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News :: Human Rights : International : Politics
Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
Human rights activists came together at Amnesty International's Northeast Regional Conference at Boston University this weekend. Dr Nazli Kibria of Boston University (photo) was a guest speaker.

The issue of torture was a key discussion at this year’s Amnesty International Northeast Conference held at Boston University this weekend. The Bush Administration criticized Amnesty’s annual report earlier this year which quoted Irene Khan, Secretary General of the human rights organization, as saying that the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo was “the gulag of our time.”
Kibria2a.jpg
“There was a rallying cry by human rights activists to spotlight US practices in Guantanamo,” said Joshua Rubenstein, Amnesty’s Northeast Regional Director. “I think this is an unfortunate departure for Amnesty, but a necessary one, because the fact of the matter is that it is required by us to make that spotlight. The leading democracy in the world where we live is watering down the prohibition of torture.”

In the ensuing months members of the Bush Administration have tried to suppress the allegations of torture. General Richard Myers, former Joint Chief of Staff, was quoted on Fox News as saying that the accusations are “reprehensible.”

John Hutson, a former Navy officer and Judge Advocate General and now dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center, said he was “ashamed” of what this administration is doing.

“It is the obligation of our armed forces to fight wars,” said Hutson. “But you have to be careful that our armed forces don’t hurt anyone unnecassarily. We have been the strongest country in the world because of our rule of law and human rights…The problem is that we think that torturing people is in our best interest. I think that this is profoundly misguided, and that this will hurt us in the future. It is absolutely clear that torture is wrong…Torture doesn’t work.”

Attendees of the conference came from all six New England states, New York and New Jersey. They were able to attend panel discussion on a wide variety of issues, such as food as a human right, international arms control, LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS, corporate accountability and media activism.

The keynote speaker was Krishna Pahadi, a Nepalese human rights activist who was arrested earlier this year for helping to organize a demonstration to protest King Gyandendra’s seizure of power and suspension of fundamental rights.

Dr Nazli Kibria, professor of sociology at Boston University, was also a guest speaker. She is the daughter of the former Bangladeshi Finance Minister and senior Awami Leagure leader, Shah AMS Kibria, who was killed in a grenade attack at a rally in Habiganj district in Bangladesh on January 27, 2005. A long time member of Amnesty, Ms Kibria said that her father’s assasination really made human rights activism more real and that grassroots organizing is the only way the world will become a better place.

“It is not our responsibility to not do anything,” she said.

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Nov21-Dec3 Argentine Torture Victim visits Boston and New York
13 Nov 2005
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Patricia & Director of Iberian & Lat. Am. Studies.JPG
At the time of her kidnapping, in July of 1976, architect Patricia Indiana Isasa was 16 years old. She was her class delegate to the High School Students Union in the province of Santa Fe in Argentina. She was taken by a commando group of the state police and was "disappeared" (held clandestinely) for three months. She was then taken to a military barracks, where she was held prisoner without trial or due process for two years and two months.

After her release in 1979, she was kidnapped again by the authorities when she was compiling complaints to be presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, which was about to visit Argentina. She was released after a few days.

After her ordeal, she graduated from the school of architecture and moved to London. In 1997 Patricia went back to Santa Fe to care for her sick mother. She realized then that it had been 20 years and justice had not been done. She decided to do it herself, initiating an investigation into her kidnappers' identities, still unknown to her.

Thanks to her relentless research, today 8 people are in jail and awaiting trial. Among them there are an ex-federal judge, an ex-assistant secretary for security of Santa Fe, and several ex-policemen (one of them a graduate of the School of the Americas). All of them had been previously detained when the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon requested their extradition to Spain. Then-President Fernando De La Rua denied the extradition request; now they are awaiting trial in Argentina.
Re: Nov21-Dec3 Argentine Torture Victim visits Boston and New York
13 Nov 2005
Mon, Nov 21 - Sat, Dec 03 Time TBA
Surviving the Dirty War

Boston, Massachusetts

For more information:
Zach Hurwitz
415/575-5527
zach (at) globalexchange.org

----------------------------------
Wed, Nov 30 - Wed, Nov 30 3pm - 6pm
Surviving the Dirty War

