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Nada Adnan, 13, Baghdad, deep wounds, awaits democracy, no pain killers.
Journal of a Futurist - 27 March 2003
Uncle Sams Underwear
I woke to the sound of George W Bush warning the Iraqi leadership to honour the Geneva Convention, or else, and my laughter was bitter. Then came grabs of Donald Rumsfeld telling the world We are not bombing Baghdad. Of course not Donald, youre renovating. The usual suspects have already been awarded re-building contracts. Its called target marketing, but maybe the boys at the Pentagon took it to mean targeting markets. Anyway, it all boils down to the same thing: kill em first, then make a killing.
Events have moved way beyond Orwell, beyond satire, even beyond rage, despite Michael Moores brazen brilliance. Callback nutters & Murdoch hacks are snorting that the Oscars are an inappropriate platform to hold a mirror up to the vampire. Are you kidding? Hollywood and the White House go together like toast & jam. Illusions/delusions. Killing/more killings. Dont get me started. The only difference between a sound stage and the world stage is the blanks.
In Hollywood you see the blood & guts, in a real life war its kept from the TV. When civilian wounds are shown for real on Al-Jazeera, its website is hacked, its reprorters are denounced, it footage is censored. Freedom of the press is a flexible notion.
America is bursting with funny, creative, brilliant, compassionate people, none of whom are in charge of foreign policy. The sadistic sludge that is pouring from mouths in the war-rooms makes Atilla the Hun seem like a flower child. While I am aware of the horrors perpetrated by Saddam on his forlorn subjects, mainstream America seems unable to face up to the horrors of its own nasty, illegal, pathological, wayward bombardments. Women and children cowering in corners, the ground shaking, hands to ears, night after night - could Saddam inflicte so much terror on so many in so short a time?
Maybe Hollywood contains a clue to the institutional sadism of the American military. From the perspective of the back stalls, the victim feels no pain. From the cockpit of a B 52, the pilot sees no blood. The capacity to empathise has vanished. Put an underfed Iraq teenage conscript in a military uniform, and he is no longer human. Why? Bang Bang. Ooops. Didnt notice the white flag.
A surrendered Iraqi is paraded in front of the camera and its cute, almost touching. A captured American is paraded in front of the camera and its time to bomb Iraqi State TV.
The Australian Government likes to pretend its morally superior. We dont use cluster bombs, and we look before we shoot. Our PM, John Howard turns out to be much more vicious than wed given him debit for. I have sent our troops to a nation that has done us no harm in order to kill & maim its citizens so I can save them from the torture chambers of Saddam. Why am I behaving like this? Because no-one took any notice of me for 50 years and this is my chance to get even with all the hairy lefties who mocked me for supporting the American war of liberation in Vietnam, which I am very sorry we lost. Though we did manage to kill 3 million Asian civilians.
This streak of cruelty, megalomania and delusion runs through most of the Ministry. Australian jails are currently crowded with about 4000 Iraqis whose big mistake was to have once held this country in high regard. These spirited people fled the regime of Saddam and landed on our shores. Put them in irons! Rest assured, that if Saddam is blown away tonight by a weapon of mass destruction a legal one, inflicted by the US we here at the department of immigration will carry on his work of oppressing Iraqis.
Enough ranting. Heres a few items of interest that may have slipped past your radar.
The Story So Far
- George W Bush: Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom shaped cloud
- The only nuclear power in the Middle East is Israel.
If the world waits for irrefutable proof, then it will be, in my view, too late. John Howard.
Talk of the Saddam threat to the West is, frankly, largely manufactured" - Sir Andrew Green, former British ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Jack Straw's latest justification for the war is that we must all do what America says because otherwise, in future, we'll all have to do what America says. Caryl Churchill, The Week.
When the war begins, this is what we expect from every American: Either you support the military or you shut up. Americans and our foreign allies who come out against us are enemies of the state. Bill O'Reilly, Fox TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, as are 174 newspapers worldwide, dutifully toeing the kill kill line. Funny how Fox was able to report the discovery of chemical weapons, even before there was time for them to be planted. At times like this, remember what the late great Dennis Potter called the cancerous tumor was to eat him alive - Rupert Murdoch.
- Over 40 American Nobel laureates signed a declaration opposing war with Iraq.
- Over 40 Australian experts on international law & human rights signed a joint statement that the invasion of Iraq is a fundamental violation of international law that could involve war crimes and crimes against humanity. In other words, it possible to contemplate Howard behind bars, his belated enthusiasm for capital punishment diminished.
- Gen. Anthony Zinni, a onetime Bush mediator in the Middle East, said that on any list of dangers faced by the US, hed place Saddam sixth or seventh.
Home truths, Slaughter & Lies
- The U.S. has been bombing Iraq on a weekly and sometimes daily basis for the past 12 years. What more do they want?
- America says it destroyed 80% of Iraq's military capacity in the 1991 Gulf War. Has it destroyed its spirit?
- Since 1991 the U.S. has dropped well in excess of 300 tons of radioactive material in Iraq - 30 times the amount dropped in Kosovo. (US journalist, Thorne Anderson,)
- Between 1991 and 1994, the cancer rate in Iraq increased by 700% (UN).
- The Pentagon has asked the US Congress to lift a 10-year ban on the development of small nuclear warheads, or "mini-nukes". (The Guardian, March/03). As Ive said before, Uncle Sam is a psychopath.
- Documents provided to the UN by the United States suggesting that the African country of Niger sold uranium to Iraq between 1999 and 2001 were faked. By who?
- Late in 2002, President Bush stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that Iraq was six months away from developing an atomic weapon. However, such a report does not exist. (Washington Post). Who cares? Many US citizens believe Saddam was behind 9/11.
- During the past six years, the American Gulf War Veterans Association has received numerous reports from veterans stating that US forces were responsible for setting alight the oil well fires at the end of the Gulf War.
- As a result of UN sanctions, 1.5 million Iraqis have died. Its all Saddams fault.
- The only country in the Middle East to stand in defiance of more than 60 United Nations resolutions is Israel.
- A Hollywood set designer created the high-tech backdrop for the U.S. Central Command base in Qatar. Mr Allison said, "I like to achieve a level of detail that makes it difficult to distinguish a set from reality.
- The person employed by CBS News to speak the words of Saddam Hussein during his pre-war interview with Dan Rather, was a non Arab actor who specializes in performing fake foreign accents. (LA Times).
- Dan Rather has said that the Pentagons media handling is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian States. (On the Drudge Report).
- The Pentagon threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists. (Kate Adie, BBC).
- US military officials acknowledged that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base, contradicting earlier denials. (The Independent/UK)
- US officials have admitted using such "stress and duress" treatment as sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to kneel hooded for hours on end, tying them up in awkward positions, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light and having them kicked by female officers. This treatment is defended as humane. (The Independent/UK & elsewhere.)
- In Sept 2002, the two sons of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of 9/11, were taken into custody by Pakistan police. Six months later the boys, aged 7 & 9, were flown to a secret address in America to be used by the CIA to force their father to talk. (SMH, March 03).
There Must be Some Way Outer Here
- On March 6, the German television program Panorama presented fresh evidence implicating US troops in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners (See earlier journals). Two Afghan government ministers confirmed the presence of American troops during the transportation and killing of surrendered Taliban.
- As many as 20,000 Afghans are estimated to have lost their lives as a direct consequence of US intervention, (The Guardian, May/02).
- Contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply. Prior to the Gulf War, WHO reported 93% access to high-quality healthcare in Iraq. Today, the country suffers the highest rate of infant mortality in the world.
- Hans Blix in March:
after a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there has been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January. Who cares? Were good, theyre evil.
- The US owns the worlds largest stockpile of smallpox, anthrax and other pathogens. It has 30,000 tons of chemical weapons.
- There only country in the Middle East that invaded and continues to occupy land belonging to its neighbors is Israel.
- The worlds annual military budget is over $US 900 billion. Half of this is spent by America. According to the UN, about ten per cent of the US military budget - $40 billion - would ensure the essentials of life to everyone in the world.
George Bush doesnt believe in evolution.
And now the good news, (adapted from a widely circulated email from a mysterious Dr. Muller): There is no longer one superpower, but two: the United States and the merging, surging voice of the people of the world. Millions are marching on the streets to wage peace.
Out of the belly of the beast, something strange & luminous may yet be born; a kind of freedom & global solidarity beyond the wildest imaginings of robber barons, hacks and one eyed politicians.