Linsdey German - When we talk about debt cancellation, let’s not mention the more than $30 billion write-off of Iraq’s debt last November in order to speed privatisation and Western capital investment in the run-up to the Iraqi elections. Make Poverty History (MPH), the loose coalition which organised Saturday’s demo, has colluded in this silence by refusing to allow the Stop the War Coalition (MPH) to affiliate to it. A refusal to allow the affiliation of the largest mass movement in Britain shows a political refusal to take on a government that has brought poverty and war to the world. Brown, so keen on this agenda, is the same person who only a few months ago on a visit to Africa proclaimed that Britain had no reason to apologise for its empire. The danger with the MPH attitude is that the protest becomes an uncritical backdrop for the G8, not the critique of its policies and politics that is so sorely needed.
Yamin Zakaria - George Bush referred to Iraq resistance as “hunting down terrorists”. So now they are not even “insurgents” in their own lands! There was no “terrorists”, no Musab al-Zarqawi, no car bombs, no kidnappings and no beheadings in Iraq prior to the war. Therefore, what the US is hunting now is its own creation - these phenomena are the consequence of its action and not the cause! The “insurgents” became “terrorists”, and then they were referred to as “foreign fighters”, as if the Iraqis are simply spectators in the entire thing. “Foreign fighters” have come from other neighbouring Arab/Muslim countries, constituting less than 1% of the resistance. If those Arab/Muslims from Saudi, Syria, and Jordan are foreigners, what are the Poles, Aussies, Brits, Japs and Italians in Iraq?
David R Hoffman - As any first year government student will confirm, it is the role of the United States Congress to pass laws, and it is the role of the courts to review, interpret and determine the constitutionality of these laws. As such, Congress already possesses the power to pass a law prohibiting the “physical desecration” of the flag; therefore the proposed amendment is unnecessary. But the legislative antics surrounding this amendment demonstrate that Congress is NOT requesting the power to pass laws prohibiting flag “desecration.” It is demanding the power to supersede the constitutional review process, thereby exempting certain laws from judicial scrutiny even when they clearly violate the Bill of Rights.
Tony Soldo - The American flag is a propaganda tool. It’s subliminal power enchants Americans to proudly follow their leaders, without question. For centuries, people by the millions have marched off to their death for no other reason, but to “defend” an image, colors on a cloth. Flag burning is a form of expression that relates a message to all that you are not happy with the actions of the government. No constitutional freedom is more important to a free and open society than freedom of speech. If we compromise on this one issue, we lose all freedom, because then, anyone can be charged with a crime for merely expressing themselves. As Huey Long stated, “If Fascism ever came to the United States, it would be wrapped in an American flag”.
Laura del Castillo Matamoros - Thank you, Mr. President, as you honor us by your presence here today in our country – excuse me, rather, I should say, in YOUR country. Thank you for giving us the president of our dreams, made in your image and likeness. So great is his admiration for you that, in tribute to your “Patriot Act,” he designed the “Plan Patriota,” which has increased our military forces to 350,000 men. Thank you for helping to form Colombia’s flawless, morally righteous, nation-wide informant network, who believe so much in the underprivileged youth of rural areas that they convert them into “peasant soldiers.” Thank you, and the political economic ideological industrial system you lead, for giving us the privilege of being second-class citizens, given the risk that a terrorist hides in each of our hearts. Thank you for bringing your young professionals and white-collar workers here to take charge of directing our companies. Because of all this and more, Mr. President, Colombia is entirely at your disposal.
Firas Al-Atraqchi - The morbid gallery of quotes, facts, and figures contained in this article, printed and published in Western media by verifiable and veritable sources, can stream on endlessly. But the testimonials it contains are enough to conjure the reality of the USA onslaught in Iraq. It is not humanitarian, nor is it compassionate. It bears the mark of skull ‘n’ bones—the more killed the better. It is the taste of hatred and brutality, one that has been equalled by the razing armies of history — the Nazis, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Mongols — but rarely exceeded.
Vincent L. Guarisco - Those of us who feel we’re the lonely voices of logic are more important than we may ever realize, those not in-the-know will desperately need our knowledge and guidance to calm the obstinate cries of betrayal. We must be ready, and be there, for them in order to manifest and embolden a unified force that will eventually stop this tyranny. Did any of us really believe that simply understanding the matrix was enough? I certainly hope not! In fact—because we do understand the grand canard, it puts us in the point position of our pivotal platoon to act as a guiding compass to help our lost countrymen and women find their way. We must lead them off the media-induced, war-beaten, fear-mongering path propagated by the Bush regime, and steer them into safer territory, smoother waters—a “higher ground,” where trickery by fear has no magical behavior-modification power.
Sidney Blumenthal - Colin Powell’s final scene was a poignant but harsh exposure of his self-delusion and humiliation. The former general held in his head an idea of himself as sacrificing and disciplined. But the good soldier was dismissed at last by his commander-in-chief as a bad egg. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld regarded him either as a useful tool or a vain obstructionist. They deployed his reputation as the most popular man and the most credible face in the US for their own ends, and when he contributed an independent view he was isolated and undermined. As incompetent as his successor was at her actual job, she was agile at bureaucratic positioning. Early on, Condoleezza Rice figured out how to align with the neo-conservatives and to damage Powell. Her usurpation is a lesson to him in blind ambition and loyalty.
Seumas Milne - As Bush and Blair joshed about poodles and Palestine in the White House, USA occupation forces, backed up by British troops, rampaged through the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Mosul, meting out violence in the name of democratic elections - which the USA blocked for well over a year, while its puppet administration banned parties, newspapers and TV stations. As a 21st century Madame Roland might have said: “Oh democracy, what crimes are committed in your name”. In the Palestinians’ case, the crimes stretch back more than half a century - and the USA and Britain have been complicit at every stage. When Bush and Blair call for Palestinian democratic reform, they mean the promotion of politicians and institutions which will entrench western-friendly policies. Hence the effort Britain, the USA, and Israel have put into cultivating and building up local leaders who they hope will play such a role.
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