|Subj:||Fw: "Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"|
|Date:||2/4/02 7:54:45 PM Pacific Standard Time|
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mid-East Realities" <MER@MiddleEast.Org>
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2002 8:22 PM
Subject: "Americans Can Be A BloodThirsty Lot"
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News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups,
and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know!
IF YOU DON'T GET MER, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!
"GOD BLESS AMERICA"
AMERICANS CAN BE A BLOODTHIRSTY LOT
"Non-Americans (ie, 95 per cent of the world) do not understand
that Americans are actually proud of that picture of the US soldier
brandishing the belts and shackles and handcuffs and chains used
on prisoners... Americans can be a bloodthirsty lot, ...they revel
in a vicarious, John Waynesque approach of being "tough" towards
their perceived foes. What other national anthem exults in "the
rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" as the US one
does in its fifth line? Americans weep freely when the likes of Ray
Charles sing 'God Bless America'.
"The US is now a country of such unchallengeable power that
it can and does create its own moral and humanitarian stances;
it does not need to listen to outsiders."
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 2/04/2002:
In an extensive multi-part story about the Bush Administration in the
aftermath of 11 September, this small paragraph buried deep in a multi-page
story in The Washington Post:
"The president said he didn't want other countries dictating
terms or conditions for the war on terrorism. 'At some point,'
the president said, 'we may be the only ones left. That's
okay with me. We are America.' "
America is on the war path, the American cavalry is riding high trumpets
blaring, "Manifest Destiny" didn't end and now extends globally, and as
today's FINANCIAL TIMES headlines: America is "Spreading Alarm Among
Friends", not to mention to the impact it is having on enemies and other
great powers, especially China at this point in history.
Indeed, there are many astute observers who believe the tremendous
Pentagon and CIA build-up now underway is really a new kind of cold war
designed to put down all opposition to American hegemony and prepare for a
possible future conflict with the Chinese. One thing for sure, the warhawks
in the American capital have used the events of 11 September as their
long-sought excuse to pursue the policies long desired; just as the kingdred
cousin Israelis warhawks use "terrorist events" which they themselves have
clearly provoked to further their own long-held plans to crush the
Palestinians and control the region.
Indeed General Ariel Sharon is on his way for his fourth visit to the
American capital since the Bush Presidency began, this time with the still
empowered Palestinian leader under a funny kind of house and town arrest.
Last time, in the Oval Office, President Bush put his arm on General
Sharon's in an embrace of personal friendship and understanding. Expect
more of the same in public; and behind the scenes they are no doubt scheming
big-time to impliment the new "new world order" crusade cum campaign.
BUSH AND RUMSFELD BRAZEN IT OUT
Andrew Stephen on how the combined forces
of Robin Cook, Jack Straw, the Mirror and the
Bishop of Durham failed to makeWashington tremble
[New Statesman (U.K.) - 28 January 2002]: President George Bush is
ashen-faced with concern. Huddled around him, there are unmistakable tears
running down Colin Powell's cheeks. Vice-President Cheney is clutching his
chest as if he might be having a fifth heart attack. The defence secretary
Donald Rumsfeld had gone purple with rage, but is now white and out cold.
And the reason for this drama? No less a person than Robin Cook - that
bearded Scotsman whose very face strikes such fear into the heart of
Washington power circles - has criticised US treatment of prisoners in
Guantanamo. But wait! Jack Straw is reported as being concerned, too.
Eeeks! And the Bishop of Durham! What, and now the Mirror is joining the
crusade? Powell is on the floor, weeping hysterically.
Judging from the British media furore ("Stop This Brutality In Our Name,
Mister Blair" - Mirror headline), you would think that Britain is an equal
(or even senior) partner of the US in the so-called war against terror
("Should Blair Intervene?" - Evening Standard's website); that it has a
decisive say (or any kind of say at all) in what is going on in either
Afghanistan or Guantanamo, and that the Bush administration is terrified of
British public opinion. Let me discount that straightaway. There is a
universal tendency, I think, for people to assume that other governments and
societies act like their own: so, in this case, Britons assume that
Americans listen to criticism from overseas, care about it, and react and
But that is not the American way. The US is now a country of such
unchallengeable power that it can and does create its own moral and
humanitarian stances; it does not need to listen to outsiders. It creates
its own myths, and then happily lives by them. Its political leaders believe
that the domestic audience is all that matters. If America listens to
criticism from overseas at all, its collective, reflex reaction is to point
out ways in which that criticism is wrong - and how a critic can be put to
rights. So some foreign nuts think capital punishment is wrong? They're just
a bunch of wimpy, lefty foreigners who are jealous that they are not
Americans and therefore refuse to see things the American way - which, by
its very nature, is the right and just way.
