Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Questions and At Least One Comment for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford

Doesn't the Gov look like the cat that swallowed the canary?
(Bush still manages those "please don't hit me!" eyes.)

Some questions and comments for Gov. Mark Sanford:

1. Did you use a love glove, Gov?

2. Argentina and Appalachian both start with "A" but that's as far as it goes.

3. Did you study at the Strom Thurmond School of Family Values?

4. Do you now see a need for stimulus money? Could go to spelling skills. Compare "Argentina" & "Appalachian"

5. How surprised were you when the space aliens dropped you in Argentina? Did they 'probe' you?

6. Are you being un-American for passing over American affairs for Argentine?

7. Do you plan to join the Silvio Berlusconi Club?

8. Do you plan to join fellow Republican Bob Dole as a spokesman for Viagra?

9. Given your special needs, was Viagra enough?

10. Governor, how much did it cost taxpayers for you to 'go south'?

Suddenly, There Is a Martyr

Then can a I drown an eye, unused to flow. . .

Barack Obama seemed near to a tear on speaking of "the 'heartbreaking' video of a 26-year-old Iranian woman whose last seconds of life were captured by video camera after she was shot on a Tehran street."

"'While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful,' he said, 'we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.'" So he was quoted in The New York Times.

"No iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness." But his iron hypocrisy is. He has quite effectively "shut off the world from bearing witness" to American crimes at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram, and elsewhere.

Obama did not show anything like his emotion over Tehran when Israel took the lives of 1500 Palestinians standing up for justice and self-determination just before he took office. Indeed, he defended Israel's war crimes (as most of the world seems the assault). Many members of Congress were even more enthusiastic in their support for Israel's rampage, including some (like John McCain) who now decry Iranian government crimes in Tehran.

Obama has shown no emotion at all for the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed in an unjust, unjustified and unjustifiable American war in Iraq. No emotion for the tens of thousands of civilians dead in Afghanistan, numbers bound to grow as he expands the war there.

The most recent tragedy in Afghanistan? The deaths of some 60 people attending a funeral — killed by in American Predator drone attack. The New York Times picked up the story almost a full day after the BBC had first run it. The Times headlines the report on page A6 of the June 24 edition, but devotes only four column inches (including the standard caveats about 'nothing being confirmed') of about seventeen devoting most of the report to Pakistani efforts against specific members of the Taliban.

The New York Daily News (granted, no 'newspaper of record') splashes "Obama grieves for Iranian martyr Neda" above it's full-page headline "Death That Broke His Heart". The Daily News carries no mention of the Predator attack in Pakistan.

The Wall Street Journal, front page, proclaimed "Obama Rips Iran in Tactical Shift". On page A11, under the headline "Rival of Pakistan Taliban Chief is Assassinated", the paper devoted two paragraphs, two column inches, saying "up to 50 militants were reported killed in suspected missile strikes by U.S. pilotless drones" [emphasis mine]. Militants. Both the Times and the BBC refer to the dead as "people". Only the BBC reports that people on the ground say only five of the dead were militants.

The American media mirrors the president's responses. Outrage over Iran. Silence or actual support for Israeli attacks in Lebanon, in Gaza, in the West Bank.

If the Iranian government were to use the standards endorsed by Obama, they would ban (as indeed they have) the distribution of footage like that of suffering protesters on the grounds that it might inflame opinion against the Iranian regime. That is the 'justification' that Obama has used to ban further release of photos of American crimes at Abu Ghraib.

Is it possible Obama does not see the parallel? Is it possible that he has not seen those photos? Not one? If he has seen them, has he not been moved by the injustice of American war criminals?

Obama Decries 'Unjust' Violence

She is dead. A crime justified by nothing more than a brutal determination to silence dissent. Now ask yourself a question: Have you ever seen so graphic an image of an innocent killed by an American attack?

I can think of one — the young girl burned in a napalm attack running naked down a road in Vietnam, over 35 years ago. I can think of no such image, certainly not one receiving such coverage, from an American attack in the past 20 years.

Unjust. Unjustified. Violence.
President Obama hardened his tone toward Iran on Tuesday, condemning the government for its crackdown against election protesters and accusing Iran’s leaders of fabricating charges against the United States.

In his strongest comments since the crisis erupted 10 days ago, Mr. Obama used unambiguous language to assail the Iranian government during a news conference at the White House, calling himself “appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments of the past few days.”
So reports The New York Times on the new found indignation of Barack Obama.

"Appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments. . . ."

Is it possible that this man is so small-minded that he does not see the absurdity, the hypocrisy in an American president, in this American president, saying such things?

