Friday, February 13, 2015

Who’s the “Low Life Scum:” Kissinger, CODEPINK, Harold Pinter or Hitler?

It's been two weeks now since John McCain refereed to CODEPINK; most of the stories except for those from the traditional news media, which isn't even trying to do a good job, are strongly against his response, with good reason. However there are still some like John Hinderaker who say "John McCain Speaks For Me On CodePink." He goes on to say, "This persecution of Kissinger has been going on for decades. It has something to do with Vietnam, apparently. .... How long can these leftists continue to hate? Forever, seemingly."

His comment "It has something to do with Vietnam, apparently" clearly indicates that he doesn't know much about Henry Kissinger's history and presumably doesn't want to. He appears to be a regular commentator and if he wanted to know more about history he almost certainly could and would; although he wouldn't if he relied on the traditional media or the highest profile pundits for his information. His comment "How long can these leftists continue to hate? Forever, seemingly," is equally ironic since right wingers also demonstrate an enormous amount of hatred, although a review of history that involves fact checking sources might raise major doubts about whether they're justified in many cases and they would also indicate that there is an enormous amount of justification for the calls to prosecute Kissinger.

And the same establishment that continues to ignore Kissinger's history, also continues to support more war crimes and selling of weapons that inevitably lead to more atrocities by both allies and the so-called terrorists that they claim to oppose.

Susan Milligan claims "McCain Had a Point About Code Pink" but she misses a major part of the problem. She says, 'The Congressional Record is filled with flowery references to “my good friend from Iowa,” or “the distinguished gentlelady from New Hampshire.” Such verbiage is used even when the parties in question are bitterly fighting with each other. That’s not dishonest; it’s just what civilized people do. When you abandon even the show-language of polite discourse, the relationships deteriorate further.'

What she fails to mention is that those who report on an enormous amount of problems with U.S. foreign policy rarely ever get much media attention which is why some people like John Hinderaker and his followers might not realize how many problems with many of the wars and the lies that they're based on cause so much destruction and will continue to do so unless major changes are made which the polite people on Capital Hill aren't willing to do.

There is something wrong when it is considered polite to support a policy that leads to a large number of atrocities and rude when people actually point out the truth.

I'm sure it is also extremely impolite to compare Adolf Hitler to Kissinger or other political leaders in the U.S.; but this is often a tactic that is used to arbitrarily either shock people or put certain comparisons off limits so that they can't be discussed. Some times people really should be shocked; and the true definition that should be used more often for the word compare is "to analyze the similarities and differences." Which means that I'm not saying that they're exactly the same but current censorship is far more subtle than what Hitler did. As the saying goes "History is written by the victor;" and if Hitler had won it would be impolite to criticize him or worse. Both Medea Benjamin and Harold Pinter have done a far better job addressing these issues but most people aren't aware of them.

If it seems like Susan Milligan is right about CODEPINK doing nothing but heckle people and interrupt others right to free speech it is only because they don't have much if any opportunity to present their case to the vast majority of the public. The only thing the traditional media covers is their heckling while completely ignoring an enormous amount of history. This can be found at other more reliable sources that get much less coverage including Medea Benjamin's column, where she points out some of the history that both Susan Milligan, John Hinderaker and many other higher profile pundits ignore:

Who’s the “Low Life Scum:” Kissinger or CODEPINK?

A very angry Senator John McCain denounced CODEPINK activists as “low-life scum” for holding up signs reading “Arrest Kissinger for War Crimes” and dangling handcuffs next to Henry Kissinger’s head during a Senate hearing on January 29. McCain called the demonstration “disgraceful, outrageous and despicable,” accused the protesters of “physically intimidating” Kissinger and apologized profusely to his friend for this “deeply troubling incident.”

Despite warnings by senior US officials that thousands of Chileans were being tortured and slaughtered, then Secretary of State Kissinger told Pinochet, “You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende.”

