Posts Tagged ‘George W Bush’

9/11: A 10th Anniversary Interview – Pt 10/11

September 10, 2011



September 11th, 2001.

The events of that day affected the daily lives of not just those in the US but also of countless people all over the world, in both subtle & not so subtle ways.

10 years later, the repercussions are still being felt but in all this time no voice has been given to the average moderate Muslim.

What follows is a transcript from an interview with a friend of mine, who has a Muslim background, on this broad topic of 9/11.

It was held on Saturday, June 11th, 2011.

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Question #10:

You yourself, while not overtly, had your problems with then President George W Bush…

Friend: Yeah, sure. Who didn’t ? [LOL]

X-Mer: Questions were raised when he, to combat terrorism on US soil, signed into law what is now known as the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting (&) Strengthening America (By) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (To) Intercept (&) Obstruct Terrorism Act).

This made it possible for the government to look into personal things like your telephone & medical records with greater ease. Which, according to critics, went against civil liberties & was therefore unconstitutional.

Did you happen to hear that last May President Obama signed an extension of that very same act & thereby renewed it for 4 more years ?

Friend: I was not aware of that.

X-Mer: Now, let’s check some facts here…

– The Guantanamo Bay detention camp was opened in 2002 under the Bush administration & is presently still open under the Obama administration.

– The War On Terror as a term isn’t used anymore but the conflict is still going on.

– There are currently still US troops present in Iraq.

– As ordered by Obama, Afghanistan will get additional US troops.

– & under the Obama administration there’ve been more unmanned drone attacks in & around the border region of Pakistan than ever occured under the Bush adminstration.

With all these things, even though Obama is a likeable guy, would you really say things are different now then when Bush was president ?



Friend: Better… I did say that, didn’t I ?

X-Mer: Did you ?

Friend: I think it was implied. & I did say I thought the… that it was going towards the situation before 9/11.

They are the world police, so… I think a lot of acceptance is gained in how you present yourself & now you have Obama & he presents himself like: “we’re going to work together to achieve this goal, make the world better for everybody” & when you sum up those facts you could think “maybe it’s even worse but nobody’s getting the story out there”.

It’s really something to think about. Is it really better ? It certainly… seems better & it seems less hostile, maybe that’s… those drone attacks, I can’t imagine innocent lives not being lost.

X-Mer: Probably impossible.

Friend: I’m a bit surprised actually.

X-Mer: Because you, for example, didn’t know about him renewing the Patriot Act ?

Friend: Yeah ! For example. I didn’t know about Guantanamo Bay while it was his intention to shut it down.

X-Mer: He hasn’t succeeded in that & I’m not saying people are still being tortured there, just the fact that it’s still open.

Friend: You mentioned “24” before, so it’s a bit… it’s very important who’s at command of the world police like when in “24” you had David Palmer who was a genuine good guy.

X-Mer: Like Obama ?

Friend: Like Obama but he also had certain… tools to his disposal which he only used in certain situations when it was appropriate & when it was necessary.

& then you had President Logan for example…

X-Mer: [LOL]

Friend: I see a lot of similarities between fiction & reality.

You can also wonder how much influence the media really has because under President Bush, like I said I felt more hostility among the people & now it seems to be… well, there’s still some of course but it’s a lot less, I think. That’s how I experience it, so…

…I don’t think I really answered your question.

X-Mer: Well, what do you think the answer is ? Are things similar under his presidency or is it generally better ?

Friend: I think there are more… positive developments under his administration than there were under the Bush administration.

X-Mer: He’s trying ?

Friend: He’s trying, I think. A lot of things got blamed on Bush but think… I’m not saying he’s not to blame for the things that did occur but I do believe there were powers even bigger than Bush at play.

X-Mer: He wasn’t the puppetmaster but… at least some of the time, the puppet ?

Friend: Yeah sure & with Obama it’s hard to think of him as the puppet. You really get a feeling he has to struggle to achieve the things he wants to achieve. With Bush it all seemed to go very easily & you know, it probably wasn’t very hard for Obama to get that extension because I can’t imagine Republicans being against that.

So, again I don’t think I answered your question but… I do believe it’s better in my experience.



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That’s it for part 10 but please check back tomorrow for the 11th & final part of the interview, where I ask my friend about what the future might bring us.


9/11: A 10th Anniversary Interview – Pt 07/11

September 7, 2011



September 11th, 2001.

The events of that day affected the daily lives of not just those in the US but also of countless people all over the world, in both subtle & not so subtle ways.

10 years later, the repercussions are still being felt but in all this time no voice has been given to the average moderate Muslim.

