enemy of the state
one man's conspiracy is another man's business plan
Thursday, September 30, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa
Pentagon Helps Security Moms Prepare Toddlers for Future as "War-Fighters"

Where will these tots be sent? Iraq? Iran? Syria? Afghanistan? Africa?

American parents, even those whose kids aren't quite comfortable in bigboy pants yet, are facing up to the fact that those cute little tykes will be trading in their Lion King jammies for battle fatigues in just a few short years.

Moms and Dads won't have to go it alone, though. Washington is already on the case, with programs well underway to help parents revise their plans for their child's future.

With existing expendable troops already stretched to the breaking point, and occupation areas widening, whether it's called a draft or Empowering Youth with the Privilege of the Highest Form of National Service, one way or another, today's toddlers have a lot better chance of spending their teen years in a barracks than on a campus.

While it's true that at least for the first few years, the heaviest burden will be drawn from America's urban slums and barrios, the rural backwaters and dying little townvilles, it is inevitable that the concurrent transitions to a 2-class, single-industry society will impact the suburbs before today's avid Yu-gi-oh aficionado proudly picks up a can of Foamy for his first shave.

Even if mom and dad manage somehow to hold on to the dwindling available spaces in America's legendary Promised Land of dental insurance and savings accounts and Dad's special English muffin pizzas on Sunday night, the necessary consolidation and downsizing of non-defense-related business endeavors will leave even the most fortunate of sons with a choice of battle theatre, not a choice of careers.

He will, however, still be better off than his less fortunate neighbor, who will go where he is sent.

A cursory glance at a world map tells the story. In order to secure natural resources and transport thereof, it will be necessary to occupy quite a large land mass, all of it inhabited by populations so hostile that they believe that both land and resources belong to them, and not the United States.

Even concentrating efforts only on those areas critical to resource extraction, it is still a daunting task, as the Afghanistan operation shows.

Even after 3 years of occupation, carpet bombing and massive crackdowns, the US has still been unable even to establish a secure corridor for pipeline construction. If every troop in Iraq were moved to Afghanistan, it is debatable whether even that would be sufficient to accomplish the mission.

Obtaining additional personnel from "allies" is a popular mantra, especially with the left, but the allies simply do not have the kind of population, much less soldiers.

Both the US and Somalia chose not to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indeed, the provision against child soldiers alone precludes the document from being in the interests of the military goals of either entity.

At this time it is not known when, or by how much, the US will be obliged to lower the minimum age for military service, and it is reasonable to assume that Washington anticipates that there will be some domestic opposition to this and other essential measures, but forward-thinking policy makers have laid solid groundwork to counter and neutralize such eventualities, and as can be seen from recent events, significant dissent in the US is easily diverted by press conferences alone.

Some questions from the education and social science sectors on the utility value of gunmen of a very young age are unavoidable, but military strategists have only to point to Africa, where some very impressive results have been noted using troops as young as seven, especially with the aid of appropriate medications, and US pharmaceutical companies have a long history of stepping up to the plate to do their part to help America's soldiers get the job done.

For folks with the resources (read money) there will always be options, ways to buy your kid's way out of Abu Ghraib guard duty, but as the middle class dwindles, more and more moms and dads are getting used to the idea of being "military families."

posted at 1:34 AM

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Amid War, US Combatants Find Plenty of Time to Post on Internet

Sometimes, it's the most obvious things that are late to hit you.

For some time now, on my travels through cyberspace, I have been struck by the strong support voiced for the crusade by an overwhelming majority of American Internet posters.
At the same time, I also noticed story after story, datelined Washington, with dire warnings about troops being stretched, more troops needed, recruiters scaping the barrel, National Guard, Inactive units, even men in their fifties getting their orders - something just wasn't adding up.

Either all these crusade-loving fans of population reduction and resource expropriation were really only a handful of preteens in Romania having a laugh at the public's expense, or some other stories that had accused the Pentagon of being too rough on the troops were exaggerated, to say the least, as the Pentagon is apparently giving its gunmen the kind of time for internet surfing that is usually only to be had by those whose jobs allow (or require, depending on POV) them to spend the day and most of the night surgically attached to a multi-tabbed browser.

A little cyber R&R, as it were. Plenty of darkside sites out there chock-full new ideas for that next hot "interrogation" session with a dog leash and some mother's son or daughter.

That has to be the explanation. Surely no one in their right mind would be so crude as to suggest that able bodied men are sitting in comfortable homes and pounding their keyboards in praise of the crusade while their brothers in bellicosity are sweltering in 140 degree heat and dodging improvised explosive devices.

No way, no how, no sir!

These pro-war posters, whether of the "kick their ass and steal their gas" classic style, or the more metrosexual, "progressive," "get the job done, stay the course" variety, are typing these messages on battlefield laptops and satellite connections magnanimously provided them by a Pentagon That Cares.

A man (or a woman) can get pretty tuckered out after a hard day of bombing residential neighborhoods in Fallujah and kicking in doors in Baghdad, and there's nothing like being able to take a load off and relax a little bit with ones comrades at arms over on the yahoo boards.

My investigation has concluded that the policy at Centcom is "All the Internet You Can Eat" for the in-country folks there in harm's way, risking their lives to defend Halliburton's freedom to release a spectacular third quarter statement.

Now nobody should try to trick these people into giving out unit IDs, locations, etc. They're way too smart for that. In all this time I haven't seen a single one with a case of Loose Lips.

And I haven't asked. What I have asked, though, and have yet to receive, is just a little inside scoop on the big Welcome Bash we all know must be in the works for Barbra and Jenna.

After all, it's not every day that your average GI gets to serve with the granddaughters of a former CIA director.

We don't know when the twins will be deployed to the Green Zone. But we know it won't be long. They're out of school now, and I will never believe that such fine upstanding young women would be out on the campaign trail if they were not 100% behind their dad's catastrophically successful bid to destroy the cradle of civilization.

