Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Peace Never Comes To Those Who Refuse To Open Their Eyes

Two items from Democracy Now! that Mike and I are both noting.

Canadian Teen At Guantanamo to Face Military Tribunal (Democracy Now!)
The Pentagon filed war crimes charges against five more detainees at Guantanamo. Those charged include Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who has been held by the US since he was 15 years old. Khadr's attorney Muneer Ahmad protested Monday's decision saying "Through torture, abuse, and three years of illegal detention, this government has robbed Omar of his youth... The fact that this Administration has seen fit to designate a child for trial by military commission is abhorrent." The Bush administration has refused to provide assurances that they will not seek the death penalty against him. Khadr was detained in Afghanistan allegedly after throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier.

Chalabi Heads Back to D.C.; No Investigation Yet on Iran Spy Charges (Democracy Now!)
The Wall Street Journal reports 17 months have passed the Bush administration announced a full criminal inquiry into allegations that Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi leaked U.S. intelligence secrets to Iran. Since then FBI hasn't even interviewed Chalabi or any U.S. official connected to the matter. Chalabi is arriving in Washington today for his first official visit in two years. He is planning on speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday and will be meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary John Snow.

I'm not much into blogging tonight (which is why this is so late), sorry.

U.S. Broadcast Exclusive - "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" on the U.S. Use of Napalm-Like White Phosphorus Bombs (Democracy Now!)
Democracy Now! airs an exclusive excerpt of "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre," featuring interviews with U.S. soldiers, Iraqi doctors and international journalists on the U.S. attack on Fallujah. Produced by Italian state broadcaster RAI TV, the documentary charges U.S. warplanes illegally dropped white phosphorous incendiary bombs on civilian populations, burning the skin off Iraqi victims. One U.S. soldier charges this amounts to the U.S. using chemical weapons against the Iraqi people.

Today was the one year anniversary of the massacre on Falluja and it's honestly depressing to me.

It disgusts me that a year later, we're still having trouble telling the truth about Falluja.

It disgusts me that a year later, so many Americans seem not very concerned with what went down in Falluja.

It disgusts me that a year later, propagandist Dexter Filkins still has an award and so few people will note that his reporting on Falluja was as bad as Judith Miller's lead up to the war reporting.

I'm sure I'll feel better after I wake up tomorrow but tonight it just disgusts me.

I'm not as cynical as Rebecca can be. (She's written about this. I'm not talking out of school.)
But I'm also not as optimistic as C.I. can be. I've been the middle attitude in our friendship over the year. Rebecca was the one who felt something was hopeless (which didn't mean she gave up fighting) and C.I. would always stress that "anything is possible" and I'd be in the middle between the two.

Tonight, I'm just depressed.

I'm thinking of a magazine, a left one, that issued a retraction for an article on Iraq when someone whined. I didn't think that was brave and the article wasn't wrong.

I feel like I was bringing Mike down earlier when we spoke. This may bring people down, this post, but I don't want anyone worrying (or accusing me of slacking off).

We had an amazing summer of activism and it continues. I saw that last week in New York at The World Can't Wait rally.

I also agree that there are wonderful websites, both within the community and outside of it, getting out the news.

I think Democracy Now! is doing important work and making a difference.

I will agree with Mike completely that the youth of the country have turned against the war.

But I think about the people I encounter. I'm not referring to patients. I avoid writing about patients here even in oblique terms. But I'm thinking of people I know, that I encounter due to my career and these "professionals" . . .

I'm not seeing a lot of growing concern.

I agree 100% that the youth is active and they are doing wonderful things. But I really am a little depressed that a year after the massacre, I encounter ho-hums on Falluja from "professionals." Medical professionals, no less.

Which makes me think of how disgusted I am that people who are supposed to be healers and are supposed to do no harm are perfectly willing to pass on information that should be private to military intell to help with investigations. I'm disgusted that members of my profession are okay with helping military intell devise techniques, they word play it as something other than torture, and the various medical societies are not screaming to protest this.

Doctors are not supposed to be assisting a government to "extract" information. Certainly not assisting those using techniques like "water boarding."

I think people have woken up. I think a lot of people who felt that they were the only ones disagreeing with the adminstration have learned that they are not alone. That's very powerful and I'm not trying to mitigate the importance of that.

But the truth that the youth of America, as a group, can see so easily seems to escape some of my peers. People trained to heal and to help should never need anyone pointing out that they have crossed a line; it should be quite obvious to them.

I knew I would be depressed when this anniversary rolled around; however, I didn't realize I would be as depressed as I am.

Talking about this with peers today, on the phone, didn't help because I encountered far too many justifications and far too much timidity that offered "wait a few months" and other nonsense.

Reporters aren't the only embeds helping this war continue and that depresses me because it seems so plain to me that an oath we took to help crumbles in the face of 9/11 as people who are supposed to be professional abandon their professional stance and their designated role as healers to assist in some misguided (and illegal) war on terror.

That's the mood I'm in tonight. I'll probably put on a Stevie Nicks CD and try to go to sleep (Wild Heart or Belladonna).

Peace Quote from me:
Peace never comes to those who refuse to open their eyes.