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Failed Musicians, Earning Potential and Tort Reform

Charlie Manson, David Koresh... described as “failed musicians” because they played the guitar, and like the vast thundering herd of people who pick the git-fiddle they didn’t make a career of it. Adolf Hitler, a “failed artist” even though, in the economic blight of inter-bellum Vienna, he actually DID make a modest living selling painted postcards on the street. John Wilkes Boothe, said to be a “Failed actor” by some who had never trod the boards. Because their names are vilified and the demonization of their memory has to be complete. .Something you’d practically have to be a Documentary Junkie to notice, maybe after a marathon of History Channel BioPics.. Fairly subtle. Insidious even. What’s almost but not quite as subtle as a Taser to the testicles or a sledgehammer to the lower skull/first vertebra is the demonization of working class people throughout the world in Tort. The civil liability sections of law. In civil court, “earning potential” is taken seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it proves the LIE of the Capitalist Dream which is foisted onto the workers, that if we work hard and diligently, do a good job putting money into the pockets of our Wealthy Masters, we, too, could have a chance of acquiring Wealth. Compare that BULLSHIT with the descriptions of the Workers of Bhopal, India and their children by the Captains of Industry and their Weasel Lawyers. In the “Unlimited potential for success” of the Free Market, the children of the poorest and most vilified of the working class, were valued at a couple hundred dollars. Apiece. Per HUMAN life. Would you sell your childs life for that? This is about as condescending as if the CEO of Union Carbide were visiting a bordello in the slums, his limousine runs over a child and he tosses a $100 bill out the window, rolls up the window and imperiously waves his driver to proceed, with a “Home, James!” type of dismissive command gesture. This is also the way that the people of the Gulf Coast, even employees of British Petroleum, are being treated in back to back “incidents”. Not just the Oil “spill” that cost 11 human beings (ahem... that’s by BP count and employees who tell a different tale than BP front office do, are punished....) immediately and God alone knows how many to follow. There’s also a chemical “leak” that was described by later censured then fired BP employees as “like a fire hose” in Texas City. Tort Reform advocates have done their job well, and limited the final tally to less than a half billion dollars. The state of Texas is suing BP for a huge release of toxic chemicals—including benzene, a carcinogen—that went on for 40 days at the company’s Texas City refinery last spring. The lawsuit could result in civil penalties reaching into the millions. The release, as we have reported [1], started April 6, just two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, when a key piece of equipment failed and, rather than stopping production to fix it, BP

just when things couldn’t get worse…

McChrystal replaced by... Generally Betrays Us. Yep, "king" David Petraeus, the one whose staff leaked a protocol statement he had made sometime last year, announced on the Memorial Day weekend, of a military version of an Executive Order giving himself the power to decide which wars to start. Open ended statement that at one end of the interpretation spectrum, is authorization to commit air strike murder in any country of the world, including America, with no further authorization than his own. The departure point from Constitutional Law or, for that matter, ANY Law, is the authorization to initiate Military Intelligence operations. Much like the operations in Cambodia and Laos which John Kerry was condemned for even stating existed, and which NiXXon, (New name, but the same old gas) had sicced the "plumber" burglars on the Watergate office of Daniel Ellsbergs doctor in order to try to smash Ellsberg... the operation that so massively backfired.... the one in retaliation for Ellsberg "ratting out" the Secret War against Cambodia and Laos. Seems this keeps coming back around yes? Petraeus' mission paper, if accepted by Congress, would legalize that sort of shenanigans. Murder actually. In large numbers, in the Name of the American people, without any permission of the American People.

