by Abid Ullah Jan
In one of his frantic attempts to justify war on Iraq, the icon of American mainstream media, Thomas L. Friedman of New York Times, came up with the idea for the US Administration to tell the truth to win public support for yet another war. He titled his February 19 column, “Tell the truth” and summarized the truth in his 4th-last paragraph in the following words:
“Tell people the truth. Saddam does not threaten us today. He can be deterred. Taking him out is a war of choice — but it's a legitimate choice. It's because he is undermining the U.N., it's because if left alone he will seek weapons that will threaten all his neighbors, it's because you believe the people of Iraq deserve to be liberated from his tyranny, and it's because you intend to help Iraqis create a progressive state that could stimulate reform in the Arab/Muslim world, so that this region won't keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.”
Anyone who has a mind and understanding of the ABC's of international relations and history may easily understand that these are merely fig leaves to hide the truth. After days of homework and ceaseless activity of the thought mills in Washington, the whole argument for making a case for war boils down to the following:
Saddam is “undermining the UN”;
Saddam’s weapons “will threaten all his neighbors”;
“…people of Iraq deserve to be liberated from his tyranny”;
Iraqis need “help” to “create a progressive state”; and as a result of war and “progressive state”, “this region won’t keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.”
If Bush and his Allies have the courage, they must face and admit the truth as it is. The reality behind the “truths” mentioned by Thomas L. Friedman is given as under for further discussion by those who would like to separate truth from falsehood:
1. If Saddam is a violator of Resolution 1441, would Thomas Friedman mind telling us something about UN resolution 242 of 1967 – leaving out the rest – requiring Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories?
The US needed and used the UN to end a nascent Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. It used the UN to punish the Iraqi people for the last 12 years for its crime of momentarily occupying Iraq. It now needs the UN once more to let it wage another war. Why has the UN been made irrelevant in the case of the Israeli occupation of Palestine? Are US and Israel not undermining and sidelining the UN for prolonging the already longest occupation of modern history? Has Saddam killed any of the UN personnel like Israel? Has Saddam shelled a UN compound, killing countless innocent civilians?
Saddam can never undermine the UN the way the US has been doing all along with its Veto power. Undermining the UN is actually the US vetoing: two UN resolutions affirming the rights of “the Palestinian people to self-determination, statehood and equal protections"; four resolutions calling for “self-determination of Palestinian people”; six resolutions affirming “the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people”; seven resolution endorsing “self-determination for the Palestinian people” and many more.
2. Saddam’s weapons “will” threaten its neighbors. Alright. We accept “will” as a truth. However, what about Israel’s weapons which have already threatened and turned its neighbors into spineless lambs. Are not the neighboring Arabs helplessly watching their fellow Arabs being massacred on a daily basis by the Israeli forces in the occupied territories? Why are they silent if not due to the fear of Israel’s threat to use its weapons of mass destruction against them? Presenting Iraqi weapons as a threat is not a truth but a distraction. The only weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East are in Israel, an American protectorate.
"Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches," said Sharon before he became prime minister. Steinbach says such a threat could be used to compel the Bush administration to act exclusively in Israel's favor were it to waver in the face of growing international support for the intifada. Francis Perrin, the former head of the French nuclear weapons programme, wrote: "We thought the Israeli Bomb was aimed at the Americans, not to launch it at the Americans, but to say, 'If you don't want to help us in a critical situation [when we] require you to help us . . . we will use our nuclear bombs'." Israel used this blackmail during the 1973 war with Egypt, forcing Richard Nixon to re-supply its badly shaken military. The Israeli nuclear threat is seldom raised in Europe, and is a non-issue in the United States. However, since the election of Sharon, who has presided over massacres of Palestinian civilians since 1953, this may be changing. Television pictures from Gaza and the West Bank ought to leave little doubt that Israel is a terrorist state, threatening everyone who opposes its policy of state murder.
