quarta-feira, outubro 19, 2005

Abu Ghraib and illusion.

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Thursday August 30 2007

NYT Editorial, Abu Ghraib Swept Under the Carpet, 30/08/07, Source.

Some cruel sons 'a bitches!!!

Monday November 21 2005

Cheney says withdrawing troops would cause a "dangerous illusion". Murtha says it is a flawed policy "wrapped in illusion".

The President says "We do not torture". - which is more like an outright lie than an illusion.

Murtha writes the speech below which confirms Jane Fonda's view that "GIs are just working class guys who don’t know how to spell". A cogent argument it is not, but in the land of the seven veils it doesn't have to be, just a choo-choo train of thought.

War in Iraq - The Honorable John P. Murtha - November 17, 2005

Washington D.C. - The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, "the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency." General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

For 2 ½ years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait – the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction – but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We can not allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S.

Much of our ground equipment is worn out and in need of either serious overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." We must rebuild our Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being “terrified” about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the conditions on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included the Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have now received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent.

Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won "militarily." I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.

I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:
To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.

Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.

November 11, 2005
WP - CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons
WP - Cheney Plan Exempts CIA From Bill Barring Abuse
BG - McCain fights exception to torture ban

November 1, 2005
Reuters - U.S. frees 500 prisoners from Iraq's Abu Ghraib

(text in Comments)

October 19, 2005
No pictures in this post, and GTMO - Guantanamo Bay, Camp X-ray, Camp Delta, no pictures of it either. I watched a film on PBS tonight; if you want pictures you can watch it at:

Not all of it strictly true of course, the rhetoric of the media is the same self-serving rhetoric of the left-libs, a shill, [just a sec, lemme check that one out ... OED says: A decoy or accomplice, esp. one posing as an enthusiastic or successful customer to encourage other buyers, gamblers, etc.] well, ok, shill ... maybe it points the way ... since the effect is to conjure up an unconscious and unstructured emotional response - to make you feel "I am ashamed ...", and then you get lost in it, when really, it looked to me like the reformed torturer trying to blow the whistle on it when the smoke has all but cleared - well, I thought he was faking it, and there were some other threads that got snagged on me, a few too many gratuitous camera angles, a too pointed montage, still, I began to want to knit each name into a scarf like Madame Defarge.

Now though, after an hour's reflection I want to shout:




Posted outubro 24, 2005 11:20 AM by Blogger David Wilson /  

Lies & Neediness

the reason that Yevgeny Yevutshenko is included in the honour list below, is that I once read a poem of his which said: "telling lies to the young is wrong". of course it was an english translation of something he said in russian, what-ever, and it may not seem like such a moving truth, again, what-ever,

yesterday I was sitting on Signal Hill in St. John`s, Newfoundland, drinking Tim Horton`s`s coffee and reading The Globe and Mail, and there came at me a small reverberation of my thoughts and feelings around Abu Ghraib, in the form of a short discussion of means and ends - with a note that Hannah Arendt had not liked the expression "you can`t make an omelette without breaking eggs".

I don`t like the expression "you can`t stand in the way of progress". They say the same thing, these two old saws - and somehow they both remind me of neediness - that greatest of sins among the nouveau bourgeoisie, should that be nouvelle bourgeoisie?, what-ever, everyone knows that in the middle and upper classes you can be whatever you want to be, but you cannot and mustn`t be needy.

This connection will be amplified on my return to Houston - for now it will just have to stay far-fetched - what-ever.

[do you remember fnords? I think it was Kurt Vonnegut`s word, for non-factoids conjured up by the powers-that-be in order to confuse and distract, well 'what-ever' is in the same category of words, in the same zone of meaning, but is, for me at least, the opposite: a fnord remedy, a counter-force, a bit of cough medicine for the soul]

Posted novembro 01, 2005 4:43 PM by Blogger David Wilson /  


U.S. frees 500 prisoners from Iraq's Abu Ghraib
01 Nov 2005 Reuters

BAGHDAD, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Five hundred prisoners walked free from the U.S. military's Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq on Tuesday, released in a goodwill gesture to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The detainees were presented with a Koran and $25 on their release which marked Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Their release was in addition to 1,000 prisoners set free in October at the start of the month of fasting.

All 1,500, who also received traditional white shirts, were released after their cases went before an Iraqi-led review board and were found not to have committed serious or violent crimes, the U.S. military said in a statement.

"These detainees have confessed to their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of Iraq," it said.

Deputy Prime Minister Abed Mutlak al-Jibouri and other ministers were present for the release, requested by the Iraqi government, but media were not invited to Abu Ghraib, a vast complex about 15 km (10 miles) west of Baghdad.

U.S. forces are holding 13,885 detainees, including 5,074 at Abu Ghraib, behind barbed wire at several facilities across Iraq, up from a total of about 11,800 a month ago, a spokesman for the U.S. military's prison operations said.

Iraqi critics say U.S. military detentions are too arbitrary and too long.

Abu Ghraib became notorious for the images of U.S. soldiers mocking, physically abusing and torturing Iraqi prisoners that emerged last year. U.S. military officials and Iraqi authorities have since been at pains to show Abu Ghraib now being run as a model prison.