That is the imperial mind at work. Its premises are often embraced implicitly rather than knowingly: American lives are inherently more valuable; foreign lives are expendable in pursuit of American interests; the U.S. has the inalienable right to take action in other countries that nobody is allowed to take in the U.S. (just imagine: “An Iranian drone fired two missiles at a bakery in the northwest U.S. Saturday and killed four suspected militants, Iranian officials said, as Iran pushed on with its drone campaign despite American demands to stop. This was the third such strike in the country in less than a week” or “Thirty five women and children were killed by a Yemeni cruise missile armed with cluster bombs which struck an alleged Marine training camp in Texas”).
These self-venerating imperial prerogatives are the premises driving the vast bulk of American foreign policy and military discourse. It is certainly what’s driving the spectacle of so many people pretending that the punishment of Dr. Afridi is some sort of aberrational act which the U.S. and other Decent, Civilized Countries would never do." -
Glenn Greenwald: The Imperial Mind
Glad to see someone point out the hypocricy of the outrage over Dr. Afridi’s sentencing. If you start a fake vaccination camp, thereby exposing hundreds of children to Hep B while they’re under the impression they’re protected (all while essentially committing treason) I’m not sure why you’d expect to be let off without a prison sentence. Unless you’re siding with the US, of course, in which case… just read the article.
"In many ways the FBI’s official position on CAIR is disingenuous and sets a dangerous precedent for other organizations. The way in which the most prominent American Muslim civil rights organization has been marginalized and demonized should be cause for alarm not only for Muslims, but for civil rights advocates, and even for those in the law enforcement community who rely on strong local relationships. Lending official legitimacy to allegations that have never seen a day in court is abhorrent to the American value of justice, and ultimately the FBI’s official stance serves only the Islamophobia industry."-
Rabia Chaudry for AltMuslim: The Vilification of CAIR. This is important and long overdue.
The Holy Land Foundation trial is required reading for anyone trying to understand Islamophobia in America. The 2007 case was used as a way to smear basically every Muslim organization in the US, and it has provided people with the meaningless term “unindicted coconspirator” to fuel conspiracy theories of a “Muslim threat” in America. At the root of this scapegoat is CAIR, and its vilification by the FBI is seldom discussed despite the organization’s status as arguably the most prominent voice for Muslims in America.
Reopening Nato supply: Pakistan's Justification for a $5,000 fee per container
ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan and the United States make some headway in bilateral talks, Islamabad’s demand for $5,000 per container for transporting goods to Afghanistan through its territory remains the biggest stumbling block.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has ruled out paying Pakistan this amount, but officials familiar with the talks say Islamabad’s demand is “neither irrational nor out of the blue.”
The supplies made to Isaf and Nato forces stationed in Afghanistan have ruined Pakistan’s road infrastructure over the last nine years of cooperation, they added.
The infrastructure was used for eight years without paying any charges. In the ninth year, the US started paying a nominal handling fee of $220 per container to National Logistic Cell – the army’s logistics arm, officials said. Terming Pakistan’s demand as “extortion,” Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential aspirant, had claimed that the US was paying $250 per container to Pakistan.
The US can’t just continue to not acknowledge the cost its wars have on other countries and expect unconditional support without anything in return.
Roads in Pakistan can withstand ten years of normal traffic, but a single NATO container causes the damage of 1500-2000 cars. This has resulted in $1.6 billion worth of damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure, not to mention the costs incurred from scanning, inspection and examination of the supplies, environmental impact, and port services. Also worth noting: the alternate route would cost double the amount Pakistan is asking.
Kansas passes foreign law ban aimed at Shariah
Well, I’m glad they won’t be stoning women to death in Kansas anymore. They’ll just let her die with a coat hanger in her uterus.
A new study shows that members of Congress speak like High School Sophomores.
Lee Drutman, a political scientist at The Sunlight Foundation, took all speech from the Congressional Record since 1990 and ran it through an algorithm that uses the length of words and sentences to determine the grade level of congressional discourse. ”We just kind of did it for fun, and I was kind of shocked when I plotted that data and I saw that, oh my God, there’s been a real drop-off in the last several years,” he says.
Of the 10 members speaking at the lowest grade level, all but two are freshmen, and every one is a Republican.
