It's Called Torture

And we’re gonna spread democracy and human rights?

by Bob Herbert Published on Monday, February 28, 2005 by the New York Times. permanent link:
commondreams.org/views05/0228-24.htm

Indybay.org has some nice links to other articles about recent more sick abuses of prisoners’ human rights in Afghanistan here. Not only have US soldiers reportedly shot a wounded man dead, at close range, team America is being accused of a sort of <a href"http://indybay.org/news/2005/02/1723968.php">chemical warfare in fighting the poppy fields that have boomed since the fall of the Taliban.

And Susan Sontag was pilloried for asking why they hate us? If you buy Bush’s arguments that they hate us because of our freedoms, maybe it’s time to argue that they are winning.

As far as Bin Laden’s whearabouts go, I guess if he were up your @ss, you’d know.

Go team.

Sh!te. How did I miss this before?

full story here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4310847.stm

The beautiful thing about America is that we may still have a judicial system. No wonder Bush et al. want to stop trial lawyersm, they’re bad for business.

s.b. -
Since you have appeared here, all you have posted is anti-USA and anti-President Bush posts.
Is this what a self-described “peace activist” does?

Yeah. Here’s what that idiot President Bush stated in the 20 September 2001 State of the Union Address:

That President Bush… What does he know?

So, why does al Qaeda hate the US? Well, if Bush is a know-nothing, let’s see what the leader of the al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq who are opposing the American-led efforts is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is supported by none other than Osama bin Laden has to say about why they hate the US? Let’s see what Zarqawi stated in a taped speech on January 23, 2005 in raising seven arguments asserting that Democracy equals heresy:

Well, Hmmm… Could President Bush have been on to something? Is it possible that he has some idea? President Bush stated that al Qaeda hates the US because the US has a democratically elected government.

Let’s look into this some more.

More from Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy:

President Bush stated that al Qaeda hates the US because they hate our freedom of religion.

Let’s look into this some more.

More from Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy:

Well, OK, President Bush did not specifically state that al Qaeda hates us because we have an independent judiciary that interprets the laws made and passed by our elected legislature… but, President Bush did state that al Qaeda hates our democratically elected legislature… and I think we can agree that our independent judiciary is covered when President Bush (or anyone) refers to our Democracy.

Let’s keep looking into this some more.

More from Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy:

Zarqawi illustrates a bit of his ignorance regarding the concept of free speech and expression as it is understood in the US, but, well, that’s another matter.

President Bush did, however, state that al Qaeda hates our freedom of speech.

President seems to have a pretty solid argument so far in his assessment of why al Qaeda hates the US.

But, let’s keep looking at this. More from Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy:

President Bush stated that under al Qaeda doctrine, religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate.

Whooaa! President Bush has these guys figured out pretty good, IMO.

But, let’s keep at this. More from Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy:

WTF! President Bush stated that al Qaeda hates our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

Can you believe this? I think President Bush was right when he stated the reasons for which al Qaeda hates the US.

Well, OK. One more point of Zarqawi’s argument against Democracy to look at.

President Bush stated that al Qaeda hates our freedom to vote.

What do you know? President Bush was right on each and every reason, at least according to al Qaeda. I suppose we ought to accept al Qaeda’s statements as correct, no?

Do you still think its time to argue that al Qaeda and other terrorists are winning?

I also suppose that al Qaeda’s opposition to and determination to undermine the US attempts at establishing a democratic government in Iraq are due to al Qaeda’s hate for Democratic freedoms. I guess that’s why al Qaeda has declared war against Democracy in Iraq:

Damn! President Bush was (gasp) right!

From thesame website:

"We also said that the real cause of terrorism is an ideology called Political Islam.

We now need to focus on actions to defeat terrorism. With this in mind the Free Muslims believes that nothing can do more to win the war on terror than solving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. No other issue has been more frequently used to justify global terrorism than the alleged support for the Palestinian cause.

The issue of Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinians is the single most important issue that unites the entire Muslim and Arab world. No issue evokes the passion of Muslims and Arabs as much as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is so important to Arabs and Muslims that every terrorist group from Morocco to Indonesia that seeks legitimacy and a following, places the liberation of Palestine at the forefront of their agenda. For example, Saddam Hussein responded to the worlds request that he leave Kuwait by insisting that Israel first evacuate the West Bank and Gaza. Osama Bin Laden also invoked the Palestinian issue to justify 9-11."

