Monday, December 29, 2008

Warsaw Then, Gaza Now

The oppressed have now become the oppressors. One would think that having undegone the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi's attempts to obliterate the Jewish people, they would be the last to ever visit those same horrors on another. But psychpathy knows no cultural or ethnic boundries. Whatever ideals those who sincerely believed in a "corner of the world where Jews would be safe" were horribly misled by the psychopathic leaders of the Zionist movement. It was almost too easy. Ponerology explains:
To individuals with various psychological deviations, the social structure dominated by normal people and their conceptual world appears to be a "system of force and oppression". Psychopaths reach such a conclusion as a rule. If, at the same time, a good deal of injustice does in fact exist in a given society, pathological feelings of unfairness and suggestive statements emanating from deviants can resonate among those who have truly been treated unfairly. Revolutionary doctrines may then be easily propagated among both groups, although each group has completely different reasons for favoring such ideas."
Gaza is the outcome of how misled the normal segment of the Jewish population has been. Once again they are embroiled in a tragedy, this time of their own making.

Blue Ibis

Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza: Disturbing Parallels
I saw a photo last week of a father holding his 6-month-old baby son. The father's face was devoid of expression; the child in his arms was dead. The boy's name was Mohammed Al-Borai; he along with several others had been killed in a blast fired indiscriminately by an Israeli cannon into the densely populated areas of Gaza.

There were more photos, one of a group of young boys holding flowers standing around the battered and bloodstained body of the baby boy. That struck me as the most poignant. I had been having a discussion about the cause of suicide bombers among Palestinians and it will be this image more than any other that will concern me more than most. In their minds the young dead boy will have more impact on their future than anything any one might tell them.

It was then that I started to contemplate perhaps more fully the plight of the Palestinians today and the parallels in the history of the Jews that led to their mass exodus from their own countries to immigrate to the land that was at the time known as Palestine.

The Warsaw Ghetto during the Jewish Holocaust holds special significance to the European Jews. It was a place of oppression and the pathway to the ultimate death of thousands of their population that has become symbolic with their struggle for recognition. Yet what they are failing to acknowledge as their descendants press forward with their own brand of Jewish and Zionist idealism is the parallel set of conditions that they are now imposing on the Arab people of Palestine.

The Nazis rounded up the Jews of Poland and quartered them in a small area of Warsaw, building a barricade around the perimeter to prevent them leaving.
So too have the Israelis through conflict and force pushed many of the Arab inhabitants out of Israel into an enclave that now has a population density of 4,200 people per sq. km which is 14 times that of the surrounding area of Israel which has 360 people per sq. km.
The Nazis deprived the ghetto inhabitants of food and essential supplies.
So too has the Israeli government stopped the flow of goods to the 1.4 million inhabitants of Gaza by limiting the convoys of supplies to a mere trickle.
The Nazis reduced the average calorie intake of the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto to 241 calories per day.
So too have the Israelis reduced the calorie intake of the Palestinians in Gaza. According to a UN report, it is presently at 61 percent of the average daily requirements.
The Nazis restricted public utilities such as water and electricity.
So too has the Israeli government.
The Nazis restricted the inhabitants from adequate health care.
Israelis restrict the health care in Gaza by limiting the medical supplies in or the treatment of cases that need to be done outside.
The Jewish inhabitants through the ZZB and the ZOB resisted the oppression by the Nazis albeit too late and their rebellion was brutally crushed without concern for who was in the way.
So too have the Palestinians of Gaza through their own resistance organizations, in particular Hamas, rebelled against their oppressors and so too do the Israelis use all means available to crush the rebellion without concern for who is in the way or who they maim or kill in doing so.
The Nazis destroyed the structure of the ghetto leveling it to the ground in a broad quest to rout the resistance to their oppression.
Israelis indiscriminately level buildings and the infrastructure in Gaza in a quest to rout out the resistance to their oppression.
The Nazis assigned the Jewish people to a lesser status of all their inhabitants depriving them of their rights as citizens and even as humans.
Israel assigns the refugees held in Gaza less status than is given to the Jews worldwide and deprives the Palestinians of their rights to return to their former lands.
The Nazis applied whatever was at their means to break the will of the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto.
Israelis do the same thing; they use whatever is at their means to break the will of the Palestinians.
The Nazis killed the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto indiscriminately.
Don't the Israelis kill indiscriminately the inhabitants in forcing their control over Gaza?
The Jews of Israel and elsewhere are quite right to protest at the inhumanity of the Nazis in their treatment of them and oblige the world not to allow the same situation to happen again. The Palestinians protest at the inhumanity of the Israeli treatment, yet in a bizarre twist of events, the world still allows the oppression to happen and continue.

It was after the Jews in the ghetto had been largely killed or transported that the world stood up and felt guilty in not acting sooner.

With the picture of Mohammed Al-Borai in my mind I question when the world will stand up and say: Enough is enough, there is not going to be a repeat of the Warsaw Ghetto and particularly when its perpetrators are those who suffered the most by its conduct.

There is a basic conflict of inhumanity occurring to the Palestinian people of Gaza that the world is deliberately ignoring. An inhumanity that was inflicted by the Nazis on the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto is now more than ever closely paralleling that which they are inflicting on the people of Gaza. They learned a hard lesson but it was not a lesson learned well. They have been given the power to practice humanity but have decided instead that they will treat the concerns of the Palestinians in the same inhumane way the Nazis treated them.

A future monument will no doubt contain photos of Mohammed Al-Borai in the arms of his father and the world will decry the injustice.


Steve Hutcheson has worked in crisis recovery in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Indonesia for the past several years and is now based in Thailand. He can be contacted at: steve50 @

Mangled bodies, wailing relatives at Gaza hospital

Mangled bodies, wailing relatives at Gaza hospital
Palestinian wounded
A Palestinian is rushed to hospital after he was wounded in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City
Relatives wail as the mangled bodies of loved ones are brought into Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital on Saturday following Israeli air strikes that killed nearly 200 people in the Palestinian enclave.

Ambulances and private cars rush those wounded or killed in the punishing raids to the hospital, where staff use sheets as makeshift stretchers.

In some cases, a single stretcher is used to carry several bodies. Torn limbs fall to the blood-soiled floor.

There is no space left in the morgue and bodies are piled up in the emergency room and in the corridors, while many of the severely wounded scream in pain.

Overworked doctors and nurses can only deal with the most pressing cases.

Most of the victims wear the uniforms of the security services of Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza and whose installations were targeted in the attacks Israel says were in response to rocket attacks by Gaza militants.

Morgue employees use megaphones to ask parents who throng the entrance to identify their loved ones and take the bodies for burial.

"My brother was still alive when he arrived here, and was talking to me but no one could help him. He died," said Ahmed al-Gharabli, his voice shaking and tears streaming down his cheeks. His brother Baha was a Hamas policeman.

The bloodied body of another policeman, Mohammed Abu Shaaban, is carried on the same stretcher as that of a girl aged about 10 who was hit in the stomach.

Abu Obeida al-Jarah, a police commander who was inside one of the buildings targeted by the Israeli bombs, escaped unharmed.

"We managed to get out and immediately came here to identify the bodies," he said.

"It is truly a massacre and it will not go unpunished. The blood of policemen cannot be unavenged."

The health minister in the Hamas government, Bassem Naim, worried about the dire lack of resources to deal with the large number of victims.

"Our means are too modest to respond to this terrible massacre," he told AFP.

At the best of times the health sector is stretched to the limit in this impoverished and overcrowded enclave that has been the subject of crippling sanctions since Hamas seized power in June 2007

Barefoot, her headscarf dropped on her shoulders, Asmaa Abdo rushed to the hospital immediately after the raids to inquire about the fate of her two sons, who are training to become policemen.

