Le site Bellaciao: coloré, multiple, ou le meilleur cotoie fort heureusement le pire, mélangé, bizarre, picabien et dadaîste, explorant toutes sortes de registres et de régimes rhétoriques, drole et polémiqueur, surréaliste: rencontre d'un parapluie et d'une machine à coudre sur une table de dissection, têtes de Lénine sur le clavier d'un piano Steinway ou Bosendorfer...
FR
ES
Senal en Vivo
VIDEO
RADIO
FRIENDS SITES
with Bellaciao
Bellaciao hosted by
To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
Bellaciao  mobile version   |   Home  |   About us   |   Donation  |   Links  |   Contact  |   Search
The Psychodynamics of Occupation and the Abuse at Abu Ghraib: An Interpretation After One Year of Revelations

by : Stephen Soldz
Monday April 11, 2005 - 04:51

by Stephen Soldz

There are various explanations for what went on at Abu Ghraib. The official US position is that a "few bad apples" among the reservist military police (MPs) there went out of control, violating orders to treat the prisoners humanely — "Animal House on the night shift," as former defense secretary James Schlesinger described it.(1) The MP defendants claim that they were following orders to soften up the prisoners as a prelude to interrogation. Investigative journalists have documented in detail the chain of memos, orders, and "advice" that led from the top reaches of the US administration to the actions of those MPs.

To write about the psychological aspects of the Abu Ghraib horrors, one must have a theory of what actually happened. So let me make explicit my view of what happened, derived from reading hundreds of newspaper and other accounts of abuse throughout the developing network of US detention centers in Iraq and elsewhere. After 9/11, decisions were made at the upper reaches of the US administration that detainees in America’s "War on Terror" did not deserve traditional protections.(2, 3) Justified by the needs of developing intelligence, brutal methods of treatment of detainees — "tantamount to torture" as the International Committee of the Red Cross calls it(2, 4) — became routine.(1, 2, 5-18)

The decision was made to adopt brutal techniques in order to "break" the detainees. As one e-mail in August 2003 from a Military Intelligence officer put it: "The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees, Col Boltz has made it clear that we want these individuals broken. Casualties are mounting and we need to start gathering info to help protect our fellow soldiers from any further attacks. I thank you for your hard work and your dedication."(19)

The prison was put under the control of military intelligence.(2, 20) As recommended by Guantánamo commander Major General Geoffrey Miller, techniques of total control and torture in use at Guantánamo(4, 12, 19, 21, 22) were imported as Abu Ghraib was "Gitmoized."(1) As a former Army intelligence officer described Miller’s recommendation: "It means treat the detainees like shit until they will sell their mother for a blanket, some food without bugs in it and some sleep."(23) Waterboarding was imported and dogs were frequently used to instill fear in the detainees.(17) Pressure was put on the MPs guarding prisoners to "set the conditions" for interrogations, and to "manipulate an internee’s emotions and weaknesses."(20) Typical of large bureaucratic organizations, the MPs were given no clear instructions, allowing for "plausible deniability." Thus, the official story of a "few bad apples" doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as abuse was typical of the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib and at the myriad (over 20) other detention facilities in Iraq, as well as those in Cuba and Afghanistan. Further, it is not plausible to believe that these MPs, unschooled in interrogation techniques, rediscovered so many of the CIA’s standard torture techniques, designed to humiliate and "break" detainees, as well as special forms of sexual humiliation that would be especially humiliating and degrading to Arab males.(2)

However, the official story isn’t totally false, either. While it is hard to be certain, testimony at the trials of the Abu Ghraib MPs designated as the "fall guys" suggests that they did their share of freelancing. A number of these MPs were having quite a good time abusing the prisoners. As Pvt. Jeremy Sivits testified at the court martial of Spc. Charles Graner, "The soldiers were laughing, seeming to be having a good time" and Pvt. Ivan Frederick II testified that "everybody was smiling and carrying on."(24)

While I have no doubt that torture was policy, we still are faced with the questions of why MPs not trained in interrogation and torture proved so willing to adopt these techniques, and enjoyed themselves along the way, and why soldiers throughout Iraq and Afghanistan engaged in repeated acts of torture and abuse.

