Watching the Shadows

Columbus Day culture wars ...and the fascist connection

In what has become a yearly ritual, activists from the American Indian Movement (AIM) staged angry protests at the Columbus Day march in Denver, while the city's Italian-Americans intransigently refused to "get it." This from an AP account online at Indian Country Today:

As drums and chants echoed in the background, demonstrators briefly staged a mock death scene in the street Oct. 8 before a Columbus Day parade passed by.

Senate defies Bush on torture

The Republican-controlled Senate voted Oct. 5 to impose restrictions on the treatment of terrorism suspects. Defying the White House, senators voted 90-9 to approve an amendment to prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in US government custody. The amendment was added to a $440 billion military spending bill for the budget year that began Oct. 1. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), also requires all service members to follow procedures in the Army Field Manual when they detain and interrogate terrorism suspects.

Cheney: "decades of war"

Vice President Dick Cheney said that the US must be prepared to fight the War on Terrorism for decades. Speaking to US military personnel at the Association of the US Army in Washington DC, he said that the only way terrorists would win was if the US lost its nerve and abandoned Iraq and the Middle East. "Like other great duties in history, it will require decades of patient effort, and it will be resisted by those whose only hope for power is through the spread of violence," he said.

Spain convicts 9-11 suspect, rebukes US

From the Sept. 27 NY Times, reprinted in the International Herald Tribune:

A Spanish court on Monday convicted a Syrian man of conspiring to commit the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, and found 17 other men guilty of belonging to or aiding a Spanish cell of Al Qaeda under his command.

George Galloway: blame the Jews

British MP George Galloway, current darling of the left for his testimony against the Iraq war before the US Senate earlier this year and for slaying such mediocre dragons as Christopher Hitchens, reveals a disturbing side in a Sept. 9 interview with the loopy conspiranoid site Prison Planet, in which he both blames the Jews for persecution of Jews (including bringing Hitler to power), as well as for unleashing the global terror wave upon the world.

Hunger strikers pledge to die in Gitmo

More than 200 detainees in Guantánamo Bay are in their fifth week of a hunger strike, the UK Guardian reports Sept. 9. The paper cites statements from prisoners recently declassified by the US government, revealing that the men are starving themselves in protest at the conditions in the camp and claimed abuses by guards—including desecration of the Koran.

Al-Qaeda ready to go nuclear?

A forthcoming book by former FBI consultant claims al-Qaeda has acquired a stockpile of nuclear weapons, that some are already planted in major US cities, and the group is actively seeking more. Citing documents purportedly seized in Afghanistan, author Paul Williams says the terrorist organization is paying nuclear scientists from Russia and Pakistan to maintain its existing nuclear arsenal and assemble additional weapons.

Turkish intelligence: al-Qaeda a "secret service operation"?

Louai Sakra, a supposed al-Qaeda operative held responsible for the November 2003 bombings in Istanbul and plans to launch attacks against cruise liners carrying Israeli tourists in Turkish ports, was arrested by Turkish authorities in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir last week. The apprehension of the Syrian national was hailed by the British embassy as "a significant success in the global struggle against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations." (MSNBC, Aug. 17)

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