U.S.Crusade | RaceandHistory | RastaTimes | HowComYouCom | News Links | Trini Soca | Africa Speaks
Trinicenter.com Trinicenter.com Trinidad and Tobago News
Online Forums
Create an AccountHome | Account | World News  

International Watch
  • Home
  • AvantGo
  • Feedback
  • Search
  • Stories Archive
  • Submit News

  • Categories
  • Africa Focus
  • Arab Spring
  • Audio & Video
  • Book Review
  • Caribbean
  • Inside U.S.A.
  • Invasion of Iraq
  • Israel-Palestine
  • Latin America
  • Medical
  • Pakistan
  • Pandora's Box
  • Racism Watch
  • Satire
  • US War on Iran
  • US War on N Korea
  • War and Terror
  • War on Russia
  • War on Syria
  • World Focus
  • Zimbabwe

  • Old Articles
    Friday, February 08
    Wednesday, February 06
    Tuesday, February 05
    · Savage Capitalism or Socialism: A Conversation with Luis Britto Garcia
    Sunday, February 03
    · Canada vs. Venezuela: The Background Gets Even Murkier
    Thursday, January 31
    Monday, January 28
    · The History - and Hypocrisy - of US Meddling in Venezuela
    · Canada Is Complicit in Venezuela's US-Backed Coup D'état
    Wednesday, September 26
    · Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
    Friday, September 21
    · US Disregard for International Law Is a Menace to Latin America
    Saturday, August 25
    · How Long is the Shelf-Life of Damnable Racist Capitalist Lies?
    Thursday, August 09
    · Martial Law By Other Means: Corporate Strangulation of Dissent
    Wednesday, August 08
    · North Korea and The Washington Trap
    · Venezuela Assassination Attempt: Maduro Survives but Journalism Doesn't
    Sunday, May 20
    · The British Royal Wedding, Feelgoodism and the Colonial Jumbie
    Friday, May 04
    Monday, April 09
    · The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet
    Tuesday, March 20
    · Finally, Some Good News
    Thursday, March 15
    · Zimbabwe Open for Business, Code for International Finance Capitalism
    Friday, January 12
    · Shadow Armies: The Unseen, But Real US War In Africa
    Wednesday, December 13
    · The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was

    Older Articles


    Sudan''s Crisis

    Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

    U.S Coup in Haiti

    Venezuela and Chavez

    Inside U.S.A.: McCarthy's ghost
    Posted on Thursday, March 27 @ 02:01:42 UTC
    Topic: USA
    USAby Gary Younge, The Guardian

    Democracy is under threat in the United States; anyone who objects to the conflict in Iraq is not allowed to say so

    It's drive time with WABC's rightwing talkshow host, Curtis Sliwa, and Bill is on the line from the Poconos in Pennsylvania with a tale so funny he can hardly share it for giggling. He was carrying an American flag and yelling support for the troops in a delayed St Patrick's Day parade over the weekend when he saw one woman carrying a sign saying: "No blood for oil".

    "She was wearing black and she was an older lady," says Bill. "And then our sheriff saw her and she didn't have a permit. So they put her in the back of the truck car and hauled her away."

    On its own, Bill's story would be aberrant - the tale of an overzealous legal official and an unfortunate woman in smalltown America. Increasingly though it is becoming consistent. The harassment, arrest, detention and frustration of those who are against the war is becoming routine. Relatives of victims who died on September 11, who are opposed to the war, have been prevented from speaking in schools. Last month Stephen Downs was handcuffed and arrested after refusing to take off a Give Peace a Chance T-shirt in a mall in Albany. He was told he would have been found guilty of trespass if the mall had not dropped the case because of the bad publicity.

    As Iraqi civilians and American, British and Iraqi soldiers perish in the Gulf, this war is fast claiming another casualty - democracy in the US. This process is not exclusive to America. Civil liberties have suffered in Britain because of the war in Northern Ireland, and are undergoing further erosion because of the conflict.

