Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Deepak Chopra: Mumbai & A More Thoughtful Response To Terrorism

UPDATE: 12:35 PM Dec. 16.
& 2:05 PM Dec. 16

Anyway there have been more terrorists attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan and recently in Mumbai India. And these days Afghanistan is being trumpeted as "The Good War " so now we can all sit back and relax and forget about the million dead in Iraq and that the country is not in great shape since the occupation began. Most of the infrastructure needed for a modern nation has not been rebuilt. Americans think that somehow the Iraqi people to America for bringing about even more chaos , destruction and death leaving them under the rule of a distrusted unworkable corrupt government.

Deepak Chopra tries to explain to the slow-witted American Faux Jounalists about the context of the Mumbai terrorists attack . He argues that America's approach to terrorism is far too heavy handed . It would be better if America and its western allies were to instead try to appeal to the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists. But every time an innocent civilian is killed or insulted or abused or tortured in America's name by American soldiers this becomes a tool for recruiting more Muslims to join the terrorists.

November 27, 2008

Note Hannity doesn't allow Deepak to finish his comments -Typical Mainstream Media only wanting sound-bites & Bush Regime Talking Points. As is apparent Fox News and the conservatives are uninterested in treating any issue in a serious and informed manner within some form of historical context. They believe there is a simple explanation and a simple solution. It is the good guys versus the bad guys. It is just what Deepak Chopra is trying to address. But heaven forbid that it might take more than a snide remark an insult or sound bite to explain a situation. Deepak says he wishes to use an analogy to the treatment of cancer compared to how to treat terrorism But Hannity cuts Deepak off mid sentence because Hannity doesn't understand what an " Analogy " is or doesn't care and has already decided Depak is in his view " Soft on Terrorism ". Hannity and others in the mainstream media also don't like to be told that there over a billion Mulims in the world and a small percentage are extremists or Terrorists . The narrative is that Islam is bad and Christianity is good and that is the end of the story according to Hannity. One should remember that Hannity and others used the notion that Obama might have been raised as a Muslim or gone to a Maddrassa as a boy and so might be a secret muslim. The very idea or hint of Obama being influenced by Islam in any way according to Hannity Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin etc. & the Racist Fox News owners and operators & McCain & Palin and a lot of the US Media if it were true should have been enough to defeat Obama.

What Deepak Chopra is arguing is that those in authority shouldn't just respond in some knee jerk response as in attacking Mulims or Arabs or other groups indiscriminately. If those in authority obliterate a town or village in retaliation because there might be a handful of terrorists hiding out in that town or village. When America or other nation uses its force in this indiscriminate manner it helps to fuel more hatred and creates more people who are willing to take up arms against those who have murdered their friends, family and loved ones.

America remember invaded and occupied Iraq under false pretenses creating more hatred of America and of the Western Nations who have been complicit in these War Crimes and Crimes against humanity. But to CNN or Fox News and Sean Hannity America can do no wrong and when it does America gets a free pass and so can act with impunity since it is after all is said and done God's Chosen Nation.

Deepak Chopra talks about historical context in a similar fashion for instance as does Arundhati Roy but such talk is wasted on most members of the Mainstream Media. These American faux journalist are not interested in historical facts or talk about context since they believe they know what needs to be done which is to just kill more Muslims or Arab or Pakistanis or Lebonese . It is part of the American psyche as it were that believes that it is all just a matter of good vs evil and the solution can be found through common sense. All this talk about context and historical analysis is just intellectual nonsense. And when Deepak reminds the interviewer that it was the Americans who financed and armed the Taliban and other extremist groups in Afghanistan to fight the occupying Soviet forces in a proxy war which then led to the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and allowing for the creation of Al Qaeda . In the same way America supported through money and weapons and encouraged Saddam to fight a proxy war for America against Iran . It was the Americans and other Western powers who supplied Saddam with his Weapons of Mass Destruction which he used on Iranians and on his own people. The Americans had no problem with him running a barbaric anti-democratic brutal regime until Saddam invaded Kuwait. Even after the Americans won that war they stood by as Saddam mass murdered tens of thousands of his own people.

