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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:14 PM
Original message
John Pilger: FROM IRAQ TO THE G8: THE POLITE CRUSHING OF DISSENT AND TRUTH
Received by email from: Michael Albert of zmag.org. As this is a freebie, it is not subject to the 4-paragraph rule.

===============================================================

Hello,

This is a free update from ZNet. You can add or remove names to our update mailing list, now going to over 200,000 addresses, via the link on ZNet's top page (www.zmag.org/weluser.htm ).

We of course welcome you to visit ZNet for our daily analysis of events, movements, ideas, strategy, and vision. We particularly hope you will consider becoming a ZNet Sustainer, to help our operations. Today, we mostly want to mail you, however, the following piece from John Pilger...


FROM IRAQ TO THE G8: THE POLITE CRUSHING OF DISSENT AND TRUTH
John Pilger

Over the past two weeks, the contrast between two related "global" events has been salutary. The first was the World Tribunal on Iraq held in Istanbul; the second the G8 meeting in Scotland and the Make Poverty History campaign. Reading the papers and watching television in Britain, you would know nothing about the Istanbul meetings, which produced the most searing evidence to date of the greatest political scandal of modern times: the attack on a defenceless Iraq by America and Britain.

The tribunal is a serious international public inquiry into the invasion and occupation, the kind governments dare not hold. "We are here," said the author Arundathi Roy in Istanbul, "to examine a vast spectrum of evidence (about the war) that has been deliberately marginalised and suppressed, its legality, the role of international institutions and major corporations in the occupation, the role of the media, the impact of weapons such as depleted uranium munitions, napalm, and cluster bombs, the use and legitimising of torture . . . This tribunal is an attempt to correct the record: to document the history of the war not from the point of view of the victors but of the temporarily anguished."

"Temporarily anguished" implies that, even faced with such rampant power, the Iraqi people will recover. You certainly need this sense of hope when reading the eyewitness testimonies which demonstrate, as Roy pointed out, "that even those of us who have tried to follow the war closely are not aware of a fraction of the horrors that have been unleashed in Iraq."

The most shocking testimony was given by Dahr Jamail. Unless you read the internet, you will not know who Dhar Jamail is. He is not an amusing Baghdad blogger. For me, he is the finest reporter working in Iraq. With the exception of Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn and several others, mostly freelancers, he shames the flak-jacketed, clich crunching camp followers known as "embeds". A Lebanese with American citizenship, Jamail has been almost everywhere the camp followers have not. He has reported from the besieged city of Fallujah, whose destruction and atrocities have been suppressed by western broadcasters, notably by the BBC. (See www.medialens. org/ alerts).

In Istanbul, Jamail bore his independent reporter's witness to the thousands of Iraqis tortured in Abu Ghraib and other American prisons. His account of what happened to a civil servant in Baghdad was typical. This man, Ali Abbas, had gone to a US base to inquire about his missing neighbours. On his third visit, he was arrested without charge, stripped naked, hooded and forced to simulate sex with other prisoners . This was standard procedure. He was beaten on his genitals, electrocuted in the anus, denied water and forced to watch as his food was thrown away. A loaded gun was held to his head to prevent him from screaming in pain as his wrists were bound so tightly that the blood drained from his hands. He was doused in cold water while a fan was held to his body.

"They put on a loud speaker," he told Jamail, "put the speakers on my ears and said, 'Shut up, fuck, fuck, fuck!' He was refused sleep. Shit was wiped on him and dogs were used on him. "Sometimes at night when he read his Koran," said Jamail, "(he) had to hold it in the hallway for light. Soldiers would come by and kick the Holy Koran, and sometimes they would try to piss on it or wipe shit on it." A female soldier told him, "Our aim is to put you in hell . . . These are the orders from our superiors, to turn your lives into hell."

Jamail described how Fallujah's hospitals have been subjected to an American tactic of collective punishment, with US marines assaulting staff and stopping the wounded entering, and American snipers firing at the doors and windows, and medicines and emergency blood prevented from reaching the hospitals. Children were shot dead in front of their families, in cold blood.