3. Definitely, Iraqi people need to be liberated from the tyranny of Saddam. Would Friedman, however, compare the tyranny faced by the Iraqi people at the hands of Saddam with the tyranny faced by Palestinians, Kashmiris, Algerians, Egyptians, or Pakistanis at the hands of tyrants, fully sponsored by Washington? Are Saddam Hussein’s tanks rumbling in the streets of Baghdad? Are Saddam’s security forces bulldozing homes of Iraqi people and shooting their children at will as we witness in Palestine? Are any of the Iraqi cities a reflection of Sabra and Shatila, or at least, Gaza and West Bank?
During the week Thomas Friedman was thinking of telling “the truth” and the American press focusing on Baghdad, the violence in occupied Palestine suddenly surged. In six days, at least 30 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli operations, chiefly in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Nablus. Did Friedman not read those reports? Why does he not think of liberating Palestinians from the tyranny of Israel?
4. Iraqis need help to “create a progressive state.” What about a democratic one? Why is this change in vocabulary? Is democracy no longer a priority, or is a progressive state different than a democratic state? Under the new concept, Egypt is a progressive state. Afghanistan is progressive state in the making. Pakistan is an example that shows democracy and dictatorships are irrelevant as long as the US objectives are served. Interestingly, there is neither talk of democracy nor progressive state for countries already under American occupation, such as Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.
5. The final “truth” Mr. Friedman likes us to believe is that as a result of war on Iraq, “this region won’t keep churning out angry young people who are attracted to radical Islam and are the real weapons of mass destruction.” Please note that it is not the “region” that churns out “angry young people.” It is the situation and circumstances shaped by the policies of the leading powers of the day that first make the people upset, deprive, suffer and frustrate them, and then turn them into living bombs and missiles. Why doesn’t Switzerland churn out such human bombs? Isn’t it the same planet everywhere?
There must be some reason for our not witnessing as many “angry people” turning into “weapons of mass destruction” in the whole world as in Israel. There is nothing wrong with the land. It is that the Israeli policies of occupation and repression have created an environment that makes death more attractive for its victims than life. Similarly, the “region” is churning out “angry young people” not because Saddam Hussein is in power. It is because the US is involved in replicating at regional scale what the Israeli government has been doing on local level since its inception.
Without bravely facing the truths summarized here and admitting the associated duplicity and hypocrisy, it will forever remain a dream for Bush and the Thomas Freidmans of the US media to create a global context where they butcher people in Iraq and elsewhere and the world still applauding for them.
By Al Lorentz
When we look at the control mechanism for the globalists and their police state fantasies, one thing becomes quite obvious; they are a flea under a magnifying glass. When viewed through the glass of major and carefully controlled mass media, as they prefer to be seen, they look terrifying, powerful and invincible. When viewed plainly and honestly though, they are seen as ugly, small and parasitical. Still dangerous but hardly invincible.
Just like any other parasites, they are of course a problem and not to be taken lightly. But, just like all parasites, they need to be dealt with or they will overwhelm the host and destroy it. Such is the dilemma we find ourselves in today, the parasites are the problem and the truth is the insecticide we need to be rid of them.
Unfortunately, there isn't enough truth being spread around today to do anything more than simply annoy the parasites. Some Patriots mistakenly believe that the way to deal with the parasites is to try and find them them individually and destroy them. Anyone who has ever seen fleas on a dog realizes that this can become a full time occupation with diminishing returns. What we patriots need to be doing is applying liberal doses of flea powder, we need to be spreading the truth.
I know many patriots who keep their political views and opposition to the parasitical enemies of liberty who masquerade as our public servants, a secret. A good example would be the tax revolt, some courageous souls such as Bob Schultz are challenging the IRS head on, seeking not just a victory for themselves but for us all. Others mistakenly believe the way we fight the tax system is to cheat on our taxes and hide; in soldiers parlance this is known as 'digging a hole and pulling it in behind you', it is an impossibility. While I sympathize with those latter, they are as effective in the war against tyranny as the soldier who, instead of shooting at the enemy, spends his time hiding in the bottom of his foxhole. While the soldier who hides in his foxhole certainly did part of his duty by not getting killed, he missed the most important part which was to defeat the enemy. This is an information war, either shoot, load or make bandages!
