Thursday, June 09, 2016

Wed, June 2, 2016

Democracy Now:
"From U.S. Ally to Convicted War Criminal: Inside Chad's Hissène Habré's Close Ties to Reagan Admin. As the former U.S.-backed dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, is convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison, we examine Habré’s close role with the United States. Hissène Habré is a former U.S. ally who has been described as 'Africa’s Pinochet.' He came to power with the help of the Reagan administration in 1982. The U.S. provided Habré with millions of dollars in annual military aid and trained his secret police, known as the DDS. ...

And all this time, of course, you know, although many of Habré’s crimes were not really revealed until after the prison—after he fell and the prison doors swung open, Amnesty International, as their representative testified at the trial, wrote 25 mini reports about crimes under Hissène Habré. Habré was aware, of course, of these crimes, but the world was aware that these crimes were going on. The United States, even as it supported Hissène Habré at the time, was aware that these crimes were taking place."

-->The NYT had to cover this story of an African dictator who murdered 40,000 of his own people. But our newspaper of record only give one sentence to the empire that brought him to power, trained his assassins and supplied his weaponry. No wonder Americans don't know about the carnage of US foreign policy in the developing world.

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Mondoweiss:
"In long obit for Hedy Epstein, ‘NYT’ buries Palestinian solidarity. The great Hedy Epstein has died and the New York Times has all but covered up her most significant moral achievement.

The Times has a 24-paragraph obituary for Hedy Epstein, the activist who was an inspiration to many on our site, who died in St. Louis at 91 on May 26. This is how they characterize her: 'Ms. Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who spoke widely about the persecution of the Jews in Germany, and who spent most of her adult life working for a broad range of social justice movements.'

The fact that Hedy Epstein was outspoken for Palestinian rights doesn’t come till the very end of the story, after Vietnam, Cambodia, Black Lives Matter, fair housing, Kristallnacht, the kindertransport, and other causes and events. ... We venture to say that were it not for her channeling her energies into Palestine, Hedy Epstein would not warrant 24 paragraphs in death in the New York Times. Obituaries often describe exemplary lives, and the reason Hedy Epstein’s was so exemplary is that she experienced the tremendous historical trauma that was the basis for Israel’s creation by world powers in 1948 and yet turned against the idea of a Jewish state. That’s what makes Hedy Epstein so special."

-->There was some disagreement on the Mondoweiss site about the NYT article. The picture on the article was from the Gaza Freedom March, but the caption only said "A protest in Cairo in 2009" rather than anything about the Palestinians. 

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Democracy Now:
"Speaking at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Obama offered no apology for the bombings but called for a world without nuclear weapons. 'Among those nations like my own that own nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them,' Obama said. Despite his call for an end to nuclear weapons, the United States has been quietly upgrading its nuclear arsenal to create smaller, more precise nuclear bombs as part of a massive effort that will cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. ... 

Despite President Obama’s call for an end to nuclear weapons, a new study by the Federation of American Scientists has determined the Obama administration has reduced the nuclear stockpile at a far slower rate than any of his three immediate predecessors, including George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush. ..."

-->The US media ate up Obama's wonderful rhetoric about peace one day, while avoiding the details of his role in accelerating the nuclear arms race. No word, of course, from Hiroshima survivors like Setsuko Thurlow, who was also interviewed by Democracy Now. ""We Learned to Step over the Dead" -Setsuko Thurlow

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