The two men responsible for this, George Bush and Tony Blair, attended the G8 meeting at Gleneagles. Unlike the Iraq Tribunal, there was saturation coverage, yet no one in the "mainstream" - from the embedded media to the Make Poverty History organisers and the accredited, acceptable celebrities - made the obvious connection of Bush's and Blair's enduring crime in Iraq. No one stood and said that Blair's smoke-and-mirrors "debt cancellation" at best amounted to less than the money the government spent in a week brutalising Iraq, where British and American violence was the cause of the doubling of child poverty and malnutrition since Saddam Hussein was overthrown (Unicef).

In Edinburgh, a shameless invitation-only meeting of Christian Aid supporters and church leaders was addressed by Britain's treasurer, Gordon Brown, the paymaster of this carnage. Only one person asked him, "When will you stop the rape of the poor's resources? Why are there so many conditions on aid?" This lone protestor was not referring specifically to Iraq, but to most of the world. He was thrown out, to cheers from among the assembled Christians.

That set the theme for the G8 week: the silencing and pacifying and co-option of real dissent and truth. It was Frantz Fanon, the great intellectual-activist of Africa, who exposed colonial greed and violence dressed up as polite do-goodery, and nothing has changed, in Africa, as in Iraq. The mawkish images on giant screens behind the pop stars in Hyde Park beckoned a wilful, self-satisfied ignorance. There was none of the images that television refuses to show: of murdered Iraqi doctors with the blood streaming from their heads, cut down by Bush's snipers.

On the front page of the Guardian, the Age of Irony was celebrated as real life became more satirical than satire could ever be. There was Bob Geldoff resting his smiling face on smiling Blair's shoulder, the war criminal and his jester. Elsewhere, there was an heroically silhouetted Bono, who celebrates men like Jeffrey Sachs as saviours of the world's poor while lauding "compassionate" George Bush's "war on terror" as one of his generation's greatest achievements; and there again was Brown, the enforcer of unfair rules of trade, saying incredibly that "unfair rules of trade shackle poor people"; and Paul Wolfowitz, beaming next to the Archbishop of Canterbury: this is the man who, before he was handed control of the World Bank, devised much of Bush's so-called neo-conservative putsch, the mendacious justification for the bloodfest in Iraq and the notion of "endless war".

And if you missed all that, there is a downloadable PDF kit from a "one Campaign" e-mail to "help you organise your very own ongoing Live8 party". The suppression of African singers and bands, parked where Geldoff decreed, in an environmental theme park in Cornwall, in front of an audience of less than 50 people, was described correctly by Andy Kershaw as "musical apartheid".

Has there ever been a censorship as complete and insidious and ingenious as this? Even when Stalin airbrushed his purged comrades from the annual photograph on top of Lenin's mausoleum, the Russian people could fill in the gaps. Media and cultural hype provide infinitely more powerful propaganda weapons in the age of Blair. With Diana, there was grief by media. With Iraq, there was war by media. Now there is mass distraction by media, a normalising of the unmentionable that "the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people", wrote the playwright Arthur Miller, "and so the evidence has to be internally denied."

Deploying the unction of Bono, Madonna, Paul McCartney and of course Geldoff, whose Live Aid 21 years ago achieved nothing for the people of Africa, the contemporary plunderers and pawnbrokers of that continent have pulled off an unprecedented scam: the antithesis of 15 February 2003 when two million people brought both their hearts and brains to the streets of London.

"(Ours) is not a march in the sense of a demonstration, but more of a walk, " said Make Poverty History's Bruce Whitehead. "The emphasis is on fun in the sun. The intention is to welcome the G8 leaders to Scotland and ask them to deliver trade justice, debt cancellation and increased aid to developing countries."

Really?

In Lewis Carroll's classic, Alice asked the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter to show her the way out of wonderland. They did, over and again, this way, that way, until she lost her temper and brought down her dream world, waking her up. The people killed and maimed in Iraq and the people wilfully impoverished in Africa by our governments and our institutions in our name, demand that we wake up.


