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War Is Peace

The world doesn't have to choose between the Taliban and the US government. All the beauty of the world—literature, music, art—lies between these two fundamentalist poles.


Arundhati Roy

Appeared in Outlook... Oct 18



As darkness deepened over Afghanistan on Sunday, October 7, 2001, the US government, backed by the International Coalition Against Terror (the new, amenable surrogate for the United Nations), launched air strikes against Afghanistan. TV channels lingered on computer-animated images of Cruise missiles, stealth bombers, Tomahawks, 'bunker-busting' missiles and Mark 82 high-drag bombs. All over the world, little boys watched goggle-eyed and stopped clamouring for new video games.


The UN, reduced now to an ineffective abbreviation, wasn't even asked to mandate the air strikes. (As Madeleine Albright once said, "The US acts multilaterally when it can, and unilaterally when it must.") The 'evidence' against the terrorists was shared amongst friends in the 'Coalition'. After conferring, they announced that it didn't matter whether or not the 'evidence' would stand up in a court of law. Thus, in an instant, were centuries of jurisprudence carelessly trashed.


Nothing can excuse or justify an act of terrorism, whether it is committed by religious fundamentalists, private militia, people's resistance movements—or whether it's dressed up as a war of retribution by a recognised government. The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world. Each innocent person that is killed must be added to, not set off against, the grisly toll of civilians who died in New York and Washington.


People rarely win wars, governments rarely lose them. People get killed. Governments moult and regroup, hydra-headed. They first use flags to shrink-wrap peoples' minds and suffocate real thought, and then as ceremonial shrouds to cloak the mangled corpses of the willing dead. On both sides, in Afghanistan as well as America, civilians are now hostage to the actions of their own governments. Unknowingly, ordinary people in both countries share a common bond—they have to live with the phenomenon of blind, unpredictable terror. Each batch of bombs that is dropped on Afghanistan is matched by a corresponding escalation of mass hysteria in America about anthrax, more hijackings and other terrorist acts.


There is no easy way out of the spiraling morass of terror and brutality that confronts the world today. It is time now for the human race to hold still, to delve into its wells of collective wisdom, both ancient and modern. What happened on September 11 changed the world forever. Freedom, progress, wealth, technology, war—these words have taken on new meaning. Governments have to acknowledge this transformation, and approach their new tasks with a modicum of honesty and humility. Unfortunately, up to now, there has been no sign of any introspection from the leaders of the International Coalition. Or the Taliban.


When he announced the air strikes, President George Bush said, "We're a peaceful nation." America's favourite ambassador, Tony Blair, (who also holds the portfolio of Prime Minister of the UK), echoed him: "We're a peaceful people."


So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace.


Speaking at the FBI headquarters a few days later, President Bush said: "This is our calling. This is the calling of the United States of America. The most free nation in the world. A nation built on fundamental values that reject hate, reject violence, rejects murderers and rejects evil. We will not tire."


Here is a list of the countries that America has been at war with—and bombed—since World War II: China (1945-46, 1950-53); Korea (1950-53); Guatemala (1954, 1967-69); Indonesia (1958); Cuba (1959-60); the Belgian Congo (1964); Peru (1965); Laos (1964-73); Vietnam (1961-73); Cambodia (1969-70); Grenada (1983); Libya (1986); El Salvador (1980s); Nicaragua (1980s); Panama (1989), Iraq (1991-99), Bosnia (1995), Sudan (1998); Yugoslavia (1999). And now Afghanistan.


Certainly it does not tire—this, the Most Free nation in the world. What freedoms does it uphold? Within its borders, the freedoms of speech, religion, thought; of artistic expression, food habits, sexual preferences (well, to some extent) and many other exemplary, wonderful things. Outside its borders, the freedom to dominate, humiliate and subjugate—usually in the service of America's real religion, the 'free market'. So when the US government christens a war 'Operation Infinite Justice', or 'Operation Enduring Freedom', we in the Third World feel more than a tremor of fear. Because we know that Infinite Justice for some means Infinite Injustice for others. And Enduring Freedom for some means Enduring Subjugation for others.


The International Coalition Against Terror is largely a cabal of the richest countries in the world. Between them, they manufacture and sell almost all of the world's weapons, they possess the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological and nuclear. They have fought the most wars, account for most of the genocide, subjection, ethnic cleansing and human rights violations in modern history, and have sponsored, armed, and financed untold numbers of dictators and despots. Between them, they have worshipped, almost deified, the cult of violence and war. For all its appalling sins, the Taliban just isn't in the same league.


The Taliban was compounded in the crumbling crucible of rubble, heroin, and landmines in the backwash of the Cold War. Its oldest leaders are in their early 40s. Many of them are disfigured and handicapped, missing an eye, an arm or a leg. They grew up in a society scarred and devastated by war. Between the Soviet Union and America, over 20 years, about $45 billion worth of arms and ammunition was poured into Afghanistan. The latest weaponry was the only shard of modernity to intrude upon a thoroughly medieval society. Young boys—many of them orphans—who grew up in those times, had guns for toys, never knew the security and comfort of family life, never experienced the company of women. Now, as adults and rulers, the Taliban beat, stone, rape, and brutalise women; they don't seem to know what else to do with them. Years of war have stripped them of gentleness, inured them to kindness and human compassion. They dance to the percussive rhythms of bombs raining down around them. Now they've turned their monstrosity on their own people.


With all due respect to President Bush, the people of the world do not have to choose between the Taliban and the US government. All the beauty of human civilization—our art, our music, our literature—lies beyond these two fundamentalist, ideological poles. There is as little chance that the people of the world can all become middle-class consumers as there is that they'll all embrace any one particular religion. The issue is not about Good vs Evil or Islam vs Christianity as much as it is about space. About how to accommodate diversity, how to contain the impulse towards hegemony—every kind of hegemony, economic, military, linguistic, religious, and cultural. Any ecologist will tell you how dangerous and fragile a monoculture is. A hegemonic world is like having a government without a healthy opposition. It becomes a kind of dictatorship. It's like putting a plastic bag over the world, and preventing it from breathing. Eventually, it will be torn open.


One and a half million Afghan people lost their lives in the 20 years of conflict that preceded this new war. Afghanistan was reduced to rubble, and now, the rubble is being pounded into finer dust. By the second day of the air strikes, US pilots were returning to their bases without dropping their assigned payload of bombs. As one pilot put it, Afghanistan is "not a target-rich environment". At a press briefing at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, US defense secretary, was asked if America had run out of targets.


"First we're going to re-hit targets," he said, "and second, we're not running out of targets, Afghanistan is..." This was greeted with gales of laughter in the Briefing Room.


By the third day of the strikes, the US defense department boasted that it had "achieved air supremacy over Afghanistan". (Did they mean that they had destroyed both, or maybe all 16, of Afghanistan's planes?)


On the ground in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance—the Taliban's old enemy, and therefore the International Coalition's newest friend—is making headway in its push to capture Kabul. (For the archives, let it be said that the Northern Alliance's track record is not very different from the Taliban's. But for now, because it's inconvenient, that little detail is being glossed over.) The visible, moderate, "acceptable" leader of the Alliance, Ahmed Shah Masood, was killed in a suicide-bomb attack early in September. The rest of the Northern Alliance is a brittle confederation of brutal warlords, ex-communists, and unbending clerics. It is a disparate group divided along ethnic lines, some of whom have tasted power in Afghanistan in the past.


Until the US air strikes, the Northern Alliance controlled about 5 per cent of the geographical area of Afghanistan. Now, with the Coalition's help and 'air cover', it is poised to topple the Taliban. Meanwhile, Taliban soldiers, sensing imminent defeat, have begun to defect to the Alliance. So the fighting forces are busy switching sides and changing uniforms. But in an enterprise as cynical as this one, it seems to matter hardly at all. Love is hate, north is south, peace is war.


