Posted by: quiscus | April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

1.  “Iran a Threat? I Mean, Really?

First, on the chance you missed it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said publicly that Iran “doesn’t directly threaten the United States.” Her momentary lapse came while answering a question at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 14.

Fortunately for her, most of her FCM fellow travelers must have been either jet-lagged or sunning themselves poolside when she made her unusual admission. And those who were present did Clinton the favor of disappearing her gaffe and ignoring its significance. (All one happy traveling family, you know.)

But she said it. It’s on the State Department Web site. Those who had been poolside could have read the text after showering. They might have recognized a real story there. Granted, the substance was so off-message that it would probably not have been welcomed by editors back home.”

2.  Crap:

“Surge Lies Come Home to Haunt Us

Chicago’s South Side is indulging itself in a bit of nostalgia for the ’80s and ’90s. Michelle Obama’s hood is overrun with gang-related murders; deaths are at the same rate as US soldiers dying in both major theaters of the US’ “War on Terror.” Government must do something, declares two Illinois state senators who represent parts of the city. I know — a good old fashioned military occupation, like what worked so well in our wars and Kent State and whatnot.

“John Fritchley and LaShawn Ford, Democrats who represent the north and west sides of the city, said troops were needed to ’stabilize communities’ in Chicago just as they had done in Iraq and Afghanistan,” explains the Telegraph.

If troops end up occupying our cities, it will be thanks to simplistic lies told by men with authoritarian minds. We can blame President Barack Obama for backing up Bush’s surge fairy tales and painting military intervention a panacea for all threats, foreign and domestic. It’s now okay for Americans across the political spectrum to trust guns and bombs as an organizing principle of civilization.”

3.  “Apartheid in Israel, Showing Papers in Arizona

An important recent policy announcement makes it possible for the Israelis to expel from the West Bank any Palestinians who do not have what the Israeli authorities consider the proper identification papers.

The Israeli law resembles the one recently enacted in Arizona in one respect. Recently-arrived European Jews are demanding that Palestinians, who have inhabited the West Bank for thousands of years, must be able to show their papers in order to stay. In the same way, some of the Latinos who will be hassled by police in Arizona with demands that they ‘show their papers’ will be Hispanics, i.e. the old pre-US elite from the days of the Spanish Empire and early Mexico. The Arizonan yahoos who made this racist law to harass Latinos are recent, uncultured immigrants from the point of view of proud old Hispanic families. Others so hassled will be of mixed Latino and Native American heritage, so that some of their ancestors were in Arizona perhaps 10,000 – 16,000 years ago, but ignorant Euro-Americans are now demanding proof that they belong there.

Racism everywhere tells itself the same transparent lies about blood and soil, and makes the same sleight-of-hand exclusions on the basis of ‘purity’ of blood.”

4.  “The American Military is Creating an Environmental Disaster in Afghanistan

The American military presence in Afghanistan consists of fleets of aircraft, helicopters, armored vehicles, weapons, equipment, troops and facilities. Since 2001, they have generated millions of kilograms of hazardous, toxic and radioactive wastes. The Kabul Press asks the simple question:

“What have the Americans done with all that waste?”

The answer is chilling in that virtually all of it appears to have been buried, burned or secretly disposed of into the air, soil, groundwater and surface waters of Afghanistan. While the Americans may begin to withdraw next year, the toxic chemicals they leave behind will continue to pollute for centuries. Any abandoned radioactive waste may stain the Afghan countryside for thousands of years. Afghanistan has been described in the past as the graveyard of foreign armies. Today, Afghanistan has a different title:

“Afghanistan is the toxic dumping ground for foreign armies.”

5.  “Media Disinformation: Syria Threatens Israel’s Security. One Big Smokescreen

In trail of Israel’s ever-rapacious “security” appetite, western commentators have overlooked gross violations of human rights and indeed war crimes. In this vein, Israel passed a military order on 13th April, which legalizes the deportation of thousands of Palestinians from their West Bank homes. Instead of highlighting the woes of a displaced nation – time and again – inflicted by a racist settler-colonial project, western journalists have instead zoomed in on an alleged scud missile delivery. Note, the word is alleged. As if to say, the Zionist state’s daily ethnic cleansing in Al-Quds of its Palestinian population is of no importance when placed against an alleged scud-missile delivery.

To fair-minded individuals, the media’s handling of the scud missiles story is representative of a hereditary bias in western reporting of the Middle East. The notion of double standards no longer captures the sheer immensity of this overriding prejudice. It would seem politics in the western hemisphere is all about recycling misnomer clichés, advancing age-old power-politics paradigms and bringing to bear its own sacred cows on the field of global politics.”

6.  “Why Soldiers Get A Kick Out Of Killing

Surveys of WWII infantrymen carried out by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall found that only 15 to 20 percent had fired their weapons in combat, even when ordered to do so. Marshall concluded that most soldiers avoid firing at the enemy because they fear killing as well as being killed. “The average and healthy individual,” Marshall contended in his postwar book Men Against Fire, “has such an inner and usually unrealized resistance towards killing a fellow man that he will not of his own volition take life if it is possible to turn away from that responsibility…At the vital point he becomes a conscientious objector.”

Critics have challenged Marshall’s claims, but the U.S. military took them so seriously that it revamped its training to boost firing rates in subsequent wars, according to Dave Grossman, a former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and professor of psychology at West Point. In his 1995 book On Killing, Grossman argues that Marshall’s results have been corroborated by reports from World War I, the American Civil War, the Napoleonic wars and other conflicts. “The singular lack of enthusiasm for killing one’s fellow man has existed throughout military history,” Grossman asserts.

The reluctance of ordinary men to kill can be overcome by intensified training, direct commands from officers, long-range weapons and propaganda that glorifies the soldier’s cause and dehumanizes the enemy. “With the proper conditioning and the proper circumstances, it appears that almost anyone can and will kill,” Grossman writes. Many soldiers who kill enemies in battle are initially exhilarated, Grossman says, but later they often feel profound revulsion and remorse, which may transmute into post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments. Indeed, Grossman believes that the troubles experienced by many combat veterans are evidence of a “powerful, innate human resistance toward killing one’s own species.”

7.  “Arizona law like ‘Nazi Germany’

A Colorado Democrat says Arizona is on its way to becoming a “police state” and its new immigration law is “reminiscent” of Nazi Germany.

“It is absolutely reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo), who is Jewish, told POLITICO.”

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