Propaganda Story “Military Medics Fight to Keep Afghan Boy Alive”

While in actuality, they were just prior to the kid getting blown apart, fighting to kill him. Military Medics are NOT non-combatants. They're COMBAT support. That was impressed on us in Basic Training and once again in Tech School, we were to be basically Monkey Mechanics, keeping the Human Fighting Machines in good working order. Every bit as dehumanized and coldly efficiently calculated as the base armorer keeping the Rifles in good working order. The base Veterinarians office keeping the Police Attack Dogs in good working order, and a subset of that, the Base Exterminator (yes, under the command of the Base Veterinarian) whose job is to control wild animals, like the flocks of birds near the runways, skunks, coyotes, rats, cats both native and feral, wild hogs, etc etc... And to use Herbicides like Agent Orange to kill the native vegetation, so that there's a clear field of fire. They SAY all this is necessary because if we don't do that, we wouldn't be able to provoke and fight Wars. Help me out here, I'm not seeing an actual Downside. A far simpler solution than patching up the kid after first dismantling him, how about just Get The Fuck Out Of HIS Country, and stop using Massive Firepower to dismantle his country, and stop using that firepower to dismantle HIM and other PEOPLE like him. You God-damn blow people apart then for a propaganda photo-opportunity patch one of them back together, to what, show that you're not the Dehumanized Uniformed Drones (duds) who are forcing your "Superior" civilization on his people? Because you're so God-Damned culturally and morally sophisticated that you Owe It To Him and his fellow Kids to murder them if they don't bow down to that "superior" sophisticated culture? And of course the "superior" Military. They told us in Tech School that in combat zones we should scrape that Red Cross off our helmets. Told us that there was a Commie Propaganda campaign that started in the Korean war, saying that American Military used the Red Cross symbol to smuggle munitions. I'll find the post I made about that, A Dynamite Box label for "red cross BRAND military grade Extra Dynamite 1949" written in Chinese. The boxes I had found in a military landfill on Ft Bliss, Texas, had the inscription in English. Which your average Chinese or North Korean soldier wouldn't have been able to read any more than the Redneck War-pigs here would be able to read the same thing in Chinese. All they would be able to understand would be the Red Cross symbol. But of course the VietNamese people and the Laotian and Cambodian and Chines were just, you know, Lying because that's what Commies do. Besides, "We are here to win your hearts and minds.... or just burn down your goddam huts"

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA. 1. Ukrainian Partisans From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out. 2. Chinese Brigade in Burma After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade. 3. Guatemalan Rebel Army After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine. 4. Sumatran Rebels In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured. 5. Khamba Horsemen After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen - fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama - as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970. 6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army - complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers - landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days. 7. L’armee Clandestine In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit - paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA - grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975

The US – Islam War nears halfway mark

I have to do more research, but I'm pretty sure October 7, 2009 should mark the HALFWAY POINT of the US-ISLAM WAR. I realize the Pentagon brass are calling for fifty years more of insurgency suppression in Afghanistan and Iraq, but if we grant them no more time than for America's longest military intervention, we've got another eight years before beating our humiliating retreat. Those who insist we could have won the Vietnam War, would have our murderous troops there still. No foreign occupation has succeeded in modern times, with the ongoing exception of Israel, which by its swallowing of Palestine has been skewing the definition of occupation to the Old Testament model of mass extermination. The treacherous method worked against the Native Americans, it may still doom the (Palestinian) Native Israelis. Afghanistan and Iraq remain occupations, where Vichy puppet governments prosecute genocide against the native resistance. How long before Americans lose their stomach for continuous bloody repression? I cannot account for the Russians in Chechnya, but on the US-Islam front, we are halfway there. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we may already have surpassed half the civilian death tolls in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It's hard to say, the US "doesn't do body counts" now, and we didn't then either. Our own military casualties grew exponentially in Vietnam. If such statistics bear comparison, today's numbers cannot be but comparable. It's being whispered that American casualties are approaching a multiple of a thousand mark. Official soldier deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are conjectured to be reaching a round number. I'm not told how many US mercenaries are being killed. We have as many hired-guns contracted as government soldiers. Want to lay odds on how many body bags they've required? Nor are we told how many US soldiers are being wounded, many of them with injuries which would not have sustained their lives in Vietnam. Surely there is a sad gray area of injury which we could round up as it approximates death.

