If you continually bomb another country and kill their civilians, not only the people of that country but the part of the world that identifies with it will increasingly despise the country doing it.
That’s the ultimate irony, the most warped paradox, of US discourse on these issues: the very policies that Americans constantly justify by spouting the Terrorism slogan are exactly what causes anti-American hatred and anti-American Terrorism in the first place. The most basic understanding of human nature renders that self-evident, but this polling data indisputably confirms it.
Glenn Greenwald, “Obama, the US & the Muslim world: The animosity deepens”
A Gallup poll released on Thursday surveyed public opinion of the US in Pakistan where ”more than nine in 10 Pakistanis (92%) disapprove of US leadership and 4% approve, the lowest approval rating Pakistanis have ever given”. Worse, “a majority (55%) say interaction between Muslim and Western societies is ‘more of a threat’ [than a benefit], up significantly from 39% in 2011.”
this world is a really fucked up place
In late October, an off-duty Tampa police officer and an off-duty Hernando County sheriff’s detective were involved in the fatal shooting of a naked 42-year-old woman.
Two months later, the State Attorney’s Office concluded that Officer William Mechler and Detective Rocky Howard were justified in their actions.
On Wednesday, the two law enforcement officers received the highest honor given by the Hernando Sheriff’s Office — the Medal of Valor.
In a letter recommending the two officers for the honor, sheriff’s Lt. Harold Hutchinson Jr. praised the two men.
“They placed their own safety at risk and responded to the incident in a brave and admirable manner to ensure the safety of those around them,” the letter read.
But the recognition wasn’t well received by the brother of Inga Marie Swanson, the victim in the shooting.
“They shot a mentally disturbed, naked woman — is that valor? Is that the definition of valor?” asked Gunnar Swanson. “To me, it’s like they are celebrating a kill.”
Officers shot and killed Inga after mistaking her crucifix for a weapon.
SUNDAY, FEB 10, 2013 12:00 PM UTC
The most-storied warrior tribe in Ecuador prepares to fight as the government sells gold-laden land to China
Today marks a half year since Austin Tice, a law student and former Marine infantry officer, disappeared in Syria. Austin is an independent journalist; he had used his summer break from studies to try his hand at photography and writing, and contributed to multiple news organizations during a period when very few journalists were inside Syria. No one has acknowledged detaining him. The video showing him in the custody of armed men raises many more questions than answers. His family awaits word, as do the families of other journalists missing in Syria’s civil war, including the family of James Foley. The @FreeAustinTice twitter feed has been revived. Please follow it, and raise your voice to release all the unlawfully detained men and women in Syria, including our friends.
December 16, 1966. The White House announces the departure of Bill Moyers, who is leaving to take a job at Newsday, The day of his resignation, according to White House Special Assistant John P. Roche, Moyers is photographed having lunch with Sen. Robert Kennedy: ”Of course, after that nothing would ever convince Johnson that Moyers hadn’t been on the Kennedy payroll for years and years.”
In his column of Dec.19, Drew Pearson, friend of the Johnson administration, explains Moyers’ departure as an example of LBJ’s loyalty, implying that LBJ helped both Jack Valenti and Bill Moyers get high-paying jobs outside of the administration. Other observers point to Moyers’ growing disillusionment with the administration. Moyers’ last day will be in February.
Roche quote via Merle Miller, Lyndon: An Oral Biography. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980, p. 457.
If you missed my conversation with Bill Moyers about my new book, Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, you can watch it here or at Moyers & Company.
In a web-extended version of his broadcast essay, Bill Moyers gives examples of how indiscriminate killing by our military forces not only cuts down innocent bystanders, but drives “their enraged families and friends straight into the arms of the very terrorists we’re trying to eradicate.” Bill says the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, and President Obama’s prolific use of drones all share a “blind faith in technology, combined with a sense of infallible righteousness.”
Feb. 12, 2000: Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz Passes Away
On this day in 2000, Charles Schulz, creator of comic strip Peanuts, passed away.
The following day, the last original Peanuts comic was published. As a sign of respect to Schulz, no new Peanuts comic strips have since been created. Newspapers around the world reprint classic comic strips.
Learn more about the iconic American cartoonist with American Masters’ Charles Schulz timeline.
Image: 1956 photo of Charles Schulz with Charlie Brown drawing (Library of Congress).
The bodies have been turning up for years, thousands of them, scattered across the borderlands in the American Southwest. Ever-stricter border enforcement has encouraged migrants to avoid cities like San Diego and El Paso and take their chances at remote desert crossings instead. As they trek across the vast, unfamiliar and scorching terrain, many get disoriented and run out of water, with devastating consequences. So far this year, 94 bodies have been recovered in Arizona alone.
Since 2004, a faith-based coalition called No More Deaths has been leaving gallon jugs of water near common migration routes in a desperate bid to save lives. But in May of this year, just as temperatures in the harsh Sonoran Desert climbed above 100 degrees, the group’s volunteers began to notice that their water bottles were being slashed, destroyed or emptied. With violence from ranchers and vigilantes a constant threat, No More Deaths installed hidden cameras. They were surprised at what they found: Border Patrol agents were purposely, even gleefully, destroying the life-saving jugs of water.
Visible on the tape, which will be broadcast for the first time tonight on the PBS show “Need to Know,” are three Border Patrol agents, two men and a woman, walking along a migrant trail and approaching half a dozen one-gallon jugs of water. The female agent stops in front of the containers and begins to kick them, with force, down a ravine. The bottles crash against rocks, bursting open. She’s smiling. One of the agents watching her smiles as well, seeming to take real pleasure in the spectacle. He says something under his breath, and the word “tonk” is clearly audible. “Tonk,” it turns out, is a bit of derogatory slang used by some Border Patrol agents to refer to undocumented immigrants. One agent told me it’s derived from the sound a flashlight makes when you hit someone over the head — tonk. After destroying the entire water supply, the three agents continue along the path.
(In response to specific questions about these events, Border Patrol officials replied only with a general statement emphasizing that misconduct would not be tolerated and that agents were trained to treat migrants with dignity and respect.)
The event was not an anomaly. A volunteer with No More Deaths had complained several months earlier to Lisa Reed, community liaison for the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, that water was being destroyed by agents. Reed responded then with an email saying, “I am preparing a memo from the Chief to all the agents directing them to leave water alone.” The agents on the tape apparently either never got the memo — or simply ignored it.
This attitude extends into the Border Patrol’s holding facilities.
I met Demetrio, a migrant in his early 20s from Veracruz, Mexico, after he was apprehended by the Border Patrol. At the time of his capture, he’d been lost in the Arizona desert without food or water for three days. When he arrived at the Border Patrol custody facility outside Tucson, he told agents he felt sick and was running a fever. “I asked to see a doctor … and they said no,” Demetrio said. “One of them said, ‘Put him in there and let him die.’” They shoved him into an overcrowded cell. He was vomiting blood and felt so faint he could barely stand. Yet, according to Demetrio, he was not given any food or water for at least six to seven hours.
Border Patrol protocol requires agents to provide detainees with food, drinking water and emergency medical services, to hold them under humane conditions, and to refrain from making degrading remarks, but this is rarely honored in practice, say human rights advocates. Over the past 15 years, reports documenting human rights abuses at the hands of Border Patrol agents have been published by Amnesty International, the ACLU, No More Deaths, even the United Nations. Contrary to their own protocols, Border Patrol agents have been accused of systematically denying food and water to migrants in custody, forcing them into overcrowded cells, stealing their money, confiscating medications, and denying them medical treatment. Migrants have described agents hurling verbal abuse, racial slurs and curses, and inflicting sexual assault, physical violence, even death. At least 14 migrants and border residents have died at the hands of Border Patrol agents over the past two years. These practices appear to be systemic, amounting to what No More Deaths calls “a culture of cruelty.”