Response to Massive anti-Bush protest expected in New York in August


This afternoon I watched a program (once again on an Indy news station) where two U.S. journalists and two Arab journalists discussed various issues pertaining to the current war in Iraq.  During that program I saw two things I never have seen before, one was coverage from an Arab television station of the Democratic National Convention, showing two punching matches between protestors and police and protestors lighting an effigy of BOTH Presidential candidates on fire.  This was literally the first time I had heard of any protests or any direct action, or violence, of any kind, related to antiwar sentiments at the DNC in Boston this past July, and I do an awful lot of reading and listening.  In response to what I read I looked more stuff up on the internet and came across the following three news items on protests that occurred at the DNC.  One of them confirms scuttles with the police and the burning effigy.  This broadcast from the Arab news media, which I saw only on a fluke, flipping channels and purposely looking for some other media coverage of the antiwar effort besides the mainstream coverage in the U.S., was literally the first and only time I have seen that burning effigy. 

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/conventions/articles/2004/07/25/protests_lacking_in_marchers_incidents/

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,126943,00.html

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5551003/

The other information that I was blessed to see was an interview in which one of the Iraqis who had been tortured at Abu Ghiraib prison spoke on camera about his experience at the hands of the U.S. marines currently being tried in the U.S.  I say that I was "blessed" to see this man speak because I was filled with so much hurt and compassion for this person, and that reminds me that I am not wrong in opposing this war.

I want to make it abundantly clear to all of our friends in the Arab community who may be reading the information on this antiwar site, I cannot possibly stress this enough, that although we heard the news reports (which were watered down) and we saw some of the photos (many of which were edited and blurred out in certain sections) -- THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE NOT HEARD, IN THEIR NEWS MEDIA, THE STORIES OF THESE TORTURED IRAQIS.  I can say with all honesty that public opinion on Bush and the War PLUMMETED when the American people saw those photos, and that we have not heard these stories.  This was the first time I had ever heard, or seen, any news broadcast in which a victim of this torture spoke openly about his experience. 

I still understand that some of the soldiers over in Iraq are brainwashed in basic training and are ordered to do things that they know are morally wrong, and this damages them psychologically, and I will continue to say that our soldiers, if they are being given a raw deal, are getting that raw deal from the military and not from those of us who are demanding an end to this occupation.  But especially after what I saw I wish to make it ABUNDANTLY clear that I do not support in any way, or justify in any way, what was done to the man whose story I heard today.  I do not believe anyone, not even those who initially support the war, etc., would support such cruelty against anyone and I think that this is the reason why we have not seen or heard these people's stories, because there would be an unprecendented outrage, and the problem would be harder to whitewash.  If that were my brother, given the order to do those things to those prisoners, I would rather he be shot for treason than take such an order.  The American people were lied to, we were told we were coming in to help Iraqis get rid of a vicious dictator.  We were not told about the rest of the agenda.  Many of us want this to end and want our troops to come home to their families.  I do not believe that any mother in her right mind would want her son torturing others in the manner this man described in his interview with the Arab news media.  I am going to to contact the station that aired the program I saw and ask for a copy of the tape, and I am going to show and lend that tape to others so they can hear and see what I heard.  When this is over, whatever government is in place must demand without any relenting, that those people who were tortured get counseling, and reparations for what was done to them.  I know there will be people in the U.S. demanding the same.

Recently in the U.S. there was a case where a bunch of chickens meant to be killed and used in the fast food industry were tortured.  The incident of animal cruelty was captured on tape and broadcast in the media.  Less than a week later, every single one of the employees involved in the incident lost their positions.  There was no whitewashing and no excuse made for them.  I know that in God's eyes (whatever God you may believe in) people are precious, more precious than a chicken.  I am ashamed that my country gave a more appropriate response to the torture of a chicken than to the torture of a human being.


Created By: Dayann Molina-McDonough