Brandeis University
Boston, Massachusetts

Speaking engagement and film screening.
For more information:
Anya Maria Mayans
lamayans (at) mindspring.com
zach (at) globalexchange.org, 415-575-5527
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
Will they be discussing the sawing off of peoples' heads while still conscious? As you may recall, about 10 people (that we know of) suffered this fate at the hands of foreign terrorists in Iraq as was aired by al Jezeira TV.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
They didn't saw off heads, they chopped them off. And you're right, shouldn't we see all human rights abuses on TV? What about the use of chemical weapons on Fallujah by the US army? I guess the torturing of people in Guantamo would have better raitings. Wait, wait, 2,000 US soldiers and 100,000 civilians dead in a war based on lies!! Fit for Hollywood, baby!
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
ps: by the way, the chemical weapon "white phosphorus" used in Fallujah, burns your skin off without touching your clothes. It reacts w/water and oxygen and the burning can only be stopped with wet mud. Footage of women and children who suffered this is on DVD now.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/wp.htm

"The Battle of Fallujah was conducted from 8 to 20 November 2004 with the last fire mission on 17 November. The battle was fought by an Army, Marine and Iraqi force of about 15,000 under the I Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF). US forces found WP to be useful in the Battle of Fallujah. "WP proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired “shake and bake” missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out. ... We used improved WP for screening missions when HC smoke would have been more effective and saved our WP for lethal missions."
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
Actually You, they sawed them off. I viewed the videos. Each victim was conscious and screaming up until the point where his vocal cords were severed.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
Considering that the guests residing in Cuba are the worst of the worst and that they are living better than they ever have in their life - I guess that is a good reason to whine. Silly kids. Dozens upon dozens of people have spoken about the place, including the people that work there and no evidence of torture has been witnessed or reported. Any dirtbag that blows up women and children as a terrorist does deserve it but unfortunatly we are better than those animals.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
Hey, you can't say those guys in Cuba are the worst of the worst because they haven't been tried. Several of them have been released after years of imprisonment without charge or an apology. The US also hasn't allowed UN inspectors in to interview detainees. Your claim that these guys are the worst of the worst, living better than they ever have is without basis and is just racist. Everyone, even a homicidal terroist, deserves a fair trial and no one should be tortured. If these guys aren;t being trotured. why hasn't the US let them be interviewed by the UN? Why has the Bush administration contiued to claim they do not have the rights offered to them by the Geneva Conventions? Just because this is America doesn't mean we have the right to bypass all international law, and spirit of our own laws so that a group of black hearted CIA operatives, cladestine mercinaries, and military beuracrats can sentence and torture every Muslim in the world simply on the basis of suspicion, without an inkling of oversight from the US citizenry or the global community. Let's leave the absolute damnations to Allah and become the people we claim to be. Otherwise, what;s the use of being a proud Veteran?
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
14 Nov 2005
Why should they be tried? They are prisoners of war. They can be held until hostilities are ended. Any whom we feel have commited war crimes should be tried, but even if found not guilty they are still prisoners of war and should not be released until hostilities are ended and they are no longer a threat. Unfortunately many whom we released were racaptured on the battlefield. The war in Afghanistan is ongoing as is the war in Iraq and indeed the war against Islamic terrorists. There is no reason to release any of these people.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
What about Jose Pedia, an American citizen?
If all the government has to say is that a person is an enemy combant to hold them indefinitely, without charge, then all our civil rights have just been lost.
You can't declare war on an abstract idea like Terrorism without opening a moral can of worms. The war in Afghanastan and the War in Iraq have in one since both ended: both governments have been defeated. Basically, Veteran 3, your arguing that if a person resists US domination that they can be arrested and held forever, without trial, no matter who they fought for. I do not consider that sort of ideology worth spreading around the world. Its a form of mental gymnastics which creates a situation where we don't have to live up to the same standards we want others to follow. We become nothing but hypocrites. Is this why all our soliders have died, in war after war, so that we could now make a mockery of Liberty, redfining the term, applying it only to people who go along with the Bush Administration?

