Ivo Skoric on Thu, 8 Nov 2001 12:42:35 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> ivogram x2: 2 interesting articles + roman defense

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"Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
     2 interesting articles from Guardian, 1 from Herald Tribune, <...>
     Roman defense?

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 14:56:51 -0500
Subject: 2 interesting articles from Guardian, 1 from Herald Tribune, 
     and the life in general

Academics in US silenced. 
Torture debated as a possibility. 
The double-speak of American goals in the war on evil.

Meanwhile: CDC warned of the shortage of the flu vaccine in the 
US - but many web sites and magazines suggested the flu vaccine 
as a good way to ward yourself against the anthrax-like flu 
symptoms, so that you know when the 'real thing' hits - even 
Giuliani urged New Yorkers to get flu vaccine. So, now, no doctor 
has it. And the department of health locations are overbooked, 
meaning a lot of people simply can't get the vaccine.

Also, there is a curious delay with payments of unemployment 
compensation by the Department of Labor in New York State - I 
know that since I live in the neighborhood where a lot of people 
receive them - people are edgy: some didn't get their check for past 
three reporting cycles, and they are arguing at the local post office.

Last week I spent in Rutland, Vermont - the city of a population 
that would fit in one of the WTC towers - there nearly every house 
flies American flag outside, and the general support for American 
war on evil is unquestioned. But that does not mean that there is a 
lack of healthy suspicion of government and foreign policy. In other 
words, bombing per se is not automatically endorsed. People 
would like to see OBL, Al Qaeda, Taliban and the rest of the terror 
network gone. However, they are not buying into the black and 
white, good and evil story. They do understand that the past and 
present US foreign policy has a lot to do with existence of the 
terror network. It became clear to me that people even outside of 
big urban areas in the US use common sense in assessing the TV 
news and comparing them with various Internet resources.

> International Herald Tribune
>    Growing numbers of pundits are openly discussing allowing 
>    law enforcement to use torture against suspects. That has 
>    critics worrying that perhaps a barrier to the mistreatment 
>    of the accused is in danger of falling. (11/06/01)
> http://www.free-market.net/rd/572080741.html

   The Guardian         Tuesday November 6, 2001

   Sound of silencing
   US academics who dare to discuss the Allied bombing face censure,
   says Lee Elliot Major

   An academic uprising is brewing to defend the right to speak out
   against US government policy, amid growing concerns that government
   and university officials are disciplining lecturers who question the
   response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

   Hundreds of academics have signed up to a statement advocating the
   right to hear critical and dissenting voices over US foreign policy
   and the Afghanistan bombing campaign, which the campaigners are
   planning to publish in the New York Times.

   It follows a series of attacks on academics daring to question the
   Bush administration publicly. The US government is also planning to
   introduce new powers forcing universities to disclose confidential
   details about overseas students as part of a new computerised tracking
   system to prevent terrorists from entering the US on student visas.

   The statement, which is circulating widely among academics in the US
   and UK, says: "In the crisis precipitated by the terrible events of
   September 11, members of academic communities across the US have
   participated in teach-ins, colloquia, demonstrations, and other events
   aimed at developing an informed critical understanding of what
   happened and why.

   "Unfortunately, some participants in these events have been threatened
   and attacked for speaking out. Trustees of the City University of New
   York are planning formal denunciations of faculty members who
   criticised US foreign policy at a teach-in. There have been similar
   efforts to silence criticism at the University of Texas at Austin,
   MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University
   of Massachusetts at Amherst, and elsewhere."

   It concludes: "We call on all members of the the academic community to
   speak out strongly in defence of academic freedom and civil liberties,
   not just as an abstract principle but as a practical necessity. At a
   moment such as this we must make sure that all informed voices -
   especially those that are critical and dissenting - are heard."

   The American Association of University Professors has not signed up to
   the statement, but its general secretary, Mary Burgan, has warned
   against an anti-intellectual backlash. "It is predictable that after
   we had passed through the initial phases of reaction to September 11,
   we should want more subtle analyses. And so the discourses of
   academics - passionate as well as cool - have commenced," she said.
   "And so have the voluble reactions of those who believe that thinking
   out loud in our colleges and universities is so subversive that it
   ought to be stopped, somehow. A distrust of intellectuals has always
   lurked beneath the surface of American popular opinion. Now it has
   begun to leak out again."

