Archive for April, 2008



Lynch mob that is the Very Serious People

Tom Friedman on why he had to attack Iraq

Riverbend

“R.- come in here! You have to see this!” It was September 11, 2001 and I was in the kitchen rinsing some dishes from lunch. I paused at the urgency in my brothers voice but continued rinsing, thinking there was some vaguely important news item on Iraq’s state controlled channel.

“I’m coming- a moment.” I called back. The phone began to ring and I stopped to answer it on my way out of the kitchen.

R: “Alloo?” I answered.
L: “Are you watching tv???” L., my best friend, cried out with no preliminaries.
R: “Uh… no- but…”
L: “GO WATCH TV!”

The line went dead and I put down the phone, my heart beating wildly. I made my way to the living room, curious and nervous, wondering what it could be. Had someone died? Were they going to bomb us again? That was always a possibility. It never surprised anyone when the US decided on an air strike. I wondered if, this time around, Bush had been caught with a presidential aide in the Oval Office.

I walked into the living room and E. was standing in the middle of it- eyes glued to the television, mouth slightly open, remote control clutched in his hand, and directed towards the television set.

“What is it?” I asked, looking at the screen. The images were chaotic. It was a big city, there was smoke or dust and people running across the screen, some screaming, others crying and the rest with astounded looks on their faces. They looked slightly like E., my brother, as he stood staring at the television, gaping. There was someone speaking in the background- in English- and there was a voiceover in Arabic. I can’t remember what was being said; the images on the tv screen are all I remember. Confusion. Havoc.

And then they showed it again. The Twin Towers- New York… a small something came flying out of the side of the screen and it crashed into one of them. I gasped audibly and E. just shook his head, “That’s nothing… wait…” I made my way towards the couch while keeping my eyes locked on the television. There was some more chaos, shocked expressions, another plane and the towers- they began to crumble. They began to fall. They disappeared into an enormous fog of smoke and dust.

I sucked in my breath and I couldn’t exhale that moment. I just sat there- paralyzed- watching the screen. A part of me was saying, “It’s a joke. It’s Hollywood.” But it was just too real. The fear was too genuine. The incoherent voices in the background were too tinged with confusion and terror.

The silence in the living room was broken with the clatter of the remote control on the floor. It had slipped out of E.’s fingers and I jumped nervously, watching the batteries from the remote roll away on the ground.

“But… who? How? What was it? A plane? How???”

E. shook his head and looked at me in awe. We continued watching the television, looking for answers to dozens of questions. Within the hour we had learned that it wasn’t some horrid mistake or miscalculation. It was intentional. It was a major act of terror.

Al-Qaeda was just a vague name back then. Iraqis were concerned with their own problems and fears. We were coping with the sanctions and the fact that life seemed to stand still every few years for an American air raid. We didn’t have the problem of Muslim fundamentalists- that was a concern for neighbors like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

I remember almost immediately, Western media began conjecturing on which Islamic group it could have been. I remember hoping it wasn’t Muslims or Arabs. I remember feeling that way not just because of the thousands of victims, but because I sensed that we’d suffer in Iraq. We’d be made to suffer for something we weren’t responsible for.

E. looked at me wide-eyed that day and asked the inevitable question, “How long do you think before they bomb us?”

“But it wasn’t us. It can’t be us…” I rationalized.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s all they need.”

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Bearing witness against massacre

ThreeGenerations

Three Generations is a family based organization which seeks to honor those who have died as a result of genocide, support those who have survived and record acts of genocide by connecting the past, the present and the future.

Three Generations aims to create an alliance of ideas, people and organizations to help end genocide and crimes against humanity. We do so through spiritual, cultural and practical means. 


BACKGROUND

Efforts to document the Holocaust began while it was still happening, and yet one of the legacies of the Holocaust has been that subsequent genocidaires have been careful to hide and de-bureaucratize their atrocities.

Three Generations was formed to bear witness to genocide and to help the process of documentation, not only for history, but also to honor those who have perished. Jane Wells, a freelance writer and producer visited Darfur and Chad in 2005 to bear witness to the genocide there.

She formed Three Generations to link her father’s work as a witness to the Holocaust with her efforts as a witness to the Darfurian genocide. Her father, Sidney Bernstein, was with the Allied Forces that liberated the Nazi camp Bergen -Belsen in April 1945 and was responsible for filming what they found there. His experiences of trying to inform the world of what they uncovered are recounted in the film A Painful Reminder. 60 years later his daughter Jane mirrored his work by helping make the film The Devil Came on Horseback, showing the world know about the first genocide of the 21st century, still raging after more than four years in Darfur and Chad.

Her two older children have chosen to join their mother in this work and they represent the third generation of one family working to end genocide.

Clinton derangement syndrom comes to netroots

eriposte

In an earlier post “Campaign Fairy Tales“, I addressed the outright lies about the alleged nature of Sen. Clinton’s and Sen. Obama’s campaigns from a couple of “top” bloggers with a severe case of CDS. Now, after Sen. Obama performed underwhelmingly in the ABC debate (see Boehlert’s Revenge Part II – and, as a relevant aside, also check out Eric Boehlert’s latest column for Media Matters), some of Sen. Obama’s supporters have taken to rending their garments about Sen. Clinton using Republican style talking-points against Sen. Obama and one of the “top” bloggers severely afflicted with CDS has come to the Very Serious Conclusion that Sen. Clinton is therefore Not a Democrat. (Don’t you just love all these Very Serious People!)

More anti-union mischief for the Busheviki

Union opposes nomination of Treasury official to IRS board

A federal labor union is opposing the nomination of the Treasury Department’s fiscal assistant secretary to serve as the designated representative of Internal Revenue Service employees on the agency’s oversight board.

In an April 11 letter, the National Treasury Employees Union asked President Bush to withdraw the nomination of Kenneth Carfine to the board.

“IRS employees deserve a meaningful voice on this influential public-private body,” said Colleen Kelley, NTEU president. “The clear language of the statute setting up the board refers to the appointment of either a rank-and-file IRS employee or employee representative. The president’s nominee is neither and should not be confirmed for this position.”

The nine-member oversight board, established by a 1998 law that restructured the IRS, plays an important role in reviewing IRS operations and policies, and in making recommendations for improvement, including those related to its budget. The Treasury secretary and the IRS commissioner both sit on the board.

No more treason, no more torture

Condoleezza Rice Must GO

Time to take a second look at Obama

Rezko Watch

Is Fenty anti-worker?

He sure acts that way.


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