Discussion:
Do not confuse the Bush Brigade with America.
(demasiado antiguo para responder)
Themezas
2005-11-20 22:31:10 UTC
Permalink
Stansfield Turner is not a Sunni-Wahabi-Baathist-mulla from Baghdad.
He is a former chief of CIA. He also reaffirms my early comment that we
should not confuse the Bush Brigade with America.




Vice President of Torture
M.J. Akbar, ***@asianage.com

Media used to be merely the message. But that was once upon a time. We
have moved on from the 1960s. A new dictum rules. History is media.

Media disseminates information, triggers reaction, further shapes
response, and creates new facts. Media thereby becomes the vehicle of change
and procreator of history. Truth was never a simple fact, but it could be
hidden in an establishment cupboard till the time of accountability, at
least in this world, had passed. Now, truth can evolve almost on a daily
basis, once it is out; the genes of this evolution lie in media.

Dictators, and manipulative democrats, would prefer it the other way
around. They would like media to become history. They want media to return,
at best, to the fundamentally obedient, if not corrupt, state in which it
existed during socially progressive but nevertheless brutal regimes like
those of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong; and nihilistic, suppressive and
genocidal regimes like the one of Adolf Hitler. Media did exist in Soviet
Union, China and Germany but it was blind to mass murder of peasants, mass
starvation of citizens and mass extermination by Nazis.

Even the most repressive governments today cannot quite hope to
survive behind an unliftable curtain of ignorance. It is not almost
impossible for brutality to remain an archival fact, to be discovered only
after their perpetrators have enjoyed a lifetime of power. Today
accountability is increasingly around the corner.

The governments of superpowers publicly worry about weapons of mass
destruction: WMD, or nuclear weapons, in Iraq yesterday and Iran today. I
suspect that privately they are far more worried about real modern WMD,
media. The exhilarating part is that media destroys what needs to be
destroyed, the lie, the evasion — not wholly, nor in full measure, but
substantially.

Nuclear weapons are a weapon of mass perception (WMP) rather than a
WMD. They are victims of the ultimate paradox; nuclear weapons are too
destructive to be destructive. Generals who want to bomb the enemy back to
Stone Age are going to achieve precisely what they want, except that the
stones will be found back home as well when the nuclear cloud clears. And
since you won’t get hamburgers or SUVs in the Stone Age, that option is
unrealistic for even a hyperpower like George Bush’s America. (Important: We
must always make a distinction between America and Bush’s America.)

The only time America used nuclear bombs was in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in 1945. That was enough. Even when America is at its most desperate, as in
Vietnam or in Iraq, it might resort to chemical killers but has not found
the will to use nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union was a mighty nuclear
power, but that arsenal was impotent when the Soviet state imploded. Israel
has at least a hundred nuclear bombs. Not one of them is useful against a
Palestinian struggling for self-respect and freedom.

Nuclear weapons are useful only as a strategic reality, not as a
tactical option. They did enormous service to the world during the long
decades of the Cold War, when they successfully prevented that war from
boiling over into bloody combat, as could have happened over Hungary in
1956, Berlin in 1962 and even Czechoslovakia in 1968. Today, they are
extremely useful in preventing a fourth full-scale war between India and
Pakistan. Thank you, Dr. Einstein, Dr. Raja Ramanna, President Kalam, Dr.
A.Q. Khan and all your mentors.

How do we know that America has used chemical weapons in Iraq, during
the Fallujah operations? Well, I can safely report that Donald Rumsfeld did
not hold a series of press conferences on the subject, and the Pentagon did
not issue a news bulletin. Italian television found out before it was
confirmed, lips very tight and eyes wide shut, by the Pentagon. Nor did the
Pentagon call editors over for an illuminating chat on Abu Ghraib. It was
only the severest pressure that forced it to convict a couple of underlings
on its payroll as token punishment for images that shocked the world and
stirred more than one heart to who knows what depths of anger. It might, in
passing, interest you to know that since Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon has sacked
one general for adultery, but found absolutely no evidence of any
culpability against any senior officer for the scandal at Abu Ghraib. But of
course, in Bush’s immortal words, America doesn’t do torture. I often wonder
what Bush would have tried to get away with if media did not exist, or if
all the world’s media were controlled by Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox TV in
the United States and choice properties elsewhere. Bush seems oblivious of
Abu Ghraib. Or that John McCain, a Republican ally who helped him remain in
the White House, is author of the legislation that would ban torture by the
American administration and is being opposed by Dick Cheney. This is what,
according to AFP, Adm. Stansfield Turner, has to say: “We have crossed the
line into dangerous territory. I am embarrassed that the US has a vice
president for torture. I think it is just reprehensible. He (Cheney)
advocates torture, what else is it? I just don’t understand how a man in
that position can take such a stance.”

Stansfield Turner is not a Sunni-Wahabi-Baathist-mulla from Baghdad.
He is a former chief of CIA. He also reaffirms my early comment that we
should not confuse the Bush Brigade with America.

It is not just America that is affected by the syndrome. Cross over to
the other side of the world. Thailand is mired in a virtual insurgency in
its Muslim-majority provinces; more than a thousand people have died since
January 2004. If there was one moment that turned disaffection into active
war, a “nerve moment”, then it was surely the incident during Ramadan when a
Thai general packed Muslim suspects into a “black hole” in which about 80
suffocated to death. When questioned, he dismissed this as a consequence of
weakness due to fasting. Thaksin Shinawatra was prime minister and did
nothing. He later won a landslide victory by gently fanning prejudice
against Muslims. How do we know about this “nerve-moment”? Because of media.
Otherwise it would have remained a shadowy rumor. Predictably, France has
given a whole new meaning to our subject. We have heard of the Internet
revolution. Silicon Valley and Bangalore must find a new term for what they
do after French Revolution of autumn 2005 in which minorities, primarily but
not uniformly Muslim, rose against the quasi-racism of Nicolas Sarkozy,
France’s long-tongue interior minister. This was a revolt planned and
implemented on the Internet. They’ve finally stopped counting, after 9,071
vehicles were torched and 126 police officers injured.

Modern media’s greatest service to contemporary civilization is that
it has made injustice that much more difficult to hide. Obviously I wish I
could say that all media lived by this creed. I cannot. Most media is still
conformist and obedient. Almost every government in the world has its own
channel (Bush has Fox). State-owned channels, almost without exception, are
propaganda platforms for their governments. But this does not matter. All
you need is one television station or newspaper to report the truth. Once
facts emerge they develop a life and power of their own and create new
facts. Reaction overpowers action.

As the president and vice president of torture are beginning to
discover.
Adrey R
2005-11-20 22:38:50 UTC
Permalink
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/misc/miguels_column/newsid_1721000/1721451.stm
Adrey R
2005-11-20 22:38:55 UTC
Permalink
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/misc/miguels_column/newsid_1721000/1721451.stm
Adrey R
2005-11-20 22:38:59 UTC
Permalink
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/misc/miguels_column/newsid_1721000/1721451.stm
Adrey R
2005-11-20 22:39:04 UTC
Permalink
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/misc/miguels_column/newsid_1721000/1721451.stm
Adrey R
2005-11-20 22:39:08 UTC
Permalink
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/misc/miguels_column/newsid_1721000/1721451.stm
Bert Hyman
2005-11-20 23:02:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Themezas
Stansfield Turner is not a Sunni-Wahabi-Baathist-mulla from Baghdad.
He is a former chief of CIA.
Is that the same CIA which was the source of the faulty intelligence which
started this whole mess?

Just how thoroughly has the CIA been penetrated, and by whom?
--
Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN ***@iphouse.com
Loading...