Event in Burlington, Ontario, Sept. 20
IDEA BURLINGTON PRESENTS
CHALLENGING TODAY’S WAR CULTURE: PROTESTING IN PEACE - HARMONIZING ENDS AND MEANS.
SPEAKERS: MATTHEW BEHRENS, Toronto Homes Not Bombs and Toronto Action for Social Change.
ANNE GOODMAN, Director, Centre for Transformative Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; member of Tikkun Toronto.
DATE: WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20TH
PLACE: EAST PLAINS UNITED CHURCH,
375 PLAINS ROAD EAST, BURLINGTON
(half way between Waterdown Rd. and King Rd. on the North side)
For more info call 905-521-0017
Toronto Event: Who is Hezbollah?
Who is Hezbollah?
The politics of the Lebanese Resistance
intro by James Clark
Thursday Sept. 14
Resistance Press Book Room
427 Bloor St. West (Spadina subway)
A new title is available from Kersplebedeb: *** They Never Crushed His Spirit: A Tribute to Richard Williams ***
With an introduction by Lynne Stewart, and contributions by Netdahe Williams Stoddard, Jaan Laaman, Tom Manning, Ray Luc Levasseur, Jamila Levi, Pat Levasseur, Kazi Toure, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Marilyn Buck, Nehanda Abiodun, Sundiata Acoli, Mutulu Shakur, Russell "Maroon" Shoats, Carlos Alberto Torres, Oscar López Rivera, Laura Whitehorn, Susan Rosenberg, Adolfo Matos Antongiorgi, and many other friends, family and comrades of Richard's.
Richard Williams was a lifelong anti-imperialist and socialist, one of the Ohio 7 convicted in 1984 of having carried out armed actions against racism and imperialism as a member of the United Freedom Front. Targets included South African Airways offices, Union Carbide offices for their manufacture of cluster bombs used against revolutionaries in Central America, US Army and Navy reserve offices, General Electric, as the fourth largest military supplier, particularly against El Salvador, and IBM for building the computers that enforced the South African pass system.
After over twenty years of captivity and medical neglect, Richard passed away on December 7th 2005, at the age of 58.
From the editorial note: "The book is a tool, both to educate and to offend our sense of humanity. Let us take our outrage and use it to insure that not one more political prisoner dies in prison."
published by Kersplebedeb and Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project
$7.00 US plus postage
It has been nine months since Richard Williams died, killed by a combination of Hepatitis C and consistent medical neglect on the part of the US prison system.
Richard Williams was a political prisoner, a working class communist who spent over twenty years behind bars for his activities in the armed clandestine movements of the 1970s and 80s.
Richard paid a high price for his political commitment. On top of the oppression and neglect that all prisoners suffer, political prisoners who do not renounce their beliefs are often subjected to particularly harsh treatment. Immediately following September 11, 2001, several political prisoners, including Richard, were put in isolation, even though there was no evidence of any kind linking them to the attacks. Richard was the last political prisoner to be released back to the general population on February 11, 2002. He spent 5 months in isolation, in freezing cold conditions. He was put in shackles and had a video camera fixed on him every time he left his cell, even to take a shower. He had virtually no contact with any one, not even his family, as his phone calls were restricted to one 15-minute call per week. The day after Richard was released back to general population, he suffered a minor heart attack.
As the Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Project explain: "Richard's health deteriorated rapidly. He suffered a heart attack, was treated for testicular cancer, discovered he had untreated diabetes for a long time and had troubles with his gall bladder. In November 2004, he gained a transfer to the prison medical facility in Butner, North Carolina, where the treatment was noticeably better than in Lompoc. Still, adequate medical treatment was slow coming. What ultimately killed Richard was Hepatitis; his liver stopped functioning and his body was unable to process food. Richard was only 58 when he died the night of Wednesday, December 7, 2005."
So it is something that is very sad, even though it is also an honour, to have been able to have some involvement in publishing this book.
I encourage you all to either download a copy (for free) from http://www.ipoc-ministry.org/rwtributepdf.html
or to order a copy for $7 US plus postage (which comes out to $12 for individual copies, making a total of $19 US) - email me at email@example.com
And most importantly - honour the memory of this fallen freedom fighter by fighting harder, both for those others who remain behind bars, and for a world in which the vicious racism, sexism and class oppression of the present day will all be things of the past.