Rather than calling peaceful protesters “despicable”, perhaps Senator McCain should have used that term to describe Kissinger’s role in the brutal 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which took place just hours after Kissinger and President Ford visited Indonesia. They had given the Indonesian strongman the US green light—and the weapons—for an invasion that led to a 25-year occupation in which over 100,000 soldiers and civilians were killed or starved to death. The UN’s Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor (CAVR) stated that U.S. “political and military support were fundamental to the Indonesian invasion and occupation” of East Timor.

If McCain could stomach it, he could have read the report by the UN Commission on Human Rights describing the horrific consequences of that invasion. It includes gang rape of female detainees following periods of prolonged sexual torture; placing women in tanks of water for prolonged periods, including submerging their heads, before being raped; the use of snakes to instill terror during sexual torture; and the mutilation of women’s sexual organs, including insertion of batteries into vaginas and burning nipples and genitals with cigarettes. Talk about physical intimidation, Senator McCain!

You might think that McCain, who suffered tremendously in Vietnam, might be more sensitive to Kissinger’s role in prolonging that war. From 1969 through 1973, it was Kissinger, along with President Nixon, who oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos—killing perhaps one million during this period. He was the one who gave the order for the secret bombing of Cambodia. Kissinger is on tape saying: “[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn’t want to hear anything about it. It’s an order, to be done. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” Complete article

Kissinger is also famous for opposing democracy in other countries like Chile when he said in a meeting on June 27, 1970, "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." Henry A. Kissinger Quotes This was intended to be disclosed for the first time in the first addition of "The CIA and The Cult of Intelligence" by Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks published in 1974; however this was censored and it wasn't made public until later. The official explanation for the censorship, like many other claims, is that it might threaten national security; however after this disclosure and many others have been made it has become clear that it is far more threatening to the integrity of government officials that claim to be defending democracy but routinely do the opposite.

Marchetti and Mark's book is one of many that has disclosed a lot of the atrocities that have been committed by the U.S. Government over the decades but they rarely get much publicity and the mass media routinely pretends they don't exist instead of addressing the details. This is part of a very effective propaganda tactic that enables many people to believe that the U.S. has been fighting one war after another to "defend democracy against communism" or "terrorism." It also enables them to portray people like Chris Kyle who killed at least 160 people, in a war that was based on lies, as heroes, even though the war had nothing to do with protecting U.S. citizens and did far more to antagonize people around the world and make some of them resent the U.S.even more and strike out like the Boston Bombings.

Harold Pinter did an exceptionally good job describing how the United States has avoided full discussion of their activities in his 2005 Nobel Prize speech; however this also received virtually no media attention so only those that are accustomed to relying on alternative media outlets are aware of it; and many of them may have forgotten it, since it is so rarely mention.

Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize speech: a brave artist speaks the truth about US imperialism

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Qaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11, 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true. ....

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States' actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favored method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued - or beaten to death - the same thing - and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America's view of its role in the world, both then and now.

I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: 'Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.'

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. 'Father,' he said, 'let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.' There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

Innocent people, indeed, always suffer. .....

I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: 'The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.'

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution. .....

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. 'Democracy' had prevailed.

But this 'policy' was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn't know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis. .....

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading - as a last resort - all other justifications having failed to justify themselves - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'.

How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. ..... Complete article

Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize speech: a brave artist speaks the truth about US imperialism

If more people were aware of the history that is rarely ever mentioned by the traditional media but covered much better by people like Medea Benjamin, Harold Pinter, Naomi Klein author of "Shock Doctrine" or many authors from The American Empire Project among other more reliable sources then it would be hard tom imagine that most people would think that it is more impolite to point out atrocities than to cover them up.

The atrocities committed by representatives of the U.S. government and their allies in third world countries aren't as blatant as Hitler's but they're far more insidious; which could mean that, unless more people rely on alternative media outlets and hold our leaders accountable then they could present a much greater threat than the terrorists they condemn.

Actually by conducting so many activities around the world they're almost certainly indirectly inciting these terrorists they claim to oppose maintaining a permanent state of war which isn't necessary.

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