<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 154 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 14 , 2004

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Fanning a
Bush Fire


Got the following on an e-mail from an American:

A teacher in a small Texas town asks her class how many of them are Bush fans. Not really knowing what a Bush fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raise their hands except one boy, Johnny.

The teacher asks Johnny why he has decided to be different.

Johnny says, "I'm not a Bush fan."
The teacher says, "Why aren't you a Bush fan?"
Johnny says, "I'm a John Kerry fan."
The teacher asks why he's a John Kerry fan.
The boy says, "Well, my mom's a John Kerry fan, and my Dad's a John Kerry fan, so I'm a John Kerry fan!"

The teacher is angry, so she says, "What if your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot? What would that make you?"

Johnny says, "Oh! That would make me a Bush fan."
Now that was weeks before the unveiling of photographs of naked detainees showing the true American colour in Iraq. The graphic bromide images exemplified despicable and degrading acts of barbarism unleashed by uniformed grinning USA soldiers, men and women, on Iraqi prisoners of war. (Agencies and TV channels worldwide, first week of May)

The venue of this heinous crime was the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, where toppled president Saddam Hussein's official lackeys perpetrated lesser acts on Iraqis; lesser because elements of sexual abuse, sadism and sodomy were absent -- the Iraqis never took pictures of humans being treated as dogs.

Once again the supposedly famous US intelligence, now for the wrong reasons, failed the public, as it did apparently before 9/11. This time the media let the cat out of the bag and caught the US administration unawares. If a reporter got to it first, which is exactly what happened, the entire Pentagon must have been on 'sick' leave. Yes! What has been happening in Iraq for the past one year and more is sick.

Let us take a peep at how Bush's US works these days: Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of military operations in Iraq, told '60 Minutes II' that the torture was 'reprehensible' (presumably meaning on the wrong side of the law) and (surprisingly) claimed that those facing charges were 'not representative' of American soldiers in Iraq. 'Don't judge your army by the actions of a few,' he said. Americans 'need to understand that is not the Army'.

These mendacious comments were refuted by CBS's (US TV channel) chilling interview with Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Chip Frederick, one of those facing court martial. Frederick, a Virginia prison guard, is charged with assaulting detainees, ordering prisoners to strike each other and an 'indecent act' for observing one of the sexual abuse incidents. He insisted, however, that his actions were not those of a rogue soldier, but were sanctioned and encouraged by military intelligence and the CIA. (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/apr2004/tort-a30.shtml)

Aha! Kimmitt, I am not certain how low down your leg your brain is lodged, but will your administration believe for once that Saddam is 'not representative' of common Iraqis and stop the mindless killing, the senseless bombing. Will you listen to the cry of an Iraqi woman if she pleaded: 'Don't judge our people by the actions of a few'?

In justifying their attack on scantly armed Iraq, Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice and the entire unpalatable dish propagated that Saddam had to go because he was very brutal on his people. Obviously Saddam did not go and kill someone personally; one would assume there were a few flunkies gratified to do that, but being the president of the regime he and his 'pack of cards' were held responsible. Fair enough, especially when you have the most powerful armed forces in the world at your beck and call!

Now that the soldiers under his command have put even the most despotic of present-day rulers and pornography to shame, we can only echo the call of the New York Times and a host of other American newspaper editorials (6-7 May) calling for the resignation of Rumsfeld. If the US Defence Secretary is the king of spade then surely Bush has to be the ace in that sequence.

Whereas one's heart should weep as soon as one sets eyes on those debasing pictures, beamed globally, it took Bush several days before coming out with an apology.

Rumsfeld was less economic with the words and said thus: 'To those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of the US armed forces, I offer my deepest apology.' (DS, 8 May) Does that include hundreds of Iraqi civilians, men, women and children, the aged and the young, who were killed, maimed and traumatised by the indiscriminate action of the US armed forces?

Let me plead an imaginary case for Saddam. If the father of Uday and Qusay were to give it in writing, 'To those Iraqis who were mistreated by members of my armed forces, I offer my deepest apology', would the US pull out of Iraq today? Would you (Bush and Co.) accept Saddam as president tomorrow? What makes you so sure then that your apologies, delayed as they were, are acceptable to the people of Iraq who you are so generously trying to 'liberate'?

Let the words of a Saudi paper draw the conclusion. The Arab News commented on 8 May: 'While he (Rumsfeld) has been in charge, murder, torture and humiliation were heaped on Iraqi detainees almost as a matter of course.

'If he resigns without fuss, perhaps he may begin to redeem himself by making a tiny contribution to the restoration of America's good name in the world'.
Key words:
tiny, good name. But then it is a Saudi newspaper.


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