Dahr Jamail includes emails received from Iraq, depicting the "living hell" Iraq has become under U.S. occupation. Iraqis tell of the horror of their daily existence. At the end, Dahr includes a letter he received from a WWII veteran and ex-CIA analyst.
Meanwhile, Bush and Rice keep telling us that progress is being made! If you still believe that after reading this latest dispatch from Dahr Jamail, then please send me an email. I have some great property and a couple bridges you may be interested in buying.
Meanwhile in Baghdad...
By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 12 September 2006
I've recently received several emails from Iraq. Some, like the first, have been sent to me from people I know. Others were passed on by my friend Gerri Haynes, who receives emails regularly from friends she made during her several trips to Iraq. I include them here, as the brunt of this piece, because they show the living hell that Iraq has become under US occupation.
Here is an email from a doctor living in Baghdad:
Although I have perfect job satisfaction as a full professor with an MRCP, FRCP, and two more degrees from London and France, things are so unhappy here in Baghdad. There is no quality of life at all. There are no services; we are loaded with garbage as it is not collected more than once every so many weeks. Garbage collectors are also afraid of being killed. We have almost no electricity, no fuel, bad water supply and
what is more, you could get killed whether you are Shi'ite or Sunni if you fall into the wrong hands! I nearly got killed on several occasions!
As for our colleagues, nearly none are with me from our class since most have left the country. The last one to leave was Abdul Aal, who left two months ago to Oman. The only one left with me is Khdayyer Abbas, who is a physician in the department of Medicine.
It is not a miserable life; if there is a grade more than miserable, then it will be ours!!! We work no more than three days a week in the university. The medical city, which was elegant and beautiful before the occupation, is now surrounded by garbage, barbed wire and concrete blocks from all directions. We don't spend more than three hours maximum at work so that totals nine hours a week!!! This is the maximum that
anyone is working. In the afternoons, most of my colleagues say that they have completely stopped going to their private clinics for fear of death or abduction.
I work no more than one hour and a half hour in the afternoon. I come back rushing to my house after that. We lock our doors and do not leave at all. What about shopping? It is called "Marathon Buying," for I try to spend no more than ten minutes getting all the needed vegetables, fruits and food items. This is on my way back from university, three times a week. I also spend another ten minutes in the afternoon on my way back from the clinic buying car fuel for my home electric generator. It is all black markets now since the lines are so long at the pumps, reaching four to five times the official price. If I need to get it officially, I have to spend the night in line in front of the gas station where people bring their blankets, water, food and sleep in the street in front of the gas stations. Sometimes I speak nicely to the
guard of the gas station, presenting my ID and my business card and ask them if I can fill my car out of line. Sometimes they kick me out, other times I am lucky and the guard has some rheumatic complaints, back pain or knee pains, and bingo, I can fill my car out of line with a promise to bring him medicines to where he is. Of course, this is without any physical exam or investigations. If I was really lucky and the stars were on my side that day, then I might even be allowed to get an extra
20 liters of gas for my generator!!!
One month ago there were militia men with their guns storming the dormitories of the resident doctors in the medical city. They were looking for doctors from Mosul or Al-Anbar province. There was a big fuss, and the targeted doctors went into hiding so none were caught. The next day, two of them who were rheumatology post-graduates under my supervision asked me to give them leave to go to their hometowns and not
be back except for their exams. I agreed, because they were leaving anyway. They would have been killed if they were caught, not because they have done any crime, but just because they are Sunni from Mosul or Al-Anbar. I believe that many doctors from southern parts of Iraq who were Shi'ites also left the dormitory that day because they feared that they were not safe anymore and it would be their turn with maybe Sunni militia gunmen who will come sooner or later. So everyone left!!!!
That same week, I had prepared a lecture for post graduate doctors in the medical city, and nobody appeared since all the resident doctors had left! Many have come back again, but are terrified. Life has to go on.
The same applies for other hospitals, where services are almost non-existent now. I was in Yarmouk Hospital two days ago. The resident doctor whom I was visiting was living inside the hospital with broken dusty furniture, wood and metal scattered all over. The doors and windows were broken and it looked like an animal barn. I was requesting a death certificate for a colleague, so I went with him to the morgue,
where he kept the death registry. Outside the morgue there were bodies of two young men, both shot in the head, lying on stretchers in the open air. The hospital was barricaded behind huge cement walls. The hospital itself has been targeted several times by car bombs. Several months ago, doctors in this hospital declared a one-day strike because they were beaten and wounded by officers of the Iraqi National Guard. The hospitals are frequently raided by militia men who will pull the wounded out of their hospital beds and drag them to where they will be executed.
