Thursday, June 23, 2005

Let's get the real facts about Iraq

Most Americans don't have a clue about what's really going on in Iraq because of the ruling elite-controlled media that supports the current administration and who are all too willing to tow the party line and run their blatant propaganda. The mainstream media are falling down on their jobs woefully, and, as a result, our democracy is in danger of totally crumbling. A free press is crucial to a free society.

But there are ways to find out what's really going on and to connect with the people who are living this U.S.-created nightmare. One of those ways is to seek out "alternative" news sources, such as those listed on the left side of the page. Another is to read the "blogs" being written by Iraquis inside the country.

If we really want to know what hell our government has created for innocent Iraquis, then let's get the inside story, shall we, Dorothy? An Iraqui, code-named River, writes this entry on June 21 to her blog, Baghdad Burning:

We spent some of yesterday and a good portion of today washing clothes, rinsing them and speculating on how our ancestors fared without washing machines and water pumps.

The electrical situation differs from area to area. On some days, the electricity schedule is two hours of electricity, and then four hours of no electricity. On other days, it’s four hours of electricity to four or six hours of no electricity. The problem is that the last couple of weeks, we don’t have electricity in the mornings for some reason. Our local generator is off until almost 11 am, and the house generator allows for ceiling fans (or “pankas”), the refrigerator, television and a few other appliances. Air conditioners cannot be turned on and the heat is oppressive by 8 am these days.

Detentions and assassinations, along with intermittent electricity, have also been contributing to sleepless nights. We’re hearing about raids in many areas in the Karkh half of Baghdad in particular. On the television the talk about ‘terrorists’ being arrested, but there are dozens of people being rounded up for no particular reason. Almost every Iraqi family can give the name of a friend or relative who is in one of the many American prisons for no particular reason. They aren’t allowed to see lawyers or have visitors and stories of torture have become commonplace. Both Sunni and Shia clerics who are in opposition to the occupation are particularly prone to attacks by “Liwa il Theeb” or the special Iraqi forces Wolf Brigade. They are often tortured during interrogation and some of them are found dead.

There were also several explosions and road blocks today. It took the cousin an hour to get to work, which was only twenty minutes away before the war. Now, he has to navigate between closed streets, check points, and those delightful concrete barriers rising up everywhere. It is especially difficult to be caught in traffic and that happens a lot lately. Baghdad has been cut up into sections and several of them may be found to be off limits immediately after an explosion or before a Puppet meeting. The least pleasant situation is to be caught in mid-day traffic, on a crowded road, in the heat - waiting for the next bomb to go off.

What people find particularly frustrating is the fact that while Baghdad seems to be falling apart in so many ways with roads broken and pitted, buildings blasted and burnt out and residential areas often swimming in sewage, the Green Zone is flourishing. The walls surrounding restricted areas housing Americans and Puppets have gotten higher- as if vying with the tallest of date palms for height. The concrete reinforcements and road blocks designed to slow and impede traffic are now a part of everyday scenery- the road, the trees, the shops, the earth, the sky…and the ugly concrete slabs sometimes wound insidiously with barbed wire.

The price of building materials has gone up unbelievably, in spite of the fact that major reconstruction has not yet begun. I assumed it was because so much of the concrete and other building materials was going to reinforce the restricted areas. A friend who recently got involved working with an Iraqi subcontractor who takes projects inside of the Green Zone explained that it was more than that. The Green Zone, he told us, is a city in itself. He came back awed, and more than a little bit upset. He talked of designs and plans being made for everything from the future US Embassy and the housing complex that will surround it, to restaurants, shops, fitness centers, gasoline stations, constant electricity and water- a virtual country inside of a country with its own rules, regulations and government. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Republic of the Green Zone, also known as the Green Republic.

“The Americans won’t be out in less than ten years.” Is how the argument often begins with the friend who has entered the Green Republic. “How can you say that?” Is usually my answer- and I begin to throw around numbers- 2007, 2008 maximum… Could they possibly want to be here longer? Can they afford to be here longer? At this, T. shakes his head- if you could see the bases they are planning to build- if you could see what already has been built- you’d know that they are going to be here for quite a while.

The Green Zone is a source of consternation and aggravation for the typical Iraqi. It makes us anxious because it symbolises the heart of the occupation and if fortifications and barricades are any indicator- the occupation is going to be here for a long time. It is a provocation because no matter how anyone tries to explain or justify it, it is like a slap in the face. It tells us that while we are citizens in our own country, our comings and goings are restricted because portions of the country no longer belong to its people. They belong to the people living in the Green Republic.

I don't know about you, but as a tax-paying American citizen, I am completely disgusted, outraged and dismayed by our government's behavior. In fact, I feel sick after reading this.

First, they lie to us about the reasons for war, then they bomb the crap out of Iraq's infrastructure and its citizens. When the citizens of Iraq resist this blatant occupation, our government and the media label these patriots and resistance fighters as "terrorists" and "insurgents" in an attempt to demonize them. While all of this is going on and in secrecy behind high walls, the U.S. is quietly building a "Green Zone" city full of luxury, from which we can only presume they will continue to occupy the country for years to come. Hel-lo, just what planet did you say we are on, Neo?

I don't doubt for a minute that Iraqis do see the Green Zone as a "slap in the face." Wouldn't you if you were in their shoes? Wouldn't you become a resistance fighter if our country was invaded with the intent to occupy and conquer? Isn't that what fighting for one's country is all about? Isn't that true patriotism? It's not about sending our troops to fight a fake war for fake reasons with a false sense of patriotism that we're fighting to defend our freedoms, but with the real intent to occupy a country as a conqueror. I don't believe this is what most Americans believe they stand for, regardless of the supposed majority support for this murderous administration.

Innocent Iraqis are being thrown in detention centers, living with intermittent electricity and water, enduring road blocks and checkpoints, not to mention the daily fear of losing their lives, while coalition forces inside the Green Zone live like kings. I might add that innocent Palestinians have been enduring the same sort of treatment from Israel for years now, all with U.S. support.

But, then again, perhaps, my fellow Americans don't really care. Perhaps, they are too wrapped up in their daily struggle to make ends meet, or too busy playing with their latest techno toy, or simply too vegged out in front of the television. Perhaps, they believe that this administration's actions aren't going to affect them, but I fear that we are like sheep being led to the slaughter. This is going to cause a backlash. If not now, soon.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Not too late to impeach Bush and Cheney

Interesting how the universe works, how ideas are picked up by the collective unconscious and expressed at the same time.

I wrote my last post on June 4, and not two days later Gary Steven Corseri publishes a piece entitled, Liberate America! 25 Reasons to Impeach George W. Bush on and reprinted on Signs of the Times today, making the same analogies to the American War for Independence and the overthrow of King George III's rule over America, but stating condsiderably more reasons for impeachment than I outlined below. Great minds think alike, yes?

We're extremely late in an attempt to impeach George Bush and his gang of thugs. We should have been outraged enough to oust them when they stole the 2000 election, and maybe the tragedy of 9/11 would have never happened. But, it's never too late to run a tyrant out of office.

Not that I think my measley letter will do much good, but I'm going to e-mail my senators and congressman requesting that they begin impeachment procedures and link to this article. If everyone who believes that George W. Bush is guilty of the crimes laid out in Corseri's article would do the same, we might have a greater effect. The roar of our voices must be heard over the massive propaganda machine that this administration has created. Otherwise, we are doomed to repeat the experience of Germans under Nazi fascism.

"I'm late. I'm late. I'm late for a very important date," said the White Rabbit. Must get writing.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

America, where is the outrage?

My fellow Americans, I ask you, "Where is the outrage in this country over what King George and his cohorts have done and will surely keep doing to further their goal of world domination?" Let's recount just a few of their war crimes, certainly worthy of impeachment.

First, a domestic attack on their own countrymen that killed some 3,000 on September 11, 2001, so that they could set the stage for what was to come -- a fake war on terror against a fake group of Arab terrorists. The evidence is becoming overwhelming that this was and is the case. I, for one, cannot believe that the CIA doesn't know where Osama Bin Laden is and have said all along that, if even still alive, he's likely residing in a CIA safe house somewhere, to be brought out when it's convenient for King George's entourage to profit from his being found.

Next, pre-emptive strikes against Afghanistan and Iraq that have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis -- all to gain control of the world's oil and a geo-political hold in the Middle East. Never mind that they lied to us about the reasons for these strikes, which has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Now, there is the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Graib -- alleged enemy combatants who are being held without charges, without communication with lawyers, without hope of a trial -- in violation of the Geneva Conventions and everything we hold dear in the U.S. Constitution.

America, where is the outrage?

There was another King George that our ancestors once rebelled against to win the war for independence -- King George III of England. His crimes of taxation pale in comparison with our modern day King George of America. Our ancestors, those we consider patriots, fought to throw off the tyranny of King George III to establish what WAS the greatest democracy of modern times -- over stamp and tea taxes. Where is the outrage over the crimes against humanity George Bush commits today?

And like King George III, our own King George seems to be slipping further into delusion and madness. Can he not see that he's driving our country into bankruptcy -- both moral and financial -- despite his supposed born again Christian faith and fiscally responsible Republican party affiliation? Can he not see that the world doesn't "hate us for our freedoms"? If they hate us, it's because of our arrogance, brutality, bullying and down right tyranny. We have become exactly what our forefathers in the thirteen colonies fought to repel.

America, where is the outrage?

As our democracy crumbles, and it has been crumbling for some time now, even before King George's reign with the administrations of Reagan, Bush the Elder and Clinton, many of us have begun to see the parallels between the House of Bush and the rise of Hitler. Recently, I read an article on about a man who is moving his family back to Germany because he sees happening here in America exactly what happened during the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany. His story is told in Holocaust Survivor Leaving US - Sees What's Coming:

"No," he answered me. "I'm going back because I've seen this before." He then commenced to explain that when he was a kid, he watched with his family in fear as Hitler's government committed atrocity after atrocity, and no one was willing to say anything. He said the news refused to question the government, and the ones who did were not in the newspaper business much longer. He said good neighbors, people he had known all his life, turned against his family and other Jews, grabbing on to the hate and superiority "as if they were starved for it" (his words).

He said he was too old to see it happen right in front of his eyes again, and too old to do anything about it, so he was taking his family back to Europe on Thursday where they would be safe from George W. Bush and his neocons. He seemed resolute, but troubled, nonetheless, as if being too young on one end and too old on the other to fight what he saw happening was wearing on him.

There was no outrage among the German people at what Hitler was doing, as he pumped up their sense of superiority and patriotism by pummeling them with propaganda (sound familiar). And, as the old man in the article said, the news media in Nazi Germany didn't dare speak the truth of what was happening for fear of being put out of business. It's no different today with the vast majority of the news media towing the party line, spitting out government propaganda as if it were real news.

I guess the question now, Alice, is will we let this deranged psychopath and his band of merry thugs continue to bully the world and strip us of our last vestiges of freedom? Or will we stand up and fight against tyranny, as our forefathers once did? Will we stay silent as our government continues its atrocities, just as the people of Germany stayed silent as Hitler massacred millions of leftists, labor unionists, socialists, activists, and, yes, Jews?

I say we adopt the Queen of Hearts' solution: "Off with their heads!" Impeach and try King George and his handler, Dick Cheney, for the war criminals that they are. Now, before it's too late!

America, where is your outrage?