Τετάρτη, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Pentagon chief warns ..σε περίπτωση μη ανανέωσης της S O F A

Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-10/22/content_10230695.htm
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned on Tuesday of the "dramatic consequences" if the U.S. and Iraqi governments fail in reaching a pact as a legal base for the American military to continue its presence in Iraq.
"I don't think you slam the door shut, but I would say it's pretty far closed," Gates was cited by U.S. media as saying at a press conference, warning that failure to reach a new Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or renew the current UN mandate for U.S. troops that expires at the end of the year would lead to a suspension of U.S. operations in Iraq. The Pentagon chief said that the U.S. government has stopped doing anything and let "the Iraqi political process play out," but he noted that "the clock is ticking."
"What really needs to happen is for us to get this SOFA done. It's a good agreement. It's good for us. It's good for them," he added. Gates summoned reporters after the Iraqi government demanded changes earlier on Tuesday to the draft SOFA to allow three more years for the U.S. military's presence in the country, which was opposed by some Iraqi lawmakers.
The Iraqi parliament must approve the pact before Dec. 31 when the current U.S. mandate expires or no legal basis will exist for the U.S.-led military mission.
------------------------------------------------
επίσης .. >>
Art of Torture
The pictures from Abu Ghraib have achieved iconic status. The hooded man on the box, his arms outstretched, has superceded the image of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue. The Bush administration will forever be remembered as “the administration that tortured.”
Iconic images have a concentrated power. The Abu Ghraib pictures convey, in visual shorthand, a range of messages — the sufferings of all Iraqis under U.S. occupation, the double standards of U.S. human rights policy, the failures of “democracy promotion.” They are pictures that are worth a thousand protests. The enduring images from the Vietnam War — the young girl running naked down the street to escape her napalmed village, the bullet-to-the-head execution of a Viet Cong officer — acquired the same power of concentration.
But iconic images have their disadvantages, too. Victims of violent crimes frequently talk of feeling victimized all over again when they recount their traumas. Even as we use the images to decry U.S. policy in Iraq, do we continue to torture the detainees from Abu Ghraib when we reproduce the images of their prison abuses?
When Philadelphia artist Daniel Heyman saw the Abu Ghraib images, he began to incorporate them into his paintings. He was outraged, and he wanted to do something. But then he had a change of heart. “All sorts of artists had started to use these images, and the more they were used, the more they indicated Abu Ghraib without providing any understanding of Abu Ghraib,” he says in
Interview with Daniel Heyman. “They became a kind of code for anger about so many things to do with the war. You flash on the famous picture of the man on the box, and people become numb to that image. And you re-humiliate that man. You re-victimize that person.”
Heyman has now listened to dozens of former Abu Ghraib detainees tell their stories. The result is a startling series of portraits that combine images and words in a powerful rehumanization of the victims. The artist will be in Washington, DC on October 25 to speak on a
panel with American University (AU) professor Julie Mertus and Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer Katherine Gallagher in an event moderated by Sarah Anderson of the Institute for Policy Studies and co-sponsored by Foreign Policy In Focus and Provisions Library as part of the Close Encounters exhibit at the AU’s Katzen Art Center.
The Close Encounters exhibit is only one of a series of artistic interventions in this election year. The
Art of Democracy project launched nearly 50 exhibitions across the United States over the last year. Artist Mark Vallen participated in one of the largest, War and Empire, at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, which also includes works on torture by Fernando Botero and Gus Colwell. Vallen, in a review for Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) of the exhibit that includes interviews with other contributing artists, writes, “When the painting Abuse, which depicts the torture of Iraqi prisoners by their U.S. jailers at the Abu Ghraib prison, first appeared at San Francisco's Capobianco Gallery in May 2004, unknown assailants physically assaulted gallery owner Lori Haigh. A campaign of threat and harassment eventually forced her to permanently close her gallery. The painter Guy Colwell essentially went underground in order to avoid harm.” Colwell is back at the Meridian Gallery with his gloss on Magritte and waterboarding entitled This Is Not Torture.
Also in our latest installment of
Fiesta! — the FPIF feature that explores the intersection of culture and foreign policy — poet Kathy Engel describes how others fight the terror in their lives — through beauty, humor, memory, and thought. Her poem, Prelude, takes us to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Ramallah, and the South Bronx to remind us of all that came before September 11.
The Financial Crisis and War
The financial bailout package is certainly huge: $700 billion or so. But the economic analysts are quick to reassure us that the money will come back to the government once it sells off all those faulty mortgages. Too bad we can’t be similarly reassured about the same amount we spend every year on defense (don’t worry, America, the government gets all that money back when we sell old fighter jets to corporate execs looking for really fast charter planes).
That’s right, the numbers here are eerily similar, as FPIF contributor Travis Sharp points out in
Goodbye to Defense’s Gilded Age? “What many Americans may not realize is that the United States is likely to spend $711 billion on national defense in the fiscal year that began on October 1 (assuming fiscal year 2009 war costs are $170 billion, an estimate provided by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates). You read that correctly: the United States will spend more on defense over the next 365 days than on the $700 bailout package.”...>>>

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: