Archive for military

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato...

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Tomato-Tomato

No more tomato-tomato.  "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off."

Over the past two days, more information regarding James Foley's incarceration by ISIS and ultimate beheading has come to light. The State Department has released information that the captors had used waterboarding on Foley and others who they still hold as prisoners.

Immediately the press jumped on this with sensationalist fervor -- ISIS accused of torturing American hostages.

Really?

Where was this shock and horror when George Bush, Dick Cheney and the CIA authorized the very same horrific and shameful actions? Of course then, it wasn't called torture because we were doing it and the recipients weren't Americans. Under those circumstances it was was blissfully called "enhanced interrogations."

The games the Republicans play with words. Semantics.. And we as Americans just turned our heads to that one. Even John McCain, reportedly tortured while a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, came out against torture BUT he gave his sanctimonious approval to "enhanced interrogations." What two faced criminals these guys are.

Why the double standard? Waterboarding is torture. It was before the US started doing it and it is when/if we continue to do it.

By now most reporting of our shameful abundant usage of waterboarding has been curtailed. But accepting that practice for what it is still hasn't. Only the hypocritical outrage in the press seems to have changed.  HUFFPO:

Interestingly, while the Post has, like most mainstream outlets, typically been reluctant to call methods such as waterboarding "torture" when it was practiced by Americans, the paper had no apparent problem calling what ISIS did to Foley "torture."

That brings us back to the headline, the George and Ira Gershwin's song. The correct title of that tune is  Let's Call The Whole Thing Off. Isn't it really time we take that to heart? Waterboarding is torture. We did it. We may still do it. We shouldn't be hypocrites. It's not to say Bush/Cheney were the first to use it, but they brought it back into vogue. We shouldn't be shocked to find out it's now being done to us. Lay blame where it belongs -- on all war criminals. We reap what we sow. Poor James Foley and his fellow prisoners were made to endure such horrors. Would it have been done to them if we hadn't done it? That's a question I hope Bush and Cheney lie awake at night pondering. That, of course is assuming either of them has the capacity to think or a conscience to satisfy.

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A Woman's View of Serial Genital Mutilation in Iraq (and everywhere else)

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WARNING: graphic and troubling graphics below, please check your environment. Thank You.

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Years ago, Kathy Griffin (a rather political comic with a strong voice) spoke of her having gone to Iraq during active U.S. conflict - the last time - that was absolutely in terrible taste but is something I've not forgotten in the interim - she achieved her point.

She had some sentimental moments (for Kathy) with our troops, then got into some dialogue later about one of the things that burned her as a woman: genital mutilation in the region, escalating every year and mega-egregiously offensive to women around the globe. Now ISIS is back in the mix, and Griffin's bit becomes that much more relevant.

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She essentially described an overview of what was being done to woman and girls in shocking numbers, and it isn't pretty. Griffith got halfway through the train of thought before she dropped a term I'll always remember, "big bucket of clits". It was in the context of things she found hardest to accept, like Sharia Law and the fact that a high percentage of females lining up to have their clitorises sliced off and discarded.

Here's a bit more information from Unicef.

It's beyond heartbreaking this misogynist balderdash, we passed into torture a while ago … it is rumored and reported that Egypt manages to mutilate the genitals of nearly 95% of women. Many are done near birth, like a bris gone bad.


ISISTroubling

ISIS has brought all of this horror back to the front page. The tribal custom is old and has deep religious roots … this isn't just a punishment of mild chastising like we give date-rapers in our own country. It's a global ethics crisis.

Here are some words from activist women and victims themselves about this horrific practice.

War brings more need for wealth, arms and whatever strategies will work to keep the people down, help the regular poor and abused and violated girls and women, and historically defined as 'always' a bi-product of war: violence against women. Take your pick of countries to highlight, but at the moment Northern Iraq is in the spotlight.

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I can't look at these hideous images without tearing up - but I think they need to be seen. Those poor girls are simply born the wrong sex to be valued in the MidEast and other oppressive regions, the War On Women is GLOBAL.

From Alarabiya.net.

The al-Qaeda-Inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has ordered all girls and women between the ages of 11 and 46 in and around Iraq's northern city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the United Nations said on Thursday.

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“It is a fatwa (or religious edict) of ISIS, we learnt this this morning,” said Jacqueline Badcock, the number two U.N. official in Iraq.

The “fatwa” would potentially affect 4 million women and girls, Badcock told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil.

“This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed,” she said, according to Reuters.

WHY? Indeed. Don't see Jesus or Allah signing off on this one.

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Time for Colin Powell? We nationally Creep Toward Boots In Iraq. Agin'.

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How hard did we have to fight to get Iraq back to the Iraqi people and clean up a little of the mess behind?

Breech-birth labor at a minimum, but closer perhaps to the horrors of Vietnam (for us geezers).

It was infuriating for the news networks to run the footage of Dubbyah's absurdly quiet and pragmatic address to the nation when he got his lifelong dream of getting to blow shit up in Iraq for the invisible WMD's.

colbertonfox

Paging Cat Stevens, Green Day, Pearl Jam, U2, Neil Young, Yoko Ono and Joan Baez on one cool conference call, your president needs you to do some kicking pacifist songs and get America grooving on what is good about liberals and President Obama.

There's too much Iraq news. Blackwater must be licking their chops, as well as the (celebrating) Military Industrial Complex coffer counters.

