Monday, June 13, 2005

New GOP Smear Target: International Committee of the Red Cross


The Republican thugs currently running our government are so predictable, really.

Faced with plummeting approval numbers for our occupation of Iraq and growing public outrage over government-sanctioned torture of detainees in Gitmo, Abu Gharib and Afghanistan, the administration response has been to attack any organization or publication that dare expose their crimes against humanity. We've seen recent attacks against Amnesty International for correctly comparing our facility at Guantanamo Bay to a Soviet gulag, attacks against Newsweek for truthfully reporting acts of desecration of the Koran, and of course their favorite fat boy on the playground, the United Nations. While it's yesterday's news, the bloody scalp of Dan Rather emboldened the thugs for further attacks, even though Rather's report was essentially true. It's important to remember that when the GOP sharks start bloodying the water, the chum they're always after is the truth, because they know that when the truth starts dripping through to the American public despite the almost criminal refusal of our corporate media to report it the torches and pitchforks aren't far off in the future. These bullies are little more than frightened mice.

Given the above, it isn't surprising that they're now turning their attention to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Just last month, according to CNN International, "The International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday expressed its concern about the 'high numbers of civilian casualties in Iraq.' It noted that scores of Iraqis have died in car bombings in Baghdad and that fighting in western Iraq had forced hundreds, including women, children and the elderly, to flee their homes and seek refuge.

The Red Cross called on all those involved in the fighting to respect international humanitarian law. "

Of course, the phrase "respect international humanitarian law" makes our president shake like the dry drunk he is, so his minions unleash the hounds of hell after the ICRC and quickly smear them for, again, telling the truth.

According the the Financial Times, an "influential" grouping of Senate Republicans are drafting a white paper calling into account the ICRC's impartiality that will "raise concerns about recent ICRC actions and statements that call in to question the organisation's long-standing impartiality and neutrality principles when applied to the US government". Don't you love frightened mice when they begin to scatter? The entire world reviles the criminal actions of the US government, and there aren't enough fingers on those little mice paws to plug the many leaks that are springing from every direction - but still they keep trying.

So desperate are they, in fact, that they now want to dictate the composition of the ICRC's board. The Financial Times story states that "The paper will call for changes at the ICRC, including allowing non-Swiss nationals to become board members. " What a great idea! Stack the board with more convicted felons from the Reagan administration, and watch how quickly the Red Cross changes their focus from our crimes to those of Saddam Hussein, as though they aren't morally equivalent.

The Republicans' foolish, footling ninny-talk in the end won't mean a thing. The world will still be outraged by the civilian casualties in Iraq, as the world was outraged by the above photograph of a young girl drenched in her parents' blood after they were murdered by US troops - a photograph, incidentally, that received almost no coverage in the American media. Why not? Given that the photographs of prisoners being abused at Abu Gharib exposed the lie that we "liberated" Iraq out of a humanitarian White Mans' Burden to civilize heathen tribes, this photograph furthers exposes that lie. Doesn't matter. Despite their best efforts to smear, suppress the truth and outrageously lie their way out of the most well documented misdeeds, the truth is beginning to dawn on the public. Expect a lot of scurrying rats in the days to come.

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