Among the global powers, there is talk of 'putting in a representative government'. Or, on the other hand, of 'restoring' the Kingdom to Afghanistan's 89-year-old former king, Zahir Shah, who has lived in exile in Rome since 1973. That's the way the game goes—support Saddam Hussein, then 'take him out'; finance the mujahideen, then bomb them to smithereens; put in Zahir Shah and see if he's going to be a good boy. (Is it possible to 'put in' a representative government? Can you place an order for Democracy—with extra cheese and jalapeno peppers?)


Reports have begun to trickle in about civilian casualties, about cities emptying out as Afghan civilians flock to the borders which have been closed. Main arterial roads have been blown up or sealed off. Those who have experience of working in Afghanistan say that by early November, food convoys will not be able to reach the millions of Afghans (7.5 million according to the UN) who run the very real risk of starving to death during the course of this winter. They say that in the days that are left before winter sets in, there can either be a war, or an attempt to reach food to the hungry. Not both.


As a gesture of humanitarian support, the US government air-dropped 37,000 packets of emergency rations into Afghanistan. It says it plans to drop a total of 5,000,000 packets. That will still only add up to a single meal for half-a-million people out of the several million in dire need of food. Aid workers have condemned it as a cynical, dangerous, public-relations exercise. They say that air-dropping food packets is worse than futile. First, because the food will never get to those who really need it. More dangerously, those who run out to retrieve the packets risk being blown up by landmines. A tragic alms race.


Nevertheless, the food packets had a photo-op all to themselves. Their contents were listed in major newspapers. They were vegetarian, we're told, as per Muslim Dietary Law(!) Each yellow packet, decorated with the American flag, contained: rice, peanut butter, bean salad, strawberry jam, crackers, raisins, flat bread, an apple fruit bar, seasoning, matches, a set of plastic cutlery, a serviette and illustrated user instructions.


After three years of unremitting drought, an air-dropped airline meal in Jalalabad! The level of cultural ineptitude, the failure to understand what months of relentless hunger and grinding poverty really mean, the US government's attempt to use even this abject misery to boost its self-image, beggars description.


Reverse the scenario for a moment. Imagine if the Taliban government was to bomb New York City, saying all the while that its real target was the US government and its policies. And suppose, during breaks between the bombing, the Taliban dropped a few thousand packets containing nan and kababs impaled on an Afghan flag. Would the good people of New York ever find it in themselves to forgive the Afghan government? Even if they were hungry, even if they needed the food, even if they ate it, how would they ever forget the insult, the condescension? Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York City, returned a gift of $10 million from a Saudi prince because it came with a few words of friendly advice about American policy in the Middle East. Is pride a luxury only the rich are entitled to?


Far from stamping it out, igniting this kind of rage is what creates terrorism. Hate and retribution don't go back into the box once you've let them out. For every 'terrorist' or his 'supporter' that is killed, hundreds of innocent people are being killed too. And for every hundred innocent people killed, there is a good chance that several future terrorists will be created.


Where will it all lead?


Setting aside the rhetoric for a moment, consider the fact that the world has not yet found an acceptable definition of what 'terrorism' is. One country's terrorist is too often another's freedom fighter. At the heart of the matter lies the world's deep-seated ambivalence towards violence. Once violence is accepted as a legitimate political instrument, then the morality and political acceptability of terrorists (insurgents or freedom fighters) becomes contentious, bumpy terrain. The US government itself has funded, armed, and sheltered plenty of rebels and insurgents around the world. The CIA and Pakistan's ISI trained and armed the mujahideen who, in the 1980s, were seen as terrorists by the government in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. While President Reagan posed with them for a group portrait and called them the moral equivalents of America's founding fathers. Today, Pakistan—America's ally in this new war—sponsors insurgents who cross the border into Kashmir in India. Pakistan lauds them as 'freedom fighters', India calls them 'terrorists'. India, for its part, denounces countries who sponsor and abet terrorism, but the Indian army has, in the past, trained separatist Tamil rebels asking for a homeland in Sri Lanka—the LTTE, responsible for countless acts of bloody terrorism. (Just as the CIA abandoned the mujahideen after they had served its purpose, India abruptly turned its back on the LTTE for a host of political reasons. It was an enraged LTTE suicide-bomber who assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.)


It is important for governments and politicians to understand that manipulating these huge, raging human feelings for their own narrow purposes may yield instant results, but eventually and inexorably, they have disastrous consequences. Igniting and exploiting religious sentiments for reasons of political expediency is the most dangerous legacy that governments or politicians can bequeath to any people—including their own. People who live in societies ravaged by religious or communal bigotry know that every religious text—from the Bible to the Bhagwad Gita—can be mined and misinterpreted to justify anything, from nuclear war to genocide to corporate globalisation.


This is not to suggest that the terrorists who perpetrated the outrage on September 11 should not be hunted down and brought to book. They must be. But is war the best way to track them down? Will burning the haystack find you the needle? Or will it escalate the anger and make the world a living hell for all of us?


At the end of the day, how many people can you spy on, how many bank accounts can you freeze, how many conversations can you eavesdrop on, how many e-mails can you intercept, how many letters can you open, how many phones can you tap? Even before September 11, the CIA had accumulated more information than is humanly possible to process. (Sometimes, too much data can actually hinder intelligence—small wonder the US spy satellites completely missed the preparation that preceded India's nuclear tests in 1998.)


The sheer scale of the surveillance will become a logistical, ethical and civil rights nightmare. It will drive everybody clean crazy. And freedom—that precious, precious thing—will be the first casualty. It's already hurt and hemorrhaging dangerously.


Governments across the world are cynically using the prevailing paranoia to promote their own interests. All kinds of unpredictable political forces are being unleashed. In India, for instance, members of the All India People's Resistance Forum, who were distributing anti-war and anti-US pamphlets in Delhi, have been jailed. Even the printer of the leaflets was arrested. The right-wing government (while it shelters Hindu extremists groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal) has banned the Students' Islamic Movement of India and is trying to revive an anti-terrorist act which had been withdrawn after the Human Rights Commission reported that it had been more abused than used. Millions of Indian citizens are Muslim. Can anything be gained by alienating them?


Every day that the war goes on, raging emotions are being let loose into the world. The international press has little or no independent access to the war zone. In any case, mainstream media, particularly in the US, has more or less rolled over, allowing itself to be tickled on the stomach with press hand-outs from militarymen and government officials. Afghan radio stations have been destroyed by the bombing. The Taliban has always been deeply suspicious of the Press. In the propaganda war, there is no accurate estimate of how many people have been killed, or how much destruction has taken place. In the absence of reliable information, wild rumours spread.


Put your ear to the ground in this part of the world, and you can hear the thrumming, the deadly drumbeat of burgeoning anger. Please. Please, stop the war now. Enough people have died. The smart missiles are just not smart enough. They're blowing up whole warehouses of suppressed fury.


President George Bush recently boasted: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive." President Bush should know that there are no targets in Afghanistan that will give his missiles their money's worth. Perhaps, if only to balance his books, he should develop some cheaper missiles to use on cheaper targets and cheaper lives in the poor countries of the world. But then, that may not make good business sense to the Coalition's weapons manufacturers. It wouldn't make any sense at all, for example, to the Carlyle Group—described by the Industry Standard as 'the world's largest private equity firm', with $12 billion under management. Carlyle invests in the defense sector and makes its money from military conflicts and weapons spending.


