Saturday, April 12, 2003

Incidently, that curious little Secretary seems to be fascinated with the phrase "Henny Penny, the sky is falling", from the revered literally masterpiece "Chicken little".

On the testing of nuclear weapons:
There are other things that come along where people, especially in Pete's shop that look at problems. They look at problems and they find that a country, pick one, most from the terrorist list are buried deeply buried under ground. They have tunnels and tunnels and tunnels. They look at a problem of how do you deal with it. So these people without worrying about all the frivolities and all the henny penny the sky is falling and do exactly what they're supposed to do. They screw their head into the problem and figure out more ways to do things. And one of them may be a deeply penetrating capability.
On the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence debacle:
And then there was the office of strategic influence. You may recall that. And "oh my goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall." I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have. That was intended to be done by that office is being done by that office, NOT by that office in other ways.
On the 'liberation' of Afganistan:
Well, my goodness, democracy is untidy. Freedom is untidy. Liberation is untidy. It's a very good thing that's happened in Afghanistan. And all of this 'Henny-Penny the sky is falling, and isn't it terrible?' is nonsense.
On the treatment of prisoners of war from Afghanistan:
Well, I guess I think the truth ultimately wins out, and the truth of the matter is, they're being treated humanely. And the people down there are fine young men and women and the commanders are talented and responsible people. And the work that's being done to create facilities that are appropriate is moving forward with dispatch. And I think that the American people will see that, and indeed, I think the people of the world will. You know, it's perfectly possible for anyone to stand up and say, 'Henny penny, the sky is falling, isn't this terrible what's happening' and have someone else say, 'Gee, I view with alarm the possibility that the sky is falling.' And it gets repeated. And then some breathless commentator repeats it again, and then it goes on for three days. Now, does that make it so? No. At some point, does the air come out of that balloon? You bet.
On the war on terrorism:
It's not against a religion or a people, but it's against terrorists. The link to the weapons of mass destruction, without saying the sky is falling, without henny penny, we're all going to be blown up, we told the truth. The truth is that if you've got terrorist networks that are global and if they're well financed and if they can plan something like this, and if they have relationships with countries that have weapons of mass destruction, it does not take a leap of imagination to suspect that at some point terrorist networks conceivably could get their hands on those weapons and we have to recognize that and we have to behave in a way that recognizes that.
After reading this fable, the source of the Secretary's obsession with it is obvious to me. He is Henny Panny incarnate. Going on and on about the imminent danger that desolate nations in faraway countries pose to the US. That the only way to stop the sky from falling is to invade them. One after the other.

Or maybe he is Foxy Loxy. And we are the stupid chicken that he dupes. And devours.
The United States has crushed Iraq. This worthy adversary has thus joint the ranks of other mighty nations which the US has engaged. Like Korea, Indonesia, Congo, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, Sudan. And Afghanistan. Oh, the bravery. The valor.

And as the most expensive military in the world has pulverized another poor, third-war country, the inevitable is happening. Lawlessness, looting, killing. Anarchy.

But the 'news' media does not seem to get it. This is only "natural" behavior in a country that has just been "liberated". The Secretary of Defence is 'appalled' by the media's obsession with this trifle. Yes, appalled. He doesn't seem to comprehend why the media would bite the hand that has fed it so well in recent weeks. Why can't they just report that everything is hunky-dory? The Secretary pointed out that a little bit of looting and killing is nothing unusual. After all, "we have seen it happen in many cities right here in the United States"!

Ah, the irony. You just don't know whether to laugh or throw up.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Given the obvious bloodlust that CNN has been exhibiting during the invasion, I was surprised to see what looks like a fairly unbiased follow-up report this morning on the US attack on un-embedded reporters in Baghdad.

Is their sanity returning?
How warped is this world? How far removed are we, actually, from real life?

At the hight of the massacre of Iraqis, both civilians and soldiers, in their own country, the media has jumped on a story of a young boy who lost both his arms when an American missile destroyed his home in Baghdad. And this has "prompted a huge response" from the public. And more from the news report: "It has tugged at a few heartstrings. It was a very emotive picture. People seem to genuinely want to do something."

Want to do something?? Where the hell was this 'concerned' public when this completely foreseeable slaughter began? It has from the outset been obvious that the main casualities of this invasion were going to be the Iraqi people. Everybody who wanted to, even I, could see that all the talk about 'careful deployment', and that civilian casualties, from the bombing of this big city, were being 'carefully avoided', were nothing more than an attempt to lull the stupid masses into complacency over the horrors of what the US government was beginning. Nobody has the excuse, now, to say that he did not see this coming. Nobody. This blood is on our hands. All our hands.

But does the apathetic public use the belated wake-up call of this young amputee to act, finally, to try to stop this? Or to hold those, who orchestrated this, responsible?

No. The reaction is the same, pathetic, non-sensical farce that generally results from the media leading the masses through their own neatly made-up drama. The whole issue has become whether to send this particular boy to the UK for treatment. To give him $30.000 replacement arms. To help him "get used to his body image". Oh sure, the reports will acknowledge that money can not buy everything. "But with determination and the right resources he can get a lot out of life."

This is grotesque.

There is hardly a mention of the fact that the boy's six months pregnant mother, father, brother and seven other family members were murdered in the attack. Let alone all the thousands of other Iraqis being slaughtered in their own homes. It doesn't seem to be an issue. At all.

My wife is six months pregnant. I can not even begin to describe the hell that I would unleash upon those who would harm her, in any way. Now imagine how the raped nation of Iraq is feeling.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

And now the US Army has started shooting independent reporters. The exact floor where foreign media people were staying at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad was hit by an apparently deliberate shot from an US tank, killing two cameraman. A third man, a correspondent for the television station al-Jazeera, was killed when the station's offices were leveled. By American missiles. And the offices of the Abu Dhabi television station were also seriously damaged. By American bombs.

There can be only one explanation of these atrocious acts: Either the US is now targeting the un-embedded journalists, who are 'uncontrolled' witnesses to the acts of the invaders, or all the rhetoric about precision munitions and smart-bombs has been proven worthless. Because if the relatively few independent, foreign journalists in Iraq are suffering such heavy casualties, what do you think is the real situation among the civilian population?

The United States can now proudly proclaim that it is the new Butcher of Baghdad. God bless America.

Monday, April 7, 2003

Today, the police has taken up the practice of firing on anti-invasion protesters. In the United States of America, no less.

This must be deja-vu for those who remember Vietnam.

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Finally, the exuberance seems to be rattling off some of the 'embedded' reporters. A few of them seem to be waking up to the reality of the deeds being perpetrated by the forces that they accompany. Like Hilary Andersson:
As I write I am in a country without a visa.
I never passed through an Iraqi border checkpoint. I invaded, too. I came in with the British forces.
By all rights of a sovereign nation I am here illegally. By what right am in Iraq? By what right is Britain? That is what Iraqis want to know.
And listen to the language of the British forces.
A spokesman at the military headquarters in Qatar called the Iraqi militias "illegal criminal forces".
Maybe the madness and the bloodlust will subside. Maybe cooler heads will prevail.

But it will be too late.