December 5th, 2022 Global issues,Iran,Israel,June 2009,News,Non-Violence,Palestine,Racism,refugee
Secretary-General calls again on Israel to ease Gaza blockade
Palestinian women walk near Israel’s barrier near Ramallah in the West Bank
19 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated his call on Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza during a meeting today in New York with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Mr. Ban also called for a freeze on all settlement activity, including natural growth, and for Israel to allow the resumption of stalled United Nations projects in Gaza, according to information provided by his spokesperson.
On Wednesday, a group of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called for an end to the blockade on Gaza, which has now been in force for two years and has left the population of 1.5 million almost totally dependent on international aid.
In addition to Gaza, the Secretary-General and Mr. Liberman discussed a number of regional issues including Lebanon. Mr. Ban briefed the Foreign Minister on his upcoming report on Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah.
On the Middle East Peace Process, the head of the UN reiterated the need for a political process based on the two-State solution and negotiations on all core issues, as envisaged in international law, Security Council resolutions, and existing agreements.
The two men also discussed Iran, with Mr. Ban reiterating his belief that the nuclear issues can and should be resolved through peaceful means, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.
THE ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION OF DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN GABRIELLE GIFFORDS IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN AMERICAN POLITICS
December 5th, 2022 Global issues,January 2011,Non-Violence,USA
Since the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Senator in 1968. Congresswoman Giffords remains in critical condition in a Tuscon hospital. Giffords was one of 9 people shot. Six people were killed including John Roll, the chief federal judge for the state of Arizona. A 9 year old elementary school girl was also gived. 13 others were wounded in the shooting spree.
The alleged assassin, Jared Lee Loughner, had had a history of mental illness. He had been suspended from his community college after erratic and intimidating behavior. Students at the community college recalled being frightened of him. The college administration suspended Loghner barring him from returning until he underwent psychiatric evaluation and produced a note by a psychiatrist indicating he wasn’t a danger to the public. Loughner apparently didn’t re-enroll and attempted to enter the US Army. It’s quite revealing that the US military, desperate for recruits and known to be extremely relaxed about who it accepts, rejected Loughner. Loughner’s Internet postings, including his You Tube channel, seemed to be that of one suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. His videos were erratic and cryptic messages about the government and monetary currency. While obviously neither cogent not coherent, the themes he espoused are the trade of the American far-right.
Gabrielle Giffords, along with fellow Latino House representative Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva, had long been the political targets of the far right both within Arizona and by the Tea Party. Giffords was named by the National Organization of Women and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League as one of the leading members of Congress devoted to the legalization of abortion rights in the country. Both organizations devoted money and resources to her re-election campaign. Giffords, who was originally a Republican before switching parties, has been one of the leading pro-choice politicians in the US Congress. Her pro-choice politics made her a despised figure among the far right Tea Party.
Congressman Grijalva was a target of the far right within Arizona because he is Latino and one of the leading advocates for the rights of both legal and illegal Latino immigrants. Grijvalva was the most vocal and outspoken opponent of Arizona’s Bill 1070, which criminalises all Latinos and those that look Latino as illegal aliens. Both Giffords and Grijalva were supporters for The Affordable Care Act. Both had received numerous death threats and had their offices attacked. The office window of Giffords had been shot out. Rocks were thrown through the windows of Grijvala’s office. Grijalva’s office had been vandalized with a Nazi Swastika spray painted on the exterior.
Federal judge John Roll has also been the target of death threats by the far right based on decisions he made regarding immigration cases. White supremacist anti-immigrant vigilantes have grown in number and patrol the streets and highways throughout the State of Arizona. Judge Roll and his family had 24 hour protection from the US Marshal Service.
