Tag Archives: China

The good news for America’s economy!

good economic news
For the year 2008, the Dow fell 33.8 percent, for its bleakest year since 1931; the S&P skidded 38.5 percent; and the Nasdaq posted its worst year ever, with a 40.5 percent drop. That’s the good news!

Capitalist world stocks as a whole did even worse, falling more than an average across all countries of slightly more than 43% in value. Wall St closes out worst year since Depression Some countries, including China, did yet worse (over $3 trillion in losses) from the paper stock exchange values at the beginning of 2008.

So is there more good news for America’s capitalist economy this year? YES, that would be the election of Barack Obama and Obama’s commitment to carry on the US military-industrial welfare system exactly as before. War is the growth part of the world capitalist economy and Barack is committed to keeping the ball rolling right along! You can transfer economic collapse to foreigners easier with a big military on hand to enforce that! Aren’t you glad you live in America?

Look? If you are a hardworking and fearless man with a gun, there is always military-security-policing work out there, and especially in economic downturns! Hospitals are actually closing down in parts of the US, but the police force merits the best!
Don’t look for their supplies and numbers to go down. Likewise, there is always some place needing occupation, and the Pentagon clearly will have the lobbying power, with operatives like Lockheed backing them up, to get what they need to make their world safe! Corporate Security…

So don’t get down on economic prospects (most good Americans aren’t!). Have faith! Go with the guns is my economic advice for 2009. More growth is expected ahead and bombs are where it’s at! America’s got them, too, so there really is no reason to feel so grim about the near future!

Putin once again to the US and Europe- ‘Fuck you, you are not going to turn Russia into a Third World rape victim!’

university-being-bombed-in-gaza Russia-Ukraine gas talks collapse –like when the US tried to pull off its little con game using Georgia to bomb South Ossetia. Vladimir Putin has responded to the US and its Klan of Western European allies, that Russia will not be dragged further into the Third World by capitalist imperialism. That’s what it’s all about, too, as both the former Chinese and Russian ‘socialist’ bureaucrats were promised full partnerships in the imperialist capitalist world if only they would tag along quietly behind the US and its world allies. Instead, the Pentagon has been trying to push both countries backwards and not forwards. The USA government has been having its own way for the last three decades doing it, too.

Colonialism 101 is something that the former ‘Marxist-Leninist buffoons running China and the Soviet Union back then never learned for themselves, let alone taught to others in their pantomime of playing ‘Great Helmsmen’ cartoon roles for the world public. Both Russia and China drifted away from internationalism and solidarity with the oppressed of the poorer and exploited Third World masses of destitute laborers, and instead began to ape assholes like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in their politics. They wanted their places on the big table alongside their capitalist associates of Great Britain and the US, Germany, France, and Japan. The dummies were conned, and Putin is quite aware of that by now. Further, he understands Peak Oil is a reality, as well as Peak Gas.

In his words, ‘Cheap Energy’ is over for you guys, and now we’re not just going to sit by and let you pillage everything from our country, Russia. Sadly, our own US ‘leaders’, from Obama to Clinton to Bush to all of the schmucks up there are nothing but criminal robbers and murderers, and world war is soon in the cards if the common folk don’t begin to wise up in the US and Britain, Germany, France, and Japan quite soon. Not to mention the utter ecological destruction of our planet in the cards for all of us quite soon, too, if we continue to fail to act.

That picture is of the university in Gaza being bombed by the US… Oh, I meant Israel. Sorry….

Happy New Year.

Obama outed himself as a bigot when he crawled into bed with Rick Warren

Just like Clinton, Obama won’t hesitate to throw gays to the dogs if he thinks it will buy him a single vote from the rabid right. I told you he wasn’t to be trusted. And just as we saw with Prop 8, most of the black community only wants equal rights for themselves, not anybody else.
 
Say it out loud: Barack Obama is a coward.

Of course, Obama openly declared his bigotry against gays before the election, declaring they did not deserve equal rights in marriage. So this really shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would flip off the gay community like this. “Change we can believe in,” my ass.

During the campaign, I had so many arguments with his supporters, who insisted that he was the miracle that would make everything right with America. When confronted with the reality of his positions (as on gays) they would insist that was only to get elected, but, “just you watch,” once he was, then we would see the “real Obama.” Well, Ladies and Germs, the election is over, and there it is: the REAL Obama — flipping the bird to his supporters.

Only a moron would think his hiring every right winger he can find somehow doesn’t mean his is going to be a right wing administration.

What, am I the only one who realized what being a Chicago politician meant? It means he’s an asshole who can’t be trusted. But now I suspect a lot of his supporters are beginning to realize that. Though there will always be those who will defend him, no matter what — just like those Republicans who constantly made excuses for Dubya, or those born-again Christians who spend their entire lives dreaming up excuses for their “god.” People are pathetically stupid.

Disgraced: 66 nations in the UN have backed a resolution decriminalizing homosexuality.

Big hold outs: the USA, Russia, China, and the Vatican.

The nations that are more progressive than this dying backwater: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Dec 29 notes, thomasmc.com.

The high regard we hold for nobility

Prince Edward Earl of WessexThe British royal family has shot Argentines, Iraqis and Afghans. Prince Harry is sneaking back to Afghanistan to kill more. You think they won’t beat a dog?

His Royal Highness The Prince, Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, was hunting pheasant this weekend and was inadvertently photographed hitting his hunting companions with a stick.

Harold Pinter on drama and US banditry

“What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead?”
-Harold Pinter (1930-2008)

I’m reminded of a friend of mine who asked “You know what PTSD is? It’s a bad conscience.”

An outspoken critic of the Iraq War, Harold Pinter died Christmas Eve. Here is the address he prerecorded for his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 2005, when he had become too infirm to attend in person.

Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth & Politics

In 1958 I wrote the following:

‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.

Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give two examples of two lines which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me.

The plays are The Homecoming and Old Times. The first line of The Homecoming is ‘What have you done with the scissors?’ The first line of Old Times is ‘Dark.’

In each case I had no further information.

In the first case someone was obviously looking for a pair of scissors and was demanding their whereabouts of someone else he suspected had probably stolen them. But I somehow knew that the person addressed didn’t give a damn about the scissors or about the questioner either, for that matter.

‘Dark’ I took to be a description of someone’s hair, the hair of a woman, and was the answer to a question. In each case I found myself compelled to pursue the matter. This happened visually, a very slow fade, through shadow into light.

I always start a play by calling the characters A, B and C.

In the play that became The Homecoming I saw a man enter a stark room and ask his question of a younger man sitting on an ugly sofa reading a racing paper. I somehow suspected that A was a father and that B was his son, but I had no proof. This was however confirmed a short time later when B (later to become Lenny) says to A (later to become Max), ‘Dad, do you mind if I change the subject? I want to ask you something. The dinner we had before, what was the name of it? What do you call it? Why don’t you buy a dog? You’re a dog cook. Honest. You think you’re cooking for a lot of dogs.’ So since B calls A ‘Dad’ it seemed to me reasonable to assume that they were father and son. A was also clearly the cook and his cooking did not seem to be held in high regard. Did this mean that there was no mother? I didn’t know. But, as I told myself at the time, our beginnings never know our ends.

‘Dark.’ A large window. Evening sky. A man, A (later to become Deeley), and a woman, B (later to become Kate), sitting with drinks. ‘Fat or thin?’ the man asks. Who are they talking about? But I then see, standing at the window, a woman, C (later to become Anna), in another condition of light, her back to them, her hair dark.

It’s a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence. What follows is fitful, uncertain, even hallucinatory, although sometimes it can be an unstoppable avalanche. The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. You certainly can’t dictate to them. To a certain extent you play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man’s buff, hide and seek. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time.

But as I have said, the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.

Political theatre presents an entirely different set of problems. Sermonising has to be avoided at all cost. Objectivity is essential. The characters must be allowed to breathe their own air. The author cannot confine and constrict them to satisfy his own taste or disposition or prejudice. He must be prepared to approach them from a variety of angles, from a full and uninhibited range of perspectives, take them by surprise, perhaps, occasionally, but nevertheless give them the freedom to go which way they will. This does not always work. And political satire, of course, adheres to none of these precepts, in fact does precisely the opposite, which is its proper function.

In my play The Birthday Party I think I allow a whole range of options to operate in a dense forest of possibility before finally focussing on an act of subjugation.

Mountain Language pretends to no such range of operation. It remains brutal, short and ugly. But the soldiers in the play do get some fun out of it. One sometimes forgets that torturers become easily bored. They need a bit of a laugh to keep their spirits up. This has been confirmed of course by the events at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. Mountain Language lasts only 20 minutes, but it could go on for hour after hour, on and on and on, the same pattern repeated over and over again, on and on, hour after hour.

Ashes to Ashes, on the other hand, seems to me to be taking place under water. A drowning woman, her hand reaching up through the waves, dropping down out of sight, reaching for others, but finding nobody there, either above or under the water, finding only shadows, reflections, floating; the woman a lost figure in a drowning landscape, a woman unable to escape the doom that seemed to belong only to others.

But as they died, she must die too.

Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

But before I come back to the present I would like to look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe it is obligatory upon us to subject this period to at least some kind of even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America’s view of its role in the world, both then and now.

I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: ‘Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.’

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.’ There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

Finally somebody said: ‘But in this case “innocent people” were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?’

Seitz was imperturbable. ‘I don’t agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,’ he said.

As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: ‘The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.’

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

The Sandinistas weren’t perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.

I spoke earlier about ‘a tapestry of lies’ which surrounds us. President Reagan commonly described Nicaragua as a ‘totalitarian dungeon’. This was taken generally by the media, and certainly by the British government, as accurate and fair comment. But there was in fact no record of death squads under the Sandinista government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua. There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll missionary. The totalitarian dungeons were actually next door, in El Salvador and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave man Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that 75,000 people died. Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which had been their birthright.

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed.

But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’

It’s a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it’s very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.

What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? Look at Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of people detained without charge for over three years, with no legal representation or due process, technically detained forever. This totally illegitimate structure is maintained in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is not only tolerated but hardly thought about by what’s called the ‘international community’. This criminal outrage is being committed by a country, which declares itself to be ‘the leader of the free world’. Do we think about the inhabitants of Guantanamo Bay? What does the media say about them? They pop up occasionally – a small item on page six. They have been consigned to a no man’s land from which indeed they may never return. At present many are on hunger strike, being force-fed, including British residents. No niceties in these force-feeding procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic. Just a tube stuck up your nose and into your throat. You vomit blood. This is torture. What has the British Foreign Secretary said about this? Nothing. What has the British Prime Minister said about this? Nothing. Why not? Because the United States has said: to criticise our conduct in Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly act. You’re either with us or against us. So Blair shuts up.

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.

How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they’re interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London.

Death in this context is irrelevant. Both Bush and Blair place death well away on the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. ‘We don’t do body counts,’ said the American general Tommy Franks.

Early in the invasion there was a photograph published on the front page of British newspapers of Tony Blair kissing the cheek of a little Iraqi boy. ‘A grateful child,’ said the caption. A few days later there was a story and photograph, on an inside page, of another four-year-old boy with no arms. His family had been blown up by a missile. He was the only survivor. ‘When do I get my arms back?’ he asked. The story was dropped. Well, Tony Blair wasn’t holding him in his arms, nor the body of any other mutilated child, nor the body of any bloody corpse. Blood is dirty. It dirties your shirt and tie when you’re making a sincere speech on television.

The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment. They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way. The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives. So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds of graves.

Here is an extract from a poem by Pablo Neruda, ‘I’m Explaining a Few Things’:

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate.

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives.

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land.

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!

Let me make it quite clear that in quoting from Neruda’s poem I am in no way comparing Republican Spain to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I quote Neruda because nowhere in contemporary poetry have I read such a powerful visceral description of the bombing of civilians.

I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course. We don’t quite know how they got there but they are there all right.

The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity – the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons – is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.

I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man’s man.

‘God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.’

A writer’s life is a highly vulnerable, almost naked activity. We don’t have to weep about that. The writer makes his choice and is stuck with it. But it is true to say that you are open to all the winds, some of them icy indeed. You are out on your own, out on a limb. You find no shelter, no protection – unless you lie – in which case of course you have constructed your own protection and, it could be argued, become a politician.

I have referred to death quite a few times this evening. I shall now quote a poem of my own called ‘Death’.

Where was the dead body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?

Who was the dead body?

Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?

Was the body dead when abandoned?
Was the body abandoned?
By whom had it been abandoned?

Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

What made you declare the dead body dead?
Did you declare the dead body dead?
How well did you know the dead body?
How did you know the dead body was dead?

Did you wash the dead body
Did you close both its eyes
Did you bury the body
Did you leave it abandoned
Did you kiss the dead body

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.

Does NPR have a hiring impediment?

Louisa Lim National Public RadioNATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO- I can laugh at speech impediments with the best of them. But I’m less comfortable if there’s no laugh track. Specifically, when it’s a speech-challenged news reporter, I utterly object to being made to decipher from mispronunciation. On the radio, poor diction is as unacceptable as inaudible recording, and disabled- enunciation is as appropriate as a paraplegic delivering your piano. Take NPR’s Louisa Lim.

Give someone a job they can handle, but don’t celebrate equal opportunity without consideration for the task required.

Louisa Lim can’t pronounce her Rs. Might not someone have thought to counsel Lim fwom puhsuing a caweeuh on the wadio? Dropped Rs represent an alphabet 1/26th deficient. More, if you adjust inversely by Scrabble point value.

Monte Python’s Pontius Pilate of Life of Brian was mocked by the chorus for not being able to say his R’s. And yes, his Roman audience found the hilarity unending. It’s why he was urged to release Bawabas and not Jesus. Gilda Radner similarly mocked Barbara Walters. Mispwonouncing her Rs didn’t keep Bahbwa Wahwah from a lengthy career, but that’s the point I’m coming to.

If speech impediments were congenital, it would still be no reason to exhibit them center-stage like cultural accents.

Aren’t most speaking disorders remedied in the primary grades, given extra attention from speech therapists? Why do the exceptions seem to become Communications Majors? It’s as if students who have reason to work on their locution, end up becoming the professionals.

But choirs don’t tolerate tone-deafness, why would broadcasters burden themselves with mis-speakers?

Louisa Lim can’t say R, but she’s only one of a majority of female voices on NPR hobbled by flawed presentation. Don’t you find that strange? Considering that Amy Goodman’s delivery is criticized for being shrill. It’s as if NPR thinks strong feminine voices would come across as too authoritative, unless a physical weakness is empirically discernible. Would this explain why most the female voices on NPR are nasal, or supported by the weakest lung capacity? Their tiny voices sound like they could extinguish themselves without the next breath. Audiences like it too obviously.

Accents too, foreign and domestic, work to temper the projection of authority. Male presenters traditionally have sported commanding voices. Today, those who don’t moderate for sporting events most often have voices in the higher registers, or modulate their voices with rises in pitch which communicates timidity.

US will use Mumbai events to increase its wars in Pakistan and Afghanistan

bush-triumph-of-deathThe evidence is already in that the US government will use the Mumbai events as justification for pushing more of its war machine further into Afghanistan and Pakistan. To do so is crucial in in its geopolitical battle plans against Russia and China, and a Barack Obama directed Pentagon battle plan is already made up to do just that.

