Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bush Saudi friends to beat, imprison rape *victim*

A 19 year old Saudi Arabian young woman who was kidnapped and gang raped will suffer 200 lashes as well as 6 months in jail ... because when she was raped, she was with a man *who was not a relative.*

Originally the Shiite Muslim teenager was supposed to receive 90 lashes because she broke Saudi Arabia's Islamic law that requires separation of men and women. You would not recognize who she is because women are not permitted to show their faces or bodies in Saudi Arabia.

But the Saudi General Court upped her sentence because her lawyer challenged the sentence, appealing their verdict, and she is accused of speaking to someone in the media about the case.

"For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows an appeal without resorting to the media," reads the Saudi General Court official statement.

All seven men who raped her and beat the unrelated man she was with are also going to spend some time in jail, their original sentences also doubled, but the length of their incarceration is not known.

In keeping with the Bush administration's support of Saudi Arabia, a State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack did not criticize the Saudis, but is quoted as saying the victim's sentence "causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment." He also notes, however, that "It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it."

While the US administration may be surprised and astonished, other governments are outraged, calling the situation barbaric and are livid that the victim of violent sexual abuse is going to be beaten and imprisoned.

The result will be that women will not report rape in Saudi Arabia for fear she will also be beaten and imprisoned. Which of course means that rapists won't be identified, caught or punished for raping Islamic women there.

These Saudi friends are the same people to whom the US is selling billions of dollars of state of the art weapons; the majority of terrorists who attacked the US on 9-11 were Saudis, Saudis are financing those fighting the US in Iraq, and many Saudis are in fact inside Iraq, fighting US forces.

I've always wondered why the Bush administration is so upset with the help Iran is providing those fighting the US in Iraq when the Saudi assistance to insurgents financially and with personnel has overshadowed the Iranian participation by far.

These are the questions I wish reporters would ask the President at his press conferences, especially when gas prices are expected to reach $4.00/gal within the next few months thanks to our problems with the Middle East, in which our Saudi "friends" don't seem to be able to help us out and that is apparently OK with the Bush administration.

If you would like to share your opinion with the Saudi Arabian Embassy in the US, here's the contact info:

Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
Tel.: 202-342-3800
Fax: 202-944-3140

Meanwhile, I should add that it is just in Saudi Arabia that women have such repressive "laws" by which they are supposed to live: they cannot be in the company of a man who is not a relative; the cannot drive a vehicle, they cannot vote, they are not to show their face or body, and they cannot hold a job.

Other Muslim nations "permit" women to do most of these things. Islamic law is interpreted and enforced differently in each Muslim nation.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Pat Tillman fragged?

Dear Reader,

Originally I planned to proceed with part 2 of my 3-part series (2. prosperity, 3. health and how a peace time economy helps these things flourish, a war economy does not), but I believe the breaking story about former football star and now war hero (as a US Air Force veteran, I believe all our soldiers killed in battle are heroes because they have put themselves in harm's way on our behalf) Pat Tillman.

It has long been suspected by his family that Tillman, for whatever reason, was fragged while on duty in Afghanistan, and that the US government, particularly the White House, wanted to cover the facts of his death because he had been used as a propaganda tool by President Bush, who insisted - untruthfully - that Tillman was a patriot who supported his administration's policies.

Tillman, a true patriot indeed, did not support the US invasion of Iraq and was outspoken in his political and personal viewpoints.

"Fragged" is the American military term for US soldiers killing one of their own, usually an officer, for a number of reasons, but the top of the list is just that the person is "unpopular."

This term (not the practice) started in the Vietnam war, and the usual means of killing the person is a hand grenade (fragmenting the person and the weapon so it would not leave any clues or evidence about who committed the murder as bullets do).

At first the military reported that Tillman was shot by the enemy. Later they confessed that Tillman had been killed accidentally by "friendly fire."

But the evidence does not indicate an accidental shooting.

Tillman was shot in the head three times, the bullets all close together and from American military rifle(s). The military admitted there was no enemy fire in the area. IMO, the bullets should provide the evidence needed with ballistic tests. The investigation should also include the location of the bullet casings to determine where the shooter was; it's estimated Tillman was shot at close range, accidental or not.

You can read Martha Mendoza's Associated Press report about the investigation for the here.

In it, she writes Tillman's last words were to a frightened comrade: "Stop sniveling."

[NOTE: A comrade of Tillman's says this "quote" is not true; that Tillman would not speak to a suffering soldier this way; that it is a continuing post-mortem character assassination made by the Bush administration's refusal to release all the investigation information surrounding Tillman's death.]

Tillman's mother has said many times she wants to find the truth about her son's death, and if he was murdered, as she has long suspected, justice for those who killed him - particularly if he was "fragged."

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fighting terrorists "over there" so we don't have to fight them "here"

I hope someone understands how preposterous this supposition is.

I'm neither paranoid nor am I privy to any special information, and I am aware that terrorists are already in our midst, just as they are in Europe, England and other nations throughout the world.

It's only common sense.

Canada's liberal immigration laws permitted many people to live there whose background in either Islamic or Middle East political extremism would prohibit them from entry into the US.

In December, 1999, an alert US customs agent spotted one of them crossing a Northwest American border with a car whose trunk was *loaded* with explosives. She and three other agents captured and arrested him. His passenger escaped.

To believe that no other terrorists have safely crossed that and other borders after 9/11 would be extremely naive.

As much as the Bush administration and far right wing Republicans plead that they need to "fight terrorists over in Iraq so they don't come here," the fact is that in Iraq there are very few non-Iraqi or Iraqi terrorists participating in that civil war and fighting the US military there. Reliable estimates run *less than* 4% of those fighting are al qaeda-related.

Terrorists don't have to be in Iraq because Iraqis fighting the civil and other war against the US there are doing the terrorists' work for them.

Which leaves the terrorists free to move throughout the world as we devote so many resources and attention to Iraq to gain access to its oil.

This war, in fact, is fodder to stimulate anti-US and anti-West emotions among people who are already convinced that Western culture is a tool of Satan.

A recent report from Iraq noted that every time Americans reconstruct a school or other building there, it is destroyed by insurgents. What had been reported by the Bush administration as a successful US drive to reconstruct a number of resources there turned out to be untrue; there continues to be extreme problems because of the ongoing destruction, a lack of clean water and electricity.

Imagine living day to day trying to make a living, educate your children and even survive, with the constant threat of explosions, destruction and bloodletting, let alone being without clean water or electricity.

The terrorists are using what is seen by many people in the world as a demonstrable act of aggression by the US into Iraq as emotional fodder to inspire recruits to work against us.

Perhaps even more significantly:

The world - and especially the terrorists - bitterly note that President Bush displays the arrogance of someone who seems to believe it's OK to destroy a nation "over there," killing more than half a million innocent children, women and men "over there;" to leave so many Iraqi victims without limbs and faces and a real future "over there," or allow the massive corruption that has "lost" tens of billions of our hard-earned US tax dollars "over there."

This while we sit in the comfort of our warm living rooms watching the latest American Idol, chat about the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy over the water cooler at work, complain about all the homework we have to do for class tomorrow or become frustrated with the long wait in line for Spidey 3.

Meanwhile, as an Air Force veteran, I am sad to see so many of our US military and civilian forces coming home killed, wounded, maimed or harmed in some way in a war that was not carefully debated or considered before they were sent "over there" by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, according to former CIA director George Tenent.

Common sense *should* tell us that devoting so many of our resources in Iraq only makes for a great distraction for Americans as the terrorists go about their business here and in a number of nations.

This short-sightedness is one of the main reasons those who opposed invading Iraq in the first place were so angry. They saw this outcome, why didn't others?

I'll never forget the mistreatment Michael Moore received at the 2004 Academy Awards when he announced that the Bush administration lied to us about the war in Iraq. The audience booed and the media villified him. We didn't want to believe him. The democrats were too afraid to challenge the president.

We are not fighting the terrorists, folks. We're just giving them plenty of time to wait. And plan. Patiently.

Ask anyone in US military or intelligence or knowledgeable political circles: it will be a miracle if terrorists don't strike the US, and in a significant way.

Meanwhile, the British have devoted many resources to stay one step ahead of terrorists in their nation; not always successfully, but they have prevented several catastrophes. Spain and other nations have also felt the lethal wrath of terrorists' deadly brutality.

The Bush administration told us a number of reasons for invading Iraq, not the least of which was ridding the world of the demonic Saddam Hussein. He's gone. He's not only been gone for awhile, he's been killed, along with many of his associates and family.

Why aren't we out of there after Saddam's government was successfully destroyed, after he was successfully captured, after he was successfully tried, convicted and hung along with his cronies?

Because the Bush administration did not understand the outcome of its actions and is incapable of seeing the US/Iraqi war for what it is:

Political, military, financial, emotional, moral and cultural quicksand.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The war with Iraq - who's on first?

Do you know that President Bush has *never* attended the funeral or memorial service of even one soldier killed in Iraq?

But he attended the memorial service at Virginia Tech last week, proclaiming he mourned the senseless deaths of the 32 students killed by another student.

Flags fly at half mast honoring those slain students.

No flag has hung at half mast mourning the more than 3,300 American military lives lost in Iraq in the past four years.

Only starting this year, after a legal battle was fought are military caskets brought home to American soil in public. That legal fight was brought about by the parent of a son killed in Iraq who wanted the public to see - to understand - that his son gave his life for his country.

Before this, military caskets were brought home out of public view. In fact, there was a huge broohaha over a photo released to the media that showed a plane load of caskets carrying Americans soldiers killed in action home from Iraq.

It's almost as if the Bush adminstration wants the human cost of this war shaded in some sort of secrecy for fear the public would be outraged if we found out the truth and saw for ourselves the reality of what is going on.

Speaking of truth, did you know, according to author Jeremy Scahill, that the Bush administration has hired some 48,000 "private" soldiers from Blackwater mercenary services to fight in Iraq?

Which means we can actually withdraw the US military, but still pay billions for mercenary soldiers from other nations to continue the fight on our behalf - in our name - there?

A couple more books on the subject that may interest you that are not as politically progressive are Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) by P.W. Singer, and Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror by Robert Young Pelton.

Does this mean we are paying all those billions of tax dollars for the Bush administration to outsource a "US war" with Iraq?

Actually, Bush has pushed the US into what some declare catastrophic debt by borrowing the money to fight in Iraq - mostly from our, um, "close ally" China. Right.

There are some constitutional questions - like is this a legal war to begin with? What does having expensive private soldiers fighting a war on behalf of the US - in our name - mean?

Does going into such horrific debt with China give them some sort of power over us if they suddenly declare they want to get paid what we've borrowed from them *now!*?

Again - why are we losing all those American lives fighting a war in Iraq? Why are our valiant men and women coming home missing limbs, faces, and even their sanity? Only to have problems receiving proper medical and psychological care at home? Only to have families go through hell because their soldier has been so traumatized by what they've done and seen?

Why are we viewed in the world, more and more, as terrorists, invaders and occupiers instead of the good guys - liberators, freedom fighters and defenders of the downtrodden?

The only answers we seem to be getting to these questions are more questions .... like-

who's on first?

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