When America invaded Iraq the Bush Regime claimed Saddam had some connection to 9/11 which was not true . They claimed he still had WMDS which was also not true. And further by 2003 Saddam 's had been so weakened by its two wars and ten years of punishing sanctions was not much of a threat to anyone let alone United States or Israel.

Deepak Chopra on Hannity

And here's Deepak Chopra being interviewed by Right Wing extremist Bill O'Reilly
Reilly gets upset when Deepak suggests the people in Guantanao should be given the right to a fair trial and access to lawyers and that these detainees not be abused or tortured. O'Reilly for instance takes it for granted that the detainees are all guilty whether they are held at Guantanamo or other prisons run by the military & the CIA . Surely if US forces arrest someone those individuals must be guilty. Deepak makes the classic mistake in that he believes that people like Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity & others on the far right are open to real discussions of the issues and are willing to entertain other proposals and solutions. Those Americans who supported Bush & Cheney just want revenge for the 9/11 attacks; they want more people killed and more towns and cities in Iraq & Afghanistan & Lebanon etc. obliterated in the name of " Democracy & Freedom & in the name of the West &.Christendom .

Deepak Chopra interviewed On O'Reilly Dec. 10, 2008

And in a further response to Sean Hannity Deepak Chopra has published the following open letter.

I sent the following letter to Sean Hannity recently in response to his misrepresentation of what I said on his show regarding the Mumbai terrorist attacks. I have not received any response back from him. Today I read it aloud on my Sirius-XM radio program and am now making it public here as well.

Dear Sean,

I saw a report about last night's show that quotes you as follows:

"Hannity continued by saying, "We had Deepak Chopra on last night and he's blaming America! ...He was blaming America for the attacks in Mumbai and I challenged him on it and I'm like, 'Wait a minute. You've done so well in America. Why are you blaming us?' We protect 100% of the world's population. We're 4% of it."

I am really disappointed in you. Do you not remember your other guest when I was on, former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen? He made the same point I did about America's policy toward the jihadists: "Are we creating more terrorists than killing them?" Ironically, this question is attributed to Donald Rumsfeld.

It really doesn't matter to me personally whether you agree with me or not. Leaving our debate aside, your habit of taking statements out of context and playing the blaming game is sad. You have a powerful platform that influences many people. Why do you use your influence to monger fear, militancy, divisiveness, and jingoism?

I was hoping to come back on your show and have a reflective, intelligent dialogue, but perhaps the attack mode is the only way you know to make a living. The best excuse for your dishonest accusations against me is that you don't believe what you're saying. The far right has deflated, so you are there to pump it up with hot air. If you stop blowing, you'll be out of a job. I empathize.


PS: No one expects the right wing to change, but for what it's worth, they have entered an era of reconstruction. They've lost both their power and their credibility. Instead of trying to educate me about being an American, you might want to re-educate yourselves about dirty pool and below-the-belt attacks. Just a thought.
Read Deepak Chopra on Intent.com to listen to his Sirius-XM radio podcasts

And to make Deepak Chopra's point more obvious here is President George Bush speaking in an interview on Dec. 15, 2008.

Even now President Bush is still trying to rewrite the history of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq to prove that it was not a mistake or a blunder but was a good ting for America the World and Irai people- A million dead Iraqis might disagree- even now a hundred or more Iraqis die each day .

But Saddam no longer had Weapons of Mass destruction in 2003 and Iraq had undergone ten years of punishing sanctions which left the country in a desperate state.

Bush On AQIA (Al Qeada In Iraq) Not Existing Before Invasion: 'So What?' Dec. 15, 2008
BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take-

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.
BUSH: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.

as for military targets why did US forces target the civilian infrastructure in contravention of International Law water and sewage treatment plants along with the power grid and schools and hospitals. We also know that the American forces use the banned cluster bombs and that they used White phosphorus . If Bush was as he claimed so sensitive to Iraq's ancient history why didn't his troops guard the museums and archaeological digs in Iraq.