Yes, Mumbai provides the perfect selling point to the USA public which will be easily convinced that the fight now is against ‘terrorism’, and not to just make money for the US military-industrial complex. Fool the US public once, fool them twice, they’re ready to be led by the nose all the time!

What is ‘the evidence’ being used by the US war machine’s propaganda platoon? Most of it hinges on the testimony of just one peasant captured, who is now under constant torture. Hey! That’s a method the US government and US military loves! Beat up on the stray ‘dogs’! They’re just like demented and sadistic teenagers when it comes to that. Details Emerge From Sole Arrested Gunman Yes! How fitting that the Washington Post propagandists are already for military combat here!

‘Attention, American Readership! Hut one two three. Hut one two three. Forward march onto the Indian subcontinent with ‘our boys’!’

Anybody who thinks that General in Chief Barack Obama is The Peace President will soon be alleviated from their delusion.

Businessmen gone WILD!

throwing moneyWorldwide the business community has gone wild as they try to resurrect the declining capitalist world economy by simply throwing trillions of government dollars at themselves to ‘stimulate’ the return of their profit making. EU, China, US unleash global assault on crisis

How many years have Americans heard these same folk exclaim that you cannot fix problems by throwing government money at a problem? What a band of liars, hypocrites, and crooks these people are! These capitalists have always used this refrain to keep from helping people out with government monies, but show no such restraint when it comes to themselves. It’s called the ‘virtue of greed’ by their more ideologically minded sycophants, in fact.

These same businessmen will not deal with real problems the world faces as long as we let them have total control over our world society. In fact they will totally destroy the planet’s ecology if we continue to let them do as they have done, and we will simply not have a planet for an economy of any kind.

Yes, the whole world is watching these businessmen gone WILD! … and the world does not like what it is seeing. Simply put, people are tolerant and will sit back passively and do nothing if the capitalist ship’s keel is righted, but this gigantesque toss of trillions of dollars to the super-rich has no guaranteed success ahead since no real problems of world economy are actually being addressed in any meaningful manner. The boat might become temporarily stabilized once again (a BIG IF???), but a world capitalist economy based on warfare and the destruction of Nature will not sail for that much longer in the stormy seas that world capitalism itself is making. It will capsize itself.

Yes, Big Business has gone totally wild and they have done it before, People. And when they went wild in previous eras the price common folk paid was horrifying. We have some grim times ahead and realistically we must sit back and wait, until people simply begin to wake up to what is happening to them. The tsunami approaches, and with it comes world depression and yet more US government created war.

Weathermen for a Democratic Society

Bernadine Dohrn addresses S.D.S. in ChicagoIn 1969, the Radical Youth Movement (RYM) within Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) expelled the passive participants to reconfigure the SDS to Bring the War Home. At left, Bernardine Dohrn uninvites the Progressive Labor Party (PL) and the Worker Student Alliance (WSA) from the Chicago conference. Below is the founding document after which the RYM was renamed.

You Don’t Need A Weatherman
To Know Which Way The Wind Blows

June 18, 1969

Submitted by Karin Asbley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, John Jacobs, Jeff Jones, Gerry Long, Home Machtinger, Jim Mellen, Terry Robbins, Mark Rudd and Steve Tappis.

I. International Revolution

The contradiction between the revolutionary peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America and the imperialists headed by the United States is the principal contradiction in the contemporary world. The development of this contradiction is promoting the struggle of the people of the whole world against US imperialism and its lackeys.

Lin Piao, Long Live the Victory of People’s War!

People ask, what is the nature of the revolution that we talk about- Who will it be made by, and for, and what are its goals and strategy-

The overriding consideration in answering these questions is that the main struggle going on in the world today is between US imperialism and the national liberation struggles against it. This is essential in defining political matters in the whole world: because it is by far the most powerful, every other empire and petty dictator is in the long run dependent on US imperialism, which has unified, allied with, and defended all of the reactionary forces of the whole world. Thus, in considering every other force or phenomenon, from Soviet imperialism or Israeli imperialism to “workers struggle” in France or Czechoslovakia, we determine who are our friends and who are our enemies according to whether they help US imperialism or fight to defeat it.

So the very first question people in this country must ask in considering the question of revolution is where they stand in relation to the United States as an oppressor nation, and where they stand in relation to the masses of people throughout the world whom US imperialism is oppressing.

The primary task of revolutionary struggle is to solve this principal contradiction on the side of the people of the world. It is the oppressed peoples of the world who have created the wealth of this empire and it is to them that it belongs; the goal of the revolutionary struggle must be the control and use of this wealth in the interests of the oppressed peoples of the world.

It is in this context that we must examine the revolutionary struggles in the United States. We are within the heartland of a worldwide monster, a country so rich from its worldwide plunder that even the crumbs doled out to the enslaved masses within its borders provide for material existence very much above the conditions of the masses of people of the world. The US empire, as a worldwide system, channels wealth, based upon the labor and resources of the rest of the world, into the United States. The relative affluence existing in the United States is directly dependent upon the labor and natural resources of the Vietnamese, the Angolans, the Bolivians and the rest of the peoples of the Third World. All of the United Airlines Astrojets, all of the Holiday Inns, all of Hertz’s automobiles, your television set, car and wardrobe already belong, to a large degree to the people of the rest of the world.

Therefore, any conception of “socialist revolution” simply in terms of the working people of the United States, failing to recognize the full scope of interests of the most oppressed peoples of the world, is a conception of a fight for a particular privileged interest, and is a very dangerous ideology. While the control and use of the wealth of the Empire for the people of the whole world is also in the interests of the vast majority of the people in this country, if the goal is not clear from the start we will further the preservation of class society, oppression, war, genocide, and the complete emiseration of everyone, including the people of the US.

The goal is the destruction of US imperialism and the achievement of a classless world: world communism. Winning state power in the US will occur as a result of the military forces of the US overextending themselves around the world and being defeated piecemeal; struggle within the US will be a vital part of this process, but when the revolution triumphs in the US it will have been made by the people of the whole world. For socialism to be defined in national terms within so extreme and historical an oppressor nation as this is only imperialist national chauvinism on the part of the “movement.”

II. What Is The Black Colony-

Not every colony of people oppressed by imperialism lies outside the boundaries of the US. Black people within North America, brought here 400 years ago as slaves and whose labor, as slaves, built this country, are an internal colony within the confines of the oppressor nation. What this means is that black people are oppressed as a whole people, in the institutions and social relations of the country, apart from simply the consideration of their class position, income, skill, etc., as individuals- What does this colony look like- What is the basis for its common oppression and why is it important-

One historically important position has been that the black colony only consists of the black belt nation in the South, whose fight for national liberation is based on a common land, culture, history and economic life. The corollary of this position is that black people in the rest of the country are a national minority but not actually part of the colony themselves; so the struggle for national liberation is for the black belt, and not all blacks; black people in the north, not actually part of the colony, are part of the working class of the white oppressor nation. In this formulation northern black workers have a “dual role”—one an interest in supporting the struggle in the South, and opposing racism, as members of the national minority; and as northern “white nation” workers whose class interest is in integrated socialism in the north. The consistent version of this line actually calls for integrated organizing of black and white workers in the north along what it calls “class” lines.

This position is wrong; in reality, the black colony does not exist simply as the “black belt nation,” but exists in the country as a whole. The common oppression of black people and the common culture growing out of that history are not based historically or currently on their relation to the territory of the black belt, even though that has been a place of population concentration and has some very different characteristics than the north, particularly around the land question.

Rather, the common features of oppression, history and culture which unify black people as a colony (although originating historically in a common territory apart from the colonizers, i.e., Africa, not the South) have been based historically on their common position as slaves, which since the nominal abolition of slavery has taken the form of caste oppression, and oppression of black people as a people everywhere that they exist. A new black nation, different from the nations of Africa from which it came, has been forged by the common historical experience of importation and slavery and caste oppression; to claim that to be a nation it must of necessity now be based on a common national territory apart from the colonizing nation is a mechanical application of criteria which were and are applicable to different situations.

What is specifically meant by the term caste is that all black people, on the basis of their common slave history, common culture and skin color are systematically denied access to particular job categories (or positions within job categories), social position, etc., regardless of individual skills, talents, money or education. Within the working class, they are the most oppressed section; in the petit bourgeoisie, they are even more strictly confined to the lowest levels. Token exceptions aside, the specific content of this caste oppression is to maintain black people in the most exploitative and oppressive jobs and conditions. Therefore, since the lowest class is the working class, the black caste is almost entirely a caste of the working class, or [holds] positions as oppressed as the lower working-class positions (poor black petit bourgeoisie and farmers); it is a colonial labor caste,, a colony whose common national character itself is defined by their common class position.

Thus, northern blacks do not have a “dual interest”—as blacks on the one hand and “US-nation workers” on the other. They have a single class interest, along with all other black people in the US, as members of the Black Proletarian Colony.

III. The Struggle For Socialist Self-Determination

The struggle of black people—as a colony—is for self-determination, freedom, and liberation from US imperialism. Because blacks have been oppressed and held in an inferior social position as a people, they have a right to decide, organize and act on their common destiny as a people apart from white interference. Black self-determination does not simply apply to determination of their collective political destiny at some future time. It is directly tied to the fact that because all blacks experience oppression in a form that no whites do, no whites are in a position to fully understand and test from their own practice the real situation black people face and the necessary response to it. This is why it is necessary for black people to organize separately and determine their actions separately at each stage of the struggle.

It is important to understand the implications of this. It is not legitimate for whites to organizationally intervene in differences among revolutionary black nationalists. It would be arrogant for us to attack any black organization that defends black people and opposes imperialism in practice. But it is necessary to develop a correct understanding of the Black Liberation struggle within our own organization, where an incorrect one will further racist practice in our relations with the black movement.

In the history of some external colonies, such as China and Vietnam, the struggle for self-determination has had two stages: (1) a united front against imperialism and for New Democracy (which is a joint dictatorship of anti-colonial classes led by the proletariat, the content of which is a compromise between the interests of the proletariat and nationalist peasants, petit bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie); and (2) developing out of the new democratic stage, socialism.

However, the black liberation struggle in this country will have only one “stage”; the struggle for self-determination will embody within it the struggle for socialism.

As Huey P. Newton has said, “In order to be a revolutionary nationalist, you would of necessity have to be a socialist.” This is because—given the caste quality of oppression-as-a-people-through-a-common-degree-of-exploitation—self-determination requires being free from white capitalist exploitation in the form of inferior (lower caste) jobs, housing, schools, hospitals, prices. In addition, only what was or became in practice a socialist program for self-determination—one which addressed itself to reversing this exploitation—could win the necessary active mass support in the “proletarian colony.”

The program of a united front for new democracy, on the other hand, would not be as thorough, and so would not win as active and determined support from the black masses. The only reason for having such a front would be where the independent petit bourgeois forces which it would bring in would add enough strength to balance the weakening of proletarian backing. This is not the case: first, because much of the black petit bourgeoisie is actually a “comprador” petit bourgeoisie (like so-called black capitalists who are promoted by the power structure to seem independent but are really agents of white monopoly capital), who would never fight as a class for any real self-determination; and secondly, because many black petit bourgeoisie, perhaps most, while not having a class interest in socialist self-determination, are close enough to the black masses in the oppression and limitations on their conditions that they will support many kinds of self-determination issues, and, especially when the movement is winning, can be won to support full (socialist) self-determination. For the black movement to work to maximize this support from the petit bourgeoisie is correct; but it is in no way a united front where it is clear that the Black Liberation Movement should not and does not modify the revolutionary socialist content of its stand to win that support.

From /New Left Notes/, June 18, 1969

IV. Black Liberation Means Revolution

What is the relationship of the struggle for black self-determination to the whole worldwide revolution to defeat US imperialism and internationalize its resources toward the goal of creating a classless world-

No black self-determination could be won which would not result in a victory for the international revolution as a whole. The black proletarian colony, being dispersed as such a large and exploited section of the work force, is essential to the survival of imperialism. Thus, even if the black liberation movement chose to try to attain self-determination in the form of a separate country (a legitimate part of the right to self-determination), existing side by side with the US, imperialism could not survive if they won it—and so would never give up without being defeated. Thus, a revolutionary nationalist movement could not win without destroying the state power of the imperialists; and it is for this reason that the black liberation movement, as a revolutionary nationalist movement for self-determination, is automatically in and of itself an inseparable part of the whole revolutionary struggle against US imperialism and for international socialism.

However, the fact that black liberation depends on winning the whole revolution does not mean that it depends on waiting for and joining with a mass white movement to do it. The genocidal oppression of black people must be ended, and does not allow any leisure time to wait; if necessary, black people could win self-determination, abolishing the whole imperialist system and seizing state power to do it, without this white movement, although the cost among whites and blacks both would be high.

Blacks could do it alone if necessary because of their centralness to the system, economically and geo-militarily, and because of the level of unity, commitment, and initiative which will be developed in waging a people’s war for survival and national liberation. However, we do not expect that they will have to do it alone, not only because of the international situation, but also because the real interests of masses of oppressed whites in this country lie with the Black Liberation struggle, and the conditions for understanding and fighting for these interests grow with the deepening of the crises. Already, the black liberation movement has carried with it an upsurge of revolutionary consciousness among white youth; and while there are no guarantees, we can expect that this will extend and deepen among all oppressed whites.

To put aside the possibility of blacks winning alone leads to the racist position that blacks should wait for whites and are dependent on whites acting for them to win. Yet the possibility of blacks winning alone cannot in the least be a justification for whites failing to shoulder the burden of developing a revolutionary movement among whites. If the first error is racism by holding back black liberation, this would be equally racist by leaving blacks isolated to take on the whole fight—and the whole cost—for everyone.

It is necessary to defeat both racist tendencies: (1) that blacks shouldn’t go ahead with making the revolution, and (2) that blacks should go ahead alone with making it. The only third path is to build a white movement which will support the blacks in moving as fast as they have to and are able to, and still itself keep up with that black movement enough so that white revolutionaries share the cost and the blacks don’t have to do the whole thing alone. Any white who does not follow this third path is objectively following one of the other two (or both) and is objectively racist.

V. Anti-Imperialist Revolution And The United Front

Since the strategy for defeating imperialism in semi-feudal colonies has two stages, the new democratic stage of a united front to throw out imperialism and then the socialist stage, some people suggest two stages for the US too—one to stop imperialism, the anti-imperialist stage, and another to achieve the dictatorship of the proletariat, the socialist stage. It is no accident that even the proponents of this idea can’t tell you what it means. In reality, imperialism is a predatory international stage of capitalism. Defeating imperialism within the US couldn’t possibly have the content, which it could in a semi-feudal country, of replacing imperialism with capitalism or new democracy; when imperialism is defeated in the US, it will be replaced by socialism—nothing else. One revolution, one replacement process, one seizure of state power—the anti-imperialist revolution and the socialist revolution, one and the same stage. To talk of this as two separate stages, the struggle to overthrow imperialism and the struggle for socialist revolution, is as crazy as if Marx had talked about the proletarian socialist revolution as a revolution of two stages, one the overthrow of capitalist state power, and second the establishment of socialist state power.