Attendance of patients to hospitals has dropped tremendously. Before the invasion, we used to see an average of 100 patients in our consultation clinic of rheumatology every single day. We don't see more than 20 nowadays. Don't ask me where the patients disappeared. Many are scared to leave their homes and go to the hospitals. The hospital used to provide medicines for the chronically ill, for diseases like
rheumatoid arthritis. We used to have a monthly blood checking available, followed by a month supply of DMRDs. These supplies are now infrequent and blood checking is not done because services are so irregular. So most patients got fed up and decided it is no longer worth it to attend hospitals. Even simple medicines are not available most of the time for patients coming for acute complaints. Many who used to come from towns and cities away from Baghdad for better treatment in the capital city now think it is too risky and dangerous to travel to Baghdad for a follow-up. Patients stop their therapy altogether or depend on local facilities and whatever simple resources they get where they are, regardless of whether it is effective or not.
The financial situation of most families in Baghdad has gone so much down, that many find it is a luxury to treat chronic illnesses, since the priority is for food, fuel and staying alive. This is a small summary of what and how we are living.
Here is an email written on August 10. The woman who wrote it, Souad, holds a PhD and is a DU researcher who recently moved to northern Baghdad due to the security situation. She is a mother of four.
For a while we have been going through very hard times. My oldest brother, a kidney surgeon, died one month ago in a very painful situation. He was a director of a large clinic and was 61 years old. He had a severe stroke in the middle of the night. My brothers took him to Al-Kindy Hospital in the morning, because it is the closest to the area. After long time of waiting, they refused to hospitalize him in the intensive care because as they said they had no time for stroke victims and they had to perform so many amputations because of the explosions and the street fights. They asked my brothers to bring him back on Saturday, when they might have a place in the intensive care. My brother took him to private hospitals, which were very good at one time. Most of them were closed because their specialists had received envelopes saying "You have to leave, or else" with a gun bullet in the envelope. They took him back home, and he died the next morning. This is how much a human being is worth in liberated, democratic Iraq now. He worked all his life to save people's lives, but nobody saved his. We feel outraged and hopeless. We have more than 150 young men get killed every day only in Baghdad, and nobody knows what the Americans in Iraq are up to. The death squads attack Sunni Arabs areas, and when the people fight back to
protect their kids and families, the American tanks start bombing the areas with the civilians in them. That proves that these squads are part of occupation plan to control Iraq. About two million people left Iraq this summer. On TV, we see the media making the relation between American and Iran look really tense. In Iraq, the Americans work hand in hand with the Iranian militias to slaughter Iraqis. I don't know when this bloodthirsty president of yours will stop. He is executing Hitler's
plans with the Jewish, but this time on Muslims. I wonder what the children and teenagers will do after they see their parents suffering or being killed at the hands of occupation criminals. Excuse me for being so harsh and disappointed, but this is what we are doing every single day of our lives now.
Here is another email from Souad:
I know it is hard to imagine the situation. Baghdad turned into a ghost city this summer. Things are beyond the tolerance of any human being. No electricity, no fuel in the richest oil country to run even small house generators. 90% of the stores are closed because of the kidnappings and explosions. Some of my women relatives couldn't leave the house to their garden for six months. Can you imagine the house-prisons women are locked in here in Iraq these days? Some of them PhD holders. About two
million Iraqi have left since June of this year to close-by countries waiting for a miracle to happen. We have no clue what will happen the next day. There is no planning and no reconstruction. Where are all the oil revenues going? Nobody knows. Every single dollar is being spent on security plans, and we have no security.
The following email is from Rizgar Khosnow, who is a Kurdish man with US citizenship and author of the book, Nothing Left But Their Voices
. Khosnow lives in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, where most people in the US are led to believe things are so much better than the rest of Iraq. This first email is from August 12:
We have been stuck at home this summer because it is so hot here and we have very little electricity. Things are not that great here. As I have said in the past, I am considered wealthy here and I am just barely keeping my head above water. Believe it or not, I am spending $600-700 a month in gas alone! This gas I use to run my two generators, at different times in the day, and I must use them to run lights and fans. The rent is getting so ridiculous that the president of Kurdistan came on TV last night and said that he will do something about the rent increase that is going on here.
