Tag Archives: Vietnam

“Not hate, Heritage” and other lies.

Speaking of course, of the Confederate Battle Flag. The “Southern Cross”. Rejected as a candidate for the United States Flag due to its Religious implications (two of the three crosses on the flag, the cross of St Andrew and the cross of St Patrick, half of the four crosses on the Union Jack British flag) being very uncomfortable reminders of the Christian-on-Christian multi-million counts of Murder which led directly in to the Revolution, and in the confusion of battle and especially the thick smoke from black-powder muskets, pistols, rifles and cannon it looked too much like British regimental flags.

The local Wreligious Wrong who dispute the notion that there was any dissent among the “founding fathers” over what Bush called “the bridge between Church and State” gloss over that bit. Truth gets in their way so they ignore it.

Then in the American Civil war, it still was never the official flag of the Confederacy and got to be the Battle Flag simply because it didn’t look like the Stars and Stripes in the aforementioned Smoke from the cannons. That and the Confederacy liked the Religious symbolism and the Racist symbolism (Scots and Irish were, after all, White, and the Rich Rebels wanted to convince the Poor Rebels that they were carrying on some Great Celtic Traditional Struggle) embraced by people who were convinced politically and religiously that there was nothing wrong with Racism or Slavery. And the official Confederate flag, the Stars and Bars, DID look a whole lot like the U.S. flag under battlefield conditions.

Kind of the forebears of the Retardican Tea-Party types who claim that it’s not Hatred of anybody,  just, you know, the natural superiority of the White Race entitled them to hold the Darker races in slavery. Not that the Darker Races were inferior, you know, it’s just that the White Race is better.

See, that kind of “logic” pans out among the Tea-Party type of Mental and Morally Deficient Socially Retarded Animated Sphincters.

So what got me going on this, and really, Southerners acting stupidly and claiming that ALL (real) Southerners are as stupid as they are is a Pet Peeve that’s so familiar to me that I feed it and give it a name, and take it to the vet regularly…

Aside from the Racists of the Tea-Party waving it around and claiming it to be the Flag of Freedom (unless, you know, you happen to be a Slave in which case you’re not Human to their eyes so you don’t count)

Some Retard in the parking lot of King Soopers had a bumper sticker (nothing unusual about that) but this one had the POW propaganda flag along with the Confederate Southern Cross and saying “This Flag would never have left you behind”.

The POW camps run by both the Confederate and Union Armies, for instance, made the worst examples of Nazi or Communist prison camps pale by comparison.

For another “for instance” the North VietNamese actually released the American POWS.

So the POW flag and the Confederate flag being used in conjunction with each other, along with the absurd antics of the Tea-Party wanting to reconstruct the Worst Episodes of American History… creates not merely a double or triple error in twisted logic, but a growing mælstrom of spiral disintegration of Logic that threatens to overwhelm the very nature of Intelligence and Reality, an Event Horizon if you will, so concentrated and dense a Mass of Stupidity that it will suck the entire Universe into a black hole.

Or, a happier possibility, the entire Tea-Party movement might just collapse under their own stupidity.

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Anti-American Domestic Terrorism – Buy a teastained Flag!

From Fake Warrior ChickenHawk Norris! Yes, for about $80 bucks you can buy a Made in China WalMart Flag with tea spilled on it.
This from a Martial Arts Professional Athlete who got out of the Draft on a Rich Kid Technicality, just like Bush, Cheney, Rove, Bill O’Reilly, the entire cast and crew of the FORMER Terror Regime… then proceeded to make a Propaganda Movie Career supporting War and glorifying the VietNam War in particular. Just like John Wayne did.
Make money off Human Suffering and Shed Human Blood. Just, you know, as long as it’s not THEIR suffering or THEIR blood.
Now he’s making money promoting Murdering Americans for your fun and HIS fun and Profit.
That and his party lost and there’s now a Black president.

Make-a-Buck Norris once again promoting KILLING in the name of God and the name of Patriotism, like his portrayal and glorification on TV of the Murderous Racist Texas Rangers.

Promoting the MURDER by Corporate Death Panel of even such Americans who can afford Health “insurance”.

Promoting the MURDER by Klan/Minutemen Lynching such as what happened in Kentucky, MURDER of AMERICAN CHILDREN by his fellow Hate Freak Extremists such as Adkisson trying to Murder the children in the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, von Brunn attempting to shoot up a museum, the RACIST killings in Aravaca Arizona, by his Minuteman Fellow Travelers.

Typical Tea Party Minuteman BITCH.

By the way, the Tea Party nationwide, and that includes Colorado Springs, are equally as Guilty of those Murders.
They stirred up the Hatred against their Fellow Americans.

And they’re still doing it.

NATO: First the good news…

Afghanistan
The accessorizing of the headline with this map reminds of the body counts reported from Vietnam to temper the news of GI casualties, body counts which we understand now were grossly contrived. The same has held true for Iraq and Afghanistan. We don’t know if it’s “dozens,” or whether even the enemy were combatants, women or children. At least the three US soldiers didn’t die in vain.

Osama on Obama

The usual channels have yielded another video from Osama bin Laden, wherein a still photo of the al-Qaeda godfather accompanies an audio “statement to the American people,” purportedly recorded June 4. Here is the full English translation of the 10 minute tape. First, two questions.

ONE: I find it interesting that the message echoes what most anti-imperialists already believe. From a Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, this text would be timid. Throw in the unverified nature of this transmission, the mystery of whether Osama lives, or whose interest he really served, and this new tape subverts somebody’s message, but whose?

For example, in the new tape, Osama bin Laden recommends three books. The NYT is quick to tell us that any recommendation from bin Laden is certainly unwelcome by any author. The books? The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. The NYT just as quickly dismissed the titles as well.

TWO: Why does no one release the full translation of Osama’s message? Newspapers comment on his statements based on interpretations made by US intelligence contractors, who themselves do not release their translations to the public.

Are there no Arabic speakers who wish to translate bin Laden’s words for the international audience? Why is everyone content to hear what the US government says is Osama’s message?

Extracts the US media is reprinting of Osama’s message:

“Reasonable people know that Obama is a powerless man who will not be able to end the war as he promised, but rather, will continue it to the highest point possible.”

“The bitter truth is that the neoconservatives continue to cast their heavy shadows upon you.”

“Ask yourselves to determine your position: is your security, your blood, your children, your money, your jobs, your homes, your economy, and your reputation dearer to you than the security of the Israelis, their children and their economy?

“If you choose your security and cessation of war … this requires you to work to punish those on your side who play with our security.”

“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby.”

“The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”

“If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups.”

“Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq — as Bush claimed — it should have been liberated.”

“If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front… If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this.”

“You have only changed the faces in the White House.”

The full English translation, courtesy of the NEFA Foundation:

“All praise is due to Allah who created [the] creation for His servants and commanded them to justice, and who permitted those who have been unjustly treated to carry out similar vengeance against their oppressors…”

“O’ people of America, my speech to you is a reminder of the reasons behind [September] 11 and what took place in its aftermath in the form of wars, and claims, and the path to escape from its causes. Specifically, I draw attention to the families of those who were killed during these events, and those who have recently called for open investigations to determine the causes that led to them— this is your first step in the right direction amongst many steps that deliberately missed the path throughout eight years of little prosper that have passed you by. And it is correct that the American people should have sympathy for them, because the longer it takes you to recognize the real causes, the higher a price you will pay, needlessly. Thus, since the administration in the White House—one of the sides in this struggle— has appealed to you for years that war is necessary to ensure your security, then, to understand the truth, a wise man would want to heed and listen to both sides of the struggle, so lend me your ears.”