The shooting of Giffords and Roll were clearly acts of political terrorism. Last year, the Tea Party, led by Sarah Palin organized violent protests across the country against President Obama and in opposition to health care reform. Tea Party activists attended town hall meetings held by Democrat congress members with loaded firearms. Leading up to the November Mid-Term elections, Republican Tea Party candidates all across the country threatened armed uprising and revolution if they didn’t win the elections. Giffords has been specifically targeted by Sarah Palin on her Twitter posts and other Internet pages. Palin’s site had a graphic of a map of the United States. There were cross hair targets of several congressional districts held by Democrats. Gifford’s district was located on the target cross hairs. In June, Gifford’s Tea Party Republican opponent Jesse Kelly promoted a campaign event on his website that read: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”
Encouraged by Kelly, during the course of the election campaign, right-wing protesters would gather weekly near her office carrying signs with slogans such as “It’s time to reload” and “One way or another, you’re gone.”
Giffords fearing for her life and quite possibly for Democracy spoke out warning: “When people do that, they have got to realize there are consequences to that action.” In response to such criticism, Palin replied on twitter, “Don’t retreat, reload.”
In the aftermath of the shooting in Tuscon, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik suggested Jared Lee Loughner may have been influenced by right-wing political rhetoric: “When the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates, and to try to inflame the public on a daily business, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, has impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with.”
This sentiment was echoed by Gifford’s father. When he left the hospital after visiting his daughter made it clear who was responsible for the rampage. When he was asked whether his daughter had any enemies, he said, “Yes, the whole Tea Party.”
Since Saturday, the entire right wing media has been on the defensive. On his Sunday radio broadcast, Alex Jones denied that the conservative and patriot movement had anything to do with the shooting rampage. Jones used the incident to even call for less restrictions of gun laws! “If Giffords had been packing heat, she would not have been shot. If anyone present had a gun, they would have been able to take him out before he was able to shoot others.” This sentiments were echoed by newly elected Tea Party Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who repeated the trite cliché: “Weapons don’t kill people. People kill people.”
Not only are these statements dishonest but they also falsify the facts over the past two years. Alex Jones himself, led the anti-Obama crusade with his documentary “The Obama Deception” released within two months of Obama taking office. “The Obama Deception” calls Obama a “communist” and goes as far as comparing Obama to Adolph Hitler. Glen Beck of Fox News has devoted hours of airtime accusing Obama of being a “communist”. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, which included Fox, has stirred up racist angst against Obama. In Spring 2009, his newspaper The New York Post had an offensive cartoon depicting Obama has a primate that had been shot dead by the police. Since then, many pundits and hosts on Fox have openly called for Obama to be killed. For two years, the right wing media of Fox TV and AM talk radio has whipped up irrational fears about Obama and have called for his assassination.
Last year during the lead up to the final votes on Health Care Reform, thousands of protesters led by Glen Beck, took the streets of Washington threatening legislators with violence. Last April, thousands of Tea Party protesters held an armed rally and march across the Potomac River in Virgina. The midterm election campaign became increasingly violent leading up to voting day.
In January 2010, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle raised the possibility of armed insurrection.
“You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second
Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this
Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”
In March 2010, now Speaker of the House John Boehner gave a deadly warning to a Cincinnati Democrat representative about supporting Health Care Reform providing federal funding for abortions:
“He may be a dead man. He can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati. The Catholics will run him out of town.”
The same month Michele Bachmann, the chair of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, incited her constituents to armed conflict:
“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people — we the people —
are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”
Before the Kentucky senatorial debate, Rand Paul supporters attacked and stomped on the head of MoveOn.org activist Lauren Valle. One of her attackers Tim Profitt went as far as to demand an apology from Valle!
In October 2010, Dallas, Texas Tea Party candidate Stephen Broden also raised the call for a violent overthrow of the US government: “Our country was founded on violence. That option is on the table. We shouldn’t remove anything off the table.”