Three years ago, I rented a furnished home for $100 in the city of Arbil. Now, I pay $1500 a MONTH without furniture! My next door neighbor rented his home for $3,500 a month. Things are extremely bad here. The rich are robbing the poor. I wish I knew how people here are living when their monthly salaries are no more than $200 a month! Last year, a gallon of gas cost 25 cents and now the same gallon cost $6.00.
Here is another email from him:
I am glad that you are trying your best to get the word out. I feel that we need to let all Americans know what is going on. I have moved to my new home and it has taken me one week to do so. I have help from three of my relatives who are staying with me till I finish everything, and we still cannot seem to complete all that work that is needed. You will not believe how difficult things are here and how much I needed to
do in my new home. Things are not easy here. At the new home we have electricity one hour a day. I have now bought another generator, now I have three of them, to give me power to run lights and fans. We also have not had water for three days so I had to buy water worth $20 a day! That is life here even for the well-to-do like myself!
Here is another email from him:
It is true what is going on is horrifying, but there is even more happening every day that goes by. Since I am moving from my current home to a new home, my cousin told me that he will come to Arbil and help us move. He lives in Baghdad. He called this morning and told me that he cannot make it because of the curfew that is going on in Baghdad. There is absolutely nobody going out of their home at any time.
It was supposed to be for two days but now it will be one full week. The curfew is only in the Sunni areas. That means the Shi'ites will still have their weapons to kill more Sunnis as they wish. Yesterday, some 20 or so soldiers entered all the homes in my cousin's area. They entered my cousin's home to search for weapons. It was a very scary and unpleasant experience for my relatives. Let me tell you what that means for people too scared to leave their houses now.
They have no food; only water, bread and some rice. Since there is no electricity, they cannot store food. We all know that Iraqis go to the market on a daily basis to buy food or they have to stay hungry for a week. Since there is no electricity, some areas have large private generators that they turn on for at most five hours a day to give each home enough power to run two fans and few lights- each home usually gets
4 to 5 Amps. They usually charge a lot of money for this service, and even that is not working this week, because the owner of the generator is not allowed to turn it on and he cannot even leave his home. Anyone needing medicine is out of luck. No government offices are open. Anyone needing to go to the hospital must wait for a week! Simply put, Iraq is nothing but a large prison.
Here is an email from him on August 19:
I do have a lot to say and I wish to get the word out. No American can imagine what is going on here at this time. It seems that the sad stories never end here. Just a few weeks ago, my cousins, the five of them brothers, were warned that they would be killed if they did not leave their homes in the Sunni areas of Baghdad. They all packed their bags and moved to Egypt with their families. The brothers will return to
Kurdistan to work with me in the next couple of months once they set up their families in Egypt. This is the life in Iraq, and Bush and Rice keep telling us that we are "making progress in Iraq." What a bunch of bull - -
Here is an email from him on August 28:
I have concluded that there is no way on earth that Iraq will recover, as one country, in the next ten to twenty years. We need a new generation here if we are going to see any kind of peace. There have been so many killings here that there is no way one will forgive the other. I personally know many people in Baghdad who are waiting for the right time to seek revenge on others that have hurt them. There has been so much hurt here that you can never imagine it.
Iraqis have given up on peace in Baghdad especially. There is no hope. What you see on TV is propaganda and controlled by the USA and is absolutely not true. There is no such thing as "reconciliation" between Iraqis. There has been too much blood spilled and Iraqis are VERY well known not to forget and forgive.
Here is a letter I received from a WWII veteran named Jack Cross who had asked me if I had figures of the tonnage of bombs dropped by US warplanes in Iraq. I include it here to underscore the fact that those responsible for creating the living hell that Iraq has become are war criminals and should be treated as such. I include it here for those currently serving in the US military as an example of what true honor
I am 84 years old, and I flew as a navigator on B-25s in the campaign that drove the Germans out of North Africa - from Cairo to Tripoli. Then, returning home I undertook pilot training as a student officer. I then transitioned in B-29s, flying from Tinian as a co-pilot on the last ten missions against Japan. I was in the air when the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki - and I participated in the total
destruction of Aomori on the northern tip of Honshu.
Realizing how ignorant I really was, I returned home and entered the University of Chicago and spent several years getting my AB, MA, and PhD there. After this I served for a while in Air Force Intelligence in Washington in a relatively new "targeting division," then transferred to the CIA where, in the Materials Division of the Office of Research and Reports, I spent about seven years as an analyst, rising from a GS7 to a GS11 before quitting in disgust after sitting in on some of the early planning sessions in which the overthrow of Mossadegh [democratically-elected prime minister of Iran, 1951-1953] was planned.
