5/18 Myanmar Should Fear US; Disasters & Agendas; Bringing hell to Somalia; Humanity-Crushing Terror; DOD Info War

" U.S. military presence in the region is indispensable to hedging against a burgeoning Chinese military capability...."
Guidelines for U.S. Policy in Southeast Asia
by Walter Lohman,
Senior Research Fellow for Southeast Asia and Acting Director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation.
March 20, 2007

ASEAN can be much greater than the sum of its parts. It can grow strong and remain independent, and it can be a reliable U.S. partner far into the future. It is this long-term vision that should be the basis of U.S. foreign policy aspirations. The purpose of this paper is to lay out the stakes involved, guidelines for securing them, and specific policy recommendations.

Southeast Asia's half-billion people reside in the most dynamic area of the world. China, a rising economic and military power with an economy of more than $2 trillion and a population of over 1 billion, sits on their northern doorstep. India, another billion-per­son nation, is outside their western door. Japan, which has the world's second largest economy, and South Korea, a country with such energy that it maintains an economy the size of India's with only 5 percent of India's population, are each a short flight away.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—composed of Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—faces the challenge of safeguarding its interests and prospering in this hyper­competitive neighborhood. The United States has an overarching interest in seeing that it succeeds while also remaining independent and outward-looking.Securing this strategic imperative relies on two mutually reinforcing approaches to the region: bilateral and U.S.–ASEAN.

While bilateral approaches to the countries are absolutely necessary, they are not sufficient. Without a coherent, robust U.S. approach to the region as a whole, the grouping will develop its common interests in association with alternative bene­factors—likely China. In such a scenario, the interests of the U.S. and its partners in the region will drift apart. The U.S. has too much at stake in the region to let this happen.

The current state of democratic development in ASEAN is diverse, complex, and fluid. [George Soros] Freedom House's annual index lists one ASEAN member country as "free," three as "partly free," and six as "not free."... By far the largest, most important regional power in the "not free" category is Vietnam. While this characterization is clearly correct, economic reforms have transformed the Vietnamese economy over the past 20 years. In short, Vietnam is opening to the world.

Burma presents the opposite case, with the situa­tion showing no basis for improvement. In his most recent report, U.N. Special Rapporteur for Burma Paulo Pinheiro declared that the regime's democratization effort is essentially null and void...Burma damages ASEAN's standing in the world, bogs down its processes, and inhibits its global engagement, weakening ASEAN. ASEAN has begun to recognize this. Criticism has surfaced in the joint statements of its heads of states and foreign minis­ters. In July 2006, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid expressed ASEAN's collective frustration: "ASEAN has now reached a stage where it is not possible to defend its member when that member is not making an attempt to cooperate or help itself.".

There are no easy answers to the problem of Burma. The best the U.S. can do is to keep it on the international agenda, build on ASEAN's doubts, and bring pressure to bear where and when possible....

America's Stake in Southeast Asia
The U.S. has major economic, political, and security interests in Southeast Asia. ... In addition to its focus on counterterrorism, the U.S. military presence in the region is indispensable to hedging against a burgeoning Chinese military capability....

Beyond geopolitics, what is most tangibly at stake is the security of sea lines of communication and resources of the South China Sea and who guaran­tees regional security. According to the Energy Information Administration, "more than half of the world's annual merchant fleet tonnage, with the majority continuing on into the South China Sea," passes through the straits around Indonesia. This includes "more than 80% of crude oil supplies for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan." Estimates of oil reserves in the South China Sea range from 28 bil­lion barrels to as high as a Chinese estimate of 213 billion barrels. If proved, the lower total would rank it just after Nigeria; the higher total would rank it just after Saudi Arabia. [...] (emphasis added)

1997 A geostrategy for Eurasia
by Zbigniew Brzezinski
Foreign Affairs,76:5, September/October 1997 Council on Foreign Relations Inc.

Why Myanmar should fear US
By Pablo Ouziel
Online Journal Contributing Writer
. How can we expect the evil military dictatorship of Myanmar to feel comfortable accepting our help? After all, the last time Cuba offered Americans help with Katrina, their help was rejected and the “world” accepted it as normal. Normal, while American people where dying and there were not enough professional hands to help. We in the industrialized information society believe that while “they” have evil dictators, “we” have benevolent democratic institutions which are the choice of the people. But we are blinding ourselves from the reality which we are blatantly living. Our democratic institutions are in the hands of very powerful organizations, our corporations are not ours, they belong to very powerful groups. Our legal system is built to defend those interests, and the media are one of their many propaganda tools...we only have two ways of offering to help. Either we come with the barrel of the gun backed by fake diplomacy, destroying countries to borrow their resources or we send our NGOs to help and then our companies follow for the reconstruction, building factories and offices for our companies, resorts for the rich, and retirement homes for the old. Either way, the locals always end up working for us. I have seen it with my own eyes, I do not need the television to tell me...in Laos, I saw a group of fat rich and ugly NGO directors getting drunk inside a posh restaurant, discussing the future development of that country. In the meantime, the local chauffer waited outside for hours in his impeccable white uniform white gloves, in an impeccably clean white luxury 4x4. That pretty much defines,,,the way we like to go around the world helping...http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3285.shtml

