Friday, November 24, 2017

It's US, Tribune, not getting message on starving Yemenis

The Tribune's editorial 'Are the Saudis getting the message: Stop starving civilians' exemplifies everything wrong with American foreign policy ...and American journalism. The Editorial Board, lamenting the tens of thousands dead, a million suffering cholera and millions more on the brink of starvation in Yemen, blames it all on Saudi Arabia. Not a pixel posted how the US enables these crimes against humanity with our intelligence, mid air refueling of Saudi death planes and, of course, the tens of billions in sales of America's most destructive WCD (Weapons of Civilian Destruction). The Board knows full well US complicity in Saudi war crimes but erases it from the Yemen humanitarian catastrophe narrative . To so delicately urge Trump to do more to get its best munitions customer to ease up on the Yemenis is profoundly immoral and ludicrous. The US could stop the slaughter in a heartbeat by ending all criminal military support and arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The Tribune editorial board is not alone. Every major news outlet in America depending on access to the government for news, the currency of its existence, is equally complicit in this senseless and totally unnecessary human tragedy. That is why Ike didn't get it quite right when he warned us, on January 17, 1961, about the pernicious Military-Industrial Complex. He should have said, "Beware the Military-Industrial-Media Complex."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Uncle Sam...for state sponsor of terror...look in mirror

Trump's hoisting North Korea back up on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, nine years after Bush Jr. took them down, would be laughable if not so pathetic. North Korea is not the biggest enabler of Saudi Arabia's genocide in neighboring Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands, inflicted a million with cholera, and put millions more on the path to starvation. North Korea isn't raining tens of thousands of bombs yearly on Iraq killing thousands of innocents....then lying about it. The US war party claims civilians are only killed in 1 in 157 bombings. The NY Times reports the true figure is 1 in 5. The US kills more folks with its terrorist bombings throughout the Middle East and Africa than all nations combined. It doesn't matter who occupies the Oval Office. Bush Jr., Obama and now Trump all take orders from the US war party, the champ at state sponsored terrorism. Time for Uncle Sam to look in the mirror...then put that guy on the list to be sanctioned for needless slaughter around the world.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Manson death should re-ignite needed criminal justice reform

Cult killer Charlie Manson's death yesterday at 83 would have purpose if it could re-focus efforts to reform justice for murderers, even the most heinous.

Manson and his three young female followers were all sentenced to death but given life sentences due to a technicality invoked by the Supreme Court. None of the four should have been sentenced to death, and the two remaining alive, Leslie Van Houten and Susan Krenwinkel, should be released without further delay if arrangements can be secured for a safe and stable home life.

The death penalty, still legal in 31 states and the federal government, serves no societal purpose whatsoever; indeed it causes harm to the political culture by glorifying the very thing it is intended to punish and prevent: senseless death.

Life imprisonment for all but incorrigibles like Manson, is also an unnecessary, wasteful use of criminal justice resources. There is virtual agreement among criminal justice experts that the young Manson girls were incapable of criminal intent or action but for the Svengali like and drug induced control Manson exerted over them. They're old women simply soaking up precious space and money that would be better spent on truly dangerous felons.

If his death could move these overdue criminal justice reforms over the finish line, it would represent an important plus gleaned from the grotesque life of Charlie Manson.