“First, I say: we have shown and declared many times over more than two and a half decades that our dispute with you [is based on] your support of your allies; the Israeli occupiers of our land in Palestine. It was this stance—along with other injustices—that moved us to carry out the events of September 11. If you realized the extent of our suffering caused by the injustices of the Jews backed by your administration, then you would understand that both of our nations are victims of the policies laid down by the White House, which in reality is nothing but a puppet in the hands of powerful interest groups, specifically big corporations and the Israel lobby.”

“And, the best voice who has tried to explain to you the reasons behind [September] 11 is one of your own citizens, the veteran former CIA agent whose conscience awoke in his eighth decade [of age] and he decided to tell the truth despite the pressure against him, and explained for you the message behind September 11. Thus, he carried out some actions for this purpose

specifically, from within that is his book titled, ‘Apology of a Mercenary.’ Similarly, with regards to the suffering of our people in Palestine, Obama recently confessed in his speech in Cairo to the suffering of our people there [in Palestine], under occupation and sanctions. And the matter becomes even clearer if you read what your former president Jimmy Carter has written about the Israeli discrimination against our people in Palestine, or had you listened to his statement some weeks ago, while visiting besieged and ravaged Gaza, when he said, ‘the people of Gaza are treated more like animals than human beings’…”

“And here we should pause for a moment, for anyone with an atom’s weight of mercy is compelled to sympathize with the suffering of the elderly, women, and children under the fatal siege, while above them the Zionists pour down burning American-made white-phosphorus bombs. Life there is miserable beyond any conception, such as the number of children who are dying in the hands of their fathers and doctors because of a lack of food, medicine, and basic electricity. It is truthfully a stain of shame on the forehands of all world politicians who facilitate this, and the people who ally with them with prior knowledge of their intentions—along with the influence from the Israeli lobby in America. The details regarding this have been clarified by two of your citizens, they are John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt in the book ‘The Israel Lobby in the United States.’ Upon reading these various suggested works, you will discover the truth and you will be terribly shocked by the scale of the deception that has been used against you. You will also discover that, even today, those who issue statements from inside the White House and claim that your wars against us are necessary for your security are the same ones who worked under the regime of Cheney and Bush, and marketed their former policies of fear to safeguard the interests of large corporations at the expense of your blood and economy. Truthfully, those are the ones responsible for forcing war upon you, not the mujahideen—as we are [merely] defending the right to liberate our land.”

“And should you consider your situation at some depth, then you will discover that the White House is actually occupied by interest groups, and that it [the White House] should have been liberated, instead of fighting to liberate Iraq as Bush claimed. The role of a White House leader in today’s atmosphere, regardless of his name, is like a train conductor who has no choice but to move forward on the rails laid down by interest groups—or else its path will be obstructed—and who lives in fear that his fate will be that of the former president [John F.] Kennedy and his brother.”

“The conclusion of my speech: it is time to liberate yourselves from the fear and mental terrorism that the neo-conservatives and the Israeli Lobby have used to manipulate you. Put the issue of your alliance with the Israelis up for debate and ask yourselves what your stance is: is your own security, blood, children, money, jobs, homes, economy, and reputation more important to you, or do you prefer the safety of the Israelis, their children, and economy? If you choose your own security and bring the war to a halt—and this is what the opinion polls have shown is most popular—then you must work and replace the hands of those from amongst you who have endangered our safety, and we are ready to respond to this decision in accordance with sound and just principles that have been previously mentioned. And here, there is an important point that requires attention regarding the war and stopping it: when Bush took power and appointed a secretary of defense who had assisted in killing two million suffering villagers in Vietnam, intelligent people predicted on that day that Bush was preparing for new massacres during his term in office, and this is what occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, Obama took charge and kept Cheney and Bush’s men—those from the senior leadership in the Pentagon—like Gates, Mullen, and Petraeus. Intelligent people understand that Obama is a weak man who cannot stop the war like he promised, but instead, he will postpone it to the greatest possible degree. If he was really in control, then he would have handed over leadership to the generals who have opposed this foolish war—like the former forces commander General Sanchez and the head of Central Command who was forced by Bush to resign shortly before leaving the White House because of his opposition to the war. Instead, he [Bush] appointed someone else who would press on after him.”

“Furthermore, Obama—under the pretext of his willingness to cooperate with the Republicans— has tricked you with a big fraud, as he kept the most important and most dangerous secretary— Cheney’s man—to continue the war. It will become clear to you over the coming days that you have changed nothing in the White House except faces—the bitter truth is that the neo-conservatives are still heavily shadowing you.”

“Returning back to the original point, if you stop the war, then so be it. But otherwise, it is inevitable that we will continue our war of extermination against you on all possible fronts, just as we annihilated the Soviet Union for a decade until it was dismantled, by the grace of Allah. So, go ahead and prolong this war as long as you want, but you are engaged in a miserable losing war for the interests of others that seems to have no end in sight. The Russian Generals—who were shaken by the battles in Afghanistan—warned you what the outcome of the war would be before it began, but you refuse to listen to those who advise you. This war is being financed through ghoulish interests, the morale of your soldiers is collapsing, and they are committing suicide on a daily basis to escape it. It is a failed war, Allah willing.”

“This is has all been prescribed for you by the doctors Cheney and Bush as medicine for the events of September 11, yet, the bitterness and loss this has caused is worse than that of the events themselves. The accumulated debt alone has almost led to the collapse of the entire American economy. It has been said, some illnesses are tolerated more than their medicine. And we, by the grace of Allah, continue to carry our weapons slung over our shoulders, fighting the evil powers in the east and west for thirty years, and in all that time, we have not recorded a single incident of suicide despite the global pursuit targeting us, praise be to Allah. This should tell you something about the righteousness of our doctrine and the justice of our cause. Allah-willing, we are moving forward on our path to liberate our land; patience is our weapon and we seek victory from Allah, and we will not abandon Al-Aqsa Mosque, as our grasp on Palestine is greater than our grasp onto our souls… Thus, you can lengthen the war as you desire, [but] by Allah, we will not compromise in the least over it.”

The original Arabic transcript:

