begin with an overarching truth: every person harmed by U.S.
actions in the Iraqi theater of pre-emptive, unprovoked war
represents a crime by the United States against international
law and the evolved standards of civilized behavior. The very
fact that we are compelled to state such an obvious truth before
beginning a communication with a primarily American audience
is testimony to just how beastly the political dialogue
has become in the "belly of the beast." As the U.S.
position in the world becomes more and more untenable, freedom
of straightforward speech within the boundaries of the international
offender grows more tenuous. So let us say what is true while
effective speech is still possible.
fluidity of events in Iraq is the greatest evidence to the Bush
men's scuttling of the military aspects of Shock and Awe, dating
from the first, premature projectile ejaculation against Baghdad
on Wednesday, March 19. As detailed in our Cover
Story, the Bush men, believing in the supremacy of political
ultimatums over military preparedness, "jump started"
the attack "for the sake of the dynamic of the conversation
within the Bush crowd and their dialogue with white America."
The embedded media and a bloodthirsty white public wanted swift
and decisive action. It did not matter to the Pirates and their
constituency that the invasion force was not ready:
on Tuesday, March 18, the northern U.S. invasion force,
barred from using Turkish territory, would require weeks to
pass through the Suez Canal, round the Arabian Peninsula,
and steam up the Persian Gulf to Kuwait. As of Ultimatum Day,
Monday the 17th, the crucial 101st Airborne Division's helicopters
were still being unloaded from ships. The unpacking was not
yet finished on Wednesday, March 19, when Bush tried to swat
Saddam Hussein. Instead of the meticulously calibrated, rolling
advance under and through the smoke and hellfire of Shock
and Awe, the Americans and Brits lurched into war, like a
driver who can't handle a stick shift.
Awe failed to roll forward according to super-blitzkrieg design.
In the buildup to war, U.S. officers threw around versions of
the scene they anticipated would occur within less than a week
after the start of the war: "All of a sudden, Saddam's
gonna see an American mechanized division outside his window."
Instead, U.S. forces are grappling with Iraqi units that range
from Republican Guards to farmers. The American war machine
will undoubtedly grind them down over time, but the character
of the invasion is now utterly different than the planned "race
to Baghdad," to be followed by a methodical and highly
profitable "reconstruction" of Iraqi society. It is
the society that is screaming, in all its wounded components.
Embedded Americans cannot hear this, listening as they always
do to the sound of their own, inane voices.
the Bush men's core belief that even uncoordinated U.S. arms
are sufficient to smash Third Worlders like bugs, American combatants
and "embeds" will be forced to learn that there are
many Iraqs, and that they will eventually have to fight all
of them. When forced to confront the actuality of Kurds, Shi'ites,
Sunnis, Turkmen and the various human elements within Iraq's
geographic and political boundaries, the Administration will
respond in the only way it knows how: racist demonization of
the population as a whole.
Iraqi Freedom" is a war of "liberation," say
the Bush men, a statement that only the insane believe, amplified
by massed, embedded media mimics. Like "no other nation
in the world," the U.S. is doing all that it is possible
to avoid civilian casualties. Observe our precision bombing,
says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Note "the humanity
that goes into it."
U.S. has no mechanism even to count the deaths it is
inflicting on Iraqi civilians. Former Clinton administration
defense official Sarah Sewell writes that the Pentagon has never
integrated civilian "collateral damage" assessments
into its "lessons learned" process. "We can't
claim good intentions and leave it at that," said Sewell
in a New
York Times op-ed piece:
these reassuring statements, and the fact that the United
States has the technology and the sensibility to fight the
cleanest war in town, the Pentagon does not study how military
force actually affects civilians. For all of its computer
simulations and painstaking planning, the Department of Defense
has never undertaken a systemic evaluation to determine whether
its efforts to spare lives succeed or fail - or what might
be done to improve them.
of whatever accuracy beg the question of who the United
States is killing, a low priority consideration for Americans
in and out of uniform. CNN's Paula Zahn, dimly aware that chaos,
thirst and death stalk the besieged, mostly Shia Muslim city
of Basra, roughly three times the size of Cleveland, thinks
only of possible U.S. advantage. "Is this the popular revolt
that the U.S. has been hoping for?" Zahn wonders.
