and lay down at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue
to act as mock war victims. They shouted: 'The people,
united, will stop this war.'" Look people, despite
all of your sincerest beliefs that "peace through
traffic congestion" is going to make a difference,
it's time to accept the fact that you are now in the
minority. Somewhere around three quarters of Americans
support this war. The generals are not going to pull
their troops because they've gotten word that you've
staged a "die-in" in Manhattan; they're
too busy worrying about keeping their own men and
women alive, and maybe a little pre-occupied with
thoughts for those who have died for real. Continue
writing your essays plooped with harsh words about
"imperialism" and "hegemony",
maybe even a "naked aggression" or two,
but at this point, give up with the public nuisance
business. The only thing you are united in is defeat.
- Emily Jones, March 27, 2003, from her online blog
War A Chance.
To The Chiefs - apparently hailing all forty-one
of them and number forty-two whose presidential legitimacy
is still being debated - was continued inside and
got the entire two-page center spread of the most
widely-circulated Sunday edition. The double center
spread is the most comfortable to read and the most
visually impacting part of Sunday's paper, if the
reader is going to follow-up on the front page story
and devote some time to finishing it. The article
about national and world "unrest and unease"
got the inside of the last page of section one, the
most difficult page to read in the recliner.
news is always carefully presented just as the selection
comes down from the top, certain prescribed news with
all the added visual tricks and language choice that
makes news a brainwash. With this paper as many readers'
only source besides the same message on all TV stations,
the news sounds factual, official, democratically
presented, a consensus of incontrovertible facts.
However, the existence of a healthy democracy is not
proved by the presence of many statements of the same
opinion from essentially the same source. The dissenting
comics are allowed space, bottom space, but a place
in the 'democracy' nonetheless. Boondocks, the comic
strip by Aaron McGruder - an artist with moral conscience
and the guts to use it - is not whited out as it was
in our democracy of 2001 and replaced with The Adventures
of Flagee and Ribbon, our patriotic reminders. Gone
is the notice that the names of people clamoring for
re-instatement of the strip have been turned over
to the FBI. Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury and the
Viceroy of Baghdad are still with us.
democratic, like it matters. The Bush junta is going
to carry out escalated war in Iraq, probably elsewhere,
and there is nothing - not Article I Section VIII
Clause XI of the U.S. Constitution, not the UN Security
Council, not massive world opinion, not your own passionate
letters - that you can use to stop it before it happens.
Nothing. From the start of the invasion onward, the
message from the paper will be to support our troops;
'support' means to drop the anti-war comments, the
massive protests, the creative acts of civil disobedience
and enjoy the picture show as war unfolds. 'Support'
means to agree that our troops should kill innocent
Iraqis and get killed themselves, for the expansion
of privately-owned corporate global domination. Otherwise,
anti-war protesters who attempt to expose the wrongs
will be called unpatriotic, a threat to the security
of our country and our troops. Until veterans like
Ron Kovic come home and start talking:
a Vietnam veteran. I gave America my all, and the
leaders of this government threw me and others away
to rot in their VA hospitals. What's happening in
Vietnam is a crime against humanity... - Ron Kovic,
disrupting Nixon's acceptance speech at the Republican
National Convention, 1972, to the extent that he was
given a two-minute interview with CBS correspondent
Knight-Ridder-owned newspaper publication for an average-sized
American city and outlying areas devoted entirely
one-half of this Sunday's front page to a gigantic
full color close-up photo of a captured Iraqi, handcuffed
and blindfolded. The caption, An Iraqi soldier
is blindfolded by U.S. soldiers from the Army's 3rd
Infantry Division after surrendering at An Nasiriyah,
northwest of Baghdad, in Iraq. - Associated Press.
A single blindfolded prisoner. Surrender. This supports
beyond any doubt, we're justified, we're superior,
we're in control. We must be 'winning'. No.
prisoner was held firmly from behind by one U.S. soldier
while another one out of view of the camera sliced
at the man's plastic handcuffs with a Bowie knife.
