You are hereObama Administration
By Norman Solomon
The words in President Obama’s “State of the Union” speech were often lofty, spinning through the air with the greatest of ease and emitting dog whistles as they flew.
Let’s decode the president’s smooth oratory in the realms of climate change, war and civil liberties.
“For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”
We’ve done so little to combat climate change -- we must do more.
“I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change…”
Climate change is an issue that can be very good for Wall Street. Folks who got the hang of “derivatives” and “credit default swaps” can learn how to handle “cap and trade.” The corporate environmental groups are on board, and maybe we can offer enough goodies to big corporations to make it worth their while to bring enough of Congress along.
A mountain of bad, in fact deadly, ideas that Congress will eagerly support, and a handful of good proposals that no one will work for and Congress will strive to bury: the SOTU is SNAFU, ICYMI.
Obama's hiring Romney campaign staff, pushing for a massive corporate trade deal with Europe as well as the Pacific nations, militarizing the Mexican border, and promising not to spend a dime before listing all the good things he'll spend it on. He'll defend human rights in Egypt (but not mention billions of dollars' worth of weapons he'll give the Egyptian government). "Sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness," he said. Readiness for what, Mr. President?
"We have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts," Obama lied about his drone kill program, and Congress cheered. He said he'd end the war on Afghanistan, and they cheered. They sat silently through the next few sentences as he promised NOT to end that war, and then they picked up the cheering again. He hyped the military as a jobs program. He committed to cutting Medicare. Cheers, cheers, cheers.
"We produce more oil at home," he bragged. "We produce more natural gas than ever." We need "a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on." Inspiring!
I recently read the script of a new play by Karen Malpede called "Extreme Whether." The title picks up on the crisis of global warming and the choice it presents to our species. The play will be performed in New York as part of a Festival of Conscience along with Malpede's brilliant antiwar play "Another Life."
"Extreme Whether" is a riff on the story of James Hansen, the NASA scientist who has been trying to tell Congress that the environment is collapsing since 1988. Malpede invents a family story for a character like Hansen. At least in reading (much different from watching) the story at first seems insufficiently tragic. But as the play advances, so does its vision of the damage being done. Yet the closer the play gets to communicating the apocalypse that may be to come, the more it appears to have fallen short, although it is of course the play itself that is waking one up to the horror. Some things defy description even as they're told to you. In the end, the play is sufficiently tragic, but it presents an image of people as irrational, hedonistic, and therefore hopeless -- an image we should be constantly correcting if possible, except that it, too, seems pretty accurate.
The real Hansen will be speaking at the Festival of Conscience, as will I. See the schedule below.
First, this Sunday is a day to rally in Washington, D.C., for serious action on climate change. Be there. And make sure anyone who's not on board with this movement watches a performance of "Extreme Whether."
And that evening, help mark 10 Years of D.C. Poets Against the War.
Ann B. Knox, read a poem called "This Moment" in front of the White House on February 12, 2003:
We meet in this wind-harsh square
with some expectation,
some hope our presence will count,
our voices be heard.
We speak from what we know
and we know no poem
stirs from a closed mind.
Has the mailed fist
so closed on its own purpose
we speak to stone?
Pay attention, our words matter,
these bare trees matter,
the Potomac flowing black
under white ice matters,
kids, woods, a leashed dog,
All our lives converge
on this moment
and what follows tonight,
tomorrow, next week
will change our whole
"Sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness," he said.
Readiness for what, Mr. President?
Written by KAREN MALPEDE
Performances Thursday - Sunday, March 28 - April 21
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00pm
Sunday at 3:00pm
starring George Bartenieff with Abbas Noori Abbood, Christen Gifford, Abraham Makany, Alex Tavis & Di Zhu.
