The people running the so-called “Christian” business of Hobby Lobby not only want the legal right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees, but apparently they’ve also been trafficking in illegal religious artifacts from Iraq. Stuff to put in their own “Bible museum”, no less. It’s like they’re really crappy villains from some Indiana Jones movie.
Exclusive: Feds Investigate Hobby Lobby Boss for Illicit Artifacts
In 2011, a shipment of somewhere between 200 to 300 small clay tablets on their way to Oklahoma City from Israel was seized by U.S. Customs agents in Memphis. The tablets were inscribed in cuneiform—the script of ancient Assyria and Babylonia, present-day Iraq—and were thousands of years old. Their destination was the compound of the Hobby Lobby corporation, which became famous last year for winning a landmark Supreme Court case on religious freedom and government mandates. A senior law enforcement source with extensive knowledge of antiquities smuggling confirmed that these ancient artifacts had been purchased and were being imported by the deeply-religious owners of the crafting giant, the Green family of Oklahoma City. For the last four years, law enforcement sources tell The Daily Beast, the Greens have been under federal investigation for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq.
This is terrifically insane! And how did they (almost) pull it off? Easy: they lied.
One source familiar with the Hobby Lobby investigation told us that this is precisely what happened in this case: The tablets were described on their FedEx shipping label as samples of “hand-crafted clay tiles.” This description may have been technically accurate, but the monetary value assigned to them—around $300, we’re told—vastly underestimates their true worth, and, just as important, obscures their identification as the cultural heritage of Iraq.
Lawbreaking, bearing false witness, pride… So much for those Christian values. But really, can we expect much more from people who are so public about their religion? Seems like the louder you crow about it, the more you’ve got to hide.
There’s an interesting article on AlterNet about the way Americans (specifically, supporters of our latest war) perceive Iraq and what we’re doing there. A lot of people seem to think that our role in Iraq, besides securing the oil supply for our SUVs, is to tame the savage natives and give them the gift of civilization. “They are, after all, primitives with no concept of democracy or morals or technology. Why, it’s amazing that they have survived this long without American network T.V.!” Uh-huh. I’m no expert on Iraqi culture, but if they are so primitive, what was all that stuff about them building WMDs? Doesn’t sound too primitive to me. Anyway, this article made me think back about some of the more inflammatory pro-war blogs and commentary I’ve read, and now that I think of it, there was sometimes a subtle racial undercurrent in their arguments. It’s as if we are the shiny white Americans, bringing peace and knowledge (via bombs) to the rest of the world. Blecchhh.
So President Noxious Shrub says he will not accept anything less than complete victory in Iraq. Christ on a cracker! Does the phrase “endless war” mean anything to him? Does he honestly think that he will be able to stamp out terrorism for good? I think I know what his strategy is, though. He knows it can’t actually be won, but he’s determined to pretend he can win while dragging it out as long as he’s in office. And while the war is on, the oil deals and military contracts will continue to ride high. When someone else is elected and (hopefully) puts an end to this idiotic war, Bush will be able to say “See? I tried to win that war, but my successor wimped out. I did the manly thing and kept the war alive for the good of the American people, and he pulled out like a wimpy little girly-man.” Of course his turdburglar Republican toadies will smile and nod and say “Yes, we supported the war all along and now look what’s happened! Terrorism is still rampant and it’s alllll because of the anti-war wackos.”
Also, remember that Bush Sr. was criticized for not destroying Saddam back in the early 90’s, so Georgie Jr. can’t possibly give the impression of failing as well. He doesn’t want to be remembered as a wimp like Daddy. I was recently listening to a George Carlin show from the early 90’s, and what he said about the first Gulf War mirrors exactly what’s happening today with Bush Jr. and the latest Gulf War.
But besides all that, some wars just cannot be won, especially wars waged against concepts like terrorism. As long as there are religious fundie wackos out there, we will have to deal with terrorists. It’s not something we can “win” by defeating a finite enemy in a country or two, and bombing the shit out of people in other countries is not going to change the minds of religious nutballs. They will find a way, and all we can do is protect ourselves and try to destroy the terrorist cells. But I think ending terrorism for the entire world forever, which Bush is trying to do (or pretending to do, at YOUR expense), is simply impossible.
OK, enough sermonizing! Time for lunch…
Wow, 14 Marines were blasted to death in Iraq today. Actually, I guess the total is 15 if you include the interpreter. Yesterday, 7 others were killed. Before that, almost 1800 since the war began.
Say, Mr. bush, what was that you said about “mission accomplished”? I’m a bit fuzzy on that part.
Anyway, in case you’ve lost count (like most of us), you can always check out the Iraq Body Count site to keep up-to-date.
A group of bluehairs in Tucson (land of my birth) calling themselves the Raging Grannies have been pestering a local recruiting office in an attempt to get shipped off to Iraq. They’re against the war and want to take the place of their children and grandchildren who are currently stationed over there. It sounds like they’re just trying to make a point, but I think they’re actually serious about wanting to go to Iraq…they would go if there was a chance in hell they could get away with it. The idea is absurd, of course, since they’re far too old to enlist. And now that they’ve been turned away (and charged with trespassing), they’re going to go directly to the Pentagon and ask to be let in.
Elderly members of a US anti-war group called the “raging grannies of Tucson” are due in court following a protest at an Arizona military recruitment centre.
They have been accused of trespassing after entering the centre earlier this month, saying they wanted to enlist.
The group, mostly women in their 60s and 70s, said they wanted to go to Iraq so their grandchildren could come home.
Now, as ridiculous as I think the war is, I have to side with the recruiting spokeswoman quoted in the story: these ladies should not be pestering the recruiting office because they don’t set the policy, they’re just doing their jobs. However, going to the Pentagon will also get them nowhere because they don’t care about what anti-war people are saying or trying to prove. They simply don’t care, and neither do any other hawkish types in office. Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters clogged the streets of major cities around the world to demonstrate against this war, and the President still wouldn’t pay attention or admit that he lied. These ladies aren’t going to get anywhere with an administration which selectively ignores many of its citizens, but I’ll gladly watch them try!
Well! Rep. Walter Jones, the childish nitwit behind the “freedom fries” fiasco, is now admitting that he supported a war that was based on lies and bogus information, and that we oughta bring the troops home now. How about a side of Freedom Crow™ with those fries, Mr. Jones?
A pro-Iraq war US congressman who campaigned for French fries to be renamed “freedom fries” is now calling for US troops to return home from Iraq.
Republican Representative Walter Jones is to introduce legislation demanding a timetable for the withdrawal.
The renaming of fries in Capitol Hill’s cafeterias in March 2003 expressed disapproval among some US lawmakers with France’s opposition to the war.
French toast was also re-branded “freedom toast”.
“I voted for the resolution to commit the troops, and I feel that we’ve done about as much as we can do,” Mr Jones said on US network ABC.
“I just feel that the reason of going in for weapons of mass destruction, the ability of the Iraqis to make a nuclear weapon, that’s all been proven that it was never there.”
That whole “freedom” food thing just annoyed me to no end. During WWI (and possibly WWII, I havne’t checked), the popular thing was to call sauerkraut “liberty cabbage” instead. Nevermind that they were still eating German food…just call it a different name and suddenly you’re a good patriotic American. My, how times haven’t changed…
Fran in Eugene, OR emailed this link and rant to me…. I hadn’t heard of this memo which was made public last month in the British Press, but it’s a doozy and appears to confirm what a lot of us knew all along: Bush lied about his reasons for wanting war, and thousands have died because of it. How does he sleep at night?
Hey — I’m a fan of your web site… & here is an item for a good rant…. So yea , it’s *old news* that the Iraq war is built upon a lie…. but The Downing Street Memo is damning evidence that the whole war planning deal really was pre meditated. As far as I’m concerned — this makes Watergate look like a walk in the park. Yet the Memo is not even on mainstream media’s frickin’ radar. Ho hum…. the war is a bogus lie, now back to our reports of death & destruction, um I mean “installing freedom and democracy while rebuilding Iraq”. Never mind Iraq needs rebuilding because the US blew it to smithereens.
