Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why do they hate us? Why do Islamic extremists recruit so successfully?

Abu Ghraib, late 2003
The radical right has made the same claim as Dubya does below -- that we're hated for our freedoms.

That is not true; no one hates us for being free.

It is a propaganda lie for the stupid and gullible.  It is part of the same mind-set that wants to eliminate AP History for taking on our failings in the past and present head on, honestly, while still loving our country. 

It is the same mindset as that expressed by Rudy Guiliani when he claimed Obama does not love America.

It is wrong. It is wilfully blind, and it is profoundly dishonest.

Sooner or later, we always have to come to terms with what we, as a nation, have done wrong, or allowed or encouraged to be done wrong, in our name and with our consent, including cover ups.

THIS described below, and other abuses like it, is why we have been hated, not our 'freedoms'.  This and other abuses, including some aspects of our drone policy and much of our policy in Iraq and Gitmo is why we see so many parts of the Iraq joining up with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.  It is why people leave other countries and go to fight with ISIS.  It is why religion and religious government appear to offer an attractive alternative to our democracy.

H/T: Abu Ghraib Prison| Featured Image: Muslim Times
Abu Ghraib
I've heard references to the following before, so it does not entirely surprise me that those rumors are true.  This does NOT appear to be the exception that proves the rule that otherwise we acted better than this, especially given the statistics on rape of our own soldiers by our own soldiers.

From If You Only News:
Classified Videos Allegedly Show U.S. Soldiers Raping Boys In Front Of Their Mothers (IMAGES)

There is a reason why the White House sent the President’s Chief of Staff to personally negotiate on what was going to be included in the CIA’s Torture Report. The Executive Summary released by the Senate was only a mere 525 pages out of the more than 6,700 pages that still remain classified.

There is a reason why top U.S. leadership was genuinely concerned about the reports release; things are much, much worse than they want you to believe.

According to multiple well-respected journalists, including Seymour Hersh, recipient of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting and known for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up in the Vietnam War, the Pentagon has a secret video. The video was recorded at Abu Ghraib, the U.S. torture dungeon in Iraq, that dominated the headlines a decade ago, where the inhumane tactics used at the prison were first exposed.

But, the problem is, the evidence released years ago was just a fraction of what was being done, all to the full knowledge of key U.S. authorities. While the video has remained under wraps thus far, Hersh says it is only a matter of time before it comes out.

Giving a speech at the ACLU, Hersh gave some insight on what was on the tape:

Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.

It’s impossible to say to yourself how did we get there? Who are we? Who are these people that sent us there? When I did My Lai I was very troubled like anybody in his right mind would be about what happened. I ended up in something I wrote saying in the end I said that the people who did the killing were as much victims as the people they killed because of the scars they had. I can tell you some of the personal stories by some of the people who were in these units witnessed this. I can also tell you written complaints were made to the highest officers and so we’re dealing with a enormous massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there and higher, and we have to get to it and we will. We will. So, it’s going to be an interesting election year.

When you put these statements together with another speech Hersh gave in Chicago, it becomes more clear that the women who witnessed these young boys were actually their mothers:

You haven’t begun to see evil, horrible things done to the children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.

Ten years ago when the initial Abu Ghraib scandal made headlines, the Guardian published the testimony of a detainee who witnessed one of these brutal attacks.
Photo from Abu Ghraib. Pic via Left Voices

Former detainee Kasim Hilas said in their testimony:

I saw [name blacked out] f*cking a kid, his age would be about 15-18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn’t covered and I saw [blacked out], who was wearing the military uniform putting his d*ck in the little kid’s ass, I couldn’t see the face of the kid because his face wasn’t in front of the door. And, the soldier was taking pictures.

Now, over a decade later, the evidence of what has happened is surfacing, but the government is doing everything possible to still keep the most damning evidence of these soldiers’ awful behavior classified.

With the torture report still fresh in the minds of the general population, this is why it’s important, now more than ever, to put pressure on elected officials and force the release of this evidence.

Please, share this with everyone you know.

I have to believe that if this had come out along with the other scandals from Abu Ghraib, that Dubya would not have been re-elected in 2014. 

I can only speculate what this coming out in advance of the 2016 elections could mean for the candidacy of Jeb Bush, given he has hired on his brothers old, bad advisers.

And I must believe that this coming out will result in a shake up at the Pentagon for the cover up and lack of any apparent accountability for this.

But what I hope will happen, more than anything else, is that those who have excused torture will stop excusing it, and that we as a nation will re-embrace the Geneva conventions and realize, fully realize and understand, WHY there are things we do not do, and should never do, no matter what the impulse at the time to do so, and that these actions taken in our name do not make or keep us free OR safe, they only shame us and make us as bad as our enemies.

History will conclude that Dubya was THE worst president ever, and for good reason.  It will also conclude that we were bad for this happening, and for our attitudes condoning torture and abuse of the prison at Gitmo and other locations, among other things we have done wrong as a nation in the 21st century.

The only option for any regaining of even a moral molehill, never mind the moral high ground, is what we do about these events when we can no longer hide them or hide from them.

That should include not electing another Bush, but it MUST include admitting what was done wrong, and NOT VIOLATING THE GENEVA CONVENTION ANY MORE, especially in how we deal with civilians.

That tends to rule out most of the recommendations and suggestions from the right on what to do about Islamic terrorism.


  1. Both of them were the worst presidents ever.....both in it for their own greed and taking our country down. It really was the beginning of the end for America. Sadly enough I had to travel to the other side of the world to hear the truth since our media really covers so much up now all of these fact come out later....and now. Great how do we defend ourselves or set right what was done by the Bushes.

    1. Obama is not Dubya, so I'm not sure which both of them you refer to here.

      Historians who specialize in assessing presidents put Dubya as one of the worst presidents ever -- many THE worst president ever. Obama rates much higher, as a better president.