Carlyle is run by men with impeccable credentials. Former US defense secretary Frank Carlucci is Carlyle's chairman and managing director (he was a college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld's). Carlyle's other partners include former US secretary of state James A. Baker III, George Soros, Fred Malek (George Bush Sr's campaign manager). An American paper—the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel—says that former President George Bush Sr is reported to be seeking investments for the Carlyle Group from Asian markets. He is reportedly paid not inconsiderable sums of money to make 'presentations' to potential government-clients.


Ho Hum. As the tired saying goes, it's all in the family.


Then there's that other branch of traditional family business—oil. Remember, President George Bush (Jr) and Vice-President Dick Cheney both made their fortunes working in the US oil industry.


Turkmenistan, which borders the northwest of Afghanistan, holds the world's third largest gas reserves and an estimated six billion barrels of oil reserves. Enough, experts say, to meet American energy needs for the next 30 years (or a developing country's energy requirements for a couple of centuries.) America has always viewed oil as a security consideration, and protected it by any means it deems necessary. Few of us doubt that its military presence in the Gulf has little to do with its concern for human rights and almost entirely to do with its strategic interest in oil.


Oil and gas from the Caspian region currently moves northward to European markets. Geographically and politically, Iran and Russia are major impediments to American interests. In 1998, Dick Cheney—then CEO of Halliburton, a major player in the oil industry—said: "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. It's almost as if the opportunities have arisen overnight." True enough.


For some years now, an American oil giant called Unocal has been negotiating with the Taliban for permission to construct an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan and out to the Arabian Sea. From here, Unocal hopes to access the lucrative 'emerging markets' in South and Southeast Asia. In December 1997, a delegation of Taliban mullahs traveled to America and even met US State Department officials and Unocal executives in Houston. At that time the Taliban's taste for public executions and its treatment of Afghan women were not made out to be the crimes against humanity that they are now. Over the next six months, pressure from hundreds of outraged American feminist groups was brought to bear on the Clinton administration. Fortunately, they managed to scuttle the deal. And now comes the US oil industry's big chance.


In America, the arms industry, the oil industry, the major media networks, and, indeed, US foreign policy, are all controlled by the same business combines. Therefore, it would be foolish to expect this talk of guns and oil and defense deals to get any real play in the media. In any case, to a distraught, confused people whose pride has just been wounded, whose loved ones have been tragically killed, whose anger is fresh and sharp, the inanities about the 'Clash of Civilisations' and the 'Good vs Evil' discourse home in unerringly. They are cynically doled out by government spokesmen like a daily dose of vitamins or anti-depressants. Regular medication ensures that mainland America continues to remain the enigma it has always been—a curiously insular people, administered by a pathologically meddlesome, promiscuous government.


And what of the rest of us, the numb recipients of this onslaught of what we know to be preposterous propaganda? The daily consumers of the lies and brutality smeared in peanut butter and strawberry jam being air-dropped into our minds just like those yellow food packets. Shall we look away and eat because we're hungry, or shall we stare unblinking at the grim theatre unfolding in Afghanistan until we retch collectively and say, in one voice, that we have had enough?


As the first year of the new millennium rushes to a close, one wonders—have we forfeited our right to dream? Will we ever be able to re-imagine beauty? Will it be possible ever again to watch the slow, amazed blink of a new-born gecko in the sun, or whisper back to the marmot who has just whispered in your ear—without thinking of the World Trade Center and Afghanistan?





Link to this Story : War Is Peace

The world doesn't have to choose between the Taliban and the US government. All the beauty of the world—literature, music, art—lies between these two fundamentalist poles.









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Liz Bernstein heads: "International Campaign to End Landmines"

She reminds us:

1) there's 5-6 million landmines in Afghanistan right now.

2) that's 1 landmine for every 3 Afghan citizens.

Watch your step, don't trip.

Maybe our Pentagon should hire Tiny Tim to tiptoe through them.

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Pretext to wage Taliban Torabora war is totally fabricated.

First grasp this. Then speak.

It's like spiritual life. First grasp "I'm not this body."

Ottawa University Economics Professor Michel ____dowsky

www.globalresearch.ca is laying it out on your kitchen table

for all your relatives to plainly view & discuss.

One Canadian Prof understands more than all of Amerika put together.

What else is new? expert53@aol.com, veritas9@pacbell.net


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Insidious result of Sept 11:

US treats many Non-whites as Terrorists

George Monbiot - Guardian

Tuesday March 5, 2002

Those of us who opposed the bombing of Afghanistan warned that the war between nations would not stop there. Now, as Tony Blair prepares the British people for an attack on Iraq, the conflict seems to be proliferating faster than most of us predicted. But there is another danger, which we have tended to neglect: that of escalating hostilities within the nations waging this war. The racial profiling which has become the unacknowledged focus of America's new security policy is in danger of provoking the very clash of cultures its authors appear to perceive.

Yesterday's Guardian told the story of Adeel Akhtar, a British Asian man who flew to the United States for an acting audition. When his plane arrived at JFK airport in New York, he and his female friend were handcuffed. He was taken to a room and questioned for several hours. The officials asked him whether he had friends in the Middle East, or knew anyone who approved of the attacks on September 11. His story will be familiar to hundreds of people of Asian or Middle Eastern origin.

I have just obtained a copy of a letter sent last week by a 50-year-old British Asian woman (who doesn't want to be named) to the US immigration service. At the end of January, she flew to JFK to visit her sister, who is suffering from cancer. At the airport, immigration officials found that on a previous visit she had overstayed her visa. She explained that she had been helping her sister, who was very ill, and had applied for an extension. When the officers told her she would have to return to Britain, she accepted their decision but asked to speak to the British consul.

They refused her request, but told her she could ring the Pakistani consulate if she wished. She explained that she was British, not Pakistani, as her passport showed. The guards then started to interrogate her. How many languages did she speak? How long had she lived in Britain? They smashed the locks on her suitcases and took her fingerprints. Then she was handcuffed and chained and marched through the departure lounge. "I felt like the guards were parading me in front of the passengers like their prize catch. Why was I put in handcuffs? I am a 50-year-old housewife from the suburbs of London. What threat did I pose to the safety of the other passengers?"

Last week, a correspondent for the Times found 30 men and a woman camped in a squalid hotel in Mogadishu, in Somalia. They were all African-Americans of Somali origin, who had arrived in the US as babies or children. Most were professionals with secure jobs and stable lives. In January, just after the release of Black Hawk Down (the film about the failed US military mission in Somalia), they were rounded up. They were beaten, threatened with injections and refused phone calls and access to lawyers. Then, a fortnight ago, with no charges made or reasons given, they were summarily deported to Somalia. Now, without passports, papers or money, in an alien and frightening country, they are wondering whether they will ever see their homes again.

All these people are victims of a new kind of racial profiling which the US government applies but denies. The US attorney general has called for some 5,000 men of Arab origin to be questioned by federal investigators. Since September 11, more than 1,000 people who were born in the Middle East have been detained indefinitely for "immigration infractions".

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has recorded hundreds of recent instances of alleged official discrimination in the US. Muslim women have been strip-searched at airports, men have been dragged out of bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night. It reports that evidence which remains shielded from the suspect, of the kind permitted by the recent US Patriot Act, "has been used almost exclusively against Muslims and Arabs in America". In the US, people of Middle Eastern and Asian origin are now terrorist suspects. Some officials appear to regard them as guilty until proven otherwise.