Over the years, as I reviewed my experiences, I have come to realize that I was a participant in war crimes myself, as were so many others - and just how difficult it is to face that reality. Because we were all such heroes of the "good" war. Retrospect, however, shows me that there are no good wars. War is an abomination, a failure of our humanity, and a neglect of our better natures.
I sit here knowing that every major city in the world has been carefully targeted and the international armaments industries of all the major powers have become the most important things in supporting the economies of the countries of the world. I know that the electoral process has been corrupted by diabolical power brokers and realize just how ignorant - in the sense of not knowing anything about the structure (or mal-structure, if you will) of our governments - the people are, or their believing in an innate goodness of man despite all the evidence to the contrary. I cringe before the monsters that the Pentagon and its Air Force have become.
I cringe knowing that all political parties are completely complicit in these developments. I wish I could see some hope. But unless and until the people turn these Republicans out of office and Congress mounts serious investigations of all levels of corruption in the Bush administration and act on their findings, I am very pessimistic about the future. Unless these investigations are carried out and the findings are laid bare for the entire world to see just how nefarious this administration has been - and because this bunch of people know just how serious all this is to their own survival - I am very pessimistic about the future.
No, I don't think we will be able to get the figures for the number of bombs and missiles we have used in this Iraqi war crime, nor will we know what will be used in Iran. It has become important to these people for us not to know these things.
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the DahrJamaiIraq
website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media
. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.
More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at http://dahrjamailiraq.com
Tags for this entry: Iraq
In this Iraq Dispatch, independent journalist Dahr Jamail writes about the impending threat on Fallujah from U.S. forces again, after they've already destroyed the city twice. And the resistance shows no signs of weakening.
I wonder how long will it take for the American people to wake up and see the realities of Bush's ill-fated, illegal war and demand the withdrawal of their troops? How many more deaths and destroyed cities?
All this because Iraq has the misfortune to be sitting atop large reserves of oil.
Fallujah Under Threat Yet Again
*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
*FALLUJAH, Sep 11 (IPS) - After enduring two major assaults, Fallujah is under threat from U.S. forces again, residents say.*
"They destroyed our city twice and they are threatening us a third time," 52-year-old Ahmed Dhahy told IPS in Fallujah, the Sunni-dominated city 50km west of Baghdad.
"They want us to do their job for them and turn in those who target them," he said.
Dhahy, who lost 32 relatives when his father's house was bombed by a U.S. aircraft during the April 2004 attack on the city, said the U.S. military had threatened it would destroy the city if resistance fighters were not handed over to them.
"Last week the Americans used loudspeakers on the backs of their tanks and Humvees to threaten us," Dhahy said. Residents said the U.S. forces warned of a "large military operation" if fighters were not handed over.
A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said he had no reports of such action.
Fallujah was heavily bombed in April 2004 and again in November that year. The attacks destroyed 75 percent of city infrastructure and left more than 5,000 dead, according to local non-governmental groups.
But following the heavy assaults, resistance fighters have continued to launch attacks against U.S. and official Iraqi forces in the city. Fallujah remains under tight security, with the U.S. military using biometric identification, full body searches and bar-coded ID's for residents to enter and leave their city.
"The Iraqi resistance has not stopped for a single day despite the huge U.S. army activities," a city police captain speaking on condition of anonymity told IPS.
"The wise men of the city explained to U.S. officials that it is impossible to stop the resistance by military operations, but it seems the Americans prefer to do it the hard way."
The police captain said anti-occupation fighters had increased their activities in the face of sectarian violence in which Shia death squads have killed thousands of Sunnis in Baghdad. Many residents of Fallujah have relatives in the capital city.
Lack of reconstruction, and the U.S. military's failure to pay due compensation to victims' families have added to the unrest, the captain said.
"There used to be resistance attacks against the U.S. and Iraqi forces in Fallujah daily," added the captain. "But now they have increased to several per day. Many soldiers have been killed and their vehicles destroyed. So it is clear that the security measures they have taken in Fallujah have failed."
Several residents told IPS that all sorts of killings have been taking place over the past eight months. Religious leaders have been targeted regularly, with no group claiming responsibility.
On Sunday Sep. 10, former chief of traffic police Brigadier Ahmed Diraa was shot dead in his car. Residents in Fallujah told IPS that Diraa had quit his post a month earlier.
