US secretary of state Hillary Clinton only expressed concern and not apologise over the patting down of Indian ambassador Meera Shankar at an airport in Mississippi last week. Amb Shankar was pulled out of a security line despite the fact that she had passed through the metal frame without setting off an alarm. Indian embassy officials said Shankar was singled out because of her sari, an unfamiliar dress in this country. She was taken to a VIP waiting room despite staff being told that she was an ambassador, for a secondary screening and patting down by a female Transportation Security Administration agent.
US Homeland Security Secretary ( like Indian home Minister )Janet Napolitano found noting new in it ;diplomats are subject to the same basic screening as other passengers at US airports."It was a pat-down that followed our procedures, and I think it was appropriate under the circumstances," Napolitano said."I think what was done by the ... officer was done appropriately and by the book," she added. ( Mms Clinton and Napolitano , how about frisking of US diplomats and others on the basis of Vienna conventions on reciprocity etc)
"I am rather surprised by the way the Indian ambassador to the US has been treated. This has happened for a second time in three months," Ineffectual External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna moaned in New Delhi. "Let me be frank, this is unacceptable to India. We are going to take it up with the government of US that such unpleasant incidents do not recur," said Krishna. He added that there were "certain well-established conventions, well-established practices, as to how members of the diplomatic corps are treated in a given country".
The uncivilized and uncouth Americans keep it doing again and again.
In a breach of protocol, former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who is exempted from security checks due to his status, was frisked by an American Continental Airlines at the international airport in New Delhi last April before boarding the aircraft. The former president also had to "surrender" before the staff for a complete body check, the sources claimed.
"This procedure is followed by all carriers flying to the US from most of the countries in the world and there is no exemption to this rule," a statement from Continental Airlines said in the wake of a furore over frisking .It said as all carriers flying to the USA, Continental Airlines must follow TSA requirements and procedures. Aparna of the Continental said Kalam was "very cooperative" and "he happily underwent the entire process".
Defense minister George Fernandes strip-searched twice in Dulles airport in 2004
George Fernandes was strip-searched twice in Dulles airport in the US when he was defense minister and on his way to Brazil in July 2004 . Department of Homeland Security officials decided the kurta-clad Indian minister needed to be frisked. After the frisking, he was taken aside for further checking, made to sit on a bench and frisked again thoroughly. There were heated words and the security officer called his supervisor, who told Fernandes to "cooperate".
Fernandes's aides said it was the Indian Defence Minister they were dealing with, but that did not make any difference. There was a protocol official present, but chose not to intervene. A fuming minister vowed to take up the incident with the US authorities, but no formal protest was lodged.
This humiliation of our 'fiery 'Fernandes would have remained veiled but for its mention by former US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott in his book .
From notes from my visit to USA in October, 1980 while posted as ambassador at Dakar( Senegal)
"While most Ambassadors from developing but cultured world personally sign the visas asked by their colleagues, even for private visits, the US and some other ambassadors, which I had not noticed in Dakar issue only ordinary tourist visas, signed by lowly Vice-Consuls. As a result apart from missing extra fuss to which one gets used to unfortunately, 1 was asked but I refused to open my suitcase in New York, when the Customs Officer so desired.
"I strongly feel that on the basis of 'Vienna reciprocity', there is no need to be extra polite and considerate to the American and other diplomats.
"Another unsavoury incident related to a steward's insistence when the plane took off at Houston that I put in the hold an overnight bag, which I was carrying with me to save time from checking in and checking out. The airlines stipulate that it should be within certain dimensions and should go under the front seat, so that the passengers can get out fast in case of an emergency. As the aircraft was practically empty, the handbag was in any case safely placed on the next seat. Many other handbags, I observed, were larger than even the prescribed limits. Nevertheless when reason failed, I defied them to take me off the plane, when the steward and the captain and the chief stewardess threatened to do so. They dared not.
" Mind you, there were many very sympathetic noises from other passengers, which made it easier. But, then there was that very charming air-hostess on New York-San Francisco flight and when famished , having had only a cup of tea since early morning, I barged into the food cabin and aware that lunch would not be served for another two hours, I remarked that if she left the cabin unattended I would burgle it. She charmingly brought a sumptuous breakfast five minutes later. I almost gave her my card to invite her for a dinner in Dakar, with the ocean waves lapping the Residence.
