Paramilitarism, Occupation And Genocide
By Stephen Lendman
25 October, 2007
October 5, George Bush confronted a public uproar and defended his administration
claiming "This government does not torture people." Again
he lied. Once secret US Department of Justice (DOJ) legal opinions confirm
the Bush administration condones torture by endorsing "the harshest
interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency."
It also condones paramilitary thuggery, oppressive occupation, and genocide.
This unholy combination is the ugly face of an imperial nation run by
war criminals. That's the state of things today. First, the practice
Torture as Policy
under George Bush
In a hollow posturing gesture,
DOJ publicly declared torture "abhorrent" in a December, 2004
legal opinion. That secretly changed after Alberto Gonzales became Attorney
General in February, 2005 and authorized physical and psychological
brutality as official administration policy. This continues unabated
in violation of international and US laws that include fifth and eighth
amendment prohibitions against cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment in all forms for any reason. These practices been long-standing
US official policy, nonetheless, but the mask came off post-9/11 when
former CIA Counterterrorism Center chief Cofer Black (now Blackwater
USA's vice-chairman) told a joint House-Senate intelligence committee
hearing September 26, 2002: "There was a before-9/11 and an after-9/11(on
the use of torture). After 9/11, the gloves came off" and "old"
standards no longer apply. They never did, and Congress knows and condones
Further, George Bush signed
a secret September 17, 2001 "finding" authorizing CIA to kill,
capture and detain "Al Qaeda" members anywhere in the world
and rendition them to secret black site torture prisons for interrogation
presumed to include torture.
As White House Counsel, Alberto
Gonzales then wrote a sweeping memorandum to George Bush January 25,
2002 calling the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and "obsolete"
and claimed the administration could ignore Geneva international law
in interrogating prisoners henceforth. He also outlined plans to try
prisoners in military "commissions" and deny them all protections
under international law including due process and habeas rights. DOD
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was on board as well. In December, 2002, he
approved a menu of banned interrogation practices that allowed most
anything short of what would cause organ failure.
A new book called "Administration
of Torture," by two ACLU attorneys, contains evidence (from FOIA
requests) from over 100,000 newly released government documents. It
reveals how US military interrogators carried out abuse and torture
orders from their superiors on scores of prisoners. The book quotes
Major General Michael Dunlavey who had DOD responsibility for interrogations
of "suspected terrorists." He and Guantanamo commander General
Geoffrey Miller both told the FBI they got their "marching orders"
from Donald Rumsfeld to use harsh methods at Guantanamo that presumably
were meant for all other US-run torture prisons as well. It was also
revealed that Rumsfeld was "personally involved" in overseeing
the torture-interrogation of Mohammed al Qahtani. He was falsely accused
of being the 20th 9/11 hijacker, confessed under torture, and then retracted
his testimony later as completely untrue.
Torture violates international
law. The (non-binding) Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlawed
it in 1948. The four 1949 Geneva Conventions then banned any form of
"physical or mental coercion" and affirmed detainees must
at all times be treated humanely. Its first two conventions protect
sick and wounded forces in battle. The third one defines who is a prisoner
of war and establishes "minimum standards" for POW treatment.
The fourth convention applies to civilians and affords them protections
during war that require they be treated humanely. All four conventions
have a common thread called Common Article Three. It requires non-combatants
be treated humanely at all times. There are no exceptions for any reasons
and violations are grave breaches under Geneva and other international
law that constitute crimes of war and against humanity.
The European Convention followed
Geneva in 1950. Then in 1984, the UN Convention Against Torture became
the first binding international instrument dealing exclusively with
the issue of banning torture in any form for any reason. These are sacred
international laws all signatories, that include the US, are bound by.
No longer under George Bush's unconstitutional "unitary executive"
authority power grab Chalmers Johnson calls a "bald-faced assertion
of presidential supremacy....dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo."
Condoning torture as official policy under it is Exhibit A.
