Iraq

"War on Terror" Doesn't Pass the Smell Test Anymore

 

Returning to a Pre-9/11 Approach to the "War on Terror"
 
By Kevin Gosztola
 
By signing an executive order in his first days in office, Obama, for the most part, nullified U.S. authorization for capture, interrogation, and indefinite imprisonment of terror suspects all over the world. According to Jane Mayer, author of the book "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into the War on American Ideals," in the first few days of his presidency, Obama "consigned to history the worst excesses of the Bush Administration's "war on terror"" by canceling "seven years of controversial Justice Department legal opinions authorizing methods of treating terror suspects," which Susan Crawford, a top Bush Administration official in charge of prosecutions at Guantanamo, recently said amounted to torture.
 
A chief architect of the legal opinions which granted interrogators the right to torture, John Yoo, could not resist the urge to respond to the actions of President Obama.The Wall Street Journal published Yoo's editorial this week, an editorial where Yoo claims, "Mr. Obama is returning America to the failed law enforcement approach to fighting terrorism that prevailed before Sept. 11, 2001."
 
Yoo also claims Obama is "drying up the most valuable sources of intelligence on al Qaeda, which, according to CIA Director Michael Hayden, has come largely out of the tough interrogation of high-level operatives during the early years of the war."
 

 

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Iraqi Artists in Exile: Surviving the American Onslaught

 

An unforgettable collection of art from Iraq is ending its 3 month stay at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston. James Harithas, the gallery director, and Alan Schnitger, chief curator, wrote of the exhibit:
 
Iraqi Artists in Exile is the second museum-level exhibition of contemporary Iraqi Art in the United altStates. It follows the ground-breaking exhibition Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, organized by Nada Shabout. It consists of thirteen artists who have been forced out of Iraq and two artists, the late Shakir Hassan Al-Said and Abdel Karim Khalil who lives in Baghdad. The artists in this exhibition are important because they are among the few remaining bearers of Iraqi culture who have survived the American onslaught.
 
Let us take serious notice of the fact that Baghdad was until recently one of the great cultural centers of the Near East. The arts have flourished there for seven thousand years. As a result of the U.S. war and occupation, the culture of Iraq has been severely damaged, if not virtually destroyed. The National Museum has been looted, the National Library has been burned, the Museum of Modern Art has been pillaged, and the universities and schools have been destroyed or ruined along with the book stores, art galleries and artists studios. Artists, poets, film makers, intellectuals, and professors have had their lives threatened and have been forced out of the country. Many of them have lost their life’s work. Nevertheless, these exiled artists have gone on to create new artworks that not only reflect the pain but also the collective creative imagination of the Iraqi people.
 

 

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The Audacity of Empire

By Cindy Sheehan

Webster's Dictionary defines empire as: a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially: one having an emperor as chief of state.

Even though most of us do not call our "chief of state" Emperor, the USA is most certainly an empire. We have all the trappings of empire (military parades, glorious coronation balls, an elite few ruling the empire) but the Oligarchs (rule by the few) call it a "democracy" so the plebes must buy into the myth that our nation is in any way democratic. Our military is used for spreading colonial capitalism all over the world. Even in the heyday of the Roman Empire, most conquered local governments retained some autonomy, unless, of course, the will of the people conflicted with the will of the Emperor.

Is there any bigger bureaucracy than the US government…that contains the US Military Industrial Complex? At this point, it is hard to distinguish the two behemoths…does the MIC control the government, or is it the other way around? Does the government support the MIC, or has the MIC overtaken the government to insure that the bloody empire continues? Is there an evil synergistic relationship between the two that will destroy the planet before The Empire® collapses under its own gluttonous weight?

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Eric Holder Signals No Prosecutions of Bush War Criminals

By Dennis Loo

Attorney General nominee Eric Holder in written response to a question posed to him during his Senate confirmation hearing by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stated:
 
“Prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law. But where it is clear that a government agent has acted in ‘reasonable and good-faith reliance on Justice Department legal opinions’ authoritatively permitting his conduct, I would find it difficult to justify commencing a full-blown criminal investigation, let alone a prosecution.”
 
Newsweek described this written statement as “carefully vetted by Obama's White House lawyers.” In other words, Holder’s statement fairly reflects Obama’s and Holder’s intentions in this regard.