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????????? ???? : ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ???????? ???????????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ? ??????? ??? ?? ??? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ? ??? ????? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???????? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ?????????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ? ????? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?????????? .???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ???????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ????????? ? ????? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ??????? ???? ????? ???? ???? ????? ??????? : ( ?????? ????? ??????? ) .????? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ?? ??????? ??????? ????? ???? ???????? ??? ???????? ??????? ? ?????? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ???????????? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ?????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ??????? ???????? ????? ??? ??? : ” ?? ???? ??? ???????? ???? ???????? ???? ?? ????? ????? ” ? ?????? ???? ???? ??????.????? ????? ?????? ?????? ? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????? ????? ???? ?? ???? ? ?? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ?????????? ?? ?????? ??????? ???????? ???????? ??? ?????? ?????? ? ???? ??? ??? ????? ???????? ????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ????????? ????? , ??????? ???? ??????? ????? ?????? , ??? ???? ??? ??????? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ???????? ???? ?????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?????? ??????? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ? ??? ???? ????? ????? ? ??????? ?? ?????? ?????????? ?? ?????? , ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???????? ??? ??? ???????? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ( ?????? ?????????? ?? ???????? ??????? ) ? ???? ??????? ????? ???????? ??????? ??? ??????? ???????? ?????? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?????? ????????? , ?????? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ????????? , ???? ???? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? .???? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ??? ? ??????? ???? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ???? ?????? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ???? ?? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?????.??????? ????? : ?? ?????? ?? ??????? ?? ????? ???????? ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ????????? ????? ??????? ?????????? ? ?????? ??? ????? ?? ???????????? ??? ????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ?? ????? ??????? ???????? ???????? ???????? ??????? ????????? ??????? ??? ????? , ?? ??? ???????????? ???????? ????????? ? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? – ???? ?? ?????? ????????? ????? – ???? ????? ???? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???????? ?????? ?? ????? , ???? ??????? ??????? ?? ??? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ????? .????? ???? ???? ????? ???????? ????? ????? ????? ???????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??? ??????? ?? ???????? ?????????? ?? ?????? ? ????? ???? ??????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ?????????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ???????? ??? ??????? ?? ?????? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ? ??? ??? ?? ?? ????? ??? ?????? ??????? ????????? ????????? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ??????? ?????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ????????? ??? ??????? ????? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ??????? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ?????? ?? ???? .????? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ???????? ??????? ?? ?????????? ? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ? ??????? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ?? ???????? ?????? ?? ?? ????????? ????? ?? ????? ????? ??????? ??????? ?????.
?? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?????? ????? ???? , ???? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ????????? ??? ??? ???? ??????? ??????? ??? ???????? ??????? ????????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??? ??? ? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ????? .????? ????? ??????? ????? ????? ?????? ??????? ?? ????????? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ?? ????? ???????? , ????? ??????? ??? ???????? ?????? ??????? ????? ????? ? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ???? ? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ???? ????? . ????? ????? ????? ??? ???????? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??????? ???????? ???? ?? ????? ??????? ????? ? ??? ?? ?????? ??????? ????? ???? ??????? ?????? ??? ? ??? ??? : ????? ?? ??? ?????? ????? .????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ??????? ? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ??? ? ??? ??????? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ??? ???????? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ??????? ? ???? ?????? ?? ????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ????? , ?????? ????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ? ??? ?????? ?? ??????? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ???????? .???????????? ??? ?????? ?? ??????? ? ?????? ??? ?????? ???????? ?????? ..???? ???? ????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ????? ?????????? ???? ?????????? ?????
???????? ??? ?? ???? ????? .

Life Magazine knows Afghanistan

life-aug57-vietnam-keep-village-freeWhy, it’s the price of freedom. LIFE didn’t question it in 1965, its readers know no better today. You have to destroy a village to free it. You have to cripple an enemy child before you can take him fishing.
 
Alanis Morissette couldn’t tell from irony, and neither can America. Then and now. Americans wouldn’t recognize irony if it blew up in their face 44 years later.

life-mag-july65-deeper-into-vietnamIn Vietnam in 1965, our photographers were allowed to depict US wounded. Six years into the conflict, the antiwar movement was still nascent, US GI casualties passed 2,000 (by 1966 they would quadruple), and America’s worst atrocities in Southeast Asia were yet to come. This Life Magazine cover story is titled “DEEPER INTO THE VIETNAM WAR.”

Pink goes to war

VietnamThe color pink seems incongruous juxtaposed with war. Code Pink banks on the contrast being inherently diametric. But just as pink can be enlisted to oppose war, it can serve to humanize, even glamorize it.
 
Remember the Afghanistan theater photo snapped of a US soldier wearing pink boxers and flip-flops while he stood guard on a rampart? Disarming wasn’t it? Here’s its antecedent from the Vietnam conflict. We’re searching antiwar archives for tools to fight this war, our bastard adversaries are already there.

Army Specialist Zachary Boyd was worried when his picture made the front page of the New York Times. Boyd thought he’d be in trouble for being shown out of uniform.

“I can assure you that Specialist Boyd’s job is very safe indeed,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who instead praised the soldier for making American bravery look so nonchalant. “What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare,” said Gates.

Sept 11 – America Reaps What It Sows!

A post-911 perspective by Black Liberation Army prisoner of war Jalil Muntaqim.

U.S. International Warfare Initiates World War III Human Rights During Wartime
By Jalil A. Muntaqim

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Americans have displayed their true colors of jingoism, a militaristic spirit of nationalism. Similarly, it was witnessed how the people of Iraq rallied in support of their President, Saddam Hussein, after the U.S. bombed to death 250,000 Iraqis, and continued devastation of that country with collateral damage of 1 million dead women and children. Hence, people rallying in support of their government and representatives is a common phenomenon when a country is attacked by an outsider. The U.S. has been foremost in the world extending foreign policy of free-market economy, to the extent of undermining other countries cultures and ideologies expressed as their way of life. Such conflicts inevitably positions the U.S. as the centerpiece, the bulls-eye for international political dissent, as indicated by demonstrations against the U.S. controlled IMF, WTO and World Bank conferences. The attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon did not occur in a vacuum. The people that carried out the attacks were not blind followers or robots with an irrational hatred of the U.S. peoples. Rather, this attack was part of an overall blowback to U.S. imperialist policy in support of zionist Israel and opposition to fundamentalist Islam.

There are essentially three primary world ideologies or world views: the capitalist free-market economy/democracy; the socialist production economy; and Islamic theocratic government, of which has been in competition for many decades. However, in the last 20 years the socialist economies has been severely subverted and co-opted by free-market economies, the ideals of American style democracy. This isolated, for the most part, Islamic theocratic ideology and system of government as the principle target of the U.S. in its quest for world hegemony. This reality of competing world views and economies is further complicated due to religious underpinning of beliefs that motivates actions, especially as they are expressed by U.S. and Western European christianity and Israel zionist judaism in opposition to Islam. From the struggles of the Crusades to the present confrontation, the struggle for ideological supremacy reigns, as the faithful continue to proselytize in the name of the Supreme Being.

When geopolitics are combined with religious fervor in the character of nationalist identity and patriotism, rational and logical thinking is shoved aside as matters of the moment takes historical precedents. It has often been said that “Truth Crush to the Earth Will Rise Again”. Since truth is relative to ones belief, can it be safely said that America has reaped what it has sowed? The American truth of capitalist christian democracy and its imperialist hegemonic aspirations has crushed both socialist and Islamic world views. It has extended its avaricious tentacles as the world police and economic harbinger of all that is beneficent, in stark denial of its history as a purveyor of genocides, slavery and colonial violence.

The U.S. was the first to use biological-germ warfare on people when it distributed blankets infected with smallpox to Native Americans; it has refused to apologize for Afrikan slavery acknowledging it engaged in a crime against humanity requiring reparations; it is the first and only country to use the atomic bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and intern thousands of Japanese and Italians in this country; it used carpet bombing and defoliates against the peoples of Vietnam; it has initiated embargoes, coup d’etats and assassinations against those it opposes, while propping-up right-wing military dictators; as well as continued military bombing of Vieques. In essence, the U.S. governments hegemonic goals has created the ire of millions of people throughout the world. While domestically, racial profiling, police killing and mass incarceration of Black and Brown people has eroded patriotic sentiments in opposition to white supremacy.

As America weeps and laments its loss, the public find itself joining the torn ranks of those whose heartaches beat opposing U.S. greed and international profiteering. The American public acquiesce to U.S. international folly has cause them to feel the economic pains of those who live daily in poverty. Indeed, Americans should brace for years of economic uncertainty, where the American ideal of freedom and liberty will resemble plight of those who live under the right-wing dictatorships the U.S. has supported. The tyranny suffered by others in the world as a result of U.S. imperialism, has come full circle to visit this country with the wrath of the U.S. own mechanization. Since the U.S. taught and trained right-wing military dictators in the School of the Americas, including the CIA training of Osama bin Laden in the Afghanistan proxy war against the Russians, it will be this same kind of terrorist activist that will be unleashed on American soil, as El-Hajj Malik Shabazz stated after the assassination of John Kennedy, a matter of the chicken coming home to roost. Therefore, American civil liberties and human rights are being garrotted by the yoke of the right-wing in the name of national security. The legalization of U.S. fascism was initiated with the war against political dissent (Cointelpro); the war against organized crime (RICO laws); the war against illegal drugs (plethora of drug laws) and now culminating in the war against terrorism with the American Joint Anti-Terrorist Taskforce and Office of Home Security, further extending police, FBI and CIA powers to undermine domestic civil liberties and human rights.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, recently stated that the U.S. need to create a new language in defining how to combat terrorism. This Orwellian propaganda in the media espouses the U.S. is venturing in a new type of warfare to defend the American way of life. However, what this double-speak propagates as a long-term and sustained initiative against terrorism is essentially a way of embellishing and enlarging U.S. counter-insurgency activity it has been engaged in since the advent of the Green Berets, Rangers, Delta Force and Navy Seals. The U.S. has been involved in counter-insurgency activity in Afrika, Latin America and Asia for decades. But due to the September 11, 2001, attack on U.S. soil, the government has seized the opportunity to offensively pursue left-wing revolutionaries and Muslim insurgents throughout the world. This U.S. military action extends and substantiates its position as the international police.

