American Killers

by craig on January 15, 2012 11:31 pm in Uncategorized

For those of us who grew up thinking of American culture as related closely to our own, it is quite hard to come to terms with the fact that there is a very substantial strand to US popular culture that makes it a danger to the entire world, and requires a dedicated worldwide effort at containment and reorientation.

If you have any doubt of that, just read the comments here in the LA Times. We know Perry is an arse, but look at what LA Times readers “think”. And remember the LA Times is at the liberal end of the spectrum, insofar as the US has one.

There are more Americans locked up in jails than citizens of any other developed country. Unfortunately, largely the wrong ones.

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126 Comments

  1. Americans are no more morally/ethically deranged than any other people. We have our share of psychopaths (statistically 2-3 percent of the population) and they probably spike those numbers in the military because such are drawn to occupations with a license to kill. As to commentators; these are news junkies drifting from acrimonious blogs. Stories like this one get linked and cross-posted across the breadth of political channels. They are not representative of the population, as a whole.

    Please don’t disappoint with an imperious and superior attitude.

  2. Craig, this time you sounded like Islam Karimov ;)

  3. These comments were in the LA Times. Compare and contrast reader’s comments in the Guardian or even the Daily Telegraph to those that Craig highlighted and you will see that he is not being imperious or superior. Indeed, the rapid degeneration and brutalisation of American culture and education is terrifying to watch.

  4. The comments in the LA Times don’t seem any worse than those in the average Guardian or BBC online discussion. Unfortunately.

  5. PS Also remember that psy-ops are working overtime at the moment. A lot of comments on the Web are planted by people being paid to influence public opinion – for reasons that aren’t too hard to figure out.

  6. I wouldn’t use the word “culture” here. We on the Old Continent have learned – through centuries of painful experience – to maintain emotional distance to the political apparatus. Americans – without centuries of experience – still seem to see the politicians in the old feudal way: President is Fathers/Leader of the Nation and Chief Commander of the Army, and soldiers are those who sacrifice their lives for the Leader, ergo, the Nation. That’s why in U.S., like in the Soviet Union, you just DO NOT criticise the military. These are heroes.

    Naturally, there are intellectual elites there, too. But I’d be surprised if they spent their time commenting LA Times ;)

  7. The UK is catching up at the speed of light. It won`t be long before you will not be able to tell the two apart, the decay of civilisation.

  8. What Franz says is true. However, these comments are fairly typical – nobody would dare criticise the hallowed military if they didn’t want the right-wing punditry (i.e. virtually all of them) coming down on them. These multi-millionaire pundits and their wannabes will be tearing their shirts apart with outrage, although they’re quite silent when the same military gets crap service (poisoned food, getting electrocuted in showers, getting terrible healthcare upon return etc.) from war profiteering contractors such as Halliburton.
    .
    This gets into the American psyche – it must be wrong to say a word against the troops, just like it would be wrong to criticise Israeli foreign policy.
    .
    It’s obligatory to say, “Thank you for your service” to anyone who’s ever served. Anyone wearing a uniform no longer need buy their own drinks while on home-leave. They get applause from the fellow passengers on board aeroplanes. But they can be treated pretty miserably once discharged for combat stress or injury – no wonder Americans suffer so much cognitive dissonance.
    .
    Don’t forget where all this starts – Americans are terrified of their own shadows. Anything that threatens them has to be killed without question or hesitation. They’re frightened of anything they’re told to be frightened about. So if the scarey frightening thing is being fought by “our boys”, you’re causing an even bigger danger by doing anything that detracts from these “heroes”. So you must be attacked. Otherwise, the whole thing might slip away, and before they know it, they’ll be in re-education camps run by Nazi-communists, be forced to wear government issue clothes, share their apartment with 10 other families and have to ride public transport – just like those impoverished, starving Europeans.

  9. it is frustrating that all the american alternative websites have ‘iran oil embargo delayed for six months’ stories up today, but not the following, which is most likely the reason; also could be the reason for the sudden announcement that the biggest-ever israeli/US military drill “austere challenge” to be held in israel has been postponed:

    9 Jan: Reuters: UPDATE 2-UAE delays oil pipeline to bypass Hormuz
    Pipeline seen operational by May, June, delayed from April
    The United Arab Emirates has delayed the launch of a crucial oil pipeline to bypass the Straits of Hormuz to mid-2012, which analysts said would add to supply worries at a time when Iran threatens to block the strait for all the Gulf’s oil….
    Flows through the strait are estimated at around 15-17 million barrels per day (bpd), or just under a fifth of global supplies, and a new pipeline would bypass it to carry most of the UAE’s oil, 1.5 million bpd, to global markets…
    Abu Dhabi government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is undertaking the project, and China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor (EPC).
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/09/uae-pipeline-idUSL6E8C91EF20120109

    21 Nov 2011: Reuters: UAE pipeline to flow first oil in December -sources
    Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) holds a 60 percent stake in ADCO. Its other shareholders are BP, Royal Dutch Shell , Total, ExxonMobil and Partex Oil and Gas (Portugal).
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/21/uae-pipeline-hormuz-idUSL5E7ML08220111121

  10. “Americans are no more morally/ethically deranged than any other people. … Please don’t disappoint with an imperious and superior attitude.”
    .
    Fine position as long as it is provided to Chinese, Iranians, Pakistanis, North Koreans, Mexicans etc. But are nations beyond relative scrutiny? What is the internal effect on American cultures of possessing such a unique level of imprisonment and war spending, fighting?

  11. Do those comments say something about Americans in general or just about a certain type who think it’s funny / clever to be ridiculously abusive on the internet? Most of the outrageous comments were from one particular poster who was either a troll, a psychopath or a psy-operative. Would an intelligent poster bother replying to that?
    .
    Makes me thankful for this blog – an altogether more human and satisfying encounter. Thanks everybody.
    .
    Probably right what you say about Americans, though. You meet them outside of America and most seem OK but then you look at their politics and voting patterns and you realize that many of them who live there and probably never make it abroad have some pretty scary ideas. Take the build up to the Iraq war. There was quite a protest movement in Europe and The UK but you could hardly find a dissenting voice in The US at the time. And then they even RE-elected George W!

  12. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 3:12 am

    “What is the internal effect on American cultures of possessing such a unique level of imprisonment and war spending, fighting?”

    Devastating. But who else will do it? Europe has had a free ride on our tails for 60 years. The reason they have such intricate social benefit is by virtue of having surplus cash to spend on non-military exigencies.

  13. I have had a look at the major UK media websites where they have comments open on the marines urinating on corpses issue. There is almost no evidence of the defence of such behaviour that dominates the LA Times comments.

  14. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 3:20 am

    “I have had a look….”

    I respect your history, Craig, but I think your scientific study of one newspaper’s blog comment section is hardly a representative sample.

  15. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 3:30 am

    A broad spectrum of reactions can be found here; I don’t know if the outrage meets your requisite
    level of redemptive circumspection, but on a moments notice, it may suffice.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/01/13/our-continuing-moral-decay-and-i-blame-scott-beauchamp/#comments

  16. @Ben Franklin
    ‘“What is the internal effect on American cultures of possessing such a unique level of imprisonment and war spending, fighting?”
    Devastating. But who else will do it? Europe has had a free ride on our tails for 60 years. The reason they have such intricate social benefit is by virtue of having surplus cash to spend on non-military exigencies.’

    Utterly outrageous. The USA has never, ever fought a defensive war unless you count defending itself against Mexicans trying to reclaim stolen territory, or fighting Japan after goading them to attack. The vast military spending is used only for wars of aggression and military conquest. Europe and the UK have perfectly adequate defences for their own needs – unless the USA turns on them next.

  17. The article of the “Ballon Juice’s” comment thread notes:
    .
    “and now it appears that conservatives have decided that desecrating corpses (heckuva job, CNN) and urinating on the dead should also be yanked off the list of things we all abhor. I wish I was surprised, but I’m really not. Fortunately, the military still at least is pretending to take this seriously.”
    .
    And Craig wrote:
    “there is a very substantial strand to US popular culture that makes it a danger to the entire world, and requires a dedicated worldwide effort at containment and reorientation.”
    .
    The trickiest thing is not establishing there is a problem with our most glamous cultural icons ugly moods, it is how to contain and reorient them, towards respect for the living near and far. While of course improving our own position in the league of hunter killer nations.

  18. Carnival Corp – Costa’s parent company… We are seeply saddened by this tragic event…impact on earnings will be $85-$95m …damage assessment will be undertaken….
    .
    Glad to see where their priorities lie.
    .
    (Sky News ticker)

  19. Carnival’s shares down 18%. Good.

  20. Antelope Grazer

    16 Jan, 2012 - 8:39 am

    There are more Americans locked up in jails than citizens of any other developed country.
    .
    You don’t need the word ‘developed’ there, do you? In absolute numbers I don’t know if they have more than anyone, but as a proportion they’re way ahead of the rest of the world – over 1% of the adult population. Of course, if you’re black it’s a lot higher than that.

  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States
    .
    1% of the population is in prison at any one time. 70% of those are non-white. Most US prisons are privatized. We are catching up fast.
    .
    PS I never felt that I was influenced by American culture when I was growing up in the 40s and 50s. I think the change came in the 60s when American music and films arrived.

  22. I agree essentially, with this reservation.

    The great killers are really in the American government, especially those covert operators who arranged the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, Governor Wallace, John Lennon, and even looney Reagan himself particuarly through the means on “Manchurian Candidates”, and start all kinds of covert and overt wars to suit their objectives. The Reagan hit was unplanned blowback because of Chapman’s killing Lennon.

    This is most important to remember on MLK Day.

    The American public largely just goes ignorantly along with it because of the zenophobia that its leadership drums up, particularly to get elected to office. If it had a democratic political system, instead of one where money dictates the process, and determines who gains office, it would improve considerably.

  23. Danny Ayalon, dep foreign minister Israhell, is in London to speak to Chatham House. By rights and if we still upheld the principle of universal jurisdiction, he would have been arrested when stepping foot on British soil.
    .
    Instead he was on Radio 4 Today, being fed the right war mongering questions by a very friendly Jim Naughtie.
    ~~~~
    ‘Iran must be stopped’
    Israel is calling on Europe and the United States to intensify action against Iran, saying that “crippling economic sanctions” and diplomatic isolation would affect the way the regime behaves.
    .
    William Hague, the foreign secretary, has been speaking about the dangers of the intensifying tension with Iran, saying that the crisis could destabilise the whole middle east.
    .
    Last week a fourth Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated in Teheran and the government there have blamed Israel.
    .
    The Israeli deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, outlines the view from Tel Aviv.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9678000/9678459.stm
    ~~~

    Naughtie did not question him on the recent killing of the Iranian scientist and he almost swallowed his words when he referred to Israel’s nuclear stockpile. You could sense that he was embarrassed to be saying the words.

  24. “There are more Americans locked up in jails than citizens of any other developed country. ”

    Not just developed – of any country, full stop. The US also has the highest incarceration rate per capita worldwide.

    See here : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prisons/html/nn2page1.stm

  25. Superiority breeds contempt, no doubt the same was true at the turn of the 18th. century, when the britsh empire had grown too big and was showing sings of disintegration. Far from me going for the old chestnut everyone learnt at school about, the troubled Boor war presented us with concentration camps and it was british soldiers that cut off the knackers of suspected MauMau INDEPENDEnce fighters, the problem lies with empires and their ruthlessness regrads control mechanismn.
    Thgis incident like many before show us that America has reached its cultural limitations, it is unable to deal with inhumane excesses such as this and the sodomising of young boys, its not prepared to apply international justice to its brainwashed and de humanised soldiers. This sad innevitability is the true sign of an empire on the slide.

    I also listened to Jim Naughtie’s pre chewed questions, you could almost hear the sucking noises. How dare does the BBC give prime time to these warmongers, the real instigators of strife in the ME, readying themselves to steal some more land I suppose. What a pathetic method, i.e. we wind everyone up and kill their scientists, then you come in, fight our war for/with us and we aqyuire lots more land when you leave for home.
    I’m afraid that this country has lost its mettle, is controlled and guided by the worst ziocons there are.

    Jim naughtie should have his sporan ripped off, replaced with a bloodied star of david for all I care. Sadly news reporting has been put in a box abnd it will be hard to cut through this bias thrown out by the MI’s.

  26. The Americans I meet when I visit the place I usually like.There are some aware of what US hegemony does to the countries it rinses with their version of freedom and democracy but most are oblivious to it.US crimes against humanity are not exactly covered by the MSM there.
    Full metal jacket,the film shows how human beings are dehumanised.
    The powers at be in the States do not want soldiers that can think for themselves.
    “Grunts” is the nickname for the the marines and it’s appropriate.The most brainwashed of all.I am pretty sure that peeing on your war trophies is one of the lesser crimes.
    The more mechanised the soldiers become ,the more inhumane the crimes will be by these unfortunate young men.
    I listened to a program last week where they were talking to US soldiers about their acts in Afghanistan and Iraq.It has been killing civilians with impunity for over 10 years and these soldiers armed to the teeth with their conscience temporarily out of order are capable of anything.They did regret their actions but were unable at the time to do anything about it. I’ve heard similar tales from IDF soldiers.We brainwash young men, order them to do terrible things and turn our heads away when they lose it altogether.

  27. Yes Mary – all those films and musicals – Carousel, Oklahoma,South Pacific et al were heady stuff for us then – and perhaps all that guff about romantic love did influence us a bit.
    I don’t think that any of the people I grew up with then took any of it really seriously though – how could the eternal sunshine, flip talk and benign adults in those films have anything to do with us living in post-war Britain? It was if we were anchored by the reality of eternal rain, grimness and dour adults who’d give you a back-hander if you ventured a quip (“I’ll teach you to show-off” rang round our house constantly in those days – though we never hung around for the lesson!)
    I’m not so sure my grand children are as immune though, when I hear their voices rise at the end of a statement sentence, and adopt even worse speech patterns and expressions from whatever foreign stuff they watch.
    Time to make media studies an integral part of the curriculum as well as George Orwell’s essay on Boys’ Weeklies published in 1939.

  28. Brus MacGallah

    16 Jan, 2012 - 10:38 am

    The daily mail can always give the yanks a run for their money. Try this little gem from htis morning.

    Scotland really should – fall on it’s knees and kiss the generous English hand that has been feeding it – and keeping it alive for 300 years. If these ungrateful whining and bleating people don’t want English cash any more – GOOD ! They should all vote ” YES ” in a referendum – and be gone. There has never been any real English interest in Scotland – they have just been a cross for us to pay for and bear – since some historic looney hooked us up with them in the first place. Up your kilt Scotland – start paying your own way for a change.

  29. Depends a bit where you come from and where you are going Brus.

    I emigrated 25 years ago and – because of my parent’s deaths and some shenanigans over inheritance – spent some time involved with the Scottish legal system. [One solicitor in Edinburgh refused to deal with me at all when I suggested that there was corruption going on, and you will be hard-pressed to find a solicitor in Edinburgh that is prepared to press a case against another, notwithstanding the blatant evidence.]

