Friday, April 30, 2004

Help save the youth of America. Help save the youth of the world. Help save the boys in uniform. Their mothers and their faithful girls.

The pictures of Iraqis tortured by the US are all over the media today.

One picture in particular stirred a feeling of deja vu within me. It's the one of the young soldier, standing in front of the scenes of torture, flashing a smile and a thumbs up to the camera.

It reminded me of a picture I saw in the War Museum in Saigon. The picture showed a GI holding the severed head of a young Vietnamese man. With the other hand he's giving the thumbs up and he too is smiling.

We now know the atrocities that went on in Vietnam. There was the massacre of My Lai where an entire village community was killed.

There was the napalm. There was also agent orange.

In the same Saigon museum you can see large jars of formaldehyde with grotesque, distorted feotuses inside. This is the result of agent orange. In Iraq swap the agent orange for depleted uranium weapons the long term health effects are likely to be equally horrific.

And there were four million Vietnamese killed.

I guess my point is this: War is horrific. These kinds of atrocities happen during war. Despite what they tell you about smart bombs and the accuracy of shock and awe, war remains repugnant. There are no clean wars.

Just as witnessing a murder in civilian life is likely to have a traumatic effect on you, the same goes for the military. Soldiers will witness many hundreds of murders. Is it any wonder that they become capable of such atrocities?

But, if you were, or are, in favour of this war then you should know that in times of war these atrocities happen. You cannot be in favour of war and against this behaviour. One goes hand in hand with the other.

Apparently Tony Blair is "appalled". Well they were torturing British citizens in Guantanamo and I don't recall him being appalled at that. What's the difference?

Also, apparently "appalled" was Brigadier General and the Deputy Head of coalition forces in Iraq, Mark Kimmitt. He said the torturers: "let their fellow soldiers down". A typical USA army response. They let their fellow soldiers down? What about the poor bloody Iraqis?

Among this great big "being apalled" hyperbole has anyone heard an apology?

So did the president himself let his fellow Americans down when he allowed torturing to go on in Guantanamo?

It will surprise a lot of people to know that the USA is no stranger to these kinds of techniques. The pleasant practice of electrodes on the testicles is a technique I have read about before in conjunction with America.

It's something they teach at the School of the Americas. Essentially this "school" helps America push its own agenda in South and Central America. It works with right wing political parties who, on occasions, are overthrown and discredited governments. In certain cases their enemies have been democratically elected governments , or political parties that have come to power as a result of a popular uprising.

The USA ,that is the first to bleat about atrocities of so called "rogue states", actually spends the tax dollars of ordinary Americans on teaching other nations how to main, kill and torture.

So if there are still apologist for this war then bring on your arguments. Any one out there who still thinks that this despicable, ugly, cruel and evil war is still a good idea then let me hear your reasoning.

My country may be part of the so-called "Coalition of the Willing", but this is not in my name.

And don't let them fool you that this is a one-off. Or that this was some rogue unit that was acting outside army law. Don't accept their lies - this is still happening. The chances are, as you read this, an Iraqi prisoner is being detained and tortured. No rules, no laws, no accountability, no trial.

I think we will probably only really get to know the full extent of the atrocities when this war is over. Just like with Vietnam, the horror stories will come thick and fast for decades to come. When you hear them you will be ashamed of what your country did.

We can all do something, however small, to show our displeasure at Blair, Bush and their war. If we do not then we too, when we look back at this sorry episode, will have something to be ashamed about.

Love, light and peace,


I saw two shooting stars last night I wished on them but they were only satellites. It's wrong to wish on space hardware. I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care.