Tag Archives: Colombia

The Colombian government and its US ally ‘negotiate’ a Peace Accord only in complete bad faith

Revolutionary armed forces in Colombia have made Peace with the Colombian government many times, and each time they abandoned armed struggle they were subsequently slaughtered. Now, once again, the biggest of the Left armed groups, the FARC, is trying to negotiate Peace with the Colombian government allied with (and controlled by) the North American gringo government in D.C., having been urged to do so even by people like Hugo Chavez.

The FARC had begun a unilateral cease fire which the government has replied to with only continued bloodshed, even as they go through the motions of showing up for negotiations for a permanent Peace Accord. Is a Peace Accord really even possible with 2 governments, the US and Colombian, that are merely interested in maintaining the total domination of the rich over the poor, FARC? History shows that FARC negotiating peacefully for a permanent Peace with a criminal government of death squads allied with US imperialism really is not truly possible, sadly to say, for the Colombian people. See Colombia forces 'bomb Farc rebels, 20 killed to see how the Colombian government and D.C. have responded to this FARC effort to find a peaceful end to being in permanent armed combat mode.

US gov supported ‘disappearing’ people in Colombia and now runs Mexican ‘drug war’ killings out of Peterson AFB

The US currently intervenes inside Mexico by running Mexico’s ‘drug war’ out of Peterson AFB, located right here in Colorado Springs where NORTHCOM is located. What track record do the US government and military have in their bloody Made-in-the-USA ‘drug wars’ in the Americas? See Killing in The Name of… Death Squads, Murder and U.S. Corruption in Colombia.

Colorado College closes doors on public lecture about Northcom, NORAD & the War on Drugs against Mexican people

COLORADO COLLEGE- Today’s presentation by Brigadier General Daniel Hokanson, on the role of NORAD and NORTHCOM in the War on Drugs on the US-Mexico border was abruptly closed to the public, for reasons not made clear to community members who might have appeared to offer a critical reception. Was it something we said, or didn’t get to say, except through our signs held outside Worner Center? What’s wrong with NORTHCOM & PENTAGON OUT OF COLOMBIA & MEXICO? Who can argue with this arithmetic: CRIMINALIZED + MILITARIZED DRUG WAR = DEATH & TYRANNY? Although I suppose neolibs would deny DRUG WAR IS U.S. EXCUSE TO SUPPRESS REBELLION. Popular with students was: WAR ON DRUG IS AS BOGUS AS WAR ON POVERTY. We’d compare it to the so-called Global War on Terror, but at a neoliberal institution like CC, who knows how that would be interpreted. If I’d been able to ask any question at all, it would have been to the Political Science Department. Why hadn’t they invited a second speaker to offer a corresponding critique of US Latin American policy? Turnout for the talk was sparse, and the sponsoring faculty member expressed his bemusement at our diligence to protest what he thought had been scheduled under the radar. So we beat NORAD at its own game.

They hanged Pinocchio and let Gepetto walk… 12/30/2006

As is so often true in death penalty cases. From 1979 til 1991 he was propped up by mostly the Reagan Regime as a counter to the Iranian revolution. Who are also the chief “witnesses” against him in the matter of killing a few thousand Iraqi citizens. With their active involvement. Their active PAID involvement, because they a) don’t work cheap and b) don’t actually work. “They” being a cast of villains like Reagan, Bush the Elder, Ollie North, the Miami Cuban Cartel, Richard Secord, Donald Rumsfeld, Admiral Poindexter, traitors and murderers all. Selling stolen arms for stolen money and getting Americans killed in the process, like the Marines in Beirut. (Lt Col North, three words, Ollie… Semper… Fi… Bitch)
They got several times as many people killed by their Other Puppets, like the Salvadoran death squads, the Contras, the Medellin Cartel, to bring more people into Capitalist Slavery in the name of “Freedom”.
And they’re still sending their brainless minions to kill for their own profit.
Any of y’all soldiers assigned to read our blog, dudes, get smart and desert. Split, boogie, depart, sortez… Get Out Of The Slaughter Machine. Your Military is owned by the same Rich Bitches who owned Saddam’s Army and financed al Qa’eda. They don’t give a rat’s ass about your lives any more than they did the 2800 they had killed on 9/11 or the 300 Marines they had murdered in Beirut or the uncounted thousands of Nicaraguan priests, nuns, nurses, doctors, teachers, orphan children and other civilians they “liberated” with American-bought bullets to the heads.

They won’t give any more of a damn about your lives than the lives of the Iraqi and Afghan civilians they had you murder. If it comes down to a choice of them facing the hangman themselves or scapegoating you the way they did their Other Puppets, you’ll be stretching the rope.

It’s just the way the coward bitches do business. Ollie North has been rewarded for his selling out “his fellow” Marines by being paid several million dollars a year to LIE for his whoremasters, on a Fox News show. Gunny Bob Newman has a similar Whore deal for much less money on Hate Talk Radio. If either of them were to actually, for the first time in their sorry worthless misspent lives, MAN THE HELL UP AND TELL THE GOD-DAMN TRUTH, they would be sold out the way their Masters sold out Manny Noriega, Saddam Hussein, Osama, the top level financiers of the Medellin Cartel…

Betraying your countrymen and your oaths is Okey Dokey with them, but betraying the Whoremasters isn’t permitted.

My Lai every day

From Wikipedia: The My Lai Massacre (Vietnamese: th?m sát M? Lai [t????m ????t m?? l??j]; English pronunciation: /?mi??la?/ ( listen), also /?mi??le?, ?ma??la?/,[1] Vietnamese: [m??l??j]) was the mass murder of 347–504 unarmed citizens in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, conducted by “Charlie” company, 1st battalion, 20th infantry, 11th infantry brigade, of the Americal Division, United States Army. All of the victims were civilians and most were women, children (including babies), and elderly people. Many of the victims were raped, beaten, tortured, and some of the bodies were found mutilated.[2]
The massacre took place in the hamlets of M? Lai and My Khe of S?n M? village during the Vietnam War.[3][4] While 26 US soldiers were initially charged with criminal offenses for their actions at M? Lai, only 2nd Lt. William Calley, a platoon leader in charlie company, was convicted of killing 22 villagers. Originally given a life sentence, he served three and a half years under house arrest.
When the incident became public knowledge in 1969, it prompted widespread outrage around the world. The massacre also increased domestic opposition to the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Three US servicemen who made an effort to halt the massacre and protect the wounded were later denounced by US Congressmen. They received hate mail, death threats and found mutilated animals on their doorsteps.[5] It would take 30 years before they were honored for their efforts.[6]
The massacre is also known as the ‘S?n M? Massacre’ (Vietnamese: th?m sát S?n M?) or sometimes as the ‘Song M? Massacre.'[7] The US military codeword for the hamlet was Pinkville.[8]”

 
If you only type in My Lai into google search, you’ll also get a bunch of right-wing horse-shit like “Lt Calley was framed” and the chorus that any VietNamese killed in the war were Unlawful Combatants. I used to hear that crap all the time because I lived very near Ft Bliss. I don’t speak much Annamese, the official language of both VietNams, More people spoke French than Annamese anyway. The one word I recognized in that whole descriptor was “sát” which means “kill”.