    So, really there are at least two Scotlands. The romantic one that Craig clings to, and many of us dream of; and the dominant factions – as everywhere else – made up of crony, often crooked, politicians, lawyers and bankers. These latter, I would suggest reflect the yankee influence which was not characteristic of Scotland until greed took over. Sadly now, they are in charge.

  30. Leo
    .
    You are spot on, that is the real state of Scotland. There is no hope!.

  31. Bob @ 14 Jan, 2012 – 12:50 pm (pissing-into-the-wind) said;
    ,
    The fascist US society has been long in the making, ever since the day after the end of WWII. Operation “paper clip” translocated more than experts and their body of knowledge, it also exported the NAZI weltanschauung albeit a much more refined and tweaked version. Yanks have learned to camouflage, tool up and paint their face just to go buy a hamburger, or pack of chewing gum, thanks to the years of unstinting Hollywood education.
    ,
    +1
    ,
    So far as the denials on this thread go, the first step in any solution is identification of the problem, whence the will for cover up, and exceptionalism thereof is greater than the guts to own up, the problem shall take a pernicious dimension that is harder to solve and the perpetuation of the wrongs caused thereof shall bear even more bitter fruit of lost opportunities.
    ,
    Given the rabid comments published in the various US outlets and publications, Craig’s assertion holds true. Further, the bad apple principle applied can obtain that the one bad apple will ruin the rest of the apples in the barrel, and render the enterprise of storage of these bankrupt.
    ,
    These comments ought to be treated as what they represent; windows into the souls and intent of the Nations/societies/groups, this facet remaining unexploited by the various Muslim countries, cannot continue for ever.

  32. I really can’t abide arm-chair warriors criticising front line soldiers for their supposed unfavourable activities. While I personally don’t think that desecrating the dead is something to be proud of I think this is massively overblown and could be dealt with by education – which in a way the outing forces them to do – but as posted earlier governments want killers in their armies. The real criminals, also posted many places elsewhere, are the politicians.

    I also believe we do get very superior over here towards Americans – I’m talking generally now rather that directing at individuals. I lived in metropolitan America for 9 years and found the majority of those I met to be well informed and intelligent. I have no experience of the heartland.

    That said, as Craig rightly points out, the US does pose a great risk to world security and there does need to be a concerted effort to fight their exported ‘culture’, political and otherwise.

  33. “I think this is massively overblown and could be dealt with by education”
    .
    Steve, what you miss is that this is not an isolated incident, there have been many. Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo Bay and many others were organised and perpetrated by/at the highest echelons of power within the USA.

  34. “I really can’t abide arm-chair warriors criticising front line soldiers for their supposed unfavourable activities”
    ,
    ,
    Interesting take on a matter that is against Geneva Conventions, as well as Hague Conventions, in addition to being morally bankrupt and reprehensible.
    ,
    The weak arguments forwarded somehow fail to clarify the difference between a troop of gun wielding undisciplined rabble, and professional soldiers. The puerile attempts in playing down the break down of discipline and morale among the US, NATO soldiers, further diminishes the extent of the war crimes that are going misaddressed, in an attempt to make acceptable; war crimes as part and parcel of “war”, and cannot be punished.

  35. I don’t know if I can pass judgement on American people, but American government is most certainly heading, if not already there, towards the Fourth Reich.

  36. “I lived in metropolitan America for 9 years and found the majority of those I met to be well informed and intelligent. I have no experience of the heartland”.

    Steve, the trouble with your point of view is that those well informed and intelligent people are represented by a government that behaves like a cross between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. How did that come about? Especially since all Americans are continually droning on about how their political system is the best in the world, the best there has ever been, the best there ever will be, and very probably the best that is theoretically possible in this universe.

    Incidentally, I have visited parts of America – especially small-town Wisconsin – many times, and my experience was exactly like yours. Kind, decent, mature, honest people who make Christianity like more attractive than I thought it could. But the same problem arises. On the few occasions when I disturbed their serenity by very gently mentioning any of the problems we discuss daily in this blog, their reaction was concern and bewilderment.

    But actually, what can even the most decent and determined American do? They have precisely three choices: vote Democrat, vote Republican, or abstain (which third option includes voting for anyone other than a Democrat or Republican). Whichever of those three choices they make, the outcome will continue to precisely the same. Democracy?

  37. Iraq: Link to Obama and the censoring of American soldier abuse and torture .

    http://wikileaksleaks.blogspot.com/2011/03/obama-supressing-images-of-us-soldiers.html

  38. Guest – You’re right in that it’s not an isolated incident but I just find it really hard to have a go at guys on the front line. It’s the govt for me.
    *
    Tom – You’re right, it’s scary what is happening with their politics. Really scary! However, I don’t think that it’s as straight forward as just blaming those who elected them – if that’s what you’re getting at. Many liberal minded people voted for Tony Blair way back when and look how that all ended up although the US govt seem to be taking it to a new level. The problem is the same in both countries in that there is no difference between the parties, just marginally different branding.

  39. Ingo,
    .
    I agree with your first sentence that Britain was ‘exceptional’ at the height of the British Empire. Unlike Britain whose power and expansion seemed to be feudal driven, America relies on her puritanical moralistic values to drive her exceptionalism; analysing ‘Dubya’s’ quotes gets the drift:
    .
    “I’ve heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for President.”
    .
    “My administration has a job to do and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.”
    .
    “This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”
    .
    In 1900 President Mckinley said, ” “The American flag has not been planted in foreign soil to acquire more territory but for humanity’s sake.”. Even today American political ideology embraces an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world.
    .
    Such reliance on ‘Divine Providence’ for justification has led America down a path of chauvinism, self-interest, intolerance, bigotry, degenerate behaviour and mass murder.
    .
    A notion that virtue, mission and destiny under God by America has damned America, she is blind and dangerous – exceedingly dangerous and I remind my friends and those willing to listen, of her ‘exceptional’ mission:
    .
    “We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand…”

  40. Steve,

    I haven’t ever shot anyone, but I have been shot at once, and had loaded weapons waved in my face more times than I care to remember. I have been in the midst of the Sierra Leone and Liberian civil wars. I have almost certainly seen as much danger in my life as those snipers. I am not an armchair warrior.

  41. Uzbek in the UK

    16 Jan, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    VeluePlus
    .
    Talking about 4th Reich, Why heading? Actually looking at the US foreign policy today it seems like it is less disturbing and less immoral than 40-50 years back in the height of Cold War. Even including victims of Iraq war it is obvious that current death toll is much smaller than it used to be when US was fighting proxy war with USSR or China all over the world. And domestic policy in the US is not as extreme as it used to be during McCarthyism and it seems that (at least in Internet) people are not restrained from expressing their views even those extremely unpopular with ruling elites.
    .
    Overall it seems that US is much more liberal today (both towards the world and towards its own citizens) as it used to be ages ago.
    .
    The only drawback is the absence of axis of evil. Thus the methods that US used ages ago seems inappropriate today when US still remains dominant and unchallenged superpower. And to add to this worse is to come with rise of China and Cold War 2.

  42. Craig – My comment was a general one and not targeted at anyone in particular. However, from your comments I’m sure that you’ve had a good few scares for sure but to compare your experiences to troops on the front line. Really?