Along with no two stages, there is no united front with the petit bourgeoisie, because its interests as a class aren’t for replacing imperialism with socialism. As far as people within this country are concerned, the international war against imperialism is the same task as the socialist revolution, for one overthrow of power here. There is no “united front” for socialism here.

One reason people have considered the “united front” idea is the fear that if we were talking about a one-stage socialist revolution we would fail to organize maximum possible support among people, like some petit bourgeoisie, who would fight imperialism on a particular issue, but weren’t for revolution. When the petit bourgeoisie’s interest is for fighting imperialism on a particular issue, but not for overthrowing it and replacing it with socialism, it is still contributing to revolution to that extent—not to some intermediate thing which is not imperialism and not socialism. Someone not for revolution is not for actually defeating imperialism either, but we still can and should unite with them on particular issues. But this is not a united front (and we should not put forth some joint “united front” line with them to the exclusion of our own politics), because their class position isn’t against imperialism as a system. In China, or Vietnam, the petit bourgeoisie’s class interests could be for actually winning against imperialism; this was because their task was driving it out, not overthrowing its whole existence. For us here, “throwing it out” means not from one colony, but all of them, throwing it out of the world, the same thing as overthrowing it.

VI. International Strategy

What is the strategy of this international revolutionary movement- What are the strategic weaknesses of the imperialists which make it possible for us to win- Revolutionaries around the world are in general agreement on the answer, which Lin Piao describes in the following way:

US imperialism is stronger, but also more vulnerable, than any imperialism of the past. It sets itself against the people of the whole world, including the people of the United States. Its human, military, material and financial resources are far from sufficient for the realization of its ambition of domination over the whole world. US imperialism has further weakened itself by occupying so many places in the world, overreaching itself, stretching its fingers out wide and dispersing its strength, with its rear so far away and its supply lines so long.

—/Long Live the Victory of People’s War/

The strategy which flows from this is what Ché called “creating two, three, many Vietnams”—to mobilize the struggle so sharply in so many places that the imperialists cannot possibly deal with it all. Since it is essential to their interests, they will try to deal with it all, and will be defeated and destroyed in the process.

In defining and implementing this strategy, it is clear that the vanguard (that is, the section of the people who are in the forefront of the struggle and whose class interests and needs define the terms and tasks of the revolution) of the “American Revolution” is the workers and oppressed peoples of the colonies of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Because of the level of special oppression of black people as a colony, they reflect the interests of the oppressed people of the world from within the borders of the United States; they are part of the Third World and part of the international revolutionary vanguard.

The vanguard role of the Vietnamese and other Third World countries in defeating US imperialism has been clear to our movement for some time. What has not been so clear is the vanguard role black people have played, and continue to play, in the development of revolutionary consciousness and struggle within the United States. Criticisms of the black liberation struggle as being “reactionary” or of black organizations on campus as being conservative or “racist” very often express this lack of understanding. These ideas are incorrect and must be defeated if a revolutionary movement is going to be built among whites.

The black colony, due to its particular nature as a slave colony, never adopted a chauvinist identification with America as an imperialist power, either politically or culturally. Moreover, the history of black people in America has consistently been one of the greatest overall repudiations of and struggle against the state. From the slave ships from Africa to the slave revolts, the Civil War, etc., black people have been waging a struggle for survival and liberation. In the history of our own movement this has also been the case: the civil rights struggles, initiated and led by blacks in the South; the rebellions beginning with Harlem in 1964 and Watts in 1965 through Detroit and Newark in 1967; the campus struggles at all-black schools in the South and struggles led by blacks on campuses all across the country. As it is the blacks—along with the Vietnamese and other Third World people—who are most oppressed by US imperialism, their class interests are most solidly and resolutely committed to waging revolutionary struggle through to its completion. Therefore it is no surprise that time and again, in both political content and level of consciousness and militancy, it has been the black liberation movement which has upped the ante and defined the terms of the struggle.

What is the relationship of this “black vanguard” to the “many Vietnams” around the world- Obviously this is an example of our strategy that different fronts reinforce each other. The fact that the Vietnamese are winning weakens the enemy, advancing the possibilities for the black struggle, etc. But it is important for us to understand that the interrelationship is more than this. Black people do not simply “choose” to intensify their struggle because they want to help the Vietnamese, or because they see that Vietnam heightens the possibilities for struggle here. The existence of any one Vietnam, especially a winning one, spurs on others not only through consciousness and choice, but through need, because it is a political and economic, as well as military, weakening of capitalism, and this means that to compensate, the imperialists are forced to intensify their oppression of other people.

Thus the loss of China and Cuba and the loss now of Vietnam not only encourages other oppressed peoples (such as the blacks) by showing what the alternative is and that it can be won, but also costs the imperialists billions of dollars which they then have to take out of the oppression of these other peoples. Within this country increased oppression falls heavier on the most oppressed sections of the population, so that the condition of all workers is worsened through rising taxes, inflation and the fall of real wages, and speedup. But this increased oppression falls heaviest on the most oppressed, such as poor white workers and, especially, the blacks, for example through the collapse of state services like schools, hospitals and welfare, which naturally hits the hardest at those most dependent on them.

This deterioration pushes people to fight harder to even try to maintain their present level. The more the ruling class is hurt in Vietnam, the harder people will be pushed to rebel and to fight for reforms. Because there exist successful models of revolution in Cuba, Vietnam, etc., these reform struggles will provide a continually larger and stronger base for revolutionary ideas. Because it needs to maximize profits by denying the reforms, and is aware that these conditions and reform struggles will therefore lead to revolutionary consciousness, the ruling class will see it more and more necessary to come down on any motion at all, even where it is not yet highly organized or conscious. It will come down faster on black people, because their oppression is increasing fastest, and this makes their rebellion most thorough and most dangerous, and fastest growing. It is because of this that the vanguard character and role of the black liberation struggle will be increased and intensified, rather than being increasingly equal to and merged into the situation and rebellion of oppressed white working people and youth. The crises of imperialism (the existence of Vietnam and especially that it’s winning) will therefore create a “Black Vietnam” within the US.

Given that black self-determination would mean fully crushing the power of the imperialists, this “Vietnam” has certain different characteristics than the external colonial wars. The imperialists will never “get out of the US” until their total strength and every resource they can bring to bear has been smashed; so the Black Vietnam cannot win without bringing the whole thing down and winning for everyone. This means that this war of liberation will be the most protracted and hardest fought of all.

It is in this context that the question of the South must be dealt with again, not as a question of whether or not the black nation, black colony, exists there, as opposed to in the North as well, but rather as a practical question of strategy and tactics: Can the black liberation struggle—the struggle of all blacks in the country—gain advantage in the actual war of liberation by concentrating on building base areas in the South in territory with a concentration of black population-

This is very clearly a different question than that of “where the colony is,” and to this question the “yes” answer is an important possibility. If the best potential for struggle in the South were realized, it is fully conceivable and legitimate that the struggle there could take on the character of a fight for separation; and any victories won in that direction would be important gains for the national liberation of the colony as a whole. However, because the colony is dispersed over the whole country, and not just located in the black belt, winning still means the power and liberation of blacks in the whole country.

Thus, even the winning of separate independence in the South would still be one step toward self-determination, and not equivalent to winning it; which, because of the economic position of the colony as a whole, would still require overthrowing the state power of the imperialists, taking over production and the whole economy and power, etc.

VII. The Revolutionary Youth Movement: Class Analysis

The revolutionary youth movement program was hailed as a transition strategy, which explained a lot of our past work and pointed to new directions for our movement. But as a transition to what- What was our overall strategy- Was the youth movement strategy just an organizational strategy because SDS is an organization of youth and we can move best with other young people-

We have pointed to the vanguard nature of the black struggle in this country as part of the international struggle against American imperialism, and the impossibility of anything but an international strategy for winning. Any attempt to put forth a strategy which, despite internationalist rhetoric, assumes a purely internal development to the class struggle in this country, is incorrect. The Vietnamese (and the Uruguayans and the Rhodesians) and the blacks and Third World peoples in this country will continue to set the terms for class struggle in America.

In this context, why an emphasis on youth- Why should young people be willing to fight on the side of Third World peoples- Before dealing with this question about youth, however, there follows a brief sketch of the main class categories in the white mother country which we think are important, and [which] indicate our present estimation of their respective class interests (bearing in mind that the potential for various sections to understand and fight for the revolution will vary according to more than just their real class interests).

Most of the population is of the working class, by which we mean not simply industrial or production workers, nor those who are actually working, but the whole section of the population which doesn’t own productive property and so lives off of the sale of its labor power. This is not a metaphysical category either in terms of its interests, the role it plays, or even who is in it, which very often is difficult to determine.

As a whole, the long-range interests of the non-colonial sections of the working class lie with overthrowing imperialism, with supporting self-determination for the oppressed nations (including the black colony), with supporting and fighting for international socialism. However, virtually all of the white working class also has short-range privileges from imperialism, which are not false privileges but very real ones which give them an edge of vested interest and tie them to a certain extent to the imperialists, especially when the latter are in a relatively prosperous phase. When the imperialists are losing their empire, on the other hand, these short-range privileged interests are seen to be temporary (even though the privileges may be relatively greater over the faster-increasing emiseration of the oppressed peoples). The long-range interests of workers in siding with the oppressed peoples are seen more clearly in the light of imperialism’s impending defeat. Within the whole working class, the balance of anti-imperialist class interests with white mother country short-term privilege varies greatly.

First, the most oppressed sections of the mother country working class have interests most clearly and strongly anti-imperialist. Who are the most oppressed sections of the working class- Millions of whites who have as oppressive material conditions as the blacks, or almost so: especially poor southern white workers; the unemployed or semi-employed, or those employed at very low wages for long hours and bad conditions, who are non-unionized or have weak unions; and extending up to include much of unionized labor which has it a little better off but still is heavily oppressed and exploited. This category covers a wide range and includes the most oppressed sections not only of production and service workers but also some secretaries, clerks, etc. Much of this category gets some relative privileges (i.e. benefits) from imperialism, which constitute some material basis for being racist or pro-imperialist; but overall it is itself directly and heavily oppressed, so that in addition to its long-range class interest on the side of the people of the world, its immediate situation also constitutes a strong basis for sharpening the struggle against the state and fighting through to revolution.

Secondly, there is the upper strata of the working class. This is also an extremely broad category, including the upper strata of unionized skilled workers and also most of the “new working class” of proletarianized or semi-proletarianized “intellect workers.” There is no clearly marked dividing line between the previous section and this one; our conclusions in dealing with “questionable” strata will in any event have to come from more thorough analysis of particular situations. The long-range class interests of this strata, like the previous section of more oppressed workers, are for the revolution and against imperialism. However, it is characterized by a higher level of privilege relative to the oppressed colonies, including the blacks, and relative to more oppressed workers in the mother country; so that there is a strong material basis for racism and loyalty to the system. In a revolutionary situation, where the people’s forces were on the offensive and the ruling class was clearly losing, most of this upper strata of the working class will be winnable to the revolution, while at least some sections of it will probably identify their interests with imperialism till the end and oppose the revolution (which parts do which will have to do with more variables than just the particular level of privilege). The further development of the situation will clarify where this section will go, although it is clear that either way we do not put any emphasis on reaching older employed workers from this strata at this time. The exception is where they are important to the black liberation struggle, the Third World, or the youth movement in particular situations, such as with teachers, hospital technicians, etc., in which cases we must fight particularly hard to organize them around a revolutionary line of full support for black liberation and the international revolution against US imperialism. This is crucial because the privilege of this section of the working class has provided and will provide a strong material basis for national chauvinist and social democratic ideology within the movement, such as anti-internationalist concepts of “student power” and “workers control.” Another consideration in understanding the interests of this segment is that, because of the way it developed and how its skills and its privileges were “earned over time,” the differential between the position of youth and older workers is in many ways greater for this section than any other in the population. We should continue to see it as important to build the revolutionary youth movement among the youth of this strata.

Thirdly, there are “middle strata” who are not petit bourgeoisie, who may even technically be upper working class, but who are so privileged and tightly tied to imperialism through their job roles that they are agents of imperialism. This section includes management personnel, corporate lawyers, higher civil servants, and other government agents, army officers, etc. Because their job categories require and promote a close identification with the interests of the ruling class, these strata are enemies of the revolution.

Fourthly, and last among the categories we’re going to deal with, is the petit bourgeoisie. This class is different from the middle level described above in that it has the independent class interest which is opposed to both monopoly power and to socialism. The petit bourgeoisie consists of small capital—both business and farms—and self-employed tradesmen and professionals (many professionals work for monopoly capital, and are either the upper level of the working class or in the dent class interests-anti-monopoly capital, but for capitalism rather than socialism—gives it a political character of some opposition to “big government,” like its increased spending and taxes and its totalitarian extension of its control into every aspect of life, and to “big labor,” which is at this time itself part of the monopoly capitalist power structure. The direction which this opposition takes can be reactionary or reformist. At this time the reformist side of it is very much mitigated by the extent to which the independence of the petit bourgeoisie is being undermined. Increasingly, small businesses are becoming extensions of big ones, while professionals and self-employed tradesmen less and less sell their skills on their own terms and become regular employees of big firms. This tendency does not mean that the reformist aspect is not still present; it is, and there are various issues, like withdrawing from a losing imperialist war, where we could get support from them. On the question of imperialism as a system, however, their class interests are generally more for it than for overthrowing it, and it will be the deserters from their class who stay with us.

VIII. Why A Revolutionary Youth Movement-

In terms of the above analysis, most young people in the US are part of the working class. Although not yet employed, young people whose parents sell their labor power for wages, and more important who themselves expect to do the same in the future—or go into the army or be unemployed—are undeniably members of the working class. Most kids are well aware of what class they are in, even though they may not be very scientific about it. So our analysis assumes from the beginning that youth struggles are, by and large, working-class struggles. But why the focus now on the struggles of working-class youth rather than on the working class as a whole-

The potential for revolutionary consciousness does not always correspond to ultimate class interest, particularly when imperialism is relatively prosperous and the movement is in an early stage. At this stage, we see working-class youth as those most open to a revolutionary movement which sides with the struggles of Third World people; the following is an attempt to explain a strategic focus on youth for SDS.

In general, young people have less stake in a society (no family, fewer debts, etc.), are more open to new ideas (they have not been brainwashed for so long or so well), and are therefore more able and willing to move in a revolutionary direction. Specifically in America, young people have grown up experiencing the crises in imperialism. They have grown up along with a developing black liberation movement, with the liberation of Cuba, the fights for independence in Africa and the war in Vietnam. Older people grew up during the fight against fascism, during the Cold War, the smashing of the trade unions, McCarthy, and a period during which real wages consistently rose—since 1965 disposable real income has decreased slightly, particularly in urban areas where inflation and increased taxation have bitten heavily into wages. This crisis in imperialism affects all parts of the society. America has had to militarize to protect and expand its empire; hence the high draft calls and the creation of a standing army of three and a half million, an army which still has been unable to win in Vietnam. Further, the huge defense expenditures—required for the defense of the empire and at the same time a way of making increasing profits for the defense industries—have gone hand in hand with the urban crisis around welfare, the hospitals, the schools, housing, air and water pollution. The State cannot provide the services it has been forced to assume responsibility for, and needs to increase taxes and to pay its growing debts while it cuts services and uses the pigs to repress protest. The private sector of the economy can’t provide jobs, particularly unskilled jobs. The expansion of the defense and education industries by the State since World War II is in part an attempt to pick up the slack, though the inability to provide decent wages and working conditions for “public” jobs is more and more a problem.