VietNam is one of the Disunited Nations hacked together to please the European and American and Australian colonialists who claim hegemony over Asia. The non-Annamese tribal people are described by the French term “montagnard” which literally means hillbilly. Much like the terms “pagan” and “heathen” are a Greek and a Gaelic word meaning “somebody who lives so far out in the tall weeds that he’s beyond the bounds of civilization”

The old French word for that is “peasant” and most of the latin languages use the word “paisano”, literally somebody who is property of the aristocracy and bought or inherited or conquered along with the land and animals, domesticated or wild.

The Scots have an ongoing war between the gamekeepers and the poachers, poachers meaning anybody who isn’t the landlord who kills a wild animal bird or fish. All the fish in the streams, etc… belong to the English appointed nobility.

Every tree in the National Forest here belongs to the Timber Companies and if you’re hiking in the National Forest and cross a timber company road you’re “trespassing” on Public Land.

Every drop of oil or scrap of coal belongs to the business partners of the Timber Industry, not just in America but, obviously, in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, the Everglades National Park and here locally in the National Forests and the watersheds which supply the entire western two-thirds of America. They’re even making it a campaign issue and according to some of the (many of) George Bush’s executive orders define anybody who opposes them as Terrorists. So does even the most lenient reading of the USA PATRIOT Act.

They get to poison us and we’re not supposed to object.

That’s the way it was handled in VietNam as well.

And now, Iraq, Afghanistan, the “rebel” occupied regions of Libya, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador… and if the War Pigs division of Corporate America have their way, Cuba and Venezuela will be brought to heel like the Trained Puppy-Dogs who “run” the other Banana Republics… including the state of Colorado… for their Corporate Masters.

The hate-speech against the soldiers who testified and brought the My Lai massacre to light received death threats for years, much the same way the “patriots” give anonymous death threats to those of us who object publicly to their ongoing Terror Campaign in favor of the Corporate Rulers.

Next Sunday they’ll be celebrating a frenzy of hatred against Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics, anybody who “doesn’t fit in” with their picture of “The Real America” as their Spokes-Morons like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and the not a real Joe and not a real Plumber Sam Wurzlbach describe us.

Hatred which somehow justifies bombing the living dogshit out of any country on earth who opposes their Hegemony, who withhold ownership of so much as a gallon of Oil from their Greedy Bloodstained hands.

And somehow justifies killing more Americans every month than the number who died on 9/11 just by steady denial of Health Care.

Actually if they discount the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Taoists, Citizens With Funny Names, Foreign Workers, Atheists, Pagans and Non-People Christians-who-attend-different-churches than the Palinite Terror Regime do, oh, and foreign workers (many of them undocumented and thus they don’t count in the Memorial Crusade Hate-Feasts scheduled for next Sunday and Monday) who died at the Tower Tumbling Down Incident… discounting them would bring the ratio of people who die every month /over/ people who died on 9/11 up to 2/1 or maybe even 3/1. Add in the number of people in foreign lands which didn’t have a single fucking thing to do with 9/11 who die every month and you start to get a 9/11 or at least a My Lai every day.

The Army made a few fundamental changes after My Lai, not saying they don’t still commit massacres, just that they limit the number of witnesses so that they don’t get reported.

Banana Republic Redux

Like the infamous Case Law which decided over a century ago that Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador to be, while still “sovereign” nations, the property of American Banana Companies      And Cocaine, which was legal at the time, and Coffee, and other “strategic resources”. Only this time, the people in the Banana Republic, in this case Colombia, are contesting the Imperial Corporations and their so-called “right” to use private armies to murder private citizens in what is essentially a Puppet Dictatorship.  This could possibly lead somewhere, since the U.S. has shot off all the ammunition the people for generations to come are going to be buying because it was all bought on Credit.There’s a line of creditors waiting outside our Collective Door including Russia, China, Brazil, the European Union and various member states of each entity with everything short of an eviction notice.        “Paw, the Sheriff’s at the door and he’s got a handful of Papers”     

I don’t for a moment believe that any replacement Empire will be better than what is already established, “mejor el diablo que ya tiene, que el Santo desconocido” which is a Spanish saying “Better the devil you know than the Saint you don’t”  which sounds more than a little satanic.        On the other hand, there don’t seem to be many Saints in that growing line of Sheriff’-at-the-door.              Now would be as good a time as any to add the U.S. Military to the list of defendants because, really, they’ve been backing the Banana Companies the same way.  The U.S. Military was used as a private army in a rigged “revolution” in Panama to ensure U.S. Corporations got to build the Panama Canal.  “panama” which at the time was part of Colombia.

When Puppet Dictator and Iran/Contra accomplice Manuel Noriega started making waves about the U.S. Corporate Dictators, his Masters, reneging on the Canal Zone treaty which would have given their Corporate Subsidiary Panama control over the Canal,

The U.S. Corporate Military created a provocation, CLAIMING that a U.S. Serviceman was murdered in the Canal Zone, and, as always, “Sent in the Marines”. to “protect freedom”. Lying sacks of shit they are.

Their sole reason was to rein in a Rogue Puppet who had tried to break his strings. Just like their Puppet Saddam Hussein and the former mercenaries the Taliban, once the Soviet Union was declared dead.

Everything else is just a made-up excuse.

