Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Lynching of Iraq

Published on Monday, January 8, 2007 by the Boston Globe

by James Carroll

The hanging of Saddam Hussein Dec. 30 offered a view into the grotesque reality of what America has sponsored in Iraq, and what Americans saw should inform their response to President Bush's escalation of the war.

The deposed tyrant was mercilessly taunted. As he stood on the threshold of the afterlife and was told to go to hell, the world witnessed a chilling elevation of the
ancient curse, making an absolute villain an object of pity.

And then, in chanting the name of Moqtada al-Sadr, whose family had been a particular target of Hussein's his executioners made clear that the execution was an act of tribal revenge, not of national restoration, much less justice. It was a lynching. This Shi'ite brutality is guaranteed to spawn Sunni savagery. Iraq itself is hell.

Officials of the United States, from military commanders in Baghdad to members of the Bush administration in Washington, sought to distance themselves from the bedlam, but they are essential to what happened at the last moments of Saddam's life. Decorum would have been the main note of his death if Americans had managed it, but the execution would have been no less an act of false justice.

The harsh fact is that the Shi'ite dominated government of Nouri al-Maliki, in its contemptible treatment of a man about to die, laid bare the dark truth of Bush's war. This is what revenge looks like, and revenge (not weapons of mass destruction, not democracy) drove the initial US attack on Saddam Hussein every bit as much as it snuffed out his life at the end. The hooded executioners took their cue from George W. Bush.

And why should they not have? Let's remember who this man is. As governor of Texas, he presided over the executions of 152 people, including the first woman put to death in Texas in a century. Her name was Karla Faye Tucker. Bush's response to the world-wide plea raised in her behalf was an astounding display of cruelty, a mocking imitation of the woman begging not to be killed.

Bush rejected appeals for clemency in every death penalty case that came before him. The Texas death chamber, with its lethal injection gurney, is a place of decorum. And savagery.

That executions defined the main public distinction that Bush brought to the US presidency sums up the national disgrace, while suggesting also how little surprise there should be that America is presided over now by an executioner-in-chief.

Capital punishment is to individuals what aggressive war is to nations. The 20th century, for all its brutality (or because of it), marked the watershed era when world opinion shifted against both. Once, princes exercised life-and-death power over subjects with unchallenged authority. Once, the only check on a state's freedom to attack another state was its power to do so.

These two absolutes of realpolitik have changed. From the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 to principles laid down at the Nuremberg tribunals to the United Nations itself, wars of aggression stand condemned. The force of state violence is to be exercised only in self-defense or in defense of a victim people, in circumstances defined by international agreement. Similarly, nation after nation has abolished the death penalty, understanding the absurdity of defending human life by destroying human life. If killing can ever be justified, individually or communally, it is only as an absolute last resort. In sum, an international moral consensus has taken shape against unnecessary violence, whether targeting a criminal or a rogue state.

George W. Bush is the impresario of unnecessary violence. America has followed him into the death chamber of this war, and now he wants us to believe that the way out is through more death.

Iraqi loss of life remains mostly unimagined, but every evening on the television news, Americans see the sweet faces of young soldiers who have died in Bush's war.

They were heroes, not criminals, yet Bush dragged each one of them up onto a gallows. He positioned them on the trap door, hardly wincing as they then fell through. And now, in perhaps the greatest outrage of all, Bush claims that the way to justify the unnecessary deaths he has caused is to add to them.
Escalation is his way of saying, go to hell.

With his lies at the beginning of this war, and his fantasy now that an honorable outcome remains possible, the president is a taunting killer, caught in the act. He lacks nothing but the black hood. Stop this man.

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

Copyright 2007 Boston Globe

Frogs in January, now that is something to write about, and I will tell you about the frogs on January sixth. Then on second thought, I will save the frogs of January for another day one with more time and light. Such a small thing as a light bulb, I turn the switch on in the TVA valley and Louisiana coal fire plant gives my electrical provider cheaper electricity than the clean producing damns that covered my Grandmothers home (old Butler) with water, just for that reason. Turn out the lights, war isn't worth that Sunday drive either, it is all making people sick. And can somebody tell the Buffets, the Gates they best spend their time and a trinkel of their monies on clean energy producers. If you missed it it is a very informative read, indeed. When they offer potato soup, we must eat the rich!

http://www.brasscheck.com/videos/911/911wiretap.html how to have a private phone conversation, for real!
a raw story for you
Best books on Iraq
and one for my Israeli poster who post from somewhere else than Israel, go figure (similar task is to wonder). just being prissy or is that pissy?
Jimmy Carter's Sin Against Israel

Iran: Prominent U.S. Physicists Send Letter to President Bush
May 18, 2006

For more information contact: Leonor Tomero, ltomero@armscontrolcenter.org
Thirteen of the nation’s most prominent physicists have written a letter to President
Bush, calling U.S. plans to reportedly use nuclear weapons against Iran “gravely
irresponsible” and warning that such action would have “disastrous consequences
for the security of the United States and the world.”

