Discussion about torture, Iraq and Afghanistan

05/20/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday)

Today we opened the program to phone calls from listeners. Host Rob Lorei started the program by playing a soundclip from CNN in which an attorney for a former detainee at Guantanamo said her client had been tortured at Guantanamo and that the extent of torture in U.S. secret prisons had not yet been revealed.

During the live call-in segment, a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars described his experience. He affirmed that he witnessed cases of torture and unwarranted killing of civilians while he served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also said that in his experience, a combatant would never reveal the truth while being tortured. He said on several ocassions he witnessed people being tortured who gave false information.

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A recent caller to WMNf wanted to attach the name ‘fascist’ to the GOP in response to the GOP attempting to label liberal/progressive Democrats as socialist. It is not a big stretch to make that connection to the ultra right-wing GOP; much of their policy & rhetoric are reminiscent of fascism. Most of the last administration’s ideology was corporate oligarchy, the classic guidepost of fascism, as the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, said: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”. Fascist/fascism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism http://www.answers.com/topic/fascism On the other hand, the GOP’s attempts to link liberal/progressive Democrats to socialism is their fifty year old attempt to equate socialism with communism [a la Joe McCarthy?]. Nothing could be more wrong on its face, and nothing could be more absurd in its content. Crying wolf from the sidelines, after being soundly repudiated for their flawed ideology, is not a sound policy, a viable strategy, or a platform of relevance. Is it any surprise that their ratings are in the toilet? Look at the reality of socialism as we know it today, not as it was practiced by the USSR. The fourth largest economy in the world is Germany; the fifth is France. Granted, they have problems, just as we in the U.S. have problems. But, ask any German or Frenchman if they’d change their system for ours. Ask the same of any Swede, Canadian, Brit, etc. Their quality of life is better; their life expectancy is better; they are more secure; they are better educated; they care more for their culture and its members; their democracy is more equitable; their per capita income is greater; their jobs more secure; ad nauseum. And they did it all on a socialist ideology! This is a bad thing? Socialsim/socialist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism Vive la difference, The Economist: http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13610197 If one makes the effort to check the total costs of living and supporting governments in the ‘western/industrialized’ world, you will find that those costs are nearly equal in all ‘western/industrialized’ nations, with only minor variations between them. So, our ‘cowboy’ ideology of ‘go-it-alone/free-markets’ and ‘ponzi’ schemes galore, has robbed us of the quality of life and equality of opportunity enjoyed elsewhere in the ‘western/industrialized’ nations of the world, under ‘socialism’ as currently practiced by those nations. This is a good thing? This is what the corporate oligarchy wants, what their GOP puppets endlessly espouse, and what Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” This is what liberals/progressives’ are trying to lead us away from. But, charting a new course for the ship of state is an exceedingly difficult task, especially when the ‘old dogs’ rowing on the other side of the boat refuse to learn new ways and transform their ancient behaviors.