"I was told my sons are both dead but nobody at the hospital can tell me whether that is true," she cries, shouting insults at moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Arab states she feels failed to do anything to protect Gaza.

Abbas' forces were ousted from Gaza in the Hamas takeover.

Near the hospital, a mountain of rubble marks the spot where a 10-storey building that housed a Hamas prisoner support association once stood. Bulldozers clear the ruins as rescuers continue a grim search that has already turned up five bodies, all torn to pieces.

Verses from the Koran, the Muslim holy book, echo across the streets, broadcast from the minarets of the city's mosques. Women in tears head to the hospital.

Al-Aqsa, the Hamas television station, broadcasts images of mangled, bloodied bodies lying on the ground. A message on the screen proclaims: "The Holocaust continues" and the anchorman denounces what he calls the silence and the complicity of some Arab countries.

Comment: ... the silence and the complicity of the whole world - for decades now!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Gaza Witness speaks

Video: What I Witnessed Today in Gaza
The following is moving eyewitness testimony from Gaza.

It was just before noon when I heard the first explosion. I rushed to my window, barely did I get there and look out when I was pushed back by the force and air pressure of another explosion. For a few moments I didn't understand, then I realized that Israeli promises of a wide-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip had materialized. Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzpi Livni's statements following a meeting with Egyptian President Hussni Mubarak the day before yesterday had not been empty threats after all.

What followed seems pretty much surreal at this point. Never had we imagined anything like this. It all happened so fast but the amount of death and destruction is inconceivable, even to me and I'm in the middle of it and a few hours have passed already passed.

6 locations were hit during the air raid on Gaza city. The images are probably not broadcasted in US media. There are piles and piles of bodies in the locations that were hit. As you look at them you can see that a few of the young men are still alive, someone lifts a hand here, and another raise his head there. They probably died within moments because their bodies are burned, most have lost limbs, some have their guts hanging out and they're all lying in pools of blood. Outside my home, (which is close to the 2 largest universities in Gaza) a missile fell on a large group of young men, university students, they'd been warned not to stand in groups, it makes them an easy target, but they were waiting for buses to take them home. 7 were killed, 4 students and 3 of our neighbors kids, young men who were from the same family (Rayes) and were best friends. As I'm writing this I can hear a funeral procession go by outside, I looked out the window a moment ago and it was the 3 Rayes boys, They spent all their time together when they were alive, they died together and now their sharing the same funeral together. Nothing could stop my 14 year old brother from rushing out to see the bodies of his friends laying in the street after they were killed. He hasn't spoken a word since.

What did Olmert mean when he stated that WE the people of Gaza weren't the enemy, that it was Hamas and the Islamic Jihad who were being targeted? Was that statement made to infuriate us out of out state of shock, to pacify any feelings of rage and revenge? To mock us?? Were the scores of children on their way home from school and who are now among the dead and the injured Hamas militants? A little further down my street about half an hour after the first strike 3 schoolgirls happened to be passing by one of the locations when a missile struck the Preventative Security Headquarters building. The girls bodies were torn into pieces and covered the street from one side to the other.

In all the locations people are going through the dead terrified of recognizing a family member among them. The streets are strewn with their bodies, their arms, legs, feet, some with shoes and some without. The city is in a state of alarm, panic and confusion, cell phones aren't working, hospitals and morgues are backed up and some of the dead are still lying in the streets with their families gathered around them, kissing their faces, holding on to them. Outside the destroyed buildings old men are kneeling on the floor weeping. Their slim hopes of finding their sons still alive vanished after taking one look at what had become of their office buildings.

And even after the dead are identified, doctors are having a hard time gathering the right body parts in order to hand them over to their families. The hospital hallways look like a slaughterhouse. It's truly worse than any horror movie you could ever imagine. The floor is filled with blood, the injured are propped up against the walls or laid down on the floor side by side with the dead. Doctors are working frantically and people with injuries that aren't life threatening are sent home. A relative of mine was injured by a flying piece of glass from her living room window, she had deep cut right down the middle of her face. She was sent home, too many people needed medical attention more urgently. Her husband, a dentist, took her to his clinic and sewed up her face using local anesthesia

200 people dead in today's air raid. That means 200 funeral processions, a few today, most of them tomorrow probably. To think that yesterday these families were worried about food and heat and electricity. At this point I think they -actually all of us- would gladly have Hamas sign off every last basic right we've been calling for the last few months forever if it could have stopped this from ever having happened.

The bombing was very close to my home. Most of my extended family live in the area. My family is ok, but 2 of my uncles' homes were damaged,

We can rest easy, Gazans can mourn tonight. Israel is said to have promised not to wage any more air raids for now. People suspect that the next step will be targeted killings, which will inevitably means scores more of innocent bystanders whose fate has already been sealed.

This doesn't even begin to tell the story on any level. Just flashes of thing that happened today that are going through my head.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Moving Beyond Political Activism: Deprivation and Desperation in Gaza

A month later, and tragically, even more true. So much for "good will to ALL men"

Blue Ibis


Moving Beyond Political Activism: Deprivation and Desperation in Gaza
As conditions in the Gaza strip approach a catastrophic level of deprivation, the world media, and in particular the U.S. media, remain largely silent. The United Nations, whose truckloads of food and medical supplies continue to be denied entry into Gaza by Israel, appears to be one of the few international voices of dissent concerning the collective punishment of 1.5 million human beings. This, despite the fact that more than 50% of the population in Gaza is comprised of children under the age of 15.

Israel claims to be defending itself against the crude, often homemade rockets which militant factions in Gaza fire randomly into southern Israel. Though it may be considered politically incorrect, this writer refuses to precede his remarks with the requisite, "It's wrong for militant Palestinians to be firing rockets into Israel." The ethics of Palestinian resistance to the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinian people is a subject for another article. The issue at hand is one of collective punishment. Regardless of the actions of certain factions in Gaza, the fact remains that Israel (with the approval of the U.S.and the world community) is depriving an entire civilian population of food, medicine and clean drinking water in response to the violent actions of a few among that population.
Comment: And there's the twist, the lie that we are repeatedly told, in blatant disregard for the facts, in the hope that we will swallow it and turn away. The collective punishment of terror that is waged upon the entire Palestinian population is not 'in response to the violent actions'. Rather, those 'violent actions' are a combination of the desperate last attempts at survival in response to the Israeli reign of terror and genocide, and also a continuing manufactured Israeli manouevre, to justify their ongoing bloodthirsty rampage - as has been demonstrated many times, false flag operations are a standard Israel procedure which they use to further their agenda.

By any civilized standard this behavior is wrong and should be condemned vociferously. To paraphrase the words of an alien from another planet in a not-so-great Hollywood movie of some years ago, every sentient being knows the difference between right and wrong.
Comment: By any human standard this behaviour is wrong. Perhaps the perpetrators are not quite human?

Apparently not. Israel's Foreign Minister and likely future Prime Minister, Tzipi Livni, recently dismissed the notion that Israel's actions in Gaza amount to collective punishment and claimed those actions were a justifiable response to the rocket attacks on Israel. She stated, "The international community must be more decisive in making itself heard and in using its influence in the face of these attacks."