At least five other U.S. soldiers looked on, framed
by a desert background. Not a drop of blood in sight.
No dignity for the trussed man except what he kept
safe inside. What did the U.S. soldiers do with that
blindfolded man? One of them looking on, a round-faced
fellow, was looking a little eager. Why eager? Why
were they taking the cuffs off? What did they do with
the Bowie knife? What is happening over there? Rest
assured, our boys never do anything like that. Like
hell. This is war. War is not about humanity, moral
behavior and kindness toward others.
enormous title, huge bold type of much larger print
than the usual headlines, Sprint to Baghdad,
was followed by the subtitles, Forces halfway to
Iraqi capital as air onslaught continues, U.S. soldier
detained in grenade attack on his own unit. It
took three Knight Ridder journalists to write the
story. I read further, U.S. and British forces are
"advancing" and "capital jolted by
ferocious new air strikes". This upbeat language
reassures the reader that we are halfway there, sprinting.
'Getting there' is equivalent with 'victory', I presume?
grenade attack by one U.S. soldier on his fellow soldiers
"wounded fourteen, four of them seriously, military
officials said." The motive for the attack was
"most likely resentment, said Max Blumenfeld,
an Army spokesman." I dare say. None of the usual
speculation was offered for why a soldier would be
inclined to attack his fellows with grenades at the
start of an invasion. Anyway, the accurate total was
"one dead, fifteen wounded, three seriously"
according to yesterday's news, confirmed. Keep in
mind the paper included the name of the battalion
(101st Airborne Division) and location (Camp Pennsylvania)
with the incorrect "tally of casualties".
'Casualties' - I have never thought there was anything
casual about dying in war in which people are coerced
by the will of others to take part in deadly violence.
grenade-launcher has been "detained" and
since the initial report, they wonder if "others
were involved". Just to be sure, they detained
"two Middle Eastern men working as contractors"
also. Naturally. Would they mention the ethnicity
of the detainees if only Nordic blondes were employed
and no Arabic people were available, I'd like to know?
The comment would hardly be noticeable outside our
current terror climate. And still, the true answer
to the central question is avoided: Why do they
hate us? Adding to the reasons why they hate
us has been the response to questions asked of
the Bush administration.
first the man who threw the grenades was cracking-up
presumably under the stress of war and after a certain
amount of time passes, the officials smell a plot
possibly involving Middle Eastern men. Does this sound
alarmist? It is alarming and intended to be, from
a government telling us that we are under threat from
an Arab/Muslim terror network every minute of our
lives and that we must root them out wherever they
may be. Men of Arabic descent in the U.S., whether
citizens or visitors, must register with the government
now. From the Arab American Institute's legislative
INS Special Registration program requires male citizens
and/or nationals from 25, mostly Arab and Muslim,
nations who are living in the United States to report
to local INS offices in order to be "voluntarily"
questioned, photographed and fingerprinted. This program,
even discounting its unfair focus on Arab and Muslim
nations and its strict timetable, seems to be causing
more trouble than good. Lack of coordination among
the INS offices, the sheer numbers of people required
to come in to register and the lack of an effectively
targeted campaign to inform the affected communities
have caused innumerable problems and led to a number
of abuses of basic rights at various INS offices.
General Ashcroft said that because of our invasion
of Iraq, all Iraqis in the United States will be (will
continue to be) monitored. Arabs and Muslims might
want to consult with German-Americans, Italian-Americans,
and Japanese-Americans, all who were interned and
suffered civil rights abuses during W.W.II, and further,
anyone else here who has ethnicity that might be deemed
threatening, except for 'colonist'. Colonist: refers
to an individual, sometimes motivated in part by religious
fanaticism, who invades another nation terrorizing
the inhabitants and murdering resisters, resorting
to genocide if necessary while confiscating
and assuming permanent and exclusive control over
the resources. Don't look for that definition in Webster's
or any other dictionary because the word has been
neutered. The standard definition of colonist is:
the original settler or founder of a colony; a person
who settles in a new colony or moves into a new country.