"What that means is, as soon as a member of al Qaeda sets foot on American soil, the first thing he hears after ‘You are under arrest’ is, ‘You have the right to remain silent, you have a right to be provided an attorney and if you can’t afford one, one will be provided for you. […] There may be differences about how we treat illegal aliens who come here as members of al Qaeda to conduct terrorist attacks, but I think the vast majority of people in this body and around the country do not think telling them they have the right to remain silent as the first thing they hear is a wise thing."-
Texas Rep. Mac Thornbury’s incredibly stupid reasoning behind voting against a bill to end indefinite detention in the United States. The measure was defeated by the House earlier today.
What Thornsbury and the 237 people who sided with him fail to acknowledge is that the implications of the National Defense Authorization Act that was passed late last year do not merely affect the rights of Al Qaeda terrorists; they present an unprecedented assault on the civil liberties of all Americans. Earlier this week, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled the NDAA’s indefinite detention provision unconstitutional, saying it had a ”chilling impact on First Amendment rights.” Forrest found that reporters and activists had a reasonable fear that the government could deem them to have provided support to someone associated with terrorist groups simply by interviewing them.
Fetus Bullying: Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott Calls For Anti-Bullying Laws To Protect Unborn
OTTAWA - A Conservative MP says anti-bullying initiatives across the country should also protect fetuses.
Maurice Vellacott, who represents the Saskatchewan riding of Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, says abortion procedures are far worse than any schoolyard or neighbourhood bullying.
He calls it the “cruellest of ironies” that there’s no protection in Canada for fetuses at any stage of pregnancy.
“In this case, it’s in every case a terminal victim as a result of the bullying that occurs,” Vellacott said in an interview Thursday.
“It seems almost too obvious to state, but it’s bullying in the worst degree.”
Racism in America’s police force is linked to their role as keepers of the status quo in an unequal society. They enforce laws written by politicians on behalf of the wealthy — laws that end up trapping poor and working-class people in desperate lives. Racial and sexual minorities, legal and illegal immigrants are seen as threats to the social order. When we protest the law and “occupy” a space we are beaten and arrested. When we commit a crime to “get some” we are beaten and arrested. And when we do neither but simply live we’re busted to make a cop’s stop-and-frisk quota.
Language plays an essential role here. It starts with a defensive joke, a “perp” profile that becomes so blurred it encompasses nearly everyone on the street and a constant sense of danger. Each builds on the other until the change is complete and one day, they casually listen to NYPD Capt. James Coan give a racist hurrah speech to detectives executing warrants in Brooklyn. “They’re fucking animals,” he repeatedly said of black people from 2008 to 2010, “If you have to shoot, you shoot them in the head.”" -Nicholas Powers: ‘They Think We Are Animals’: How America’s Police State Controls Black People
"How do we reconcile more money for bombs while cutting money for bread? The real deficit that we are dealing with here is a moral deficit, and it’s time that we face the truth."-Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich after the House passed its plan to spare the military’s growing budget from mandatory cuts, instead slashing Medicaid, benefits for federal workers, and programs to help feed hungry Americans.
I had been hoping Obama would say something intelligent about what drove Abdulmutallab to do what he did, but the President uttered a few vacuous comments before sending in the clowns. This is what he said before he walked away from the podium:
‘It is clear that al Qaeda increasingly seeks to recruit individuals without known terrorist affiliations … to do their bidding. … And that’s why we must communicate clearly to Muslims around the world that al Qaeda offers nothing except a bankrupt vision of misery and death … while the United States stands with those who seek justice and progress. … That’s the vision that is far more powerful than the hatred of these violent extremists.’
But why it is so hard for Muslims to ‘get’ that message? Why can’t they end their preoccupation with dodging U.S. missiles in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Gaza long enough to reflect on how we are only trying to save them from terrorists while simultaneously demonstrating our commitment to ‘justice and progress’?
Does a smart fellow like Obama expect us to believe that all we need to do is ‘communicate clearly to Muslims’ that it is al Qaeda, not the U.S. and its allies, that brings ‘misery and death’? Does any informed person not know that the unprovoked U.S.-led invasion of Iraq killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displaced 4.5 million from their homes? How is that for ‘misery and death’?" -Ray McGovern: The Obama Team Just Doesn’t Get It: US Violence and Occupation Spark Terrorism
Right-Wing Claims Obama’s New Campaign Slogan Reveals His Secret Communist And/Or Fascist Allegiances
One word; seven letters; so much nefarious hidden meaning. The Obama campaign’s new slogan, “Forward,” may seem like a typically oblique and anodyne piece of political branding — but thankfully, right-wing bloggers are here to reveal its true meaning, and predictably, it involves socialism and Hitler.