Tag Archives: Mahatma Gandhi

First they ignore you then they laugh at you, Oakland’s got no further than that.

The brutality of the Oakland Police against #OccupyOakland and Iraq vet Scott Olsen is prompting many to measure their eminent victory with ol’ Gandhi’s hopeful adage: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Apparently we’ve reached the fight stage. Yeah no. Sorry folks but teargas and nonlethal measures while dressed in riot gear is still the LAUGH AT YOU stage. You’ll recognize FIGHTING. It’s what America does to everywhere.

Which was more awesome: power of nonviolence, or right of self-defense?

IDF raid on Mavi Marmara, Freedom Flotilla
Give praise to Allah where praise is due
 
As the Freedom Flotilla made its slow approach last week, a popular Huffpo article pronounced the convoy a testament to the awesome power of nonviolence. That sentiment went about as viral as activist-geeks can get. But the blockade running denouement proved something of the opposite, didn’t it? I hope the sanctimonious pacifist will be brave enough to admit it. The Muslim Brotherhood bravely charging the Israeli navy was surely the definition of martyr, if anyone has ever earned it. Without pushing the IDF to bare its authoritarian fangs, there would have been no story, no outrage, the end. An entirely compliant convoy would have been led by the nose to Ashdod and diplomatic compromise. Neither Gandhi nor King nor Mandela gained without a massacre they didn’t provoke. It’s a slander to their legacy that nonviolent movements have been co-opted by religious purists who subordinate social justice to self-fulfilment, generally in the guise of your post-earthly reward. Labor organizers used to curse the industrialists’ first line of union busters, the churches which practiced appeasement and promised “pie in the sky when you die, by and by.”

We may view and review the IDF night vision tapes which recorded the hardly nonviolent reception given Israel’s would-be swashbuckling commandos. Those convoy defenders delivering the first blows may appear to be having way too much fun for our sense of propriety. But it’s hard to begrudge men who’ve suffered under the Israeli boot, perhaps even Israeli torture, who’ve never gotten closer to their oppressors than an Israeli sniper’s range would allow. Perhaps they have loved ones to avenge, or ideals higher than secular humanists can credit. Whatever hatred or anger, the bravery it took to lift metal pipes against modern firepower is undeniable. And just like the stone-throwers of their youth, this is the indomitable spirit that buoys their survival. Without this fight, their numbers would entropy to servitude and attrition, lifeless bodies suspended on their invader’s web, to feed the occupier’s young until they are gone.

From our church pews and academic perches we can supplicate they heed the road most honorably traveled. What do Westerners know of pragmatics? At best our reality is theoretical. Really, who are we, we are always wrong. We can neither elect presidents who matter, nor pass legislation that does not agree with our corporate landlords. And we presume to advise on struggles that mean life and death.

Am I saying that there is no efficacy to nonviolent action? Not at all. But I do say, give human nature and righteous anger its due. Nonviolent passivity is for sheep. It will lead us all to an unceremonious death. Wolves count on sheep that don’t bite back. If humans can be divided between wolves and sheep, be upfront with the sheep and perhaps you’ll rouse in some of them a wolf’s courage. That is what will lift your collective humanity.

At this moment a second wave of the Freedom Flotilla is poised to make a second go at Gaza. The MV Rachel Corrie waits in mid Mediterranean for reinforcements to join it, whereupon it too will push Israel’s buttons. Rumors are already circulating that a diplomatic compromise may already have been reached to divert the aid supplies through Egypt. Of course that rumor was spread about the recent flotilla. From the horses mouth however, the Rachel Corrie crew are expressing the desire to avoid a similar disaster, they vow to sit peaceably with arms raised lest IDF interlopers mistake resistance.

This may be the false pacifist bluster that led Israel to underestimate the fighting spirit of the Mavi Marmara’s above deck. Or it may be genuine. Which Israeli game theorists will be eager to plug and play. The MV Rachel Corrie wheelhouse will be handed to the IDF just as a harbor pilot boards to guide a ship into port, IDF gunboats serving as tugboats, aid supplies unloaded at Ashdod, then transferred through an approved border crossing with as much fanfare as collaboration with occupiers will garner. Humanitarian relief delivered but no blockade breached. A Pyrrhic victory that means private interests will forever subsidize the bill which Israel owes.

I have more faith than that in the Free Gaza Movement, they’ve played their cards superbly, if of course lacking the visual aids which it would seem would greatly enliven media coverage. But I’m second guessing there too. Perhaps an imagined picture is better than the reality mundane. The public knows enough about what happened on the Mavi Marmara with just a sliver of video coverage. Even with IDF fine-tuned selective snippets, the public imagination can run with the truth. And organizers are not at liberty to praise the Marmara martyrs. So I will.

I was dismayed when heard on the Marmara’s last video stream, someone pleading with the “brotherhood” to cease their resistance because the activists were facing live ammunition. The admonition was in English, meaning most of the brotherhood would not understand it anyway. If you watched the continuous broadcast, it was almost exclusively in Turkish, suited to its main audience in Turkey. When participants wanted to testify in another language, many onscreen slunk their shoulders until the Turkish was back. Bilingual announcers who asked the hosts which language they should speak were always advised against English. So when the final plea was made to the “brotherhood,” the language seemed deliberately aimed at the Western viewer, a telltale conceit that would bolster Israel’s version of events.

For the most part, what Israel says happened is what happened, to the most significant degree. A lot of damning gunfire may have been omitted from the IDF tapes volunteered to skew public perception, but what pretext more did the brotherhood need to defend the ship against the surprise nocturnal invaders? None.

Just as Israel insists on its right to defend itself, it can hardly deny the convoy the same right.

What is utterly clear is that the Muslim brotherhood didn’t raise its arms chanting Kumbaya, neither did they lock arms to be trampled afoot. As the Israeli special-ops came down from the helicopters, the brotherhood gave them their best wallops. They had no guns, nor swords nor explosives nor booby-traps. They showed amazing restraint for the anger they carried. Yet in the face of overwhelming firepower they ran straight forward, some of them armed only with a plastic chair. I had practically to sympathize with the soldiers coming one at a time down the ropes. That brave first one certainly caught the brunt of a violent ride. Only an inhumanly ardent partisan could not feel pain for that solitary first Israeli battered like a rag doll. We are certainly never treated to videos which have shown that IDF soldiers might feel the pangs in the face of what the violence they are committing.

Cuba declines OAS offer of Trojan Horse

Over US objections, the Organization of American States (OAS, OEA) voted to invite Cuba back into the fold, from which it had been expelled in 1962 for hanging with Communists. Cuba’s reply? No thanks! Although Cuba’s acceptance by fellow nations was hailed a victory, Fidel Castro wrote: “It is naive to think that the good intentions of one president justifies the existence of a body that… supported… neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises.”

In an essay published the day before Cuba’s official repudiation of the offer to recommit to the OAS, Fidel Castro recalled a lesson from the siege of Troy. Castro was reported widely as having called the OAS a “U.S. Trojan horse.” In reality, Castro blamed the OAS for having “opened the gates” to the Trojan horse of US post-colonial despotism.

The Trojan horse

RAFAEL Correa, president of Ecuador, currently visiting Honduras, stated the day before the OAS meeting: “I believe that the OAS has lost its raison d’être, maybe it never had a raison d’être.” The news, circulated by ANSA, adds that Correa, “prophesized ‘the demise’ of that organization given the many errors it has committed.”

