Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Poems by Jeffery Beam

I posted them here just because I like them. In every one, he speaks of nature and relates it to his own very personal experiences. They are beautiful. So is the sky over Asheville at sunset. This was taken in 2007 on the Flint Street bridge.


TWO LOVES

This is my lesson in humility.
My lesson in grief.
My lesson in the cruelty of the human heart, my own.
Trudging through deep southern snow:
finding both of your faces frozen in the white.
Sparrows still singing in the shrubbery.

I could not say it then.
I cannot say it now.
My heart split in two.
A tree limb weighted by ice.
A white - quiet and protective.
A white - dangerously warm.
My hands spiritless in the drifts.

Why do birds continue to sing?

LOVE COMES

not silent,
but noisy and indiscreet,
rowdy and persistent.
He comes in leaf fall.
musty earth in his palms.
Held out to me
I can do nothing but take it,
and take it gladly,
earth being the one coolness
other than water
to be enjoyed.

The fact of the matter is this:
tomorrow he may come silent.
Tomorrow may be love quiet as mist,
but today,
his cheeks rough with new hairs,
I smell furrows of new fields.
I turn over fertile soil.
I hear burrowing insects, happy worms.
I taste the gentle, crude, excavating damp.

The stain of love upon the earth!
Stain of love!
His sleep rattling me.
His sunrise and breath awakening me.

THAT NIGHT

That body
tree on a misty hill
That face
fawn with dark eyes
That full moon
surrounded by evening skies
That hour
pavement ending in dust
That grass
green with summer’s black-green
That night
coming over us with its breath
That sound
crickets singing at eye level
That body
me on the ground with their song
That body
another touching me with fire
That fire
round as the moon burning as the sun
That face
fawn with dark eyes
That you
speaking in tongues unknown and green
That sound
crickets singing in my ear
That body
tree on a misty hill

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seven years in chains

Another child detained without charges at Guantanamo - now released without apologies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Major Religions on War and Peace

Buddhism

WAR: Intentional killing of any living being is condemned. Peace, and not war, is the ideal and should be sought by all who are truly religious.

PEACE: True happiness comes to those who live at peace with their fellows. The aim of all should be to learn peace and live peacefully with all men.

Christianity

WAR: The peacemakers, and not the warmakers, are blessed. Those who take the sword shall perish by the sword. War is the road to destruction, while peace is the road to happiness and prosperity.

PEACE: Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came to this earth to bring peace to all men. The peacemaker is blessed and shall be a child of God. We should seek the ways of peace and finally come to peace with God.

Hinduism

WAR: Injury to any creature is wrong. The wise man will seek always to avoid strife and will dwell in peace. The ideal for life here on earth is peace, not war. No one should seek to extend his power through war.

PEACE: If one would find happiness and security, he must seek for peace. The peaceful mind will become established in wisdom. God is God of peace and desires peace for all people.

Judaism

WAR: Only fools give way to war. The wise seek peace. The peace loving, the meek, shall inherit the earth. The Lord will judge between nations, and wars are of no avail.

PEACE: Judaism looks forward to an ideal time when peace shall reign throughout the world. God commands peace and urges all His followers to work for peace. The peaceful life offers the greatest opportunity for happiness and prosperity.

Islam

WAR: Peace is to be sought by all. If there is war, the religious man will seek to establish peace. The Lord has ordained peace, and no one can engage in war without endangering the stability of the world.

PEACE: God will guide men to peace. If they will heed him, he will lead them from the darkness of war to the light of peace.

Source: Topical Index, The Sacred Writings of the World’s Great Religions, edited by S.E. Frost, Jr. McGraw-Hill, Paperback edition, 1972.

Printed on the back cover of “Peace in Action” magazine.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Public Option

I am in favor of single payer health care. I think the public option is a cop-out, and it is looking like we won't even end up with that. But these activists did an outstanding job:

Protests in Britain and Afghanistan



1

Demonstrators chant during an anti-war rally in London, October 24, 2009. Hundreds of people took to London's streets on Saturday demanding that British troops be brought home from Afghanistan but an opinion poll showed fewer Britons were calling for an immediate return.