As imperialism struggles to hold together this decaying social fabric, it inevitably resorts to brute force and authoritarian ideology. People, especially young people, more and more find themselves in the iron grip of authoritarian institutions. Reaction against the pigs or teachers in the schools, welfare pigs or the army, is generalizable and extends beyond the particular repressive institution to the society and the State as a whole. The legitimacy of the State is called into question for the first time in at least 30 years, and the anti-authoritarianism which characterizes the youth rebellion turns into rejection of the State, a refusal to be socialized into American society. Kids used to try to beat the system from inside the army or from inside the schools; now they desert from the army and burn down the schools.

The crisis in imperialism has brought about a breakdown in bourgeois social forms, culture and ideology. The family falls apart, kids leave home, women begin to break out of traditional “female” and “mother” roles. There develops a “generation gap” and a “youth problem.” Our heroes are no longer struggling businessmen, and we also begin to reject the ideal career of the professional and look to Mao, Chef, the Panthers, the Third World, for our models, for motion. We reject the elitist, technocratic bullshit that tells us only experts can rule, and look instead to leadership from the people’s war of the Vietnamese. Chuck Berry, Elvis, the Temptations brought us closer to the “people’s culture” of Black America. The racist response to the civil rights movement revealed the depth of racism in America, as well as the impossibility of real change through American institutions. And the war against Vietnam is not “the heroic war against the Nazis”; it’s the big lie, with napalm burning through everything we had heard this country stood for. Kids begin to ask questions: Where is the Free World- And who do the pigs protect at home-

The breakdown in bourgeois culture and concomitant anti-authoritarianism is fed by the crisis in imperialism, but also in turn feeds that crisis, exacerbates it so that people no longer merely want the plastic ’50s restored, but glimpse an alternative (like inside the Columbia buildings) and begin to fight for it. We don’t want teachers to be more kindly cops; we want to smash cops, and build a new life.

The contradictions of decaying imperialism fall hardest on youth in four distinct areas—the schools, jobs, the draft and the army, and the pigs and the courts. (A) In jail-like schools, kids are fed a mish-mash of racist, male chauvinist, anti-working class, anti-communist lies while being channeled into job and career paths set up according to the priorities of monopoly capital. At the same time, the State is becoming increasingly incapable of providing enough money to keep the schools going at all. (B) Youth unemployment is three times average unemployment. As more jobs are threatened by automation or the collapse of specific industries, unions act to secure jobs for those already employed. New people in the labor market can’t find jobs, job stability is undermined (also because of increasing speed-up and more intolerable safety conditions) and people are less and less going to work in the same shop for 40 years. And, of course, when they do find jobs, young people get the worst ones and have the least seniority. (C) There are now two and a half million soldiers under thirty who are forced to police the world, kill and be killed in wars of imperialist domination. And (D) as a “youth problem” develops out of all this, the pigs and courts enforce curfews, set up pot busts, keep people off the streets, and repress any youth motion whatsoever.

In all of this, it is not that life in America is toughest for youth or that they are the most oppressed. Rather, it is that young people are hurt directly—and severely—by imperialism. And, in being less tightly tied to the system, they are more “pushed” to join the black liberation struggle against US imperialism. Among young people there is less of a material base for racism—they have no seniority, have not spent 20 years securing a skilled job (the white monopoly of which is increasingly challenged by the black liberation movement), and aren’t just about to pay off a 25-year mortgage on a house which is valuable because it’s located in a white neighborhood.

While these contradictions of imperialism fall hard on all youth, they fall hardest on the youth of the most oppressed (least privileged) sections of the working class. Clearly these youth have the greatest material base for struggle. They are the ones who most often get drafted, who get the worst jobs if they get any, who are most abused by the various institutions of social control, from the army to decaying schools, to the pigs and the courts. And their day-to-day existence indicates a potential for militancy and toughness. They are the people whom we can reach who at this stage are most ready to engage in militant revolutionary struggle.

The point of the revolutionary youth movement strategy is to move from a predominant student elite base to more oppressed (less privileged) working-class youth as a way of deepening and expanding the revolutionary youth movement—not of giving up what we have gained, not giving up our old car for a new Dodge. This is part of a strategy to reach the entire working class to engage in struggle against imperialism; moving from more privileged sections of white working-class youth to more oppressed sections to the entire working class as a whole, including importantly what has classically been called the industrial proletariat. But this should not be taken to mean that there is a magic moment, after we reach a certain percentage of the working class, when all of a sudden we become a working-class movement. We are already that if we put forward internationalist proletarian politics. We also don’t have to wait to become a revolutionary force. We must be a self-conscious revolutionary force from the beginning, not be a movement which takes issues to some mystical group—”THE PEOPLE”—who will make the revolution. We must be a revolutionary movement of people understanding the necessity to reach more people, all working people, as we make the revolution.

The above arguments make it clear that it is both important and possible to reach young people wherever they are—not only in the shops, but also in the schools, in the army and in the streets—so as to recruit them to fight on the side of the oppressed peoples of the world. Young people will be part of the International Liberation Army. The necessity to build this International Liberation Army in America leads to certain priorities in practice for the revolutionary youth movement which we should begin to apply this summer. …

IX. Imperialism Is The Issue

The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletariat of different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working-class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.”

—Communist Manifesto

How do we reach youth; what kinds of struggles do we build; how do we make a revolution- What we have tried to lay out so far is the political content of the consciousness which we want to extend and develop as a mass consciousness: the necessity to build our power as part of the whole international revolution to smash the state power of the imperialists and build socialism. Besides consciousness of this task, we must involve masses of people in accomplishing it. Yet we are faced with a situation in which almost all of the people whose interests are served by these goals, and who should be, or even are, sympathetic to revolution, neither understand the specific tasks involved in making a revolution nor participate in accomplishing them. On the whole, people don’t join revolutions just because revolutionaries tell them to. The oppression of the system affects people in particular ways, and the development of political consciousness and participation begins with particular problems, which turn into issues and struggles. We must transform people’s everyday problems, and the issues and struggles growing out of them, into revolutionary consciousness, active and conscious opposition to racism and imperialism.

This is directly counterposed to assuming that struggles around immediate issues will lead naturally over time to struggle against imperialism. It has been argued that since people’s oppression is due to imperialism and racism, then any struggle against immediate oppression is “objectively anti-imperialist,” and the development of the fight against imperialism is a succession of fights for reforms. This error is classical economism.

A variant of this argument admits that this position is often wrong, but suggests that since imperialism is collapsing at this time, fights for reforms become “objectively anti-imperialist.” At this stage of imperialism there obviously will be more and more struggles for the improvement of material conditions, but that is no guarantee of increasing internationalist proletarian consciousness.

On the one hand, if we, as revolutionaries, are capable of understanding the necessity to smash imperialism and build socialism, then the masses of people who we want to fight along with us are capable of that understanding. On the other hand, people are brainwashed and at present don’t understand it; if revolution is not raised at every opportunity, then how can we expect people to see it in their interests, or to undertake the burdens of revolution- We need to make it clear from the very beginning that we are about revolution. But if we are so careful to avoid the dangers of reformism, how do we relate to particular reform struggles- We have to develop some sense of how to relate each particular issue to the revolution.

In every case, our aim is to raise anti-imperialist and anti-racist consciousness and tie the struggles of working-class youth (and all working people) to the struggles of Third World people, rather than merely joining fights to improve material conditions, even though these fights are certainly justified. This is not to say that we don’t take immediate fights seriously, or fight hard in them, but that we are always up front with our politics, knowing that people in the course of struggle are open to a class line, ready to move beyond narrow self-interest.

It is in this sense that we point out that the particular issue is not the issue, is important insofar as it points to imperialism as an enemy that has to be destroyed. Imperialism is always the issue. Obviously, the issue cannot be a good illustration, or a powerful symbol, if it is not real to people, if it doesn’t relate to the concrete oppression that imperialism causes. People have to be (and are being) hurt in some material way to understand the evils of imperialism, but what we must stress is the systematic nature of oppression and the way in which a single manifestation of imperialism makes clear its fundamental nature. At Columbia it was not the gym, in particular, which was important in the struggle, but the way in which the gym represented, to the people of Harlem and Columbia, Columbia’s imperialist invasion of the black colony. Or at Berkeley, though people no doubt needed a park (as much, however, as many other things-), what made the struggle so important was that people, at all levels of militancy, consciously saw themselves attacking private property and the power of the State. And the Richmond Oil Strike was exciting because the militant fight for improvement of material conditions was part and parcel of an attack on international monopoly capital. The numbers and militancy of people mobilized for these struggles has consistently surprised the left, and pointed to the potential power of a class-conscious mass movement.

The masses will fight for socialism when they understand that reform fights, fights for improvement of material conditions, cannot be won under imperialism. With this understanding, revolutionaries should never put forth a line which fosters the illusion that imperialism will grant significant reforms. We must engage in struggles forthrightly as revolutionaries, so that it will be clear to anyone we help to win gains that the revolution rather than imperialism is responsible for them. This is one of the strengths of the Black Panther Party Breakfast for Children Program. It is “socialism in practice” by revolutionaries with the “practice” of armed self-defense and a “line” which stresses the necessity of overthrowing imperialism and seizing state power. Probably the American Friends Service Committee serves more children breakfast, but it is the symbolic value of the program in demonstrating what socialism will do for people which makes the Black Panther Program worthwhile.

What does it mean to organize around racism and imperialism in specific struggles- In the high schools (and colleges) at this time, it means putting forth a mass line to close down the schools, rather than to reform them, so that they can serve the people. The reason for this line is not that under capitalism the schools cannot serve the people, and therefore it is silly or illusory to demand that. Rather, it is that kids are ready for the full scope of militant struggle, and already demonstrate a consciousness of imperialism, such that struggles for a people-serving school would not raise the level of their struggle to its highest possible point. Thus, to tell a kid in New York that imperialism tracks him and thereby oppresses him is often small potatoes compared to his consciousness that imperialism oppresses him by jailing him, pigs and all, and the only thing to do is break out and tear up the jail. And even where high school kids are not yet engaged in such sharp struggle, it is crucial not to build consciousness only around specific issues such as tracking or ROTC or racist teachers, but to use these issues to build toward the general consciousness that the schools should be shut down. It may be important to present a conception of what schools should or could be like (this would include the abolition of the distinction between mental and physical work), but not offer this total conception as really possible to fight for in any way but through revolution.

A mass line to close down the schools or colleges does not contradict demands for open admissions to college or any other good reform demand. Agitational demands for impossible, but reasonable, reforms are a good way to make a revolutionary point. The demand for open admissions by asserting the alternative to the present (school) system exposes its fundamental nature—that it is racist, class-based, and closed—pointing to the only possible solution to the present situation: “Shut it down!” The impossibility of real open admissions—all black and brown people admitted, no flunk-out, full scholarship, under present conditions—is the best reason (that the schools show no possibility for real reform) to shut the schools down. We should not throw away the pieces of victories we gain from these struggles, for any kind of more open admissions means that the school is closer to closing down (it costs the schools more, there are more militant blacks and browns making more and more fundamental demands on the schools, and so on). Thus our line in the schools, in terms of pushing any good reforms, should be, Open them up and shut them down!”

The spread of black caucuses in the shops and other workplaces throughout the country is an extension of the black liberation struggle. These groups have raised and will continue to raise anti-racist issues to white workers in a sharper fashion than any whites ever have or could raise them. Blacks leading struggles against racism made the issue unavoidable, as the black student movement leadership did for white students. At the same time these black groups have led fights which traditional trade-union leaders have consistently refused to lead—fights against speed-up and for safety (issues which have become considerably more serious in the last few years), forcing white workers, particularly the more oppressed, to choose in another way between allegiance to the white mother country and black leadership. As white mother country radicals we should try to be in shops, hospitals, and companies where there are black caucuses, perhaps organizing solidarity groups, but at any rate pushing the importance of the black liberation struggle to whites, handing out Free Huey literature, bringing guys out to Panther rallies, and so on. Just one white guy could play a crucial role in countering UAW counter-insurgency.

We also need to relate to workplaces where there is no black motion but where there are still many young white workers. In the shops the crisis in imperialism has come down around speed-up, safety, and wage squeeze—due to higher taxes and increased inflation, with the possibility of wage-price controls being instituted.

We must relate this exploitation back to imperialism. The best way to do this is probably not caucuses in the shops, but to take guys to citywide demonstrations, Newsreels, even the latest administration building, to make the Movement concrete to them and involve them in it. Further, we can effect consciousness and pick up people through agitational work at plants, train stops, etc., selling Movements, handing out leaflets about the war, the Panthers, the companies’ holdings overseas or relations to defense industry, etc.

After the Richmond strike, people leafleted about demonstrations in support of the Curaçao Oil workers, Free Huey May Day, and People’s Park.

SDS has not dealt in any adequate way with the women question; the resolution passed at Ann Arbor did not lead to much practice, nor has the need to fight male supremacy been given any programmatic direction within the RYM. As a result, we have a very limited understanding of the tie-up between imperialism and the women question, although we know that since World War II the differential between men’s and women’s wages has increased, and guess that the breakdown of the family is crucial to the woman question. How do we organize women against racism and imperialism without submerging the principled revolutionary question of women’s liberation- We have no real answer, but we recognize the real reactionary danger of women’s groups that are not self-consciously revolutionary and anti-imperialist.

To become more relevant to the growing women’s movement, SDS women should begin to see as a primary responsibility the self-conscious organizing of women. We will not be able to organize women unless we speak directly to their own oppression. This will become more and more critical as we work with more oppressed women. Women who are working and women who have families face male supremacy continuously in their day-to-day lives; that will have to be the starting point in their politicization. Women will never be able to undertake a full revolutionary role unless they break out of their woman’s role. So a crucial task for revolutionaries is the creation of forms of organization in which women will be able to take on new and independent roles. Women’s self-defense groups will be a step toward these organizational forms, as an effort to overcome women’s isolation and build revolutionary self-reliance.

The cultural revolt of women against their “role” in imperialism (which is just beginning to happen in a mass way) should have the same sort of revolutionary potential that the RYM claimed for “youth culture.” The role of the “wife-mother” is reactionary in most modern societies, and the disintegration of that role under imperialism should make women more sympathetic to revolution.

In all of our work we should try to formulate demands that not only reach out to more oppressed women, but ones which tie us to other ongoing struggles, in the way that a daycare center at U of C [University of Chicago] enabled us to tie the women’s liberation struggle to the Black Liberation struggle.

There must be a strong revolutionary women’s movement, for without one it will be impossible for women’s liberation to be an important part of the revolution. Revolutionaries must be made to understand the full scope of women’s oppression, and the necessity to smash male supremacy.