He affirmed “that the countries of the American continent, given their geographic conditions, cannot all be put ‘in the same basket.’ And for that reason Ecuador proposed some months back the creation of the Organization of Latin American States.

“’It is not possible for the region’s problems to be discussed in Washington; let us construct something of our own, without countries alien to our culture, our values, and obviously including countries that were inexplicably separated from the inter-American system, and I am referring to the concrete case of Cuba… that was a tremendous shame and demonstrates the double standards that exist in international relations.’” On his arrival in Honduras, both President Zelaya and Correa stated that “The OAS must be reformed and reincorporate Cuba; if not, it will have to disappear.”

Another cable from the DPA news agency affirms:

“Cuba’s reintegration in the Organization of American States (OAS) has moved from being an issue per se of the organization’s General Assembly in Honduran San Pedro Sula, to once again being turned into an excuse for a struggle of interests that goes much further than the limits of the Caribbean island and could (once again) call hemispheric relations into question.

“The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, made that very clear on describing the hemispheric meeting that begins this Tuesday in Honduras in quasi military terms.

“It will be,” he said, an ‘interesting battle’ in which if it is demonstrated that the OAS ‘continues being a ministry of the colonies’ that is not transformed in order ‘to subordinate itself to the will of the governments comprising it,’ it will be necessary to propose ‘leaving’ the organization and creating an alternative.”

“’Latin American countries are making Cuba the litmus test for the quality of the Obama administration’s approach to Latin America,” Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations, told The Washington Post on the eve of the Honduran meeting.”

In resisting the aggressions of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, our people fought for the other sister peoples of this continent. The OAS was an accomplice of all the crimes committed against Cuba.

At one moment or another, the totality of the countries of Latin America were victims of interventions and political and economic aggression. There is not one single one that can deny that. It is naive to believe that the good intentions of a president of the United States can justify the existence of that institution that opened the gates to the Trojan horse that backed the Summits of the Americas, neoliberalism, drug trafficking, military bases and economic crises. Ignorance, underdevelopment, economic dependence, poverty, the forced return of those who emigrate in search of work, the brain drain, and even the sophisticated weapons of organized crime were the consequences of interventions and plundering proceeding from the North. Cuba, a little country, has demonstrated that it can resist the blockade and advance in many fields, and even cooperate with other countries.

Today’s speech by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at the OAS General Assembly, contains principles that could go down in history. He said admirable things of his own country. I will confine myself to what he stated on Cuba.

“…In the Assembly of the Organization of American States that begins today in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, we must initiate the process of wise rectifications of old errors committed.

“We, the Latin Americans who were recently here, a couple of weeks or months ago, had a grand summit within the Rio Group in Salvador de Bahía, Brazil. There we made a commitment. The commitment, which was taken down in writing and unanimously by all of Latin America, is that in this San Pedro assembly, by majority vote or consensus, that old and worn error committed in 1962 of expelling the Cuban people from this organization would have to be amended.

“We must not go from this assembly, my dear dignitaries, without repealing the decree of that 8th meeting which sanctioned an entire people for having proclaimed socialist ideas and principles, principles now practiced in all parts of the world, including the United States and Europe (Applause). Today, principles of seeking different development alternatives are evident precisely in the change that there has been in the United States with the election of President Barack Obama…

“We cannot go from this assembly without making amends for that error and that infamy because, on the basis of this Organization of American States resolution, in existence for more than four decades, an unjust and useless blockade has been maintained against this sister people of Cuba, precisely because none of its aims have been achieved, but what it has demonstrated is that here, a few kilometers from our country, on a little island, there is a people prepared to resist and to make sacrifices for their independence and sovereignty.

“… not doing so would make us accomplices of a 1962 resolution to expel a state from the Organization of American States simple because it has other ideas, other thoughts, and proclaims principles of a different democracy. And we are not going to be accomplices of that.

“…We cannot go from this assembly without repealing what was enacted in that epoch.

“An exceptional Honduran, called in our country – and one of our national heroes – José Cecilio del Valle, the sage Valle, stated on April 17, 1826, in his famous article ‘Sovereignty and non-intervention’ – we had just proclaimed our independence from the Spanish kingdom – “’The nations of the world are independent and sovereign. Whatever its territorial extension or number of inhabitants might have been, a nation must treat others with the same treatment that it desires to receive from these. A nation does not have the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another nation.’”

With those words of Cecilio del Valle and the mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Morazán, Martí, Sandino and Bolívar, he concluded his speech.

A few minutes later, at the press conference after the opening of the Assembly, he responded to questions and reiterated principles. Then he gave the floor to Daniel Ortega, who was the author of one of the most profound and well-argued papers at the OAS Assembly. At Zelaya’s invitation, Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay, and Rigoberto Menchú also spoke, expressing themselves in terms similar to Zelaya and Daniel.

The Assembly has been debating for hours. As I am concluding this Reflection, almost at nightfall, there is still no news of the decision. It is known that Zelaya’s speech was influential. Chávez is talking with [Venezuelan Foreign Minister] Maduro and urging him to firmly maintain that no resolution can be admitted that conditions the repeal of the unjust sanction against Cuba. Never has such rebellion been seen. Without any doubt, the battle is a hard one. Many countries are dependent on the index finger of one hand of the government of the United States pointing at the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank or in any other direction for punishing rebelliousness. Having waged it is already a feat in itself on the part of the most rebellious. June 2, 2009 will be recalled by future generations.

Cuba is not an enemy of peace, nor reluctant to interchange or cooperation among countries of distinct political systems, but has been and always will be intransigent in the defense of its principles.

Fidel Castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz – June 2, 2009

Singing a song of angry men

Citizens of France rise against the will of the absolute monarchDo you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums,
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.

If you search online for Les Miserables lyrics, strangely you find only the first stanza of DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING, repeated three times. The other refrains are in the Finale. Have a read.

Have Gandhi or Mandela or MLK or His Holiness the Dalai Lama, delivered anyone yet from impoverished misery, persecution, or captive servitude to the idle rich? When you want to put your fate into your own hands, maybe it’s going to take guts.

Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums,
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!

Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!

Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance?
Some will fall and some will live, will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France!

Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light.
Oer the wretched of the Earth there is a flame than never dies.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord.
They will walk behind the plowshare, they will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing? Say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes.

Gandhi possessions safe from defilement

gandhi possessionsThe iconic personal possessions of Mahatma Gandhi were auctioned this week, and will remain in India. Gandhi’s poverty may have been largely symbolic, but his bowl and sandals remain unimpeachable representations of his ideals.
If there’s an upside to the banking collapse, it’s that some Wall Street or London financier was not able to purchase Mohandas’ bowl for the sole purpose of taking a shit in it.

Zionism is Nazism with a yarmulke

Israel plans propaganda offensive, to convince the world that they were the victims of the Gaza genocide!

Visualize Nuremberg. Israel warns top military officers not to travel abroad, as they might be subject to arrest for war crimes and crimes against humanity over the genocide in Gaza.

NeoNazi Zionist rally in NYC calls for “wiping out” the Palestinian people. The only real difference between Israel and Nazi Germany, is Nazi Germany only lasted 12 years.