   In one of several recent attacks, academics at City University of New
   York who suggested that US foreign policy was partly to blame for the
   terrorist attacks were publicly denounced by the university's
   chancellor for making "lame excuses" for the terrorists. A professor
   at the University of Texas at Austin, meanwhile, attracted the wrath
   of the university's president for publishing an article arguing that
   the US itself has perpertrated "massive acts of terrorism" in its
   dealings with other countries.

   Students have also been calling for the heads of academics who
   questioned the US government's actions. A political science professor
   speaking at a vigil at California State University, Chico, was heckled
   by students, and has been bombarded with hate letters.

   A survey by Harvard University's Institute of Politics has shown that
   nearly four out of five college students support the airstrikes in
   Afghanistan, and more than two-thirds back the use of US ground

   The US Senate has stepped back from initial proposals to ban new visas
   for overseas students after it was reported that one of the September
   11 hijackers entered the US on a student visa. The government is,
   however, introducing a tracking system that will give police
   information about the names, universities, dates of attendance and
   degree subjects of some 500,000 overseas students.

   Initial indications suggest that overseas student numbers to the UK
   could be boosted by the US moves. There is little sign that UK
   academics are being censured. In one incident, however, anti-war
   posters were taken down at the University of Keele.

   Views on how September 11 has affected the academic sector feature
   this week at www.EducationGuardian.co.uk

   UK university centres related to Middle East studies

   Edinburgh Institute
   Institute of Ismaili Studies
   London School of Economics
   St Andrews
   Wales Lampeter

   US university centres for Middle East studies

   California at Berkeley
   New York

   Other centres for Middle East studies
   Tel Aviv
   Academic associations for Middle East studies
   American Institute for Yemeni Studies
   Arab Social Science Research
   The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies
   The Canadian Committee of the Middle East Studies Association
   The European Association for Middle Eastern Studies
   The Institute for Palestine Studies
   Middle East Studies Association of North America
   US peace studies experts

Our war aims - in general
AL Kennedy
Monday November 05 2001
The Guardian

And now our daily news report from Washington - your other national
capital. Today, in our series of Clean Cut Americans - General Elmer
Coyote, former commander of Gamma Force: 

So, General, how can you help the tiny minority who are feeling wobbly
to understand the sad necessity of our War Against Badness, as currently
conducted by our wise and restrained leaders?   

Thank you kindly, I'd be glad. First off, I'd have to say that anyone
who is, as we put it in military circles, a real live normal human being
will, by their very God-given nature, accept that everything we're doing
over in Afghanistan and on the home front is absolutely for the best.  

As you know, the United States, and your United Kingdom never interfere
with foreign powers, but once we are roused, we act. The way may be
stony, still our will is strong and our war aims are absolutely clear,
although subject to the secrecy which must inevitably arise in matters
of virtuous defence.  

You couldn't give us a teeny clue about them, though?   

We seek not to overthrow the Taliban, but to overthrow the Taliban,
which may take a while, or not that long at all, if you compare it to
Vietnam - not that you ever, ever should - and after victory we will
allow the Afghan people to elect a new government, or we will allow 
them to elect the new government provided, which will be based, or not 
based, around the Northern Alliance which is either a really keen bunch of
patriots, or a rabble of camel-jockey terrorists slightly less
well-equipped than the Taliban, and we will find Bin Laden and we will
kill him, or bring him to justice in another deadly way resulting in his
law-abiding and perfectly reasonable death when vengeance will be ours,
but not in a vengeful way.  

And when this is all over, Afghanistan will be a happy land, full of
merry, hopping children - hopping, mind you, not because they are
amputees, but because they are living in an earthly paradise of
recognisable banking and investment systems. We are fighting to 
defend our way of life and don't you forget it. Amen.  

And could you expand a little on the qualities that make our way of 
life so very, very good?   

I had the honour to teach the current commander of the US forces 
when he was a student at the College of Death Studies and he is a fine, 
warm man. I think of him now, because often we would sit up nights and
discuss what made our way of life so precious. And it's, quite 
simply, this: cowards, terrorists, communists and Muslims, they kill 
civilians on purpose, whereas we in the west kill civilians as a sad 
necessity. We don't enjoy it.  

Some lunatics and subversives would say that, either way, you still 
end up with innocent casualties, mutilated babies and so forth.   