" I also met many other Americans, friendly, relaxed and easy-going. But there was something missing in the whole scheme of things.It is difficult to put it, may be a lack of continuity and assurance, a lack of elegance and order, one sees in European capitals and poorer but cultured countries. "
An American professor once remarked that they had morphed from barbarism ( against Red Indians ) to high-tech destruction and boorishness .
Many Indians including many film stars like Shahrukh Khan have been treated shabbily in USA.
The only way is tit for tat. But we Indians pretend that our so called politeness covers our general cowardice and petty selfishness . And Indians sell themselves cheap .Scholarships, well paid seminars , book grants and even less. Look at the Indian media hacks and pimps on India's celebrity and trivia obsessed corporate TV channels.
What Americans and others think of cowardly Indians has been revealed in Wikileaks . Ms Clinton describes India as self appointed front runner for UNSC seat .Ms Clinton ,India will get into UNSC not out of any gift from US but because US led West has declined and the East has come up .She still uses the phrase 'we ,the international community."It now consists of bankrupt USA and UK .
One Thomas Friedman of New York Times , toast of Indian Express , who crowed in November, 2003 that the illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq was the noblest US mission to promote democracy recently said that US must begin nation building at home , fast.(It cannot be done ,chum) A national US telephone poll showed that 47 per cent of America's likely voters said the nation's "best days are in the past," 37 per cent said they are in the future. Sixteen per cent were undecided. Just before President Obama was inaugurated, 48 per cent said our best days were still ahead and 35 per cent said they had come and gone. This is a disturbing trend.( It is going to get worse)
Most Americans "Are Ignorant" , so admitted former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to German magazine Spiegel recently.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche , 19th cent German philosopher , inspired by Plato's Utopia aka Republic , in turn inspired the evil genius and 20th Cent political philosopher Leo Strauss , at whose feet sat the still influential Neo-Cons and Zeo-cons , stated that Christian love and piety was an outcome of fear. The fear of the strongly built neighbour or the fear of a criminal from a policeman .
Nietzsche believed that it was not possible that a man could genuinely feel universal love, perhaps because of his self-created halo of a 'noble' man . That was perhaps meant for two combatants or knights matching their valour on level ground, not like F-16 bombers against kids armed with slingshots or rudimentary guns .
In his book on what Bertrand Russell calls history of Western Philosophy ( West has generally produced linear thought , its real philosophers are ridiculed ) he quotes from Shakespeare's King Lear , on the verge of madness
"I will do such things –
What they are yet I know not – but they shall be
The terror of the earth.
( Exactly what the top US leadership has achieved in Iraq and threatens doing more of the same. )
This is Nietzsche's philosophy in nutshell.
Russell says there are two sorts of saints, saints by nature and saints by fear. The first have spontaneous love of mankind. Because to do so gives him happiness and the second , a frightened man afraid of fear. ( Western leaders like Henry Kissinger , Dick Cheney ,Tony Blair would fit the bill )
The use of deception and manipulation in current US policies flow directly from the doctrines of the Leo Strauss (1899-1973). His disciples including Paul Wolfowitz and other Neo-conservatives who drove much of the political agenda of the Bush administration. Wolfowitz, acknowledged that the evidence used to justify the war was "murky" and added that weapons of mass destruction weren't the crucial issue anyway. Grabbing Iraqi oil for nothing was ! He had told US Congress that Iraq's development would be financed by Iraq oil revenues
The US system and power has reached its zenith of power and now lie exposed in an abyss of cheating, chicanery , corruption ,hypocrisy and total lawlessness .
The current direction of US led Western civilization , if you can call it so, is hurtling along retrograde evolution of human animal ; away from the divine and spiritual moorings and identity as all religions discovered intuitively over millennia to a world of heedless and headless consumerism like an unerring laser towards self destruction, Nuclear bombs and cold nights or climate catastrophes and apocalypse.
I am reproducing below my piece .'The Uncivilised State of America" aka USA. Of course few dared post it except a courageous north American website "modern writers community .net with its enlightened and erudite columnists ie writers , editors , academics etc .
Gajendra Singh 10 December , 2010
FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES
Tel/Fax ; 0040213163021 Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh
Emails; Gajendrak@hotmail.com Flat No 5, 3rd Floor
KGSingh@Yahoo.com 9, Sos Cotroceni,
Web site. Bucharest (Romania)
www.tarafits.com 15 October, 2005.