How many times have we heard their father repeat after the voice in his earpiece that there is no worse kind of hypocrisy or cowardice than sending other people off to die while you stay safe?

posted at 2:09 AM

Monday, September 27, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Situation in US Deteriorates as Invasion of Iran, Crackdown on Dissent Loom

After a busy weekend, during which the US promised to murder more Iraqis, Ariel Sharon pledged to murder more Palestinians, and Putin vowed to murder more Chechens, the week is off to an action-packed start as they all scurry to affirm their credibility by making good on their pledges.

Inexplicably, CNN, even domestic, showed some images of maimed Iraqi children, presumably to improve voter morale as the "election" nears, but this may have been misinterpreted by Washington as Ben Wederman's producer was promptly seized by what even the Aircraft Carrier Orgasmer Kyra Phillips sensed were Mosaad agents, asking Ben if Riad Ali "had been involved in anything..."

Lavalas must have been feeding more people in Haiti than anyone suspected. It is still unclear whether the small La Tortue Island exists anymore, and the third largest city is rapidly evolving into Little Darfur, thanks to token efforts at providing "aid," which a handful of lonely NGOs are now attempting to do with donkeys, as half-starved, dehydrated and diseased orphaned children roam the streets and adults riot over small bottles of water that may keep them from the bulging mass graves for another day, another hour, to mount a serious effort to stem the chaos might cost the US the price of a routine daily bombing of the poor section of Baghdad.

Speaking of Darfur, the west speaks with one voice, giving thumbs up to the continuing genocide that promises some very impressive numbers for certain multinationals, and puts the lie to those who say the US doesn't do anything at all for its allies. Right-thinking Americans know better than to ask where Khartoum gets its money.

Oil companies everywhere agree that depopulation of Africa will expedite revenue generation, and they cannot be anything but pleased with the progress being made there.

Americans, on the whole are confident that Iraq can become a shining example of achievement of US financial objectives just like Afghanistan, and in the heartland, there is a high level of enthusiasm about the October Plan, which will involve seizing family members of those suspected of opposing US policies, as well as applying "pressure" to immigrants (and presumably their family members as well) to inform the regime if they hear anyone criticizing those policies.
This will be an invaluable tool in heading off any organized objection to the invasion of Iran.

Staffing the domestic Stasi enforcement as well as the Gaza-style lockdown of Iran, a sizeable country with a functioning air force, will be a challenge to the US, as most of its available gunmen have already been deployed to other crusade theatres, and the world's supply of commercial soldiers has been essentially tapped out.

Fortunately, however, the rogue warlord gang that passes for government in Washington had the foresight not to sign on to the Rights of the Child declaration, and the Pentagon has a highly popular video game program underway, and US pharmaceutical companies stand as always, ready to do their part.

LURD in Uganda has had some remarkable success with little gun-toters as young as seven, with the appropriate medications, of course.

The "Highest" Form of National Service, dontcha know...

posted at 10:59 PM

| The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Yusuf Islam (nee Cat Stevens), Blasphemy, Terror and Truth

As part of my inexplicable affinity for the futile exercise of confusing issues with facts, in the unlikely event that anyone is interested in such party-pooping when myths are so much more profitable and fun, I will now have the kindness to terrorize you with the following quote from Yusuf Islam (nee Cat Stevens):

back in February 1989 I was delivering a
talk about my journey to Islam at Kingston University in London, when somebody
(probably a disguised journalist) mischievously posed a question about Islam’s
view on apostates and blasphemers. As a student who had studied the issue for
the first time, I simply did my best by answering direct from legal texts which
I had read.

Instead of reporting my response in context,
which I naively expected, suddenly the headline in next day’s paper read “Cat
Says Kill Rushdie!” Well, needless to say, all hell then broke loose and my
political education had really begun. Thank God the newspaper responsible,
Today, has since folded and is now out of circulation; unfortunately the
monstrous myth it created still survives.


Yusuf did not then and does not now claim to be an authority on Islamic Jurisprudence, based as it is on mathematical formulae applied to the massive labyrinth of hadith, the reported sayings of the Prophet, who for those who are unaware, died some time before the availability of videotape.

It is no more required of Muslims that they become experts on hadith any more than it is required of Catholics that they become experts on Canon Law, which though tangled and complicated enough to make Benedictines flee, Jesuits tremble and Franciscans curse, when compared to Sharia on the intellectual headache scale, comes off looking like a Letterman top ten list.

As any serious religious student will tell you, the interpretation of ancient sacred texts, whether Torah, Koran, or Granth, requires more than simply choosing a religion. People who dedicate their lives to the historic, linguistic, and socio-anthropological studies necessary to claim more than a superficial layman's understanding of the preferred interpretation of one's priest, rabbi, imam, etc. still sit up till dawn engaged in lively debate over the possible interpretations of one word, sometimes even part of a word, consuming such substances as permitted by their own interpretations, and boring anyone within hearing distance to tears. If you should see such a group, RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

A few weeks ago, Bishop Desmond Tutu shocked a CNN infobabe by stating that A) God is not a Christian, and B) He is not finished with us, we are a work in progress.

Interpretation of scripture is also a work in progress, and it is difficult to find two scholars who will agree on a whole hell of a lot regarding it, whichever scripture you prefer to watch them argue about.

Thus, while Ayatollah Khomeini may have been acting according to his own interpretation of a particular hadith (note that hadith are NOT part of the Koran, if you have somehow missed that), his was not and is not the only game in town:
Our thesis that Islam imposes no secular penalty for
simple apostasy having been conclusively established on the basis of the Holy
Quran and the practice of the Holy Prophet, it is not necessary to have recourse
to any juristic opinion on the subject. We are aware that a misunderstanding on
this question arose in the midst of a certain section of the jurists on this
subject. Yet it is of interest that the Hanafi jurists at the very start were
firmly of the view that simple apostacy was not subject to any secular penalty.


