Under Syariah law, a woman caned in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, for staying with her boyfriend in a house. I guess that would be, as opposed to, a car?
(pic from the SF Chronicle)
That's the same Indonesia I wrote about here. The same one with the tsunami. The same one that Chomsky's been writing about for years. The same one that brutally beat Amy Goodman and Alan Nairn - Alan, almost to death.
As we were lying on the road everyone around us was being killed. About 12 of them were lined up, took the U.S. M-16s and put them to our head and they were screaming, "politic, politic" saying we were political. Because, of course, anyone - any Westerner who was witness to something like this and any journalist to them was political. Alan was covered in blood. His whole body was in spasm, and he couldn’t protect himself anymore because he had been beaten so badly. All I could say was "we’re from America ... we’re from America". And as each person joined in this firing line when we said "we were from America" to make it very clear who we were. They would say, "Australian? Australia?" We knew what happened to the Australian journalists and we said, "no, America." They stripped us of everything but I still had my passport. I threw it at them and they saw we were from the U.S. They still screamed and held the guns to our heads but then eventually they decided to pull the guns away. And we think that it was because we were from the same country their weapons were from. They would have to pay a price for killing us that they had never had to pay for killing the Timorese.
With all the attention William Blum has been getting, I thought I'd try to highlight some of what Blum means when he says the following:
"If I were the [U.S.] president, I could stop terrorist attacks against the United States in a few days. Permanently. I would first apologize—very publicly and very sincerely—to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, and all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism."
Most Americans have no clue what Blum means when he says 'widows', 'orphans', 'impoverished', 'tortured', and 'many millions of other victims of American imperialism' - so I wanted to point out how wide and deep U.S. treachery has been. Who knew that the U.S. was involved in horrific dealings with Indonesia? Who'd a thunk it?
A quick perusal of Blum's book Killing Hope will give one all the background they need to know what Blum means in that aforementioned quote.
Shoot - there are so many countries that the U.S. has invaded and ruined, it's almost difficult to keep track. Are there any countries in the world that the U.S. has not invaded or tried to ruin or control in one way or another, at one time or another?
The next picture in the Chronicle's 'Day In Pictures' viewer - right after the caning picture above - was this picture:
This lady is burying her dead son who died as a result of lack of medical attention when doctors went on strike for more salary. One has to wonder, though, would this be the situation in Managua, Nicaragua if the U.S. hadn't virtually terrorized that Central American country to death starting 25 or so years ago? Nicaragua has had about fifteen years to start picking up the pieces from Reagan/Bush I's fanatical terrorism in that country - is it possible that the harsh economic climate in that country is due, at least in part, to the terrorism inflicted upon it by the United States of America over a period of ten or so years? I don't think that's a stretch at all.
Chomsky has written in at least one case - possibly Nicaragua, but I can't recall - that a central American country was faced with an election decision - elect the guy the U.S. government wanted to win, or elect the guy the people of Nicaragua wanted to win and starve to death. This is how the U.S. operates, in general. The people of this country - I believe it was Nicaragua - eventually elected the U.S.-promoted candidate. The citizens of that country were tired of war and violence and pestilence - they didn't want to continue living in the terror environment that Reagan and his mighty country had inflicted upon them, so they gave in - they elected the guy the U.S. wanted. The people of Nicaragua are most likely still suffering today the ill effects of extreme American violence brought to their country during the Reagan Era. These Nicaraguans are just a few of the many millions of people all over the world who have suffered gravely at the hands of America.
Every time someone mentions to me Nicaragua as a tourist hotspot, I'll say, "Yeah - let's go! Heard it awesome - imagine how much more awesome it'd be if we hadn't terrorized those people for so long."