Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The North Africa, Mid-East, Arabian Peninsula Business

Fallujah, Iraq -- 2004

Misrata, Libya -- 2011

Things have been bloody and awful for many throughout the Rebellious Lands of Libya, Syria, and the Yemen for months now. This isn't like 1989 at all. No Prague Spring here, I think.

No, this is down and dirty, autocratic regimes "killing their own people."

Yet the descriptions of the attacks by the dictators' armies on rebel enclaves read astonishingly like the American attacks on Fallujah (some may remember that one), or the episode at Najaf, both in Iraq.

In other words, what the dictators are doing apparently follows the Siege Protocols that were handed down by the Americans. You cut off electricity and water, set up sniper posts, kill randomly, bomb and rocket at will, use whatever "unconventional weapons" you like (white phosphorus being one of the most popular among Americans and Israelis) and you cause as much havoc and destruction among the population as you can. The objective being to punish and crush all resistance.

That's how it's done.

And when the Arab Dictators do it, it is a violation of Human Rights, Laws of War, etc, etc. And when the Americans and Israelis do it, it is a sign of Valor and Manhood.

As long as that's understood.


  1. Hey Ché,

    Come visit me and coram nobis at a new blog that we've just started: May Days For Manning at

    Take good care,


  2. Can't believe it - I gave you the wrong address!

    Helen slaps forhead - what's new?

  3. Hey Helen, (and coram, to be sure)

    Thanks for the invite. I have been to the Mountaintop -- ie: visited your site -- and wish you both the very best. Is coram defending you in court? Or were the charges dismissed?

    Once he was transferred to Ft. Leavenworth, things seemed to change dramatically in the "Free Bradley Manning" community. Impossible to declare a Victory, and yet the abuse he was suffering in Marine custody appeared to stop. On the other hand, so -- apparently -- did military justice.

    Manning may well stay where he is for a good long time, with or without court martial.

    At one time, I thought he would be court martialed, lightly sentenced and freed, probably by now. That scenario looks more and more naive.

    Since Assange has pretty much faded from the scene, and the Wikileaks material is now being scoured for that which benefits the State rather than embarrasses it -- oh, and Osama is Dead, too, have you heard? -- the pressure to do something with Manning, even to make an example of him, has faded as well.

    The overall problem of a massive and monstrous American incarceration system and routine American injustice remains as acute as ever, as it would be regardless of Manning.

    It will take the equivalent of storming the Bastille to change it.

    All the best to you. I will continue to check your site for updates.


  4. Hey, Che,

    No, at this point the joint trial is scheduled for late May, early June. We're being represented pro bono by Attorney John Zwerling, former vet and peace activist himself, who has represented many civil rights protesters from Yippies to Black Panthers He'll be running a "mixed strategies" trial, with some of us directly represented by him, some of us going pro se with his guidance, which allows us to present our political and ethical reasoning for our civil resistance. I'll be laying out what I'm learning about pro se defenses at the blog at some point soon.

    Thanks for your work here, Ché - my crazy semester of taking three grad classes and TAing four is done with, and I'll have more time to come visit.


  5. John Zwerling, my my. There's a name from the past. I think you're in good hands, and it's a good thing he's explaining pro se defense to you and is there to guide you.

    My recollection is that the effectiveness of a pro se defense depends a good deal on who the judge is, so I trust he'll paper the monsters. Virginia has developed quite a reputation for judicial assholitry -- I say from afar.

    On the other hand, exposing the rot can have its salutary benefits.

    As for the Manning situation, commonsense says get on on with it and get it done. The interminable delay -- allowing plenty of opportunity for abuse at Quantico -- makes no sense.

    As I've said, it got into pure Captain Queeg territory, which was shameful on its face, but it shows something else: Institutional breakdown and a rotten chain of command.

    And that should be recognized as a danger to national security, far more so than anything Manning may or may not have turned over to WikiLeaks.

    (Myself, I'm eagerly anticipating the claim that "WikiLeaks found Osama!!!!" The Propaganda Theater over the Liquidation of the Foe has turned itself inside-out.)

    Meanwhile, best to you,