Given the this highly charged political atmosphere, Saturday’s massacre shouldn’t come as a surprise. Indeed, it was quite expected. However, the massacre raises more questions. Who exactly is Jared Lee Loughner? On his You Tube and Internet postings, he mentioned “sleepwalking” and “conscience dreaming”. “Mind control” was also a common leitmotiv. His friends have told the media that he was “on a secret mission” for the US government. Furthermore, the police are looking for a second suspect. The suspect is described as a man being his is 50s and was reported seen with Loughner arriving at the event hosted by Congresswoman Giffords.
Since assassination of President John F. Kennedy, there have been a string of assassinations and attempted assassinations against politicians and celebrities. All of these incidents have been staged by “lone” gunmen with a history of erratic behavior and mental illness. Their targets have all been significant public figures. Yet nearly all the assailants didn’t seem to have specific political motivations for the actions.
Loughner seems to fit the mold of the assassins that killed Robert F. Kennedy and John Lennon. Loughner was obsessed with mind control and the occult. Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. Sirhan had always contended that he had been hypnotized and that he was in fact under mind control. In 2005 Peter Evans,the British author of the book Nemesis , spent 10 years researching the book, has unearthed evidence to support Sirhan’s contention that he was hypnotised into being the “fall guy” for the murder. Evans identifies the hypnotist, who had worked on CIA mind control programmes and who was later found dead in mysterious circumstances. Sirhan’s lawyer, Larry Teeter, is convinced that the Palestinian activist was chosen to be a Manchurian Candidate-style assassin through hypnosis.
In a 2005 interview, Teeter told The Independent newspaper: ”I know it was done. It was consistent with the US government’s program developed by the CIA and Military Intelligence to enable handlers to get people to commit crimes with no knowledge of what they are doing.”
This past December 8 marked the 30th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon. His assassin, Mark David Chapman, shot Lennon at point blank range in front of The Dakota apartment complex. Chapman was said to be in a daze after the shooting leafing through The Catcher in the Rye. In a BBC interview from prison Chapman recounted the event.
“He walked past me and then I heard in my head, ‘Do it, do it, do it,’ over and over again, saying ‘Do it, do it, do it,’ like that,” Chapman, preternaturally serene, recalled in a BBC documentary several years after going to prison. “I don’t remember aiming. I must have done, but I don’t remember drawing a bead or whatever you call it. And I just pulled the trigger steady five times.”
British lawyer/journalist Fenton Bresler, author of the book Who Killed John Lennon?, came to the following conclusion: Chapman was a brainwashed hit man carrying out someone else’s contract. Bresler thesis is that Chapman was a mind-controlled assassin manipulated by some right-wing element possibly connected to the newly elected (and not even inaugurated) Reagan apparatus of reaction.
Lennon was viewed as a dangerous subversive both by FBI founder and head J. Edgar Hoover and President Richard Nixon. Like Giffords and RFK, Lennon had made many enemies within the American far right political apparatus.
There’s a link between Shirhan and Chapman. RFK’s apparent lone killer, Sirhan Sirhan, and Chapman shared a defense psychiatrist. But while Dr. Bernard Diamond couldn’t skirt the obvious fact that Sirhan was under hypnosis (Diamond wrote it off as self-hypnosis), he labeled Chapman a “paranoid schizophrenic.”
There are still too few details in the Loughner case to date to make any concrete conclusions. The only reason why The Age of Nepotism is making a link between these 3 cases, stems from the fact that Loughner was obviously obsessed about mind control.
Regardless of whether or not Loughner was simply paranoid schizophrenic and truly a right wing lone lunatic, the fact remains is that Congresswoman Giffords and Judge Roll had made powerful enemies within the far-right of the American political establishment. They had received death threats and became victims of politically motivated murder. The right wing in the US from the Republican Tea Party to Fox News and Talk Radio bear the moral and political responsibility for creating polarized violent atmosphere of fear and madness.
The Union of the Republic is in grave danger. Democracy along with human and civil rights are imperiled. The political and social union of the country is facing its greatest threat since 1860. This has been the results of the attack of democracy led by the Republican Party over the past decade. The second part of this series will look at the stolen Presidential election of 2000 and examine the political and social disintegration of the country since then.