In her important new book,
"Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Defied the law,"
law professor and current National Lawyers Guild president Marjorie
Cohn calls torture abhorrent and violates at least two US laws - the
1996 War Crimes Act and 1994 Torture Statute. The US is also party to
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that
guarantees the right to life and prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading
The 1996 War Crimes Act provides
up to life imprisonment or the death penalty for persons convicted of
committing war crimes within or outside the US. Administration memos
from Gonzales, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and David Addington supported dictatorial
powers for the president and advised Al Qaeda and Taliban interrogators
were exempt from torture laws under George Bush's "commander-in-chief
powers." Cohn, in her book, explained "the Torture Convention
permits no such exemption, even during wartime."
Yoo and Bybee also distorted
what constitutes torture by claiming psychological harm must last "months
or even years." Otherwise, it's just harsh "enhanced interrogation"
of the secret kinds George Bush authorized in a July, 2006 executive
order. They reportedly include sleep deprivation, simulated drowning,
stress positions, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation and/or overload,
beatings, induced hypothermia, and more that can cause irreversible
physical and psychological harm including psychoses.
The October, 2006 Military
Commissions Act followed, appropriately called the "torture authorization
act." It gives the administration extraordinary unconstitutional
powers to detain, interrogate and prosecute alleged terror suspects
and anyone thought to be their supporters. The law lets the president
designate anyone in the world an "unlawful enemy combatant,"
without corroborating evidence, and order they be arrested and incarcerated
indefinitely in military prisons outside the criminal justice system
without habeas and due process rights. US citizens aren't exempt. We're
all "enemy combatants" under this law. Anyone charged under
it loses all constitutionally protected rights and can be subjected
to cruel and unusual punishment including torture.
Ironically, on the one year
anniversary of the Military Commissions Act enactment, Fr. Louie Vitale
and Fr. Steve Kelly were both sentenced to five months in federal prison
for opposing torture. They also oppose teaching it at Fort Huachuca,
Arizona and tried to deliver a letter with their views to the base commander,
Major General Barbara Fast, former head of military intelligence in
Iraq. Both priests were arrested for trespassing while kneeling in prayer
on the base driveway in November, 2006. In an appalling miscarriage
of justice, the presiding judge refused to allow any evidence of torture
to be introduced. He also ruled out discussion of the illegality of
the Iraq war and all references to international law.
Relief from these type abuses
are nowhere in sight as leading Democrats condone them and now assure
extremist Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey's nomination won't
be challenged. He promises business as usual that's bad news for supporters
of the law. He earned his bona fides as a US District Court Southern
District of New York judge by ruling Jose Padilla, a US citizen, could
be imprisoned without trial and held indefinitely by the military.
Padilla spent three and a
half years uncharged in a 9 by 7-foot isolated South Carolina Navy brig
cell where he underwent alternating sensory deprivation and overload
and was denied the right to counsel for two years. Months of beatings,
mind-altering drugs, and denial of medical treatment destroyed his mind,
turned him to mush, and him easy pickings to convict on all charges
without evidence he broke any law. Under Bush administration justice,
we're all potential Jose Padillas in a nation where the rule of law
affords no protection, and torture is the preferred means of social
The Bush administration believes
anything government can do private business does better, so let it.
And that applies to the military as well with Blackwater USA's powerful
emergence Exhibit A. Author Jeremy Scahill portrays the company as "the
world's most powerful mercenary army" in his frightening new book
about it. It describes a "shadowy mercenary company (employing)
some of the most feared professional killers in the world....accustomed
to operating without worry of legal consequences....largely off the
congressional radar." It has "remarkable power and protection
within the US war apparatus" with unaccountable license to practice
street violence with impunity that includes cold-blooded murder.
A congressional report indicates
Blackwater received more than $1 billion in mostly State Department
no-bid contracts since 2001. It's to provide security services for US
diplomats, officials and others once assigned to the military at around
six times the cost and can be up to $1200 per man-day. With Bush administration
backing, it operates outside the law and Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ) and is immune from civil lawsuits like the military. Scahill
calls the company the "Bush administration's Praetorian Guard"
with "immunity and impunity" to do as it pleases.
