Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Peace Action Letters

I have been handed a wonderful opportunity to participate in a project of corresponding with an Iraqi, and facilitating a similar correspondence between and American and an Iraqi for any American who wants to do so, bypassing the mass media, the government, the official channels, and just reaching out, one human being to another, to the people we attacked.

Sarah A.K. Ahmed is collecting letters of

reconciliation to bring some love and peace from Americans like you and me to her country, Iraq. Have you had enough of war? Go to:

Share your sentiments of friendship, good will, and solidarity with the Iraqi people!

Just write what you feel toward their suffering.  Dr Ahmed will be collecting the letters in August to bring with her when she returns to Iraq to attempt to resume her dentistry practice.  In 2011 she had to abandon her work and flee to refuge in Jordan, due to the violence and civil dysfunction in Iraq.

By 2012, the Iraqi people continued to struggle to rebuild a ruined infrastructure, lacking in potable water, electricity, transportation, housing, medicine and education.

In June of 2013, the Secretary General of the U.N. issued a statement expressing concern over “the unfolding political and security situation in Iraq, including the escalating political tensions and the appalling upsurge of violence that has killed a high number of civilians over the last two months.”  Will you send a message of peace and friendship to the people of Iraq?  Encourage them.  They continue to struggle with the devastation and upheaval caused by our armed forces.
Letters can be mailed to:  Peace Action Manhattan, P.O. Box 10, Planetarium Station, New York, NY 10025.  Or, I will collect them if you notify me. --Florindo Troncelliti
Sample Letter
Dear People of Iraq,

We’re sorry for the destruction of your country caused by our invasion and the consequent civil war. We tried to stop it. When our government and commercial mass media were stirring up the U.S. public for war, we saw through their lies. We begged, pleaded, protested, marched, wrote letters, made phone calls and organized to prevent the a war. But the war came anyway.

It was premeditated: a war of aggression. I remember watching the first night of dropping the bombs on Baghdad, the horror of an ancient city, defenseless, and the civilians completely vulnerable to our excessive, bloodthirsty use of force. We hoped they would catch or kill the dictator, Hussein, and then the war would be over.

But none of us understood the full darkness and malevolence of our military and government officials. None of us dreamed that our real intention was to destroy your country completely. Our intention was to wreck your infrastructure: roads, airports, bridges, water and electrical systems, schools, hospitals, farms, etc… Our goal was to completely lay Iraq to waste and disempower its people. We didn’t know that. We trusted our leaders. We thought they were after Saddam, your leaders, many were hanged, and the weapons.

Now we know they were after oil, military bases, and the protection of Israel. We also know these had nothing to do with you, the Iraqi people. You became collateral damage, 650,000 to 1,000,000 of you, or more. The 3--5 million refugees in Iraq could not have anticipated the thoroughly vicious and lethal force of the American assault on you and your country. Our leaders and our military betrayed us, too. They didn’t go to liberate the Iraqi people, but to destroy them. For this we are ashamed and whole-heartedly sorry.

We want you to know that we wish you well, that it was never our intention to harm any of you. It was our government that did this against our will and protestation. We write to ask your forgiveness. We did not have to share in your suffering, but please let us share in your renewal.


ters can be mailed to: Peace Action Manhattan, P.O. Box 10, Planetarium Station, New York, NY 10025. Or, I will collect them if you notify me. --Florindo Troncelliti

Monday, August 19, 2013

Top Secret America

Reading Dana Priest and William Arkin's Top Secret America.  There's a lot of eye opening information in there.

A couple of things that stand out here in the early going for me have to do with, naturally, media control, and also the response to 9/11.

One of the big reactions to 9/11 justifying the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and all that crap, was supposed to be the paramount necessity for intelligence sharing among the agencies.  The authors say,
Thus, a post-9/11 goal of breaking down walls to give decision makers a broader analysis, all easily accessible online, was completely defeated.
 Also, at another point in the narrative, the reporters are trying to find out what agencies in what buildings are going to be connected by a private contractor's cable installation they had stumbled upon.  They found out where the cable was to be installed--between offices in different buildings--and then tried to divine what offices they were, and what they needed the connection for.

They offered up this tidbit along the way:
... Influence operations, as the name suggests, are aimed at secretly influencing or manipulating the opinions of foreign audiences, either on an actual battlefield--such as during a feint in a tactical battle--or within the civilian population, such as in undermining support for an existing government or terrorist group.  They are also deeply involved with broader efforts to sway international opinion in line with American interests.
Sometimes this involves ploys such as planted newspaper stories and political advertising campaigns for foreign leaders supported by the United States.  Other operations have involved intentionally passing disinformation to foreign leaders or spies in highly classified deception operations.  In most cases, American involvement is hidden."
Fun to digest.   So our super deluxe intelligence community has been manipulating public opinion in foreign countries for political reasons--planting false stories in the news (propaganda), and by "broader efforts" we are "deeply involved in."

Even more alarming, a lot of this work is now being carried out by contractors from private, for profit corporations.  In the shapeshifting of people passing through the revolving door from private contractor to government employee, who is monitoring these efforts to remain certain none of the disinformation or political manipulation techniques we find so useful abroad, do not sort of --just a little bit, maybe--get used in domestic operations by the private contractors--either in that guise or in their guise as government employees?

Who can prove that disinformation and public manipulation has not transpired in big stories like Saddam's weapons of mass destruction fabrication or all the mysterious details of the 9/11 highjackers and the collapse of the buildings at the World Trade Center--not to mention the attack on the Pentagon?

That's my surmising, anyway.  I can't wait to read the last 2/3 of this fascinating book about the National Security State, Top Secret America.