What follows is a transcript from an interview with a friend of mine, who has a Muslim background, on this broad topic of 9/11.

It was held on Saturday, June 11th, 2011.

—————————————————————



Question #07:

In “24” season 2 there was a moment where a main villain, who was a Muslim terrorist, was apprehended at a mosque & the Imam tried to help by talking to the terrorist & then told him that what he was doing was wrong & went against Islam.

After all that’s happened since then, is there anyone out of all the people who’ve played a role that, if you got the opportunity & time, place & language weren’t an issue, you’d choose to have a talk with ?



Friend: It’s quite an impressive list, so it’s hard to choose actually.

There’s a lot of interesting names, you could ask Colin Powell like: “What were you thinking when you were talking about WMDs ?” & apparently distancing himself afterwards.

X-Mer: Right, he even left the administration…

Friend: He left with a bang, I think.

X-Mer: People like Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair, George W Bush, Barack Obama…

Friend: It’s very hard to choose.

I think I’ve a question for all of them & that would be: “what were you thinking at the time ?”. Some of those people… like you have the [London] police shooting down the Brazilian electrician ?

X-Mer: Jean Charles De Menezes.

Friend: If you re-read how the event happened like he was in the subway & some claimed he was running & jumped over the gates. & then you have this police guy chasing him & he thinks he recognizes him but nobody can confirm it but they chase him anyway &…

X-Mer: …& it was all mistaken identity.

Friend: It was all mistaken identity & you have to wonder what they were thinking at the time. & even afterwards, I think they even tried to accuse him of rape or something.

X-Mer: Really ?! I didn’t know that.

Friend: There was a lot of outrage, rightfully so, after he was shot.

I think there even was a lady who… 1 of the victims of the [2005] London bombings, she said: “you shouldn’t pay much attention to the shooting, it happened & I feel this is taking attention away from the the bombings”.

Maybe she had the best of intentions when she said it but it came across as selfish.

X-Mer: She chose her words poorly ?

Friend: Yeah, I mean you know a guy is dead because… I don’t know, because of fear or ignorance or…

X-Mer: …incompetence.

Friend: Incompetence also. Didn’t he get shot 7 times or something like that ?

X-Mer: Several times to the head.

Friend: I mean something’s fishy about it, the whole situation or maybe it’s just one of those very awkward situations that got out of hand but even afterwards there was like… nobody wanted to take responsibility for that situation & maybe that’s true in a lot of events.

It’s always somebody else’s fault.

X-Mer:It’s THEM !

Friend: It’s always “them” or somebody else.

X-Mer: & to this day nobody has charged Tony Blair or George W Bush for example to some sort of tribunal because of crimes against humanity.

Friend: Of course ! You have Milosevic who was on trial & in my opinion Bush is not much better than Milosevic in his politics & the way he…

X-Mer: Even though Bush was the dancing president ?

Friend: …sorry ? Oh yeah ! Sure, sure but maybe Milosevic could also dance. Does that excuse it ?

So yeah, interesting question but there’s a lot of interesting people on that list, so…



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That’s it for part 7 but please check back tomorrow for part 8 of the interview, where I ask my friend about a game called “Remember That Terrorist ?”.


9/11: A 10th Anniversary Interview – Pt 05/11

September 5, 2011



September 11th, 2001.

The events of that day affected the daily lives of not just those in the US but also of countless people all over the world, in both subtle & not so subtle ways.

10 years later, the repercussions are still being felt but in all this time no voice has been given to the average moderate Muslim.

What follows is a transcript from an interview with a friend of mine, who has a Muslim background, on this broad topic of 9/11.

It was held on Saturday, June 11th, 2011.

—————————————————————



Question #05:

You already mentioned that on the day of 9/11 when you finally got back home to your loved ones, you were glad to be able to talk to them about it.

While probably not a daily or recurring topic, are 9/11 & terrorism in general uncomfortable or taboo subjects for you or in your household ?



Friend: Not in the household because we generally have the same opinion like uh… you know, some people talk about Muslims & terrorists in 1 sentence, like they’re synonymous.

X-Mer: Right, like it’s the same thing.

Friend: To us they’re just like… they’re not part of the Muslim community because when you are a good Muslim you don’t do the things that they do.

They can still call themselves Muslims but you know, they’ll never be… I’ll never associate with a terrorist. Who I do feel association with are the younger people who’re Muslims & are being held back because of it. I think it’s a very good breeding ground for even more hate in the future actually & I think that’s a bad thing.

X-Mer: Yeah, that’s already going on. Resentment & hatred & anger because of being treated & judged unfairly.

Friend: Sure.

What I do notice within my family, not the inner core like me, my brother, my parents & also my grandma but other relatives in my extended family & some are… they do sympathise with the terrorists.