To suggest that the international community should condemn "these attacks" by militant Palestinian factions, yet ignore the humanitarian disaster being imposed on Gaza by the government of Israel demonstrates a nearly incomprehensible level of hypocrisy. But more importantly, the fact that Jews are the ones perpetrating these unconscionable actions in Gaza is a tragedy of historic proportions. The Geneva Conventions, particularly those articles addressing the collective punishment of civilian populations, were largely crafted in response to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Has the sense of exclusivity and entitlement created by the Zionist experiment in Israel become so great that people there no longer see themselves in the mirror of their own history? The irony of Jews, among the most egregiously persecuted and maligned people in history, denying food to hundreds of thousands of children in order, allegedly, to insure their own security, is breathtaking. Who could ever have imagined such a thing?

As people of Gaza suffer, here in the U.S., the vast majority of so-called progressives continue to revel in the recent election of the first Black man to the Presidency. While Obama has garnered a great deal of political and financial support by pledging his unconditional support for the Zionist regime in Israel, he remains completely silent on the plight of the children of Gaza. Our first Black President not only refuses to speak out against the collective punishment of an oppressed people, he actively supports and encourages the regime responsible for this behavior. This too is a tragedy of historic proportions. Have we come this far in the struggle against racism in our country only to see Barack Obama put a minority face on U.S. support for violations of international law and essential human dignity by Israel? Again, one has to say, who could ever have imagined such a thing?

Each morning I peruse the alternative media online and hope to see at least some minor degree of outrage at the situation in Gaza. A small but courageous handful of progressive web sites dare to criticize Israel and speak out against the abuse of the Palestinian people. But for the most part, the glorious and powerful "NetRoots" movement is too busy congratulating itself on the so-called victory it has achieved in the recent elections, too busy celebrating the illusion of change which Barack Obama represents, to admit the absence of any indication of substantive change in U.S. foreign policy in Palestine or the Middle East under his coming administration.

Does it ever occur to those who so blindly and passionately rallied 'round their candidate for the Presidency that they might now use their voices to encourage him to oppose the human rights abuses being orchestrated in Gaza? The sad reality is, not even a chorus of such voices is likely to alter the course Obama appears to have taken. He has surrounded himself with a familiar cast of armchair militarists, corporatists and hard core pro-Zionist zealots who will continue to give their unconditional support to Israel regardless of what barbaric tactics the government there uses to advance the colonization of Palestine. He is choosing to turn his back on the men, women and children in Gaza and the West Bank who suffer chronic malnutrition, desperate poverty, dispossession and daily humiliation at the hands of the Israeli military.

We should stand up in opposition to instances of human rights abuses whenever and wherever they occur. The situation in Gaza is only one on an unfortunately long list, locally, nationally and internationally. And U.S. government (that means you and me) support for and complicity in many such instances is no secret. If each of us were to do just one thing per week to address these issues, the result might surprise us all. Take a minute out from the long and endless chatter of day to day living and speak to a friend about the idea of social equality. Write one letter to the editor of your local paper in support of human rights. Spend just one percent of your online hours learning the truth about our complicity as U.S. citizens in the exploitation and degradation of other people and their cultures. Turn off your television. Go stand on a corner with a sign to protest war. Wear a button promoting peace and justice. One small thing at a time.

To those who became politically active, possibly for the first time, and expended their valuable enthusiasm and energy in order to see Barack Obama elected: thank you for being a part of history. Now why not try on the mantel of social activism? Write our President-elect a letter and suggest that he at least acknowledge the suffering of the people in Gaza. It is doubtful it will change him or his policies, but it may change you. And that truly is "change we can believe in."

Every sentient being knows the difference between right and wrong. The question is, why do so few of us act on that knowledge?

War Crazy

Yes, today is a holiday, and I, like the extremely small percentage of fortunate others in this world, have spent the day with loved ones, safe and warm and fed. But I am still reminded of how many who are not safe and warm, not even in their own minds. And before the trolls start bellowing about how I am not grateful to "those brave men and women" for being able to have my day, I would ask them: Can you enjoy your comforts knowing what the cost has been to those human beings?

Think about it. Thanks to SOTT for this thoughtful entry.

Blue Ibis
War Crazy
I have always thought myself a free spirit, a philosopher mendicant, seeking an alternative, more substantive lifestyle. Others, however, see my unorthodoxy, my "spiritual seeking," as abnormal and a clear indication of my insanity. Perhaps I need to pause and reevaluate my life. After all, being insane is not something one readily admits. I guess it's part of being crazy to cling to a facade of sanity, to think oneself normal and everyone else insane.

One thing I am certain of, however. I haven't always been crazy. Wasn't born crazy. I think insanity crept up on me, happened in Vietnam, in the war. War does that, you know, drives people crazy. Shell shock, battle fatigue, soldier's heart, PTSD. All that killing and dying can make anyone crazy.

© Crystal Green

Some survive war quite well, they tell me. Many even benefit from its virtues. But war's effects are not always apparent. No one escapes war unscathed in body and in mind. All war, any war, every war, ain't no virtue in war.

I think, of those not driven crazy by war, many were crazy already. But theirs was an insanity of a different kind, a hard kind, an uncaring kind. I knew people like that. Didn't like them much. Thought them fortunate, though, as killing and dying meant nothing. In fact, in a perverse way, they enjoyed it, enjoyed the jazz, the excitement, the power. They became avenging angels, even god herself, making decisions of life and death, but mostly death. Those crazies hated to see the war end. For me, the war never ends.

Sometimes things work out for the best, though, as my unorthodoxy, my being crazy, probably saved my life. You see, sane people can't live like this, in a war that never ends. Not all crazy people can either. Guess I was lucky. Sometimes being crazy helps you cope. Sometimes I wish I were crazier than I am.

Serious introspection has made clear the basis of my unorthodoxy, the nature of my insanity. It is a cruel wisdom allowing - no, better, compelling - a clarity of vision. I have seen the horror of war, the futility and the waste. I have endured the hypocrisy and arrogance of the influential and the wealthy, and have tolerated the ignorance and narrow-mindedness of the compliant and the easily led. War's malevolent benefactors, who pretend and profess their patriotism with bumper-sticker bravado, with word but not deed, intoxicated by war's hysteria, from a safe distance. Appreciative of our sacrifices, they claim, as they applaud the impending slaughter, sanctioning by word, or action, or non-action sending other men and women to be killed, and maimed, and driven crazy by war.

And when they benefit from the carnage no longer, their yellow ribbon patriotism and shallow concern fade quickly to apathy and indifference. The living refuse of war that returns are heroes no longer, but outcasts and derelicts, and burdens on the economy. The dead, they mythologize with memorials and speeches of past and future suffering and loss. Inspiring and prophetic words by those who sanction the slaughter to those who know nothing of sacrifice.

I used to try to explain war to help them understand and to know its horror, naively believing that war was a deficiency of information, understanding, discernment and vision. But being crazy has liberated me, allowing me to see that war is not a deficiency at all, but an excess of greed, ambition, intolerance and lust for power. And we are its instruments, the cannon fodder, expendable commodities in the ruthless pursuit of wealth, power, hegemony and empire.

And now, I accept and celebrate my unorthodoxy, my insanity, as an indictment of the hypocrites and the arrogant, of the ignorant and the narrow-minded for a collective responsibility and guilt for murder and mayhem, and crimes against humanity. And I offer my insanity as a presage of their future accountability - to humankind in the courts of history, and to the god they invoke so often to sanction and make credible their sacrilege of war.

