Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it"

Mike and I are sharing a number of highlights. Be sure to check out his site Mikey Likes It! for his comments.

US Refuses to Apologize For CIA Bombing in Pakistan (Democracy Now!):
In other news, the US government has refused to express regret over last week's CIA bombing in Pakistan. The attack killed a reported 17 people, including women and children. The U.S. has said little about the bombing but it is believed to have been carried out by a CIA Predator drone. On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack told reporters only: "The United States clearly values innocent human life. And that is why we're fighting the war on terror." Meanwhile, Pakistani officials said Tuesday the strike had killed up to 5 suspected militants.

That cuts it? For Americans, Sean McCormack's statement is supposed to cut it? Six children died and we're supposed to hear that nonsense and think, "Oh, well okay, if that's why, sure."
It doesn't cut it. We're not supposed to be killing innocent children, that's not how we're taught to see our country and it's unacceptable. "Collateral Damage" and other terms can mask reality but only if you want to be in the dark, only if you want to look the other way. We've got a Bully Boy with a blood lust and all he can think is, "Kill! Kill! Kill!" It's having an effect on the world and it's having an effect on us.

Swiss Senator Says Evidence Confirms CIA Renditions in Europe (Democracy Now!):
In Europe, a Swiss Senator has said there is no longer any question that the CIA undertook in illegal activities in Europe by secretly transporting and jailing suspected terrorists. The official -- Dick Marty -- is heading up a European investigation into allegations that the CIA operated secret prisons in Poland and Romania. He also said blame has to be placed on all European nations who have helped the U.S. carry out its covert operations.
Swiss Senator Dick Marty : "I'd like it to be clear that the problem does not only concern Rumania and Poland. It would be too simple to criminalize these two countries. I think it's to whole of Europe that accepted to keep quiet, because if it's true that something happened in Rumania and Poland, something also happened in many other countries, and many of them were certainly aware of what was going on. And to me, in such a situation, knowing and keeping quiet is as bad as tolerating that such activities be led on its territory."
Last week a Swiss newspaper published the text of an intercepted Egyptian memo about U.S. interrogation centers in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The memo had been faxed from the Egyptian foreign ministry to the Egyptian embassy in London. But it had been intercepted by the Swiss secret service and then leaked to the press.

Does anything outrage us anymore? Six children die because one of our predator drones does some "smart" bombing. We've been kidnapping people and holding them in secret jails. Thirty years ago, if you heard a leader railing against this behavior, it would have been Ronald Reagan talking about "the evil empire" (U.S.S.R.). And some of us would have watched and felt so superior because America doesn't do that. We're in the gutter now and the Bully Boy's dragged us there.

And what happened in Pakistan happens in Iraq all the time. Innocents are killed all the time and the US can blame it on "insurgents" or "terrorists" but that's not the only cause of death for innocent Iraqis.

Fly Boys and Lie Boys" (Brian Cloughley, CounterPunch):
The gallant fly-boys and their video-game controllers back in the US obliterated a house in which there was a family of Iraqis preparing to go to bed. The family had no connections with the Iraqi insurgency. They just had to die. And who cares? The official line is that the slaughtered kids "May have been drawn into the air strike" that was essential to "defend our forces fighting insurgents on the ground."
Even in the ludicrous Orwell-speak of modern military truth-destruction, the phrase "drawn into the air strike" achieves a new low in iniquitous distortion. The word 'may' is mandatory for all lie-speakers and serves to inject just that insidious doubt that is meat and drink to the pro-war media.
The kids who were killed by US bombs and cannon fire directed deliberately by gung-ho yippee-shooting jet-jocks were not "drawn into" their barbaric bombing. This is one of the most disgusting attempts at mind-bending yet achieved by the robotic brain-washed fanatics of the US propaganda factories. These children were killed because the people who ordered their death and those who murdered them are devoid of pity and revel in the technical expertise that separates killer from victim. They have no connection with spouting blood and shattered limbs. They play real-life video games in which they cause children to die in many horrible ways. They are clinically detached from the death and destruction that is their joy and professional climax. They are monsters.
Then the wondrous Colonel Johnson declared "We're now trying to determine in coordination with Iraqi security forces in the area exactly what casualties occurred, and why they occurred". This was after he assured the world that "precision-guided munitions" had been used and that all the dead people were bad people.
Then the Washington Post recorded that its correspondent "watched as the corpses of three women and three boys who appeared to be younger than 10 were removed Tuesday from the house outside the town of Baiji, 150 miles north of Baghdad" and that "Emergency workers also retrieved the bodies of three women -- a bloodied older woman whose head was wrapped in a black veil and two younger women whose hair was uncovered and who were dressed for bed. The head of one of the two young women was crushed."

This is the airwar Norman Solomon's pointed out that the mainstream media doesn't want to explore. There's a lot they don't want to explore and I'm excerpting for the final highlight but I would suggest you read the entry in full.

"NYT: '2002 Memo Doubted Uranium Sale Claim' (Eric Lichtblau)" (The Common Ills):
As noted on Sunday Salon with Larry Bensky
Sunday, there's hostility from some in the mainstream press towards Dahr Jamail and "[i]t's because, in some cases, he makes people look stupid." (The quote's from David Enders.) That would be the embeds who parrot military press releases and have apparently staked so much of their reputations (such as they currently are) on a created narrative that they're unable to break from it now. They appear to be too young to remember that war truths come out. Being old enough to remember Ronald Reagan's semi-successfully stage-managed wars, they're of the mind that truth is something that can come out years from now and, as then, there will be a shrug and that's all. That's not the case here. Call it self-interest if you want, but this war's not one of Reagan's illegal adventures that can be seen as happening to "them." It's happening to "them" and "us." And the American people will remember the enablers.
[. . .]
There's a moment in the film Black Widow that the
Go Go Boys Gone Wild in the Green Zone might want to pay attention to. Cocky and confident, assured that she's yet again gotten away with deceit, Theresa Russell bemoans the "fact" that it's over. "The truth is," Debra Winger informs her, "it's not over." Go Go Boys might want to study that moment (with or without their army of bodyguards). It'll help them prepare for what's coming.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center):
We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.
Maya Angelou