Today, around 200,000 private
contractors operate in Iraq. Up to 100,000 of them are paramilitary
mercenaries from companies like Blackwater, DynCorp, ArmorGroup, Erinys,
Triple Canopy and others like the Australian-owned Unity Resources that
murdered two Iraqi women October 9. Blackwater is the largest, is close
to the Bush administration, and is cashing in big as a war profiteer
from huge continuing no-bid contracts.
The company was founded in
1996 by former Navy SEAL Eric Prince who's also closely allied to the
extremist Christian Right. Blackwater came into its own post-9/11 and
is now the world's best connected, largest paramilitary army. It employs
2300 personnel in nine countries with 20,000 or more others on call
as needed. The company also has its own 20 aircraft fleet that includes
helicopter gunships as well as a private intelligence division and a
7000 acre Moyock, North Carolina headquarters Scahill calls "the
world's largest private military base."
Blackwater made headlines after its mercenaries killed as many as 28
Iraqis in al-Nisour September 16 by some accounts and wounded dozens
more. It was only the latest incident involving the company that has
a disturbing history of instigating unprovoked violence and then falsely
claim it acted in self-defense as Eric Prince told Congress saying his
men act "appropriately at all times."
A new congressional account
from State Department and company documents reveals otherwise. It shows
the company has been involved in at least 195 "escalation of force"
incidents since early 2005 that include previously unreported Iraqi
civilian killings. In at least one of them, evidence proved Blackwater
personnel tried covering up what happened with a falsified report, and
the State Department made no effort to hold them accountable or order
the company to pay compensation to the families of the victims.
Agence France-Presse reported
on September 16 Blackwater personnel shot recklessly "at everything
that moved with a machine gun and even with a grenade launcher (as well
as from two hovering helicopters). There was panic. Everyone tried to
flee. Vehicles tried to make U-turns to escape. There were dead bodies
and wounded people everywhere. The road was full of blood. A bus was
also hit and several of its occupants were wounded." Among the
dead were women and children. A daughter witnessing her mother shot
in the head and killed said: "They are killers. I swear to God,
not one bullet was shot at them. Why did they shoot us?"
Following the incident, investigations
were launched that are little more than damage control cover-up. The
FBI is involved as well as a joint American-Iraqi inquiry. Iraqi prime
minister al-Maliki has gone back and forth on this one. At first, he
demanded Blackwater personnel leave Iraq. He then backed down under
pressure. He'll likely await the inquiry's findings that are out in
part from Iraqi investigators, but again said he wants Washington to
sever all Blackwater ties, remove the company from Iraq in six months,
and have it pay each family $8 million in compensation.
It won't ever happen, even
though early findings conclude Blackwater's actions were unprovoked,
the al-Nisour massacre was a deliberate crime, those involved in it
should be charged, put on trial, and the families of victims fairly
compensated. The findings are similar to an initial US military report
that one Pentagon official confirmed saying Blackwater's actions were
"obviously excessive, it was obviously wrong. The civilians....didn't
have any weapons (and) none of the IP (Iraqi police) or any local security
forces fired (on Blackwater)."
Investigations are still
continuing, the State Department is in damage control mode, and an October
4 House-passed bill (not retroactive) just made US contractors accountable
for felony crimes under the 2000 Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction
Act (MEJA). In addition, new operating procedures have been instituted
to paper over the whole affair. Nothing, in fact, will change, however.
Blackwater personnel will stay in place, none of them will face criminal
charges, and things are again business as usual with the company's paramilitaries
back on Iraqi streets after being banned from operating there by an
impotent prime minister.
A sign of things to come
came a day ahead of the October House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform Blackwater hearing. It was revealed the company's Presidential
Airways subsidiary got a new government contract to supply aircraft,
crew and equipment for flight operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan
and Uzbekistan. Blackwater personnel may likely show up anywhere and
currently patrol New Orleans streets for the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) post-hurricane Katrina. Their presence is menacing everywhere,
and they may show up soon in a neighborhood near you as the "war
on terrorism" touches down at home.