UNCIVILISED STATE OF AMERICA By K Gajendra Singh Mwcnews.net 14 October, 2005 http://mwcnews.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1775&Itemid=26
'It would be a good idea.' Mahatma Gandhi, when asked about his views on western culture.
George W .Bush, "You are with us or against us "after 911= End of pluralism, liberty and democracy
"I did not know how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as I saw them with eyes still young. In addition, I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream..." Black Elk on the aftermath of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, December 1890.
The United States Army Seventh Cavalry used battling guns to slaughter 300 helpless Lakota children, men and women. Less than 3 decades later, the alleged Armenian Genocide during First World War, remains on US lawmakers agenda.
On 4 November 1971,Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi met with US President Richard Nixon in Washington to build support against Pakistan military's genocide against the people of Bangladesh. Next day, when Nixon and his aide Henry Kissinger met at the Oval Office, the later said: "The Indians are bastards anyway. They are starting a war there." The President agreed, saying: "We really slobbered over the old witch." "You slobbered over her in things that did not matter, but in things that did matter, you did not give her an inch," Kissinger said.
Earlier in a White House conversation with Nixon on June 4, Kissinger said [about Indians]: "Those sons-of-bitches, who never have lifted a finger for us, why should we get involved in the morass of East Pakistan—"And on July 16, Nixon said the Indians were "a slippery, treacherous people". He felt the Pakistanis "are straightforward and sometimes extremely stupid. The Indians are more devious." These are the words of those who claim superior culture and claim to defend democracy against dictatorships.
Indira Gandhi's chief aide then, Dr. P.C. Alexander, expressed satisfaction that few in India reacted to that uncivilized discourse .Unfortunately polite and courteous discourse is considered by even many educated Americans as a sign of weakness and cowardice.
However, what else to expect from a people whose history is a narrative of landmarks like the Massacre at Wounded Knee, who have morphed from savagery to high-tech savagery and gave to the last generation, Mai Lai massacre, and now, Guantanamo, Abu Gharib, Falluja. Nevertheless, instead of looking at themselves, they pontificate to the rest of the humanity, with their uncivilized discourse.
As part of annual ritual, Congressman Christopher Smith, New Jersey Republican, Chair of the House International Relations Subcommittee on Global Human Rights and International Operations, convened the hearing titled 'India's Unfinished Agenda —Equality and Justice for Victims of Caste System', said, "The Dalits and tribal peoples are treated as virtual non-humans, and suffer pervasive discrimination and violation of their human rights."
Welcoming the 'global partnership between USA and India, he argued that "there is still a long road to travel," while "most observers have focused on the nuclear proliferation implications of our announced agreements as potential stumbling blocks to a true strategic partnership between the US and India," he believed that "we must not lose sight of India's serious human rights problems." "To keep nearly a quarter of one's population in subhuman status is not only a grotesque violation of human rights, but it is a formula for economic and political stagnation as well," he added.
Apart from its annual lecture to the world, where US policies are hated and its people increasingly detested, it has an element of arm-twisting to influence the Indian vote against Iran in November at International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna. US succeeded by insulting and bullying India by another US lawmaker Tom Lantos' ugly utterances .India's vote went against its own stated policy and could harm its long term strategic and energy interests.
Smith acknowledged that "once in America, we deprived African Americans of the most basic rights and opportunities. This was especially true in our southern states, which were once a byword for poverty and backwardness among people of all races." "For a long time we refused to act at a national level to stop lynching, often arguing that it was a local problem," he said. "Yet we all suffered the consequences of shutting off a huge segment of our population from equality and justice."
Lynching have been barred only now .But would Christopher Smith stop being an ostrich and go to New Orleans and the region, white America's putrid underbelly and see the real truth, to see how American Africans were treated and are still being treated .Those who visited the region even last year say that there has been no change in the pitiable conditions of the Blacks and poor in USA for the last two centuries.
Following the Katrina hurricane, when the truth could not be hidden, US corporate news networks soon started a cover up, with boring repeat visits of the President and statements. However, it has fooled no one except the usual suspects, info-challenged US population. Even they are learning the truth.
Inequalities of class and race;
Le Monde noted, "Bush initially said that "the storm didn't discriminate", a claim he was later forced to retract: every aspect of the catastrophe was shaped by inequalities of class and race. Besides unmasking the fraudulent claims of the Department of Homeland Security to make Americans safer, the shock and awe of Katrina also exposed the devastating consequences of federal neglect of majority black and Latino big cities and their vital infrastructures.