This site not only give good timlines of the lies… but directs people to the link of Congressman Conyers (Michigan) who requested a formal hearing (remember the whole Watergate deal started at a hearing level)…. and has been ignored. He’s trying to get 100,000 people to sign the petition to demand a hearing. Most thinking people are sick & disgusted with this war, but don’t really know what to do to *make it stop*. Hell — this is just a few mouse clicks to help push the issue. What a happy day it would be to see Bush follow in the footsteps of Nixon — resign (get the hell out!) or be Impeached (my option of choice- but like that’s gonna happen in a repug dominant senate!). Oh to have Bush behind bars in the Abu Ghraib prison!!!
In any case, there is such a masterful spin on media manipulation (who could stomach watching Bush lay wreaths on the graves of the war dead — while his “sacrifice” involved staying stateside and snorting cocaine during the Vietnam war?). Our Eugene Oregon newspaper front page tells a story of an Oregon Ntl Guard soldier who was recently involved in a roadside bombing, and had one foot amputated, and part of his other leg amputated… but the good news is he can keep his arm! I’m guessing he’s just thrilled beyond belief. I’ve had enough of “USA” United States Apathy….. Come on people — make a ruckus! DO SOMETHING!!! Nuff’s enough… have the hearing — put the lie in the spotlight.
Fran in Oregon
The headline speaks volumes: Congress OKs $82 billion for wars. This is where your tax money is going, folks. How sad that so many people get off on supporting and voting for war and death and destruction…and uncontrolled spending on waging it. Do you feel better now? More secure? Superior, even? Thought so.
Update (5/13) – They’ve just asked for $50 billion more! God, will they ever have enough? And looky here, the quality of life in Iraq still sucks…in fact, according to the U.N. it’s even worse than before we took over their country. But they’re just people, after all…not cash-producing fossil fuels. Can’t compete with that!
Oh dear God…Baghdad’s new mayor wants to erect a statue of Dubya in the middle of the city. I’m speechless. Please don’t feed this man’s empty-headed ego, it’s already out of control and threatening to explode. And say…didn’t our troops topple another ugly, oppressive statue in downtown Baghdad not too long ago? Hmmm…one power-mad moron for another, I guess. From the NY Post:
January 30, 2005 — BAGHDAD —
The man replacing the mayor of Baghdad — who was assassinated for his pro-American loyalties — says he is not worried about his ties to Washington.
In fact, he’d like to erect a monument to honor President Bush in the middle of the city.
“We will build a statue for Bush,” said Ali Fadel, the former provincial council chairman. “He is the symbol of freedom.”
Fadel’s predecessor, Ali al-Haidari, was gunned down Jan. 4 when militants opened fire on his armor-covered BMW as it traveled with a three-car convoy.
Fadel said he received numerous threats on his life as the council chairman, and expects to get many more in his new post.
“My life is cheap,” Fadel said. “Everything is cheap for my country.”
As Iraq prepared for a volatile election that is being watched across the world, Fadel heaped praise on the United States.
Fadel acknowledged that many in his country appear ungrateful for America’s foreign assistance. He said most Iraqis are still in “shock” over the changes, and need time to adjust.
Any public monument to Bush is likely to further incense terrorist forces, who have attacked American troops and their supporters for months.
Fadel said he is undaunted.
“We have a lot of work and we are especially grateful to the soldiers of the U.S.A. for freeing our country of tyranny,” Fadel said.
As for his own protection, the new mayor will be traveling in a new $150,000 SUV complete with bulletproof windows and flat-resistant tires.
Headline: Iraq Churches Bombed; 1,000th American Killed.
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Gunmen bombed two churches in the tense Iraqi city of Mosul Tuesday, fueling fears of ethnic and sectarian unrest ahead of an election next month.
The insurgent war of attrition against U.S. forces and their Iraqi proteges claimed another American life in Baghdad, taking the U.S. combat death toll to1,000 since last year’s invasion.
Are they free yet? Do you feel safer yet? Have we conquered the terrorists (or “terrrsts” in Bushspeak) yet? Do let me know when these things happen, would you?