Current rhetoric aside, even
Alan Greenspan's new book admitted what's "politically inconvenient
to acknowledge (but) everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil"
and it was "essential" Saddam be removed to control it. Unmentioned
was Iraq's importance that explains why Washington plans permanent occupation
of the country. The Middle East has two-thirds of the world's proved
oil reserves; Iraq has the most untapped amounts of it; and it's the
easiest gotten, cheap to refine light sweet kind Big Oil covets. The
country is also strategically located between Saudi Arabia and Iran
at the top of the Persian Gulf. That makes it a perfect site for military
bases sitting atop an ocean of oil worth trillions of dollars and surrounded
by lots more of it.
The strategy to seize it
was simply conceived but hopelessly flawed - replace the "cradle
of civilization" with a newly created free market paradise with
all that oil as grand prize pickings. It's still up for grabs, but a
huge supportive infrastructure is in place and still being built for
By May, 2005, US forces were
operating out of 106 bases around the country from an original 120 number
of sites. They range in size from the huge Main Operating Base (MOB)
Camp Victory complex near Baghdad airport with thousands of US troops
to others for fewer numbers called Forward Operation Sites (FOS) that
are still major installations. There are also many smaller Cooperative
Security Locations (CSL) as well as prisons and detention facilities
throughout the country plus others for Iraqi military and police units.
A sign of permanency are
four to six or more super-bases built and planned, the largest of which
is the huge Balad one. It's the major Air Force facility in the country
with its state of the art "Kingpin" air traffic control center
(called the Common Grid Reference System) that divides the country's
airspace into "kill boxes." The Army's largest logistical
support center and secret Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force
(CJSOTF) are also there as well as well as thousands of civilian contractors
in neighborhoods charmingly called "KBR-land."
Balad and other major bases
are enormous in size and on the order of small towns. They encompass
15 - 20 square miles with double runways as long as 12,000 feet, and
Balad's air traffic operates round the clock and is comparable in number
of takeoffs and landings to Chicago's O'Hare that along with Atlanta's
Hartsfield are the world's two busiest airports.
In addition, they have their
own neighborhoods and kinds of amenities found back home. They include
department store-sized post exchanges, fast food outlets, movie theaters
with the latest films, swimming pools, miniature golf courses, elaborate
gymnasium and sports facilities, satellite internet access, cable TV,
air-conditioning, international phone service and more. All the comforts
of home including takeout pizza and Monday night football in the middle
of a war zone.
Other major facilities are
at al-Talil near Nasiriya in the South; the largest Marine base at al-Asad
in Western Anbar province; al-Qayyara, 50 miles southeast of Mosul in
the North; the US military command HQ at Camp Victory/Camp Liberty near
Baghdad International Airport; Camp Marez near Mosul Airport; Camp Cook
north of Baghdad; and a new base near Irbil in the North. In addition,
another new Forward Operating base is being built near Zurbatiya near
the Iranian border to be completed in November. It's location is provocative
as the centerpiece of a new border control surveillance, monitoring
and logistical support strategy called "Combat Outpost Shocker."
Then, there's what critics
call "Fortress Baghdad" or the "ultimate gated community"
inside the city's four square mile fortress-like Green Zone. It's surrounded
by thick blast-proof concrete walls, and to enter visitors must pass
through up to eight checkpoints. Inside, security is intense and includes
full body searches, electronic scanners, explosive-sniffing dogs and
every other human and high-tech measure imaginable for security.
The US embassy compound is
there as well that when finished will be the largest in the world. It's
Vatican-sized in dimensions and hugely fortified atop 104 acres, or
six times larger than the UN complex in New York. Reports vary on whether
21 or 27 buildings are planned but their cost plus all facilities and
perimeter security will top $1 billion. Construction is continuing,
far behind schedule, it's reported to be shoddy, and it's already way
over budget as predicted so the final cost remains uncertain but will
The compound has everything
- its own water, electricity, sewers, apartment buildings, swimming
pool, shops, Marine barracks and will house more than 1000 civilian
staff plus a large private and military security contingent. For the
Iraqi people, it's a hated symbol of imperial occupation Washington
intends to be permanent, but it may in the end go the way of the Saigon
embassy in 1975. That's where the last US Vietnam remnants were frenetically
rooftop-helicoptered out of the country in humiliating drawdown defeat.