Why, if the Chinese had come to know so much about earthquakes so early on in their immensely long history, were they never able to minimize the effects of the world’s contortions — to at least the degree that America has? Why did they leave the West to become leaders in the field, and leave themselves to become mired, time and again, in the kind of tragic events that we are witnessing this week?... China, in its headlong attempts to modernize, has often demonstrated a dismayingly cavalier attitude toward the well-being of its people: skyscrapers are built with little attention to safety standards and are invariably far from earthquake-resistant; huge dams — not least the monstrosity that has so ruined the Three Gorges of the Yangtze — are erected in a slapdash fashion; subways, like the system burrowing through the waterlogged alluvium beneath Shanghai, are built with incautious haste; freeway tunnels are bored through earthquake fault zones. If the country does not occasionally stand back and pause for breath, then its future — at least so far as nature’s occasional moments of seismic madness are concerned — will continue to be marked by calamity. Until this week Dujiangyan was a place of which China could be proud; today its wreckage stands as a tragic monument to a culture that turned its back on its remarkable and glittering history.... http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/15/opinion/15winchester.html?th&emc=th

One’s Independence is Another’s Occupation
Dr. Elias Akleh
This week many self-proclaimed democratic, freedom-lovers and righteous world leaders flock to Jerusalem to celebrate the 60th independence commemoration of the Zionist state of Israel; an extreme religious, extreme racist, globally rogue, international laws violator, and terrorist state, forcibly implanted into the heart of the Arab World.

Zionist Israel was built on crimes, atrocities, mass-murder, raping, and pillaging throughout Palestine. It was built on the ruins of hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns. Israeli society, a criminal entity originally formed by the rejects from all other countries, and many WWII criminals, was erected on the ruins of Palestinian towns in flagrant violations of international laws and civilized norms. Its citizens flourished on the programmed massacres of thousands of Palestinians, on the forceful evacuation of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, on the imprisonment of the rest of Palestinian population into the largest concentration camps throughout the history, on the usurpation of Palestinian land, on the fruits of the well-established Palestinian economy, on spreading chaos and wars throughout the neighboring countries, on war crimes, and on human rights violations.

Israelis claim that they are facing extinction; being threatened to be wiped off the map by its surrounding Arab countries. If we pay just a little attention we would recognize that Israel, itself, had wiped Palestine off the map, and long before 1948 they have been, and still are wiping Palestinians off the earth. They are not satisfied with murdering Palestinians in Palestine, but they have, and still are following Palestinian refugees into the neighboring countries – Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and even Iraq- to finish them off.

Not long after Hitler’s death, Zionists had adopted same Nazi’s crimes committed against German Jews, made them even more satanic, and implemented them against Palestinians. German socially racist “Superior Aryan Blood” ideology morphed into religious extremist and racist “God’s Chosen People” ideology. Nazi’s collective punishment of a whole village and the massacre of its citizens if just one of them dared to resist occupation morphed into programmed collective punishment and brutal massacres of every Palestinian community, whether they resist occupation or not, starting from Deir Yasin massacre in 1948 until today 2008 when the Israeli army daily raids Palestinian towns, murder innocent citizens, demolish homes and farms including crops and live-stock, and kidnap Palestinian youths. Nazi’s mass imprisonment of Jews into concentration camps behind barbed wires has also morphed into Israel’s mass imprisonment of whole Palestinian communities behind barbed wires fences with steel gates and behind 20-foot high concrete wall equipped with the latest electronic surveillance cameras and machine guns. Israel has turned Gaza Strip into the largest concentration camp ever in the history of the world. Its 1.5 Palestinian prisoners are being starved to death while the rest of the world is cheering Israel’s alleged civilized democracy. Unlike other prisoners Gaza’s Palestinians are deprived from all necessities of living; food, water, medicine, jobs, electricity, and even peaceful death. Unlike other prisoners they are being subjected to military raids, targeted assassinations, bombing and shelling by the Israeli tanks, fighter planes and helicopters, and naval assault boats.

Israel’s crimes against Palestinians are clearly ethnic cleansing; a genocide; a holocaust, whose aim is the annihilation of the whole Palestinian people. These crimes fall under the definition of genocide as described by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention, which states:
“In the present convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as:
a) Killing members of the group.
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Israel is a militaristic society deep down to the core; military service is sacred. It has rejected each and every peace gesture offered by its neighbors that would have guaranteed Israel’s existence in peace within specified borders like any other country. Its refusal of peace stems from its expansionist ambitions. Israel’s existence depends primarily on intimidation and terror inflicted on its neighbors. Expansion through terror has been the adopted policy of the World Zionist Organization since its first meeting in Basel in 1897. Yousef Weitz, the director of the Jewish National Fund’s Land Department stated in his diary: “It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both people (Palestinians and Jews) … the only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a western Land of Israel without Arabs. There is no room here for compromise … There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries … Not one village must be left, nor one Bedouin tribe.”

