Tag Archives: Africa

US president spills beans on shitholes where developed world goes to shit.


Citing “shithole countries” of Africa, Trump impolitely referenced where it is that developed nations go to shit. OBVIOUSLY, SHITHOLE is vulgar, derogatory and unhelpful. Used by the US president to describe dark-skinned nations, it’s reprehensible and racist. But “shithole” is more than a euphemism. Literally it’s a place made awful by being the dumping ground of everyone’s excrement. The specific lands which Trump slandered, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and all of Africa, are beautiful, scenic, and bountiful places. How could “shitholes” begin to describe them? Well, in a gold-plated toilet scale… Isn’t “shithole” an appropriately condescending description of the purposefully underdeveloped and exploited African and Caribbean lands? The victims of the externalized costs of colonialism, capitalism, and now climate disaster, are what President Trump calls shithole countries. Predictably the international western press is translating shithole in its colloquial sense, not its literal, as shabby, backward, etc. –obviously to spare western readers from embarrassing themselves about their abusive relation to the third world, because there is absolutely no doubt that every culture and every language has a word (which predates plumbing) for where the community goes to shit.

US reduces troop levels in Niger by 3

What are US soldiers doing in Niger? Reducing our deployment by five Green Berets, three of them for good. But seriously. Niger is not a declared war and US personel are not allowed to report they’ve been there. AFRI-COM now admits it’s building a drone base in Agadez Niger from which to strike resistance fighters hindering our corporate exploitation of the African continent. The drone base “is projected to be the biggest military labor troop project in US Air Force history.”

Save Darfur was an Oil Play

I remember when you couldn’t throw a stick without hitting someone who didn’t want to SAVE DARFUR. And boy did they need hitting with a stick. All those high school and college students activated by OBAMA 08 lined up to add Darfur to their extracurriculars. Why? The usual manipulative pictures and imperialist propaganda. Sudanese refugees needed saving. Bleeding Hearts’ Burden. George Clooney was showered with activist laurels for playing Hollywood’s ambassador to Darfur. Soon enough pacifists were calling for military intervention, a “no-fly zone” but enforced with force. Denied, the US provided the military intervention covertly, and ultimately the southern fossil fuel rich portion of Sudan was lopped off for the multinational profiteers.

Ebola kills 4,000 in Africa but US has temerity to call its first “Patient Zero”

RIP Thomas Eric Duncan. Thankfully there is now some sympathetic coverage of the Ebola victim who traveled to the US from Liberia. It turns out Duncan wasn’t by definition a selfish refugee who lied to immigration officers. He can hardly be tagged “patient zero” unless an outbreak can be traced to him. We have no idea whether Duncan is the only infected traveler to exit West Africa undetected.

Obama launches bold US medical relief program “Soldiers Without Borders”

The US response to Ebola is “Doctors Without Borders” with a cheaper payroll, serving US imperial needs above all. Okay, the US has been rolling out SOLDIERS WITHOUT BORDERS since Manifest Destiny and the Shores of Tripoli, but President Barack Obama’s initiative to send 3,000 soldiers to fight the Ebola-Zaire virus in West Africa marks the ploy’s most farcical disguise: soldiers-as-peacekeepers-passing-as-doctors. Who knew Specialist 1st Class meant health specialist? If your neighborhood doctor doesn’t accept Medicaid, maybe your local garrison will. Poor President Obama. Most of the national budget goes to the Defense Department, so our federal resources are mostly soldiers! When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. In this case, coffin nails, to contain the stricken people of West Africa. They need epidemiologists, we give them boots on the ground.

John Kerry tells Africa its greatest resource was & will always be slavery

With the developed empire still wildly exploiting Africa’s vast natural resources and pillaging the wealth of its peoples, US Secretary of State John Kerry had the temerity to pretend that the dark continent’s most precious resource is its untapped labor. Globalization means Western Civ doesn’t have to ship slaves to labor intensive ventures across oceans. Now debt slaves can serve world bank masters in sweatshops and maquiadores and plantations situated in their own prison states.

War memorial to Global War On Terror, aka War on Islam For World Resources now logging “Horn of Africa” casualties

By now you’ve read elsewhere that many of the wounded soldiers being medivac’d to the US surgery hub in Germany are coming from parts unknown more specifically not-known to be US-declared war zones. Their flight origin is only revealed as “Horn of Africa”, but it’s telling isn’t it? US disrespect for foreign sovereignty means not even uttering the nation states involved. USG spokesmen know, for the geographically challenged, calling it the Horn can obfuscate the spheres of disputed influence stretching from Somalia, for you Blackhawk Downers, to Mali, where three US special ops were recently killed with their prostitute attaches, while the corporate media breathed a collective “huh?” Thankfully US adversaries in Mali had the better sense not to string the American bodies from bridges like pre-Falluja’d Fallujah, or did they? NATO’s media cameras weren’t there to exploit it in any case. Basically the Horn is where US AFRICOM has yet to beat back the continent’s last Islamic protectors as the Western serial rape of Africa drops its pretense that strangulation isn’t the final act.

Putin to Israel: if you start a war with Iran and Syria, it will also be seen as a US attack on Russia and China

The message is very simple that Putin has carried to Israel during his visit. It is the exact same one he gave directly to Obama at the G20 summit in Mexico last week. …. ‘Don’t start your war!’ Is China solid in support of Putin’s position for Russia? Here is how it seems from the Chinese pov…
 
‘The Syrian opposition abroad has long called for a military operation in Syria similar to the one that helped toppling the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi last year, but the United States and its European allies have shown little appetite for such intervention given the complexity of the Syrian situation and the repercussions it might drag, particularly on Israel. Syria’s powerful regional allies with Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, along with its international ones, such as Russia, have greatly contributed in restraining the superpowers from considering a military offensive on Syria.’ from Xinhua News Analysis: Syria's new government faces escalation of tension on international arena.

Obama Administration has expanded US military interventionism in Africa

As the Democratic Party dominated ‘Peace’ Movement in the US has slept the last 3 years PLUS, with its hero in office, the Obama-Clinton Administration has steadily increased the Pentagon presence across Africa. Actually many of the liberal Democrats demanded Pentagon expansionism on the continent, as they demanded that D.C. supposedly ‘save’ Darfur. Black Agenda Report this week examines the US imperialist increase in forces in Africa under Obama, in Glen Ford’s report U.S. Escalates Military Penetration of Africa.