In the face of killings, and now threats of a new attack, residents remain defiant of the occupation forces. The hardships that people have endured seem to have strengthened rather than weakened them.
"There are so many arrests and killings, and collective punishments such as random shootings, violent inspection raids, repeated curfews and deliberate cutting of water and electricity," Mohammed al-Darraji, head of an Iraqi human rights group in Fallujah called The Iraqi Centre for Human Rights Observation told IPS.
"What is going on in this city requires international intervention to protect civilians and to punish those who seriously damaged Fallujah society and committed serious crimes against humanity," al-Darraji added. His group has been monitoring breaches of the Geneva Conventions in the city since the April 2004 siege.
"There is a long list of collective punishments that have turned the city into a frightful detention camp," he said.
Another human rights campaigner in Fallujah who asked to be referred to as Khalid said human rights activists in Iraq felt betrayed by the United Nations.
The UN had played ignorant "by leaving U.S. troops to act alone in the city," Khalid, who works with Raya Human Rights, a non-governmental organisation in the city told IPS. "This was after the media exposed the enormity of the violence and human rights violations during the last three years."
(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.
All images, photos, photography and text are protected by United States and international copyright law. If you would like to reprint Dahr's Dispatches on the web, you need to include this copyright notice and a prominent link to the DahrJamailIraq website. Website by photographer Jeff Pflueger's Photography Media. Any other use of images, photography, photos and text including, but not limited to, reproduction, use on another website, copying and printing requires the permission of Dahr Jamail. Of course, feel free to forward Dahr's dispatches via email.
More writing, commentary, photography, pictures and images at http://dahrjamailiraq.com
Tags for this entry: Iraq
[Note to Tomdispatch readers: Don't miss the new project, Lie by Lie just up at the Mother Jones website. A cleverly cross-referenced time-line, It is in the process of cataloguing all the lies and manipulations of the Bush administration on the way to war and thereafter. It may be a work in progress but it's an important one. Bookmark it. Let me also thank three sites in particular for helping me to keep up on Iraq: As always, Juan Cole's indispensable Informed Comment blog, Antiwar.com with its plethora of pieces I would otherwise never catch, and the War in Context whose editor has a telling eye for the important article. Tom]
The Real Link Between 9/11 and Iraq (Finally) Revealed
By Tom Engelhardt
You've heard the President and Vice President say it over and over in various ways: There was a connection between the events of September 11, 2001 and Iraq. Let's take this seriously and consider some of the links between the two.
Numbers and comparisons
*At least 3,438 Iraqis died by violent means during July (roughly similar numbers died in June and August), significantly more than the 2,973 people who died in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
*1,536 Iraqis died in Baghdad alone in August, according to revised figures from the Baghdad morgue. That's over half the 9/11 casualties in one city in one increasingly typical month. According to the Washington Post, this figure does not include suicide-bombing victims and others taken to the city's hospitals, nor does it include deaths in towns near the capital.
*By the beginning of September, 2,974 U.S. military service members had died in Iraq and in the Bush administration's Global War on Terror, more than died in the attacks of 9/11. (Twenty-two more American soldiers died in Iraq in the first 9 days of September; at least 3 in Afghanistan.)
Click here to read more of this dispatch.
With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, American leaders declared "victory" in the Cold War no less firmly or repeatedly than our President has promised "victory" in his Global War on Terror -- no less than 12 times, in fact, in an August speech to the American Legion National Convention. However, as Andrew Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism, recently wrote, victory in our times turns out to be a remarkably quicksilver concept, especially since "the East has solved the riddle of the Western Way of War… [T]he Arabs now possess -- and know that they possess -- the capacity to deny us victory, especially in any altercation that occurs on their own turf and among their own people."
Triumphantly here today (as your generals sit grinning behind a marble table in one of Saddam's palaces), victory is gone tomorrow (as the IEDs start to explode and the suicide car bombs begin to mount). In the case of the Cold War, the question remains: Was that victory actually gone yesterday? Was it gone by the time officials danced their victory jigs in the corridors of the Pentagon and the White House?
In retrospect, it may be -- as perceptive scholars of imperial decline like Immanuel Wallerstein have long argued -- that we were already definitively on the way down; or, put another way, that there was no victor but there were two losers in the Cold War; that the Soviet Union, the weaker of the two great powers, simply imploded first; while the U.S., enwreathed in a rhetoric of triumph and self-congratulation, was slowly making its way to the door without waving goodbye.