 

Rule of law & American Exceptionalism

The extrem(ist)e lack of the first puts any claim of the latter as the very essence of arrogant falsehood. We’re told that America, and ONLY America, actually deserves to run the entire world because we’re better than them.
What’s that sound? Damn, I just heard every Right Wing Jingoist my-country-right-or-wrong, Love-it-or-leave-it, we’re-fighting-for-your-freedom-of-speech-so-you-better-shut-your-cake-hole-or-we’ll-shut-it-for-you “patriotic” TeaTard Racist closing his mind. They just snapped their minds shut simultaneously. with a deafening roar.
Consider the case of one Luis Posada Carriles
For those of our readers unfamiliar with the Castellano (Spanish) naming scheme, Carriles was his mother’s maiden name. His surname is Posada.
A terrorist paid by the U.S. Regime over decades to murder, to overthrow Democracy wherever it reared its lovely head. His CIA “handler” was one Donald Gregg, an American Coward who paid public money, without public oversight and, like fellow Terrorist George Bush Gregg was recently honored in Colorado Springs. Seems the local “conservatives” can’t get enough of Babykilling Freaks. (They’re hosting Sarah Palin later this month)

So, Colorado Springs and El Paso County show a lot of solidarity with Terrorists like Gregg, and his “asset” Posada. El Paso County Texas too, where the Republican prosecutor, in a show trial, charged this mass murdering TERRORIST with “lying to immigration officials” a charge compared to charging Hitler with Disorderly Conduct and then dropping the charges. I spent more time in the El Paso County Jail for talking back to the PIGS.
Guess if I actually were a murderer or something they would have simply welcomed me to their club. Pigs are like that.
Fellow CIA “assets” handled by Gregg and his friends Rumsfeld, George HW Bush, (before and AFTER he became President in charge of Vice and subsequently Commander in Thief) Ollie North, Richard Secord, a rogues gallery indeed…
But the “assets” list included, until they became too much of an embarrassment, Saddam Hussein, The Medellin Cartel, and Panama Puppet Manuel Noriega.

Their current assets include Nouri al Maliki, Satrap of Baghdad, Mauricio Funes, of the Satrapy El Salvador, Felipe Calderon, Puppet Dictator of Mexico, Eden Pastora, Babykilling Contra leader, Ricardo Martinelli Panamian Sock-puppet, and the list grows longer. Human rights slaughtered right along with the humans who claimed them.
Posada was just one of many, and was charged, and acquitted, in the same El Paso County Texas Kangaroo Court system which acquits cops of murder routinely, and enables the same PIGS to beat, imprison on false charges (automatic conviction in their courts on those charges) and KILL people for the crimes of talking back or wearing a brown skin.

It’s true what they say, Thieves of a Feather, Cowards Run in Packs, and the Counties of El Paso Texas and El Paso Colorado glorify, fund, and enable Terrorist BITCHES like Posada and Gregg and Bush and Palin.

Have a nice babykilling.

How come Pottery Barn rules don’t apply to Haiti?

When Tony posted nearly three years ago (!) about how shocking conditions in Haiti had become, it was a magnet for people saying the starving kids pictures (from Medicins sans frontiers, internationally respected medical aid agency, just not so much here in America) were recycled pictures from Ethiopia 3, 2 and one decade ago.
Then when that was refuted, and before they raised that Stupid Response again, the people of Haiti were blamed for their own misfortunes. As though their LEADERS had actually been empowered by popular vote instead of installed, against the expressed will of the People, by and for the profit of American Corporate Hegemony. Alternating with French Hegemony until the AmeriCorp bought out the French.
We broke it, we supposedly bought it, right? That’s the one of the irRationale for staying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(rationale is both plural and single, I checked, you didn’t, kiss off) Of course, it’s not the American Corporations who are Paying the bills “we” ran up by breaking all the pottery, although they seem to be getting quite a lot of public funding to manipulate the Public Army and the Public intelligence community and the public “rebuilding” campaign, which mostly consists of taking very expensive videos and photographs of Other People moving the shards around.
Much the same way they’re paid to watch and take pictures while other people bury the Dead “shards” in Haiti. Through public funding for their private “efforts”.

Some have seen fit to criticize my frequent use of Capitalization and italics and bold type and ComBinatiOns Of tHem but some people need a little help finding juicy nuggets amidst the kibble. Both are Nourishing Mind Food but the juicy bits are more fun. Sometimes.

Some of the people have difficulty seeing, which is a condition with which I can easily relate. Others are just kind of inured to reading and hearing Bullshit from the likes of Glenn Beck and need a little help finding emphasis in NORMAL thoughts. It’s not that Glenn Beck is mentally defective, it’s what he’s paid to say, in the Corporate anticipation of the Audience being mentally defective.

In a way, though, the situation in Ethiopia and Haiti is the same case, revisited. “Conservative” (their own code word for Racist Right Wing Extremists) Pundits insist that black people are incapable of governing themselves so it’s up to the Great White Father in Washington to guide and assist and let’s face it, outright Rule Over the poor little darkie savages.

But Ethiopia has for several occasions been the richest nation on earth and in cumulative time they managed to do it for longer than the Americas have actually experienced European Rule. Intermittently because the times Ethiopia has been devastatingly poor have been periods of colonial rule. Like the Romans exacting tribute from them, and in the past couple of centuries European and European-American Corporate Rule turning Their nation into Our plantation. Same with Haiti. When the U.S. went to war with Hawaii and deposed their “tyrannical” native government for the crime of taxing American Corporations who “just wanted to bring the glory of Civilization to the Native Darkies” in 1893, and the quickly ensuing War of Conquest based on a fake Terrorist Incident errr… “anti-Imperial war with Spain” at least the Natives of Puerto Rico and Hawaii were eventually given citizenship. Now the government is reneging on the Puerto Rican citizens, all P.R. Citizens now have to exchange their Puerto Rican birth certificates for “valid” ones. What do you want to bet the Tea-Bags and their other Klan Related groups like the Minutemen will be demanding the same of Hawaiian birth certificates? It’s not that they’re “RACIST” in any way, it’s just that Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs and Sarah Palin and the other Right Wing Extremist FREAKS have “proven” that darker skinned people are naturally terrorists.

With Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, las islas filipinas, Ethiopia and other Corporate Plantations with Puppet Regimes masqueraded as “Sovereign” nations, there was no such pretense of offering them full citizenship or even limited citizenship rights.

The Corporate Regime Broke It, so they “bought” it, but they have figured out ways not to actually have to PAY for what they “bought”.

To GOL! or not to GOL! that was the question.

How would it have been played out in the press had the Team America gone on to at least a higher level of victory? We’ve already suffered through an anti-Immigrant slam against major league baseball, with all the appropriate “OUTRAGE! (copyright 1993-2010 Fox News Networks)” about Major League players getting visas and work permits when immigrating from Cuba and (gasp!) Mexico. Not any rage against any favoritism but the fact that people PEOPLE from Cuba and Mexico were given work permits in the first place. How dare they let more of THEM infiltrate America!
Not much crying about the “patriotic” symbolism of some of our best baseball players being from places like Costa Rica.
So how would it play out that a team built on the skills of Immigrants took the U.S. to a World Cup win?

