It may be unfitting to say, especially before the late Pontiff is lain to rest, but am I the only one that's sick of the 24 Hour Media coverage of this? Across the board, all there seems going on in the world is the death of one, frail old man.
Don't get me wrong; though I'm not a Catholic, John Paul II was a figure that transcended his place, (that place being at the apex of the largest religious organization on the planet) I'm not dissing he, or the church. I think it's this rabid media circus dishonouring not only the man revered by millions, but too doing disservice to the everyday dignity of death itself.
Right now, thousands are dying around the world. There are no anchormen shedding tears for those killed by engineered famine, illegal wars, or for lack of medicine's too dear to afford. And, while coiffed television presenters preen in St. Peter's Square, the planet continues its careening course to environmental destruction, the cause of this destruction kept almost entirely off-screen.
When then President Bill Clinton rounded up his NATO posse to obliterate Yugoslavia, contaminating it permanently with radioactive weaponry, the big news was all about a little blue dress. Or, more exactly, a little white stain on a little blue dress. Now, the same masters of the TeeVee Word are making of the passing of this extraordinary man just another distraction. I'm sure George W. and his criminal cohorts wish a Pope could die everyday.
But then, there's always the royal wedding, reportedly postponed to honour the Pope, waiting to fill the next news cycle. - ape
April 04, 2005
Predictably, the death of Karol Wojtyla, also known as Pope John Paul II, has crowded out other news stories, for instance:
U.S IGNORED WMD REALITY IN IRAQ. “By the time President Bush ordered U.S. troops to disarm Saddam Hussein of the deadly weapons he was allegedly trying to build, every piece of fresh evidence had been tested—and disproved—by U.N. inspectors, according to a report commissioned by the president and released Thursday,” the Washington Post reports early today. In other words, Bush groomed a passel of lies and passed it off as a pretext to invade a sovereign nation and kill more than 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Now the Strausscons wants to blame this defective intelligence—i.e., lies—on the CIA and the “intelligence community.”
Fact of the matter is, Cheney and the Strausscons knew precisely what they were doing and that’s why they created the Office of Special Plans, essentially a lie factory designed to produce “Feith-based intelligence,” a malodorous bouquet of falsification and prevarication, a natural extension of “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a venomous shibboleth written for Israeli settler leader Benjamin Netanyahu by leading Strausscons Richard “Prince of Darkness” Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav. Naturally, none of this is mentioned in the Post article. Instead, we are told the CIA is to blame. Of course, the CIA deserves condemnation, but not for Strausscon lies.
The “IAEA disputed CIA claims that Iraq was trying to buy black-market aluminum tubes for a nuclear program. The IAEA assessment, which turned out to be accurate, was first shared with U.S. intelligence in July 2001,” writes the Post. But if not for Strausscon friendly Judith Miller and Michael Gordon at the New York Times, this CIA wet dream would have never seen the light of day. Bush’s tubular excuse for what would eventually become mass murder of a 100,000 Iraqis was trumpeted by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, VP Dick Cheney, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and ultimately Bush himself in a saber-rattling lie fest before the United Nations. (See Tim Dickinson’s West Wing Pipe Dream for details.) Naturally, as we now know, Bush’s tubular excuse was nothing but a lie floated expressly to scare the hell out of gullible Americans and set the stage for mass murder.
If we are to believe the Post, it was all the fault of the CIA and Cheney’s cherry-picking operation never existed.