I have other friends who keep their ownership of weapons, a Constitutionally protected and God given right, a secret. Their understanding of warfare and politics is obviously as clouded as their understanding of how tyrants operate. The tyrants are not at all concerned about a relative handful of secret operatives, they are concerned about the masses. When gun control is initiated, the people who already know they will resist aren't going to be the first targets of disarmament, it will be the undecided citizens who would have been invaluable in reversing the course of tyranny.
We as patriots must be leaders.
Our Founding Fathers were quite willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor if necessary to secure our freedom and liberty. We must be people such as they, else we are not going to be able to win such freedom and liberty much less maintain it. Adopting a course of action that relies on educating and informing only ourselves, arming only ourselves and making little if any overt political opposition only helps to isolate us further from our countrymen. When the tyrants seize control they will first disarm the regular populace and then pick we the patriots off, one at a time. Those neighbors whom you neglected to inform of the truth will not be able or willing to help you during such times and the tyrants will know this full well. Imagine the conflagration and massacre at Waco and you will have a clear picture of what is in store for us all.
I am not suggesting however that we make open, public and stupid statements or engage in reckless behavior in our protest. Our Founding Fathers were wise, Jesus and his disciples were wise and so then should we be. If you are going to be a leader, you must be the sort of person people will follow, even unto death. Nobody will follow hotheads, idiots, fools or reckless men.
Hardly a day goes by when I don't get yet another 'URGENT' letter from somebody, no doubt well meaning, who is encouraging a reckless, poorly planned and usually vindictive or vengeful course of action against the tyrants. While I understand the anger, indeed I feel exactly the same way, lashing out in an unprepared manner is not only foolhardy, it is counter-productive.
It does not matter how many injustices are wrought against us, how many 'this is the last straw' assaults on our Constitution are performed or other outrageous and obvious injustices are performed. Until such time as the American people in general understand that the Constitution is the law of the land, not the will of the public servants who are supposed to obey it, our success will be sporadic at best.
I am not of course encouraging inactivity, in fact I am encouraging just the opposite, we must be vigorous in our pursuit of liberty. I am simply saying that we must first educate and teach our fellow citizens, else they will not understand what they are opposing any more than they understand what they are supposed to be defending. Sun Tzu said that to commit untrained troops to battle is to waste them.
I know many patriots who believe one day that we will have to fight against our own military and I agree that they are being trained for the specific purpose of engaging in hostilities against their own people. The way to counter-act this is not to try and raise, train and equip an army of equal size of our own (an impossibility), but rather to negate the effects of that army.
When I was a senior NCO, I had pre-determined that, if given the order to fire upon or in any way engage civilians (a direct violation of Posse Comitatus), I would perform my duty as required. My duty as required was to turn to the officer who gave the order, draw my sidearm and place him or her under arrest. My soldiers were instructed to do the same and to use whatever force necessary to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
If we want to negate the effects of the relatively small but very dangerous military machine in the current and rapidly escalating war against the United States Constitution and the American people being waged by our own public servants, we will be much more effective if we spend our time teaching the soldiers to uphold and defend the Constitution instead of training to have to fight against them one day. As a professional soldier, I can tell you that the military hangs like a ripe fig ready to be harvested in this regard, especially the young soldiers. If we can win them over honorably with the truth, we can win this fight to restore our Constitutional Republic with little or no bloodshed and destruction.
Yes, there will always be those who can not be converted, those who are so thoroughly wicked and depraved that they will not only burn men, women and children alive, but who will believe that such horrible and inhuman behavior is necessary, acceptable and even praiseworthy. Waco is one such example in recent times but it is not the first, nor will it be the last. The solution to preventing another Waco event is not to build bunkers for ourselves, rather it is to restore our Constitutional Republic. Then, if another Waco occurs, the perpetrators of such criminal activity as burning alive men, women and children, will be tried, (hopefully) convicted and punished instead of being promoted, rewarded and praised.