Since the establishment of the Trilateral Commission that initiated the process for the development of one world government, the U.S. has broaden its capacity to impose and enforce its will on oppressed peoples globally. The FBI and CIA has been operating in Europe, Afrika, Asia and Latin America establishing the long arm of U.S. law and order. Its bases of operations have conducted surveillance, investigations to arrest, prosecute or neutralize left-wing revolutionaries or Muslim insurgents. As the U.S. consolidates its political and economic influence throughout the world, it will seek to protect its overall hegemonic imperialist goals. After the Gulf War, and the air (bombing) campaign in Yugoslavia, the U.S. has employed its military might to ensure its foreign policy are achieved.

Because NATO has evolved into a European military entity that Russia is seeking to join, today, the U.S. has positioned itself beyond the mission of NATO. The U.S. now concentrates its military might in opposing Islamic countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Philippines, etc.) and those the U.S. deem as rogue nations (North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, etc.). The new military initiatives will be directed to towards Southeast Asia as the secondary target, as it continues to direct the Middle East conflict to preserve its oil investments and zionist interest. As the U.S. expand its imperialist military mission, as seen with committing military troops in Uzbekistan to also protect oil interest in the Caspian Sea, it has sought to redefine itself by targeting what it identify as the terrorist thereat wherever in the world it might exist. Hence, with the employment of conventional warfare combined with counter-insurgency tactical activities, the U.S. has pronounced itself as the military guardian of the world.

Although, the U.S. states its actions are in its self-interest, in terms of what is euphemistically defined as defending the free world, the truth of the matter is this action is a prelude to evolving one world government with the U.S. as its governing authority. Once the Peoples Republic of China becomes a full member of the WTO, and North Korea and Vietnam has been compromised, with Russia becoming an ally of NATO, the U.S. political-military influence in the world will be consolidated. The U.S. geopolitical strategy is not confined to the present crisis in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack and targeting Osama bin Laden as the world’s nemesis. Rather, the U.S. strategy is to preserve its capacity to establish one world government as originally envisioned by the Trilateral Commission.

Nonetheless, there are some serious obstacles to this hegemonic goal, of which the world of fundamentalist Islam has become the principle target. Here, it should be noted that Islam condemns suicide or the mass killings of women, children and non-combatant males. Yet, the U.S., Israel, western Europe, Russia, India and China all view Islam as the enemy. Although, there are over 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, the current alliance of economic interest headed by the U.S., are united to vanquish what they consider the growing menace of fundamentalist Islam. It is with this understanding of U.S. geopolitics one is able to comprehend why the U.S. has redefine its military mission, as opposition to globalization and U.S. imperialism metamorph into a political struggle without borders or territorial imperatives.

The ideological struggle between capitalist free-market economy and Islamic theocratic determinates has exploded into an international conflagration of insurgency with the potential of initiating World War III. The Islamic fundamentalist movements throughout the world has the potential to test the U.S. military, political and economic resolve as the world’s leader and authority of an one world government. With over 1.2 billion adherents, Islam has become a formidable foe to contend with for ideological supremacy in the world’s geopolitics. Even without discussing the religious (moral and ethics) aspects that motivates the geopolitics of Islam in opposition to U.S. imperialist hegemony, the call for Jihad/Holy War against the U.S. presents a serious threat that could precipitate WW-III. Therefore, the U.S. find it necessary to redefine its military mission, develop new language to codify warfare and legitimize its international political and economic purpose. Yet, many of the world’s oppressed peoples’ have already experienced U.S. military counter-insurgency tactics (Ethiopia, Somalia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Congo, etc.), including parts of the Islamic world. No matter how or why the U.S. attempts to persuade Americans that it is entering a new type of warfare, in reality it is more of the same, only extending the military arena to further protect its authority to establish one world government.

However, the U.S. is not the homogeneous country that people are deluded into believing exist. Rather, the U.S. has been held together due its ability to exploit the world’s resources and distribute (unequally) the profits amongst its citizens with its culture of conspicuous consumption. But, the recent attack on the U.S., and its aftermath may very well lead to the untangling and unraveling of the U.S. fabric as has been witnessed with the USSR and Yugoslavia. In understanding this true history of U.S. imperialism, outside and within its borders, essentially tells a story of why U.S. imperialism has been and will continue to be attacked.

Ultimately, the U.S. will eventually find itself at war with itself, as the ideology of a free democratic society will be found to be a big lie. This is especially disconcerting as greater restrictions on civil and human rights are made into law eroding the First and Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As during the Vietnam conflict, internal contradictions of racism, poverty and inequality will be exacerbated as a result of the U.S. military campaign and domestic undermining of civil and human rights. It is expected that strife in America will eventually become violent dissolving any semblance of the illusion of America the Beautiful. In anticipation of U.S. progressive activist opposing this claimed war against terrorism, the federal government will pass new laws to severely restrict protest, demonstrations and dissent. In the ’60s, U.S. progressive activists evolved the slogan “Bring the War Home!” – the question is what will be the slogan this time, now that the war has been brought home?

Free the Land!!

Who owns images of American dead?

vietnam-wounded-marineAP photographer Julie Jacobson was reticent to publish her picture of dying US Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard. Though his father was opposed, the Associated Press overruled. But this was no victory for the public’s right to see a true reflection of war. The D.o.D. is still indignant, but I suspect Jacobson’s report was ultimately vetted in their favor. Military propagandists need to represent America’s growing losses in Afghanistan. Jacobson’s image provides their limited hangout. Like the other photographs of casualties which have escaped through embeds, the image of Lance Corporal Bernard is desaturated of blood, and the surrounding events fit the military endorsed narrative.

Have you noticed that all combat images coming out of today’s wars are drab and lifeless. Obviously this motif is not being applied to the PR shots of jets and military hardware, but scenes of soldiering in Iraq and Afghanistan are dusty and grey, like scenes from a dark virtual world.

The colors in Jacobson’s controversial photo are similarly under saturated. Earlier casualty pics have even been rendered as black and white, and this is no exercise of artistic license. Colorless images telegraph little resemblance to our real world lived in color. An emotional distance is created, most obviously like the detachment we feel looking into the past. Everything before the late sixties happened in monocrome. Early color photographs always shock children with the prospect that lives in generations past might have been been lived in a world of contemporary vibrance.

The photographs from Vietnam were helped by that nation’s lush tropical greens. Images of the wounded were all the more gripping –and demoralizing from the military’s point of view– because unlike in Korea and WWII, the blood was red.