[quote=“spook”]From thesame website:

"We also said that the real cause of terrorism is an ideology called Political Islam.

We now need to focus on actions to defeat terrorism. With this in mind the Free Muslims believes that nothing can do more to win the war on terror than solving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. No other issue has been more frequently used to justify global terrorism than the alleged support for the Palestinian cause.

The issue of Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinians is the single most important issue that unites the entire Muslim and Arab world. No issue evokes the passion of Muslims and Arabs as much as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is so important to Arabs and Muslims that every terrorist group from Morocco to Indonesia that seeks legitimacy and a following, places the liberation of Palestine at the forefront of their agenda. For example, Saddam Hussein responded to the worlds request that he leave Kuwait by insisting that Israel first evacuate the West Bank and Gaza. Osama Bin Laden also invoked the Palestinian issue to justify 9-11."[/quote]

spook,

You’re right.

That’s why Bush is and was right to go into Iraq and try to get some democratic reform. Bush realized that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was one that united the peoples of the region in hate against the Jews in Israel. Bush understands that there is no chance for peace between Israel and the palestinians unless there exists a free Palestinian state. Bush also understands that there can never be any chance for a free and democratic Palestinian state until the nations of the region stop supporting and underwriting terrorism against Israel. Saddam’s Iraq was a supporter of such terrorism. Syria is a supporter of such terrorism.

The Iraq war and ouster of Saddam and introduction of a nascent democratic system in Iraq has resulted in a cessation of Iraqi support for Palestinian terrorism and in pressure on Syria to leave Lebenon, the geography from where it facilitates terrorism against Israel.

Things are decidely different now. Everyone is taking notice now.

Let’s remember that Bush was on this a long time ago:

[quote=“President Bush, 30 March 2002 Speech and follow-up answers”]We are at this point because there has not been enough done to fight off terror. All the leaders in the world must stand up against terror, must do everything in their power to cut off the funding to terrorist organizations, to prevent terrorist organizations from finding safe haven.

And that especially applies to Chairman Arafat. I believe he can do a lot more to prevent attacks, such as the one that just occurred in Tel Aviv.

Last night the administration supported a U.N. Security Council resolution that urges there to be a cease-fire, start a process that will end this cycle of violence… And I urge all parties to recognize that there are terrorists in this world who can’t stand the thought of peace and all of us – all of us – must work together to condemn, find and stop terrorist activities.

I’ll be glad to answer a few questions.

Q Mr. President, with this latest terrorist attack on a Tel Aviv cafe tonight, with many apparent casualties, does Chairman Arafat in your opinion really have any control over these suicide bombers?

PRESIDENT Bush: I think Chairman Arafat can do a lot more. I truly believe that. I believe he needs to stand up and condemn, in Arabic, these attacks.

And they have got to do a much better job of preventing people from coming into Israel to blow up innocent people. The leaders in the region must do the same thing. Again, I was pleased that Crown Prince Abdullah spoke out so forcefully for what he called normalization. We support that.

But there is no normalcy when, day after day, killers destroy innocent lives. All the leaders must join with governments such as ours to strongly condemn and stop terrorist activities.

I spoke Jose Maria Aznar, he’s the head of the EU now, and he told me, he said, you know, the world must fight off these terrorists, and the region can do more, in my judgment. The Iranians must step up and stop sponsoring terrorism. The Syrians must participate. If people want peace in the region, there has got to be a united effort against terror, and I do believe Mr. Arafat can do more.

… And every phone call I make, I remind people that if you’re interested in peace – and the leaders I’ve talked to are interested in peace – we have all got to come together to stop terror. Our role is very visible and our role is very active. And I firmly believe that we can achieve a peace in the region, but not until – not until – there is a concerted, united effort to rout terror out.

And, therefore, the best way to make sure that we can get some meaningful dialogue going is to secure the – is to help secure the region, in particular, Israel’s homeland, by a united front against terror. It’s essential that we lead – meaning those who long for a peace – and, again, I repeat to you every leader I’ve talked to said, we need peace.

