Iraq Unmasks the American State

Interesting analysis, this, courtesy The Business of Emotions.  Long, but well worth the read.

I was particularly interested in these points about “America’s emotional and moral malaise” before the writer launches into how the Iraq Resistance shows the American State for what it is.

America’s Emotional and Moral Malaise
The explanation of Bush’s hold on the United States developed in The Business of Emotions over the past few years, can be summarized thus:

1. Without authentic emotions, the vital connection between thinking and feeling is lost and the ability to act, morally and politically, for oneself and for others, is compromised…

2. People who lack emotional authenticity are incapable of recognizing its absence in others…

3. People who lack authentic emotions are susceptible to the predations of emotional marketers…

4. Thinking without feeling, talking without meaning…

Thanks to

Iraqi Refugees Forced into Prostitution

I guess oil is soooo important that women and girls lives don’t really matter to GWB & Co…
The Independent on Sunday ~~ June 24, 2007
‘50,000 Iraqi refugees’ forced into prostitution
Women and girls, many alarmingly young, who fled the chaos at home are
being further betrayed after reaching ‘safety’ in Syria
By Nihal Hassan in Damascus

It’s Monday night in a dingy club on the outskirts of the Syrian
capital. Two dozen girls are moving half-heartedly on the dance floor,
lit up by flashing disco lights.

They are dessed in tight jeans, low-cut tops and knee-high boots, but
the girls’ make-up can’t disguise the fact that most are in their
mid-teens. It’s a strange sight in a conservative Muslim country, but
this is the sex business, and it’s booming as a result of the war in Iraq.

Backstage, the manager sits in his leather chair, doing business. A
Saudi client is quoted $500 for one of the girls. Eventually he beats
it down to $300. Next door, in a dimly lit room, the next shift of
girls arrives, taking off the black all-covering abayasthey wear
outside and putting on lipstick and mascara.

To judge from the cars parked outside, the clients come from all over
the Gulf region – many are young Saudi men escaping from an even more
conservative moral climate. But the Syrian friend who has brought me
here tells me that 95 per cent of the girls are Iraqi.

Most are unwilling to talk, but Zahra, an attractive girl with a bare
midriff and tattoos, tells me she’s 16. She has been working in this
club since fleeing to Syria from Baghdad after the war. She doesn’t
like it, she says, “but what can we do? I hope things get better in
Iraq, because I miss it. I want to go back, but I have to look after
my sister”. Zahra points to a thin, pubescent girl with long black
hair, who seems to be dancing quite happily. Aged 13, Nadia started in
the club two months ago.

As the girls dance suggestively, allowing their breasts to brush
against each other, one winks at a customer. But these girls are not
just providing the floor show – they have paid to be here, and they
need to pick up a client, or they’ll lose money. If successful,
they’ll earn about $60, equivalent to a month’s wages in a factory.

There are more than a million Iraqi refugees in Syria, many are women
whose husbands or fathers have been killed. Banned from working
legally, they have few options outside the sex trade. No one knows how
many end up as prostitutes, but Hana Ibrahim, founder of the Iraqi
women’s group Women’s Will, puts the figure at 50,000.

I met Fatima in a block of flats operating informally as a brothel in
Saida Zainab, a run-down area with a large Iraqi population. Millions
of Shias go there every year, because of the shrine of the prophet
Mohamed’s granddaughter. “I came to Syria after my husband was killed,
leaving me with two children,” Fatima tells me. “My aunt asked me to
join her here, and my brothers pressured me to go.” She didn’t realise
the work her aunt did, and she would be forced to take up, until she arrived.

Fatima is in her mid-20s, but campaigners say the number of Iraqi
children working as prostitutes is high. Bassam al-Kadi of Syrian
Women Observatory says: “Some have been sexually abused in Iraq, but
others are being prostituted by fathers and uncles who bring them here
under the pretext of protecting them. They are virgins, and they are
brought here like an investment and exploited in a very ugly way.”

Further viewing: Nihal Hassan and Nima Elbagir’s report will appear on
‘More 4 News’ at 8pm tomorrow

Aldous Huxley & Planned Parenthood

Here’s a quote from the book I’m reading. This piece, from Aldous Huxley’s, Island, seems relevant now, almost 45 years after it was written:

Armaments, universal debt and planned obsolescence — those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster. Ignorance, militarism and breeding, these three — and the greatest of these is breeding. No hope, not the slightest possibility, of solving the economic problem until that’s under control.

The quote is in reference to the Utopian society, Pala, a place where there is no over-consumption of goods, where militarism and ignorance do not exist, and where family planning is learned at an early age.

Fast-forward to present day and it’s clear that the Bushite has promoted ignorance, militarism, and breeding.  Didn’t he cut monies to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the like in order to fight his dirty war?

And now, PMS is following in those footsteps. What’s the chance of Planned Parenthood / Canadian Federation for Sexual Health being able to access Status of Women Canada funding?  They clearly violate the new funding guidelines because they lobby for education around sexual health at the local, provincial, and federal levels.

SK Uranium in Weapons

I’ve posted more than once on the topic of Saskatchewan’s uranium.  Here’s another.  Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility has written this brief bit (emphasis mine):

The Role of Saskatchewan Uranium In Weapons

Here are some facts and thoughts on the role of depleted uranium in weapons, both those of the conventional type and those of the nuclear variety.