What I want to focus on here are a few relatively underemphasized aspects of the war and occupation that contributed to the pervasiveness of abuse. Like all wars, the 2003 Iraq invasion was proceeded by a propaganda barrage. Fantasies of weapons of mass destruction were propagated repeatedly by the Administration, politicians of both parties, and the corporate media, despite serious doubts having been raised as to the existence of these weapons by numerous knowledgeable critics.(25-27) Unstated, but understood by all, was that this war was to be revenge for 9/11; revenge for the death, but even more, revenge for the humiliation.(28, 29) When Saddam’s statue was toppled in Firdos Square in April 2003, the US troops draped it with an American flag. The desire for revenge, while unstated, suggested that anything visited upon the Iraqis was acceptable, as revenge creates its own logic.

Stated, rather, was the avowed aim to "liberate" Iraqis from an oppressive regime. Iraqis would greet the invading troops with flowers and open arms, it was claimed. Despite cute propaganda exercises like the stage-managed toppling of Saddam’s statue, the flowers and open arms never materialized. Iraqis were decidedly ambivalent about being invaded and occupied by a foreign power. Within weeks American troops were firing into crowds of Iraqis, killing a number,(30, 31) and lying about the events. Deaths of civilians at roadblocks were a constant.(32-35) And the insurgency grew and grew, its supporters coming to number perhaps 200,000, as estimated by the head of the Iraqi Interim government’s intelligence service.(36)

So what do occupation soldiers do when the stated reason for their occupation of another country is to liberate the populace, but many of that populace regard them as invaders and either respond sullenly to their presence, or actively resist occupation? One coping strategy is to try and distinguish between the "good guys" and the "bad guys." As Staff Sgt. Riley Flaherty expressed it: "What’s really hard is the fine line between the bad guys and the good guys.... Because if you piss off the wrong good guys, you’re really in trouble. So you’ve really got to watch what you do and how you treat the people."(37) That is, the occupied population is split into its good and bad elements, with evil projected onto the bad, and the good construed as largely childlike and in need of protection, but also prone to turn bad at a moment’s notice.

However, the task of an occupation army is one of control of the populace. As Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Aldrich, from the same unit as Sgt. Flaherty, put it: "I’ve got 200,000 Iraqis I’ve got to control with 18 people... so I’ve got to command respect. And unfortunately, all that hearts and minds stuff, I can’t even think about that." He goes on to explain "There are things I have to do out here that I can’t explain to my chain of command, and that the American people would never understand."(37) Given this requirement, the definition of a good Iraqi becomes one who aids the occupiers in their lonesome task, and there are precious few of them. As Sgt. Aldrich explains: "Because you aren’t helping me catch the bad guys, and if you’re not helping me, you are the bad guy."(37) Given this definition, the distinction between good and bad easily breaks down and nearly the entire occupied populace can become bad.

Another characteristic of occupation is the difficulty the occupation troops have in viewing the occupied as adults, as individuals with wishes, dreams, and intentions of their own. Rather, they are essentially childlike, deserving protection when good, and a spanking when bad. The same Sgt. Flaherty, on a frustrating day, explained: "These people don’t understand nice... You’ve got to be a hard-ass."(37) The entire populace becomes the enemy, as expressed by Sgt. Aldrich: "The one thing you learn over here is that there are no innocent civilians, except the kids. And even them — the ones that are all, ’Hey mister, mister, chocolate?’ — I’ll be killing them someday."(37) Note, the absence of any pretense that the occupation is intended to help the occupied. Such illusions are left for the media and PR flacks.

