we live in a world where the pizza arrives faster than the police
Well the pizza driver faces consequences when their job isn’t done right.
The Twitter Mandela Hall Of Shame
After conducting research in Yemen earlier this year, clinical and forensic psychiatrist Peter Schaapveld warned of a “psychological emergency” in towns impacted by drones, with 99 percent of Yemenis he spoke with suffering from PTSD.
He described the children he assessed as “hollowed-out shells of children” who are being “traumatized and re-traumatized” by lethal drones buzzing constantly overhead. Speaking about an 8-year-old Yemeni girl who witnessed a drone strike obliterate her neighbor’s home, Schaapveld said, “Her dreams are of dead people, planes and people running around scared.” Kat Craig, legal director of the UK nonprofit, Reprieve, who accompanied Schaapveld on his trip, said that the terror inflicted by drones in Yemen “amounts to a form of psychological torture and collective punishment.”
Echoing claims made by Yemeni activists on the ground, Schaapveld added that the drone war is driving young men into the arms of Al Qaeda. “[I]nstead of keeping us safe, they breed animosity and tear apart the fabric of some of the poorest and disenfranchised communities in the world,” said Schaapveld. “A hellfire missile costs over $60,000, which could be spent building schools and wells. Yemen needs aid and our support, not drones.”
That’s nice, thanks for sharing. Now, let me tell you what I find strange.
- I find it strange that you, along with millions of others are so pathologically inclined towards violence against people abroad that you the only possible outcomes which exist to you are killing people and also killing people.
- I find it strange that you’d group me with contemporary neoliberals when 77% have been proven to approve drone strikes.
- I find the polemics of American politics strange, when in reality they share more similarities than differences. That liberals and conservatives supposedly exist in binaries when their outlook on foreign policy is identical and their domestic policies only shift so minimally, ultimately preserving the status quo globally, as shown by the continuous change from Republican to Democratic president with no substantial progress to be had.
- I find the historical amnesia of American consciousness strange; that you can so easily forget who bankrolled the mujahideen in the late 70’s to fight the Soviets during the Cold war in Afghanistan and onwards into the next two decades, even as far as proclaiming their heroic behavior “equivalent to that of the founding fathers”, here’s an entire PDF lest we conveniently forget. I find it strange that American taxpayer dollars did more to foster militant groups than Pakistani or Afghan or Yemeni or Somali civilians ever have and these same civilians live the impact and devastation of such groups everyday, while being forced to pay for their crimes.
- I find your utter disregard for human life that you masquerade as chic political leanings strange.
- I find it strange that many reports have shown that militant groups can easily exploit the pain and suffering of innocent civilians to establish anti American sentiments and even recruit new members (here and here).
I find it strange that I can keep posting articles, news clips and statistics that prove how unethical and counterproductive drone warfare has been and still get questions like this.
- $3.98 for natural disaster relief through FEMA
- $6.96 for welfare
- $22.88 for unemployment
- $36.82 for food stamps through SNAP
- $43.78 for retirement/disability for government workers (civilian/military)
- $235.81 for YOUR Medicare
- $247.75 for defense
- and $4,000.00 for corporate subsidies
Are you sure you are pissed off at the right people?
The American “tax problem” in list form
The pervasiveness of American-centrism among Americans, no matter what subject about whichever part of the globe, is truly disturbing. I’ve been caught off-guard multiple times with how it surfaces at random even with some of the most politically aware and informed Americans I know.
A perfect example is this conversation I remember where a certain person was arguing about how Iran does have a right to acquire nuclear weapons but they said something along the lines of "If we let Pakistan have nuclear weapons I don’t see why we can’t let Iran.” and just the language used in that sentence is so disturbing and confined to a completely US-centric world view where the US gets to "let" other sovereign states do something that it would never need “permission” to do itself while also mindlessly listing Pakistan as the case study because if the US “let” the “most dangerous nation in the world” (in the words of Forbes) have nuclear weapons then what harm could Iran do. That image of Pakistan, of course, coming straight from the general, reductive, American perception of this country that is unquestioningly consumed by most Americans.
The premise of minimum wage, when it was introduced, was that a single wage earner should be able to own a home and support a family. That was what it was based on; a full time job, any job, should be able to accomplish this.
The fact people scoff at this idea if presented nowadays, as though the people that ring up your groceries or hand you your burgers don’t deserve the luxury of a home and a family, is disgusting.
Unlike Malala Yousafzai, Nabila Rehman did not receive a welcoming greeting in Washington DC.
