Monday, June 06, 2005

WMD's, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Downing Street memo and Iraq: They aren't going away

One month ago on May 6, Joe Conason wrote about the Downing Street memo on Salon.com. He asked
Are Americans so jaded about the deceptions perpetrated by our own government to lead us into war in Iraq that we are no longer interested in fresh and damning evidence of those lies? Or are the editors and producers who oversee the American news industry simply too timid to report that proof on the evening broadcasts and front pages?
I have to admit, when I first saw the memo, the answer to Conason's first question for me was "yes." The only reason I knew about it, however, was because I read alternative media sources. Had I just read the New York Times or the Washington Post I don't think I would've known much about it.

Becoming jaded can be disempowering, like, we might hope it all just goes away. Media stop talking about it (if they started), and accept it. But, ho, the New York Times calls for the permanent shut down of Guantanamo Bay*, as does Senator Biden after Amnesty International's damning assessment of the prison as the "gulag" of our times.

Vigilance is key to preventing death, such as the 77 US service women and men killed in Iraq in May 2005. Remember the 1000 dead? Well, we are approaching 2000 dead, at over 1800 already. Who really knows how many Iraqi's died last month or in total?

But vigilance, there is. Rallying around the damning evidence of the Downing Street memo >Downing Street memo, a congressional investigation is being called for to see if the president and members of his administration conspired to mislead the public. Led by Representative John Conyers, there are over 133,000 signatures petitioning for the president to respond to questions raised by the memo. Have you signed it yet?

UPDATE: Jimmy Carter is now calling for the shutdown of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.


UPDATE 2: Republican Mel Martinez also calls for closing of Gtmo.
* Guantanamo Bay's website boasts of being the oldest overseas naval base, but doesn't fully mention how this naval base was acquired. The "brief history" just mentions a treaty, conveniently ommitting the war that forced the treaty. So I'll tell you. It was acquired through the imperialist Spanish-American War (Cuba was previously a colony of Spain), in which the US took Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Samoa, and Guam as it's colonies (the justification for which was the US was a more "benevolent" patron), and officially participated in formal imperialism.

3 Comments:

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8:47 PM, Blogger Drek said...

You know, I think the Spanish American War was as ridiculous as anyone, and I think the anexation of the Philippines and Puerto Rico was absurd. Yet, lousy Constitution or no, we did grant Cuba independence. Did we have a shitty reason for going to war? Yeah- but at least our actions weren't quite as abyssmal as they could have been.

I mean, do you like colonialism? I'm guessing not- so maybe just ease up a smidge on this one. Leave the politicians of yesteryear some sort of leeway to not be on the wrong side of an issue.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Erin said...

My problem is with the fact that the history of the acquisition of Guantanamo Bay was ignored, like much pertinent history, on their website. Knowing only the glorious "Rough Rider" history of that war reifies the position of the "benevolence" of the US, putting it beyond criticism.

Guantanamo has a lineage, if you already knew how it was acquired, then, you know more history than most.

The premise for the US to enter in to the Spanish-American War was to liberate Cuba from the tyranny of Spain, (Cuban rebels were fighting the colonial government already, but rather unsuccessfully). The American public was on their side for this. Guantanamo came from this part of the story.

The thing is, and I'm really surprised you suggest this isn't important, is that Cuba wasn't the whole story, nor the most significant part of it as far as the US was concerned. So Guantanamo has to be looked at in the context of the other spoils of that war, in which imperialism played a central part. Giving the politicians credit for not being out and out liars seems like something that could only be considered a "credit", well, today.

 

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