Stop Joseph Kony? Who’s going to stop US military from raping all of Africa?

Wanna know who’s all over Kony, KONY 2012 that is? Denver’s Global Equality collective is on top of that shit like you wouldn’t believe. You may have thought the viral video debunked and that was that, a screening of KONY 2012 was attempted in Uganda and caused a riotous backlash. But offline and getting no mention in the MSM is our military’s propaganda campaign in the public schools. From elementary to high school, American children are being rallied to push for US military intervention in Africa. Fortunately anti-imperialist Global Equality owns that cause and has been sending operatives into as many Denver area schools as they can. They’ve got multitudes of handouts, posters, and stickers to subvert the pro-intervention line. Unadulterated, the official message has American children pumping their fists to support hunting down warlord Kony. It’s not just boosterism, they’re recruiting! Our Hitler Youth are vowing to join up to defeat Joseph Kony, for the crime of abducting children to fight in his army, aptly named “invisible children” because our would-be conscripts forget that’s who they’ll be killing. If you want to save the children in the Denver schools, contact Global Equality about getting their anti-press-kit, otherwise their resources are available online.

ZOMBIE – Fela Kuti’s tribute to Military Zombies that make up our world

I love this song.
Zombie – by Fela Kuti
…Fela Kuti is Africa’s greatest musical legend and this is his greatest song!

 
 
 

ZOMBIE

Zombie o, zombie (Zombie o, zombie)
Zombie o, zombie (Zombie o, zombie)

Zombie no go go, unless you tell him to go. (Zombie)

Zombie no go stop, unless you tell him to stop. (Zombie)
Zombie no go turn, unless you tell him to turn. (Zombie)
Zombie no go think, unless you tell him to think. (Zombie)

Tell him to go straight. A joro, jara, joro.
No break, no job, no sense. A joro, jara, joro.
Tell him to go kill. A joro, jara, joro.
No break, no job, no sense. A joro, jara, joro.
Tell him to go quench. A joro, jara, joro.
No break, no job, no sense. A joro, jara, joro.

Go and kill! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Go and die! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Go and quench! (Joro, jaro, joro)
Put him for reverse! (Joro, jaro, joro)

Joro, jara, joro, zombie went a one way.
Joro, jara, joro, zombie went a one way.
Joro, jara, joro, zombie went a one way.
Joro, jara, joro.

Attention! (Zombie)
Quick march!
Slow march! (Zombie)
Left turn!
Right turn! (Zombie)
About turn!
Double up! (Zombie)
Salute!
Open your hat! (Zombie)
Stand at ease!
Fall in! (Zombie)
Fall out!
Fall down! (Zombie)
Get ready!

HALT!

ORDER!

Dismiss!

Smell test shows KONY 2012 viral vid tests positive for military grade virus

Solidarity with AngolaWas mainstream media endorsing a viral Youtube video your first clue that the Invisible Children campaign bears the suspicious signs of US war-making propaganda?! What “Save Darfur” was to Sudan, the CIA-spelled backward [Africa’s] Invisible Children operation is to Uganda. With its Libyan protector out of the way, Africa and its resources have never been more accessible, so now AFRICOM’s cross-hairs are on regional insurgent defenders. Apparently Joseph Kony is today’s poster villain, and those pitching a US intervention in Central Africa want to convince the public the engagement would have an exit strategy not to exceed 2012. Flowers and candy.
 
What are we holding against Joseph Kony, indoctrinating child soldiers? What are American recruiters doing in our middle schools but trolling for our Invisible Children who, undereducated, undernourished and unprotected from predatory militarist propaganda, succumb to the economic or criminal justice draft?

How European imperialism spread AIDS to the world

About 7 years ago, scientists discovered that the origins of the AIDS epidemic began in Cameroon, Africa. That info can be found here… Hunt for origin of HIV pandemic ends at chimpanzee colony in Cameroon …This week an article in the Washington Post by Daniel Halperin, who was a senior HIV prevention adviser in the U.S. government’s global AIDS program, posits that European imperialism spread AIDS out of Africa and eventually throughout the rest of the world. See Co­lo­ni­al­ism in Africa helped launch the HIV epidemic a century ago. Question now is, will current US imperialism done in the name of ‘National Security’ similarly launch new disease into the US population and into world wide populations as well? Time only will tell.

DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad was early post-911 Muslim Avenger

john allen muhammad beltway sniperWhat morbid fortuity that as President Obama heads to Fort Hood to commemorate the victims of renegade Nidal Malik Hasan, preparations are being made for the execution of another Islamic avenger, the Beltway sniper. As Americans satiate their blood lust against Muslims in the person of John Allen Muhammad who is scheduled to die tonight by lethal injection, perhaps comparisons to Major Hasan will draw attention to the ideological motives behind the 2002 shooting spree. We don’t have to like them, but it would obviously pay us to listen.

Not to excuse the Washington DC killings, nor suggest that the Gulf War veteran and convert to Islam is any less a cold-blooded murderer, but TV crime shows have painted he and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo as sadistic serial killers, completely burying the sociopolitical elements which tie the snipers to the Global War On Terror/Islam, the legacy of the African American struggle, and its extreme incarnation as the Black Liberation Army.

Muhammad maintains his innocence, primarily because the evidence implicating him remains circumstantial. He was convicted on the strength of partner Malvo’s testimony, and recently lost a Supreme Court appeal. In his testimony, Malvo described three phases to Muhammad’s murderous plans. First was to be the sniper killings, which the two calculated could claim six victims a day. Phase two involved plans to murder a policeman and set bombs at the site of his funeral, to claim an unprecedented toll of police casualties. With money extorted from the government in return for a cessation to the killings, Muhammad and Malvo planned to retreat to Canada, where they planned to build a Utopian community for other disenfranchised African American men, where they would be trained for bigger and more numerous missions against the US.

While I can understand US public figures having to distance themselves from Muhammad, I’m not sure why the organizations speaking out for US political prisoners weren’t showing their solidarity for his motives. Were Muhammad’s ambitions much different from the freedom fighters of the EZLN? Does the rejection of Muhammad reflect the post 9/11 pallor of insurrection in word only?

The case against Major Hasan proceeds apace with the usual unofficial press leaks. I heard reporters site sources who don’t want to be identified by name, in deference to the legal constraints of the ongoing investigation. The accusations they make against Hasan, however, for the benefit of the media outlets, reflects not a concern for Hasan’s due process, but rather their fear for getting themselves in trouble. But the media is eating it up.

Give this lackey a new directive

Lekki PeninsulaBagnewsNotes has juxtaposed two photos of African colonialism. One taken more than a century ago shows a white bwana being ferried by two porters, the second is the recent image at left. The difference is that today’s servants are trusted with weapons because they have to double as security, the continent being more dangerous now than when it was darkest Africa. According to photographer Paolo Woods, the colonial industrialist beneath the umbrella, stands before a 544 villa development in Nigeria, built on the Lekki Peninsula to suit Chevron Oil. For this go-round of postcards from the outlands, could anti-imperialist venture capitalists raise funds to give these Nigerian servants more than pieces of silver? The-world-is-watching age of the internet could offer these henchmen several times more their pay to gun down the light-skinned slave masters point-blank, instead of defending them against Nigeria’s oppressed victims.

Obama ate a fish who knew Lincoln

bottom feederFishermen have always called it the Slimehead fish. It’s sorta-scientific name is Darwin’s Slimehead. But when bottom-of-the-barrel scraping began for the ocean’s remaining fisheries, fishmongers created a market for the never-thought-palatable deep bottom feeder by renaming it the Orange Roughy.
 
That much you’ve probably heard before.

Really, what’s in a name? A fish by any other name will smell too. Is there a fish story without hyperbole, that does not smell fishy? The idiom comes from the experience-honed doubt that the fishmonger’s catch is not fresh. People know steak is dead cow, so does it matter that Orange Roughy is Slimehead, Monkfish is Goosefish, Rock Salmon is Spiny Dogfish, or Tilapia is Mouthbrooder?

Actually Israeli exporters wanted to give Tilapia a biblical makeover, asserting the Tilapia from the Sea of Galilee, should be called St. Peter’s Fish, but US regulators intervened. In the Gospel of Matthew 17:27, apostle Peter tells tax collectors where they can go. In more than that many words he tells them to go fish, and from the mouth of the “first fish they catch,” they will find the four drachmas he owes them. The FDA didn’t buy it either. By the way, if you doubt Wikipedia has Zionist preoccupations, sniff the first paragraph of their entry for Tilapia. Maybe we are about to see whether Wiki momentum can surfeit the vernacular.

The US government also intervened when fish wholesalers wanted to rename the Patagonian Toothfish as Chilean Sea Bass. It’s not a Bass. And the poor Teethfish, like the Slimehead, are now endangered.

Because man’s traditional food fishes have become depleted, we’re having now to make meals of the dregs. And the populations of these deep sea dwellers have less resiliency than the coastal stocks. In the case of the Toothfish and the Slimehead, it’s because they grow very slowly. The Slimehead can grow to be 150 years old. They don’t become sexually reproductive until they are 33, and that’s not in dogfish years. Fishing operations which harvest entire sea mounts decimate every generation at once, leaving none who can spawn.

Would it give you an unsettled feeling to consume something so ancient? If we’re talking a pre-Phylloxera wine, it could be a great thing. But a fish that old has been absorbing mercury from the height of the industrial revolution onwards. So there might be a health benefit for showing deference to your fish elders.

It recently upset me to learn that with modern agriculture we eat cattle before they’re two, when they’re barely adolescent. Now I wonder what’s too old. We revere elephants and tortoises for their longevity, such ancient beings we don’t eat.

I’m old enough to remember learning about the old carp in the fountains of Paris, who also lived quite long. French schoolchildren could marvel that some carp still lived who might have glimpsed Napoleon.

A Slimehead Orange Roughy caught today could have lived in the time of Lincoln. Certainly those fish drag-netted in the 1970s, when the Orange Roughy exotic star was contrived to rise, were contemporaries of John Wilkes Booth. Though swimming many thousand feet below sea level, Roughy might have encountered a fresh shipwreck of Lincoln’s era, carrying gold sent from the west coast to finance the Civil War.

Today finds Americans awaiting their and their fellow man’s emancipation from war, torture, illegal detention, economic enslavement, usury, exploitation, impoverishment, enfeeblement and poisoning. Since just the new millennium Americans learned quick to participate again in their political system. They elected what many thought impossible, an African American president. The voters placed all their hope in Barack Obama, and their faith in party politics foretold that Obama’s majority would deliver the mandate he was given. Obama’s first days were anticipated to rival FDRs. Obama’s legacy could already be measured for laurels because it meant simply reversing the calamity of his predecessor. By such a deliverance alone, it was visualized, Obama would stand beside Abraham Lincoln, America’s greatest president.

Abraham Obama may be an unjustly loft comparison, as wanting to believe Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. But what else was an expectant public to do? They put him in office, they believed his promises. He spoke of change, they wanted change. What swiftly Bush had done, they wanted undone. And Obama assured all that he heard them.

And has it worked out that way? Obama’s speeches begin where the last one ends. They’re long, they’re reasoned, but where at first Americans reveled at a suddenly well-spoken president, now they wish he’d stop talking and start doing. Apparently “yes we can” meant “you can wait” –more likely “hi Mom” or “cheese.” Now the hand which Obama raises so famously to give assurance, is looking more like just the hand.

It may be dawning on many that this junior senator from Illinois didn’t have to debate Frederick Douglas, build a log cabin, read Aristotle by candlelight, or climb a long leadership ladder to get to Washington DC. It may be occurring to them that Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, was the only accomplishment they’d seen of this unknown senator from the land of Lincoln.

An Orange Roughy served on fine porcelain may turn out to be the only thing our President Obama shares with Abraham Lincoln.

And very likely, you ate one too. So if stone-carvers are already bidding on the project to add someone’s face to Mount Rushmore, your likeness may be as appropriate as any.

Tea Party Patriot robes for tiny pee pees

Klu Klux Klan Minuteman Racist Bigot anti-immigrant robeCOLORADO SPRINGS- This year for Halloween I’m dressing up like yokel heroes Sean Paige, Richard Randall, Tom Gallagher, and Doug Lamborn, the rabble-rousers behind our local Teabag mobs. They’re reveling in the white man anger, against immigrants, ACORN, and taxes for social programs, laughing off accusations of being racist, while probably praying to God their mob doesn’t seize upon a passing African American and lynch him. Until recently a Halloween costume like this would have been mistaken to be a ghost, but for the resurgent ugly white man. The Pikes Peak region was crawling with KKK members in the 1930s, and during the Bush years their sons and grandsons snuck to the Texas border to join the Klan’s modern incarnation The Minutemen. With a black president clouding the horizon, suddenly these same men and women are rallying. At a recent public meeting, Representative Lamborn chuckled about his fellow malcontents rising up, at “I guess we call them, Tea Parties.” A heckler cried out “Clan Rallies.” The Lamborn crowd booed, but I bet most of them still have their fathers’ robes.