Another Life is a surreal romp through the post-9/11 decade; an out-sized mogul (George Bartenieff) controls, cashes-in, and is undone in the only American play about the U.S. torture program. Another Life has been excerpted in The Kenyon Review, given a staged reading at the National Theater of Kosovo, was a centerpiece of the Art of Justice: 9/11 Performance Project at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, and was further acclaimed during a workshop run at the Irondale Center last March. The play, written in a fast-paced lyric language, is based on research, interviews, testimonies, the words of torturers and tortured, and has been widely praised by experts in the field of human rights, for its inventiveness, power and ability to create empathy. George Bartenieff gives a tour de force performance as the Cheneyesque mogul Handel. Christin Clifford is his wife Tess and Abbas Noori Abood his prisoner Abdul. Di Zhu is his wounded physician daughter who becomes a whistle-blower; Alex Tavis a disgraced F.B.I. officer becomes head of Handel’s private contracting interrogation business. Abraham Makany is Geoff, Lucia’s fiancé who died in the Twin Towers, and retains the innocence of a previous age. With lighting by Tony Giovennetti, video design by Luba Lukova, costumes by Sally Ann Parsons and Carissa Kelly, set by Robert Eggers and music by Arthur Rosen, and written and directed by Karen Malpede, Another Life is a challenge to the legacy of torture. March 28-April 21, Thurs-Sat. at 8pm, Sun at 3pm; special Saturday, April 13 matinee at 3 pm.
Please Note: On Saturday, April 13, there will be a 3pm Matinee performance of ANOTHER LIFE. There will be no 8pm performance on April 13.
Play reading Monday, April 8 at 7pm
Saturday, April 13 at 8pm
Extreme Whether, a new play, will be given two premiere readings; itdraws inspiration from two earlier eco-conscious writers, Ibsen and Chekhov. It is a family drama set on an endangered wilderness estate in an endangered world; as immediate and startling as today’s extreme weather news. With fierce commitment to truth-telling and heroic persistence against the censorship of science a famous climate scientist and his younger colleague and lover battle industry climate change deniers to alert the wider public to the need for action. An old environmentalist, a wise child and a frog complete the cast. An original musical score by Arthur Rosen creates the cosmic dance. George Bartenieff, Kathleen Chalfant, Zack Grenier lead the cast alongside Soraya Broukhim, Kathleen Purcell and Alex Tavis in the two readings of this new play by Karen Malpede. April 8 at 7pm and April 13 at 8 pm, only.
FESTIVAL OF CONSCIENCE
Both plays are presented in conjunction with A Festival of Conscience, a series of post-show dialogues with major voices. These post-show talks are free to all.
March 28: Noor Elashi, writer, daughter of Ghassan Elashi, currently serving 65 years in a CMU prison in Colorado, for having led a Muslim charity that sent donations to Gaza, Pardiss Kabriaei, CCR lawyer representing Muslim’s in the U.S.
Thursday, April 4, David Swanson, author War Is A Lie, blogger, radio host
Sunday, April 7 (post-matinee): Elizabeth Holtzman, Cheating Justice & Karen J. Greenberg, Director, Center on National Security, Fordham Law.
Monday, April 8: 8 pm Reading Extreme Whether, post-show talk by Dr. James Hansen, NASA, America’s foremost climate scientist
Thursday, April 11, 8pm Another Life, tba post-show discussion
Friday, April 12, 8 pm Another Life, post-show Victoria Brittan, journalist, co-author, Guantanamo: Honour Bound to Defend Duty; Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror
Saturday, April 13: 2 pm matinee of Another Life. 4:30-6 Post-show panel, Ramzi Kassem, lawyer for Gitmo detainees, Jesselyn Radack, Government Accountability Project, lawyer for many of the whistle blowers, including John Kiriakou; and Tom Drake, whistle blower and former intelligence officer.
Sunday, April 14: 2 pm matinee of Another Life. 4:30-6 post-show panel, Michael Ratner, Exec. Director of CCR and lawyer for Julian Assange; and Christian Parenti, author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, and other books, and contributing editor to The Nation.