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN MILITARY CONFLICT IMAGES OF THE DAY)





2

Demonstrators march during an anti-war rally in London, October 24, 2009. Hundreds of people took to London's streets on Saturday demanding that British troops be brought home from Afghanistan but an opinion poll showed fewer Britons were calling for an immediate return.

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN MILITARY CONFLICT)




3

Protestors attend a demonstration held by Stop the War coallition calling for troops to leave Afghanistan in central London. Protesters marched through London to demand a British military withdrawal from Afghanistan -- among them a serving soldier facing court martial for refusing a second tour of duty there.

(AFP/Ben Stansall)





4

Demonstrators march during an anti-war rally in London October 24, 2009. Hundreds of people took to London's streets on Saturday demanding that British troops be brought home from Afghanistan but an opinion poll showed fewer Britons were calling for an immediate return.

REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN MILITARY POLITICS CONFLICT)





Afghanistan 1

An effigy of the President Barack Obama and a U.S. flag is placed in front of a tractor before protesters burn them during a demonstration in Logar province, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009. Hundreds of Afghans shouted anti-US slogans to protest a rumor that U.S. forces had bombed a mosque and burned a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in nearby Wardak province last week.

(AP Photo)




Afghanistan 2

Afghan students beat an burned effigy of the President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Logar province, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009. Hundreds of Afghans shouted anti-US slogans to protest a rumor that U.S. forces had bombed a mosque and burned a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in nearby Wardak province last week.

(AP Photo)








Saturday, October 24, 2009

What War Brings: the series and the ending

What War Brings: the series and the ending


Summary post


In this series, I have covered the nature of war and its effect on the civilians caught in the crossfire, and its effect on the human condition. There were a few things I did not cover – like home invasions, current health problems that civilians are dealing with and suffering from. There are likely others that I do not know about.


This was inspired by a Daily Kos diary “We march on a road of bones”. It highlights the utter futility of war from a national and military perspective. After reading that, I decided I wanted to highlight various aspects of what war brings to those people who are non-combatants who happen to live in the places we make war and occupation on. I posted many diaries on many topics, and I failed to truly cover each and every one of them. But I did leave some information behind on what the civilians of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are facing every day.


Certain things, once broken, can never be fixed again. The US public has ignored the horror that has been inflicted on the Iraqi and Afghan and Pakistan people by US troops and Special Forces and US “contractors” who were busting down doors of ordinary homes, killing civilians who got caught in the crossfire, destroying the environment, and destroy the very fabric of the culture of the country. For many of the victims and many of the combatants, it has destroyed their own moral and cultural fabric beyond repair. It has ripped Iraq apart, with the vicious onslaught of a civil war in the middle of the country, another horrific outcome of the US occupation.


On top of that, the fact that we are occupying or bombing these countries inspires other violent actors to come onto the scene, resulting in even more death and devastation of the civilian population. At many points of time in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was other combatants who were causing the most civilian deaths, not the US military. This is true of Pakistan also, even though our drone bombings have killed hundreds of civilians. We are still responsible for those deaths, those injuries, and the negative impact on ordinary people’s lives.


Americans know precious little of what has happened to the people of the countries we have bombed and invaded and occupied because it has not shown up on our TV stations. It has always been available on the internet though. By remaining ignorant, Americans have surrendered their humanity. And the majority of American politicians, as far as I can tell, just don’t give a shit.


Powell, after announcing his endorsement of Obama, said this to reporters outside: “And so, my concern was not my past or what happened in Iraq, but where we're going in the future. My sole concern was where are we going after January 20 of 2009, not what happened in 2003.” I think that is pretty blatant, and shows how little he cares. And the lack of action on prosecuting the prior administration for their crimes really shows their overall lack of concern. Oh, that and the fact that they are making no effort to help them. It’s mostly all talk.


NOT ONE MORE LIFE, NOT ONE MORE DIME, NOT ONE MORE LIE.


As Nancy Lessin (founder of Military Families Speak Out) said: “Racism plus dehumanization equals horror.”


This is what we need now:

  • immediate withdrawal of US troop and contractors

  • take care of our troops when they get home

  • reparations to the Iraqi people so that they can rebuild their country ON THEIR OWN TERMS


The above is a summary of the demands of IVAW. This applies to Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Iraq.


Here is a list of all the posts on WHAT WAR BRINGS.


