Harsh Interrogation Techniques

Read this and weep.

In another graphic instance, a former Iraqi general was beaten by U.S. forces and suffocated to death. The military officer charged in the death was given just 60 days house arrest.

“Abed Hamed Mowhoush [was] a former Iraqi general beaten over days by U.S. Army, CIA and other non-military forces, stuffed into a sleeping bag, wrapped with electrical cord, and suffocated to death,” Human Rights First writes. “In the recently concluded trial of a low-level military officer charged in Mowhoush’s death, the officer received a written reprimand, a fine, and 60 days with his movements limited to his work, home, and church.”

But all is justified in the name of imperialism and state terror protecting freedom. And Bush III glorious, shining Obama can’t do anything about all of this, because he wants to keep on using the same techniques we have to move on and forget the past.

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12 Comments

  1. JM

     /  May 8, 2009

    Maybe someday, real change will come to America, and people will start to deal with past crimes. But for that, they will have to taste more defeats first. Nationalism, militarism and closed-mindedness in regards to every other country are just too deeply rooted in their society.

  2. Are they? And is it that different in, say, Germany?
    I don’t think you can talk of an entire country that way. Look at all the workers fighting for their rights in the US. Those people aren’t like that. And there’s plenty more who want to change things.
    What would happen if the media weren’t controlled by a bunch of insane right-wingers? Let’s not forget that people voted for Obama because he was the anti-war candidate. Sure, they didn’t see it was all just PR, but still, the hope and belief in a better society was there.

    Even the article I linked to is American…

  3. JM

     /  May 8, 2009

    As much as I can say bad things about Germans, I can’t say that theyre nationalists or militaristic. And they’re not superficial in everything like Americans – generally speaking, of course. That doesn’t even mean that I like Germans more than Americans – in general, again, but I seriously couldn’t consider living over there, and the problems the US are causing for the whole planet are a lot worse than what Germany is doing. At least after 1945, but what we do is about the present, not the past.

    And the better society that Obama strives for, even if it’s progressive by american standards, and as much as I hope that it helps in preventing any more disaster until the day the whole Empire collapses, it was never something that, as a European, I would have wanted. The whole rhetoric again touched sentiments that the US is something great, something better. In it’s core, another form of nationalism.

    And even with all that, the number of swing votes is what? Maybe 20% of the electorate. I mean, in every other country on this planet someone like McCain would never have gotten anything near 45%. Even in the most-right wing country in Europe, which right now is probably Poland in terms of parties elected, you have 10% for a center-left party. In the US, there is nothing beyond centrists to christian democrats – the Democratic Party – and conservative nationalists to moderate fascist – the Republican Party. The few leftists in the Democratic Party – like Kuchinich – are marginalized. And their proposals are just classic social democratic.

    Of course, the is a left intelligentsia, and of course, in the Internet, they have and active medium. And I support that. But they don’t represented the american people.

    Of course workers are fighting for their rights. That is nothing special, it’s something that happens everywhere. What else is there to do if poverty awaits you. But I don’t see anything going on thats really gonna change how people relate and deal with the current systems.

  4. As much as I can say bad things about Germans, I can’t say that theyre nationalists or militaristic. And they’re not superficial in everything like Americans – generally speaking, of course.

    I fear I have to disagree with that one. I think there’s plenty of nationalism here in Germany, just not as apparent. And maybe not as much as in the US, but I find it very disturbing. Just wait until some big international soccer game, and listen to the people talk. Or listen to what average people say about all the foreigners in their pretty country who don’t want to integrate properly.

    Furthermore, the United States isn’t so much a country as it is a continent. I think it’s wrong to overgeneralize when you’re talking about your average nation, but the US is practically 50 nations. Let’s not oversimplify.

    With 20% of the country believing socialism to be the better system, and the rising amount of people fighting for labour rights, I’m not entirely hopeless. The US may have given us Bush and Obama, but it’s also given us Tom Morello. The US still believes in the possibility of change, of action. I see less hope for Germany, frankly.

    BTW, I still think Obama is basically Bush with better PR. I don’t think he’s even remotely trying to build a better society – look at the whole bailout situation. But people voted him for entirely different reasons, and that is cause for hope. A little, anyway.

  5. JM

     /  May 9, 2009

    “Or listen to what average people say about all the foreigners in their pretty country who don’t want to integrate properly.”

    In that regard im not with you, anyway, since I believe foreigners should integrate. But it’s basically the same everywhere in the World, it’s nothing german or nationalistic.

    The whole football-mania is a substitute for nationalism, and it bothers me that germans act that way, actually it really gets on my nerves and shows that they still have some way to go in that regard, but it’s something I can live with.

    As for your comment about the US being a continent not a country, I don’t agree that much either. They share one history and one culture, if you can call it that. And I’m talking about the more common traits. Don’t get me started on all these religious types.

    I have replied your numbers about socialism. Let me add that even in JAPAN, there is a strong communist party.

  6. In that regard im not with you, anyway, since I believe foreigners should integrate. But it’s basically the same everywhere in the World, it’s nothing german or nationalistic.

    It’s not exclusively German, that’s true. But when I hear people cursing about how they hate hearing people talking languages other than their own, in this country with its history, I shiver.

    As for your comment about the US being a continent not a country, I don’t agree that much either. They share one history and one culture, if you can call it that. And I’m talking about the more common traits. Don’t get me started on all these religious types.

    I’m sorry, but that’s just typical European we-are-so-cultured arrogance. The United States have a history and culture as much as Europe; moreso possibly than a country like Germany. And if you think you can pack all of the US, from New Orleans to New England, into one bag then you simply don’t know a whole lot about the US. It’s not one culture at all. That’s just what the Europeans like to tell themselves, just like they like to gloat about being so educated as their educational system falls apart and most children haven’t read a damn book in their entire lives.