War, including war of occupation, of course involves fear, a pervasive fear and an awareness that death is possible at any moment. That fear, and that awareness, we are reminded by Terror Management Theory,(38) leads to a defense of one’s worldview, which in most cases means an increased attachment to the cultural norms of one’s society, and a rejection and punitive attitude towards those that threaten that worldview. For the occupier, it is the natives, the occupied and their culture, who are rejected.

Another aspect of war is its overwhelmingly masculine quality; war is an assertion of dominance over the other, perceived as weak, as cowardly, as a wimp.(39) Thus, the repeated description of the 9/11 attackers as "cowardly," probably the characteristic least accurately descriptive of them. As President Bush said that day: "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward,"(40) attempting to remove the shame by describing the attackers with the most denigrating description. By this means the attacker is made both morally depraved and weak, not really masculine. Yet, the rhetoric simultaneously betrays the fear that underlies it. For today’s women in combat, proving that they are "one of the guys" can be the key to survival.(41)

As the occupied are rejected and become the repository of all that which is rejected by the occupiers, it is but a step to portraying the enemy, those unwilling to meekly submit to occupation, as absolute evil, as was expressed by Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Brandl on the eve of the November, 2004 assault on Falluja: "The enemy has got a face. He’s called Satan. He lives in Falluja. And we’re going to destroy him."(42) Is it any wonder that Falluja was almost totally destroyed, with virtually no buildings left undamaged ? Or that Fallujans who return to their city are treated as if they are concentration camp inmates?(43, 44) Or that this new concentration camp was described as the "safest city in Iraq" by Marine Cpl. Daniel Ferrari,(45) while an anonymous soldier left a memento on a random household’s mirror: "Fuck Iraq and every Iraqi in it!"(44)

Now return to Abu Ghraib. A small contingent of ill-trained reservist MPs was in charge of guarding thousands of unruly prisoners who were enraged at being imprisoned, largely unjustly, and enraged at the squalid conditions in which they were kept, perhaps best symbolized by the bugs infesting their rancid food.(46) The MPs didn’t speak the language of the prisoners, and had few translators; communication difficulties were so great that the guards evidently did not know that a prison riot was a response to the food situation.

These guards were of low status in the military, being reservists, and were assigned to the undesirable task of guarding prisoners. They lived in constant fear, as nightly attacks on the prison were complemented by riots and attacks from the prisoners. Their military comrades-in-arms were dying in large numbers from the growing insurgency.

The pressure built to generate actionable intelligence from the prisoners, so that the anti-occupation insurgency could be broken. General Miller visited and recommended that the prison be dedicated to the gathering of intelligence, and that the brutal torture techniques developed at Guantánamo(4, 12, 21, 47-51) be utilized. MPs were to "set the conditions" for interrogation(20) by abusing and terrorizing prisoners. Military intelligence was placed in control of the prison by the head of US forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez.(20) Many arcane torture techniques, such as waterboarding and forced homosexual sex, developed by the CIA over decades, were put into general use.(3, 19, 52) The message was communicated that senior officials, including Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, were very interested in the intelligence being generated at Abu Ghraib, that the work of these lowly reservists was truly important.(19)

The effort to generate intelligence out of the prisoners was especially difficult as, according to military intelligence sources, perhaps 70%-90% of them were innocent of any involvement with the insurgents,(19, 53) and just happened to be present at a checkpoint, or in their home, when one of the brutal "cordon and capture" raids occurred.(19) Nonetheless, the response of top military leaders to their innocence was callous at best. Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski is quoted as telling Brig. Gen. Janice Karpinski, the officer in charge of Iraqi prisons: "I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians! We’re winning the war!" while the officer in charge of US forces in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, retorted: "Why are we detaining these people, we should be killing them."(54)

