Happy New Year! And yes, reviving this blog is one of my hopes for 2016. Fingers crossed …
Month: December 2015
Allying himself with figures like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, infamous talk show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is spreading misinformation about Muslims online and in his weekly radio program.
This tactic is Jones’ latest effort to use fear to generate clicks for his popular website and weekly radio program, “Infowars,” and to boost profits for his advertisers.
In a Dec. 8 broadcast, Jones defended Trump’s plan to close U.S. borders to Muslims. According to the talk show host, “upwards of 25 percent (of Muslims) who’ve been polled say they sympathize with ISIS and want to conduct violent attacks in Europe and the United States.”
As Muslims in America face an unprecedented wave of violence in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, Americans of many faiths are coming together to show solidarity against these disturbing threats.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest advocacy group for Muslims in the United States, there have been 29 cases of attacks or vandalism against mosques in 2015 — the most for any year since the organization began tracking incidents in 2009.
“November 2015 was the most significant spike, with a total of 17 mosque incidents, with all but 2 of those incidents occurring in the wake of the November 13 Paris terror attacks,” CAIR reported.
An analysis of terror attacks since 2002 suggests U.S. efforts to combat terrorism — i.e., the “war on terror” — have led to a dramatic increase in death and suffering from terrorism.
Published this year on Sept. 11, Paul Gottinger, a staff reporter for Reader Supported News, analyzed incidents of terrorism from George Bush declaring the war on terror in the aftermath of 9/11 through the present, and found a staggering 6,500 percent increase in terrorism. Gottinger, who used data provided by the State Department in his analysis, found that casualties have increased by 4,500 percent.
Countries occupied by or being bombed the U.S. military seem to fare worst of all:
Next month, the U.S. government will return to court again to prevent the release of thousands of photos of military personnel torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib and other sites in Iraq and Afghanistan that have been described as more horrific than the infamous Abu Ghraib torture photos.
It’s the latest round in a protracted legal battle that began in 2004 when the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit demanding the release of some 2,000 photographs which were withheld by the government after it released the infamous images of Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi prison where U.S. soldiers tortured prisoners.
One photo is said to depict a mock execution, while another reportedly shows the body of a farmer shot who was by an American soldier while he was handcuffed.
For the past 69 years, many of the most notorious U.S.-backed South American dictators, along with their secret police and torturers, have learned their dark arts from a secretive American training facility.
Located in Fort Benning, Georgia, the facility changed its name from “School of the Americas” to “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” in 2001. Human rights advocates say the change was purely cosmetic, a result of the increasing pressure the facility faced from activists and other critics. In November, thousands protested outside Fort Benning in what has become an annual occurrence.
Originally founded in 1946 and based in Panama, it was expelled from the nation in 1984 under the terms of the Panama Canal Treaty. According to SOA Watch, a nonprofit which seeks the closure of the torture school, hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, murdered or “disappeared” through the work of its 64,000 graduates.