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ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the CIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
When in Doubt, Park 'Em

The Col. isn’t Leaving Until the Press Agrees on How to Spell His Name

by JAMES McENTEER

Khadafy, Qaddafi, Gaddafi or just plain Dick? The name of the despotic Libyan leader confounds Western headline writers.

Everyone agrees he’s a bad guy. Paul Wolfowitz in the Wall Street Journal lists dozens of good reasons why the U.S, should intervene to unseat this nut case dictator. What he doesn’t say is why he and his neo-con cronies didn’t do the job themselves while they held power and were busy invading other Islamic countries. Instead, Dubya and company – including the Wolfman – removed the U.S. sanctions against Ghada… Kad…. Libya.

Thanks, Wolfie. You can go back under your rock now, along with Scooter and Rummy.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says President Obama is not likely to make any pronouncements on Libya. No hope, no change. Reagan bombed Moammar’s compound in 1986, but that only killed a bunch of other people and didn’t really shake any sense into Guh-Daffy.

It’s time to offer the Libyan strongman an honorable option, a way out that saves face for him, saves the lives of his countrymen and saves the U.S. what it cares about most: money. Let’s invite Guh-Daffy to enjoy a safe life of exile – along with any other former U.S.-supported tyrants of the MiddleEast – like Hosni Mubarak, Abdullah of Jordan or any of the rest.

We could construct a Middle Eastern theme park for them, in Texas, where they could continue to rule over simulacra of their former domains and be visited by dignitaries like ex-president George W. Bush, who could pretend he was traveling to foreign lands again, instead of being confined to the USA under threat of indictment abroad for human rights violations. They could even have some oil wells. Mubarak could still reign over "Little Egypt" and Kah-Daffy could pretend to resist regular U.S. Marine invasions of "the shores of Tripoli," the way pirates fight at certain hours outside Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

While we’re at it, we could relocate Israel – the entire country and population – to the Texas panhandle. We could reconstruct the Holy Land there, fly it piece by piece from its current location like Hearst did with San Simeon. Expensive yes, but cheaper in the long run. Then we could bomb the original into dust to prevent the Israelis from being tempted to return "home."
Boy, would that solve a lot of heartbreak. It would drop the level of tension dramatically in the Middle East and raise the I.Q. of the Lone Star state by quanta. It’s a win-win.

You think these plans are grotesque and immoral? Current U.S. foreign policy in the region is much much worse. Future visitors to such a Middle Eastern theme park would find it as incredible as the Creation Museum, only with less attractive, much deadlier, dinosaurs.

JAMES McENTEER is the author of Shooting the Truth: the Rise of American Political Documentaries (Praeger 2006). He lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.