By Dave Lindorff
The US government doesn't like Iran. I get that. It claims, on pretty dubious grounds, that Iran might be planning, at some point down the road, to take some of the uranium it is processing into nuclear fuel to a higher level of purity and make it into an atomic bomb.
by Debra Sweet Tuesday on Democracy Now, Daniel Ellsberg pointed out that President Obama is "thinking like John Yoo." The White Paper leaked just as the drone-in-chief/assassination czar John Brennan begins hearings to become the new head of the C.I.A. doesn't rise to level of the more sophisticated memo like the one Yoo wrote to justify torture (download PDF) but it's just as chilling. Apparently the Obama administration is giving the memo which this White Paper is based on to Congress today.
By Dave Lindorff
For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the managing editor of the New York Times, who ran two stories in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all.
By John Grant
By Dave Lindorff
I personally found the president’s inaugural speech not just insipid, but disgusting. It reached its gut-churning nadir near the end where he said:
Meet the new boss who, upon his inauguration, declared that the right to life is unalienable. Let me be clear, that doesn't mean he can't take yours.
In fact, he runs through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays, hung over from inaugurations or not, and picks whom to murder and murders them.
We're not supposed to call it murder, of course, because it's properly assassination. Except that no public figures are being assassinated; 98% of those killed are not targeted at all; some are targeted for suspicious behavior without knowing their names; one type of suspicious behavior is the act of retrieving the dead and wounded from a previous strike; and those targeted are not targeted for politics but for resisting illegal occupations. Moreover, an assassination is a type of murder.
We're not supposed to call it murder, nonetheless, because it sounds more Objective to call it killing. But murder is a type of killing, specifically unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought. Killing by accident is not murder and not what the president is doing. Killing legally is not murder and not what the president is doing -- at least not as far as anyone knows or according to any interpretation of law put forward. Killing indirectly by encouraging poverty or environmental destruction or denial of healthcare may be things the president is doing, but they are not murder and not drone wars.
Imagine if a non-president went through a list of everyone in your local elementary school, picked out whom to kill, and ordered them killed. You would call it murder. You would call it mass-murder. You would call it conspiracy to commit mass murder. Why would electing that mass murderer president change anything? Why would moving the victims abroad change anything?
KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES
"Kill Anything That Moves" is the title of an important new book from Nick Turse, covering the mass-murdering enterprise known in Vietnam as the American War, and in the United States as the Vietnam War. Turse documents that policy decisions handed down from the top led consistently, over a period of years, to the ongoing slaughter of millions of civilians in Vietnam. Much of the killing was done by hand or with guns or artillery, but the lion's share came in the form of 3.4 million combat sorties flown by U.S. and South Vietnamese aircraft between 1965 and 1972. Air strikes are President Obama's primary instrument of foreign relations as well; he ordered 20,000 air strikes in his first term.
The well-known Mylai massacre in Vietnam was not an aberration, but an almost typical incident and by no means the worst of them. Turse documents a pattern of ongoing atrocities so pervasive that one is compelled to begin viewing the war itself as one large atrocity. Something similar could be done for the endless war on everywhere that we are currently living through. Scattered atrocities and scandals in Afghanistan and Iraq are interpreted as freak occurrences having nothing to do with the general thrust of the war. And yet they are its essence.
"Kill anything that moves," was an order given to U.S. troops in Vietnam indoctrinated with racist hatred for the Vietnamese. "360 degree rotational fire" was a command on the streets of Iraq given to U.S. troops similarly conditioned to hate, and similarly worn down with physical exhaustion.
Dead children in Vietnam resulted in comments like "Tough shit, they grow up to be VC." One of the U.S. helicopter killers in Iraq heard in the Collateral Murder video says of dead children, "Well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."
In Vietnam anyone dead was the enemy, and sometimes weapons would be planted on them. In drone wars, any dead males are militants, and in Iraq and Afghanistan weapons have often been planted on victims.
The U.S. military during the Vietnam War shifted from keeping prisoners toward murdering prisoners, just as the Endless War on Everywhere has shifted from incarceration toward murder with the change in president from Bush to Obama.