bombs are falling on Basra as
goes to press. UK commandos range through the city, targeting
Saddam's allies - who are not necessarily friends of Britain
or the United States, or even allies of Saddam. Cartoonish war
propaganda fails to serve the soldier in such circumstances,
as the Associated
Press reported on March 26:
Peter Wall, second in command of British troops, said Basra's
civilians were out in the streets "in significant numbers"
and were "essentially being less compliant with the regime
than they are normally."
don't know what has spurred them, we don't know the scale,
we don't know the scope of it," he said. "We don't
know where it will take us."
the Brits admit it when they "don't know." Americans
simply make up stories that fit the benign national self-image,
elaborate fictions that lead inevitably to deadly conflict.
So shall it be in the south of Iraq, an area shaded in red on
CNN's maps, inhabited by Shi'ites whom the Americans believe
hate Saddam Hussein more than they cherish their own dignity.
It is an easy idea to assimilate - if one is a racist. The Bush
men have built an entire political-military strategy around
the notion that Saddam-hate translates as America-love. That's
why they bypassed Basra, leaving the city to the Brits, who
have resorted to bombing formations of unknown antagonists among
Mintier may have unwittingly reached into his Vietnam paradigm
book to justify the pounding of Iraq's second largest city.
"Basra is a key humanitarian distribution point,"
said the embed. "This is why it has been made a strategic
Cover Story, "Onward
Embedded Soldiers: The corporate media's deputized war coverage.")
the massed embeds of the American corporate media are even less
than the sum of their ignorant parts.
The American Disease
memory fails to sufficiently blot out reality, Americans retreat
into mass amnesia. Avoiding recollection of past defeat, they
have forgotten the Iranian revolution to oust the U.S.-backed
Shah, led by Shi'ite mullahs. They refuse to remember that it
was the United States that encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack
Iran in 1980, starting a war that may have killed one million
people, an eight-year-long, poison gas-filled inferno the Iranians
call "the American War." They have no sense of the
political, family and commercial ties that accompany religious
connections between southern Iraq's Shi'ites and Iran's overwhelmingly
Shi'ite population of 60 million. Yet the Americans plant their
armies on the Iraqi side of the Shatt al-Arab, and declare themselves
"liberators" of a grateful population. In the face
of the most hostile political conditions imaginable, the U.S.
public is encouraged to expect a smooth and profitable occupation...
while the Pirates plot to seize Iran's adjacent oil fields.
try to avoid confrontation with the U.S. Tehran professes a
firm neutrality, and has so far downplayed alleged American
over flights of Iranian territory. But In the longer term, official
Iranian intentions do not matter. The momentum of U.S. involvement
in Iraq will inexorably bring war with Iran.
media embeds join Bush's Pirates to rewrite the history of the
Persian Gulf for comfortable American consumption - in anticipation
of soon redrawing the region's political map, as well - we turn
to the excellent journal, Aspects
of India's Economy, December 2000. In "The Iran-Iraq
War: Serving American Interests," the journal reminds us
that the U.S. has treated Iran as an enemy ever since that nation
liberated itself from the Shah. Saddam Hussein served as an
the US State Department removed Iraq from its list of "state
sponsors of terrorism", and fought off efforts by the
US Congress to put it back on the list in 1985. Most crucially,
the US blocked condemnation of Iraq's chemical attacks in
the UN Security Council. The US was the sole country to vote
against a 1986 Security Council statement condemning Iraq's
use of mustard gas against Iranian troops - an atrocity in
which it now emerges the US was directly implicated
arranged massive loans for Iraq's burgeoning war expenditure
from American client states such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The US administration provided "crop-spraying" helicopters
(to be used for chemical attacks in 1988), let Dow Chemicals
ship it chemicals for use on humans, seconded its air force
officers to work with their Iraqi counterparts (from 1986),
approved technological exports to Iraq's missile procurement
agency to extend the missiles' range (1988). In October 1987
and April 1988 US forces themselves attacked Iranian ships
and oil platforms.
the US not only provided to Iraq satellite data and information
about Iranian military movements, but, as former US Defence
Intelligence Agency (DIA) officers have recently revealed
to the New York Times (18/8/02), prepared detailed battle
planning for Iraqi forces in this period - even as Iraq
drew worldwide public condemnation for its repeated use of
chemical weapons against Iran.