I also think when in the media people are grouped together like “oh, they’re Muslims & they’re terrorists” & “well, they don’t join the terrorists but they do nothing to stop them, so they’re also bad” even though… you know the non-Muslim people are also doing nothing to prevent it.

So, yeah I can understand how they, my extended family, think like the terrorists are doing a good thing because “America is arrogant” & stuff like that.

I can understand their anger but I’ll never say “you’re right” because… sure, America has done a lot of questionable things in the past I think were…

X-Mer: …downright just bad things ?

Friend: Yeah, downright bad things. Which country hasn’t ? But you know you don’t go around killing innocent people, that’s just wrong.

X-Mer: Well, apparently some do.

Friend: Some do but you know, I could never condone that. Who in his/her right mind could condone that ?

X-Mer: Right.

Friend: & also so-called “smart people” say “you have to make sacrifices to get to your goal” but I really question what those goals are. Seems like it’s Man’s problem like “I have this & I want more of it ! & whoever gets in my way…”.

X-Mer: That’s a horrible form of greed basically.

Friend: Yeah sure, & I think a lot of people have that greed unfortunately. It’s politicians, banks. It’s money & power & having more of it. “Who cares what happens to people ?”

Also & this is something I’ve noticed in more recent years like the providers of food would use preservatives that were harmful to people & you’re killing your own customers only because it’s more cost efficient. I don’t get that type of thinking, then you think: “what’s wrong with you ?”.

X-Mer: A follow-up question about those extended relatives…

Friend: Sure.

X-Mer: Has that, with that type of opinion which you don’t share, has that made it like a thing you have to overcome when talking to them ?

Friend: Well, some of them were surprising, I didn’t expect some people to think like that & some of them already were thinking like that before so it wasn’t really a surprise.

They’re family you know & it’s just an opinion, it’s not like they’re… not that I know, that they’re actually terrorists & assisting.

Like I try not to… I mean, I meet non-Muslim people & they also have opinions I don’t share but I don’t… I can still get along with them. It’s not like “you have a different opinion, so I’m going to hate you” something like that.

X-Mer: Like Bush said: “Either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” ?

Friend: Yeah, that’s a very stupid way of thinking.

X-Mer: Even though he was right, of course ?

Friend: [LOL]

Sure, sure. He was right.



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That’s it for part 5 but please check back tomorrow for part 6 of the interview, where I ask my friend about the misconceptions of Islam & Muslims that arose after 9/11.


9/11: A 10th Anniversary Interview – Pt 04/11

September 4, 2011



September 11th, 2001.

The events of that day affected the daily lives of not just those in the US but also of countless people all over the world, in both subtle & not so subtle ways.

10 years later, the repercussions are still being felt but in all this time no voice has been given to the average moderate Muslim.

What follows is a transcript from an interview with a friend of mine, who has a Muslim background, on this broad topic of 9/11.

It was held on Saturday, June 11th, 2011.

—————————————————————



Question #04:

In the 10 years since the events of 9/11, other terror attacks have been covered by the 24-hour news media but also through the internet & its social media like Twitter, Facebook & YouTube.

We’ve also seen politicians put the topic of Islam on their agenda by for example burqa banning or claiming President Obama is a Muslim in such a manner that it becomes an accusation, like it’s a bad thing.

But even if you don’t watch the news, stay off-line or are a-political, it’s become hard to ignore or even escape all of this because even the entertainment industry has apparently embraced Muslim terror with things like certain seasons of the TV series “24”, WWE wrestler “Muhammad Hassan” & even comicbook writer/artist Frank Miller wanting to create a Batman Vs Al-Qaeda graphic novel called “Holy Terror, Batman !”.

In this past decade, a lot of young Muslims have stated that they’ve started indentifying more strongly with their religion since 9/11 than before because of this always present situation… almost a stigma of sorts.

As you go about your life, has society through the media, its politics & entertainment “forced” you to become more self-aware of your own background ? Has there been a change on some level in your thinking, how you see yourself with this level of attention ?



Friend:weeelllll, I guess it’s made me a bit more hostile, I think. I just keep it in the back of my mind & the more I think about it, the more stupid humanity is in my opinion.

X-Mer: Sick people ?

Friend: Sick people. I can’t really blame them but I don’t know, it really strikes me as ignorant to just accept how it is because it’s “easier”.

I guess it becomes even more easy when you’re not part of the group that’s being singled out, so…

X-Mer: …you can ignore it ?

Friend: Well, I’m not really sure if that’s true because there’s a lot of media that’s making people afraid…

X-Mer: …fearmongering ?