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA.

1. Ukrainian Partisans
From 1945 to 1952 the CIA trained and aerially supplied Ukranian partisan units which had originally been organised by he Germans to fight the Soviets during WWII. For seven years, the partisans, operating in the Carpathian Mountains, made sporadic attacks. Finally in 1952, a massive Soviet military force wiped them out.

2. Chinese Brigade in Burma
After the Communist victory in China, Nationalist Chinese soldiers fled into northern Burma. During the early 1950s, the CIA used these soldiers to create a 12,000 man brigade which made raids into Red China. However, the Nationalist soldiers found it more profitable to monopolise the local opium trade.

3. Guatemalan Rebel Army
After Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz legalised that country’s communist party and expropriated 400,000 acres of United Fruit banana plantations, the CIA decided to overthrow his government. Guatemalan rebels were trained in Honduras and backed up with a CIA air contingent of bombers and fighter planes. This army invaded Guatemala in 1954, promptly toppling Arbenz’s regine.

4. Sumatran Rebels
In an attempt to overthrow Indonesian president Sukarno in 1958, the CIA sent paramilitary experts and radio operators to the island of Sumatra to organise a revolt. With CIA air support, the rebel army attacked but was quickly defeated. The American government denied involvement even after a CIA b-26 was shot down and its CIA pilot, Allen Pope, was captured.

5. Khamba Horsemen
After the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, the CIA began recruiting Khamba horsemen – fierce warriors who supported Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama – as they escaped into India in 1959. These Khambas were trained in modern warfare at Camp Hale, high in the rocky mountains near Leadville, Colorado. Transported back to Tibet by the CIA operated Air American, the Khambas organised an army number at its peak some 14,000. By the mid-1960s the Khambas had been abandoned by the CIA but they fought on alone until 1970.

6. Bay of Pigs Invasion Force
In 1960, CIA operatives recruited 1,500 Cuban refugees living in Miami and staged a surprise attack on Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Trained at a base in Guatemala, this small army – complete with an air force consisting of B-26 bombers – landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 19, 1961. The ill-conceived, poorly planned operation ended in disaster, since all but 150 men of the force were either killed or captured within three days.

7. L’armee Clandestine
In 1962, CIA agents recruited Meo tribesmen living in the mountains of Laos to fight as guerrillas against Communist Pathet Lao forces. Called l’armee Clandestine, this unit – paid, trained, and supplied by the CIA – grew into a 30,000 man force. By 1975 the Meos – who had numbers a quarter million in 1962 – had been reduced to 10,000 refugees fleeing into Thailand.

8. Nung Mercenaries
A Chinese hill people living in Vietname, the Nungs were hired and organised by the CIA as a mercenary force, during the Vietnam war. Fearsome and brutal fighters, the Nungs were employed throughout Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The Nungs proved costly since they refused to fight unless constantly supplied with beer and prostitutes.

9. Peruvian Regiment
Unable to quell guerrilla forces in its eastern Amazonian provinces, Peru called on the US for help in the mid-1960s. The CIA responded by establishing a fortified camp in the area and hiring local Peruvians who were trained by Green Beret personnel on loan from the US army. After crushing the guerrillas, the elite unit was disbanded because of fears it might stage a coup against the government.

10. Congo Mercenary Force
In 1964, during the Congolese Civil War, the CIA established an army in the Congo to back pro-Western leaders Cyril Adoula and Joseph Mobutu. The CIA imported European mercenaries and Cuban pilots – exiles from Cuba – to pilot the CIA air force, composed of transports and B-26 Bombers.

11. The Cambodian Coup
For over 15 years, the CIA had tried various unsuccessful means of deposing Cambodia’s left-leaning Prince Norodom Sihanouk, including assassination attempts. However, in March, 1970, a CIA-backed coup finally did the job. Funded by US tax dollars, armed with US weapons, and trained by American Green Berets, anti-Sihanouk forces called Kampuchea Khmer Krom (KKK) overran the capital of Phnom Penh and took control of the government. With the blessing of the CIA and the Nixon administration, control of Cambodia was placed in the hands of Lon Nol, who would later distinguish himself by dispatching soldiers to butcher tens of thousands of civilians.

12. Kurd Rebels
During the early 1970s the CIA moved into eastern Iraq to organize and supply the Kurds of that area, who were rebelling against the pro-Soviet Iraqi government. The real purpose behind this action was to help the shah of Iran settle a border dispute with Iraq favourably. After an Iranian-Iraq settlement was reached, the CIA withdrew its support from the Kurds, who were then crushed by the Iraqi Army.

13. Angola Mercenary Force
In 1975, after years of bloody fighting and civil unrest in Angola, Portugal resolved to relinquish its hold on the last of its African colonies. The transition was to take place on November 11, with control of the country going to whichever political faction controlled the capital city of Luanda on that date. In the months preceding the change, three groups vied for power: the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). By July 1975, the Marxist MPLA had ousted the moderate FNLA and UNITA from Luanda, so the CIA decided to intervene covertly. Over $30 million was spent on the Angolan operation, the bulk of the money going to buy arms and pay French and South African mercenaries, who aided the FNLA and UNITA in their fight. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, US officials categorically denied any involvement in the Angolan conflict. In the end, it was a fruitless military adventure, for the MPLA assumed power and controls Angola to this day.

14. Afghan Mujaheedin
Covert support for the groups fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and was stepped up during the administration of Ronald Reagan. The operation succeeded in its initial goal, as the Soviets were forced to begin withdrawing their forces in 1987. Unfortunately, once the Soviets left, the US essentially ignored Afghanistan as it collapsed into a five-year civil war followed by the rise of the ultra-fundamentalist Taliban. The Taliban provided a haven for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

15. Salvadoran Death Squads
As far back as 1964, the CIA helped form ORDEN and ANSESAL, two paramilitary intelligence networks that developed into the Salvadoran death squads. The CIA trained ORDEN leaders in the use of automatic weapons and surveillance techniques, and placed several leaders on the CIA payroll. The CIA also provided detailed intelligence on Salvadoran individuals later murdered by the death squads. During the civil war in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992, the death squads were responsible for 40,000 killings. Even after a public outcry forced President Reagan to denounce the death squads in 1984, CIA support continued.

