Archive for February, 2010

Against The Death Penalty But All For War

February 22, 2010

As the civilian casualties mount due to the ongoing U.S. -led invasion of Afghanistan, images of Tony Blair, one of the main architects of the aggression wars being waged in the Middle-East, come to mind.

After the execution of the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein, who unlike many Muslims being detained in the U.S. actually had a fair and lengthy trial, Tony Blair, in a press conference, declared: “We are against the death penalty”. Notice the “we” in his sentence which is supposed to mean “we the civilized nations”, I guess.

Hundred of thousands of  civilians   have died as a direct result of the war  of aggression waged by Blair and Bush, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and other places. And they’re still dying now.  Millions have been dislocated and forced to flee to foreign countries. Generations of young people lost their life dreams. But Blair is against the death penalty.

Here in the U.S. A., and on the pages of the Op-Ed of the “progressive, liberal” New York Times no less,  we were treated to this appalling, repugnant article about how civilian death is hindering the war effort.  Tom Friedman frequently asks his signature question : “Where is the outrage in the Muslim world?”. But you’re not going to hear him asking: “where is the outrage in America”? or in the  “whole Western World for that matter? ” over this utter  monstrosity and lack of respect for basic human values displayed on the pages of his own newspaper.

Tony Blair,  Western Europe, and the rest of the civilized world  may be against the death penalty. It gives them an aura of civility. But they’re sure not against mass murder. In fact, they champion it under one pretense or another.


Clinton Awards Iran A Distinguihsed Membership

February 18, 2010

Hillary Clinton declared yesterday that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.

Good! So Iran is actually moving toward being one of our best friends.

Let’s  see the club it would join if what Clinton alleged was true.

The murderous dictators Chun of South Korea, Marcos of the Philippines, Saddam Hussein (yes the same one we overthrew) of Iraq, Suharto of Indonesia.., Somoza in Nicaragua, Zia ul Hak of Pakistan, Videla of Argentina,  Duvalier Francois  and Raoul Cedars, of Haiti, etc….

I mean come on…do you want me to go on?

For a complete list, see  “The politics of history” by Howard Zinn for documented proofs and  this. 

Update: After I posted this blog, I read this post by one of my daily must-read bloggers, the always insightful  Glenn Greenwald.


A Modern Day Greek Tragedy

February 14, 2010

It was  edifying to reflect on the news of this past week.

There was the debt crisis in Greece.  A Greek tragedy that could prove  detrimental to other Euro-Zone nations such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Italy. The fallout could even damage the UK. 

The other major story was the NATO offensive against….er..ready? The Taliban.

Anything wrong with this picture? The all-civilized- all-enlightened- all-rich- “great western nations” on the planet are faced with one of the major threats to their economy in the form of the crisis in Greece. And what are they doing? They’re capitulating to the United States, marching blindly to the drums of its endless wars, and launching a major offensive against the Taliban, a group that has never attacked any of these nations.

We are to believe that the Taliban, a group of rag-headed fighters in Afghanistan, probably a country in the running for the title “the poorest nation on earth”, is clear and present danger to the western civilization. And it is spreading fear and causing terror in the heart of the capitals of the “great nations”.

One would have to believe   the Taliban to be   a type of Star Trek- Borg  super fighters that possess an extraterrestrial weaponry so devastating that the  threat to our civilization  is imminent and requires  the billions, that could help Greece out of its debt crisis,  to be diverted to  the war effort in Afghanistan.

Are we all becoming insane? Has the world, led by the its “great civilized” nations, gone mad? How much money has been spent on this  war? And for what purpose?( See the  chart in the  link for what we could have done here at home for that much money from free health care for millions of people and  alternative energy homes, to loans for millions of students.)

You dont have to be illiterate, living in  the remote mountains of Afghanistan to be a blind lunatic. You could the scion of the “Renaissance”. You could be be living in Washington , London, Paris, Rome, or Berlin giving orders to ignite another  futile war.

The weapon industry is currently the only winner. But make no mistakes, we will all lose in the end.


Democracy, LSD…

February 7, 2010

Last week, the “neo-independent” channel PBS joined the corporate media parade. In a report titled “Death in Tehran” Front Line”  focused on the death of Neda Soltan , the young Iranian woman who was murdered by Iranian police while she was demonstrating against the recent Iranian election. 

One is led to believe that we are empowering women and promoting democracy.  But then,  why is PBS  investigating Neda Soltan’s death and not the death of  one of  our own brave American women, Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by Israeli bulldozers while trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes?  Have you seen  “Front Line”   focusing on that crime?  And why Iran and not Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, the gulf countries, and Jordan, for instance? 

The answer is obvious, isn’t it? We hold the banner of democracy across  the globe. We support the struggle of the oppressed people all over the world. We promote our ideals: freedom for all,  self-determination, rule of law, democracy, etc…. right?

Let’s look at our freedom supporting policies in the neighborhood of Iran.  I will list three countries only. The list could be longer than “America Most Wanted” list.

EgyptEgypt  basically is a police state. President Mubarak’s word is law in Egypt. To criticize him is to risk jail term. Torture is rampant and the crack down on democracy is brutal. You would think, based on all the rhetoric, we should shun Mubarak and support the democracy movement there, right? Well,  Barack Obama chose  to deliver his first democracy speech to the muslim world from Egypt. We continue to bestow billions of dollars on Egypt (the second largest foreign aid recipient,  a very distant second to Israel). We continue to cover Mubarak politically and rave about  the shyest steps his police state take toward bogus free speech. All the while we’re not even giving lip service to the opposition movement there.

Saudi Arabia. A kingdom where election is unheard of and books are subject to official approval before they’re allowed into the country. Over one-third of its citizens ( Shia muslims) are considered second class citizens. Women are not even allowed to drive. The antithesis of what we stand for. Yet not only our official policy is to cooperate with this brutal regime, but our pundits, conservatives and liberal alike, consider Saudi Arabia a moderate arab state with which we should forge an alliance.

Israel  commits war crimes on a regular basis against its neighbors ( Just look at the Gladstone report and Amnesty international for the most recent crimes in Gaza and Lebanon). It  is our unquestionable ally that can do no wrong. It continues its stifling and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory despite all the security council resolutions. Yet apart from unlimited  political and military support, Israel receives billions of American tax payers hard-earned money every year.

Let’s just face the facts. We are not promoters of democracy. Far from it. This is just a slogan to make us feel cozy and warm. A feel-good drug, LSD!