Date: Saturday, November 3, 2007
Dateline: Detroit, Michigan
Big Boy is a restaurant in Motor City that serves good breakfast grub. Up the road is the Best Western which put me up for the night because my plane missed its European connection. Little Boy is an atomic bomb constructed in the U.S. state of New Mexico and dropped from a B-29 called Enola Gay on the Japanese City of Hiroshima on August 6st 1945.'About two thirds of Hiroshima was destroyed instantly and 78,000 inhabitants of the city's 300,000 population went with it. About ten thousand disappeared, more than 70,000 were injured.
Three days later a second bomb, called Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki destroying half the city and killing 40,000, about the same number were injured.' About 85% of those killed by the two bombs were civilians and it is now estimated that at least 370,000 died instantly from both bombs. Many more died from radiation and the effects still linger on in the 21st Century. People are still born with deformities as they are in South Asia where U.S. troops sprayed defoliants like Agent Orange on fields and jungles during the Vietnam War.
The figures I quoted above come from a 1998 Groliers Multimedia Encyclopedia authored by Louis L. Snyder. He put it so succinctly that I threw quotes around the passage although I'm paraphrasing parts of the text. The figures are his and have risen for causalities since he wrote his article.
Now American and Israel are gearing up for a strike on Iran. Commando raids have already occurred. Give us break, most Iranians don't like their government either. We also know that pin-point accuracy is like the Church of Scientology, science fiction. But will the Big Blu, also known as a 30,000 pound massive penetrator, further known as the Mother of All bombs, be dropped. No wonder that UFOs are attracted to New Mexico. It's testing ground for contaminating the plant and exterminating the Native American Indians. White men beware if the Hopi go walk about. But what are right wing fascist Christians thinking? 'Let's do Armageddon before Al Gore proves us wrong?' Really, addressing a bin of loonies. Which reminds, what is the far left up to ? I wish I could say, plotting a come as you are party at the White House but in reality they are about as useless as Condoleezza Rice. She seems content doing the administration's bidding without a conscience of her own. Does she really think selling a $63 billion package of weapons to countries in the Middle East will bring peace to the region? When this administration goes down in flames of corruption she'll be going too.
Back in Detroit there were about 15 people waiting for 45 minutes for the shuttle-bus to take us to Best Western. I teamed up with a fellow from New York who was in the recycled paper business. He told me that he had been to Cedar Rapids 10 times in the last two years and on 9 of those trips he had been delayed like today. In this case, the plane malfunctioned At Best Western we had $13 food vouchers but the restaurant was closed. The New Yorker and I drank our supper in the bar and retired when the bar closed at midnight.
Arriving at the airport two hours early for a four o'clock flight I was turned back at customs because I didn't have a boarding pass. The security guard was a pretty black girl with a stern manner that didn't suit her looks. She motioned to an escalator and said fourth floor. I went up that but it didn't look right. Standing to the side of the escalator was a well dressed middle aged black woman who looked familiar. I think she was a Motown singer back in the 60s. Anyway I asked her if this was the fourth floor, she didn't know and told me she was waiting for her husband who was trying get back her perfume and lipstick which had been confiscated by customs. 'It's terrible isn't it? They took my toothpaste in Minneapolis and it was a small tube.' That set her to laughing and she replied, 'It's all his fault, if they had got rid of him none of this would be happening.' I said, 'Yeah, they should take them both down to Texas and hang 'em.
She roared with laughter again and said, 'I meant bin Laden but you're right, we ought to care came of them too.' As I was leaving her she said, 'Bless you, honey.'
What I forget tell her was that during the week, probably during the flight from Portland to Minneapolis, customs had started to allow passengers to bring cigarette lighters onboard. But they were still sniffing for toothpaste and other cosmetics. Liquids too were on the list, imagine, a small bottle of water in your possession could be a felony.
As a parting shot see if this fits a profile: An acquaintance from Europe, a Venezuela chef who travels a lot, mostly on food and recipe expeditions, told me he with going through customs in Miami last summer when his T-shirt was noticed. On the front in big letters was the word 'EXPLOSION' On the back in smaller letters, 'If I start running try to catch me.' The T-shirt was confiscated, the agents said they might hold him for eleven hours but after a body search they let him go after he put on another T-shirt. I'm sure it was his charming personality and excellent command of English that got him off lightly.