In Vietnam, as in Iraq, rules of engagement were broadened until the rules allowed shooting at anything that moved. In Vietnam, as in Iraq, the U.S. military sought to win people over by terrorizing them. In Vietnam, as in Afghanistan, whole villages were eliminated.
In Vietnam, refugees suffered in horrible camps, while in Afghanistan children are rapidly freezing to death in a refugee camp near Kabul.
Torture was common in Vietnam, including water-boarding. But it wasn't at that time yet depicted in a Hollywood movie as a positive occurrence.
Napalm, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and other widely despised and banned weapons were used in Vietnam as in the current war.
Vast environmental destruction was part of both wars.
Gang rape was a part of both wars.
The mutilation of corpses was common in both wars.
Bulldozers flattened people's villages in Vietnam, not unlike what U.S.-made bulldozers do now to Palestine.
Mass murders of civilians in Vietnam, as in Afghanistan, tended to be driven by a desire for revenge.
New weaponry allowed U.S. troops in Vietnam to shoot long distances, resulting in a habit of shooting first and investigating later, a habit now developed for drone strikes.
Self-appointed teams on the ground and in helicopters went "hunting" for natives to kill in Vietnam as in Afghanistan.
And of course, Vietnamese leaders were targeted for assassination.
Then, as now, the atrocities and "war crimes" were committed with impunity as part of the crime that was the war itself. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say: because there was impunity then, it remains today.
Turse discovered that the military investigated numerous accusations, documented incidents, and then buried the reports. So did others in the government. So did the media, includingNewsweek which buried a major investigation. Those who engaged in that coverup don't have on their hands the blood that had already been spilled, but do have on their hands the blood that has been spilled since in similar wars that might have been prevented.
Vietnamese victims who saw their loved ones tortured, murdered, and mutilated are -- in some cases -- still furious with rage decades later. It's not hard to calculate how long such rage will last in the nations now being "liberated."
The crowd that turns out and shuts down Washington, D.C., for Obama inaugurations imagines that it is advancing peace and justice. But it does so by cheering for one of two teams regardless of that team's performance. Were that size crowd to turn out just once for a substantive demand, for peace or justice or any of the good causes favored by the people involved, a real victory would be obtainable.
If the crowd learned this week that Obama is murdering people, and returned next week to demand an end to the murders, the resulting movement would indeed end them. Not only am I sure of that, but I hold it to be self-evident.
By Dave Lindorff
There were no memorable lines in President Obama’s second inaugural address. Certainly nothing like Franklin Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” which was in his first inaugural, or like John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.”
But there was plenty he said that was troubling.
The problem mostly wasn’t what he said. It was how he said it, and what he left unsaid.
Bomber in Chief: 20,000 Airstrikes in the President's First Term Cause Death and Destruction from Iraq to Somalia
Many people around the world are disturbed by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The illusion that American drones can strike without warning anywhere in the world without placing Americans in harm's way makes drones dangerously attractive to U.S. officials, even as they fuel the cycle of violence that the "war on terror" falsely promised to end but has instead escalated and sought to normalize. But drone strikes are only the tip of an iceberg, making up less than 10 percent of at least 20,130 air strikes the U.S. has conducted in other countries since President Obama's inauguration in 2009.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
America’s corporate news media love highlighting David-besting-Goliath stories…except apparently, when the fallen Goliath is major media mogul Rupert Murdoch – the billionaire owner of America’s caustic FOX News and other entities.
What you can do to stop drone wars and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s opposition to militarism, racism, and extreme materialism.
1. Take 30 seconds to join 60,000 others in pushing for a ban on weaponized drones.
2. Take 30 seconds to demand that the millions being wasted on inaugural balls go to those who have lost their jobs, healthcare, and homes.
3. Be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to say: No Blank Check for Israel!
Condition U.S. aid to Israel on compliance with U.S. and international law!
4-6 p.m. in Farragut Square
4. Join a meeting of anti-drone activists in Washington, D.C., on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 400 I (Eye) Street, SW Washington, DC (near Arena Stage); Metro: 1 block from Waterfront Metro (GREEN LINE). Contact 571-501-3729.