If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: civilian deaths by US air bombings.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: civilian casualties from left over ordinance.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: sectarian strife, which results in violence, chaos and death.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: civilian deaths from crossfire.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the silence of children.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: brain drain on a massive scale.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: tens of thousands of disappeared and unending agony for their families.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the destruction and murder of Ali’s family.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the detention and torture of children.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: a deep sense of injustice among the people who live there.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: bombs going off in civilian neighborhoods.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: imprisoning journalists without charges.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: kidnapping of journalists.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the killing of journalists.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: corruption.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the destruction of health care.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: ongoing war crimes.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: confronting your family’s killers in court.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: creation of mass graves.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: weapons ending up in ‘enemy’ hands.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: kidnappings.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the killing of nonviolent protesters.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: shattered families.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: torture.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: US troops shooting up civilians.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: vast increases in poverty and homelessness.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: human rights abuses.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the destruction of culture.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: long term occupations, and all the horrors that it brings.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: homicide by torture.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the destruction of Ali’s family.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: drug addiction.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: mercenaries.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: the dumping of dead bodies on the public streets.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: rape and sexual torture.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: lack of electricity and clean water.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: combatants storming hospitals.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: suicides.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: neighbors and friend turning on each other in violence.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: vicious, horrific injuries to civilians.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: children forced to be militants.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: destruction of educational systems. (Jury is still out on Afghanistan.)

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: severe trauma to children.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: orphans.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: widows and abandoned elderly.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: violence and oppression to minority religious groups.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: violence and oppression to gays.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: death squads.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: drone bombings that kill civilians.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: deterioration of women’s rights.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: severe destruction of the environment.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: unending imprisonment and disregard for the rule of law.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: internally displaced people.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: refugees fleeing to foreign countries.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: unending grief.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: lies, lies, lies and MORE LIES.


To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole. – Robert Jackson, Chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials


And to those who think we should keep doing what we have been doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan, those who support this, I just want to say one thing: If al Qaeda or the Taliban infiltrate the Pakistani military and secret service to the point that they get their hands on a nuclear bomb or materials, and they then proceed to use it – all that blood, all that death, all the human misery, will be on YOUR hands.


+++++++++++++++++++++


The after effects of war on civilians in Ukraine


These after-effects show up in this talent contest in 2009. A young woman does a sand ‘painting’ about the Second World War, and brings the entire country to tears. And a commenter on the blog A Tiny Revolution says


Ukraine lost one in four of its population during the Second World War, the largest losses of any country and about 20% of the total deaths. Ah, so that's what it takes for a nation to truly appreciate the horrors of war, to the point where masses of people can be moved to tears by a sand painting. A generation from now, on "Iraq's got talent", will we witness a moving sand-animation portrayal of the horrors of the American occupation? They certainly don't lack for sand.”


Here is the You Tube video of the sand painting.





Iraqis are sickened by cancer at very high rates


The poisonous legacy of our bombings of Iraq – and is being repeated in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Cindy Sheehan and Bob Bowman coming to Asheville

WNC Veterans for Peace present:

THE PEACE MOM AND THE PATRIOT


They will speak about the past and present US administration, America’s wars, the war economy, the banking industry, and much, much more on their PEACE AND WAR speaking tour.


PEACE MOM is Cindy Sheehan


THE PATRIOT is Lt. Col. Bob Bowman, Ret.


Cindy Sheehan became famous with her protest at Crawford Texas asking “For what noble purpose was my son, Casey, sent to die in Iraq?” Lt. Col. Bob Bowman is retired Air Force, a Vietnam War veteran, and is one of the country’s foremost authorities on national security.


Place: First Congregational Church at 20 Oak Street in Asheville

Date: Friday, October 23rd


Time: 7 – 9 PM


Admission is Free – love & peace offering will be taken

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What War Brings: lies, lies, lies and MORE LIES


Photos: US Marines storm through villages during the launch of Operation Germinate into the restive Bhuji Bhast Pass in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan. (AFP/David Furst)

What War Brings: lies, lies, lies, and more LIES


This is another topic that could fill many books, or possibly an entire library. We are all familiar with the lies about WMDs and ties to al Qaeda that led to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Anyone with any honesty and half a brain figured that out before the invasion ever started. Anyone who claims they did not know is either a TOOL or a FOOL. So, I am not going to address that particular aspect of the tsunami of lies that we have been subjected to over the years (with one exception). I am going to cover an Iraqi’s perspective on those lies and the hopes that those deceptions led to. I am going to cover some of the lies about Afghanistan.