BRITAIN GETS COLD FEET. “Britain plans to reduce the size of its military force in Iraq from 9,000 to 3,500 soldiers within 12 months, as part of a phased withdrawal from the war-torn country,” reports al-Jazeera. Since Bush lapdog Tony Blair is up for election on May 5 and, according to Frank Luntz of the Times Online, in “years of polling voters, I have never found the public mood in Britain so disgruntled and disillusioned,” the withdrawal announcement has near perfect timing. If we are to believe Lt. Gen James Conway of the U.S. Marines, the U.S. may start removing soldiers from Iraq as well, as Iraqis are “starting to take control of their own situation,” or it is hoped they will soon, anyway. Conway may as well wish for a pony. Naturally, a big fat caveat is attached to Britain’s announcement: “Troop numbers in Iraq are continually kept under review and we will remain in Iraq at the request of the Iraqi authorities to provide security assistance for the Iraqi forces. We are not going to speculate on future troop levels and timescales,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman told al-Jazeera. Is it possible everything is contingent on Blair’s re-election?
IRAQ AND KUWAIT, OIL BUDDIES. Remember when Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait of stealing its oil with horizontal drilling and listed this as one of the reasons for invading the sheikdom in 1990? Another reason was that the Iraqis considered Kuwait an artificial contrivance, once a province of Iraq (that is until the Brits came along and lopped it off in 1923 and got themselves a handsome “oil concession” in 1934). In September, 2000, Iraq once again made the accusation that Kuwait was stealing some 300,000 barrels of oil per day, worth about $3 billion a year at the time. That was then, this is now. “A joint Kuwait-Iraq commission is looking at how to regulate oil production from a field covering their joint territories, reported AFP. Officials said the options were either to form a joint production company or to hire a foreign company for production.” Freedom has its advantages.
SWISS “RAPPORTEUR” STATES THE OBVIOUS, IRAQI KIDS MALNOURISHED. In Bushzarro world, truth is hated and maligned. John Zarocostas, reporting for the Moonie owned Washington Times, says the Bushcons are all atwitter over the “anti-American rhetoric” (i.e., truth) of Jean Ziegler, “a longtime critic of the United States who is the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food.” Zarocostas reports that in “a report [issued by the UN’s Commission on Human Rights], the Swiss professor of sociology blamed the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq for nearly doubling malnutrition among children younger than 5.” Kevin E. Moley, U.S. ambassador, gave Ziegler heck for the report. “First, he has not visited Iraq; secondly, he is wrong,” declaimed Moley. “So we wish Jean Ziegler, in all his reporting, would stick to the facts, but in his case it would leave him little to say.”
Ziegler is dismissed by the Moonie Times as a commie, “a member of the executive committee of Socialist International who teaches at the University of Geneva, [and] was appointed in September 2000 by the former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.”
“Acute malnutrition among Iraqi children under five years of ago had doubled since the US invasion and occupation two years ago,” Doug Lorimer of Green Left writes, summarizing the UN Commission on Human Rights report. “Reporting the results of a study conducted last November by the Norwegian-based Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science, Ziegler told the 53-nation commission that more than a quarter of Iraqi children did not get enough to eat. According to the institute, last year 7.7% of Iraqi children under five suffered acute malnutrition, compared to 4% prior to the March 2003 US-led invasion…. Some 6.5 million Iraqis, 25% of the entire population, remain highly dependent on food rations according to the UN’s World Food Program. A WFP report released last May said that just under half of that figure were so poor that they have to resell part of their food rations to buy basic necessities such as medicine and clothes. A further 3.6 million Iraqis, 14% of the population, would become food insecure if the rationing system were discontinued.”
Recall, before the twin invasions of the Iraqi people by the Bush Cosa Nostra—punctuated with more than a decade of murderous sanctions—Iraqi was a modern nation with a high standard of living, subsidized health care, education, food, and rent—in short, even under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, Iraq was the envy of the Arab world. Bush Senior, Bubba Clinton, and Bush the Junior worked long and hard to make Iraq one of the poorest countries in the world.
A PARASITE NAMED JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE AUTHORITY. Killing 100,000 Iraqis (following the murder of more than a million over the previous decade) is good for business, as the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, or Jafza, informs us. Jafza will participate in the “Rebuild Iraq 2005″ exhibition in Amman, Jordan, according to AME Info, billed as the “ultimate Middle East business resource,” sponsored by the likes of Shell Markets Middle East, CNN International, and UPS, to name but three. AME Info looks out for the interests of a large “customer base,” including such corporations as Citibank, DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Microsoft, Motorola, and others.