16. Nicaraguan Contras
On November 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed a top secret National Security Directive authorising the CIA to spend $19 million to recruit and support the Contras, opponents of Nicaragua’s Sandinista government. In supporting the Contras, the CIA carried out several acts of sabotage without the Congressional intelligence committees giving consent – or even being informed beforehand. In response, Congress passed the Boland Amendment, prohibiting the CIA from providing aid to the Contras. Attempts to find alternate sources of funds led to the Iran-Contra scandal. It may also have led the CIA and the Contras to become actively involved in drug smuggling. In 1988, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism, and International Operations concluded that individuals in the Contra movement engaged in drug trafficking; that known drug traffickers provided assistance to the Contras; and that ‘there are some serious questions as to whether or not US officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war effort against Nicaragua’.

17. Haitian Coup
In 1988, the CIA attempted to intervene in Haiti’s elections with a ‘covert action program’ to undermine the campaign of the eventual winner, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, Aristide was overthrown in a bloody coup that killed more than 4,000 civilians. Many of the leaders of the coup had been on the CIA payroll since the mid-1980s. For example, Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant, the head of FRAPH, a brutal gang of thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, admitted to being a paid agent of the CIA. Similarly, the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS), supposedly created to combat drugs, functioned during the coup as a ‘political intimidation and assassination squad.’ In 1994, an American force of 20,000 was sent to Haiti to allow Aristide to return. Ironically, even after this, the CIA continued working with FRAPH and the NIS. In 2004, Aristide was overthrown once again, with Aristide claiming that US forces had kidnapped him.

18. Venezuelan Coup Attempt
On April 11, 2002, Venezuelan military leaders attempted to overthrow the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, Hugo Chavez. The coup collapsed after two days as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and as units of the military joined with the protestors. The administration of George W. Bush was the only democracy in the Western Hemisphere not to condemn the coup attempt. According to intelligence analyst Wayne Madsen, the CIA had actively organised the coup: ‘The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel, headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from the US Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to help organise the coup against Chavez.

What will Michael the Savage Weiner say

… to spin away the fact that the suspects are White, “conservative” Small-Town and with Mayflower ties?? This from Mt Vernon NH and the woman killed, also white, was murdered with a machete. Since the loud-mouth Hate Radio host “Savage” has been known to spend huge amounts of airtime screaming and denouncing anybody who doesn’t believe that Machete Murders are the exclusive domain of (black) recent Immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. In a non-racist way, of course. At least to hear his lawyers tell it.

For the past week he’s been denouncing (black) kids in Chicago, comparing them to Somalia, dig dig dig at the African Immigrant references he gosh darn it just doesn’t like have to make but… oh cut the CRAP, Weiner, you love to spew Hatred and blacks are his favorite target. No telling what sets somebody like that on the path of Slash and Burn Rage.

Maybe his first boyfriend dumped him for a black dude or something.

Since the (alleged) perpetrators are Skinhead Wannabees who probably never saw a live black person or a live Jewish person, how much would you like to bet they’re fans of The Savage Nation drivel?

Which leads to another point, although he’s not observant, not “religiously” a Jew, he’s ethnically Jewish. Why would the SKI… errr.. Pinheads listen to him, since they despise among other PEOPLE, Jews. And not from a religious point of view either.

Like Mike, they’ve abandoned the pretense of Religion as the justification of Extremist Hatred.?They just Love to Hate.

Teabag Constitution Day, Acacia Park

THE NOT-WITH-MY-TAXES PATRIOTS are holding another tea party tomorrow, to mark Constitution Day Sept 17, 11AM downtown in Acacia Park, where two friends got permission to table there tomorrow to represent the Special Olympics and pass out applications.

It’s a terrible joke, but these teabaggers bring out my inner idiot. WE ARE TOMORROW going to don robes and false beards and circulate like multi-gendered Jesuses, through the throngs of angry Christians, passing out business cards on which we printed the passage from Matthew, what you did for the least of your brothers…

But I’d really like to recruit an intrepid African American male to help me with a hypothesis. I’m pretty sure that at the height of the crowd’s passions tomorrow, a single black voice raised against them, without his appearing to have allies nearby, will result in a spontaneous lunge to try to lynch him. Then we’ll pounce, with the on-duty portion of the CSPD who aren’t attending the event, and arrest the bigots. There won’t be anybody left in the park.

George McGovern, 5pm, Colo. College

QUESTION: WHY an antiwar protest at elder statesman George McGovern’s appearance at Colorado College? (Cornerstone Arts Center, South Theater, 5PM) He supports unions, health care, progressive causes; he has been against US interventions in the Middle East, Africa and Central America, and he’s very outspoken against the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.
ANSWER: YES, but what about YOU?

Do we have a soft spot for mercenaries

Norwegian Tjostolv Moland sentenced to death in Kisangani, DRCIt’s damning photograph. I sought it out after hearing the story of the two Norwegian mercenaries condemned to death in the Congo for the murder of their Congolese driver. Was their black companion killed in an attempt to rob the white adventurers, as they tell it? US news outlets asked Tjostolv Moland’s mothers about the picture of her son, which showed him smiling as he wiped blood from the driver’s seat of their pickup. The mother dismissed it as bad timing, she though her son was probably caught off guard, laughing at a joke unrelated to his morbid task. Boy can Americans relate.

Other US newspapers speculated about a fabled Norwegian propensity to laugh at adversity. They also described Norwegian diplomats scrambling to save the two boys from the gallows. It’s true that Norway doesn’t have a death sentence, and therefore does not condone it elsewhere. Otherwise US and BBC portrayal of Norwegian concern for the two mercenaries seemed at odds with Norway’s usual determined pacifism, so I was eager to hear from my relatives there.

The scoop? Contrary to US and UK sentiments and their projection of Norwegian concerns, there is no domestic sympathy for the two wayward boys. None.

The Norwegian public has become well aware that Moland and partner Joshua French have been traveling the Congo as mercenaries, and have been involved in other killings as well. The fact that Congolese courts are trying to extort a large fine from the Norwegian government, based on the accusation of the two travelers being agents of Norway, is due to documents which the two forged to pretend they had active duty contact with the Norwegian military.