December 5th, 2022 Non-Violence,October 2012
The Positive Peace Warriors Network (PPWN) was created to continue to work to fulfill a promise, & to continue the legacy of Kingian training. Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr., who was the director of the Poor People’s Campaign and a friend of the King family, made a promise to Coretta Scott King: to institutionalize and to protect the integrity of her husband’s philosophy. PPWN will introduce us to Kingian philosophy & strategy on movement-building within and without for long-term sustainable change. Join Kazu Haga, founding board member of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) & Jonathan Lewis, trainer of thousands of activists across the world, for a special condensed introduction to the PPWN training. The Occupy movement has been the most important movement towards revolutionary change in a generation. How can we use Kingian philosophy to sustain our movement in the long-term? Join us at Forum in the Park to find out!
Location: Bradley Manning Plaza (Justin Herman Plaza) near the Embarcadero BART Station in SF, across from the Ferry Building. We will have cushions, blankets to keep you warm, amplified sound, & peacekeepers to keep it alcohol, interruption, & smoke-free.
December 5th, 2022 January 2011,News,Non-Violence,USA
One of the most distinctive features of American democracy is its constitutional right to free speech. The idea of a free and open press has been one of the pillars of the country before the founding of the republic. By the 1930s, the United States led the world with mass media through newspapers and radio. The 1960s saw the beginning of talk radio. The concept of talk radio was novel as it produced the first non dramatic radio personalities. Listeners were allowed to phone the radio studio to share their opinions and ideas live over the air with millions of listeners. From the 1960s through the 1970s, talk radio hosts such as Studs Terkel played a key role in the expansion of democracy following the free speech, civil rights and anti-war movements. Talk radio was viewed as a people’s forum where most of the listeners and presenters had liberal and progressive politics.
Talk Radio “Shock Jocks”
By the 1970s, “Shock Jocks” appeared including Murray The K and Don Imus. They gained notoriety also for their use of profanity, explicit sexual innuendo and advocating drug use. While Imus and Murray The K were crude, there was a progressive element to their content. They were popular expressions of anti-establishment sentiment of the country.
Talk radio’s political content changed in the mid 1980’s. Right and and bigoted talk radio began to become mainstream, in part of the shifting political and social climate to the right under the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Bob Grant, who hosted a prime time radio talk show on WABC New York, started this trend. He gained the reputation for being insulting and rude to callers that disagreed with him. He would viciously denigrate and abuse callers while hanging up on them. After the Bernard Goetz shooting incident, in which a white man shot a group of Black teenagers he believed were threatening him on a New York City subway train, Grant’s rhetoric became hateful. He openly characterised Black New Yorkers “savages”. He would engage in wholesale slander and libel against 5 million strong Black and Puerto Rican population. Grant’s popularity increased and he became the number one radio talk show in New York.
The Rise of Trash TV
Television programming went through a political transformation as well. Phil Donahue is credited for starting the first successful TV talk show program. His subject matter started as serious and sober. On his program had members of his studio audience interact to ask his guests questions and to comment as well as television viewers phoning in to participate in the conversation. The arrival of The Morton Downey Jr Show towards the end of the late 1980s brought radical change to TV talk programs. Downey’s show aimed for the lowest common denominator. He espoused the right wing politics of Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Downey would scream and shout in the faces of his guests who disagreed with his views. He would interrupt his guests before they could finish a sentence. He smoked on the set and blew it in the faces of his guests he disagreed with. The studio audience was a motley crew of ignorant low lives scrapped off the gutters of Jersey City and the frat houses of New Brunswick, New Jersey. They would bark like dogs in front of the camera. The nastier and more vicious Downey would treat his guests, the more excited and aroused they would become. Fisticuffs would erupt and many of his episodes degenerated into street brawls with the low lives shouting, barking and further instigating the conflict. Geraldo Rivera joined the act. Rivera started off as a serious investigative reporter for WABC TV in New York during the 1970s before degenerating into a trash show host. Many of his episodes degenerated into brawls as well.