More to the non-point, how will it play out with the loss? Will immigration be blamed or praised? I should remind here, and probably should have much earlier, that somewhere near half, plus or minus a few points, of my own ancestors were immigrants. And that many of the “immigrants” who are taking so much heat from the Racists are actually Native Americans, kicked back and forth even in pre-Columbian times by that old devil Imperialism. Now defined more by arbitrary political boundaries than by any REAL considerations. My sister was born in England, off base and at home, rather than on “U.S. Soil” at the Mendenhall RAFB hospital. U.S. Soil could be and has been defined as ships flying the United States Flag.
The El Paso County (Texas) Hospital District is about a mile and a half north of the Rio Grande, people born there are Citizens of the U.S. regardless of the citizenship of their parents, if an “All American” mother gives birth in a different hospital on the Mexican side of the bridge, the kid is automatically a U.S. citizen because his parents were. The first case scenario scares living Hell out of the Racists, and they complain about it bitterly. The second case scenario is accepted by them as being a matter of Divine Rights possessed by a narrowly defined group of descendants of Immigrants who happen to have English surnames and somewhat lighter skin tones. An “American” citizen couple with the surname Smith would experience less Racist bullcrap getting their kids citizenship determined than an American family whose ancestors were in Texas for thousands of years longer than the Smiths were, but have the surname Gonzalez. But of course, it’s not racist. The Racist Anti-Immigrant Lunatic Fringe insist on that point.

In the recent election cycle, Barack Obama was and still is questioned about his citizenship. Someway, somehow, an American who would have been an American citizen no matter what simply because his mother was a citizen, was involved in an elaborate plot to make it appear as though he had been born in Hawaii.

A point of citizenship that would only make a rat’s ass worth of difference if the child is going to run for President or Vice President of the United States. His principal opponent, John McCain, WAS born offshore only in a (non-colonialist, of course!) narrow strip of land called The Canal Zone which is technically, by treaty, in he nation of Panama. A nation forged like most of the modern Geo-Political definitions of Sovereign nations, by the Corporate Government of the United States and taken away from the Not-As-Equal-In-Sovereignty-to-Britain-and-America nation of Colombia, by a contrived revolution led by U.S. paid mercenaries. Much like Iraq today. Much like the equally contrived U.S. corporate led Revolution against the kingdom of Hawaii at roughly the same time. Or the War Against Imperialism (as practiced by the Spanish) led by the United Imperial States. Which gave us “possessions” such as Puerto Rico.

The day after tomorrow is the final day that current Puerto Rican birth certificates will be recognized.
The challenge to the Citizenship of the Puerto Rican UNITED STATES CITIZENS is of course, not Racism. The Klan-affiliated Anti-Immigrant groups have told us so, and we’re not allowed to challenge their explanation, lest we be accused of equating them with the Klan, even though they have such strong ties with the Klan.

The doctrine of “looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck” is only permitted to be used to describe people on the Left as being Bolshevik, Marxist etc… Not the other way round.

Is the State of Hawaii next on the Racist Hit Parade? Already Arizona has instituted a policy that encourages Racist Profiling wherein anybody with darker brown skin is a “suspect” of violations of Immigration so-called “law”.
Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and even the former Indian Territory (Oklahoma) are considering enacting similar RACIST compacts.
The Arizona Ku Klux Kops are insisting that they would never ever no not once use such a blatantly Racist Law to harass Americans with Spanish Surnames. So do the Texas and Colorado Pigs.

They are, of course, lying through their teeth, but we’re not supposed to say that so I won’t.

I guess, though, that the Racist Decision on Puerto Rican birth certificate challenges will answer the question, Why not give the newly conquered “sovereign” Puppet States of Iraq and Afghanistan the same kind of citizenship that Puerto Ricans got when the Non-Empire conquered their nation.

It also has some extra-ugly connotations for ANYBODY of American citizenship. I was born in KANSAS, man, the so-called Heartland, not far from the geographic center of the “lower 48” United States.
I was informed two years ago that a Kansas birth certificate wasn’t considered a legitimate Citizenship Document by the State of Colorado, for the same “reason” the Puerto Rican birth certificates aren’t.

Colorado, you remember, is one of those states who are contemplating enacting the RACIST racial profiling laws mirroring the Klan-sponsored law in Arizona.

I’ve got my I.D. card ready…

iGOL!
To the U.S. all-immigrant Soccer Team, condolences on losing to a bankrupt third world country with about the smallest percentage of self-defined ethnic Whites in the world. Whatever heat you take from the Fool Brigade, at least you play Futbol better than I do.

Boycott Coca-Cola for India’s water, Colombia’s unions and Israel Apartheid

Subversive mock Coke adOK, it’s a famously discredited fake-ad to slander Coke. They have no plans to rebrand the Dome of the Rock. But Israel may — and Coca-Cola is a sponsor. That’s why Coloradans For Peace are calling to boycott Coke, to stop supporting Israeli Apartheid.
 
There are plenty of reasons to boycott the real thing spreading diabetes. At COP15 the Yes Men targeted Coke for their preposterous “Bottle of Hope” campaign which could only refer to Coke’s hope to green-wash their culpability for depleting water tables and poisoning India and contracting to kill labor organizers in Colombia. Coke is a bad habit.

Since overrunning East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel is trying to settle it in defiance of international sanctions. Israel promises as administrator not to alter the Muslim shrine, but radical Zionists have been making open preparations to restore it as a Jewish temple.

coca-cola kills logoCoke is a corporate underwriter of Israeli expansion into the Palestinian Territories. Their Kiryat Gat bottling plant is built on contested land, and Coke has now invested in the Tavor Winery on Palestinian land.

Boycotting Coke would send a message that the beverage multinational must redress the injustices it perpetuates. Wouldn’t it be an easy thing, really, to pass on all Coca-Cola products? What will you miss?

coca-cola steals world waterThe Yes Men Coke action at COP15 did produce a tongue-in-cheek press conference dubbed Rage Against the Coke Machine, where attendees recited this pledge:

“I, [name], with respect for crimes against people and the planet, from this day forward, for the rest of my living days will never, ever, drink Coca-Cola again until the Coca-Cola company ceases and entirely stops stealing the water from communities in India and stops union-busting in Colombia and ceases and desists entirely from relentless and absurd greenwashing like a ‘bottle of hope.’”

Absent sadly was mention of Coca-Cola’s support of Israeli Apartheid. Let’s put it back!

Social justice, peace and reparations

black is back coalition
Stop U.S. Occupation and War inside U.S. and Abroad! We demand the end of U.S. support for the colonial government of Israel and recognition of all rights of the Palestinian people. We demand the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Middle East. We demand the removal of U.S. troops and contractors from Colombia and an end to counterinsurgent intervention in Venezuela and South America.

Attack Drones: Freedom is so fucked

Armchair freedom fighters like me count on there remaining some parity between the forces of oppression and man’s inexorable drive to be free. Masses can repel the few, nonviolence can shame the hesitant, terrorism can haunt the genteel, IEDs can pick off the occupiers, training can dispatch the sentries, but how to overcome automatons? We’ve confronted impregnable drones in scifi movies, and now such drones have become reality. They’re bits of nothing in the air really, but a literal boatload of firepower has got their back.