But, here are two things I know are true:

ALL WARS START WITH LIES. ALWAYS.

And here is the second one:

THE ONES STARTING THE WARS ARE THE ONES DOING THE LYING.

“We have been lied to...far and wide, high and low, sea to shining sea. Our history is a veritable cornucopia of lie after lie after lie.” – from OPOL on Daily Kos


Of course, that does not mean the other side (or sides) won’t join in on the lying.


And, here is only one aspect of the many lies about Iraq – that the Bush administration used torture to obtain more lies to promote the war and occupation.


IraqTortureGate: Powell Denies Knowing He Used Tortured Evidence for UN Case


The most damning credible allegation to emerge regarding the Bush Administration is arguably that Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration officials ordered the use of torture to produce false evidence of a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.


AFGHANISTAN


Recently, we have seen a bit of honesty on Afghanistan: the military is now calling the troops there ‘trigger-pullers’ which is exactly what they are. They are not there to free the Afghans from the Taliban, they are there to promote geocorporate interests, and the Afghans who get in the way will be ….. killed by the trigger-pullers. This ‘hearts and minds’ stuff or ‘protecting Afghan civilians’ is just a load of crap.


U.S. officials are planning to add as many as 14,000 combat troops to the American force in Afghanistan by sending home support units and replacing them with "trigger-pullers," Defense officials say.


Of course, we don’t know what the final number of US troops (or US contractors) who will be sent off to Afghanistan will be (at least when I wrote this I didn’t know).


The big lie of Afghanistan



My country hasn't been liberated: it's still under the warlords' control, and Nato occupation only reinforces their power. ~ Malalai Joya



Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region.



….. So far, Obama has pursued the same policy as Bush in Afghanistan. Sending more troops and expanding the war into Pakistan will only add fuel to the fire. Like many other Afghans, I risked my life during the dark years of Taliban rule to teach at underground schools for girls. Today the situation
of women is as bad as ever.


But the lies of Afghanistan, and it’s wars and occupations start before any US/NATO troops ever landed there. I am not a conspiracy-theory person. I am a fact-based person. I believe in the truth. And here is some truth about the attacks on 9/11:



  1. OBL was armed, funded and trained in the 1980s under the CIA and paid for by US taxpayers. I am not sure when paying him and his group actually stopped.

  1. The evil ones who decided on funding OBL and his group did so to have a proxy war with the USSR and did not give a rat’s ass who they harmed or how badly.

  1. The US government sent funds to the Taliban in 2001, including in September 2001. They did not give a rat’s ass about education for Afghan girls or human rights at the time. (And they still don’t.)

  1. The ones who did the attack on 9/11 were mainly from Saudi Arabia, according to the ‘official’ story. At one point, they might have been in Afghanistan. Their funding was claimed to be from Afghanistan. The planning for the attack was done in Hamburg, Germany and the training was done in Florida. The Afghan people had nothing to do with it, just like the Iraqi people had nothing to do with it.

  1. All the attackers on 9/11 are dead.

  1. The most expensive fucking military in the world did not stop any of the attacks, and they could not even stop an attack on the fucking Pentagon.

  1. The only attacks that were stopped happened when ordinary American citizens took action, after they figured out what was really going on. No hijacker on a US plane will ever reach his/her destination for the next fifty years. We will take that plane down.

  1. Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, the guy that the US government claims is responsible for these attacks STILL HAS NOT BEEN CAUGHT by the most expensive fucking military in the world.

  1. NO ONE has been fired for failing to do their job to protect the American people, and NO ONE in the CIA was fired for failing to detect this attack before it happened.

  1. The crime scene was extensively tampered with. A recent attempt by NYC residents to get a referendum on the ballot to re-investigate the attacks was struck down by the NY Supreme Court. Democracy can go to hell.


I think it is safe to say that there is something very, very wrong with this picture.