Should the US Pull the Plug on Israel? by Chuck Spinney

They hanged Mussolini, didn’t they? If Obama ignores the crimes of the past, the GOP will just repeat them in 8 years. [video]

“An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

I was tempted to headline today’s page with WE SURVIVED GEORGE W. BUSH, but sadly there are all too many of us just barely hanging on. How many of us will survive the disastrous course of the Bush administration remains to be seen. I’m cynical about Obama (having once been fooled into believing in Bill Clinton), but secretly I do desperately hope that he can change American politics.

w-years-comic

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Jan 20 notes, thomasmc.com.

Indian elephants fail to apply Gandhi’s theories of peaceful resistance

elephant friendOK, this is a gratuitous commentary but don’t blame me for it, since I’ve merely overdosed on the religion from the Colorado Springs Justice and Peace Commission, a group supposedly dedicated to fighting US war making and not just for going to some sort of New Age Church on off days of the week. Wild elephants kill 3 in northeast India

Pacifists always are counselling others on non-violence, but rarely are under any direct attack of their own that they have to defend against. However, elephants are in a different situation and react normally rather than spiritually as Jesus perhaps would have done. Of course, stories have it that in the Temple he did not act nonviolently either? But that’s just the Bible so what do they really know about Jesus anyway?

Actually, most American pacifists I have known think that Jesus would merely have voted for the Democratic Party ticket if Jesus were to return as an American. When you see those morph computer images of ‘Barack Lincoln’, we should realize that Lincoln is just a stand-in for Jesus and/ or Gandhi here. It is against the Christian religion to morph Jesus with people like Barack, just like Muslims don’t allow pictures of Mohammed to be waved around to all. So Barack Obama morphed with Lincoln is allowed though, so they went with that. I’d rather see a herd of Indian elephants show up at the Grand Inauguration this Tuesday though, and resist in the manner they know how to do so well.

Will the Biden-Obama plan to ethnically divide Iraq into 3 parts lead to peace?

obama-bidenJoseph Biden is a long time proponent of creating 3 separate ethnic enclaves in Iraq so that the Pentagon can better dictate Iraq’s future. Essentially, Joe Biden is the actual architect of current Bush Administration strategy in Iraq, which is based on ethnic cleansing and separation. See the report US Senate votes to divide Iraq for a peek into the background information about this.

The Democratic Party controlled US Antiwar Movement has been in a long hibernation away from doing any sort of mass protests against the US-Iraq War and Occupation by Pentagon troops, simply because the Democratic Party has been directing the strategy of the US troops for some time now and there is no plan by their Big Shots to basically change anything that was previously worked out with the Republican Party in this strategy currently being used. The strategy has bipartisan accord going for it and the Iraqi people themselves working against it. In short, it’s doomed to failure.

The problem facing US antiwar activists today is how to break the grip the Democratic Party has on this movement? The American public itself does not see the connection between their own bleak economic fate from the pending economic collapse, and the continued US occupation of Iraq, and has opted out to do just about basically nothing as it puts its faith almost entirely into accepting the empty sloganeering that the Obama Campaign used to get the Democratic Party Establishment back into the White House. It has not registered on most American’s minds that military deficit spending is the foundation of corruption that the entire US economy is structured on.

The long term prognosis for the Biden strategy of maintaining US government control over the fates of the people of Iraq is bound to produce a horrible collapse into total chaos and disintegration for the entire region, not that either the Democratic Party Big Shots nor their more local ‘PEACE’ underlings really care much at all about any of this. They will merely wring their hands and absolve themselves of all responsibility for the final meltdown when it eventually occurs, even as they will cast blame onto the supposed ‘violence’ of the Iraqi people themselves.

One can already begin to imagine the recriminations of the US religious Left, pacifist DP voters as they will lament about the lack of Gandhian methodology used by ‘the others’, the Iraqi people. They will pray on the matter and then will continue to go on about their business of getting more Democrats into office. The Iraqis will be left inside a totally decimated country left in shambles. Those of us outside this mind frame owe the people of the world to do the best we can in opposing the complicity of our own US liberals in the destruction of Planet Earth, the US economy, and the Middle East. We will have to work against these people even as we will try to find ways to work alongside them, if they will do anything very constructive at all? One thing is for sure, right now they have entirely dropped the ball on concretely opposing the bipartisan US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, they have helped put Joseph Biden into a higher office within the US government.

For more information about the Biden Plan for continued US control over Iraq see Mother Jones in its August, 2008 issue
Partition in Iraq: A Serious Problem With Biden as VP?

American death squads and torture in Somalia

somaliaWhy are Americans so uninterested in what their government does in their name in Somalia? We certainly have shit loads of good liberal folk running around in circles demanding that the US government intervene militarily in Sudan, do we not? But we have a virtually total silence about what the US is doing to the Somali people. More blowback from the war on terror Why is that?

One local example is how the church folk over at the Colorado Springs so-called Justice and Peace Center have never shown any signs of interest in helping fight to stop this US war which is becoming genocidal in nature. It’s off their hypocritical lips altogether. They just received a $1600 grant from a local church, but don’t look to see any of that money put to uncovering the plight of Somalians for people here in Colorado Springs. It will all go to talking about their supposed commitment to ‘non-violence’ and love of Gandhi. Wonder if they would act the same if they were Somalians in their US-Ethiopian invaded Homeland? One rather doubts it.

Here are pictures of All American troops in Somali, in an all Black country, fucking it all up. Now the US government has Black African mercenaries doing most of the dirty work for them.

Lack of democracy in the PPJPC should not hide behind religiosity

Two PPJPC board members, Genie Durland and Dorothy Schlaeger, wrote to The Colorado Springs Independent trying to explain why the group’s officers locked some of its membership out of the PPJPC building where we had tried to hold a meeting.

To compound the insult of locking us out of the building, the new Board Director, Jo Ann Neiman, then called the police when she saw us still attending our meeting on the sidewalk in front of the PPJPC building! She explained to the police that she wanted us to be told that we were all trespassing!

So what did Genie and Dorothy have to say about all of this?

In short, they implied that we, the members of the PPJPC who wanted to meet inside the PPJPC rented building, were violence-prone, and they used a bunch of excessive religiosity about Gandhi to do so! They mixed their own liberal religious beliefs together with what they see as the teachings of the Hindu religious leader, Gandhi. Here is how they justified the current board director calling the police on us,

‘Many who consider themselves “peace activists” across the globe engage in tactics, which fail to engender peace. PPJPC is deeply committed to nonviolence and will neither engage nor support activism employing tactics inconsistent with Ghandian nonviolence.’

Genie and Dorothy, I might ask you both, what is ‘Gandhian’ nonviolent about suggesting we are violence-prone when we are not that in the least? You do the rather violence-prone Colorado Springs municipal police a big favor in labeling others amongst the PPJPC and general public in such a manner. You are actually encouraging police violence against us with this sort of rhetoric against us, who are all people that have in fact never engaged in any violent acts at all. In short, you are playing a game of Holier-Than-Thou and The Independent was absolutely correct in labeling and titling that as being ‘Malice in the Movement’.