Surah An-Nisa', 4:137, states that "those
who believe, then disbelieve, then believe again, then disbelieve, and then
increase in their disbelief - Allah will never forgive them nor guide them to
the path." If indeed it was Allah's intention to impose the death penalty for
apostasy, then such occasion of repeated apostasy could have provoked such a
punishment. But neither the first instance of apostasy, nor repeated apostasy
brought about capital punishment.

Those who advocate the death penalty for
apostasy based their reasoning on a hadith which proclaims, "kill whoever
changes his religion". But this hadith is open to varying interpretations on
several grounds.

First, this hadith is considered a weak
hadith with just a single isnad (this means there is only one chain of
transmission or narration) and thus according to the rules of Islamic
jurisprudence, it is not enough to validate the death penalty.

Second, this hadith is also considered a
general ('amm) hadith in that it is in need of specification (takhsis); for it
would otherwise convey a meaning that is not within its purpose. The obvious
reading of the hadith would, for example, make liable the death punishment on a
Hindu or Christian who converts to Islam. This is obviously not the intention of
the hadith. According to the rules of Islamic jurisprudence, when a text is
interpreted once, it becomes open to further interpretation and specification.
Therefore, many scholars interpret this hadith to apply only to cases of high
treason (hirabah), which means declaring war against Islam, the Prophet, or God
or the legitimate leadership of the ummah.

Those interested can do as much further study on this subject as they wish, for those who consider facts a most insidious and heinous kind of blasphemy and who are offended by this particular blogrant, take comfort in the fact that yours is the majority view, with all that company, you do not need me to apologize for having muddied your waters.

And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
Leviticus 24:11-16

posted at 1:07 AM

Saturday, September 25, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Reply to the Replies: A Little More Personal Than Usual

Generally, most comments on my blog posts come in email. The previous post, With Props to Juan Cole, What if America, however set a new record. An overwhelming majority of those who felt moved to comment on the piece preferred not to do so publicly.

Thanks to all who took the time to read it, here or elsewhere, and to comment on it however you chose to do so.

Although I had some conflicted feelings about it; on the one hand, I felt a sense of urgency to do so before October, but at the same time I am not sure whether attempting to "make people think" who are not already doing so is an act of kindness or an act of cruelty, given the facts on the ground as events unfold.

I went ahead and posted it, though, not only here, but in several places. It disturbed and offended quite a lot of people, who for whatever reason, preferred to express their concerns privately.

I would like to address some of those concerns now:

Malaysia was used as an example only, I needed the name of a country, and in no way did I intend to infer that the people of Malaysia would support, fund, or tolerate the atrocities and crimes against humanity referenced in the article.

Many of the responses, and where they came from, were humbling. I thought I knew something about the vastness of the disconnect between even the "fringes" of mainstream American culture and the view of the rest of the world, especially with regard to the question of others as human beings. I was wrong.

Iraqis are not alone in their unshakable conviction that they are human, and that neither they, their land, their natural resources or their daughters are the property of the United States, a view so diametrically opposed to the mainstream American view as to be irreconcilable.

To those who have asked "What can I do?" I would suggest that your own conscience is your best guide, and I am sure you understand that prudence precludes any more comments from me regarding that question.

To my fellow "insurgents," who express regret that it is "too late," let me ask you to remember that the United States is only one country on a planet of over 200 countries, including some for which it may not be too late.

posted at 2:56 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

With Props to Juan Cole, What if America...?

Close your eyes and imagine that you are the father of a typical middle-class American family, living in a pleasant suburb, your home is modest, but comfortable, and yours.

Your wife, Michelle, is to you still the most beautiful girl in the world, even after almost twenty years of marriage. Jennifer, your little girl, is at fourteen, growing up much faster than you like, but she's still your little girl. It's hard for you to realize that your first born, Josh, is old enough to vote now. You still remind him not to drive too fast, and if you ask his mom, she'll tell you that when it comes to keeping his room neat, you'd think he was closer to eight than eighteen.
You named your youngest Summer because she was born with those golden curls, and you are young again watching her discover the world through her three-year-old eyes the color of the summer sky.

After Jen's mom, Patsy, broke her hip, she came to live with you. Maybe not everybody would like having their mother in law live with them, but you lucked out. Patsy is the greatest!

You couldn't believe it when they interrupted the baseball game on TV with the news that Malaysian fighter jets were bombing Washington.

Soon after that, the station went off the air. You managed to get hold of an old Big Ugly Dish, and you were able to pull in a station from Canada. It wasn't just Washington. The Malaysians had also bombed New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami. All these people, screaming, crying. Worst of all were the kids. Little kids, with these horrible wounds, no way to treat them, it was like 9-11 but worse. No emergency services, no lights, people getting sick because there was no clean water.

The only other station you could get looked like what used to be CNN but it had been taken over by Malaysians. Just these talking heads going on about how Malaysia was liberating the US, that Americans should be sure to obey the Malaysian soldiers, they were in control now. And worst of all, they actually had some Americans on there being interviewed, talking about how great it was, and how everybody should be pro-Malaysian, and thank Malaysia because they had taken George Bush into custody.

Well, not that you had ever been a big political person, and you'd had your own opinions about Bush, and not too favorable, but with this horror show you're seeing on the Canadian station, you don't really give a rat's ass where Bush is. You've got a sister in Miami, and they just bombed it again. But this time they bombed the Canadian station's office. The Malaysians are angry because they keep showing all the injured and dead Americans, especially the children. The Malaysian guy is on now, reading CBC for trash, says they are anti-Malaysian, not balanced. What the Malaysians consider "balanced" is the daily Malaysian military briefing, where they talk about how many "insurgents" they've killed.

An "insurgent" means an American who resists the Malaysians. It is hard to get a phone line any more, but a Japanese reporter lets you use his satellite phone. Thank God Janice, your sister, is OK, but your brother-in-law has been "detained" as an "insurgent." Janice doesn't know where he is. They took him away, in handcuffs, with a bag over his head, because he shot at a Malaysian soldier who was kicking in his neighbor's door. When she tells you how the Malaysian soldier just shot his machine gun into the house, killing the whole family there, you have to hand the phone to Jen. You don't want Janice to hear you cry, and you don't want her to hear you throw up.