Order: Confiscating and Vesting Certain Iraqi Property
March 20, 2003
By the authority vested in me as President by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of
America, including the International Emergency Economic
Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National
Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section
301 of title 3, United States Code, and in order to
take additional steps with respect to the national
emergency declared in Executive Order 12722 of August
GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of
America, hereby determine that the United States and
Iraq are engaged in armed hostilities, that it
is in the interest of the United States to confiscate
certain property of the Government of Iraq and its
agencies, instrumentalities, or controlled entities,
and that all right, title, and interest in any property
so confiscated should vest in the Department of the
Treasury. I intend that such vested property should
be used to assist the Iraqi people and to assist in
the reconstruction of Iraq, and determine that such
use would be in the interest of and for the benefit
of the United States. I hereby order...
the executive order valid? All kinds of election fraud
occurred during the Bush 2000 presidential campaign
including the possibility of foreign influence through
the actual voting equipment. The election was decided
5-4 by Supreme Court justices appointed for life by
Nixon (Rehnquist), Reagan (Kennedy, O'Connor, Scalia),
and by the president's father, Bush Sr. (Thomas).
Abstruse legal discussions continue to defend it.
The judges have documented prior and current conflicts
of interest including relatives appointed to high
places in government since the election.
government and its advisory think tanks - 'non-governmental
personnel', the 'neo-cons' - are mostly individuals
employed during Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr. presidencies,
or the former aides of these people, or their associates.
Some of them have been implicated in criminal activities
during their tenures with previous presidents. There
has been no thorough investigation of the others who
are suspected of engaging in criminal activity. Corporate
CEOs are also leaders and members of the think tanks
which are non-profit (tax free) organizations and
therefore entitled to receive undisclosed financial
contributions from individuals and corporations which
are tax write-offs for the donors. At the same time
they are advising the president and government officials
on issues such as 'defense' (war) and economic policy
are unresolved corporate scandals involving individuals
in this government. There are disturbing unanswered
questions about the events of September 11, 2001,
and legislation which was pushed through in the wake
of the attacks. Lies, bribes, and deceptions of the
Congress and leaders of other nations were used to
justify the invasion of Iraq. Administration officials
- and their allied advisers kept off the official
U.S. government payroll records - are accused of forming
corporations in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks
on the U.S. mainland, or, owning or benefiting from
connections to older corporations, all of which will
profit by millions or billions of dollars from the
War in Iraq. UN Security Council resolutions were
both ignored and used for advantage at the same time.
In May of 2002, the Bush administration unsigned itself
from a UN treaty for International Criminal Court
so that U.S. military, governmental or other official
personnel might never appear before the International
Criminal Court for war crimes, the only end court.
Withdrawing from the treaty signed by Clinton but
not yet ratified gave the administration the freedom
to negotiate bilateral deals with other nations to
minimize even further the chances of being indicted
and these 'bilateral negotiations' (I-don't-accuse-you-you-don't-accuse-me)
began the same day with government official Marisa
the "Shock and Awe" military invasion the
other day, bids for Iraqi reconstruction are already
being taken but only from a few corporations "with
a proven track record in post-war reconstruction"
(National Security Adviser Rice). There are no less
than thirty-two extremely close ties between Bush's
cabinet and military/nuclear corporations, as well
as other corporate involvement especially pharmaceutical,
chemical and banking, and petroleum in the case of
the president's family, the vice-president, and the
national security adviser, etc. Bush Cabinet appointee
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is and has been
on the board of directors of the corporation ABB Sweden,
the seller of hundreds of millions of dollars worth
of nuclear reactors to North Korea - N. Korea, the
third member of Bush's Axis of Evil which must be
eliminated - from which it is believed they are getting
the capability for weapons. Rumsfeld "didn't
know about the sales." This government is pushing
through agendas such as tax breaks for the wealthy
while the country is kept in terror and distracted
by war. This list goes on. Bush continues to issue
to Baghdad described the glorious feats of destruction
that the combined U.S., UK and Aussie militaries have
accomplished in such a short time noting that smoke
from oil-filled trenches attempting to deflect the
high-technology computerized air strikes on Baghdad
"didn't work". Hardly a surprise to me.