I freely conced that those guys in Gitmo are a problem: if they do just go home to be terrorists, then its hard to release them. However, considering the nature of the current situation, and the fact that our government is now implicitly allowing torture, by its insistence that we bend the rules for these so caled enemy combatants, we should require that our government at least prove, in a court of law, that these guys were terrorists to begin with.
You want to put people in a legal black hole. Where is the Justice in that?
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
I'll give you Jose Padilla as a problem. Unfortunately for him, the second most liberal supreme court in the nation's history said that his detention is proper. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures. I will remind you that on the eve of the civil war, Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeau corpus and the republic survived. What I am arguing is that if you are at war with the United States and you are an enemy soldier or combatant of any sort, you can be held until that war is over. If the war lasts for 20 years, thenit sucks that you chose the wrong side. In such a case, you chose unwisely.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
Hi Talia
Why aren't you a staff writer for BIMC? You seem to write better than most of the staff! Keep up the good work!
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
Actually, the people held at Gitmo are terrorosts and are NOT entitled to any provsions of the Geneva Convention. They cannot be held as POWs unless they were in uniform and easliy recognizable as an armed combatant of said army. Therefore they are not entitled to any rights whatsoever, nor should they be. They can be taken out back and shot for their terrorist acts. As for the Willy Pete being used? Well, it can be used so therefor, use it.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
actually, that's the beauty of the IMC in general. none of us are "staff", we are all volunteers; and anyone who's concerned about social justice in the community can write news and publish them on our site. it's all about de-centralization, de-corporatization of the media. the revolution continues.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
15 Nov 2005
First, I really appreciate this respectful discussion. I think that we can all learn from it.

I guess I just can't abide the idea that all these men "chose sides" in this conflict. I mean we have already released several people without charge, after years in prison. I think there needs to be some sort of independent oversight. To me it is not OK that the union simply survive. If one innocent man spends the rest of his life or 10 years at Gitmo, simply because we say these guys have no rights, then I think we are guilty of a witch hunt. Let's get some independent review and let's articulate a national standard on human rights and torture, in order to demonstrate practically that we are morally superior to these terrorists. All the hollow rhetoric in the world, and the twisting of legalistic language to justify our abuses of power are only undermining our cause both at home and abroad.

I completely understand the points you guys have made about the code of war and war prisioners etc. but this so-called war is of a different nature. Each enemy combatant is basically a nation unto himself, because he is not acting on behalf of a nation, but on behalf of an ideology. You're right; ideologies don't issue uniforms. So it is impossible without some sort of judicail review to determine who actually qualifies as an enemy. Ideologies also never surrender, so this war will never, ever be over.
If we don't create a system that is at least somewhat just, then we are simply saying, "We will rob people of their lives indiscriminately." How are we then any better than the terrorists?
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
16 Nov 2005
Granted there may be a few individuals in Cuba that do not belong there. A few! The huge majority are there for actively and aggressively being terrorists or supporting terrorists. Who are we to detain and judge them? We are the people that want a world where no child has to worry about being blown up on his/her way to school.
These people are living better than they ever will and ever deserve.
how can we be so blind...
16 Nov 2005
...at our own arrogance and racism? let's look at the most recent comment, copied below:

" Granted there may be a few individuals in Cuba that do not belong there. A few! The huge majority are there for actively and aggressively being terrorists or supporting terrorists. Who are we to detain and judge them? We are the people that want a world where no child has to worry about being blown up on his/her way to school.
These people are living better than they ever will and ever deserve. "