Comment: This is why an understanding of the world within and around us, with all it's beautiful and terrifying forms, including a good understanding of the Pathocratic processes are so fundamentally important; the truth is that not all men and women are created equally, we do have a predator in our midst that stalks us, controls us, feeds upon us, and vectors us for their own purposes... Psychopaths, and Pathocrats in positions of power:
The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country, creating a "new class" within the nation. This privileged class of deviants feels permanently threatened by the "others", i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.... Pathocrats never possessed any solid practical talent, and the time frame of their rule eliminates any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the laws of normal man were to be reinstated, they and theirs could be subjected to judgment... they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of any kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral imperative. Such a threat must be battled by means of any and all cunning and implemented with a lack of scruples with regard to those other "inferior" people that can be shocking in its depravity.


Pathocracy survives thanks to the feeling of being threatened by the society of normal people, as well as by other countries wherein various forms of the system of normal man persist. For the rulers, staying on the top is therefore the classic problem of "to be or not to be".

We can thus formulate a more cautious question: can such a system ever waive territorial and political expansion abroad and settle for its present possessions? What would happen if such a state of affairs ensured internal peace, corresponding order, and relative prosperity within the nation?

The overwhelming majority of the country's population would then make skillful use of all the emerging possibilities, taking advantage of their superior qualifications in order to fight for an ever-increasing scope of activities; thanks to their higher birth rate, their power will increase. This majority will be joined by some sons from the privileged class who did not inherit the corresponding genes. The pathocracy's dominance will weaken imperceptibly but steadily, finally leading to a situation wherein the society of normal people reaches for power. This is a nightmare vision.

The biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority (Normal people) is thus a "biological" necessity. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule. Once safely dead, the soldiers will then be decreed heroes to be revered in paeans, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

There no such thing as Palestine?

Or Palestinians. We beg to differ. Those who claim this absudity are clearly ignoring the historical record. But 'twas ever thus when a pathocracy has an agenda to uphold. Watch and weep for a disaster that has gone on far longer than the Holocaust, perpetrated by the very people who should remember what suffering is.

Blue Ibis
Sands of Sorrow (1950) Palestinian Arab Refugee Camps Video

Rosemary Films
Sat, 06 Dec 2008 06:31 UTC

Sixty years later and things are only worse. Why is the world surprised at the anger and bitterness expressed in Gaza and the West Bank.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Isrealis speak out: "Our West Bank system like apartheid."

Finally. Those with both hearts and brains are making themselves heard in Israel. Who knows where it may lead?

Blue Ibis

Protest from within: Israeli rights group says "Our West Bank system like apartheid."

Israeli Left-wing activists protest in Tel Aviv

Israel's discrimination between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank is increasingly reminiscent of white South Africa's apartheid system, an Israeli human rights group said on Sunday.

Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territory "have created a situation of institutionalised discrimination and segregation," the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said on Sunday.

"The discrimination in services, budgets and access to natural resources between the two groups in the same territory constitutes a stark violation of the principle of equality, which (is reminiscent) in many and increasing ways (of) the apartheid regime that was applied in South Africa," ACRI said.

The group's report, published ahead of Wednesday's 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notes that the 2.3 million Palestinians in the West Bank outside annexed Arab east Jerusalem are subject to military law and administration.

By contrast, the 250,000 settlers live under Israeli civilian law.

While the settlers use a modern and developed road system restricted to Israeli cars, the Palestinians are forced to use "winding and dangerous roads," the report said.

In addition, Israel imposes strict restrictions on construction in Palestinian towns and villages and does not develop basic infrastructure there.

The report cited UN figures showing that some 65 percent of roads leading to the 18 most populous Palestinian West Bank towns are blocked or controlled by military checkpoints. The United Nations says more than 600 roadblocks impede Palestinian movement around the West Bank.

The question is among the key issues in US-backed efforts to bolster Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's rule as part of the sluggish Middle East peace launched late last year.

"The travel restrictions hamper the transportation of sick people and medical staff to hospitals. There is a shortage in medicine and medical supplies," the report said.

In comparing the system with apartheid, ACRI did point out that "in South Africa the criteria was racially based unlike the ethnic-national criteria applied in the territories."

The report also decried the economic situation of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel has imposed a crippling blockade since the Islamist Hamas movement seized power in June 2007.

"The blockade policy has almost completely destroyed the industry. Unemployment and poverty are surging... The blockade caused the collapse of local authorities that are struggling to provide residents basic services such as water, sewage and sanitation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crimes against Humanity: Impeach Bush and Cheney NOW!

Before the bastards pardon themselves. Don't think they won't try it either. If you've haven't found enough reasons in the last eight years, the documentaries linked below should do it.

It's probably our last chance for regaining any respect for the US on the world stage.
Obama has shown he won't take any action. Call your congressman or woman and tell them the grow a spine! Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Blue Ibis

Torturing Democracy: A Documentary That Could Put Dick Cheney Out Of Our Misery
© unknown
Torturing Democracy, an expose of how and why America came to be involved in open large-scale torture of prisoners (many of whom were simply shepherds captured by mountain tribesmen and sold into captivity), is now available for viewing online.

As Scott Horton reported last month, PBS can't find a time slot for this Frontline documentary until January 21, 2009 -- the day after Bush and Cheney are scheduled to leave office.

Horton has reported more recently that this documentary could help to provide "A Ticket to The Hague for Dick Cheney". Why? Because it has the power to change the minds of influential people in denial.

Horton explains:
Gene Burns is one of the nation's most popular talk radio hosts. For years he has dismissed accounts of torture; America, he has said, does not torture. But last night, after watching Torturing Democracy and realizing that he had not understood how important and serious an issue torture had become, Burns abruptly changed his tune. Here's a transcript of his remarks.
I now believe that some international human rights organization ought to open an investigation of the Bush Administration, I think focused on Vice President Dick Cheney, and attempt to bring charges against Cheney in the international court of justice at The Hague, for war crimes. Based on the manner in which we have treated prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, and the manner in which we have engaged in illegal rendition - that is, surreptitiously kidnapping prisoners and flying them to foreign countries where they could be tortured by foreign agents who do not follow the same civilized standards to which we subscribe.

I've always said that I've thought that even at Guantánamo Bay the United States was careful to stay on this side of torture. In fact, you may recall that on a couple of occasions we got into a spirited debate on this program about waterboarding, and whether waterboarding was torture. And I took the position that it was not torture, that it was simulated drowning, and that if that produced information which preserved our national security, I thought it was permissible.

And then I saw Torturing Democracy.

And I'm afraid, now that I have seen what I have seen, that I was wrong about that. It looks to me, based on this documentary, as if in fact we have engaged in behavior and practices at Guantánamo Bay, and in these illegal renditions, that are violations of the international human rights code.

And I believe that Dick Cheney is responsible. I believe that he was the agent of the United States government charged with developing the methodology used at Guantánamo Bay, supervising it for the administration, and indulging in practices which are in fact violations of human rights.
A large part of the population still credits the Bush Administration's absurd claim that it never embraced or applied torture to detainees as a matter of policy. Two recent documentaries, Alex Gibney's Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side (for which I was both a consultant and interviewee) and Sherry Jones's PBS feature Torturing Democracy investigate the administration's policies and conduct. Both draw from decision-makers inside the administration and soldiers on the frontline.

The administration did its best to spike both films. Taxi was to be aired on the Discovery Channel, but with Discovery Communications then in the process of going public and facing sensitive SEC clearances, executives apparently decided not to risk provoking the anger of the White House. As I reported elsewhere, PBS also found that it had no network space for Torturing Democracy until January 20, 2009 - the day the Bush Administration decamps from Washington.

Why was the administration so concerned about these two films? The conversion of Gene Burns supplies the answer. No one who sits through these films, I believe, will be able afterwards to accept the official version of events. George Bush has good reason to be afraid of too many Americans watching these documentaries.
George Bush is not the only one who has good reason to be afraid of too many Americans watching these documentaries. And that, in my opinion, is good incentive to watch them -- and to spread the word about them!