5. Attend a rally and march in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning.
9-10 a.m. Rally with prominent speakers and music at Meridian Hill Park (lower level) at Florida Avenue and 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20008. At 10 a.m. parade forms and marches down 16th Street NW to K Street NW. Contact 202-422-6275.
6. Do a die-in Monday in Washington, D.C., organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR). At the U.S. Capitol sometime after noon. Those dying-in will be risking arrest, and as we lie on the ground we will cover our bodies with a red-painted sheet to represent a bloody shroud, and with a large picture of a drone victim. We invite you to participate in this action -- either risking arrest, or to be there in solidarity and witness. We call on all participating to commit to nonviolence. There are a number of people who would like to participate in both the Arc of Justice Rally and Parade, and then participate in the die-in. We have organized our action so that people will be able to do both. If you are planning or thinking about risking arrest, please contact email@example.com – especially if you will be joining us at 11:45 am after the Arc of Justice Parade.
January 21, Inauguration Day. Meet at 8 a.m. at the food court at Union Station near King BBQ and Vittorio's Gelato. OR: Rendezvous point for people hooking up after Arc of Justice Parade will be at 11:45 a.m. in the same location. We will leave Union Station as a group at 12:15 p.m. and move towards the Capitol for the die-in. Photos of drone victims and shrouds will be provided for people risking arrest. We will need people to hand out flyers during the die-in. It is suggested that those dying-in bring a piece of plastic to put underneath them on the sidewalk. Temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 30s or low 40s and we may be lying on the ground for up to an hour. If you can play a support role for the action, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 608 239-4327.
7. Attend the launching of a new book: We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in The 21st Century. Reading, signing and discussion of new book in honor of MLK Day. 7-9 p.m. on Monday at 1525 Newton Street NW, Washington, DC 20010
By Dave Lindorff
What is wrong with America?
By Kourosh Zaibari
By Dave Lindorff
The all-out assault on Social Security has begun.
The set-up for the big battle was the Fiscal Cliff charade. That hyped drama in the last days of December was a moment of truth for the Democratic Party and for President Barack Obama to make it clear whether they were still defenders of the New Deal legacy, or whether they were ready to toss Social Security overboard on behalf of the party’s new constituency: the Wall Street gang.
By John Grant
Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made.
-- Mark Twain
Kerry is the richest man in the US Senate and has over $38 million invested in companies with military contracts.
The Case Against Kerry
By Stephen Zunes, January 3, 2013
Foreign Policy in Focus
President Obama’s selection of John Kerry as the next secretary of state sends the wrong signal to America’s allies and adversaries alike. Kerry’s record in the United States Senate, where he currently chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, has included spurious attacks on the International Court of Justice, unqualified defense of Israeli occupation policies and human rights violations, and support for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, thereby raising serious questions about his commitment to international law and treaty obligations. Furthermore, his false claims about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and his repeated denials of well-documented human rights abuses by allied governments raise serious questions about his credibility.
In the 1980s, during the early part of his Senate career, Kerry was considered one of the more progressive members of the U.S. Senate on foreign policy. His record included challenging the Reagan administration’s policies on Central America, providing strong leadership during the Iran-Contra investigation, opposing U.S. support for the Marcos regime in the Philippines and other allied dictatorships, and supporting the nuclear freeze, among other positions supporting peace and human rights.
More recently, however, Kerry became a prominent supporter of various neoconservative initiatives, including the invasion and occupation of Iraq, undermining the authority of the United Nations, and supporting Israeli militarism and expansionism.
By Dave Lindorff
I was asked earlier this week by an reporter for PressTV, the state television network in Iran, if I could explain why the US political system seemed to be so dysfunctional, with Congress and the President having created an artificial budget crisis 17 months ago, not “solving” it until the last hour before a Congressional deadline would have created financial chaos, and even then not solving the problem and instead just pushing it off for two months until the next crisis moment.