Try as we
might, it is difficult to conceive of an American occupation
of Iraq that does not lead directly to war with Iran, this time
involving Russia and China. If armed resistance to the U.S.
drags on for months, the countdown to war with Iran will shorten
of welfare states
exception of the hefty British force and 2,000 Australians,
the international "coalition" supporting the U.S.
invasion remains a paper alliance - with some names written
in invisible ink. Derrick Z. Jackson, who along with the New
York Times' Paul Krugman is among the corporate media's best
political columnists - the best, from 's
perspective - wrote a hilariously biting piece for the March
21 Boston Globe, titled "What
got our back as we try to ''decapitate,'' ''take out,'' excuse
me, assassinate Saddam. ''The United States is prepared
to lead a coalition of the willing,'' Secretary of State Colin
Powell said. ''We now have a coalition of the willing that
includes some 30 nations.'' By wartime, Bush said the list
had grown to 35 nations who ''are giving crucial support,
from the use of naval and air bases to help with intelligence
and logistics, to the deployment of combat units.''
how the Unilateral States of America just flushed the United
Nations into the East River, it is interesting to see just
who has ''got our back.'' When you look at the list, you realize
that the actual thing that most of the ''coalition of the
willing'' actually said to Bush was, ''You want to assassinate
Saddam? Cool, I'm down with that. You got it. Now, I can't
exactly be there with you right now, you know what I mean
bro, right? You know how it is. My treasury is bankrupt, my
people are starving, and I got some rebels to repress. But,
hey, you go ahead and take out Saddam. And remember bro, no
matter what happens, I got yo' back. Peace."
to "convince the UN to become the coalition of the willing,"
wrote Jackson, Bush "settled for a coalition of welfare
in Alternet, Ian Williams sees a "precarious
coalition" that, "upon closer scrutiny... collapses
like a deflated freedom soufflé."
of State Colin Powell announced last week that there were
30 countries in the "coalition of the willing,"
he also referred to "15 other nations, for one reason
or another, who do not wish to be publicly named, but will
be supporting the coalition." That's just what you need
in time of war - 15 allies who are so convinced of your cause
that they want to hide their faces!
we learned who some of these mysterious others are: Costa
Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kuwait, Marshall
Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Panama, Portugal, Rwanda,
Singapore, Solomon Islands, Uganda and Bulgaria.
your memory, the original State Department roster of the 30
states included the following: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia,
Azerbaijan, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador,
Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,
Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua,
the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain,
Turkey, Britain and Uzbekistan. And that brings the total
number of nations supporting the U.S. up to a grand total
these latest additions do little to promote the administration's
claims about international diplomatic support.
John Conyers, dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, is methodically
examining the case for a bill of impeachment against George
Bush - a monumental task so long as the nation's media remain
deputized in the commander-in-chief's wartime service. However,
Conyers thinks he has a bead on one of the President's senior
Pirates, Richard Perle, a conspirator in the cabal that devised
the grand plan for American world hegemony, of which the Iraq
invasion is a mere prelude.
a pure Pirate. A long-time member of the Bush-Cheney inner circle,
Perle participates in planning for global, Permanent War, then
hawks his expertise on ways to profit from the conflict to the
highest bidder. As Reuters
reported, March 25, Rep. Conyers
the Pentagon's inspector general to probe Perle's work as
a paid adviser to bankrupt telecommunications company Global
Crossing Ltd. and his guidance on investment opportunities
resulting from the Iraq conflict.
am aware of several potential conflicts that warrant your
immediate review," Conyers said on Monday in a letter
to the Defense Department's inspector general, Joseph Schmitz.
The letter was made available on Tuesday.
Perle is considered a 'special government employee' and is
subject to government ethics prohibition - both regulatory
and criminal - on using public office for private gain,"
Conyers' letter said.
Perle reflects the morals and political thinking of the Bush
cabal, who view international order as an obstacle in the way
of the New American Century. The Perle crew has been trying
to kill off the United Nations for decades. With a like-minded
shipmate in the White House, the Pirates may yet succeed in
scuttling the world body.
his ghastly worldview with readers of the British weekly, The
Spectator, later picked up by The
Guardian's online service:
Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly,
but not alone: in a parting irony, he will take the UN down
with him. Well, not the whole UN. The "good works"
part will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies
will remain, the chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to
bleat. What will die is the fantasy of the UN as the foundation
of a new world order. As we sift the debris, it will be important
to preserve, the better to understand, the intellectual wreckage
of the liberal conceit of safety through international law
administered by international institutions.