We have been bombing and occupying Afghanistan for over eight years, and all we are getting is more violence and instability. We have seen terrorists attacks go up around the world and have seen al Qaeda wanna-bes spread across two continents.


We are supposedly there to catch al Qaeda, and it was recently admitted that there are less than 100 al Qaeda in Afghanistan at this time. What was not mentioned is the lucrative opium trade that is now flourishing under US/NATO occupation, which did not exist when Afghanistan was under Taliban rule. Another unmentionable fact is that the US DOD wants bases in Afghanistan, as a way to target or strike at the two largest powers in the region – Russia and China.


We have been lied to and lied to and lied to…. And are still being lied to today.



In Pakistan, we have been doing drone bombings for years now, and all we are seeing is more violence and instability….. and that the ones in Pakistan who call themselves ‘al qaeda’ are claiming they want to get their hands on the nuclear bombs, while they are infiltrating the police and the military and security services. Let’s hope they are not successful. Here is a bit of information on how the Pakistan people really feel:


With friends like the US, Pakistan doesn’t need enemies


"Poll after poll shows Pakistanis increasingly do fear the threat posed by Islamic extremists ... but they believe the US is an even bigger danger to their country," Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution was quoted as saying this week. Many Pakistanis rated the threat posed by the US to their independence and security above that from historical foe India, he said. "Any time you out-poll India as the bad guy in Pakistan you are in deep trouble."



IRAQI PERSPECTIVE


Below is a post sent to me by an Iraqi-Ameircan, about the lies that lead to war in Iraq, and how it impacted him and his relatives:


Inside Tales


I have to confess that I was pro war not for the sake of the war, not because I hate my people and wanted them to die. Not at all, it was because I believed that Saddam Hussein was the creation of the U.S foreign policy. There was no other choice to get rid of him and his sons and the entire family but this war. Please don’t yell at me and don’t hate me, just bare with me till the end.


When you have a hopeless ailing horse, what would you do? You will give him the shot of mercy. I loved my people and cared about them. I wanted to free them from the brutal dictator who denied their right as human beings to express their opinion or even joke about it. They were jailed inside their country and banned from watching, reading or listening to anything or anyone from outside. When I left the country most of the people did not hear about the Internet nor did they know the meaning of the word “email”. Half of the people had not seen a computer or fax, not to mention the satellite or cell phone which were nothing but some kind of science fiction for them. I was looking for their freedom. I was hoping for their better future. Does anyone think that my willing to share the prosperity with my unfortunate people is a crime?


During the first few days of the invasion, I called my aunt, the dearest one to my heart, and asked about her feelings and if she was fine or not. The answer that is still ringing bells in my mind about how people over there viewed this war and how did they look ar it. She was happy and relaxed in spite of all the bombing and shelling that they were living in. She told me that my second cousin got married two months ago before the war but “they are going to have another wedding very soon”. I got the message that she tried to pass. There was no other wedding but the Iraqis wedding. They believed that the day that witnessed the toppling of Saddam Hussein, is their big wedding day.


Yes, Iraqis dreamed of that day. Yes, Iraqis greeted Americans as “liberators”. Yes, Iraqis welcomed them with rice and flowers. They were watching the crawling troops with joy. They were happy and they were dancing in the road. Every body remember that guy “ Ubo Alwan” the slipper guy who was smacking the the poster of Saddam with his old cheap slipper. April 9, 2003 was a remarkable day in our lives, Iraqis’ lives. No one believed that there is going to be a day when you wake up and there is no Saddam Hussein on the TV or in the news or anywhere in the country, no one believed that. He was like Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights who was so hateful and scary that no one believed that they were going to get rid of him even when he was dead and had gone for ever.


However, the wedding did not last for ever and the honeymoon was over before it starts. The ugly marital relationship between the Iraqis and American troops had started by leaving the looters free and without control and Donald Rumsfeld defended their act by saying that they were practicing their freedom. Excuse me! But this is not an act of freedom but chaos. When you, American troops, had assigned yourself as an occupation authority then you would have supposed to control the situation and protect the properties and treasures of your occupied territory. It was part of your job. It was not expected from you to stand still or, in some cases, help in the looting job as what happened to the University of Technology when its president closed all the exits to the University complex and then saw the American tanks crashing those metal doors and telling looters “Go Ali Baba Go”. There was one question buzzing the Iraqis head and kept them in bewilderment; “Was that a trap?”, or “Was it a nightmare?”