What also is Gandhi-like in calling the police on us to tell us that we were supposedly trespassing by holding a nonviolent meeting, of all things? What is nonviolent in locking us out from the meeting we wanted to do inside of the PPJPC building, not out on the sidewalk? And most of all, what is nonviolent in a PPJPC organized to have a single membership meeting per year? That is undemocratic community organization, not nonviolence.

This is the real issue of concern, not whether to be tactically violent, as you falsely imply that it is. We tried to hold our meeting because we want some internal democracy within the PPJPC where now there isn’t any.

We want a group not controlled by paid office staff eating up tens of thousands of donated dollars in their salaries each year, just to run the group autocratically as they determine activities of their own making for non paid volunteers to carry out. This is non-sustainable situation in the long run, and it would be much better to help work out something, instead of locking members out of the PPJPC offices. Currently the group is headed towards a financial shipwreck and that is the Big Issue. The PPJPC has no real membership accountability at this time to check their deficit spending.

We also want a board picked by the activist , than have board members pick their own replacements beforehand and then present it as pre-determined fate to the rest of us who have no current voice in PPJPC policies. Most of all, we want a PPJPC that is not crippled by police interference into our own internal affairs. This has led to those who now hobnob at the police station with the cops in secret meetings then arranging affairs of the PPJPC where the cops are called out on other PPJPC members less religiously inclined than yourselves.

Most of all, this is about trying to make the PPJPC into something other than a religious-run clique, but into a true body of diverse people that for many different reasons are against the US government’s global militarism. You two are opposed to doing so, and hide behind the figure of Gandhi to oppose those who are. The religious and those not religious must be united in a Peace movement, not separated as you would have done.

Disagree with us if you will, but do not falsely label those who differ with you as being less non-nonviolent than yourselves. You are doing the work of the violence-eager police force and local government bodies when you do so. We respect your religious beliefs in nonviolence, but we ask you to not try to force these relgious beliefs that you have off on all others as you have currently justified doing so with your current letter to The Colorado Springs Independent.

We look forward to working with you together in the future as in the past inside the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission.

Gandhi and India’s ‘untouchables’

America’s Christian liberal pacifists have canonized Gandhi into being one of their Holy Trinity of Christian pacifist Gods. #1 Jesus, #2 Gandhi, #3 Martin Luther King… Almost all of these American pacifists, though, know little to nothing about Gandhi, the Indian subcontinent, or the history of the British Empire that Gandhi supposedly liberated ‘his’ people from, and these Christian-oriented liberals have an entirely idolized view of the man Gandhi and his life. So as a counter to their hero-God worship, we ask them, Why Do India’s ‘Untouchables’ Hate Gandhi?
Untouchables

If you want to know yet more about the Dalit’s struggles inside and against the Hindu caste system of India, then check out all the other Counter Currents articles about The Dalit Struggle for Equal Rights.

If you want to know more about Gandhi, then read up some about his military career! Yes, that’s right… Or read about his views on medicine and diet. Or read some about his family and his sex life. All interesting topics in their own right. Gandhi not only was not any saint, but was not all that great a man even. At least do more than just rent the movie titled ‘Gandhi’. Read up a little on where the funding for the movie came from, at least.

European troops in North Africa are regionalizing Darfur conflict, not ending it

French imperialist troops in Chad, backed by the US and UN, are helping regionalize and spread the Darfur fighting, rather than helping stop it. Since the entrance of these troops into the region, we have seen attacks on both the capital of Chad, and also on the capital of Sudan. See CHAD: STATE OF REBELLION section of BBC’s reporting.

Worse, the regionalization by US and European backed troops of the North African conflicts, threatens to also destabilize the peace accords in Southern Sudan, and also to spread new wars into the Horn of Africa, where the US has effectively destabilized peace for Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia! The UN now admits that it has helped create, working alongside the US, a greater humanitarian crisis in Somalia than currently exists in Darfur. Plus, the UN and US have hardly definitively settled down the conflicts of Eastern Congo, Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda.

None of this has stopped the liberal bleeding heart imperialist community from demanding more US/ UN/ French/ British action in Africa. The entire US and British antiwar communities are riddled with these pro-war folk posing themselves off as Gandhian pacifists, who just want to stop genocides…. by calling in the troops!

This is the real desert cooked up by a supposed ‘peace community’ that is in love with hugging the cops, hugging ‘the troops’, and hugging the Democratic Party politicians. They hug the supposed ‘Green’ corporations and Pentagon, too! In the Colorado Springs area, these folk have all but totally taken over the PPJPC (Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission) non-profit corporation, hiding themselves behind Jesus in the mean time.

All the antiwar community faces a real battle against these pro-war forces inside the ‘peace’ community, masquerading as pacifists. Their real program is to glue the antiwar movement to the Democratic Party Right, immobilize public protest, and to defang and derail all activity outside of small little gatherings of the most conservative of liberals.

Meanwhile, the Darfur conflict is becoming further spread, the Iraq-Afghanistan conflict is being further spread, and the American public has lost all desire to fight against the Rightward shift of its corporate elites. What a mess! And the greatest impediment to moving forward from this impasse, is once again folk posing themselves off as being ‘liberals’. Very sad….

Hey, Hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today?

I have this sign that I pull out at times when we have our little protests, and it always seems to cause consternation among some ‘Peace’ people! Their faces get all grim and often times they ask me to put it away. Who are these people that feel this way? Are they really for peace, or are they really merely just trying to love up to the Patriot Missile crowd? Personally, I think they just have a plain bad attitude.

Here is what bothers these people about the question, ‘Hey, Hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today?’ They don’t want not to be seen as national patriots. They are the types that come out to every vigil when we cross a 1,000 more US troops dead, but only manage to throw in the most meager note of concern for ‘the others’. They want to reform America, not change it.

Now you and I know that America tortures people and has done so for the longest time. But the largest liberal site, Common Dreams, has just come out with a bumpersticker message that states… My America Does Not Torture… …Just who do they think they are actually kidding?!!!!!

‘Hey, Hey, USA, how many parents of kids have you tortured today?’ And ‘How many kids have you allowed to starve to death?’

I don’t really like this milk toast attitude of these supposedly on the same side ‘Peace’ people, the ones that criticize my sign. I go to the J$P, and you can see these people dominate there. The front message on the web site there isis about something they call a ‘peace camp’, which is kind of a vacation Bible school set up by them for kids. Yeah, like for about 2 or 3 kids, maybe?

You people, why don’t you send these ‘Peace’ kids of yours instead to Haiti or Yemen, Bangladesh or Nigeria this summer? Don’ you think that they would learn a tad bit more than you preaching to them about the supposed wisdom of Gandhi here in Colorado, with your ‘scholarships’ and all?

I really don’t have much in common dreams with these folk beyond that they occasionally and rarely will come out of their closets in public, and actually say that they are against the Iraq War. Beyond that, most of them are rather hopeless. Good people and all, but watch their tempers if you cross them!

Hey, hey, J$P, how many kids will your government kill today while summer ‘peace camp’ was in progression? A few, I do believe…..

The Rosa Parks Lone Rider Theory

Rosa Parks photographed after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, posed with newspaper reporter“Rosa Parks did so act on her own!” I’m faced with this repudiation yet again, as J’s high school class revisits the civil rights movement. Their reading list includes Howard Zinn, but still the lesson plan is determined to press home the Parks as lone rider theory.