CBC interviews a guy from a British paper, the Guardian, who watched Malaysians, and incredibly, some Americans, loot the Smithsonian. Jen tells you Janice is on the run, the Malaysians have put her, and both your nephews on a wanted list of suspected insurgents. That's one of their tactics, to arrest the family members of anybody they think may have taken part in any attack against Malaysian forces.

There is no more economy, no more job, no more food. You hear through the grapevine that your former boss has taken a job with the Malaysians. "The New American Army" they call it. His job is to help the Malaysians round up any Americans who might be anti-Malaysian.
He comes to see you the day after your neighborhood is bombed. Thank God, everybody survived it, but Summer has some shrapnel in her leg. The road to the hospital has been closed to civilian traffic by the Malaysians. You try flagging down a Malaysian soldier to ask him to let you through, he points his gun at Summer, and tells you to turn around or he'll shoot. You're lucky, your neighbor tells you, most of the time they just shoot. You don't know what to say. Two of the people they "just shot" were his wife and son.

Jen has some Tylenol with Codeine left over from a root canal, she puts it in some canned peas, mashed up, since food is in short supply, Summer is hungry enough to eat it, and you hope it takes the edge off the pain.

Your boss looks around, doesn't mention the damage to your home, makes some small talk. He seems to be feeling you out, his new job is great, he says, of course, not a lot of career choices now, huh, chuckles, but watching you, to see what you'll say. You smile weakly, offer him some canned peaches.

The stories the people tell, who have escaped or been released from the Malaysians are horrific. You thought you'd heard it all, you thought nothing could be worse, but this....They took your best friend's daughter, right about Jen's age. When they were done, they let her go back home. They have nothing to lose. In the unlikely event she tells her story to some reporter from a terrorist propaganda rag, nothing she says would be credible. And even if pictures of the blood, the bruises, should surface, bad apples. Investigation. As it turns out, she doesn't say anything, anything at all. to anyone. She was a tiny little girl. Within a week, she had bled to death.

Canadian TV has somehow gotten hold of some pictures. They say they don't have pictures of the worst things that go on in the Malaysian detention facilities. The stories keep coming out, torture, child rape, gang rape, riding old women like donkeys, starvation, beatings, hanging people from hooks, electrodes. The Malaysians call it abuse, a few bad apples. They say they'll investigate. They ban cameras.

Josh had been seeing a girl, maybe getting a little more serious than even he realized. When the Malaysian troops took her away, he cracked. It's pretty common knowledge what happens to young girls in those detention centers, and he stupidly tried to shoot the truck tires out as it was driving off. You didn't even know he had a gun, although suddenly guns seem to be everywhere. He escaped, but he's a wanted insurgent now, too. Not safe for him to be at home anymore.

There are rumors that he and his friends managed to cobble together some kind of bomb and tried to blow up a convoy of Malaysian army vehicles during one of their routine operations in an apartment complex. The Malaysian briefing guy says the attack was thwarted, and a dozen terrorists were killed, but the mastermind is still at large. That would be Josh.

This time, when your house is bombed, you're not so lucky. It was so quick. Patsy's body is not even recognizable as anything that was once a human being. Summer is burned so badly, it will be a miracle if she survives, even if she could get to a hospital, which she can't, and even if she could, the hospitals are out of supplies now anyway, they just put people on the floor, give them some water. It's all they've got. There is no more Tylenol with Codeine. Summer screams until she loses consciousness, wakes up, screams again. After what seems like a year, but is only a day, she can't scream any more. Not out loud. Michelle holds her, tries to sing to her, her voice keeps breaking.

Summer takes three days to die.

Your ex-boss is not as friendly when he comes this time. He's not alone, either. He's the American face on a clean-up operation in this neighborhood. The Malaysian generals call this area a "cancer," a "snake pit."

Adam, your old boss, now a proud member of the New American Army, doesn't believe you when you tell him you don't know where Josh is, that you don't have any information about any planned attacks on Malaysian forces.

Part of that is true. Except for those who are collaborating with the Malaysians, it's hard to find any Americans who are not planning to attack the Malaysian forces, the supplemental armies of mercenaries, the raft of "support personnel" they've brought in to build permanent Malaysian military bases and drive trucks. They say an "insurgent" cut off the head of one of them the other day.

You really don't know where Josh is though. He has made sure of that, and when Adam's Malaysian helpers knock you down, you just wipe at the blood with your sleeve and don't say anything. Michelle and Jen are petrified. So are you. You can't believe it when Michelle asks Adam if the family can please come outside what's left of your house to bury what's left of Patsy. And Summer. Tell us where Josh is and we'll let you bury her in the cemetery, says Adam. The Malaysians pay no attention. They are looking at Jen.

You don't know what might have happened next, but someone has fired a rocket or something at their truck, and mercifully, they leave you alone to go chase down the terrorist responsible.
In the bathroom, you try to clean yourself up, and figure out where to go. You can't stay here anymore. Through the open door, you hear the TV.

Malaysia is about to have an election. The candidate challenging the current president is saying he can get the job done in the United States for less money. He will offer Malaysia's allies incentives to help, too, and put an international face on Operation American Freedom. A panel of Malaysian experts complains that Americans are ungrateful. They agree that almost all Malaysians support their troops.

Then the set goes quiet. No more electricity. The Malaysians cut it off periodically. You hear helicopters overhead. Should you take Jen and Michelle and go back to the basement? Or try to make a run for it? How can you just leave Summer and Patsy?

You bury them as best you can with rubble from the collapsed part of the basement, pack up the last of your canned goods, and yes, your gun and your bullets. Tank fire in the streets. Screams. No one breathes. Finally, there are only screams, and you take your family and go out into the night of the New America, just three more terrorists on the run.

posted at 2:44 AM

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Treatment of Iraqi Women in US-Run Prisons: Why Are They So Ungrateful?

