Tonya e-mails to note Tom Hayden's "Is the War Ending? Not. But maybe the peace movement unless...:"
Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari says he wants the rapid withdrawal of US troops. after weeks of being in denial about this development, the media - and the peace movement - now to have to deal with it.
A month ago 82 Iraqi parliamentarians called for US withdrawal. There was no media coverage. But the statement of the prime minister, standing next to Donald Rumsfeld, has to be reported. So is the war over? Hardly. Here is my interpretation.
The US wants to avoid more casualties on the battlefield and political losses in election year 2006.
They want to confuse, divide, lull and deflate American and global anti-war opinion.
They want to take the risk of some American troop withdrawals this winter or spring.
By seeming to begin withdrawal, they are looking for a way to stay.
If they succeed, public attention will drift away from the Iraq War and the peace movement will be isolated.
Dallas e-mails to note Shirley Smith's latest Ms. Smith Goes To Washington, "Frist Frantic to Be First" (original content at BuzzFlash):
Some people seem to be very impressed by Dr. Frist's decision to support stem-cell research. Headlines read how he "breaks with Bush." Frist isn't the type who would actually care about stem-cell research or breaking with Bush, in my opinion. And he wouldn't be the first politician that voted for something when he knows all along that his vote won't make any difference.
In my opinion, I feel sure that this has been discussed with Bush and all of the leading Republicans, as they want a candidate for the next election and especially one from the Bush GOP group. They will support all of them until one floats to the top. No one from Bush's inner circle will break their "loyalty." Republicans aren't leading this nation as those who fight for the right to life . . . they have a definite pattern of death and destruction for the elderly, the ill, children, minorities, our armed forces, and people around the world.
Gareth e-mails to note Stephen Grey and Ian Cobain's "Suspect's tale of travel and torture: Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation under US and UK supervision in 'ghost prisons' abroad" (The Guardian):
For two and a half years US authorities moved Benyam Mohammed around a series of prisons in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan, before he was sent to Guantánamo Bay in September last year.
Mohammed, 26, who grew up in Notting Hill in west London, is alleged to be a key figure in terrorist plots intended to cause far greater loss of life than the suicide bombers of 7/7. One allegation, which he denies, is of planning to detonate a "dirty bomb" in a US city; another is that he and an accomplice planned to collapse a number of apartment blocks by renting ground-floor flats to seal, fill with gas from cooking appliances, and blow up with timed detonators.
In an statement given to his newly appointed lawyer, Mohammed has given an account of how he was tortured for more than two years after being questioned by US and British officials who he believes were from the FBI and MI6. As well as being beaten and subjected to loud music for long periods, he claims his genitals were sliced with scalpels.
He alleges that in Morocco he was shown photos of people he knew from a west London mosque, and was asked about information he was told was supplied by MI5. One interrogator, he says, was a woman who said she was Canadian.
Drawing on his notes, Mohammed's lawyer has compiled a 28-page diary of his torture. This has been declassified by the Pentagon, and extracts are published in the Guardian today.
I believe the extracts are in "One of them made cuts in my penis. I was in agony:"
They took the scalpel to my right chest. It was only a small cut. Maybe an inch. At first I just screamed ... I was just shocked, I wasn't expecting ... Then they cut my left chest. This time I didn't want to scream because I knew it was coming.
One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over. "I told you I was going to teach you who's the man," [one] eventually said.
They cut all over my private parts. One of them said it would be better just to cut it off, as I would only breed terrorists. I asked for a doctor.
Doctor No 1 carried a briefcase. "You're all right, aren't you? But I'm going to say a prayer for you." Doctor No 2 gave me an Alka-Seltzer for the pain. I told him about my penis. "I need to see it. How did this happen?" I told him. He looked like it was just another patient. "Put this cream on it two times a day. Morning and night." He gave me some kind of antibiotic.
I was in Morocco for 18 months. Once they began this, they would do it to me about once a month. One time I asked a guard: "What's the point of this? I've got nothing I can say to them. I've told them everything I possibly could."
"As far as I know, it's just to degrade you. So when you leave here, you'll have these scars and you'll never forget. So you'll always fear doing anything but what the US wants."
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