Archive for George Bush

Kuala Lampur War Crimes Tribunal: George W. Bush and Co. Guilty of ‘War Crimes’

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and their legal advisers have been convicted of war crimes by a tribunal in Malaysia. (h/t: Al)

(via. Information Clearing House):

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.

This verdict does not currently have any sort of enforcement power behind it but the hope is that it will be taken up by the International Court,

War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team.

After the case he said: “This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world.”

While the hearing is regarded by some as being purely symbolic, human rights activist Boyle said he was hopeful that Bush and Co could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.

“We tried three times to get Bush in Canada but were thwarted by the Canadian Government, then we scared Bush out of going to Switzerland. The Spanish attempt failed because of the government there and the same happened in Germany.”

Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.”

The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.

Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said: “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.

He added that he was optimistic the tribunal would be followed up elsewhere in the world where “countries have a duty to try war criminals” and he cited the case of the former Chilean dictator Augustine Pinochet who was arrested in Britain to be extradited to Spain on charges of war crimes.

“Pinochet was only eight years out of his presidency when that happened.”

The Pinochet case was the first time that several European judges applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, declaring themselves competent to judge crimes committed by former heads of state, despite local amnesty laws.

Throughout the week the tribunal was packed with legal experts and law students as witnesses gave testimony and then cross examination by the defence led by lawyer Jason Kay Kit Leon.

The court heard how
· Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers.
· Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall.
· Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement.
· Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter.

The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.

Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.

“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”

In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”

The prosecution case rested on proving how the decision-makers at the highest level President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.

According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses exposed a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanising course of conduct against them.
These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering, said lawyers.

The president of the tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, found that the prosecution had established beyond a “reasonable doubt that the accused persons, former President George Bush and his co-conspirators engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose, joint enterprise and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of Torture and War Crimes, including and not limited to a common plan and purpose to commit the following crimes in relation to the “War on Terror” and the wars launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the Tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.

“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions”.

I’ll See Your Jihad, and Raise You One Crusade

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Modern Day Crusaders

Eric Prince, Modern-Day Crusader and founder of Xe, formerly known as Blackwater

by Ilisha

“I’ll See Your Jihad, and Raise You One Crusade” is a popular refrain among loons convinced they’re modern-day crusaders locked in an epic battle with Islam. Unfortunately, their apocalyptic visions are not confined to the lunatic fringe. Eric Prince, the reclusive co-founder of Blackwater “private military company” used to outsource US wars fancies himself a modern-day crusader, and he’s not alone.

Blackwater is infamous for its brutality, belligerence, and reckless disregard for the lives of Iraqi and Afghan civilians. This month, Harper’s Magazine featured an exposé, “The Warrior Class”: The Blackwater Videos, by Charles Glass on the rise of private “security contractors” in the years since 9/11. Video clips featured in the article are reminiscent of scenes  from George Miller’s 1979 dystopian action film, Mad Max, but for Iraqis, this was real life–and all too often, death.

In one of the most disturbing clips, a Blackwater vehicle struck down a veiled pedestrian and never bothered to stop, or even to pause. Subsequent vehicles in the convoy also barreled past with total disregard for the victim, apart from making the effort to capture the monstrous crime on video:  (H/T: Saladin)

Video of Blackwater Contractors Driving Over Iraqi Woman


In 2007, Blackwater mercenaries massacred 17 innocent Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, including 9-year-old Ali Kinani. In January of this year, the “private military contractor” reached a wrongful death “settlement” with the victim’s families and survivors, though criminal charges were dropped, allowing the perpetrators to escape accountability.

Ali Kinani9-year old Ali Kinani

In 2009, Blackwater re-branded itself as Xe (pronounced “Zee”), apparently to escape its well-deserved image as a gang of ruthless thugs or hire.

What’s missing from the Harper’s Magazine article, and much of the coverage surrounding Xe, is that Erik Prince is a fundamentalist Christian who built his military empire around the notion of Christian Dominionism. An exclusive video featured on Democracy Now revealed previously undisclosed details regarding the companies methods and motives.

The Economist provided more shocking details in an article entitled, “Erik Prince and the last crusade,” : (H/T: MasterQ)

In an affidavit lodged with a court in Virginia, one of the witnesses said that Mr Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.” The statement continues:

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life. For example, Mr. Prince’s executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to “lay Hajiis out on cardboard.” Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince’s employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as “ragheads” or “hajiis.”