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To the Anti-War Movement in the United States

Sign the "Letter to the Anti-War Movement"

 "That which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn – or be forced – to accept.”
 
from The Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime, 2005
 
Barack Obama is sending a surge of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. An antiwar movement that does not move immediately to oppose the Obama doctrine of shifting the central front of the war on terror to Afghanistan, no longer deserves to be called an anti -war movement. Millions of people voted for Obama because they thought he would end the war. Yet Obama filled his cabinet with Hillary “Obliterate Iran” Clinton, Robert Gates, James Jones and Susan Rice (“a kettle of hawks,” said Jeremy Scahill). He is not only continuing an unjust war by leaving 80,000 troops and 17 permanent bases in Iraq, but enlisting many progressive sections of society to support and be complicit in waging a spreading war for U.S. hegemony and imperialist expansion known as the “war on terror.” 

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A Moral and Legal Necessity: Indict the War Criminals!

 

This article originally appeared on the web site of Revolution newspaper.

As a new administration comes into the White House, there is a deeply felt desire and palpable demand among many people to see Bush, Cheney, and their minions prosecuted as war criminals for all the outrages they have committed in the past 8 years. One example of this appeared on change.gov, President-elect Obama’s own web site—where among the most popular questions submitted by people was one asking whether Obama intended to name a special prosecutor to “independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.”

But prosecution of Bush & Co. is not only a popular demand—it is a legal necessity under U.S. and international laws. There is no question that those in charge of the Bush regime carried out criminal acts. Take the question of torture, which is outlawed by both domestic laws and international laws and treaties like the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. Both outgoing and incoming administration officials have openly acknowledged that the Bush regime tortured prisoners. Susan Crawford, a top Bush official in charge of the military commissions at the Guantanamo prison camp, said in a recent interview with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, “We tortured Qhatani… His treatment met the legal definition of torture.” Crawford described how Mohammed al-Qhatani, a Saudi man accused of planning to take part in the 9/11 attacks, was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. (Washington Post, January 14) And two days after Crawford’s admission, Eric Holder—Obama’s pick for Attorney General—said in his confirmation hearing, “Waterboarding is torture.” Bush officials have previously disclosed that some detainees in CIA prisons were waterboarded. U.S. and international laws require that culprits be prosecuted for torture and other crimes—and it would be a violation of those laws if those held to be responsible are not tried.
 
There is, moreover, a moral necessity. How can one stand by and do nothing as those responsible for such great crimes are about to possibly walk away without any consequences? Bush, Cheney, et al. seized “suspects” without evidence, shipped them off to prison without trials, tortured them in grim prisons—and then declared that all this was morally justified and acceptable. Isn’t there a huge moral responsibility for all people of conscience to demand that these war criminals be held responsible, and to struggle politically with determination to see that this happens?
 

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World Can't Wait Flyer at the Inaugural

 

Stop the US War of terror & torture! The world can’t wait!
 
Mass disgust at the criminal actions of the Bush regime, and hopes for ending U.S. wars in the Mid East, led people to vote for change with Barack Obama.  
 
Here are some of the “changes” Obama began with:
  • ·         Obama appointed Hillary “Obliterate Iran” Clinton and Robert Gates to his war cabinet and a string of Bush & Clinton re-runs who went along with Bush’s lies on Iraq, and John Brennan who set up the “secret rendition” program in 1993 that led to US-sponsored torture. His Attorney General, Eric Holder says US government spying on citizens in the new FISA law is fine.
  • ·         Obama will leave 80,000 troops and 17 permanent bases in Iraq; has begun a surge of 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan, agreed with covert operations against that have killed civilians in Pakistan, and is deploying nuclear carriers in the Mid East with enough firepower to annihilate any country in the region. He is silent on the Israeli massacre in Gaza
  • ·         Obama will increase the US military by 92,000 troops to spread the US empire expansion known as the “war on terror,” as military recruiters are already telling Black and Latino youth that if they sign up now they’ll be fighting for Obama. Their lives will be expended as cannon fodder in a brutal war of occupation that is not in their interest
  •           Obama is following the lead of the Democrats who said impeachment was “off the table” in the face of monstrous crimes by Bush & Cheney, by saying that he will focus on “getting things right in the future” rather than prosecute what the world sees as war crimes, and curb the powers of the executive seized by George Bush.
The election of the first Black president is effectively re-branding preemptive and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them, enlisting us to “serve and sacrifice” for horrors we have no business supporting. But we don’t have to go along!
If you care about humanity, and want to send a message to the world that there are millions of us who don’t want these crimes carried out, it’s immoral to “wait and see” or hope for the best from Obama. It’s time now to take action, make our demands visible everywhere.
 
