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Soft Fascism Is Getting Harder PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Friday, 02 December 2005 08:13
Soft Fascism Is Getting Harder

PEJ News
- F.H. Knelman, Ph.D. - Given the U.S. record on the torture of prisoners of war, the term I coined for them, ?soft fascism?, has become harder. In the recent past the issue of the U.S. using torture on prisoners and their widespread physical and mental abuse of prisoners has been widely documented. An unimpeachable source has confirmed the validity of these charges.


F.H. Knelman, Ph.D.

Admiral Stansfield Turner, former CIA director, accused Vice-President Cheney of overseeing policies of torturing terror suspects and, in so doing, damaging the U.S.?s reputation. ?We have crossed the line into dangerous territory? and referring again to Cheney, he said, ?I am embarrassed that the U.S. has a vice-president for torture?, (www.itv.com., 18 November, 2005).

Dexter Filkins of the N.Y. Times provided further evidence in his profile of Lt. Col. Nathan Sassaman, an aggressive army captain of the Fourth Infantry Division?s 1-8 Battalion. The Colonel declared the unit?s ?new priority would be killing people who supported insurgents, even people who didn?t?,  (my underlining). His First Sgt., Galeb Mikel, called this destructive action the ?leave no refuge policy?, Anthony Arnove, Nov. 16, 2005 (zmag.org)

A recent Human Rights Watch investigation found that U.S. military personnel routinely torture Iraqis for ?sport?. Their investigation report documented the widespread use of torture, ?often under orders or with the approval of
superior officers? and, even worse, to ?amuse themselves?. Sergeant A from the 82nd Airborne Division told Human Rights Watch that they would routinely ?fuck a PUC? (a PUC is a person under control, a term used to describe Iraqi detainees). The sergeant that ?fucks a PUC? means to beat him up, i.e. ?We would give them blows to the head, chest, legs and stomach, pull them down, kick dirt on them. This happened every day. To ?smoke a PUC? was to put prisoners under stressful conditions until they got muscle fatigue and passed out. That happened every day. We did that for amusement?. The above is not soft fascism. It is real fascism. (zmag.org).

On November 19.2005 the United Nations issued a withering condemnation of the policy of ?rendition? or the out-sourcing of torture. This accusation followed a UN fifteen-page report, ?Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment?, which was presented to the General Assembly detailing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency?s policy of establishing global gulags where prisoners are routinely tortured. This is in direct violation of international law as well as the United Nations? Convention Against Torture, which clearly states: ?No State party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture?. Thus the policy of out-sourcing torture is clearly illegal.

Yet ?the reprehensible policy known euphemistically as ?extraordinary rendition? that involves both the ?enforced disappearance of persons? and torture continues to be ?widespread and systematic?, according to Professor Francis A. Boyle, International Law Program, University of Illinois, and constitutes ?a crime against humanity?, (see C.L. Cook, PEJ News, November 11, 2005).

The above article by C.L. Cook also reveals that Canada is a party to so-called ?extraordinary rendition?, an unforgivable acquiescence to its U.S. master. This is what we should remember on next year?s Remembrance Day. Liberal with a big ?l? tends to mean Conservative with a small ?c? in Canadian politics.

There is no question that the unholy trio of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be brought to trial ? la Nuremburg. Nothing less than impeachment should be Bush?s fate. He has murdered some 100,000 Iraqi civilians in his war for oil. He has totally abandoned the poor of America in his slavish support of the rich. The above trio deserve nothing less than being branded as international criminals, hardly less guilty than Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, and made to pay the price for their inhuman deeds.

Still another symptom of ?soft fascism? becoming harder is the revelation of the U.S. use of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. The former are derived from depleted uranium munitions. The exposure to radiation is relatively widespread and undoubtedly has exacted a serious health cost to those exposed. In addition the U.S. is using white phosphorus bombs against human populations attempting to legitimize this by calling it an incendiary.

In contact with human flesh it eats right through to the bone, causing excruciating pain and finally death. Such bombs were widely used in an all-out attack on Fallujah. The U.S. continues to deny that white phosphorus is a chemical weapon. Yet an organization called Think Progress has uncovered a 1995 Pentagon document, now unclassified, which identifies white
phosphorus bombs as ?chemical weapons?.

To illustrate the degree to which the U.S. will lie, an instruction manual published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, admits that the use of incendiary weapons against human targets violates the ?laws of war? and that its only legitimate use is to produce a smoke screen. The assault on Fallujah killed thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including children. Even hospitals were bombed, again all crimes under the established ?rules of war?, (Dave Lindorf, counterpunch.org, Nov. 26/27, 2005).

It is interesting to observe the short memory of the media. Bush?s recent speech about ?staying the course? in Iraq until victory is won, once again justified by an alleged Iraqi threat to the U.S., was the original lie used to justify the invasion. Not one reporter in the question period took the opportunity to expose the original litany of lies.

As for staying the course, Bush, who has no memory of history, might recall a similar policy in the war in Vietnam. Nor is it widely stated that the U.S. has ensured access to Iraq?s oil while handing out super-lucrative ?reconstruction? contracts to U.S. companies such as Halliburton, which are worth more than eleven billion dollars. Considering some 100,000 Iraqis have already been killed, most of them civilians and including women and children, in a war based on pretext and lies, U.S. politics begin to rival the experience of Hitler?s Germany.

There is no need for death camps. Iraq is one big death camp. At the same time more and more Iraqis are beginning to realize that the major source of their problem is the occupation. The puppet government is only looking for a piece of the revenue pie. And as for America, there is no question that Bush should be impeached as well as tried for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 December 2005 08:13

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