Posts Tagged ‘war crimes’

‎”By robbing others of their inherent dignity, by denying them respect and by treating them as a less than human other, we ultimately rob ourselves of our own dignity, humanity and compassion” – Kelly Dougherty, Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)

So if you talk about all those peopple in Iraq killling American soldiers are terrorists, they’re not terrorists! They’re wearing sandals and they got an AK and 14 yr old boys building bombs to kill soldiers cuz we killed their families!- Darrell Anderson

The primary loyalty is NOT to the democracy or to the flag or to America or to the Iraqi people or to the rule of law… it is to each others safety at the expense of everything else. – Jason Lemieux

 The missions we were getting weren’t making any sense.. we were kicking in the wrong doors and terrifying children.. trying to calm the women and children while the men were dragged and seperated out and completely humiliated in front of their families.

‎9/11 was a lie.. I KNOW it. We’re soldiers, we KNOW it.

The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service – Albert Einstein


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Dead Man Walking

There is a man. His picture is everywhere. His name is on everyone’s lips. His deeds are the talk of the town. And yet there is no sadder profile on the planet than this dead man walking… Osama bin Laden.

To me, that name is synonymous with scapegoat, the biggest scapegoat history has ever seen. Osama bin Laden may have been born a man, but he died as a figure whose memory will be etched in the annals of history as he who forever changed the landscape of Global Warfare. But was it really him or was he just the poster boy? The false door? The red herring?

All evil needs a face. And the power players knew that to turn Islam into a concept that induced repulsion and fear in others – it needed a face. And that face would be Osama bin Laden. A man who gave up his wealth to struggle in the way of his God. A man who may or may not have succeeded in his cause. A man who got so inexplicably caught up in the tangled mess power players wove that he would live and die as the man who harmed Islam more than he helped it.

Osama bin Laden is the man behind the terror. He is the man who redefined a religion of peace to that of terror. He is the man widely held responsible for the murder of thousands. He is the propagator  of evil. The man who made Muslims the Other. The Face of Them. The one Muslims have been struggling to disassociate themselves with for over a decade. But none of this is his doing. He is held up by powers that be to be hated by one and all, when in fact the real perpetrator, the real killer, the real inflictor of harm and the real divider of the masses hide behind his face.

Osama bin Laden was a man embroiled in violence and hearsay. A man who spread terror without without boundaries. But he was also a man who the powers that be used to further its own interests. A man used to divide and conquer. A man used to force war across borders. A man used to subject Muslims to scrutiny, violence, racism, discrimination and … fear.  A fear that was used to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. A fear that tears up Libya and Egypt and Yemen and paves the way for Allied forces to ‘help’. A fear that has allowed the USA and its allies to entrench its bases in critical hotspots  all over and within the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan. A network of ‘help’ that will not retreat and sits as a silent threat to the countries it seeps off.

Osama bin Laden may have succeeded. The cost of war has brought America to its knees and it is now scrambling to retain its foothold in the global arena. Financially, socially and morally the USA has been on the steady road to decline. If this was what the terrorists wanted then they should rejoice. But what about their fellow Muslims? The ones that have to face the daily scrutiny and discrimination? The ones that get stopped at airports for having Muslim names? The ones that get accosted in the streets for wearing Hijab? The ones that are forbidden to pray in public places? How has Islam been glorified through their actions if Muslims cannot practice it?

Muslims all over the world will never again be free of the recrimination Osama bin Laden brought upon them.  Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his legend is that of a dead man walking. And he haunts the lives of Muslims who want nothing else but to live in peace.

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The Arab Spring

I came across this term whilst reading the news recently. The Arab Spring – It sounded quaint and placid till I read what it meant – it is used to describe the revolt and armed intervention that is sweeping the Arab world. The term is meant to imply that akin to a caterpillar bursting out of its cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly, the Arab nations too are undergoing a transformation that will give birth to a better reality.

I think the term and its connotations are highly delusional.

The Arab world is blessed. It is sitting on an abundance of crude oil that makes it coveted by one and all. That same blessing is a curse as it makes the Arab world a target for others. A while ago Israel came under scrutiny for attacking a ship of peaceful protestors. Among Israel’s critics was Egypt. Now – several months on, everyone has forgotten the gross act of misconduct shown by the Israelis are the Arab world is thrown into turmoil … is this really an accident? A coincidence?

Israel is a country with the US, the UN and most of the western country’s at its beck and call. It acts without regard for the safety of its Arab neighbours and with wilful neglect of international laws and reprimands. It is a country that is very capable of sparking revolt and discontent in Egypt and watching it spread like wildfire to Libya Syria and Tunisia in the name of freedom.

What freedom? Removing Gaddafi or any other dictator will make no difference if the US and allied troops will continue their gunfire indiscriminately and set up base in these countries with the same flimsy excuse of peacekeeping that ruined Iraq in the not to distant past.

The governments of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and Syria have long been a crumbling facade that burdened their own people. The Arab league was a joke and no help was forthcoming from the wealthy gulf region. The revolution was inevitable but was it really sparked by a street vendor being slapped by an armed guard at his apple cart? Or was this initiated at a much higher level to create a chaos only the US could come to save?

Yes Gaddafi is massacring his own people. Yes the Arab world is failing to intervene. Yes the western countries are suitably equipped to fight on behalf of the Libyan people. But then? What happens when Gaddafi is gone? Will the allied forces just get up and leave? We have seen the results in Iraq, nearly a decade on, there is much talk of leaving the Iraqis to self govern but the actions are far from matching those words. Allied troops will not leave the Libyans to enjoy their victory over Gaddafi. There will be no victory for the occupants of countries which go from the oppression of a dictator to the ‘care’ of the allied forces.

The US, France and the UK have sent in their best in an effort to ‘protect’ the Libyan people and yet the daily death toll is at a shocking high as the rebels seem to kill indiscriminately on the ground and the allied forces shoot indiscriminately from the air.

Where is the help for the woman captured at the border and raped to the point where her only option was to cry out in a hotel room full of Journalists? Where is the help for women and children fleeing their homes as gunfire rings out indiscriminately and they are caught in the crossfire. They are people like you and me. They didn’t ask for war. They didn’t ask for bloodshed. And they didn’t ask to go from Gaddafi to US occupation.

There is a new wave of Facebooking and tweeting revolutionists in the Arab countries. Men and women who know they have the potential to create and run a democratic and peaceful Islamic society without oppression, without dictatorship and without the US. Question is… will they ever get a chance?

As onlookers to a spate of wars and a continuous unrest resulting in waves of discontent, we can’t do much except cry out in protest at the injustice of hegemony and its effect on those who just want to live a normal life. And its hard not to draw comparisons to Palestine – a country that has been suffering this way for far too long with no end in sight.

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