After making the rounds of US message boards today, two recurring themes stand out. Americans do not understand why the Iraqis are so ungrateful, and Americans stand 100% behind their troops.

This story has been posted on several of them, and it addresses both questions quite eloquently. Typically, the story receives few replies....

They handcuffed me and blindfolded me and put a piece of white cloth over my eyes. They bundled me into a Humvee and took me to a place inside the palace. I was dumped in a room with a single wooden chair. It was extremely cold. After five hours they brought my sister in. I couldn't see anything but I could recognise her from her crying."

Alazawi says that US guards left her sitting on the chair overnight, and that the next day they took her to a room known by detainees as "the torturing place". "The US officer told us: 'If you don't confess we will torture you. So you have to confess.' My hands were handcuffed. They took off my boots and stood me in the mud with my face against the wall. I could hear women and men shouting and weeping. I recognised one of the cries as my brother Mu'taz. I wanted to see what was going on so I tried to move the cloth from my eyes. When I did, I fainted."

Like most Iraqi women, Alazawi is reluctant to talk about what she saw but says that her brother Mu'taz was brutally sexually assaulted. Then it was her turn to be interrogated. "The informant and an American officer were both in the room. The informant started talking. He said, 'You are the lady who funds your brothers to attack the Americans.' I speak some English so I replied: 'He is a liar.' The American officer then hit me on both cheeks. I fell to the ground.
Alazawi says that American guards then made her stand with her face against the wall for 12 hours, from noon until midnight. Afterwards they returned her to her cell.

"The cell had no ceiling. It was raining. At midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body."

The US military later issued a death certificate, seen by the Guardian, citing the cause of death as "cardiac arrest of unknown etiology".

The American doctor who signed the certificate did not print his name, and his signature is illegible. The body was returned to the family four months later, on April 3, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke. The family took photographs of the body, also seen by the Guardian, which revealed extensive bruising to the chest and arms, and a severe head wound above the left eye...

"The Americans told us: 'Nobody is going to sleep tonight.' They played scary music continuously with loud voices. As soon as someone fell asleep they started beating on the door. It was Christmas. They kept us there for three days. Many of the US soldiers were drunk."

Finally, after a US guard broke her shoulder as she left the lavatory, Alazawi and her surviving siblings were transferred - first to a police academy in Baghdad's interior ministry and then, on January 4 2004, to Abu Ghraib...

torture was commonplace, she says. "The guards used wild dogs. I saw one of the guards allow his dog to bite a 14-year-old boy on the leg. The boy's name was Adil. Other guards frequently beat the men. I could see the blood running from their noses. They would also take them for compulsory cold showers even though it was January and February. From the very beginning, it was mental and psychological war."

Alazawi is reticent about the question of sexual abuse of Iraqi women but says that neither she nor any of the other women in Abu Ghraib at the time were sexually assaulted by US guards. In his subsequent report into the scandal, however, Major General Antonio Taquba found that at least one US military policemen had raped a female inmate inside Abu Ghraib; a letter smuggled out of the prison by a woman known only as "Noor", containing allegations of rape, was found to be entirely accurate. Other witnesses interviewed by the Guardian have said that US guards "repeatedly" raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl...

held in a two-metre-square cell, initially with no bed and a bucket for a toilet. For the first three weeks she was entirely "mute" after being told that talking was forbidden...

"Because I could speak a bit of English I was given the job of emptying the rubbish. There was never enough food and one day I came across an old woman who had collapsed from hunger. The Americans were always eating lots of hot food. I found some in a packet in a bin and gave it to her. They caught me and threw me in a one-metre-square punishment cell. They then poured cold water on me for four hours." She wrote the date down in her Koran: February 24 2004....

"Mrs Palmer told us that during the inspection we had to lie quietly on our beds. She said that if we behaved we would be allowed to spend more time out of our cells in the sun. The following day General Miller turned up with a huge number of journalists. I heard him telling them that some of the people kept in here were murderers. I shouted out: 'We are not the killers. You are the killers. This is our country. You have invaded it.' After that they didn't let me out of my cell for an entire month. A US officer came to me and said: 'Because of you we have all been punished'."....

Ali - prisoner number 156215 - and Mu'taz - 156216 - are still inside Abu Ghraib. The US military continues to detain them and 2,400 other prisoners without charge or legal access, in contravention of the Geneva Convention...

All the other women detainees, meanwhile, have refused to talk about their ordeal...

Full story here

posted at 5:44 AM

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Beheading Groups Should Engage Allies, Put International Face on It

Whether Nick Berg and/or the rest have been beheaded as part of a covert operation launched by the US as part of its war on terror, or by actual Iraqi groups who disagree with child rape and torture, home demolitions and population reduction operations that form such a vital part of securing America's oil in Iraq, surely putting more of an international face on the beheadings, building a real coalition, would go a long way toward making these executions more acceptable to Americans.

Beheaders should reach out to other countries, offer them real economic incentives.

The way they are going about it is all wrong. It is more costly, and acting alone puts the beheaders in a bad light, and only creates more anti-beheading sentiment.

We know this is true because the Democratic Party has explained this numerous times. If only more gunmen from other countries were bombing and shooting Iraqi children, their parents would not mind so much, and would not harbor anti-American sentiment, which it is US policy to stamp out.

posted at 2:21 AM

Sunday, September 19, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

US to Seize Children of Dissident Americans for "Interrogation"

As the Washington warlords put the final touches on their plan to invade and occupy Iran, as usual, they are moving with an abundance of caution.

Evidently someone up in there does not appreciate the unwavering loyalty of the American voting taxpayers to the masterminds of slaughter.

In order to head off at the pass the unlikely possibility that the vast majority of the American political class will do anything but shout "USA! USA!" when the bombs begin to shred the tiny bodies of the children of Teheran, top US henchmen have unveiled their "October Plan."