What the hell is wrong with these freaks

Young Marines I mean. I have PT in 7 hours and should be sleeping but this is weighing on me. According to a couple of comments made by a kid who is a Member of their organization they recruited him by saying that if he didn't join them, he would turn into a Homosexual Drug Addict... Colorado Springs Celebrates Underage Vets If "Devilpup" is actually an Adult leader of the organization and trying to sell it to us as a "Character Building" group then the dude is seriously messed up in his head. If he IS actually just a member of the Junior Terrorist League, Young Marines Division, then the people who sold him that line of Bullshit are the ones who have a Serious Mental Deficit Disorder and are trying to make him, and his fellow kids, grow up as retarded as they are. Aside from These organizations are helping the youth of this nation make something of themselves–besides drug addicts, corrupt politicians, and gay pride parade dancers. (And yes, I don’t give a cr*p over political correctness. Wise people don’t.) Being almost word for word a quote from Adolf Hitler... They're recruiting these kids into Paramilitary Organizations based on Fear of being Gay? They seriously not only told that to the kids once, they apparently make them memorize the Hate. They teach these kids that they're better than Perry, who died with a needle in his arm, better than my friend "Hoot" Gibson, I used to work day labor with him, and yeah, he was a wino... Hoot tried to catch a train one day and slipped under the wheels... Ira Hayes who died drunk in a ditch. at least according to Private X. Perry was in the Marine Raiders, went to Vietnam and Cambodia... I saw his commendations and know he was real. But the Devilpups would, apparently, from the tone of the comment, considered him to be just another junkie. Same with Clarence, Private X you never met Clarence and I hope for your sake that before you ever do you should clean up your attitude a little... No, make that "Clean it up a Whole Lot". Another VietNam Vet, Marine, came back but left some of his soul back in Nam. Hoot was in the First Marines, a young sergeant when they were island hopping in the Pacific Theater. Operated a flamethrower. In the years I knew him a lot of people thought of as just another bum, a wino. Yeah, he drank a lot, big deal. He doesn't need snot-nosed 14 year olds spitting on his memory. He didn't tell me a damn thing about his service, other Marines did. Ira Hayes I never met. He, too, fought in the Pacific Theater, they've got a statue of him from a really famous photograph... He was one of the guys raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. The Devilpups are teaching you Hatred for your fellow Americans and they should really seriously be ashamed of themselves for doing it. Oh, and talking about somehow your Hatred Values being Christian or Godly, you should drop that Devil from your groups

Norman Finkelstein dissects the current Israeli military disinformation dope

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS" is a quasi US government operation that promotes political disinformation around the globe. Norman Finkelstein has brilliantly dissected their most recent campaign of disinformation on behalf of the Israeli Military terrorist machine that the Pentagon uses so often in its own brand of State Terrorism. Remember Henry Kissinger's terrorism against Cambodia? I do. Israel's latest rampage through Gaza was small beans in comparison. Kissinger was the architect of a true genocide of horrible dimensions in SE Asia, and he did it on behalf of Uncle Sam. CSIS shows their true colors in honoring Kissinger with a special department all his own. Are they Holocaust deniers? I definitely think so.

