There is not much going on in the world of blogs today; I guess people have decided to take their New Years vacation a day or so early. Chris Floyd’s entire blog is just one long quote from an essay by John Pilger about the state of the UK. Although he talks greatly about the freedoms being lost by the Brits and in inequality of the money division in that country, almost everything he says can be applied to the citizens of the United States. Pilger references an interview he did during the Cold War with a Czechoslovakian dissident writer who said that complacency and silence can destroy freedom just as quickly and surely as tanks and guns. The only reason governments like ours and the one in the UK are not using tanks and guns on their own people are because we aren’t giving them a reason. After the riots, protests, and civil unrest in the previous generations, they have found a way to fight us without even firing a shot. The rich have become richer, the lower and middle classes have this false Bill Gates fantasy swimming through their heads, newspapers and magazines are owned by their advertisers, and TV has become saturated with ad’s for pills that make you forget what a fucked up world we’re living in. The more “civilized” we become, the more we accept being ruled by people who don’t give a rat’s ass about our best interests.
It appears that one of the main reasons the CIA destroyed the torture tapes was the same reason why they started taping in the first place- paranoia. It seems that they started taping the interrogations because they wanted proof that they weren’t torturing the suspects too harshly, but then after the whole Abu Ghraib scandal, they decided that maybe the public didn’t need to see what was really going on. Once they stopped recording the torture, they took all the old tapes and hid them in some secret overseas warehouse or something that not even the president knew about. They then started to get paranoid about the tapes getting out, worrying about the safety of the interrogators if their faces were shown throughout the world waterboarding someone. I’ve watched TV shows where they’ve interviewed people whose faces couldn’t be shown in public for whatever security reason, and they simply blacked out the faces- why couldn’t the CIA do that? Certain CIA members also pretty much admit that waterboarding is torture and torture is wrong, but they were told to do it by the higher-ups and they had no choice. When SS guards were caught and brought to trial for putting innocent human beings into gas chambers, they had the exact same excuse. It wasn’t acceptable then and it’s not acceptable now. If one of the hijackers who flew into the WTC somehow survived, was apprehended, and said the reason he killed thousands of USians was because he was “following orders”, would the CIA just let him go? It’s time for a major shakeup.
Bin Laden is the perfect example of how lazy and ignorant we choose to be. The US government gives his group weapons, he attacks their country a few years later, the US attacks a couple countries where he isn’t, choosing not to go after him; he releases tapes, the US government uses those tapes as reasons why their presence is still needed in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention Al Qaeda was nowhere near as big as it was before the US started this global “War on Terror”. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq, then – after troops are sent in – they spring up there, then the US kills a few of their members and calls it a victory. It’s the same thing they do with the gas prices; a gallon of regular will be $2.80 and we will accept it, suddenly it shoots up to $3.10 and everyone is outraged. Right when it seems that people might actually start driving a little less or buying smaller cars, prices get lowered 10cents in one day and people are happy, not realizing that it’s still 20cents higher than it was just a short time ago. The US completely destroys Iraq, then sends in even more people, makes it a little better than it was before the surge and people are proud of the “progress”.
With all this attention on Iraq, most people have completely forgotten about the beating the US and its allies have been putting on Afghanistan. This video is a small reminder about the blood we all have on our hands. A quarter of all Afghani children die before their fifth birthday- can you imagine if that was the case in the United States? Imagine if it was happening because of foreign occupiers? Would we just sit around and accept it, thanking the murderers for giving us freedom and democracy? I think not. If anyone can look at these children or in the eyes of the parents and not feel sick about what is being done with our tax dollars, they have serious mental problems. What if we took 1/10th of the money we’re spending on the war and defense and instead used it to build schools and hospitals and buildings for these people? I bet not as many people would hate our country.