The October plan basically involves bringing the same tactics that have been employed in the expanding crusade theatres to Hometown USA, including the seizing of wives and children of those suspected of sympathizing with those who oppose the regime, and hauling those wives and children, and we may assume, elderly grandmammas and great-grandpas, off to a "facility" for "interrogation," which is the accepted polite way of discussing torture and gang rape.

As a reward for their enthusiastic support of crimes against humanity "over there," the generous taxpayers who have so cheerfully funded everything from the Policy of Starvation and Torture Lottery in Palestine to the boiling alive of Muslims considered to be "too devout" in Uzbekistan, to Miss Lynndie's Excellent Abu Ghraib Adventure, Mr. and Mrs. American Voter can now thrill to the moving sight of their own sweet little Jennifer and Justin being hauled off to learn all kinds of new things about their bodies - and dog leashes - all paid for by their very own parents!
Will that happen? How can little Jennifer and Justin be saved?

Don't panic. This grisly fate will only befall the children of those who oppose the warlords. In other words, as long as Mr. and Mrs. go along and keep paying for the torture of other (mostly brown, and especially brown Muslim) people's children, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or down the street at the Khan's, Jennifer and Justin's orifices may be spared the ministrations of highly trained volunteer recruits, many with impressive domestic corrections experience.

Pause here for a collective sigh of relief from the Democrats, who were worried for a minute there.

posted at 10:59 PM

Monday, September 13, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

If there are things you have always wanted to do

There is an old saying, that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, so no one should be shocked that even wretched old titular head Bush was right when he repeated the "with us or with the terrorists" line after his earprompter.

The terrorists being, of course, anyone who opposes anything the Washington warlords choose to do in order to fill the pockets they wish to fill.

Because the things they choose to do so often involve everything from child-rape to seizing the land and natural resources of other people, the number of people who are with the terrorists has increased exponentially.

Interestingly, much of what is referred to as "US policy" is not new.

Two things that are new are advances in technology which have impacted considerably the number of things people are aware of, and the number of people who are aware of them.
This has liberated the warlords to an extent, they no longer need to expend such great efforts to maintain a veil of covertitude over some of the less palatable wetwork, and they are able to turn the information tsunami to their advantage.

Cognitive dissonance has been so deftly applied to the American public that the debates of even those with opposing views resemble a George Orwell parody.

Positions on both sides are "hardening." This is nowhere more emphatically marked than within the United States itself, where the top 25% income tier lines up for ostensible "opponents" in an "election campaign" process that generates hundreds of millions of dollars, none of which go to the bottom 25%, and where candidates argue over who will be able to present current US foreign policy more attractively to those whose tax dollars fund its implementation in the various and expanding crusade theatre.

The issue most hotly debated boils down to which side's candidate can deliver the most attractive and credible promise of the most dead Muslims for the lowest financial cost.
Few voters on either side can claim a sincere belief in a cause and effect relationship between which candidate receives the most votes and which one takes office.

Many have chosen the most sensible option from a mental health standpoint: they simply turn it off and tune it out. They do not know which countries the US is bombing today, which are on the short list to bomb tomorrow, and they do not want to know. They do not know when the "election" is or who the candidates are, and they do not care.

They have attained that level of understanding necessary for certainty that events are beyond one's control, and that any action can hope to produce at best a psychological benefit inferior to the psychological benefit more readily obtainable from their families, their gardens, reading mystery novels or painting seascapes.

Recent developments in Russia and Korea are certain to swell their number and frustrate recruiters of all flavors of jihad and political campaign.

Both recruiters and the out-tuned rejectors tend to share a common "cui bono" aphasia, probably secondary to chronic and intractable cognitive dissonance exposure, but it is not a strong enough bond to bridge the gap.

The most salient coping strategy I have heard came from an elderly woman whose decades of experience with world events caused her to counsel a young man eager to "do something."

"If there is anything that you have always wanted to do," advised the wise old lady, "this is the time to do it."

posted at 4:28 AM

Friday, September 10, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

911 Every Day: Thoughts Americans Should Avoid

As Americans prepare to remember the events of 9-11-01, for millions around the world, it is 9-11 every day.

No one will ever know how many people perished in the World Trade Center. Few of those cleaners and onion-choppers, maintenance helpers and cooks, janitors and pot-washers, or just people there for whatever reason, who did not have papers were or ever will be counted.
Right now, there are people in Mexico and Central America who do not know what happened to their husbandsisterbrotherfathersweetheartdaughterson. Except for the most remote communities, the vast majority are aware of the 9-11 events, and probably wonder if their loved one lost their life that day.

There is no way for them to find out. People without papers do not usually work under the names their parents gave them. Ana Lopez who went around the east wing of the 109th floor keeping the restrooms tidy was probably really Rosa Garcia, even to the sub-contractor who hired her for this sub-sub contract job. Her family hopes she is alive, despite the pain it would cause them to think that she simply didn't want her family any more. That is unlikely. Even the raciest younger fellows, who are fond of saying they are "married there, but single here" seldom completely abandon their families. Sooner or later, they return, even if only for a visit, with all the money they have saved up, back to Igualala or Cocyoc, Palenque, Tziritzicuaro, as many a love-struck young guera has lamented, they go back to see la verdadera. And their children.

We will never know how many thousands of children will never know whether they will ever see Papa again on earth, how many thousands of young girls will grow old wondering if they are widows.

Some lives just don't count, are not counted.

For millions, it is 9-11 every day.

Few westerners can comprehend the level of rage, the indescribably intensity of the fury and hatred that mothers feel, who sit for two, three, four long days, the shredded body of their child in their arms, dying slowly, without painkillers, often without even water. They sit, and sing through their tears, hold the blackened bloodied little bundle of agony against the tatters that cover their own wasted bodies, a mother's love is the same in the rubble of the fine mud-brick house grandfather built as it is in the clean antiseptic state of the art intensive care unit where mother hovers near the electric bedside, anxiously watching the digital readouts of the vital signs, where no expense is spared to ensure that her baby feels no pain, heals, gets well, goes home.

