Professor Smartass

Thursday, February 28, 2008

al Qaeda in Iraq small & unpopular except in Bush/McCain propaganda


John McCain demonstrated a Bush level of stupidity when he chastised Obama about supposedly not knowing there is "al Qaeda in Iraq."

There is such a thing, but McCain (and a lot of Democrats for that matter) forget to include some important details.

To the extent Iraqis themselves are fighting us, it's for a couple of reasons:

The bottom line is as little as 1% of Iraqis feel safer because we are there and overwhelming majorities want us to leave.

How are we teaching them democracy by ignoring that?




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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 1:53 PM | link | (0) comments |

Thursday, February 21, 2008

WWJLD: What would John Lennon do about Iraq War?

John Lennon and Yoko Ono used the publicity of their honeymoon to protest for peace by staging two week-long "bed ins" in 1969.

Now we can do the same March 19 in a nationwide call in sick day, to get the attention of our elected representatives who seem to forget they represent us when it comes to the war, constitution, and just about anything else that conflicts with a corporate donor.

john lennon, yoko ono, sick of it day, bed in

ANIMATION

March 19 ''SICK OF IT DAY'' call in sick to show we're sick of lies, war, the erosion of our rights, and the half-assed, token protests of Congress (which are usually followed by swift rubber-stamping of more abuses in spite of overwhelming public disapproval).

You may think that the time for action has passed and all things will be be healed if the Democrats win the White House and expand their majorities in Congress, but half the Democrats are as business-owned as Republicans, will continue to obey the orders of oil companies and defense contractors, and therefore need an overwhelming show of public disapproval so that fear of voters removing them will outweigh love of their donors and future employers who will give them jobs as lobbyists, CEO's, and board members when they leave office.

''Sick outs'' have been effective when cops caught the ''blue flu'' instead of doing a formal strike.

FROM THE ORGANIZERS' SITE:

WHAT IS SICK OF IT DAY?

Sick Of It Day is a day for everybody who is SICK OF THE LIES, SICK OF THE CORRUPTION, SICK OF THE WAR to make their statement in a way it will really count—CALL IN SICK on March 19, the 5th anniversary of the Iraq invasion!

In our own Declaration of Independence, it says, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Calling in sick on March 19, "Sick Of It Day" is a powerful way for every one of us to withdraw our consent from a government that continues an immoral, illegal and SICK war.

SICK OF IT DAY LINK


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:: posted by Professor Smartass, 12:17 PM | link | (0) comments |

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bandar Bush's terror threat to Britain & his terrorist resume


Saudi Prince Bandar Bush threatened Britain with more 7/7 style terrorists attacks if they didn't back off a corruption investigation, and Tony Blair took the threat seriously.


Let's see, the Joint Congressional Inquiry found Saudi intel financed and directed 9/11, they funded al Qaida to the tune of hundreds of millions a year, and way back during the Lebanon debacle, Casey asked Bandar to carbomb a sheik for us. Currently in Iraq, most of the foreign fighters coming in and doing the car and mosque-bombings that stir up sectarian violence are Saudi. And the Bush administration does nothing about it.

When will people connect the fucking dots?

If your friend is doing bad things, you keep your mouth shut and profit from the bad things, you either approve after the fact, they asked and got your blessing, or you asked him to do the bad things.



BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince


Spectre of 'another 7/7' led Tony Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told


* David Leigh and Rob Evans
* The Guardian,
* Friday February 15 2008

Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.

He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family.

FULL TEXT




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Thursday, February 07, 2008

On Torture: civilization vs. the lynch mob

Jeremy H posted this question on Yahoo Answers:

For all of you that are against torture?

I want to know what you would do instead?

If we can't use loud noise, sleep deprivation, ect {sic} What can we use?

Do you think sitting them down and demanding an answer by pounding your fist on the table is going to work? What type of interrogation techniques can be used?


My response (as Yurbud):

You are assuming that torture is used like in 24 with the theoretical ticking bomb. Real military and intel people say that almost never happens.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0212/p99s0...

When they really need to get information, the Israelis have found that deception works as well or better than physical torture. In one tactic, they rough a guy up, release him to the prison yard, then other prisoners say they are part of his group and ask him what he didn't tell so they can pass the info to those outside. Instead, they give it to the interrogator and get a plane ticket to the US and a green card.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200310/bo...

Ironically, though the Israelis live with terrorism on a more constant basis, their supreme court has banned torture.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200310/bo...

The purpose of torture is to terrify the people in the country when you release the victim or news of what you did to him gets out, the same way Stalin used it when he had people picked up at random. What kind of useful information could those people possible have? None. But they would be hesitant to get out of line because they knew a neighbor might be picked up and turn them in or turn them in to avoid being taken.
http://www.commondreams.org/cgi-bin/prin...

The guy in the most famous photo, where he is wearing a hood and blanket and standing on a box with his hands out and electrodes on his fingers, that guy was innocent. Once they figured out he hadn't done anything, they kept at him to pressure him to become an informant AFTER he was released.
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=15727...

Not incidentally, when Army Maj. Gen. Taguba investigated Abu Ghraib, he found that at least 60% of the inmates were not guilty of ANYTHING, let alone terrorism. The general who ran the prison put the estimate at 90%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/abu_ghraib_...

One method of torture does work: threatening or actually abusing the loved ones of the person you are trying to break. This was done with children at Abu Ghraib. While it may work, using methods like that shows Bush is not fighting FOR democracy, and the only thing it will do to terrorism is inflame more of it.
http://web.archive.org/web/2004081614113...

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middlee...

The one guy running for president who was a POW is also the only GOP candidate who doesn't salivate at the prospect of torture. He knows that the only hope we have of our troops being treated well if captured is if we treat those we have in captivity well. Even if this doesn't work on some religious extremists, it establishes a reputation that will serve us well in future conflicts.
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/111305...

In World War II, German soldiers were more likely to surrender to us than fight to the death because they knew we would treat them well. Since the Soviets were retaliating for what the Germans did on the Eastern Front, they were less likely to surrender to them.

Likewise, in the first Gulf War, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who surrendered without firing a shot were probably motivated by our reputation for treating prisoners well as much as our overwhelming force of arms. I wonder if that would have been the case if they knew they would sodomized once captured.

This doesn't seem to occur too often to people on the right. They prefer the logic of the lynch mob that says I am mad and someone else must pay for it. As soon as the mob catches someone who roughly fits the profile of who they are mad at, they convince themselves that person is guilty, take out their wrath on him (or her) and feel their manhood is confirmed.

They don't even wonder why we have left untouched the countries that Congress determined DID fund and have a role in 9/11, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articl...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/...

Besides being ignorant and cruel, that logic (or lack of it) solves no problems and creates more.

A civilized society has to ask why terrorism is occurring, including whether some of our actions are giving people grievances that give them a reason to join terrorists groups (like occupying their country, propping up their dictators, or overthrowing their elected leaders, and controlling their natural resources), what we can do to reduce those grievances without jeopardizing our safety, and finally how we can capture or kill those responsible for attacking us without making unnecessary enemies in the process.

context on YAHOO ANSWERS


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