The Economist reports that drones can monitor the activity of shoeboxes from an altitude of near-space, beyond the range of an RPG fired from a hot air balloon. A drone’s vulnerability remains its communications channels, but even intercepting those is outside the realm of non-military technology.

While drones reduce the exposure of real soldiers to harm’s way, they increase a military force’s effectiveness. Drones are lauded as cheaper to operate as conventional jet fighters, but in reality their functionality draws on greater resources. The Economist writes of a drone the size of a corporate jet called a Global Hawk, which requires a staff of 20 to 30 to operate. Many more than would be necessary inside a C130 gunship, but of course, almost all of them manning new killing devices.

So long as the empire has an unlimited budget to spend, Freedom Fighters are fucked, and terrorists will be the only recourse. The only target available to the adversary of a drone, is the command center which controls it. Be it in America, or a distant military base, that’s where the enemy will have to strike.

Or the American public will have to renounce the budget which affords this technology.

You may not be bothered by the notion that remote-operated drones can monitor human activities and rain destruction upon them when appropriate. The old, “what have I to fear if I’m doing nothing wrong?” Wait until you are the wrong side of the oppressors. Coca Cola kills union organizers in Colombia. Walmart would probably like to kill you in their parking lot if you are leaving with a shopping cart filled insufficiently relative to you debit card balance. They already know it, but a drone in their hands will give them the ability to find you.

Rock Creek Free Press available in COS

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

Here’s the RCFP transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of my favorite quotations is from Milan Kundera,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

Roberto Arango and Jose, here in Colorado Springs we miss you two guys immensely!

roberto arangoIt has been almost one month since Layla and I returned to Colorado Springs after our vacation in Colombia, and 2 months since we visited the small town located close by the high mountains called El Cocuy. The El Cocuy region is notable because these mountains are much more beautiful and spectacular than those found here in Colorado, and can be reached quite easily from Miami, Florida after a cheapie flight to Bogota and a mere 12 hour bus trip that well may be the most scenic bus ride you will ever go on.

Take all the hiking and mountain climbing equipment you will need because you probably cannot find it there in El Cocuy to purchase or rent. Maybe in the other small town nearby called Guican, though I rather doubt it?

We did not actually go into the highest area where the snow topped mountains are, because we had neither the time, equipment, nor patience to get in. Traveling with my 12 year old daughter, I had to take her needs into account, and climbing the highest mountains just was not what she had in mind at the time. Instead, she wanted to keep traveling with a 19 year British kid named Max, who was on a controlled and packed schedule that involved bussing off as quick as possible to meet up with another acquaintance.

What made the trip to El Cocuy most memorable to me was the hospitality of Roberto Arango and his friend, fellow musician Jose. After we got off the bus to El Cocuy, we managed to stumble across the plaza to an almost abandoned looking building that is in fact Roberto’s home, though he rents off beds to visiting travelers in need of a room for a week or a night. But he did not just rent us a room, but most enthusiastically offered to play us an on-the-spot concert, too! He and Jose were drinking some wine and were playing their songs and they continued playing for us their beautiful music for over an hour plus. You can see Roberto and Jose starting about 3 minutes into this youtube tape Around “El Cocuy” Mountains

Notice the paintings and beautiful garden in the background? Roberto Arango is also a very good painter and these are his works. In addition, he graduated with a degree in horticulture and in the inside plaza of his house was a full grown and beautiful garden! The paintings were way too large for us to cart back to the US, PLUS I was traveling while broke otherwise I might have tried doing just that. They were that good!

If you are interested in going to those high peaks around the area and want to get more info about what they are like, then just search Guican and El Cocuy on youtube to pull up some videos of those who have already done these treks. But for myself, the main reason to go back for me would be to revisit with my good friends, Roberto and Jose. Thanks, Guys, for having made our time spent with you the highlight of our visit to Colombia! Thanks, Roberto, and I hope to visit with you once again. And YES, Jose, your compact disc has been a big hit with my wife as I had thought it would be. She plays it constantly.

Colombia

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA- We went to a fair last night and heard music much like this! Definitely it was the most interesting fair that I have been to in my life! We also took pictures of the Colombian version of the Buckingham Palace guard and us, getting the trooper to smile in full uniform and regalia! There are friendly death squad people here! Que bueno! La Región Andina Colombiana and Colombia: Los Llanos and Llanos Orientales 1 and Ay mi llanura – Colombia

High Country Earth First Denver Meeting

Earth First roadshowHigh Country Earth First is hosting the EF! ROADSHOW, in DENVER, May 25-26: Monday 2pm in Cheesman Park, and Tuesday 6pm at the Gypsy House.
 
Four ongoing EF! projects in Colorado: DENVER: Stop I-70 Expansion through North Denver; SAN LUIS VALLEY: Halt gas drilling in Baca National Wildlife Refuge: and WESTERN SLOPE: Red Cliff mine campaign and Feral Futures (May 24 – June 7).

From “Rockslide,” High Country Earth First!

The need for resistance in solidarity with the wild has never been louder or clearer than it is today; the EF! roadshow is a great tool for growing that resistance. There are countless examples to draw from in the story of radical movements before us: militant labor organizing tours, anti-fascist resistance recruitment and international speaking tours to build cross-border solidarity. The origin of Earth First! itself is credited to a few roadshows that kicked it all off in the early 1980s. We are building on this tradition; akin to a fellowship crossing Middle Earth to amass insurgents to face Mordor head-on.

List-serves and websites aren’t enough
This Roadshow’s primary intention is to strengthen our radical grassroots ecological network. For almost 30 years, we have been an organized voice bridging conservation biology with grassroots community organizing, road blockading and eco-sabotage. In the past 5 years we have seen numbers and experience-level in the EF! movement decline drastically. Yet, our place has never been more urgent. New groups are popping up across the country, but they are detached from many of the groups, history, and skills that came before them. We can’t afford to stumble and make the same mistakes over again.

We are at the tail end of a decade where corporate globalization rooted itself in the US and spread across the planet like a plague. And now that the reality of climate change is finally sinking into the mainstream consciousness, the same superpowers that pushed so-called ‘free trade’ policies to exploit wild nature more efficiently are promoting carbon trading in attempt to make a profitable industry out of the disasters they’ve created. The spineless Big Green environmental NGOs are scrambling for crumbs and cutting deals with the industry for shallow public relations victories. Earth First! must rise and recognize that it’s presence is a strong component of making the broader environmental movement truly effective. We are its spine, or as an EF! co-founder, Howie Wolke, has put it, we are the lions of a movement ‘ecosystem’. Our niche is critical, and its presence (or absence) is felt deeply by our surroundings.