In Norway, military service is compulsory. Every Norwegian male has a record of military service. It helps that Norway rarely involves itself with acts of aggression, sanctioned by a fraternity of nations or not. And when soldiers of fortune like Moland and French set about rampaging in Africa, it behooves Norwegian authorities to ensure that their military is not implicated by association.

How fitting that US and UK listeners should presume a reflexive maternal instinct to protect the two white boys, set upon by angry African opportunists. The boys might be mercenaries, but America and Britain have lots of those overseas. Hired guns, paid assassins, professional killers, why quibble with words?

The laws of war grant little grace for mercenaries, but that’s not what English-speaking supporters of imperial expansion want to believe. Mercenaries in the Neocon vernacular are called private contractors. They’re just ordinary soldiers who’ve escaped the poor pay of military service, to the entrepreneurial ranks of war-making free enterprise.

US govt spreads terror to Yemen

Yemen-fighting-bombingHundreds of thousands of new refugees and yet another country, Yemen, is now being destabilized by the US’s relentless drive to control the Middle East’s oil resources. Yemen is not oil rich but sits in a strategic locale between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Iran and the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya). That makes it a key battle zone (like Lebanon and Syria to the West) in US efforts to destabilize and topple the current Iranian government in order to replace it with a servile puppet regime under US government control.

If you hear anything about this new outbreak of fighting, it will be described by the corporate media as being nothing but a battle between Yemen government forces allied with US ally, Saudi Arabia, and Northern Shia Houtha rebels allied with Iran. No hint beyond that of this civil war being part of anything much larger in size. No hint of US government involvement in the hostilities.

Hiding in the shadows though, is the US government and their traditional European allies, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and so on. This is just one more front line in their neo-imperial expansionism, and thus Yemen joins Pakistan joins Lebanon joins Gaza.

The direct casualties of these imperialist wars by the US government and the Pentagon can be seen in this film, and make up, as usual, many very innocent civilians, including many small children. Barack Obama doesn’t care though. These children victims of US government war making live far away and are quite defenseless. Out of sight out of mind to the Big Shots in D.C.

See Yemenis flee to Saudi border – a film from Al Jazeera for a snapshot picture of the new conflict.

Rock Creek Free Press available in COS

The Rock Creek Free Press is available online, but if you want it in print, the DC monthly is available in Colorado Springs at the Bookman, 3163 W. Colorado. The September issue features a speech given by legendary Australian journalist John Pilger on July 4th in San Francisco.

Here’s the RCFP transcript:

Two years ago I spoke at “Socialism in Chicago” about an invisible government which is a term used by Edward Bernays, one the founders of modern propaganda. It was Bernays, who in the 1920s invented public relations as a euphemism for propaganda. And it was Bernays, deploying the ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud, who campaigned on behalf of the tobacco industry for women to take up smoking as an act of feminist liberation calling cigarettes “tortures of freedom”. At the same time he was involved in the disinformation which was critical in overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala. So you have the association of cigarettes and regime change. The invisible government that Bernays had in mind brought together all media: PR, the press, broadcasting, advertising and their power of branding and image making. In other words, disinformation.

And I suppose I would like to talk today about this invisible government’s most recent achievement, the rise of Barrack Obama and the silencing of much of the left. But all of this has a history, of course and I’d like to go back, take you back some forty years to a sultry and, for me, very memorable day in Viet Nam.

I was a young war correspondent who had just arrived in a village in the Central Highlands called Tuylon. My assignment was to write about a unit of US Marines who had been sent to the village to win hearts and minds. “My orders,” said the Marine Sergeant, “are to sell the American way of liberty, as stated in the Pacification Handbook, this is designed to win the hearts and minds of folks as stated on page 86.” Now, page 86 was headed in capital letters: WHAM (winning hearts and minds). The Marine Unit was a combined action company which explained the Sergeant, meant, “We attack these folks on Mondays and we win their hearts and minds on Tuesdays.” He was joking, of course, but not quite.

The Sergeant, who didn’t speak Vietnamese, had arrived in the village, stood up on a Jeep and said through a bullhorn: “Come on out everybody we’ve got rice and candies and toothbrushes to give you.” This was greeted by silence. “Now listen, either you gooks come on out or we’re going to come right in there and get you!” Now the people of Tuylon finally came out and they stood in line to receive packets of Uncle Ben’s Miracle Rice, Hershey Bars, party balloons, and several thousand toothbrushes. Three portable, battery operated, yellow, flush lavatories were held back for the arrival of the colonel.

And when the colonel arrived that evening, the district chief was summoned and the yellow, flush lavatories unveiled. The colonel cleared his throat and took out a handwritten speech,

“Mr. District Chief and all you nice people,” said the colonel, “what these gifts represent is more than the sum of their parts, they carry the spirit of America. Ladies and gentlemen there’s no place on Earth like America, it’s the land where miracles happen, it’s a guiding light for me and for you. In America, you see, we count ourselves as real lucky as having the greatest democracy the world has ever known and we want you nice people to share in our good fortune.”

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, even John Winthrope sitting upon a hill got a mention. All that was missing was the Star Bangled Banner playing softly in the background. Of course the villagers had no idea what the colonel was talking about, but when the Marines clapped, they clapped. And when the colonel waved, the children waved. And when he departed the colonel shook the Sergeant’s hand and said: “We’ve got plenty of hearts and minds here, carry on Sergeant.” “Yes Sir.” In Viet Nam I witnessed many scenes like that.

I’d grown up in faraway Australia on a cinematic diet of John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Walt Disney, and Ronald Reagan. The American way of liberty they portrayed might well have been lifted from the WHAM handbook. I’d learned that the United States had won World War II on its own and now led the free world as the chosen society. It was only later when I read Walter Lippmann’s book, Public Opinion, a manual of the invisible government, that I began to understand the power of emotions attached to false ideas and bad histories on a grand scale.

Now, historians call this exceptionalism, the notion that the United States has a divine right to bring what it calls “liberty” to the rest of humanity. Of course this is a very old refrain. The French and British created and celebrated their own civilizing missions while imposing colonial regimes that denied basic civil liberties. However, the power of the American message was, and remains, different. Whereas the Europeans were proud imperialists, Americans are trained to deny their imperialism. As Mexico was conquered and the Marines sent to Nicaragua, American textbooks referred to an Age of Innocence. American motives were always well meaning, moral, exceptional, as the colonel said, “There was no ideology” and that’s still the case.