David Ben Gurion, considered the founder of Israel, instructed his military staff as follows: “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” (Ben Gurion, A Biography by Michael Ben-Zohar, New York 1978.

Yitzhak Shamir, a two terms Israeli Prime Minister, was originally a member of the Zionist terrorist group “Lehi” working with Nazi Germany against the British in Palestine, and responsible for the assassination of Britain’s Minister of State Lord Moyne and the assassination of UN representative Count Folke Bernadotte, and the perpetration of many massacres against Palestinians starting with Deir Yassin. His following statement represents the policies adopted by all Israeli Prime Ministers without exception: “Neither Jewish morality nor Jewish tradition can be used to disallow terror as a means of war … We are very far from any moral hesitations when concerned with the national struggle. First and foremost, terror is for us a part of the political war appropriate for the circumstances of today …”

In his Thursday 5/15 speech in the Israeli Knesset President Bush stripped naked the American policy towards the Middle East exposing American unconditional bias and support to Israel... “Israel’s population may be just over 7 million, but when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong because America stands with you.” He also regretted the absence of “one of Israel’s greatest leaders …Ariel Sharon”, the worst Israeli terrorist known as the “butcher” for his massacres of Arabs, and as “the bulldozer” for his demolition of great numbers of Palestinian homes.
One may wonder why would any world leader celebrate and support the creation of such a terrorist state. A look at Israel’s history gives us the answer; Israel is a mercenary terrorist state serving the interests of global corporations; military industry, financial institutions, oil corporations, and pharmaceutical companies among others. Israel was created in the heart of the Middle East, a rich and very strategic region connecting three major continents, and overlooks major transportation routes. In 1948 Britain gave Zionist a state to serve their interests in dividing the Arab World. In 1956 Britain and France gave Israel nuclear technology in order to join them in their aggression against Egypt when its President nationalized the Suez Canal. Again in 1967 they paid Israel to mainly attack Egypt to stop its President Nasser’s ambitious plans of Arab unification, and of helping North African countries gain their independence. Israel now is getting American financial, military and political support to serve in America’s wars in the region against Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. Looking deeper into the words of Bush’s speech to the Knesset one could detect his incitement against these countries, and his promises of continuous support. Encouraging Israel to attack Iran he stated: “Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.” Of course US and Israel, real sponsors of terror, are permitted to have their own nuclear weapons.

Jewish Israeli children are being fanatically indoctrinated and raised to become mercenaries to kill and be killed for Western interests. Israeli government had missed a real chance for genuine peace offered by Arab Peace Initiative of March 2002. Israeli citizens are becoming increasingly sick of the many wars they have to wage. Their birth rate is declining and many of their new generations are leaving Israel going back to their original countries. Israel’s army is witnessing high suicide rates, with many refusing service and others avoiding it. We are witnessing the emergence of provisional historians, who are re-writing Israel’s real black history, and the emergence of peace movements demanding peace and coexistence with Palestinians.

Zionist founders expected old generation Palestinians to give up their right of return, and the new generations to forget their historic villages and town. The exact opposite is taking place; old generation Palestinians are telling their history to the new generations, handing them the keys to their old homes in order to continue the struggle. The resistance of the new generation Palestinians, now the third, is increasing and improving with time, a clear evidence of their determination to establish their state and to return to their old villages. Palestinian birth rate is exceeding those of Israelis, providing them with constant fresh new blood and more inventive minds.
Israelis can now celebrate and enjoy their so-called independence for, the way things are going, they will not be able to do that many times in the future.

A Shameless Barbarity: Torture, Bully's Creed
Reza Fiyouzat
For the past seven years -- and especially since those ghastly pictures from your friendly security providers at Baghram, Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo concentration camps, showing prisoners' dignity, rights and minds shredded to smithereens -- continents of ink and keystrokes have had a go at this 'controversial' topic. Yet, few commentaries have shed any real enlightenment upon the subject.
For the people who have grown up and lived in the relative comfort of the metropoles of our world capitalist system, the establishment media and academics alike pose the question in terms of the 'ticking time bomb', and focus merely on a singular moment that could make or break the difference between tens, hundreds or thousands or more of lives of innocents saved or not. And for that heroic moment to arrive, a mere piece of information stands in the way of the hero and the happy ending. The discourse is thus focused on that singularly exceptional moment, filled maximally with good intentions, of course. And while your attention is kept glued on that moment, other amenities of modernity are brought in for the benefit of the glued. Things like 'experts' will appear to walk you through the process that ends in that particularly singular moment; the process passing entirely through that wonderful concept of 'security'. What's holier than security? Experts will explain how it is not at all unusual, after all, to torture in times of extremeness, such as in a terrorist-afflicted era. Easy enough to understand!

Others walk you through the legalities, and 'explain' that laws are not to be taken as written in stone ('a bit of common sense truth' tactic). Most laws, they argue, deal with normally functioning societies and therefore have no place in a war-conditioned situation.[In their haste to construct legal 'reasoning', they commit the fallacy of 'I cannot read good', since the laws they are breaking (or advising to be broken) are war crimes, by TITLE; not to forget by their very legally-and-explicitly stated definition. These laws are written for exactly such conditions as created by the warmongers who started this war of terror a very long time ago.]

Yet other special groups of experts will be presented to recommend other experts to oversee those very important and professionally administered information-gathering (wink) sessions.
This is of course the establishment defense of torture, and is usually packaged and delivered with the question: What if the terrorist knows where a bomb is hidden, about to go off any minute, seconds away? Any minute now! Aren't those sweet innocent lives, those children, those buds about to flower into full lives, are they not a billion times more important than the temporary pain and possible inconvenience inflicted on a worthless, miserable, envy-ridden, scum-sucking fanatical piece of shit bastard son of a bitch?

The Dershowitz Defense (let's call it) presents itself as clinical, self-uninterested, and purely for the benefit of the greater good of the society. And since this is the case (simply because it is stated to be the case), the argument can now proceed in ebullient manner and get right into all the natty details too mundane and way too clinical for the average Joe, Jose or Mohammad to understand: hence, the need for the presence of professionals (doctors, psychologists, nurses, researchers, etc.) at such truth-extraction sights, and the regulatory measures needed to rationalize the practice of information-retrieval (to borrow from Terry Gilliam's Brazil), maximizing its efficacy at the same time as ensuring the humaneness that we, the First World gentle hearts, demand of all practices done on our behalf.
The brilliance (as well as the snakiness) of the reasoning! It speeds right past huge moral and ethical requirements without fulfilling any, preempting any debate at the ethico-judicial, or legislative, level, forcing the debate way past the point of acceptance, zipping right to a fallaciously thrown together conclusion. And the conclusion: "Who? We? Torture?"
Exactly. No reasoning at all. Thus, the brilliance!
Yes, in the dominant ideological world of the establishment media-academia, we are now way past the point of acceptance and well into the territory of modality (of how to do the torturing). All of which is very convenient for the likes of Dershowitz, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, Condi Rice, the departed yet not sufficiently parted Rumsfeld, Secretary Gates, Dick "Chain-me" Cheney, Bush the Torturer-in-Chief, all the heads of the CIA, NSA, Pentagon and on and on; all of whom must be happy as pigs-on-crack since the open and repeated distortion-discussion is the best way of normalization of really existing torture.

* * *
For those who grow up and live in the Third World, however, the situation with torture is slightly different on two levels. First level is what our own governments take for granted as being able to do to us. The second level is what is now openly announced as what we can expect to also get from the U.S., whenever and wherever any security agency (or surrogate thereof) of the U.S. government finds torturous acts necessary in pursuit of their interests. Most Third World societies have had to live with, or under, the weight of dictatorships, of one form or another (either directly colonial in the past, or indirectly colonial later, or our own bullies), supported by those in power in the global north...

* * *
Most things about torture have very little to do with gathering information. Torture has the equivalent of zilch to do with providing anybody any security, and no legalese can cover any of its ugliness or stench.Torture, especially when openly discussed in national legislative and judicial bodies as well as the executive branches of first world nations, has everything to do with global bullies announcing clearly and unambiguously that they will do anything they like to anybody, anywhere, in any way they see fit, and with whatever frequency and ferocity as needed.
It is meant to instill fear in those who would oppose. It is part of the psychological side of the warfare against those accursedly lesser peoples; be those lesser peoples defined so by the local governments or those from across the planet. It is also, and more fundamentally, an ideological redefinition of 'citizenship'; it is meant to transform that concept to that of 'membership'; in the status quo. The threat of extreme debasement hangs over every person, forcing them to decide how actively they support the state. For God help you if you're not cooperative enough!

African Americans are familiar with this concept, and continue to enjoy opportunities to sociologically observe it closely, in longitudinal auto-ethnographic studies with rich data provided by simply living. Millions of dissertations lie seething just beneath the surface, waiting in an ocean of fury, in our urban and rural mind fields....

As explained by Marnia Lazreg, in her recently published Torture and the Twilight of Empire, commenting on Fanon and Sartre's take on the topic, "Like Sartre, Fanon understood torture to be a feature of the colonial situation...[In] this perspective, the use of physical force was only one aspect of the colonial venture. Expropriations, unemployment, educational policies that denigrated and dismissed local cultures and history, police brutality, and rampant poverty were all manifestations of colonial force," (p. 218).

