Thursday, November 23, 2006

Democracy Against Democrats?

"Withdrawal" in my view is a euphemism that is too soft on the ears of the trigger-happy coalition and the military brass, not just America's but the wider gang as well, which is slavishly egged on by visions of imperial grandeur. But the beautiful, suffering people of Iraq have spoken up yet again and it is time for America and other nations which call themselves democratic to heed that call. Over 70% of Iraqis have called for a "withdrawal" from their native country within one year. This is a democratic test for America, Britain, Australia and other we-drink-oil cookie lands. Quite strange that those who trumpet democracy for themselves are good at denying the same to others. We'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I as a world citizen, want all the coalition flags waving around in Iraq to be torn down and turned into rags to sweep the bloody streets of Iraq. Salute that, war-mongers.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No War With Iran!

Via United for Peace:

Click here and sign Peace Action's "No War with Iran!" petition today! This petition rejects any U.S. military action against Iran and demands direct negotiations.This petition is directed to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; copies will go to Chairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Committee on International Relations.
One, two, three, four! We don't want your stinking war! ....

We are not going to put Yazd behind barbed wire to liberate it, as a millenarian Christian general did to Habbaniyah in Iraq.

We are not going to imprison and torture thousands of Iranians at Evin Penitentiary in Tehran, as worthy successors to the bloodthirsty Shah and Khomeini.

We are not going to kill 200,000 Iranians with aerial bombardments of Tabriz, Isfahan, Qom, Kerman, Shiraz and Mashahd.

We are not going to let dozens of US corporations loot the American people and the Iranian people alike with no-bid "contracts", embezzlement, corruption, and graft.

We are not going to let you have a war against Iran.

So sit down and shut up, American Enterprise Institute, and Hudson Institute, and Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and American Heritage Foundation, and this institute and that institute, and cable "news", and government "spokesmen", and all the pundit-ferrets you pay millions to make business for the American military-industrial complex and Big Oil.

Friday, November 10, 2006

If This Is Love...

I want to know what hate is. Check out these nasty statements by Clippard (?), the executive director of the state Convention, a coalition of 2,000 congregations who are aligned with 16-million Southern Baptists in the United States:
Clippard reserved his strongest words for what he said he considered paramount for all Americans: the threat of Islam. "Today, Islam has a strategic plan to defeat and occupy America," he told the 1,200-strong crowd of delegates (called "messengers"), pastors and lay people, many of whom cheered his words.

Clippard said that Muslims were hoping to take over the United States government one city at a time, and that they were starting with Detroit, where there is already a large Muslim population.

"They are trying to establish a Muslim state inside America, and they are going to take the city of Detroit back to the 15th century and practice Sharia (or Islamic) law there."

In an interview Tuesday, Clippard said he believed the Islamic "strategy for taking over America" was to wait until there was a Muslim majority here and then "eradicate those who don't conform to their religion."

On Monday night, he told the crowd that "your freedom is on the floor with their foot on it, with their sword raised, and if you don't convert, your head comes off."
::Sigh:: But that isn't the worst.
Clippard said Tuesday that his message was really about love.

"I don't hate Islamic people," he said. "We need to love these folks, go after them and love them, one at a time. We need to crucify them with Christ."
Read what Islam says about the "crucifixion" of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). And we must abstain from love henceforth. I'm serious. We don't need this kind of love. Sort of like the Taliban and Afghan warlords in Afghanistan mistreating women. And they say it's love. It reminds me of this George Bush quote (Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002):
People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in's house and say I love you.

This is the same man who bombed shut-in's houses in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

John Howard and Women

…oh, Muslim women…no, Woman herself -- and through such sweet words bestowed on the first:

In an interview marking his 10th anniversary as Prime Minister, Mr Howard also describes the burqa, the full head covering worn by some Muslim women, as "confronting".

Am I to be sure that many Muslim women, indeed all women, find this guy handsome and "appealing" -- the man who by the Nuremburg Tribunal will be considered a war criminal? Not a squeak when bombs dropped by the new and fragmented NATO ripped apart not just the veil but the flesh beneath it in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq on orders from men like him. May be Jack Straw learned some of Howard's sayings? I mean, this was back in February. And the same old diatribes are played out in Australia by weasel-worded politicians. Howard's love for women doesn't end here of course. Take for example women in the Exclusive Brethren sect, the group that campaigned for Howard in the run up to the 2004 elections. It is alright that members of this sect don't vote as per their religious beliefs. It is alright that...

The Exclusive Brethren sect excludes married women from workplaces altogether and single women are forbidden from any job where they have authority over men.

It is alright because they are a Christian sect. Howard said so on 27th September this year: "I have to say that strikes me as what you might call an unorthodox strikes me as a little unusual, but that is their right and should be respected." Senator Brown's reaction to the double standards, even attempted by Howard on false grounds, is admirable:

Muslim children in Australia are not prohibited from their basic right to a university education. Apparently this Prime Minister thinks this radical Christian sect is beyond public admonition.