Q You mentioned a moment ago that Iran and Syria need to do more.

PRESIDENT Bush: Yes, I believe they do.

Q Can you identify other countries in the region who need to do more than they’re doing now?

PRESIDENT Bush: All the countries in the region must condemn terror, speak clearly about terror. I appreciate the fact that the Saudis have spoken about a vision for peace.

Q On Iran and Syria, do you have any evidence that those countries are directly involved in the latest series of bombings?

PRESIDENT Bush: No, I do not have evidence. But I saw, for example, the Syrians once again walk out of the U.N., when there was a reasonable resolution put forward. That should say something.

… Nevertheless, I do know their influence in the region. And if they are interested in a peaceful resolution, they too need to be active about cutting off funds. And, as you may recall, there was a ship, that was intercepted by the Israelis, that came from Iran full of weapons.

[b]I fully understand the frustrations of the Israeli people. I sympathize. And I sympathize with the frustrations of the Palestinian people, those who long for normalcy, those who want to send their kids to school and go to work. There’s got to be a much more concerted effort by Chairman Arafat and others to stop terror.

Terror is – so long as there’s this reign of terror, there will be no peace. So, therefore, stopping terror makes conditions ripe for peace.[/b][/quote]

Since my reply was floundered, I guess I’ll have to fit in.

Thank you ever so much s.b for informing us all how EVIL the BUSH REGIME and AMERIKKKA are. Whenever I hear someone described as a “peace advocate” I know in my heart that I’m going to be exposed to the unvarnished TRUTH.

Again thank you. Now excuse me while I go and abuse some forumosa moderators, I mean innocent Iraqi POWs.

Well once again we are subjected to the frantic flailings of some Chomsky fueled outrage that whoops just bursts and disappears when faced with a few inconvenient facts. How else then can we explain s.b.'s disappearance? Oh I know. The IP forum is too harsh and dissenting voices are not allowed to be heard. Right? Riiiiiggggghhhhhhtttttttt. Hah!

Senator Smith -
Now now…you know that tolerance, embracing diversity and respecting the thoughtful ideas of others are the hallmarks of the “peace activist” crowd.

Why consider this -
In the last day or so I posted a link to a very informative website - www.followthenetwork.com - which provided indepth analysis of the underlying funding and sponsorship of many of the “peace & justice” groups. A veritable FOLLOW THE MONEY disclosure site. You would think that groups such as International A.N.S.W.E.R. and Tides Foundation, just to name a few, would relish the opportunity to show the ‘people’ where their funding comes from and their allied partners.
But NOOoooooo…

It seems that this site has been hacked. SOme nefarious person/persons has hijacked their website and is refusing to allow this information to be shared. Dastardly deeds indeed.

Their rights are being violated! I do protest! No Justice! No PEACE!

I don’t agree with everything this letter writer to Andrew Sullivan’s blog says, but he or she makes some very good points. I personally have never waivered in my support for the war in Iraq, though I do believe that Bush has screwed it up royally, and that the likelihood of an ignominious Vietnam-like retreat down the road, due to his idiocy, is higher than it should be.

[quote]Respectfully, Andrew, I beg to differ on the alleged churlishness of Democrats on progress in the Middle East.

Let me explain what’s maddening to Democrats: [color=darkred]no matter what happens that is progressive in the Middle East, Republicans and the Bush regime not only claim credit for it, but also claim that the war in Iraq is the reason for the progress.[/color] Libya doing a deal on weapons and Lockerbie so it can back into the international oil market? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Lebanese reacting with revulsion to Hariri’s assassination, probably by Syrian agents, and demanding Syria’s exit from their country? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace effort as a result of Arafat’s death? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq! Who

PP,

There may be some truth to what that guy complained of… but, that is true of most politicians and their supporters, Democrats included.

What is difficult to escape from, however, is that Bush argued that the ME region needs to be reformed and that reform in Iraq was a pre-requisite to broader regional reform. The fact is, however one wishes to analyse it, that since Bush has invaded Iraq, reform in many ways has begun to stir and unfold in the entire region.

Yes, there has always been some stirring of reform even before the Iraq invasion. However, such previous stirrings were nothing compared with the things happening now.

Moreover, many of those who opposed Bush also ridiculed him as being a simpleton for naively believing that reform was possible in the ME region… yet, reform is looking incresingly more possible in the ME region.

IMO, it is odd to argue before the invasion that reform was not possible while Bush argued that it was… and then, after the invasion, when reform has begun to stir, to argue that Bush’s policy is not primarily responsible for the same.

How can they previously argue that reform is impossible and now subsequently argue that the reforms taking place are not primarily a result of Bush’s policies?

Tigerman:

No need to be so diplomatic in your answer. I would like someone to give me a list of all the democratic stirrings and positive moves toward democracy that took place in the Middle East prior to the Bush invasion. Anything? Just let us know. I know that I will be all ears.

If there had been “stirrings” we would never have heard much about it because nobody in the west could have given a rat’s ass about it at the time. Which isn’t to say that there hasn’t been any change of course. And in the event that there has I am willing to concede a point to grinning mimby and his team of gas guzzling war mongers. By the way I wonder how much the defense contractors have made off this thing so far. Rough statistics should be available regarding that no?

I for one gave a rat’s ass about the Middle East when I started studying there in university in 1985 and before that I gave a rat’s ass when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. I and many others including the media have given a rat’s ass when Lebanon had a civil war, when Algeria had a civil war, when Pakistan and India nearly had a nuclear war, when the Shah was overthrown in Iran, when the Russians invaded Afghanistan, when the Sudanese were starving in the millions, etc. etc. etc. so don’t pretend that no one cared before, but like I said, you disagree that the changes that are taking place are not momentous? Then prove that something similar was occurring before Bush came along.

Then, you want to allege that the defense contractors are making out hugely on this, then prove it. You are the one making the claim. We have proven our point by pointing to the many successes that have been wracked up since Bush’s tough love policies began. If you disagree with any of our assertions, tell us how we are wrong. If Iraq having an election is not momentous then tell us what was going on in Iraq from 1958 to 2003 and tell us just how that was better or qualified as “stirrings.” Like I said I will be all ears.

Wow tough crowd. Fred you may have gone to school somewhere over there but not many of the rest of us did. And while it is true that conflicts in the middle east have garnered a lot of media interest from the west somehow I doubt that fledgling democracy movements would have held quite the same fascination with the public. No blood and guts. People like blood and guts with their evening news. Helps them to digest dinner I guess. And while it is true that I am not quite the google/cut and paste man that you are it will be a clear day in los angels before I believe that defense contractors aren’t making a killing off this thing. I am just cynical that way I suppose. Please remember too that I did agree to conceed a point in the event that a democracy movement is developing where none existed before. Cheers and happy debating. I love this stuff.

The reason you did not hear about democracy movements is because there really were none and no one called these dictators to the carpet when they arrested another one. Occasionally, the US stood up for people but you can bet your ass few European governments did. It is all about “stability” you see, but hey, this is not about that, this is about you acknowledging that things have changed and they have changed remarkably since Bush did a big U turn in US foreign policy and we are seeing the benefits. Just admit that.

What has anyone else done recently? the EU? Germany? France? Russia? Interesting that both France and Russia have called for Syria to get out of Lebanon. Why does this worry me? It is Russia and France after all that have the most corrupt connections with these Middle Eastern despots. Why oh why would they be acting so now? What is really going on? Anytime the French support you, be very worried. Any time the Russians start doing the responsible thing in world affairs, something is wrong. And when the UN gives it its imprimatur, we had better start worrying. I predict that the Syrians will engineer some kind of violent terrorist attack to intimidate the protesters.

I still cannot believe that the Russian mafia has just walked away from the fight in Ukraine. They must be waiting for things to calm down before acting. The EU should get over there and make Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO a fait accompli. The sooner they do so the more stable Ukraine will be. I worry about Ukraine but I just do not believe that Lebanon is going to fall into our democratic laps this easily. I just don’t buy it.

What you are saying about democracy movements there may be true Fred. One thing I do not doubt is that you know more about it than I do.

Wrong Fred. I left before anyone replied. I do have a life outside this e-cafe. I welcome dissenting voices. I do find it interesting how little of this dissent has been regarding the links I posted about US complicity in torture and chemical warfare. In fact, I don’t believe you mention it once in your postings on this thread. Is that how YOU respond to “inconvenient facts?”

