Whoa. Don’t ask me for an interpretation. Craziest thing I’ve seen in a while, and appropriate for Easter?
Whoa. Don’t ask me for an interpretation. Craziest thing I’ve seen in a while, and appropriate for Easter?
Posted at Truthdig:
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.
[Extensive coverage of the Zero Dark Thirty torture scandal here.]
by MARK EPSTEIN
I thought Michael Moore was supposed to be a director… I thought he was supposed to have made some documentaries…
I guess Michael Moore, having become “Inc.”, now has other priorities, such as propagandizing for those institutions that have “honored” him and his ‘fellow’ club-members (please don’t try any more “captatio benevolentiae”, Mike, of the kind my “fellow leftists” etc…; after the way you have treated Ralph Nader and even more after this piece, I doubt there will be any somewhat sane members of the human race who would consider you a ‘leftist’ of any kind…). I must say both the movie he defends and the essay he wrote to defend it are the ones that at this point should more appropriately be entitled “Sicko”…
Michael Moore has come out to “defend” Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty”. So let us take a look at this “defense” and contrast it with what is actually a careful, thorough, calm, balanced but devastating assessment, that of David Bromwich.
One of Moore’s chief arguments, following the desperate attempts to grab at straws by the director herself, is that actually “Zero Dark Thirty” is against torture, and in fact is an ethical film, a film that looks at the “morality” of torture instead of its “practicality”…
To ‘factually’ anchor this contention, Moore frames it by the alleged contrast in “torture” policies of the W Bush administration and those of the Obama administration.
For someone with the sort of background in documentary filmmaking and the at least partial investigative work this entails (at least done by others, consultants, etc.) this pseudo-factual architecture is perhaps the most egregious web of deceit in his whole essay… In fact its factual basis is as nonexistent as that in those political “vote for us, we have no achievements of our own to run on, but be scared, oh so scared of what the OTHER party could do…” ads, these days the bread-and-butter of autho-totalitarian electoral manipulation of fear that the one-party system with two right-wings the Empire has become (or party-politics as torture…)…
Has Michael Moore not been following any political news for the last 4 years? Has he digested even one story in the non-Korporate or “less-Korporate media”??
Moore’s essay is basically founded on the Obama promises (from his 2007-8 run) in the area of rights and foreign policy, vs. some of the W administration facts. Let’s start with torture: did the Obama administration actually stop the use of torture? Given what has leaked out of prisons in Afghanistan and those of proKonsular allies, that contention seems completely devoid of credibility and unfounded…
On the other hand what we DO know is that the Obama administration did everything it possibly could to NOT prosecute all those in the W administration that were guilty of masterminding, implementing, “legally” defending, etc. said practices of torture…
John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent, has instead been persecuted by the Obama administration, for REVEALING facts about the torture program(s). Kiriakou who, being a person who actually does have moral convictions, also was outraged by the government’s persecution of Aaron Swartz. Instead both the journalists and White House personnel guilty of revealing the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, as in the case of those involved in the torture program(s), were never touched by US “justice” under either W Bush or Obama…
So much for the ‘moral high ground’…
One of the other major oppositions Moore tries to sell in this horror-travesty dressed as a fairy-tale, is that the film shows the opposition of: 1) the W administration, characterized by torture (immoral), no will to find or pursue Bin Laden, incapable of engaging in any “detective work”, and therefore complete lack of results vs. 2) the Obama administration, characterized by opposition to torture (moral), the will to find and pursue Bin-Laden, deeply engaged in “detective work”, and therefore … hey presto, Bin-Laden’s head on a platter… (yes the biblical echo is intentional dear Mike…)
Well Mr. Moore must think his ‘pals’ on the “left” really all are embodiments of the insults that Rahm Emanuel hurled at them… if he thinks his story amounts to any “detective work” of any kind whatsoever…
I think virtually any (I mean literally any) issue of “CounterPunch” in the last four years would have at the very minimum one article that would totally disprove Moore’s fantasies about the Obama administration.
Let’s start with those issues most closely related to torture and human rights in foreign policy, in other words Moore’s much touted alleged “morality”.
* Guantanamo? Never closed, still open for business, complete betrayal of electoral promises.
* Similar prisons, as for instance at Bagram in Afghanistan, or similar facilities in Pakistan, other third party proKonsular “allies” (i.e. accomplices): Open for business as usual, same as under W. (For one of many accounts cf. Andy Worthington “Bagram and Beyond”.)
* Renditions? Continue as before, or rather, more secretively than ever… Again, absolutely no prosecution or even the faintest attempt at enforcing legal accountability in this area…
*Drone strikes (remember the Nazi V1 and V2 programs: those are the sort of powers that like state-terror and legal non-accountability): at their acme under Obama, with the overwhelming majority of victims being innocent civilians (except in the tyrannical Obama administrations serial lies about the results and consequences). Decidedly Mr. Moore’s moral arguments are getting more ballistic by the minute…
* Targeted assassinations: the exact opposite of the Moore narrative. It is Obama who has introduced them, boasts of personally approving them, and in the processes has put the Constitution through the shredder (he has on so many different issues it is difficult to keep count…), something the W administration, at least officially, did not engage in. Obama actually has a US citizen assassinated without any proof or having to defend (as if it really could be defensible in any case, unless Mr. Moore’s morality comes with a defense of the death penalty, etc.) its proofs, decisions, courses of action, etc. in a court of law… In fact Obama has reversed to worse than Richard Nixon, since it was the Church committee and other similar developments that led to the exposure and shut-down (at least from what we know overtly) of the sorts of programs that the Obama administration is now pursuing with a vengeance (Bigelow’s kind of ‘vengeance’…). For a discussion of some of these continuing practices cf. Noah Gimble “Obama and Rendition”.
Good stuff in this morning’s CounterPunch:
‘Feminist’ torturer and murderer? Get real, Mike.
[See our extensive coverage of the Zero Dark Thirty torture scandal here.]
Obama just imprisoned the one CIA officer who exposed war crimes in the CIA, whistleblower John Kirakou, while promoting and protecting war criminals who torture and murder for the state. That makes Barack Obama party to the conspiracy to torture. Kirakou is railroaded for “Leaks of highly sensitive, closely held, and classified information” about torture war crimes he allegedly divulged to NY Times journalists and defense lawyers for Guantanamo detainee torture victims.
Hey Michael Moore — where are you?
Trailer (watch it)
This documentary should be required watching in schools. These are the “masters of the universe.” The masters are anyone who finds a way to make large sums of money, even if they have to put your grandmother in the dark in order to extort outrageous electricity fees, while their Luciferian little frat boy scumbags laugh and joke about the chaos and destruction they are responsible for.
Welcome to America.
Enron (closely connected to the George W. Bush administration) was one of the greatest thefts in modern American history. This well-connected energy conglomerate expanded greatly out into the world, gobbling up electricity and other energy sector companies as it steam rolled into town, led by some of the most ruthless charlatans in US business. And that’s saying something.
What it’s saying is that “deregulation” is bullshit. Regulation is what protects your family from mafiosos like these. Government regulated the energy industry successfully for nearly 70 years, until the industry managed to buy their way into state legislation houses and overturn the perfectly-functioning electricity delivery system. Chaos ensued.
Even their own workers lost everything, stolen pensions, stolen jobs. See the movie.
W. is the falsest, least authentic political film I’ve seen in a while. It’s full of bad dialogue that explains and explains for the ten year olds in the audience.
It neglects who these people are, Poppy, Rummy, Cheney, Wolfie, and what they set out to do from day one. This gang has rap sheets a mile long. They did not fall into these situations out of the blue.