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Posts filed under Refuge of Oppression

In Their Own Words: Biggest, Baddest Gang on the Block Edition

Chief Inspector Ian Kibblewhite, Borough of Enfield, London, England, quoted by BBC News:

If you make the wrong decision after tonight, trust me, we are coming after you . . . .

We know who you are.

You might have 100 people in your gang — we have 32,000 people in our gang. It’s called the Metropolitan Police.

— Chief Inspector Ian Kibblewhite

… Right. Look, man, you said it, not me.

(Via Lenin’s Tomb, via Charlie Davis 2012-02-11.)

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Refuge of Oppression #7: I Blame The Victim edition

This is a recent bit of correspondence that I received from an anonymous victim-blamer through my online contact form. Apparently in response to my post from October 2007 on Officer Dan Gilroy, a grown-ass man who has no problem using his position as government police to repeatedly punch 15-year-old black girls in the face over allegedly walking outside after midnight. Our anonymous correspondent thinks that Shelwanda Riley — the 15-year-old victim of Officer Dan Gilroy’s sado-fascist power-trip anger management problem — is the one whose conduct ought to be at issue. And would like us to know, I guess, that she ought to feel grateful that the pig didn’t break her ribs or something:

From: Anonymous (no e-mail address provided)
Date: 10/28/2009 10:47 AM
Subject: Shelwanda Riley (radgeek.com feedback form)

I know this is old. I just saw the youtube video of the cop and the resister. That girl was fortunate to only have been beaten as badly as she was for the terrible behavior she exhibited. Police brutality is different with each situation, and if I was that cop… The cops will not mess with anyone who is not acting stupidly.

Oh, O.K., what with the girl walking alone at night and not doing exactly what this hyperviolent control-freak ordered her to do, well, obviously she was asking for it. Of course.

Refuge of Oppression #6: Have you checked under the sofa cushions? edition

I received this a couple months ago, and just read it the other day; it went to the Feminist Blogs inbox, which I’m going back through after a bit of an absence, because of some new work going on with the website. (About which, more soon.) In the meantime:

From: williams <[REDACTED]>
To: Feminist Blogs web team
Subject: Message for Feminist Blogs (Feminist Blogs feedback form)
Date: 12/19/2008 5:51 PM

I just read some of this juck there is really something wrong with you fools.God help your souls I made a mistake going out with the wrong women who now don’t take care of my female child her teeth are rotten in her mouth I spend 5000.00 dollars to fix them I tryed to get custody of her but because of family courts looking at men as not the same as women because of people like you my childs suffers due to the rights of women in family court.How do you sleep at night knowing that a child may be better off with the father then the mother who also has had sex in front of your child who is 11 years old and i find out that this has been going on for a few years.Great job for your rights are doing for children.

I surely don’t know, and it sounds like a pretty rough situation, as child custody battles often are. But I do have to say that if you have become convinced that your child custody troubles are all the fault of feminists on the Internet, your anger has probably been misdirected.

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March 17, 2003, 8:01pm EST

My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.

The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again — because we are not dealing with peaceful men.

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq’s neighbors and against Iraq’s people.

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.

The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other.

The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.

The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security. That duty falls to me, as Commander-in-Chief, by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep.

Recognizing the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq. America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the second world war was to confront aggressive dictators, actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act, in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687 — both still in effect — the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.

Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm.

Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power. For the last four-and-a-half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that Council’s long-standing demands. Yet, some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it. Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.

Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.

Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it. Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty, except the certainty of sacrifice.

As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

The United States, with other countries, will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.

That is the future we choose. Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.

Good night, and may God continue to bless America.

— President George W. Bush, Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003, 8:01pm EST

Further reading:

Refuge of Oppression #5: Twofer Tuesday edition

Here’s two pieces of correspondence that arrived within three hours of each other, on this past Tuesday. The first comes to us from Stasi [sic!] in reply to GT 2008-01-28: The tall poppies, part 3, my recent article on the spread of opium poppies as a cash crop for impoverished farmers in southern Iraq:

From: stasi
To: Rad Geek
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 1:45 PM
Subject: You Must be High: Tall Poppies, III

How can you even think that raising opium plants is a suitable way of making money to raise your family out of poverty. The only to benefit from drug trade are the high powered, high financed drug cartels.