That is war and war is hell. And if they're so innocent, what are they
doing in Afghanistan, anyway - the place is a shithole. And if, for
example, a mother knows we decapitated her daughter with the very best
of intentions, really as a kind of accident, it will surely make all the
difference to her. And I know your prime minister agrees. That's part of
what makes the special relationship so special.  

Yes, what about that special relationship?   

It's special. It's full of specialness and it's really a relationship.  

Which means?   

That Britain and the Britishers, above all others, understand that UK
politicians should be able to come stateside and pretend they have more
influence than a bucket of hog piss over the most powerful country in
the world.  

And you also understand that, when all's said and done, we're going to
do what we damn well like, because our interests are the finest
interests in the world, but you can come along for the ride and
peripheral dividends. And we could get a little sickened by all this
whining about grenades that look like bandage rolls and "won't 
people get confused?" and "why keep bombing Red Cross stations?"  

And the rumours that all US infantrymen who enter Afghanistan carry a
length of pipe with instructions to connect and lay them in the
direction of the Caspian?   

Whatever this war is about, it is not about control of the vast Caspian
sea oil deposits. The United States has never had any interest in oil.
President Bush has never had any interest in oil. Neither the United
States or the United Kingdom have ever cynically exploited a conflict
for their own commercial advantage, or made a profit out of death.  

So no worries there, then. Thanks.  

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 14:57:59 -0500
Subject: Roman defense?


>>One of the subjects discussed was the "Roman Defense" plan 
and its further implementation. According to Dnevni Listís source, 
the plan contains a point of "integrating or assimilating two of the 
peoples in BiH, Bosniaks and Croats, whereas the third, Serb 
people would remain intact in the environment that the entity itself 
created." That would solve two problems. Croats would no longer 
be a national problem with their nationalistic demands for a third 
entity or perhaps even for a secession, which otherwise could        
cause a new crisis in the region, while, on the other hand, Muslims 
would become a Europeanized people without any special 
segregation or deviations from the "European standards" of modern 
states, except for the religious characteristic, but that would be 
alleviated by assimilating them with Croats.<<

I don't know what do I find more offensive in this statement:
1) that it was so blatantly put on the Office of the High 
Representative page giving it a stamp of officialdom...
2) that it so brazenly outlines the foreign interference in the inter-
ethnic relations in Bosnia...
3) that it codes the operation as 'Roman Defense' cynically 
comparing itself with the Roman Empire and their historic lack of 
respect for the wishes of the local population - celebrating the 
'divide et impera' principle...
4) that it choses to openly admit that crime pays - by letting "Serb 
people [..] remain intact in the environment that the entity itself 
created" - this clearly rewards and justifies use of force, violence, 
ethnic cleansing and war crimes in any future attempt to 'create an 
entity' anywhere else in the world, doesn't it?
5) that it proposes the elimination of Croatian "national problem" 
through eliminating the separate Croatian identity in Bosnia by 
'merging' it with Bosniaks - not even communists before 1948, 
while they were still under Stalin's influence dared to attempt such 
a radical social engineering - what is this with the OHR is behaving 
like The Borg: "You shall be assimilated. Resistance is futile."? 
Don' t they see that this is a proposition for heightening the 
tensions within the Bosnian federation, and possibly a renewal of 
violence between Croats and Bosnians? Is that what OHR really 
6) that it openly humiliates Bosnian Muslims by saying that they 
"would become a Europeanized people without any special 
segregation or deviations from the 'European standards' of modern 
states, except for the religious characteristic" through assimilation 
with Croats - did the September 11 events managed to totally 
erase the perception of Bosnian Muslims that the world had so far 
as highly secular, highly Europeanized people?
7) that it, in that context of Europeanization through assimilation, 
by letting "Serb people [..] remain intact in the environment that the 
entity itself created", relegates Serbs in Bosnia to the isolation 
chamber chosen for them by their past war criminal leaders, 
punishing those among them who would wish to become parts to 
European integrations.

Shame on OHR. I think Petritsch should apologize to Bosniaks, to 
Croats and to Serbs in Bosnia for this statement. When I read 
things like that I get deeply depressed - thinking that the worldly 
policy-makers, the wealthy, the powerful really understand only the 
language of violent force, and this is precisely the thinking that 
made the disastrous events of the September 11 possible.


Ivo Skoric
19 Baxter Street
Rutland VT 05701

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