X. Neighborhood-Based Citywide Youth Movement

One way to make clear the nature of the system and our tasks working off of separate struggles is to tie them together with each other: to show that we’re one “multi-issue” movement, not an alliance of high school and college students, or students and GIs, or youth and workers, or students and the black community. The way to do this is to build organic regional or sub-regional and citywide movements, by regularly bringing people in one institution or area to fights going on on other fronts.

This works on two levels. Within a neighborhood, by bringing kids to different fights and relating these fights to each other—high school stuff, colleges, housing, welfare, shops—we begin to build one neighborhood-based multi-issue movement off of them. Besides actions and demonstrations, we also pull different people together in day-to-day film showings, rallies, for speakers and study groups, etc. On a second level, we combine neighborhood “bases” into a citywide or region-wide movement by doing the same kind of thing; concentrating our forces at whatever important struggles are going on and building more ongoing interrelationships off of that.

The importance of specifically neighborhood-based organizing is illustrated by our greatest failing in RYM practice so far—high school organizing. In most cities we don’t know the kids who have been tearing up and burning down the schools. Our approach has been elitist, relating to often baseless citywide groups by bringing them our line, or picking up kids with a false understanding of “politics” rather than those whose practice demonstrates their concrete anti-imperialist consciousness that schools are prisons. We’ve been unwilling to work continuously with high school kids as we did in building up college chapters. We will only reach the high school kids who are in motion by being in the schoolyards, hangouts and on the streets on an everyday basis. From a neighborhood base, high school kids could be effectively tied in to struggles around other institutions and issues, and to the anti-imperialist movement as a whole.

We will try to involve neighborhood kids who aren’t in high schools too; take them to anti-war or anti-racism fights, stuff in the schools, etc.; and at the same time reach out more broadly through newspapers, films, storefronts. Activists and cadres who are recruited in this work will help expand and deepen the Movement in new neighborhoods and high schools. Mostly we will still be tied in to the college-based movement in the same area, be influencing its direction away from campus-oriented provincialism, be recruiting high school kids into it where it is real enough and be recruiting organizers out of it. In its most developed form, this neighborhood-based movement would be a kind of sub-region. In places where the Movement wasn’t so strong, this would be an important form for being close to kids in a day-to-day way and yet be relating heavily to a lot of issues and political fronts which the same kids are involved with.

The second level is combining these neighborhoods into citywide and regional movements. This would mean doing the same thing—bringing people to other fights going on—only on a larger scale, relating to various blow-ups and regional mobilizations. An example is how a lot of people from different places went to San Francisco State, the Richmond Oil Strike, and now Berkeley. The existence of this kind of cross-motion makes ongoing organizing in other places go faster and stronger, first by creating a pervasive politicization, and second by relating everything to the most militant and advanced struggles going on so that they influence and set the pace for a lot more people. Further, cities are a basic unit of organization of the whole society in a way that neighborhoods aren’t. For example, one front where we should be doing stuff is the courts; they are mostly organized citywide, not by smaller areas. The same for the city government itself. Schools where kids go are in different neighborhoods from where they live, especially colleges; the same for hospitals people go to, and where they work. As a practical question of staying with people we pick up, the need for a citywide or area-wide kind of orientation is already felt in our movement.

Another failure of this year was making clear what the RYM meant for chapter members and students who weren’t organizers about to leave their campus for a community college, high school, GI organizing, shops or neighborhoods. One thing it means for them is relating heavily to off-campus activities and struggles, as part of the citywide motion. Not leaving the campus movement like people did for ERAP [Education Research Action Project] stuff; rather, people still organized on the campus in off-campus struggles, the way they have in the past for national actions. Like the national actions, the citywide ones will build the on-campus movement, not compete with it.

Because the Movement will be defining itself in relation to many issues and groups, not just schools (and the war and racism as they hit at the schools), it will create a political context that non-students can relate to better, and be more useful to organizing among high school students, neighborhood kids, the mass of people. In the process, it will change the consciousness of the students too; if the issues are right and the Movement fights them, people will develop a commitment to the struggle as a whole, and an understanding of the need to be revolutionaries rather than a “student movement.” Building a revolutionary youth movement will depend on organizing in a lot of places where we haven’t been, and just tying the student movement to other issues and struggles isn’t a substitute for that. But given our limited resources we must also lead the on-campus motion into a RYM direction, and we can make great gains toward citywide youth movements by doing it.

Three principles underlie this multi-issue, “cross-institutional” movement, on the neighborhood and citywide levels, as to why it creates greater revolutionary consciousness and active participation in the revolution:

(1) Mixing different issues, struggles and groups demonstrates our analysis to people in a material way. We claim there is one system and so all these different problems have the same solution, revolution. If they are the same struggle in the end, we should make that clear from the beginning. On this basis we must aggressively smash the notion that there can be outside agitators on a question pertaining to the imperialists.

(2) “Relating to Motion”: the struggle activity, the action, of the Movement demonstrates our existence and strength to people in a material way. Seeing it happen, people give it more weight in their thinking. For the participants, involvement in struggle is the best education about the Movement, the enemy and the class struggle. In a neighborhood or whole city the existence of some struggle is a catalyst for other struggles—it pushes people to see the Movement as more important and urgent, and as an example and precedent makes it easier for them to follow. If the participants in a struggle are based in different institutions or parts of the city, these effects are multiplied. Varied participation helps the Movement be seen as political (wholly subversive) rather than as separate grievance fights. As people in one section of the Movement fight beside and identify closer with other sections, the mutual catalytic effect of their struggles will be greater.

(3) We must build a Movement oriented toward power. Revolution is a power struggle, and we must develop that understanding among people from the beginning. Pooling our resources area-wide and citywide really does increase our power in particular fights, as-well as push a mutual-aid-in-struggle consciousness.

XI. The RYM And The Pigs

A major focus in our neighborhood and citywide work is the pigs, because they tie together the various struggles around the State as the enemy, and thus point to the need for a Movement oriented toward power to defeat it.

The pigs are the capitalist state, and as such define the limits of all political struggles; to the extent that a revolutionary struggle shows signs of success, they come in and mark the point it can’t go beyond. In the early stages of struggle, the ruling class lets parents come down on high school kids, or jocks attack college chapters. When the struggle escalates the pigs come in; at Columbia, the left was afraid its struggle would be co-opted to anti-police brutality, cops off campus, and said pigs weren’t the issue. But pigs really are the issue and people will understand this, one way or another. They can have a liberal understanding that pigs are sweaty working-class barbarians who over-react and commit “police brutality” and so shouldn’t be on campus. Or they can understand pigs as the repressive imperialist State doing its job. Our job is not to avoid the issue of the pigs as “diverting” from anti-imperialist struggle, but to emphasize that they are our real enemy if we fight that struggle to win.

Even when there is no organized political struggle, the pigs come down on people in everyday life in enforcing capitalist property relations, bourgeois laws and bourgeois morality; they guard stores and factories and the rich and enforce credit and rent against the poor. The overwhelming majority of arrests in America are for crimes against property. The pigs will be coming down on the kids we’re working with in the schools, on the streets, around dope; we should focus on them, point them out all the time, like the Panthers do. We should relate the daily oppression by the pig to their role in political repression, and develop a class understanding of political power and armed force among the kids we’re with.

As we develop a base these two aspects of the pig role increasingly come together. In the schools, pig is part of daily oppression—keeping order in halls and lunch rooms, controlling smoking—while at the same time pigs prevent kids from handing out leaflets, and bust “outside agitators.” The presence of youth, or youth with long hair, becomes defined as organized political struggle and the pigs react to it as such. More and more everyday activity is politically threatening, so pigs are suddenly more in evidence; this in turn generates political organization and opposition, and so on. Our task will be to catalyze this development, pushing out the conflict with the pig so as to define every struggle—schools (pigs out, pig institutes out), welfare (invading pig-protected office), the streets (curfew and turf fights)—as a struggle against the needs of capitalism and the force of the State.

Pigs don’t represent State power as an abstract principle; they are a power that we will have to overcome in the course of struggle or become irrelevant, revisionist, or dead. We must prepare concretely to meet their power because our job is to defeat the pigs and the army, and organize on that basis. Our beginnings should stress self-defense—building defense groups around karate classes, learning how to move on the street and around the neighborhood, medical training, popularizing and moving toward (according to necessity) armed self-defense, all the time honoring and putting forth the principle that “political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” These self-defense groups would initiate pig surveillance patrols, visits to the pig station and courts when someone is busted, etc.

Obviously the issues around the pig will not come down by neighborhood alone; it will take at least citywide groups able to coordinate activities against a unified enemy—in the early stages, for legal and bail resources and turning people out for demonstrations, adding the power of the citywide movement to what may be initially only a tenuous base in a neighborhood. Struggles in one part of the city will not only provide lessons for but [will] materially aid similar motion in the rest of it.

Thus the pigs are ultimately the glue—the necessity—that holds the neighborhood-based and citywide movement together; all of our concrete needs lead to pushing the pigs to the fore as a political focus:

(1) making institutionally oriented reform struggles deal with State power, by pushing our struggle till either winning or getting pigged;

(2) using the citywide inter-relation of fights to raise the level of struggle and further large-scale anti-pig movement-power consciousness;

(3) developing spontaneous anti-pig consciousness in our neighborhoods to an understanding of imperialism, class struggle and the State;

(4) and using the citywide movement as a platform for reinforcing and extending this politicization work, like by talking about getting together a citywide neighborhood-based mutual aid anti-pig self-defense network.

All of this can be done through citywide agitation and propaganda and picking certain issues—to have as the central regional focus for the whole Movement.

XII. Repression And Revolution

As institutional fights and anti-pig self-defense off of them intensify, so will the ruling class’s repression. Their escalation of repression will inevitably continue according to how threatening the Movement is to their power. Our task is not to avoid or end repression; that can always be done by pulling back, so we’re not dangerous enough to require crushing. Sometimes it is correct to do that as a tactical retreat, to survive to fight again.

To defeat repression, however, is not to stop it but to go on building the Movement to be more dangerous to them; in which case, defeated at one level, repression will escalate even more. To succeed in defending the Movement, and not just ourselves at its expense, we will have to successively meet and overcome these greater and greater levels of repression.

To be winning will thus necessarily, as imperialism’s lesser efforts fail, bring about a phase of all-out military repression. To survive and grow in the face of that will require more than a larger base of supporters; it will require the invincible strength of a mass base at a high level of active participation and consciousness, and can only come from mobilizing the self-conscious creativity, will and determination of the people.

Each new escalation of the struggle in response to new levels of repression, each protracted struggle around self-defense which becomes a material fighting force, is part of the international strategy of solidarity with Vietnam and the blacks, through opening up other fronts. They are anti-war, anti-imperialist and pro-black liberation. If they involve fighting the enemy, then these struggles are part of the revolution.

Therefore, clearly the organization and active, conscious, participating mass base needed to survive repression are also the same needed for winning the revolution. The Revolutionary Youth Movement speaks to the need for this kind of active mass-based Movement by tying citywide motion back to community youth bases, because this brings us close enough to kids in their day-to-day lives to organize their “maximum active participation” around enough different kinds of fights to push the “highest level of consciousness” about imperialism, the black vanguard, the State and the need for armed struggle.

III. The Need For A Revolutionary Party

The RYM must also lead to the effective organization needed to survive and to create another battlefield of the revolution. A revolution is a war; when the Movement in this country can defend itself militarily against total repression it will be part of the revolutionary war.

This will require a cadre organization, effective secrecy, self-reliance among the cadres, and an integrated relationship with the active mass-based Movement. To win a war with an enemy as highly organized and centralized as the imperialists will require a (clandestine) organization of revolutionaries, having also a unified “general staff”; that is, combined at some point with discipline under one centralized leadership. Because war is political, political tasks—the international communist revolution—must guide it. Therefore the centralized organization of revolutionaries must be a political organization as well as military, what is generally called a “Marxist-Leninist” party.

How will we accomplish the building of this kind of organization- It is clear that we couldn’t somehow form such a party at this time, because the conditions for it do not exist in this country outside the Black nation. What are these conditions-

One is that to have a unified centralized organization it is necessary to have a common revolutionary theory which explains, at least generally, the nature of our revolutionary tasks and how to accomplish them. It must be a set of ideas which have been tested and developed in the practice of resolving the important contradictions in our work.

A second condition is the existence of revolutionary leadership tested in practice. To have a centralized party under illegal and repressive conditions requires a centralized leadership, specific individuals with the understanding and the ability to unify and guide the Movement in the face of new problems and be right most of the time.

Thirdly, and most important, there must be the same revolutionary mass base mentioned earlier, or (better) revolutionary mass movement. It is clear that without this there can’t be the practical experience to know whether or not a theory, or a leader, is any good at all. Without practical revolutionary activity on a mass scale the party could not test and develop new ideas and draw conclusions with enough surety behind them to consistently base its survival on them. Especially, no revolutionary party could possibly survive Without relying on the active support and participation of masses of people.

These conditions for the development of a revolutionary party in this country are the main “conditions” for winning. There are two kinds of tasks for us.

One is the organization of revolutionary collectives within the Movement. Our theory must come from practice, but it can’t be developed in isolation. Only a collective pooling of our experiences can develop a thorough understanding of the complex conditions in this country. In the same way, only our collective efforts toward a common plan can adequately test the ideas we develop. The development of revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collective formations which undertake this concrete evaluation and application of the lessons of our work is not just the task of specialists or leaders, but the responsibility of every revolutionary. Just as a collective is necessary to sum up experiences and apply them locally, equally the collective interrelationship of groups all over the country is necessary to get an accurate view of the whole movement and to apply that in the whole country. Over time, those collectives which prove themselves in practice to have the correct understanding (by the results they get) will contribute toward the creation of a unified revolutionary party.

The most important task for us toward making the revolution, and the work our collectives should engage in, is the creation of a mass revolutionary movement, without which a clandestine revolutionary party will be impossible. A revolutionary mass movement is different from the traditional revisionist mass base of “sympathizers.” Rather it is akin to the Red Guard in China, based on the full participation and involvement of masses of people in the practice of making revolution; a movement with a full willingness to participate in the violent and illegal struggle. It is a movement diametrically opposed to the elitist idea that only leaders are smart enough or interested enough to accept full revolutionary conclusions. It is a movement built on the basis of faith in the masses of people.

The task of collectives is to create this kind of movement. (The party is not a substitute for it. and in fact is totally dependent on it.) This will be done at this stage principally among youth, through implementing the Revolutionary Youth Movement strategy discussed in this paper. It is practice at this, and not political “teachings” in the abstract, which will determine the relevance of the political collectives which are formed.

The strategy of the RYM for developing an active mass base, tying the citywide fights to community and citywide anti-pig movement, and for building a party eventually out of this motion, fits with the world strategy for winning the revolution, builds a movement oriented toward power, and will become one division of the International Liberation Army, while its battlefields are added to the many Vietnams which will dismember and dispose of US imperialism. Long Live the Victory of People’s War!

WUO terrorized government property

weather undergroundTo clarify, the terrorist acts for which Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground are being demonized targeted only property damage and resulted in no casualties. Here is a list of 25 bombings attributed to the WUO, with notes from the FBI files, and the original communiques.

BOMBINGS BY WEATHERMEN / WEATHER UNDERGROUND

October 7, 1969
Haymarket Police Statue in Chicago. The Weathermen later claim credit for the bombing in their book, Prairie Fire.

