Friday, July 08, 2005

Well, there's been no more conspiracy speculation over here about London getting the Olympics. The (very biased and rather paranoid) Spanish sports press had been saying that 1) Tony Blair's intervention on behalf of London's candidacy was critical, and that he thought the Olympics was important enough to call in his political chips, something I doubt in the extreme; 2) David Beckham's intervention on behalf of said candidacy was critical, too, and Beckham is a traitorous dirtbag who should have supported Madrid's bid; 3) The Americans decided to screw over Zapatero by torpedoing Madrid's bid. Evidence: New York's votes all went to London or Paris. Even Ana Botella has put this one forward; 4) Prince Albert of Monaco did his part to screw Madrid over in favor of Paris by bringing up Madrid's alleged security problems at the official presentation; 5) There is an alleged "Anglo-Saxon" bloc that really runs the IOC and it conspired to screw over Paris in London's favor, as usual; 6) That bloc does everything possible to frustrate the goals of the Samaranch family out of meanness and spite 7) The Americans and British made sure the Games went to London in order to screw over Chirac.

Fortunately, that petty sniping has stopped now. There is a Robert Fisk column in today's Vanguardia which is just hellacious, justifying the London bombings, however. The rest of the Vanguardia today seems to be taking things quite seriously, as if it understood that the problem is Islamist-nationalist anti-Western terrorism and that we will not have peace until it is defeated. One thing nobody is doing in Britain is blaming the Blair government for the bombings. Many people who should have known better blamed the Aznar government for the Madrid bombings and gave the Socialists a shock victory that they'd never have won otherwise.

It seems to me that there are several possibilities which are not mutually exclusive about the bombings. First, we recognize that successful mass murder like this takes at least months to prepare, so of course they had this planned. Probably they timed it to coincide with either the Group of Eight meeting in Scotland or with the Olympic Games announcement, or both. There's no way they could have known London would win, but they must have known it had a good chance. Maybe even they had a plan prepared to be executed anytime and thought this was a good opportunity. I suppose the question now is exactly who did it and how we catch them.

As for trying the prisoners at Guantanamo, let's not be disingenuous. They fall into the category of partisans, neither civilians nor captured lawful bearers of arms. Civilian trials are conducted under civilian law when crimes are allegedly committed by civilians. The Guantanamo guys are not civilians. They were captured under arms and conducted at least one deadly revolt after they were rounded up. Military trials are conducted under military law when crimes are allegedly committed by soldiers. One thing international military law makes clear is that uniformed enemy soldiers under state military discipline carrying out orders, who are not suspected of serious war crimes, are not to be tried. They are prisoners of war and are to be treated decently. The Guantanamo guys are not prisoners of war, though. They're not lawful bearers of arms.

So if somebody's not a civilian and not a soldier bearing arms lawfully, what is he?

He's a partisan. The Germans and Russians and French and British and Union and Confederates had a way of dealing with this. Partisans were summarily shot or hanged if captured. We don't do that nowadays, out of possibly misplaced humanitarianism. So what do we do with them? If we turn them loose they'll just pick up guns and join up with their buddies somewhere in Chechenia or Pakistan. If we shoot them we'll look terrible in the eyes of the world, even though they deserve it. Also, if we shoot them, we can't interrogate them, and we really want to interrogate them because we have good reason to suspect they all have lots of information about their friends who do things like blow up buses in London.

So we should do exactly what we're doing. Lock them up and keep them locked up so they can't go back to their old ways. Interrogate them, and let us not be finicky about the methods. I would say the limit is inflicting pain rather than discomfort. I hope these guys' lives are as unpleasant as possible; that's more likely to convince them to talk. But we must set limits for ourselves, because if we do not we will certainly be corrupted. Power exercised without limits is tyranny. Well, here's the limit. No physical pain and no unsupervised interrogation. If some psycho hillbilly thinks it would be fun to take some naked photos with them, well, that's wrong because it's out of control behavior. But if the interrogators want to humiliate a prisoner as part of making his life so uncomfortable he'll talk, I say bring on the dog collars.

Al Qaeda must be destroyed.

Here's a piece I sent to the Spain Herald a while back. I'm translating my writing to English, but not the quotations, which I will leave in the original Spanish.

