May 27, 2006
A few of the Iraqi "insurgents" the US Marines murdered in cold blood
This case is by no means unique, or even rare. Far from it. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi women, men and children have been murdered by uniformed and non-uniformed American thugs and murderers, usually referred to as "soldiers" and "security contractors." Hundreds of thousands of others have been maimed for life. The only difference this time was that the cover-up and the suppression of evidence failed.
Logic tells us that if Abu Ghraib was revealed only through the accident of the publication of some unauthorized pictures, and Haditha was revealed through the accident of the failure of a cover-up, then there must have been many other Abu Ghraibs where no unauthorized pictures were taken, and many other Hadithas where the perpetrators were more skillful in covering their tracks. The members of the "embedded" newsmedia never seem of think of this logic.
Other than Haditha, only a single case is pending against the Marines. It involves last July’s killing in cold blood of the cousin of Iraq’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Do you see the pattern here? Ambassador Samir al-Sumaidaie had sufficient influence to force an investigation, although no results have been announced yet. That killing drew attention and got investigated simply because it happened to involve an ambassador’s cousin. Should the newsmedia not be asking themselves whether there have been other killings that did not accidentally involve relatives of ambassadors and other powerful individuals? Would it not be a logically inescapable conclusion that there have been many other such killings?
Before dismissing the argument as speculation, read the following Reuters story by Michael Georgy:
BAGHDAD, May 28 (Reuters) - Word that U.S. Marines may have killed two dozen Iraqi civilians in "cold-blooded" revenge after an insurgent attack has shocked Americans but many Iraqis shrug it off as an every day fact of life under occupation.
Despite U.S. military denials, many Iraqis believe killing of men, women and children at the hands of careless or angry American soldiers is common. No reliable statistics are available.
Since U.S. officials said last week that charges including murder were possible after an investigation into the deaths at Haditha last November, Iraqi media and politicians have paid scant attention to details leaking out in Washington...
Leaders of the Sunni minority are more critical but say the Haditha incident is only part of a pattern of U.S. behaviour in the Sunni heartlands north and west of Baghdad: "The American soldier has become an expert in killing," said Abdel Salam al- Qubaisy, spokesman for the Sunni Muslim Scholars Association...
In Baghdad's bustling Karrada commercial district, Mohammed Jawdaat, 47, offered a typical view at his store, where business selling firefighting gear is booming amid the chaos of Baghdad:
"It really doesn't surprise me," he said.
Like many in the city, he can recount an incident in which he says he saw U.S. forces open fire on civilians: "Six months ago a car pulled out of a street towards an American convoy and a soldier just opened fire," Jawdaat said.
"The driver was shot in the head and the person behind was killed too. They were innocents. There were no warning shots and the Americans didn't even stop. The police took the wounded." ...
Imad Mohammed, a teenager selling newspapers at a Baghdad intersection, said he had not seen Haditha on any front page and said it simply was not news: "The Americans see a Muslim go into a mosque and just assume he is a terrorist.
"They either arrest him or blow it up."
A more detailed account
May 26, 2006
"Wait a minute! Back-to-back disses!"
Meanwhile, there is no love lost between Blair and the British Member of Parliament George Galloway.
Today's Hitlers walking the red carpet
May 25, 2006
Iran Proposal to U.S. Offered Peace with Israel
WASHINGTON, May 24 (IPS) - Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and to pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders, according to the secret Iranian proposal to the United States.
The two-page proposal for a broad Iran-U.S. agreement covering all the issues separating the two countries, a copy of which was obtained by IPS, was conveyed to the United States in late April or early May 2003. Trita Parsi, a specialist on Iranian foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies who provided the document to IPS, says he got it from an Iranian official earlier this year but is not at liberty to reveal the source.
The two-page document contradicts the official line of the George W. Bush administration that Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and the sponsorship of terrorism in the region.
Parsi says the document is a summary of an even more detailed Iranian negotiating proposal which he learned about in 2003 from the U.S. intermediary who carried it to the State Department on behalf of the Swiss Embassy in late April or early May 2003. The intermediary has not yet agreed to be identified, according to Parsi.