December 6, 1969
Chicago Police cars parked in a precinct parking lot at 3600 North Halsted Street, Chicago. The WUO claims responsibility in Prairie Fire, stating it is a protest of the fatal police shooting of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969.

May 10, 1970
National Guard Association building in Washington, D.C. is bombed.

June 6, 1970
San Francisco Hall of Justice. (WUO claims credit for bombing although no explosion occurred. Months later, workmen locate an unexploded bomb).

June 9, 1970
New York City Police headquarters. The Weathermen state this is in response to “police repression.”

July 27, 1970
United States Army base at The Presidio in San Francisco, on the 11th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

September 12, 1970
California Men’s Colony prison break for Timothy Leary.

October 8, 1970
Marin County courthouse. WUO states this is in retaliation for the killings of Jonathan Jackson, William Christmas, and James McClain.

October 10, 1970
Queens traffic-court building. WUO claims this is to express support for the New York prison riots.

October 14, 1970
Harvard Center for International Affairs. WUO claims this is to protest the war in Vietnam.

March 1, 1971
United States Capitol. WUO states this is to protest the invasion of Laos.

August 29, 1971
Office of California Prisons, allegedly in retaliation for the killing of George Jackson.

September 17, 1971
New York Department of Corrections in Albany, New York. In protest of the killing of 29 inmates at Attica State Penitentiary.

October 15, 1971
MIT research center, William Bundy’s office.

May 19, 1972
Pentagon. “in retaliation for the U.S. bombing raid in Hanoi.”

May 18, 1973
103rd Police Precinct in New York. WUO states this is in response to the killing of 10-year-old black youth Clifford Glover by police.

September 28, 1973
ITT headquarters in New York and Rome, Italy. WUO states this is in response to ITT’s alleged role in the Chilean coup earlier that month.

March 6, 1974
Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare offices in San Francisco. WUO states this is to protest alleged sterilization of poor women. In the accompanying communiqué, the Women’s Brigade argues for “the need for women to take control of daycare, healthcare, birth control and other aspects of women’s daily lives.”

May 31, 1974
California Attorney General office. WUO states this is in response to the killing of six members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

June 17, 1974
Gulf Oil Pittsburgh headquarters. WUO states this is to protest the company’s actions in Angola, Vietnam, and elsewhere.

September 11, 1974
Anaconda Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Anaconda/Rockefeller’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup the previous year.

January 29, 1975
State Department. WUO states this is in response to escalation in Vietnam.

June 16, 1975
Banco de Ponce, NYC. WUO states this is in solidarity with striking Puerto Rican cement workers.

September, 1975
Kennecott Corporation. WUO states this is in retribution for Kennecott’s alleged involvement in the Chilean coup two years prior.

WUO COMMUNIQUES:

Communiqué #1, May 21, 1970

Hello. This is Bernardine Dohrn.

I’m going to read A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR.

This is the first communication from the Weatherman underground.

All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to Amerika’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire.

Black people have been fighting almost alone for years. We’ve known that our job is to lead white kids into armed revolution. We never intended to spend the next five or twenty-five years of our lives in jail. Ever since SDS became revolutionary, we’ve been trying to show how it is possible to overcome the frustration and impotence that comes from trying to reform this system. Kids know the lines are drawn revolution is touching all of our lives. Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don’t do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.

Now we are adapting the classic guerrilla strategy of the Viet Cong and the urban guerrilla strategy of the Tupamaros to our own situation here in the most technically advanced country in the world.

Ché taught us that “revolutionaries move like fish in the sea.” The alienation and contempt that young people have for this country has created the ocean for this revolution.

The hundreds and thousands of young people who demonstrated in the Sixties against the war and for civil rights grew to hundreds of thousands in the past few weeks actively fighting Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the attempted genocide against black people. The insanity of Amerikan “justice” has added to its list of atrocities six blacks killed in Augusta, two in Jackson and four white Kent State students, making thousands more into revolutionaries.

The parents of “privileged” kids have been saying for years that the revolution was a game for us. But the war and the racism of this society show that it is too fucked-up. We will never live peaceably under this system.

This was totally true of those who died in the New York townhouse explosion. The third person who was killed there was Terry Robbins, who led the first rebellion at Kent State less than two years ago.

The twelve Weathermen who were indicted for leading last October’s riots in Chicago have never left the country. Terry is dead, Linda was captured by a pig informer, but the rest of us move freely in and out of every city and youth scene in this country. We’re not hiding out but we’re invisible.

There are several hundred members of the Weatherman underground and some of us face more years in jail than the fifty thousand deserters and draft dodgers now in Canada. Already many of them are coming back to join us in the underground or to return to the Man’s army and tear it up from inside along with those who never left.

We fight in many ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns and grass are united in the youth underground.

Freaks are revolutionaries and revolutionaries are freaks. If you want to find us, this is where we are. In every tribe, commune, dormitory, farmhouse, barracks and townhouse where kids are making love, smoking dope and loading guns—fugitives from Amerikan justice are free to go.

For Diana Oughton, Ted Gold and Terry Robbins, and for all the revolutionaries who are still on the move here, there has been no question for a long time now—we will never go back.

Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan injustice. This is the way we celebrate the example of Eldridge Cleaver and H. Rap Brown and all black revolutionaries who first inspired us by their fight behind enemy lines for the liberation of their people.

Never again will they fight alone.

/May 21, 1970/

Communique #2, June 9, 1970

SLIP NR 12 / 1909 / JUNE9-70 / POLICE HDQTRS / 77 BOMB EXPLOSION-240 CENTRE ST-POLICE HDQTRS-UNK

DAMAGE AND INJURIES AT THIS TIME — DETAILS LATER

Tonight, at 7 P.M., we blew up the N.Y.C. police headquarters. We called in a warning before the explosion.

The pigs in this country are our enemies. They have murdered Fred Hampton and tortured Joan Bird. They are responsible for 6 black deaths in Augusta, 4 murders in Kent State, the imprisonment of Los Siete de la Raza in San Francisco and the continual brutality against Latin and white youth on the Lower East Side.

Some are named Mitchell and Agnew. Others call themselves Leary and Hogan. The names are different but the crimes are the same.

The pigs try to look invulnerable, but we keep finding their weaknesses. Thousands of kids, from Berkeley to the UN Plaza, keep tearing up ROTC buildings.

Nixon invades Cambodia and hundreds of schools are shut down by strikes. Every time the pigs think they’ve stopped us, we come back a little stronger and a lot smarter. They guard their buildings and we walk right past their guards. They look for us—we get to them first.

They build the Bank of America, kids burn it down. They outlaw grass, we build a culture of life and music.

The time is now. Political power grows out of a gun, a Molotov, a riot, a commune … and from the soul of the people.

WEATHERMAN

Communiqué #3, July 31, 1970

From the /Berkeley Tribe/, July 31, 1970. The Red Mountain Tribe.

July 26, 1970
The Motor City

This is the third communication from the Weatherman underground.

With other revolutionaries all over the planet, Weatherman is celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. Today we attack with rocks, riots and bombs the greatest killer-pig ever known to man—Amerikan imperialism.

Everywhere we see the growth of revolutionary culture and the ways in which every move of the monster-state tightens the noose around its own neck.

A year ago people thought it can’t happen here. Look at where we’ve come.

Nixon invades Cambodia; the Cong and all of Indochina spread the already rebelling US troops thin. Ahmed is a prisoner; Rap is free and fighting. Fred Hampton is murdered;

the brothers at Soledad avenge—”2 down and one to go.” Pun and several Weatherman are ripped; we run free. Mitchell indicts 8 or 10 or 13; hundreds of thousands of freaks plot to build a new world on the ruins of honky Amerika.

And to General Mitchell we say: Don’t look for us, Dog; We’ll find you first.

For the Central Committee, Weatherman Underground

Communiqué #4, September 18, 1970

From /San Francisco Good Times/, September 18, 1970. /San Francisco Good Times/.

September 15, 1970. This is the fourth communication from the Weatherman Underground.

The Weatherman Underground has had the honor and pleasure of helping Dr. Timothy Leary escape from the POW camp at San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Leary was being held against his will and against the will of millions of kids in this country. He was a political prisoner, captured for the work he did in helping all of us begin the task of creating a new culture on the barren wasteland that has been imposed on this country by Democrats, Republicans, Capitalists and creeps.

LSD and grass, like the herbs and cactus and mushrooms of the American Indians and countless civilizations that have existed on this planet, will help us make a future world where it will be possible to live in peace.

Now we are at war.

With the NLF and the North Vietnamese, with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Al Fatah, with Rap Brown and Angela Davis, with all black and brown revolutionaries, the Soledad brothers and all prisoners of war in Amerikan concentration camps we know that peace is only possible with the destruction of U.S. imperialism.

Our organization commits itself to the task of freeing these prisoners of war.

We are outlaws, we are free!

(signed) Bernardine Dohrn

Somalia and the Pentagon Pirates of the Indian Ocean

pirateIt is a clear indication of how iron clad government controlled is the US corporate press that news reporting about Somalia in the last couple of weeks has been centered on the stoning to death of a young girl and ‘pirates’. Never mind those millions of starving refugees in the country that the Pentagon has created, it’s ‘Indiana Jones’ time here for the American media! And pirates are always fun to play with! But who are the real pirates off the coast of Somali in the Indian Ocean? Asia Times Online gives us some insight into just that question… NATO reaches into the Indian Ocean

India was once a neutral player in the old Cold War, but not anymore these days and times. The US has captured another satellite government to use in its geopolitical warfare against China and Russia… and that country is India. That old ally of the US, Pakistan?… well let’s just say that their new role is to be turned into a battlefield zone in Southern Asia for the Pentagon. The US based military industrial complex needs to get the Pentagon firmly into that region for more sales for them to be funded from US taxpayers. How better to keep the welfare system for them going? They need Federal ‘bailout’!

As to the Somali ‘pirates’ seizing ships inside their coastal waters? Look at it from their viewpoint? Nobody complained much about the US/ Ethiopian piracy in their homeland, now did they? How about those $300,000,000 of fish annually pirated from their coastal waters by international fisheries based in other countries? Who cares about fish piracy stealing from the starving Somalians? Did you even hear about it? Then why not Somali ‘pirates’ getting into the big game?

The US government is into a big geopolitical play to corner the world’s last remaining natural resources away from China and Russia. Southern Asia is the new zone of combat and the Indian Ocean sits strategically placed between Asia and Africa and most of all, the Middle East. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is now into piracy in the Indian Ocean in a big way, all under the direction of the USA, and that wonderful little building in Northern Virginia, the Pentagon! Peace Now, Y’all. I’m sure that Obama plans to deliver ‘PEACE’… lol. He’s going to fight the Big Bad ‘pirates’ in Africa!

Who did not play Faust for George Bush

I’d like to compile a collection of letters from famous personages in which they decline to dance with the Bush Administration. Were there many?

Shouldn’t any artist/musician/author or intellectual/humanitarian of note have publicly refused to collaborate with the immoral tyrant and his saccharine-smile patronizing librarian wife?

I have some favorites:
Mr. Feiffer Regrets -by Jules Feiffer, 2002
Poets Against War -Sam Hamill, 2003
Statement of Conscience -by Jennifer Warn, 2003
Open Letter to Laura Bush -by Sharon Olds, 2005

Archived copies are below:

Mr. Feiffer Regrets

October 12, 2002

Mrs. George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mrs. Bush,

I wish that I could come to your National Book Festival breakfast at the White House on Saturday, but after giving it much thought, I can’t attend.

I was thrilled to be invited, along with other writers and illustrators, to help celebrate your campaign to inspire young people in the pleasures of reading.

But I find it unbearably ironic that, while the uses of language are celebrated by you and your renowned guests, elsewhere in the White House language is being traduced and transformed to nudge us into war.

There are honest arguments on both sides of the Iraq debate (such as it is), but it seems necessary on the occasion of a celebration of reading to press the point that words, at their finest, don’t set out to confuse or obscure. Their aim is to clarify.

But clarity is not what we’re getting from your husband’s White House. It seems that clarity would deny him a war.

I am a father and a grandfather. As every parent knows, most children can intuit whether the stories their parents tell them are true or if they’re making them up.

The American people are able to tell too.

I am delighted to participate in National Book Festival events scheduled for the Library of Congress and the Capitol grounds. But as for your breakfast, may I convey my regrets and best wishes to you and your guests.

Sincerely,
/s/Jules Feiffer

Sam Hamill

Dear Friends and Fellow Poets:

“When I picked up my mail and saw the letter marked “The White House,” I felt no joy. Rather I was overcome by a kind of nausea as I read the card enclosed:

Laura Bush requests the pleasure of your company at a reception and White House Symposium on “Poetry and the American Voice” on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at one o’clock

Only the day before I had read a lengthy report on George Bush’s proposed “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq, calling for saturation bombing that would be like the firebombing of Dresden or Tokyo, killing countless innocent civilians.

I believe the only legitimate response to such a morally bankrupt and unconscionable idea is to reconstitute a Poets Against the War movement like the one organized to speak out against the war in Vietnam.

I am asking every poet to speak up for the conscience of our country and lend his or her name to our petition against this war, and to make February 12 a day of Poetry Against the War. We will compile an anthology of protest to be presented to the White House on that afternoon…

Statement of Conscience -Jennifer Warn

February 12, 2003

Mrs. Laura Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.

Dear Laura Bush,

Thank you for inviting me to the White House symposium on Poetry and the American Voice. Your call to better understand and celebrate the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes led me and many thousands of American poets to find their voices of dissent.

Since January 30th poets in many countries have joined in an upsurge of conscience and compassion, submitting over [15,000] poems to the Poets Against the War web site (www.poetsagainstthewar.org), organizing hundreds of anti-war poetry readings around the world, and joining with millions of others in vigils, processions, prayers and intercessions, lobbying and rallying for peace.

You have inadvertently presented a gift to the American people and to the world by providing poets an opportunity to express their most passionately held beliefs about their vision for the world’s future. Your gesture has revealed the very relationship it was meant to deny: the connection between poetry and politics, between literature and reality. Another great American poet, Wallace Stevens, presented this relationship succinctly:

“In life what is most important is the truth as it is, while in arts and letters what is most important is the truth as we see it.”

This wisdom is excerpted from “Imagination as Value,” an essay in the long tradition of poets puzzling over the power of poetry and asserting its place in a world primarily shaped by the machinations of politics and money.

What is poetry’s power? Why should you, vested with the power of the White House as First Lady, pay attention to such a rush of words at this late hour?

Poetry’s power lies in its perceptive ability to describe both inner and outer realities. In reading a poem we experience the paradoxical delight and anguish of human life. Poetry holds a mirror to the reality that our political systems and values create and in doing so reveals both the limitations of our current state and life’s endless possibilities. In its refracted light we see our intangible connections, the irrefutable unity of all people and beings on the planet.

We invite you to read this selection of poems which represents some of the most powerful in the Poetry Against the War Anthology. These poems were written by Pulitzer Prize winners, former U.S. poets laureate, and poets who work as professors, business people, homemakers and veterans. Those who have submitted poems or personal statements to register their opposition to ill-considered military action, including a pre-emptive strike on Iraq, honor a long and rich tradition of thoughtful and moral opposition by poets and other artists to senseless and murderous policies, including those of our own government.