But once again the Bush Regime has convinced a significant number of Americans to believe that it is ok to bomb any target they want to. The deaths of a half million to a million dead Iraqis is of no consequence .

also see; Michelle Haimoff at Huffington Post Nov. 27, 2008 "Deepak Chopra on Mubai: Too Controversial For CNN?"

O'Reilly and Hannity want to contine fighting terrorists in the same way America has in the past eight years even though Terrorist attacks have increased during that time . These conservatives savor the idea of alleged terrorists being abused , beaten, insulted & tortured and even murdered . At the bottom of their dark souls they believe all Muslims and all Arabs , all Iraqis, all Afghanis , all Iranians , all Lebonese, all Palestinians are the enemy and deserve to suffer as much as possible. They have shifted their racism against black Americans & other visible minorities to all those non-whites and non-Christians outside of the United States. Their attacks on immigration and illegal immigrants is just another series of code words and phrases to cover their racist views. They adapt their racist views in such a way so as to sound they mistakenly believe a little more politically correct.

Also see Glenn Greenwald's article at Salon about the Senate Report on detainee abuse::Monday, December 15, 2008 by Salon.com
Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns

The bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report issued on Thursday -- which documents that "former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior U.S. officials share much of the blame for detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba" and "that Rumsfeld's actions were 'a direct cause of detainee abuse' at Guantanamo and 'influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques ... in Afghanistan and Iraq'" -- raises an obvious and glaring question: how can it possibly be justified that the low-level Army personnel carrying out these policies at Abu Ghraib have been charged, convicted and imprisoned, while the high-level political officials and lawyers who directed and authorized these same policies remain free of any risk of prosecution? The culpability which the Report assigns for these war crimes is vast in scope and unambiguous:

The executive summary also traces the erosion of detainee treatment standards to a Feb,. 7, 2002, memorandum signed by President George W. Bush stating that the Geneva Convention did not apply to the U.S. war with al Qaeda and that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or legal protections.
"The president's order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment," the summary said.

Members of Bush's Cabinet and other senior officials participated in meetings inside the White House in 2002 and 2003 where specific interrogation techniques were discussed, according to the report.

The policies which the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously concludes were authorized by Bush, Rumsfeld and several other top Bush officials did not merely lead to "abuse" and humiliating treatment, but are directly -- and unquestionably -- responsible for numerous detainee murders. Many of those deaths caused by abusive treatment have been formally characterized as "homicides" by autopsies performed in Iraq and Afghanistan (see these chilling compilations of autopsy findings on detainees in U.S. custody, obtained by the ACLU, which reads like a classic and compelling exhibit in a war crimes trial).

While the bulk of the attention over detainee abuse has been directed to Guantanamo, the U.S., to this day, continues to imprison -- with no charges -- thousands of Iraqi citizens. In Iraq an Afghanistan, detainee deaths were rampant and, to this day, detainees continue to die under extremely suspicious circumstances. Just yesterday, there was yet another death of a very young Iraqi detainee whose death was attributed to quite unlikely natural causes.

The U.S. military says a detainee has died of an apparent heart attack while in custody at a U.S. detention facility in Baghdad.

Monday's statement says the 25-year-old man was pronounced dead by doctors at a combat hospital after losing consciousness at Camp Cropper. . . .
The U.S. military is holding thousands of prisoners at Camp Cropper near the Baghdad airport and Camp Bucca in the southern desert.

For years, it has been common to attribute detainee deaths to "heart attacks" where the evidence makes clear that abusive interrogation techniques and other inhumane treatment -- the very policies authorized at the highest levels of the U.S. government -- were the actual proximate cause of the deaths. This deceptive practice was documented in this fact-intensive report -- entitled: "Medical Investigations of Homicides of Prisoners of War in Iraq and Afghanistan" -- by Steven H. Miles, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota:

It is probably inevitable that some prisoners who reportedly die of "natural causes" in truth died of homicide. However, the nature of Armed Forces' medical investigations made this kind of error more likely. The AFME reported homicide as the cause of death in 10 of the 23 death certificates released in May 2004. The death of Mohamed Taiq Zaid was initially attributed to "heat"; it is currently and belatedly being investigated as a possible homicide due to abusive exposure to the hot Iraqi climate and deprivation of water.

Eight prisoners suffered "natural" deaths from heart attacks or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Threats, beatings, fear, police interrogation, and arrests are known to cause "homicide by heart attack" or life-threatening heart failure. People with preexisting heart disease, dehydration, hyperthermia, or exhaustion are especially susceptible.[11-15] No forensic investigation of lethal "heart attacks" explores the possibility that these men died of stress-induced heart attacks. There are a number of reports of "heart attack" following harsh procedures in rounding up noncombatants in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A typically sketchy US Army report says, "Detainee Death during weekend combat .... Army led raid this past weekend of a house in Iraq ... an Iraqi who was detained and zip-locked (flexi-cuffed with plastic bands tying his wrists together) died while in custody. Preliminary information is that the detainee died from an apparent heart attack.[16]" Sher Mohammad Khan was picked up in Afghanistan in September 2004. Shortly thereafter, his bruised body was given to his family. Military officials told journalists that he had died of a heart attack within hours of being taken into custody. No investigation, autopsy, or death certificate is available.[17]
Or consider this:

Adbul Kareen Abdura Lafta (also known as Abu Malik Kenami) was admitted to Mosul prison on December 5, 2003 and died 4 days later.[20,21] The short, stocky, 44-year-old man weighed 175 pounds. He was never given a medical examination, and there is no medical record. After interrogation, a sandbag was put over his head. When he tried to remove it, guards made him jump up and down for 20 minutes with his wrists tied in front of him and then 20 minutes more with his wrists bound behind his back with a plastic binder. The bound and head-bagged man was put to bed. He was restless and "jibbering in Arabic." The guards told him to be quiet.

The next morning, he was found dead. The body had "bloodshot" eyes, lacerations on his wrists from the plastic ties, unexplained bruises on his abdomen, and a fresh, bruised laceration on the back of his head. US Army investigators noted that the body did not have defensive bruises on his arms, an odd notation given that a man cannot raise bound arms in defense. No autopsy was performed. The death certificate lists the cause of death as unknown. It seems likely that Mr. Kenami died of positional asphyxia because of how he was restrained, hooded, and positioned.
Positional asphyxia looks just like death by a natural heart attack except for those telltale conjunctival hemorrhages in his eyes.

There are countless other episodes like this of human beings in American custody dying because of the mistreatment -- authorized by Bush, Rumsfeld and others -- to which we subjected them. These are murders and war crimes in every sense of the word. That the highest level Bush officials and the President himself are responsible for the policies that spawned these crimes against humanity have been long known to anyone paying minimal attention, but now we have a bipartisan Senate Report -- signed by the presidential nominee of Bush's own political party -- that directly assigns culpability for these war crimes to the President and his policies. It's nothing less than a formal declaration from the Senate that the President and his top aides are war criminals.

Paying The Toll Fees to The Taleban-

and see for instance article by Tom Coghlan about another way in which the West helps finance the Taliban:Taliban Tax: Allied Supply Convoys Pay Their Enemies for Safe Passage Dec. 12, 2008 by Tom Coghlan The Times online UK

The West is indirectly funding the insurgency in Afghanistan thanks to a system of payoffs to Taleban commanders who charge protection money to allow convoys of military supplies to reach Nato bases in the south of the country.

Contracts to supply British bases and those of other Western forces with fuel, supplies and equipment are held by multinational companies.

However, the business of moving supplies from the Pakistani port of Karachi to British, US and other military contingents in the country is largely subcontracted to local trucking companies. These must run the gauntlet of the increasingly dangerous roads south of Kabul in convoys protected by hired gunmen from Afghan security companies.

The Times has learnt that it is in the outsourcing of convoys that payoffs amounting to millions of pounds, including money from British taxpayers, are given to the Taleban.

and so it goes,

No comments: