Back to the top

Iraq

Drowning in the Politics of Torture

Now playing:
Guantanamo by Nadir’s Distorted Soul

Let’s make this torture debate absolutely clear:  I’ve got cousins, a good friend and a nephew who are all in the military.  If any of them was captured on the battlefield and tortured, I would want the lower level interrogators who committed the act to be prosecuted and convicted of war crimes.  I would want the high level officials who authorized the use of illegal methods (not enhanced interrogation – TORTURE) to be prosecuted and convicted of war crimes.

This is not politics.  This is justice.

As mainstream media talking heads like Joe Scarborough and John Meachum do their best to dissuade the public from demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder do the right thing, the rest of us should not lose sight of the principles that are supposed to be  the foundation of this nation: that all men – including alleged Islamic radicals, prisoners of war, members of Congress and US presidents – are ALL created equal, should enjoy the same rights and deserve the same punishment for their crimes.

How is this debatable?  The law is the law, right?

Well, apparently not in the United States. Continue reading

Drowning in the Politics of Torture

Now playing:
Guantanamo by Nadir’s Distorted Soul

Let’s make this torture debate absolutely clear:  I’ve got cousins, a good friend and a nephew who are all in the military.  If any of them was captured on the battlefield and tortured, I would want the lower level interrogators who committed the act to be prosecuted and convicted of war crimes.  I would want the high level officials who authorized the use of illegal methods (not enhanced interrogation – TORTURE) to be prosecuted and convicted of war crimes.

This is not politics.  This is justice.

As mainstream media talking heads like Joe Scarborough and John Meachum do their best to dissuade the public from demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder do the right thing, the rest of us should not lose sight of the principles that are supposed to be  the foundation of this nation: that all men – including alleged Islamic radicals, prisoners of war, members of Congress and US presidents – are ALL created equal, should enjoy the same rights and deserve the same punishment for their crimes.

How is this debatable?  The law is the law, right?

Well, apparently not in the United States. Continue reading

FLASHBACK: The Cancer Called Imperialism

Written March 19, 2003

As I begin this writing, the United States government and its allies are beginning a new phase in the 12-year war against the people of Iraq. This is not a new conflict, for U.S. and British warplanes have been patrolling and bombing that nation for over a decade. The first assault in 1991 severely weakened the Iraqi military. 12-years of sanctions have all but crippled the Iraqi people, and now the second Bush regime is going in for the kill. The goal – to create another colony in Southwest Asia which will provide both an important economic jewel and a crucial strategic outpost for the continued growth of the American empire.

I am deeply saddened by the escalation of this conflict, but I am not surprised. This is merely the growth of the parasitic cancer called Western Imperialism that has been running rampant on this planet for over 600 years. The four nations who lead this fight – Portugal, Spain, Britain and the United States – are the most successful Imperialist powers of the last millennium. This Transatlantic Alliance, as they have dubbed themselves, were not only key figures in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but between them they have attempted to colonize nearly every corner of every continent. Indigenous people all over the globe have been at war with these empires off and on for nearly 1000 years. Continue reading

FLASHBACK: The Cancer Called Imperialism

Written March 19, 2003

As I begin this writing, the United States government and its allies are beginning a new phase in the 12-year war against the people of Iraq. This is not a new conflict, for U.S. and British warplanes have been patrolling and bombing that nation for over a decade. The first assault in 1991 severely weakened the Iraqi military. 12-years of sanctions have all but crippled the Iraqi people, and now the second Bush regime is going in for the kill. The goal — to create another colony in Southwest Asia which will provide both an important economic jewel and a crucial strategic outpost for the continued growth of the American empire.

I am deeply saddened by the escalation of this conflict, but I am not surprised. This is merely the growth of the parasitic cancer called Western Imperialism that has been running rampant on this planet for over 600 years. The four nations who lead this fight — Portugal, Spain, Britain and the United States — are the most successful Imperialist powers of the last millennium. This Transatlantic Alliance, as they have dubbed themselves, were not only key figures in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but between them they have attempted to colonize nearly every corner of every continent. Indigenous people all over the globe have been at war with these empires off and on for nearly 1000 years. Continue reading

The New York Times’ Redemption Song?

Originally posted by Nadir at LastChocolateCity.com

The nation’s most influential newspaper, The New York Times, has made news once again by calling for the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

This is a dramatic turn of events for two reasons. The first is because the Times wields a great deal of influence among mainstream US news organizations and thus among the public. As journalist Michael Massing observed in Bill Moyers’ documentary Buying The War,

The New York Times is just remains immensely influential. People in the TV world read it every morning, and it’s amazing how often you’ll see a story go from the front page of the day’s paper in the morning to the evening news cast at night. People in government of course read it, think tanks, and so on.

The second reason this is a critical development is because The New York Times was one of the mainstream media outlets that helped sell the invasion of Iraq to the American people. In fact, The New York Times was a significant supporting player if not a leading character in the tragic melodrama that led this nation to war.

The Times published Judith Miller’s favorable and uncritical articles about Ahmed Chalabi and the dissident Iraqi National Congress. The Iraqi defector’s misleading statements about Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction were named often as a threat to US national security.

The New York Times also ran William Saffire’s op-ed Mr. Atta Goes to Prague. It was in this column that Saffire said,

A misdirection play is under way in the C.I.A.’s all-out attempt to discredit an account of a suspicious meeting in Prague a year ago. Mohamed Atta, destined to be the leading Sept. 11 suicide hijacker, was reported last fall by Czech intelligence to have met at least once with Saddam Hussein’s espionage chief in the Iraqi Embassy — Ahmed al-Ani, a spymaster whom the Czechs were keeping under tight surveillance.

If the report proves accurate, a connection would exist between Al Qaeda’s murder of 3,000 Americans and Iraq’s Saddam. That would clearly be a casus belli, calling for our immediate military response, separate from the need to stop a demonstrated mass killer from acquiring nuclear and germ weapons. Accordingly, high C.I.A. and Justice officials — worried about exposure of the agency’s inability to conduct covert operations — desperately want Atta’s Saddam connection to be disbelieved.

As the CIA said, this meeting never happened. But it was in The New York Times. It must be true.

There were the famous aluminum tubes, which were supposed to be used by Saddam Hussein as the housing of atomic bombs. Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press and quoted a New York Times article, which had in turn quoted “anonymous administration officials” claiming that these tubes were proof that Hussein was trying to build nuclear weapons. This was also false.

Now, of course, after the invasion had begun, The Times published Joe Wilson’s op-ed, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa“, which asked if the administration had manipulated the intelligence that led us to war. Columnist Robert Novak then outed Wilson’s wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, in the nation’s second most influential paper, The Washington Post, attacking the ambassador’s credibility. The Times’ Judith Miller also discussed that information and later went to jail for contempt of court after refusing to name the sources that divulged this illegal leak.

However, I come not to denounce the Times, but to praise them. It is important that they have seen the error of their ways and hope to help the nation save face by reversing the disastrous course that their paper and other news organizations that follow them have allowed the criminal Bush/Cheney regime to set. A free press should be the conscience of any democracy. It’s good to see that the New York Times still has a conscience of its own.

The New York Times: The Road Home

Bill Moyers Journal: Buying The War

The New York Times’ Redemption Song?

Originally posted by Nadir at LastChocolateCity.com

The nation’s most influential newspaper, The New York Times, has made news once again by calling for the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

This is a dramatic turn of events for two reasons. The first is because the Times wields a great deal of influence among mainstream US news organizations and thus among the public. As journalist Michael Massing observed in Bill Moyers’ documentary Buying The War,

The New York Times is just remains immensely influential. People in the TV world read it every morning, and it’s amazing how often you’ll see a story go from the front page of the day’s paper in the morning to the evening news cast at night. People in government of course read it, think tanks, and so on.

The second reason this is a critical development is because The New York Times was one of the mainstream media outlets that helped sell the invasion of Iraq to the American people. In fact, The New York Times was a significant supporting player if not a leading character in the tragic melodrama that led this nation to war.

The Times published Judith Miller’s favorable and uncritical articles about Ahmed Chalabi and the dissident Iraqi National Congress. The Iraqi defector’s misleading statements about Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction were named often as a threat to US national security.

The New York Times also ran William Saffire’s op-ed Mr. Atta Goes to Prague. It was in this column that Saffire said,

A misdirection play is under way in the C.I.A.’s all-out attempt to discredit an account of a suspicious meeting in Prague a year ago. Mohamed Atta, destined to be the leading Sept. 11 suicide hijacker, was reported last fall by Czech intelligence to have met at least once with Saddam Hussein’s espionage chief in the Iraqi Embassy — Ahmed al-Ani, a spymaster whom the Czechs were keeping under tight surveillance.

If the report proves accurate, a connection would exist between Al Qaeda’s murder of 3,000 Americans and Iraq’s Saddam. That would clearly be a casus belli, calling for our immediate military response, separate from the need to stop a demonstrated mass killer from acquiring nuclear and germ weapons. Accordingly, high C.I.A. and Justice officials — worried about exposure of the agency’s inability to conduct covert operations — desperately want Atta’s Saddam connection to be disbelieved.

As the CIA said, this meeting never happened. But it was in The New York Times. It must be true.

There were the famous aluminum tubes, which were supposed to be used by Saddam Hussein as the housing of atomic bombs. Dick Cheney went on Meet the Press and quoted a New York Times article, which had in turn quoted “anonymous administration officials” claiming that these tubes were proof that Hussein was trying to build nuclear weapons. This was also false.

Now, of course, after the invasion had begun, The Times published Joe Wilson’s op-ed, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa“, which asked if the administration had manipulated the intelligence that led us to war. Columnist Robert Novak then outed Wilson’s wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, in the nation’s second most influential paper, The Washington Post, attacking the ambassador’s credibility. The Times’ Judith Miller also discussed that information and later went to jail for contempt of court after refusing to name the sources that divulged this illegal leak.

However, I come not to denounce the Times, but to praise them. It is important that they have seen the error of their ways and hope to help the nation save face by reversing the disastrous course that their paper and other news organizations that follow them have allowed the criminal Bush/Cheney regime to set. A free press should be the conscience of any democracy. It’s good to see that the New York Times still has a conscience of its own.

The New York Times: The Road Home

Bill Moyers Journal: Buying The War

© Nadir Omowale