  43. Sam (new/other/etc)

    16 Jan, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    “….compare your experiences to troops on the front line. Really?”
    ,
    These bastards went for the job no one forced them into the job. Unlike their poor victims who had no choice but getting shot at and killed/maimed/left limbless with the most sophisticated weapons system money can buy. The bizarre notion of justifying war crimes is yet another gift of US that is giving so much to the world, that is destruction, uncertainty, prejudice, and redefinition of the standards of Evil
    ,
    Glossing over the war crimes. Really?

  44. I’m not trying to justify it.

  45. Democracy and Human Rights in Uzbekistan
    Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
    Media Roundtable
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    June 7, 2002
    .
    ‘Assistant Secretary Craner: No, I think the agenda remains the same as when I came here in January, which is to encourage democratization and the observance of human rights here. Others, who visit like Colin Powell, like Elizabeth Jones, who is our Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, do the same. And as I noted before, John Herbst does it everyday.
    .
    This is the only country I am visiting in central Asia. But I am going on to a number of other Muslim countries in the Persian Gulf, which also face a threat of fundamentalism. In a number of countries that I will be visiting — Bahrain, Oman and Qatar — they are opening up their political systems, including allowing elections.
    .

    They are beginning to have functioning parliaments, and allowing women in a number of cases both to vote and run for office. They are also granting expanded civil liberties at the same time. And that’s something we want to encourage.’
    .
    Bollocks!
    .
    http://merln.ndu.edu/archivepdf/centasia/State/11112.pdf

  46. Rick Perry may indeed be an idiot defending the indefensible (or maybe in truth acting out of desperation to save a failing campaign). But as for the comments, taking a quick look at the first dozen or so, most of them appear to disapprove of what the soldiers did. The “redneck” minority are immediately criticised by others.

  47. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 4:44 pm

    testing

  48. American Barefaced BullShit & Lies…
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOCH1ECkyio
    .

  49. I posted the following on the original pissing thread. Maybe it is more appropriate here.
    .
    From Three Against Hitler, by Rudi Wobbe and Jerry Borrowman:
    .
    “Near our home was a shoe store, owned and run by a Jew. Even before 1933 his store windows and swastikas had been painted on the walls and door. But, after the “takeover,” the Nazis demolished his store in broad daylight. They broke all the windows, threw the merchandise onto the sidewalk, and dragged the proprietor and his wife and two children into the street. They started beating and cursing them, all the while calling them dirty names and shouting that they weren’t fit to live among the exalted German, Aryan people. The greatest indignity of all is that after the family was lying in the gutter in agony, the Nazis urinated on them. I was only seven years of age when this took place, but I remember it vividly.”
    .
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/01/13/duh-winning-hearts-and-minds-edition/
    .
    Vile exceptionalism.

  50. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 5:39 pm

    Mark; We have people like you on American blogs….angry, inconsolable souls who bask in the dark ignorance of simplistic slogans.

  51. America’s Last Chance by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    Posted by gabriele on January 16, 2012, 5:15 pm

    One Against the Empire
    America’s Last Chance
    PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
    .
    America has one last chance, and it is a very slim one. Americans can elect Ron Paul President, or they can descend into tyranny.
    .
    Why is Ron Paul America’s last chance?
    .
    Because he is the only candidate who is not owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military-security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel Lobby.
    .
    All of the others, including President Obama, are owned by exactly the same interest groups. There are no differences between them. Every candidate except Ron Paul stands for war and a police state, and all have demonstrated their complete and total subservience to Israel. The fact that there is no difference between them is made perfectly clear by the absence of substantive issues in the campaigns of the Republican candidates.
    .
    Only Ron Paul deals with real issues, so he is excluded from “debates” in which the other Republican candidates throw mud at one another: “Gingrich voted $60 million to a UN program supporting abortion in China.” “Romney loves to fire people.”
    .
    The mindlessness repels.
    .
    /….
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/16/americas-last-chance/

  52. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 5:57 pm

    Mary;

    I am surprised to find there is a gulf of understanding in that Pond which separates us geographically.

    Ron Paul’s brand of Libertarianism has been discussed extensively on American blogs. The disappointment over Obama amongst the Progressive wing of the Democrats, has created a false
    image of the man, Ron Paul. It’s true he champions many causes we find neglected, but it
    is pot vs kettle.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/libertarian-illusions_b_1207878.html

    “Yet the error of libertarianism lies not in championing liberty, but in championing liberty to the exclusion of all other values. Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable — all are to take a back seat.

    When libertarians translate the idea of liberty into the political and economic spheres, they argue that government should operate only to protect personal liberty and not for any other cause. According to libertarians, the sole role of government is to enforce private contracts and to keep the peace so that no one can use force to deprive the liberty of another. In English political theory, this is called the “night watchman state.”

  53. Ron Paul is a member of the far, far right USA republican party, at the end of the day that says it all as to what you will get if you vote “Ron Paul”. The president of the USA doesn`t have the power that so many think a president has!, in fact without the support of all those others elected to office the president has about as much power as you or me!!!. Ron Paul is not the answer to anything, its the system from top to bottom that needs changing.

  54. Shouldnt judge Mark so quickly Ben.

  55. Ben Franklin

    16 Jan, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    “Shouldnt judge Mark so quickly Ben.”

    Mea culpa. My apologies to Mark if I was a trigger-happy American.

  56. Ben Franklin,
    Mark is angry and he has every right to be angry. His anger stems from the very knowledge that has so far killed millions of people and specifically children.
    ,
    Slogans have never been stock in trade of Mark Golding (note not a pseudonym), he is one of the very few people worth reading.

  57. Mark, Thanks for that video. It is on Brasscheck TV as well

    .

    The very same NYT has admitted that it has deliberately been excluding Ron Paul in an organized media blackout. Shows how the military industrial complex and the USUKIsNATO axis are afraid of him.

  58. “The very same NYT has admitted that it has deliberately been excluding Ron Paul in an organized media blackout. Shows how the military industrial complex and the USUKIsNATO axis are afraid of him.”
    .
    I don’t think so. The military-industrial complex doesn’t let anyone anywhere near the top who isn’t one of their own. I think Ron Paul is controlled opposition. I’m not even sure there is any other kind of opposition, in these dark days.

  59. ” he is one of the very few people worth reading.”

    Snark? No website or blog i can see.

  60. “Snark? No website or blog i can see.”

    There is the Yank coming through, Mark Golding contributing here and elsewhere, may not find a need for keeping his own blog, hence read what he has written here (archives), or keep any eye out for his comments.

  61. Fedup;

    Give me some perspective on this….http://www.conspiracy-times.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=147

    Realm of Scotland also is on it, but server is not responsive.

    Million sewing needles—-3/4 of a ton. Shipped airfreight….anti-personnel?

    If this is just another 9/11 WTC controlled detonation conspiracy theory, in your estimation…please advise.

  62. Ah so the originaly offended cool dagger prompts the argy bargy 911 topic like a innocent ‘newbie’. ‘please advise’ rrright.. pretty ot man. Nope we all believe your governments line on that one Ben. You guys really socked it to em ‘n all.

  63. Ben Franklin: “The disappointment over Obama amongst the Progressive wing of the Democrats, has created a false image of the man, Ron Paul. It’s true he champions many causes we find neglected, but it is pot vs kettle.”
    .
    What you wrote is one opinion, and what you quoted to back it up is an ideological portrayal.
    .
    Its first sentence: “Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes.”
    .
    Well, firstly, the really important values are those you have and serve, not those you pursue. If liberty has any sense, it’s about liberty to be something – a human being with values and causes. So, this criticism is nonsense, in my view.
    .
    Ron Paul’s 2002 warnings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z69fYyoMlVk&feature=email If he’s just like others, surely you can show me where other US politicians have spoken like this.

  64. Ben Franklin

    17 Jan, 2012 - 1:01 am

    “Ah so the originaly offended cool dagger prompts the argy bargy 911 topic like a innocent ‘newbie’. ‘please advise’ rrright.. pretty ot man. Nope we all believe your governments line on that one Ben. You guys really socked it to em ‘n all.”

    Sorry. I think you’re telling me to bugger off, but I can’t be sure. My question is genuine. Take it or leave it.

  65. Ben Franklin

    17 Jan, 2012 - 1:06 am

    Levantine;

    I count myself above average in reading comprehension, but I need some help with your words,

    “Well, firstly, the really important values are those you have and serve, not those you pursue. If liberty has any sense, it’s about liberty to be something – a human being with values and causes. So, this criticism is nonsense, in my view.”

    Ron Paul’s values are totally about personal liberty. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING which impinges on personal liberty is bad. Is there something I’ve missed in your post?
    .

  66. Sorry Ben good call – i need to pack it in now and then. Thanks ill leave it.

  67. Ben Franklin,
    What is the best way of destroying the tracks in the age of information technologies?
    ,
    An amalgam of half truths, and plausible lies, injected into the debate.
    ,
    Facts are;
    - A constable perambulating in the forests suddenly came across the bits of “circuit” and lo and behold he knew the bits of innocuous electronics were the key to solving the Pan Am crash. (not referred to)
    ,
    - The Maltese shopkeeper, could not identify the culprit, and had to be coached (referred to in a bizarre fashion)
    ,
    - Ulrich Lumpert and his false testimony are highlighted, (google this) but for what reason?

    - The Iranian, backed Palestinian (the story of Iran hired Syrian Hooker with a torpedo up her butt, Iranian 2nd hand car dealer taking a contract out with the Mexican Drug Cartel, the pattern by now should be familiar to everyone)at the beginning, before most people have become bored and left the “literary work”.
    ,
    - The curious flechettes rounds (the pic is lifted fro the site of lawrenceofcyberia.blog) which is conflated with the sewing machine needles (the pic is of a paper clip and a flechette, used in artillery shells purely for killing personnel, Isrealis use it on Palestinians regularly) somehow is woven into the mix.

    - ramblings unending.
    ,
    Therefore we can safely assume, Megrahi was not the bomber, Gaddafi was shaken down, and billions were extorted from him (not that it did him any good in the long run) and a bombing case was closed.
    ,
    As in case of 9/11, 7/1, Pearl Harbour, the injections of calculated lies and untruths are designed to create controversy and mayhem to cover-up the plain truths, and save the necks of the bastards who would otherwise find themselves at the end of a swinging rope.

  68. Ben Franklin

    17 Jan, 2012 - 1:32 am

    Pierre Salinger’s testimony and Wiki….

    http://www.intelligencesearch.com/ia138.html

    I think you’re being a bit glib on this subject, Crab.

  69. Ben Franklin

    17 Jan, 2012 - 1:33 am

    Sorry, Fedup

  70. Tonight on Radio 4 at 8.00 pm
    .
    Three Generations of Incarceration
    .
    Synopsis
    Gary Younge travels to Los Angeles to hear the story of one family who has had three generations pass through America’s criminal justice system. The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration with 2.3 million people currently in the nation’s prisons or jails, and the Gamble family is just one family in that story. Jeffrey Gamble’s father spent time in jail, his brother’s Ricky and Mike are set to be in prison for the rest of their lives whilst his son Khalif has spent time inside too. But why has this cyclical quality of family history stretched back three generations. What has caused it, what could have been done to stop it, and will it continue?
    .
    If it was not for one decisive moment in Jeffrey Gamble’s life he believes he would either be dead or in prison for the rest of his life. In their own words the family reflect on what might have gone wrong since they moved to Los Angeles from Hope, Arkansas in the late 1960s. They all have differing versions but what becomes clear is that once you become a felon your chances of finding employment, housing and a new life are drastically diminished. What should be done to improve their chances? Is rehabilitation rather than punitive justice the answer and what will stop the same family members passing through the same prison doors?
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019fxb1

  71. Ben… Ben Franklin? No! Is it really you? Hello. I’m Thomas Jefferson. Remember me? Long time no see, man! Whatever happened to Yugostigliz?

  72. Ben Franklin said:”I think you’re being a bit glib on this subject,”
    ,
    How?
    ,

  73. Macky,
    .
    I find it reassuring to know from recent evidence that people ultimately and collectively hold power in this world. Recent events confirm that Saudi Arabia was in fact ‘terrified’ of the consequences of the the ‘Islamic Awakening’ especially in Bahrain.
    .
    I believe the trick to utilising collective ‘people power’ is in its implementation. We are agreed (on another thread) and history dictates that marching with banners achieves democratic assertion, at best galvanising public opinion and precipitating political debate. In the long term this power consolidates and change occurs, however time is not on our side.
    .
    Perhaps the first objective would be to establish a dialogue against US expansionism by deciding if the following pillars of US doctrine are still relevant, are injurious and corrosive to peace accords and fatal to human advancements.
    .
    1. Unchallenged US-Israel control of the Middle East and its resources, with no state in the region capable of independent action or policy.
    .
    2. Surrounding China with US bases and boosting US military presence in the Asian-Pacific region to prevent the emergence of a regional power bloc capable of challenging US interests.
    .
    3. Extending US military power into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union republics, ensuring greater access to regional resources.
    .
    4. Inhibiting the development of any independent military capacity outside of NATO and keeping the European Union financially and politically weak by setting members against each other and exacting conditions that make the EU financially unstable.

  74. I consider CT bashing to be a childish distraction from the vicious truth within some serious CTs and western politics more visible crimes. They provide a bog standard trolling tactic to forum gamers.
    .
    There does not seem to be much will to lash out at american culture here – not compared to eg. the thatcher thread. We have our own cultural ills so it is hard to criticise, but then if we were a respectful, peaceful nation, we would be dismissed and eventually attacked for not being “with them”.

  75. @ Kashmiri,

    Well said:-

    “I wouldn’t use the word “culture” here. We on the Old Continent have learned – through centuries of painful experience – to maintain emotional distance to the political apparatus. Americans – without centuries of experience – still seem to see the politicians in the old feudal way: President is Fathers/Leader of the Nation and Chief Commander of the Army, and soldiers are those who sacrifice their lives for the Leader, ergo, the Nation. That’s why in U.S., like in the Soviet Union, you just DO NOT criticise the military. These are heroes.”

    Very insightful.

    There is also the dynamics of “race” and racism within the American system. Here is one perspective:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF-mogoaCDs

  76. “Ben Franklin said:”I think you’re being a bit glib on this subject,”
    ,
    How?”

    You seem dismissive of the subject, and give it a light-hearted ‘Heave-Ho’.
    ,

  77. @ Guest,

    “The UK is catching up at the speed of light. It won`t be long before you will not be able to tell the two apart, the decay of civilisation.”

    “Civilisation” ? Tricky concept – slavery, colonialism, imperialism ( illegal invasions/interventions – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran ( drone intrusion) – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Agent orange and Napalm in Vietnam and illegal bombings in Laos and Cambodia – leap-frogging the first and second World Wars of course. But yes, architectural wonders of the world, scientific advancements, and artistic and cultural achievements as well on the better side of the human condition.

  78. “US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged that: “We spilled a lot of blood here” … to achieve … making the country sovereign and independent and able to secure itself.” ”

    OR:-

    As the US General in Vietnam said – they killed all the villagers to save the village from Communism.

  79. Ben Franklin,
    Considering the many more criminal enterprises of the same bunch of rats knackers and the greater scopes of their criminal conduct, somehow Pan Am flight takes a back seat. Further, you had asked about the article which I did read and gave you my assessment (bits of truth, and obfuscation)
    ,
    There is nothing light hearted about murder, or mas murder.

  80. “Pan Am flight takes a back seat.”

    Why is that? Don’t you have to start somewhere? What could auger public awareness and concern about the power manipulations of the public mindset be more persuasive than the roots of the modern strategies of the powerblocks which make fools of us all every freaking day?

    I’ll tell you why. Because we don’t pay attention, and we don’t follow through on our threats to take them seriously.

    Therefore, they treat us like the phools we are.

  81. Ben Franklin…do war and threats of wars and bombs rained down on other nations, not pose a threat to global – or – dies the United States of America’s core foreign policy stance make good sense?

    As Dr. King so simply and eloquently stated:-

    “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death… Come home, America.”

    http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/01/what-did-martin-luther-king-jr-say-about-war-costs

    And if you doubt MLK – just have a look today at the US debt, the economy, the state of manufacturing industry, the general standards in the schools, the state of the infrastructure but being the world’s largest economy. Should the same bellicose foreign policy route be followed – or – is there a better way?

  82. Ben Franklin

    18 Jan, 2012 - 1:07 am

    ” Should the same bellicose foreign policy route be followed – or – is there a better way?”

    I’m sorry. Did you think I was supporting hegemony? Shall I assume you are a Thatcherite?

    I think you will understand my pique.

  83. Build more prisons in the US or build more schools?

    Simple choice.

    The US has the highest level of incarceration of any country in the world. It also happens to have the world’s largest economy.

  84. Understood Franklin.

    NO problem…sorry ….ideas exchanged thus.

  85. Ben Franklin,
    “Americans are no more morally/ethically deranged than any other people. We have our share of psychopaths (statistically 2-3 percent of the population) and they probably spike those numbers in the military because such are drawn to occupations with a license to kill.”
    This is what triggered my response Ben:-
    Which other nation has a comparable record of war like the US?
    • Extraterritorial and major domestic deployments
    o 1.1 1775–1799
    o 1.2 1800–1809
    o 1.3 1810–1819
    o 1.4 1820–1829
    o 1.5 1830–1839
    o 1.6 1840–1849
    o 1.7 1850–1859
    o 1.8 1860–1869
    o 1.9 1870–1879
    o 1.10 1880–1889
    o 1.11 1890–1899
    o 1.12 1900–1909
    o 1.13 1910–1919
    o 1.14 1920–1929
    o 1.15 1930–1939
    o 1.16 1940–1944
    o 1.17 1945–1949
    o 1.18 1950–1959
    o 1.19 1960–1969
    o 1.20 1970–1979
    o 1.21 1980–1989
    o 1.22 1990–1999
    o 1.23 2000–2009
    o 1.24 2010–Present
    • 2 Other interventions
    • 3 Battles with the Native Americans
    • 4 Relocation
    • 5 Armed insurrections and slave revolts
    • 6 Range wars
    • 7 Bloody local feuds
    • 8 Bloodless boundary disputes
    • 9 Terrorist, paramilitary groups and guerrilla warfare
    o 9.1 18th & 19th century
    o 9.2 20th & 21st century
    • 10 Labor-management disputes
    • 11 State and national secession attempts
    • 12 Riots, disorder and natural disasters
    • 13 Covert operations, coups, military advisers etc.
    o 13.1 1950s
    o 13.2 1960s
    o 13.3 1970s
    o 13.4 1980s
    o 13.5 2011

  86. Ben Franklin

    18 Jan, 2012 - 1:48 am

    Courtenay;

    We have a word for people who just want to argue and seek no resolution to their own fulminations.

    TROLL—-whether it’s under the bridge, or under the water of logic, they don’t care.

    Negative attention is better than none at all. This will be my last response to your idiocy.

  87. @ Ben Franklin,

    “your idiocy.”

    Point
    counterpooint
    Riposte

    What so wrong with honestly expressed differing points of view.

    Seems much better than the ad hominen – surely?

    Resolution? – Stop the bellicose actions.

  88. Sorry – that should have read “ad hominem” and “What’s…?”

    Being polite and tidy.

  89. My real cause of concern is adequately expressed by this man ( a bit dated) – but still highly relevant to these contemporary times:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Z0CLD0kfI&feature=related

    And he is speaking accurately and with first hand knowledge. In fact he did a part of what so now repulses him.

  90. @Mark,

    I’m not so reassured that “people ultimately and collectively hold power in this world”; too many times our so called “Leaders” have outwitted, tricked and manipulated the will of the people, usually by means of fabricated situations as pretexts. The Anti-War Movement has not been able to prevent any of the recent wars, and the Occupy Movement is in a precarious position, especially in the UK, where is seems to have been almost co-opted by the forces it was supposed to be opposing.

    What I do immensely find reassuring is the fact that most people are fundamentally good & decent; most people are opposed to war, and can see through the lies used to justify them. The 15th Feb 2003 march against the coming attack on Iraq, was the largest coordinated political act in history, with demonstrations in around 60 countries, and according to some estimates involving upto 30 million people, and considering the ratio of people that support but cannot/will not attend demonstrations to those that do, 100′s of millions opposed and foresaw the impending Crime against Humanity that had been planned by a small group of psychopath Politicians and blood drenched Arms Companies .

    It seems to me that the ruling elite in the US have almost completed turning the whole World against the US; the Third World & the Middle East have learnt to be so through decades of direct or sponsored US military interference; Russia & China both know, as they watch their increasing encirclement by US bases, that the US does not have their future well-being as an interest, but indeed the very opposite; Europe has long viewed the rise of the US as a threat, being the prime stimulus behind the formation of the EU, but has been continually sabotaged by Great Britain playing the role of the US Trojan Horse, and has been put off track by the breakup of the USSR & the emergence of the pro-US former Communist Eastern Countries. However, (and this is where I agree with you that people power is powerful), even in the UK, the cases of people like Richard O’Dwyer, Gary McKinnon & others, who are at real risk of being incarcerated in the US for committing acts that are not even crimes in the UK, and the US campaign to get Julian Assange, are alerting people onto the real danger that the US poses to absolutely everybody. Public reaction so far iro the US/UK Extradition Pack has forced the some MPs to urge the UK Government to consider revising it.

  91. Well, Ben? Whatever happened to… the Eighteenth Century?

  92. Good insight Crab – BEWARE!
    .
    – SOPA & PIPA Blackout – Wiki off-line to draw attention to this outrage!

  93. Sorry people do you mean comments like this ‘They should be court-martialled and dishonorably discharged.’ Sorry for my ignorance. I am not of the left.

  94. Ben Franklin

    18 Jan, 2012 - 7:42 pm

    “– SOPA & PIPA Blackout – Wiki off-line to draw attention to this outrage!”

    Yup. Is there a problema?

  95. I would suppose that the comment fields in US newspaper websites are filled by the same kind of punks that appear in the comment fields everywhere. But…

    The worst anti-US slander I have ever read was a verdict from a US court. A Japanese exchange student had been shot to death when he got lost and approached a house to ask for the way. The jury decided that it was all right for the housew-owner to shoot him because “anyone that calls at to your doorbell must be a robber”.

    This was in a small town somewhere near the Mississippi – sometimes in the nineties, I believe.