"The incompetence of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) demonstrated the folly of entrusting life-and-death public mandates to clueless political appointees and ideological foes of "big government". The speed with which Washington suspended the prevailing wage standards of the Davis-Bacon Act and swung open the doors of New Orleans to corporate looters such as Halliburton, the Shaw Group and Black water Security, already fat from the spoils of the Tigris, contrasted obscenely with Fema's deadly procrastination over sending water, food and buses to the multitudes trapped in the stinking hell of the Louisiana Superdome.
"But if New Orleans, as many bitter exiles now believe, was allowed to die as a result of governmental incompetence and neglect, blame also squarely falls on the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge and especially on City Hall on Perdido Street. Mayor C Ray Nagin is a wealthy African-American cable television executive and a Democrat, who was elected in 2002 with 87% of the white vote. [Uncle Tom]
"He was ultimately responsible for the safety of the estimated quarter of the population that was too poor or infirm to own a car. His stunning failure to mobilize resources to evacuate car-less residents and hospital patients, despite warning signals from the city's botched response to the threat of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, reflected more than personal ineptitude: it was also a symbol of the callous attitude among the city's elites, both white and black, toward their poor neighbors in back swamp districts and rundown housing projects. Indeed, the ultimate revelation of Katrina was how comprehensively the promise of equal rights for poor African-Americans has been dishonored and betrayed by every level of government."
London's Observer on Katrina;
London's Observer noted "Perhaps nothing else so encapsulates the endless paradoxes of being black in America. Never have blacks had so much legal freedom, yet there are record numbers in jail.
Traditional black neighborhoods have collapsed into drug-ridden crime strongholds, even as the black middle class is the biggest in history.
"It is now 40 years since the Voting Rights Act that secured the black vote. [In Florida 2000!] It is 10 years since hundreds of thousands of blacks came to Washington in the Million Man March to demand a way out of poverty. It is a single month since Hurricane Katrina exposed the racial fault lines that fracture the big cities.
"Almost four decades after King was killed, there are still two Americas. One is largely white and wealthy, one largely black and poor. They live cheek by jowl in the same country yet in separate worlds. The shocking thing about the TV pictures from New Orleans was not black poverty; it was the reaction of whites. 'Most whites were shocked about the amount of poverty in New Orleans, but black media have talked about poverty for the past 20 years,' said David Canton, professor of history at Connecticut College.
"Bare statistics tell the story. Black life expectancy is six years shorter than that of whites. Black unemployment is twice as high. Blacks are twice as likely as whites to die from disease, accident or murder at every stage of their lives. About 24 per cent of black families live below the poverty line, compared with 8 per cent of the white population."
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Last year about 3.2% of US population was imprisoned , 41% Blacks were on parole and 40% white. More than 37 million people are officially classified as poor and their numbers increasing every year according to government statistics, 1.1 million Americans fell below the poverty line last year . Since 2000, their ranks have increased year by year by almost 5.5 million in total. Even optimists see little prospect that the number will shrink.' Where is the trickle down effect of Globalisation?
Black neighbour hoods and populations have also been neglected by the Bush administration because they vote Democrat. If an Indian government neglected Dalit areas , there would be a furor .While a lot can be done and is being done in India ,there are reservations in educational institutions and State and Federal Assemblies for Dalits. Two Dalits have adorned the office of the President of the Republic of India as well as three Muslims including the current incumbent. It is so in other positions of responsibility eg State chief Ministers, Ministers, diplomats, governors and other senior officials. USA is never likely to reach that level for Blacks and Latinos or other minorities. The only Catholic President, John Kennedy, was assassinated with many questions still unanswered
Would Christopher Smith go down south and see for himself 'real America.'
Genocide in Americas;
Have you ever wondered why, when Attila the Hun and then later Ghenghis Khan "discovered" Europe, that was called an "invasion", but when Christopher Columbus led Europeans into an invasion of the Americas, that was called a "discovery"? David E. Stannard called his book "American Holocaust", ( Oxford University Press ) published to coincide with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus' "discovery" of America. The genocide of indigenous inhabitants of America was begun by the Spaniards and Portuguese, carried on by the English and other Europeans and completed by the Americans.