The nature of prisons is such that prisoners are usually presumed guilty by the guards. If they didn’t commit the offense for which they were arrested, they must have done something wrong; why else would they be in prison? Under interrogation, those prisoners who refuse to divulge important information must be withholding, providing further evidence of their perfidy. These dynamics must have been even stronger in the Abu Ghraib situation, where the MP guards felt in constant danger and under pressure to demonstrate their worth through breaking the prisoners. To accept that many of the prisoners being kept in such abominable conditions were innocent could only be rationalized by dehumanizing them, by making them the embodiment of all that was unacceptable to the guards. If they weren’t guilty of serious offenses, they were, after all, only "hajis"(29) who, outside the prison, were kept in line with metal "haji-be-good sticks."(37) The very fact that these inferior hajis objected to their unfair imprisonment demonstrated that they were dangerous, and cried out for control. How could such dangerous inferior beings expect to be treated better once they were found guilty by reason of imprisonment? Surely the lowly MPs could demonstrate their worth by providing the punishment these unruly natives, the ungrateful occupied, deserved. To do less was not to do one’s duty.

As these guards did their work keeping the evil recalcitrant hajis in line, which, after all is a rather dirty task, it was not surprising that they tried to make the job interesting, even fun. How many of us can carry out an unpleasant job for months on end without finding ways to enjoy the work? Why should we expect that these poor prison guards in an alien land would do less?

Thus we see that the logic of war, the logic of occupation, the logic of imprisonment, and the post 9/11 logic of revenge all came together in an Iraqi torture center in 2003. The fact that similar actions have been reported in numerous other Iraqi prisons, as well as those in Afghanistan demonstrates that the horrors of Abu Ghraib were emblematic of the new American empire, indeed of empire itself.

Also emblematic of empire, is the denial with which this torture was met. The officials responsible ignored and denied numerous reports of prisoner abuse in newspapers and from non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross.(55-59) Within days of the release of the Abu Ghraib photos, I, a single concerned citizen with no special resources, had no difficulty detailing this long record of abuse claims.(14) The publication of the Abu Ghraib photographs and all subsequent revelations about the widespread nature of detainee abuse and torture were met with official denials that anything more than a "few bad apples" were to blame.(60) Furthermore, denial, in the psychological sense of unconsciously ignoring the importance of a fact or event, has characterized the American public reaction. While the majority of Americans told pollsters that the torture was wrong and that the US government was lying about it, and also that those who wrote the legal opinions justifying torture bore some blame,(61, 62) there was no major public outcry over the issue. It was hardly mentioned during the American elections by either major party candidate, or at either party’s convention. Those in charge when the torture happened were reelected, and many of those who developed and justified the policy of torture were promoted,(63-65) with little public outcry. Torture is now out of the closet, it has become an accepted, however distasteful, aspect of American life. As Mark Danner puts it: "We are all torturers now."(66)

I’d like to close with words from Chris Hedges’ haunting meditation on war:

"Each generation responds to war as innocents. Each generation discovers its own disillusionment — often after a terrible price. The myth of war and the drug of war wait to be tasted.... Those who can tell us the truth are silenced or prefer to forget. The state needs the myth, as much as it needs its soldiers and its machines of war to survive." (67, p. 173)

And we might add, it needs its torturers.

References

1. Carter, P. (2004) The Road to Abu Ghraib (Washington Monthly).

2. Barry, J., Hirsh, M. & Isikoff, M. (2004) The Roots of Torture: The road to Abu Ghraib began after 9/11, when Washington wrote new rules to fight a new kind of war (Newsweek).

3. Hersh, S. M. (2004) Chain of command: The road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib (New York, Harper Collins).

4. Lewis, N. A. (2004) Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo (New York Times).

5. (2004) US Navy Seals Torturing Iraqis (ancapistan.typepad.com).

6. American Civil Liberties Union (2004) Federal Government Turns Over Thousands of Torture Documents to ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).

7. American Civil Liberties Union (2004) Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request (American Civil Liberties Union).

