yay, he’s dead. he killed a lot of people. a lot of innocent people. i understand how his death gives closure to a lot of hurt people. end of an era, etc etc. i have no argument with the fact that the world is a better place without him. i have no doubt he deserved to die for his crimes.
a small, elite team of professional killers entered another sovereign nation’s space, without their knowledge or permission. that team enters a building, finds the man they’re looking for, who is, by their admission, unarmed. they kill him on the spot, no doubt none too prettily. they then take his body to another sovereign nation, where presumably they take materiel for dna testing. then they dump his body in the ocean.
no trial, no ‘loose ends’ if that’s what you want to call it. an execution, leaving no trace.
here’s what Noam Chomsky had to say about this week:
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders …
… There’s more to say about [Cuban airline bomber Orlando] Bosch, who just died peacefully in Florida, including reference to the “Bush doctrine” that societies that harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves and should be treated accordingly.
… Same with the name, Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk… It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”
it makes me uncomfortable that liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow, for example, not only can’t seem to see that the jingoistic celebrations on the streets of young Americans chanting ‘USA USA USA’ and ‘Obama got Osama’ and holding posters of the Statue of Liberty holding aloft bin Laden’s severed head have their exact parallels in the celebrations on the streets of the Middle East on September 12, 2001. Not only can Maddow — just to choose the one liberal i’ve followed all week — not see that parallel (or at least chooses not to draw it) but she took part in the celebrations herself.
there has been no critical commentary on the execution of bin Laden from Maddow at all, and that disappoints me, because, sadly, it deserves some objective analysis from someone other than the Glen Becks of the world, god help us.
the USA is about ‘justice for all’, right? i don’t have an argument with bringing bin Laden to justice — and if that means execution at the end of the judicial process, then yippee.
but shot down by, presumably, multiple assailants, in his own bedroom in front of his wife, and for all we know, his kids?
strikes me that the USA just sank to Al Qaeda’s standards. and it’s double standards, no question.
no doubt this will bring the hate to this blog, but i’m going to say it out loud …. I EXPECTED MORE FROM THE COUNTRY THAT CLAIMS TO BE THE MOST POWERFUL AND THE MOST ENLIGHTENED IN THE WORLD.
bin Laden didn’t deserve to be treated like a human being — god knows he didn’t treat his enemies with anything other than evil contempt. but how much more enlightened would the USA look today if they had treated him with the respect he DIDN’T deserve?
come on, bring it on.
y’know, it’s not even the fact that civilians, photographers and kids were shot at and killed … mistakes happen, and i suppose long lens cameras can look like ak-47s and RPGs if that’s what you want to see.
no, that’s not what bothers me most.
what bothers, and sickens and angers me most, is the attitude. the ‘fucking pricks’ … the ‘c’mon let us shoot’ … the utter silence when it becomes obvious that there are no weapons, just a bunch of civilians and kids and cameras … the amusement when someone drives a tank over a body … the urging of the wounded, crawling guy to ‘just pick up a weapon’ … it’s the ‘their fault for bringing their kids to a battle’. it’s the killing people for retrieving their wounded.
the US military is a barbaric, arrogant, murdering machine, looking for any excuse to kill the little sandniggers, apparently.
seriously, Americans, do you wonder why half the world hates your over-priviliged, over-armed guts?
sometimes, you just have to count your blessings, people. This was on the AP wire this morning:
BAGHDAD: Militiamen are torturing and killing gay Iraqi men with impunity in a systematic campaign that has spread from Baghdad to several other cities, a prominent human rights group said in a report.
Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government to act urgently to stop the abuses, warning that so-called social cleansing poses a new threat to security even as other violence recedes.
The bodies of several gay men were found in Baghdad’s main Shiite district of Sadr City earlier this year with the Arabic words for “pervert” and “puppy” – considered derogatory terms for homosexuals in Iraq – written on their chests.
The New York-based advocacy group said the threats and abuses have since spread to the cities of Kirkuk, Najaf and Basra, although the practice remains concentrated in the capital.
“Murders are committed with impunity, admonitory in intent, with corpses dumped in garbage or hung as warnings on the street,” the 67-page report said.
Reliable numbers weren’t available, Human Rights Watch said, blaming a combination of the failure of authorities to investigate such crimes and the stigma preventing families from reporting the deaths. But it cited a well-informed UN official as saying in April that the death toll was probably “in the hundreds”.
The campaign has been largely blamed on Shiite extremists who have long targeted behaviour deemed un-Islamic, beating and even killing women for not wearing veils and bombing liquor stores.
Shiite militiamen have for the most part stopped their violence against rival Sunnis after radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s forces were routed by US and Iraqi forces last year and declared a cease-fire. But the report indicated they were conducting a less publicised campaign of social cleansing.
“The same thing that used to happen to Sunnis and Shiites is now happening to gays,” said a doctor who had fled Baghdad and was interviewed for the report. The doctor, who described himself as gay, said several of his friends had been killed.
An Iraqi Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to discuss the issue with the media, acknowledged there has been a sharp escalation in attacks against gay men this year by suspected Shiite extremists. But he told The Associated Press that the ministry does not have numbers “because in most cases the family members themselves are either involved in the killing or prefer to keep silent, fearing shame”.
The former number two official at the US Embassy in Iraq, Patricia Butenis, wrote in a letter to a US congressman that reports from contacts familiar with the areas where some of the bodies were found “suggest the killings are the work of militias who believe homosexuality is a form of Western deviance that cannot be tolerated.”
The letter was in response to concerns raised by US Republican Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat who is openly gay. Polis had brought up the issue during a visit to Iraq.
Homosexuals have been targeted throughout the Iraq war, but the killings appear to have intensified as improvements in overall security led gay men to begin going out to cafes in groups and socialising in public, according to the report.
Human Rights Watch accused authorities of doing nothing to stop the killings and warned that reflected an overall inability to protect the people.
“These killings point to the continuing and lethal failure of Iraq’s post-occupation authorities to establish the rule of law and protect their citizens,” said Rasha Moumneh, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.
The Human Rights Watch report was based on interviews with more than 50 Iraqi men who identified themselves as gay as well as Iraqi human rights activists, journalists and doctors.
The Iraqi government’s Human Rights Ministry has condemned the killings of gay men.
“We are against any violation of their rights because they are after all Iraqi citizens,” said ministry spokesman, Kalim Amin. “The government should not allow any armed group to launch random killings against people, sometimes only for mere suspicion.”
an Iranian student shot dead while expressing her right to dissent. iran’s on the brink.
this has been doing the rounds of the ‘toobs for the last 24 hours or so. and why not? it’s a classic. it’s from the wall street journal. i think. it depicts a US soldier in afghanistan who didn’t have time to put on his uniform and gets caught by the camera taking up a defensive position in pink I<3NY boxers and his double-pluggers, bless him.
npr are reporting that jailed US journo roxana saberi will be released from her iranian jail today:
Reza Saberi said he was on his way to pick up his daughter from Iranian authorities, who have held the 32-year-old reporter since she was arrested in January and later convicted of spying for the U.S.
“They have reduced her sentence. … She will be free as of today,” he said.
A lawyer for the jailed journalist in Iran confirmed on Sunday that a deal to free her was imminent after a five-hour closed-door appeals hearing. He said she will be allowed to leave the country immediately.
Saberi was convicted April 13 after a one-day trial and sentenced to eight years in jail on charges of “cooperating with a hostile state.” She had been reporting from Iran for the past six years but had allowed her press credentials to expire, her father said shortly after her arrest.
read the whole thing here.