It was accurately summarized by Barry who said that, 'Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight -- as no age can parallel....' "The Spanish cut off the legs of children who ran from them. They poured people full of boiling soap. They made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. They loosed dogs that 'devoured an Indian like a hog, at first sight, in less than a moment.' They used nursing infants for dog food." This was not occasional violence — it was a systematic, prolonged campaign of brutality and sadism, a policy of torture, mass murder, slavery and forced labor that continued for CENTURIES. "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world," writes historian David E. Stannard.
Eventually more than 100 million natives fell under European rule. Their extermination would follow. As the natives died out, they were replaced by slaves brought from Africa. To make a long story short, Columbus established a pattern that held for five centuries — a "ruthless, angry search for wealth," as Barry Lopez describes it.
"It set a tone in the Americas. The quest for personal possessions was to be, from the outset, a series of raids, irresponsible and criminal, a spree, in which an end to it — the slaves, the timber, the pearls, the fur, the precious ores, and, later, arable land, coal, oil, and iron ore — was never visible, in which an end to it had no meaning."
According to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, the reduction of the north American Indian population from an estimated 12 million in 1500 to barely 237,000 in 1900 represents a "vast genocide . . . , the most sustained on record."
A similar pattern was continued in Philippines, Vietnam, Afghanistan and now in Iraq.
British MP Galloway shuts up the US senate;
All the US law makers can do is to spin and spew untruths which are faithfully reproduced by captive US media .The U.S. Senate committee released documents that said that Saddam Hussein gave British MP George Galloway the rights to export 20 million barrels of oil under the humanitarian program .Smoking a Havana cigar inside the Capitol building , he described the accusations as the mother of all smoke screens and claimed the Committee's report had falsehoods and wrong facts .He accused that the Senate had little sense of fairness or rule of law .He made fun of Donald Rumsfeld 's two visits ( the same as his ) to sell arms to Saddam Hussein .He delivered a broadside against US policy and its system, challenged them to back up their claims against him. He condemned the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in a brilliant and riveting performance. The Senators like jackals had runaway form their so called lions den, self styled as "the world's greatest deliberative body". In fact, proceedings only served to underline the average senator or congressman's ignorance of the world beyond America, be it the underlying realities of the Middle East or elsewhere.Next day the US corporate media was miffed ."Brit Fries Senators in Oil" said one headline that also noted the "stunning audacity" of Galloway's performance, how he had caught Mr Coleman (Chairman of the Committee) and his colleagues "flatfooted" (only one of whom was left when the chairman brought the embarrassment to an end). The Post's Andrea Peyser excoriated Galloway as a thug and a bully, "a lefty lackey for butchers". Coleman and his subcommittee had let the side down, she wrote. "Our Senators did not pipe up. Rather, they assumed the look of frightened little boys, caught with their pants around their ankles, nervously awaiting punishment." She concluded: "It's time to take the gloves off, senators. Kick this viper where it hurts." Lady, such civilized discourse!
Tom Lantos's utterances ;
There was another performance ,`of a different kind ,obviously planned to browbeat and humiliate India as Tom Lantos ,a California Democrat was allowed to speak for as long as he wished by US Congressman Henry Hyde, chairman of the panel, while strict time limits were imposed on others.
"My concern does not relate to the administration. My concern relates to the insensitive thinking that I see coming out of New Delhi," declared Lantos, "It was incomprehensible to me that people as sophisticated and knowledgeable as our Indian counterparts should not be aware of how significant their position, vis-a-vis Iran is to this Congress, and, I hope this hearing will make them aware at least tangentially that this may be destroying far more significant relationships than they are having with Tehran unless they become sensitive to our view on that subject."
"Only an imbecile would believe that they are developing a nuclear program for peaceful purposes and it is an insult to the intelligence of Congress that they keep repeating this." [only the imbecile Americans believed the US reasons for the illegal US invasion of Iraq]
"They do what they do, but to have the Indian foreign minister with respect to his recent meeting with the Iranians to say they really don't care what we think, shows the real denseness that occasionally very intelligent people are burdened with."
"They are brilliant and they are dense. They are brilliant, which is obvious, but they are simply dense because they are incapable of comprehending that other countries have their important concerns."
"we offer, at least some of us offer our services to help you make the Indians aware of the fact that nothing will fly in this body unless they become as sensitive to their concerns as we have been to theirs."
Lantos said he found Indian foreign minister Natwar Singh's reported statement in Iran -- "literally sickening, this Stalinist rhetoric which we don't accept." And "if New Delhi did not support Washington's efforts to ostracise Iran, "the goodwill will dissipate."