8. Croke, L. A. (2004) Abuse, Torture and Rape Reported at Unlisted U.S.-run Prisons in Iraq (NewStandard).

9. Croke, L. A. (2004) Iraq Torture Investigators Reveal Scores of New Cases (New Standard).

10. Croke, L. A. (2004) FBI Glossed Over Abu Ghraib Abuses (TheNewStandard).

11. Gat, Y. (2005) The Year in Torture (CounterPunch).

12. Lewis, N. A. (2005) Fresh Details Emerge on Harsh Methods at Guantánamo (New York Times).

13. Smith, R. J. & Eggen, D. (2004) New Papers Suggest Detainee Abuse Was Widespread (Washington Post).

14. Soldz, S. (2004) Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the psychodynamics of occupation, and the responsibility of us all (ZNet).

15. American Civil Liberties Union (2004) Torture FOIA (American Civil Liberties Union).

16. White, J. (2004) U.S. Generals in Iraq Were Told of Abuse Early, Inquiry Finds (Washington Post).

17. White, J. & Higham, S. (2004) Use of Dogs to Scare Prisoners Was Authorized: Military Intelligence Personnel Were Involved, Handlers Say (Washington Post).

18. Zernike, K. & Rohde, D. (2004) Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents (New York Times).

19. Danner, M. (2004) Abu Ghraib: The Hidden Story (New York Review of Books).

20. Borger, J. (2004) US general linked to Abu Ghraib abuse: Leaked memo reveals control of prison passed to military intelligence to ’manipulate detainees’ (Guardian).

21. Cawthorne, A. (2004) Guantanamo men allege abuse (Reuters).

22. Lewis, N. A. (2004) Broad Use Cited of Harsh Tactics at Base in Cuba (New York Times).

23. Davidson, O. G. (2004) The Secret File of Abu Ghraib (Rolling Stone).

24. Serrano, R. A. (2005) Guard Enjoyed Beating Iraqis, Three Testify (Los Angeles Times).

25. Rangwala, G. (2003) Claims and evaluations of Iraq’s proscribed weapons (MiddleEastReference.org.uk).

26. Rangwala, G. (2003) Review of Hussein Kamel’s interview with UNSCOM of 22 August 1995 (MiddleEastReference.org.uk).

27. Ritter, S. (2003) Scott Ritter in His Own Words (Time Online).

28. Wood, P. (2005) Iraq war: two years on (BBC).

29. Rockwell, P. (2005) Army reservist witnesses war crimes: New revelations about racism in the military (Online Journal).

30. Reeves, P. (2003) At least 10 dead as US soldiers fire on school protest (Independent).

31. Wilson, S. (2003) U.S. Forces Kill Two During Iraqi Demonstration (Washington Post).

32. Burns, J. F. (2005) Checkpoint dangers too familiar for Iraqis (International Herald Tribune).

33. Faramarzi, S. (2003) Jittery U.S. Soldiers Kill 6 Iraqis (Associated Press).

34. Huggler, J. (2003) Family shot dead by panicking US troops (Independent).

35. Ciezadlo, A. (2005) What Iraq’s checkpoints are like (Christian Science Monitor).

36. Reynolds, P. (2005) Blistering attacks threaten Iraq election (BBC).

37. Dilanian, K. (2005) Soldiers sometimes rough despite risk of antagonizing friendly Iraqis (Kansas City Star).

38. Pyszczynski, T. A., Greenberg, J. & Solomon, S. (2003) In the wake of 9/11: the psychology of terror (Washington, DC, American Psychological Association).

39. Ducat, S. (2004) The wimp factor: Gender gaps, holy wars, and the politics of anxious masculinity (Boston, Beacon Press).

40. Bush, G. W. (2001) Remarks by President Bush from Barksdale Air Force Base, (American Rhetoric).

41. Grasso, G. (2000) Review of Hornet’s Nest: The Experiences of One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots by Missy Cummings (Minerva: Quarterly Report on Women and the Military).

42. Harkavy, W. (2004) Running Out of Patients: In our glorious crusade for democracy, we level a Falluja hospital (Village Voice).

