You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Injustice’ tag.

Like every US president to date, Ronald Reagan is responsible for prosecutable war crimes.  Of course, we being the “good-guys” do not apply the same standards to ourselves that we expect the rest of the world to follow.   It is little wonder you see the ironic smirks in the UN and other international bodies when the US is discussing “law and order” and commitment to human rights, because outside of the memory hole that defines our imperial culture the picture is quite clear cut.  The national interest of the US trumps human rights, justice and law almost every time.  We just do not get to hear about it here in fortress North America.   What we also do not get to easily see is how we sow the seeds of our own discord, as in the case of Afghanistan and the current imperial war taking place there.

Here is what Rasil Basu, UN Developmental Program, senior advisor to the Afghan government for women’s development (1986 – 88) had to say.

“She reported “enormous strides” for women under the Russian occupation:

“Illiteracy declined from 98% to 75%, and they were granted equal rights with men in civil law, and in the Constitution… Unjust patriarchal relations still prevailed in the workplace and in the family with women occupying lower level sex-type jobs.  But the strides [women] took in education and employment were very impressive…  In Kabul I saw great advances in industry, factories, government offices, professions and the media.  With large numbers of men killed or disabled, women shouldered the responsibility of both family and country.  I met a woman who specialized in war medicine with dealt with trauma and reconstructive surgery for the war wounded. This represented empowerment to her.  Another woman was a road engineer.  Roads represented freedom – an escape from the oppressive patriarchal structures.”

By 1988, however, Basu “could see the early warning signals” as Russian troops departed and the fundamentalist Islamist extremists favoured by the Reagan administration took over, brushing aside the more moderate mujahideen groups.  Saudi Arabian and American arms and ammunition “have been vital in giving fundamentalist groups an edge over the moderates,” providing them with military hardware used,” according to Amnesty International, to target unarmed civilians, most of them women and children.”  Then followed much worse horrors as the U.S – Saudi favorites overthrew the Najibullah government.  The suffering of the population was so extreme that the Taliban were welcomed when they drove out Reagan’s freedom fighters.  Another chapter in the triumph of Reaganite reactionary ultranationalism, worshiped today by those dedicated to defaming the honourable term “conservative”.

– Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects pages 245 – 246.

Hardly surprising considering the gross injustices wrought in Central America by Reagan and the United States.  The 1980’s were grim years for Central America plagued by torture, terrorism and death all sponsored by the US.

More people need to educate themselves and do the reading into what exactly their foreign policy entails, because the American populace would certainly not endorse the terror wrought in their name if it was properly publicized and discussed realistically.

The CBC reports about the systematic injustice being perpetrated on Omar Khadr:

“Threats of gang rape did not prompt Omar Khadr to make any self-incriminating statements and no evidence exists that the Canadian citizen was tortured, the military judge in his Guantanamo Bay war-crimes trial said in a decision released Friday.

In his nine-page written ruling, Col. Patrick Parrish states Khadr’s confessions to his interrogators are reliable and were made voluntarily.”

Shorter:  We decided that we did not torture you nor did we coerce you in any way.  We are impartial and just because we say so.

“Among other things, Khadr’s lawyers cited evidence from one interrogator, who told the badly wounded 15-year-old about the gang-raping to death of an unco-operative inmate.

“There is no evidence that story caused the accused to make any incriminating statements then or in the future,” Parrish said.”

Nah, threats of being gang-raped to death will certainly not have any effect on a 15 year old.  He is after all a hardened terrorist that needs to be dealt with as severely as possible.  Perhaps we should add “threat of gang-rape” to all of our security forces manual of how to interrogate prisoners.

“On the contrary, the judge found, there was “credible evidence” that Khadr began giving statements after American soldiers discovered a seemingly damning digital video.

The video was discovered in the rubble of the compound where American forces captured Khadr, who had been shot twice and blinded by shrapnel, in July 2002.

Among other things, the video shown at his trial last week appears to show Khadr making and planting improvised explosive devices.

“While the accused was 15 years old at the time he was captured, he was not immature for his age,” Parrish said. “The accused had sufficient training, education and experience to understand the circumstances in which he found himself.”

Yes, he was in a War Zone and he was fighting invaders that were occupying his his father’s homeland, and through the teachings of his father (however misguided they were) he went out to defend his country.  We do not allow 15 year olds to smoke, drink, vote or even quit school.  Yet the judge in question has decided that at 15 Mr.Khadr was fully responsible for his actions in the theatre of war.   We kill innocents all the time with no repercussions and little reparations, but for Mr.Khadr the full weight of Military Justice is called for.

“One of Khadr’s Canadian lawyers, Nate Whitling, took a jaundiced view of Parrish’s findings.

“Apparently he was listening to different evidence than the rest of us,” Whitling told The Canadian Press on Friday.”

Evidence?  Like it has any bearing in this sham of a trial.  Prosecuting child soldiers as full fledged combatants is ludicrous and should have been a non starter.  Apparently not.  That standards we set for our young people do not apply once you are an official enemy.

Marginalized Native Canadians protesting for radical reforms; like School!

I’m not sure where Al Jezeera was going with this piece but I do find it interesting to get a non-official look at how we treat our Native Canadians.

“In 2007, the Mohawk community at Tyendinaga, 200 kilometres east of Toronto, blocked the trans-continental rail line and Canada’s largest highway in protest at the government’s failure to address land rights and basic issues of survival within First Nations – including safe drinking water, which the community lacked.

That episode was a hint of the leverage indigenous peoples in Canada possess, as hundreds of millions of dollars in cargo was stalled by simple barricades placed across a rural stretch of the Canadian National railway’s mainline between Toronto and Montreal.