We need to reconnect the multi-generational aspect of Earth First! that has fallen by the wayside in recent years. We need to broaden our network’s base—from radical rural grandparents to revolutionary urban youth. We need re-establish lost relationships with scholars and scientists who resonate with us. We need to re-inspire musicians and artists to contribute their passion to our battles.

When it comes down to it, solid movements are based on strong personal relationships; and real relationships don’t go very far over the internet. We need face-to-face interaction to build trust with—and support for—each other.

From EF! Here is a glimpse of ongoing local and national campaigns and projects related to EF!. They could all use your support in a variety of ways—from fundraising to showing up in person. Please contact the organizing groups directly to find out what they need most:

Northern California Redwood Defense
Since the fall of Maxxam/Pacific Lumber, forest defenders in the Redwoods have been directing attention on another logging empire: Green Diamond Resource Company (formerly Simpson). In the last 10 years they have clear-cut 52,000 acres of Northern California forests. They are killing off endangered Spotted Owls and have aspirations to sell off thousands of acres in Humboldt County for Salmon killing suburban development. We have set up multiple treesit villages to oppose the destruction, and we need your help TODAY.
www.efhumboldt.org

Appalachian Anti-Mountain Top Removal
The presence of coal plants are threats to the lives within both the human community and the mountain ecosystem. One of the most biologically flourishing areas of the world is being environmentally and socially impoverished by companies practicing mountain top removal. Mountain top removal clogs streams, destroys forests, threatens biodiversity and forces coalfield residents into the unjust choice between income and well-being.
www.blueridgeef.com

Stop I-69 in Indiana
I-69 is a NAFTA superhighway, already constructed from Canada to Indianapolis and projected to extend down into Mexico. This highway is intended for the mass transportation of goods and resources, to further exploit workers and the land, and to lessen companies’ accountability in terms of human and environmental rights. In 2008, they began construction of this road through southwestern Indiana, which will evict hundreds of rural families, destroy hundreds of acres of land, and devastate the habitats of countless species of animals, including the endangered Indiana Bat. www.stopi69.wordpress.com

Fight Development in the North Woods of Maine
The largest piece of undeveloped land east of the Mississippi is under attack. Plum Creek, the nation’s largest corporate landowner, is in the process of rezoning 20,000 acres of the Moosehead Lake region in Maine for luxury house and resorts, while trying to balance it off with a fraudulent conservation easement plan. This plan would still allow timber harvesting, commercial water extraction and the building of new infrastructure, among many other ecologically devastating practices. www.maineearthfirst.wordpress.com

Defend the Last Free-Roaming Wild Buffalo in Montana
The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter and harassment of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo. Volunteers from around the world defend buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection. Our daily patrols stand with the buffalo on the ground they choose to be on, and document every move made against them. Tactics range from video documentation to nonviolent civil disobedience. www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

Fight new Copper Mines and Roads in the Deserts of Arizona
Chuk’shon Earth First! is fighting the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains, which is greenwashing itself by claiming a need for increased copper extraction for the solar panel industry. The group is also opposing the expansion of I-10, part of the Department of Transportation’s “Corridors of the Future” program to increase capacity of global industrial commerce. The proposed I-10 Bypass would bisect wild/rural lands and facilitate more sprawl between Tucson and Phoenix. www.chukshonef.wordpress.com

Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project in eastern Oregon
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project (BMBP) formed in 1991 to increase regional and national awareness of the Blue Mountains ecosystems, to ensure the protection for and reintroduction of diverse native wildlife species, to promote ecologically sound restoration and address the root causes of ecological and community instability. They have trained countless EF!ers is forest monitoring. They are one of the country’s premier grassroots ‘paper-wrenchers’, filing legal challenges that help make our blockades successful. They can be reached at 541-385-9167

Stop Florida Power & Light from trashing the Everglades
Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) have been battling FPL’s plans to build the country’s largest fossil fuel power plant in the Loxahatchee Basin; a headwaters to the remaining Everglades ecosystem. EEF! Is also challenging over 500 miles of new gas pipelines and 2 new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. Get more details: www.evergladesearthfirst.org

Stop Gas Drilling in Western New York
There is a proposal on the table to begin one of the largest fossil fuel exploration projects in the country. This project would result hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 emissions, along with the impacts of pipelines, power plants, and new LNG storage facilities. Get in touch with Shale Shock: www.shaleshock.org

Bank of America, Stop Funding Coal!
A national campaign is well underway to stop Bank of America (BoA), who is the largest investor to Mountain Top Removal coal mining. The company recently offered lip-service to address their support for the coal industry, but have made no real steps towards cutting ties with King Coal. With BoA locations in cities across the U.S., this campaign can easily be supported in a decentralized fashion. Give ‘em hell! For more info: www.ran.org

No 2010 Olympics
The Native Youth Movement and other First Nations groups in occupied Canada have called for full-scale resistance to the Winter Olympics proposed in British Colombia. The Olympics proposal includes a mess of development, ski-resorts and infrastructure on indigenous land. Learn more at: www.no2010.com

Root Force
This project is a research database and strategic think tank for direct action intended to target corporate/colonial infrastructure, such as: roads, dams, power plants, and mines. Their website offers background information on transnational companies, government agencies and their local affiliations across the United States. www.rootforce.org

America, Love it or Leave it? Let’s Go!

Bart SimpsonIn about 3 weeks we will be in South America! Anybody I tell that I will be taking my 12 year old with me to Colombia looks at me a little weird like??? That being the case I will let Bart Simpson explain just why we are doing what we are doing? Keep in mind, too, that my daughter goes to District 11 Schools Colorado Springs, which is quite a bit like Bart’s school, Springfield Elementary, Jack. Now check out Bart Dances the Cumbia for some real music and dancing!

Scary what those African rhythms can do to you, eh? I’m looking forward to hearing some good music on this home schooling education-vacation! It’ll be good to get away some from all these Right Wing American twits we have to put up with in our daily lives!

UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

Putting down the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
Wouldn’t you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that any criticism of their actions can simply be dismissed as “anti-Semitic?” Photographs and confessions emerging from the IDF’s atrocities in Gaza just beg comparison the German Einsatzgruppen in Poland. Earlier this year UC Santa Barbara professor William Robinson forwarded an email photo essay to a UCSB listserv, the already much-circulated side by side comparison to the WWII atrocities. Two students complained, plagiarizing stock IDF lingo. Now the Anti-Defamation League wants Robinson to recant. With IDF propagandists pouring on the bullshit, let’s revisit the documents.