Mr Prince is further accused of trying to cover up Blackwater’s misdeeds, which allegedly include profiteering and arms smuggling, by killing employees who tried to blow the whistle on the company….

Sending Christian crusaders to a Muslim country where you’re trying to restore peace is what I would call a very bad idea. Perhaps that wasn’t the case, but sending freelance soldiers into a country unbound by any laws is still a terrible strategy. It breeds a shoot first, ask questions later mentality. And for Blackwater, at times, it was more like shoot first, drive on. The latest allegations are shocking, but much of the story is not surprising at all.”

No, modern-day crusader themes and utter contempt for the lives of innocent Iraqis shouldn’t be surprising at all, and it isn’t confined to private “security” contractors like Xe. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik also fancied himself as a modern-day crusader who sought to restore the medieval Knights Templar, though he certainly wasn’t alone in this peculiar brand of madness.

It seems Christian-themed holy wars have captured the imaginations of prominent US politicians, journalists, and military leaders. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then President George Bush  referred to the so-called “War on Terror” as a “crusade,” sparking widespread criticism in the Islamic world, and even in Europe. Four years later, the BBC reported that Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq:

“President Bush said to all of us: ‘I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, “George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.” And I did, and then God would tell me, “George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq .” And I did.”

A “born again” dry drunk, Bush appealed to millions of conservative Christians, some of the biggest backers of the Iraq war and endless conflict in the Middle East to fulfill their apocalyptic visions:

This is the dark side to their religious world view. Their fantasy is often sung to uplifting gospel music of a soon-to-come Paradise. Its concomitant message (not openly discussed) is that God will then (brutally) kill the entire human race except for Christians (for many meaning “born again” Christians). The Left Behind book series dwells on how God will eviscerate, torture and kill all non-Christians. Why so many of them dwell on this is not clear.  Perhaps it gives meaning to their lives.  Or instilling fear is a way to keep them in line under their preachers’ domination. In any case they are cleverly used by the Israeli lobby, imperial neoconservatives and (more profitably) by the military industrial complex.

The Book of Revelation is the integral passion of their foreign policy, their belief that the founding of Israel foretells the imminent Second Coming, conversion or death for Jews and eternal happiness for themselves in Heaven. In their view America, as God’s instrument, should encourage wars and chaos in the Middle East in order to “hurry up” God and His agenda. One of their leaders is John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel. Senator Liebermanis a friend and favored speaker at his events. I have described The Strangest Alliance in History about how each side thinks it is using the other for its own ends.

Also in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, “conservative” journalist  Anne “All Terrorists Look Alike” Coulter said in her “battle cry”  for Washington:

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”

Her sentiment was echoed in subsequent statements by prominent Christian war monger Ellis Washington, in an article featured in the far right WorldNetDaily. Such statements weren’t merely confined to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and in fact, persist into the present day, according to an article in the Huffington Post, Newt and the Loony Religious Fringe That Now Runs the Republican Party:

America needlessly went to war in Iraq because neoconservative war mongers — who laugh at the “those rubes,” as they think of earnest Evangelical Christian Zionists, and whose own sons and daughters seem notably absent from our armed services — used the religious passion and dedication of conservative Evangelicals to provide political means and cover for the neoconservatives’ commitment to America’s military dominance of the world. In other words the Evangelicals provided the votes to put foolish warmongers like George W Bush in power. And now Gingrich wants their votes.

Gingrich shares a crowded stage with other prominent Republicans who also court the religious right, including Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman, and Herman Cain.

Not surprisingly, the US military also is also plagued with Blackwater-like perversity and religious extremism. Gen. Tommy Franks, who directed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, callously dismissed concerns over the number of innocent civilians killed in Iraq saying, “We don’t do body counts.” Not to be outdone, Democracy Now has revealed the Pentagon refers to the victims as “Bugsplat,” the name of a computer program that estimates how many civilians will be killed in US-led bombing raids.

Adding perhaps the most infamous religious twist to this madness is Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin. An outspoken Evangelical Christian, Boykin claimed Muslims hate America, ”because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian … and the enemy is a guy named Satan.”

Referring to a battle in Somalia, Boykin also said, ”I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol,” and later he said, “We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this.” Boykin also claimed God put George Bush in office, and continued to frame the so-called “War on Terror” as a religious conflict, even as George Bush tried to assure the world the US was not at war with Islam.

