Saturday, April 01, 2006

Is Condi Rice Brain Dead?

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - Admitting, "leaders" of the disastrous war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan would have to be "brain dead" not to learn lessons from the "thousands" of "tactical errors" made there, U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice gave no hint of a how the lessons learned so far would alter Anglo-American policy.

Protest By All Means, (But We Still Won't Listen)
- Condi Rice to U.K. Demonstrators

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
April 1st, 2006

Dismissing British anti-war sentiments, expressed by thousands on every leg of Conoleezza Rice's U.K. tour, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says he could have organized more impressive demos than those dogging the visit.

Speaking to reporters, Straw sniffed;

"They said they were going to get busloads and busloads in. If they had asked me I could have done better."

Displaying his famous cerebral acuity, the Minister went on to belie the Blackburn protest, saying the large numbers in the crowd were actually made up largely of supporters, the good folk out to shower conquering Condi with laurels and fond wishes, saying;

"It [the placard waving throng demonstrating against the wars] does show the strength of positive feeling across the [Britain's] North West and support for this visit."

Rice picked up on Straw's upbeat assessment, saying she had enjoyed the "warm reception" she'd received in Britain, and lauding the merit of a democracy that allows protests of this kind;

"When there are more places where people's voices can be heard peacefully, especially in the Middle East, we are all going to be better off."

Whether merely forgetful, or perhaps experiencing some of the aforementioned "brain death," Miss Rice failed to acknowledge just such a place in the Middle East, where peaceful protesters gathered to have their voices heard by America's legions.

Three years ago this month, more than 200 of "the people" of an obscure town in Iraq marched through the streets to protest the military occupation of a local primary school. The citizens of Fallujah were upset that their kid's eviction from the school would mean missing their lessons. This was just more than a month after the commencement of 'Operation Iraq Liberation,' before George W. Bush's famous "Mission Accomplished" declaration; before Abu Ghraib; before the death squads; before the car bombs; before a quarter of a million Iraqis had been snuffed out by the occupation; before 2500 Americans made the trip home in "transit tubes."

On that Spring day, the marchers still held out hope the invasion was, as stated then, and reiterated yesterday by Condoleezza Rice, meant to remove the tyrannical Saddam Hussein, and bring freedom and democracy to the people. Those naive natives believed then, America had their best interests at heart.

They were wrong.

American Marines opened fire on the demonstration, killing thirteen outright, and wounding more than 75 others.

Since then, Fallujah has suffered two major American "operations," operations that included the aerial bombardment and artillery shelling of the civilian population, and ruthless sniper attacks, followed by the tanks and infantry. Those killed were largely not, as the generals said, "pockets of insurgents," or "foreign fighters," but the poorest and most infirm of the populace, those that hadn't the wherewithal to evacuate the doomed city when warned of the impending disaster.

In the second assault on the city, Fallujah would face another weapon in America's arsenal, the so-called "Whiskey Pete," grunt-speak for White Phosphorus. Intrepid American freelance journalist, Dahr Jamail visited Fallujah after the WP attack, and reported here about its effects. It's not an account for weak-stomachs.

How much Condi and Jack have learned from their "thousands" of errors is difficult to discern, judging by their estimable performance yesterday. Before a gathering of the like-minded at Chatham House, a British "think tank," Rice leaves us with this assessment;

"I know we've made tactical errors, thousands of them I'm sure, but when you look back in history, what will be judged will be, did you make the right strategic decisions."

Who benefits those "strategic decisions" is left unsaid, but there can be few left alive today in Iraq that would mistake, as those hapless souls in Fallujah did three years ago, America's good intentions, and dare take to the streets in protest. But, for those enjoying a democracy not under the boot of military occupation, Condi instructs;

"People have the right to protest, that's what democracy is all about. I would say to those who wish to protest, by all means."

Chris Cook
is a contributing editor to PEJ News, and host of Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program, broad/webcast from the University of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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2" Inches Too Short Prosthetic

PEJ News - C. L. Cook - I swear no sovereignty to the crowned heads of Europe. I acknowledge no suzerainty to the Blue-bloods that would have us all subject to their tyranny. Yes, they tax us dearly, and pray upon us on the highways and byways, but there is ground for their challenging.

2" Inches Too Short Prosthetic:
War Coming Home

C. L. Cook

PEJ News
April 1st, 2006
Over time, the stump shrinks. In the case of a leg,
that means an increasing in-balance, meaning a listing effect.

There's an old guy, I see him almost every day ambling his way to the grocer. He's a one-legged man, too proud I expect to use cane, or crutch. Admittedly, I've not asked him how he lost his leg, but you understand, civil discourse forbids that measure of personal probing. So, I imagine what may have happened to the man with the foreign accent, and the limp, is martial in origin.

Canada now is transforming into a warrior state. Like its demented neighbour, the United States of America, the self-anointed leaders of our nation are determined to send our seed across the world, armed to the teeth, to determine for the too dumb-assed locals, wherever they may be found, how to run "their" affairs.

Welcome to Afghanistan

The moral midgets in Ottawa would have you believe, Canadian efforts in that far-away entity is of absolute necessity. Witness the media, lauding the "necessary" death of our young heroes in the service of the greater good. But, beyond Peter Manbridge's accolades to the dead, there remains a salient question, as to "our" involvement there. It is now apparent, the "cunts and cocks" of eternal warfare are well ensconced in Canada, land of peace.

Equally, it seems, a supine population will permit the gross trespasses on "traditional" decency America today represents. If there were a time Canada stood for higher moral standards, it's clear: Those days are done.
Today, the pretenders to Canada are more than willing to enjoin the carnage America has made of their own campaigns in the middle-east. Just last week, Canada became the first "independent" nation in the world to condemn Palestine to starvation for their uppity determination to elect Hamas.

Tonight, somewhere in Afghanistan, there is a Canadian boot-kicking in the door of some hapless local. Today, in Afghanistan, there is Canadian soldiery duly turning over to the American torture regime prisoners of the evening's efforts. Today, there is unspeakable suffering that justly lies in the hands of this, our peaceful land.

The ignorant prick leading Canada's nascent militarist birthing, General Rick Hillier, has been under-shy about his goal of killing "scumbags" in Afghanistan. This paragon of Canada's new-found virtues features in the media too regularly, polluting "our" air-waves, strum-thrumming the drum-beat to endless war. All naturally in step with America's designs.

Canada's dead are returning now from the far-off foreign killing fields of battle; places we have no business occupying. But, war engineer, Rick Hellier, and his ilk would have y'all believe this a necessity. They would have you think the sacrifice of Canada's young is a part of the grand global plan to create a Nirvana here on earth.


I'm all for Nirvana, but just what does it look like?

Out the window, I watch the hobbled man make his way to the grocer, and wonder what twisted remnants will return Canada this grotesque foreign adventure?

Chris Cook is a contributine editor to PEJ News, and host of Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program web/broadcast from the Uniersity of Victoria, Canada. You can check out the GR Blog here.

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