Similar policies appear to govern the judicial treatment of detainees. During his press conference on December 28, President Bush initially misunderestimated a question, and provided a revealing answer. "Have you decided," he was asked, "that anybody should be subjected to a military tribunal?" Bush replied, "I excluded any Americans." The questioner pointed out that he meant to ask whether Bush had made any decisions about the captives in Guantanamo Bay. But what the president had revealed was that the differential treatment of those foreign fighters and John Walker Lindh, the "American Talib" currently being tried in a federal court in Virginia, is not an accident of process, but policy. He couldn't treat a white American like the captives in Camp X-ray and expect to get away with it.

These attitudes pre-date the attack on New York. Patterns of Global Terrorism, a document published by the US counter-terrorism coordinator in April, appears to define international terror as violence directed at US citizens, US commercial interests or white citizens of other nations. Non-whites are the perpetrators of terror, but not its victims.

In Angola, for example, the "most significant incident" in the year 2000 was the kidnapping of three Portuguese construction workers by rebels. The murder of hundreds of Angolan civilians is unrecorded. In Sierra Leone, terrorism, the report suggests, has afflicted only foreign journalists, aid workers and peacekeepers. In Uganda, the Lord's Resistance Army's appears to have done nothing but kidnap and murder Italian missionaries. The Democratic Republic of Congo, where terror sponsored by six African states has led to the deaths of some 3m people, isn't mentioned. Yet domestic terrorism in the United Kingdom and Spain is covered at length.

There is, of course, vicious racism on other sides as well. Bin Laden threatened a holy war against Jews. The men who kidnapped the journalist Daniel Pearl forced him to announce that he was a Jew before cutting his throat. I have lost count of the emails I've received from Pakistan and the Middle East, claiming that 4,000 Jews were evacuated from the World Trade Centre before the attacks.

This makes security policies based on racial discrimination even more dangerous. By treating non-white people as if they are the natural enemies of the US, the government could generate conflict where there was none before. At the same time this policy establishes splendid opportunities for terrorists with white skins, as they become, to the eyes of officials, all but invisible.

This is the morass into which Tony Blair is stepping. "These are not people like us," he said of the Iraqi leadership on Sunday. "They are not people who abide by the normal rules of human behaviour." Some would argue that this quality establishes their kinship with British ministers. But to persuade us that we should go to war with Iraq, Blair must first make its leaders appear as remote from ourselves as possible.

The attack on Iraq, when it comes, could in a sense be the beginning of a third world war. It may, as hints dropped by the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, suggest, turn out to be the first phase of a war involving many nations. It may also become a war against the third world, and its diaspora in the nations of the first.

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True. Like flies into a fire.

One Air Force pilot presently dropping bombs on Afghanistan said he's proud to be doing this.

"This is what I should be doing. This is my service to Amerika."


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Then again, violence in Kaliyuga is inevitable.

Case in point.

I just finished & sent a vnn article from our local library.

The article's basic theme is WTC & Nonviolence.

I go into the toilet, 2 minutes later, I hear a raucous ruckus ruction going on outside.

I wrapped it up & ran out asap to see what was happening.

There had already been a fight amongst young kids across the street an hour earlier.

When I came out all the library personnel & 'smaller people' were off to one side.

This computer area was cleared except for 2 guys engaged in a bloody brawl.

One guy had the other in a fullbody headlock, biting into his back a la fois.

I would've broken it up in a second, but the guy on top had Liston/Tyson biceps, 21 inch at least.

I did manage to stop/hold back a few of his punches.

The other guy was only 60% his size, yet fearless & feisty nonetheless.

What a scene. They'd stop. I'd get in the middle.

They'd again pick up these plastic library chairs & start bashing each other.

The cops were called but they took way too long to show.

Mister 60% had 3 deep bloody bite marks on his upper back.

Blood was coming right through his thick sweater.

Man what a scene!

Then the smaller guy's young son screamed: "Daddy no!"

That's when I said to myself:

"To hell with the fuzz. By the time they show up this kids' father could be dead & gone."

So I had to jump in.

Not optional. Compulsory.

I figured by the time these NYC cops show up hell could freeze over.

The precinct is only 150 yds away.

I can see it as I type.

Amazing. And they're getting paid.

Bring back the volunteer fire depts & local patrol.

The big guy escaped just one minute before the cops showed up.

Blame Duncan Donuts? Maybe.

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1984 - MINISTRY of PEACE Creates WARS

Greetings everyone,

Please feel free to copy and forward this e-mail to as many people as you choose.

I have the DVD by Alex Jones entitled 911 - The Road To Tyranny.

You MUST watch it. I will begin to make copies once I figure out what the

problem is with my VCR. And I will give out as many copies as I can.

That video is an eye-opener like never before. There is no longer the slightest doubt that the terror attacks on the world trade center both in 1993 and in 2001 were inside jobs. Timothy McVeigh was NOT the lone bomber in Oklahoma.

WATCH THE VIDEO. You can order it at www.infowars.com

You owe it to yourself and to your families to see what is happening in this country. You married folks especially owe it to your children.

All across the country children are being primed that guns are bad.

In some states, as shown in the video, young children are being given lectures by uniformed cops in the classroom. They are offered rewards up to

$200.00 in cash to turn in "bad guys". And "bad guys" include mom and pop if

they happen to have guns.

We are no longer living in the United States of America as

defined by

The Constitution and Bill of Rights. Those documents have ceased to


Have you read the U.S. Patriot act? I've read parts of it at


Do you know that they have totally done away with habeas corpus?

It is now LEGAL for the police to smash down your door in the middle of the night, arrest you in secret, and hold you as long as they want.

They can keep you in a secret prison for thirty years if they like.

They are not obligated to tell your lawyer, your wife or family that they even have

arrested you!

The only criteria is that you be a "suspected" terrorist.

This is all legal according to their so-called Patriot Act, which they obviously had written before September 11th.

What's more, as a "suspected" terrorist, there are now about

sixty crimes, including misdemeanors, which can be construed as treason and

can be punished by the death penalty!

The US Patriot Act would bring

tears of joy to any Gestapo, or NKVD man. It is a fulfilled Christmas list for any

sadistic secret policeman.

It is here and now.

They just have not started using it yet. (Except of course for Jose Padilla.)

It is now possible for them to LEGALLY execute us in a secret prison for

something as innocuous as shoving a cop while having an argument with him.

One of the two main reasons for the destruction of the world trade center was to create public fear so we would want the government to protect us.

For example, if I hire thugs to attack you, then I step in to protect you from those very thugs, you will see me as a hero.

And when I ask for the keys to your home so I can protect you better you will gladly give them to me.

Then when I cut your throat in the middle of the night so I can keep your house for myself it will be too late for you to discover my modus operandi.

The people who run this world are now doing something very similar on a larger scale to us here in America.

Did you read the book, 1984, by George Orwell?

In that book, The Ministry of Love was in charge of torture, mind control, and


The Ministry of Peace was in charge of creating wars.

And the Ministry of Truth was in charge of lies, disinformation and changing the history books.

Similarly the U.S. Patriot Act is in charge of destroying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It has totally succeeded.

You might watch the first five or ten minutes of the video and say it's nonsense. It's just a guy talking and he's melodramatic.

But wait a few minutes when he starts showing the newscasts, the action parts.

They contain positive proof to back up his claims.

This is the most frightening video I have ever seen! And the worst part is that it is all true.

The only bright side is that there are many more of us than there are of them.

We can still keep this country from becoming a full fledged Nazi Germany if only enough people wake up fast enough.

Please watch that video.

>Yours truly, Ed Safra.

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The Battling Bastards of Bataan - Forgotten Heroes

Historical News Letter - Volume 4

"Jesus and Hitler Told the Truth about them."

Please visit my webpage at: http:/www.newsturmer.com

Dear kindred and fellow Aryans,

Once again I have the pleasure to publish an article to you by my friend James L Choron. I have chosen to publish this article under Historical News Letter since it contains vital historical information regarding WW2.