As has already been noted, Professor Robinson is a harsh critic of US foreign policy, and already a likely target for the goon squad enforcers of Western Capitalism. Not many of America’s actions are defensible, so Robinson has to be attacked by desperate means. Lucky for the lackey-jackals, Robinson chose to criticize Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians of Gaza. Bingo!

The Israeli propaganda machine has armed aspiring Israel-defenders with a blanket rebuttal: just yell “ANTI-SEMITISM!” And what a load of crap that is. Much turns on the definition of “anti-Semitism.” It packs the punch of meaning someone who hates Jews, but the advocates of Zionism have expanded the definition into 3-D! Zionist apologist Nathan Sharansky has coined the 3D definition of ant-Semitism: demonization of Israel, double standards, and delegitimization. You don’t have to look closely to note that those points outline all the rebuttals of criticisms of Israel and any question of the legitimacy of the Zionist usurpation of Palestine.

The criticisms posed by those concerned for the fate of Gaza are the same expressed by a large portion of the Israeli Jewish population as well. But the US Israeli lobby, militantly Zionist, has the complicity of the US war-mongering corporate media, thus the IDF Megaphone protestations get traction. These are the same cheap shots leveled against Ward Churchill. By flooding the internet to create the sensation that the indignation was shared, the IDF spammers have been successful in slandering these dissenting academics.

Since we’re seeing this technique being slopped unto our comment forums, let’s examine the statement for which Robinson is being attacked. First we’ll present Robinson’s email. The next post will feature the ensuing letters of complaint, two from UCSB students, and third from the ADL.

Original Email
Here is Professor Robinson’s original email, including his attachment of the Judith Stone article. This accompanied the aforementioned photo essay he forwarded.

Subject: [socforum] parallel images of Nazis and Israelis
From: “William I. Robinson” …
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:00:05

If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.

Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.

The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the U.S., a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest, and today arms, trains, and advises military and paramilitary forces in Colombia, one of the world’s worst human rights violators.

Below is an article written by a U.S. Jew and sent to a Jewish newspaper. The editor of the paper was fired for publishing it.

Quest for Justice

By Judith Stone

I am a Jew. I was a participant in the Rally for the Right of Return to Palestine. It was the right thing to do.

I’ve heard about the European holocaust against the Jews since I was a small child. I’ve visited the memorials in Washington, DC and Jerusalem dedicated to Jewish lives lost and I’ve cried at the recognition to what level of atrocity mankind is capable of sinking.

Where are the Jews of conscience? No righteous malice can be held against the survivors of Hitler’s holocaust. These fragments of humanity were in no position to make choices beyond that of personal survival. We must not forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispensation from abiding by the rules of humanity.

“Never again” as a motto, rings hollow when it means “never again to us alone.” My generation was raised being led to believe that the biblical land was a vast desert inhabited by a handful of impoverished Palestinians living with their camels and eking out a living in the sand. The arrival of the Jews was touted as a tremendous benefit to these desert dwellers. Golda Mier even assured us that there “is no Palestinian problem.”

We know now this picture wasn’t as it was painted. Palestine was a land filled with people who called it home. There were thriving towns and villages, schools and hospitals. There were Jews, Christians and Muslims. In fact, prior to the occupation, Jews represented a mere 7 percent of the population and owned 3 percent of the land.

Taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the very people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of others. These people knew what it felt like to be ordered out of your home at gun point and forced to march into the night to unknown destinations or face execution on the spot. The people who displaced the Palestinians knew first hand what it means to watch your home in flames, to surrender everything dear to your heart at a moment’s notice. Bulldozers leveled hundreds of villages, along with the remains of the village inhabitants, the old and the young. This was nothing new to the world.

Poland is a vast graveyard of the Jews of Europe. Israel is the final resting place of the massacred Palestinian people. A short distance from the memorial to the Jewish children lost to the holocaust in Europe there is a leveled parking lot. Under this parking lot is what’s left of a once flourishing village and the bodies of men, women and children whose only crime was taking up needed space and not leaving graciously. This particular burial marker reads: “Public Parking”.

I’ve talked with Palestinians. I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn’t lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison. Time and time again, Israel is cited for human rights violations to no avail. On a recent trip to Israel, I visited the refugee camps inhabited by a people who have waited 52 years in these ‘temporary’ camps to go home. Every Palestinian grandparent can tell you the name of their village, their street, and where the olive trees were planted. Their grandchildren may never have been home, but they can tell you where their great-grandfather lies buried and where the village well stood. The press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But, the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist.

Two years ago I drove through Palestine and watched intricate sprinkler systems watering lush green lawns of Zionist settlers in their new condominium complexes, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire in the midst of a Palestinian community where there was not adequate water to drink and the surrounding fields were sandy and dry. University professor Moshe Zimmerman reported in the Jerusalem Post (April 30, 1995), “The Jewish children of Hebron are just like Hitler’s youth.”

We Jews are suing for restitution, lost wages, compensation for homes, land, slave labor and back wages in Europe. Am I a traitor of a Jew for supporting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their birthplace and compensation for what was taken that cannot be returned?

The Jewish dead cannot be brought back to life and neither can the Palestinian massacred be resurrected. David Ben Gurion said, “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves…politically, we are the aggressors and they defend themselves…The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country…”

Palestine is a land that has been occupied and emptied of its people. It’s cultural and physical landmarks have been obliterated and replaced by tidy Hebrew signs. The history of a people was the first thing eradicated by the occupiers. The history of the indigenous people has been all but eradicated as though they never existed. And all this has been hailed by the world as a miraculous act of G-d. We must recognize that Israel’s existence is not even a question of legality so much as it is an illegal fait accompli realized through the use of force while supported by the Western powers. The UN missions directed at Israel in attempting to correct its violations of have thus far been futile.

In Hertzl’s “The Jewish State,” the father of Zionism said, “…We must investigate and take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every modern expedient.” I guess I agree with Ehud Barak (3 June 1998) when he said, “If I were a Palestinian, I’d also join a terror group.” I’d go a step further perhaps. Rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I’d hurtle a boulder.

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d’s restitution of the holy land to it’s rightful owners. We know that a human atrocity was and continues to be perpetuated against an innocent people who couldn’t come up with the arms and money to defend themselves against the western powers bent upon their demise as a people.

We cannot continue to say, “But what were we to do?” Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism. I wholly support the rally of the right of return of the Palestinian people.

A flu by any other name would smell as

Killer Cola in ColombiaHearing policy makers scramble to buffer the US pork industry, such as Smithfield Foods et al, from being unfairly tainted by the name “Swine Flu” (because of course you don’t catch Swine Flu from eating their hogs) reminded me of the Killer Coke appellation. Just because it doesn’t kill YOU, is that a reason to let a homicidal operation off the hook?