Does that mother ever think of her sister, so far away? Does she ever ponder the fact that she paid for her sister's child to die slowly, without painkillers, without a bed, without water?

It's not that westerners don't know rage. Since 911, Americans have been so full of rage that they have agreed to fund thousands of 911s for thousands of people. They work hard every day to ensure that a bestial horde of torturers and sexual predators rip the flesh and the innocence, the life and heart and soul from as many of their brothers' children as they can.

So full of rage that they do not ask questions, they declare the asking of questions a criminal act, treason, terrorism. Shut up, you're not even human, they insist. If you love them so much why don't you go back there. Force is all they know. If American gunmen do not rape their little daughters, all those people in the World Trade Center died in vain. They may whine, but they respect a strong hand. Crackdown. This is no time for political correctness, they say.

These are people who want to kill Americans.

They have a point there. Before the crusade, the majority of the Majority world made a clear distinction between what passes for government in the US and the general population. In the three years that have passed, the bulk of the general population has gone out of its way to proudly and emphatically insist that such distinctions are erroneously made.

Today, there is undeniably an unprecedented number of people all over the planet who want to kill Americans. Not out of hatred, or even rage. Just self-defense.

Time and again, history has shown how easy it is to bend a society to the brutish will of a greedy warlord. That is nothing new or surprising. Usually, however, it takes a little more time and a little less information than it has in the case of the American mainstream.

Whether this is due to the culture of anti-otherness, a fundamental American value, on which the would-be nation was founded, or some preternatural miasmic chemical in the water is a question for the experts.

It is not likely that the American mainstream will take up either introspection or reading, both being seen as somewhat suspicious indications that the practitioner may not possess the requisite level of unslakable thirst for Muslim blood that has emerged as the new defining quality for what makes someone a real American.

This is probably just as well. Were they to allow their red white and blue neurons to slide down such dangerous pathways, they might find themselves asking what they would do, if armed men broke down the door and seized their father, their wife, their brother, their little daughter, and carried her off with hoots of suggestive laughter to Lynndie's Land of Lascivious Resolve.

Some of the more hot-headed types might even go so far as to be spurred to action by the mere presence of tanks firing shells into the streets where their children play, something as inconsequential as a few 500-pound bombs dropping from the sky onto their neighbor's house, their place of worship.

For millions, it is 911 every day.

Disloyal Americans who think along these lines face an even greater danger. If they continue their train of terror-thought, it may occur to them that there is one very striking difference between the Americans' 911 and the everyday 911 of all those millions: While Washington prefers that the 9-11-01 events not be looked into too closely, for those 911-every day millions, there is no question about exactly who does it, every day, and who pays for it, every day.

Much better to attend a memorial service, hold a candle, and chant "USA is number ONE!"

Then hurry back to work, to pay for the 911 every day slaughter of more lives that do not count, are not counted, pay for the rage.

posted at 5:04 AM

Thursday, September 09, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

At Last A Clear Picture Of The Beslan Events Emerges.

The Chechens who forced 400 people, including children, into the school gym and held all 1500 hostage for days have been identified as Ossetians, Ingusetians, Arabs, Dagestanians, Karbadians and Koreans.

Russian security forces acted quickly to kill all the hostage takers before taking 3 into custody while an unknown number escaped with 260 hostages, who are still missing and receiving special medical and psychological treatment.

A tape made by the hostage takers miraculously survived the massive accidental explosion that took place when a hostage-taker detonated a bomb caused by Russian security forces blowing a hole in the building to help the hostages escape by shooting them.

The Russian-speaking hostages spoke Arabic to each other in Chechen with heavy Ossetian accents. Russian security forces have released tapes intercepted from walkie-talkie conversations of hostage-takers saying that they were bored and shooting children in an unidentifiable language.

The Chechen Resistance, who has made no statement about the events, has claimed credit. The grass-roots movement for Chechen independence has known links to Al-Qaeda, neo-cons, and Mosaad.

A complete investigation will be conducted under the strictest of secrecy and the results classified in an open and transparent manner. The investigation will establish the number of hostages still missing.

The entire world has expressed outrage at the mistreatment of children while recognizing that larger countries such as the US, Russia and Israel must sometimes employ extremely aggressive methods and physical pressure when dealing with families of those suspected of opposing their respective governments.

posted at 6:12 AM

Saturday, September 04, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

The Hierarchy of Suffering: Unconscious Racial Consciousness

At the height of the Kosovopalooza a few years ago, I witnessed a brief exchange between two women that has stuck with me. A raven-haired, olive skinned woman of extraction indeterminate but clearly multi-continental commented to her golden-haired companion on the differences in media coverage and general sympathy level she perceived for the suffering of those Albanians who escaped both becoming "collateral damage" and death by beating and starvation in the resentful Macedonian camps, and Bhopal's 123-911 back in 1984, as well as the victims of Hurricane Mitch in 1988, speculating that the difference in quality of compassion, empathy and outrage could be related to the ethnicities of those affected.

"Of course. You see all that pain in those blue eyes," replied her friend, tears clouding her own azure gaze.

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, during the popular Jessica Lynch Show, the Independent's Deborah Orr commented on the Americans'

"hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war."

Orr's immediate reference was to the disparity of media attention directed toward the pretty blond Ms. Lynch compared to two of her darker-skinned sisters in arms, but as an observation of human behavior it is widely applicable enough to be called universal.

The west is scouring the thesaurus for adjectives to adequately express their outrage at the horrific torment perpetrated on close to a thousand Russian children; Aaron Brown almost superseded his Thorazine daze, to the point where he felt obliged to apologize for possibly having over-stepped the bounds of the journalistic objectivity which has permitted him to do such an admirable job of containing his distress over the thousands of Palestinian children who are subjected daily to the withholding of food, water and bathroom facilities until such time as Sharon's gunmen tire of sneering at their agony.