The physicists include five Nobel laureates, a recipient of the National Medal of Science and three past presidents of the American Physical Society, the nation’s preeminent professional society for physicists.

Their letter was prompted by recent articles in the Washington Post, New Yorker and other publications that one of the options being considered by Pentagon planners and the White House in a military confrontation with Iran includes the use of nuclear bunker busters against underground facilities. These reports were neither confirmed nor denied by White House and Pentagon officials.

The letter was initiated by Jorge Hirsch, a professor of physics at the University of California , San Diego , who last fall put together a petition signed by more than 1,800 physicists that repudiated new U.S. nuclear weapons policies that include preemptive use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear adversaries (http://physics.ucsd.edu/petition/). Hirsch has also published 15 articles in recent months (http://antiwar.com/hirsch/) documenting the dangers associated with a potential U.S. nuclear strike on Iran .

“We are members of the profession that brought nuclear weapons into existence, and we feel strongly that it is our professional duty to contribute our efforts to prevent their misuse,” says Hirsch. "Physicists know best about the devastating effects of the weapons they created, and these eminent physicists speak for thousands of our colleagues.”

“The fact that the existence of this plan has not been denied by the Administration should be a cause of great alarm, even if it is only one of several plans being considered,” he adds. “The public should join these eminent scientists in demanding that the Administration publicly renounces such a misbegotten option against a non-nuclear country like Iran .” The letter,which is available at http://physics.ucsd.edu/petition/physicistsletter.html, points out that “nuclear weapons are unique among weapons of mass destruction,” and that nuclear weapons in today's arsenals have a total power of more than 200,000 times the explosive energy of the bomb that leveled Hiroshima, which caused the deaths of more than 100,000 people.

It notes that there are no sharp lines between small and large nuclear weapons, nor between nuclear weapons targeting facilities and those targeting armies or cities, and that the use by the United States of nuclear weapons after 60 years of non-use will make the use of nuclear weapons by others more likely.

“Once the U.S. uses a nuclear weapon again, it will heighten the probability that others will too,” the physicists write. “In a world with many more nuclear nations and no longer a ‘taboo’ against the use of nuclear weapons, there will be a greatly enhanced risk that regional conflicts could expand into global nuclear war, with the
potential to destroy our civilization.”

The letter echoes the main objection of last fall’s physicists’ petition, stressing that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be irreversibly damaged by the use or even the threat of use of nuclear weapons by a nuclear nation against a non-nuclear one,with disastrous consequences for the security of the United States and the

“It is gravely irresponsible for the U.S. as the greatest superpower to consider courses of action that could eventually lead to the widespread destruction of life on the planet. We urge the administration to announce publicly that it is taking the nuclear option off the table in the case of all non-nuclear adversaries, present or future, and we urge the American people to make their voices heard on this matter.”

The 13 physicists who coauthored the letter are: Philip Anderson, professor of physics at Princeton University and Nobel Laureate in Physics; Michael Fisher, professor of physics at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland and Wolf Laureate in Physics; David Gross, professor of theoretical physics and director of the Kavli Institute of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Nobel Laureate in Physics; Jorge Hirsch, professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego; Leo Kadanoff, professor of physics and mathematics at the University of Chicago and recipient of the National Medal of Science; Joel Lebowitz, professor of mathematics and physics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and Boltzmann Medalist; Anthony Leggett, professor of
physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Nobel Laureate, Physics;
Eugen Merzbacher, professor of physics, University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and former president, American Physical Society; Douglas Osheroff, professor of physics and applied physics, Stanford University and Nobel Laureate, Physics; Andrew Sessler, former director of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and former president, American Physical Society; George Trilling, professor of physics, University of California, Berkeley, and former president, American Physical Society; Frank Wilczek, professor of physics, MIT and Nobel Laureate, Physics; Edward Witten, professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Study and Fields Medalist.

The physicists are sending copies of their letter to their elected representatives, requesting that the issue be urgently addressed in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Source:University of California, San Diego, by Kim McDonald

Catching up on some news I missed, and not being so 'prissy' I couldn't share. What I was hoping to find is the link to the gates buffet story I read the other day, have to amend for a later time. en tempo


Affirmation not forgotten
Wonder what's that smell ?

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