Not A Mistake An Example

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Via Raed in the Middle: WikiLeaks Video: Exception or Example?

Laura Flanders with- Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films, who was in Iraq and visited the scene of the shootings just the day after they happened, and senior fellow at Peace Action, Raed Jarrar.

Rowley (there a day afterwards) recounts that a survivor of the Apache attack died when troops ran over him virtually cutting him in half and both make the point this is not an aberration in spite of ROE but because of them. Also see Democracy Now-

these residents came and told me that the man who they drove over was alive, that he had crawled out of the van that had been shot to pieces and that he was still alive when the Americans drove over him and cut him in half, basically, with a Bradley or tank or whatever armored vehicle they were driving in.

Not breaking the rules but following them, thus all the counter spin is to hide the reality and conduct of the war. Also Glenn Greenwald on this and Obama’s assassination program and Chris Floyd- The Accomodationists: Memo to Liberals on the White House Death Warrants.

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Easy

Go on, press the button, it’s easy. You’ve been trained in such a way that makes it very easy, that directs your libido into desiring the kill, to ‘Get Some’. And don’t worry, the acculturation in the Homeland is such that whatever you do you will be the Good Guy. And thus the cycle continues, mass murderers become respected and get the next bit of mass murder going. The counter narrative is already launched, that’s if it is even still on the news agenda and anyway they are censoring it for the sensitive folks back home. What then of the other side, when they’ve mown down your friends, family, given themselves medals and treat you like shit, gonna do something? You’ll have to realise that your act won’t reach the people in the Homeland, they won’t understand you as a human being who made a stand, who couldn’t take anymore who couldn’t live with the anger, grief and the need stop the pain in your head, you’ll be an insurgent, a terrorist, a fundamentalist. Heroes use $16 million gunships (that’s a stimulus to the economy, saving jobs, providing careers in science, engineering and psychology), when you improvise whatever you can get your hands on, that’s terrorism. And that act will stiffen the resolve of the righteous forces of freedom, they are protecting the folks back home from your violence. They’ll be parades for them, at your funeral a drone will Hellfire all your friends and family, I mean who else would go to the funeral of a terrorist than other terrorists? Get Some. And best of all, best of all even the caring sharing reasonable liberal journalists will deny the holocaust of deaths (especially the half a million starved children even before the WMD lies did their work), Lancet & Orb are verboten, because the Good Guys don’t do that even as they wring their hands. So war has not changed, it is series of unfolding atrocities and people who want a nice life will not get in too much of the way of that, it’s just not polite. Do your duty, don’t think too hard, value nice things that a nice salary will buy you and one day maybe when you hear rotors overhead, hope that your gang, your tribe are in the cockpit, so don’t go to protests, don’t pray to the wrong god, don’t resist an occupation that murders and tortures your friends and family. When they say they are Good Guys believe them and serve them, whatever they do to you, maybe they foreclose your home, or bulldoze your home, deny you medicine in a letter or at a checkpoint, because that’s freedom. Find the most powerful gang and join it and hope your life is not at the other end of a button push.

collateralmurder.com

Standing at the window
A farmer’s wife in Oxford shire
Glances at the clock; it’s nearly time for tea
She doesn’t see
The phantom in the hedgerow dip its wings
Doesn’t hear the engine sing
But in the cockpit’s techno glow
Behind the Ray Ban shine
The kid from Cleveland
In the comfort of routine
Scans his dials and smiles
Secure in the beauty of military life
There is no right or wrong
Only tin cans and cordite and white cliffs
And blue skies and flight flight flight
The beauty of military life
No questions only orders and flight, only flight
What a beautiful sight in his wild blue dream
The eternal child leafs through his war magazine
And his kind Uncle Sam feeds ten trillion in change
Into the total entertainment combat video game
And up here in the stands
The fans are going wild
The cheerleaders flip
When you wiggle your hip
And we all like the bit when you take
The jeans from the refrigerator and
Then the bad guy gets hit
And were you struck by the satisfying way
The swimsuit sticks to her skin
Like BB gun days
When knives pierce autumn leaves
But that’s okay see the children bleed
It’ll look great on the TV
And in Tripoli another ordinary wife
Stares at the dripping her old man hadn’t
Time to fix
Too busy mixing politics and rhythm
In the street below

UK Prioritises Killing Over Aid To Haiti

From SU

Michael Burke:- The donors conference in New York has now seen pledges of $5.3bn in aid to Haiti.

Unfortunately, there is a long history of broken promises arising from international donor conferences. Maybe that is why Britain promised absolutely nothing at all.

The Times justifies the decision here, arguing that money is going to Afghanistan and Pakistan

In fact the NGOs estimate that around $7bn in aid is requirid immediately, simply to return the country’s housing and infrastructure to pre-earthquake level, let alone provide any real development assistance.

In attempting to justify the decision to provide no new funds at the conference, Mike Foster, the Overseas Development Minister, said that Britain had pledged £20 million for initial emergency relief and had donated £33 million going through the European Commission, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Mr Foster also said that Britain’s £29 million funding this year for the UN mission in Haiti although Britain is obliged to pay for these ‘peacekeeping operations’, which existed long before the earthquake. The displeasure of the donors was marked by a refusal to grant British officials speaking rights at the press conference that followed.

Reports indicate that the British Treasury has blocked any payments, even though the international development budget is said to be one of those ‘ring-fenced’ from cuts. Ring-fenced it may be, but it appears that in boosting payments to both Pakistan and Afghanistan it is increasingly a tool of foreign policy aggression. This combination of reduced aid to the needy and increased militarisation of the Aid budget is clearly a co-ordinated foreign policy decision, presumably taken by the press’s favourite Labour Leader, David Milliband.

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Seventh Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion

And as this video from rethink Afghanistan demonstrates the meek response and internalisation of propaganda is working, the first minute is concerned with US military casualties, then it turns to Iraq casualties and tremulously announces –At least 95,639 confirmed civilian deaths. History is written by the winners and it turns out they even get to rewrite what dissenting voices say. I know that they are after a wide US audience so deference for the imperial military forces and the civilian toll of the ongoing crimes have to be politely alluded to at best, but seven years on this does begin to indicate those who enacted this war will get to own the narrative. All helped by a hysterically embedded media, this by Barbara Plett is not much of a serious piece, it is a glorified film review of fugitive rapist Roman Polanski’s latest, but there is a telling passage-

The drama also has Adam Lang – holed up in a villa in Martha’s Vineyard – decide to stay in the United States for fear of arrest if he returns to Britain. Technically this is a feasible scenario. As a state that has ratified the Rome Treaty, Britain would be obliged to arrest anyone for whom the ICC had issued a warrant, although it had not yet for Mr Lang. The US has not ratified the treaty so it is not similarly obliged. However some legal experts are sceptical that Washington would protect such a high profile fugitive from justice, no matter how close an ally.

If Blair was ensconced in the US the White house would extradite him to face war crimes charges, she reports this expert opinion as if that would ever happen, bless. She also avoids mention of the crime of aggression and that a Chief Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz said-

“The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States, in fact, after World War II. It says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can’t use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, ‘Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they’ve found — then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq — which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.”

And it is neither historically remarkable or psychologically surprising that  supporters and/or beneficiaries of slaughter deny the scale of the damage (beneficiaries are anyone still climbing upwards in their career who know it is best not to focus too strongly on deaths we cause as opposed to the evil ‘other’). There are people who deny the Holocaust, there are people who deny the death toll in Iraq, they are of the same ilk, quit whining and own your historical antecedence, you want good war, you have to hide bodies, real fucking simple. Deny the the best correlated figures of a million plus but know who you are making common cause with. There are 2.76 million Internally Displaced Persons and the figures for refugees who fled Iraq are complicated because of the necessarily scattered nature and multiple different countries reporting methods but the figure was 1,977,000-2,377,000(est.) one year ago, there is yet to be profound changes to their circumstances, in fact they are becoming worse.

Children of veterans with PTSD experience-

Iraqi adults & children themselves have massive rates of PTSD, depression and birth defects. Halliburton reported $3.1 Billion Gross Operating Profit last year, Blackwater/ XE and other mercenary firms of the privatised neoliberal war paradigm made…undisclosed total amounts often claimed to be classified, but Armor Group (Chairman former Tory Def Sec Sir Malcolm Rifkind now owned by G4S) made $3.7 million profit in 06,

Jeremy Scahill, 2007– Precise data on the extent of U.S. spending on mercenary services is nearly impossible to obtain — by both journalists and elected officials–but some in Congress estimate that up to 40 cents of every tax dollar spent on the war goes to corporate war contractors. At present, the United States spends about $2 billion a week on its Iraq operations.

Politicians, commentariat & high ranking military & intelligence personnel who conspired on the lies to enable the war have seen their careers & personal wealth flourish, those who opposed, told the truth and still do… Well at least Craig Murray got to be played by Doctor Who on Radio 4. Likelihood that because none of the prosecutors of this war have suffered adverse legal or criminal sanction that they will do it again- 100%. History & business as usual.

Happy Anniversary.

Enlightenment Values Except For Muslims

Five Muslim men who protested at a home-coming parade in Luton where soldiers were called murderers have been found guilty of making threats. The charges related to a march by The Royal Anglian Regiment through the town in March 2009. The five men, all from Luton, were convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour likely to cause harassment and distress.

District Judge Carolyn Mellanby said: “I have no doubt it is abusive and insulting to tell soldiers to ‘Go to hell’ – to call soldiers murderers, rapists and baby killers. “It is not just insulting to the soldiers but to the citizens of Luton who were out on the streets that day to honour and welcome soldiers home. Citizens of Luton are entitled to demonstrate their support for the troops without experiencing insults and abuse.” She went on: “The fact that they say they did not intend their remarks to be insulting does not amount to defence in law. They were fully aware that shocking phrases in such circumstances would inevitably cause distress.”

Defence lawyers had argued the right to freedom of speech was at stake. Earlier in the day Jubair Ahmed’s lawyer used philosopher Voltaire’s views on freedom of speech to defend him. In her closing speech for his defence Sonal Dashani said: “Voltaire said ‘I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

“That was in the 18th Century. Things have moved on since then, though perhaps not as quickly as one might have liked. If you believe in freedom of speech you have to accept that some things will be said that you will like and some things will be said that you will not like.”

Angry scenes broke out during the parade for the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as The Poachers. Lawyers defending the men said their clients discussed their plans to protest with police beforehand, had agreed to a time and a place to do so with them, had complied with police throughout and officers had not objected at the time to their slogans.

They were dumb things to shout out (although arguable factually correct, they could not know if the specific soldiers had engaged in such acts but the coaltion forces have committed rape, murder and killed babies, welcome to the realities of war oh genteel Britons). ‘Troops home now, Stop the war’- would have been a better angle, however one thing the war loving commentariat love to do is wank on endlessly about the values of Teh Enlightenment and how the Islamo-caliphate/fascists or whatever (Daleks!?!?) are out to destroy such values. But here these values have been tested and it turns out the establishment has no respect for them, (unless one accepts these values are racially privileged, which is really not a great value at all) try and act surprised. Fig leaf bullshit to add to the weak justifications for murdering people in foreign lands, bingo?!?!! Where were the defenders of free speech when the case was not so popular, the issues a bit sticky and the defendants Muslims who rudely opposed the wars…many of the Teh Enlightenment fanboys support…ok answered it myself there. If these values are so easily discarded then they clearly did not really understand their implications or hold them sincerely. This is not a Fred Phelps level of idiocy, this was a jingoistic homecoming parade designed to increase support for the government’s wars through forcing peer pressure (again welcome to the reality of the function of military parades on genteel imperialists), that some publicly and offensively -to some- dissented should be something we accept. That we instead criminalised it tells the profound truth of wars of choice, they close down the societies that launch them, they push them rightwards into authoritarianism and if we don’t defend the difficult unpopular cases it will be the less controversial ones next.

Posted in Imperialism. Tags: . 15 Comments »

Global Peace Index

And the figures are in for ’09! Possibly only as meaningful as the top 40 but, notice the bottom four are nations with US support/involvement/intervention while the US is at 83 sandwiched between the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, hey Mr ONobel give peace a chance eh?

I Got My Orange Crush

But critics believe the U.S. is playing a grim waiting game: waiting for people to die in order to avoid potentially costly lawsuits. For a country currently engaged in two wars, accepting comprehensive responsibility for wartime damages could set an expensive precedent. “They know what the problem is and where it is,” says Chuck Searcy, country representative of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “Why do they now need an environmental impact assessment? They are studying this to death.”

Since 2007, Congress has allocated a total of $6 million to help address Agent Orange issues in Vietnam. Not only does the amount not begin to scratch the surface of the problem or get rid of the tons of toxic soil around the nation, but there are questions about how the money is being spent. And several parties have noted with growing frustration that the money is primarily going to study the issue and hire consultants rather than implementing measures to prevent new generations from being exposed.

Luckily there will always be plenty of money to pay pundits to write ‘Why Do They Hate US?’ articles ad infinitum to soothe the imperial ego.

.Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja Iraqi former battle zone sees abnormal clusters of infant tumours and deformities

Ad infinitum.