    But it has a particular resonance here because of the McCarthyite era during the 1950s when those suspected of supporting communism were forced to testify before the Senate to recant their views and divulge names of progressives. Comparisons with McCarthyism are valid but must be qualified. These popular and sporadic displays of intolerance may be gathering pace, but no federal edict has been issued to support them and many who support the war are opposed to them.

    Bush has not launched a campaign to derail the Dixie Chicks, the all-American girl band whose CDs were crushed by a mob and whose latest release fell from the top of the charts after one of its singers made an anti-war remark in London. Downs says the officer who arrested him spent an hour-and-a-half trying to persuade his superiors that the case was not worth pursuing. Even Curtis Sliwa told Bill he should "ignore the protesters and get out the flags".

    While these popular expressions of intolerance appear sporadic, not all are spontaneous. The rally to smash the Dixie Chicks' CDs and much of the impetus for the boycott of their single came from radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications of Texas, which has close ties with Bush. The company's stations also called for the pro-war rallies that have cropped up in the past week.

    And while they have not received the state's imprimatur, Bush's administration has certainly created the climate in which they can thrive.

    Under Big Brother monikers like the Patriot Act and Operation Liberty Shield, the state has stepped up the scope of its surveillance and the wiretapping of American citizens and will authorise the indefinite detention of asylum seekers from certain countries. Last year, surveillance requests by the federal government under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - originally intended to hunt down foreign spies - outnumbered all of those under domestic law for the first time in US history.

    Under a proposed new bill, entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement act, the government could withhold the identity of anyone detained in connection with a terror investigation and their names would be exempt from the Freedom of Information act, according to the centre for public integrity, a Washington-based advocacy group.

    Barry Steinhardt, director of the American civil liberties union programme on technology and liberty, told the New York Times that authorities have been demanding records from internet providers and libraries about what books people are taking out and which websites they're looking at.

    The result is a symbiotic relationship between the mob and the legislature, whereby official repression provides the framework for public scapegoating with each gaining momentum from the other.

    Most vulnerable are those who are most vulnerable anyway - Arab immigrants and non-white Americans. Men from countries regarded as potential sources of terrorism and who do not have a green card, are now required to be registered, fingerprinted and photographed by the immigration service. Many who have committed no crime but simply have their applications for a work permit pending are routinely arrested. "Basically, what this has become is an immigration sweep," said Juliette Kayam, a terrorism expert at Harvard. "The idea that this has anything to do with security, or is something the government can do to stop terrorism, is absurd," she told the Washington Post.

    The growing surveillance compounded by discrimination adversely affects black Americans too. "It places those of us of colour under increased scrutiny and we get caught up in the web of racial profiling," says Jean Bond, of the Radical Black Congress.

    The fact that all the incidents mentioned above happened to white, American-born natives is an indication of just how deep the rot has set in. Downs is the chief lawyer in the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Such are the targets of the war on terror.

    From the outset Bush has insisted that: "Those who are not for us are against us," and so it follows that anyone opposed to his way of dealing with the terrorist threat becomes the enemy, at home or abroad. Terrorism is the new communism. Even before the first body bags have arrived, the war has already reached the home front.

    Gary Younge appears in J'Accuse Uncle Sam on Channel 4 tomorrow.

    Reproduced from:

    Related Links
    · More about USA
    · News by ZeberuS

    Most read story about USA:
    Racism still exists in the United States?

    Article Rating
    Average Score: 4.5
    Votes: 2

    Please take a second and vote for this article:

    Very Good


     Printer Friendly Printer Friendly

    Homepage | Trinidad News | Africa Speaks | U.S.Crusade | Fair Use Notice

    Copyright © 2002-2014 Trinicenter.com
    Trinicenter.com is a 100% non-profit Website
    You can syndicate our news using the file backend.php or ultramode.txt
    All logos, trademarks, articles and comments are property of their respective owners.
    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2004 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL.
    PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.19 Seconds