Natural uranium is 99.7 percent U-238 and 0.7 percent U-235. Uranium Enrichment is a process by which the percentage of U-235 is boosted beyond the 0.7 percent mark. This can only be done by discarding a large amount of U-238, which will still contain a small amount (0.2 percent to 0.4 percent) of U-235. This cast-off uranium is called depleted uranium (DU).

As you may know a tremendous amount of Canadian uranium, and in particular Saskatchewan uranium, has been enriched in the USA before being sent on to overseas customers. [It’s not just the stuff we sold to the US, but the stuff we sold to other countries that was first enriched in the US before being sent (as enriched uranium for use as reactor fuel) to various other customers.]

But to produce just 1 kg of 5% enriched uranium requires an input of over 11.8 kg of natural uranium, and results in 10.8 kg of depleted uranium [having about 0.3 % U-235].

When the enriched uranium is shipped to the customer, the depleted uranium is left behind at the US enrichment plant. In other words, over 90% of all Canadian (or Saskatchewan) uranium that was ever sent to USA for enrichment (for peaceful purposes as nuclear reactor fuel) has remained in the USA as depleted uranium (DU). There is absolutely no distinction between the DU of Canadian origin (or Saskatchewan origin) and the DU of other origins (US, Australian, etc.) It all goes into the same very large stockpile of DU. And a portion of this large stockpile of DU has always been used freely and without any compunctions by the US military for military purposes.

It is a perfectly fair and factual statement to say that whatever the percentage might be of Canadian (Saskatchewan) uranium as a fraction of the total through-put at US uranium enrichment plants, that same percentage is found in the US DU stockpiles.
It is by no means an insignificant fraction. Thus there is some Canadian-origin (Saskatchewan) uranium in virtually every US DU weapon.

Most people do not realize that the SAME DU stockpile was also used for half a century — and more — to produce the plutonium that is used in almost all US nuclear weapons. When depleted uranium “target rods” are inserted into military production reactors (notably at Savannah River) some U-238 atoms in the DU are converted into Pu-239 (plutonium-239) atoms and are subsequently separated out for use as a nuclear explosive. Virtually all of the plutonium in all US nuclear warheads was produced directly from depleted uranium.

Most people also do not realize that the military has, from the very first H-bombs, used depleted uranium directly in the construction of the metallic components of the warheads themselves, AND that this depleted uranium is responsible for at least 50 % of the explosive power of each H-bomb, as well as almost all of the radioactive fallout from the H-bombs. This is because the plutonium trigger (which was also made from depleted uranium) heats the fusion materials (deuterium and tritium) to several million degrees celsius so that they can undergo nuclear fusion, which in turn produces a huge burst of enormously energetic fusion neutrons (4 or 5 times more energetic than the neutrons produced by nuclear fission).

But neutrons are highly penetrating and therefore do not create as powerful an explosion as they might unless they are intercepted by something which can absorb them and magnify t he energy by a factor of 2 or more in a non-penetrating form — and that’s what the depleted uranium in the H-bomb is there for. When these highly energetic fusion neutrons hit the DU (mainly U-238) atoms, those “non-fissile” atoms are in fact fissioned (something that almost never happens in nuclear fission reactors!) producing an enormously enhanced burst of energy (double or more than double) and a plethora of highly radioactive “fission products” which contribute most of the radioactive fallout of the H-bomb.

That’s why these bombs are called “fission-fusion-fission” bombs. The first fission is plutonium. Then there’s the fusion of the deuterium and tritium. Then the second fission, which is the depleted uranium.

If you remove the depleted uranium materials from the H-bomb, you get a “neutron bomb” — one that has much less blast, much less radioactive fallout, and an enormous spewing forth of highly penetrating neutrons which do not generally destroy buildings but which are absolutely deadly to living things.

And to think that a large percentage of that DU is good old Canadian (Saskatchewan) uranium! Yikes.

The Canadian connections with DU munitions are even closer than just providing the raw material, as the following little excerpt indicates….

From: Uranium Medical Research Centre (UMRC)

12/26/2005 Uranium Biological Effects Study – Port Hope

UMRC is pleased on its official participation in the Port Hope Biological Studies Project, Port Hope Ontario. Port Hope is the home of two nuclear industry facilities: Zircatec Precision Industries and Cameco Nuclear Fuels Division. Cameco acquired the Port Hope uranium refinery, conversion and metals processing facility from the original Canadian Crown Corporation, Eldarado Nuclear. Eldarado Nuclear participated in the Manhattan Project and now as Cameco, supplies UF6 to the US uranium enrichment program and UO2 to Zircatec and other fuel rod manufacturers.

Currently Zircatec and Cameco process commercial natural uranium, depleted uranium, and enriched uranium stocks. As Eldoradeo, the refinery supplied Canadian and US Defense Departments with uranium and depleted uranium metals and extruded rods for kinetic energy penetrator research. Retired employees confirm that DU-KEP extruded rods were manufactured in Port Hope in the 1960’s onwards. The Cameco facility hosts one of the largest uranium metal processing capacities in the industry.

Dr. Asaf Durakovic, UMRC’s Director of Research has been appointed to the Medical Advisory Committee, Port Hope Community Health Concerns Committee. Tedd Weyman, UMRC’s Deputy Director is leading the field investigations at Port Hope.

So, Premier Calvert and Minister Cline, how will you respond to this?