This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org ). Visit our site for subscription options.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. And who will ever hear about these atrocities in OUR NAME, paid for
with OUR MONEY? Who?

We read and read here on this site and others across the internet...but who will listen and who will believe except us? :shrug:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Here's what we've recieved in our e-mails from 6 people in the last month.
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:49 PM by KoKo01

(BTW: I just sent your post with links to the six people. :D Hopefully it will wake them up to what happenes when Sherrif Joe types
are put in charge with our military. :-()

TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO,
HE IS THE MARICOPA ARIZONA COUNTY SHERIFF
AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER.

THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY:


Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail":

He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but "G" movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.

He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required! cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel.

When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs.

He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back."

He bought Newt Gingrich' lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.





More on the Arizona Sheriff:

With temperatures being even hotter than usual in Phoenix (116 degrees just set a new record), the Associated Press reports: About 2,000 inmates living in a barbed-wire-surrounded tent encampment at the Maricopa County Jail have been given permission to strip down to their government-issued pink boxer shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 degrees inside the week before.

Many were also swathed in wet, pink towels as sweat collected on their chests and dripped down to their pink socks.

"It feels like we are in a furnace," said James Zanzot, an inmate who has lived in the tents for 1 = years. "It's inhumane."

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: "It's 120 degrees in Iraq and our soldiers are living in tents too, and they have to wear full battle gear, but they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your damned mouths!"

Way to go, Sheriff! Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders. Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

If you agree, pass this on. If not, just delete it. Sheriff Joe was just reelected Sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Talk about schisms
What is this once-proud nation coming to?
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I don't know...it's shocking. But it seems even the word "shocking" means
something to one side but not to the other. :shrug:

I edited my post, which you might have missed. I sent your Z-Net post to the six people who sent that foul article about "Sherrif Joe." I don't expect I'll hear an answer but if just one of them reads the atrocities in Faluja then it will be worth it if it opens their mind.

I truly believe that some portion of this country who has always been the "evil within us" found it's voice in the religious Right and the PNAC intellectuals and have led us down the road to hell.

It makes me think back to my own relgious upbringing where we were taught that the "Devil" is always within us, and we need to recognize that we will need to fight our personal battles with him/evil all our lives. I was raised Episcopal but have read other philosophies. I go back to what I was taught...when I look at what we are faced with. The Devil (force of evil) has found it's voice in this "Information Age" and how do we fight it? Who would have thought we could come to this with so much information available and World War II and Hitler's evil so close that there are still people alive who remember what happened there? :shrug: It's truly awful.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Waking up blind
is a scary experience. It had been noted early, an idea that rose and died on the immense swells of oceanic lies, that the abuses of Abu Graib, the "training" of the military guards, mirrors the contemporary abuses in the US justice system itself.

Whoa, no one goes there despite the prison movies and shows that make it a source of drama not outrage, a source of opposite thinking(punishment not correction), an occasional understated titillation when reform is the duty of any true American citizen.

Maybe we will see some of the Iraq horrors once they too are not a subject of action or reform but a source of maudlin entertainment, head shaking and pass the chips please.

We are waking up to find ourselves blind and the noises in the room are even more terrifying. We are afraid we can't do what we must or afraid of getting swept in to what we have denied.

Better not to have that mysterious cough and pain tested by your doctor. Better to compartmentalize the screams of people our taxes from our labor are robbing and killing horribly. Better to dream in the matrix and die ignorant and enslaved. To see means we have to live, and to live we must cut the evil down to size.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you for this report, horrible as it is.
May the time come when the truth is neither so hard to find nor so terrible.

Recommended.
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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
6. TRUTH! NOW! Nominated and info forwarded far and wide.
Thank you for keeping us informed and focused.

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. YQW
Someone said doing that is like hearding cats.
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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. LOL. Have you ever seen what that might look like?
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. The WTI may have done some good
Even if, all things considered, it was street theater, the case against Bush and company was laided out.