This fact is as true for the Palestinians today as it is for the Iraqis and the Afghans, as it was for the Algerians and the Vietnamese at one point, and as it is and has been for the original peoples of (particularly) North America and the African Americans.
In the practice of colonialism, physical torture of 'detainees' is of the species of factual certainty. Yet, focusing on the particularities of physical torture is the best way of making the public lose sight of the fact that dispossession too is torturous; as is arbitrary brutalization when one is not in 'detention centers' and is just trying to do things necessary to live; as is the arbitrary and never-explained devaluing of the lives of subjugated society's people. But, the explanation withheld is old and easy to guess: racism. (In this, all three presidential candidates are united in their guilt-to-the-extreme. The questions asked through the prism of racism, a corollary to colonialism and imperialism, are always of the technical nature, focusing on minute details, thereby hiding the big picture: the picture of shameless barbarity crushing humanity. Reza Fiyouzat can be reached at: rfiyouzat@yahoo.com

Americans Say Iraqis Unappreciative of Favors
Haifa Zankana, Translated By Ferris Tubia

Five years crammed with devastation, destruction and vagrancy. Trees burning, and breathing the Uranium-loaded air, flowing from north to south, spreading slow death all over, not distinguishing between race, gender or religion.
All types of cancer stretching and reproducing as fast as their malignant cells; like the abominable racism,; like men coming home to take revenge on their people and their country; like children suddenly losing their innocence, turning into men ready to use their weapon; or maybe like an Iraqi woman, in her black barracan, in an everlasting mourning, looking in hospitals and graves for her beloved ones, with a face eaten by sadness. This face has forgotten the meaning of happiness. It was created by God with lips and eyes always prepared to cry; with eyes blazed with bitterness, taking her permanent rage everywhere she goes, forcing herself to keep living, reminding herself every second that raising what is left from her kids is more essential than cowardliness and death.

Five years have passed and the barbarians, and whoever gave them the keys to our cities, have been living on our land, killing and then justifying, throwing their sweet words at us, trying to fool us into believing their lies and excuses, to keep their hands clean from the blood that is covering the streets and the sidewalks; covering our eyes from seeing anything but death. They are all conquerors; Americans, British, Israelis, and Iraqi serving them, begging them to stay, afraid of their definite fate, death.

Five years have passed. So, how did the conquerors find us Iraqis? According to parts of their speeches and statements, "Iraqis deny our favors and kindness towards them. They do not appreciate our sacrifices. Screw them sons of a *****. They do not stop attacking us. They are (Hajj and Hajja) [pilgrims], and they deserve instantaneous death; let’s kill the Hajj and Hajja so we can enjoy the wealth; let’s put them all in Abu Ghraib, they are a bunch of illiterate delinquents…Iraq is not what you see on TV, it is ten times worse. It is actually the worst spot on the face of earth "I despise this country. It’s a desolate desert. It has no McDonald’s," says the conqueror, while looking at one of the historical sites, or let’s say ruins. Then we hear an American corporal screaming at the Iraqi soldiers surrounding him, "I feel like killing today. We need to do some more terrorist-hunting." When Lynndie England, the former American reservist who achieved absolute equality between men and women in practicing the different forms of torture and abuse in Abu Ghraib, tried to justify her cruelty towards the Iraqi prisoners’ naked bodies, she said that she was "bored" and she actually was ordered by individuals in higher ranks to do so; then we have Abeer Kassim Hamza Al-Janabi, the little Iraqi girl whose house was attacked by the American marines, and whose parents and sister Hadeel were killed and she, the little girl, was communally raped by a collection of Americans.... "Hajj Girl", which is a demeaning nickname for Iraqi women, is the most popular song amongst the young soldiers. It talks about a soldier using a little Iraqi girl as a human armor during an Iraqi attack. The song finishes with, "and when the bullets spurted out of the rifle, the blood escaped her eyes, just like bullets out of a rifle, and I laughed hysterically!" An American marine advises his fellows to kill unhesitant, "shoot your bullets swiftly, and if it hunts a civilian, well, I guess you’d rather have his mother weeping than yours."
Al Quds Al Arabi - Original Article (Arabic)
[editor's note: "Extraordinary Renditions", now on DVD, is recommended for a brutally accurate rendition of the terrifying racist, xenophobic, misogynist mentality of u.s. imperialist gunfodder]

