22.9.06

The U.S. and Israel: Axis of Aggression, Torture, Death, and Devastation

The U.S. and Israel:

Instead of resisting these aggressions and genocidal operations, the G8 and international community have appeased the aggressor and genocidist, never condemning its aggressions or imposing sanctions in response to its major crimes, but collaborating with it, and, in the case of Iraq, giving it expost approval and support for the deadly occupation.

The UN, created specifically to prevent “the scourge of war,” has failed to pose any serious constraining force on the serial aggressions by the United States or those of its Israeli client. This failure, and the global crisis that it reflects, has hardly been recognized in the Western media and intellectual circles, for the same reasons that underlie the appeasement and collaboration: the military power of the superpower, fear of the economic and political consequences of opposition to the United States and its client’s rampaging, some sense of solidarity and support for U.S. and Israeli objectives and policies on the part of global elites and media, and cowardice and lack of moral fortitude.

Israel as well as the United States has been free over several decades to aggress, ignore any UN resolutions or rulings, ignore international law governing the behavior of an occupying power, and steadily “redeem the land” of Palestine by ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. Israel carried out a major invasion of Lebanon in 1982, with no penalty for this aggression, or for a lengthy illegal occupation, or for periodic bombing and ground attacks on Lebanon or for its lengthy maintenance of a terrorist proxy army on Lebanese soil. Its fresh major aggression in Lebanon in July and August 2006 is also being carried out without any UN or other international penalty or sanctions, again, as in 1982, with the protection of the U.S. veto and U.S. power—and Israel is currently threatening Iran and Syria without any apparent U.S. or international community constraint.

Torture Exhibit A

TomPaine.com - Torture Exhibit A:

The debate over whether the United States can legally torture terrorism suspects will soon move from the Senate—where a flawed compromise has been reached—to the House. In this debate, the tragic case of Maher Arar should be Exhibit A. The American mainstream press has front-paged the exoneration of Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was flown to Syria, imprisoned in a coffin-size cell and tortured for 10 months until the Syrians released him without charges. But headlines such as the one topping a New York Times editorial last week—“Tortured by Mistake”—are missing some larger points.

Most media accounts of Arar’s ordeal have attributed this travesty to faulty intelligence passed to U.S. authorities by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the RCMP. The Mounties characterized the now 37-year-old engineer as 'an Islamic extremist individual,' and placed him—and his entire family, including a six-month-old infant—on a U.S. al-Qaida no-fly watchlist.

Arar was detained by U.S. authorities at JFK International Airport in New York in 2002 after returning from a trip to Tunisia en route to his home in Ottowa. He was questioned for 12 days without access to counsel, and then flown on a U.S. government plane to Jordan, and finally overland to Syria.

Indeed, the Canadian information was grossly incorrect. The chairman of the two-and-a-half-year investigation, Ontario Justice Dennis O'Connor, concluded that 'categorically there is no evidence' that Arar did anything wrong or was a security threat.

Soldier 'enjoyed torture'

Soldier 'enjoyed torture':

A British soldier who has admitted charges of committing war crimes in Iraq 'enjoyed' hearing Iraqi civilians call out in pain as they were kicked and punched while in a detention centre, a court martial in Britain was told on Wednesday.

The accused, 35-year-old corporal Donald Payne, referred to the noises made as 'the choir', which he 'conducted' in front of visitors to the centre, prosecutors told the court martial at Bulford camp, near Salisbury in southwest England.

Payne and six other servicemen are on trial in connection with the death of Baha Musa, a 26-year-old Iraqi hotel receptionist, in the port of Basra in 2003.

While Payne has pleaded guilty to war crimes charges, the other six men have pleaded not guilty.

The charges brought against the seven soldiers also relate to the alleged ill-treatment of other detainees.

Prosecutor Julian Bevan said Payne seemed to carry out his 'conductor' role without fear of repercussion.

'The choir consisted of corporal Payne systematically assaulting each detainee in turn by, for instance, hitting them in their stomachs, kicking them and punching them wherever on their bodies, causing them to shriek out or groan in pain, their various noises constituting the music,' he said.

Bush’s Useful Idiots

LRB | Tony Judt : Bush’s Useful Idiots:

On the silence of the liberal intellectual when Israel is involved. On that most sacred of sacred cows: pro-Israeli policies.

Bush’s Middle Eastern policy now tracks so closely to the Israeli precedent that it is very difficult to see daylight between the two. It is this surreal turn of events that helps explain the confusion and silence of American liberal thinking on the subject (as well, perhaps, as Tony Blair’s syntactically sympathetic me-tooism). Historically, liberals have been unsympathetic to ‘wars of choice’ when undertaken or proposed by their own government. War, in the liberal imagination (and not only the liberal one), is a last resort, not a first option. But the United States now has an Israeli-style foreign policy and America’s liberal intellectuals overwhelmingly support it.

