Tuesday, October 04, 2005

'Disgusting and nauseating'

This is said to be a doctored photo of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. A US newspaper published it but then withdrew it explaining that someone had doctored an Associated Press photo to give Rice's eyes a sinister look.

PV Vivekanand

"The government lied, and your kids died" This is the rallying cry of American anti-war movements and critics of the George Bush administration. But you would not find the slogan in the mainstream corporate media of the United States. For most of them, it is business as usual, with Republican President Bush and his people doing a great job of governing the country, fighting off terror threats to national security and stability and challenges to the very way of life in the US.
As far as the mainstream media are concerned, charges that the administration lied and used deceit to lead the country to war against Iraq in order to serve Israeli interests more than those of the US simply happen to be fabricated by the opposition Democrats and others who do not like the Republicans. Indeed, that is what emerges from the behaviour and utterances of Bush and senior officials in his administration. They don't seem to care a hoot about what many Americans have to say about how the country has fallen from its stature as the most respected nation in the world to that of an entity — not withstanding its sole superpower status — run by an autocratic regime that bulldozes its way in whatever direction it deems fit. But then, it is not surprising, given that those in power in the US believes only in military might and global dominance at whatever cost. Everything else is trivial and irrelevant.
It is indeed surprising to this part of the world that Bush himself and his people are blatantly ignoring well-established facts and substantiated allegations that they took the people of America and the rest of the world for a ride in the invasion of Iraq and continuing with a business-as-usual approach despite the death of nearly 1,900 American soldiers and the maiming of thousands of others (not to mention the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis and the untold suffering the people of that country are now living through).
I know at least half a dozen people who simply switch television channels when Bush and some of his close aides appear on screen.
Indeed, we feel like throwing up when we see and hear them belting out statements that have little relevance to the crises the US and the rest of the world face but serve the interests of the neoconservative camp in Washington.
We recognise them as lies, but we are unable to do anything about; it would appear that not even American voters could do anything about. They are stuck with this present administration and many of their elected representatives depend on the neoconservatives for not only their survival but also to make themselves wealthy and politically powerful.
It is disgusting to listen to Bush administration officials talking about the need for democracy and respect for human rights in the Arab World when the images from Abu Ghraib remain vivid in our mental screens (It does not mean that the Arab states are world models for democracy and human rights, but the point being made here has to do with American hypocrisy).
It is nauseating to listen to Bush administration officials talking about the need to fight "terrorist" groups around the world when we know that most of the "terrorists" are America's own direct or indirect creation (It does not mean that anyone is an apologist for "terrorists" and see their actions as just and fair, but we have to see the American administration's statements against the backdrop of fair evidence that someone high up in the Bush administration was deeply involved in the Sept.11 attacks that triggered the US-led war against terror).
It is ridiculing to listen to Bush administration officials talking about the "greatness" of the US when we know that whatever was indeed great about that country has been sacrified at the altar of Israeli interests and the quest for global dominance.
It is indeed alarming to listen to Bush administration officials levelling charges against countries like Syria and Iran when we know that those countries are being set up and framed into position for "regime changes" to suit American and Israeli interests.
It is sickening to listen to Bush administration officials talking about putting Saddam Hussein and others from the ousted regime on trial when we know that the most deserving candidates to be tried on charges of crimes against humanity are right there in Washington and are allowed to continue their crimes with immunity.
What is even more revolting is the realisation that Bush and his people are perfectly aware that they are giving us a pack of lies but they expect us to swallow it whether we like it or not if only because we are not in a position to do otherwise.
However, Bush and his people should not ignore the rising voice of ordinary Americans. The administration and its cronies might be able to shut them off the corporate media, but their voices are indeed being heard loud and clear — the indignant, furious denounciation of the administration's policies — in the Internet.

Here is an outstanding example (http://www.epluribusmedia.org):

10 Bad Reasons for “Staying the Course” in Iraq (and One Good One)
by Jeff Huber

03 October 2005

10. Democracy takes time. America needed 13 years to write its Constitution.
The American Revolution analogy is ludicrous. Britain did not invade the American colonies in order to liberate us, and we did not ask them to stick around for more than a decade to help us form our government.

9. If we leave now, we’ll embolden the terrorists.
They’re not exactly shrinking violets now. The longer we’ve stayed, the bolder they’ve become.

8. Withdrawing will show lack of American resolve.
Getting in a bar fight over a girl shows resolve. Waking up in jail with your nose broken shows how stupid you are.

7. We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.
If we don’t have to fight them over here, why do we spend around $40 billion a year for a Department of Homeland Security?

6. The spread of democracy in the Middle East will enhance America’s security.
"Free" elections in the Middle East have helped Afghanistan become the world’s leading exporter of narcotics and transformed terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah into "legitimate" political parties.

5. We need to support our troops.
I applaud and deeply respect our men and women in uniform for their magnificent service and sacrifice. These are my people, remember? However, comma….

In the first place, we are supporting our troops — to the tune of nearly half a trillion dollars a year.

Second, when we continue to commit those men and women in uniform to a struggle for which there is no military solution, we are abusing them, not supporting them.

Third — and most importantly — America does not exist for the purpose of supporting its military. Our military exists to support America. And if it’s not defending us at home or achieving our national aims overseas, it’s not supporting our country.

4. If we pull out now, we’ll look weak.
We’ve committed our national power to an ill-advised war and are losing. How much weaker can we look?

3. In times of crisis, we need to rally around the president and his policies.
America will not maintain or restore its power and prestige by behaving like a nation of lemmings. There is nothing noble, brave, or patriotic about following the leader over the cliff and into the sea.

2. "They tried to kill my dad."
Thanks to Mr. Bush’s policies and strategies, they’ve succeeded in killing a lot of dads, and moms, and aunts, and uncles, and brothers, and sisters ….
If we cut through the bunker mentality and frame the argument for staying in Iraq to reflect the neocons’ real purpose for the Iraq invasion, it might sound something like this:

1. We set out to establish a military base of operations from which we can control the Middle East and its oil, and we should persist until we "get the job done."
Even though it’s true, the argument’s still specious. Our "besttrained, bestequipped, bestfunded" military can’t get Iraq or Afghanistan under control. How can we possibly expect to lock down the entire Middle East?

+1. We owe something to the Iraqi people.
This is the only rationale that still holds water with me. We need to pay for the pottery we broke. But how much do we need to pay for it, and who exactly is this we we’re referring to, kemosabe?

We the people weren’t the honchos of the Project for a New American Century who made ousting Saddam Hussein the crown jewel of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. We did not cook the intelligence on Iraq. We did not ignore the advice of generals who warned against invading Iraq, then warned against invading with too few troops. And we did not fumble the counterinsurgency effort for two years.

Whatever the price of their bad policies, strategies, and decisions turns out to be, we will be the ones who pay for them. Really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes, remember?

How responsible are we for their deceptions and mistakes, and how much do we want to pay for them?