It ended visions of permanence then the way history may one day repeat
By any estimate, the human
toll in Iraq is horrific from all that happened after Saddam's August
2, 1990 Kuwait invasion. Four days later, Operation Desert Shield was
launched. It began with US-led UN-imposed economic sanctions, large
US and other troop deployments to the region, and a sweeping Kuwait-funded
PR campaign to win public support for Operation Desert Storm that began
January 17, 1991.
Before it ended six weeks
later on February 28, US forces committed grievous war crime violations
of the Hague and Geneva Conventions and UN and Nuremberg Charters. They
included gratuitous mass killings as well as bombing and destroying
essential to life facilities that included:
-- power generating stations;
-- water purification capabilities;
-- sewage treatment and disposal
-- telephone and other communications;
-- residential areas affecting
10-20,000 homes, apartments and other dwellings;
-- irrigation sites;
-- food processing, storage
and distribution facilities;
-- hotels and retail establishments;
-- transportation infrastructure;
-- oil wells, pipelines,
refineries and storage tanks;
-- chemical plants;
-- civilian shelters like
Al Ameriyya that was attacked February 13, 1991 by two laser-guided
"smart bombs" killing around 400 civilians including 142 children;
-- factories and other commercial
-- government offices;
-- historical sites; and
more in a willful malicious effort to return the country to a pre-industrial
age and punish its people horrifically.
Lost was power, clean water,
sanitation, fuel, transportation, medical facilities and medications,
adequate food, schools, private dwellings and places of employment.
Early post-war estimates placed the number of civilians killed at 113,000
(mostly children) according to the Red Crescent Society of Jordan. In
addition, US CENTCOM commander, General Schwarzkopf and others, estimated
100,000 or more Iraqi military deaths plus thousands more killed gratuitously
as they were retreating in disarray.
What then followed was 12
years of the most comprehensive genocidal sanctions ever imposed on
a country as an act of vengeance and US-imposed imperial arrogance.
They were first adopted in UN Resolution 661 four days after Iraq invaded
Kuwait. They included a full trade embargo that crippled the country
economically but initially allowed in food, medical and other essential
humanitarian needs. UN Resolution 670 followed in September, 1990 that
imposed an air blockade and measures to enforce it.
After the war in April, 1991,
UN Resolution 687 was adopted. It required Saddam accept cease fire
terms and comply with Geneva protocols banning biological and chemical
weapons. It also affirmed Kuwait's sovereignty, but it wasn't good enough
for US officials who wanted sanctions to remain in force until Saddam
Later on, the oil for food
and medicine program was adopted under UN Resolution 986 in 1995 but
was hopelessly inadequate by design. An internal UN report in 1999 revealed
it delivered only $74 of food per annum per person (about 21 cents a
day) and $15 worth of medicines (about 4 cents a day) with vitally needed
items banned or in short supply like syringes, anesthetics, vaccines,
antibiotics and other drugs. Everything with potential "dual use"
was blocked - chlorine to purify water, vital medical equipment, chemotherapy
and pain-killing drugs, ambulances, and anything Washington wished to
deny the country punitively with horrific consequences.
Further complicating things,
all Iraqi funds were frozen and administered through a US-controlled
Development Fund for Iraq. In addition, UN Resolution 661 stipulated
all goods entering the country had to be approved by a 15 member committee
that included the five permanent Security Council members. Approval
had to be unanimous with every member having veto power. The US representative
abused his authority by blocking items or causing long delays in importing
others. The practice became so extreme, on one occasion baby food was
denied on the grounds adults might consume it. At other times, items
on the World Health Organization (WHO) humanitarian priority list were
blocked such as rice, school books, paper, agricultural pesticides,
medical journals and catheters for babies.