The 1990s continued the downward trend. Rush Limbaugh arrived on WABC Radio as well. What made Limbaugh different than Bob Grant and Morton Downey, Jr was his stunning ignorance. Though Grant and Downey was repugnant personalities, they did still presented their opinions based on facts. Limbaugh crossed over into the realm of propaganda. Limbaugh told outright lies and misinformation over the airwaves. Limbaugh accused Bill Clinton of being a “socialist”. When Clinton tried to pass health care reform, Limbaugh led the ideological propaganda assault lambasting it as “socialism.” Limbaugh was seen as a market success and he became the most popular talk show host in the country. Talk radio outlets across the country introduced legions of similarly ignorant hosts who espoused hateful incendiary speech.
On television, more and more talk shows attempted to build off the success of Morton Downey, Jr. There seemed to be a race to the bottom in content. Producers didn’t even attempt to get serious guests on to discuss the pressing issues of the day. Most programming was dedicated to cases of relationship infidelity in which ignorant and uneducated young people would scream and fight each other over men. Jerry Springer, the former right wing Democrat mayor of Cincinnati, became the most successful. His studio audience made Downey’s look civil by comparison. These programs were not even “talk shows” as there wasn’t any dialogue or exchange of ideas, let alone opinions. Instead they were nothing less than shouting matches and physical violence. Indeed, these programs were more psychological programs. Certain topics were selected as the choice of guests were generally repulsive people with whom no one could relate to. These programs were designed to induce and provoke emotional responses with both the studio audience and the TV viewer.
Fox News and The Political Rise of the Far Right
The first political manifestation of this trend was the rise of the Newt Gingrich Republicans during the 1994 Mid-Term elections. Instead of being the dignified representatives of the people, the House Republican caucus was a circus of ignorant, misinformed, reactionary cretins found under the rocks of the most remote caves in far away mountains. Rather than articulating their right wing agenda, they would shout and scream against Clinton and the Democrats. Rather than civil debate on the floor of the Congress, they would take every opportunity to demonstrate that they and only they were the vilest and the most vulgar. When President Clinton gave State of the Union addresses, Gingrich and Trent Lott would glower and scowl at the president. The United States Congress had transformed from an institution from where the work of the country and the issues facing the country were debated and discussed with dignity and sobriety into the TV studios of Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones.
In 1996, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News Network. In spite of its trademark “fair and balanced”, Fox News gave airtime to the far right. Bill O’Reilly replaced Rush Limbaugh as the leading propagandist. O’Reilly was not only a propagandist but a violent agitator at that. While one could chuckle ten years earlier listening to Bob Grant as he snarled: “Get off the air you creep!”, there wasn’t anything remotely amusing or funny about O’Reilly. While Bob Grant opposed the holiday honouring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and called him a “trouble maker”, O’Reilly openly called for the repeal of landmark civil rights laws. O’Reilly along with Limbaugh called for the repeal of Affirmative Action and other aspects of civil rights legislation. O’Reilly would threaten physical violence against guests who disagreed with him. O’Reilly is known to raise his hands and fists motioning to assault guests who had the temerity to disagree with him.
The Sibling Society
By 1996, the cultural, political and social climate had degenerated to the point that older intellectuals and artists became alarmed. In his 1996 book, The Sibling Society , the poet Robert Bly declared that the US was no longer a society of adults. Instead, it had regressed to a society of adolescents. He cited the examples above on television. He described Newt Gingrich and the Republicans in Congress as adolescents. Where were the adults? How was it possible that politicians in their 40s and 50s behaved like teenagers in high school. He described the Democrats and Republicans as two high school arch football rivals. He wondered how it was possible during the president’s Sate of the Union Address that the leaders of the country would appear on national television without dignity. Bly warned that the TV programming was creating a nation of adolescent siblings who fought and competed with one another. Rather than a united country based on the common zeal of the community, American culture and politics had degenerated into high school. He warned that this would lead to fascism. He argued that fascism would arise out of conformity. He cited the Super Bowl as the biggest example of fascism. Everyone in the US is practically obliged to watch the Super Bowl regardless if they like football or not. If one is not watching it on TV, then one is an outcast. Bly noted the pressure to conform during adolescence. If one doesn’t conform, then one is outcast as a loser. It warning has come true.