The Iranian negotiating proposal indicated clearly that Iran was prepared to give up its role as a supporter of armed groups in the region in return for a larger bargain with the United States. What the Iranians wanted in return, as suggested by the document itself as well as expert observers of Iranian policy, was an end to U.S. hostility and recognition of Iran as a legitimate power in the region.
With thanks to Juan Cole
May 23, 2006
In Solidarity with the Six Nations Confederacy in Caledonia, Ontario
A native protester showing his feelings about the "offerings" of bread and cheese left by the White settlers after weeks of humiliating the protesters.
May 22, 2006
An Incremental Watershed
Bush Says Iraqi Government Formation a `Watershed'
Bush Says Progress in Iraq 'Incremental'
According to the latest report, Dubya's speechwriters are still explaining to him what "incremental" and "watershed" mean.
May 18, 2006
Dancing all night with military dictators
George W Bush, that Eliza Doolittle of world politics, already bored with Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi, his recently-rediscovered love, has found a new dance partner in Korea's Kim Jung-Il:
Washington, May 17 (The New York Times) - President Bush's top advisers have recommended a broad new approach to dealing with North Korea that would include beginning negotiations on a peace treaty, even while efforts to dismantle the country's nuclear program are still under way, senior administration officials and Asian diplomats say.
The lesson for other countries that want to restore their relations with Washington is clear. Become a military dictatorship. Eliminate every single trace of democracy from your society and politics. And... Voila! Washington's suitors will come a-courting to your doorstep before you know it.
As Eliza/Dubya would say:
I could have danced all night!
I could have danced all night!
And still have begged for more.
I could have spread my wings
And done a thousand things I've never done before.
I'll never know What made it so exciting;
Why all at once My heart took flight. I only know when he
Began to dance with me I could have danced,
danced, danced all night!
(True, the bit about never having done this sort of thing before is hardly apropos, but that's another story -- a long story.)
May 17, 2006
"You are a donkey, Mr Danger!"
May 15, 2006
Libya: "Democracy" without regime change!
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya wants to work with the United States to spread democracy around the world after Washington restored full diplomatic ties with Tripoli, the head of Libya's de facto single ruling party said on Monday.
"We encourage America on the path of cooperation and we hope we will cooperate together through cultural debate to spread democracy around the world together," Mustapha Zaidi, the top official of Libya's Revolutionary Committees, said.
The United States Government has just restored normal relations with Libya. By implication, Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi, having kowtowed to Washington's diktat in every possible way since the big scare he got from Saddam's overthrow, has just been anointed a democratic leader. And he will be "working with the United States to spread democracy"!
I wonder what Gaddafi's concept of "democracy" is. More importantly, I wonder what Washington's concept of democracy is. On one hand, it sees nothing wrong with granting an imprimatur of approval to the 35-year-old dictatorship of Gaddafi. On the other hand, it contemplates forcible "regime change" in democratic Iran, and continues to victimize the democratically-elected government of Palestine...
May 14, 2006
President Al Gore...
May 12, 2006
Going where very few Presidents have gone before
May 09, 2006
President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush
According to reports, Bush has been "briefed" on the content of the letter. In other words, he will not (be allowed to) read it. I think it is important that as many other people as possible do read it, both because of the alternative perspective that it presents, and also because the "news" media have already told a lot of lies about what it says.President Ahmadinejad welcomed to Indonesia during his current visit
May 07, 2006
A fair comparison
Compare Bolton's belligerence with the calm manner of Javad Zarif, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations [the links are given below].
The comparison leaves no doubt in my mind that the current US Administration remains by far the greatest threat to peace and stability in the world.
By the way, isn't John Bolton, in the statement quoted above, actually saying that the United States Government doesn't give a damn about the UN Security Council? Then why is it that when President Ahmadinejad of Iran made a similar remark a few days ago, it was quoted everywhere in the Western press, while Bolton's statement was not even mentioned?
Javad Zarif's enlightening interview, where he calmly clarifies every aspect of the current situation, is here. It is 46 minutes in length.
John Bolton's statement is included in this newscast. The part of the newscast about Iran is 9 minutes long.
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