I am not advocating that we disarm ourselves, nor am I advocating that we do not prepare for the eventuality that we may have to take up arms in order to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. I am however saying that we should look at what course of action would be most effective, honorable and just. While squashing fleas by hand may give some form of satisfaction, would not a good application of flea powder be vastly more effective?
by Katherine Albrecht
Mon Mar 10 15:23:29 2003
Pat Buchanan -- arch conservative, former presidential hopeful, and supposed Christian -- today endorsed torture as an interrogation tool, accusing those who would oppose it of "fuzzy liberal thinking":
The quote, "while the instant recoiling that decent people exhibit to the idea of torturing [a terrorism suspect] may mark them as progressive, it may also be a sign of fuzzy liberal thinking" was part of a longer column, penned by Buchanan himself and published today at this website:
I have to wonder who put him up to this statement, and if it has anything to do with last week's revelations that two inmates died under interrogation while in US custody in Afghanistan.
Here is that story:
"American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two
prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul -- reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives." The deaths were ruled as blunt trauma homicides in a coroner's report.
Death by torture would fit in with a worrisome picture of US interrogation tactics emerging over the last year. In January, the UK's Guardian newspaper revealed that the US was engaging in various forms of torture forbidden by the Geneva convention:
"The United States is condoning the torture and illegal interrogation of prisoners held in the wake of September 11, in defiance of international law and its own constitution, according to lawyers, former US intelligence officers and human rights groups."
Source: US interrogators turn to 'torture lite'...investigation finds America bending the rules in the wake of September 11" Duncan Campbell, The Guardian (UK); Saturday January 25, 2003
Not only is it likely that the US is endorsing torture around the world and engaging torture of its own, but it appears to be lifting methods straight from the evil dictator handbook. For example, just today we learned that the CIA has kidnapped the young children (boys aged 9 and 7) of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and is using them to get their father to talk. Is there anything more despicable than this?
"Two young sons of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks, are being used by the CIA to force their father to talk. ... He has been told that his sons are being held and is being urged to divulge future attacks against the West and reveal the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden." (03/10/03)
In all of these stories, the subtext is a sniggering "we know torture is not strictly permitted, but *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge" it sure works, and hey, if it will get our man to talk then laws be damned, right?"
Here are excerpts reflecting that attitude in yet another story:
"With potentially thousands of lives at stake, Mohammed's rights are not high on the list of priorities for those holding him.
In September, the then head of the CIA Counterterrorism Centre, Cofer Black, was said to have testified that interrogators had been given greater leeway in interpreting the law because of the importance of the information they were seeking.
"This is a very highly classified area," he was quoted as saying. "But I have to say to you, all you need to know: there was a before-9/11 and there was an after-9/11. After 9/11, the gloves came off....
Former CIA officer Larry Johnson said a "sleep deprivation and a reward system" would be used to toy with Mohammed. "I don't see a constitutional right to have eight hours of sleep," he said."
Source: Gloves off, the screws go on 9/11 suspect, March 6 2003 By Toby Harnden,
(This article is worth reading)
What does all this mean for American citizens? If these stories had a megaphone, it would be clearly shouting, "Wake up Americans, you can no longer count on 'decency' or 'respect for human rights' to stay your government's hand. All bets are off."
The time to stand against this is NOW, before a pro-torture attitude, billed as a "progressive" strategy for an "enlightened" nation, filters down through our media into our schools, infecting the next generation with poisonous filth.
If anyone is still ignorant enough to say, "It couldn't happen here," (no matter what "it" is they are referring to), America's "evolving" stand on torture should be a cold-water-in-the-face wakeup call. The United States' moral superiority to the rest of the world is all but gone. Sadly, we will not be the exception to history's relentless law about excessive government power. It corrupts. Every time. Always.
If you still believe we are a shining beacon of freedom for the rest of the world, read the linked stories above, slowly, one-by-one. A nation that can endorse torture can endorse anything.