The Far Right Seizes Power
Bly’s warning came true four years later with the Presidential election of 2000. The Republican candidate George W. Bush was the epitome of what Bly characterised as the adolescent. Bush was a candidate lacking any intellectual and communication skills. Meanwhile, his Democrat opponent Al Gore was dubbed Al Bore. It didn’t matter that he had much more experience than his opponent. The entire media, which had degenerated towards the successful Fox News format in order to compete for viewers and advertising revenue, reduced the election to a popularity concert. Rather than asking voters who they believed had a better understanding of the issues, the media asked who they would rather have beer with.
The night of the election was witness to some of the most remarkable events in American political history. Initially, the state of Florida had been projected to Gore by all the major networks based on exit polling. Gore was believed to have won the election. The Bush campaign took the unprecedented step denounce the projections as wrong. Bush went before the cameras and declared that he had won the election. He refused to concede defeat. The networks backed down and declared Florida too close to call. In the early hours of Wednesday, Fox News became the first network to call Florida for Bush, thereby declaring him the victor in the election.
Heading the decision desk, where the network reviewed vote totals and polls to arrive at projections, was John W. Ellis, a first cousin of George W. Bush. Ellis unilaterally called the election for Bush before any determination by the Voter News Service, the consortium of leading newspapers and television networks, after a 2 a.m. telephone discussion with Bush and his brother Jeb who was the sitting governor of Florida. Fox News had politically interfered in the election outcome
Over the next weeks, a legal challenge and recount was conducted in Florida. Angry lynch mobs of Republican supporters took to the streets. In the counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, Florida Republican officials and their mobs of supporters physically harassed and threatened election board members from meeting and recounting the ballots. The day after the Florida Supreme Court ordered the continuing recounting of votes, a mob of Bush supporters besieged the Miami-Dade County board of canvassers, grabbing a Democratic lawyer and threatening to assault those involved in manually recounting the ballots. A few hours later the Democratic-controlled board announced it was abandoning its recount. Eventually, the US Supreme Court suspended the recount of votes and effectively handed the election to Bush. American democracy had been hijacked.
The record of the Bush regime is well known and there’s no need to review them. The events of September 11, 2001 transformed the political and social landscape. Fox News led the jingoistic vitriol. It became acceptable to openly espouse hate speech against Arabs and Muslims. American society had been thoroughly militarized. Anyone that questioned Bush, the “War on Terror” and the invasion of Iraq was denounced as a traitor, disloyal, unpatriotic and a terrorist. The 8 year reign of the Bush regime was the most violent in American history. Television and radio had dominated and set the political tone. The liberal media outlets such as the New York Times and National Public Radio had parroted the lies and propaganda of the Bush regime. Journalists such as Bill Moyers and Dan Rather were hounded out of their jobs by the screaming far right for being unpatriotic.
From the White House, the Pentagon and Justice Department down to the TV and radio studios of Fox News and ABC, madness reigned supreme. Lies, propaganda, violence and vitriol was had become part of the national fabric. Mass murder, genocide, plunder, torture and sadism was on practically every TV and radio station in the country. The venerable New York Times lost credibility after having been exposed for publishing fabrications and collaborating with the Bush White House in suppressing information about illegal wiretapping by the government.
