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January 25, 2004 Sidebars

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Recommended Reading - This Week on The Web
There seem to be a few angry people out there.

Anti-Americanism: It isn't just a Middle Eastern thing
Sherri Muzher, Ramallah Online, Wednesday, January 21, 2004

A bit into it you find this:


Take my British friend Charlie.  Like so many around the world, he still seethes about events most Americans probably think of as old news - if they think about them at all. 

"I cringe when I see America cry to denounce terrorism when just 10 years ago the Americans were welcoming (the Irish Republican Army's) Jerry Adams and Martin McGuiness into their country like homecoming heroes," Charlie wrote me.  "I have mourned the death of three male colleagues who died at the hands of the IRA during the early 80s.  Why the hell should I want to support the U.S.  on terrorism ....  Why didn't the U.S.  support the UK on her fight to beat terrorism?"


Yeah, well, there are a lot of Irish folks here, particularly in the Boston area. 

This item is full of such details.  But who cares?


On the one year-anniversary of 9/11, banners at so many public events read "We will not forget."  Americans must keep in mind that others, while sympathetic to us, are not forgetting their own horrors, either.


Well, what's wrong with them?

Another Embittered Rant from a Former Soldier
State of the Union, MLK and 30mm DU
Stan Goff, Counterpunch, January 20, 2003

The core:


I invite readers to click onto this link www.journalism.co.uk/  where... 

Enjoy this video, like good pornography.  That's what it is... a snuff film.  Now we can all have a titillating glimpse of the rarified world of systematic slaughter that some of us carry around in our heads, waiting to crawl out into our dreams. 

Don't bother with outrage, because I'm told you will be ignored.  No one cares.  The news media won't cover it.  Congress won't demand an investigation.  People will make excuses for it.  It is a total violation of the Law of Warfare and the Geneva Conventions, but America doesn't recognize international law any more, so fuck it, right?

Hell, Rusty Calley is healthy and happy selling cars in Georgia, I hear.  He and his crew killed almost 400 unarmed civilians in My Lai. 

This is our age.  You can get away with anything, even filming murder.  Last month, a video was released showing a Marine being cheered on by his comrades as he killed a wounded Iraqi.  No outrage then either.  No investigations.  No nothin'. 

So you might as well sit back and enjoy it. 


I doubt you will.

'Suffer the French schoolchildren: The hatred Bush hath wrought'
Ted Rall, Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Ted and three other political cartoonists visit a few schoolchildren in Carquefou, France. 

It ends thus:


Children get their politics from their parents and teachers, who form their impressions from the media.  The European media has covered a different war than the one you've seen on CNN and Fox News.  A 14-year-old Iraqi boy, shot by U.S.  troops in Baghdad, was interviewed for five minutes on the evening news.  "They did it on purpose," he said.  "They were laughing." The bloody corpses of Iraqi civilians are standard TV fare here.  The Bush Administration is routinely portrayed as greedy, stupid and mean. 

Americans can find the truth about our nasty, unwinnable oil war, but they have to dig a little deeper.  "The United States is using excessive power," Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar, a moderate, pro-American member of the Iraqi Governing Council, told The New York Times Magazine on January 11.  "They round up people in a very humiliating way, by putting bags over their faces in front of their families.  In our society, this is like rape.  The Americans are using collective punishment by jailing relatives.  What is the difference from Saddam? They are demolishing houses [of insurgents' family members] now.  They say they want to teach a lesson to the people.  But when Timothy McVeigh was convicted in the bombing in Oklahoma City, was his family's home destroyed?"

It's striking that al-Yawar knows McVeigh's name.  How many Americans can identify any Iraqi other than Saddam Hussein? Most foreigners know more about us than we know about them.  Hell, they know more about what we're doing in Iraq than we do ourselves. 

Of course, many of us don't give a damn whether French schoolchildren or anyone else think Bush's United States is a land of butchers and thugs.  Whether or not we care, however, it matters.


The counterargument is clear.  No it doesn't. 
We need to be safe and secure no matter what others think.