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    brownshirts. I dislike the in..., 2004-11-18 11:47:55 | Main | Richard Clark testimony before..., 2004-11-18 19:11:10

    new boss worse than the old boss:

    Margaret Hassan was married to an Iraqi, lived for more than 30 years in Iraq, by and large simultaneously with Saddam Hussein's brutal rule. She could live and work there, both with the British Council in the 1980s and with CARE. She considered herself an Iraqi and never thought of leaving the country during the various wars and constant human rights violations. Time and again, she voiced her deep concern to everyone she met--including us--about the inhuman consequences of the economic sanctions and the further suffering of the citizens in case the country would be attacked and occupied.

    Margaret Hassan was not killed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, she was murdered in the Iraq that has been created by Messrs Bush, Blair, Berlusconi, Fogh Rasmussen and other Western leaders and by U.S. ambassador John Negroponte as well as by the former exile CIA hand and hand-picked prime minister Ayad Allawi.

    and Fisk:

    In the background of these appalling pictures, there were none of the usual Islamic banners. There were none of the usual armed and hooded men. There were no Qur'anic recitations. And when it percolated through to Fallujah and Ramadi that the mere act of kidnapping Hassan was close to heresy, the combined resistance groups of Fallujah--and the message genuinely came from them--demanded her release.

    So, incredibly, did Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda man whom the Americans falsely claimed was leading the Iraqi insurrection, but who has definitely been involved in the kidnappings and beheadings. Other abducted women were freed when their captors recognised their innocence.

    I'm reminded of, for whatever reason, the 1952 Saigon bombings:

    "Reds' Time Bombs Rip Saigon Center" blared a headline in The New York Times of January 10, 1952. Written by Tillman Durdin, a Times reporter in Saigon working in tight collaboration with the CIA, the story called the bombing "one of the most spectacular and destructive single incidents in the long history of revolutionary terrorism" carried out by "agents here of the Vietminh." A blood-chilling photo of the carnage appeared as "Picture of the Week" in the January 28 LIFE magazine, with a caption that asked people to focus on the most gruesome results of this terrorism by the "Viet Minh Communists": "The bomb blew the legs from under the man in the foreground and left him, bloody and dazed, propped up on the tile sidewalk." The bombing certainly came at a convenient time for the warhawks, including LIFE, whose previous week's lead editorial, "Indo-China Is in Danger," was a near panicky call for major U.S. participation in the Vietnam war (which the French were still fighting, with U.S. assistance), because "It's all one war, and our war, whether the front be in Europe, Korea, or Indo-China."

    Graham Greene, who was then wintering in Saigon, wondered how LIFE happened to have a photographer on the scene, as he explained in his 1980 memoir, Ways of Escape: "The Life photographer at the moment of the explosion was so well placed that he was able to take an astonishing and horrifying photograph which showed the body of a trishaw driver still upright after his legs had been blown off." "This photograph was reproduced in an American propaganda magazine published in Manila over the caption 'The work of Ho Chi Minh,'" Greene continued, despite the fact that General Trinh Minh Thé, a warlord masquerading as Vietnam's savior from colonialism and communism, "had promptly claimed the bomb as his own." "Who," Greene pondered, "had supplied the material" to this "bandit"?

    ...in 1955, America's Third Force democracy had actually been institutionalized in Saigon in the person of the brutal puppet dictator Ngo Dinh Diem, a former New Jersey resident who claimed to be the legitimate ruler of the entire country of Vietnam. (No government in either Saigon or Hanoi ever recognized the U.S. invention of two separate countries called "South Vietnam" and "North Vietnam.") To prepare for Diem's insertion into Vietnam, C.I.A. operative Colonel Edward Lansdale arrived on June 1, 1954, in the midst of the Geneva peace negotiations, to launch a systematic campaign of sabotage and terror in the north and to supply a military force for Diem to gain control of Saigon. Building on the C.I.A. contacts that Greene had earlier discovered, Lansdale employed terrorist warlord General Trinh Minh Thé to secure the city, an event prefigured in the movie by a scene of Thé marching with his troops into Saigon. Like the warlords of the Afghan "Northern Alliance," Thé was paid by the C.I.A., and, like the gentlemen Washington is preparing to rule postwar Iraq, was called by his U.S. patrons a "dissident" and a "nationalist.

    ...Although Lansdale acknowledged that Trinh Minh Thé had done the bombing and claimed credit for it in a radio broadcast, he assured Mankiewicz that no "more than one or two Vietnamese now alive know the real truth of the matter, and they certainly aren't going to tell it to anyone," so he should "just go ahead and let it be finally revealed that the Communists did it after all, even to faking the radio broadcast."


:: posted by buermann @ 2004-11-18 12:16:54 CST | link





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