I told Sir Jimmy Young on BBC Radio 2 on 18 January that the way prisoners
were being treated in Guantanamo could signal the first serious rift between
the UK and US over the war against terror. Days later, after much lobby
shenanigans involving Jack Straw and No 10, British newspapers started
splashing just this story. But then Tony Blair did a Thatcher on his
ministers, squashing down his own cabinet. Weeks ago, Geoff Hoon, the
Defence Secretary, was publicly humiliated after he said that British troops
would not hand over Osama Bin Laden (if they captured him) to the US without
an undertaking that Bin Laden would not be executed; Hoon was then
repudiated by No 10, which said in effect that Britain would hand
over Bin Laden unconditionally, thus breaking EU law. And Jack Straw's
concern that Guantanamo prisoners are not being held under the terms of the
Geneva Convention? Phooey, says Blair, putting Straw in his place and so
maintaining his one-man role as unconditional cheerleader of the US.
I suspect that Blair has not fully understood what he is getting himself
into. The US has always envisioned that the three Britons, an Australian and
even the odd Russian or two so far taken to Guantanamo will be returned to
face trial in their own countries - a US-imposed policy that brings legal,
security and political nightmares to the governments involved. Britain has
no convenient colonially acquired overseas port like Guantanamo in which to
imprison British nationals - or perhaps the Falkland Islands would do
instead? - and there are no obvious offences that the three men (and others
to come, apparently) have committed under English law. That, indeed, is the
point of the prisoners being taken to Guantanamo: that they are in judicial
limbo, at the complete mercy of US military tribunals, and have no recourse
to any courts and particularly not to what Rumsfeld disingenuously calls
America's "just criminal system".
Not that anybody in America questions Rumsfeld's assertion that they are
"unlawful combatants" and therefore not subject to the Geneva Convention.
Under the US criteria (no military uniforms or insignias or obvious military
structure), members of the Northern Alliance were equally unlawful
combatants when they led the way for American attacks on Afghanistan. And
what of poor Johnny "Mike" Spann, the CIA man killed in the prison uprising?
In a video, he did not appear to be wearing uniform.
The Bush administration, though, could not care less about whether US
actions would stand up in an international court. Non-Americans (ie, 95 per
cent of the world) do not understand that Americans are actually proud of
that picture of the US soldier brandishing the belts and shackles and
handcuffs and chains used on prisoners; ordinary domestic criminals, after
all, are shackled by their hands and legs, too. Americans can be a
bloodthirsty lot: perhaps because they saw so little violence from outside
before 11 September, they revel in a vicarious, John Waynesque approach of
being "tough" towards their perceived foes. What other national anthem
exults in "the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" as the US one
does in its fifth line? Americans weep freely when the likes of Ray Charles
sing "God Bless America".
I have been writing about what I described as Rumsfeld's "callous humour"
for months, and it is fascinating to see his cult status now catching on in
Britain. "It's amazing the insight that parliamentarians can gain from 5,000
miles," he said last Tuesday. "Parliamentarian", you have to understand, is
a dirty word in Rumsfeld's lexicon: it is a foreign concept and thus
un-American. Just how seriously Americans take overseas concern about
Guantanamo could be seen last week when Mary Robinson, the UN high
commissioner for human rights, appeared on CNN. The caption under her read
"British Civil Rights Worker". Those unreliable Brits again, you see. But
rest assured, nobody in the White House is having a heart attack or crying
himself to sleep at night worrying what the Brits - or anyone else - think
of them or what they're doing. That's what being American means in 2002. And
don't forget it, OK?