This is the president who refuses categorically to prosecute or even investigate the Americans who drove this country into a war that has seen tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of deaths — for nothing — for the trumped up fictions eagerly accepted and elaborated by American media and politicians .

This is the president who has hired a significant number of leftovers from the Clinton years, Clinton being the man responsible for years of sanctions and bombings in Iraq which caused something like half a million deaths among children. His henchmen including his partner Hilary, Dennis Ross (now ensconced at the White House), among others.

This is the president who has endorsed continued denial of basic human rights to people who have been imprisoned without charge of due process of any kind for years. The justification for continued imprisonment? "If they weren't guilty before, they are likely to have been radicalized by their imprisonment."

The president who has expanded a war in Afghanistan which has to date seen at least 30,000 civilian deaths at American hands.

This president, who has to date done nothing more than pay lip service to Palestinian democratic aspirations for self-determination. Indeed, Obama endorsed Israel's atrocities in Gaza at the end of the Bush term. He has repeatedly reiterated exactly the 'justifications' Israel itself offers for killing hundreds of civilians to get at one (if any) 'militant'.

And he is only months into his reign.


Unjust. Just. Unjustified. Justified. Violence.

The Iranian despots clearly think themselves justified. Theirs is an act, they think, of self-preservation. The Chinese thought themselves justified in their attacks on Tibetans before, during and after the Olympics.

Most notably in recent history, Israel thought itself 'justified' in a murderous campaign against all 1.5 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. In that case, many American politicians, pundits and 'journalists' applauded Israeli 'justice'.

The Principle of the Excluded Left

There is actually a principle at work here, one described at length and repeatedly by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and many many others (all from the excluded left).

An act is justified and just by definition, if it is carried out by the United States. This is a broad statement of the principle stated explicitly by Nixon: "If the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

This principle is widely used in the United States. It is the principle in use when The New York Times or NPR or CNN fail to call torture by Americans torture. It the principle at work when Americans react with genuine indignation on the suggestion that the United States has committed crimes against humanity.

It is more than just a dictionary-style definition. It is a defining element of the way most Americans think. It is certainly not isolated to the US. The Chinese clearly just cannot imagine why anyone would oppose their actions in Tibet. The Israelis, in large majority, cannot grasp that people might think that Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon. The British, the French, take your pick. Very nearly every aggressive power simply does not see itself as an aggressor.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Journalists and Professional Liars

Excellent 2007 talk by John Pilger — a journalist strictly excluded from the pages of The New York Times, the airwaves of CNN or NPR.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NSA Spies On US — Let's Spy on the Spies

More on this soon. In the meantime, click here or on the image below for the list of US nuclear sites, here in the US and abroad. The big thing here is not the locations — they're widely known — but what is at those locations. Some foreign governments may be surprised by how the US is playing them for patsies. (The US pulled a big one on Iceland during the Reagan years by storing nuclear weapons in Iceland, unbeknownst to the Icelandic government and in direct violation of Icelandic law and promises made by the US to Iceland.)

This is placed on this site as an Act of Political Defiance
of a US Government and an Obama administration
that is spying on US citizens
in direct violation of Article IV of the Bill of Rights
of the Constitution of the United States.

Do not forget that Barack Obama has supported FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the prison at Bagram in Afghanistan (where prisoners have been abused every bit as much as at Guantánamo). Obama has defended American war criminals, defended American banking criminals.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama Welcomes America's Grand Old War Criminal

'President' Obama again demonstrated his commitment to justice and law with his warm welcome to that fat old mass murderer Henry Kissinger.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barack Obama Pontificates on 'Values' (Whatever They Are)

According to the BBC, 'President' Obama has said that "the US cannot impose its values on other countries."

But he insisted that "democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion" were "universal values".

"These are values that are important, even when it's hard," he said.

Sounds like a Second Grade reader. "Even when it's hard." How hard would it be to investigate Bush-era war crimes? How hard would it be to refrain from committing more of the same crimes?

Democracy. The majority of Americans, when asked outside the push-poling of the Republicans, Democrats, New York Times, CNN and NPR, overwhelming support single-payer health care. The 'president' has categorically ruled out single-payer. The majority of Americans oppose the Obama-Geithner-Bernanke kickbacks to Wall Street. Most Americans are tired of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan-Pakistan. Most Americans think torturers should be prosecuted.

So much for Obama's Democracy.

Rule of Law. Torture, bombing civilians, bankrupting the United States while passing the bill on to common people of modest means.

'President' Obama has made clear his values: Serve the rich, hobble everyone else. Apologize to foreigners even as you bomb them. Cultivate the Obama Cult of Personality.