So here are those links again:
Torturing Democracy
Taxi to the Dark Side

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Palin Pick Starts to Make Strange Sense

She's the pretty, vacant face to hide the horror. Banality of evil indeed. And don't think you've heard the last of her

Blue Ibis

Stanley Campbell
Rock River Times
Fri, 26 Sep 2008 22:38 EDT

I didn't think much when I met one of the evangelical pastors from an Assembly of God church, and he told me he was a former CIA agent. I wondered how he came by his faith. I thought he might have had to reconcile himself with what he had done for the United States government now that he was a pastor for the Lord. But then I met another, and then another. There seems to be a plethora of pastors who once worked as intelligence officers for the world's largest spying corporation.

Now, I'm not a paranoid person, and I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but the thought of ex-CIA agents taking over fundamentalist congregations seems too weird.

Because I remember when pastors were liberal and anti-war. I remember hearing of Catholic CIA agents who blew the whistle on atrocities committed in Vietnam and Central America. In fact, some of the best-known heroes of the left came from a religious background, entered the CIA and were appalled at what they were ordered to do.

Case in point: Daniel Ellsberg. Once a seminary student, then an officer in Vietnam, and finally working for the nation's highest intelligence organization, he was ordered to compile all the records of our war in Vietnam into a readable history. Ellsberg got them published by The New York Times, instead of keeping them secret. Otherwise known as the Pentagon Papers, these records showed how America deceived its own citizens and fostered a war in that far Southeast Asian country, of which we are still feeling the effects today.

President Richard Nixon, to try to discredit Daniel Ellsberg, set up the "plumbers" spies who ransacked Ellsberg's psychiatrist office. Tricky Dick then used these same plumbers to tap the Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate office buildings.

Other former CIA agents, like Phillip Agee and John Stockwell, told their stories of intrigue and American meddling in the affairs of other countries. All had a religious background and a penchant for telling the truth at inconvenient times. And in the '80s, it seemed Protestant churches led the forefront of the peace movement. Maybe liberals got religion when Ronald Reagan was elected President, but they opened the church doors to Central and South American refugees fleeing American imperialism. Latin American "liberals" were being called Communists and were getting killed left and far left. Those that made it to our borders were given sanctuary in some of the churches of the United States.

The FBI hounded most of these pastors and lay people. But it was a time of religious fortitude. The congregations, most of them, stood strong against federal intrigue. And they were proven correct: from Chile to Chiapas, the long arm of the CIA reached into innocent people's lives.

This may have triggered the CIA encouraging their members to find religion. I'm not saying it's a program set up by the government. But if I were to write a novel, I would use the premise of evangelical churches getting lots of support from the United States government's right wing.

It was about the 1990s when the growth of these churches reached corporate levels, and television enhanced the conservative Christian political activists. Many of the mega congregations have a conservative bent to their politics, and I would like to know how many of those pastors got their degree from Arlington, Va.

There is talk that in the End Times, an Anti-Christ will show up preaching peace but planning wars. There is little that is more anti-Christ than the Central Intelligence Agency. And some of these churches believe God hates homosexuals and wants us to go to war and kill Muslims. They have little regard for immigrants, and some profess Jesus never asked us to help the poor. If that isn't "anti-Christ," I don't know what is.

But it all could be an overworked imagination.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beware the Seduction of "Change"

Ok, we're all breathing a sigh of relief that Bible-Spice is no longer a heartbeat away from being able to "praaaaize jeeeezus" by starting Armageddon with a few spare nuclear weapons on any handy Middle East muslim country. And by now the hype over the seeming salvation that Obama is supposed to bring should have settled down. Time for a reality check.

You don't think the dude who collected the most corporate donations of any candidate in history made it into the White House without having more than a few chits to pay back? Expect more of the Bush years in a prettier, more intelligently presented package. If one can judge a man by he company he (may be forced to) keep, this group does not look promising. To be presented in several sections

Blue Ibis

Beware of the Obama hype. What 'change' in America really means
© unknown
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger writes that the lauding of Barack Obama has a history and that 'historical moments' ought to be less about their symbolism and accompanying histrionics than what they really mean. The question is: what is Obama's true relation to unchanging American myths about the imposition of its notorious power?

My first visit to Texas was in 1968, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination of president John F Kennedy in Dallas. I drove south, following the line of telegraph poles to the small town of Midlothian, where I met Penn Jones Jr, editor of the Midlothian Mirror. Except for his drawl and fine boots, everything about Penn was the antithesis of the Texas stereotype. Having exposed the racists of the John Birch Society, his printing press had been repeatedly firebombed. Week after week, he painstakingly assembled evidence that all but demolished the official version of Kennedy's murder.

This was journalism as it had been before corporate journalism was invented, before the first schools of journalism were set up and a mythology of liberal neutrality was spun around those whose "professionalism" and "objectivity" carried an unspoken obligation to ensure that news and opinion were in tune with an establishment consensus, regardless of the truth. Journalists such as Penn Jones, independent of vested power, indefatigable and principled, often reflect ordinary American attitudes, which have seldom conformed to the stereotypes promoted by the corporate media on both sides of the Atlantic. Read American Dreams: Lost and Found by the masterly Studs Terkel, who died the other day, or scan the surveys that unerringly attribute enlightened views to a majority who believe that "government should care for those who cannot care for themselves" and are prepared to pay higher taxes for universal health care, who support nuclear disarmament and want their troops out of other people's countries.

Returning to Texas, I am struck again by those so unlike the redneck stereotype, in spite of the burden of a form of brainwashing placed on most Americans from a tender age: that theirs is the most superior society in the history of the world, and all means are justified, including the spilling of copious blood, in maintaining that superiority.

That is the subtext of Barack Obama's "oratory". He says he wants to build up US military power; and he threatens to ignite a new war in Pakistan, killing yet more brown-skinned people. That will bring tears, too. Unlike those on election night, these other tears will be unseen in Chicago and London. This is not to doubt the sincerity of much of the response to Obama's election, which happened not because of the unction that has passed for news reporting from America since 4 November (e.g. "liberal Americans smiled and the world smiled with them") but for the same reasons that millions of angry emails were sent to the White House and Congress when the "bailout" of Wall Street was revealed, and because most Americans are fed up with war.

Two years ago, this anti-war vote installed a Democratic majority in Congress, only to watch the Democrats hand over more money to George W Bush to continue his blood fest. For his part, the "anti-war" Obama never said the illegal invasion of Iraq was wrong, merely that it was a "mistake". Thereafter, he voted in to give Bush what he wanted. Yes, Obama's election is historic, a symbol of great change to many. But it is equally true that the American elite has grown adept at using the black middle and management class. The courageous Martin Luther King recognised this when he linked the human rights of black Americans with the human rights of the Vietnamese, then being slaughtered by a liberal Democratic administration. And he was shot. In striking contrast, a young black major serving in Vietnam, Colin Powell, was used to "investigate" and whitewash the infamous My Lai massacre. As Bush's secretary of state, Powell was often described as a "liberal" and was considered ideal to lie to the United Nations about Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Condaleezza Rice, lauded as a successful black woman, has worked assiduously to deny the Palestinians justice.

Obama's first two crucial appointments represent a denial of the wishes of his supporters on the principal issues on which they voted. The vice-president-elect, Joe Biden, is a proud warmaker and Zionist. Rahm Emanuel, who is to be the all-important White House chief of staff, is a fervent "neoliberal" devoted to the doctrine that led to the present economic collapse and impoverishment of millions. He is also an "Israel-first" Zionist who served in the Israeli army and opposes meaningful justice for the Palestinians - an injustice that is at the root of Muslim people's loathing of the United States and the spawning of jihadism.