The Sadistic Side of Bush's [SIC] War on Terror
Sexual Terrorism
David Rosen
...Much attention has been paid to water-boarding as an immoral if not illegal technique utilized in the so-called War of Terror. Little attention has been paid to the equally physically harmful and likely more long-term consequential technique of sexual humiliation and terror. Buried deep in Mark Mazzetti’s Times article is an intriguing paragraph:
"That order specifies some conduct that it says would be prohibited in any interrogation, including forcing an individual to perform sexual acts, or threatening an individual with sexual humiliation. But it does not say which techniques could still be permitted." [New York Times, April 27, 2008]
In the absence of the formal specification of CIA’s approved or utilized (and they are not necessarily the same) techniques of sexual humiliation, one must draw upon previously documented U.S. military and intelligence-agency practices and the techniques used by other militaries. These examples illustrate what the CIA and other U.S. agencies are capable of employing to break those they identify as "terrorists".
Rape is one of the most barbaric forms of sexual humiliation and terror. Since the Civil War, rape has been increasingly integrated into what is known as total warfare. Women, girls and some boys have been increasingly singled out for systematic sexual abuse during civil conflicts and military campaigns. However, rape has only been limitedly employed against adult male captives detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo or CIA black sites around the world. [see "’The Hard Hand of War’: Rape as an Instrument of Total War," CounterPunch, Apri1 4, 2008]
The U.S. has employed (and, most likely, continues to employ) a host of other techniques of sexual terrorization to break male inmates. An act of sexual humiliation serves two purposes: to physically harm and to emotionally scar those subjected to such abuse. Sexual terrorization seeks to inflict both pain and shame, to make the recipient suffer and loath himself. Sexual humiliation is intended to break the victim both physically and spiritually, to leave scars on (and inside) the body and in the psyche....
The Bush administration and the Congress are unlikely to make public the full scope of sexual terrorism used to break the detainee in both body and mind during the War on Terror. www.uruknet.info?p=44016

Palestinians beaten, sexually humiliated by Israeli captors
Ma'an News
Beatings and sexual humiliation are among the torments suffered by Palestinian detainees at an Israeli prison located near the West Bank city of Ramallah, new testimony from prisoners indicates. Twenty-one-year-old Ramallah resident Sultan Abdullah Sulieman was recently released from the Ofer Prison, officially known as Incarceration Facility 386. In interviews with lawyers from the Palestinian Prisoners Society, he said that he spent forty days in solitary confinement in the facility... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=44118

America Brings Hell to Somalia
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, Freedom Rider

The U.S. "war on terror" is in fact a war on international law and civilization, a catch-all category of assaults on the weak. Under the anti-terror banner, Washington grinds Somalia into the sand, through hi-tech weaponry and the deployment of Ethiopian surrogates. No more rationale is offered for murderous aggression in the Horn of Africa than the presence of people the U.S. calls "Islamists" - a label designed to excuse any and all American crimes against Muslims. "More than 600,000 Somalis have fled from their homes and at least 6,000 are dead." The savaging of Somalia is nonpartisan - Democrats are as bloody-handed as Republicans. "It takes foolish optimism to think that the willing accomplices to crime will change their ways when Bush is gone."

What does the word "Islamist" mean? The millions of people around the globe who practice Islam are called Muslims, but this new term has crept into the language without question or investigation. It seems to apply to Muslims who fight against the occupation of Iraq, or Somalians who don't take kindly to the U.S.-backed Ethiopian government invading their country and killing their countrymen and women. In short, an Islamist seems to be any Muslim who has the nerve to act in opposition to the American government. Like anyone else deemed an enemy, a new word has to be invented in order to dehumanize... America's intervention gave Ethiopia license to invade Somalia and begin a horrific cycle of violence. According to Amnesty International, more than 600,000 Somalis have fled from their homes, at least 6,000 are dead, 90,000 children in refugee camps are in danger of death from starvation,lack of hygiene and medical care.

The so-called war on terror is in fact a war of terror practiced against millions of people all over the world. The Muslim religion is used as a convenient scapegoat to further the aims of that war and Somalia is just one of the victims.... The corporate media, who make no pretense of independently reporting the news, repeat the administration's well worn phrases about Islamists and al-Qaeda connections but never bother to tell their readers and listeners about the atrocities committed on their behalf or about resistance to them. At least 1,000 residents of Dusa Mareb gathered to protest the killing of Ayro and at least 20 other civilians in the bombing. "Down with the Bush administration," was the marchers slogan of the day. To their credit, Somalis who are in harms way from American bombs have a greater willingness to take to the streets and condemn than American citizens do....There will be no impeachment, no investigation of torture, and no pesky questions about military attacks on the Somali people. Like the Iraqis, Somalians have done America no harm but die in large numbers at the hands of Americans nonetheless.

While Americans turn a blind eye to yet another act committed by its rogue government, Somalians are not suffering in silence. Thousands protested in Mogadishu against soaring food prices. The Somalians' food crisis is a direct result of the terror inflicted upon them. Ethiopian and Somalian government troops raid local food markets and literally take food from the mouths of the people. So much evil, so little time to protest. As the Democratic presidential nomination winds down, there should be opportunities to protest and make the war on terror extinct when Bush leaves office. This campaign provided an opportunity to put both Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton on notice that the status quo must be gone with Bush. It is foolishly optimistic to think that the same people who allowed the political twins to fight over so little of substance would suddenly begin making demands. So the next president, McCain or a Democrat, will continue the war on terror that kills so many people....
The Amnesty International report diplomatically states that all parties are responsible for the atrocities carried out against Somalian civilians. That is not true at all. There is one force more to blame than any other. "...the bankroller, armorer and trainer of the Ethiopian invaders, the paymaster of the Somali warlords, the missile-striker, the refugee-bomber, the ‘extrajudicial' assassin, the renditioner, the wielder of death squads: the United States government, under the direction of George W. Bush, and with the full and willing complicity of the entire political establishment."