first of all, nobody can claim to know the guilt or innocence of the people being held at gitmo. nobody. war crimes trials conducted by the other side in a war are usually biased and controversial, but the u.s. is not even doing that. especially in the light of the hundreds of people released from gitmo since it opened, we cannot just assume all or most of the people there are bloodthirsty killers. maybe the military got some bad guys, but among them are plenty of innocent villagers, parents, workers, pious, simple people who just got caught up in the fervor of wartime. there have been many accounts of how people were SOLD for bountys offered by local militias or the usa. have you heard of the principle that 'the ends do not justify the means'? it means in this case that even though some people there might be guilty of vicious crimes, we cannot allow the innocent ones among them to languish. that turns us from people seeking justice to people seeking blind retribution.
the conditions they are held in are very poor. huge rats running loose, regular beatings, psychological pain from being caged for days at a time, no books besides your koran which is stomped on and urinated on to further destabilize you, rotten meals (despite what that idiot senator claimed on tv), forced nakedness, no lawyer, no family, no nothing. american pow's in vietnam who endured physical torture said they preferred that to the psychological hell of isolation and sensory deprivation- that shit is no cakewalk. and there are apparently prisoners there who have been savagely tortured and mutilated in allied countried like morocco, egypt and jordan before being brought to cuba. things like having their penises filleted with razor blades once a month for a year and a half, raped with broken soda bottles, etc. what we saw in abu ghraib was nothing compared to what the 'rendition' flights by the cia and special ops are doing to people. and even cia will tell you torture is not an effective way to get information. people will say anything they think you want to hear to make the horrors stop. now, does anyone imagine that an innocent person who has been subjected to these crimes against all our humanity, who gets released subsequently, will not harbor the deepest hatred and suspicion of u.s. motives and rhetoric all their lives? it is no surprise that some people have been known to take up fighting the invader after getting out.

and as for kids' right to go to school without being blown up- are the 20,000 to 100,000 civilians dead so far in iraq at us hands(depending on whom you ask) not also entitled to the same rights? how can we claim the world's understanding for defending our society when we have systematically fucked up other societies to the point of physical and psychological ruin?
iraq is a racist and imperialist operation being run by some of the greatest criminals in u.s. government history (kissinger, cheney, wolfowitz, etc). guantanamo, as well as the worse american prisons in afghanistan, eastern europe, etc are only strengthening the arguments of those who call the usa racist and brutal and deserving of retaliation. and both the torture of prisoners at u.s. hands, as well as renditioning of detainees for torture is reprehensible and wrong. yes, a lot of people do it, including people like al qaeda, but that in no way lessens our responsibility to condemn it.

the least we can do is examine our mistakes and start to think of ways to remedy them, to re-establish the rule of democratic law and real justice, before we descend into the hellish reality of full-on fascism.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
16 Nov 2005
I jsut wanted to compliment shake in his/her comment. i think it was well thoughtout and written. And basically said what i've been thinking for quite some time but just hadnt found the words to say it.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
17 Nov 2005
You are missing one very central point here. There is no need to determine the guilt or innocence of any of the prisoners at Guantanamo or any of the other detention centers unless they are accused of war crimes or being unlawful combatants. Otherwise they are simply POWs and are entitled to be released at the cessation of hostilities. Those who are accused of a crime will be tried. I'm really curious to know why you state that Kissinger, Cheney, Wolfowitz et al are rascist. Do you have any evidence at all to support such an inflamatory statement?
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
17 Nov 2005
Again, your side is only one side of it. There are always two sides to every story. Be open and able to understand and see that. Those "harmless" farmers were found with RPG's, batteries, explosives, wires, timers, RPK's, RPD's, semtex, C-4 and the list goes on. Harmless, huh? Do you really believe the trash you read here that people are randomly pucked and sent to Cuba? Do you honestly believe that? Come on? People are taken into custody after hard intel and evidence is acquired. There is a process to it. Ask any soldier who has done it!
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
17 Nov 2005
I find amusing that people who frequent this website throw the words "racist" and "facist" around like its candy. Do you even know what these words mean? Have you traveled? I've been to over 40 different countries around the world and let me tell you, the US is the least racist and facist I've ever come across. We just have the balls to talk about it and the freedom to do so.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
17 Nov 2005
Throwing out terms like rascista and fascist are akin to using profanity. These terms are the first and last resort of an unintelligent person.
why these words are appropriate
17 Nov 2005
"fascism - A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
American Heritage Dictionary

"racism- n. 2: discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race [syn: racialism, racial discrimination]
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University"

can you say 'gook'? how about 'towelhead'? then there's 'spic' and the ever-popular 'camel-jockey.' did you see blackhawk down? remember the herioc americans taking out the endless stream of 'skinnies' popping up over ramparts and walls like in combat simulation games?

can you say cambodia? how about east timor? or maybe el salvador? don't forget palestine, you'd be doing these guys' resume a disservice.