The contradictions to which this can lead are striking. There is, for example, a blatant discrepancy between Bush’s proclaimed desire to bring democracy to the Muslim world and his refusal to intervene when the only working instances of fragile democracy in action in the whole Muslim world – in Palestine and Lebanon – were systematically ignored and then shattered by America’s Israeli ally. This discrepancy, and the bad faith and hypocrisy which it seems to suggest, have become a staple of editorial pages and internet blogs the world over, to America’s lasting discredit. But America’s leading liberal intellectuals have kept silent. To speak would be to choose between the tactical logic of America’s new ‘war of movement’ against Islamic fascism – democracy as the sweetener for American involvement – and the strategic tradition of Israeli statecraft, for which democratic neighbours are no better and most likely worse than authoritarian ones. This is not a choice that most American liberal commentators are even willing to acknowledge, much less make. And so they say nothing.

The Coalition of the Willing?

Independent Online Edition > Asia:

The President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, reveals in an interview to be aired at the weekend that, soon after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States threatened to bomb his country 'back into the Stone Age' if he didn't offer its co-operation in fighting terrorism and the Taliban.

The revelation was made by General Musharraf during his visit to New York for the annual General Assembly of the United Nations. It comes after a week in which the US has been criticised by a number of foreign leaders for trying to impose its will on other nations.

Talking to a correspondent of the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes to be shown on Sunday evening, General Musharraf claims that the warning was delivered to his own director of intelligence by the US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Armitage. 'The intelligence director told me that [Armitage] said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age',' General Musharraf said, according to excerpts of the interview released by CBS last night.

Hezbollah Chief Leads Huge Victory over Israel and the US Rally


Hezbollah Chief Leads Huge Rally - New York Times:

“No army in the world is strong enough to disarm us,’’ he told a cheering crowd that appeared to number in the hundreds of thousands.

Mr. Nasrallah’s very presence here today was meant to underscore the idea that Hezbollah had triumphed over Israel, which has vowed to kill him. It was the first time Mr. Nasrallah had been seen in public since July 12th, when he announced the capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, the event that precipitated the 34-day war.

His speech was both a fiery tirade addressed to Israel and the United States, and a giddy celebration of Hezbollah’s strengthened position within Lebanon in the wake of the war.

“During the war, I said we had 11,000 rockets, but it was really more,’’ he told the crowd.

“Is it 12,000?’’ some members of the audience called out.

“Keep counting!’’ he replied.

“Is it 13?’’

“Forget counting!’’ he said, to hearty laughter. “We haven’t even begun rearming, and we have more than 20,000!”

21.9.06

Pelosi and Rangel: Suck on this!

My Way News:

it seems that nancy pelosi and charles rangel did not appreciate hearing president chavez speak truth to power yesterday. too fucking bad!
'Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug,' House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference, referring to Chavez' comments in a U.N. General Assembly speech on Wednesday.

'Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had, speaking at the United Nations,' said Pelosi, a frequent Bush critic. 'He demeaned himself and he demeaned Venezuela.'

president chavez's reading club, volume one


read this book....

this book was ranked around #17,000 on amazon prior to the speech; as of this post, it is #3...

order the book--send a message to the devil!

20.9.06

President Hugo Chavez Calls the Devil the Devil

Chavez Launches Bush Broadside at U.N.:

'Yesterday, the devil came here,' Chavez said, referring to Bush's address before the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. 'Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of.'

He then made the sign of the cross, brought his hands together as if praying and looked up at the ceiling.

Lest anyone wasn't listening, Chavez continued:

'Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world,' Chavez said.

Chavez's words drew tentative giggles at times from the audience, but also applause at the end of the speech and when he called Bush the devil - a word he used no fewer than eight times.

19.9.06

President Ahmadinejad on the Filthy Occupiers of Iraq


Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Defiant Bush appeals to people of Middle East:

'The question needs to be asked: if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom who are permanent members of the security council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the organs of the UN can take them to account?' he said.

17.9.06

Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act

Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act:

As David Cole of the Georgetown University Law Center pointed out in the August 10 issue of The New York Review of Books, the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rusmfeld 'suggests that President Bush has already committed a war crime, simply by establishing the [Guantanamo] military tribunals and subjecting detainees to them' because 'the Court found that the tribunals violate Common Article 3--and under the War Crimes Act, any violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime.' A similar argument would indicate that top US officials have also committed war crimes by justifying interrogation methods that, according to the testimony of US military lawyers, also violate Common Article 3.

Lo and behold, the legislation the Administration has circulated on Capitol Hill would decriminalize such acts retroactively. Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, told the Associated Press on August 10, 'I think what this bill can do is in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous.' Human rights attorney Scott Horton told Democracy Now! on August 16 that one of the purposes of the proposed legislation is 'to grant immunity or impunity to certain individuals. And these are mostly decision-makers within the government.'