Should these remarks be dismissed as the rantings of a lone loon?

Last January, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist  Seymour Hersh said key branches of the US military are being run by “crusaders,” According to a Huffington Post article:

“What I’m really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over,” Hersh said.

He said that the attitude that “pervades” a large portion of the Joint Special Operations Command, which is part of the military’s special forces branch and which has carried out secret missions to kill American targets, is one that supports “[changing] mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh also said that Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before his tenure as the top general in Afghanistan, as well as his successor and many other JSOC members, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.” Blake Hounsell, the reporter for Foreign Policy, speculated that Hersh may have been referring to the Sovereign Order of Malta, a Catholic organization.

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh said. “They do see what they’re doing…it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.

While the world focused myopically on “Islamic” terrorists, it seems the crusader mentality that germinated in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has flourished and permeated not only the lunatic fringe, but high-ranking officials within the US establishment. Apparently extremists on both sides of the so-called Clash of Civilizations are inspired to play their respective roles, equally hellbent on hurtling the rest of humanity ever closer to Armageddon.

Salon.com: Jose Padilla and How American Justice Functions

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by loonwatch

Another great piece from Glenn Greenwald.

Jose Padilla and how American justice functions

(updated below – Update II)

The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system.  In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer.  During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).

Needless to say, none of the government officials responsible for this abuse of a U.S. citizen on American soil has been held accountable in any way.  That’s because President Obama decreed that Bush officials shall not be criminally investigated for War on Terror crimes, while his Justice Department vigorously defended John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld and other responsible functionaries in civil suits brought by Padilla seeking damages for what was done to him.

As usual, the Obama DOJ cited national security imperatives and sweeping theories of presidential power to demand that Executive Branch officials be fully shielded from judicial scrutiny (i.e., shielded from the rule of law) for their illegal acts (the Obama DOJ: ”Here, where Padilla’s damage claims directly relate, inter alia, to the President’s war powers, including whether and when a person captured in this country during an armed conflict can be held in military detention under the laws of war, it would be particularly inappropriate for this Court to unnecessarily reach the merits of the constitutional claims” (emphasis added)).  With one rare exception,federal courts, as usual, meekly complied.  Thus, a full-scale shield of immunity has been constructed around the high-level government officials who put Padilla in a hermetically sealed cage with no charges and then abused and tortured him for years.

The treatment Padilla has received in the justice system is, needless to say, the polar opposite of that enjoyed by these political elites.  Literally days before it was required to justify to the U.S. Supreme Court how it could imprison an American citizen for years without charges or access to a lawyer, the Bush administration suddenly indicted Padilla — on charges unrelated to, and far less serious than, the accusation that he was A Dirty Bomber — and thensuccessfully convinced the Supreme Court to refuse to decide the legality of Padilla’s imprisonment on the grounds of “mootness”  (he’s no longer being held without charges so there’s nothing to decide).

At Padilla’s trial, the judge excluded all evidence of the abuse to which he was subjected and even admitted statements he made while in custody before he was Mirandized.  Unsurprisingly, Padilla was convicted on charges of “supporting Islamic terrorism overseas” – but not any actual Terrorist plots (“The government’s chief evidence was an application form that government prosecutors said Mr. Padilla, 36, filled out to attend an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 2000″) – and then sentenced to 17 years in prison, all above and beyond the five years he was imprisoned with no due process.

Not content with what was done to Padilla, the Bush DOJ – and then the Obama DOJ – contested the sentence on appeal, insisting that it was too lenient; Padilla also appealed, arguing that the trial court made numerous errors in excluding his evidence while allowing the Government’s.  Yesterday, a federal appeals panel of the 11th Circuit issued a ruling, by a 2-1 vote, rejecting each and every one of Padilla’s arguments.  It then took the very unusual step of  vacating the 17-year-sentence imposed by the trial court as too lenient and, in effect, ordered the trial judge to impose a substantially harsher prison term:

 

Padilla’s sentence is substantively unreasonable because it does not adequately reflect his criminal history, does not adequately account for his risk of recidivism, was based partly on an impermissible comparison to sentences imposed in other terrorism cases, and was based in part on inappropriate factors . . . .

 

As the dissenting judge explained, this decision is extraordinary because trial judges — not judges sitting afterward on appeal — are the ones who hear all the evidence and thus have very wide discretion to determine the appropriate sentence.  But more so, in this case, a sentence less than the full maximum was warranted because “the trial judge correctly concluded that a sentence reduction is available to offenders who have been subjected to extraordinarily harsh conditions of pre-trial confinement.”  About that point, the dissenting judge documented:

 

Padilla presented substantial, detailed, and compelling evidence about the inhumane, cruel, and physically, emotionally, and mentally painful conditions in which he had already been detained for a period of almost four years. For example, he presented evidence at sentencing of being kept in extreme isolation at he military brig in South Carolina where he was subjected to cruel interrogations, prolonged physical and mental pain, extreme environmental stresses, noise and temperature variations, and deprivation of sensory stimuli and sleep.

In sentencing Padilla, the trial judge accepted the facts of his confinement that had been presented both during the trial and at sentencing, which also included evidence about the impact on one’s mental health of prolonged isolation and solitary confinement, all of which were properly taken into account in deciding how much more confinement should be imposed. None of these factual findings, nor the trial judge’s consideration of them in fashioning Padilla’s sentence, are challenged on appeal by the government or the majority.

 

Thus: American officials who are responsible for this “inhumane” and “cruel” abuse of detainees act with full impunity, as usual.  Those who are its victims are not merely denied all redress (though they are), and do not merely have the courthouse doors slammed in their faces in the name of secrecy, national security and presidential power (though they do), but they are also mercilessly punished to the fullest extent possible.

It should be said that part of what happened here is just the typical politicization of the judiciary, as the two-judge majority was comprised of a hard-core right-wing Reagan/Bush 41 appointee from Alabama (Joel Dubina), while the other was one of Bush 43′s most controversial appointees, the former Alabama Attorney General who was filibustered by the Democrats and allowed onto the bench only by virtue of the “Gang of 14″ compromise (William Pryor).  Meanwhile, the dissenting judge was born in Mexico to Syrian parents and, after moving to Miami at the age of 6, became the first female judge (as well as the first Hispanic and Arab American judge) on the Florida Supreme Court (rising to Chief Justice), and was a Clinton appointee to the federal appeals court (Rosemary Barkett); Barkett, incidentally, dissented from an 11th Circuit ruling denying a habeas petition to Troy Davis, the African-American death row inmate scheduled to be executed by the State of Georgia this week despitemountains of evidence showing his innocence.  So this episode highlights one of the few genuine differences that remain between the two parties that can truly impact people’s lives: their judicial appointments.

But the overriding theme is what we have seen time and again, that which — as it turns out — is the subject of my book to be released next month: America is plagued by a two-tiered justice system in which political and financial elites enjoy virtually absolute immunity for even the most egregious of crimes, while ordinary Americans (and especially fully stigmatized ones like Padilla) are subject with few defenses to the world’s largest and one of its most merciless systems of punishment.  Thus do Jose Padilla’s lawless jailers and torturers walk free and prosper, while no punishment is sufficiently harsh for him.

* * * * *
Almost immediately after I published this, it was announced that Troy Davis’ last chance for clemency has been denied, virtually assuring that a likely innocent man will be killed by the State of Georgia tomorrow.  Obviously, everything I just wrote applies in abundance to that event.

UPDATE:  As usual, America’s propaganda-spreading, government-serving establishment media spouts blatant falsehoods to justify all this; fromABC News:

 

From CNN:

 

 

Padilla was never even charged with, let alone convicted of, having anything to do with a “dirty bomb.”  “Dirty Bomber” was the villain nickname given to him by Bush officials and mindlessy repeated by its media to justify the treatment to which he was subjected.  The U.S. Government gave up long ago using this accusation to demonize him (NYT on his conviction: ”The dirty bomb accusations were not mentioned during Mr. Padilla’s three-month trial here“), but their lying “watchdog media” servants continue unabated.  Who would possibly object to a longer prison term for A Dirty Bomber who tried to detonate radioactive weapons in American cities?  The fact that not even the Government charged with him that is no deterrent to its media continuing to claim he did.

 

UPDATE II:  Padilla was consigned to the SuperMax prison in Florence, Colorado to serve his 17-year sentence.  The New York Bar Association last week issued a comprehensive study of America’s SuperMax system and concluded:

 

 

But 17 years in a torture system like that — on top of the 5 years of abuse he endured — is insufficient: ”too lenient.”