“The show, which is in the second year running, is a highly specialized show that focuses on the rebuilding of Iraq’s critical infrastructure in electricity, water, oil, health, transportation, agriculture, and telecommunications sectors,” reports AME Info. “The show is also the central rally point for buyers, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors, as it gives them direct access to decision makers from government bodies, organizations and companies who are involved in the economic rebirth of Iraq.”
In other words, a gaggle of fantastically wealthy corporations chomping at the bit to cash in on the misery of the Iraqi people (see the previous news item), as directed by “government bodies,” that is to say the United States and the puppet government installed in Baghdad. As previously noted, no “economic rebirth” would be necessary in Iraq if the Bush Cosa Nostra criminal organization, with more than a little help of the United States Congress, had not twice invaded Iraq and imposed medieval siege sanctions on it.
History is nowhere to be found when vulture corporations gather to pick over the bones of victimized people in the third world. Bush I and II engineered the destruction of Iraq’s “critical infrastructure in electricity, water, oil, health, transportation, agriculture, and telecommunications” expressly for the sake of the waiting vultures.
“President Bush [Senior] ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic productivity throughout Iraq,” Mohamed Ahmad Aljanabi wrote for the Institute for Policy Research and Development. “Of the facilities targeted, some were: electric power generators, water system reservoirs, food processing and storage facilities, oil wells and pumps, rice factories, just to mention a few. The U.S. assault left Iraq in a near apocalyptic condition, as reported by the first United Nations observers after the war. The intention and effect of the bombing of civilian life and activities was to systematically destroy Iraqâ€™s infrastructure, leaving it in a ‘pre-industrial’ condition,” in short, leaving it to be “rebuilt” by the likes of Bechtel, Halliburton, and presumably the parasites-in-waiting in Jordan, a conclave salivating over the prospect of making profits on the misery of millions of victims.
“Visitors and exhibitors alike would be able to witness the offerings of Jafza, some of which that are aimed exclusively for nurturing Iraqi businesses and providing support for Iraqi businessmen who want to do business with the rest of the world,” says a no-nonsense Abdalla Al Banna, Marketing Manager for Jafza. “The prospects for growth in Iraq is unprecedented [bombing usually does that], as key stake holders from all over the world have understood the vast economic potential of the country. Reconstruction of Iraq is top priority for the countries in the region and the world community at large, as its immediate beneficiaries will be the millions of Iraqis, who will see a significant improvement in the quality of their lives.” Of course, in order to improve “the quality of their lives,” Iraqis, under the neolib-neocon scheme, will need money. However, as a study by the college of economics at Baghdad University reported last year, unemployment in Iraq is around 70%. “The number of people out of work in Iraq has been on the rise since the then US administrator Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi army, security organizations and the Ministry of Information—a decision that made hundreds of thousands of people unemployed at the stroke of a pen,” al-Jazeera reported last August.
One has to wonder, however, what Jafza and its multinational participants are smoking. So long as the U.S. occupies Iraq there will be no peace and no opportunity for the neolib-neocon camarilla and its corporate “customer base” to profit from the premeditated destruction of Iraq. In fact, if Bush and Crew realize the Strausscon master plan—generational war delivered to Muslims everywhere, especially in the Middle East—resistance will spread and the chance Bechtel and General Motors will “rebuild” what Bush-Clinton-Bush bombed will be about as likely as a sunny day in Hell.
Meanwhile, we have the solemnization of Pope John Paul II to consider, an event likely to chew up the rest of the week as the pontiff will be on display and then buried at St. Peter’s Basilica Grotto on Friday. Events in Iraq will surely take a backseat—in fact, they will pretty much disappear from the corporate media radar screen entirely.