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Nelson Mandela Fights for His Life--Again!

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"Scattered throughout Afghanistan are secret CIA militias that may be functioning as death squads.

Reports of their activities have surfaced for years in eastern Afghanistan, especially in Khost Province, but they have also been reported in Spin Boldak, Kandahar and the latest in Maidan Wardak Province, where residents are rising up in protest.

For the past month newspapers around the world have been filled with headlines about villagers and students disappearing and being killed in Maidan Wardak by CIA and Special Forces personnel and their allies.

The reports have blackened America's image.

The stories are disturbingly similar. Villagers are seized in their homes at night and are never heard from again. Bodies are dumped in the countryside with signs of torture.

The Taliban are ousted from areas only to have the vacuum filled by criminal gangs with ties to the CIA. The idea seems to replace one terror group with another, as long as the second group pledges loyalty to the United States. This is what U.S. security agencies call "counter-terrorism."

Meanwhile, President Obama is saying "shame on us" if Congress forgets the massacre of students in Newtown."

The double standards and selective outrage goes on. Tom Englehardt shames us even more by remembering in his Tom  Dispatch what most of our media does not:

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"It's true that, last week, few in Congress  cared to discuss , no less memorialize, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.  Nonetheless, two anniversaries of American disasters and crimes abroad -- the "mission accomplished"  debacle  of 2003 and the  45th anniversary  of the My Lai massacre -- were at least noted in passing in our world.  In my hometown paper, the New York Times, the Iraq anniversary was memorialized with a lead op-ed by a  former advisor  to General David Petraeus who, amid the rubble, went in search of all-American " silver linings ."

Still, in our post-9/11 world, there are so many other anniversaries from hell whose silver linings don't get noticed.  Take this April.  It will be the ninth anniversary of the widespread release of the now infamous photos of torture, abuse, and humiliation from Abu Ghraib.  In case you've forgotten, that was Saddam Hussein's old prison where the U.S. military taught the fallen Iraqi dictator a trick or two about the destruction of human beings.  Shouldn't there be an anniversary of some note there?  I mean, how many cultures have turned  dog collars  (and the  dogs  that go with them),  thumbs-up signs  over dead bodies, and a  mockery  of the crucified Christ into  screensavers ?

Or to pick another not-to-be-missed anniversary that, strangely enough, goes uncelebrated here, consider the passage of the  USA Patriot Act , that ten-letter acronym for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism"?  This October 26th will be the 11th anniversary of the hurried congressional vote on that 363-page ( essentially unread ) document filled with right-wing hobbyhorses and a range of provisions meant to curtail American liberties in the name of keeping us safe from terror."

So, by all means. let us pray for Nelson Mandela, who has earned more than prayers by his lifetime of service and sacrifice. I have been privileged to do documentary films with him about his fights and achievements, while recognizing that many of the goals he fought for have yet to be achieved in a society still dominated by mostly white controlled business and neo-liberal economic policies

Let us also join, or at least support the ongoing fight. there and here. for economic and social justice that he symbolizes.  As he recognizes, the Long Walk goes on.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter, editor of, is a blogger, author and filmmaker who has worked alongside Mandela and joined the anti-apartheid movement in 1967. Comments to Email address removed

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at See

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