And just in case you don't want to click on the link above for Pat Buchanan's commentary, here it is in full:
March 10, 2003
Can torture -- the infliction of intolerable, even excruciating, pain to extract information from war criminals -- ever be justified?
Civilized society has answered in the negative. No, never. And torture is everywhere outlawed. Regimes that resort to it deny it, lest they be judged barbarous. Routine torture marks the regime that uses it as unworthy of rule or even respect. And rightly so.
But that does not address the moral question, a question that has arisen with the capture of Khalid Shaikh Muhammad. Among the crimes to which this monster has been linked are the plot to blow up a dozen airliners over the Pacific, the truck-bomb massacre at the U.S. embassies in Africa, 9/11 and slashing the throat of Daniel Pearl.
When Muhammad was seized in Pakistan, found with him was a treasure trove for CIA and FBI investigators: a computer, disks, tapes and cell phones with data pointing to planned new atrocities.
Muhammad is not talking. Yet, if he can be forced to talk, the information could save thousands. It was said to be two weeks of torture that broke the Al Qaeda conspirator who betrayed the plot to blow up those airliners. And if ever there was a case for torture, this excuse for a human being, Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, is it.
Thus, the question: Would it be moral to inflict pain on this beast to force him to reveal what he knows? Positive law prohibits it. However, the higher law, the moral law, the Natural Law permits it in extraordinary circumstances such as these.
Here is the reasoning. The morality of any act depends not only on its character, but on the circumstances and motive. Stealing is wrong and illegal, but stealing food for one's starving family is a moral act. Even killing is not always wrong. If a U.S. soldier had shot Muhammad to save 50 hostages, he would be an American hero.
But if it is permissible to take Muhammad's life to save lives, why is it impermissible to inflict pain on him to save lives?
Is the deliberate infliction of pain always immoral? Of course not. Twisting another kid's arm to make him tell where he hid your stolen bicycle is not wrong. Parents spank children to punish them and drive home the lessons of living good lives. Even the caning of that American kid in Singapore that caused a firestorm was not immoral.
Civil War doctors who amputated limbs without anesthesia on battlefields inflicted horrible pain. Why? For a higher good: to save the soldier's life, lest he die of gangrene.
But if doctors can cut off limbs and open up hearts to save lives, and cops may shoot criminals to save lives, and the state may execute criminals, why cannot we commit a lesser evil -- squeezing the truth out of Muhammad -- for a far greater good: preventing the murder of innocents.
Before America had its vast prison system, petty criminals were locked in stocks in the town square as humiliation. Others were flogged. Barbaric, we now say. But was flogging immoral?
Today, many believe that public caning of young criminals, and their return to society for a second chance, would be far better for them and us. It might be a superior deterrent to crime than dumping them into the animal cages that are too many of American prisons, where young offenders face sexual abuse and are exposed to the daily example of how incorrigible criminals succeed and fail.
Who would not prefer a thrashing that might even put one in a hospital for a week to spending years in such a prison?
In short, while the instant recoiling that decent people exhibit to the idea of torturing Muhammad may mark them as progressive, it may also be a sign of fuzzy liberal thinking.
Many of these same folks are all for war on Iraq. Why? To rid the Middle East of a tyrant and his weapons of mass destruction. When John Paul II argues that, with inspections underway, such a war does not seem necessary, or thus moral, Ari Fleischer instructed the Holy Father that this war has to be fought to keep Saddam from giving horrible weapons to terrorists.
But if it is moral to go to war and kill thousands to prevent potential acts of terror on U.S. soil, why cannot we inflict pain on one man, if that would stop imminent acts of terror on U.S. soil? There is no evidence Saddam has murdered Americans, but there is a computer full that Muhammad has and has hatched plots to slaughter more.
What will history say about people who hold Harry Truman to be a moral hero for dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but recoil in horror from painfully extracting the truth out of one mass murderer to stop the almost certain slaughter of their own people?
©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
~Did You Miss These?~
Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
Siege Heil - Thursday, Oct. 09, 2003
Litany Of Lies - Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2003
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