WUO terrorized government property

To clarify, the terrorist acts for which Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground are being demonized targeted only property damage and resulted in no casualties. Here is a list of 25 bombings attributed to the WUO, with notes from the FBI files, and the original communiques. BOMBINGS BY WEATHERMEN / WEATHER UNDERGROUND October 7, 1969 Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago. The Weathermen later claim credit for the bombing in their book, Prairie Fire. December 6, 1969 Chicago Police cars parked in a precinct parking lot at 3600 North Halsted Street, Chicago. The WUO claims responsibility in Prairie Fire, stating it is a protest of the fatal police shooting of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969. May 10, 1970 National Guard Association building in Washington, D.C. is bombed. June 6, 1970 San Francisco Hall of Justice. (WUO claims credit for bombing although no explosion occurred. Months later, workmen locate an unexploded bomb). June 9, 1970 New York City Police headquarters. The Weathermen state this is in response to "police repression." July 27, 1970 United States Army base at The Presidio in San Francisco, on the 11th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. September 12, 1970 California Men's Colony prison break for Timothy Leary. October 8, 1970 Marin County courthouse. WUO states this is in retaliation for the killings of Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, and James McClain. October 10, 1970 Queens traffic-court building. WUO claims this is to express support for the New York prison riots. October 14, 1970 Harvard Center for International Affairs. WUO claims this is to protest the war in Vietnam. March 1, 1971 United States Capitol. WUO states this is to protest the invasion of Laos. August 29, 1971 Office of California Prisons, allegedly in retaliation for the killing of George Jackson. September 17, 1971 New York Department of Corrections in Albany, New York. In protest of the killing of 29 inmates at Attica State Penitentiary. October 15, 1971 MIT research center, William Bundy's office. May 19, 1972 Pentagon. "in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi." May 18, 1973 103rd Police Precinct in New York. WUO states this is in response to the killing of 10-year-old black youth Clifford Glover by police. September 28, 1973 ITT headquarters in New York and Rome, Italy. WUO states this is in response to ITT's alleged role in the Chilean coup earlier that month. March 6, 1974 Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco. WUO states this is to protest alleged sterilization of poor women. In the accompanying communiqué, the Women’s Brigade argues for "the need for women to take control of daycare, healthcare, birth control and other aspects of women's daily lives." May 31, 1974 California Attorney General office. WUO states this is in response to the killing of six members of the Symbionese Liberation Army. June 17, 1974 Gulf Oil Pittsburgh headquarters. WUO states this is to protest the company's actions in Angola, Vietnam, and elsewhere. September 11, 1974 Anaconda Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Anaconda/Rockefeller’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup the previous year. January 29, 1975 State Department. WUO states this is in response to escalation in Vietnam. June 16, 1975 Banco de Ponce, NYC.

Global economic rapists are at it again

Why protest the G8 Summit July 7-9? Those hoodlums always look so determined. Here's the rationale by the Emergency Exit Collective: The 2008 G8 on Hokkaido, a Strategic Assessment Emergency Exit Collective Bristol, Mayday, 2008 The authors of this document are a collection of activists, scholars, and writers currently based in the United States and Western Europe who have gotten to know and work with each other in the movement against capitalist globalization. We’re writing this at the request of some members of No! G8 Action Japan, who asked us for a broad strategic analysis of the state of struggle as we see it, and particularly, of the role of the G8, what it represents, the dangers and opportunities that may lie hidden in the moment. It is in no sense programmatic. Mainly, it is an attempt to develop tools that we hope will be helpful for organizers, or for anyone engaged in the struggle against global capital. I It is our condition as human beings that we produce our lives in common. II Let us then try to see the world from the perspective of the planet’s commoners, taking the word in that sense: those whose most essential tradition is cooperation in the making and maintenance of human social life, yet who have had to do so under conditions of suffering and separation; deprived, ignored, devalued, divided into hierarchies, pitted against each other for our very physical survival. In one sense we are all commoners. But it’s equally true that just about everyone, at least in some ways, at some points, plays the role of the rulers—of those who expropriate, devalue and divide—or at the very least benefits from such divisions. Obviously some do more than others. It is at the peak of this pyramid that we encounter groups like the G8. III The G8’s perspective is that of the aristocrats, the rulers: those who command and maintain that global machinery of violence that defends existing borders and lines of separation: whether national borders with their detention camps for migrants, or property regimes, with their prisons for the poor. They live by constantly claiming title to the products of others collective creativity and labour, and in thus doing they create the poor; they create scarcity in the midst of plenty, and divide us on a daily basis; they create financial districts that loot resources from across the world, and in thus doing they turn the spirit of human creativity into a spiritual desert; close or privatize parks, public water taps and libraries, hospitals, youth centers, universities, schools, public swimming pools, and instead endlessly build shopping malls that channels convivial life into a means of commodity circulation; work toward turning global ecological catastrophe into business opportunities. These are the people who presume to speak in the name of the “international community” even as they hide in their gated communities or meet protected by phalanxes of riot cops. It is critical to bear in mind that the ultimate aim of their policies is never to create community but to introduce and maintain divisions

Goodbye War Drum Major George

This is not about Freedom of Speech. No one is entitled to disrupt the speech of others for the sake of his own. What you are doing is simply interference jamming. That’s not protected speech. You’re not interested in discussion, only keeping your opponent covered. Go find your own soapbox.