Americanism is an ideology that is unique because its main feature is its denial that it is an ideology. It’s both conservative and it’s liberal. And it’s right and it’s left. And Barack Obama is its embodiment. Since Obama was elected leading liberals have talked about America returning to its true status as, “a nation of moral ideals”. Those are the words of Paul Krugman, the liberal columnist of The New York Times. In the San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Mark Morford wrote,

“Spiritually advanced people regard the new president as a light worker who can help usher in a new way of being on the planet.”

Tell that to an Afghan child whose family has been blown away by Obama’s bombs. Or a Pakistani child whose house has been visited by one of Obama’s drones. Or a Palestinian child surveying the carnage in Gaza caused by American “smart” weapons, which, disclosed Seymour Hersh, were re-supplied to Israel for use in the slaughter, and I quote; “Only after the Obama team let if be known, it would not object.” The man who stayed silent on Gaza is the man who now condemns Iran.

In a sense, Obama is the myth that is America’s last taboo. His most consistent theme was never “change”, it was power. “The United States,” he said, “leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good. We must lead by building a 21st century military to ensure the security of our people and advance the security of all people.” And there is this remarkable statement, “At moments of great peril in the past century our leaders ensured that America, by deed and by example, led and lifted the world; that we stood and fought for the freedoms sought by billions of people beyond our borders.” Words like these remind me of the colonel in the village in Viet Nam, as he spun much the same nonsense.

Since 1945, by deed and by example, to use Obama’s words, America has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, and crushed some 30 liberation movements and bombed countless men, women, and children to death. I’m grateful to Bill Blum for his cataloging of that. And yet, here is the 45th (sic) president of the United States having stacked his government with war mongers and corporate fraudsters and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, promising, not only more of the same, but a whole new war in Pakistan. Justified by the murderous clichés of Hilary Clinton, clichés like, “high value targets”. Within three days of his inauguration, Obama was ordering the death of people in faraway countries: Pakistan and Afghanistan. And yet, the peace movement, it seems, is prepared to look the other way and believe that the cool Obama will restore, as Krugman wrote, “the nation of moral ideals.”

Not long ago, I visited the American Museum of History in the celebrated Smithsonian Institute in Washington. One of the most popular exhibitions was called “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”. It was holiday time and lines of happy people, including many children, shuffled through a Santa’s grotto of war and conquest. When messages about their nation’s great mission were lit up; these included tributes to the; “…exceptional Americans who saved a million lives…” in Viet Nam; where they were, “…determined to stop Communist expansion.” In Iraq other brave Americans, “employed air-strikes of unprecedented precision.” What was shocking was not so much the revisionism of two of the epic crimes of modern times, but the shear scale of omission.

Like all US presidents, Bush and Obama have very much in common. The wars of both presidents and the wars of Clinton and Reagan, Carter and Ford, Nixon and Kennedy are justified by the enduring myth of exceptional America. A myth the late Harold Pinter described as, “a brilliant, witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist; partly because it is indeed extraordinary to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery. However, this is the 21st century and race together with gender, and even class, can be very seductive tools of propaganda. For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe above all, is the class one serves. George Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multi-racial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. It was also the most reactionary. Obama’s very presence in the White House appears to reaffirm the moral nation. He’s a marketing dream. But like Calvin Klein or Benetton, he’s a brand that promises something special, something exciting, almost risqué. As if he might be radical. As if he might enact change. He makes people feel good; he’s a post-modern man with no political baggage. And all that’s fake.

In his book, Dreams From My Father, Obama refers to the job he took after he graduated from Columbia in 1983; he describes his employer as, “…a consulting house to multi-national corporations.” For some reason he doesn’t say who his employer was or what he did there. The employer was Business International Corporation; which has a long history of providing cover for the CIA with covert action and infiltrating unions from the left. I know this because it was especially active in my own country, Australia. Obama doesn’t say what he did at Business International and they may be absolutely nothing sinister. But it seems worthy of inquiry, and debate, as a clue to, perhaps, who the man is.

During his brief period in the senate, Obama voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for the Patriot Act. He refused to support a bill for single payer health care. He supported the death penalty. As a presidential candidate he received more corporate backing than John McCain. He promised to close Guantanamo as a priority, but instead he has excused torture, reinstated military commissions, kept the Bush gulag intact, and opposed habeas corpus.

Daniel Ellsberg, the great whistleblower, was right, I believe, when he said, that under Bush a military coup had taken place in the United States giving the Pentagon unprecedented powers. These powers have been reinforced by the presence of Robert Gates – a Bush family crony and George W. Bush’s powerful Secretary of Defense. And by all the Bush Pentagon officials and generals who have kept their jobs under Obama.

In the middle of a recession, with millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes, Obama has increased the military budget. In Colombia he is planning to spend 46 million dollars on a new military base that will support a regime backed by death squads and further the tragic history of Washington’s intervention in that region.

In a pseudo-event in Prague, Obama promised a world without nuclear weapons to a global audience, mostly unaware that America is building new tactical nuclear weapons designed to blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional war. Like George Bush, he used the absurdity of Europe threatened by Iran to justify building a missile system aimed at Russia and China. In another pseudo-event, at the Annapolis Naval Academy, decked with flags and uniforms, Obama lied that America had gone to Iraq to bring freedom to that country. He announced that the troops were coming home. This was another deception. The head of the army, General George Casey says, with some authority, that America will be in Iraq for up to a decade. Other generals say fifteen years.

Chris Hedges, the very fine author of Empire of Illusion, puts it very well; “President Obama,” he wrote, “does one thing and brand Obama gets you to believe another.” This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they make you feel. And so you are kept in a perpetual state of childishness. He calls this “junk politics”.

But I think the real tragedy is that Obama, the brand, appears to have crippled or absorbed much of the anti-war movement – the peace movement. Out of 256 Democrats in Congress; 30, just 30, are willing to stand up against Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi’s war party. On June the 16th they voted for 106 billion dollars for more war.

The “Out of Iraq” caucus is out of action. Its member can’t even come up with a form of words of why they are silent. On March the 21st, a demonstration at the Pentagon by the once mighty United for Peace and Justice drew only a few thousand. The out-going president of UFPJ, Lesley Kagen, says her people aren’t turning up because, “It’s enough for many of them that Obama has a plan to end the war and that things are moving in the right direction.” And where is the mighty Move On, these days? Where is its campaign against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? And what, exactly, was said when Move On’s executive director, Jason Ruben, met Barack Obama at the White House in February?