Salon: Iraq foots the bill for its own destruction

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by loonwatch

Some people have wondered why I focus so much on America’s many wars: isn’t this site about Islamophobia, not U.S. foreign policy? Although it is true that LoonWatch is primarily a site documenting and refuting Islamophobia, I strongly believe that there exists an intimate link between Islamophobia and America’s Endless Wars.

For one, America’s foreign policy is itself Islamophobic.  Our wars are launched thanks to Islamophobia within the most jingoist elements of American society, the neoconservatives, the Zionists (both Jewish and Christian), etc.  It finds an audience within the general public, which has a very poor opinion of Islam.  Our wars can only be sustained by ratcheting up fear-mongering and Islamophobia.  Our wars conveniently serve to complete the loop by feeding Islamophobia itself, as Muslims are Other-ized as the enemy.

Islamophobia operates under the assumption that it is Islam itself that makes Them Hate Our Freedoms.  They hate us (and some of them attack us) because we are the Infidels.  The reality, of course, is that they hate us not for our freedoms or the fact that we are infidels, but the fact that we bomb them, invade them, and occupy them.  As the article below shows, we also make them foot the bill for their own destruction:

Iraq foots the bill for its own destruction

By Murtaza Hussain

When considering the premise of reparation being paid for the Iraq War it would be natural to assume that the party to whom such payments would be made would be the Iraqi civilian population, the ordinary people who suffered the brunt of the devastation from the fighting. Fought on the false pretence of capturing Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, the war resulted in massive indiscriminate suffering for Iraqi civilians which continues to this day. Estimates of the number of dead and wounded range from the hundreds of thousands into the millions, and additional millions of refugees remain been forcibly separated from their homes, livelihoods and families. Billions of dollars in reparations are indeed being paid for the Iraq War, but not to Iraqis who lost loved ones or property as a result of the conflict, and who, despite their nation’s oil wealth, are still suffering the effects of an utterly destroyed economy. “Reparations payments” are being made by Iraq to Americans and others for the suffering which those parties experienced as a result of the past two decades of conflict with Iraq.

Iraq today is a shattered society still picking up the pieces after decades of war and crippling sanctions. Prior to its conflict with the United States, the Iraqi healthcare and education systems were the envy of the Middle East, and despite the brutalities and crimes of the Ba’ath regime there still managed to exist a thriving middle class of ordinary Iraqis, something conspicuously absent from today’s “free Iraq.” In light of the continued suffering of Iraqi civilians, the agreement by the al-Maliki government to pay enormous sums of money to the people who destroyed the country is unconscionable and further discredits the absurd claim that the invasion was fought to “liberate” the Iraqi people.

In addition to making hundreds of millions of dollars in reparation payments to the United States, Iraq has been paying similarly huge sums to corporations whose business suffered as a result of the actions of Saddam Hussein. While millions of ordinary Iraqis continue to lack even reliable access to drinking water, their free and representative government has been paying damages to corporations such as Pepsi, Philip Morris and Sheraton; ostensibly for the terrible hardships their shareholders endured due to the disruption in the business environment resulting from the Gulf War. When viewed against the backdrop ofmassive privatization of Iraqi natural resources, the image that takes shape is that of corporate pillaging of a destroyed country made possible by military force.

Despite the billions of dollars already paid in damages to foreign countries and corporations additional billions are still being sought and are directly threatening funds set aside for the rebuilding of the country; something which 8 years after the invasion has yet to occur for the vast majority of Iraqis. While politicians and media figures in the U.S. make provocative calls for Iraq to “pay back” the United States for the costs incurred in giving Iraq the beautiful gift of democracy, it is worth noting that Iraq is indeed already being pillaged of its resources to the detriment of its long suffering civilian population.

The perverse notion that an utterly destroyed country must pay reparations to the parties who maliciously planned and facilitated its destruction is the grim reality today for the people [of] Iraq. That there are those who actually bemoan the lack of Iraqi gratitude for the invasion of their country and who still cling to the pathetic notion that the unfathomable devastation they unleashed upon Iraqi civilians was some sort of “liberation” speaks powerfully to the capacity for human self-delusion. The systematic destruction and pillaging of Iraq is a war crime for which none of its perpetrators have yet been held to account (though history often takes[though history often takes time to be fully written] time to be fully written), and of which the extraction of reparation payments is but one component.