SEE Wearenotyoursoliders.org -- Veterans tour high schools to resist military recruiters.
PROTEST 6 years of the Iraq War March 19 wherever you are & in major cities on Saturday March 21.
PROSECUTE the BUSH war crimes: firejohnyoo.org & worldcantwait.org
 Like what you see? Want to see more? Visit worldcantwait.org.  Donate to support this movement   @ $4 per month for REAL change.  866 973 4463

 

 

How Bad Has Bush Been? How Deep is the Ocean? How High is the Sky?

By Dennis Loo

 
We are finally coming to the end of the long international nightmare of George W (Whatever I Can Get Away With) Bush and Dick (I’ll Shoot You in the Face, Even If You’re My Friend) Cheney.
 
That’s what most of America, at least, and the world hope to be the case.
 
It’s on that note of hope that Keith Olbermann ends his “eight years in eight minutes” assessment of the Bush White House’s years:
 
“making us act out of fear rather than fortitude
“leaving us with precious little to cling to tonight
“save the one thing that might yet suffice:
“hope.”
 
Hope is what Obama’s presidential bid was based on and what his presidency will be premised upon. Hope (and revulsion for the Bush Regime) is what moved millions to vote for Obama. This system had to reach further than it’s ever reached to “keep hope alive,” as Jesse Jackson used to say. The system went to a first term black Senator with a middle name of Hussein to keep that hope alive. This system even offered us a GOP ticket that claimed that it also represented “reform,” because the Bush/Cheney White House has been so despised and so manifestly disastrous.
 

 

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"AMERICANS BOOT PRESIDENT BUSH OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE"

www.shoebush.org

WHEN: Monday, January 19th at 11:00 a.m. ET
WHERE: Rally begins at DuPont Circle, followed by a march to the White House with shoes and combat boots

shoe bushOn President Bush's last day in office, people will gather at DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C., for an event entitled "Shoes for Bush." The rally will feature David Swanson, the author of the forthcoming book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union. He is also the creator of the progressive blog After Downing Street www.afterdowningstreet.org. Other speakers include Iraq veteran Adam Kokesh, who is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War www.ivaw.org and Debra Sweet, anti-war leader and director of the organization World Can't Wait www.worldcantwait.org.

After the rally participants will march to the White House with footwear to hurl. This action will be in the spirit of Iraqi journalist Mutadhar Al-Zaidi who threw his shoes at President Bush during a press conference, and in solidarity with the people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To show someone the sole of your shoe is considered an extreme sign of disrespect and many people feel this is an appropriate parting gesture, as President Bush leaves the White House and has not been held accountable for his impeachable offenses and war crimes.

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Closing Gitmo is Not Enough!

We Need to Hold Those Responsible for the War OF Terror Accountable!

By Kenneth J. Theisen
 
Closing Gitmo as “part of our broader National Security Strategy”
 
Guantanámo Bay, or Gitmo, has come to represent some of the worst aspects of the Bush Regime. Barack Obama plans to order the closing of the” war OF terror” prison on his first full day in office, according to two unnamed Obama transition officials who briefed reporters. It is expected that Obama will issue an executive order closing the hellhole at Gitmo and suspending the Bush administration's military commissions system for trying detainees held there. Under the Military Commission’s Act (MCA), a kangaroo system of justice was established by the Bush regime that virtually guaranteed that those tried by military tribunals would be convicted. Gitmo currently incarcerates 248 prisoners of the war of terror initiated by the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks. Less than ten percent of these have been charged, including five accused of organizing the attacks on 9/11/01.
 
On January 11th in an interview aired on ABC's "This Week," Obama stated, “I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanámo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values." But he also stated that closing Gitmo, “is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize." Obama is not closing Gitmo because of his humanitarian nature, but rather because it is imperative to the needs of U.S. imperialism. It is part of the “national security strategy,” as Obama admits.
 

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Affirming More Bloody Incursions

by Kevin Gosztola    

As the Bush Administration prepares to exit and leave stage right, it seems the members of the Bush Administration would like to make it so that when Barack Obama enters stage left he will have no choice but to continue the many bloody incursions around the world that the U.S. is involved in.
 
The U.S. Senate and House recently affirmed support for what Israel is doing in Gaza under the pretext that what is happening is because of what Hamas militants have done. The reaffirmation ignored the fact that U.S. weapons are most likely being used by Israel to kill innocent Palestinians.
 
Last week, on Friday, a strategic accord was signed between Georgia and the U.S. that once again granted support for the conflict started by Georgia in South Ossetia against Russia in August. The accord ignores the fact that Georgia provoked the Russian response.

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.