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LUV News Sun 29 Sept 2013

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  • scotpeden
    We don t gas children, we shred them. The debate to have the USA save Syria is encompassed by this hipocracy. ... *CORPORATE WELFARE: BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 29, 2013
      We don't gas children, we shred them. The debate to have the USA save
      Syria is encompassed by this hipocracy.

      *How much are you personally ponying up for corporate frauds, cheats, and
      gangsters? About $6,000 per
      And that's a lowball estimate.*
      *Just one of the nuggets from this report: Mark Rockefeller received
      $342,000 not to farm. Yep, while people in this country are going hungry,
      we have to pay a Rockefeller not to feed them. Free market, yeah! -LS*



      *As Dave Lindorff points out <http://thiscantbehappening.net/node/1972>,
      the U.S. displays gross hypocrisy when it claims that chemical weapons are
      somehow a "red line" of barbarity, when this country has no problem
      dropping body-shredding cluster bombs left and right. -LS*



      *A new project seeks to record the names of every person murdered by a U.S.
      drone in Pakistan. (Of course that still leaves unnamed those murdered in
      Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc., but I digress.) It's a project of the
      Bureau of Investigative
      based in London. -LS*

      *LUV News readers know that I have often highlighted the work of talented
      bloggers, including Ian Welsh. Here's one of his latest. As always at his
      site, the comments are also worth reading. -*Lisa

      Let’s talk American public responsibility for torture and
      *by Ian Welsh*

      *I recently read a Guardian piece on Gitmo. Here’s an

      *Gen Miller suggests reorganising the prisons so that the guards help the
      interrogators “set the conditions for … successful interrogation”.*

      *It was following his visit that torture and humiliation by the guards
      began in earnest. Prisoners were hooded, threatened with rape, threatened
      with torture, had pistols held to their heads, made to strip naked, forced
      to eat pork and drink alcohol, beaten till they bled – sometimes with
      implements, including a broom and a chair – hung from doors by cuffed
      hands, deceived into thinking they were to be electrocuted, ducked in
      toilet buckets, forced to simulate masturbation, force to lie naked in a
      pile and be photographed, urinated on, menaced and, in one case, severely
      bitten by dogs, sodomised with a chemical light, ridden like horses, made
      to wear women’s underwear, raped, deprived of sleep, exposed to the midday
      summer sun, put in stress positions, and made to lie naked, in empty
      concrete cells, in complete darkness, for days on end.*

      *Here is another:*

      *The worst may be to come. Little has yet emerged about conditions inside
      the prisons run by the US in Afghanistan, where 8 deaths in US custody
      remain unexplained, and an internal military report remains unpublished. In
      an essay accompanying the documents, Danner draws attention to the language
      of one of the official investigators of Abu Ghraib, James Schlesinger, who
      wrote in his report of “five cases of detainee deaths [worldwide] as a
      result of abuse by US personnel”. Danner points out that Schlesinger could
      as easily have written: “American interrogators have tortured at least five
      prisoners to death.”*


      *Hussain Adbulkadr Youssouf Mustafa, a teacher of Islamic law with
      Palestinian citizenship, describes how he was arrested in Pakistan, in May
      2002, handed over to the Americans, and taken to Afghanistan.*

      *While at Bagram air force base, Hussain said, he was blindfolded, tightly
      handcuffed, gagged and earplugged, and sodomised with a stick while three
      soldiers held him down. “It was excruciatingly painful,” said Hussain. “I
      have always believed that I am not a person who would scream unless I was
      really hurt. Only when the pain became overwhelming did I think I would
      ever scream. But I could not stop screaming when this happened. This
      torture went on for several minutes, but it felt like hours, and the pain
      afterwards was almost as bad as anything I experienced at the time.”*

      *Feel free to read the rest.*

      *Now, let’s talk a little about Iraq. We don’t know how many people died
      in Iraq. Why? Because the US didn’t count, and did its best to make it
      impossible for anyone else to count either. We don’t know the number of
      orphans, but it’s in the hundreds of thousands (one of the readers of this
      blog, MFI, will probably supply a good estimate.) The killing is ongoing.
      Every week, even the Western press covers some bombing or massacre killing
      dozens, and every day people are killed, tortured, and raped in less
      newsworthy fashion.*

      *Now let’s talk about Democracy. In the the year 2000 A.D. the United
      States elected George Bush, a man who as a child was known, at the time of
      his election, to have blown up frogs by putting firecrackers in
      This is, if you’re unaware, one of the classic childhood signs of
      psychopathy. Electing Bush was malfeasance, but let’s be honest: he stole
      the election. I know it, and anyone who’s taken the time to properly
      investigate what happened in Florida and the Supreme Court, who can also
      add and subtract, knows it.*

