Posted by: quiscus | February 19, 2011

February 19, 2011

1.  Good:

Fall of the Raj

Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.

Stability, in the American lexicon, means not allowing any opposition parties or individuals to trouble the status quo, be they political Islamists or secular democrats. Challenging the Mideast’s Pax Americana became a subversive act that was usually branded terrorism and linked to the shadowy Osama bin Laden and his almost non-existent movement, al-Qaeda. The mere mention by Mideast autocrats of the dreaded Q-word was sufficient to hush American concerns about egregious violations of human rights by their satraps or the crushing of all opposition. The al-Qaeda bogeyman was certain to produce hefty infusions of U.S. military aid.

I chose the title of my latest book about how the U.S. rules the Arab world American Raj to underline the remarkable similarity between the control methods used by imperial Britain in India and those employed by its successor empire, the United States. “Raj” means imperium through local rulers. And that’s just the structure built by the U.S. across the Mideast.

“Stability” has been enforced by brutal secret police using torture and extra-judicial executions. In Egypt, a favorite punishment for male protesters and candidates who dared run in rigged elections against Mubarak was anal rape. Across the region, behind the secret police stood U.S. and French-equipped Arab armies whose primary military mission was to suppress their own people and prevent revolution. Battalions of informers, and dismissal from government jobs or housing and pension plans, were all common tools used to dissuade anti-regime activities. Press censorship was universal.

2.  “Military chaplain: Soldier’s rape ‘must have been God’s will’

In February 2009, she reported for active duty training and, upon seeing her rapist, went into shock.

“She immediately sought the assistance of the military chaplain,” the lawsuit reads. “When SGT Havrilla met with the military chaplain, he told her that ‘it must have been God’s will for her to be raped’ and recommended that she attend church more frequently.”


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