Saturday, June 30, 2007

Torture: How Many Times

If there are any readers left, I apologize for not keeping up the blog--too many other obligations and too profound an unwillingness to keep screaming into the great, cosmic I-Don't-Give-A-Shit (ID0GAS) to keep going. But Seymour Hersh has a 'profile' of Antonio Taguba in the June 25 New Yorker that almost but not quite makes the price of subscription worthwhile. It does, however, in painstaking detail show how the abomination that is the Bushbucker's War On Terriors has exposed the rot at the core of Amerika. Exposed? I should say that the Bushbucker's War on Terriors has managed to nurture and bring to the forefront of governmental policy the bigotry, hypocrisy, and racism that have run from the start in tandem with the avowed idealism of its founding documents and myth. Sanctioned torture, murder, violation of fundamental rights of men and women and children abroad and here add up to--whether you are using new math or old--egregious violations of human rights that warrant a trip to the Hague, the sooner the better. I know I've said that before and before again until at this point I must appear to run on only one track, but I believe this evil is the greatest one perpetrated by the Bush, the Chainman, and their minions. These brutal tactics are completely inappropriate for their avowed mission of thwarting terriors.

Better to ask, though, what this War on Terriors really is. At most a couple of dozen terrior leaders were prime targets following September 11, 2001, and it would have been far easier and infinitely less wasteful of life and treasure to take them out one at a time. They'd be in jail or dead by now, and the essential work of reforming dictatorial states in the Middle East and brokering an honest settlement between Israel, the Palestinians, and their neighbors could be underway. But the Bushbucker's War on Terriors has pursued the opposite tack, waging endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq against people who, nasty though they were, had nothing directly to do with September 11--the Taliban harbored the Osama, but the U.S., created him and the Saudi's bankrolled him. We must, then, that the goal of the Bushbuckers was to achieve immediate, big bang military victories in order to satisfy their own bloodlust for vengeance and to rally people around themselves, draped in the flag. Those wars were to be cakewalks; thus, the carefully staged toppling of Saddam's statue and the 'mission accomplished' landing on the aircraft carrier were indeed intended to spell victory. Problem was the people of Iraq hadn't toppled Saddam's statue, nor had they welcomed the U.S. with open arms--just the opposite, and our subsequent behavior at Abu Ghraib and in the streets showed us to be tyrants to no end. Now our military appears not to know who it is fighting or why in either country. They are not chasing terriors--that much we know.

The question facing us now is why these criminals are stll in power, making a mockery of the Constitution, international law and common human decency.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Old, Sad Story

In today's Washington Post, Stephanie McCrummen offers a dirge for the Hadzabe, believed one of the oldest people on the planet and certainly among the last of the hunter/gatherers. By some estimates, Hadza culture goes back more than 50,000 years in the eastern Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, around a seasonally dry salt lake, Eyasi. They number maybe 1,500--enough to hold onto a large chunk of their ancestral foraging grounds, marginal though they may be for agriculture or grazing and thus not highly desirable to others--until now. Ironically, perhaps, the 1,000 to 1,500 Hadza, who seem to have embraced societal changes, even the great disruptions of the past century, cautiously, if at all, and have received an assist from ecotourists out to see a Stone Age tribe, as well as from anthropologists eager for the same, are now threatened by a state that has embraced the imperial tourism of greed. McCrummen reports that the Tanzanian government has leased 2,500 square miles of the valley to Tanzania UAE Safaris Ltd., a front for the royal family of the United Arab Emirartes, which wanted its own private hunting preserve, so its spoiled members can kill for pleasure game the Hadza, as they are also known, kill for food.

Tanzanian Government official, Philip Marmo, told McCrummen that the Hadza are "backwards"and "they would benefit from the school, roads and other projects the UAE company has offered as compensation." Who is "backwards"--the Hadza whose culture is old beyond reckoning--a sure sign of vitality, or the morons in the Tanzania government who bargained away the Hadza's traditional hunting and foraging territory thereby condemning their traditional way of life to extinction. Of the people whose money is behind this destruction, I can say only that they prove again that no one should be permitted to inherit wealth or privilege or rank or station.

Surely there should be places in the world for the Hadza and other foragers--indeed for nomads and other non-assimilated people--to live as they choose. There should be many things in this world that nonetheless don't exist.