It is fiends
like these, who prosper from human suffering while holding high
titles in government, that are the permanent enemies
of social justice. His soul mate Dick Cheney is just an irregular
heartbeat from the Presidency - and still pulling down $600,000
a year in "deferred earnings" from his previous job
as CEO of Halliburton, the nation's premiere Pirate Corporation.
made off with 20 percent of the billions spent on providing
"infrastructure" for NATO's Kosovo operations. Iraqi
"reconstruction" is the mother lode of all of all
war profiteering. Halliburton has already been awarded a huge
contract to fight fires in the Iraqi oil fields. Since the destruction
has only just begun, "reconstruction" should yield
many more benefits for the worldwide military-energy-construction
company. For more information on the financial structures of
the Pirate class, we recommend "Halliburton
Makes a Killing on Iraq War" in the current issue of
activist Ken Gray stepped back from the torrent of words and
images of war, to ask the question, "But
what about peace?"
the war is a success by its authors' standards, the question
of winning the peace in a pursuit that is so very wrong from
the beginning is hard to fathom. What this moment in history
does, in a sense, is sharpen what should have been the task
for the black movement, the labor movement, the progressive
movement, all along. Martin Luther King defined the real "axis
of evil" 36 years ago. He warned, "that the problem
of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem
of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that
are interrelated." As for America, King said, "A
nation that will exploit economically will have foreign investments
and everything else, and will have to use its military to
protect them. All of these problems are tied together."
Gray's article appeared in Counterpunch.
for affirmative action
are expected to pack the ranks of the Civil Rights March to
the Supreme Court, April 1. Organized by the Coalition to Defend
Affirmative Action & Integration And Fight for Equality
By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)
and United for Equality and Affirmative Action. Civil Rights
attorney Victor Goode was director of the National Conference
of Black Lawyers back when the organization filed a friend-of-the-court
brief in the Bakke affirmative action case. Goode describe the
on the Campus" in the Spring Issue of ColorLines:
opponents of affirmative action prevail, the gains of the
past won't disappear, but they will be significantly eroded.
While it's not unusual for the Solicitor General to speak
on behalf of the administration on important Supreme Court
cases, President Bush has not only weighed in as expected,
but he has mislabeled the Michigan system as "quota-based."
This, of course, is merely playing to his right-wing audience,
because none of the courts in either of the Michigan cases
held that the program used quotas. But he has also pitched
to moderates. He argued that schools should use race-neutral
criteria like the one in Texas that offers admission to the
top 10 percent of all high school graduates. But, according
to a recently released study by a team of sociologists, this
plan has failed to bring minority enrollments to the levels
they were when affirmative action was permitted.
Not our Condoleezza!
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice claims to favor some form
of affirmative action. We know she's down with wars under
all circumstances. However, in a recent speech at Baltimore's
Coppin State College, poet Amiri Baraka brought students to
their feet by intimating that Condoleezza does some dabbling
as a "skeeza," too.
Sun columnist Gregory Kane, a very "conservative"
gentleman , became incensed - nay, scandalized! - and leaped
to the defense of the athletic, single Black woman who has hung
around the Bush household for the last two decades and has never
even been rumored to have had a romantic affair with anybody
in the entire world. Skeeza? Kane took umbrage - and then took
of you not in the know, a "skeeza" is a derogatory
street term used in reference to a woman and as offensive
as calling her a prostitute. It's a noxious, bilious, disgustingly
sexist term and one of the worst things you could call a woman.
something Rice certainly is not. Baraka knows she's not. Those
blacks who laughed, giggled, tittered and applauded when Baraka
said it know she's not. But what was the reaction of these
black folks when Baraka finished his invective masquerading
as poetry that he called "Somebody Blew Up America"?
him thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
know that Condoleezza is not a skeeza? Does columnist
Kane know? If so, how did he obtain this knowledge?
Hall used to put it: makes ya wanna say, Hmmmm...
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