Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Iraq & Afghanistan & Canadian Complicity in An Immoral War & Human Rights Abuses

UPDATE: Yes there is a justifiable aura of Euphoria over the acclamation of Barack Obama as the Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party but there are still many issues unresolved. If Obama moves too far to the middle or the right than some of his supporters may start to question whether he is really determined to change Washington. What these supporters desire is that Barack Obama insist that business as usual in Washington is not an option.He therefore must be a true instrument and force for change.

To begin with here's a little video for John McCain,the Republicans,the Neocons & FOX NEWS who keep bringing up the War in Vietnam which they incorrectly see as a necessary war which it was not and secondly that America was there to defend democracy which it was not as America was backing a corrupt and brutal regime . Meanwhile Americans murdered some 2,000,000 Vietnamese while losing some 60,000 American troops.

Also McCain and the Republicans and the Neocons and much of the Mass Media spread the propaganda and misinformation about the Vietnam War that it was lost they explain because of liberals and leftists at home in America who were against the war rather than accept the historical fact that the war was unwinnable.

The American forces in Vietnam did not care about the Vietnamese people since the Americans saw Vietnam as a pawn in its War against Communist China . The Americans did nothing to help the Vietnamese people move towards a Democratic Regime which would fight for the basic rights and freedoms of the average Vietnamese citizen.
And we should remember that the Vietnam War continued under a Democratic Administration and under a Republican Administration.

This is of course similar to the propaganda and misinformation that has been spewing out of the Bush Regime and much of the Mass media especially Fox News in reference to the War in Iraq. It too is an unnecessary war which was entered into under false pretenses and lies, falsehoods and cooked up intelligence.

One of the questions that can be raised about Barack Obama's foreign policy is his belief in escalating the War effort in Afghanistan. But is that war now any more justifiable than the Iraq War or the Vietnam War. The people of Afghanistan have a right to object to any armed interference if it merely leads to more killing and more chaos. So Barack in this case has to be clear about his goals and strategies in Afghanistan .

And Jeremy Scahill reports on the murder of more than 90 civilians by US forces in Afghanistan. But the Democrats are painting the Afghan War as the " Good War" though it is also a quagmire and an on-going disaster and tragedy. It has accomplished very little over the last seven years. Meanwhile Obama believes he should be able to act unilaterally when America's interest are in jeopardy. Given such an open concept then the various illegal and immoral actions in the United States in Vietnam or through backing military coups in the past as in Chile, Guatemala, Iran etc.

In Wake of Deadly U.S. Airstrike, Jeremy Scahill Questions Dems on Obama's Afghanistan Policy/ Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! August 28, 2008.

As Democrats rally in support of candidates who want an escalation in Afghanistan, the 7-year old war is claiming more lives than ever.
The mood inside the Pepsi Center on night two of the Democratic National Convention was jubilant. Hillary Clinton brought people to thunderous applause as she called for a unified party to defeat John McCain.

But while the Democrats celebrated, a half a world away grief and sorrow continue to plague a village in western Afghanistan that was victim to a stunningly lethal air strike by U.S. forces last Thursday. This week, a United Nations team released the findings of its on-the-ground investigation. And what they found was horrifying.
Some ninety Afghan civilians were killed. Among the dead, as many as sixty children between the ages of three months and sixteen years. It’s believed to be the single deadliest US strike against Afghan civilians since the US first attacked the country in 2001.

Here in Denver, the horror of this story could not be further from the hallway discussions of those inside the Pepsi Center ... But Afghanistan will play a major role in the general election, where Barack Obama will make his plan to increase the US military deployment in Afghanistan by several thousand troops a centerpiece of his foreign policy vision. The Obama campaign is painting Afghanistan as the good war

And as for the continuance of Racism in America here is apiece about the Prison Work Farms in the United States:

Slavery Haunts American Plantation Prisons ( in America today)Thursday 28 August 2008 by: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t

On an expanse of 18,000 acres of farmland, 59 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, long rows of men, mostly African-American, till the fields under the hot Louisiana sun. The men pick cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn. They work for pennies, literally. Armed guards, mostly white, ride up and down the rows on horseback, keeping watch. At the end of a long workweek, a bad disciplinary report from a guard - whether true or false - could mean a weekend toiling in the fields. The farm is called Angola, after the homeland of the slaves who first worked its soil.
This scene is not a glimpse of plantation days long gone by. It's the present-day reality of thousands of prisoners at the maximum security Louisiana State Penitentiary, otherwise known as Angola. The block of land on which the prison sits is a composite of several slave plantations, bought up in the decades following the Civil War. Acre-wise, it is the largest prison in the United States. Eighty percent of its prisoners are African-American.

Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Three Years Later ( after Hurricane Katrina)Tuesday 26 August 2008 by: Bill Quigley, t r u t h o u t

Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast three years ago this week. The president promised to do whatever it took to rebuild. But the nation is trying to fight wars in several countries and is dealing with economic crisis. The attention of the president wandered away. As a result, this is what New Orleans looks like today.

0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant - compared to 116,708 homeowners.

0. Number of apartments currently being built to replace the 963 public housing apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

It appears Democrats are too interested in self-congratulations to bother spending much time on issues such as the mismanaged rebuilding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

also see Harry Shearer at Huffington Post on New Orleans & Hurricane Katrina in his article " Katrina & Cronyism" august 27, 2008

My friends in New Orleans are either deciding what to pack, or deciding to hunker down. There's an ominous mass gaining power in the Gulf. And in Denver tonight, exactly three words were spoken that served as a shout-out from the powerful and the would-be powerful to a city on its knees: "Katrina and cronyism." That's the sum total of the verbiage from the podium of the DNC about the "greatest man-made engineering disaster in American history." That's what people in New Orleans have to cling to as they hope, and pray, that the same Corps of Engineers that mis-engineered them into six weeks of catastrophic flooding have done it better this time, even though the timeline for "this time" didn't call for real protection until three years from now. Gustav didn't read the Corps' schedule.