American interests

The most common sentence you here in discussions about politics and economics is, "There are a lot of interests behind it." I am assuming that "interests" mean hidden shadowy figures with lots of money in Swiss banks who manipulate all of our actions for their own personal benefit. I think many of these shadowy figures have surnames that end in -berg, -stein, or -witz. Gas prices going up? "Lots of interests." Farmers on strike because food prices are dropping? "Well, it's all the interests." Clothing prices stay the same? "The interests are behind it." Somehow.

If the shadowy figures aren't Jewish, then they're probably American. Remember the oil pipeline we were going to build across Afghanistan which was the real reason we went in there? Or Rafael Poch's verdict that the damn Yankees sent aircraft carriers to Indonesia after the tsunami in order to take control of the strategic Strait of Malacca. Or Baltasar Porcel's argument that the gringos and the Jews are getting together in order to grab the Middle East's--get this--water resources.

Here's another example of that kind of thinking. It's some quotations from an article by a German columnist, A.E. Johann, about the real interests behind American international policy. The quotes are in the original Spanish; the article was published in a popular European publication with editions in several languages. Here's the URL. Since the quotes are long, I've put them in italics and boldface, alternating.

"Pues «pax americana» no representa otra cosa que la dominación del mundo desde Wáshington, del mismo modo que que la «pax británica» no significaba otra cosa que la denominación del sistema que puso al servicio de los intereses de Londres vastas partes de la Tierra pero, bien entendido, sin desarrollar los suyos...

"América intenta establecerse en todos los ángulos de la tierra susceptibles de transformarse en punto de partida para ataques contra Europa y Asia Oriental. Todos los medios son adecuados para lograrlo: Presión económica, violencia militar, intrigas, propaganda cultural. Una vuelta alrededor de la Tierra lo probará...

"En el Golfo Pérsico se encuentra el cerco de toda Europa que irradia desde América hasta el Este con el lazo corredizo que los Estados Unidos han arrojado hacia el Oeste, a través de los Océanos Pacífico e Índico, con el designio de estrangular el Asia Oriental. Pues el capital americano vela en los campos petrolíferos de las islas Bahrein por el abastecimiento de petróleo para las tropas y buques...del Océano Índico y del Mar Rojo. El cerco de Europa salta desde el Golfo Pérsico hacia la India. Aquí faltan todavía los eslabones intermedios de Turquía y el Irán. A pesar de que estos Estados nada desean con más vehemencia que conservar su neutralidad, aumentan a diario los indicios de que los anglo-americanos se proponen respetar la soberanía del Irán tan poco como las de Siria y el Irak...

"Los ingleses y americanos intentan también, con los más variados pretextos, obligar al Afganistán a formar en el frente antieuropeo...

"...Las partes de África situadas al Sur del Sahara necesitan con urgencia, en el aspecto económico, de los Estados Unidos, único país que puede actuar de comprador en ellas, se reconoce claramente el proyecto norteamericano de hacer depender a todo el África de su benevolencia para controlarla por último, no sólo económicamente sino también en los aspectos político y militar...

"América quiere someter a su dominio...a toda Europa, con inclusión de la Gran Bretaña. Espera poder demostrar que Europa está entregada en su alimentación a la buena voluntad de América y que, además, puede también ser sancionada militarmente por ella. Europa, con inclusión de Inglaterra, debe transformarse en una colonia económica obediente a América; esto representa que, desde el punto de vista de Washington, no existe ya diferencia entre los distintos Estados europeos...

"Con la misma consecuente falta de respetos que en el Atlántico, intervienen los Estados Unidos en Asia, a través del Pacífico...Los esfuerzos americanos de predominio se han extendido sin cesar al Pacífico...También en Asia Oriental, del mismo modo que en Europa, quieren los Estados Unidos impedir por todos los medios que los países de aquella zona lleguen entre sí a una sensata conciliación de sus justificadas reivindicaciones. Este proceso remitiría a sí mismos a los Estados Unidos...

"Si los países del Imperio británico se avienen voluntariamente a ser vasallos de Wáshington, Europa y Asia Oriental, antiguas cunas de la civilización, no pueden doblegarse al dominio de la clase americana que es capaz de expresar en dólares todos los valores y considera su Hollywood una obra cultural de primera categoría."

No, the article isn't from Le Monde Diplomatique. Or Der Spiegel. Or El País. Not even Libération. Sure, it looks like it might have come from any of them, but it was actually published by the German magazine Signal, in twenty different languages, with a circulation of two and a half million copies.

In the September 1941 number. Three months before Hitler declared war on America.

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