Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Support Our Troops (This Thanksgiving) and poetry from Mazisi Kunene to the Anawim of Iraq

Its thanksgiving in America. Let's never forget those who risked their lives to fight for our freedom:

"Speaking at the ACLU 2004 America at A Crossroads conference, New Yorker investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said that the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Said Hersh: "The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

Some of the worse that happened that you don't know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]

The women were passing messages saying "Please come and kill me, because of what's happened". Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out.

It's impossible to say to yourself how do we get there? who are we? Who are these people that sent us there?

He called the prison scene "a series of massive crimes, criminal activity by the president and the vice president, by this administration anyway´┐Żwar crimes."

......

Hersh described the folks in charge of US policy as "neoconservative cultists" who have taken the government over, and show "how fragile our democracy is." (EdCone.Com, posted Wednesday, July 14, 2004).

The American General Antonio Taguba reported one of these incidents thus: a Military Policeman, he reports, was "having sex" with a female Iraqi detainee. Here are some testimonies given by Iraqi prisoners contained in Taguba's report:

Testimony of Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee #151108, on January 18 2004:

I saw [name deleted] fucking a kid, his age would be about 15 - 18 years. The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets. Then when I heard the screaming I climbed the door because on top it wasn't covered and I saw [name deleted] who was wearing the military uniform putting his dick in the little kid's ass. I couldn't see the face of the kid because his face wasn't in front of the door. And the female soldier was taking pictures. [name deleted], I think he is [deleted] because of his accent, and he was not skinny or short, and he acted like a homosexual (gay). And that was in cell #23 as best as I remember.

And another testimony provided by Thaar Salman Dawod, Detainee #150427, on January 17, 2004:

I saw lots of people getting naked for a few days getting punished in the first days of Ramadan. They came with two boys naked and they were cuffed together face to face and Grainer was beating them and a group of guards were watching and taking pictures from top and bottom and there was three female soldiers laughing at the prisoners. The prisoners, two of them, were young. I don't know their names.

(Via Lenin's Tomb blog, posted Sunday Nov. 20, 2004).

The U.S. government refuses to release the photographs and video tapes that depict what one Republican senator (himself privy to these images) described as scenes of "rape and murder." (Editor and Publisher, Sep. 29, 2005).

And for you, anawim of Iraq, Mazisi Kunene's poem, "Thought on June 26":

Was I wrong when I thought
All shall be avenged?
Was I wrong when I thought
The rope of iron holding the neck of young bulls
Shall be avenged?
Was I wrong
When I thought the orphans of sulphur
Shall rise from the ocean?
Was I depraved when I thought there need not be love,
There need not be forgiveness, there need not be progress,
There need not be goodness on the earth,
There need not be towns of skeletons,
Sending messages of elephants to the moon?
Was I wrong to laugh asphyxiated ecstasy
When the sea rose like quicklime
When the ashes on ashes were blown by the wind
When the infant sword was left alone on the hill top?
Was I wrong to erect monuments of blood?
Was I wrong to avenge the pillage of Caesar?
Was I wrong? Was I wrong?
Was I wrong to ignite the earth
And dance above the stars
Watching Europe burn with its civilization of fire,
Watching America disintergrate with its gods of steel,
Watching the persecutors of mankind turn into dust
Was I wrong? Was I wrong?

(Mazisi Kunene, The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry, p. 360).

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