Yes, a lot of good people mobilized for Obama. But what did they demand of him? Working to elect the Democratic presidential candidate may seem like activism, but it isn’t. Activism doesn’t give up. Activism doesn’t fall silent. Activism doesn’t rely on the opiate of hope. Woody Allen once said, “I felt a lot better when I gave up hope.” Real activism has little time for identity politics which like exceptionalism, can be fake. These are distractions that confuse and sucker good people. And not only in the United States, I can assure you.

I write for the Italian socialist newspaper, Il Manifesto, or rather I used to write for it. In February I sent the editor an article which raised questions about Obama as a progressive force. The article was rejected. Why, I asked? “For the moment,” wrote the editor, “we prefer to maintain a more positive approach to the novelty presented by Obama. We will take on specific issues, but we would not like to say that he will make no difference.” In other words, an American president drafted to promote the most rapacious system in history, is ordained and depoliticized by important sections of the left. It’s a remarkable situation. Remarkable, because those on the, so called, Radical Left have never been more aware, more conscious of the inequities of power. The Green Movement, for example, has raised the consciousness of millions, so that almost every child knows something about global warming. And yet, there seems to be a resistance, within the Green Movement, to the notion of power as a military force, a military project. And perhaps similar observations can also be made about sections of the Feminist Movement and the Gay Movement and certainly the Union Movement.

One of my favorite quotations is from Milan Kundera,

“The struggle of people against power is [the] struggle of memory against forgetting.”

We should never forget that the primary goal of great power is to distract and limit our natural desire for social justice and equity and real democracy.

Long ago Edward Bernays’ invisible government of propaganda elevated big business from its unpopular status as a kind of mafia to that of a patriotic driving force. The “American way of life” began as an advertising slogan. The modern image of Santa Claus was an invention of Coca Cola.

Today we are presented with an extraordinary opportunity. Thanks to the crash of Wall Street and the revelation, for many ordinary people, that the free market has nothing to do with freedom. The opportunity, within our grasp, is to recognize that something is stirring in America that is unfamiliar, perhaps, to many of us on the left, but is related to a great popular movement that’s growing all over the world. Look down at Latin America, less than twenty years ago there was the usual despair, the usual divisions of poverty and freedom, the usual thugs in uniforms running unspeakable regimes. Today for the first time perhaps in 500 years there’s a people’s movement based on the revival of indigenous cultures and language, a genuine populism. The recent amazing achievements in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay represent a struggle for community and political rights that is truly historic, with implications for all of us. The successes in Latin America are expressed perversely in the recent overthrow of the government of Honduras, because the smaller the country, the greater is the threat of a good example that the disease of emancipation will spread.

Indeed, right across the world social movements and grass roots organization have emerged to fight free market dogma. They’ve educated governments in the south that food for export is a problem, rather than a solution to global poverty. They’ve politicized ordinary people to stand up for their rights, as in the Philippines and South Africa. Look at the remarkable boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign, BDS, for short, aimed at Israel that’s sweeping the world. Israeli ships have been turned away from South Africa and Western Australia. A French company has been forced to abandon plans to build a railway connecting Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli sporting bodies find themselves isolated. Universities in the United Kingdom have begun to sever ties with Israel. This is how apartheid South Africa was defeated. And this is how the great wind of the 1960s began to blow. And this is how every gain has been won: the end of slavery, universal suffrage, workers rights, civil rights, environmental protection, the list goes on and on.

And that brings us back, here, to the United States, because I believe something is stirring in this country. Are we aware, that in the last eight months millions of angry e-mails, sent by ordinary Americans, have flooded Washington. And I mean millions. People are outright outraged that their lives are attacked; they bear no resemblance to the passive mass presented by the media. Look at the polls; more than 2/3 of Americans say the government should care for those who cannot care for themselves, sixty-four percent would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for everyone, sixty percent are favorable towards Unions, seventy percent want nuclear disarmament, seventy-two percent want the US completely out of Iraq and so on and so on. But where is much of the left? Where is the social justice movement? Where is the peace movement? Where is the civil rights movement? Ordinary Americans, for too long, have been misrepresented by stereotypes that are contemptuous. James Madison referred to his compatriots in the public as ignorant and meddlesome outsiders. And this contempt is probably as strong today, among the elite, as it was back then. That’s why the progressive attitudes of the public are seldom reported in the media, because they’re not ignorant, they’re subversive, they’re informed and they’re even anti-American. I once asked a friend, the great American war correspondent and humanitarian, Martha Gellhorn, to explain the term “anti-American” to me. “I’ll tell you what anti-American is,” she said in her forceful way, “its what governments and their vested interests call those who honor America by objecting to war and the theft of resources and believing in all of humanity. There are millions of these anti-Americans in the United States, they are ordinary people who belong to no elite and who judge their government in moral terms though they would call it common decency. They are not vain; they are the people with a waitful conscience, the best of America’s citizens. Sure, they disappear from view now and then, but they are like seeds beneath the snow. I would say they are truly exceptional.” Truly exceptional, I like that.

My own guess is that a populism is growing, once again in America evoking a powerful force beneath the surface which has a proud history. From such authentic grass roots Americanism came women suffrage, the eight hour day, graduated income tax, public ownership of railways and communications, the breaking of the power of corporate lobbyists and much more. In other words, real democracy. The American populists were far from perfect, but they often spoke for ordinary people and they were betrayed by leaders who urged them to compromise and merge with the Democratic Party. That was long ago, but how familiar it sounds. My guess is that something is coming again. The signs are there. Noam Chomsky is right when he says that, “Mere sparks can ignite a popular movement that may seem dormant.” No one predicted 1968, no one predicted the fall of apartheid, or the Berlin Wall, or the civil rights movement, or the great Latino rising of a few years ago.

I suggest that we take Woody Allen’s advice and give up on hope and listen, instead, to voices from below. What Obama and the bankers and the generals and the IMF and the CIA and CNN and BBC fear, is ordinary people coming together and acting together. It’s a fear as old as democracy, a fear that suddenly people convert their anger to action as they’ve done so often throughout history.

“At a time of universal deceit,” wrote George Orwell, “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Thank you.