They are referring to the standoff at Oka, I did not realize that it qualified Canada to become home of insurgents.

“In recent years in particular, Canada’s indigenous communities have shown the will and potential to grind the country’s economic lifelines to a halt through strategically placed blockades on the major highways and rail lines that run through native reserves well outside of Canada’s urban landscape.”

You tend to forget about things that are not happening directly to you.  I was stirred by the power of Shawn Brant’s words:

“The message resounded,” said Shawn Brant, a high profile Mohawk activist involved in the 2007 blockades.

“We are not going to live in abject poverty, to have our children die, to have our women abducted, raped and murdered without any investigations. We are not going to live with the basic indignities that occur to us daily. We would bring them to an end.”

Yah, good ole’ Canada.  We keep our Native Canadians in a deep dark memory hole, we bring them out to apologize once and awhile, but once we are done with them; back to the hole.

Oh and while you are in the hole, we will forget about nasty little statistics like these:

“These root causes, these abysmal conditions for some of the aboriginal people are serious.”

There are more than 800 outstanding native land claims held against the Canadian government. And in many First Nations communities there is deep crisis, with poverty, unemployment and overcrowding the norm.

According to figures from the Assembly of First Nations, more than 118 First Nations lack safe drinking water and some 5,500 houses do not have sewage systems.

Almost one half of homes on native reserves are in need of “major repairs”, compared with 7 per cent of non-native homes.

Natives suffer a violent crime rate that is more than 300 times higher than Canada’s non-native population, while natives represent 18.5 per cent of the male prison population and one-quarter of the female population, although natives only constitute 4 per cent of the total population.”

If my people were being systematically mistreated like this, I would be mighty annoyed as well.  The sad thing is that I’m betting most Canadians have little idea what life is like for many Native Canadians.  The lack of information or curiosity is a hallmark of imperial populations who are fed only the happy news about their great empire and how amazingly benevolent they are.

Hurrah for privilege! Hurrah for the subtle racism that continues to marginalize our Native Canadian populations!

Hurrah for the invidious status-quo indeed.

A map depicting levels of military spending.

Grabbed from Worldmapper.org – many neat maps to look at there if you have the time.

How deep does rape culture go?  How deeply ingrained is the patriarchally approved objectification of women in our ‘civil’ society?

Observe.

Unfortunately wordpress fails at embedded video.  I need to redirect you to the Feminsting blog to watch the clips in question.

This scene is played a total of 4 times, with a white couple and a black couple.  In each clip the women are made up to look as if they had been recently abused.  The difference between clip #1 and clip #2 is that the women are dressed provocatively in clip #2.  Nothing over the top, but what would, on a Saturday night out be considered normal attire.

This is not a particularly scientific experiment, but rather a useful (and disturbing) insight on how our rape culture operates.

Let me boil it down.  When women are dressed conservatively, they are more likely to receive help and people coming to their aid.  While dressed ‘provocatively’ the story changes completely.  People do not come to their aid, they avert their eyes, they tell the wait staff or ask to be moved… but do they intervene as the woman is being verbally and physically abused?  Not one patron in the restaurant lifts a finger.

How you are dressed determines if you are candidate for help.

The two middle aged women in the second clip, the ones that asked to be moved, speculate that the abused woman in question is a prostitute as they disdainfully glare at her.  Well she is dressed slutty and therefore obviously she deserves what she gets is the subtext of their reactions.

There is much to digest and compare between the two clips, and most of it is quite disgusting and disheartening.

Women are still looked upon as objects in our society.  They are not judged as human beings, but as mere objects.  More to the point, objects that deserve the abuse they receive based on how they look.

I’m done for awhile with this post.

Lawless Mercenaries anyone?

Blackwater, private mercenaries, you remember the ones that ran wild in Iraq shooting civilians pretty much as they pleased as they were busy making millions ‘restoring democracy’ in Iraq?

Al Jazeera reports: “The former president of Blackwater, the controversial American private military contractor, has been indicted for firearms violations and making false statements.

Gary Jackson has been charged with the illegal possession of machine guns, receiving unregistered weapons and making false statements according to an indictment submitted to a North Carolina court on Friday.”

They have tagged the head weasel, but will the rest be held accountable for the mayhem they are responsible for in Iraq?  I highly doubt it.

“Jackson left Blackwater, which is now known as Xe Services, last year. The company  has struggled to restore its image after a 2007 shooting in Baghdad which saw several of its guards charged with federal crimes.

That case was thrown out of court when a judge found that prosecutors had mishandled evidence, and so far the company’s executives have escaped censure despite a range of investigations in the incidents involving its staff.”

You see, when it comes to justice, we get due process.  Our enemies, well they get dead or Gitmoized.  I swear, if I hear another commentator bleating “why do they hate us?” or similar courtier-esque drivel that propagates the false history we are being fed… I”ll…I’ll…write another blog article.

Take that forces of evil.

“Two Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers close to the northern border of the besieged Gaza Strip.”

Al Jazeera grimly reports that another two lives have been snuffed out.  In Canada our war dead are commemorated with media attention and ceremony.   In Gaza, another two dead does not make headlines in the international press.  the contrast and compare analysis infers much about the value of human life of us versus official enemies.

“Palestinian witnesses said that the men were collecting scrap metal when they were killed late on Saturday, but Israeli officials said they were fighters trying to launch rockets into Israel.

”]

The deaths came just days after Israel distributed leaflets warning the 1.5 million Gazans not to come within 300 metres of an internationally condemned border wall.”

How nice.   It is your land, but don’t you dare tread on it.

Plus Gaza was still reeling from the recent 22 day Israeli military offensive.  1300 Palestinians dead, 13 Israelis dead.

The injustice continues.

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