Are our military planners surprised that such a nil-rate
military power under intense scrutiny and constant
bombing runs for twelve years by the world's most
sophisticated military machines opted for smoking
oil as a defense? Trouble is, this homely if not brave
defense makes the Iraqis look like ordinary poor people
in desperate straits, pretty much unlike the image
of sophisticated cunning terrorists plotting another
attack on the U.S. mainland. And, there is fear that
the sight on television of billowing black clouds
of smoking oil choking the city of Baghdad might raise
awareness of OIL, that unspoken forbidden word, and
renewed talk - "No Blood For Oil!" - about
the fact that this war is about the domination of
the region's oil reserves. The coalition tankers are
waiting to load it, every drop, and the belief is
that Iraqi OIL, their natural resource, belongs to
the economy of the West and must be confiscated. The
job of the newspapers, television, radio, books, magazines,
and advertisements is to deny it.
remainder of the front page was devoted to other war
stories, Battle for Baghdad still awaits U.S. forces.
If audio was supplied with this title, we might hear
Rossini's William Tell Overture, something to accompany
the sprint. Then, there it was, the ever-present reminder,
War adds to feeling of unease since 9/11, America's
children live in a much scarier world. Sure the
children are terrified and they should be. They live
in a much scarier world that the CIA warned could
become a reality if the U.S. invaded Iraq. If we temporarily
forgot about 9/11/01, if we dared to forget, we are
prodded into bringing it to fresh awareness. 9/11
in the same title with the war against terror in Saddam
Hussein's Iraq. Typical. No wonder pro-war Americans,
and I have listened to them, no wonder they equate
Saddam Hussein with 9/11. "The guy did it,"
they tell me.
you ask pro-war Americans why they support Bush's
war, and if you ask the people in America who are
"not quite sure if we should", overwhelmingly
they will tell you it is because Saddam Hussein is
personally responsible and directly involved in the
planning and carrying out of the attacks of 9/11 on
the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the skies
over Pennsylvania. Osama bin Laden, the previous and
often guilty party, has vanished into thin air again.
The media, hypocritically, expresses amazement at
the belief in a link between 9/11 and Saddam because
"no one in the media has actually said it."
Victoria "Torie" Clarke, Richard Perle,
Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Colin Powell, Condoleeza
Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George Bush and
all the others don't even have to state specifically
"Saddam Hussein 'did' 9/11", after which
their exact wording could be used to bring charges
against them when the truth and lies about 9/11, and
PNAC's plan for war in the century Rebuilding America's
Defenses, are revealed. The immersion of the American
public in mind-programming language, convoluted syntax
and semantics, references, allusions, illusions, and
juxtapositions were successful enough. That kind of
linguistic coercion is the crowning-glory, the premier
achievement, of the 'democracy' the Bush administration
is telling us to die for.
a single line of type mentioned the dropping of missiles
on Iran yesterday and the invasion of their air space,
the injuries. What was that maniacal phrase speech
writers Frum and Gerson wrote for Bush in another
one of those speeches made official by saying it had
Bush's "fingerprints all over it", something
the U.S. State Department underlings have been gushing
about in their failure to contain their enthusiasm
about kill video games made real - Axis of Evil?