By 2006, the vast majority of Americans had been sickened by the debasement of the country under the Republicans. The Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 and lost the White House in 2008. Billions of people within the US and the world celebrated the ousting of the Republicans and hoped that the US would return to humanity.
Unfortunately, the political and social damaged had been done. The election of the first Black president emboldened the far right. Obama was denounced for not being a natural born American and for being a “communist” and “fascist”. 2009 saw a string of far right wing violence. In May of 2009, Dr, George Tiller, a physician who performed abortions in Wichita, Kansas was murdered by a fascist anti-abortionist. Like Congresswoman Giffords, Tiller had long been targeted by the far right wing. Dr. Tiller has survived multiple attempts on his life. His clinic had been bombed repeatedly. Jared Lee Loughner had also been known to espouse anti-abortion views. Loughner had insulted a woman in his community college class for a presentation about abortion she had presented.
Within a week of the murder of Dr. Tiller, a Neo-Nazi white supremacist went on a shooting rampage at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC killing a Black security guard. By the beginning of 2010, the Tea Party movement began its agitation.
Jared Lee Loughner was born and raised in the cultural political and social milieu over the past 20 years. He was ten years old during the stolen election of 2000. Like most American kids growing up during the 1990s, he was probably raised watching Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones. He was 9 years old during the Columbine school massacre. Loughner is a victim of the degenerate cultural and intellectual toxic swamp that the United States has become over the past 20 years. How many youth today are psychologically damaged from the political climate over the past 10 years? How possible could it be for anyone that grew up under the 8 years of Bush/Cheney and the regime of Fox News to be a stable person capable of making sound moral judgements? Loughner is as much a victim as he is a perpetrator of the sado-masochistic psychological violence that the United States has become.
Yes, the Republicans and propagandists such as Rupert Murdoch are to blame. The right wing movement is an ever growing and present danger and threat to the country. However, it would not be in the interest of fairness to lay the blame squarely on their shoulders. Liberals and the Democrats have failed to do their part to resist and undermine the efforts of the far right. This will be the subject of the third and final part of this series.
December 5th, 2022 Global issues,January 2011,News,Non-Violence,USA
“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. April 4th 1967
Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam-A Time To Break Silence is as applicable today, if not more so, as it was nearly 45 years ago when he gave it at Riverside Church in New York. Presently, the United States has been at war longer than at any other time throughout its history. The Afghan war has been waged for a decade without an end in sight. NATO has pushed back its deadline for withdrawal year after year with the never ending caveat “if ground conditions permit”. More than 50,000 soldiers continue to occupy Iraq. More than 150,000 soldiers from more than 50 countries around the world fight a dirty colonial war in Afghanistan. While it’s true that these current wars started under George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress, it has been continued and expanded under the Democrats. The majority of Americans suffer from war fatigue. Twice within the past four years, the electorate voted to stop the wars but alas, the wars continue. President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have recently passed the largest military budget since the Second World War. As the United States commits unspeakable violence overseas, horrible violence plagues the country at home.
Where Are The Heroes?
Historically, the differences between American liberals and conservatives was more than differences in politics and policies. The most important differences lay within values. Liberals believed in social justice and true equality. Conservatives believed in hard justice and inequality. Liberals believed that all human beings deserve equal chances to prosper and lead lives of quality as conservatives believed that inequality was an inherent “human nature” and that attempts to reduce inequality was an undue burden on society. Liberals recognised socio-economic inequality while conservatives believed so such thing existed in the United States. Liberals through the Democratic Party believed that if the government lifted society from the bottom, the living standard would rise for everyone. Conservatives through the Republican Party believed that if government lifted society from the top, the living standard would rise for all.