Kent State remembers the 4th of May

Did you think lone hooligans waving the Anarchist flag under the noses of police was a new thing?   On May 4, 1970, after several days of student protests at Kent State University, the Ohio National guard opened fire on the students, killing four and wounding nine others. Sparking a wave of campus revolts proclaiming "They can't kill us all." The Kent State students weren't protesting the Vietnam War, but the just begun US invasion into Cambodia. Is this going to sound familiar? MAY 4 is commemorated every year.

White on Black- Mia Farrow Saves Darfur

Mia Farrow and her 'Save Darfur' campaign is coming to town in Colorado Springs! Here is Mia Farrow- Black on White in person blowing bubbles of concern to the children there in Darfur. It feels so good! Those Mean Baddies in Kampuchea kicked her out of their country though. Apparently they didn't really like her feel good American attitude about foreign affairs? Go figure? Ungrateful Cambodians... Don't they know what the US has done for them? But Mia knows that it is those mean ol' Arab horsemen that are to blame for the problems of the world! She is not acting this time. Think goodness we can have the US State Department and Miami's Holocaust Museum alongside Mia saving little children out there. It feels so good! Bad Chinese and Bad Arabs be damned! It's super hero America to the rescue once again!

The lesson of Vietnam

As Congress voted today to approve funds for prolonging the bloodbath in Iraq, a vote which included a butt-load of Democrat shits, absolute idiots for shits, fork-tongued, pandering, corrupt asshole shits brought aboard last election selling the hope that they would represent the people and put an end to Bush's fiddling recital while burning the US constitution over the fires of Holocausts unleashed on millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Somalis, Colombians, et al, the pretender-alternative party caving to the Necons for absolutely no reason, it occurs to me the lesson learned with Vietnam. The lesson that Americans learned after being responsible for the deaths of millions of Vietnamese and Cambodians is that we got away with it. Shamed, chastized but ultimately let off, we forgave ourselves, forgot the deeds, Lieutenant Calley retired a midwestern jeweler, revelations of the Tiger Patrol's atrocities obfuscated by miscreant swiftboaters, and Joe Public who went along, waved the flags, those who beat the drum, smiling, ridiculing voices who sought to get us out. What happened to those people. Nothing. They're back. They're doing the same thing, again, getting away with murder.

Clarifying a few terms…

Because some have expressed disdain at the mere thought of being considered right wing apologists... aka people who wish to accommodate and justify right wing philosophy, here are a few things to remember: Catchwords and phrases, talking points, something you might see on a bumper sticker; using these will probably get you tagged as a right wing loon. And in at least some cases the tag would fit perfectly. examples: Love it or leave it (one recently) The Police are always right, If you have done nothing wrong why would you fear the police?, Support Our Troops, These Colors Never Run. Recycling myths like: left wing liberals were the reason we lost in Nam... FALSE. Right Wing planners like Westmoreland, Johnson, Nixon, Al Hague, and the "Super Patriots" who supported them, were much more of a coherent and consistent reason for the loss of the VietNam War by the United States. The new crop of such losers is causing America to be drawn into yet another defeat. Also contributing much to the American loss in VietNam was the courage and resourcefulness of the VietMinh, that's Charley to some... For those who don't remember anything about it, these guys used a mix of primitive and modern technologies, small arms, improvised explosives and equipment taken from American, Australian, French and South Vietnamese soldiers, tactics which were also a mix of ancient and modern, to defeat the above named governments, even against a Shock and Awe campaign of greater magnitude than the one currently being played in Iraq. Also like Iraq, there was never a war declared between the United States and The Democratic Republic (Hanoi). Much as it pisses off those who see the POWs as uncompromising heroes, (some were) and the Hanoi Hilton as a hellhole, (it was) it should also be remembered that the Hanoi Hilton is about a standard in third world jails. And since the North Vietnamese didn't do a "show trial" followed by an execution every time they captured an American airman, the treatment they accorded the Americans was one hell of a lot better than that accorded to the VietCong prisoners by the Saigon government. a lot of Americans will scream loudly that American soldiers didn't torture captured Charleys. Given the readiness these same people have shown to rationalize torture at Gitmo and worse places, i tend to doubt that. Probably not widespread but not nonexistent either. But on the other hand, the Saigon government DID torture and summarily execute captured "terrorists" "rebels" "insurgents". Leave us remind everybody that the Americans captured in North VietNam and Cambodia and Laos had exactly the same legal status as the captured Charleys had in the South. No more, no less. It was a combination of supporting an openly repressive government and the determination and resourcefulness of the "enemy" that dashed the American intervention in SE Asia. The same things that are now dragging down America in South WEST Asia. Empires are destined to fall, usually very soon after they are declared to be Empires. Such as the one declared by George

