American Killers 126

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 thoughts on “American Killers

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  • macky


    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.

  • Lloyd Jones

    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.

  • Ben Franklin

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

    Yup. Is there a problema?

  • Jan Wiklund

    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.

  • Ben Franklin

    “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

  • Suhayl Saadi

    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.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    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!

  • Levantine

    “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: 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.

  • Ben Franklin

    “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.

  • crab

    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.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ 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.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ 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.

  • Michael Culver

    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.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ 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.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ 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.”

  • Courtenay Barnett

    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,…”

  • Fedup

    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.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    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!

  • crab

    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.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    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”.

  • Ben Franklin

    “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.

  • Wendy

    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.

  • Wendy

    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.

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