Strange times indeed here

George Bush says it is vitally necessary to shackle wrists to ankles and hood prisoners, detain them indefinitely without legal counsel and without trial, water-board them, deny them their civil and human rights according to the Geneva Convention, and then ship them to secret CIA prisons and use aggressive interrogation techniques – in order to fight terrorism.

Sounds reasonable.

While earlier this week on television Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld likened critics of the Iraqi occupation to those who ridiculed and ignored the rise of Nazism.

He said such Americans suffer from a moral or intellectual confusion.


In December of 1983 Donald Rumsfeld was sent to Baghdad as a special envoy by President Reagan to greet the president of Iraq. There is a famous photograph of him shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. He either ignored or didn’t notice that Saddam was also dressed in a conspicuously Nazi-like uniform, but back then he wasn’t as acutely aware as he is now.

At that time the Iraqi government was engaged in ethnic cleansing against the Kurds using nerve gas, which was delivered by helicopters purchased from the U.S. military, murder, and torture. We also shouldn’t forget it is strongly believed Hussein, like Noriega, was on the CIA payroll when he led the U.S.-backed coup which brought him to power.

These are strange times indeed.

A. Creasey

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