The fact is that Bush and his aides are war criminals who need to be indicted by a real international tribunal that can really sentence them to real time in a real prison.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. milgram and obedience
http://upalumni.org/medschool/appendices/appendix-39f.h...

this link has a good intro to the mechanism of obedience. the milgram experiment is well known... subjects were instructed to administer electrical shocks to conspirators who actually were in on the experiment. they subjects were assured that the researcher would take "all responsibility" for the outcome. the device used to administer the shocks had a dial that clearly showed what each level would do to the victim, all the way up to "death." i'm paraphrasing -- but the outcome is that about 65 percent of subjects go all the way as long as someone in "authority" takes responsibility for the outcome."

here's a variation on the theme:
"A cute, fluffy puppy..."
Same as Milgram, but with a puppy and with real shocks. College students, 13 men and 13 women, were told to give the puppy 30 shocks. The shocks caused the puppy to run, howl, and yelp. The final level, researchers report, resulted in, "continuous barking and howling."

The conclusion? "Females were not expected to be more willing than males to shock a cute puppy." But they were; all 13 women went all the way, delivering 30 shocks each.<453>

go to the link and read the rest -- it's fascinating.

here's the thing -- soldiers told to "make life hell" are going to do just that. it's hardwired into our nature, apparently. their superiors damn well know this and they are DEHUMANIZING their troops by requiring them to do this. i would not want to be the wife of a soldier returning from this kind of duty. he would not be the same man. they would have effectively murdered the husband i once knew.
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Vladimir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
12.  Pilger nails it
Edited on Fri Jul-08-05 05:59 PM by Vladimir
thank you for sharing this article with us.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-26-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Pilger ALWAYS nails it!!!
:kick:
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Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-05 01:13 AM
Response to Original message
13. Besides, it's so sad what has become of Pop-Music...
Edited on Sat Jul-09-05 01:16 AM by Dirk39
U2 and Geldorf were already garbage in 1984. I remember, how dissapointed and angry I was, watching Band Aid 1. A failed pop-star (Geldorf), who tried everything to become a Pop-Star after being a one-hit-guy. And then he discovered "charity". And U2, who did destroy everything that was going on after punk in the U.K., turning it into idiotic arena-pop to do the groundwork for even more stupid people like Bon Jovi and Guns N' Roses. 21 years ago, these people were already a worthless piece of ..., and now, in 2005, these very same people are still doing what they were always doing: opportunistic conformistic mainstream pop with a few left rebel-poses.
They are the Bush-Family of "popular culture"...


Shut them down! I don't like Geldorf, I want to shoot the whole Geldorf down....along with Bono and Blair and Schröder and Madonna.
Hello from Germany,
Dirk
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Which makes me think you know squat about the Boomtown Rats
Far from being 'one-hit-wonders', they had 9 top 20 singles in the UK, including 2 number ones; and 4 top 20 albums, including one that spent 44 weeks in the charts (source). Yes, they had faded by the time of BandAid - which is why he got the top starts of the time to record it, knowing that would sell. And he raised a fuck of a lot of money, and inspired many subsequent fund-raisers. Would you rather no food had been sent, and the developed world just sat on its fat arse ignoring famine?

As for U2 destroying "everything that was going on after punk in the U.K." - what, you mean like Culture Club, the Thompson Twins, or Duran Duran? Punk died before U2 got anywhere. And you can't put the reason for its demise, or its successors (which, frankly, were mostly inferior to U2) down to one band. Do you think they controlled the recording industry?

So which artists do you think were cruelly cut down by the juggernaut of U2? What would they have done for the world if people hadn't decided they preferred Bono's records?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. We have such a heave price to pay. I'm speechless about Iraq.
However, Live Aid: "The suppression of African singers and bands, parked where Geldoff decreed, in an environmental theme park in Cornwall, in front of an audience of less than 50 people, was described correctly by Andy Kershaw as "musical apartheid"."

Well, I've always thought any Paul McCartney post-Beatles performance was a crime against humanity but, my lord, what is the matter with Galdolf.

Wonder where the money really goes?

Great post :kick:Recommend
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