Now that the Bush administration’s Troop Surge is “working,” what’s next, war watchers? Permanent occupation, of course.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the odds-on Republican presidential nominee would be content to stay in Iraq 100 years or more. He was for the surge all along.
He’s a real, true, War Hawk. He’s a decorated combat hero. His father was an admiral. His father’s father was an admiral. War heroes. Sen. McCain is open about his justification for permanent U.S. occupation of Iraq and all lands connected to Iraq: to better fight against Islamic radicals, extremists.
Sen. McCain, and others who share his view always include the word “Islamic,” when describing their enemy. What about the rest of the people who fall under “Islamic?” How does a President McCain propose to differentiate between “bad” Islamic people and the rest of the Islamic people?
Among the leading Democratic contenders: Senators Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), they all concede that U.S. troops will need to remain in Iraq at least 10 years! Give or take a year or two.
Does the “success” of the Surge (in at least pacifying the Iraqi countryside for a while) mean the U.S. is more likely to declare victory and come home, or remain deployed? That is a trick question. Continue reading
Back in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya, I heard a news report and then did some reporting on my own about an interesting development at the Voice of America (VOA). It seems that as soon as the aircraft were launched from a base near London–a full eight hours before the bombs started landing, including the one which killed the adopted daughter of Libyan leader Muamar Qaddafi–the VOA’s Arabic language announcer was sequestered.
Then as the horror was unfolding and grief began to spread among the unsuspecting victims, the announcer’s voice was broadcast so that listeners in Libya could hear it telling anyone who might have been listening, that the reason they were suffering from the fire raining down from the American F-16 aircraft was “the fault of your leaders.”
At that very hour, a minor uprising (which was clearly planned to coincide with the bombing which may have been intended to kill the Libyan leader) took place in a remote Army barracks, but it was quickly put down.
The entire scenario was clearly an attempt at fomenting a rebellion, a la “Mission Impossible.” Unfortunately, the luckless conspirators who rose up on cue, were disposed of, and were never heard from again.
“Blame your own leaders,” was the U.S. message. Continue reading
Written Sept. 20, 2001.
A “funny thing” happened to me on the way back from the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. Only nobody’s laughing.
The world, as I’ve known it, was turned upside-down, by two airplanes which were deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center, and a third which was crashed into the very symbol of American military authority—the Pentagon.
More than a week later, thousands of people are still missing and presumed dead. It’s no laughing matter. Quite the opposite is true. There has been much gnashing of teeth, as Americans come to grips with their enormous losses.
To see pictures of President George W. Bush in Iraq this week belies the reality of what life is like in that war-ravaged country.
The fact that Air Force One was able to land at Al Asad Airbase in Anbar Province, a no-man’s land for Americans just one year ago is hailed as a sign of progress that Mr. Bush’s “troop surge” is making the country more secure. No one in any of the pictures with the President is wearing flak jackets or any other kind of body armor.
Well, duh…soldiers and marines and sailors, just clear a swath of land for a photo opportunity, like the “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier landing in 2003 with Mr. Bush piloting a fighter plane, like the kind he avoided flying by going AWOL for most of his time in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.
At virtually every other time and place, Americans, press people, diplomats–even commanding General David Petraeus–all wear helmets, all the time, even inside the supposedly “secure” Green Zone, where the Iraqi Parliament and some U.S. civilian installations are located. It’s a war zone. A real, untamed, uncontained war.
In fact, the entire region is so hostile to the immoral U.S. aggression in Iraq, there is nowhere within 1,000 miles where an American soldier can just walk the streets and pick up souvenirs for the folks back home…or pick up prostitutes like they did during the immoral war of aggression in Vietnam 40 years ago. Continue reading
Free “The Cuban Five!”
Because they are innocent!
I for one, plan to join in solidarity Sept. 12-Oct. 8, 2007, for “International Days of Solidarity with the Cuban 5.”
Los Hermanos—The Brothers. The five men—Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, and Fernando Gonzalez—were convicted in a “kangaroo court” trial in Miami in June 2001, accused of being part of a spy ring called the Wasp Network, which infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue and other militant anti-Cuban exile groups.
The “Five Heroes,” as they are called in Cuba, were not even spying against the United States government (which has committed open war crimes and attempted assassinations of Cuban President Fidel Castro by the way, a good reason for any country to want to “keep an eye” on what’s going on here), they were merely trying to uncover right-wing anti-Cuban terrorists based in the U.S., anti-Cuban terrorist groups with the blood of both Cubans and innocent U.S. citizens on their hands.