43. Barnard, A. (2004) Returning Fallujans will face clampdown (Boston Globe).

44. Fadhil, A. (2005) City of ghosts (Guardian).

45. Niedringhaus, A. (2005) Tanks, Officers Impose Order in Fallujah (Associated Press).

46. Phinney, D. (2004) "Contract Meals Disaster" for Iraqi Prisoners (CorpWatch).

47. Aljazeera (2005) New Guantanamo abuse cases surface (Aljazeera).

48. Azulay, J. (2005) Guantanamo Abuses Caught on Tape, Report Details (New Standard).

49. Leonnig, C. D. & Priest, D. (2005) Detainees Accuse Female Interrogators: Pentagon Inquiry Is Said to Confirm Muslims’ Accounts of Sexual Tactics at Guantanamo (Washington Post).

50. Mickum IV, G. B. (2005) Tortured, humiliated and crying out for some justice: Four Guantánamo Britons are coming home. Don’t forget those left behind (Guardian).

51. Reuters (2005) Lawyer: Guantanamo detainees sodomised (Aljazeera).

52. McCoy, A. W. (2004) The Hidden History of CIA Torture: America’s Road to Abu Ghraib (Tomdispatch.com).

53. Associated Press (2004) Red Cross: Iraq abuse "tantamount to torture" (MSNBC).

54. American Civil Liberties Union (2005) Newly Released Army Documents Point to Agreement Between Defense Department and CIA on "Ghost" Detainees, ACLU Says (American Civil Liberties Union).

55. International Committe of the Red Cross (2004) Report of the nternational Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the treatment by the coalition forces of prisoners of war and other protected persons by the Geneva Conventions in Iraq dring arrest, internment and interrogation (International Committe of the Red Cross).

56. Hanley, C. J. (2004) Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence (Associated Press).

57. Beaumont, P. & Burke, J. (2004) Catastrophe (Guardian).

58. Miller, R. (2003) "Disappearing" Iraqis: Why Are So Many Citizens Arrested and Detained by the American Occupying Force? (River Cities’ Reader).

59. Riverbend (2004) Tales from Abu Ghraib. (Baghdad Burning).

60. USA Today (2004) How innocent Iraqis came to be abused as terrorists (USA Today).

61. Kull, S. (2004) Americans on Detention, Torture, and the War on Terrorism, (Program on International Policy Attitudes/ Kmowledge Networks).

62. Morris, D. & Langer, G. (2004) Terror Suspect Treatment: Most Americans Oppose Torture Techniques (ABC News).

63. Smith, R. J. & Eggen, D. (2005) Gonzales Helped Set the Course for Detainees (Washington Post).

64. Scheer, R. (2004) Tout Torture, Get Promoted (Los Angeles Times).

65. Anderson, J. R. (2005) Maj. Gen. Fast, former aide to Sanchez at Abu Ghraib, takes intelligence post (Stars and Stripes).

66. Danner, M. (2005) We Are All Torturers Now (New York Times).

67. Hedges, C. (2002) War is a force that gives us meaning (New York, Public Affairs).

Stephen Soldz (mailto:ssoldz@bgsp.edu) is psychoanalyst and a faculty member at the Institute for the Study of Violence of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. He is a member of Roslindale Neighbors for Peace and Justice and founder of Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice. He maintains the Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report web page.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showart...