Greenwald: Primitive Muslims’ unique love of violence

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by loonwatch
Glenn Greenwald

Islamophobes constantly argue that bloodlust is unique to Muslim extremists. However, as Glenn Greenwald points out, there are plenty of blood thirsty American Christians and Jews out there as well. Remember people like Joe Kaufman who were shouting for American nukes to be launched against Iraq and Syria after the 9-11 attacks. This is systematic in the loonosphere.

Salon.com: Primitive Muslims’ unique love of violence by Glenn Greenwald

University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, today, echoing so many by lamenting the compulsive violence of Muslims:

It’s hard to keep track of all the barbaric behavior emanating from that part of the world.

Glenn Reynolds, November 23, 2010, on his prescription for dealing with North Korea:

If they start anything, I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs. They’ve caused enough trouble — and it would be a useful lesson for Iran, too.

Glenn Reynolds, November 4, 2006, on how to deal with the Muslim world:

It’s also true that if democracy can’t work in Iraq, then we should probably adopt a “more rubble, less trouble” approach to other countries in the region that threaten us.

Glenn Reynolds, February 13, 2007, on how to deal with Iran:

We should be responding quietly, killing radical mullahs and iranian atomic scientists . . .

Glenn Reynolds, September 11, 2001, on responding to the 9/11 attacks:

GEORGE BUSH IS NOW THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD:. . . Now, if he wants to nuke Baghdad, there is nobody to say him nay — and damned few who would want to.

Boy, those primitive, dirty, lowly Muslims sure do have a bizarre, unique cultural compulsion toward violence and barbarism, don’t they? Reynolds is highlighted here not because he’s unique but because he’s so drearily common. Behold the spectacle of those who cheered for the attack on Iraq (resulting in the deaths of at least 100,000 innocent people), who casually call for massive first-strike nuclear attacks on other nations (certain to vaporize hundreds of thousands or millions of human), who loyally marched lockstep behind a leader who instituted a worldwide torture and disappearance regime, lamenting how those grimy, backward Muslims over there have a disturbing and incomparable affinity for violence (and for examples of religious-motivated violence among Christians and Jews, see here).

Nuke ‘em. Invade ‘em. Torture ‘em. Occupy ‘em. Murder their scientists and religious leaders.  Put ‘em in cages for life without due process.  Reduce ‘em to rubble. Why? Because Muslims are so prone to violence and barbarism! That’s a fairly succinct summary of America’s political culture for the last decade at least.

Daniel Pipes’ Unhealthy Obsession with the Hijab

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on HijabDaniel Pipes: Bizarre Fixation on the Hijab

(Read an UPDATE here)

In a running column entitled, “Hijab on Western Political Women,” failed academic turned zaney anti-Muslim blogger, Daniel Pipes, sets out to (in his own words):

For fun, how about collecting those instances when female political leaders, especially leftist ones, don the hijab (Islamic headscarf)?

(What normal person sitting before a computer thinks up of such a bizarre thing to do when trying to “have fun” anyway? Welcome to the world of Pipes I guess. )

Pipes then includes photos of princess Diana, queen Elizabeth, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Angelina Jolie, among others, wearing a Hijab when at various mosques.

This caused us to wonder, surely Mr. Pipes is not sexist. Surely, he would invite the same scrutiny to the men in their lives: princess Diana’s husband and queen Elizabeth’s son (prince Charles, heir to the British throne), Laura Bush’s father-in-law and husband (George H.W and George W., both U.S. Presidents), Chelsea Clinton’s dad and Hillary Clinton’s husband (Bill Clinton, U.S. President) and Angelina Jolie’s dad (actor Jon Voight). Surely Mr. Pipes would not want to give those men a pass, especially given all of them (but the last) are far more important politically than their women.

Well since Daniel Pipes is not very good at holding a mirror up to his face, we here at loonwatch volunteered to do that for him. Seeing that Mr. Pipes is Jewish, we put together the following photo display (true to a Daniel Pipes style presentation) – one that is relevant to his own religion not someone else’s – to see what he thinks of it and what he reckons it signifies.

So “for fun”, Mr. Pipes, how about  collecting those instances when Western (and Eastern) male political (and non-political) leaders, especially leftist (and rightist and centrist) ones, don the kippahor yarmulke (Jewish skullcap)?

We start with the most politically powerful men on the planet, U.S. presidents:

President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Bill Clinton wearing a yarmulke

President George Bush wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke, flanked by Israeli ministers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert

President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulkeU.S. President Barack Obama wearing a yarmulke while praying at the Western Wall

President George Bush the father wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western WallU.S. President George Herbert Bush (the father) wearing a yarmulke as he kisses the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallU.S. President George Bush wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

President George Bush wearing another yarmulkePresident George Bush wearing another yarmulke

American Senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of former presidential candidate senator John McCainAmerican senator Joe Lieberman puts a yarmulke on the head of then presidential candidate, senator John McCain

And other politically powerful world leaders:

British prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulkeBritish prime minister, Gordon Brown, wearing a yarmulke

Then British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulkeThen British prime minister Tony Blair wearing a yarmulke

French president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulkeFrench president Nicolas Sarkozy wearing a yarmulke

Then Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wallThen Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western wall

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulkeRussian prime minister Vladimir Putin wearing a yarmulke

Prince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulkePrince Charles of Wales, regent to the British crown, wearing a yarmulke

And other American political men:

"America's Mayor" Rudi Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke“America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York City, wearing a yarmulke as then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon looks on

Clinton's Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulkeClinton’s Special Middle East Coordinator Dennis Ross wearing a yarmulke

US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke, not in a temple but at the Republican National ConventionUS ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, wearing a yarmulke – not in a temple but at a Republican National Convention

And to match Angelina Jolie, how about some entertainers including her own father:

Evangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke not at a temple but at a Republican National ConventionEvangelical Christian actor Stephen Baldwin wearing a yarmulke – not at a temple but at a Republican National Convention

Actor Jon Voight holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National ConventionActor Jon Voight (Angelina’s dad) holding up his yarmulke at a Republican National Convention

Michael Jackson wearing a yarmulkeThe king of pop, Michael Jackson, wearing a yarmulke

And how about other world faith leaders:

His holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western WallHis holiness, the Dalai Lama, wearing a yarmulke as he prays at the Western Wall

And speaking of political mixing with religious:

The "Mccippah", a play on "McCain" and "Kippah" which means yarmulke, a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008 The “Mccippah”, a play on “McCain” and “Kippah” (yarmulke), a feature at the Republican National Convention 2008

Now, we have a few simple questions to ask Mr. Pipes:

First let’s get real: clearly, Mr. Pipes is not interested in some irrelevant, uneventful “fun” on that merry temple of love and good times of his, danielpipes.com. Everything he writes and puts on there he does so with a purpose in mind. It seems that his “little fun” hijab photo display was yet another sorry attempt to cry “Islamization” and “dhimmi” and all of the favorite concepts he and his friends love to evoke.

So here goes the questions:

1. Do you believe that non-Muslim Western women who wear a hijab when visiting mosques or other Islamic religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Islamization?

If the former then what’s the point of your running photo display? And if the latter which more logically seems to be the case, then:

2. Do you believe that non-Jewish Western men who wear a skullcap when visiting a temple or other Jewish religious settings are doing it as a sign of respect, or a sign of capitulation and a consequence of Judaization?

If the former, then why the double standard? And if the latter then why haven’t you sounded the alarm to save the West from Judaization.

More questions:

3. What would you say and how would you react if Western political women not only wore the hijab at the mosque but prayed there while they are at it? Would you see it as a lovely sign of camaraderie, an expression of tolerance, a sign that we all share a common God? Or would you cry “dhimmi”? Justcurious.

(If the latter then kindly educate us: what is the “dhimmi” equivalent of a Western political man – a head of state no less – who does the same but within the context of Judaism rather than Islam?)

4. You seem to gloat about the reporter who took off the “Chador” (a traditional Islamic dress worn in conservative Iran) and threw it at Imam Khomeini whom she was interviewing. Now, I personally believe that Khomeini was a loony Imam. But I am just curious, would you also gloat if a reporter threw a yarmulke at some loony rabbi like say, Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef or Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiraor Rabbi Jon HausmanJust curious.

5.  Are you aware that Eritrea is not an Islamic country and that it has as many Christian citizens as it does Muslim. Are you aware that Hillary Clinton is not necessarily wearing a hijab in the photo of her in Eritrea, but a traditional Eritrean loose shawl worn by both Muslims and Christians there? Are you aware that every other American woman in that photo (and there are at least three) are not wearing a similar shawl clearly proving that it is Hillary’s choice not some enforced evil Islamic spell on Western women as seems to be implied. Q: So if it’s neither enforced, nor a hijab to begin with, why do you use that photo. A: expediency. Typical of Mr. Pipes.