We believe that the world is poised on the knife-edge of a decision between war and peace. It is our hope and conviction that peaceful American voices, conveyed in part and without historical precedent by the poets of this country, may help to avert a disaster of tragic proportions.

We call upon the Bush administration to halt the headlong rush toward war, to heed the voices of the people of the world, and to seek peaceful means of resolving conflicts in company with the world community.

Never before in history have so many poets gathered to speak in a single voice.

Sincerely,

Emily Warn
Poets Against the War

Open letter to Laura Bush -Sharon Olds

September 19, 2005

Laura Bush
First Lady
The White House

Dear Mrs. Bush,

I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the National Book Festival on September 24, or to attend your dinner at the Library of Congress or the breakfast at the White House.

In one way, it’s a very appealing invitation. The idea of speaking at a festival attended by 85,000 people is inspiring! The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents–all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers.

And the concept of a community of readers and writers has long been dear to my heart. As a professor of creative writing in the graduate school of a major university, I have had the chance to be a part of some magnificent outreach writing workshops in which our students have become teachers. Over the years, they have taught in a variety of settings: a women’s prison, several New York City public high schools, an oncology ward for children. Our initial program, at a 900-bed state hospital for the severely physically challenged, has been running now for twenty years, creating along the way lasting friendships between young MFA candidates and their students–long-term residents at the hospital who, in their humor, courage and wisdom, become our teachers.

When you have witnessed someone nonspeaking and almost nonmoving spell out, with a toe, on a big plastic alphabet chart, letter by letter, his new poem, you have experienced, close up, the passion and essentialness of writing. When you have held up a small cardboard alphabet card for a writer who is completely nonspeaking and nonmoving (except for the eyes), and pointed first to the A, then the B, then C, then D, until you get to the first letter of the first word of the first line of the poem she has been composing in her head all week, and she lifts her eyes when that letter is touched to say yes, you feel with a fresh immediacy the human drive for creation, self-expression, accuracy, honesty and wit–and the importance of writing, which celebrates the value of each person’s unique story and song.

So the prospect of a festival of books seemed wonderful to me. I thought of the opportunity to talk about how to start up an outreach program. I thought of the chance to sell some books, sign some books and meet some of the citizens of Washington, DC. I thought that I could try to find a way, even as your guest, with respect, to speak about my deep feeling that we should not have invaded Iraq, and to declare my belief that the wish to invade another culture and another country–with the resultant loss of life and limb for our brave soldiers, and for the noncombatants in their home terrain–did not come out of our democracy but was instead a decision made “at the top” and forced on the people by distorted language, and by untruths. I hoped to express the fear that we have begun to live in the shadows of tyranny and religious chauvinism–the opposites of the liberty, tolerance and diversity our nation aspires to.

I tried to see my way clear to attend the festival in order to bear witness–as an American who loves her country and its principles and its writing–against this undeclared and devastating war.

But I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.

What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting “extraordinary rendition”: flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.

Sincerely,
SHARON OLDS

Grant Park speech aimed beneath you

The more they replay it, the more Barack Obama’s Grant Park speech comes off like bad theater. From Obama’s lips, I’m not sure the faithful have the skepticism to critique it. But his election night address may be the surest indication of what his centrism is going to look like, political communication for folks across the aisle: exposition and pandering.

“If there is anyone here … who still doubts the promise of our democracy, tonight is their answer.”

Wouldn’t that be more appropriate coming from a high school teacher, asking the class to explore the meaning of Obama’s win, sooner than have the candidate draw the conclusion for us? It’s exposition, telling the audience what you should let them figure out by your actions. When Ussain Bolt heralded his oncoming Olympic victory, it didn’t go over well either.

More than just leading us by the nose, by spelling out the election’s answer Obama made his theme dramatically smallish. Is that what his “change” meant? Regime change? Color change? MLK’s dream in the singular? Was that the mission accomplished? Renewing America’s faith in the two parties? (Forget a third?)

I still doubt. And in Obama’s centrist hyperbole I find few answers. In fact with the Grant Park speech machinations, he raises more.

If Obama underestimated the insightfulness of his audience, or did not trust where their own observations would lead them, he had their number with his last train of thought.

I’m reminded of a comedy skit in which a corporate news outlet was reviewing options for distracting their viewers from the information they were presenting. While naked, might have been one, and certainly farting while sitting in water was a hilarious alternative. Both made light of other real techniques, not the least of which, let’s be fair, is using pictures of puppies.

So Obama closed his address by painting that picture, a promise to his daughters. “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” I thought it was adorable too. Then I wondered if I’d taken my eyes off what either his right or left hand was doing.

In brief, not much. Obama was eloquent and optimistic, his points were from JFK’s inaugural, which fit the youthful, multiracial Camelot we celebrated to see gather onstage. Grant Park became a memorable pageant. There were Jesse Jackson’s tears, Oprah leaning on Joe the White Guy, Michelle’s belted Rothko dress, and a so very presidential President-Elect. What do you remember of the speech?

Democracy worked, see.
Ask not what your country can do for you.
Look folks, a puppy.

Tibetans forced to pass Monarchy to son of old King

namgyel wangch‘In a massive, whitewashed fort-cum-monastery, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel had the crown, mounted with a raven and adorned with skulls, placed on his head by his retiring father.’ Coronation in the Dragon Kingdom Yes, those Buddhists sure have grand respect for the dignity of human life (an ALL life, it is said by many), do they not? Nothing else quite like using human skulls in your political ceremonies!

OK, I know that with all of the Hollywood style entertainment, and the liberal State Department enlightenment here in our noble USA, most Americans are absolutely totally unaware of the reality that Tibetans already have their own country, Bhutan, and are not merely a ‘nation’ stolen by China. If you go to the link to the news report of the coronation of the new king their, you will briefly be given some small tidbit of information about the Tibetans, and how they have genocidally acted towards the Nepalese in their feudal country. Not a pretty story, and one that runs counter to the doggerel passed on about Tibet as US disinformation and antiChinese propaganda.

We wish all the peoples there in Tibet, China, Nepal, and Bhutan the best, and the best would be if India, Britain, and the US were kept completely out of their region altogether. Certainly that will not happen with the Dalai Lama, Tibetan God King, misinforming the world population about Tibet by way of the international corporate media. However, with a healthy dose of scepticism, one can get more info than that being spoon-fed to the naive and not so innocent.

The Scamble for Africa- Darfur, Intervention, and the USA

africaThose interested in Darfur might want to check this book, ‘The Scramble for Africa’, out some when it comes out? Especially with the Biden, Obama gang headed towards the White House soon. Certainly this is a timely release for this book.

*** Book of the Month for** **October 2008*

*THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA*

*Darfur — Intervention and the USA*

*Steven Fake and Kevin Funk*

*As massive human suffering continues to engulf the Darfur region of
Sudan, the crisis has garnered a rhetorical circus of saber-rattling and
hand wringing from Western politicians, media, and activists. Yet such
bluster has not halted the violence.*

*In a careful yet scathing indictment of this constellation of
holier-than-thou government leaders, corporate media outlets, and spoon-fed
NGOs, Steven Fake and Kevin Funk reveal the myriad ways in which the West
has failed Darfur.*

*Praise for Scramble for Africa:*

*”A devastating critique of the ‘humanitarian’ response of the United
States to the Darfur crisis. Well-researched, easy to read, and utterly
convincing, a crucial book for anyone concerned about achieving a morally
and politically acceptable U.S. foreign policy.”
–Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of Law Emeritus, Princeton University*

*”Sudan has been a nightmare for many. It still is. The outside world is
responsible as well. This book shows why. The authors avoid easy answers,
and provide a quality analysis with compelling arguments to revise Western
policies.”
–Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of
Mission for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, 2004-06 *

*”Explosive, masterful, and impeccably fair. Consider it the thinking
person’s guide to Darfur.”
-John Ghazvinian, author of **Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil*

*STEVEN FAKE and KEVIN FUNK are activists and political commentators whose
writings have been published in such media as **Foreign Policy in Focus,
Common Dreams, CounterPunch, ZNet**, and **Black Commentator**.*

*344 pages, bibliography, index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55164-322-9 $19.99
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-55164-323-6 $39.99*

*For more information on **The Scramble For Africa**, our October Book of
the Month selection, including additional testimonials and Table of
Contents, see **http://www.blackrosebooks.net/darfur.htm*
* *

*The Scramble For Africa will be launched in the Boston area on October
28th. For more information see http://www.blackrosebooks.net/events.htm*

*To Order This Book, Call Toll Free 1-800-565-9523*

*Independent Publishing for Independent Minds*

*What others are saying about Scramble for Africa*

“Kevin Funk and Steven Fake have written a devastating critique of the
‘humanitarian’ response of the United States to the Darfur crisis, while
offering a genuine humane alternative that would lessen the ordeal, if not
bring it to an end. Well-researched, easy to read, and utterly convincing, a
crucial book for anyone concerned about achieving a morally and politically
acceptable U.S. foreign policy.”
*–Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of Law Emeritus, Princeton University, and
since 2002, Visiting Distinguished Professor, Global Studies, UCSB*

“Sudan has been a nightmare for many. It still is. The outside world is
responsible as well. This book shows why. The authors avoid easy answers,
and provide a quality analysis with compelling arguments to revise Western
policies.”
*–Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of
Mission for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, 2004-06*

“At a time when everyone from George Clooney to George Bush is an instant
expert on Darfur, Kevin Funk and Steven Fake have given us what we so
urgently need: a clear, sober assessment of the conflict and how it fits
into the foreign policy of the United States. With neither fear nor favour,
they take us back stage, show us our blind spots, and come up with some
troubling conclusions. Explosive, masterful, and impeccably fair. Consider
it the thinking person’s guide to Darfur.”
*–John Ghazvinian, author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil*

“A commanding exposé of the duplicitous and damaging role played by US
leaders and others in a dark drama. Well-written, well focused, deeply
informed—an excellent corrective for the many who cannot tell the difference
between humanitarian assistance and imperial aggrandizement.”
*–Michael Parenti, author of ‘Contrary Notions’ and ‘Against Empire’*

“Elegantly written, erudite without being academic, and with a forceful yet
sensible political argument, Scramble for Africa is a must read for anyone
concerned with making sense of one of the most haunting crises of our time.”
*–Stephen Eric Bronner, Rutgers University*

“Scramble for Africa: Darfur Intervention and the USA is the book we’ve all
been waiting for. Clearly written, and scholarly without losing its
skeptical edge, this new work takes on the U.S. Government and the Save
Darfur coalition alike, offering a fresh analysis of Darfur in its larger
geopolitical context. Scramble for Africa belongs on every Darfur activist’s
bookshelf.”
*–David Morse, Darfur activist and journalist*

“So much of what has been written on Darfur is either expression of
humanitarian concern without awareness of the imperial context, or
denunciation of Western perfidy without appreciation of the horrible human
tragedy that has been unfolding. In this extremely well-documented study,
Steve Fake and Kevin Funk combine deep compassion with a keen critical
analysis to show how we might best support the suffering people of Darfur.
This is a book for all those interested in working for a more just world.”
*–Stephen R. Shalom, Professor of Political Science at William Paterson
University in New Jersey and author of, among other works, Imperial Alibis:
Rationalizing US Intervention After the Cold War*

“This extremely well-researched analysis reveals the real goals of US
foreign policy in one of the greatest horrors of our generation. The authors
have produced an essential book for analysts and activists everywhere,
together with a call to action which no-one should ignore.”
*–Mark Curtis, author, Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World*

“One of the few works to tackle honestly the vexing question of what is to
be done about Darfur. Cheerleaders for intervention and humanitarians who
persist in rosy fantasies about the U.S. role in the world have had no
trouble advocating “solutions,” but for others on the left the question has
been much more difficult. Not content, like so many, to simply wash their
hands of the question, the authors have constructed a deeply informed and
carefully reasoned argument that addresses seriously the possibilities for
constructive humanitarian interventions in an imperfect world vitiated by
great power interests and political posturing. For the cruise-missile left
and the hard-core anti-interventionist left alike, Darfur is not about
Darfur but about their own self-image; Fake and Funk rightly bring the focus
back to what is best for the people on the ground.”
*–Rahul Mahajan, activist and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power
in Iraq and Beyond*

“At last there is a book on Darfur that places the conflict in the context
of the new ‘scramble for Africa,’ the contest between the old imperialism of
England and its successors, the US and China. Fake and Funk’s analysis
unmasks the propagandistic deploying of powerful language alleging
‘genocide’ and the ‘world’s worst humanitarian crisis’ in Sudan for its
political advantages to the US and its neglect of the suffering of Darfur’s
victims. When analyzing the politics of the ‘Save Darfur Coalition’ the
journalists-authors work with a scalpel in a refreshing and penetrating
analysis of why the Darfur conflict became the ’cause célèbre,’ when it
should have been the war in Iraq. Activists and astute observers of the
contemporary global political scene will find this scrupulously researched
volume a must read, virtually unique among available works on the subject.”
*–Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor of Anthropology, Rhode Island College,
veteran Sudan researcher*

“For those, like myself, who have long felt both revulsion and confusion by
the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and wished to know more, this is the
perfect handbook. …an objective, dispassionate, meticulously researched
account of the conflict… The authors of Scramble for Africa… startle us with
their documentation of the little known but equally sordid role our own
government has played in Sudan for the past thirty years – suggesting that
our present official “humanitarian concerns” are merely crocodile tears
masking another agenda.”
*–Timothy Kendall, Ph. D., Senior Research Scholar, Dept. of
African-American Studies, Northeastern University and Director of
Archaeological Mission, Jebel Barkal (Karima), Sudan, Sudan Dept. of
Antiquities and Museums (NCAM), Khartoum, Sudan*

“The Scramble for Africa stands against the muck of neo-liberal ideology,
taking us through the Darfur conflict, putting it into history and allowing
us to think of a non-imperialist way to bring peace to a tormented region.
Save Darfur, surely; but as much from Washington as Khartoum, as much from
fantasies of humanitarian intervention as the brutalities of
IMFundamentalism and Islamism.”
*–Vijay Prashad, author, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third
World*

“The Darfur conflict has proven to be intractable, at terrible cost to the
people of that region. There is a crying need for on-going international
activism based on a thorough analysis of Sudan and the role of the US, China
and other states. The Scramble for Africa by Kevin Funk and Steven Fake is a
well-researched, important and progressive contribution in this regard. It
should be widely read, from the White House to the grassroots.”
*–Laurie Nathan, research fellow at the London School of Economics and
member of the African Union mediation team for Darfur in 2005/6*

“This excellent book presents the basic information on the political and
military aspects of the conflict, examines the options from a clear and
transparent ethical position, and presents ways forward with a concern for
broad international implications and concern for the hundreds of thousands
of victims. It is is exactly what is needed and I hope it is very widely
read. I will recommend it to everyone.”
*–Justin Podur, writer and activist*

Top 10 reasons Americans adore Tibet and do not give a shit about Xinjiang

my handsBoth the 8,000,000 Uighurs and 5,400,000 Tibetans have it rough inside China where the Han tend to want to run the entire show, so why do Americans adore the Tibetans but don’t give a shit about the Uighurs? There are more of these ‘oppressed’ Uighurs than ‘oppressed’ Tibetans, are there not? So what gives with America’s fickle liberal set?

