Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:52 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 3656
Location: California/NYC
Attention has turned recently to how the US's so called 'War on Terrorism' may be moving on to other countries such as Iraq Sudan, Indonesia, the Somalia of "Black Hawk Down" (see Mark Bowden's update at,3858,4341769,00.html), or the Philippines, where the US military has actually begun "training" local troops, a la the early Vietnam war, an activity not so popular with Filipinos ( In Bush's State of the Union Address he has even added Iran and North Korea to the hit list. But Afghanistan continued throughout January to be the victim of intense air strikes meant to destroy Taliban and al-Qa'ida strongholds and prevent either organization's regrouping there in the future. The suffering of the Afghan people from the US bombing continues and grows as the maimed and shell-shocked go on without treatment and unexploded bombs go off, killing or injuring children and farmers (listen to Pacifica Radio interviews, ... 20129.html). Whether or not "Camp X-Ray" is a country club, as Dianne Feinstein and Donald Rumsfeld would have us believe, Bush has chosen to deny the Guantanamo prisoners POW rights under the Geneva Convention by calling them "illegal combatants." The object is to justify thoroughly interrogating the prisoners, which the Convention does not permit. Such twisting of the Convention in order to "comply" with it is a mindless sham, and the protests of the British and the French - not to mention Colin Powell - show their awareness of this. Apparently "Operation Enduring Freedom" is a war on language and good sense as well as on human rights. Away from the flag-waving and the cheering, the whole US 'War on Terrorism' seems like a destructive mess: see Gary Leupp's review in CounterPunch,

Speaking of human rights, the Palestinians' right to a state was an idea tossed out by Colin Powell, Bush, and Blair, late last year. It's now clear that those remarks were designed only to placate Arab "allies" in the assault on Afghanistan: they promised nothing and nothing has been offered but continued support of Israel and continued abandonment of the Palestinian people. The most absurd fiction voiced by Israel and the US is that Yasir Arafat is responsible for the troubles in Israel and should set things right. Next in absurdity is the claim that only the Palestinians are at fault for the violence in Israel, that Israel's Mafioso style assassinations, "accidental" shootings of children, never ending mass destruction of houses and olive groves, its rendering the Palestinian population jobless and hopeless, are not provocations. Arafat has been publicly humiliated by Sharon by keeping him from attending Christmas celebrations in Jerusalem as he usually does (there are, after all, Christian Palestinians) and then by surrounding the PNA headquarters with tanks, placing him under virtual house arrest. Sharon certainly is the key element in the current bleak picture in Israel. The chief witness against him in the Belgian war crimes tribunal was recently blown up: Robert Fisk has discussed the incident and its background ( ... rintable=1). The US continues to support Israel's increasingly brutal ethnic cleansing and its escalated biblical reprisals (ten eyes for an eye, or twenty, or fifty) which are carried out using its huge arsenal of planes, tanks and weaponry gifted by and made in America. The worst outrage was the massive attack of Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians in Rafah on January 10 in which Israel bulldozed more then 70 houses and rendered 123 families homeless in reprisal for the Hamas killing of four Israeli soldiers ( If anyone has the power to put a stop to all this, to end the violence on both sides and begin the negotiations again, the US does. But while the US supplies Israel with billions of dollars' worth of weapons, Bush does nothing but accuse the Palestinians and Arafat of "enhancing terror" for having a shipment of weapons sent them for defense against the Israeli onslaught. The picture of the Palestinians as consisting of Arafat on one side and Hamas and Hizbullah on the other is another Israeli-American fabrication. Edward Said describes a new alliance of Palestinian leaders that is emerging in the current issue of The Nation ( UPI Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker supports this idea of a "Third Way for Palestine" ( ... 1433-6963r), The European Union has split with the US and issued a formal complaint over Israel's destruction of EU-funded property in Palestine and voiced its support of Arafat as a necessary partner in any negotiations .( ... rintable=1). Another hopeful sign is the firm protest of over sixty Israeli army reserve officers who have refused to serve in the Palestinian territories and continue "humiliating an entire people" ... ge=printer). The organizers have vowed to collect 500 signatures in the coming weeks.

Aside from this the US is at war with various Moslem countries, and not surprisingly, Tom Friedman in the New York Times last week found Arab and Moslem journalists and businessmen supporting Bin Laden. Friedman thinks this could have been prevented if we had only translated the US "dossier" of bin Laden's crimes into Arabic ( ... nted=print). A Cairo conference "In Defense of the Nation Against Hegemony" declared the US to be "the number one enemy" (see Al Ahram Weekly,

Americans are peculiarly bad at multitasking in following the news, and the mind bogglingly repetitive and demoralizing topic of Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the bombarding of Afghanistan and the secretive imprisonment of over 1200 Arabs and Moslems in America, are all overwhelmed by an important new distraction: the Enron scandal. The story that emerges is one of bribery, favoritism, arrogance, greed, incompetence, corruption, and government involvement in business at every level. The business of America is business, and the business of Washington again and always is to support, when not actively participating in, corporate graft and exploitation. Robert Scheer believes that having heavily "bankrolled" Bush's political career when he was in Texas and running for President, Enron got good value for its money when he moved to Washington ( ... s=20020122. The damage control and distancing in the capitol are going to be difficult on this one, since it's the worst example of corporate graft and the biggest bankruptcy in American history (see a timeline at ... on/1126890), and Enron's rise to power was built on deregulation, deregulation takes government, and Enron bought politicians all over the map throughout its sixteen-year history. One obvious and useful strategy is to blame Wall Street. In holding hearings on the Enron scandal, Washington is not going to want to be investigating itself, but it will be hard for the Bushes and the US rulers' current policies to emerge clean from this. Bush-Texas-oil-energy-Enron-pipelines-Afghanistan: connect the dots. September 11 was great for George W. Bush: he went from being directionless and illegitimate to looking like a Churchillian national leader. Enron is taking him back to where he was before, and may take the republican party along with it. Enron calls into question the whole system of US national politics as it is practiced today, the way politicians are elected and the way they conduct their business. Enron is proof that this country at the top is profoundly undemocratic. As Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times, "Planet Enron is bigger than one company or one tragedy. It's a state of mind, a subculture, a platinum card aristocracy" ( Some think the laws have to be changed, because what happened in large part was legal ( Campaign finance reform, for instance, is gaining support again ( ... Jan24.html). From the viewpoint of the average citizen, those who can't vote themselves a $51 million severance package when their company goes under, the Enron affair is the best thing that has happened during the Bush administration. The bigger the scandal, the better the chance of a cleanup ( But Bush didn't mention it in his State of the Union address.

┬ęChris Knipp. Blog:

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group