FoRK digest, Vol 1 #1585 - 10 msgs

Owen Byrne
Sun, 19 Jan 2003 17:48:23 -0400

Bill Kearney wrote:

>It seems Owen's got his "let's all hate America" hat on again.  It seems to be
>cinched a bit too tight for rational thinking however.
>Do the deaths of children in Iraq (numbers of which are extremely debatable)
>fall to blame on their dictatorship government?  Or that just too rational a way
>to look at it?  After all, when seeing their population dying what good is a
>government doing by prolonging their suffering?  Soverign pride?  Tough to feel
>proud from the grave. Yeah, shut up and let your children die while your
>soveriegn builds new palaces.  Don't they have cake?

The numbers aren't all that debatable - the study discussed in the 
article seems to draw a pretty clear  number
out of all the misinformation out there.

>And of course!  The cuban crisis was the US's fault!  The Soviet efforts to
>install nuclear missiles in Cuba had nothing to do with escalating the risks of
>anihillation, of course.  The US presense, invited, in Europe contrasts quite
>unevenly with the Soviet use of an island in the Caribbean.  But hey, why mix
>facts with rhetoric
As I remember the quid pro quo that finally defused the conflict was an agreement to remove 
US missiles already in place in Turkey. There was no Turkish Missile Crisis because everything
 is seen through an American lens. 

>The Irish resistance to British colonialism is quite a bit different than most
>conflicts of today.  Drawing parallels is weak at best.
Why? Because its resistance to American colonialism?

>But you go Owen, all that hatred of the US must be the only thing that keeps you
>-Bill Kearney

All this talk of hatred and anti-americanism - its just an excuse to 
avoid the issues. Do you hate Iraqis? I doubt it. But you support a 
policy that will result in many of them dying.

I have been pretty quiet lately basically because there is little point 
preaching to Americans, and because my feelings are
pretty well mainstream outside the US - not among politicians, at least 
in public, they in general have to deal with power relationships and 
thus they are mostly doing their best Neville Chamberlain acts. The 
recent extended discussion on US military might, plus the baseless 
claims that this is a war about human rights finally pushed me beyond 
control. If I hear another bozo claim Amnesty International says this 
about Iraq or that about Iraq - first of all go see what they say about 
the US, and especially about the US using human rights as a pretext for 
war. Especially since we constantly hear about Saddam gassing his own 
people, how about this:

The past century has been characterized by genocide, the development and 
use of weapons with extraordinary destructive powers, mass killings and 
"disappearances" by governments and opposition groups, huge population 
displacements, as well as gender related violations including the 
systematic use of rape.

This is the context which has informed the contemporary movement for 
human rights. The laws and mechanisms we have now were developed 
precisely to respond to these appalling abuses.

Amnesty International vigorously condemned the chemical attacks on 
Kurdish civilians in 1988. The failure of the international community to 
address these violations at that time was not due to a lack of options 
within the human rights system, but a lack of political will. In fact, 
rather than publicly condemning the Iraqi government and pressing for a 
UN investigation, many countries continued to sell weapons to the Iraqi 
government despite widespread knowledge of the attacks.

And guess what - the countries that sold weapons to Iraq after they 
gassed their own people -the US was one of them - how come I knew that 
wouldbe so?  Because the US doesn't actually care if you kill everyone 
in your own country - see Cambodia -  just as long as you don't threaten 
our strategic
interests. And while you're at the Amnesty International Site - see what 
they think of capital punishment, and especially capital punishment of 
children. See what they think of  Guantanomo Bay, and the Geneva 
Convention being another inconvenient international agreement that the 
US has decided - doesn't apply to us.

If you're going to be imposing your morals on the rest of the world - at 
least they could be a little less suspect.

The last war was sold to the liberal (i.e. thinking) part of the US 
populace as a war to liberate Afghan women - how's that going?