Sunday, February 12, 2006

Torture Flights. Intelligent Design?

It is normal for project designers, when embarking on a grand scheme, to predict public opposition, and millions are spent in marketing the advantages of the project.
Meetings are conducted behind closed doors. After all, the success of the project depends, in part, on hiding the true costs from the public. Be those costs, economic, social or environmental. As with any grand project, modifications have to be made as the project proceeds. It may be that the conditions on the ground do not fit with the initial surveys. Opposition may be stronger than was predicted. The builders may not have the necessary equipment and materials to complete the construction within the projected timescale. Health and safety measures may be inadequate, wages low, few benefits and a prolonged period away from home, family and friends. The workers themselves may be treated badly and commitment to the project falters. Investigations commence, often prompted by revelations by media organisations. Corrupt practises and incompetence’s, uncovered. Supporters begin to question the wisdom of continued support. Managers lose their jobs or are moved to other less important projects. No one is held responsible but a scapegoat is found and someone says sorry for the mistakes.

But the people who commissioned the designers remain firm in their resolve to see the project complete and a newer marketing strategy is hastily put together.

The blueprint for this world crisis is available for us to read. I am referring to The Project for the New American Century. You will find it on the Information Clearing House site.
If you haven't read it before, I urge you now to waste no more time. Read it. Try to find the time to read this bit of research on the Project as well.

There are so many informative articles on the ICH.

The Urgency of Now: Stopping the war on Iran. for instance.

Intelligence,Policy, and the War in Iraq, for another. Ex CIA official, Paul. R. Pillar confirms that faulty intelligence was used to sell the Iraqi invasion to an already fearful American public. Read about it in the Washington Post. The 'cherry picked' intelligence, was not, he says, the basis for the war, but it was part of the marketing exercise.

In the meantime the Iraqi town of Siniyah has become a prison, trapping thousands of civilians inside. People cannot go to work and children can’t attend school. Life is dangerous.

How many more abuses do we have to witness. More importantly how many more abuses do people in the war zones and beyond have to endure?

How many more crimes will be committed in our name before the ‘coalition of the willing’ is willing no more?

The Bush Commission has heard the evidence. The worlds press reports daily accounts of human rights abuses. We see the pictures on our television screens.

We know about the disgraceful and shameful treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, and Uzbekistan. We know about telephone tapping and mail interception, torture flights, the use of white phosphorus, and the results of the terrible assaults on Fallujah and Tel Afar,

But the Project continues.

All over the world, television companies are transmitting the images of 4 Iraqi youths being beaten up by British soldiers. The soundtrack is sickening. The sadistic pleasure is all too audible. The indifference of other soldiers who witness the beatings and pass by is just as disgusting. These are real children, real soldiers, real beatings, and real pain. If this is how hearts and minds are won it is a dismal failure and more importantly criminal and immoral.

The BBC has reported that the interim government in Basra has suspended communications with coalition forces.

But this is war, dirty and brutal, as every war has always been, and the US and UK, lead partners in the coalition of the willing, say the war must continue.

They keep repeating the same slogan; The War on Terror is for our security. No price is too high.

Millions of people worldwide horrified by the actualities of war are saying the war must stop. Every day, new voices are added to the millions who oppose the war on terror. Rose Gentle, Cindy Sheehan and other Gold Star Families for Peace, and Craig Murray, for instance.

A Scottish based Royal Air force officer, Flight-Lieutenant Michael Kendall-Smith, is taking the first step towards a court martial for refusing to return to Iraq on the grounds that the war is illegal.

US soldiers have fled to Canada and have set up a support group. Courage to Resist.

Like any project this war does get re-evaluated.

Read the statement of Christoff, the director in charge of Iraqi reconstruction. He presented his findings to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Very little has gone to plan.

The Project for the New American Century is not an ‘Intelligent Design’. Over 100,000 deaths are testament to that. Let alone the financial costs, which are now running into trillions.

How many families could have been rehoused after the Katrina hurricane? How many people could have been saved if the money had been spent on making the City of New Orleans secure before the hurricane?

How many schools built or medical centres or debt written off to struggling developing countries? How many hungry children could have been fed.

This war in Iraq and the one in Afghanistan were always primarily about protecting and increasing American economic and political interests. Not the interests of the American peoples, but the interests of capital, financial and industrial. The war on terror has always been an ideological smokescreen every bit as deadly as the phosphorus and uranium tipped shells contaminating Iraqi land, poisoning the soil, the water and causing birth abnormalities.

Now the spectre of a nuclear-armed Iran is the new marketing tool to justify continued US and UK exploitation of another countries natural resources. Another deadly smokescreen that will result in even more horrors, more abuses, more terror. More men, women and children robbed of a future. More severely physically and psychologically injured casualties.

So. What’s to be done?

There are lots of different things that can be done. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do as long as you do something.

Write a letter, an e mail or a send a fax to your representative. Even if all you say is Stop the War.

Find out is there are any motions tabled in your parliament calling for an end to the wars or for police investigations into the torture flights. Urge your elected representatives to sign them.

Join a group, which is campaigning against the wars or the illegal kidnapping, detention and torturing of human beings.

It could be Amnesty, CND, SCND, Stop the War Coalition. There will be some type of campaigning group near you. Find it.

Sign petitions whenever they appear. Quite often the sites I have mentioned have one already waiting for your signature.

Write to you local press or Radio station. They are often looking for new people to correspond with them.

Send messages of solidarity to the detainees in Guantanamo through sites like Cage Prisoners and SACC

Look out for details of marches, and protests in the national and local media and in the independent sector like Indymedia.

Put a poster up in a window, lots of sites will let you download one. Make your own if you have no ink in your printer.

Look out for people leafleting in your town, join them and help.

Get a group of friends together and fly Liberty’s paper aeroplanes and let the local press know when and where.

Invite a speaker from one of the groups I’ve mentioned, to your local church group or social club, student union or any other group you belong to.

Join a political party that opposes these wars. Make your voice heard.

Don’t vote for a party that has supported these wars. But vote. The major political party’s rely on non-voters; apathy is one of the weapons in the warmongers’ arsenal.

Learn about non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. Keep it peaceful.

Participate in the movement for social change in some way.

Get yourself educated.

When I was a student, a long time ago, one of my tutors had a poem of Bertolt Brecht on his wall. It inspired me then. It may help to inspire you now.

By Bertolt Brecht

Praise of Learning

Learn the elementary things!

For those whose time has come

It is never too late!

Learn the ABC. It won't be enough,

But learn it! Don't be dismayed by it?

Begin! You must know everything.

You must lake over the leadership.

Learn, man in the asylum!

Learn, man in the prison!

Learn, woman in the kitchen!

Learn sixty year olds!

You must take over the leadership.

Seek out the school, you who are home

less!

Acquire knowledge, you who shiver!

You who are hungry, reach for the book:

it is a weapon.

You must take over the leadership.

Don't be afraid to ask, comrade!

Don't be talked into anything.

Check for yourself!

What you do not know yourself

you don't know.

Scrutinize the bill,

it is you who must pay it.

Put your finger on each item,

ask: how did this get there ?

You must take over the leadership.

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