I trust you will appreciate what Mr Choron tells you.


The Battling Bastards of Bataan - Forgotten Heroes

by James L. Choron


"The Battling Bastards of Bataan, No Mama, No Papa, No Uncle Sam, No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces, No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces, And nobody gives a damn!" lyrics by Frank Hewlett, 1942


Sixty years ago, this June, the last of the "Battling Bastards of Bataan" finally laid down their arms and surrendered to the Japanese invaders of the Philippean Islands. Their defense of the "rock" Corrigidor, is one of the genuine tributes to the courage and determination of the American fighting man, when he is faced with what appear to be insurmountable odds. Armed with weapons cast off from the First World War, starving and in rags… waiting for relief that was promised but never planned, they held out for almost four months…

Guam was occupied by the Japanese in two days, and Wake Island was occupied in two weeks after heavy fighting by the US Naval and Marine forces. However, Wainright's Battling Bastards stalled the Japanese timetable for conquest, and bought the United States time… time paid for in blood and misery… for the rebuilding of a fleet and the building of an army.


For twenty-seven days after Bataan fell, as food and munitions ran low, as water and hope dried up, they clung to the Rock with taloned will. Like Bataan, of which it was an extension, the tale of Corregidor inspired a nation.


The doomed defense was a futile fight. Depending on a fleet that never came, the sick and starved defenders, illequipped and outnumbered, cost the invading Japanese army dearly in men and time. Those on Bataan had decimated land, air, and naval forces needed elsewhere, and those on Corregidor had smashed the Forth Division, in which Japan had relied for offensives in New Guinea and the Solomons. They had denied Homma the use of Manila Bay. From the Rock they had intercepted messages and provided valuable intelligence regarding Japanese advance in the Pacific by six months, protected Australia from attack, and enabled MacArthur to mount the offensive that would win eventual victory in the Pacific.


When once their story was told, it rolled like an anthem through the land. The battlers on Bataan and the eagles on the Rock gave hope to an embattled America, and pride for her children to come. For theirs is the stuff of epics. It is such annals that impassion man's will to renew the covenant of his fathers, that his republic shall live in glory and in honor.


Contrary to popular myth, General Jonathan Wainwright, and not Douglas MacArthur, was the "real" Hero of the Philippeans. Few who have ever seen it can forget the famous painting of Wainright, tall and gaunt, in profile, wearing his battered campaign hat, hand on hip, over the open flap of his holster... looking out over the ocean toward America, and the fleet that, he knew, wasn’t coming…


He was the son of a cavalry officer. He was born in Walla Walla, Washington, on 2nd August 1883, and graduated from West Point, the United States Military Academy, in 1906 (25/78). He next joined the 1st Cavalry Regiment and was sent to the Philippean Islands in 1909, in aftermath of the Moro Rebellion. In 1918, Wainwright was promoted to Chief of Staff of the 82nd Infantry Division. Later he held the same position in the 3rd US Army. In 1936, Wainright took over command of the 34rd Cavalry, at Fort Meyer. Two years later he was promoted to brigadier general and in February 1940 was again sent to the Philippines to serve under General Douglas MacArthur. Wainwright was placed in command of the North Luzon Force.


As everyone knows, the Japanese Air Force attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941. Most modern readers do not realize that on the following day they carried out air strikes on the Philippines and destroyed half of MacArthur's air force. At the time, MacArthur was much criticized for this as he had been told to move his airforce after the raid on Hawaii the previous day. His belief that an attack on the Philippean Islands was "unlikely", proved to be the first of many tactical and strategic blunders on his part, which were later masked by a highly effective public relations campaign. At the same time, the Japanese Army also invaded the Philippines and they soon held the three air bases in northern Luzon. On 22nd December the Japanese 14th Army landed at Lingayen Gulf and quickly gained control of Manila from the inexperienced Filipino troops. Although only 57,000 Japanese soldiers were landed on Luzon, they had little difficulty capturing the island.


General Douglas MacArthur now, rather than organizing a counter attack, using his, numerically, vastly superior forces, ordered a general retreat to Bataan peninsula.

A series of Japanese assaults forced US defensive lines back and on 22nd February, 1942, MacArthur, who, in spite of overt requests to be: "left at his post", had, in all of his correspondences with his Commander in Chief, made himself look indispensable to the war effort in the Pacific, in the eyes of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was "ordered" to leave Bataan and go to Australia... many, who were present believe, exactly as he had planned it all along... It is interesting to note that MacArthur had a flotilla of patrol boats waiting at the docks for just such an "contingency", even though he officially denied ever "planning" to leave the Philippean Islands. Now, this is not to be demeaning to General MacArthur.


It is perfectly understandable, on one hand, how he would understand the principal of "living to fight another day", and the necessity of abandoning an untenable position. There was never any doubt as to the eventual fall of the Philippeans. From the moment of the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was obvious to all that relief of the garrison was impossible, at least for the foreseeable future. It is also understandable from a political perspective, how Franklin Roosevelt, who has been demonstrated to have had advance knowledge of both the Pearl Harbor attack and the invasion of the Philippeans, would be reluctant to have the commander of U.S. forces to become a prisoner of war.


Still, on the other hand, MacArthur was not particularly well thought of by those who were left behind, and questions concerning his motivation, character and even his patriotism were voiced in a song penned by some of the troops of Corrigidor… The author, of course, was at the time, and still remains, anomyous…


"Doug out Doug MacArthur lies a shaking on the rock, With fifty feet of concrete to protect him from the shock; With patrol boats and his Press Corps waiting stately at the docks, While his troops go starving on".

(sung to Glory, Glory Hallelujah melody)


It must be pointed out that, even with the clear advantage that Japan had in technology, the combined U.S./Filipino forces outnumbered the enemy, were holding prepared defensive positions, and could, if properly led, have repelled the invasion. Japan did not have the resources to reinforce Hoimma to any extent, nor did they have the resources to launch a second invasion, should the first fail. Had the Phillipeans been held, even at an excessive casualty rate (which could not possibly have exceeded the numbers lost in the actual defense or in later Japanese captivity), the entire course of the Second World War in the Pacific would have changed.


In any case, the damage was done... General Wainwright remained behind with just over 11,000 soldiers and managed to hold out, on the Bataan Peninsula, until the beginning of May 1942. Wainwright was captured and took part in what became known as the Bataan Death March. He was subsequently transported to Manchukuo (Manchuria), where he remained a prisoner until the end of the Second World War. Jonathan Wainwright was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and on 5th September 1945 was promoted to full general. He retired from active duty on 31st August 1947 and lived in San Antonio until his death on 2nd September 1953.


To begin to understand the fall of Bataan and its aftermath, the Death March, one must know what led to its fall. When the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands in December 1941, with their 14th Army consisting of two full divisions (16th and 18th), five anti-aircraft battalions, three engineering regiments, two tank regiments, and one battalion of medium artillery, led by Lt. General Masaharu Homma, they faced a defending force of ten Philippine Army divisions. Numerically speaking, the advantage belonged to the defenders. What appears to be an advantage, however, was in reality a disadvantage: one that hastened the fall of Bataan and one that contributed to thousands of deaths in O'Donnell's prison camp. At the end of the first week in December 1941, the Philippine forces consisted of 20,000 regulars and 100,000 totally raw reservists, most of whom were called to the colors within the three months preceding the war. The training of their artillerymen, so vital in any military action, did not take place until after the outbreak of hostilities. Many of these troops were illiterate and lacked the ability to communicate with each other.