Most images taken in Vietnam came through the military staff photographers. The unapproved subjects, which subverted the official face of the war, emerged from the cameras of independent journalists.

dying US marineJulie Jacobson facilitated the release of this picture, by letting slip two details pertinent to the official US narrative in Afghanistan. Would you believe, just prior to this engagement, friendly Afghans came out of their houses to tell the US soldiers where they could find the Taliban? Probably to ensure Corporal Bernard’s squad pointed their guns away from their homes, but that’s not how the story was spun. Jacobson recounts that these Afghans were eager to inform on the Taliban.

The jocular Jacobson records another telltale crowd-pleaser in the aftermath of the Taliban “ambush,” when she found herself flanked by Afghan National Army troops. When the firing started, Jacobson sought immediately the ranks of US soldiers, because the freakin’ ANA Afghans “aren’t very good.”

Today’s media embeds are basically a privatized signal corps. Their photos should belong to the taxpayers. Insinuations that military families should dictate what images can be used, in the event of death, is a cruel irony. Are the families consulted about what Uncle Sam wants to do with their loved one when he’s still alive? Millions of federal tax dollars are spent on our soldiers, all the more when they die. I have little sympathy for the families who couldn’t stand up for their children and protect them from the capricious whims of our military. There is absolutely no reason to ask their permission about what happens when their little soldier meets his/her calculable fate.

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.

About Afghanistan, shoot the messenger

OSPAAAL posterThis time let’s learn something from the travesty of Vietnam. The interests which drove US soldiers into the hamlets of Southeast Asia are directing the massacres today. We call them the hawks, as if war was mere blood sport. Though South Vietnamese collaborators were forced to flee for their lives from Saigon, their US cohorts were never held to account. This time as America extricates itself from terrorizing Afghanistan, let’s note those among us with blood on our hands and prosecute. Not the soldiers, but the warmongers in the charge: those commanders who every month reported the war “is still winnable” those propagandists who blamed the failure of occupation on waning public resolve, those politicians who rationalized inhumanity, and the war industrialists, all of them.

Atomic’s one handed coders rebrand Fallujah game as Six Hours in My Lai

virtual rapeNMT has obtained screenshots from Atomic Games ‘Six Days in Fallujah,’ traded p2p and remarketed as Six Hours in My Lai. There was no budget to modify the OIF coalition uniforms to resemble the Vietnam GIs, but who’s looking at the clothing? Nostalgic vets will find the rape reenactments unremarkably familar. In reality the mayhem of My Lai and My Khe lasted 28 hours, not six, but industry research indicates that cyber ejaculators rarely have more than a six hour window before a landlady looks in on them.

Gaming studies remain inconclusive about whether virtual sex stimulation augments with cumulative scorekeeping. It will require a scientific leap before computer health levels can fortify a real-world refractory period. Otherwise virtual serial binges cannot build on themselves like the longer pyramid games of Civilization or World Of Warcraft.

okinawa schoolgirl rapeJapanese game publisher Konami, forced by civilian outcry to drop a distribution deal for Atomic’s Fallujah first person shooter, is pleased that the salient gangbang modules will find their way to end-user Marine Corps wannabes. Konami already has a bestselling Raper II title, an Okinawa schoolgirl adventure for American servicemen. Konami’s own one-handed programmers are set to adapt the Atomic code for the Japanese market. The human trafficking of Iraqi orphans into US contractor Army brothels becomes Korean Comfort Women; US combat depravity becomes The Rape of Nanking.

Deprived of being able to cash in on the Fallujah atrocity allure, Atomic Games is looking for sympathy from the Support the Troops crowd. Atomic laid off the soldiers on its staff, issuing this statement:

“We wish to assure the dozens of Marine veterans who have collectively invested hundreds of hours in this project that, while we have been badly wounded, we will fight on. The stories of your brothers’ courage and sacrifice in Fallujah must be shared with the world.”

By historical accounts, are they referring to the virtual sequences between the levels of action which act like silent movie inter-titles to link the running and jumping to a bigger story? Where the plot points are inviolate can be the only teaching moments in an otherwise chose-your-adventure killing spree. Where will there be opportunity for gamers to show courage and sacrifice with only a menu of rape and murder?

Let’s be clear. The Fallujah video game was not about soldiering. It did not mean to replicate the experience of 99.9% of the American soldiers who served in the battle for Fallujah. A first person shooter is not about following orders, falling in, or self-sacrifice. An FPS is about four wheeling a personal path of personal destruction. Atomic’s Six Days in Fallujah was a spring break for Grand Theft Auto sex tourists.

NMT is equally concerned about the lost Fallujah stories which may have been the narrative of the gameplay. The world should hear of the turning back all male refugees, of the White Phosphorous and sniper Free Fire Zones. The lost Fallujah action sequences no doubt exploited the armored vehicles crushing the Iraqi wounded, and the role of the helicopter gunships over the river, Red Bridge and the Fallujah hospital.

Lt. Calley finally apologizes for My Lai

antiwar poster by haeberle and brandtLt. William Calley has expressed remorse for the first time for leading the 1968 My Lai Massacre. Although he still maintains he was only following orders. Calley was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role, but President Nixon commuted his punishment to three years of house arrest. Who should have been accountable for the 500 civilians executed in My Lai?

Lessons from antiwar antecedents

peace nowI have for several weeks been submerged in the writings and poster art of the revolutionary sixties, and I’ll catch my breath to say this to the Antiwar Now from the Anti-Imperialists Then. We won no victory with the fall of Saigon, the Vietnam War wasn’t ended by protests, bombs, or the fragging of front line officers. The portend is good for those hoping to see the end of the War on Islam, but on the whole it is not.

The conflict in Vietnam ended when the ammunition ran out. The military industry spent its wad as it earned its wad. Lucrative mission accomplished. Gun nut thrillcraft ride over. American public opinion turned against the mass killing, the funding dried up, and the hawks receded with their loot.

Then public attention diverted to more selfish worries. The economy. An energy crisis. A surge of concern for a death spiral into environmental disaster. Does this sound familiar? FUCKING A!

Legitimate concerns all, then and now. The problems remain the same. Just as American imperialism will persist unabated. Scholars might say after Vietnam, American militarism had to be tempered, such that the US was compelled to conduct its counter-insurgency genocides by more discrete means.

Like the Red, White and Blue ordnance jamboree of Southeast Asia, the US-Islam War will expend itself. But the war of the capitalist white against indigenous brown will continue unless the Western populations step up to a serious rise in consciousness. Not a higher spiritual conscience, but an honest self-assessment of First-World selfishness.

Cronkite and Mays, confidence men

HOW ABOUT, for a tribute to Walter Cronkite’s much lauded integrity, the media honor the news giant by EMULATING HIM? How cynical of corporate news peons, and of their audience nodding along, to revere Cronkite’s hindsight truth-telling, and lament alas, there will be no more like him. Big smiles and crocodile tears.

There is no integrity in news broadcast. I defy anyone to point to a single news story that is not framed and delivered by the interest group it serves. A single story.

Thankfully God sent broadcasters a mixed message this summer by striking down two disparate role models for television talking heads. He smote the last grand-paternal-voiced smooth-talker, together with the tin-pot-king of loud jabberers, teevee pitchman Billy Mays. The first voice was confidence giving, you couldn’t help but trust it, even as it cheer-led the Vietnam escalation, while the second’s amplified immodulation provoked an irritation satisfied only by buying the damn thing just to get the brush salesman out the door.