So sharply defined and sacredly bosom-held is the hierarchy of suffering that anyone who mentions Palestinian children, or the untold numbers of Iraqi and Afghan children who have met a host of grisly and painful deaths, some quite slow, will immediately be labelled as a justifier of the atrocities committed against the Russian children, which condemnation usually will be followed by an earnest but ineffective torrent of rhetoric designed to justify atrocities committed against Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan children.

It may be that the blond woman was acknowledging a species-wide phenomenon. I would prefer to think not, because it does not bode well for the future of the species, but it is an undeniable fact that there are billions of people on this planet whose eyes fill with tears at the sight of all that pain in so many black-brown eyes.

posted at 7:01 PM

Friday, September 03, 2004 | The current mood of DuctapeFatwa

Martyr Ateqeh Rajabi: What Terror Really Is

The west has enthroned "war on terror" as its Most High Imperial meme.

Everything from international piracy to child rape to mass murder is sanctioned, embraced and enthroned in the name of this war on terror.

"Terror," according to the realpolitik of western corporate imperialism, is defined as any act of opposition or resistance to generation of additional revenues for key US business interests.

US warlord syndicate loyalists are quite fond of incidents such as Ateqeh's martyrdom. "Look!" they exclaim, see how primitive and backward these people are!
Force is all they understand. Give me your gold, give me your son, I will use the gold to purchase cluster bombs and dog leashes for your son, so that he can impose America's will on these simple people, and liberate them so that they can better serve the parent company's quarterly statement.

Ateqeh's martyrdom was not televised. It occurred far from the satellite trucks and Christiane and Nick with their microphones.

The tale that emerges contains some conflicting reports. Ateqeh, they say, was hanged for acts incompatible with chastity. In the backwoods of northern Iran, that can cover a pretty wide sweep of behavior. Nothing in any of the reports suggest that her alleged crime, her trial or her execution were in any way compliant with either Sharia or international human rights standards.

Interestingly, it appears that when the case came to light, which is in itself unusual, since the martyrdom of young women by one means or another is a pretty common occurrence in many parts of the world, peopled by espoused followers of a variety of religions, the local authorities sought to play down the atrocity by labelling Ateqeh as mentally incompetent and 22, not 16, as if this would allay any concerns.

From additional conversations with the townsfolk however, emerges a different story

Ateqeh, they say, was not mentally incompetent. Nor was she inclined to conform and submit to local (pre-Islamic) customs and notions of justice.

Ateqeh, at her trial, reportedly let the judge have it with both barrels, declaiming and declaring her opinion of the culture of terrorism against women, and prompting the judge to put the noose around her neck himself, declaring that he was punishing her for her sharp tongue.

God, supposedly does not make mistakes, and we cannot know why he did not make more women with sharp tongues, but we can ask him to please stop whatever he is doing at the moment and make a lot of them as soon as possible, and please put a large concentration of them, a very large concentration of them, in the places where they are most needed.

Subjugation of women is one of the oldest and most effective and proven methods of subjugating a people, and it is one that serves the west as well as ever it served the bloodiest kings in the most ancient of days.

In the west itself, it takes a subtler, more insidious form, disguising itself in all kinds of glitter and moonshine, cultural, linguistic, sartorial and financial.

For its territories in the crusade lands, however, Washington warlords find that old ways are best, and for all the designer-suited political speeches about GIRLS! in SCHOOL! in Afghanistan, the fact remains that those girls are largely limited to the daughters of collaborators located near US military installations, while the (sometimes) "pro-Western" leased Afghan warlords maintain the millennia-old practice of terrorism against women.

The selling of daughters into forced marriages, the burning alive of wives, the murder of daughters and sisters and sweethearts in the name of an "honor" far from the honor Mohammed or any other prophet anywhere ever preached, is not just tolerated, but encouraged, perpetuated, and funded with eyes and pocketbook wide open by those who know damn well that literate women will teach their children to read. And they will read the scriptures for themselves. Economically empowered women will spend their earnings to reduce their dependence on the feudal lord, and weaken the argument that families will starve if husbands refuse pressment into service of stuffing the lord's coffers.

May God accept Ateqeh's martyrdom, and may her voice carry beyond the grave like flecks of whetstone, and sharpen the tongues of her sisters.

posted at 1:07 AM

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Actions like Sep 11 do not happen in a vaccuum. Long before those hijackers ever stepped foot on the planes the damage had been done. They were brainwashed with the same type of garbage propaganda that is spewed from Fatwa's weblog.
Middle Eastern countries are so much more barbaric today and preAmercia than America can ever hope to be...America has only been around 230 years...who did you blame for everything before that Ductape? I am calling a Fatwa on your bullshit!
IMO - terrorist plain and simple. He is an Al queda operative who should be put in a cage on gitmo
My favorite..."In Defense of Holocaust Deniers"
I always thought that "The Enemy Within" was just a metaphore for liberalism, that is, until I encountered Ductape Fatwa. He should be in an orange jumpsuit for sure.
ductape is either a commie, al queda, or a deep cover mole
Tells you something about this asshole doesn't it. He's really serious.
I believe that DF is nothing but a Republican plant...
Ductape is a commie, a terrorist, and he drinks blood too. He drinks Capitalist blood. He eats unborn babies too
Give me your address and I'll send you $20 and a thank-you note for taking your hatred elsewhere.
A terrorist with a sense of humor!
He ain't nuthin' but shit
Jim Sagle

inadequate, halfway house bullshit
Arthur Gilroy
You are a dumbass. Fuck you and your condescension about us "benighted sheeple."
Untruthful, damaging bullshit
John Locke
no better than the neocons and no different than Timothy McVeigh space
a turd in the punchbowl...if DF were Joe Hill he probably would have killed himself rather than get put to death.
A compost pile of fecundity
despicable and literally mentally ill