The stupidity of media reporters or what a dumbass!

Has anyone read this rather strange article by a reporter who fancied himself a supporter of the WOT? He wanted to experience what it felt to undergo waterboarding to decide for himself and presumably his readers whether it constitutes torture. Well surprise, surprise. He thinks it does or at least constitutes the “language” of torture. (huh?) No doubt this is print media’s version of TV feature or soft news. Waterboarding has been declared torture for centuries, whether we want to admit it or not, so Hitchins isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know but it appears this was Hitchens’ mid life crisis where he wanted to experience, a rite of passage into senior adulthood. This desktop warrior couldn’t help but reiterate his support for those who do the hard job of torture, however, and his words of support for what they do brought on the gag reflex in me as if I myself was being waterboarded. Respectfully, Mr. Hitchens’ article is nothing more than the ramblings of a mad man who needed to fill space for his magazine.

The war on terror+humanitarian relief=the war on Islam and chaos of muslim societies

I have always been perplexed by the war, either militarily or psychologically the US is waging in places like Somalia and Sudan. Two of the poorest countries in Africa and the world, I just can’t understand what threat these two pose to the greatest military power in the world. I have heard the rhetoric, ‘America is fighting the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here’, kind of explanation, but what terrorists are they talking about? Shadowy ‘al-Qaeda’ figures seem to be all they can come up with in the assault on Somalia. Take this for instance.

The US has been engaged in a long, low-profile struggle with Islamist forces in Somalia, reported The Christian Science Monitor. A March 3 missile strike against the southern Somali town of Dobley was aimed at preventing violent Islamist militants from taking root in Somalia and spreading through East Africa. Some observers are concerned such efforts could generate greater anti-US sentiment. Islamist groups are regrouping in Somalia, some with more formal ties to al-Qaeda than in the past, says one security observer on the Counterterrorism Blog. The most important group, says Douglas Farah, is Al Shabab. Mr. Farah, citing a US State Department statement. Al-Shabaab is a violent and brutal extremist group with a number of individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda. Many of its senior leaders are believed to have trained and fought with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Somalia has seen intermittent conflict since two separate colonies gained independence from Britain and Italy in 1960, uniting into one country. Historians say tribal and ethnic conflicts fought over access to resources, including water and pastoral country, once fought with bows and spears are now fought with AK-47s.

The US has had a rather undistinguished history with Sudan as well, having attacked Sudan during the Clinton administration for what was later found to be a mistake, when the pharmaceutical plant Al-Shifa was bombed in 1998.

Kroll Associates’ investigation of the U.S. missile attack had apparently demonstrated the sheer vacuum of evidence allegedly linking the facility or its owner to international terrorism, chemical weapons production, and Osama Bin Laden. As the Washington Post reported: “Because of a cupful of soil, the U.S. flattened this Sudanese factory. Now one of the world’s most respected labs, and some of Washington’s most expensive lawyers, say Salah Idris wasn’t making nerve gas for terrorists, just ibuprofen for headaches.”According to the New York Times although “senior national security advisers [had] described Al Shifa as a secret chemical weapons factory financed by bin Laden”, “State Department and CIA officials [now] argue that the government cannot justify its actions.” Rather than manufacturing chemical weapons, the al-Shifa plant “made both medicine and veterinary drugs, according to U.S. and European engineers and consultants who helped build, design and supply the plant.”

At first glance one might think such actions were/are being undertaken by a federal government which seeks to divert public attention from more pressing issues with regard to its policies, foreign or domestic. In the Sudan incident, many critics on the right and the left cried immediately that the bombing in Sudan was undertaken at a time when Clinton was dealing with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and this was his attempt to relieve himself from that spotlight. Today the US is upset with the way the Sudan is handling its domestic policy in Darfur, a western province of that country, and wants to intervene. The way US officials and others are doing that is quite amusing; claiming they have the best interests of the black, African, Muslim people of Darfur, Sudan the US wants humanitarian aid delivered even under force of arms. By raising the specter of “genocide” which means countries can respond militarily without violating treaties, laws or international agreements, to save the lives of those threatened, the US is insisting on a military presence in the Sudan. But what’s the point of it all? In a word, OIL with a twist. Oil, Israel and Logistics= OIL.

Sudanese oil is found in areas not affected by the conflict in Darfur, notably the southern region of Sudan. That part of the country was plagued with a civil war with the central government for over 20 years, but now there is peace in south Sudan, so what happens after that? Fighting breaks out in the western province of Darfur and with it cries by governments and celebrities alike, people on the right and on the left of the political spectrum to “intervene” to stop the fighting, and with force if necessary. Nevermind that the humanitarian crisis in Sudan doesn’t really exist, or that such calls to action in support of Darfur weren’t made during the 20+ years of the southern Sudanese conflict, what’s important is an excuse is needed to justify a military presence which like the one in Iraq is designed to worsen an already bad crisis, and allow for the eventual exploration of OIL under western auspices. Because of it’s strategic location on the “horn of Africa”, USAFRICOM, responsible for U.S. military operations in and military relations with 53 African nations – an area of responsibility covering all of the African continent was formed on the initiative of the African Oil Policy Initiative Group in or about the same time as cries for intervention in Darfur were raised in the corporate media. At the same time, civil war in Somalia and the US backing of Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia took place to the south of Sudan. None of this is coincidental.

The timeline under which these things happened is clear when viewed against the backdrop of what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, two places where large, vast oil reserves have been the target of large oil companies for a very long time. Current US policy in those two places of the world is also driven by oil interests. The reason for “picking” on these two poor, underdeveloped countries is quite simply about the natural resources that lie underneath their territory. That has always been the dilemma between the west and the east since the development of the modern west; how to meet its growing demands for the earth’s natural resources controlling and dominating those resources in faraway lands while appearing to all concerned to be benign about such manipulation. The pretext for war, i.e. fighting terrorism, or providing humanitarian relief, whereby the citizens of the “west” are made to feel the necessity of sacrificing their sons and daughters to go fight and die in these distant lands has been the job of spokespersons (in and out of government), celebrities and the corporate media. Such lies have done a lot to incite fervor and support for this ideal. It is still inexcusable that the largest and mightiest military power in the world sees the need to destroy underdeveloped countries and essentially defenseless people under such transparent guises.