Enlisted men spoke their native dialect, depending on the area they were from; officers spoke English, Spanish, or the so-called national language, Tagalog. Unfortunately, Tagalog was spoken mainly in and around Manila, the country's capital. Weapons such as the British Enfield rifle of World War I were obsolete. Uniforms consisted of fiber helmets (men were never issued steel helmets), canvas shoes, short-sleeve shirts, and short pants, hardly suitable for the jungles of Bataan and their surprisingly cold nights.


Now one must admit that troops such as these, for the most part, would be ineffective in confronting a modern army, with modern equipment. However, the sheer numbers involved, and the presence of decent leadership, unhampered by political motivation, would have, to a great extent, offset the disadvantages inherent in the use of "native troops". This disadvantage could have been further offset, had the United States taken advantage of, or had the forces present been forewarned and allowed to take advantage of the knowledge that an attack was imminent. Even untrained or semi-trained native levies, firing from fixed, reinforced defenses, in sufficient numbers, could easily have pushed Hoimma's forces back into the sea. The destruction of available air forces, which can only be seen as a deliberate act on the part of MacArthur, made a viable defense against the invasion all but impossible.

Even considering the age and technology of aircraft available on the Phillipean Islands (there were no "modern" aircraft present, only "surplus" from the mid-thirties), air support, of any kind, supporting the defense of the beaches would have proven devastating to the Japanese.


In addition to the Philippine Army, Bataan's forces consisted of 11,796 Americans and several regiments of Philippine Scouts who had been part of the United States Army in the Philippines for many years prior to the war. These were magnificent soldiers, well trained, loyal, and dedicated to the war effort. Led by American officers, they repeatedly distinguished themselves in their four months of combat. Adding to the number of military in Bataan were civilians who fled the advancing Japanese. They entered Bataan of their own free will, yet they had to be fed from military supplies.


Forced to feed such a large number of military and civilians, food became an immediate and critical problem to the command. Tons of precious rice were left in the warehouses upon the withdrawal into Bataan and were destroyed by the Japanese. Americans accustomed to "stateside chow" found themselves (mid-January) on half-rations along with the Filipino soldiers. A month later, these rations were cut again (1,000 calories per day) and consisted of rice and fish, or what little meat could be found. Most of the meat came from the horses and mules of the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts, or the Philippine beast of burden, the carabao, or water buffalo. Occasionally monkeys and snakes supplemented the diet. Malaria ran rampant in Bataan, one of the most heavily mosquito-infested areas in the world at that time. Medication to offset the effects of that disease began to disappear early in the campaign.


On April 3, 1942, General Homma finally launched his long-awaited (by both Japanese high command and Americans) final push to crush the Philippines. He easily broke through the final line of resistance of the Fil-American troops on Bataan, but he did so, mainly because of the deplorable state of health of the defending forces facing him.


On 3 April 1942 (Good Friday), after a lull in hostilities, Japan attacked Bataan with overwhelming artillery fire which resulted in the disintegration of the Fil-American front lines, and a collapse of organized resistance by the Fil-American forces in the II Corps area on the eastern side of Bataan. With his troops starving, and sick from various tropical diseases, Major General Edward P. King was forced to surrender all Bataan Fil-American forces on 9 April 1942, (73,000 troops) in order to save lives.


The following announcement was made over the "Voice of Freedom" broadcasting from Corrigidor, a few days later…


"Radio Broadcast - Voice of Freedom - Malinta Tunnel - Corregidor - April 9, 1942


"Bataan has fallen. The Philippine-American troops on this war-ravaged and bloodstained peninsula have laid down their arms. With heads bloody but unbowed, they have yielded to the superior force and numbers of the enemy.


The world will long remember the epic struggle that Filipino and American soldiers put up in the jungle fastness and along the rugged coast of Bataan. They have stood up uncomplaining under the constant and grueling fire of the enemy for more that three months. Besieged on land and blockaded by sea, cut off from all sources of help in the Philippines and in America, the intrepid fighters have done all that human endurance could bear.


For what sustained them through all these months of incessant battle was a force that was more than merely physical. It was the force of an unconquerable faith--something in the heart and soul that physical hardship and adversity could not destroy! It was the thought of native land and all that it holds most dear, the thought of freedom and dignity and pride in these most priceless of all our human prerogatives.


The adversary, in the pride of his power and triumph, will credit our troops with nothing less than the courage and fortitude that his own troops have shown in battle. Our men have fought a brave and bitterly contested struggle. All the world will testify to the most superhuman endurance with which they stood up until the last in the face of overwhelming odds.


But the decision had to come. Men fighting under the banner of unshakable faith are made of something more that flesh, but they are not made of impervious steel. The flesh must yield at last, endurance melts away, and the end of the battle must come.


Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand--a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world--cannot fall!"


The forces on the "rock"… Corrigidor… battled on… Corregidor an inland two miles from Bataan now faced the brunt of Japanese artillery and bombing. For another month Corregidor held out. On 5 May 1942, the Japanese invaded Corregidor. Lieutenant General Wainwright then sent his last radio message to President Roosevelt on 6 May 1942. Below is the text of General Jonathan Wainright’s last official communication with President Roosevelt:


"For the President of the United States:


It is with broken heart and head bowed in sadness, but not in shame, that I report to Your Excellency that I must go today to arrange terms for the surrender of the fortified islands of Manila Bay: Corregidor (Fort Mills), Caballo (Fort Hughes), El Fraile (Fort Drum), and Carabao (Fort Frank).


With anti-aircraft fire control equipment and many guns destroyed, we are no longer able to prevent accurate aerial bombardment. With numerous batteries of the heaviest caliber employed on the shores of Bataan and Cavite out ranging our remaining guns, the enemy now brings devastating cross fire to bear on us.


Most of my batteries, seacoast, anti-aircraft and field, have been put out of action by the enemy. I have ordered the others destroyed to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. In addition we are now overwhelmingly assaulted by Japanese troops on Corregidor. There is a limit of human endurance and that limit has long since been past. Without prospect of relief I feel it is my duty to my country and to my gallant troops to end this useless effusion of blood and human sacrifice.


If you agree, Mr. President, please say to the nation that my troops and I have accomplished all that is humanly possible and that we have upheld the best traditions of the United States and its Army.


May God bless and preserve you and guide you and the nation in the effort to ultimate victory.


With profound regret and with continued pride in my gallant troops I go to meet the Japanese commander.


Good-by Mr. President."


Naturally, Roosevelt agreed. Some would say that it had been planned to play out this way from the beginning. America, after all, "needed" a war. The attack on Pearl Harbor had allowed it to begin. The fall of Bataan, and later of Corigador gave the country "martyrs", to reinforce their desire and drive to enter into a conflict which could have been either avoided completely or shortened extensively.


In point of fact, Roosevelt had intended, from all apparent indications, for the United States to enter the European War far earlier than December, 1941. This became impossible due to the general sentiment of the American people, many of whom were openly in sympathy with Germany. The Japanese attack which Roosevelt and his administration made clear was a part of a "pact" between Germany and Japan, was the pretext that was needed. Undoubtedly, such an agreement existed. However, it was secondary to the true goal of the Roosevelt administration, which was, first of all, to end the ongoing depression with a false, wartime economy, secondly, to take the American public's eye off of a failing domestic policy, and lastly, to aid in the destruction of the enemies of the Jews, to whom Roosevelt was in debt, and by whom he was surrounded.


All of this, however, is secondary to the topics at hand, which is how the defense of the Phillipeans failed, and why... and the results of the aftermath.


However, General Homma refused to accept the surrender of Corregidor and the other fortified islands unless the terms included the surrender of all US forces in the Philippines. For about a month the survivors of Corregidor were held hostage until all organized resistance in the Philippines ended in June 1942; this was when all elements in the Visayan-Mindanao Force in the Southern Philippines under the command of Major General William F. Sharp surrendered.