"They will pay a heavy price for a total disregard of US concerns vis-a-vis Iran. It just will not fly in this body and they need to be told that in plain English, not in diplomatic English and I know there are people in this room who will carry this message."
India termed the tirade as "crude" and "unparliamentary" that Lantos unleashed against K Natwar Singh. "The language used by Congressman Lantos while referring to India's foreign minister during a Congressional hearing is, to say the least, unparliamentary," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said. "It is discourteous and crude and reflects negatively only on the US Congressman himself," he added.
It is a pity that Indian Parliamentarians and media let such gross insults pass.
Nazi Camps and Jewish rage;
Poland is demanding the extradition from Israel of a Jew Solomon Morel, 86, to face charges of "crimes against humanity" in relation to more than 1,500 German inmates at a post-war detention camp Swietochlowice in Poland. Morel, who fled to Israel from Poland in 1994 is hiding in Tel Aviv .He was held in Auschwitz as a young man where more than 30 members of his family were wiped out .After the 1945 Soviet 'liberation' of Poland he was one of many Jews appointed by Stalin to supervise the brutal "de-Nazification" camps, where up to 80,000 ethnic Germans are believed to have died as a result of torture, starvation and typhus.
John Sack, himself a Jew , who wrote ' An Eye for An Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge Against Germans in 1945, said in a TV interview that Morel made his desire for revenge clear: "On the first night at Swietochlowice, when the first contingent of Germans arrived, he told the Germans, 'My name is Morel. I am a Jew. My mother and father, my family, I think they're all dead, and I swore that if I got out alive, I was going to get back at you Nazis. And now you're going to pay for what you did.' "
The book, describes in detail the alleged atrocities committed at the camp: "The guards put the Germans into a doghouse, beating them if they didn't say `bow-wow'. They got the Germans to beat each other; to jump on each other's spines and to punch each other's noses, and hit the Germans so hard that they once knocked a German's glass eye out." Guards also raped German women and trained dogs to bite off German men's genitals on command, he said.
The Polish public prosecutor Eva Kok, insisted that : "The Israelis are extremely efficient in pursuing people they have accused of such crimes - and they must accept that other nations want to do the same."
It is quite clear from the example that many people who suffered in terrible Nazi camps became deranged and remain disoriented. Israel's Menachim Begin , who only spent years in Soviet labour camp in Siberia , when he cornered Yasser Arafat in Beirut in 1982 likened him to Hitler in his bunker. But it were the Jews who had taken Palestinian land and made them refugees.
One fully sympathizes with Lantos, a Hungarian born Jew, who was in a concentration camp. Reportedly his wife, also a Holocaust survivor, and two daughters left the Jewish faith and are practicing Mormons. But Lantos's outburst against India shows more than symptoms of suffering as he believes that Iran might be a threat to Israel , to which country he has a right of return and apparent loyalty . Israel reportedly has over 100 nuclear bombs and terrorizes the region. Ariel Sharon's policies in Gaza have been repeatedly described as 'state terrorism' by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayep Erdogan.
One wonders if people like Lantos represent USA, or look after Israel's interests. But then neo-cons and Israelis have joined in an unholy axis. In any case Israelis and Jews have even the non-Jewish lawmakers by their braces or bracelets .Any one who speaks against Israel is defeated in next elections with Jewish money .Verily the tail is wagging the dog. But it is sad situation for the proud people of America.
Lantos' venomous brand of politics has earned him scorn from many of his House colleagues, especially those in the Congressional Black Caucus. Always quick to accuse those who don't stand with Israel of being anti-Semitic, Lantos is intolerant of African-American members who have accused the international diamond industry of responsibility for a large share of Africa's bloody civil wars and torment. Lantos has, in some cases, made no secret of his disdain for people of color who dare question his competency to lord over human rights issues from his Capitol Hill perchIt was not very wise of Chairman Henry Hyde to let Lantos speak on. It has brought disrepute to the dignity of the US Congress .But many say that it was all at the behest of the White House. Seeing what this administration has been doing, including leaking names of a CIA operative because her husband exposed the lies about false US claims about Iraq's nuclear program, it is quite possible.
Many a times when US law makers are scrutinized for higher posts, it is discovered that they had employed Hispanic and other illegal aliens , without paying social security .From time to time there are reports of unpaid bills and dalliance with page boys or interns. When Republicans had wanted to probe Bill Clinton's activities with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval room, a few selected to look into it were not above board from such dalliance. The Clinton drama and display of dirty linen was not to improve the morals but for electoral gains.