Leave a comment
Print this article





PEOPLE OF COLOR: THE NFL DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU
Tuesday 17 - 23:07
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
TRUMP, JONES, THE NFL, AND THE NEW MCCARTHYISM
Tuesday 10 - 23:14
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Catalonia referendum: 90% voted for independence, say officials (video)
Monday 2 - 09:55
Catalonia referendum: ’Spanish authorities are the criminals’ (video)
Monday 2 - 09:47
If I was truly evil
Tuesday 12 - 14:22
Yves Bouvier Faces Swiss Tax Investigation
Saturday 9 - 03:27
by lishk
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:44
by NathanT
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:37
by Nathan Taylor
AMERICA’S JUDASES
Sunday 27 - 20:02
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
What happend to Soraya and Hussein Khashoggi?
Friday 25 - 20:38
by Perseus
The falling Max Ehrich
Thursday 17 - 19:40
by celbbetty
DAMN THE NFL
Wednesday 16 - 01:44
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Overplaying your hand
Thursday 10 - 12:36
Gujarat Flood 2017 Devastation- Inevitable or Orchestrated in Dhanera ?
Thursday 3 - 06:19
by Dwarika Nath Rath
Multiple citizenship & Zionist subversion of America, Australia, India, Humanity
Wednesday 2 - 03:10
by Dr Gideon Polya
I’M AN IDIOT AND I VOTE
Thursday 27 - 23:23
by David R. Hoffman
The Top Ten Art Scandals That Have Rocked the World
Tuesday 18 - 15:48
by Curtis Judge
John Pilger slams Mainstream silence re Apartheid Israel crimes: Free Palestine
Thursday 13 - 02:43
by Dr Gideon Polya
RUSSIAN MAFIA – NOW IN DUBAI?
Monday 3 - 14:52
by James Dolay
THE NFL IS RACIST
Saturday 1 - 00:31
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Australian Finkel Review has dirty energy for 50 years & ignores 25 key issues
Monday 19 - 03:37
by Dr Gideon Polya
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: JUSTICE FOR PHILANDO CASTILE
Sunday 18 - 01:03
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Find out what is true and false about climate change - Kenneth Pouchet
Friday 16 - 17:43
by Kenneth Pouchet
Freedom For Me, But Not You
Wednesday 31 - 02:17
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Post-Apartheid, non-racist, One State, democratic Palestine can happen tomorrow
Tuesday 30 - 08:21
by Dr Gideon Polya
A Review of Gilad Atzmon’s new book, “Being In Time: The Post-Political Manifes
Wednesday 17 - 21:23
by June Terpstra
Avoiding Another War in North Korea
Sunday 14 - 18:27
by William John Cox
Judah Ben Hur for President 2020
Saturday 13 - 16:15
by William Morgan
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR DONALD J. TRUMP
Saturday 13 - 02:33
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
As War Party shadow boxes, its agenda surges unopposed
Friday 12 - 14:28
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Yves Bouvier caught in a real estate bankruptcy
Thursday 11 - 20:19
by Pierre Gove
Book: This Is How The State Fucks Your Mind
Tuesday 9 - 19:16
by OAF
ISRAEL’S 1967 ATTACK ON INTELLIGENCE SHIP U.S.S. LIBERTY - THE ONLY MYSTERY
Thursday 20 - 20:06
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Denmark eaten down to the bone, what’s next?
Wednesday 19 - 16:22
by Henrik Petersen
A Financial Toll Tax: Transform, Not Reform, the U.S. Tax System
Monday 17 - 22:55
by William John Cox
COMPLETE DEGRADATION OF A SELF-STYLED GREAT NATION
Saturday 8 - 16:35
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
ATTACKING PEOPLE WITH FLEETS OF MISSILES BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY FACTS
Friday 7 - 20:34
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official
Thursday 6 - 23:09
by Shaun Waterman
TRUMP’S FRIGHTENING TURNAROUND ON SYRIA – A STRONG SIGNAL ABOUT WHO REALLY RUNS
Thursday 6 - 17:22
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AMERICA’S POLITICS WITHOUT MEANING - THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COUNTRY
Thursday 30 - 17:37
by JOHN CHUCKMAN

home | webmaster



Follow-up of the site's activity
RSS Bellaciao En


rss FR / rss IT / rss ES



Bellaciao hosted by DRI

It is the responsibility of the intellectual to speak the truth and to expose lies. Noam Chomsky
Facebook Twitter Google+
DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
read more...
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
read more...
Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
read more...
International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
read more...
THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
read more...
I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
read more...
ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
read more...
HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
read more...
PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
read more...