Nov. 1 2013
On October 24, 2012 a Predator drone flying over North Waziristan came upon eight-year old Nabila Rehman, her siblings, and their grandmother as they worked in a field beside their village home. Her grandmother, Momina Bibi, was teaching the children how to pick okra as the family prepared for the coming Eid holiday. However on this day the terrible event would occur that would forever alter the course of this family’s life. In the sky the children suddenly heard the distinctive buzzing sound emitted by the CIA-operated drones - a familiar sound to those in the rural Pakistani villages which are stalked by them 24 hours a day - followed by two loud clicks. The unmanned aircraft released its deadly payload onto the Rehman family, and in an instant the lives of these children were transformed into a nightmare of pain, confusion and terror. Seven children were wounded, and Nabila’s grandmother was killed before her eyes, an act for which no apology, explanation or justification has ever been given.
This past week Nabila, her schoolteacher father, and her 12-year-old brother travelled to Washington DC to tell their story and to seek answers about the events of that day. However, despite overcoming incredible obstacles in order to travel from their remote village to the United States, Nabila and her family were roundly ignored. At the Congressional hearing where they gave testimony, only five out of 430 representatives showed up. In the words of Nabila’s father to those few who did attend: "My daughter does not have the face of a terrorist and neither did my mother. It just doesn’t make sense to me, why this happened… as a teacher, I wanted to educate Americans and let them know my children have been injured."
The translator broke down in tears while recounting their story, but the government made it a point to snub this family and ignore the tragedy it had caused to them. Nabila, a slight girl of nine with striking hazel eyes, asked a simple question in her testimony: “What did my grandmother do wrong?” There was no one to answer this question, and few who cared to even listen. Symbolic of the utter contempt in which the government holds the people it claims to be liberating, while the Rehmans recounted their plight, Barack Obama was spending the same time meeting with the CEO of weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
It is useful to contrast the American response to Nabila Rehman with that of Malala Yousafzai, a young girl who was nearly assassinated by the Pakistani Taliban. While Malala was feted by Western media figures, politicians and civic leaders for her heroism, Nabila has become simply another one of the millions of nameless, faceless people who have had their lives destroyed over the past decade of American wars. The reason for this glaring discrepancy is obvious. Since Malala was a victim of the Taliban, she, despite her protestations, was seen as a potential tool of political propaganda to be utilized by war advocates. She could be used as the human face of their effort, a symbol of the purported decency of their cause, the type of little girl on behalf of whom the United States and its allies can say they have been unleashing such incredible bloodshed. Tellingly, many of those who took up her name and image as a symbol of the justness of American military action in the Muslim world did not even care enough to listen to her own words or feelings about the subject.
As described by the Washington Post's Max Fisher:
Western fawning over Malala has become less about her efforts to improve conditions for girls in Pakistan, or certainly about the struggles of millions of girls in Pakistan, and more about our own desire to make ourselves feel warm and fuzzy with a celebrity and an easy message. It’s a way of letting ourselves off the hook, convincing ourselves that it’s simple matter of good guys vs bad guys, that we’re on the right side and that everything is okay.
But where does Nabila fit into this picture? If extrajudicial killings, drone strikes and torture are in fact all part of a just-cause associated with the liberation of the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere, where is the sympathy or even simple recognition for the devastation this war has caused to countless little girls such as her? The answer is clear: The only people to be recognized for their suffering in this conflict are those who fall victim to the enemy. Malala for her struggles was to be made the face of the American war effort - against her own will if necessary - while innumerable little girls such as Nabila will continue to be terrorized and murdered as part of this war without end. There will be no celebrity appearances or awards ceremonies for Nabila. At her testimony almost no one even bothered to attend.
But if they had attended, they would’ve heard a nine year old girl asking the questions which millions of other innocent people who have had their lives thrown into chaos over the past decade have been asking: "When I hear that they are going after people who have done wrong to America, then what have I done wrong to them? What did my grandmother do wrong to them? I didn’t do anything wrong."
Murtaza Hussain is a Toronto-based writer and analyst focused on issues related to Middle Eastern politics.
Follow him on Twitter: @MazMHussain
Right after Wendy Davis declared that she was running for governor, Texas Republicans set out to disenfranchise women from voting, 19th Amendment be damned. And the way they’re keeping ladies out of the voting booth it is a doozy.As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. It sounds like such a small thing, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice, only 66 percent of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because young women have not updated their documents with their married names, a circumstance that doesn’t affect male voters in any significant way. Suddenly 34 percent of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99 percent of men are home free.
ALSO my mom’s neighbor said that your social security card and your drivers license have to match EXACTLY. like, if one has your middle initial but the other has your whole name, then you’re ineligible.
CHECK YOUR DOCS
are you fucking kidding me rn