Food supplies stored on Corregidor often never found their way to the front lines of Bataan, being stolen by hungry rear area troops while the food was enroute in trucks. Hijacking became a common practice along the way. Here may be found the first difference between Bataan and Corregidor. Corregidor troops did not go hungry until their capture by the Japanese. Consequently, the men of Corregidor entered captivity in relatively good health and with very few cases of malaria on record.


Such differences were to have a major impact on who was to survive the prison camps that were to follow. Comparing rosters of units serving on Bataan and Corregidor, it was determined that the chances of surviving imprisonment were two in three, if captured on Corregidor, and one in three if captured on Bataan, an obvious substantiation of the differences between the two groups at the time of their capture.


On Corregidor, there were 15,000 American and Filipino troops, consisting of anti-aircraft and coastal defenses, along with the Fourth Marine Regiment, recently arrived from China (December 1941), less a detachment stationed on Bataan, as part of a Naval Battalion. Despite some writings to the contrary, again dealing in "legends," the 4th Marine Regiment did not participate in defense of Bataan. Their mission was beach defense on Corregidor. Approximately 43 Marines arrived in Camp O'Donnell after completing the Death March.


Of the 11,796 American soldiers on Bataan on April 3,1942, about 1,500 remained wounded or sick in Bataan's two field hospitals after the surrender. Others, relatively few, made their way across the two miles of shark-infested waters to Corregidor, where they were assigned to beach defense. About 9,300 Americans reached Camp O'Donnell after completing the Death March. About 600-650 Americans died on the March. Of the 66,000 Filipino troops, Scouts, Constabulary and Philippine Army units, it can be said the approximately 2,500 of them remained in the hospitals of Bataan; about 1,700 of them escaped to Corregidor, and a small number of them remained on Bataan as work details for the Japanese after the surrender.


Those captured on Bataan on or about April 9,1942, were in the general area of the town of Mariveles, at the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula. Large fields outside this town were used as staging areas for the thousands of captives, American and Filipino, gathered together.


Mass confusion reigned in these areas and when darkness fell, it became impossible to recognize anyone. In a brief period of time buddies were soon separated and, in many cases, never to see one another again. It was not uncommon for two friends from the same unit to enter one of these fields, then not know of each other's survival for over 40 years.


Each morning, groups of several hundred would be hustled out on Bataan's once concrete highway (National Road) leading north out of the peninsula and begin their exodus to prison camp. No design or plans for the group ever materialized.

Each sunrise, shouting, shooting, bayoneting, by Japanese, would assemble anyone they could to make up the marching groups.


As a result, individuals generally found themselves among perfect strangers, even if they were fellow Americans. Consequently, a "dog eat dog, every man for himself" attitude soon prevailed. Few helped one another on the March. Those belonging to the same military unit were fortunate, with their buddies helping when needed.


During one group's march, volunteers were sought to carry a stretcher containing a colonel wounded in both legs and unable to walk. Four men offered to help. After hours of carrying the man in a scorching hot sun with no stops and no water, they asked for relief from other marchers. No one offered to pick up the stretcher. Soon, the original four bearers, put down the man and went off on their own. The colonel was last seen by the side of the road begging to be carried by anyone.


After the first day of marching, without food or water, men began to drop out of column. Japanese guards would rush up, shouting commands in Japanese to get back in the group. When that approach failed, shots rang, out killing those who would not or could not rise. Many of those failing to obey the order to march were beheaded by sword wielding-Japanese guards, usually officers and non-coms.


Such actions on the part of the Japanese brought many captives to their feet and they continued the march for awhile longer. As each day and night passed without water, the marchers began to break from their group to run to anything that resembled water. Most often they would hurl themselves into a water puddle alongside of the road and lap up, similar to a cat lapping milk from a saucer, the so-called water. The puddles were used by the carabao to coat themselves with mud as a protection against the huge flies constantly about them. Upon rising from the puddle, the water would assume a "clear" state. Needless to say, the water was not potable and drinking of it soon brought on cramps, diarrhea, and eventually dysentery caused by the numerous flies found in the puddle. Such acts continued for each day of the Death March, lasting from five to ten days, depending upon where one joined the March, and continued until the marchers reached the town of San Fernando, Pampamga, P.I., a distance for most marchers of over 100 kilometers.


Upon reaching San Fernando, the prisoners were forced into 1918 model railroad boxcars (40X8) used in France during World War I. With over 100 men in each car, the Japanese then closed the doors on the prisoners. There was no room to sit down or fall down. Men died in the sweltering cars. Upon arriving in Capas, Tarlac, almost four hours later, the men detrained for Camp O'Donnell, another ten kilometer walk.


Official figures estimate that between 44,000 and 50,000 of the Filipinos arrived at O'Donnell after completing the March. Between 12,000 and 18,000 of their number are unaccounted for. What happened to them is unknown, but a safe guess is that between 5,000 to 10,000 of them lost their lives on the Death March. The death toll for both Filipinos and Americans, however, did not cease upon reaching O'Donnell. Instead, during the first forty days of that camp's existence, more that 1,500 Americans were to die. At least 25,000 Filipinos died by July 1942 in the same camp. All these deaths were the direct result of malnutrition on Bataan, disease, and the atrocities committed by Japanese on the March.


Shortly after the last of these prisoners entered O'Donnell (April 24,1942), Corregidor fell on May 6. Battered by constant shell fire from Bataan and aerial bombardment, with their supplies running out, Wainwright, successor to MacArthur as commanding officer of the United States forces in the Philippines, decided his situation was hopeless and surrendered Corregidor and the troops in the southern part of the Philippines. With the establishing of a beach head on Corregidor by the Japanese, he avoided a "bloodbath" that would have most certainly occurred had the Japanese fought their way from the beach to Malinta Tunnel, to where most of the defenders of the island had withdrawn.


After two weeks of the famous Japanese "sun treatment" for prisoners, in the sun-baked areas of Corregidor, these troops were taken across Manila Bay to Manila and then by train to Prison camp Cabanatuan, Cabanatuan, P.I. The men were in that camp when Bataan survivors arrived from Camp O'Donnell in June 1942. The extremely high death rate in that camp prompted Japanese to make such a move, and thereby allowed the American medical personnel to treat the Filipino prisoners remaining behind until their release beginning in July 1942.

The condition of the prisoners arriving in Cabanatuan was such as to shock their fellow Americans from Corregidor. In a short period of time, however, they, too, would feel the full effects of Japanese captivity.


It was not, however, until June 1942 that the men of Bataan and Corregidor began to share a common experience. During the first nine months of Cabanatuan's existence, when the vast majority of the camp's 3,000 American deaths occurred, most of the deaths were men of Bataan, still suffering from the effects of Bataan, the Death March, and Camp O'Donnell. That the men of Corregidor were more fortuitous than their fellow Americans in avoiding starvation, pestilence, and atrocities up to this point is beyond question.


After the surrender of the Fil-American forces on Bataan, the Japanese began to march the starving, sick, and wounded survivors to Camp O'Donnel over 100 miles away. This event has become known as the "Bataan Death March." Bataan survivors were robbed of personal effects, denied food and water, or received very little; soldiers that could not keep up with the pace were, bayoneted, shot, or beheaded. The number of soldiers beaten and/or executed by the Japanese ran into the thousands before the march was finally completed.


The loss of the Philippines to Japanese was the largest single defeat of American Armed Forces in history. This loss was not the result of a lack efforts by our soldiers and sailors, but rather a lack of preparedness of the United States as a whole. The United States underestimated the Japanese, and we were not willing as a nation to keep our armed forces trained and ready to protect the interests of the United States and its people.