>>Those "harmless" farmers were found with RPG's, batteries, explosives, wires, timers, RPK's, RPD's, semtex, C-4 and the list goes on.<<
do you have classified info that the detainees' own military lawyers don't have access to? if so releasing that info to the public here on imc is a crime and threat to national security. still though, i wouldn't support torturing you to force a confession or find out what other dangerous secrets you might release.

why are yall so scared of those words 'racist' and 'fascist'? it couldn't be more clear to me that is where we have come from and where we are heading. what's so frighteniing about admitting our mistakes as a society, and trying to move on? have we ever digested the native people's holocaust? where was the national dialogue about slavery and the lynchings and whites-only signs and cointelpro assasinations?

the only way out is collective public examination of our historical mistakes, large-scale education about the dangers we are facing- from the state, from the corporate power nexus in places like davos and the wto, from complicit and criminally irresponsible mass media- and a 180 degree about-face away from the cliff. i'm not talking about marxism or the democratic party or whatever half-hearted bullshit- i'm talking about common sense plans we come up with democratically in our communities for our collective survival and health. imagine what might happen if everyone agrees to respectful and constructive dialogue aimed at collective well-being and justice.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
17 Nov 2005
Let me say it one more time. Throwing out such terms is the last resort of the uneducated.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
18 Nov 2005
Wasn't it the Khmer Rouge (Communists) who slaughtered some 2 million of their fellow Cambodians in span of few years? Shake, I think everyone is in agreement that the Indians here in North America got the royal end of the shaft. Furthermore, posting a quote from the dictionary did nothing to bolster your argument other than you can copy a few lines out of the dictionary. If that was your point, then Bravo. If it was to prove that the US is facist, you failed.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
18 Nov 2005
personally, I don't think that saying that someone who believes the United States is racist, or even fascist it wrong. Lets examine the charactaristics of a fascist regime and then judge for ourselves.
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14-defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. TOP

2. Disdain for
the Recognition of Human Rights -
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. TOP

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats
as a Unifying Cause -
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. TOP

4. Supremacy of the Military -
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. TOP

5. Rampant Sexism -
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. TOP

6. Controlled Mass Media -
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. TOP

7. Obsession with National Security -
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. TOP

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined -
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions. TOP

9. Corporate Power is Protected -
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. TOP

10. Labor Power is Suppressed -
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. TOP

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. TOP

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment -
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption -
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. TOP

14. Fraudulent Elections -
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.




So what do you think? Lets go one by one...

we have a very strong sense of nationalism here. People often say that America is the most free country in the world, and is the best. Is this true? I guess it depends on where your values lie. I value freedom and after having been jailed and herassed by the FBI and Secret Service for my writing and associations having to do with community outreach and peace activism, I don't feel like I am free anymore. But like I said, look closely- the values are up to you.

2. Do we have distain for recognition of human rights because of fear? well, I would generally say yes and I think the conversation above has been a good exploration of this topic.

3. I dont think I need to even ask this question? Are we rallied into a unified patriotic frenzy? I think it is important to note the neo conservative philosohper Strauss...

4.Supremecy of the Military- the new budget anyone? we just cut over $14 billion in education and upped the military spending once again.

5. Sexism. Regulation of Abortion can be related to the nomination of Alito. We have very few women in the government. The government is seen as to protect family values. And homosexuality is frowned upon before the law.

I could continue on and on for each and every one of these points- but I will spare you from this because it is intollerable. But I think it is important to note Number 9. The protection of corporations. Noting the dictionary and study of fascist regimes throughout history we can see the integration of the market into government and synergy between the two. Our government since the beginning of the post Keynesian era has seen a shift towards corporate globalization. This globalization would not be possible without the help of the World Trade Organization or the International Monetary fund. They have worked together to keep countries economies under control, (so they do not become competitors), and to keep the natural and raw resources flowing into the united states at a very low price.


This benefits very few and is very detrimental to the United States and will be our ultimate downfall.

It is not unpatriotic, in fact it is closer to being patriotic, to note the problems that currently exist within our country.

The ideas that we have of our country in it's current state are not a reflection of reality- they are something that has been sold to us like Levi's Jeans or Disney shirts that are made in sweat shops in Haiti. Our country has been BRANDED by the promotion of the historical image of freedom and human and individual rights that now only exist as a euphanism best exemplified by the
P.A.T.R.I.O.T ACT.


Thank you for reading if you have made it this far.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
18 Nov 2005
I am concerned that there seems to be a lot of bickering about subjects that a lot of us really are not qualified to speak of. None of us have been to Cuba. None of us grew up in a Nazi-owned country yet here we discuss it like we actually know what we are talking about? Are we any better than the propaganda ministry of Nazi Germany or modern day North Korea? We are all the same and have to share this great planet. We, as a nation, may have differing views but the accusations and negative remarks on here are depressing. Honestly, it seems that the ones who want change all want to do it by ant means. Is that correct? Where do we become the civilized from the not-so-civilized? Who is the terrorist and who is the freedom fighter? Who is the right and who is the wrong? I have come to see that some hot issues are commented on by some hot headed readers. Why is that. Some readers seem to grasp that it is ok to have differing opinions without having to slander, accuse or threaten. Human rights is the topic yet one reader commented that we are a fascist government. Fascist governments took away the basic human rights of their people. We all have the right to eat a sloppy cheese burger from BK. We have the right to assemble peacefully and protest. We have the right to burn our flag. We have the right to provide for our families.
Can't we see that? We have the right to disagree but lets do it constructively and as mature civilized adults.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
19 Nov 2005
Sid, Red Phoenix, etc. are obviously trolls whose postings to this site are meant not to inform or discuss, but to annoy and distract. Their obsession with the sawing off of heads demonstrates not an opposition to terrorism, but their own sadistic tendencies. Why else would they post this stuff anonymously, with no return email address? In addition, given the right-wing nature of their postings, we can assume that their reasoning goes like this: "sure, Bush used white phosphorous in Fallujah, and sure, John Negroponte approved of the use of torture by the Interior Ministry, but heh, at least we didn't cut off anyone's head!" There is more than a little mental illness in such reasoning, and arguing with such a person is like trying to teach a pig to sing: you waste your own time, and you annoy the pig. Most likely, the trolls are devotees of www.protestwarrior.com, a right-wing web site whose manifesto includes such Nazi-like gems as "we will fire a hailstorm of truth on them that is guaranteed to blow up their moral house of cards," and such paranoid nonsense as "now we face a new threat, Islamo-fascism, a movement that will not stop so long as any outpost of Judeo-Christianity remains." Like the Bush administration, they accuse others of the very crap they're guilty of. In the winter of 2002-2003, the right wing, its President, its talk-radio 'personalities,' its columnists, told us over and over about how Saddam Hussein had gassed his own people, had built torture chambers, had threatened his neighbors, etc. We now know that a year ago Bush's military indiscriminately used white phosphorous on civilians in Fallujah (an English-language translation of the Italian video on this subject is available at http://informationclearinghouse.info/article10907.htm). We now know that the current Iraqi Interior Ministry has been torturing prisoners, starving some to the point where our mainstream media report that they looked like Holocaust survivors. John Negroponte, who served for a while as Bush's ambassador to Iraq and who, in the 1980s, coordinated Reagan's dirty wars in Central America, must have been aware of the use of torture. In other words, Bush has replaced Saddam Hussein's use of torture and chemical weapons with his own. Finally, Bush's attempt to colonize Iraq because of its oil is no more moral than Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
21 Nov 2005
No one seems to be colonizing Iraq. What would give you that impression? Wepaons of mass destruction were there. Not there now but were there. Torture chambers are there now. Not is use but are there now. WP was used but not on civilians. Iraq now has a future that can be filled with hope and pride yet most of you seem to want it to fall flat on its face. Why is that? You preach peace and harmony yet your solutions contain negativity, profanity and some paranoid science fiction delusions.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
21 Nov 2005
freedom is not choosing between burkger king and mcdonalds, my friend. freedom is not economic, it is not choosing between two multinational corporations- freedom is being able to effect change in those corporations and effect change in your society without having your rights trampled on.