      *So up until 2004, the rest of the world kept saying “it’s not America,
      it’s not Americans.”*

      *In 2004 America re-elected Bush. An argument can be made that that
      election was stolen too, though not as blatantly as the 2000 election (I
      was almost part of writing a book on the subject but the publisher decided
      Americans didn’t care.) But let’s examine that. If the election was
      stolen, it was stolen by a few hundred-thousand votes.*

      *About 122,349,000 Americans voted in the
      Even assuming fraud, 61 million Americans voted affirmatively for a vicious
      war based on lies, and for torture (and that America was torturing was
      widely known by 2004). Now, one can make the argument that about 97 million
      Americans didn’t vote. But not voting is a choice, it is a choice that says
      “I don’t care that the US is torturing people enough to go out and vote.”
      Again, you can finding mitigating arguments: voter suppression, that the
      vote takes place on a working day, etc … but those arguments don’t add up
      to 97 million.*

      *America said, in 2004, “we don’t care about torture, it’s just not that
      important to most of us.”*

      *A lot of people will hate this post. Every time I write something like
      this I’m told some version of “I opposed it” or “grow up many of us opposed

      *But Americans did have the right to vote against Iraq and Torture. They
      didn’t. It may be that Kerry would have kept torturing, it may be that
      Kerry would have continued the Iraq war for as long as Bush (and as
      incompetently). But the question was not even put to the test: Americans
      did not, when it matters and where it matters, in the ballot box, say “we
      don’t agree with torture and war.”*

      *For that matter, Democratic Primary Voters in 2004 did not vote for the
      most anti-war candidates. Instead they went with Kerry. The opposition
      party nominated a man who had voted for the war (albeit a man who said he’d
      made a mistake doing so.)*

      *This does not mean YOU personally are responsible for Iraq. Probably, if
      you read this blog, you were against it. It does not mean you personally
      were for torture; again, my readers are mostly against torture and vote
      that principle. But it does mean that the rest of the world judges the US
      by the 2004 election: because you didn’t take that chance to repudiate Bush.

      *The consequence of not repudiating Bush in 2004, by the way, is that Obama
      has substantially continued with Bush’s policies. Oh, to be sure, there’s
      probably less torture than there was (though force-feeding prisoners you
      know to be innocent, while keeping them in solitary confinement and
      refusing to free them is pretty heinous), but in its place, Obama has gone
      whole hog on drone killing, killing far more people than Bush did. Obama,
      and Washington, concluded from 2004 that most of the stuff Bush did you
      don’t really care, just as DC concluded from the fact that there were no
      mass protests in 2000 when the Republicans and the Supreme Court stole the
      election that Americans don’t really care about democracy, and that the
      form of it is generally sufficient. (Well, except for Republicans elected
      by tea-partiers, because tea-partiers have guns and threaten to use them.
      Republicans are terrified of their base.)*

      *The flip side of responsibility, and many readers won’t understand this,
      because by now they’ll be so defensive or outraged they can’t think
      clearly, is that it implies power. If you have responsibility, you have
      power. If you have a democracy in the United States, then that means
      Americans as a group don’t just have the responsibility for what happens,
      they have the ability to change it.*

      *Now, of course, one can argue that the US is NOT a functioning democracy.
      I think that argument is, right now, credible, though it does need to be
      made, and cannot be assumed. If that is your argument, if you believe that
      American citizens are effectively subjects and that democracy is dead in
      the US, then you can also argue that Americans are not responsible for what
      happened in Iraq, for torture, or much of anything else. (Though, of
      course, it invites the question of “was the US a democracy and if it was
      are Americans responsible for losing that democracy?”)*

      *But if you believe you don’t live in a democracy, if you believe that
      change cannot come through politics, then you’ve got bigger problems.*

      *This argument about responsibility is an important one, and it touches on
      many different countries throughout the world. It also has to do with the
      question of consumer politics: of choosing from a slate of candidates and
      policies chosen by the elites, rather than creating your candidates and
      polices, and the question of whether that creation is possible (for
      example, when primaries are not actually open or can be nullified by
      leadership, is a state actually democratic?)*

      *That point then touches on the character of the people of a nation and of
      the changes in the character of developed nations and is too big to go into
      now (though should my book every come out, it is something I’ll go in to

      *A people who do not control their own politics will have someone else do
      it for them. If they are not willing to do the work to keep control, then
      they will lose everything: their liberty, their prosperity, their
      democracy, and in many cases, their very lives. Along the way, if those
      people are the citizens of the hegemonic power, millions of people will
      suffer and die.*

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