Monday, May 17, 2004


Two Things

First, the latest news from Iraq - Izzedine Salim, head of the Iraqi Governing Council, was assassinated today in a suicide bombing in Iraq. To think that anybody could point to Iraq today and call the US invasion & occupation a success is absolutely ludicrous. I think the situation is very similar to the assassination of Akhmad Kadyrov in Chechnya 8 days ago. The relationship between Iraq and the US has been poisoned, just as the relationship between Chechnya and Russia is poisoned. It doesn't matter if the governing council is made up of Iraqis, if they are perceived as being installed or backed by the US, they are sellouts, puppets, what have you, it all translates to the same thing: targets. It is a very, very dismal situation.
Second, allegations of filmed prison abuse at Guantanamo. I don't think most people would be shocked that there has been abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo - I'm just glad to see that Senator Patrick Leahy is demanding some action and I really hope that quite a few others stand up and demand the same, prompting calls from the right that this is being turned into a "political" issue. Well, goddamit, what is wrong with turning it into a political issue? It's the current administration with the backing of Congressional Republicans that pressed so hard to fight this war in Iraq, that made it so that Guantanamo was a void outside of international or domestic law, that got us into this mess. And they had plenty of help from Democrats and those Democrats should pay for it (politically) just the same. Either that or, or if everybody is so innocent, stand up and defend yourself or do take some corrective action. The only thing that it says to me when somebody accuses others of turning it into a political issue is that that person does not see a problem. They see a problem of getting some bad press maybe, but not in the abuse of Iraqis or Arabs or Muslims in Guantanamo. Sadly, a lot of them would agree with people like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage that we aren't doing enough to the people we have in captivity in Iraq or Guantanamo. Getting back to the "Othering" of Middle Easterners, Arabs, Muslims, Afghanis, etc., so much of the language espoused by the war-mongers and right wing (I don't even know if I should insert the word "extremists" here because it has become so widespread) has been used to look on terrorists (well, Islamic terrorists, and by extension Muslims & Arabs) as inhuman abominations, evil subhumans that hate us because of who we are (humans), they hate our (human) way of life. Terrorism is about politics, not evolution. Let's make this a political issue (There, I said it again).

My God, I just read the Savage thing and am currently writing a post about it on my blog ( I think we need to spread this around and make sure more people know what we're up against. I just started my blog a few days ago, so I don't have much traffic yet, but I'm going to send the Savage link to as many people as I can. That is sickening and frightening.
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