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]s.b. -
Since you have appeared here, all you have posted is anti-USA and anti-President Bush posts.
Is this what a self-described “peace activist” does?[/quote]

It’s certainly not all I do, for example, I have also posted a little about what I love about America. But I do like encouraging people to think critically about abuse of power, whether it be by Clinton, Bush, or others. Perhaps I’m rougher on my country, because I feel responsible for her actions. That’s why this news of torture disturbs me so.

Points taken, with qualifications. Your logic is overly reductionist. I would argue in a similar vein as Spook, that you neglect to mention the fact that US gunships and ammunition kill (among others) innocent Palestinians way too frequently. Perhaps if our enemies had better experiences in dealing with “democracies” they might be more open minded. Again, this is why I feel those links are so important. (However Tigerman, I want to give you special thanks, for addressing my points.)

Well, I’m entirely unsure if anyone read my links like the Herbert article which read (in part):

So to answer your question, I think events like this would be victories for anyone interested in destroying our cherished rights and institutions.

And, you you noted, when Bush was speaking about the need for normalcy for there to be peace he said,

I agree with this. I would encourage people to bear this in mind if they read the links above.

You’re welcome. If I made any claims to possesing truth, I apologize, and and humbly ask to take it back.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]Why consider this -
In the last day or so I posted a link to a very informative website - www.followthenetwork.com - which provided indepth analysis of the underlying funding and sponsorship of many of the “peace & justice” groups. A veritable FOLLOW THE MONEY disclosure site. You would think that groups such as International A.N.S.W.E.R. and Tides Foundation, just to name a few, would relish the opportunity to show the ‘people’ where their funding comes from and their allied partners.
But NOOoooooo…

It seems that this site has been hacked. SOme nefarious person/persons has hijacked their website and is refusing to allow this information to be shared. Dastardly deeds indeed.

Their rights are being violated! I do protest! No Justice! No PEACE![/quote]

Not that this has anything to do with US complicity in torture atrocities, but if the Chickensh!t who hacked this site gets their knickers sued off, they won’t receive any quarter from me.

And on another note quite unrelated to the original posting:

and

(from http://www.detnews.com/2002/editorial/0202/25/a10-423580.htm )

It would probably go without saying that this is certainly not comprehensive, nor are either of these developments without their flaws, but I think they satisfy the criteria you listed.

As for anyone interested in learning more about recent war profiteering, I reccomend the Center For Public Integrity’s research on the subject.

Now, anyone care to talk about how torture is gonna help us spread democracy? (Hint: It may have to do with Rumsfeld going to court.)

Cheers.

This refers to the US detention and deportation of Canadian Maher Arar.

Regarding the above, I found the following news and opinion pieces helpful:

[quote][Canadian Solicitor General Wayne] Easter . . . said Prime Minister Jean Chr

s.b.:

Okay you have come up with two elections but there have been many more in the Middle East of the variety that you are talking about. What I am talking about is free and fair elections that really mean something. Are you going to suggest that those in Palestine and Iran meet those specifications? Then, you believe that Palestine in 1996 was a democracy? Ditto for Iran?

Then, why may I ask if Arafat had won his five-year term in 1996 to the presidency, he was still in office when he died in the end of 2004?

Why must the US answer for the military equipment that it sells Israel? We sell military equipment to the Egyptians, Moroccans, Turks, Saudis, Gulf Arabs, Pakistanis. Would you equate the kind of violence committed by the Israeli army with that committed by Palestinian terrorists and are you suggesting America is morally culpable for any such deaths?

What is the chemical weapons policy of the US? How many people have been killed in the world from US chemical weapons? To whom has the US sold chemical weapons?

I would suggest that you look to www.iraqwatch.org to find out who sold what to Saddam in terms of checmical weapons. Wait, let me get it for you and spell it out directly. Incidentally, you may be curious to know that the only nation that Iran is suing for the deaths caused by chemical weapons is Germany. Wonder why? Bit of an ugly irony, the Germans once again in trouble for Gassing Innocent Victims, wouldn’t you say?

[quote]The data reveals that firms in Germany and France outstripped all others in selling the most important thing