#10- The Uighurs tend to run bad Chinese food restaurants.

#9- Uighurs eat camels; Tibetans don’t.

#8- Tibet is a greater high than Xinjiang is, being higher up.

#7- Americans still remember how the Turks whipped TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and hold the Uighurs personally responsible for that, them being a Turkish people and what all.

#6- Borat is friendly guy. Borat hate Uighur people who responsible all wrong in native country bordering China next Kazakhstan.

#5- Tibetans and Americans love a feudal society whereas Uighurs are a nomadic one.

#4- Americans can pronounce Tibet, but cannot say Xinjiang without making the Chinese laugh.

#3- Americans can say Tibetan but cannot pronounce Uighur.

#2- Some few Americans can find Tibet on a map, but none can find Xinjiang.

#1- Tibetans serve a ‘Living God’ while Uighurs only have Mohammad, who we all know is quite dead in Christian eyes.

What is… illegal immigration

uighur
Game show question… ’17 Wee’ gurz is?’
 
Answer- ‘What is US illegal immigration promoted by Republican and Democratic Party politicians alike.’ Judge: Let Chinese Muslims in Gitmo into U.S.

That’s right! Isn’t the Guantanamo concentration camp something that both unconscionable groups fully supported running? Didn’t they support that use of US torture on Pentagon held POWs, illegal detention of them, and what can only be called ultimately illegal immigration of them into this cursed land called America?

The all powerful America, a country which trots itself around the world waving its own flag, wrecking other people’s countries, and then tries to build a wall up to keep its victims out of the US itself. It’s the Department of Pompous, Self Serving Security in Homeland Stupidity.

Let these 17 Chinese citizens in! Maybe they can help educate Americans on why they are hated so?

Obama said The Ukraine not Ukraine tsk

Old map of Empire Russe with Russia and the UkraineOn the subject of spinning the debates…
 
Did you hear about Barack Obama’s horrible gaffe in the first debate?! According to public radio, Obama referred to “The Ukraine” instead of the less diminutive “Ukraine” sans-the. PRI’s The World trotted out tsk-tsks from a Ukrainian-accented expert who derided Obama for his un-PC insensitivity to her country’s post-Soviet independence.

Self-respecting nations don’t require “the” to distinguish them apparently. “The” is only for provinces or regions, the expert explained. The Balkins, the Riviera –I can’t remember her examples. Certainly you wouldn’t say The France, unless you were referring to the ocean liner. How undiplomatic for Obama to malign poor proud “Ukrayina.” The would-be statesman [in evident need of more experience] should come visit, suggested the expert. But the report revealed [Instead] Obama was campaigning in Ohio.

Shall we look into what the Ukrainian expert didn’t explain: why English speakers unconsciously need to add “the” before Ukraine? Is it simply because we used to, when Ukraine was a part of Russia, and then a member of the USSR. But we didn’t say the Georgia, or the Belorusse…

Unless we meant THE Republic of Belarus. But that rule applies to every formal title. Then also we say the United States, we say the UK, and we say the People’s Republic of China. We say the Netherlands, but not the Finland, nor the Afghanistan. We do not add THE to any of the -stan states, which was a Russian suffix meaning “land.” Perhaps as we don’t use THE for nations ending in -land either.

We say the Philippines. We say the the Maldives. There seems to be a pattern related to territories in the plural. So it’s nothing to do with client states but rather collected lands.

As usual, I’ve entertained myself before doing the research.

1. The Ukraine
Is the Ukraine (I can’t help but say it that way) a reference to plural regions? Or is there some other idiomatic pattern which governs usage for English-speakers? The answer turned out to be the former.

Apparentely, Ukrayina is named after the Old East Slavic for “border region.” The Territories of Ukraine were the old Russian empire’s western edge. Perhaps this suggests why Ukrainians want to be considered their own land, and not part of someone else’s.

There, the expert is right. A historically geographical name does not suggest a sovereign nation. The Transvaal, the Yukon, the Sahara, the Midlands on England’s border to Scotland. I think it’s interesting that no US state needs a “the,” compared to their previous incarnations as the Dakota Territories, the Louisiana Purchase, etc.

But to complicate the matter, in the Ukrainian language the word means “country.” Doesn’t it go against their own tongue to eliminate the definite article? To refer to either concept, country or border, requires “the.” At least I know it is so in English. Which is my point here.

Since their independence from the USSR the Ukraine has asserted an identity minus “the.” The distinction is for diplomatic papers. So I’m not sure that international conventions govern how foreign languages bend to suit another’s domestic decree. Germany for example is known by as many names as it has neighbors, and none of them is Deutschland.

How appropriate is it to try to mock Obama for speaking the King’s English, aka English?

Isn’t your interest piqued about other places to which a “the” wants to cling to an earlier vestige? The Ivory Coast would seem to have become an effortless Ivory Coast, maybe because the plurality of “coast” is ambiguous.

2. The Sudan
What about the Sudan versus Sudan? We know it through the English colonials as “the Sudan,” but now the post-colonial English-speaking diplomatic class asserts it’s just Sudan. I can’t help but wonder if there’s some Globalization edict for nation-state nomenclature compliance. Is it for the sake of easier alphabetization?

That reminds me of how China lined up the Olympic participants in the 2008 Opening Ceremonies. Nations were ranked based on how many strokes were required in their Chinese character. American commentators thought viewers would probably consider the order nonsensical. How much sense does it make to require state names to conform to an anglo-file system?

As an aside, is the French “Sud” for South, related to the Arabic “Sudan” for “Blacks?” Both that direction from the then-known world. Not so further aside, the French say “Le Sud” in the same way we use “the” to differentiate the destination from the direction.

In any event, in Arabic, the language of the population of Sudan, the country calls itself “al-Sudan.” Post-9/11 westerners know “al” translates to “the.” That would be Sudan with the “the.”

The specter of world wide depression raises its head

specterWe are so self centered in the US! As our government’s military deficit spending collapses the American capitalist economy we seem to forget that the crisis is a global one now. The Democratic/ Republican team have dragged down the global economy and not just our national one.

Stock markets all across the globe have been crashing due to what is termed in the Big Business press as being a ‘credit crunch’. Look everywhere, whether it be China, Russia, Japan, Iceland, Germany, France, or wherever, and the Almighty Dollar is dragging them all down. Something much more than a ‘credit crunch’ is involved in this international meltdown of the global economy.

Actually, what we are seeing and experiencing is the normal global capitalist economic cycle in motion. The downsides are just not very much fun for most of us, and, in fact, neither are the ‘upturns’ either. There is no such thing as ‘regulated capitalism’ since the regulators always ultimately turn out to be the capitalists regulating themselves, and that is no real regulation at all. There has got to be a better way!

Hang the Wall Street Extortionists!

Extortion is a crime. The only thing we should bring to Wall St. is a gallows. I rarely agree with Joel Stein, but I guess even a broken watch can be right twice a day. The bailout won’t fix anything, it will only transfer the debt from the guilty to the innocent. And that debt is still going to bring down the economy either way. It’s like moving a big pile of radioactive waste from a nuclear power plant, to the grocery store down the street. The power plant’s problem is solved, because now the problem is yours. The only thing a bailout will accomplish is to encourage the guilty to try and get away with it again.

Why is it the Republicans think everthing that happens is an opportunity to help the filthy rich get out of paying their fair share of taxes?

Class War. Bush wants a trillion dollars to hand over to the filthy-rich, but threatens to veto bill that would give a pittance to the poor.

China cuts off US credit line. Today the Great Depression begins.

Bailout deal reached, until McCain arrives and scuttles it so his campaign can have center stage. [video]

McCain lied. He hasn’t suspended anything.

Egomaniac John McCain declares himself winner of debate, before it even occurs.

John McCain, the antibipartisan. Didn’t the last guy also claim to be a uniter, not a divider? And McCain thinks we’ll fall for that again?

AntiChrist to endorse McCain this Sunday. [NYT] Make no mistake about it, this is nothing less than the Dominionist Theofascists challenging the Constitution of the United States for authority over all our lives.

If Palin has “nothing to hide,” then why the big coverup?

Conservative columnist who supported Palin now says Palin should quit campaign.

CNN anchor decries McCain campaign’s sexist treatment of Sarah Palin.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Sept 26 notes, thomasmc.com.

Sarah Palin Church Lady for President!

drill-here-drill-nowI may be too impressionable, but I’ve warmed up to Sarah Palin. For President! The American two-party delusion needs a coup-de-grace, and doesn’t Palin have just authenticity enough to pull the trigger? Assail this logic if you can.

The Democratic Party is already out of the picture. Since reclaiming Congress in 2006 the Dems have shown Americans what they can do. Nothing. Name the issue, whatever their constituents want, the Democrats won’t deliver it. They can’t even commandeer a lead in the polls against the most despised political machine in recent memory. They’ve got a charismatic candidate who can run pirouettes around his opponent, a corrupt, desperate, lying geriatric. But the Dems can’t sway the corporate media from allegiance to the GOP.

How many rotten eggs do you need hatched? The Democrats are already rolling over for 2008 election irregularities. They will give in to Wall Street’s trillion-plus dollar extortion. And they won’t end the war, or stop torture, or defend the Constitution, or impeach genocidal bastards, regardless the public’s outrage. The Democratic Party is a dead lost cause. Dead.

The Republican Party is still kicking -the shit out of us- and they’ve no doubt got plenty left in them. We learned in just the space of a week that the GOP financiers must get their money or they’ll break the economy’s kneecaps. What kind of odds do you want the goons won’t be back for more?

We used to imagine that asset-stripping capitalists knew enough not to kill the golden goose, but maybe we underestimate the standard of living (ours) left to strangle from her.

Republican journeymen such as McCain, Lieberman, Graham, and cronies Paulson et Cheney, won’t stop at extracting your gold fillings. But novitiate Sarah Palin just may have a less developed depth of greed.

I’ve made this mistake before, when I imagined George W. Bush too simple to know that absolute power was his to corrupt. But don’t you have the sense Sarah Palin is the real deal? There’s no Prescott Bush in her bloodline. Palin will loot only as much as she can stash in a Winnebago. Then she’ll apply herself to her spiritual calling. She’s no Tammy Faye. To my mind, Palin’s religiosity is sufficiently extreme to appear genuine.

There may of course remain Halliburton machinations behind Palin’s flirty church lady. But the oligarchs’ growing mendacity, combined with Sarah Palin’s small-minded zealotry, could bring Fascist America beyond the pale. I think the GOP legacy could finally close the book on our nation’s Democracy fable. If we survive it, the Republicans will be gone for good.

I’m with Jacques‘ election 2008 slogan:

GOP IN 2008, GONE FOREVER IN 2012, WORTH THE RISK.

Nestle redoubles effort to kill infants

NestleThe non-food additive Melamine has resurfaced in the Chinese food supply. As if the pet-food adulteration hadn’t been found toxic enough, the inedible petroleum-based ingredient is disabling and killing human infants when used as a protein-measurement booster in their milk. Nothing for Westerners to be concerned about because the dairy brands are safely unknown in our markets, they are Mengniu, Yili and Nestle.

Lack of government regulations makes Chinese products deadly

china industrySo many Americans seem to want to believe that China is a communist country despite the obvious fact that its capitalist economy’s products remain so deadly due to lack of any real government regulation rather than any supposed socialistic government over-regulation.

Its sweatshops are dangerous to the workers, its schools crumble in earthquakes due to shoddy construction, and the products of its factories are dangerous for human use. All are signs of the defects of a totalitarian capitalist economy build without concern for anything other than quick profits. The latest product that the Chinese are producing that is killing people is infant formula with Melamine, the same substance that killed so many pets in the US when imported here. Chinese baby milk scare ‘severe’

The fact that this capitalist dictatorship is presided by one party calling itself ‘communist’ does not mean much. What ever the defects of a past Maoist regime of Stalinist dictatorship, what China has at present is far removed from that. Today, China has become victim of a counter revolution that has industrialized the country through capitalist production, but turned it into a human rights and ecological disaster zone.

What does 9/11 have to do with this?

soldier praying9/11 has become the essential cornerstone of the new fusion of US imperialism, US Christian neo-theocracy, and US racism. God supposedly has chosen a victimized nation to become his Chosen People, etc. and so on. Evil Muslim Arab Devils lurk in the shadows and want the blood of good Christians and their Jewish servants. God Bless America!

Eric and I got a first hand glimpse of this current political theocracy in action at the Colorado Springs municipal government meeting this Tuesday, where 9/11 served to serve up an even bigger than normal dose of Pledge of Allegiance loyalism, pre-meeting prayer, and verbal hypocrisy. They even had a giant harp there on hand to make it all even more heavenly, I guess for the theocrats that run the city government here in the city? It was surreal and I stayed outside in the halls to keep from churning my lunch back up.

Eric proposed that the city look into why it’s police removed him and Peter illegally away from a political activity they and others were protesting, and then later harassed him and Peter legally for several months all in order to finally drop the framed up charges altogether? He linked it to the same sort of abuse of police power used against Democracy Now and Amy Goodman at the Republican Convention.

I used my time to ask that the city council members take their responsibility seriously as government leaders to pass a municipal resolution condemning the federal torture of US government held POWs, their illegal detention for years without charges, and their transport to foreign countries for torture there, too. All I got for my efforts was total silence as Republican Mayor Lionel Rivera chimed in about how he supported these abuses by the US military, while the other city council people sat by stupidly.

These Right Wing Americans, both Democratic and Republican Party leaders, use 9/11 to justify everything these days, no matter how backward and unconnected from 9/11. For example, what does 9/11 have to do with re-arming Georgia or putting missile systems into Poland and The Czech Republic? What does 9/11 have to do with the US government supporting and fomenting civil war in countries as diverse as Pakistan, Bolivia, the Caucasus region, Iran, China, and Ukraine? But 9/11 is the catch word for all of this, as the vacuous Global War on Terrorism forgets to target terrorists at all, but instead moves against everybody, everywhere, and at everytime!

Yes, 9/11 is also the excuse to move against the US population itself, as the stop terrorism line got reduced down to accusing protesters of planning to use urine and shit to terrorize just who at the ruling parties conventions? It doesn’t matter any more just how stupid and illogical and unbelievable all this really is anymore. We’re on Green light, Yellow light, Red light bullshit all the time.

So on this 9/11 worship day, ask yourselves….

Are you still proud to be an American?

If you are, then you are a real nitwit. This country is on the wrong track and you know it!

McCain is just another Cheney puppet

The Republican Cult has ended its convention, the nationalistic furvor was enough to make even a German Nazi blush.
feeding lions to christians
Manchurian Candidate McCain accepted the GOP nomination last night. Gawd help us!

This is “freedom” in the GOP.

Cops beat, torture RNC protesters, and innocent bystanders.

Protesters kidnapped at RNC. And you thought China was different.

Over 800 protesters arrested.

Elistist, indeed. Outfit Cindy McCain wore to RNC cost $300,000, more than most American homes.

Sarah “road to nowhere” Palin

Obama has two dads.

GOP operative had charges against Obama assassination conspirators dropped.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s notes Sept 5, thomasmc.com.