Darkest before the Dawn
by Wayne Spencer - June 27, 2008
In the last edition of my commentary I talked about the "Real Senate Democrats." The few twenty-nine who opposed the FISA bill which gave immunity to the criminal activities of our phone companies and which unconstitutionally allows the administration to continue the crime of eavesdropping on American citizens without due cause and without a specific court order.
Last night the Senate passed HR2642 appropriating $257.5 billion dollars to fund the illegal occupation of Iraq for a few more months along with veterans benefits, a laundry list of other uses and a host of reporting requirements. This time Barock Obama gave his yea to this massive giveaway to the military-industrial complex. The provisions in the bill to help our poor returning vets could have been accomplished without funding the illegal occupation of Iraq. After reading the bill in its entirety, I cannot condemn Obama for voting for it, yet it would have been better if he had taken a more principled stand and voted against any more money for this so-called war. The six senators opposing this bill were surprisingly all Republicans. Perhaps there were more domestic and helpful appropriations in this bill than these Republicans could handle. Economically, it would seem that this amount of money could have gone a long way in shoring up our sagging economy.
The pain of our economic collapse is now being felt by investors in stocks. At least the pain is spreading beyond the housing and job markets. I say this because unless it is clear that we are all in the same boat together, nothing will be done to stem the tide.
While the suffering that we are imposing upon the people of Iraq has been out of the main-stream news here at home, such is not the case in the foreign press. The number of Iraqi civilians killed is now estimated at 1.2 million men, women and children and growing each day. The number of Iraqis displaced from their homes is estimated now to be nearing five million. The country is now nearing total devestation: no water and no electricity. In the meantime, reports from Iraq in the foreign press are not being picked up by our media.
An excellent source for news from the outside world can be found at http://feeds.feedburner.com/AntiwarRadio. This site has audio feeds of interviews with the following people:
- Clay Ramsay of WorldPublicOpinion.org who discusses their new poll out about world public opinion on torture, how only 53% of Americans oppose torture in all circumstances, the vast politicization of the torture issue in America, how most Americans would rather conform with the law than basic morality, American opinion in favor of talking with Iran over war and Iranian perspectives on their own regime.
- Trevor Lyman of Break the Matrix.com discusses the strange bedfellows project forming alliances with Glenn Greenwald and other prominent voices to stop the retroactive immunity that Congress is trying to give to the telecom industry for their crimes against Americans and hopes that going forward they will be able to continue to combine their influence to save the Bill Of Rights.
- Melvin Goodman, author of Failure of Intelligence: The Rise and Fall of the CIA, discusses problems with the CIA, how the serial intelligence manipulator Robert Gates was brought in to replace Rumsfeld only after Rumsfeld started talking about withdrawal, the history of distorting intelligence to fit the policy, how the military runs the intelligence apparatus, Congress’s indifference to the Constitutional crisis and our inevitable failures in Iraq and the militarily-led war on terror.
- Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan, discusses the American media’s abandonment of the Iraq war as a topic worth covering, the humanitarian catastrophe that continues to deteriorate, the “excess deaths” in Iraq since the invasion, the total number of Iraqis killed with American complicity over the years, America’s government’s on-off relationship with Saddam Hussein, the failure of the “surge” to allow for 5 million refugees to return to their homes.
- Glenn Greenwald, blogger at Salon.com and author of Great American Hypocrites, discusses the particulars of the congressional Democrats’ sellout of the 4th Amendment and complete capitulation to the Bush administrations’ lawless wiretapping program and the new realignment for liberty.
Chris Hedges, co-author of the new book Collateral Damage: America’s War Against Iraqi Civilians, discusses the recent talk of lifting the blockade against Gaza and the horrific conditions and collective punishment inflicted by Israel, how the U.S. troops in Iraq are in an atrocity producing situation, the black-out by the U.S. media of the brutal reality of the Iraq occupation, the civilian killing “flying check points,” how the Bush regime converted the mass Muslim sympathy towards the U.S. following 9/11 into wide-spread resentment and al Qaeda’s best recruitment tool and how another attack on America will most likely turn us into a total police state.
- The Other Scott Horton, heroic international human rights lawyer, journalist for Harper’s magazine and steadfast opponent of torture, discusses his new article for The New Republic, “Travel Advisory,” the Supreme Court’s reversal of the War Party’s end-run around habeas corpus, how Bush continually ignores Supreme Court decisions, the many war crimes committed by the Bush administration principals and their lawyers, how prosecution might proceed in foreign states, how “the war council” plotted the whole torture regime, the many people who have been killed under U.S. custody, the charade of the military tribunal system, how our policy of torture is the terrorists best recruiting tool and the danger of a total police state.
- Eric Margolis discusses the widening of the hopeless U.S. occupation of Afghanistan into Pakistan, America’s siding with the formerly pro-Soviet Tajik and Uzbek forces against the Pashtuns, the hatred of U.S. actions by most of the people of Pakistan, the relative lack of danger that Pakistan’s nukes could get loose or be used, how Americans don’t recognize they are living in an empire, U.S. plans to invade Afghanistan before 9/11, why the U.S. let Bin Laden escape and the AQ Kahn nuclear black market network.
- Tom Engelhardt, proprietor of TomDispatch.com and editor of the new book, The World According to Tomdispatch: America in the New Age of Empire, discusses his recent article “The Greatest Story Never Told” about the immense permanent military bases the U.S. has built throughout Iraq, how most Americans are oblivious to this, the lack of media coverage of the U.S. bombing escalation of Iraq, how Americans would react if we were attacked, how few Americans grasp the enormous number of civilians killed by the U.S in Iraq, the 20% of Iraqis either dead or exiled, and the little, if any, change the presidential candidates will bring to the American empire.
- Gareth Porter discusses his recent article “Fearing Escalation, Pentagon Fought Cheney Iran Plan,” about how the military leadership foiled Cheney’s plan of bombing Iran last summer by shifting the debate to the escalation factor, the rabid madness of Dick Cheney, how the Air Force’s over-confidence is encouraging his desire to bomb Iran, the media black-out of the questions surrounding probable Israeli origins of the “smoking laptop,” and what you can do to help avoid another war.
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Copyright © 2008 by Wayne Spencer - This article may be freely distributed with this copyright notice attached.