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Dateline: Brussels, Belgium
I read in a column by William Pfaff that conservative right-wing writer, Andrew Sullivan, had done a job on the Bush administration, comparing it the Third Reich. The Sullivan article appeared in The Atlantic
magazine back in July but I wouldn't read that magazine if you gave it to me. Anyway, Sullivan was responding to a speech by President George Bush when Bush 'insisted' that 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were 'crucial for American success.'
Sullivan reportedly said the phrase 'enhanced interrogation techniques' had it's origins in Nazi Germany and Pfaff said, 'It was used to describe SS and Gestapo practices that in 1948 were determined to have been war crimes subject to the death penalty.'
The year mentioned, 1948, places the term in the Nuremberg trials but I checked and couldn't find it. Maybe there is a historical work that mentions it, I have serious doubts about Andrew's command of German. Anyway, the trials were convened 139 times from 1946 to 1949. In the first trial 24 high ranking Nazi officers were charged with crime crimes and 12 received death sentences. In a crimes against humanity trial known as the Doctor's Trial The court was an agent of the United States and the judges were drawn from the U.S. military. I'm sure most of them didn't speak German. The court stated that 'To kill, to maim, and to torture is criminal under all modern systems of law.' Charged were 23 physicians, 16 were found guilty, seven were executed. Among the victims, who must have suffered horribly, were '200 Jews, 50 Gypsies, 500 tubercular Poles, or 1,000 Russians.' I guess the 'or' in that sentence means that weren't sure.
About war crime crimes in general, The Geneva Conventions were first convened in 1864 and the participants were essentially concerned with defining and cataloging war crimes. Representatives from 16 countries attended the first convention. Other conventions were in 1899, 1907, 1929, and four in 1949. The Hague conferences, in 1899 and 1907, adopted rules of war but couldn't reach agreement on disarmament or weapons limitations. The Helsinki Accords in 1975 had 36 countries pledging to respect human rights. It's a just a pity that none of these conventions, conferences, and accords didn't establish rules for governing crimes against nature.
Genocide didn't get on the list of war crimes until 1951 and there was plenty of mass murders around the planet in the 20th Century, many of them never prosecuted, especially in Africa. An international criminal court wasn't established until 1998 called the Rome Statute but the United States rebuffed it. Why? Because the Bush administration thinks its citizens and military personal are above international law. They get their law from god and are forgiven for their crimes. The court functions well enough without the Americans, 104 countries are signed up.
The first arrests were made in 1993 following the Yugoslav war Bosnian, Croatians, and Serbia (Hercegovina) forces. A new phrase,'Ethnic cleansing' entered the vocabulary; up to 300,000 people were killed, three million were left homeless. The international court brought some of the perpetrators to justice
My considered opinion is that the phrase 'enhanced interrogation techniques' was dreamed up in the Pentagon or the White House but it does have a catchy Third Reich feel to it--I can hear Herr Cheney explaining what the words means to Herr Bush. If the phrase came out of the Pentagon, it must have come the lips of a neo-com, a Jew, with a German speaking relative who survived the Holocaust.
On the Internet you can read about torture techniques used by the America Military, the CIA, and the article by Andrew Sullivan that apparently appeared in The Atlantic
magazine. Sullivan does not say what William Pfaff what implied, that the phrase enhanced interrogation techniques had Nazi origins, only that they used those techniques. So, that's cleared up. Sullivan also distances himself from implying that America is now a Fascist regime. They just use Fascist techniques. As for Pfaff, he thinks torture is immoral but offers 'no opinion' about it being a crime. That's a perfect example of a squirmy little liberal worm. 'Oh, I'm sorry, as Samuel L. Jackson might say, "you said federal crimes. Does that mean the FBI is also involved in torture?"
Even Sullivan has more balls than Pfaff. Sullivan names names that broke all international laws on torture, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Bush and Cheney. He missed a few but those mentioned are guilty. About torture techniques, Sullivan runs into conservative psycho-babble when he claims the Germans thought torture techniques like water boarding and hypothermia were 'too cruel.' Come on, all torture techniques are cruel, those methods were too primitive. The Nazis were into how much a human could stand when exposed to chemicals, gases, and viruses.
For the cold treatment in Cuba the Americans use air conditioners and buckets of ice. A bucket of water and a board suffices for the water boarding torture The water trickles down from the bucket to the board and makes the prisoner feel like he's drowning. It was the Japanese who were the fascist water board champs. They would stick a water hose down the throat of a bound prisoner, face up on the ground, and fill him up until his stomach was bloated. Two soldiers, probably sloshed on saki, would then put a board over the prisoner's stomach and seesaw on it. Of course the preferred method of the Japanese was lopping off heads with katana
swords. What to hear something more gruesome? The Bush administration legalised torture.
Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dateline: Brussels, Belgium
There are an impressive number of D.C. suits who could face criminal charges when the Bush Administration leaves the offices of this despicable government. Of course Bush and Cheney are the most culpable but if the demise of the Nixon Administration is anything to go on most of them will get off with small fines and light sentences. What a great pity, Norman Podhoretz probably won't even face trail. He's a neocon who reportedly came up with the term Islamofacism which makes him a Jewish fascist. A particularly odorous specimen of humanity dedicated to world war, I don't think he had an official position in the administration.
Bush has a bad habit of appointing advisers and department heads who are against what they are suppose to be defending but that is his way of destroying a democratic government. A perfect example is Bush's adviser to the environment, James Connaughton. In December, 2007, he represented the U.S. Government at a world conference on global warming in Bali, Indonesia. His qualifications? 'He had a career defending chemical manufactures and aluminum smelts against environment lawsuits.' That's the way it is most government departments.
For Democrats, the best option now is to push for a constitutional amendment to allow Congress to impeach members of the Supreme Court. Also, the Democrats should be pushing for legislation preventing voter fraud and for citizen rights to vote. Extra security out of party funds for Brack Obama would be helpful too. You also bring back Al Gore. Republicans love to hate him.
For the Republicans, I would advise sticking to the game plan, declare martial law or a national emergency and try to stay in power for as long as possible. The would-be successors to the Bush-Cheney reign are all wild cards. None of them have a chance but one will win the party's presidential nomination. No, not another Bush clone from Arizona, an East Coast Mormon, an ordained Baptist minister appealing to crazy evangelicals, a Catholic war monger like the former New York mayor or maybe a Jew like the governor of New York. How long will Dick manage to hide out in his bunker? Will they take George at his Crawford, Texas, ranch or Kennebunkport? Will they try to string him up in the oval office or does that only in happen France? No, not Sarkozy, McCain? He looks the likely nominee but do Bush and Cheney want him as their replacement? McCain's religious views are suspect among Bush's evangelical flock.
About prosecutions, in the Nixon era the list includes, wire tapping, breaking and entering, burglaries, money laundering, embezzlement, accepting brides, tax evasion, obstruction-of-justice, perjury and probably more. Nixon's staff was mostly made up of advertising thugs. The Bush-Cheney administration faces more serious charges. Genocide and Crimes against humanity are possible, violating international law, the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations' 1948 Declaration of Human Rights. Subverting the U.S. Government and the U.S. Constitution could result in charges of treason. Then there is torture, 'a felony under U.S. law, illegal in international law, forbidden by U.S. military manuals. For that they should all go down, Bush, Cheney and his deputies, plus his chief of staff, David Addington, add John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, the Jewish neocons, and anyone else who raped the principals of democracy like Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove for instance. Hope to see you at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Incidently, in my last blog, on Torture, I mentioned that I'd seen no evidence that the Nazis used water-boarding as a torture technique but American columnist Jay Bookman claims the Nazis were fond of it and it was also used during the Spanish Inquisition. I still haven't seen evidence on the Nazis but during the Inquisition and in England during the Middle Ages simpler forms were used like lowering a victim by rope from a bridge in a river. Unfortunately, surviving the water torture was another heresy against the church and the victim was often burned at the stake. Use of ducking-stools, according to Wikipedia, began in the 13th Century and phased out in the mid-18th Century. For other techniques depicting torture in English history I recommend the film Witchfinder General
starring Vincent Price and released out of Norway in 1968.
Do criminals and religion have something in common? Take American prisons, please, they hold a quarter of the world's inmates and nearly half of them are doing time for nonviolent drug related offenses. The question is, why do so many prisoners take up religion. I don't know. Maybe it's because they think that's they way to an early furlough, a get out of jail pass for good behavior. I doubt if there is a Bible in every cell but it's possible. Maybe they get tired of tired of pumping iron all day. Maybe reading the scriptures is a way to avoid torture. Another reason for walking a righteous path in prison is the King of the Hill, a 6 foot-four, 300 pound tattooed torso who thinks he's Jesus. Amen brother.
More on religion in the next blog.
NOTE: To preserve the intergrity of the story, blog entries are in chronological order. First post first, last post last.