No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obamamania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of the majority of black South Africans was permitted within the "Mandela moment". This is especially marked in Britain, where America's divine right to "lead" is important to elite British interests. The once respected Observer newspaper, which supported Bush's war in Iraq, echoing his fabricated evidence, now announces, without evidence, that "America has restored the world's faith in its ideals". These "ideals", which Obama will swear to uphold, have overseen, since 1945, the destruction of 50 governments, including democracies, and 30 popular liberation movements, causing the deaths of countless men, women and children.

None of this was uttered during the election campaign. Had it been allowed, there might even have been recognition that liberalism as a narrow, supremely arrogant, war-making ideology is destroying liberalism as a reality. Prior to Blair's criminal warmaking, ideology was denied by him and his media mystics. "Blair can be a beacon to the world," declared the Guardian in 1997. "[He is] turning leadership into an art form."

Today, merely insert "Obama". As for historic moments, there is another that has gone unreported but is well under way - liberal democracy's shift towards a corporate dictatorship, managed by people regardless of ethnicity, with the media as its clichéd façade. "True democracy," wrote Penn Jones Jr, the Texas truth-teller, "is constant vigilance: not thinking the way you're meant to think and keeping your eyes wide open at all times."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just Who Hates Us for Our Freedoms?

The point about Ms. "Pitbull" Palin has been made for now. Time once again to step back for the larger view. Do you really think John McCain and her righteous Christian Dominionist warriors are going to protect us from these terrorists? Heck, they would sell their souls to be these folks.

Wait, they already have.

Blue Ibis

9/11 Bailout: They hate us for our freedoms!

Shocked by 9-11, Americans wondered who could perpetrate such a horrible crime against people. Over two thousand Americans jumped to their death, were burned, crushed, or murdered in a spectacular collapse of the Twin Towers. In a joint session of Congress a few days later, President George W. Bush gave us the first clue who "they" were. "They" hated us for our freedoms.

It seemed incomprehensible at the time but we now have an opportunity to recognize who actually hates us for our freedoms. We can identify the culprits by this simple description: They hate us for our freedoms. We need only judge them by their actions. Do you know who has destroyed most of our treasured American freedoms? When you can answer that question you will know the identity of the criminals who conceived and orchestrated the 9-11 Attack on America. They hate us for our freedoms.

Less than a week after he spoke those words, President George W. Bush presented legislation for Congress to pass into law. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 revoked much of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Arabs and Muslims of al Qaeda didn't do it. George did it. Congress was given only hours to read the extensive volume and no opportunity to debate. A quick vote was required.

Does that sound familiar to you? Remember the Bailout of the Banks that was rammed through Congress with little debate or deliberation? Do you recognize the similarities with the USA PATRIOT Act? Those who stood in its way received a letter contaminated with fatal weapons grade anthrax, later identified as the Ames strain which was kept under guard at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Arabs and Muslims of al Qaeda had no access to it. It was done by those who "hate us for our freedoms." Only one senator voted against the ironically named USA PATRIOT Act. The vote in the House of Representatives was 357-66. Only a few dozen Democrats voted against the Patriot Act. Al Qaeda did not have a vote. Only those who hate us for our freedoms voted to demolish American freedoms.

Phones were tapped, emails were read, letters were opened. We saw a rapid increase in warrantless searches, secret courts, massive spying on citizens, especially those involved in political dissent. We've seen taser attacks by police on children, elderly, and innocent citizens. We've seen the creation of watch-lists, no-fly lists and similar exclusionary documents, increasing government control over private behavior. Al Qaeda did not do this. The fascist regime of George Bush, neocon Republicans, and the neoliberal Democrats did this. Are you beginning to see who hates us for our freedoms?

Torture was re-instituted and blessed in secret as America turned from human rights advocate to human rights terrorist. US Christian leaders supported Bush's use of torture. Al Qaeda did not do this. This crime against humanity was perpetrated by those who hate us for our freedoms.

Creation of a mercenary military force such as Blackwater for foreign and domestic purposes has led the oppression and murder in Iraq and in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Al Qaeda didn't hire them. These killers and thugs are the private militia of those who hate us for our freedoms.

Dissent is now characterized as disloyalty by government and its supporting media, protestors are herded into pens called "free speech zones," the media supports and condones the government's police state activities. Al Qaeda media? No, mainstream American media. Those in charge hate us for our freedoms.

People are now beaten and arrested for demanding their rights under the Bill of Rights and their President dismisses the Constitution as just a piece of paper. The President asserts the right to ignore part or all of laws passed by the national legislature and the courts increasingly support presidential use of unconstitutional powers. The President and other officials regularly lie to you, the newspapers and media lie to you, the President claims the right to make war whenever he wants and keep soldiers past their tour of duty indefinitely. Government agencies and officials declare themselves exempt from portions of the law or Constitution. Citizens lack any legal recourse to stop illegal government actions and now under the Military Commissions Act you can be imprisoned without trial, arrested and held without charges. Al Qaeda didn't do this. It was done by those who hate you for your freedoms.

The long history of habeas corpus has disappeared after centuries of due process. Al Qaeda didn't make these changes. These changes were made by people who hate us for our freedoms. Are you beginning to recognize who was responsible for 9-11? It was done by those who hate us for our freedoms.

You read their words in the newspapers and see them on the nightly news. Some of them hold a strong loyalty to another country.
There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom. - Garet Garrett
By means of Presidential National Security Directive 51 signed by George W. Bush in 2007, the President can assume dictatorial powers without the consent of Congress. Because of the Domestic Terrorism Law what you think and what they think you think can be a sufficient cause for investigation, arrest, and imprisonment if the President determines it fits his interpretation of the definition of domestic terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security can place your name on a no-fly no-go list if Director Michael Chertoff thinks that you are a "security risk." This can also mean that in the future you can't get on a bus or train to go visit your grandma if someone puts your name on the list. Al Qaeda didn't do this. This is being done by those who hate us for our freedoms.

The Washington Post has reported (April 24, 2008) that the U.S. government will order commercial airlines and cruise lines to prepare to collect digital fingerprints of all foreigners before they depart the country under a security initiative that the industry has condemned as costly and burdensome. Chertoff says fingerprints aren't 'personal data'. He's not al Qaeda. He's a dual-citizen of the US and Israel. Chertoff is a member of the Federalist Society; a cabal of radical lawyers devoted to the systematic dismantling of the Bill of Rights. He's hired former Stasi chief Markus Wolfe and former head of the KGB General Yevgeni Primakov to oversee the American Gestapo. He was in charge of criminal investigation at the Department of Justice and responsible for the release of the Israelis seen celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers.

FEMA, an agency under his direction, has had over 600 concentration camps built by Halliburton and one out of every 100 Americans is in prison, highest in the First World nations. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Al Qaeda didn't put them there. People are arrested for taking photographs of buildings in the city. The FBI swoops down on private money enterprises and confiscates (steals) millions of dollars worth of gold, silver, and platinum without leaving so much as a receipt and with a warrant that lacks specific cause. Then they steal gold, silver and platinum from the people's private mint without cause. Al Qaeda didn't do this. Another type of terrorist did this. This other terrorist hates us for our freedoms, too.

With the dollar dropping precipitously in the world markets, President Bush negotiates with Canadian and Mexican leaders for a Security and Protection Pact that will create the North American Union with its own currency, the Amero. An unwanted war rages on in Iraq while US leaders press for another war in the Middle East, this time against Iran for seeking nuclear power for electricity, their right under international treaty. Violating Iran's rights is a violation of US law as well as international law but no one can arrest the US leaders who have taken this position. The rule of law has become a quaint artifact of another time. Al Qaeda didn't create the thuggery and treason around us. That's the doing of those who hate us for our freedoms.

We have entered the period of chaos which precedes martial law but Al Qaeda isn't responsible. Arabs and Muslims didn't do this. It was done by those who hate us for our freedoms. These people who hate us for our freedoms are the ones who told us that 9-11 was done by those who hate us for our freedoms. In telling us their lies we can see through their propaganda and illusion to the truth.

Garet Garrett wrote:
There are those who have never ceased to say very earnestly, "Something is going to happen to the American form of government if we don't watch out." These were the innocent disarmers. Their trust was in words. They had forgotten their Aristotle. More than 2,000 years ago he wrote of what can happen within the form, when "one thing takes the place of another, so that the ancient laws will remain, while the power will be in the hands of those who have brought about revolution in the state."
Franklin Delano Rosenfeld brought over 4,000 communists and socialists into US Government during his regime and declared a national emergency that made him a de facto dictator. That national emergency was never ended. We think that we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights that limit the power of government. We think that our Declaration of Independence declares our independence. We think that the American Revolution and the American dream are our heritage and our destiny. We think that we have a democratic republic and that our votes count, our voices are heard. Such mirages should have evaporated in the Presidential Election of 2000 when the US Supreme Court stopped a legal recount of votes in Florida to give the win to George W. Bush, son of the man who had appointed them.

Such illusions should have disappeared when the Twin Towers dropped at the rate of free fall into their own footprints. The immutable laws of physics should have helped us discern the truth from the propaganda. But a century ago the Tavistock Institute discovered that only 13% of the population can think for themselves. The remaining 87% depend upon "authorities" whose pieces of paper on their walls tout their academic superiority.

So we are left with the power of practical observation and a bit of logic to help us discover the truth from the fiction. The horrible atrocity that was 9-11 was truly done by those who hate us for our freedoms. It might be the only way that most people can see through the lies and propaganda. In his address to a joint session of Congress following 9-11, President George W. Bush told the truth in such a way that we were supposed to think that he meant al Qaeda. He had twisted the truth into a lie.

What George told us was true! They hate us for our freedoms! Now you can see who planned and orchestrated 9-11. Perhaps now you can also understand the Bailout of the Banks. The answer lies in the simple clue: It was planned and orchestrated by those who hate us for our freedoms. The old biblical truism, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Would Sarah Palin be Proud If This Were Her Son?

The Iraq war is physically and psychologically damaging the young men and women of this generation even more severely than Vietnam did to its generation. The Military-Industrial complex has turned slaughter into the science of "killology".

And the short, scary answer to the question posed above is probably, "Yes". What else would a fanatical mother of a 'christian warrior' long for her son to be, but merciless to the 'heathen'?

Blue Ibis

How the U.S. Military Turned Me into a Terrorist -- Story of An Iraq Veteran
US Ex-soldier

Corporal Michael Prysner, Aerial Intelligence Specialist, U.S. Army Reserve
In March of this year, a courageous group of veterans brought the war home, at a historic event held in Silver Spring, Md., inspired by Vietnam veterans a generation before. "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan" convened more than 200 soldiers who have served in the so-called "War on Terror;" like their fellow soldiers before them, who shared stories that laid bare the nightmare of Vietnam, these veterans bore witness to the crimes that have been committed in Americans' names during the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. The hearings lasted four days; in their testimony, soldiers described how the discarding of the military's rules of engagement and its systematic dehumanization of Iraqi and Afghan civilians has led to horrible acts of violence against innocent men, women and children. "These are not isolated incidents," was a common refrain, even as the episodes they described seemed exceptionally brutal. For many of the veterans, it was the first time they had told their stories.

Now, the searing testimony has been compiled in an important new book: Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation, edited by Aaron Glantz and published by Haymarket Books. I strongly encourage you to buy the book, preferably though the Web site of Iraq Veterans Against the War, which organized the Winter Soldier hearings and continues to hold similar events in cities across the country. All proceeds of books purchased through IVAW will go to support its crucial work.

The following excerpt comes from Michael Prysner, a corporal in the Army Reserve who came home in February 2004.

-- Liliana Segura, Editor, War on Iraq Special Coverage

* * * * * *

When I first joined the army, I was told that racism no longer existed in the military. A legacy of inequality and discrimination was suddenly washed away by something called the Equal Opportunity Program. We would sit through mandatory classes, and every unit had an EO representative to ensure that no elements of racism could resurface. The army seemed firmly dedicated to smashing any hint of racism.

Then September 11 happened, and I began to hear new words like "towel-head," and "camel jockey," and the most disturbing, "sand nigger." These words did not initially come from my fellow lower-enlisted soldiers, but from my superiors: my platoon sergeant, my first sergeant, my battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command, these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable.

When I got to Iraq in 2003, I learned a new word, "haji." Haji was the enemy. Haji was every Iraqi. He was not a person, a father, a teacher, or a worker. It's important to understand where this word came from. To Muslims, the most important thing is to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. Someone who has taken this pilgrimage is a haji. It's something that, in traditional Islam, is the highest calling in the religion. We took the best thing from Islam and made it into the worst thing.

Since the creation of this country, racism has been used to justify expansion and oppression. Native Americans were called "savages," the Africans were called all sorts of things to excuse slavery, and Vietnam veterans know the multitude of words used to justify that imperialist war.

So haji was the word we used. It was the word we used on this particular mission I'm going to talk about. We've heard a lot about raids and kicking down the doors of people's houses and ransacking their houses, but this was a different kind of raid.

We never got any explanation for our orders. We were only told that a group of five or six houses was now property of the U.S. military, and we had to go in and make those families leave their houses.

We went to these houses and informed the families that their homes were no longer theirs. We provided them no alternative, nowhere to go, no compensation. They were very confused and very scared. They did not know what to do and would not leave, so we had to remove them.

One family in particular, a woman with two small girls, a very elderly man, and two middle-aged men; we dragged them from their house and threw them onto the street. We arrested the men because they refused to leave, and we sent them off to prison.

A few months later I found out, as we were short interrogators and I was given that assignment. I oversaw and participated in hundreds of interrogations. I remember one in particular that I'm going to share with you. It was the moment that really showed me the nature of this occupation.

This particular detainee was already stripped down to his underwear, hands behind his back and a sandbag on his head. I never saw this man's face. My job was to take a metal folding chair and smash it against the wall next to his head -- he was faced against the wall with his nose touching it -- while a fellow soldier screamed the same question over and over again. No matter what his answer, my job was to slam the chair against the wall. We did this until we got tired.

I was told to make sure he kept standing up, but something was wrong with his leg. He was injured, and he kept falling to the ground. The sergeant in charge would come and tell me to get him up on his feet, so I'd have to pick him up and put him against the wall. He kept going down. I kept pulling him up and putting him against the wall. My sergeant was upset with me for not making him continue to stand. He picked him up and slammed him against the wall several times. Then he left. When the man went down on the ground again, I noticed blood pouring down from under the sandbag. I let him sit, and when I noticed my sergeant coming again, I would tell him quickly to stand up. Instead of guarding my unit from this detainee, I realized I was guarding the detainee from my unit.

I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These are human beings. I've since been plagued by guilt. I feel guilt any time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn't walk who we rolled onto a stretcher and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.

We were told we were fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. Without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.