Corporate Amnesty vs Your Privacy
from the Liberalviewer
UPDATE: For more on this topic than you'll hear in a year's worth of political conventions, check this out:
UPDATE: Although the House rejected telecom amnesty on March 14, 2008, it was only a delay and the US Congress passed and Bush signed into law telecom amnesty and warrantless wiretapping in July 2008.

THE ACLU IS SUING!!! You can find more info in my YouTube video titled "ACLU Fights Wiretapping Approved by Obama, McCain and Bush" that's at

Or, see the ACLU's webpage at

update: July 16/2008 from Liberalviewer
When Pres. George W. Bush and Sen. Barack Obama BOTH agreed on unconstitutional amendments to the foreign intelligence surveillance act (FISA) last week, it raised questions about Obama's consistency on civil liberties and about how to best fight this assault on the Fourth Amendment and the right to privacy. I try to answer these questions with some clips from a Barack Obama news conference and from spokespeople for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

You can see the full July 1, 2008, Barack Obama news conference from which I took a short clip for my video at
ACLU Fights Wiretapping Approved by Obama, McCain and Bush

And now for a couple of ongoing legal cases which have a Canadian element to them.

Will Bush Officials Invoke State Secrets Privilege to Block Court Review of Arar Case? William Fisher,IPS News,Aug. 18,2008

Among the defendants in the lawsuit by extraordinary rendition Maher Arar are John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, and Robert Mueller

So rare is a judge's dismissal of a government "state secrets" motion that, when it happens, it becomes front-page news. That's what happened when a federal judge in Chicago recently disagreed with the government's use of the privilege in a case involving the Department of Homeland Security's terrorist watch list. The plaintiff, a local businessman, sued to discover whether his name was on the list. The government called that a "state secret", but the judge disagreed. The government is appealing the decision.

Once rare, the use of the "state secrets privilege" has grown exponentially during the administration of George W. Bush. The privilege has kept many cases from ever coming before any court. Administration critics say it is an essential part of a curtain of secrecy the Bush Administration has built, often for nothing more than avoiding political embarrassment.

David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an internationally recognized authority on constitutional law, told IPS, "The administration has argued that the president has unilateral executive power in the 'war on terror' to violate even criminal laws, and when it has been challenged on that assertion, it has argued that the courts can't even rule on that assertion of power because the alleged criminal violation is a 'state secret'."

There are currently efforts in Congress to enact legislation to limit the government's use of the state secrets privilege. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would require the government to produce the evidence it says is protected for review by a federal judge in a classified setting. But the bill lacks bipartisan support on the committee -- only one Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, voted to move it to the Senate floor. That makes the future of the measure unclear.

Senator Specter is a sponsor of the bill, the State Secrets Protection Act, along with Democratic Senators Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee. They said the objective of the proposed legislation is to "provide a systematic approach to the privilege and thereby bring stability, predictability, and clarity to this area of the law and restore the public trust in government and the courts."

A new Judiciary Committee report on use of the state secrets privilege includes dissenting views from several Republican members of the committee, who argue that the existing arrangements already strike the "right balance between openness, justice and national security".

The Supreme Court has consistently ruled against the Bush administration on issues surrounding its detention policies. In 2004, in a case involving a U.S. citizen being detained indefinitely at Guantanamo as an "illegal enemy combatant," the Court recognized the power of the government to detain unlawful combatants, but ruled that detainees who are U.S. citizens must have the ability to challenge their detention before an impartial judge.
Under the Neocon Harper Regime Canada instead of being a refuge for War resisters we have become America's willing partner in supporting the illegal and immoral War in Iraq and the American invasion of that country. We are a country of American lap-dogs and Quislings who are all too willing to give into America's demands no matter how unreasonable. By doing so we have allowed our border with America to become militarized and Canadians going to America are all treated as suspicious & potential terrorists and troublemakers.

War Resister Robin Long Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison
Sarah Lazare, Courage to Resist, Aug. 25, 2008

Long, an Iraq War resister deported from Canada last month, was sentenced to 15 months of prison and dishonorable discharge

This is an update to AlterNet's previous story on the case of Robin Long.
Robin Long, an Iraq War resister deported from Canada into U.S. military custody last month, was sentenced today to 15 months of confinement and dishonorable discharge, receiving credit for 40 days of time served.

Long's supporters, who flooded the Fort Carson, Colorado courtroom where the court martial was held and held a vigil in his honor, expressed dismay at the harsh verdict. "It sets a very chilling precedent that someone who is brought back gets the book thrown at them," said Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Colonel who publicly resigned in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and served as a witness at Long's trial. "I hope the Canadian government recognizes that."

Three years ago, Robin Long fled to Canada rather than fight a war in Iraq he deems immoral and illegal. On July 15th, the Canadian government forcibly returned Long to U.S. military custody, making him the first war resister deported from Canadian soil since the Vietnam War.

The Canadian government's actions flaunt its long-standing tradition of providing safe haven for U.S. war resisters and ignore a non-binding parliamentary resolution to allow U.S. soldiers to stay in Canada.

Long is a part of a growing movement of GI resistance against the Iraq War, and his case has been met with widespread support from friends and allies throughout the United States and Canada

and so it goes,

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