Appearing before military jurors at a sentencing hearing Thursday, Guantanamo Bay prisoner Majid Khan described the brutal and sadistic torture to which he was subjected during three years of detention at secret CIA “black sites.”
Majid Khan [Credit: Center for Constitutional Rights, ccrjustice.org]
Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)
When he was running for office in 2008, Barack Obama wanted to put an end to the war in Iraq in order to focus U.S. troops and resources on the conflict in Afghanistan. This August, the Biden administration finally withdrew the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan. It’s hard not to get the sense that it has done so in order to perform a similar military pivot—this time toward China.
After all, U.S. policy toward China remains as provocative today as it was under Trump. Tariffs and economic sanctions against Beijing remain largely intact. Little has been done to resolve disputes on trade, security, and human rights. The Pentagon is cutting back on the kinds of weapons it was using in the Middle East in favor of munitions more suited to the Pacific theater. There hasn’t been much in the way of cooperation on the major global problems of pandemic and climate change. Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have barely talked with one another, though there are plans for a virtual meeting by the end of the year.
A coalition of over two dozen press freedom and human rights organisations has called on the Biden administration to drop all charges against Julian Assange. This is ahead of a US appeal that will be heard next week, challenging a British court decision that blocked the WikiLeaks publisher’s extradition.
US President Biden bluntly declared at a Town Hall meeting on Thursday that the US was committed to going to war against China in defence of Taiwan. The statement is another provocative step that undermines the basis of US-China diplomatic relations and intensifies the already acute tensions between the two countries.
President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Baltimore, with moderator Anderson Cooper. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
In the latest in a series of statistics showing the disastrous social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that as many as 180,000 health care workers have died from the ongoing pandemic worldwide.
Nurses and other health workers protest at Kandy hospital in Sri Lanka (WSWS Media)
In preparation for its forthcoming austerity budget, the Sri Lankan government in recent weeks has removed price controls on several essential items, leading to major increases in the cost of living for workers and the rural poor.
Nurses protesting outside Muthur hospital in Sri Lanka's Eastern Province (Photo: Facebook/GNOA)
OCTOBER 18, 2021
The Jewish Chronicle warns that the dismissal of Prof David Miller is ‘just the beginning’
The Israel lobby appears to be readying for a campaign to root out leftwing academics in the UK critical of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinian people – echoing its efforts against the previous leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn.
As with the attacks on Corbyn, the assault on academia is being led by the Jewish Chronicle, a UK weekly newspaper that speaks for the most ardent supporters of Israel among the UK’s Jewish community.
The move follows the lobby’s success this month in pressuring Bristol university to sack one of its professors, David Miller, even after the university’s own investigation – headed by a senior lawyer – concluded that claims of antisemitism against Miller were unfounded.
Miller was formally dismissed on the unexplained basis that he “did not meet the standards of behaviour we expect from our staff and the University”.
The lobby has struggled to disguise its glee that, apparently fearful of bad publicity, Bristol university capitulated to a campaign of unsubstantiated claims Miller “harassed” Jewish students.
Colin Powell just died from Covid-19. So we should expect a tsunami of eulogies from politicians, the mainstream media and even a few liberals who seem to enjoy sanitizing the murderous lives of the ruling class. Those of us on the left who refuse to play the games of polite society when it comes to war crimes will likely be chastised. And he will take his place among the “great generals” of the American Empire. All warmongering societies do this, so it should come as no surprise. But no amount of gushing tributes can erase the truth.
The man who helped whitewash the massacre of civilians at My Lai during the war against Vietnam, pushed hard for the Gulf War in the 1990s, and gave the green light to Ariel Sharon in his murderous assault on civilians in Jenin and land grabs in the occupied West Bank, also sold the war against Iraq at the beginning of this century with a fistful of lies. Iraq never attacked the US. It did not have “weapons of mass destruction.” But the Bush administration was salivating for blood and oil after the attacks on the US on the 11th of September, 2001. And any morsel of fiction that would justify their lust for violence was welcomed.
Powell would later blame his role in peddling these lies on an “intelligence failure.” This is the go-to excuse for the American military establishment, as we see with the latest atrocity they committed in Afghanistan, the recent drone bomb incineration of a family in Kabul after the disastrous pull out of American troops. Now that he is dead, he will not face justice at the Hague for these crimes. But really, no member of the American ruling class ever does.
In this same week we lost Sister Megan Rice who was 91 years old. Rice was imprisoned for two years in federal prison when she was in her 80s after she broke into a government complex to protest nuclear weapons. Her activism was influenced by her parents who worked with Dorothy Day for economic justice during the Great Depression and by her uncle who had spent four months in Nagasaki, Japan, following the criminal nuclear bombing of civilians by US forces. After living and working in West Africa for 23 years as a teacher and pastoral guide she returned to the US and became a major activist in the peace movement. Sister Rice will not get the attention of a dead general in the mainstream press or by politicians of the ruling parties. Those who expose war crimes or who advocate peace are generally marginalized, imprisoned or silenced in militaristic societies.
Americans have a remarkable ability of sanitizing the crimes of their ruling class. Their lives often seem to eclipse the mountains of corpses on which they stand atop. The regions left in disarray and ruin. The lives and families and hopes that were forever disfigured or shattered. All of that disappears, is explained away, or is designated as a mere footnote when one of the elite dies. The nationalistic panegyrics that are employed are designed to do just that. A kind of novocaine that glazes over eyes and numbs collective memory. But as the late Howard Zinn said: “‘There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” And, despite the enormous effort made, that shame cannot be sponged away in death. (19/10/21)
Kenn Orphan is an artist, sociologist, radical nature lover and weary, but committed activist. He can be reached at kennorphan.com
காலிமுகத்திடலில் அசௌகரியத்தை விரும்பாத உயர் மத்திய வர்க்கம் எரிவாயு, பெற்றோல் இல்லாமையால் போராட புறப்படுவதற்கு ஒரு தசாப்தத்திற்கு முன்னதாக...