It is noted elsewhere by Senator Bob Brown that Howard blocked an inquiry into this sect which he finances/supports. Muslims, however, should not be respected. It runs contrary to our white supremacist politics and we need O.I.L (Operation Iraqi Liberation). Muslims should not be respected because we're counting on them to win the next election. Malcolm Fraser, a former Australian prime minister, under whom Howard served as "treasurer boy" and who may have been accused of "dhimmitude" in the process by the obnoxious Robert Spencer, hits the bull's eye:

"There are already suggestions that this next election will be a 'Muslim election', as a while ago it was the Tampa election," he said. "It would create a terrible and unnecessary divide between Islam and the rest of the community."

John Howard has rightly been called the most xenophobic leader in Australian history. In my mind, the buck doesn't stop there. Howard merits a number of labels on my list. Perhaps I should make one for "dangerous opportunists", too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bernard-Henri Lévy's Veil Philosophy

God is dead but my hair is perfect. ~ Michael O'Donnell on Bernard-Henri Lévy

There has not been any news coverage or speculation on the sick and derogatory comments made by Bernard-Henri Lévy on the veil issue, not that I know of, the so-called philosopher and co-endorser of that anti-Islamic manifesto. The total interview he gave to the Jewish Chronicle on 14th November 2006 is not available online. But fortunately I have the relevant quotation through Islamophobia Watch:

Our time is almost up, but BHL becomes the most animated I have seen him when I ask him about Jack Straw's intervention on Muslim women and the veil. "Jack Straw," he says, leaning close to me, "made a great point. He did not say that he was against the veil. He said it is much easier, much more comfortable, respectful, to speak with a woman with a naked face. And without knowing, he quoted Levinas, who is the philosopher of the face. Levinas says that [having seen] the naked face of your interlocutor, you cannot kill him or her, you cannot rape him, you cannot violate him. So when the Muslims say that the veil is to protect women, it is the contrary. The veil is an invitation to rape."

Imagine The Australian or any other mainstream media/press for that matter covering that? The storm over Shaykh Taj al-Hilali's comparing rape victims to a piece of meat was so big that the Aussie Mufti suffered a heart attack. Bernard-Henri Lévy is having no heart attack, not that we wish him unwell. Bernard-Henri Lévy may be wiggling his toes in his Morrocan palace for all we know. The question is why was there no criticism of Bernard-Henri Lévy for remarks that dwarf those of the Shaykh. This French imposture is practically encouraging rape of veiled women.

About the picture: I hate it when people chuck pie on each other's faces, because you have to think about those in the world who don't even have bread to eat. But for once this looks good. Noël Godin has creamed Henri-Lévy around eight times because he thinks BHL is a "vain, pontificating dandy" and "pompous". Quite right. And an Islamophobe.

“There Has Never Been An American Army As Violent and Murderous As the One in Iraq”

Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh slammed George Bush at McGill address. And shared another disturbing news on the conduct of American troops:

“Three U.S. armed vehicles, eight soldiers in each, are driving through a village, passing candy out to kids,” he began. “Suddenly the first vehicle explodes, and there are soldiers screaming. Sixteen soldiers come out of the other vehicles, and they do what they’re told to do, which is look for running people.”

“Never mind that the bomb was detonated by remote control,” Hersh continued. “[The soldiers] open up fire; [the] cameras show it was a soccer game.”

“About ten minutes later, [the soldiers] begin dragging bodies together, and they drop weapons there. It was reported as 20 or 30 insurgents killed that day,” he said.

If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”

Despite all this, the United States is increasing the number of troops on the ground. There are now 150,000 troops inside Iraq – the largest number since January. This has got to be the largest gathering of illegal foreign fighters in Iraq.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Precious": War on Iraqi Children

This is a video on the effect of this war on Iraqi kids with images by Robert Fisk. The first Iraqi victims of Western governments have been children. This act of terrorism that rained whole cities with napalm and bombs and applause from morally bankrupt politicians is the third cut after thirteen years of economic sanctions (the most comprehensive in human history). Watch this shattering but instructive documentary Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq by the great journalist John Pilger. These are children who have been subjected to not just DU and disease but the isolation from the minimal joys of childhood that every child deserves. A 2004 survey found that "Iraq's child malnutrition rate now roughly equals that of Burundi, a central African nation torn by more than a decade of war. It is far higher than rates in Uganda and Haiti."
The new figure translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from "wasting," a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein.
One can only imagine how it is now (in 2006), amidst the bloody violence and homelessless and sectarian divides and trigger-happy American troops.

UPDATE: Child War Victims of Iraq's War Trouble U.S. Medics