Ramzy Baroud - Bad days are awaiting Afghanistan. True, it is hard to imagine how Afghanistan’s misfortunes could possibly get any worse. But they will, particularly for those living in Kandahar in the south. Seated next to Karzai during his Washington visit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised that her country will “not destroy Kandahar in order to save Kandahar”. Although Clinton wanted us to believe that the Bush era is over, she used almost the exact same language that the Bush administration used prior to its major military assaults in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Yamin Zakaria - Almost everyday I get email responses to my essays, usually containing lots of two word expletives, almost all from within the USA. Since stereotyping is wrong, I did ask myself the question, are those Americans, exceptional or typical. Anyway, I began to think about those two word responses, and thought of the possibility of my being both, wrong and a “sand nigger”. Thereafter, I renounced all my previous writings, written whilst I was clearly misguided and brainwashed by the Arabs and Muslim terrorists. Listed below is my new view of history and the world. So, let us proceed with the issues, fasten your seat belts, sit tight and I will show you the world according to the neo-cons, Zionists, right-wing Republicans, fundamentalist Christians and the KKK.
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?
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.
Andrew Lichterman - For a long-time U.S. peace activist, a first visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is both momentous and paradoxical. Much that might move or shock a casual American visitor already is familiar, from the terrible images of human suffering to the facts and figures about the enormous arsenals of weapons of mass destruction still held by the world’s nuclear powers. But there also is much which remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, about the horror of the use of an atomic bomb against a city, about the annihilation of a community and its people in an instant, leaving behind a sea of ashes amidst a wider circle of suffering survivors and damaged nature.
Justin Raimondo - Of all the critical analyses of Seymour Hersh’s latest book, the best and most telling review appeared before Chain of Command came off the press. The Pentagon press office, in a pre-emptive strike designed to neutralize a blow they knew was coming, claimed that the book was full of “unsubstantiated allegations and inaccuracies” and “based upon unnamed sources”. The release goes on to claim that it was the Department of Defense, “and not Mr. Hersh” that “first publicized the facts of the abuses at Abu Ghraib” - a complete fiction. As the consequences of Rumsfeld’s frantic rush to war continue to roll in, this book could not have come at a better time. It gives us an overview of the war’s dark underside, a periscopic perspective on the depths to which our leaders have sunk in their obsessive quest to remake the Middle East into a pile of “democratic” rubble.
Walden Bello - The terrible truth is that the Republican victory, while not lopsided, was solid. Another phase of the political revolution begun by Ronald Reagan in 1980, the 2004 elections confirmed that the center of gravity of US politics lies not on the center-right but on the extreme right. But while America marches rightward, it fails to drag the rest of the world along with it. Indeed, most of the rest of the world is headed in the opposite direction. Nothing illustrated this more than the fact that in the very week Bush was reelected, a coalition of left parties came to power in Uruguay, Hugo Chavez, Washington’s new nemesis in Latin America, swept state elections in Venezuela, and Hungary served notice it was withdrawing its 300 troops from Iraq. Although the American Right is consolidating its hold domestically, it cannot halt the unraveling of Washington’s hegemony globally.
John Pilger - “What does it take to shock them out of their baffling silence?” asked the playwright Ronan Bennett in April after the US marines, in an act of collective vengeance for the killing of four American mercenaries, killed more than 600 people in Fallujah, a figure that was never denied. Bennett was referring to the legion of silent Labour backbenchers, with honourable exceptions, and lobotomised junior ministers. He might have added those journalists who strain every sinew to protect “our” side, who normalise the unthinkable by not even gesturing at the demonstrable immorality and criminality. Of course, to be shocked by what “we” do is dangerous, because this can lead to a wider understanding of why “we” are there in the first place and of the grief “we” bring not only to Iraq, but to so many parts of the world: that the terrorism of al-Qaeda is puny by comparison with ours.
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