National Assembly is antiwar exclusively

unite-against-the-warReports are emerging from July’s National Assembly, the vital effort to unite antiwar forces into a common movement. Delegates from the major peace organizations hammered out a strategy to address Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine. Missing from the consensus? Nonviolence, and good riddance. It goes without saying that humanitarian activists are peaceful. To legislate a dogma of non-confrontation plays right into the hands of the authoritarians. Here’s the official report:

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO END THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS AND OCCUPATIONS

Address given by Marilyn Levin, member, National Assembly Administrative Body, and Planning Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace Coalition, to the National Antiwar Conference held July 10-12, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

July 10-12, 2009, 255 people representing diverse organizations and constituencies from all over the country came together in Pittsburgh:

1) To look at where we are today,

2) To articulate our long range goals to rejuvenate the antiwar movement towards building a massive movement capable of forcing an end to their wars and occupations, to take our money back from the war machine to meet pressing social needs, and to save our planet for our children, and

3) To develop and vote for action plans as steps to realize these objectives.

All of our major objectives were accomplished and we leave today with a comprehensive action agenda to carry us through to next spring. Everyone had a chance to speak and differences were aired without rancor or splits to achieve unity in action.

Friday night’s speakers, along with many conference participants, grappled with how to unify and broaden the movement. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, we presented a great roster of workshops covering the major issues we face today. Saturday night’s rally was dynamic and inspiring.

There were two highlights of the conference for me. First was the international component where activist comrades joined us from Canada and courageous labor leaders of powerful mass movements in Haiti and Guadaloupe reminded us that imperialism and the struggle against it are global. There was a statement by members of the Viva Palestina aid convoy detained in Egypt. We passed motions in solidarity with the struggles of the people of Haiti, Honduras, and Palestine.

The second highlight was the discussion on Iran, where, in spite of strong passions stirred up by the rapidly evolving events there, we were able to illuminate the issues and debate our differences. Finally, we were able to agree on a unity position that all could embrace, as well as meeting the foremost call of the Iranians – US Hands off! No Sanctions! No interventions! Self-determination for the Iranian people! A wonderful example of a united front –- as inclusive as possible and taking principled positions that most will accept and act on.

So what is the National Assembly? What you saw this weekend explains who we are and how we function.

Democracy. All were invited and all perspectives welcomed. There was acceptance of the will of the conference even when it diverged from the proposals put forward by the leadership body. We were especially gratified that representatives from all the major antiwar coalitions came and addressed our conference.

Our willingness to struggle for unity and compromise when needed in order to move forward, as evidenced by a leadership that did not impose personal political views on others in service to unity.

An organization that admits to and learns from its mistakes and accepts its limitations when the unity we seek can’t yet be achieved.

An organization that has built a growing cadre of leaders that has developed trust, a structure that works, and a strong working relationship.

And finally, confidence, vision, and optimism. Confidence that we can provide leadership in rebooting our movement. A vision regarding how to accomplish that and an understanding of the necessity for these kinds of conferences leading to action. Optimism that masses of people will move in opposition to these horrendous policies that bring death and destruction and that they will have the power to change the world.

I’ve been asked to give an assessment of the first year since our initiation as an ongoing network with a mission, from our first conference in June, 2008 until today. Last year, we weren’t sure anyone would come and lo and behold 400 people came together in Cleveland to inaugurate a year of activities and set up a structure to maintain our work. A lot has transpired in that year and the National Assembly is well on its way as an established organization recognized throughout the movement as providing leadership and promoting a direction towards growth.

I need to start a little earlier and go back to why the National Assembly was called into existence in the first place.

What we saw, in the spring of 2008, was a movement at a low ebb – one that was shrinking rather than growing in spite of the war dragging on — this while the antiwar sentiment couldn’t be higher, and the disapproval rating for the Bush Administration couldn’t have been lower. From the high point of the largest action against the Iraq War in September, 2005 which drew 700,000 people, there was a pulling away from mass action by significant sections of the movement which supported electoral politics as the central strategy, in spite of a recurring pattern of disappointment when Democratic “antiwar” candidates voted again and again for war and war funding, and a split between the two major national coalitions, UFPJ and ANSWER, one that continues to this day. For the first time in five years, there was not enough unity or mass action perspective for any national demonstrations to take place marking the 5th year of the occupation of Iraq. Fundamentally, there was a vacuum of leadership.

Some far-sighted people like Jerry Gordon and Jeff Mackler, with experience gained from leadership in the last powerful antiwar movement that ended the Vietnam War, felt impelled to act. They began to organize a base of diverse but like-minded activists committed to building and expanding an effective antiwar movement in this country. The vehicle to accomplish this was the first national assembly, a national conference to pull activists together, to analyze the present state of the movement, to discuss where we needed to go and the actions that were needed to get us there.

We developed a unity statement with five basic principles that we hold today as the basis for where we stand:

1) Unity – all sections of the movement working together for common goals and actions;

2) Political Independence – no affiliations or support to any political party;

3) Democracy – decision-making at conferences with one person, one vote;

4) Mass Action – as the central strategy for organizing while embracing other forms of
outreach and protest; and

5) Out Now – the central demand to withdraw all military forces, contractors, and bases
from the countries where the U.S. was waging war on the people.

It seems simple but no one else saw it that way. Our conference was unique in the history of the present movement.

The organizers didn’t know what the mood and composition or strength of the conference would be, so we were cautious and minimal in the program we posed to the conference. We focused on Out Now from Iraq and modest action proposals, not being strong enough to initiate national actions on our own. The conference participants were ahead of us and ready to tackle the larger issues. Proposals were passed to add “Out Now from Afghanistan”, “End U.S. Support for the Occupation of Palestine”, and “Hands off Iran” to our set of demands, and given what has transpired in these areas, we were well prepared to take on a major role.

October 10th actions held in 20 cities were endorsed as well as a call for December actions building towards what we hoped would be unified, nationally coordinated bicoastal mass actions in the spring of 2009, the 6th year of the Iraq occupation. When Gaza was brutally assaulted, we joined with ANSWER and others to march in Washington and to demonstrate in the streets all over the country, and we’re still working under Palestinian leadership to bring justice and relief to a beleaguered population.

We made a concerted effort to find a common date for spring bi-coastal mobilizations. As you know, ANSWER chose March 21st as a day of united protests which we endorsed, while UFPJ called for a national march on Wall St. on April 4th. A number of National Assembly supporters who were also delegates to the UFPJ conference in December formed a mass action unity caucus and went to the conference with a resolution to allow delegates to vote for one or both actions but this was rejected. We’ll keep trying for 2010. The National Assembly endorsed and built both actions and marched behind our signs with our demands. The demonstrations were small (but spirited) and still of major importance.

For us, it’s quality, not quantity, as we position ourselves to be in the forefront as the pendulum swings in our direction once again.

Some take the position that mass demonstrations are not effective, unless we can pull 100,000 protestors into the streets. This is short-sighted and does not address how we get from small to large. Any successful movement for change doesn’t start with 100,000 people, and there has never been significant social change without mass actions. I remember my first anti-Vietnam war demonstration was in 1963 in Detroit and we had 15 people. In 1965, SDS called the first national march against the war in Washington. 25,000 people turned out and we thought it was huge!

Everyone talks about reaching out to the thousands of young people who mobilized to elect Obama. We agree, but we say the way to do this is by offering education and action. Action beyond calling, and emailing, and faxing the politicians they placed in office.

Why are mass demonstrations so important to building a powerful movement? It is because they accomplish so much in the process of building them. They provide:

Continuity. You can’t build anything by starting anew each time. Each action should lead to the next action or open national conference, with success building upon success. We need a continuity of leadership that builds trust and a reputation for integrity, and that learns lessons to improve. We need a continuity of organization and structure that can implement the tasks before us.

Visibility. Actions in the street give heart to the people the U.S. is attacking and occupying, letting them know that they are not alone. Mass actions create solidarity, offering support to anti-war soldiers, vets and their families, and a counter-force to the economic draft facing our youth, and they strengthen and deepen the antiwar sentiment of the people.