Coca-cola was assassinating labor leaders in Colombia, by the multiple dozen. Boycotts were organized to bring international pressure on the company. Since then, Coca-Cola has been accused of sundry other crimes, for one, depleting water tables in India and driving farmers to ruin. Coke is a murderous enterprise.

And then of course, to add the final dimension: their syrup water does kill you, plain and simple.

Coca Cola is dangerous to the health of ColombiansSo is it right that the corporate pork industry which creates such environmental damage, which looks to have brewed the recent Swine Flu epidemic, should not be implicated by the un-happenstance of the name Swine Flu?

How long can the US and Mexico militarily occupy Ciudad Juarez?

Felipe CalderonCiudad Juarez is a city of 1,500,000 plus people directly opposite El Paso, Texas, and Presidente Fecal Calderon and his Gringo manager, US President Barack Obama, have occupied the city with 10,000 Mexican troops. In short, this is where and what the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ has ‘retreated’ to.

Sure military pacification works short term but not long term, as the examples of Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Gaza so poignantly illustrate. So what happens when the troops are withdrawn, and they eventually must be? What happens then? See An Army Takeover Quells Violence in Mexico/ Drug Killings in Juarez Plummet, but Rights Complaints Surge

My guess is that they move on and occupy with troops yet other major cities in the years ahead. And eventually… voila! we have a situation much like that of Colombia. In other words, ‘the solution’ becomes the bigger problem.

Gore says 2009 is Turning Point in Environment Battle- Isn’t that a bunch of complete nonsense?

al gore aglowThe DP liberals over at the Common Dreams website are out there pushing Al Gore dope off on us once again.

To the liberal ‘Peace’crat voter, somehow they have remade in their own minds Al Gore out to be the MAX ‘Green’, who is then made to stand alongside that MAX ‘Peacenic’, Jimmy ‘Peanut Butter’ Carter, always the two out under the spotlight as neo Democratic Party Saints!

Here it is then… Gore: 2009 Turning Point in Environment Battle …WTF? Not hardly, Al. Not even by a long shot! What a dope! And what a Democratic Party hack!

If you’re not on CD’s no fly shun list feel free to write them about pee GREEN Al. I did, and my comment is listed at #5 on the list of comments. I wonder if it will be removed? (I’m hoping that CD has gotten away from that sort of thing though???)

Just in case, here below are my remarks about Al Gore there.
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Gore, wasn’t he the ‘environmentalist’ who administered 8 years of economic war against the children of Iraq? YES! Now I remember him! He also began the fencing off and militarization of The Border between the US and Mexico, too. He is some sort of Green for sure! He and his Administration friends, Silvestre Reyes and Madelyn Albright.

Wait, something about oil in Colombia, too? And here’s Al in March this year…

‘I’m not a reflexive opponent of nuclear. I used to be enthusiastic about it, but I’m now sceptical about it.’

Well, YES, Al! My you’ve changed! Or have you really?

‘Yes, there is [more appetite for nuclear power now]. And because of the carbon crisis there will be more nuclear plants built and some of those being retired will be replaced by others. I think it will play a somewhat larger role, but it will not be the main option chosen.’

YES, such scepticism!

‘. People have said for years that there are now completely different [nuclear] technologies. OK, but if you have a team of scientists that can build a reactor, and you’re a dictator, you can make them work at night to build a nuclear weapon. That’s what’s happened in North Korea and Iran. And in Libya before they gave it up. So the idea of, say, Chad, Burma, and Sudan having lots of nuclear reactors is insane and it’s not going to happen.’

Let’s go to war, Gore! It’s the ‘green’ thing to do and now I see what a great environmentalist you are! You’re against nuclear power in Iran and Chad and Burma! Of course, but here it will be an option, but just maybe not ‘the major option’?

(Remarks taken from a Leo Hickman interview with Gore for the UK Guardian)
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And a final comment about Al Gore not put on CD just yet from The Tennessee Center for policy Research a comment titled

Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use Is His Own “Inconvenient Truth”
Gore’s home uses more than 20 times the national average

He says he’s fixed all that up though, using his own company, Generation Investment Management. He hopes to turn a nice profit in the eco- Business World while saving the planet for the Democratic Party!

Summer Peace Camp versus a Colombian Caribbean Vacation?

Medellin
As usual, with summer coming up, my little girl wanted to know just how mad at her about her …uh… behaviors over the Winter I really was? She knows that if I had got really upset at her, I would be planning on sending her off to Vacation Bible School, otherwise known in our weird circles as the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission Summer Peace Camp. There she could learn about the cleansing effects of ‘non-violence’ as taught to her by some PPJPC version of ‘Mother Angelica’.

Too, she was really getting worried about being bored this summer and was not looking to going off to the family farm located right next to the Zetas’ paintball playground at Presa Marte Gomez, Tamaulipas and staring at the adobe (plaster) walls. So one night, as she watched Johnny Depp pirate around, I suggested maybe we too could go to Pirate Land- Cartagena, Colombia this summer, and fight crocodiles or something? So I said to her,

‘How about a vacation in Colombia this summer? There’s lots of family things to do down there!’

Her response to me was,

‘Sure, why not?’

That’s what I love about kids these days, they simply are open to anything. I told her then that if we do go to Colombia and live with the Caribbean Pirates that she would have to live off fried ants and guinea pig (cuy), since that’s all those poor people have to eat. That and aguardiente.

It just so happens that she has a boyfriend from Colombia who is a Pastuzo (Texas Aggie of Colombia) and that he has eaten cuy and says it is muy rico! The fried ants she kind of balks at though, but still, she was sufficiently excited at the thought of leaving the USA, that she had me rush off and buy us both one way tickets to Bogota! America, love it or leave it!

And that’s how it is that at long last, I will get to go on my Caribbean Vacation, that’s if we don’t spend too much time in the beautiful city of Eternal Spring, Medellin? I’m definitely looking forward to staying on for the Flower Festival there in early August!… Plus, you can simply just get lost in sightseeing in this under-appreciated city!

That’s Medellin in the picture above. It’s a Colombia emerald, a Colombia orchid, and a Colombian museo de oro… all rolled up into one! Honestly, it really does look like a nice place to spend some time on a family vacation. I’ll let you know how it works out! And then, there is always Mompox!

“As they sailed down to the coast the river had grown more vast and solemn, like a swamp with no beginning or end, and the heat was so dense you could touch it with your hands.”

from Gabriel Garcia Marquez – The General in His Labyrinth

General Simon Bolivar was headed to Mompox… As for us, when I have told people that we are headed for a vacation in Colombia this year, they look at me as if I had just told them I’m flying for Alpha Centauri instead. Oh well… But Mompox does sound like a rather relaxing place o me, though maybe the climate’s not quite right?