Amnesty wants Rumsfeld and others tried for Human right violations;
In its annual report in May on "The State of the World's Human Rights," Amnesty International (AI) described the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, " the gulag of our times" and accused U.S. officials of flouting international law in their treatment of detainees.
AI also called on foreign governments to use international law to investigate Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other alleged American "architects of torture" at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other prisons where detainees suspected of ties to terrorist groups have been interrogated for violations of the Geneva and torture conventions.
"If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them," said William Shulz, executive director of the U.S. branch of the international human rights agency.
There is no statute of limitations on crimes such as torture, Shulz added. "The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998," warned Shulz. Gen Pinochet was arrested on an international warrant issued by a Spanish judge.
If the United States "continues to shirk its responsibility" of investigating allegations of abuse to the top of the chain of command, Shulz said, foreign governments should uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior U.S. officials involved. In addition to Rumsfeld and Gonzales, the list covered former CIA Director George Tenet; Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq; Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo; and Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defense for policy.
Shulz said the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment legally bind the countries that have signed them to exercise "universal jurisdiction" on people suspected of violations. Certain crimes, including torture, amount to offenses against all of humanity so all countries have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute people responsible for such crimes, he said.
" Absurd " defence by US Administration !;
As expected , Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, called the charges "unsupported by the facts."
President Bush said at a White House press conference ,"I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world," he said, and added that Washington had "investigated every single complaint against [sic] the detainees." "It seemed like [Amnesty] based some of their decisions on the word and allegations by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people [who] had been trained in some instances to disassemble [sic] - that means not tell the truth," Bush went on. "And so it was an absurd report. It just is." [Except that few in the world believe Bush]
Earlier Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview with CNN, said "For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don't take them seriously," the vice president said in response to the Amnesty's report.
"There's been a real drumbeat since Amnesty published the report. It seems like there's an attempt to silence critics," said AI. While the corporate media like Washington Post, normally a defender of independent human-rights groups, objected to the characterization as counter-productive, the Wall Street Journal's neo-conservative editorial staff jumped on it as "one more sign of the moral degradation of Amnesty International"," whose latest accusations "amount to pro-al Qaeda propaganda".
But then Cheney maintains that there were WMDs in Iraq, Iraq was allied with Al Qaeda and it was trying to get Uranium form Niger . All these claims have been proved to be wrong, by USA's own Weapons inspectors. His own office is reported to have leaked the name of a CIA operative to revenge on former US ambassador , who had exposed the Niger claim. Such leaks are a criminal act.
Amnesty stands firm;
But the Amnesty stood its ground. "At Guantanamo, the US has operated an isolated prison camp in which people are confined arbitrarily, held virtually incommunicado, without charge, trial or access to due process. Not a single Guantanamo detainee has had the legality of their detention reviewed by a court," despite a Supreme Court ruling last year that provided grounds to do so.
"Guantanamo is only the visible part of the story. Evidence continues to mount that the US operates a network of detention centers where people are held in secret or outside any proper legal framework - from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond," Amnesty added, noting that Bush had failed to respond to these "longstanding concerns".
"It is also worth noting," stressed Schulz, "that this administration never finds it 'absurd' when we criticize Cuba or China, or when we condemned the violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein."
Bush's and Cheney's insistence that the detainees themselves concocted the reported abuses also drew criticism.
The torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Guantanámo, and other places is not an aberration after 119 . The external concentration camps established as part of the "war on terror" reproduce longstanding practices of the US prison system.
A network of prison facilities in which detainees are held indefinitely without charges, denied access to attorneys and family, terrorized by dogs, and subjected to abuse tantamount to torture, as well as sexual humiliation are another "gulag" of jails and detention facilities strung across the United States in which tens of thousands of immigrant workers are being held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE, a branch of the Homeland Security Department, deported a record 198,000 detainees in 2004 and on average has 22,814 immigrants languishing in jails, nearly four times than 1994. The ICE contracts out the detentions to county jails who are often housed alongside violent criminals, where they face verbal abuse, overcrowding, and denial of medical attention, as well as physical beatings, solitary confinement and the psychological torture of not knowing if they will ever be released
Many of the abuses were caught on the jail's surveillance tapes. US media reported that 'These tapes substantiated many of the detainees' allegations.' Furthermore, the officers were not just a few bad apples but 'a significant percentage of those who had regular contact with the detainees.'