  96. Ben Franklin

    18 Jan, 2012 - 7:56 pm

    “The jury decided that it was all right for the housew-owner to shoot him because “anyone that calls at to your doorbell must be a robber”.

    I guess some have never recovered from the loss of the Colonies. You are better off. These horrible things could never happen in a country with a Royal Family, and a pristine, non-hegemonic History

  97. Well, Ben…? Thomas Jefferson was asking after him. He rose up like that earlier Great Magus, Michael Scot from his perfectly proportioned mausoleum and said to me, “Ask Ben where Yugostiglitz is!”. Far be it from me to decline the request of one the Founding Fathers.

  98. And as for the Royal Family, I say, off with their… crowns!! Down with monarchy, aristocracy, rain and semi-colons!

  99. All Power to Ellipses! Let us not forget that in the Beginning, there was only the ellipse.
    .
    By the way, Tom Paine is rolling in his grave. He is rolling so fast, eventually he may create a magnetic field that will sweep away Goldman Sachs! Oh, sorry, I forgot to say, that’s the real name of the US Administration: Goldman Sachs. Off with their crowns!

  100. Courtenay Barnett: ‘Build more prisons in the US or build more schools?’
    .
    I’m afraid it’s not much of a choice! http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

  101. “Ron Paul’s values are totally about personal liberty. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING which impinges on personal liberty is bad.”
    .
    Fine. It virtually means that no single cause or ideology (or mood) can hijack the government, or blind people about their realities. No to extremism.
    .
    Look at this graph and pick your favourite government / period to live in: http://www.heritage.org/BudgetChartbook/federal-spending What was the budget size then? Is it any bigger than Ron Paul’s proposed budget? No, I thought not (unless you’ve chosen GWB or Obama).
    .
    Anyone but Ron Paul, and you will soon live under a real tyranny. That’s the clinch.

  102. Ben Franklin

    19 Jan, 2012 - 2:23 am

    “Anyone but Ron Paul, and you will soon live under a real tyranny. That’s the clinch.”

    Did you say we will soon live under a ‘tranny’? Ron Paul weeps.

  103. Levantine – you seem to deserve good conversation, i curiously await the thread you find it.
    .
    Ben – your comments seem more mixed up and irregular than most, like the mostly mild mannered janitor Suhayl, i wonder whats up.
    .
    Courtenay – Your thread and link to Col. John Stockwell was brilliant. Thanks.

    Suhayl – i am linking a collection of rare grains of sand worthy to occupy your espadrilles.

  104. @ Crab,

    ” Courtenay – Your thread and link to Col. John Stockwell was brilliant. Thanks.”

    Very kind of you – but the brilliance was in Stockwell’s address – I merely did per functionary posting. But thanks anyway.
    Cheers.
    CB

  105. @ Jan,

    ” The worst anti-US slander I have ever read was a verdict from a US court. A Japanese exchange student had been shot to death when he got lost and approached a house to ask for the way. The jury decided that it was all right for the housew-owner to shoot him because “anyone that calls at to your doorbell must be a robber”.

    I recall the case.

    Seemed to me at the time that the verdict was infused with racism.

    The Americans inherited the English common law system. Louisiana is a special situation with its jurisprudence, because of the French heritage.
    Under England’s laws reasonable force can be used to repel an attack. ( Emphasis on the word “reasonable”).

    Logically – one must ask – what “attack” when a Japanese youngster comes to ones door to make an inquiry for directions? Anyone supporting the shooting should carefully question either his/her sanity – or – humanity – or – maybe both.

  106. Pissing on the dead that means there has been an incremental improvement: in the Indian wars they would skin them and use the skins for leggings,read Ward Churchill.All men become worse than savage beasts in war but it is the f*****g politicians who organise it all who should be strung up or put in the front line.But how to try them that is the question of the age? There was Nuremberg but since then,apart from deeply partisan jokes like the Milosovic trials ,nothing.Lawless World by Philippe Sands tells it as it is.

  107. @ Levantine,

    Thanks for the link.

    American education is indeed in a sorry state. However, let me add – I did a course in law once at Harvard, and in truth and fairness, at the higher ends of the American educational system, it is true to say that there have been signficant accomplishments that can be ranked with the very best across the globe. The difficulty is with maintaining acceptable standards on general average across the range of the American populace ( see: Ben Franklin – I am not anti-American). I am actually do admire some aspects of the US system, notably its Constitution, but I think that the political process has been hijacked and the political system has been bought and paid for by special interests not repesentative of the majority of the American people.

    On the point of American education:-

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be…”
    - Thomas Jefferson
    from a letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, Jan 6th, 1816
    “We want one class of persons to have a liberal education and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”
    - Woodrow Wilson
    from an address to The New York City High School Teachers Association
    Jan. 9th, 1909

    Therein lies the rub, of trying to reconcile Jefferson’s view with that of Wilson’s.

  108. @ All,

    Is it this kind of thing in the US that gives the good people of America a bad name?

    “Brave New World?
    Arizona school district bans books by Chicano, Native American authors

    Ethnic book ban in Arizona school district includes all books about Mexican-American history, even Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Ban is part of termination of ethnic studies program in Tucson

    By Rheana Murray

    January 18, 2012 “NYDN” — An Arizona school district largely made up of Mexican-Americans has been forced to slash its ethnic studies program, and now the books are going, too.

    The Tucson Unified School District released the titles of its banned books on Friday, a lengthy list that removes every textbook dealing with Mexican-American history — and even Shakespeare.

    The book ban is part of a curriculum change to avoid “biased, political and emotionally charged” teaching, CNN reported.

    “The Tempest,” one of the playwright’s classics, is among the books removed, as teachers were urged to stay away from any works where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes,” the website Salon reported.

    The school faces a multimillion-dollar fine if it doesn’t comply with the ban.

    Even local titles were cut, including “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” which includes an essay by Tucson author Leslie Silko, and served as a textbook for 20 years.

    “By ordering teachers to remove ‘Rethinking Columbus,’ the Tucson school district has shown tremendous disrespect for teachers and students,” said Bill Bigelow, the book’s editor.

    “This is a book that has sold over 300,000 copies and is used in school districts from Anchorage to Atlanta, and from Portland, Ore. to Portland, Maine. It offers teaching strategies and readings teachers can use to help students think about the perspectives that are too often silenced in the traditional curriculum.”

    “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” also will be banned. The two books were often targeted by state superintendent John Huppenthal, who pushed for the program’s cut.

    The abolition of ethnic studies in the school district, where more than 60% of students come from Mexican-American backgrounds, has sparked a backlash since the judge announced the 13-year-old program’s termination on Tuesday.”

  109. To emphasise Craig’s point, one might simply weigh what John Pilger has written:-

    “Last July, American historian William Blum published his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy”. Since the Second World War, the US has:

    1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically-elected.

    2. Attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries.

    3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

    4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

    5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

    In total, the United States has carried out one or more of these actions in 69 countries. In almost all cases, Britain has been a collaborator. The “enemy” changes in name – from communism to Islamism — but mostly it is the rise of democracy independent of western power or a society occupying strategically useful territory, deemed expendable, like the Chagos Islands.

    The sheer scale of suffering, let alone criminality, is little known in the west,…”

  110. Courtenay Barnett,
    How very true. The bastardised version of the History (a pack of agreed upon shameless lies) is used as a vehicle for furtherance of the unnatural and artificial system that has oppression and subjugation as its core control mechanism, yet degrees of disinformation in the west, turning these barbarous techniques on their head, always blame the victims of the said oppression and subjugation.
    ,
    Therefore the wholesale ban of the History that is marginally closer to the truth.

  111. Are you on the bus, Benjamin? Thomas and Thomas are on the bus. Are you?
    .
    Crab, go for it! Find wisdom in a grain of sand… be Didymus!
    .
    As I wrote (somewhere or other, as the electron said to its lover), the fact that Jundallah (Al Qaida-affliated Jihadist terrorist group) were comfortable doing business with people they thought were CIA (but who were actually MOSSAD) suggests two things:
    .
    1) The USA and Jihadist terrorists continue to work together and the USA continues to arm, fund and train Jihadist groups, whom they use when it suits them. Nothing new there. Remmeber Afghanistan in the 1980s.
    .
    2) When it comes to state-sponsored terrorism, if there were medals, both Israel and the USA would be up there on the podium.
    .
    3) The emanations of warmongering lies from the USA/UK et al are illustrative of the fact that we are ruled by pots, not kettles. Down with post! All power to kettles!

  112. “Down with pots, not post!” as Alice said to the Mad Hatter.
    .
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/13/false_flag?hidecomments=yes

  113. I’ll be Didymus who was the musician and say “down with comas not commas!” …he had a comma named after him… you see.. anyway
    .
    I read Jihad was not always synonymous with war, it means something like mission or holy way. There was “Jihad of the sword, and Jihad of the heart” War is Jihad of the Sword. Jihad was many things… Violence neednt follow from ‘talking up Jihad’ It shouldnt follow in Islam, as much as it shouldnt follow from Christs sermons. I know it all depends on the preacher. But you would have a hard time explaining yourself to be a peaceful “Jihadist” in these days.

  114. You’re absolutely right, Crab. We must oppose comas by every means possible, possibly even through the prolific use of commas. They stop, and make one think. See?
    .
    Alive, Son of Awake!
    .
    But Ben, where is George III? Sailing upon the Seas of Porphyria, no doubt. Give him my lunatic regards.
    .

    On which maritime note, I was unlocking my front door this morning when “I tripped an fell into a lifeboat”. That’s an even better one than the common Glasgow excuse, oft rendered in response to the question, “But what happened to the last [opiate-containing] prescription?”.
    .

    “Eh, eh… ma doag ate it”.

  115. Ben Franklin

    22 Jan, 2012 - 2:15 am

    “Are you on the bus, Benjamin? Thomas and Thomas are on the bus. Are you?”

    Is there any common sense dictating I would pay to play your rhetorical game?

    If Craig wants viable comments on this blog to auger traffic for ad revenue, he needs commentators
    who don’t savage the visitors.

    Politeness used to be a parcel of Brit cultural sensibilities.

  116. I’ll just put it out there…..I’m an American.

    David H (above) wrote: Probably right what you say about Americans, though. You meet them outside of America and most seem OK but then you look at their politics and voting patterns and you realize that many of them who live there and probably never make it abroad have some pretty scary ideas. Take the build up to the Iraq war. There was quite a protest movement in Europe and The UK but you could hardly find a dissenting voice in The US at the time. And then they even RE-elected George W!

    First of all, the US is a very big country and there are many more ‘types’ of Americans than you can imagine. I am from the north-east. You would have had to hold me at gun point to vote for the re-election of George W. Bush – OR to even vote for him the first time! It’s the Americans in the south, mainly, who loved G.W. You have to also remember that the media plays a big role in who we vote for and unfortunately many Americans do not do their home work during election time and rely SOLELY on what the media tells them. The southern media outlets were airing all pro-George Bush programs. That’s why. Pretty simple. The ‘regular Joe’ works 2 jobs and doesn’t educate himself or involve himself in anyway w/ politics or what is happening in the rest of the world. As a result, he just votes for someone he saw a nice add about on the idiot box.

    As far as the comment about not finding a dissenting voice in The US about the Iraq war. You were not looking very hard. At first, yes, we did all have our war paint on, but you would have too if you had seen what they were showing us. Americans crying w/ Iraqis singing and dancing in the streets. I had thoughts, myself, of getting on a plane to do some damage. Alas, again – it was media spin. Once we (the educated ones) found out the REAL situation, we were against it.

    Here’s another tid bit: there has not been a thing on the television or in the news about Scotland’s plea for independence. Instead we hear about some ridiculous reality TV star debacle. As a nation, Americans do need to learn to weed through the BS. That I will say is true.

  117. Oh – and I am on the fence about the whole peeing on the corpses issue. They are trained to HATE – not just kill. So, I could see how it might not be that far of a leap to what they did. I think it’s wrong and they probably should be punished, but ………at the same time, maybe not.

  118. “but ………at the same time, maybe not”

    That’s very generous of you; shame not everybody is not quite so “understanding” as you:

    “An Afghan soldier who shot dead four French troops has said he did it because of a recent video showing US Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban insurgents, security sources told AFP.”

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/us-video-behind-french-troops-deaths-1.1217812

  119. Ben, what is impolite or “savage” about what I wrote? You, presumably, consider yourself a magnet for “ad revenue”. What do you have against buses or porphyria? If you call yourself ‘Ben Franklin’, ‘Thomas Jefferson’, ‘Napoleon Bonaparte’ or ‘King George III’, perhaps you ought to expect a little polite ribaldry. Perhaps your image of “Brits” is somewhat quaint (“England swings like-a-pendulum-do, bobbies-on-bicycyles-two-ba-two…”), though I would wgare Benjmain Franklin would have had a quite different view of his colonial rulers.
    .
    You are a new commentator here and yet feel able right from the off to pontificate on the sorts of people Craig Murray ought to have on his blog. So, tell me, how is Tom Paine these days? How are freedom, protest and the rights of man in the USA today? How is your Revolution faring, Benjamin?

  120. Wendy, thank you so much for your honest, detailed and enlightening portrayal. I must admit, I always had you pegged as English (I don’t know why).
    .

    I knew a lot of Americans who were against the Iraq war – but then, most of my contacts were/are in the arts/academe in NYC, DC and California, so that would have given me a skewed perception, I suspect.

  121. @Suhayl…….that may have been a different Wendy. I suppose I should have chosen a name that was less generic.
    @Macky……..it’s completely ridiculous to blame one act on the other. Come on. Really? If the Afghan soldier saw Americans do it and thought it was a good idea then there is something wrong in his head to begin with. I can’t believe that had to be said……

  122. and I’m not condoning their actions – I never said that. Being the daughter of a physiologist, I can understand why it may have happened. I’m sure there are far worse things that have happened during this war and others that haven’t been caught on film. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be the last time we will see this kind of brutality either. Everyone carries around phones w/ cameras these days.

  123. “it’s completely ridiculous to blame one act on the other”

    Really ? Would you like to try to explain that to the families of the dead French soldiers ?

    In Science, Logic & Law there is the commonsense principle of Causality, aka Cause & Effect: if you drink under the influence of alcohol or drugs (the Cause) then there is a strong enough risk (ie it is likely) that you might kill somebody (the Effect), that it is made illegal. So are you saying that in a combat zone, there is not a strong risk (ie it is not likely) that desecrating the dead bodies of the local people, might trigger reprisals ? Perhaps you don’t recall that the strongest reactions to the reported desecration/burning of the Koran in 2010, was in Afghanistan, where at least 12 people were killed, including eight members of staff working for the UN.

    If you really don’t believe in Causality, as you seem to imply, why do you think in Arab countries and among Muslim populations, there is such widespread anti-Americanism ?

  124. Ah, that explains it! There are two Wendys! (as Peter Pan never admitted).

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