It makes a heroic story, to tell of lone brave Parks (she’s even painted as elderly, are you kidding me?), riding home from a tiring day at work, so tired that she becomes tired of being told to go to the back of the bus. She stands her ground, an example to us all, and changes history.

Yes it is inspiring, yes it feels empowering. But IS it empowering? Does it empower you to stand up to injustice in the face of harsh, legal if also physical, consequence? Have you yet? You’re no Rosa Parks I could confidently guess, and it’s not your fault.

Do you doubt that there haven’t been countless upstarts, individuals railing against repressive authority, who’ve spoken their piece, made their gesture, only to be humbled by arrest, jail, judges, fines, and the ridicule of the community? It happens all the time. They are marginalized, broken, and ultimately worn down.

Let me describe another kind of heroism. Working for civil rights activists as a stenographer, being in on the discussions about who would make the strongest test case, and picking the right moment mindful of the preparations needed to mobilize colleagues to rally to your defense; thus committing your act of civil disobedience with ready support. Is that any less heroic? I’d suggest it takes more bravery because you know you are launching a political act that will have legs. And it will require more from you than just anger or being tired.

Cindy Sheehan didn’t just march down to Crawford Texas and pitch her lone tent. She consulted with an incredible network of organizers to conceive the plan, Code Pink maven Medea Benjamin among them

Rosa Parks and the bus she rode in on launched a key maneuver for the civil rights movement, and that’s certainly not a lesson the establishment wants to teach its children. Teach them that history is made by individuals, unique, gifted iconoclasts, with whom you’d have to have delusions of grandeur to identify. “You Sir, are no Kennedy,” or Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks. It’s the monarchist belief that only special people are endowed to rule. No need for commoners to concern themselves, the aptitude for nobility is hereditary.

Don’t teach children that to change anything you have to take on the establishment with its own weapons. Idealistic youth don’t want to hear that you have to fight politicians with politics.

You don’t have to become the system to defeat it, but you have to inhabit the system and understand that it operates with the mechanisms of human nature. You must play the system, and no one, absolutely no one, has ever done it alone. Not even Eve.

Was Rosa Parks an iPod-wearing  rebel-without-a-cause? Not hardly.

Stokely Carmichael on liberal pitfalls

Most liberals are naive to other thinking or to the insightful speeches of the socialist black activists of the 60’s. Stokely Carmichael saw the powerlessness of the liberal that other moderate Negro leaders wouldn’t attempt or couldn’t see.

The Black Panthers saw through the petty liberal ideology that always sought cooperation with the capitalists, or as Stokely put it, the oppressors. He talked of liberals and peace activists rejection of violence as a means to achieve real change. Real change defined as eliminating capitalism which is the very root of our dilemma. Is it that the progressive/liberal ideology is largely bankrupt? That it goes nowhere often and deceives its followers into static worn out Gandhi-Goodman, no alternative strategies that always succumb to the real power that is the fascists source of control? Violence? Yes is the answer.

Less a massive armed militant mobilization and a clean break from the stink that is capitalism, there will never be a fair social system that works for the vast working class population. And a re-education of our children away from fascisms model and as to the truth about democratic socialism.

“What we want to do for our people, the oppressed, is to begin to legitimize violence in their minds. So that for us violence against the oppressor will be expedient. This is very important, because we have all been brainwashed into accepting questions of moral judgment when violence is used against the oppressor.”

The Pitfalls of Liberalism
by Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)
(From the book; “Stokely Speaks – From Black Power to Pan Africanism”)

Whenever one writes about a problem in the United States, especially concerning the racial atmosphere, the problem written about is usually black people that they are either extremist, irresponsible, or ideologically naive.

What we want to do here is to talk about white society, and the liberal segment of white society, because we want to prove the pitfalls of liberalism, that is, the pitfalls of liberals in their political thinking.

Whenever articles are written, whenever political speeches are given, or whenever analysis are made about a situation, it is assumed that certain people of one group, either the left or the right, the rich or the poor, the whites or the blacks, are causing polarization. The fact is that conditions cause polarization, and that certain people can act as catalysts to speed up the polarization; for example, Rap Brown or Huey Newton can be a catalyst for speeding up the polarization of blacks against whites in the United States, but the conditions are already there. George Wallace can speed up the polarization of white against blacks in America, but again, the conditions are already there.

Many people want to know why, out of the entire white segment of society, we want to criticize the liberals. We have to criticize them because they represent the liaison between other groups, between the oppressed and the oppressor. The liberal tries to become an arbitrator, but he is incapable of solving the problems. He promises the oppressor that he can keep the oppressed under control; that he will stop them from becoming illegal (in this case illegal means violent). At the same time, he promises the oppressed that he will be able to alleviate their suffering – in due time. Historically, of course, we know this is impossible, and our era will not escape history.

The most perturbing question for the liberal is the question of violence. The liberals initial reaction to violence is to try to convince the oppressed that violence is an incorrect tactic, that violence will not work, that violence never accomplishes anything. The Europeans took America through violence and through violence they established the most powerful country in the world. Through violence they maintain the most powerful country in the world. It is absolutely absurd for one to say that violence never accomplishes anything.

Today power is defined by the amount of violence one can bring against one’s enemy – that is how you decide how powerful a country is; power is defined not by the number of people living in a country, it is not based on the amount of resources to be found in that country, it is not based upon the good will of the leaders or the majority of that people. When one talks about a powerful country, one is talking precisely about the amount of violence that that country can heap upon its enemy. We must be clear in our minds about that. Russia is a powerful country, not because there are so many millions of Russians but because Russia has great atomic strength, great atomic power, which of course is violence. America can unleash an infinite amount of violence, and that is the only way one considers American powerful. No one considers Vietnam powerful, because Vietnam cannot unleash the same amount of violence. Yet if one wanted to define power as the ability to do, it seems to me that Vietnam is much more powerful than the United States. But because we have been conditioned by Western thoughts today to equate power with violence, we tend to do that at all times, except when the oppressed begin to equate power with violence….then it becomes an “incorrect” equation.

Most societies in the West are not opposed to violence. The oppressor is only opposed to violence when the oppressed talk about using violence against the oppressor. Then the question of violence is raised as the incorrect means to attain one’s ends. Witness, for example, that Britain, France, and the United States have time and time again armed black people to fight their enemies for them. France armed Senegalese in World War 2, Britain of course armed Africa and the West Indies, and the United States always armed the Africans living in the United States. But that is only to fight against their enemy, and the question of violence is never raised. The only time the United States or England or France will become concerned about the question of violence is when the people whom they armed to kill their enemies will pick up those arms against them. For example, practically every country in the West today is giving guns either to Nigeria or the Biafra. They do not mind giving those guns to those people as long as they use them to kill each other, but they will never give them guns to kill another white man or to fight another white country.

The way the oppressor tries to stop the oppressed from using violence as a means to attain liberation is to raise ethical or moral questions about violence. I want to state emphatically here that violence in any society is neither moral nor is it ethical. It is neither right nor is it wrong. It is just simply a question of who has the power to legalize violence.