January 21st will be an odd day in the United States. We'll honor Martin Luther King Jr. and bestow another 4-year regime on the man who, in his Nobel peace prize acceptance speech said that Martin Luther King Jr. had been wrong -- that those who follow his example "stand idle in the face of threats."
I plan to begin the day by refusing to stand idle in the face of the threat that is President Barack Obama's military. An event honoring Dr. King and protesting drone wars will include a rally at Malcolm X Park and a parade named for a bit of Kingian rhetoric.
That evening I plan to attend the launch of a new book called We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America.
The Martin King I choose to celebrate is not the mythical man, beloved and accepted by all during his life, interested exclusively in ending racial segregation, and not attracted to activism -- since only through electoral work, as we've all been told, can one be a serious activist.
The Martin King I choose to celebrate is the man who resorted to the most powerful activist tools available, the tools of creative nonviolent resistance and noncooperation, in order to resist what he called the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.
Taking that seriously means ending right now the past five-year-long ban on protesting the president. At Obama's first inauguration we held Good Riddance to Bush rallies because pressuring Obama to mend his militaristic ways was not deemed "strategic."
It turns out that refusing to push people toward peace does something worse than offending them. It ignores them and abandons them to their fate.
But pushing is not exactly the verb we should be looking for as we strive to build an inclusive peace movement. Nor is peace exactly the adjective. What we need is a movement against racism, materialism, and militarism.
To build that, those working to reduce spending on the Pentagon's pet corporations need to also work against the prison industrial complex. And those working against police violence need to work for higher taxes on billionaires. And those working to protect Social Security and Medicare need to oppose the murdering of human beings with missiles and drones.
We need to do these things not just because they will unite a larger number of people. We would need to do them all even if nobody were already working in any of these areas. We need to do them because we are taking on a culture, not just a policy. We are taking on the mental habits that allow racism, materialism, and militarism. We cannot do so with a movement that is segregated by policy area any more than we can with a movement that is segregated by race.
The torture techniques are shared between our foreign and domestic prisons. Local police are being militarized. The latest insanity would have us arm our teachers so that when our children are shot up by failed applicants to the U.S. Marine Corps there will be, as at Fort Hood, more guns nearby. Violence at home and abroad exists through our acceptance of violence. Plutocratic greed drives both war and racism. Racism facilitates and is facilitated by war.
We Have Not Been Moved is a book with many lessons to teach. King spoke against the war on Vietnam despite being strongly advised to stick to the area of civil rights. Julian Bond did the same, losing his seat in the Georgia state legislature. African Americans marched against that war by the thousands in Harlem and elsewhere, including with posters carrying the words attributed to Mohammad Ali: "No Vietcong ever called me nigger!" So did Asian Americans and Chicanos. SNCC risked considerable support and funding by supporting the rights of Palestinians as well as Vietnamese, urging draft resistance, and stating its disbelief that the U.S. government's goals included free elections either at home or abroad.
Immigrants rights groups (to a great extent more accurately: refugee rights groups) are sometimes reluctant to challenge the war machine, despite deeper understanding than the rest of us of how U.S. war making creates the need for immigration in the first place. But, then, how many peace activists are working for immigrants' rights? Civil rights groups strive to resist rendition and torture and indefinite detention, warrentless spying and murder by drone. Unless they are brought more fully into a larger coalition that challenges military spending (at well over $1 trillion per year both before and after the "fiscal cliff") the struggle against the symptoms will continue indefinitely. Environmental groups are often reluctant to oppose the military industrial complex, its wars for oil, or its oil for wars. But this past year the threat that South Korean base construction and the U.S. Navy pose to Jeju Island brought these movements together -- a process our survival depends on our continuing.
Our movement must be inclusive and international. The movement to close the School of the Americas has not closed it, but has persuaded several nations to stop sending any would-be torturers or assassins to train there. The movement to shut down U.S. military bases abroad has not shut them down en masse through Congress, but has shut them down in particular places through the work of the people protesting in their countries. Where do we find media coverage that sympathizes with domestic struggles for justice within the United States? In foreign media, of course, in the media of Iran and Russia and Qatar. Those governments have their own motives, but support for justice corresponds with the sentiments of their people and all people.