The federal government, farms out immigrants to county jails for whom it is a profitable enterprise. "A growing number of counties across the nation are renting space in their jails to the US government to house foreigners arrested for immigration violations. The 'revenue population,' as one official called the detainees, can help counties defray the cost of running jails and even lower property taxes." [Economic reforms !]Use of depleted Uranium (DU)- another crime;
U.S. forces first used depleted uranium (DU) in the 1991 Gulf War, when some 300 tons of depleted uranium—the waste product of nuclear power plants and weapons facilities—were used in tank shells and shells fired by A-10 jets. It was also deployed by U.S. and NATO forces during the Serbia conflict but less. But in the wars in Afghanistan and, especially, Iraq, DU has become the weapon of choice, with more than 1,000 tons in Afghanistan and more than 3,000 tons used in Iraq. And while DU was fired mostly in the desert during the Gulf War, in the current war in Iraq, most of DU munitions are exploding in populated urban areas.
Uranium is a highly toxic heavy metal. According to Mt. Sinai pathologist Thomas Fasey, who participated in the New York Guard unit testing, the element has an affinity for bonding with DNA, where even trace amounts can cause cancers and fetal abnormalities.
Dr. Doug Rokke, a health physicist at the University of Illinois who headed up a Pentagon study of depleted uranium weapons in the mid '90s after concerns were raised during the Gulf War, concluded there was no safe way to use the weapons. Rokke says the Pentagon responded by denouncing him, after earlier commending his work. "DU is a war crime. It's that simple," Rokke says. "Once you've scattered all this stuff around, and then refuse to clean it up, you've committed a war crime."
At the war's start, the United States refused to allow U.N. or other environmental inspectors to test DU levels within Iraq. Now the United Nations dare not to Iraq because of security problems.
Of course the concern has been raised only when many returning US soldiers were found to be contaminated .Who cares for the poor Iraqis , who have and will keep on suffering.
China exposes US Human Rights record;
When US State Department accused China of Human Rights violations , Beijing exposed US hypocrisy because Washington remains silent on its own violations.
"In 2004, the atrocity of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States. The scandal shocked the humanity and was condemned by the international community," said the Chinese report on USA. "It is quite ironic that on Feb. 28 of this year, the State Department of the United States once again posed as the 'world human rights police,"' it said.
China accused the American military of committing "wanton slaughters," killing thousands of foreign civilians and torturing detainees. "The atrocity of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the infringement of human rights of foreign nationals by the United States," said the report .The report said that racism was deeply entrenched in the United States. It said politics were manipulated by the wealthy and dismissed the U.S. electoral system as a "contest of money."
China also accused US of interfering in its internal affairs, and covered various US domestic issues relating to labor conditions, homelessness, race relations, crime and firearm use, civil liberty concerns about the US Patriot Act -- even the amount of money spent in political campaigns.
A section called "Infringement upon Human rights of Other Nations" dealt with military conflict, foreign policy and arms sales. It accused the US of "military aggression around the world and brutal violation of sovereign rights of other nations." US waged a war against Iraq "without authorization by the United Nations," and carried out "wanton and indiscriminate" bombing, including such targets as "residential areas, shopping malls and civilian vehicles."
It said that more than 10,000 Iraqi civilians ( it is now over 100,000 as last reported in London's The Lancelet) had been killed in the war, attributing the statistics to Britain's Independent newspaper. It comes from Iraq Body Count, a grouping of US and British academics and peace activists which bases its numbers on "corroborated media reports."[ very conservative estimates] Of course US and UK do not do body counts for other nationalities.( Why is it not in itself a human rights violation , when Iraq is under US led occupation ? )
China quoted writer William Blum, "Since 1945, the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, suppressed over 30 national movements, in which millions of people have lost their precious lives and many more people been plunged into misery and despair." China also cited US of incarcerating terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and US violation of human rights of local people .It controls and dominates the world' conventional arms trade , thus increasing violence all around .
While China certainly does not have a great human rights record but it is justified in questioning the self appointed US role to be "the judge of human rights in the world." It criticizes every one "Meanwhile, it has turned a blind eye to its own human right problems."
(K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan in 1992-96. Prior to that, he served as ambassador to Jordan (during the 1990-91 Gulf war), Romania and Senegal . He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies, in Bucharest .- Email-Gajendrak@hotmail.com)