It is not a question of whether it is right to kill or it is wrong to kill; killing goes on. Let me give an example. If I were in Vietnam, if I killed thirty yellow people who were pointed out to me by white Americans as my enemy, I would be given a medal. I would become a hero. I would have killed America’s enemy – but America’s enemy is not my enemy. If I were to kill thirty white policemen in Washington, D.C. who have been brutalizing my people and who are my enemy, I would get the electric chair. It is simply a question of who has the power to legalize violence. In Vietnam our violence is legalized by white America. In Washington, D.C., my violence is not legalized, because Africans living in Washington, D.C., do not have the power to legalize their violence.

I used that example only to point out that the oppressor never really puts an ethical or moral judgment on violence, except when the oppressed picks up guns against the oppressor. For the oppressor, violence is simply the expedient thing to do.

Is it not violent for a child to go to bed hungry in the richest country in the world? I think that is violent. But that type of violence is so institutionalized that it becomes a part of our way of life. Not only do we accept poverty, we even find it normal. And that again is because the oppressor makes his violence a part of the functioning society. But the violence of the oppressed becomes disruptive. It is disruptive to the ruling circles of a given society. And because it is disruptive it is therefore very easy to recognize, and therefore it becomes the target of all those who in fact do not want to change the society. What we want to do for our people, the oppressed, is to begin to legitimize violence in their minds. So that for us violence against the oppressor will be expedient. This is very important, because we have all been brainwashed into accepting questions of moral judgment when violence is used against the oppressor.

If I kill in Vietnam I am allowed to go free; it has been legalized for me. I has not been legitimatized in my mind. I must legitimatize it in my own mind, and even though it is legal I may never legitimatize in in my own mind. There are a lot of people who came back from Vietnam, who have killed where killing was legalized, but who still have psychological problems over the fact that they have killed. We must understand, however, that to legitimatize killing in one’s mind does not make it legal. For example, I have completely legitimatized in my mind the killing of white policemen who terrorize black communities. However, if I get caught killing a white policeman, I have to go to jail, because I do not as yet have the power to legalize that type of killing. The oppressed must begin to legitimatize that type of violence in the minds of our people, even though it is illegal at this time, and we have to keep striving every chance we get to attain that end.

Now, I think the biggest problem with the white liberal in America, and perhaps the liberal around the world, is that his primary task is to stop confrontation, stop conflicts, not to redress grievances, but to stop confrontation. And this is very clear, it must become very, very clear in all our minds. Because once we see what the primary task of the liberal is, then we can see the necessity of not wasting time with him. His primary role is to stop confrontation. Because the liberal assumes a priori that a confrontation is not going to solve the problem. This of course, is an incorrect assumption. We know that.

We need not waste time showing that this assumption of the liberals is clearly ridiculous. I think that history has shown that confrontation in many cases has resolved quite a number of problems – look at the Russian revolution, the Cuban revolution, the Chinese revolution. In many cases, stopping confrontation really means prolonging suffering.

The liberal is so preoccupied with stopping confrontation that he usually finds himself defending and calling for law and order, the law and order of the oppressor. Confrontation would disrupt the smooth functioning of the society and so the politics of the liberal leads him into a position where he finds himself politically aligned with the oppressor rather than with the oppressed.

The reason the liberal seeks to stop confrontation – and this is the second pitfall of liberalism – is that his role, regardless of what he says, is really to maintain the status quo, rather than to change it. He enjoys economic stability from the status quo and if he fights for change he is risking his economic stability. What the liberal is really saying is that he hopes to bring about justice and economic stability for everyone through reform, that somehow the society will be able to keep expanding without redistribution the wealth.

This leads to the third pitfall of the liberal. The liberal is afraid to alienate anyone, and therefore he is incapable of presenting any clear alternative.

Look at the past presidential campaign in the United States between Nixon, Wallace, and Humphrey. Nixon and Humphrey, because they try to consider themselves some sort of liberals, did not offer any alternatives. But Wallace did, he offered clear alternatives. Because Wallace was not afraid to alienate, he was not afraid to point out who had caused errors in the past, and who should be punished. The liberals are afraid to alienate anyone in society. They paint such a rosy picture of society and they tell us that while things have been bad in the past, somehow they can become good in the future without restructuring society at all.

What the liberal really wants is to bring about change which will not in any way endanger his position. The liberal says, “It is a fact that you are poor, and it is a fact that some people are rich but we can make you rich without affecting those people who are rich”. I do not know how poor people are going to get economic security without affecting the rich in a given country, unless one is going to exploit other peoples. I think that if we followed the logic of the liberal to its conclusion we would find that all we can get from it is that in order for a society to become suitable we must begin to exploit other peoples.

Fourth, I do not think that liberals understand the difference between influences and power, and the liberals get confused seeking influence rather than power. The conservatives on the right wing, or the fascists, understand power, though, and they move to consolidate power while the liberal pushes for influence.

Let us examine the period before civil rights legislation in the United States. There was a coalition of the labor movement, the student movement, and the church for the passage of certain civil rights legislation; while these groups formed a broad liberal coalition, and while they were able to exert their influence to get certain legislation passed, they did not have the power to implement the legislation once it became law. After they got certain legislation passed they had to ask the people whom they were fighting to implement the very things that they had not wanted to implement in the past. The liberal fights for influence to bring about change, not for the power to implement the change. If one really wants to change a society, one does not fight to influence change and then leave the change to someone else to bring about. If the liberals are serious they must fight for power and not for influence.

These pitfalls are present in his politics because the liberal is part of the oppressor. He enjoys the status quo while he himself may not be actively oppressing other people, he enjoys the fruits of that oppression. And he rhetorically tries to claim the he is disgusted with the system as it is.

While the liberal is part of the oppressor, he is the most powerless segment within that group. Therefore when he seeks to talk about change, he always confronts the oppressed rather than the oppressor. He does not seek to influence the oppressor, he seeks to influence the oppressed. He says to the oppressed, time and time again, “You don’t need guns, you are moving too fast, you are too radical, you are too extreme.” He never says to the oppressor, “You are too extreme in your treatment of the oppressed,” because he is powerless among the oppressors, even if he is part of that group; but he has influence, or, at least, he is more powerful than the oppressed, and he enjoys this power by always cautioning, condemning, or certainly trying to direct and lead the movements of the oppressed.

To keep the oppressed from discovering his pitfalls the liberal talks about humanism. He talks about individual freedom, about individual relationships. One cannot talk about human idealism in a society that is run by fascists. If one wants a society that is in fact humanistic, one has to ensure that the political entity, the political state, is one that will allow humanism. And so if one really wants a state where human idealism is a reality, one has to be able to control the political state. What the liberal has to do is to fight for power, to go for the political state and then, once the liberal has done this, he will be able to ensure the type of human idealism in the society that he always talks about.

Because of the above reasons, because the liberal is incapable of bringing about the human idealism which he preaches, what usually happens is that the oppressed, whom he has been talking to finally becomes totally disgusted with the liberal and begins to think that the liberal has been sent to the oppressed to misdirect their struggle, to rule them. So whether the liberal likes it or not, he finds himself being lumped, by the oppressed, with the oppressor – of course he is part of that group. The final confrontation, when it does come about, will of course include the liberal on the side of the oppressor. Therefore if the oppressed really wants a revolutionary change, he has no choice but to rid himself of those liberals in his rank.