Friend: Yeah, fearmongering & hatemongering. Like I said, in history there’s been lots of periods I think… perhaps it’s been non-stop, that fearmongering’s been going on for centuries. With all the knowledge we have at our disposal, I would think people would get some insight into that.

Still, when you experience it, like I said, I feel more hostile now than I did before but I always kept “it’s going to pass at a certain point, it’s just a period” in the back of my mind. I happen to be part of the group that’s being singled out now & who knows who…

X-Mer: Do you think it will pass anytime soon ?

Friend: Like I said, in my experience it is passing because now you have the Arabian Spring, so you know, people… they see the change… a lot of people are saying: “well, it’s a good thing what’s happening”.

X-Mer: You think they mean that or is it just the polite thing to say ?

Friend: I think they’re genuine.

X-Mer: With these examples like “24” or the news media, how do you think Muslims are being portrayed ? Are they being put in a bad light or is it just a reflection of what’s really going on & so it’s “ok” ?

Friend: Well, I did enjoy “24” for the most part & actually was turned away not because of storylines against Muslims but because they were repeating themselves. It was getting boring.

X-Mer:Look ! CTU is being attacked… for the 88th time ! Oh no !

Friend:Oh no ! That never happened before, what are we going to do ?

But uh… I think I was able to create some distance from it in the sense of “it’s only entertainment”. When you talk about media like television on the 1 hand you have “24” & on the other hand you have “South Park”.

They can be very rude & do crude stuff like that. But the thing about South Park is that the storytellers always show both sides of the tale & they do it very well.

But you know a lot of people, that’s also interesting, a lot of people just see the toilet humour & that kind of puts the attention away from the good storytelling.

X-Mer: [From] what’s really going on ?

Friend: What’s really going on. Those guys are really good storytellers & I think… 1 of the things, I didn’t see it but uh… you had the movie “World Police” & ever since that movie whenever I think of America, I think of world police.

& in a way I think it [world policing] is a good thing & also a bad thing.

X-Mer: Because ?

Friend: Well, it depends on how you present it. Because you had the guy in charge before & then it was very much “us against them” & now we have a guy who says: “we can’t do it alone, we have to work together”.

There are always going to be people against that & saying: “he says that but he doesn’t mean it !”. But I think it’s very important in how you present yourself as… I mean if you’re going to be world police do it in a way that makes people accept you.

X-Mer: Like Obama ?

Friend: Like Obama !

I mean Obama held that speech in Egypt, I can’t imagine Bush would have been… [LOL]

X-Mer: He would’ve been dancing !

Friend: & then the shoes would’ve been flying…

X-Mer: Dodging them left & right ?

Friend: Right, because he presents himself like: “we’re America & we’ll tell you what’s good for you !” & Obama is more like: “we’re the greatest nation in the world, so we have a commitment towards others & we have to help them.”

X-Mer: Sooo, let me see here… just to get back to this point. You said like how people were viewing you, do you think then that society is treating you like a person who happens to be Muslim or a Muslim who happens to be person ? What do you think they see first ?

Friend: It depends on the person you meet & it’s going to be different every time. & it says a lot about the person themselves. & some people are just very sensitive towards what the majority does & that’s kinda disappointing to me. They just follow along & as long as they’re not the ones being excluded, it’s “ok”.



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That’s it for part 4 but please check back tomorrow for part 5 of the interview, where I ask my friend about discussing Islamic extremism in the household.


Weapons Of Mass Destruction FOUND !

March 20, 2010



Ok, let’s go…

Show the WMDs.

Now, don’t hold out…

Show me the WMDs !

C’mon, enough already…

Show me the effing WMDs !!!



Actually they haven’t been found.

At all.

“Weapons Of Mass Destruction Found !” is what we wanted to hear, read & talk about in the days, weeks & months following the US invasion of Iraq.

Instead, it’s 7 whole years later & where are the WMDs ?

Yes, the US campaign in Iraq began on the 20th of March 2003 & to this very day, not a single trace of these biological, chemical & nuclear weapons has turned up.



They managed to find Saddam Hussein, so why not these dangerous WMDs ?

These things are as hard to find as… well… Osama.

In fact, they’re so hard to find that I’m starting to think Bin Laden himself took them all & hid them in his cave apartment.

Yeah, that makes sense.



But we cannot give up hope of finding these WMDs.

Because if we do, the terrorists will have won !

Let u.s. keep looking for all those lost Weapons Of Mass Deception out there & bring them in so our little Johhnies & little Suzies can sleep safely at night.

It’s the right thing to do !



WMD

Have You Seen Me ? For That Matter Has Anyone ?? Am I Real ???