we have the right to free assembly? wow, you could have fooled me everytime the cops have busted my meetings and arrested my friends and i. we have freedom to assemble, as long as your not talking about anything important.

your right, freedom is being able to provide for your family... but provide what, and at who's cost? provide school? provide healthcare? all these things are diminishing quite quickly. I can hardly afford them for myself never mind a family. at who's cost? we can live cheaply by shopping at walmart and kmart and all the discount kingdoms... it seems like the only way a lot of people can provide for their families is by raping the third world. we live in a country where everything is imported from peripheries at the cost of human life.

I'm not trying to offend, i have the utmost respect for anyone and you are all friends to me... veteran or leftist. I've got nuthin but love and thats the only reason I say these things. I'm not saying that the U.S is the worst to it's citizens because it's not- we can look at Central Asia to see that. But, are rights and our social programs are indeed withering.
Furthermore, and more urgently, i have a question. how do you keep a your citizens at bay? bread and circus. keep us content and we won't react. I am just saying, if you don't believe that we are exploiting the shit out of other countries, then- please... I am begging you- take a look for yourself.

And by all means, I am not trying to assert ethics on you either. if you think it is ok, after taking a very long look... then - go on, I will not stand in your way.
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
22 Nov 2005
If your local law enforcement officials are visiting/arresting you and your friends you may want to step back and re-evaluate what you are doing. Police departments are busy and don't have time to bother with people who are not breaking the law. Therefore........
There is probably more to that story.........

PS - Appreciate that you are not trying to offend and I hope that I extended you that same attitude. Seems to be alot of anger, threats and profanity on here when two individuals disagree.
THE ONE AND ONLY SALLY SHEARS AND SERGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND!!
23 Nov 2005
Sung to the tune of
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

SAAALLLLYYYYYY SHEARS!

What would you think if I wrote out of tune?
Would you remember that we have free speech?
Lend me a blog and I'll type out a post and I'm sure that you will censor me.

Oh I get by without your IMC
Oh I get sly without your IMC
Oh I read Flip Side on your IMC

>>>>Do you read everybody?
>>I want somebody to think.
>>>Could it be anybody?
>>I wish these people could think

What do you think when a post goes away?
Well, I'm certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when a post goes away?
It gets hidden and I know it's mine

Oh I get by without your IMC
Oh I get sly without your IMC
Oh I read Flip Side on your IMC

>>>>Do you read everybody?
>>I want somebody to think.
>>>Could it be anybody?
>>I wish these people could think

How did you feel when old Matt went away?
We were censored for so many years
How do you feel now that Matt is away?
We get censored more with Sally Shears

Oh I get by without your IMC
Oh I get sly without your IMC
Oh I read Flip Side on your IMCEEEEEE


With most humble and sincere apologies to the Beatles
Re: Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
26 Nov 2005
I think we are infinately better off than the North Koreans. JackDef, why do you attack Sid, Red Phoenix, etc and call them trolls? Just becuase they disagree with you? Their pointing to sawing off heads is not becuase they are sadistic, it is merely showing what kind of enemy we are dealing with. The radical Islamists DO NOT want to live in peace and harmony with us. They'd cut my throat as quickly as they would cut yours.

Saddam did gas his own people, that fact has never been in dispute. As for the Italian movie about Willy Pete, an Italian doctor watching a video of burnt body can no more make an accurate determination of how the burns were made than that Republican Senator saying he could make an accurate diagnosis of Terri Chiavo based on a video of her. Such documentaries should be taken with a grain of salt, even if you believe its contents.

Finally, where is your evidence that the US is trying to colonialize Iraq?
beach
27 May 2006
Cool!.. Nice work...