    The same goes for the typical “ah those religious types” bullshit – as if Europe was all that better, or as if fanaticism was exclusive to the US. Now, don’t get me wrong, the encroachment of insane religious types into American politics is more than a little disturbing, but it’s silly to think that such a thing is exclusively American.

    The whole football-mania is a substitute for nationalism, and it bothers me that germans act that way, actually it really gets on my nerves and shows that they still have some way to go in that regard, but it’s something I can live with.

    What it is is an excuse for Germans to start being nationalist again. But it’s just the starting point: ever since they got that, open nationalism has been on the rise all across Germany. They’re “finally able to be proud to be German again.”

    I have replied your numbers about socialism. Let me add that even in JAPAN, there is a strong communist party.

    So? I mean, you will hardly find a country with a longer and more fanatical history of commie-bashing than the United States. That a full 20% of the population believe socialism to be the better system is a big deal. And it’s barely 50% that still think capitalism is a good system.

  7. JM

     /  May 11, 2009

    Why an excuse for nationalism? The sentiments during the World Cup were heart-felt, I mean they were REALLY annoying and I would like Germans to have a more ‘common’ approach to it, but still, nothing to get upset about. Every country has the right to a bit of patriotism, I’f germans need football for it, than so be it.

    And about “us europeans are more cultured.” Yes, actually I believe it is so. And Americans think they’re the best country in the world. Just looking at history, I don’t get the feeling they really contributed much. Coca-Cola is nice, some good Hollywood movies, a bit rock and roll, and they certainly advanced science. Nothing to get excited about, so did every country that was on top at one point. And they spread democracy around the world, by means that everybody is happy about. 😉 You cannot seriously compare german to american history and culture. Germans shaped this continent, it’s history, culture and intellectual sphere for over 800 years. And contributed much to the US, which is probably why they became an evil empire. 🙂

    Anyway, we’ll talk about it in a few days.

  8. Why an excuse for nationalism? The sentiments during the World Cup were heart-felt, I mean they were REALLY annoying and I would like Germans to have a more ‘common’ approach to it, but still, nothing to get upset about. Every country has the right to a bit of patriotism, I’f germans need football for it, than so be it.

    I do think it’s something to get upset about. Aggressive pride in one’s nation is the first step towards greater stupidity. People just need a reason to make nationalism culturally acceptable again.

    And about “us europeans are more cultured.” Yes, actually I believe it is so.

    I don’t. I don’t see it. I know plenty of American people – many of them had a considerably better education in terms of history and literature than most Germans. You can’t generalize.

    Coca-Cola is nice,

    Oh come on, that tired old cliché?

    some good Hollywood movies,

    A lot more good and important movies than Europe ever produced. The United States had a huge influence on the whole medium, both on a technical and an artistic level.

    a bit rock and roll,

    A bit? And what about jazz? Blues? Folk? Hell, even classical? In fact, the musical history of the 20th century would be utterly unthinkable without America.

    You cannot seriously compare german to american history and culture.

    I really don’t see what German culture has contributed in the past 400 years or so, except bad imitations of Shakespeare plays. OK, there was Brecht and a couple of others, but that’s nowhere near what the US gave us.
    As for American culture, there are VAST contributions to literature, theatre, scholarship, and political and philosophical thought.

    Germans shaped this continent, it’s history, culture and intellectual sphere for over 800 years.

    And ever since the American Revolution, the United States have profoundly shaped European politics, history, culture, and literature. Not always for the better, but in ways that cannot be dismissed.

  9. JM

     /  May 11, 2009

    Marx was German. He outweights about everything. Please, don’t get such a debate started. You should know better than to say german culture didn’t contribute to the world in the last 400 years. Thats just stupid. Anyway, this would just end in a ‘my dick is bigger than your’-argument.

    Of course the US is a leading cultural nation. But, and that’s where I started, it’s just based on principles and ideas that are just nothing I can approve of. Their whole history is one of bloodshed. But they don’t realize it and still act like they are the masters of the whole world. And we stupid Europeans still tolerate it. That’s our mistake.

    OK, one thing I like. Al Gore invented the Internet. Props to that man.

  10. Marx was German. He outweights about everything. Please, don’t get such a debate started. You should know better than to say german culture didn’t contribute to the world in the last 400 years. Thats just stupid. Anyway, this would just end in a ‘my dick is bigger than your’-argument.

    So what? Marx was an important guy, sure, but he doesn’t outweigh everyone else. I can easily say that German culture did not contribute more than that of any other nation, and possibly less.
    (Not that any of this is a useful concept. It’s not, because talking about “nations” and “cultures” is a silly and outdated way of looking at things anyway. It suggests, for example, that Marx and Hitler and Brecht are the result of the same “culture,” which is absurd. I should know better than to use such idiotic terminology.)

    Of course the US is a leading cultural nation. But, and that’s where I started, it’s just based on principles and ideas that are just nothing I can approve of.

    But you’re putting it all into one bag. You can’t say that all of it – even much of it – is based on one group of principles, from the Bill of Rights to Noam Chomsky to César Chávez to Ayn Rand. That’s just total cultural essentialism, and thus nowhere near the considerably more complex reality.

    Their whole history is one of bloodshed. But they don’t realize it and still act like they are the masters of the whole world.

    Uhhh… Germany? At least a couple of the wars the Americans fought had some kind of point. Granted, that’s a very small percentage, but still.

  11. JM

     /  May 11, 2009

    This is boring. I was hoping for some American to jump into the discussion. 🙁

  12. I always knew you were a troll at heart. 😉