Saturday, November 04, 2006

passing candy out to kids

Mcgill via Xymph:
Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh slams Bush at McGill address
By Martin Lukacs
The McGill Daily

“The bad news,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh told a Montreal audience last Wednesday, “is that there are 816 days left in the reign of King George II of America.”

The good news? “When we wake up tomorrow morning, there will be one less day.”
During his hour-and-a-half lecture – part of the launch of an interdisciplinary media and communications studies program called Media@McGill – Hersh described video footage depicting U.S. atrocities in Iraq, which he had viewed, but not yet published a story about.

He described one video in which American soldiers massacre a group of people playing soccer.

“Three U.S. armed vehicles, eight soldiers in each, are driving through a village, passing candy out to kids,” he began. “Suddenly the first vehicle explodes, and there are soldiers screaming. Sixteen soldiers come out of the other vehicles, and they do what they’re told to do, which is look for running people.”

“Never mind that the bomb was detonated by remote control,” Hersh continued. “[The soldiers] open up fire; [the] cameras show it was a soccer game.”

“About ten minutes later, [the soldiers] begin dragging bodies together, and they drop weapons there. It was reported as 20 or 30 insurgents killed that day,” he said.

If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”

Hersh came out hard against President Bush for his involvement in the Middle East.

“In Washington, you can’t expect any rationality. I don’t know if he’s in Iraq because God told him to, because his father didn’t do it, or because it’s the next step in his 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program,” he said.

Hersh hinted that the responsibility for the invasion of Iraq lies with eight or nine members of the administration who have a “neo-conservative agenda” and dictate the U.S.’s post-September 11 foreign policy.

“You have a collapsed Congress, you have a collapsed press. The military is going to do what the President wants,” Hersh said. “How fragile is democracy in America, if a president can come in with an agenda controlled by a few cultists?”

Throughout his talk Hersh remained pessimistic, predicting that the U.S. will initiate an attack against Iran, and that the situation in Iraq will deteriorate further.

“There’s no reason to see a change in policy about Iraq. [Bush] thinks that, in twenty years, he’s going to be recognized for the leader he was – the analogy he uses is Churchill,” Hersh said. “If you read the public statements of the leadership, they’re so confident and so calm…. It’s pretty scary.”
Xymphora on Rose's VF neocon piece:
The funniest thing of all is that the actual neocons themselves don’t try to deny responsibility for the attack, but are falling all over themselves denying responsibility for the conduct of the occupation. A quick summary: ‘Knowing what I know now about the incompetence of Bush and his goofy gentile associates, I would never advocate an attack on Iraq again (but let’s hurry up and attack Iran).’
i'm scared.

(btw - xymph, are you edging away from your 'they'll never attack Iran' position?)


steven andresen said...

Xymphora mentioned this speech by Hersch while also discussing Chomsky. X is interested in developing the argument that Chomsky is a closeted Zionist. As I understand it, Chomsky has the idea that American corporate interests are in control and their preferences drive wars in Iraq or, presumably Iran. X believes, I take it, that by making American corporations responsible, he hides the power and influence of Zionism.

I am torn. There was a time when I read everything of Chomsky's that I could find. He seemed to provide a unique critique of not only corporate influence, but also of wrong and malicious Israeli policies. I got the idea he was not trying to minimize Israeli or Zionist wrong-doing.

However, I am willing to listen to the arguments.

My concern is with trying to stop an attack on Iran and any further foolishness by the United States. I would make an argument, if I knew one, against both Zionist and corporate plans to kill, rape, pillage, and burn. So, it seems to me that whether corporations are more in control than zionism, or vice versa, is a side issue.

I suspect that the reasons corporations or zionists do what they do involve pretty much the same thinking. Maybe there are some differences. But, isn't the question how do we get them to see the error of their ways? And isn't this a more important question than who are we to blame?

If we are focused on questions of blame, doesn't that divert our attention from questions about what we should be doing, or what would be effective?

lukery said...

thnx steve.

xymphora's attacks on Chomsky are kinda funny. as Cannon has noted repeatedly, when xymphora gets a hold of a theory, he doesnt let go!

i'm talking a little out of my league here - but as i understand it, xymph's critique of chomsky is that chomsky argues that there is some sort of 'invisible hand' - an unidentified 'establishment' - to the extent that accurately describes xymph's argument, i agree with xymph that we need to identify the specific drivers: the specific people making the specific decisions, and the specific reason why they are making those decisions, which is why i try to tie things down to specific benefits (usually money, sometimes power) - and i often get slapped down by the smarter ones amongst us for discounting 'ideology' to the extent that i do.

My concern is with trying to stop an attack on Iran and any further foolishness by the United States.

me too

So, it seems to me that whether corporations are more in control than zionism, or vice versa, is a side issue.
me too - except that udnerstanding the mechanism is important if we want to recognize, and then break, the causality. to me, the question is not whether corporations or zionism (or anything else) are the drivers, but whether it is institutional forces or persons who are driving the mess. Hersh argues that there are '8 or 9' drivers (people) - to the extent that he is correct, then we need to shut those people down (and understanding their motivations would help ($ vs ideology) .

Alternatively, if the drivers aren't individuals (or even individual corporations), but 'institutions' (or 'movements') (e.g. corporatism, zionism, etc) - then we need to take a much different approach.

for example: But, isn't the question how do we get them to see the error of their ways?
AFAIC, the approach depends on whether there are individuals or 'institutional forces' who/that are the root cause. if it is individuals, we need to stop them (which i think is substantially different to 'get them to see the error of their ways') - and if the problem is 'institutional forces' - then it's very difficult to 'get them (institutions) to *see* the error of their ways' - and we need to find a way to dismantle the system, to somehow remove the (apparently) inherent motivations/propensities/incentives to do stupid stuff like going to war all the goddamn time.

to summarize:
If we are focused on questions of blame...
i think the key is to understand the causality, not the blame.

(thanks again for your insight and input)