Inspiration. New people are brought into the movement, especially the youth, through activism. Have you ever talked to young people coming to a mass demonstration for the first time? They are inspired and thrilled to hear powerful speakers who are leaders of social justice movements and soldiers resisting the wars. They see they are not alone and get a taste of the power of large numbers of people marching together. They are energized to go home and join with others to continue to organize opposition to brutal U.S. wars and occupations. This is the way to reach out to the Obama supporters.

Explanation. An analysis of what is going on is offered along with tying together what seem at first to be disparate elements, i.e., war is tied to the economy, the war budget, bail-outs of the rich, the lack of basic needs being met, justice denied, and the impoverishment of the people.

Pressure on Government. People in this country are taught to be quiet. We’re told that our job is to elect officials whom we agree with periodically and then go home and wait while they fix things. This conveniently maintains the status quo but it sure doesn’t put pressure on them, or scare them, or force social change. Mass actions provide the most effective way to make significant change happen.

Let’s look at the present period. Obama’s election was based in large part on the hopes and aspirations of Americans for peace and a better life based on the promises and assumed promises that were made of peace, justice, and prosperity, which have not and will not be met.

Contrary to expectations, the previous administration’s policies are continued with a more handsome and articulate face. We all know that rather than winding down, wars and interventions are escalating and the rapacious greed of this immoral system knows no bounds.

Simultaneously, the economic crisis is causing terrible hardship for working people and for people who are no longer able to find work and their families. They are using this self-created financial disaster to further cut the standard of living and eliminate a secure future for older people and the young.

It was very moving and yet appalling to see this visually demonstrated when Robin Alexander of the United Electrical Workers Union asked people in the audience to stand who were unemployed, personally knew of soldier casualties, lived in communities where services were being cut, or who were otherwise negatively impacted by the wars and the failing economy. Nearly the entire room, a microcosm of the wider society, was standing by the end of that exercise.

It is inevitable that the present period of quiescence and hanging on to the hope that Obama and the new Congress will save us will come to a crashing end. People will not sit idly by forever while the world around them collapses. We are already seeing the beginnings of stirring. There is a greater willingness to go out in the streets to protest. There is more organizing taking place on campuses, more young people joining the movement. The many proposals for October actions are an indication that there is a widespread awareness of the need for actions this fall and the conviction that the movement must find common dates.

Brian Becker, National Coordinator of ANSWER, urged that we all work together to mount nationally coordinated actions next spring. Michael McPhearson, Co-Chair of UFPJ and Executive Director of Veterans for Peace, announced his support for October 17 and his willingness to do what he could to spur unified actions in the spring of 2010. We must have the faith and confidence that the people have the power to end the atrocities resulting from U.S. wars and occupations, and that they will recognize and utilize this power. As this happens, we must build a stronger antiwar movement that is able to provide leadership and the optimism to forge ahead no matter what the opposition throws at us.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations is helping to provide that leadership and the vision that is needed. Although young and small, in one short year, we are now a force to be taken seriously and negotiated with, and by our persistent call for unity and mass action, our demonstrated ability to organize, and our coordinated strategy for revitalizing the movement, we are having an impact larger than our forces would indicate. In some ways, we too are a product of (and some say an antidote to) the 2008 election. To counter the malaise of the movement, we have quietly been building a solid core of activists and leaders around the country that understand the importance of a united front organized around principled demands and mass actions, not just calling Washington politicians when bills come up and crises happen.

At this conference, we have laid out an ambitious program of action that will take us through the spring of 2010. We are proud that we could provide the kick off for national organizing to bring a massive turnout to Pittsburgh for the G-20 protests September 25. Homeland Security is already making preparations to keep protesters hidden and stifle our right to speak out, but we won’t be silenced.

Following that, are a series of October building actions, culminating in large local and regional demonstrations on October 17 marking dates of significance related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and occupations and remembering the legacy of the anti-Vietnam war movement. Throughout the year, we will organize educational programs, support various forms of protest and organize around the inevitable emergencies caused by our government’s unholy interventions and threats to other nations.

We have initiated a Free Palestine Working Committee to ensure this work, which includes the growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns and the efforts to break the siege of Gaza, continues to be in the forefront and fully integrated in our work until justice and self-determination and return is in the hands of the Palestinians.

And lastly, we will continue to advocate for unity of the movement and once again bring thousands to Washington and the West Coast in the spring, to let our government and the world know that the U.S. movement against wars and occupations is alive and will not be quiet.

We will march and continue to march until all U.S. forces come home, bases are dismantled, and the sovereign people of the world have the right to control their own resources and determine their own futures, and the war budget becomes the peace budget.

Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch history being made. We urge all organizations to join the National Assembly and to play your part in building and shaping the powerful movement that is coming.

All out for the September 25 G-20 march in Pittsburgh! All out for the actions in early October! All out October 17!

The US – Islam War nears halfway mark

I have to do more research, but I’m pretty sure October 7, 2009 should mark the HALFWAY POINT of the US-ISLAM WAR. I realize the Pentagon brass are calling for fifty years more of insurgency suppression in Afghanistan and Iraq, but if we grant them no more time than for America’s longest military intervention, we’ve got another eight years before beating our humiliating retreat.
iraq

Those who insist we could have won the Vietnam War, would have our murderous troops there still. No foreign occupation has succeeded in modern times, with the ongoing exception of Israel, which by its swallowing of Palestine has been skewing the definition of occupation to the Old Testament model of mass extermination. The treacherous method worked against the Native Americans, it may still doom the (Palestinian) Native Israelis.

Afghanistan and Iraq remain occupations, where Vichy puppet governments prosecute genocide against the native resistance. How long before Americans lose their stomach for continuous bloody repression? I cannot account for the Russians in Chechnya, but on the US-Islam front, we are halfway there.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, we may already have surpassed half the civilian death tolls in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It’s hard to say, the US “doesn’t do body counts” now, and we didn’t then either. Our own military casualties grew exponentially in Vietnam. If such statistics bear comparison, today’s numbers cannot be but comparable.

It’s being whispered that American casualties are approaching a multiple of a thousand mark. Official soldier deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are conjectured to be reaching a round number.

I’m not told how many US mercenaries are being killed. We have as many hired-guns contracted as government soldiers. Want to lay odds on how many body bags they’ve required?

Nor are we told how many US soldiers are being wounded, many of them with injuries which would not have sustained their lives in Vietnam. Surely there is a sad gray area of injury which we could round up as it approximates death.

Why does this sound familiar?

Village President John Deschane, 60, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said many people in town believe it’s disrespectful to fly the flag upside down.

“If he wants to protest, let him protest but find a different way to do it,” Deschane said

Translation from Right Wing Bullshit to Real English:
“You have the right to free speech unless we dislike what you say or how you say it”
“We’re Fighting For Your Freedom, How DARE you go ahead and actually use that Freedom?”

Dispute over flag protest erupts in Wisc. village
AP

By ROBERT IMRIE, Associated Press Writer Robert Imrie, Associated Press Writer – Fri Jul 10, 2:44 pm ET

WAUSAU, Wis. – An American flag flown upside down as a protest in a northern Wisconsin village was seized by police before a Fourth of July parade and the businessman who flew it — an Iraq war veteran — claims the officers trespassed and stole his property.

A day after the parade, police returned the flag and the man’s protest — over a liquor license — continued.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is considering legal action against the village of Crivitz for violating Vito Congine Jr.’s’ First Amendment rights, Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said.

“It is not often that you see something this blatant,” Ahmuty said.

In mid-June, Congine, 46, began flying the flag upside down — an accepted way to signal distress — outside the restaurant he wants to open in Crivitz, a village of about 1,000 people some 65 miles north of Green Bay.