Additionally, drug use (opium, heroin, etc) has been proven to have detrimental effects on individuals, families, and SOCIETIES. Let’s ALL start raising drug inducing plants to make money.

You MUST be high to think in such terms.

Well, I’m convinced.

Remember, impoverished farmers who grow opium poppies may think that growing a lucrative cash-crop and trading pain-killers to willing customers benefits them more than would starving themselves to grow unprofitable crops that meet the approval of U.S. narcs. But whatever they may think, the Stasi knows that the only people to benefit from the drug trade are high powered, high financed drug cartels. How foolish of Iraqi farmers to think that the ability to provide for your family, rather than starving for the sake of U.S. government narco-diplomacy, would be a benefit worth counting. The Stasi certainly knows what their families want and need better than they do.

Later in the afternoon, I received this from the starr, in reply to one of my posts on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which over 200,000 Japanese civilians (about a third of the population of Nagasaki, and more than half of the population of Hiroshima) were burned alive, crushed to death, or otherwise killed, in a deliberate use of terror-bombing on heavily-populated city centers intended to force the unconditional surrender of the Japanese government. Apparently my objection to this deliberate act of nuclear terrorism — the first and the only two cases in the history of the world — is the result of historical ignorance.

From: the starr
To: Rad Geek
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008, 4:23 PM
Subject: Atomic Bomb

I read your article on the Atomic Bomb, and I must say, you don’t understand World War II at all. The use of the bomb was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The Japanese were a brutal and evil empire and it had to be stopped. They slaughtered countless innocent people, not to mention Pearl Harbor. We urged them to surrender, but they wouldn’t. And they wouldn’t stop killing. The war would have continued for who knows how long and thousands upon thousands of more people would have died. The bomb was our only choice. You said that it killed thousands of innocent people. That’s true. But were the Japanese not doing the same? Did they not slaughter thousands of innocent people by invading other countries, including the completely un-called for attack on Pearl Harbor? There is no morality in warfare. It is foolish to try and equate them. You may want to do a little more research before you criticize the government’s carefully calculated decision.

If only I had understood World War II better before I wrote that post. I would have seen that, even though the Japanese military had already long been stopped from any further expansion, and indeed broken, long before August 1945, absolute geopolitical triumph over the Japanese government, and the territorial conquest of Japan, was far more important than the irreplaceable lives of 200,000 or more innocent non-combatants. Indeed, it was important enough to justify or excuse deliberately targeting those 200,000 or more innocent non-combatants in order to force somebody else (the dictatorial clique tyrannizing Japan) to make the necessary political concessions. And little did I know that the Japanese were all invading other countries and killing thousands of innocent people and refusing to surrender. I had foolishly thought that it was a small and unaccountable minority of the population of Japan who were extorting and tyrannizing the rest through the armed power of a military dictatorship. But since more research would have revealed that those 200,000 dead civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians from the over 100 Japanese cities that the U.S. Army attacked with low-altitude firebombing and conventional high explosives) weren’t actually non-combatants after all, but were all running around with The Japanese as a whole, invading other countries and killing thousands of innocent people, well, I guess that’s that.

Normally, I would also have thought that if you have a true statement of the form There’s no morality in that, that’s as good a reason as you could possibly find to draw the conclusion that you have an unconditional moral obligation to forswear ever engaging in that. This is another sure sign of my folly, ignorance or vice. One man’s reductio and all that; no doubt had I carefully calculated like the Masters of War in the U.S. government, when the antecedent of that is War, it would become clear that what you actually have is a military obligation to sometimes forswear engaging in morality.

My bad.

Further reading:

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