6. Lastly, if some blog put up a display like the one above with the insinuation that there is some insidious force at play, would you not cry anti-Semitism? SO, given your photo display and the accompanying shady commentary, aren’t readers then well within their rights and the bounds of reason to cry Islamophobia? Just curious.

Mr. Pipes, we await your response to our questions. For the rest of our dear readers, this has been a little peek inside the  paranoid mindset of an Islamophobe and the convoluted, often petty, ways in which it processes our world.

(For the record, LoonWatch, unlike Mr. Pipes, takes the consistent position that both non-Muslim women wearing hijabs in Islamic religious settings and non-Jewish men wearing yarmulkes in Jewish religious settings is a sign of respect and nothing more. And that wearing them outside religious settings is indeed strange but a personal choice that is no cause for alarm or geopolitical analysis).

– Zingel


Author’s Note: Daniel Pipes makes a lame attempt to address the hijab/yarmulke comparison in a 2008 addendum to his article in which he “rejects” the comparison altogether, stating in typical Pipesian delusional style that such a comparison is irrelevant, and positing that the “tallit” the Jewish prayer shawl is instead more comparable to the Hijab.

This is nonsense.

The tallit is not worn in public everyday life the way Muslim women wear the Hijab in daily public activity (for Hijabis); however, Jewish skullcaps are worn in daily public living (for Jewish Orthodox men). The yarmulke, not the tallit, is the closest Jewish analogy to the Hijab.

He also implies that half the pictures of Western women wearing the Hijab is not in a mosque while most Western men who wear the skullcap are in a temple. Not true, they are exactly analogous and proportional. Most of the pictures of the Western women wearing a Hijab is in fact in a mosque or mosque setting and it is usually a simple headscarf not some full body chador as he implies but even his collection of pictures clearly contradict (Iran, a conservative theocracy, being the exception not the norm). On the flip side, our photo display has photos that debunk his insinuation that Western men wear yarmulkes only in temples.
READ AN UPDATE HERE

 

Jewish Leader Condemns Pat Robertson’s anti-Muslim Remarks

Posted in Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by loonwatch

Jewish Leader Condemns Pat Robertson’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Mark Pelavin
Mark Pelavin

Jewish leader Marke Pelavin comes out against Pat Robertson’s anti-Muslim remarks. He should be commended for commenting on this issue and condemning Robertson. We wish Governor-elect of Virginia Bob McDonnell, who receives monetary support from Robertson, could be as principled.

Mark Pelavin calls on Pat Robertson to Honor the Spirit of Religious Tolerance

Pelavin: Rev. Robertson’s opposition to the President’s message is more than a simple “disagreement.” Religious tolerance and diversity are central to the character of our nation.

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2002 – In response to Reverend Pat Robertson’s rejection of President Bush’s call for greater religious tolerance, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Rev. Robertson’s opposition to the President’s message is more than a simple “disagreement.” Religious tolerance and diversity are central to the character of our nation.

Immediately following the President’s recent denunciation of intolerant remarks about Islam, in a November 14th interview on The 700 Club (Christian Broadcasting Network), Rev. Pat Robertson once again voiced shrill, bigoted remarks, as he called on “Jewish friends in America …[to] read the Koran, and see what it says…and when you get through, do us a favor, and don’t criticize your friends, but see who your real enemies are.”

Rev. Robertson’s askew and narrow-minded interpretation of Islam is offensive, not only to the majority of peace-loving Muslims worldwide, but to all who cherish the fabric of cultural and religious diversity that defines our nation. In the current climate of xenophobia, responsible religious and political leaders must denounce such bigotry. There is a palpable need for the kind of interfaith dialogue that fosters tolerance and understanding across cultural differences, and, yes, which allows us to ardently challenge each other when we think a partner is wrong and has failed to squelch religious bigotry and intolerance.

In this spirit, we welcome President Bush’s recent remarks. Rev. Robertson’s opposition to the President’s message is more than a simple “disagreement.” Religious tolerance and diversity are central to the character of our nation. We call on Rev. Robertson – and all religious leaders who have engaged in similar hateful speech – to honor the words of President Bush with an immediate apology, for the sake of religious decency.