In the fifteen years since the USSR evaporated, most indices of power, especially military power, have been challenged. To offer but a single sobering example, historian Gabriel Kolko, discussing how destructive power has been "democratized," points out that:
"U.S. power has been dependent to a large extent on the country's highly mobile navy. But ships are increasingly vulnerable to missiles, and while they are a long way from finished, they are more and more circumscribed tactically and, ultimately, strategically… [Iran, for example] possesses large quantities of [cruise] missiles, and US experts believe they may very well be capable of destroying aircraft-carrier battle groups. All attempts to devise defenses against these rockets, even the most primitive, have been expensive failures, and anti-missile technology everywhere has remained, after decades of effort and billions of dollars, unreliable."
When, back in the 1960s, Senator J. William Fulbright wrote of "the arrogance of power" as a defining trait of America's leaders, few in power took him seriously. So many years later, the question is: Do our present arrogant leaders have the faintest idea how limited their powers really are? As Ira Chernus, author of Monsters To Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin, suggests below, on this fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the leadership of an increasingly cornered empire continues to put its emphasis not just on striking back, but on striking first… and wherever. This is the most dangerous, the most blinding and fearful legacy of the 9/11 attacks. In the long run, it threatens a world in rubble. Tom
MNN: A Response to "Vampires Strike Back"
This is Kahentinetha Horn's response to a letter she received about her article, "Vampires Strike Back", which I've posted here earlier.
RESPONSE TO MNN “VAMPIRES STRIKE BACK: “ONE DEAD INDIAN” BLOOD AND GORE CONDITIONS THE MASSES”, Sep. 7, 2006
“Again--I say let my people be! [GERMANS] We have nothing to do with what is going on over there! I am amazed at how you describe us Americans—I for one was a soldier and I dont appreciate you saying that I was trained to be a sadist and am trigger happy! We do not go to war nonchalantly! As a matter of fact most of us are scared out of minds of what is going to happen to us and our buddies! Where do you get this information from? Especially about the Germans --- my mom was raised during Hitlers time and her best friend was a jewish women--where do you get off with this information? Why dont you use Stalin--he killed 30 million of his own people - more than Hitler did! Talk about how and what he did or are you too scared?
Seems to me that your spouting your mouth off! Are the Mohawks called the people eaters when they go to war? Hmmmmmm? Its easier to write about someone who has all the information right in front of you than it is to do some research on another person [[stalin]]. If you have the guts to do this maybe you will find out that the older generation in Russia is terrified to even talk about Stalin!
As far as most white people feel -- we dont want your land, your energy, or anything--all we want to do is live in peace. We feel that we have done enough to the Native People of the US and CanadaI I especially don’t want to see this movie your talking about--"One dead Indian" from your account of the movie -- it truly is frightening! We as "The Caucasian Race" do not see the mohawks or anyother native people as terrorists--maybe drunks, high on crack--what ever you want to call it but there it is--the truth---
I am sure this does not go for all native people --I have a sister who is Navajo -- she is near and dear to me. I have a friend [[seneca]] here in Buffalo NY who has a daught whom I love dearly. I worked with many native american people in the casino! They are wonderful people--
SOOOO WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? Seems to me that your trying to stir up a lot of emotional hate at your so called newspaper! Getting the Warriors and others fired up to fight? Hmmm could that be what your trying to do??? Sure its fine to warn people, sure its fine to let everyone know the truth
but dam from reading what you wrote--seems to me your just as bad as these corporate and goverment vampires spreading hate!
This is Kahentinetha's response to the above letter:
MNN response to XX….
THANK YOU FOR SENDING YOUR THOUGHTS ON MY ARTICLE ON THE “VAMPIRES” [Sept. 7, 2006]. I AGREE WITH YOU 100% THAT HATE SHOULD NOT BE STIRRED UP AGAINST ANY PEOPLE. I HAVE EVERY SYMPATHY FOR THE "NOBLE" SENTIMENTS THAT MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO BECOME SOLDIERS. THE WILL TO PROTECT THOSE WHO ARE WEAK AND DEFENSELESS IS ALWAYS NOBLE. UNFORTUNATELY, ARMIES ARE NOT ALWAYS USED FOR THIS PURPOSE. THEY'RE TRAINED TO TAKE ORDERS UNQUESTIONINGLY. SO THEY END UP KILLING MOSTLY INNOCENT PEOPLE. A LOT OF TIME THOSE ORDERS INVOLVE KILLING PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN CHARGED OR CONVICTED OF ANYTHING. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND OVER A THIRD OF CASULATIES OF CANADIANS IN AFGANISTAN HAS BEEN BY AMERICANS. PROPER CONSULTATIVE PROCEDURES [EVEN BETWEEN ALLIES] ARE NOT USED TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IN WHAT THEY CALL THE "THEATRE OF WAR" BEFORE ARMIES ARE SENT IN "TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT" BY USING FORCE.