He said his distress is likely bankruptcy because the village board refused to grant him a liquor license after he spent nearly $200,000 to buy and remodel a downtown building for an Italian supper club.

Congine’s upside-down-flag represents distress to him; to others in town, it represents disrespect of the flag.

Hours before a Fourth of July parade, four police officers went to Congine’s property and removed the flag under the advice of Marinette County District Attorney Allen Brey.

Neighbor Steven Klein watched in disbelief.

“I said, ‘What are you doing?’ Klein said. “They said, ‘It is none of your business.'”

The next day, police returned the flag.

Brey declined comment Friday.

Marinette County Sheriff Jim Kanikula said it was not illegal to fly the flag upside down but people were upset and it was the Fourth of July.

“It is illegal to cause a disruption,” he said.

The parade went on without any problems, Kanikula said.

Village President John Deschane, 60, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said many people in town believe it’s disrespectful to fly the flag upside down.

“If he wants to protest, let him protest but find a different way to do it,” Deschane said.

Congine, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq in 2004, said he intends to keep flying the flag upside down.

“It is pretty bad when I go and fight a tyrannical government somewhere else,” Congine said, “and then I come home to find it right here at my front door.”

At least they didn’t beat up any elderly and disabled people…

This time…

2p, 2p and Honduras… and Mexico… and Nicaragua… and…

I don’t know if I’ve published this here or not or how I packaged it. But for background, the “p” stands for “piastre” a South VietNamese coin that was worth a little less than a quarter of a U.S. penny. This was the “Great Free Market Opportunity” our government was sending people to fight and die to defend. The way I heard it on some occasions it’s used to condemn the VietNamese people.”How nasty and vile and filthy they are” for living in such poverty.

But it was the VietNamese version of a washroom attendant, a little old granny lady… “Wipe your ass for you, GI… 2p, 2p do extra good job 2p, 2p…”

Yes, we were there, so it seems, to give the people such a wonderful Free Market and the opportunity to wipe our asses for less than a half a cent per “use”.

And to despise them for being so desperately poor.

I wasn’t there, my sources were, so what if you say it’s false?

Talk to them, those who are still alive that is.

Now there’s a war going on in Honduras, backed exclusively by U.S. and Canadian corporations, to topple a “Dictator” who was going to nationalize the resources of Honduras and make the U.S. and Canadian corporations pay more than the 3-4 dollars a day for the labor of the People of Honduras.

The police and military have been battling in the streets for a week now, busting the heads of “elitists” who are trying to “enslave” everybody in Honduras. They did this in a Military coup ahead of an election that the “Dictator” probably would have won.

That there’s no CIVILIANS out busting the heads of these “elitists” and “Communist Radicals” tells a far different story than you might hear on, say, Fox News or in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

In Nicaragua the goon-squads were called “Contras” and backed by the same people who bring us Fox News and the Gazette. They bombed and shot up schools, orphanages, churches and hospitals, and “our” government called them Heroes and Freedom Fighters.

In Mexico, the PAN party has been running the show for a while now. They took over from the “socialist radicals” in the PRI party and for the same reason as Honduras, and Nicaragua, and South VietNamese, to give the people “Freedom” and the unfettered “Free Market” and all the benefits of Capitalism.

Doug Lamborn and Tancredo and Michelle Malkin tell us so, thus, it must be true.

They also tell us that the economy in Mexico after two and a half terms of a PAN controlled “Free” government, so filled with opportunity… is somehow oh.. how does one make this sound logical… fueling a massive wave of Illegal Immigration into the United States. By people seeking to feed their families.

Record Numbers in fact.

My my my my my… give them all the Benefits of a Reagan-inspired Libertarian Free Market and their country falls to shit and more of the people have to flee poverty and come here to find work.

Like the KTEL commercials used to say “Now how much would you pay? BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!”

They’re wanting to expand the same Corporate Free Market Rule all across the United States as well, promising us such wonderful Economic Freedom and Opportunity…

Wipe your ass GI, 2p, 2p…

Why be bothered by horrors of detainees

Con Son Prison Vietnam 1951President Obama is blocking the release of further detainee abuse photos. Would more images of outrages committed against US detainees inflame sentiment against US troops? No doubt. Would more of such photos add nothing to the national dialog? Well… If you consider that the media is still vacillating on the definition of waterboarding, torturers and the lawyers who sanctioned torture are being exempted from prosecution, and war criminals like Dick Cheney are bragging about their participation, maybe there’s room for more dialog.

Journalist Seymour Hersh has seen the additional photographs. He’s even recounted the videos of young Iraqi boy detainees being raped by their captors. Hersh described that the most haunting aspect were the boys’ screams. Barack Obama doesn’t want the American conscience haunted by any such brutalities.

Name is Yettaw, John Hasenfus Yettaw.

John William Yeattaw takes self-portrait before swimming Yangon Inya Lake to see dissident Aung San Suu KyiUgly American John William Yettaw snapped this picture of himself before swimming across a Burmese lake to meet with detained Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Yettaw claims to be writing an inspirational book on heroes and was apprehended on his return lap. Now Suu Kyi is facing charges of violating the conditions of her house arrest.
 
The last time a faceless middle-aged American bungled into world events, his funny name was Eugene Hasenfus, another pot-bellied religious Vietnam vet, who turned out to be a private contractor for the CIA. Could Yettaw have been plumbing covert communications equipment in anticipation of Suu Kyi’s role in Myanmar’s upcoming elections, or was Yettaw intended to trip the wire?

Six Days in Fallujah if you missed the fun

Screenshot of Six Days in Fallujah first person shooter by AtomicAs virtual-gaming distributer Konami reconsiders its release of SIX DAYS IN FALLUJAH, gaming pundits ask “Is it too early to role-play the Second Battle of Fallujah?” To non-US-vets it’s known simply as “Fallujah,” as one would denote Lidice or Srebrenica, by name alone. I don’t know, when will it be appropriate to satiate the nostalgic veteran gamer’s appetite to reenact war crime?

The obvious sarcastic question would be to ponder if White Phosphorous is among the player’s arsenal. Likewise, in “free fire zones” where US rules of engagement permitted the shooting of anything that moved, do you accumulate points for killing the civilians or running them over with your tank?

It would be interesting to see how Atomic Games, neighbor of Blackwater, reenacts the raid on the Fallujah hospital, or the strafing of refuges trying to cross the river when US forces had blocked the infamous Blue Bridge. Are key episodes actionable, or do you sit by as the game cycles through the script, where women and very young children were let to pass to safety, but men and boys were forced to back to the city to be dispatched automatically as combatants.

Is there a game version of My Lai? Perhaps the entire manslaughter safari of the Tiger Force Unit in Vietnam. My guess is there would be plenty of takers. How about the Russian destruction of Chechnya, or the assault on the Warsaw Ghetto? Why not?

Until it becomes okay to blend hypothetical roleplay with real human tragedy, gamers will have to be satisfied with fictional scenarios like Grand Theft Auto and Chainsaw Massacre. I wonder if Amazon already has preorders for customers salivating at the first chance to replay the Manson LaBianca-Tate escapades, Ted Bundy’s cross-country trek, or if they’re jonesing over Iraq, the Haditha tea party and barbecue.

Cable TV’s History Channel sucks coal

The History Channel - Empires of Industry series - The Legacy of CoalNeed further proof that The History Channel is Fox News for the archives? From rewriting the Vietnam War to mythologizing Harry Truman, The History Channel is determined to paint the televised record askew. For example, even in light of the current climate crisis, you will not find a more glowing tribute to America’s monarch of energy, especially its potential for continuing to supply America’s energy needs.