Welcome to V. Lazaro Zamora's Blog

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My dog is now a Mexican. Really though, never get a Jack Russell unless you have lots of space, lots of patience and lots of experience handling dogs. They are not for the timid and require a very strong hand. Great dogs, very loyal but a nightmare with kids, small things that move fast and furniture.
Now, on to the news:
I'm one of those silly people that can't find much sympathy for terrorists. I understand that we need to stop them; they want to hurt us, etc... In fact, I think if we really must torture them I would be ok with it under 3 circumstances: A) It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is a terrorist, who has committed a terrorist act not just some low level Jihadi wannnabe gangstar. B) That he without question has information that is vital to the national security of this or any other nation. And C) that the torture be televised and that all Americans be given a day off from work, so we can stay home with our loved ones and watch it. I know this all seems a bit unreasonable but so does torture. Y'know it just doesn't work. Its so passé'.
It didn't help the French in Algeria, the Germans in Europe, The Vietnamese at the Hanoi Hilton, ok maybe the Israelis in Palestine on a couple of occasions, but ultimately it's just not the American way. Have you noticed that people who have been tortured are strongly opposed to us torturing terrorists, while guys like Cheney, who refused to serve, are really gung-ho about it. This is what happens when you send the wrong guy off to be tortured:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/world/americas/19canada.html?hp&ex=1158724800&en=19cef65f49917a76&ei=5094&partner=homepage
It makes us look like assholes. Well, my fellow baseball and apple pie lovers, I as an American refuse to be looked upon as an asshole by the international community. Why, even with all this torture business going on (again, for Chrissakes!) we have to be reminded by Democratic minority leader, Harry give em' hell Reid that the President has yet to provide us with a single convicted terrorist as a result of his policies:

“Five years after September 11, not a single terrorist has been brought to justice under the President’s flawed policy. There is a bipartisan process underway in the United States Senate to fix the failed Bush Administration system that was struck down by the Supreme Court. Instead of picking fights with Colin Powell, John McCain, and other military experts, President Bush should change course, do what the American people expect, and finally give them the real security they deserve.”

Look guys, we can't even seem to arrest the right guys. This poor shlub has been arrested before and he has apparently only been doing his job.
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2006-09-17T172527Z_01_N17213289_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-PHOTOGRAPHER-AP.xml&archived=False

and I fear it might not be an isolated incident. Seventy to 90% of the knuckleheads we locked up in Iraq were "MISTAKES"??? That’s not a mistake that’s a huge fuck up!
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0917-01.htm
We can't seriously believe that the lock em up and beat the shit out of them approach is actually working when we see the violence... Oh I forgot that stuff is all censored, but if it weren't you would see the violence and know it's not working.
Remember, this is done in the name of preventing terrorism and to keep us safe, but I believe it is a viable question to ask if we are only creating more terrorism ourselves by behaving like terrorists. Before you get bent out of shape by me saying that, I suggest you look up, as I have, the definition of the word. It's become quite ambiguous and as you can see here, can just as easily be applied to some of what we do around the world for our own benefit and in fact, one can safely say the definition itself is twisted to fit the state, group or individual using it for their own benefit. Very confusing indeed, will someone please get Noam Chomsky to define it for us...

"Well that brings us back to the question, what is terrorism? I have been assuming we understand it. Well, what is it? Well, there happen to be some easy answers to this. There is an official definition. You can find it in the US code or in US army manuals. A brief statement of it taken from a US army manual, is fair enough, is that terror is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to attain political or religious ideological goals through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear. That’s terrorism. That’s a fair enough definition. I think it is reasonable to accept that. The problem is that it can’t be accepted because if you accept that, all the wrong consequences follow. For example, all the consequences I have just been reviewing. Now there is a major effort right now at the UN to try to develop a comprehensive treaty on terrorism. When Kofi Annan got the Nobel prize the other day, you will notice he was reported as saying that we should stop wasting time on this and really get down to it.

But there’s a problem. If you use the official definition of terrorism in the comprehensive treaty you are going to get completely the wrong results. So that can’t be done. In fact, it is even worse than that. If you take a look at the definition of Low Intensity Warfare which is official US policy you find that it is a very close paraphrase of what I just read. In fact, Low Intensity Conflict is just another name for terrorism. That’s why all countries, as far as I know, call whatever horrendous acts they are carrying out, counter terrorism. We happen to call it Counter Insurgency or Low Intensity Conflict. So that’s a serious problem. You can’t use the actual definitions. You’ve got to carefully find a definition that doesn’t have all the wrong consequences. "
(for the entire transcript, which is actually quite brilliant see: http://www.zmag.org/GlobalWatch/chomskymit.htm )

Thank you Prof. Chomsky if that doesn't clear it up 4 us I don't know what will...
Bottom line: its plain ol' un-American to torture people or keep them locked up with out trial. Let's stop allowing these politicians to wrap themselves up in ol' glory. What they are really doing is teaching the youth of tomorrow to goose step all over the constitution. It must end NOW if only to avoid more of this ( This is the creepiest movie trailer I have ever seen; I must see this film.):
http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com/

Update:
These are two more important links. This first one is from Amnesty International and it is the statement from some poor sap that got sold to the Americans by the Pakistanis and was shipped off to Guantanamo. Personally, I think alot of his story is true and I was reminded of the Abu Gharib prison scandal as i read it.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engamr511072005
And then of course there is this from ABC news which confirms that we are engaging in torturing people. Note that this report states that torturing detainees is not the most effective from of coercing information from them.
http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/print?id=1322866

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