Our movement should not oppose attacking Iran purely as outsiders, but working with Iranians. We should not oppose attacking Iran because all of our own problems have been solved, or because the dollars that will be spent attacking Iran could fund U.S. schools and green energy, or because attacking Iran could lead to attacks on the United States. We should oppose attacking Iran because we oppose militarism and materialism and racism everywhere.
We sometimes worry about having too many issues on our plate. How, we wonder, can new people be attracted to our rally against another war if we unreasonably also oppose murderous sanctions? How can we welcome new activists who doubt the wisdom of the next war if we unrealistically oppose all militarism? How can we not turn people off if our speeches demand rights for women and immigrants and workers? Do people who've never heard of Mumia need to hear about his imprisonment? Don't we want homophobes to feel they can join our campaign without loving those people?
I think this is the wrong worry. I think we need more issues, not fewer. I think that's the genius of Occupy. The issues are all connected. They are issues of greed, racism, and war. We can work with Libertarians on things we agree on. We need be hostile to no one. But we need to prioritize building a holistic movement for fundamental change. Taxing the rich to pay for more wars is not the answer. Opposing all cuts to public spending, even though more than half of it goes to the war machine is not the answer. Insisting that banks stop discriminating, while drone pilots do is not the answer.
This is going to take work, huge amounts of work, great reservoirs of patience and humility, tremendous efforts at inclusion, understanding, and willingness to see changed what it is people become included in. But we can afford to turn off racists. We can afford to not appear welcoming to bigots. We are many. They are few.
The war machine has set its sights on Africa. Its new name is AFRICOM, and it means business, the business of exploitation and cruelty. We can better understand 9-11 and everything that has followed from it if we understand the long history of terrorism on U.S. soil. We need the wisdom of Native Americans, Japanese Americans, Muslim Americans, and everybody else here and abroad who has been paying attention. We need to move from making war to making reparations, at home and abroad. We will have less reparations to make the sooner we stop making war.
We Have Not Been Moved includes a never before published speech by Bayard Rustin in which Rustin quotes Ossie Davis saying to the President: "If you want us to be nonviolent in Selma, why can't you be nonviolent in Saigon?"
"All the weapons of military power," says Rustin, "chemical and biological warfare, cannot prevail against the desire of the people. We know the Wagner Act, which gave labor the right to organize and bargain collectively was empty until workers went into the streets. The unions got off the ground because of sit-down strikes and social dislocation. When women wanted to vote, Congress ignored them until they went into the streets and into the White House, and created disorder of a nonviolent nature. I assure you that those women did things that, if the Negro movement had done them, they would have been sent back to Africa! The civil rights movement begged and begged for change, but finally learned this lesson -- going into the streets. The time is so late, the danger so great, that I call upon all the forces which believe in peace to take a lesson from the labor movement, the women's movement, and the civil rights movement and stop staying indoors. Go into these streets until we get peace!"
FBI Ignored Deadly Threat to Occupiers: US Intelligence Machine Instead Plotted with Bankers to Attack Protest Movement
By Dave Lindorff
New documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice and released this past week show that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occupy Movement at least two months before the first occupation actions began in late September 2011.
Playing to Lose?
Obama’s Just Another Chicago Player Throwing the Game
By Dave Lindorff
Will Obama cave? How deeply will Obama cave? Why did Obama cave again? Were you hoping Obama would change his caving ways? President Barack Obama, one begins to understand, must be our spelunker in chief.
By Dave Lindorff
Most Americans, their minds focused at the moment on the tragic slaughter of 20 young children aged 5-10, along with five teachers and a school principal in Connecticut by a heavily-armed psychotic 21-year-old, are blissfully unaware that their last president, George W. Bush, along with five key members of his administration, were convicted in absentia of war crimes earlier this month at a tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.