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Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Is A Holocaust?

In 1933, as the world was in the grip of the first Great Depression, socialist economist R. Palme Dutt wrote:
"The more obvious and glaring expressions of this process, the burning of foodstuffs, the dismantling of machinery that is still in good condition, strike the imagination of all. But all do not yet see the full significance of these symptoms ...For war is only the complete and most systematic working out of the process of destruction. Today they are burning wheat and grain, the means of human life. Tomorrow they will be burning living human bodies."

Thus he not only predicted WWII and put his finger on the root cause, he quite eerily predicted the Holocaust that attended it. For it was only WWII that brought the capitalist world and specifically, the United States, out of the great depression.

We emerged from WWII with an economy that ever since has been dependent on war making to keep it 'healthy'. ["a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment." -Ike] Eisenhower realized that and warned against the 'military industrial complex'. That's why WE had to have a COLD WAR after WWII. Not because of any real threat that the USSR was about to conquer the world. Certainly not because of China. We needed to keep the war spending going. We needed to keep military 'employment' at war time levels, less we fall back into the depression. That's why the Koreans and Vietnamese had to suffer under our bombs. It was not because of the threat of 'communist expansion' it was because of the threat of capitalist collapse. It wasn't because the war makers really cared about the people in those countries. We needed to make war someplace. They just got the short end of the stick. It's why, when the USSR collapsed, we didn't get a 'peace dividend', we got the 'War on Terror' and surprise, surprise, somehow Osama and his little band required roughly the same level of military spending as the Soviet Union. It's why the people of Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering our bombs and bullets today. It's not because 'Islamic terrorist' pose the 'great threat' now as 'communism' did then. Otherwise we'd have to find gainful employment for millions of our young people no longer needed by the military and the captains of industry would have to get off the tax payers dole. It's why, surprise, surprise, Obama, another 'peace candidate' (like Nixon) is continuing the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's the sad truth of the matter.

You start a war to solve your internal economic problems. You mix in a little racism. [ Kill a gook for God.] You start "burning living human bodies" to use Dutt's prophetic phrase, and then you have a holocaust.

NOTE: Eisenhower on the Holocausts
In that famous last speech that I quoted above Eisenhower writes:

"We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts..."


Later in the speech he mentions WWII and the Korean War, and I think it obvious that the first of the 3 holocausts that involved our country was WWI. So Eisenhower considered the Korean War a holocaust, and I am quite sure that had he lived to see the final tally he would agree with me that Vietnam was an American Holocaust.

From the Amazon Discussion: "Vietnam: American Holocaust" in the history community

Vietnam: American Holocaust http://VietnamAmericanHolocaust.com

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Media Blackout on Winter Soldier Southwest

On Saturday, May 9th Iraq Veterans Against the War [IVAW] held a series of hearings and reports at Pasadena City College they called Winter Soldier Southwest: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations - Iraq and Afghanistan. They were joined by people from Military Families Speak Out [MFSO], Vietnam Veterans Against the War [VVAW]and Veterans For Peace [VFP]. The Media was notified but truth is not their thing.

Ryan Endicott's testimony is among the strongest I have heard anywhere:


I've also posted two other short pieces on YouTube.
Winter Solider Southwest MFSO IVAW VVAW VFP

and ->
Winter Soldier Southwest IVAW & VVAW

Stills, I put up on Flickr:


So now you have it. In case you missed it on the evening news.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crunch Time on the Torture Question

Torture is mainly used as a tool to terrorize and intimidate a people.
This has historically been the case, and I submit that this continues to
be the case with regards to the U.S. occupations of Iraq and
Afghanistan. While torture has also been used to get information, this
really doesn't amount to much of the torture going on. Torture for
information is very unreliable. First of all it requires a victim that
really knows something critical, which is rare in a fluid battlefield
situation. And you have to already be in a position to tell the
difference between the truth and a good lie. It is rarely the best way
to get the info out of someone. I think torture for information would be
done rarely and it would be kept very secret and the victim would be
killed to keep it a secret. As a practical matter, torture for
information just doesn't have much utility.

Torture as a tool to terrorize people into going along with your
program, on the other hand, has a proven track record. Your victims
could be pretty much anybody in the targeted group. They don't even have
know anything worth knowing. Remember Han Solo in Star Wars? As he is
being thrown back into the cell with the others after being tortured by
the Empire, he says incredulously "They didn't even ask me any
questions!" Well that wasn't the point was it? Generally you'd pick on
people that got 'uppity' in one way or another. Certainly this applies
to the American traditions of torture. None of black men that were
beaten, burned and got their balls cut off were asked any questions either.

Torture is about terror not information. This is the great truth that
has been so artfully hidden by all the discussion about whether or not
you can get useful intelligence that way. It has been presumed in this
whole discussion that the motivation behind the torture has been
information. It is not. It is terror and intimidation. The U.S. is
carrying out an occupation and like murder and false imprisonment, it is
a necessary tool of occupation. There are those that may point out that
it is self-defeating but those that still believe that an occupation can
work also believe that the human spirit can be broken.

Now, unlike torture for info, torture for terror cannot remain secret
because it's real target is not the people being tortured, it is the
people that will fear being tortured and so toll the line. You release
the people you torture so they can spread the news or you otherwise
makes sure your target audience 'gets the message'. In Vietnam, the U.S.
Army had a practice of throwing VC POWs out of helicopters. Nothing very
secret about that. What was going on in Abu Ghraib was no secret in
Iraq, just as Nixon's 'secret' bombing of Cambodia was no secret to the
Cambodians being bombed. In both cases they knew long before the story
'broke' in the U.S.

Public knowledge is really essential for this type of torture to work.
In fact, the more public, the better, as long as you aren't held to
account. Torture for terror is most effective when the details are most
widely known and the torturer goes unpunished. That is why it is crunch
time on the torture question. If there are no real prosecutions, if they, in effect, get away with it, then all this talk and all the details only further the purpose of their crimes. Anybody who thinks of
opposing them will know they tortured and are free to torture again.
That is exactly what they want.