Iran. Is it going to be war with the Evil Axis Iran
today, George? George Bush? Commander in Chief? He
isn't here. Fox News reported on Thursday, "Bush
was not expected to make any further statements and
was said to be leaving it to his military advisers
to lead the war." Is Bush AWOL, again? The advisers
said the other guy did it, pointing away in every
direction, it must have been Iraq.
of Defense Rumsfeld expressed outrage that captured
U.S. soldiers were being shown on Iraqi television,
visibly terrified and telling their captors they were
in Iraq "here to fix broke stuff" and "only
following orders" and "[Iraqis] don't bother
me, I don't bother them." I'm sure Rumsfeld is
outraged. He and the rest of the junta making this
war without shedding a drop of their own want to sanitize
it, glorify it, keep the news contained. And then
this of all things, a sad and anxious public saw it,
frightened American kids in uniform, our kids, captured
by the enemy, one injured, facing uncertain fate,
no Hollywood script, film of others already dead,
and all of this horror for Americans happening so
early on in the sprint.
said that showing pictures of captured U.S. soldiers
(in such a light) was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
Then so was Knight Ridder's half-page AP photo of
the Iraqi prisoner also in a humiliating pose. And
the photo I saw earlier today of an Iraqi prisoner
rolled up in a blanket like a tamale with only his
plastic-cuffed hands sticking out. There were photos
of dead Iraqi soldiers whose bodies had burned, descriptions
of charred body parts that were recognizable.
rules governing the treatment of prisoners of war
are spelled out in the third Geneva Convention of
1949. The Convention requires that POW's "must
at all times be treated humanely," and goes on
to list a number of specific requirements: they must
not be killed, seriously endangered, mutilated or
subject to medical or scientific experiments. Furthermore,
they must be protected against acts of violence or
intimidation, and against "insults and public
curiosity" (Article 13).
retired British Major General A. P. V. Rogers' definition
of violation, what is "perceived to be the intent"
of the action behind showing film/photos of prisoners
of war, British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon just
made a distinction between 'ours' and 'theirs'. He
told reporters that "there was an enormous difference
between the factual photographs very often of the
backs of prisoners surrendering as against the appalling,
barbaric behaviour of Iraqi forces dealing with...American
prisoners." Other reporters noted that Iraqis
have been filmed and photographed in captivity in
Bouchet-Saulnier, who is a legal adviser to Medecins
Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), elaborated
further and said that "the rules of the Convention
were to prevent prisoners from being put into danger
and that footage of Iraqi soldiers shown surrendering
might lead to future reprisals against them and their
families on the grounds that they were traitors."
Florian Westphall, speaking for the International
Committee of the Red Cross, said that "the ICRC
would consider the use of any image that makes a prisoner
of war individually recognizable to be a violation
of Article 13 of the Convention. He pointed out that
the condition of being taken prisoner might be considered
degrading or humiliating in itself, and that representations
of captives could also have an impact on families."
An argument was raised by a U.S. government official
that "they (Iraqis) aren't recognizable."
Not to us.
warned that if POW's were not treated humanely, "the
people who mistreat the prisoners will be treated
as war criminals." In January of 2002, the Bush
administration was asked to explain published photographs
showing suspected Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners on
the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: "eyes
and ears covered, with their arms tightly shackled,
kneeling behind wire fences...manacled hand and foot,
they kneel in submission." The London Mail also
said, "First pictures show use of sensory deprivation
to soften suspects for interrogation...Is this how
Bush and Blair defend our civilisation?" George
Bush said the administration would look into the legal
status of the captives again and examine the legal
distinction between 'prisoners' (entitled to rights
and 'detainees' (not prisoners of war and therefore
exempt from the Geneva Convention). This appalling
'legal' maneuvering used to justify torture and escape
the punishment that follows such acts represents the
climax of this country's efforts to develop legal
justice as an example for the entire world, a mockery
of our intended and perceived system of justice.