Kwame Ture
(aka Stokely Carmichael)

Kwame Ture was born Stokely Carmichael on June 29, 1941 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the son of Adolphus and Mabel Carmichael. He immigrated to the United States in 1952 with his family and settled in New York, New York. He graduated from the academically elite Bronx High School of Science in 1960 and made the decision to attend Howard University. Howard University conferred on him a Bachelor of Science Degree in Philosophy in 1964.

It was while in Washington that Stokely became deeply involved in the “Freedom Rides,” “Sit-Ins,” and other demonstrations to challenge segregation in American society. He participated with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG). He later joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was elected its National Chairman in June 1966. While in Greenville, Mississippi, he along with his friend and colleague Willie Ricks, rallied the cry “Black Power” which became the most popular slogan of the Civil Rights era. Consequently, he became the primary spokesman for the Black Power ideology. In 1967, he coauthored with Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power, the Politics of Liberation in America. That same year, Stokely was disassociated from SNCC and he became the Prime Minister of the Black Panthers, headquartered in Oakland, California. He soon became disenchanted with the Panthers and moved to Guinea, West Africa.

While residing in Africa, Stokely Carmichael changed his name to “Kwame Ture” to honor Kwame Nkrumah, who led Ghana to independence from Britain, and, Sekou Toure, who was President of Guinea and his mentor. For more than 30 years, Ture led the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party and devoted the rest of his life to Pan Africanism, a movement to uproot the inequities of racism for people of African descent and to develop an economic and cultural coalition among the African Diaspora.

In 1998, at the age of 57, Kwame Ture died from complications of prostate cancer. To the end he answered the telephone, “ready for the revolution.” His marriage to Miriam Makeba and Guinean physician Marlyatou Barry ended in divorce. He has one son, Bokar, who resides in the United States.

Fidel Castro’s US public relations problem

Fidel Castro led the Cuban revolutionary forces against Fulgencia Batista
Aww, it’s positively time to tune out the radio. Fidel Castro is stepping down and the Cuban malcontents, the would be scouts for capitalism, the agents of our banks and special interests, the progeny of corrupt Batistas run out in 1959, who cloak themselves as dissidents or oppressed civil rights activists, are jockeying to get in their last digs.

Fidel Castro’s PR problem is that the megaphone is in the hands of a corporate press intent on reclaiming the communist redistribution of wealth from its people.

Cuba Libre [of the US] may not ultimately survive Castro’s retirement and death, but our own people’s revolution would be better served to celebrate the accomplishment he represents. Fidel Castro liberated Cuba from the largest predatory power on Earth, and kept its claws at bay for going on 50 years. He didn’t do it like Gandhi, he wasn’t given the opportunity like Mandela. Castro repossessed the Cuban haciendas at gunpoint, with the same violent determination the Spaniards and Americans had shown in putting down every populist grievance since Christopher Columbus.

If the sinister quality of America’s imperialism is new to you, have a talk with any immigrant up from the south. Those Americans have been fighting the US for over a century. Indigenous populations of the Americas suffered for 400 years to throw off their Spanish occupiers, and no sooner were they succeeding when the USA stepped in to preserve the inequitable colonial power structure. US military (.mil) archives abound with accounts of US interventions throughout Central and South America to protect US business interests there, in the name of halting Communism. In Cuba, like nowhere else, Fidel Castro beat them.

War decides who is left

Bertrand Russell- War does not decide who is right- war decides who is leftI’m learning of a vulnerable schism among pacifists. There are pacifists like Gandhi and MLK, known as pragmatic pacifists, and principled pacifists emerged from the socialist school.
 
Pacifists up against the usual suspects need to ally, but their ideological differences are easily exploited by agents who would divide their efforts. One side has Jesus and a belief somewhat parallel to the one which dictates that none can be right except through Him. The other carries the baggage that religion has always messed up common man’s self determination, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The Naval Academy at Annapolis

It turns out that the Air Force Academy here in Colorado Springs was not chosen to bring ‘PEACE’ to the Middle East, nor was the Army Academy at West Point. The site for The Cheney Empire to force more of a mess on the Middle East is to be the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Welcome, Palestinians! It’s a festive occasion this week!

What a fitting resort for Dick and his invites! Let’s call it the Sail and Quail Special, shall we? Enough to give one a heart attack even. But really? Is it not somewhat comical that the same US mad bombers planning to destroy Iran next week are today now talking compromise and peace to the non-representatives of the Palestinian people? I bet they even manage to pull out a reference to Gandhi for the media somehow?

OK, let’s wait and see what type of show they have put together for us commoner American dip shits? A political Cirque du Soleil perhaps? Maybe some Bristol brew might help wash this stuff down some while watching any goofy gazoos on TV news this week? And pretzels…

Masked crusader of illiterary legend

America humiliates Mexico for the Zimmerman Telegram
All Pikes Peak Reads has chosen this year’s library recommendation: ZORRO! Did you know that was a work of literature? Dumas, you think? R.L.S.? This choice follows To Kill a Mockingbird, Frankenstein, Treasure Island, and Alice in Wonderland. All accessible to younger readers to be sure, and literary to boot. I have no argument with Isabel Allende’s Zorro [prequel], to entice the participation of Pikes Peak area adults, but what for the children? Charles Lamb? Harold Lamb? Did Zorro capture their prolific imagination? No, the kids get to read not the Legend of Zorro, but ABOUT the legend of Zorro. Great, so it’s not literature, at least it’s history. Is it?

Not even.

It turns out Zorro sprung from a post-WWI pulp serial The Curse of Capistrano written by screenwriter Johnston McCulley. The black mask and cape were added by Douglas Fairbanks in his 1920 portrayal, and the rest is [film] history. So Zorro is Tinseltown legend, and the historical setting inverts itself from there. The Hispanic colonial rule of California against which Zorro rebelled never existed in that too-rural territory. But it sure creates a convenient boogey man from which the United States can feel better liberating the early Californians. Zorro, in Spanish “The Fox” being the surrogate advance scout, extending justice over the objections of the despicable Spaniards until the cavalry can arrive. The adventure published on the heels of US belligerent fight-picking with Mexico. So much for history.

A Zorro legend lacks even for historical precursors. Robin Hood might be the closest example, except according to legend, Robin Hood was a man of the people, not a rich man robbing for the poor. Zorro’s Don Diego follows more the Alexander Dumas model of The Count of Monte Cristo, avenging having been usurped of his noble birthright. Since the Enlightenment and the suspicions it cast on the divinity of monarchist rule, official chroniclers have been tasked to remind the masses that a “fox” could never be more cunning than his betters unless he was of uncommon blood. Noble deeds can only be expected of noblemen, hence the term. This stereotype has always trumped the Puss in Boots or Horatio Alger stories coming from steerage. The Count begat Zorro begat Batman begat the Green Hornet begat the George Soros secret funding mystique. Now we even speculate that Robin Hood, had he existed, must have been a disenfranchised noble. Likewise Jack the Ripper. Common man can’t even get credit for crime.

To be clear, the oligarchs know their people won’t buy rule by divine right, but we do respect Darwin’s survival of the fittest. And certainly fitness and advantage are hereditary. Only those fit shall rule.

I extend this deference of heritage to my real life heros, but is it warranted? Che Guevara was from the privileged class and is lauded by the counter-culture as the most heroic revolutionary figure of our time. But ultimately, and conveniently, a tragic failure. On the other hand, the truly effective populist reformers of modern times have all been of ordinary birth. Counting backward, Morales, Chavez, Mandela, King, Lumumba, Castro, Gandhi, Mao, Lenin, Marx.