WE ALSO AGREE WITH YOU THAT BOTH STALIN'S AND HITLER'S REIGNS OF TERROR WERE A GREAT TRAGEDY. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE HAVE BEEN MANY OTHERS. PLEASE DON’T FORGET THAT THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF SIBERIA WERE CRUELLY COLONIZED BY THE RUSSIANS, JUST AS THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE WERE ABUSED BY STALIN.
IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO LEAVE ASIDE NATIONALIST ACCUSATIONS AND TO JOIN OUR MINDS TOGETHER TO WORK FOR AN HONEST AND PEACEFUL WORLD. I WISH IT WERE TRUE THAT THERE WERE NO FOREIGN PEOPLE OR CORPORATIONS WHO WANT OUR LAND, RESOURCES AND ENERGY. WE HAVE SUFFERED A MASS INVASION AND ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. THERE ARE NOW TOO MANY FOREIGNERS AND THEIR ILL-INFORMED DESCENDANTS HERE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO GO HOME. WHAT DO YOU THINK WE SHOULD DO ABOUT THIS?
I AM SORRY TO HEAR THAT YOUR INDIGENOUS RELATIVES ARE ON CRACK AND DRUNK. I CAN ASSURE THAT MOST OF US ARE NOT.
WE ARE DEFINTITELY NOT TRYING TO STIR UP HATE AT MNN. WE ARE MERELY TRYING TO KEEP PEOPLE INFORMED OF WHAT IS HAPPENING BECAUSE THE MAINSTREAM CORPORATE MEDIA DOES NOT REPORT "OUR PERSPECTVES". IT ALSO SUPPRESSES A GREAT DEAL OF INFORMATION ABOUT GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION THAT IS OF GENERAL INTEREST TO THE CANADIAN AND THE U.S. PUBLIC. IT IS VERY TRAUMATIC FOR PEOPLE TO FIND OUT THAT INSTITUTIONS THEY TRUST HAS COMMITTED HATE MONGERING AND OTHER ATROCITIES SUCH AS MURDER. NOBODY WANTS TO FACE UP TO THE FACT THAT 99% OF OUR PEOPLE WERE MURDERED. WE MUST NEVER LET OURSELVES FALL APART WHEN WE SEE THIS. WE HAVE TO THINK CLEARLY AND TRY TO FIND A WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO WORK TOGETHER HONESTLY. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR EVERYBODY TO LIVE TOGETHER DECENTLY IN THIS WORLD.
Tags for this entry: First Nations
, Six Nations
, Human Rights
CCR and Maher Arar on Discovery Channel Sunday, September 10th!
This Sunday, the American civil rights organization, Center for Constitutional Rights
(CCR) Staff Attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez
--part of the CCR team that represents detainees and co-ordinates the defense work of the 500 volunteer attorneys participating in their Guantánamo Justice Project--will appear in the first of Ted Koppel’s new series of documentaries for the Discovery Channel
. The program will also prominently feature CCR client Maher Arar
, a Syrian-Canadian who was rendered by the US government to Syria, where he was tortured for nearly a year before being released and allowed to return home. The Price of Security
will consider just how much of our liberty we are willing to give up in the name of security and whether we are actually safer as a result.
The Center for Constitutional Rights
and their client Maher Arar
(a victim of “extraordinary rendition,” the government’s policy of outsourcing torture) will be featured prominently in The Price of Security
, Ted Koppel’s premiere documentary on the Discovery Channel
Sunday, 10 September, 8:00pm ET/PT
Following the documentary, the Discovery Channel
will air a live Town Hall
meeting hosted by Koppel and featuring, among other guests, CCR President Michael Ratner
The Town Hall meeting promises to be an exceptional discussion of how to protect American civil liberties against the extreme measures taken by the Bush administration. Koppel will be accepting questions online for the discussion. You are encouraged to help shape this debate by submitting your question or comment to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please be as succinct as possible, and make sure to include your name and location.So remember to watch CCR on the Discovery Channel this Sunday!