The results were predictable
and devastating. Normal life was impossible and became a daily struggle
to survive. It became apparent by the mid-1990s many didn't or wouldn't:
-- the UN World Food Program
(WFP) reported 2.4 million Iraqi children were severely at nutritional
risk in September, 1995;
-- in December, 1995, the
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said 12% of Baghdad children
were "wasted, 28% stunted and 29% under weight;"
-- by year end 1995, FAO
reported 567,000 Iraqi children sanction-related deaths;
-- by March, 1996, WHO noted
a six-fold mortality rate increase among children under five;
-- in October, 1996 UNICEF
reported 4500 monthly Iraqi children deaths from sanction-caused starvation
-- by 1999, the under five
child mortality rate rose three-fold from 1989, malnutrition doubled,
and the entire young child population was affected;
-- UN Secretary-General Boutras-Boutras-Ghali
noted how health conditions deteriorated dramatically by the mid-1990s,
and by 1997 the WHO Director General said Iraq's health care system
was systemically broken; in addition, malaria, typhoid, cholera and
other life-threatening and communicable diseases were rampant.
These actions were committed
willfully and are war crimes under relevant Geneva Conventions and other
international law. They also constitute genocide under provisions of
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
that "means any (acts like those listed above) committed with intent
to destroy, in whole or in part, the national, ethnical, racial or religious
group (by) killing (its) members; causing (them) serious bodily or mental
harm; (or) deliberately inflicting (on them) conditions (that may destroy
them in whole or in part)."
US administrations under
GHW Bush, Bill Clinton and GW Bush are criminally liable under "the
genocide convention" and other relevant international law. Up to
the March, 2003 attack and invasion, more than 1.5 million Iraqis, including
over one million children, likely died from the combination of war and
economic sanctions. Two UN heads of Iraqi humanitarian relief resigned
under them in anger and frustration with Dennis Halliday saying in 1998
he did so because he "had been instructed to implement a policy
that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that
has effectively killed well over one million individuals, children and
adults" including 5000 Iraqi children monthly in his judgment.
To date, most members of
Congress are mute on the Iraq genocide and continue funding it with
hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Yet on October 10, the House
Foreign Relations Committee hypocritically passed a non-binding resolution
calling the 1915 - 1923 Armenian holocaust (taking 1.0 to 1.5 million
lives) genocide with a full House vote on the measure still scheduled
for November in spite of waning support for it and uncertainty where
it will go in the Senate.
Speaker Pelosi still backs
the measure and in 2006 as Minority Leader pledged to support legislation
"that would properly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. It is imperative
that the United States recognize this atrocity and move to renew our
commitment to eliminate genocide whenever and wherever it exists."
Today, Speaker Pelosi is mute on Iraq, Afghanistan and fully supports
AIPAC's agenda and its top priority of war with Iran. She's not bothered
by her own government's genocide that far exceeds the Ottoman and post-Ottoman
Turkish Armenian slaughter during and after WW I. The data below estimates
as many as four million Iraqis have perished from 1990 - 2007, but speaker
Pelosi's condemnation of it is nowhere in sight.
Dr. Gideon Polya is a well-published
biological scientist who's book, "Body Count: Global avoidable
mortality since 1950," came out this year. It "documents....non-reported
(worldwide) avoidable death(s) of 1.3 billion people since 1950"
including in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also published his data on millions
of violent and non-violent deaths under the three most recent US administrations
in articles like his October 7 one on Countercurrents.org. In it, he
cites data on Iraq from the Lancet, UN and British polling firm ORB.
His "Asian Wars" totals in Iraq, Afghanistan, Occupied Palestine
and Lebanon are horrific, and, if correct, exceed any others published
to date. A summary of his data follows.
