The Economist has a well written article on how the Lebanon-Israel war is perceived in the USA and the rest of the world.As usual, the USA is staunchly pro-Israel and can't understand why would anyone think otherwise. The rest of the world has a very different perception.The influence of lobby organizations like AIPAC, and the Evangelical constituency cannot be underestimated. Read the Economist article To Israel with love.
A recent poll in the US show a disturbing trend.In a USA Today / Gallup poll shows that almost 40% of Americans acknowledge having prejudice against Muslims. A similar percentage, 39%, favor subjecting Muslims to stricter security measures including carrying a special ID. 41% favored Muslims undergoing more intensive security checks at airports. Most respondants said that they don't personally know a Muslim. While this is not unexpected in the USA, where the right wing media has been demonizing Muslims even before September 11, the fact that Canada has similar negative views of Muslims is saddening.
This is old news, but I never knew about it when it came out.
A US Soldier who was on duty in Guantanamo Bay was ordered to play the role of an inmate, complete with an orange jumpsuit over his military fatigues. This was for the purpose of training.
The other soliders, who thought he was a real inmate, were supposed to extract him from under a bed.
In the process they brutally assaulted him, causing brain damage that caused him to have seizures.
He could not even utter the safe word because his breathing was constrained.
One can only imagine what real prisoners had to go through.
In a poll of 1,000 Americans, it was revealed that only 4% correctly identified Canada as the largest foreign oil supplier.
Most Americans think that most of their oil comes from the Middle East countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran), and also naively blame their own gasoline consumption as "funding terrorism".
The latter never made sense to me, for many reasons. Now it is proven to be double false, since their largest supplier is Canada and not Middle Eastern countries.
Mainstream media and neo-cons in the USA continuously paint a rosy picture of post-Saddam Iraq, to retroactively justify the invasion.Despite that, a leaked memo from the US Embassy in Iraq shows a very different picture.Here is the memo itself, and the article in the Washington Post on it. BBC also has coverage.
The current US Administration has made it known to the rest of the world that its military adventures abroad are motivated by values such as "freedom" and "democracy".The irony is that only one in four of Americans can identify more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of the US Constitution (Freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petitioning the government). This is about the same as those who can name all the five members of the Simpsons family ...
In a recent speech, US President George W. Bush stated that his policy in Iraq is to "stay the course" and not "allow the terrorist to break our will" and "not permit Al Qaeda to turn to Iraq to what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven for terrorists and a launching pad for attacks on America". One should remember that none of these "terrorists" were in Iraq before the USA invaded in 2003. Al Qaeda had no presence before that time. These "terrorists" flocked to Iraq as a direct result of the invasion: mainly fuelled by the mere presence of invading forces inflaming emotions by the invasion, but also by the instability and power vacuum in the country that insued after the Saddam regime fell.
The Washington Post has a good article by David Luban, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and visiting professor at Stanford University Law School. The article is titled Torture, American Style. NPR also has Luban as a guest on "The Debate Over Torture", with the other side represented by neo-conservative ideologue Charles Krauthammer, who is a member of the Project for the New American Century, and a columnist for the Weekly Standard.
The Pentagon has finally stated that the old rules on prisoners no longer apply. They continue to use the term "detainees" for those in Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib as opposed to the term "prisoners". From the start, those prisoners had the label "enemy combatants", so as to deprive them from the Geneva Conventions.This continuous rewriting of the rules as the game progresses will only cause more resentment towards the USA, and damage to its image worldwide.