God damn America.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. e-Mailt Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com. Ms. Kimberley's blog is at freedomrider.blogspot.com.


Police Terror and Lawless Order
by Dr. Floyd W. Hayes, III

...When three Jamaica, Queens, detectives murdered Sean Bell on November 25, 2006, they engaged in a rising tide of police-state terrorism in growing numbers of urban communities throughout the United States of America. Shooting some 50 bullets at Bell, these cops not only cut short his life, but they also precluded his wedding that day to his fiancée, Nicole Paultre. Exactly five months later, a judge declared the police perpetrators not guilty of any criminal behavior, causing shock, grief, and resentment among family and community members. I am outraged by the seemingly common and wanton practice of police violence and murder in this nation's urban communities, as well as by a judicial system that exonerates killer cops. These actions represent the absolute disregard for the sanctity of Black life....

The order of police violence, terrorism, and murder directed at Black Americans today takes place with a systematic viciousness and savagery comparable to the dehumanizing sadism of white slave-owners, lynchers, and anti-Black rioters during the periods of chattel slavery and Jim Crow segregation. This is because the criminalized image of the Black man as violent and threatening (along with that of his Latino brothers) is so fixed in the white American imagination - the Black man is always already guilty of something - that the most degrading and unwarranted police violence on the Black man's body is accepted as justifiable. This accounts for the unrestrained murder of Black men by "gangs in blue" across this nation.

To be sure, elite white media and policy managers also demonize Black females (and their Latina sisters), framing them as prostitutes or morally reprehensible single mothers, undeserving of any societal concern. Historically, whites have used negative representations of Blacks to rationalize the most heinous crimes against Black humanity. In his book, Police in Urban America, 1860-1920 UCLA urban historian Eric Monkkonen demonstrates that as American cities emerged and as chattel slavery declined in the nineteenth century, Blacks made the transition from chattel slaves to being characterized by white elites as members of the "dangerous classes," who were subjected to the coercive power of a developing white urban police force. Since an anti-Black society places little or no value on the Black body, cries of racialized injustice largely go unheard. Therefore, in the face of societal indifference, incidents of police brutality and murder of Black men and women occur with increasing frequency.

"Blacks made the transition from chattel slaves to being characterized by white elites as members of the ‘dangerous classes.'"
Some years ago, the videotaped incidents of excessive police violence in Inglewood, California, Oklahoma City, and New York City demonstrated the growing regularity of anti-Black police murder and terrorism in contemporary American society. Because of Inglewood's close proximity to Los Angeles, the legal battle surrounding the police assault on sixteen year-old Donovan Jackson captured national attention for a moment. The incident reminded people of the Rodney King case a decade earlier. Additionally, what made the Inglewood situation significant was the demographic shift from the 1970s through the 1990, as South Central Los Angeles' Black population moved further west. Hence, formerly middle and working class white areas, like Westchester and Inglewood, now contain predominantly middle and working class Black populations. As with Los Angeles during the years of Mayor Thomas Bradley's regime, Inglewood's political managers are Black, but the police force remains largely white. Similar to inner city residents throughout America, large numbers of Blacks in Los Angeles and Inglewood regard cops as a violent and repressive occupying force. This reality is reminiscent of James Baldwin's comments about the New York Police Department's structure of domination in Nobody Knows My Name: "The only way to police a ghetto is to be oppressive....They represent the force of the white world, and that world's criminal profit and ease, to keep the Black man corralled up here, in his place. The badge, the gun in the holster, and the swinging club make vivid what will happen should his rebellion become overt....He moves through Harlem, therefore, like an occupying soldier in a bitterly hostile country, which is precisely what, and where he is, and is the reason he walks in twos and threes."...

