arms traffic

Report blasts US government for Fast and Furious

On Sept. 19 Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the US Department of Justice, released a 471-page report on Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled program in which the Arizona office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) inadvertently let about 2,000 firearms pass into Mexico during 2009 and 2010, with many of the weapons apparently going to Mexican drug traffickers . The inspector general, a sort of internal auditor for the Justice Department, found that the ATF and US prosecutors in Arizona were at fault in the operation, along with Justice officials in Washington who were responsible for supervising the ATF and the federal prosecutors.

Mexican peace caravan 'disarms Houston'

In an unusual and dramatic protest against lax gun control laws in the US, relatives of victims of drug-related violence in Mexico destroyed a .357 Magnum pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle in Houston's Guadalupe Plaza Park on Aug. 27 and buried the remains in cement. The protesters were part of a Caravan for Peace that started a month-long tour of the US in San Diego on Aug. 12 to raise awareness of the US role in a "drug war" that has cost some 50,000 lives in Mexico since the beginning of 2007. The tour is to end in Washington, DC on Sept. 12.

Sikh massacre: fascism is not a mental illness

The Aug. 6 massacre of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. is revealing in its reactions from across the spectrum, but let's start with Mitt Romney. The media have noted his embarrassing blooper of confusing the words "Sikh" and "sheikh," but failed to note that the very quote in which he made the gaffe was not merely ignorant but insidiously sinister. Here it is: "We had a moment of silence in honor of the people who lost their lives at that sheik temple. I noted that it was a tragedy for many, many reasons. Among them are the fact that people, the sheik people, are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith." (AP, Aug. 7) Right, as opposed to those dirty you-know-whos. Numerous commentators (mostly on the left, natch) have pointed out that the emphasis on the fact that Sikhs aren't Muslims sometimes comes close to implying that violent attacks on Muslims would be OK. Romney's subtext is clearly that the Sikhs are good, domesticated wogs that white America can tolerate, while those bad Muslims have got it coming, because their faith is not "peaceable and loving."

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