Friday, March 08, 2013

Confronting counter-insurgency with silence?

Today The Muslin News carries Al-Akhbar's "Pentagon used 'dirty wars' tactics in Iraq."  From the article:

In Iraq, Steele and special adviser to Petraeus Colonel James Coffman worked to establish a ring of detention centers in areas with high levels of “Sunni insurgency”. In an interview with US military paper Stars and Stripes Coffman described himself as the “eyes and ears” of Patraeus, who was General at the time.
In the documentary, Iraqi General Mundadher al-Samari, who aided Steele and Coffman in setting up the special police commandos said: "I never saw [Steele and Coffman] apart in the 40 or 50 times I saw them inside the detention centres. They knew everything that was going on there ... the torture, the most horrible kinds of torture."

The Guardian report by Mona Mahmood, Maggie O'Kane, Chavala Madlena and Teresa Smith has been reported all over the world-- including by the Iraq Times -- except in the US where the response has been silence.  A notable exception is Chris Floyd's "A Low, Dishonest Decade: New Details for the Iraq War Crime Mosaic" (OpEd News):

Ulster on the Eurphrates: The Anglo-American Dirty War in Iraq.] As the Guardian investigation confirms, Petraeus was hip-deep in the process. The aim of this deeply evil program, one supposes, was to achieve the "creative destruction" so beloved of the neocon savants who provided the "intellectual" framework for the Hitlerian act of aggression. True to their Trotskyist roots, they longed for the cleansing fire of war and ruin to clear the ground for their fanatical, world-shaping dreams. (Unlike Trotsky, of course, they never led troops in the field or put their own lives on the line.) Or as that deep thinker Glenn Reynolds once put it, gleefully: "More rubble, less trouble."
What happened, of course, was the opposite: more rubble meant more trouble, and the shallow fools and blithering incompetents who comprise the American leadership class lost control of the situation. The carnage was so horrific that it threatened to damage the whole war-profiteering enterprise; why, there were even a few timorous calls among some quadrants of the elite suggesting that maybe it was time to begin thinking about considering the idea of mulling over at some unspecified point in the future the vague possibility of maybe thinking about considering the possibility of ending the war sometime, maybe, somewhere down the line. This tinkling trickle of potential opposition was quickly quelled, however, with the great googily-moogily "Surge": another invasion with thousands of American troops, more bribes for Sunni extremists, plus months of maniacal, American-backed "ethnic cleansing" to help Shiite collaborators eke out a victory in the civil war.
In one of the many blood-dark ironies of the war, Petraeus was put in charge of the murderous effort to stem the sectarian violence he had been fomenting at Washington's command. When the killing levels were no longer at historically unprecedented levels but were merely the worst anywhere in the world, the "surge" was proclaimed a great triumph, and Petraeus was the bipartisan hero of the hour.

The reality of counter-insurgency in Iraq continues to be avoided by what's supposed to be our left and alternative media in the US which apparently prefers to ape the corporate media they are so very envious of.  So unconcerned with Iraq are they, they farm out the topic.  The Nation ran Peter Van Buren's column as does Mother Jones -- van Buren's piece was dead on arrival and the sort of musings you might expect from the deeply medicated.  But it's probably the best either outlet can do these days when it comes to Iraq.

A lot of people and a lot of outlets seem to be working overtime to keep the American people ignorant of what's been exposed by the Guardian and the BBC.   The reports by the Guardian and the documentary they've done with the BBC stem from Bradley Manning's whistle blowing.  Bradley is scheduled to be court-martialed in June.  There is no better proof of the importance of Bradley's leaks and the need for them than what the BBC and the Guardian are reporting.

E-mails to the public account sometimes whine that we don't link to the Bradley Manning Support Network unless they have an article we're noting.  I find the Bradley Manning Support Network to be juvenile and uninformed -- a bunch of cowardly Socialists (many who won't even cop to being a Socialist) who can't cover what matters and especially can't call out Barack.

If there was a story they should have run with this week, it was the news out of England.  But they ignored it.  It's how you build support for Bradley, but they ignore it.

Why?  Naomi Spencer (WSWS) points out, "Organizations that orbit the Obama administration-- including the International Socialist Organization, which has published a handful of articles about the case -- have likewise avoided uttering the name of Manning’s oppressor: the Democratic administration of Barack Obama. The most recent report in the Socialist Worker, the ISO’s publication, was a reprint of a February 22 Belfast Telegraph op-ed which made no mention of Obama."

We valued The Pentagon Papers in real time because of what they exposed.  Apparently, today's left media (Nation, Mother Jones, et al) is too idiotic or thinks their audience is.  (Remember a few years back when Danny Schechter blogged about being on Democracy Now! and not being allowed to make certain financial points or address certain financial topics because Goodman declared her audience wouldn't understand?)  So when presented with fresh reporting out of England that would back up the importance of Bradley's actions, they can't even cover it, they're too damn stupid to grasp that you don't wait until the last week of May to try to build support for Bradley before the June court-martial.

Back in the dark days of Bully Boy Bush, we highlighted a lot of fakes -- United for Peace and Justice, for example.  I don't have the time or the inclination these days.  If an organization works towards what they say they want, we'll link to them.  But these pretend organizations that do nothing or, worse, that hurt the causes they say they're advocating for?  I have no interest in supporting them.

Bradley Manning?  We care about him.  What he did made a difference and is making a difference.  Which is why we've covered counter-insurgency so much this week. 

And while they're silent -- these outlets we're supposed to be able to count on like Democracy Now and The Nation and The Progressive and on and on --  those promoting counter-insurgency aren't silent.  Conrad Crane will be on Scott LaMar's Smart Talk today -- and despite WITF claiming to be inclusive, the man who helped write the counter-insurgency manual will be allowed to sing his own praises and those of counter-insurgency with no opposing voice.  Scott LaMar will present an infomercial for counter-insurgency.  And that's what we're up against -- these lies promoting destruction.  People who are silent about this?  I don't have the time for them.

Nor do I consider silence to be the way to address or confront the menace that is counter-insurgency.

The following community sites -- plus NPR music, C-SPAN, Adam Kokesh, Cindy Sheehan, Susan's On the Edge, Media Channel, Antiwar.come and Ms. magazine's blog -- updated last night and this morning:

In November 1978, Carl Levin was elected to the Senate.  He's served ever since, winning each re-election.  Yesterday, he announced that he would not run in 2014 for another term.  Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee.  Her office issued the following yesterday:

Thursday, March 7th, 2013 
CONTACT: Murray Press Office

Senator Murray’s Statement on Senator Levin’s Decision to Not Seek Re-Election
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray released the following statement after U.S. Senator Carl Levin announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.
“Carl Levin’s remarkable career in the Senate has been defined by his selfless dedication to his home state of Michigan and working families across our country. From his work to support our men and women in the military to his passion for good government policies, Carl’s impact on the Senate has been felt by all Americans. Carl’s voice will be missed, but I look forward to working with him throughout the next two years.”
Sean Coit
Press Secretary
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray

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