-- Eight million total violent
and non-violent deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Lebanon breaking
down as follows:
-- 70,000 "US-backed"
Israeli-caused deaths in Lebanon from 1978 - 2006, 10,000 of which were
violent killings "by Israelis" or their "surrogates;"
-- 300,000 1967-2007 Occupied
Palestinian Territory (OPT) deaths plus another 10,000 violent deaths;
-- 200,000 violent 1990-91
Gulf war deaths;
-- 1.7 million 1990-2003
Iraqi sanctions-caused deaths including 1.2 million children under age
-- 3.2 million 2001-2007
US Afghanistan war deaths including UN Population Division data totaling
2.5 million plus 700,000 children under age five;
-- 2.0 million 2003-07 US
Iraq war deaths including 1.2 million UK polling firm ORB violence-related
estimates plus 800,000 children under age five from UNICEF data; and
-- 500,000 2001-07 opiate
drug-related deaths resulting from the resurgent Afghan opium industry
under US-UK occupation; the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates its
output at 93% of world production.
Polya cites the failure of
occupying powers to supply essential "life-sustaining requisites"
as a major cause of preventable deaths. He also notes his eight million
estimate exceeds the Nazi-inflicted Jewish holocaust total of about
six million. And he rightly observes that major media misreporting,
denying or "ignoring of this horrendous, ongoing mass" slaughter
is the equivalent of Jewish holocaust denial and doing it endangers
security for "both....victims and....perpetrators."
There's no denying the toll
on victims, but consider the cost at home post-9/11:
-- a nation with no outside
enemies permanently at war and claims the right to wage preventive wars
under the doctrine of "anticipatory self-defense" using first
strike nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear states;
-- world stability and peace
further threatened by the administration's abandoning NPT, ending Anti-Ballistic
Missile Treaty protection, rescinding and subverting the Biological
and Toxic Weapons Convention, deploying so-called "missile defense"
for offense, and plans to weaponize space toward the goal of "full-spectrum
(unchallengeable) dominance" of all land, surface and sub-surface
sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems plus
as much of the world's energy resources as possible;
-- a military budget hugely
exceeding the rest of the world combined; The Independent Institute
analyst Robert Higgs estimates the true FY 2007 budget exceeds $1 trillion
with all defense-related items included;
-- a rogue government operating
outside constitutional and international laws and norms with the Congress
and courts criminally complicit;
-- an unprecedented wealth
disparity in an omnipotent corporatist state;
-- growing social decay and
poverty in the richest country in the world;
-- a secretive, intrusive,
repressive administration under a president who disdains the public
interest and is a serial liar and war criminal;
-- condoning and operating
secret torture-prisons around the world as a weapon of cruelty, vengeance
and social control; and
-- a cesspool of corruption
stemming from incestuous business-govenment ties that defile democracy
and mock any notion of government of, for and by the people.
The toll in Israel is evident
as well. Angela Godfrey-Goldstein is an Israeli Jew, based in Jerusalem,
and the Action Advocacy Officer with the Israeli Committee Against (Palestinian)
House Demolitions (ICAHD). On August 30, 2007, she delivered an address
at the UN Conference at the EU Parliament in Brussels commemorating
the fortieth anniversary of Occupied Palestine. In it, she noted part
of the toll on Israeli society caused by 40 years of Palestinian repression:
-- around one million Israeli
Jews "voted with their feet and left the country;"
-- an estimate by some that
up to 50% of Israeli youths refuse mandatory Israeli Defense Forces
(IDF) service plus a "grey" Air Force refusal rate of around
-- a significant recent observation
from John Pilger that "something (around the world) is changing.
(There's a) swell of a boycott....growing inexorably....an important
marker (may have) been passed, reminiscent of the boycotts (preceding)
sanctions against apartheid South Africa" that led to the fall
of its white-supremicist government; and
-- her experience working
with "diplomats, politicians and aid workers in Israel and Palestine
(shows) that, on an individual basis, there's enormous personal support
and empathy for the Palestinian cause" because decades of abuse
against them are intolerable and must end.
Push eventually will come
to shove. We better hope it arrives soon. The world can't wait much
Stephen Lendman lives
in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site
at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman
News and Information Hour on TheMicroEffect.com Mondays at noon US central
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vote, the article with most votes will go to the top of the page. So,
as you read just give a digg and help thousands more to read this article.