That’s why they are in jail, with more time than a man with 700 top-secret U.S. government military documents when caught. There’s snooping, and there’s spying. Continue reading
I reserve a healthy amount of respect for Cindy Sheehan and members of Code Pink, women against the war. But I think they went a little bit over the top when they staged a sit-in at the offices of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
They and many anti-war activists are angry the Chairman Conyers has gone along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and taken impeachment of Pres. George W. (For worst in history) Bush officially “off the table.”
With 17 months and four days until Jan. 20, 2009, when I will be able to finally exhale, I am counting the days until the next President is inaugurated, whoever that might be. In the meantime I don’t put the possibility of martial law and a suspension of the entire Constitution and a postponement of the 2008 election, off the table. I don’t put any dirty trick past these scoundrels now in office. Continue reading
Poor America. She does not know what to do in the Muslim world.
One day, Muslims are unforgivable enemies. The next day some of those same Muslims are allies. Bosom buddies. And those Muslim allies will take America’s money as long as it gets handed out, but they’ll only do enough “fighting terrorism” on their own, only enough to keep getting America’s money.
Yasser Arafat is a prime example. He was vilified, morning, noon, and night, until he finally kicked the bucket. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader now of Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO—was, for most of his time in power, not considered to be a reliable “partner for peace,” on whom the U.S. and Israel could rely. Until, that is, his party (after being trounced in free, Democratic elections last year) got into a shooting war with their militant counterparts, the Islamic Resistance movement, or Hamas.
But if you’d listened to America’s leaders 20 years ago, the Arabs who were held in the greatest contempt were the PLO. You couldn’t define a worse enemy to America than the PLO. Continue reading
Each of the 435 voting members of the House of Representatives has four options on each of the hundreds and hundreds of recorded votes which are called for in every session of Congress. A member can vote “Yay” or “Nay” or “Present.” In addition, a member can choose to not vote at all on any issue.
On Nov. 7, 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress. She was a Republican from the state of Montana. Like others who go forward to blaze the trail, she had an awesome responsibility, and with courage, she upheld that responsibility with dignity.
Shortly after Rep. Rankin took office in 1917, Congress took up the debate over U.S. participation in World War I. Women and others who have not always been welcome at the table of power-sharing in this country could learn a lot from Jeannette Rankin.
With the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote, still three years from ratification, women suffragettes were extremely conscious of the conduct and image of women in the public arena. Women wanted Rep. Rankin to go along with the prevailing sentiment for the United States to hurry on and join her European allies who were already fighting “the war to end all wars.” They did not want the first woman in Congress to be perceived as “feminine” and less able than men, to make the tough decisions required to govern a powerful nation. Ms. Rankin opposed the war.
On that fateful day, to the consternation of many women, she was one of only 50 votes in the House, opposing U.S. participation in WWI. Continue reading
I confess that at first I was a little embarrassed that I did not join the pack with my own full-throated condemnation of Sudan over Darfur.
So now, here comes President George W. (For “worst in history”) Bush, slapping more sanctions on Sudan, and the chorus screaming “genocide” got louder still. Uh-oh.
Recently I talked to several Black folks who visited Sudan, including Darfur this Spring. More than one of them defended Sudan citing Paul Joseph Goebbels, the German Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda during the Nazi regime, and his “Big Lie Technique.”
To wit: “never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.” They said someone is practicing “The Big Lie” against Sudan.
Hmmm, I thought. Continue reading
I just can’t get a handle on what’s really going on in Sudan.
My base instinct is to dismiss all of the full page ads and high profile media criticism of whateverÂ the atrocities there , as theater intended to upend an Islamic government…an Islamic government that just happens to be in the largest, and one of the most mineral rich countries on the African continent. An Islamic government that has ports on the Red Sea, the head waters of the Nile River, rich agricultural potential, and which borders on nine–count them–nine other African nations. Sudan has the potential of being a bridge between Islamic (Arab) North Africa and Bantu (Black) Sub-Saharan Africa. In my book, that makes Sudan, an “enemy” of Judeo-Christian Imperialism, by simple definition.
And did I say that Sudan has vast un-developed oil resources, not to mention that Sudan supplies the U.S. 80 percent of its gum arabic, an essential product in soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi and 7-Up? But the subject ofÂ gum arabic and Coke has become a big headline joke. Sanctions against Sudan will cause Americans to lose weight and be healthier because there will be fewer soft drinks available. Hardy, har, har, har.Â That kind of smugnessÂ is just par for the course for White folks. Continue reading