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From Pilger to Powell


Browsing the archives at <a href="">CounterPunch</a> turned up more interesting material. For a bit of levity, here's <a href="">The New Newspeak</a> with some terms and definitions for today's world. An article called <a href="">Sex not Bombs</a> is view of the situation I haven't seen yet. A John Pilger article from the 15th of October <a href="">seriously derides</a> the war in Afghanistan from a British point of view and takes to task our leaders for not reflecting the people's views (also available at <a href="">Pilger's site</a>): <span class="quote"><q>"Moreover, with every bomb that falls on Afghanistan and perhaps Iraq to come, Islamic and Arab militancy will grow and draw the battle lines of "a clash of civilisations" that fanatics on both sides have long wanted. In societies represented to us only in caricature, the west's double standards are now understood so clearly that they overwhelm, tragically, the solidarity that ordinary people everywhere felt with the victims of 11 September."</q></span> This carried me to <a href="">Pilger's home page</a>, where I found a <a href="">good article</a> addressing the drastic difference in moral outrage felt about attacks on the U.S. (or the West) versus attacks on the Middle East or the Third World. <span class="quote"><q>Ten years ago, when 200,000 Iraqis died during and immediately after the slaughter known as the Gulf war, the scale of this massacre was never allowed to enter public consciousness in the west. Many were buried alive at night by armoured American snowploughs and murdered while retreating. Colin Powell, then US military chief, who 22 years earlier was assigned to cover up the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and is currently being elevated to hero status in the western media, said: "It's really not numbers I'm terribly interested in."</q></span> Pilger also addresses the lack of real reporting by most of our media outlets in <a href="">this article</a>. The Powell quote led me to look up the My Lai massacre and found a <a href="">brief history of Powell's career</a> at <a href="">DisInformation</a>, which was published after his selection as Secretary of State. "On March 16, 1968, US soldiers from the Americal Division slaughtered 347 civilians---primarily old men, women, children, and babies---in the Vietnamese village of My Lai 4 (pronounced, very appropriately, as "me lie"). The grunts also engaged in torture and rape of the villagers." Powell was in charge of investigating this 'incident' and concluded: <span class="quote"><q>There may be some "isolated incidents" by individual bad seeds, but there were no widespread atrocities. He wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." The matter was closed.</q></span> Coupled with his involvement in Iran-Contra and the Gulf War, I am no longer so confused about his membership in our administration alongside Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft.