Cartoons, death threats, killings, photos, torture + invasions

There are new Abu Ghraib photos (this one isn't one of them). Salon.com has them, and Australian TV has them. They're even worse. See the two stories here and here.

An interview on Democracy Now! with the Australian reporter who broke the story.

Also on Democracy Now!, Professor Alfred McCoy exposes the history of CIA torture, from the Cold War to the US Global War.

While I suppose some people might've believed that French peasants who rioted in 1789 were inflamed to irrational violence by false rumours that their queen had said during their years of starvation and oppression "Let them eat cake," a more sobre take on the revolution would focus on the years of abuse and exploitation... would, that is, look less at the lit match and more at the piles of dynamite.

I'm sickened, yes, by that tiny minority of Muslims who have threatened or committed acts of violence in wake of the cartoons. I'm sickened by the anti-Jewish filth that runs in many newspapers of the Muslim world. But I'm also sickened by the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias that is a staple of Western reporting, textbook writing and especially Hollywood. And I'm far more sickened by all of those of us in the West who said nothing while, for instance, for eleven years, US-led sanctions on Iraq led to the deaths of 1.5 million people including over 640,000 children under five. I'm more sickened by Western use of depleted uranium as a weapon (that is, a WMD), which will kill and maim for literally centuries. I'm more sickened by US lies to launch an illegal war (aggression being the highest international crime) which is only one in a long series of wars of aggression launched over lies, assassinations of national leaders including Patrice Lumumba (ordered by the US president himself--see Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost) or creating, funding and directing terrorist armies such as the Contras and UNITA and the Mujahadeen/Al Qaeda. I'm more sickened by US creation and/or financing and political adoption of vicious dictatorships around the world from Haiti to Congo to the Phillipines to Chile to Iran....

As Malcolm X warned in 1963, the chickens have come home to roost.

Yes, it's easy to say, "But we civilised people would never riot in the streets over cartoons." Maybe not. But "we" sure as hell are willing to bomb, starve, assassinate, mass-murder, nuke, or slaughter with DU or chemical-biological warfare from Agent Orange in Vietnam to swine flu in Cuba. Yes, "we" sure are civilised, while we politely sit quietly, or perhaps even while applauding, the exploitation and mass murder of others so we can have cheap gasoline, cheap plastic, cheap clothes, cheap shoes, cheap fruit, cheap electronics and expensive diamonds. So at the gates of hell, when we're protest we've been sent to the wrong place, someone with horns, government ID, a press pass and a stock portfolio will say, "No problem--you've got reservations."

Comments

mo said…
WOW! You wrote nothing but truth right there.

"Yes, it's easy to say, "But we civilised people would never riot in the streets over cartoons." Maybe not. But "we" sure as hell are willing to bomb, starve, assassinate, mass-murder, nuke, or slaughter with DU or chemical-biological warfare from Agent Orange in Vietnam to swine flu in Cuba."

RIGHT ON!

First time I check out this blog, and I will be sure to come back, as well as hook up a link on my blog.
sondjata said…
A most potent post.
Ryan Oakley said…
True. But I figure we "civilised people" would riot over the right cartoon. After all, people riot over football games and Guns and Roses concerts. And how about Boxing Day?