Let's first have a look at the hepped up gun fondling war-lovin' extremists over at Fvx Nation.
And a peek at La Palin's channel (laughter is the best medicine). As always apologies for the Fvx in the morning egregiousness.

lincoln&vets

And Morning Joe went there, naturally. The nausea medicine Zofran is third shelf down in the complimentary TPC cloak room. Take two, it's early yet.

How effing long do we have to protest wars?

I feel like I'm going to be 92, in my best gardening hat, carrying a placard (sarcastic, I'm releasing the inner grumpus at 80-85), and botching ourselves about civil rights, gender equality , LGBTQ and guns.

For starters.

screamnowjo0

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Four Star Female Admiral Michelle Howard: GO Navy!

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Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Four Star Admiral Michelle Howard. Image, Forbes.

Admiral Michelle Howard was given the status of First Female Four Star Admiralty member this summer, a national first on two fronts: gender and ethnicity.

Those are some mightily impressive Firsts. The 239-year United States Navy had never before given four stars to a female. She is also the highest-ranking African-American woman in a male-dominated military that did not even allow the promotion of women to general or admiral (of any number of stars) until 1967.

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

Image, U.N.C. Greensboro Archives

As she told the New York Times, speaking of her early attendance of the newly-Co-Ed Naval Academy,

“There were angry men at Annapolis, but we got through it,” she said. “And there were issues on the first few ships because it was all brand new. Change is hard in society.”

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Melissa Harris-Perry was among the first to congratulate the Admiral, on her weekend MSNBC program recently.

The New York Times ran an evocative piece on Admiral Howard's epic move, excerpted below.

WASHINGTON — Adm. Michelle J. Howard was looking for new insignia for her white Navy dress uniform when she ran into an unusual problem.

“I said, ‘I need to order a four-star women’s shoulder board,’ and there’s this silence,” Admiral Howard recalled. “Then the lady goes, ‘Um, I’m not seeing any in the system.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I thought that might be the case.’

“I didn’t know it was possible to grow up to be anything more than a one-star,” Admiral Howard, 54, said in a recent interview, referring to the rank of rear admiral. She said today’s sailors “have never known a life when there hasn’t been a woman admiral, women three-stars, women in command of ships, women in command of destroyers.”

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"Fiscal conservatives": Shutting Down Gitmo Would Save a 1%er's Fortune

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PicardHaveUForgotten
It's costing the American people about a billion per Guantanamo detainee.

Let that sink in.

President Obama was elected in part on his promise to shut that human rights travesty down, and as we finally look toward evacuating Afghanistan of most American troops, it is past time to close the Gitmo 'detaining' facilities adjacent to Cuba and move forward with justice.

Of course Fvx Nation disagrees. They are unaccountably fond of Gitmo, practice NIMBY religiously and of course oppose anything Obama might even consider.

penguingitmo

Up with Steve Kornacki, MSNBC's weekend early a.m. program, had a terrific panel this morning to hash out the predictably Coiffure On Fire reaction of the Tea-driven GOP to any discussion of Gitmo, non-military courts and sanity.

It included David Corn of Mother Jones and the admirable military vet slash ex-Representative slash cable reporter-pundit and host of his own Sunday show, Taking the Hill, Patrick Murphy. ['Cycle' co-host Krystal Ball is subbing for Steve, so don't think he decided to go on set in drag to celebrate Summer Solstice.]

 

For contrast, Fvx Noise ran endless loops of how dangerous the released, unreleased, hypothetically detained and utterly mythical 'prisoners' are our new greatest threat in the fictional War on Terror. Here 'ya go, Fox:

img_Cat-and-Mouse_REX-INTERSTOCK_ref~PH2309_mode~zoom

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President Obama to speak on Iraq at 12:30 EDT

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President Obama

President Obama will speak of the changes in Iraq in recent days at 12:30 pm EDT today.

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Breaking News: Benghazi Attack Leader Captured By U.S.

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Benghazi attack pic(AFP/Getty Images)

Oh, no. Now what will all those Republican Benghazi conspiracy theorists going to do? WWTGS -- What Will Trey Gowdy Say?

According to the Washington Post:

U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assault has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.

The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation, and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.

This looks bad. Bad if you're a Republican who was counting on the Benghazi special congressional committee, the eighth committee to witch-hunt the terrible Libyan tragedy, to find something to tag onto Obama and Hillary Clinton. One of the major talking points is that Obama, who promised right away to seek out and find the culprits, has done nothing since the event nearly two years ago. Nobody had been apprehended. This was a GOP talking point on the lack of interest in the Benghazi attacks and the President's concern.

So much for that asshat argument. Obama said he'd take out Osama Bin Laden. He did. He said he'd bring to justice those responsible for Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American deaths in this Benghazi attack, and the round-up has begun.

Now what do you have to say for yourself, Speaker Boehner on your special committee? So Obama's been doing nothing, eh?

What have you been doing? Your job is to run the Congress. Where's the jobs bill, your alternative to the ACA, the long-term unemployment extension, the immigration reform bill, minimum wage increases, etc?

Seems if anyone's asleep at the wheel, it's the House of Representatives. You're the Speaker, Boehner. Maybe you should be doing the people's work like you're being paid for and let the President do his. He's showing results.  You? Not so much. You saw what the conservatives in Virginia's 7th district did to your right hand man, Eric Cantor. Don't think it can't happen to you.

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