Paying reparations will make US as poor as Chad

Noam Chomsky has just written that the US should pay reparations for the damages done to Iraq's infrastructure by the US invasion and occupation. While I can't disagree with the justice of this, doing it would make America as poor as the country of Chad. And why stop with reparations for US damages done to iraq? How about paying damages done to Colombia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Nicaragua, El Salvador, God can we stop now, though the list is still quite incomplete? One of the most galling things about US war supporters is there constant refrain that they are supporting the constant war only to help Iraqis out! Just the other day on this blog a poster was spouting this line of crap, too. Plus, usually in the same breath they are condemning the Islamic community as being full of barbarians, all the while praying to their Christian God of War. Yes, they are on a great Crusade to help the heathen out! So why don't these people dig out THEIR pocketbooks, and make those reparations then, instead of playing stupid and pretending that they are bringing heaven to earth for Arabs? US war supporters have to be about the most shameless human beings imaginable. If there is a Christian Hell for hypocrites?, then they definitely got the ticket. And if we as a nation get forced to actually make reparations, then we'll all be in Hell alongside them.

Vietnam vet selective memory

Am I to deduce by your Vietnam Veteran cap that you served in the Vietnam War? May I say, of course, thank you for your service, and sorry for what you had to endure, and I would be interested to hear about it sometime, eagerly, but that's it. Answering your country's call to arms was honorable, but what your country did in Southeast Asia, by means of the guns it gave you, was not. Misguided would not even be the word, our leaders were warmongers led by munitions profiteers. Misguided was your role following criminal orders but you eventually figured that out. Our profound national sense of shame for the Vietnam War was not even a question once the true nature of the conflict became revealed. As a result the war in Vietnam ended and our troops came home under a black cloud. Sorry, Mr. Veteran, about that cloud, nothing personal, but you could have considered the karma you brought unto yourself by participating over there. Anyway, you drew the short straw. Don't now try to dress it up. Don't tell me now you could have won in Vietnam if it hadn't been for the American people turning to peace. What? Left to do your job you could have killed millions more Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians enough to have subdued them? Is that what you're saying? America's decimation of those peoples wasn't enough for you? You [We] got your butt kicked by those determined Asians is what happened. Like every single anti-colonial movement in modern times, the occupied peoples prevailed. The American public pulled your asses out of that fire is what happened, lest you be killed but take 50 Vietnamese lives with you, many of them civilian. That was the ratio of our deaths to theirs. You apologized for that, and we'll make you apologize again if you're now going to change your tune. Who would have guessed we'd have to give you nostalgic vets a kick in the pants again? What part of genocide, or atrocity, or travesty, or grand scale tragedy, don't you understand? "Vietnam" as we call it, our war on the Vietnamese, was wrong, it was an incredible abuse of power, of our superior strength, of our incredible inhumanity. You were there.

Waterboarding not dunking

Vice-president Cheney has just explicitly admitted that US interrogators use waterboarding as a method of interrogation. The decision to use it is a "no brainer" Cheney says, it's not torture, referring to the practice as more like dunking. Probably we all conjure images of the wooden see-saw at the water's edge, where the Puritans sought confessions from witches. Others I guess envision the dunking booth at the school fair. Neither would be correct. David Corn features an updated description of waterboarding, sent him from Jonah Blank, a former senior editor of US News and World Report. Blank attached pictures from the Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, now a museum commemorating the Khymer Rouge attrocities. It's the former site of a notorious torture facility. Of the many torture methods used by the Khymer Rouge, only two instruments are diplayed to represent the worst. Both involve water torture. One of them is the waterboard. Water torture goes way back, and Dick Cheney of Halliburton and of the USofA are upholding its fine tradition.

Justice delayed, denied, for now

Not to worry, not to worry. The Bush and GOP plan to indemnify themselves from responsibility for their war crimes will be to scant avail. Let them pass whatever bill they want. It's true, justice delayed is justice denied. And it is depressingly ungratifying to see criminals legislate themselves legitimacy. But the representatives at the United Nations have settled for this delay before. Not long ago our nation was at war with the people of Vietnam. Our imperialist interventions eventually turned toward the people of Cambodia and Laos in illegal acts of aggression. There was absolutely no other nation powerful enough to bring us to account, and because of our veto power on the Security Council, any number of Nations United could not condemn us or stop us. The U.N. delegates settled for delayed justice. They said, in effect, we may not stop you now, but that doesn't make what you are doing right or legal. They agreed that there would be no statute of limitations for breaches of international law, neither should any nation be able to exclude itself from the law's jurisdiction. In 1968 the U.N. General Assembly made explicit the universal jurisdiction of the war crimes conventions. The Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity ensured that nobody could consider themselves beyond the reach of international rule of law. Article 1, part (b) defines the universal illegality of war crimes, "even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed." Article 4 reads that no nation's laws can redefine what are understood to be war crimes, that "statutory or other limitations shall not apply to the prosecution and punishment of the crimes referred to in articles 1 and 2 of this Convention and that, where they exist, such limitations shall be abolished." The torturers and warmongers can delay their appointment with the hangman, but the scurryng around to jerrymander the law is a good sign. Bush and co are showing the discomfort of knowing that justice awaits.

Ahmadinejad and Hamas not denying Holocaust

No one is suggesting that the Holocaust didn't happen, or that six million Jews weren't killed by the Nazis. The mythology surrounding the Holocaust has to do with its aftermath: how the murder of six million Jews became justification for the creation of a Jewish state on land which belonged altogether to someone else.   That is the mythology about the Holocaust which natives of the Middle East would like the rest of us to contemplate. Western media seems intent on perpetuating a distortion of the Muslim position. So intent are they to avoid questioning the legitimacy of Zionism that anyone who does is painted as a "Holocaust denier." No one is denying the Holocaust! And no one is calling for killing any more Jews! "Wiping Israel off the map" is a truncated translation of what the Muslim voices have expressed. It does not mean "off the face of the earth" or "eradicate" or "exterminate." Right to exist Hamas is often described as not believing in Israel's right to exist. It sounds so unreasonable. Everyone has a right to exist. But Israel is not a person, it's an entity. Try this on for size. Does Jewish occupied Palestine have a right to exist? Did French occupied Algeria have a "right to exist?" Algeria had a right to exist, and the French there had every right to exist, as a minority. And as we've seen with all former colonies, the majority population has an inclination to rise against its upper class oppressors. The west has of course the inclination to try to prop up those embattled regimes. Israel was a nation created in 1949, carved out of the land of the Palestinians to make a home for European Jews. Israel is regarded by many as a last example of colonialism. White settlers laying claim to the lands of another people. Now the Israelis are erecting a wall to separate themselves from the darker skinned Arabs. It's an apartheid wall, and we've seen apartheid before. The Boers of Dutch ancestry no longer rule South Africa because the world wouldn't stand for it. Israelis have as much right to exist as anyone, as the Boers for example, but they don't have a divine right to exist on the backs of their native brothers.   Israelis call it a "fence." To construct it required demolishing entire Palestinian neighborhoods, often separating Palestinian farmers from their fields and orchards.     Off the map When the Iranian president says he would like to wipe Israel off the map, he's not saying he wishes to kill anyone. He didn't say he wants to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth, he's saying he'd like to see Israel off the map OF THE MIDDLE EAST! Ahmadinejad even suggested that Israel relocate itself to Europe. If Europeans feel so bad about the Holocaust which they inflicted upon the Jews, why shouldn't it fall to Europe to

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