Would Zorro stand up as an Easop’s fable or does he subvert man’s self-wisdom? Gotham cannot fend off its criminal elements without super-just Richie-Rich Bruce Wayne, thankfully completely benign in his vigilante despotism and not the least bit a corrupted-absolutely Nero or perverted Gilles de Rais, donning a Blue[-blood] Beard to mask his nightly reconfiguration of injustice.

Pikes Peak Reads is part of Laura Bush’s unholy surge, the library extension of the Every Child Left Behind travesty devastating our education system. Even if the choice of reading about a fictional legend was made locally, it doesn’t surprise me. The third grade of our well-regarded elementary last year followed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with a lesser known Washington Irving legend: Batman! The former coincided with a Discovery Channel premiere of Sleepy Hallow and the latter turned up at the megaplex, it was: Holy tie-in with the H.E.W. Batman! A new beginning!

I’ll eat Zorro’s hat if Isabel Allende’s precursor, Zorro, a new beginning, isn’t coming to the screen this year, or isn’t precursing a sequel, which would make it what, a cursor[y] Hollywood incarnation? Next year the Pikes Peak pick, left for the children to decide, will be the legend of another masked, caped crusader, a legendary Italian everyman, and ever too mortal, Mario of the Brothers franchise.

Undeclared pacifism: No War On Bush

Non violent pacifists by nature passivists
Bush counts on the Democrats to toe the line. He counts on the peace movement to take his actions lying down.
 
They’re passivists but won’t admit it. And the smirking chimp rolls on. Into Iran, Africa, Asia. While the peace-talking pacifiers quiet your outrage. Be Gandhi, be Jesus, be lambs to the slaughter, the non-violence disciples cry. You’ll die in good conscience. Don’t rock the boat, you’ll disturb our meditation. I call it slumber.
 
In Colorado Springs we live in the belly of the beast. Don’t upset it. Pass the cookies.

Dishonest scholarship and street justice

Che GuevaraSomebody’s written a new biography of Che Guevara, painting him as the father of modern terrorism. How silly. Did Boeing father 9/11? It seems a perverse sacrilege I don’t want to abide. Shall we say Gandhi was the father of couch potatoes? George H.W. Bush fathered a bastard.

I hardly know how to keep track anymore of the traitors in academia, or the dishonest scholars in the fraudulently accredited foundation ink-tanks. It’s hard for me to imagine anything less than a Robespierre tribunal bloodletting when events are sorted out and the bastards are overcome. Would we welcome the cretins to our side, over the transitory moments, all forgiven, good show what, or do we hold them responsible for their deceptions and contrivances, which delayed rectification for too long?

They know the lies they are telling. They have orchestrated the discourse, keeping a meticulous black-out on opposing voices, and they’re getting paid big bucks to do it. These are Mephistos we are talking about, selling the lie, diverting justice, reinforcing roadblock after roadblock to peace, stoking the fires toward more destruction, murder, enslavement and human misery.

There will come a time for storming the castle. It might be time already, judging by the defenses they’ve already erected against us.

You and I, and whoever we can enlist in the effort, have to scale these walls with what tools we can muster. These authoritive faces, who’d you forgive and forget, are on the parapets above us, holding us off. They’re at the bullhorns, making it harder for us to rally peers to our support. They throwing everything at us.

If we can scale past them, if we survive the fight with them, with so much at stake, I don’t see why quarter should be offered.

Hateful Hamas and Friendless Fatah

FatahHamas and Fatah. Do you know which is which? I try to keep abreast of the people’s struggle, so I find it strange and disappointing that in the news I so often cannot differentiate the two. I blame a slanderous media intent on confusing us about which are the Honest representatives of Palestine, and which are the Fake.

Fatah stands for Palestinian National Liberation Movement in Arabic backward, and they came First. Though they emerged from Yasser Arafat’s PLO, they settled into the bureaucracy of the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s Kapos in the occupied territories. Fatah now enforce Western Foreign interests in the Middle East and as concerns representing the oppressed Palestinians, Fatah have become Frauds.

That’s how in a landslide election last year, Hamas came to take the reins, and why Israel which holds the purse strings, refuses to give Hamas its due tax revenues.

Hamas, or Islamic Resistance Movement, may sound like Hotheads to you, but who are we to say what will work best for the Palestinians? Their land has been stateless for going on sixty years, they remain in permanent dislocation, made worse forty years ago under direct Israeli occupation. But I oversimplify. Israelis seem satisfied to create a Palestinian Diaspora same as was done to the Israelites in 500 BC, or let the non-Jews die in refugee camps in the meantime, but for Hamas.

Still uncertain? Watch how the corporate media covers Palestine. If there’s something Favorable to say, it’s about Fatah. If it’s Horrible, it’s about Hamas. Perhaps my continued disorientation grows from the optimism that one day the media will show some respect and Hope for the Palestinian people.

Hamas are considered terrorists, and like the IRA and Sinn Fein, they lead Palestine’s fight for independence from colonial empire. Those who do not want to condone armed struggle should ponder Occupied France under the Nazis, a cakewalk compared to Gaza. With whom would Gandhi or Mandela have sided, the Resistance or Vichy?

Numb skulls awarding peace prizes

Two weeks ago I wrote about a CIA funded Otpor spokesperson in town talking to local pacifists of Gandhi and nonviolence and how supposedly that had overthrown Milosevic in Yugoslavia instead of the US and NATO bombs rained down on his country. Then last week I wrote about a NM Department of Tourism run ‘peace’ festival in Albuquerque funded to the tune of $450,000. Sappy ‘peace’ rhetoric run by the Chamber of Commerce basically. This week I guess the focus has to be on the Australian ‘Sidney Peace Prize‘.

This one just blows me away, too! The prize was awarded to none other than Hans Blix, which is the most absurd award of a peace prize since Henry Kissinger was given the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1973! We truly live in an Orwellian world these days when initiators of wars are so often given prizes by people spouting pacifist ideology.

Hans Blix was the guy who set up all the lies about Saddam Hussein and Iraq having WOMD that Bush and his Democratic and Republican Party enablers used to launch the invasion and occupation of Iraq. No way he deserves a peace prize, and actually he might better be executed as a war criminal instead. Without his personal act as wrench-er up of the propaganda, hysteria, and panic, the world public would never have gone along much as they did with initially supporting the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

This is just one more example of how pacifist beliefs and desires by much of the public can often be distorted into its opposite by simplistic twists of illogic. Then we get numb skulls awarding peace prizes to war criminals like Hans Blix and Henry Kissinger.

PS- I am still trying to get over how the local ACLU cut off audience questioning of CS police chief Richard ‘Liars’ Myers last week. The ACLU organizers required that all questions be vetted and then read by one person alone to the audience. Because of this, the annual meeting of the ACLU turned into a hug and handshake fest with the cops. Shameful. If the city of Colorado Springs had tried to do this sort of stunt at the city council meeting we would all have gotten peeved off. But instead, the audience silently sat by while the police chief fed them a long sermon of crap. And then many of the crowd applauded just that! Sometimes some amongst the ‘peace’ crowd can make one wanna cry with their innocence and naivete.