Op-Eds

  • Chomsky blasts ‘American Sniper’ and the media that glorifies it

    Opinions January 26, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. Noam Chomsky had some choice words about the popularity of “American Sniper,” its glowing New York Times review, and what the worship of a movie about a cold-blooded killer says about the American people. It’s not good.

     
  • This is what happens when you put a CIA apologist in charge of CIA oversight

    Opinions January 23, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The Week. Witness Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the brand-new chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Instead of carrying out the oversight functions that are the very reason the committee exists, he is being every bit the CIA lickspittle that I said he was going to be last March. During the final days of the lame duck Congress, the SSCI released the executive summary of its investigation into the CIA’s gruesome torture program, as was reported widely. But then-Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also sent the full report — which is over 6,000 pages long and considered classified — to various executive branch agencies. Now Burr, in a probably unprecedented move, is asking for all copies of the classified report to be returned to the Senate. Why? To protect the CIA. . . . if Burr gets all copies of the report removed from executive branch agencies, then it can be suppressed. Permanently.

     
  • A public divided: Americans’ attitudes about torture

    Opinions January 15, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA use of torture in interrogations of suspected terrorists has renewed the debate over what the U.S. should or should not do to its prisoners in the war on terror. Where does the public stand — and have their views changed over time?

     
  • In the forefront for those in the background #CloseGitmo

    Opinions January 14, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Muslim Matters. With my Islamic principles in mind and on the 13th year of the anniversary of Guantanamo’s opening to house prisoners of the War on Terror, I took the lead in organizing a Muslim contingent to be present at the annual protests in front of the White House. I organized the contingent with the premise that we, as Muslims, had to be present and that our presence must be intentional. As Muslims, I saw it as imperative that we stand in solidarity with our brothers to challenge and draw attention to the torture and degrading treatment that they have suffered at the hands of the US government. Moreover, in a climate where Muslim organizations feel repeatedly compelled to condemn violence perpetrated by a small minority of Muslims, we were present to condemn a government that has harmed members of our ummah with our tax dollars. Thus, #MuslimsRally2CloseGitmo was born.

     
  • Charlie Hebdo, the free press and racism

    Opinions January 13, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Workers World. “The French government’s protection of the racist journal Charlie Hebdo had nothing to do with protecting freedom of speech. This is a deception that must be confronted. In 2012 the same government that protected this vile publication banned any demonstrations or protests or even public prayers opposing the racist publication. French law allows for the prosecution of “public insults” based on religion, race, ethnicity or national origin. But the racist, sexist, bigoted, grossly insulting cartoons in Charlie Hebdo magazine were never once a source of any successful legal action. However, France did ban anyone from even protesting the cartoons that insulted Muslims or the prophet Muhammed. . . . Charlie Hebdo serves a very important purpose for French imperialism, and that is why its virulent racism has been protected at the very time that protests against it are prohibited.”

     
  • Charlie Hebdo and western liberalism

    Opinions January 10, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: Al Jazeera. “Another horrific tragedy has struck a western capital in the violent murder of French journalists and cartoonists at a satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The culprits appear to have done so in response to the magazine’s publication of cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims, though they were also thought to have been radicalised by the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. . . . As with most incidents of violence involving Muslims, however, the ensuing public discussion has revolved largely around resolute vows to uphold a fundamental value of western civilisation – the freedom of expression – and degenerated into recriminations about Islam’s purported assault on that very freedom. . . . It is only by uncritically adopting the hegemonic narrative of western liberalism that one could reach the conclusion that the biggest threats to freedom of expression in the world today are Islam and North Korea. To frame these events without accounting for the broader context and power relationships at work inhibits any sensible understanding of the deep conflicts plaguing our world at present. “

     
  • Must counterterrorism cancel democracy?

    Opinions January 8, 2015 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Review of Books. “Increasingly, our governments seem to be insisting that our lives be transparent to them, while their policies remain hidden from us. For the sake of democracy itself, we must do all we can to resist that impulse.”

     
  • The birth of a new civil rights movement

    Blogs December 31, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: Politico. “The shattering events of 2014, beginning with Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, did more than touch off a national debate about police behavior, criminal justice and widening inequality in America. They also gave a new birth of passion and energy to a civil rights movement that had almost faded into history, and which had been in the throes of a slow comeback since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012. . . . This re-energized millennial movement, which will make itself felt all the more in 2015, differs from its half-century-old civil rights-era forebear in a number of important ways. One, it is driven far more by social media and hashtags than marches and open-air rallies”

     
  • When the snitch turns

    Blogs December 30, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: Simple Justice. “A 50-year-old felon and drug addict, Coogle was the principal Tampa Police Department informer against at least five suspects this year. . . . In their probable-cause affidavits, his handlers called him reliable. Even Tampa’s police chief praised his “track record.” Coogle said they were all wrong. He said he repeatedly lied about suspects . . . .But as long as he was playing on the cops’ team, he was as solid as they come. Solid enough to send out the SWAT team after Jason Westcott. One of those he lied about, he said, was Jason Westcott, a young man with no criminal convictions whom a SWAT team killed during a drug raid that found just $2 worth of marijuana. . . . Chief Castor played both sides of the fence, bizarrely claiming that Coogle was credible whenever he was being paid by her cops for information, but an utterly despicable liar when he snitched on her cops. But then, this is the side of snitches that isn’t supposed to see the light of day.”

     
  • What about the case of Aafia Siddiqui?

    Opinions December 26, 2014 at 0 comments

    Source: The Final Call. “The troubling case of Aafia Siddiqui becomes more embarrassing with the passing of time for those of us who believe that the United States, in its ideals and history, has something positive to offer the rest of the world. Do we not defend human rights? We are the good guys, are we not,” said Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute at a press conference December 10, on International Human Rights Day.The case of Aafiq Siddiqui mobilized supporters around the country that day to once again call for her release from FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas and return to Pakistan. Since she has not been seen by family or friends in months, her physical and psychological status is questioned by her supporters. They are calling for an independent medical team to conduct a full examination of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.