South African Broadcasting Corporation said that an
inspection team from the International Red Cross was
to be dispatched but results of their findings would
not be made available to the public. Human rights
groups had already expressed horror at the conditions
of the prisoners long before this and they continue
to do so at this time. U.S officials have rebuffed
inquiries and criticism, citing the events of 9/11
as creating the need for these "detainees"
to be "held firmly" (Clarke). More pictures
released in November of 2002 are undeniable and were
cause for renewed allegations of torture although,
again, President Bush, the U.S. military and U.S.
government officials withdrew from the Rome Statute
of the International Criminal Court in May of 2002
in order that they be exempt from International War
Crimes Tribunals. Photos:
Yahoo and Reuters reports, one hundred miles south
of Baghdad "burned out vehicles and charred remains
of Iraqis litter the desert along the road."
If someone from this country died in such a tragedy
- one person - there would be outrage if the words
"charred" and "litter" were used
in connection with that person's mutilated body, someone
who had a name, a personality, friends, a family.
It's better for the junta to make the 'casualties'
anonymous sacks of unidentifiable protoplasm, or charcoal.
the report included a moving humanitarian commentary
(below). Did this commentary exposing the sorrows
of a peasant militia pitted against a trillion dollar
high-tech military assault slip through the administration's
clearinghouse or is it psyops for us? Will it be used
to argue that this war is a sick comedy, omnipotence
against rudiment, and conclude again that real diplomacy
could have worked to help repair evil deeds of the
past? Or, will humanitarianism be pandered shamelessly
to justify the propaganda that we are well-meaning
good guys in this invasion, only there as liberators
of the people with no other agenda? Will it be used
to throw the focus on Saddam - the soon-to-be-discarded
boy of previous U.S. government administrations' wily
schemes - for using his own ill-prepared and suffering
people as defense? Will it be used to say that Saddam
Hussein is the only cause of their suffering, the
dictator who rose to power out of the aberrations
of Islam without any help from the West, his name
interchangeable with Osama bin Laden or anyone Arabic
and angry? Time will tell.
militiamen appeared hopelessly ill-prepared to deal
with the sheer firepower that the U.S. military can
throw at them. Dead soldiers shown to reporters were
not wearing any standard uniform and had only open-toed
sandals on their feet. Helmets lying near their bodies
were made of plastic, not Kevlar. The only common
item appeared to be a black beret with an eagle and
standard badge at the front. A desert hideout Hildenbrand
said had been used by a militiaman in recent days
showed the hardship many ordinary Iraqi soldiers face.
The soldier had only a filthy blanket to protect him
from the cold desert nights, and for food he had only
a plastic bag full of raw meat. When he fled, he left
behind a picture of his two children.
Mark Hildenbrand, commander 937th Engineer Group,
expressed dismay and horror at the unfairness of the
carnage, U.S. M1 tanks (M1A1/M1A2 Abrams Main Battle
Tank manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems)
against Iraqis using Japanese pick-up trucks and SUVs
with machine gun mounts. "It wasn't even a fair
fight. I don't know why they don't just surrender,"
said Colonel Hildenbrand. "It's heinous - for
the SUV to go up against an M1 tank. I feel nothing
but sorrow for these people," Hildenbrand said
as he toured the hideout. "This war is against
one man, it's not against the Iraqi people. I just
wish they would surrender so we could get it over
don't they just surrender so you could get it over
with? Wars never fulfill the guarantees of the recruiters,
the colorful advertisements, the promises of those
not risking their lives, their pathetic lies.
may be that Iraqi soldiers think their country is
being invaded, again. Maybe they feel terror and shock,
but not awe. Maybe they are compelled to kill you
before you kill them. Maybe they are told they must
fight to be patriotic. Maybe they do not wish to welcome
a different tyrant, be the next victim of American
and British colonial occupation. Maybe they don't
trust the CIA to pick another leader for them. Maybe
they don't want to watch the invaders divide the spoils.
Maybe their evil junta's propaganda told them they
will be facing a terrorist attack on their own soil
and that they must fight to protect their people and
their way of life. It's all in the language. Why do
you suppose you are there, Colonel??
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