Osama is dead!

Witnessing various reactions on the radio and internet today over the U.S. finally finding and killing Osama bin Laden — though when and how the U.S. knew where he was, not to mention what justification they had to go into Pakistan to get him, are well on their way to becoming the “stuff of legend” (surprizing, I know) — I can’t help but feel concerned over what comes next. Frankly, exactly how his death equals “justice” is beyond me, and is beside my point.

So instead of assigning any relevance towards an event I, not only couldn’t possibly know at this point, but probably will not understand when its implications inevitably come to fruition, I’ll simply urge everyone to read Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death for some much needed context. In part;

So I was in the Middle East in the days after 9/11. And we had garnered the empathy of not only most of the world, but the Muslim world who were appalled at what had been done in the name of their religion. [But] [w]e responded exactly as these terrorist organizations wanted us to respond. They wanted us to speak the language of violence. […] These groups learned to speak the language we taught them. And our response was to speak in kind. The language of violence, the language of occupation — the occupation of the Middle East, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — has been the best recruiting tool al-Qaida has been handed. […] The tragedy of the Middle East is one where we proved incapable of communicating in any other language than the brute and brutal force of empire…

I think Mr. Herbivore said it quite succinctly on Twitter today, “SO glad that the US and NATO forces have no reason to be killing people in Afghanistan anymore. What a relief that’s over!”

I guess we will see, eh?

With the co-founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, now behind bars — right where an absurd amount of people think he belongs (take last night, when David Letterman spoke his name in his monologue, it received a chorus of boo’s, only to be equalled a little later by mention of Sarah Palin’s name, which says everything) — and, shockingly, having his bail denied (where’s he seriously going to run to?), context and acceptance of reality have never been more needed.

Fact is, he turned himself in. I wonder if people are asking themselves why that might be? Here’s a thought. Could it be there is no better way for him to demonstrate the power of people’s need to see the truth? As Jesus H Chris so poignantly stated a week ago Monday, “[i]f you are still fool enough to believe this system doesn’t reek like fetid plop, maybe these documents will help you see the light.” Though, personally, I’m not so optimistic people will take the initiative.

It has been said previously, if Assange is arrested or assassinated, the leaks will continue. Meaning WikiLeaks is bigger than any one person. Including Julian Assange.

I guess we will see, eh?

The Iraq War Logs

Yesterday I posted an entry citing a talk Chris Hedges recently gave concerning his new book, The Death of the Liberal Class. In said talk he mentioned a few bits of interest that have relevance to what I’m writing about today, illusion and war. Speaking of illusion and war, on Friday WikiLeaks “leaked” the largest classified military leak “that has ever been released into the historic record”, some 391,832 documents, otherwise known as “The Iraq War Logs”.

Putting aside the predictable reactions and infantile tactics we’re now witnessing from, both, the Obama Administration, and their lackey’s, the mainstream media, nothing I’ve read or watched since Friday is, at least in part, as powerful as what Josh Steiber wrote in an open letter to members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, An Open Letter on the Needed Response to the Upcoming Wikileaks Report;

I write on behalf of those around the world who are ashamed to have to listen to the President, along with military and political officials, express their great angst over leaks while seeming to ignore the realities of what those leaks reveal about the very nature of these wars. When you fail to take account for what has been done in our names, funded by our taxes, and fought by those who believe that the U.S. should represent something noble, we will search for and tell the truth; if you are ashamed by citizens practicing the accountability that our country was designed to demand, then that says more about you than about us…

I’m urging people who are not so willing to drink the Kool-Aid to check out a the aforementioned letter by Josh Stieber, a couple video’s, featuring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (explaining the logs and defending the logs), and lastly Friday’s Democracy Now! appearance by America’s “most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971”.

Please do yourself a few bits of important reading and watching today…

Giving Thanks

Today, in Canada, it’s Thanksgiving Day. A day which is traditionally set aside for giving thanks. So rather than briefly touch upon a few of the mind numbingly abundant numbers of absurd reasons why such a practice is so misplaced — given the world in which we live, and the costs many are forced to pay to the few — I’ll merely cite one reason why I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for people like Bill Quigley, and his writings. Like the one, Nine Months After the Quake: A Million Haitians Slowly Dying, that showed up in my inbox today. This is something everyone needs to read and think, hard, about, today, of all days. Please, when you are giving thanks, consider someone else.

If you’re in a position to, of course, a donation to Partners In Health, for their work, on the ground, in Haiti, wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do…