And here is how it ended up making him feel:


I feel ashamed. Yes, I have a pain in my heart and a reproach upon my mind of being one of those who supported the war, to be one the fools who believed that bringing “Democracy” was true, to be one of the blinds who followed the Satan down the road. I am ashamed, reading all about torturing civilians to justify the war. I am ashamed, finding out that the Bush administration hired mercenaries whose mission was to supply armed protection to the American officials and working on ending Islam faith and killing Muslims and destructing Iraqis lives at the same time.


If you have hated me from my previous blog, then you have all the right to do so and I will not excuse myself or forgive her for being such a fool. I will not forgive myself and excuse her for thinking that bringing the change can be done through a war. And again, I will not forget that American troops are like any other troops no exception and no exclusion. Some of them can act dumbly or wickedly like any others especially when it is supported and encouraged by vicious authority like Bush Administration.


I am not covering what lies are promoting the violence in Pakistan – because I really don’t have a handle on it. I do know what I see – the more violence we use, the more violence it begets. And I know that we are not doing those drone bombings for the reasons stated. I am going to close with a poem by Carl Sandburg and quote from Mark Twain.


The Liars


by Carl Sandburg


A liar goes in fine clothes.

A liar goes in rags.

A liar is a liar, clothes or no clothes.

A liar is a liar and lives on the lies he tells and dies in a life of lies.

And the stonecutters earn a living—with lies—on the tombs of liars.


A liar looks ’em in the eye

And lies to a woman,

Lies to a man, a pal, a child, a fool.

And he is an old liar; we know him many years back.


A liar lies to nations.

A liar lies to the people.

A liar takes the blood of the people

And drinks this blood with a laugh and a lie,

A laugh in his neck,

A lie in his mouth.

And this liar is an old one; we know him many years.

He is straight as a dog’s hind leg.

He is straight as a corkscrew.

He is white as a black cat’s foot at midnight.


The tongue of a man is tied on this,

On the liar who lies to nations,

The liar who lies to the people.

The tongue of a man is tied on this

And ends: To hell with ’em all.

To hell with ’em all.


It’s a song hard as a riveter’s hammer,

Hard as the sleep of a crummy hobo,

Hard as the sleep of a lousy doughboy,

Twisted as a shell-shock idiot’s gibber.


The liars met where the doors were locked.

They said to each other: Now for war.

The liars fixed it and told ’em: Go.


Across their tables they fixed it up,

Behind their doors away from the mob.

And the guns did a job that nicked off millions.

The guns blew seven million off the map,

The guns sent seven million west.

Seven million shoving up the daisies.

Across their tables they fixed it up,

The liars who lie to nations.


And now

Out of the butcher’s job

And the boneyard junk the maggots have cleaned,

Where the jaws of skulls tell the jokes of war ghosts,

Out of this they are calling now: Let’s go back where we were.

Let us run the world again, us, us.


Where the doors are locked the liars say: Wait and we’ll cash in again.


So I hear The People talk.

I hear them tell each other: Let the strong men be ready.

Let the strong men watch.

Let your wrists be cool and your head clear.

Let the liars get their finish,

The liars and their waiting game, waiting a day again

To open the doors and tell us: War! get out to your war again.


So I hear The People tell each other:

Look at to-day and to-morrow.

Fix this clock that nicks off millions

When The Liars say it’s time.

Take things in your own hands.

To hell with ’em all,

The liars who lie to nations,

The liars who lie to The People.


"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." ~ Mark Twain - from The Mysterious Stranger 1916.



If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: lies, lies, lies and MORE LIES.



Tell me president tell me if you will
How many people does a smart bomb kill?
How many of them do you think we got?
The general says we never miss shot
And we never ever ever keep a body count
We're killing so efficiently we can't keep count
In the afghan hills the rebels still fighting
Opium fields keep on providing
The best heroin that money can buy and
No body knows where Osama bin hiding
The press conferences keep on lying
Like we don't know


The war for oil is a war for the beast
the War on terror is a war on peace


~ Michael Franti