The defense of the Philippines is not talked about or studied very much in today's society. Its lessons may go unlearned if we do not recall the sacrifices made by men and women whom we asked to defend us. These brave soldiers and sailors bought us time to prepare our defenses and take the offensive in the Pacific. Their stubborn sacrifices forced the Japanese to commit more forces than they originally planned to the conquest of the Philippines which denied them their use in making their drive of conquest south of the Philippines.


Upon his release from a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp after over 3 years in captivity, and at the request of Army General Douglas MacArthur, Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright appeared at the surrender of the Japanese Empire to the Allies on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

On his way back to the United States, he was promoted to General. A few days after arriving in the United States, General Wainwright was asked to visit the White House by President Truman, and in a ceremony held in the rose garden, General Jonathan M. Wainwright was presented the "Medal of Honor" for his actions while commanding the Northern Luzon Forces, I Corps on Bataan, and all United States Forces in the Philippines. During his time as Prisoner of War, General Wainwright expected to be court marshalled upon return to the United States, but instead he found a grateful nation who was proud to have him back.

Unfortunately, the only thing anyone ever remembers about General Wainwright, is his role in the surrender of the Philippine Islands to the Japanese in 1942. If America had been properly prepared to fight and defend its territory, the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the loss of Philippines might never have happened. With the fall of Philippines, over 70,000 (50,000 Filipino, 20,000 American) soldiers, sailors, and airmen became prisoners of Japanese, not to mention the civilian internees.

At the end of World War II, nearly 37% of all POWs lost their lives as a result of the way the Japanese treated their captives. How many people remember the POWs and what they did for our country? Officially the United States Government presented each surviving POW the monetary sum of $1.00 a day for each day of captivity (approximately $1,000) above their normal pay and… unfortunately… not much more.


It is interesting to note that in the surrender ceremonies, General Wainright is not wearing his sidearm, plus in every known photograph, refuses to look at MacArthur.

In many cases, the look on the General's face is one of absolute disgust. One must question which presence he found to be more offensive, that of his "official" enemies and former captors, or that of his "commanding officer".


If their audacity/swindle, Chuzpe is right, then resistance must be a national duty. - Heil og sael

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August 21, 2002


An Alternate Universe


by Maureen Farrell


Sometime between last fall and Christmas, scientists discovered an alternative universe. This wasn't confirmed nor publicized, mind you, but they're bound to announce it soon. Unless, of course, like Dick Cheney's energy task force meetings or President Bush's SEC files, it's being kept secret as matter of national security.


But no matter. Because anyone who's been paying attention hasn't missed the evidence that's been mounting steadily since last September. From the moment authorities discovered Mohamed Atta's "Terrorism for Dummies" manual and we learned about 72 virgins, Evil Doers' grooming tips, and how terrorists' passports (unlike black boxes) survive fiery crashes into buildings, things have become increasingly surreal.


If an alternative universe didn't exist, you see, jets would have been scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base, and, in the time it takes to say, "Payne Stewart," innocent lives would have been saved. The president wouldn't have fooled anyone with his "they hate us for our freedoms," schtick and Americans of all political stripes would have asked, "Why don't they go after Canada, then, eh?"


And how else could we explain Condoleezza Rice's insistence, that, despite warnings from French intelligence, G-8 Summit organizers and Tom Clancey novels, nobody could have predicted that terrorists would fly airplanes into skyscrapers? Because, in the alternative universe, on that very same day, CIA honcho John Fulton was conducting simulations of planes doing just that. As literature from this year's September 6th Chicago-based homeland security conference confirms: "On the morning of September 11th 2001, Fulton and his team at the CIA were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building."


Imagine that.


Of course, that's not the only strange incident that occurred that day. At the moment the first plane struck the first tower, bin Laden family members were meeting with members of the Carlyle group, the nation's fifth largest defense contractor, which includes the president's father as a board member. Equally surreal was the New York Times' account of Congressman Porter Goss (R-FL) and Senator Bob Graham's (D-FL) September 11 breakfast with the head of Pakistani intelligence, who reportedly ordered that $100,000 be wired to Atta days before the attacks. Goss and Graham, you might recall, are co-chairs of the congressional committee investigating the attacks on New York and DC.


If that's not enough to convince you that weirdness prevails, consider this: if a post-9/11 parallel universe hadn't emerged, America would not be discussing first-strike nuclear policies or preemptive strikes against Iraq. Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger, and Chuck Hagel wouldn't have suddenly and ironically become our nation's most vocal doves and G.W. would understand that declarations of war are Congress' department, not his. Cries of "Saddam gassed his own people!" wouldn't be shouted ad nauseam, while Bush #41's role as Hussein's silent ally during that gassing wouldn't remain largely ignored. And if not for this brave new world, civil rights commissioner Peter Kirsanow wouldn't be openly anticipating suspension of civil rights, while America's attorney general would cringe at the thought of concentration camps for anyone.


In our former reality, lessons from Vietnam were firmly ingrained. States hadn't yet linked driver's license applications to selective service registration, and the Universal Military Training and Service Act, which would require young men to report for 6-12 months of military training, education and indoctrination, had not been introduced in the House. Likewise, homeland security camps, like the one held for troubled teens over the summer, were more likely to be found in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch than in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. And hypothetical dilemmas posed at the camp would be more parody than preparation. "If I have 40 acres of forest," one problem began, "how many search dogs will I need to find a fugitive?" If we weren't living in an alternative universe, you'd think I was making that up.


Then too, Frank J. Gaffney's nationally televised diatribes wouldn't be so glaringly at odds with foreign press reports regarding America's reputation worldwide. Wedding party bombings notwithstanding, Gaffney's claims that the citizens of Afghanistan are grateful for their American-sponsored liberation doesn't gel with Irish and American-made documentaries about U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan. And, if anything, newspaper reports of "cruel Americans" storming into homes and filming naked Afghan women, whose clothing was burned off during bombings, reveal, at the very least, an alternative truth.


And how, but for a separate reality, could we ever explain the media hype surrounding missing children -- despite FBI statistics that show that kidnappings are not on the rise? How else could a mother from Texas, whose infant was stolen the day before, warrant a nationally televised press conference -- especially when she doesn't speak English and her baby was returned unharmed? And in what kind of world do newspapers run front page stories on why parents should consider having their children implanted with microchips -- as our global satellite positioning system baby-sits America's most branded?


"We have [global positioning system] units for our cars," Applied Digital spokesperson Matthew Cossolo told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "If your car is stolen, we can locate it. Do we love our cars more than our children?" Translation: Have your kids "chipped" or you're a horrible person.


When the media reminds us, day in and day out, of how vulnerable our children are, we can overlook the Orwellian implications and understand why some people are clamoring for this device. In this alternative universe, however, we can also understand the implications of treating children like cattle, and why the Armageddon-minded view this chip as "the mark of the beast."


"Face it," wrote Garrison Keiller in Time, "a nation that maintains a 72% approval rating on George W. Bush is a nation with a very loose grip on reality." No kidding. These days, however, it's hard to know what's real and what's not -- including approval ratings, which seem grossly over-inflated. But then again, before 9/11, could we have imagined a futuristic world where governmentally-monitored biochipped children participate in mandatory military training? Or where state-sponsored concentration camps were anything other than History's horror stories?


In his book, "They Thought They Were Free," Milton Mayor chronicled the thoughts and experiences of citizens in Nazi Germany and offered a glimpse of how the German people could have allowed the Third Reich to thrive. As one unnamed scholar reported:


"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. . . .Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, "regretted," that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these "little measures" that no "patriotic German" could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."


Perhaps the Germans lived in an alternative universe, too.



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