"Cops and their defenders immediately deny any racist motivation and cynically characterize each event as an ‘isolated incident.'"
The effort to construct big city police violence against Blacks as an aberration or as the behavior of rogue cops masks the culture of racism and tyranny that historically has characterized the policing of Black and poor communities in America...
It is against this background that we need to view mounting incidents of police brutality and murder of urban Black residents throughout America. Significantly, the order of police violence is neither an aberration nor limited to rogue cops....A colonial mentality, rooted in chattel slavery and imperialism, has structured the entire history of policing in urban America....
Therefore, how might American people respond to these developments? In the face of political and corporate decadence, nihilism and social anarchy continue to mount among the exploited and disenfranchised Americans. Fed up with increasing rates of police brutality, murder, and terrorism, angry and outraged urban residents may have no alternative but to undertake new strategies of political protest and popular resistance.
Floyd W. Hayes, III, Ph.D., is senior lecturer a the Department of Political Science and coordinator of programs and undergraduate studies at the Center for Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. He can be contacted at fwhayes3@jhu.edu This e-mail address is protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

On The Importance of Reparations and Self Determination
Keeping it Real
By Larry Pinkney
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board
The United States of America, was brought into existence through the massive, brutal enslavement of Black people and genocide of the Indigenous Red peoples. No amount of waffling or attempts to revise history can change this despicable reality. Moreover, even the continued existence of this nation is, in fact, based upon the deliberate maintenance of a massive system of racial, economic, judicial, and social exploitation - coupled with huge doses of hypocrisy and subterfuge....Politically conscious Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples in this nation and throughout the world, know that there can be no real forward movement without forthrightly addressing and supporting the human rights to and of reparations and self determination - beginning right here in the United States of America...

Without systemic change outside the Democratic and Republican Parties, the physical murders and judicial lynchings (as in the case of the murdered Sean Bell in New York City and so very many others) will continue unabated, unaffected by hypocritical and meaningless feel-good rhetoric. It is the people - we ourselves - who are the only ones we can or should count on to bring about serious and real economic, political, and social justice and change in this nation. It will not happen unless we make it happen.
For the sake of the peoples of this nation and the entire planet, we must remain steadfast in our active commitment not only to the attainment of reparations and self determination but concomitantly to building and organizing for real justice and equality for all peoples, all our sisters and brothers throughout the world; for we are comrades and until we all have our human rights - none of us do.
We are comrades in this most important struggle. We are struggling for fundamental systemic change, not meaningless cosmetic reform. Our ancestors are smiling upon us in this quest. The time is now. Onward then…the future beckons and the struggle continues…

“God has another end in store for us...The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans” by the year 2060...
Pat Buchanan, MSNBC pundit quoted in a piece in Human Events called “The Way the World Ends,” citing world fertility rates, from The Working Class is Back. And Guess What. It’s White

U.S. Planning Big New Prison in Afghanistan
The proposal for a new 40 acre American prison at Bagram underscores the daunting scope and persistence of the United States military’s detention problem, at a time when Bush administration officials continue to say they want to close down the facility at Guantánamo Bay. Military officials have long been aware of serious problems with the existing detention center in Afghanistan, the Bagram Theater Internment Facility. After the prison was set up in early 2002, it became a primary site for screening prisoners captured in the fighting. Harsh interrogation methods and sleep deprivation were used widely, and two Afghan detainees died there in December 2002, after being repeatedly struck by American soldiers. “At some point, you have to say, ‘That’s it. This place was not made to keep people there indefinitely.’ ”...http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/world/asia/17detain.html?th&emc=th

A 2006 Department of Defense directive on Information Operation issued by the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), assigns baseline responsibilities for the conduct of information operations, an umbrella term that includes electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception, and operations security.
Among related capabilities, the directive cites "public affairs," the purpose of which is "to communicate military objectives, counter misinformation and disinformation, deter adversary actions, and maintain the trust and confidence of the U.S. population, as well as our friends and allies.
See "Information Operations," Department of Defense Directive O-3600.1,
August 14, 2006: http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/info_ops.pdf

ending on a few high notes...

Lebanon Reverses Decisions That Prompted Violence
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon’s governing coalition on Wednesday night formally reversed two decisions that had provoked the militant group Hezbollah, bringing the country a step closer to resolving the week-old political crisis that set off the worst factional violence since the nation’s 15-year civil war. The announcement was made after a day of intensive meetings between Lebanese leaders and an Arab diplomatic delegation led by the foreign minister of Qatar. Rescinding the decisions was a victory for Hezbollah,
Lebanon’s information minister, Ghazi Aridi, said the cabinet reversed the two decisions — which challenged the militant group’s private telephone network and the job of a Hezbollah ally who directs airport security — “in view of the higher national interest.”... May 8, Hezbollah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, labeled the government’s decisions a “declaration of war,” saying the phone network was an essential part of its weapons, which it has long refused to give up. “We have said before that we will cut off the hand that targets the weapons of the resistance,” he said. Last Friday, Hezbollah and its allies seized control of west Beirut, forcing government-allied media off the air in a show of force that sent shock waves across the region.Hezbollah supporters had already vanquished government-allied militia fighters in the capital...http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/15/world/middleeast/15lebanon.html?th&emc=th

Early this month, the George W. Bush administration's plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for allegedly smuggling arms to Shiite militias in Iraq encountered not just one but two setbacks. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19927.htm

Iraqi bomb attack destroyed a £30million Hercules
The Ministry of Defence covered up the fact that Iraqi insurgents destroyed a £30million RAF Hercules transport aircraft by planting bombs next to a runway