I threw families onto the street in Iraq, only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country, in this tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis. Our enemies are not five thousand miles away, they are right here at home, and if we organize and fight, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Resignation letter from the McCain/Palin Campaign

Oh happy day! Let me enjoy this illusion for a few minutes . . . . .

Blue Ibis
Resignation letter from the McCain/Palin Campaign

palin mccain wave

My Friends,

Over the past few days I have come to realize that my campaign for President has devolved into a national disgrace. The negative campaign tactics I have unleashed are dangerously dividing our country while fueling religious and racial hatred along socio-economic lines. In my ruthless attempt to win the Presidency at any cost I have abandoned any principles of decency I once had and am now only a shadow of my former self to everyone who knows me or thought they knew me, or once respected me. Also I have come to realize that my unfair and disgustingly false attacks on Senator Obama's character, which were thinly disguised attempts to link him and his wife Michelle to Muslim terrorists, have been the last thing anyone who claims to be putting "Country First" would do. And worse, I may have even placed him and his family in danger from the radical and dangerous extremists who now inhabit and infect the base of my party - a group I once denounced but decided I needed to vigorously cultivate by turning myself into a "flip-flopper" in order to win this election. I encourage my fellow Senators to file ethics charges against me for having done something so disgraceful like this.

Basically the energized base of the Republican party - a bunch of religious extremists - only care about preventing abortion even in cases of rape or incest. My friends, they are even against stem cell research to cure diseases! The bumpersticker of my base reads: God, Guns, and Guts! These people will mindlessly chant: USA!! USA!! USA!! at my rallies versus even attempting to understand the many serious issues facing our country in these troubling times. In other words the base of the GOP that I need to get myself elected President consists of too many mindless nitwits and/or dangerous religious extremists and racists. That's why I thought I could stoke their fear and anger against Senator Obama to try and win this election. It was a grave mistake and a very bad gamble on my part. My friends, the country has turned against this kind of politics and my polling numbers have plummeted. I realize I no longer have any chance of winning this election. Also I can no longer associate myself with "extremists" and fringe people like this and those who rally these kinds of nasty and ignorant people to support my campaign. Wealthy people like Cindy and myself would never have anything to do with people like this if I weren't running for office. We really detest these clueless ignorant crackpots and most everything they stand for.

As an example of what I have unleashed: At recent rallies, supporters of mine have yelled out: "Treason!", "Terrorist!", "Kill him!", "Bomb Obama!", and "Off with his head!" against Sen. Obama. I have also heard these unhinged people yell out racial epithets. And now I regret not taking any stand against these kinds of outbursts at the moment they were uttered. My friends, I can no longer be a party to inciting my supporters to acts of vigilantism against Sen. Obama in order to try and win an election. With our racially motivated slurs against Sen. Obama, Sarah and I helped to stoke these monsters and now we must do everything we can to distance ourselves from them in an attempt to tamp down their anger and rage. That is why I am suspending my campaign for good. YES, WE CAN'T!

My friends, I have made many other mistakes in this campaign as well. The media, whom I have falsely and repeatedly accused of liberal bias to incite my base, correctly reported I wanted to pick my dear friend, Sen. Joe Lieberman, as my running mate. Senator Lieberman and I both share the same imperialistic neocon views about using our military FIRST anywhere in the world to protect Israel's interests regardless of what it does to our own country when we act this way unilaterally based upon lies and fear. But I realized that Sen. Lieberman's views on abortion would have cost me the base of my party and without that base I could not win. So instead of doing the right thing and picking a well-respected and highly qualified person as my Vice President even if not Sen. Lieberman, I chose Sarah Palin. I therefore did not put "Country First". I picked Sarah Palin because I hoped to steal some votes from disaffected women supporters of Hillary Clinton. I should have known better. Clinton supporters and most women have nothing in common with someone like Sarah Palin or her views. I also picked Sarah Palin because I was impulsive and thought I needed to do something dramatic to energize my stale campaign. I knew my base was naive and gullible enough to fall for Sarah Palin and they did! To be fair, Sarah Palin only did what she was told. The campaign knew we couldn't allow her or any of her family to speak to the media unscripted. We were quite fortunate the media never demanded much from Sarah Palin nor her family. Instead they quickly found a way to turn the Palins into "C-grade celebrities" to boost their ratings. This helped our campaign for a short time. But even that effort failed once Sarah's lack of curiosity and knowledge of issues was exposed. Now she and her family are of little use to this campaign.

So now it's time for the Palins to head home to Alaska. Sarah needs to spend her time taking care of her Down's baby instead of using him as our campaign's right-to-life prop. Her younger children and teenage daughter also need to be back in school where they have belonged for over a month. Sarah needs to make sure her unwed teenage daughter Bristol receives better sex education counseling. The family needs to make sure both older children get immediate drug counseling including their eldest son, Track who's in Iraq because he couldn't get into college. The Palin family have many serious family issues they should be dealing with instead of spending their time running for office. Sarah will have all she can handle in Alaska to avoid being impeached for serious violations of state ethics laws. Obviously my campaign didn't vet Sarah Palin very well and this is yet another serious mistake my campaign has made. So the Palin family will be heading back to Alaska soon and I wish them well. You will just have to find another redneck dysfunctional family to satisfy your own weird entertainment needs.

During my campaign I also thought I could win with cheap sloganeering. I figured all I needed to do was repeat the label "Maverick" enough times and people would think I was a different kind of politician and candidate than George Bush. I was even foolish enough to believe I could steal Sen. Obama's message of "Change" and use it for myself. I actually thought that despite my long career in the House and Senate while supporting Bush almost 95% of the time, Americans would be dumb enough to believe I stood for change. How crazy was that? I owe the American people my sincerest apologies.

Also during my campaign I actually thought everyone understood why I had to associate with lowlifes, misfits, racists, homophobes, misogynists, and religious zealots in order to win the election. Did anyone really think Cindy and I would ever invite a Sturgis, South Dakota motorcycle type crowd over to our Sedona estate for a BBQ? You've got to be kidding!

My friends, I was way too old and decrepit and in unstable health to run for President. That's why I couldn't release all of my medical records and had troubling remembering things on the campaign. This too reflected bad judgment on my part.

I have attempted to describe some of the more serious blunders I have made in this campaign and the reasons for them. No candidate for President can make this many disastrous mistakes in a campaign and expect to win. Why? Because it's a reflection of one's poor judgment. No sane American should consider me qualified nor capable of holding high office and becoming your next President. The country cannot afford to have a President who doesn't demonstrate much better judgment than I have demonstrated during my entire life and more specifically this campaign. Nor should my reckless and careless decision-making during the campaign be rewarded by your vote for me.

So I wish to apologize to every American for what I have done to you and what I have subjected our country to during this campaign. I also wish to apologize to the Obama family for the viciousness of my attacks and lies. Cindy and I will try and reimburse all of our supporters for any monies of yours we collected and spent post convention on this misguided campaign. This is the only honorable thing to do even if we have to sell a few of our 8-11 houses and a most of our 13 cars or sell the stock in Cindy's beer distributorship worth well over $100 million or sell the company's plane we fly around in on Ebay . Effectively and immediately I am suspending my campaign because I realize this is THE ONLY way I can really put my COUNTRY FIRST.


John McCain

[Sarah Palin has agreed with this decision because I told her to.]

Sigh. Ok, back to reality. He won't leave and if history is any indictor, the collective "GET LOST!" of the ballot box won't make it happen either. Diebold, or their infernal descendents will see to that, if illegal purging of voter rolls doesn't.

Hunker down folks. McPalin's fascist machine is just reving up.