The most striking display within the differences of values between liberals and conservatives were those they identified as heroes. For the liberal grand and great-grand parents of today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was their primary hero. Roosevelt is their hero because he attempted the ameriloate the negative impacts of the Great Depression through massive public work projects, employment and by introducing the welfare state through measures such as Social Security. For the conservative grand and great-grandparents of today, their hero is Dwight D. Eisenhower, the military general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. Though he warned of the “military industrial complex” at the end of his term, it was under his presidency that the US became increasingly militarized. Under his presidency, the CIA began its activities of overthrowing soverign democratic governments around the world and replacing them with brutal dictators. Eisenhower was the first US President to visit Fascist Spain and recognized General Franco.
For liberal baby boomers, they had plenty of heroes as they grew up. They had John F. and his brother Robert Kennedy, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Their conservative contemporaries had Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The liberal heroes spoke of peace, an end to war and for social justice in equality. The conservative heroes spoke of war, law and order and moral values even though their actions and deeds were immoral.
However, for both the boomers and Generation X, they had one more hero than the liberals. They had Ronald Reagan. Reagan sought to undermine and roll back the gains of workers and minorities in the country. Reagan began the process of destroying all the programs and policies established to bring about social justice and equality in the country. Reagan held minorities and the poor with contempt. He demonized poor mothers on welfare as undeserving and lazy parasites. Reagan sent the military to overthrow the democratically elected government of Grenada. He sent war planes to assassinate Libyan leader Gaddafi killing his one year old child in the process.
The point is that American liberals proposed peace, justice and equality as American conservatives promoted war, militarism, injustice and inequality. After the assasination of Dr. King in 1968, American liberals seemed to run out of heroes. The last liberal hero, Jesse Jackson was co-opted and marginialised in 1988. Bill Clinton was never a liberal. Liberals tolerated Clinton simply because they had been demoralized after 12 years of Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In 2004, a new liberal hero appeared to emerge in the person of Barack Obama. In 2008, he was elected to the presidency. Liberals had never been so excited and happy since the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960. Perhaps after 40 years of conservative and centre-right politics, liberalism had returned? Instead, liberals find themselves disappointed with Obama. Obama, Joe Biden and others at the White House have expressed nothing but contempt for liberal values. Once again liberals find themselves isolated and cannot see anyone on the horizon to restore their hope and confidence.
The conservatives have found new heroes and a new heroine. Unlike liberals they not only have heroes and heroines in politics but also in the media. Today, the Tea Party is the political home of today’s conservative heroes and they have plenty more on Fox News and talk radio. Liberals have become ashamed of and embarrassed by Obama. Their only heroes are now late night comic actors on Comedy Central. Those liberals with time on their hands to read call Noam Chomsky their hero. Liberals and progressives find themselves in an intellectual and moral morass.
Liberalism and War
The Democrats are often considered the party of peace and the Republicans the party of war. The historical record states otherwise. The United States entered both World Wars under liberal Democrat presidents. Woodrow Wilson promised peace and to stay out of the First World War when he ran for re-election in 1916 only to take the country to war one year later. Franklin Roosevelt ran a pacifist campaign in 1940, even while he was angling behind the years to get involved. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the convenient excuse FDR needed to enter the war.
Initially, John F. Kennedy was a war hawk. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Kennedy was quite keen to start nuclear war with Cuba and the USSR. Kennedy had an itchy finger over the red button. The crisis was averted and the world saved from the brink of destruction due to the intervention of the Canadian government. Kennedy was irate over Canada’s intervention and Kennedy made it clear during a State visit to Ottawa where he cursed out the entire cabinet of the government of Prime Minister Diefenbaker. On the other hand, Kennedy seemed to undergo a political transformation and clashed with the military brass and the CIA. Though not officially recognized, there’s been enough research, including the death bed confession of one his assassins, to indicate that Kennedy was killed by elements of the military industrial complex.
His successor Lyndon Baines Johnson is mostly remembered for his esclation of the Vietnam War. Declassified documents have revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a hoax in order to justify a complete military intervention of the war. Among liberal and progressive anti-war activists the initials of the president became synonymous with war and murder. Though it was under Eisenhower that the US first became involved militarily in the Vietnam conflict and Kennedy had sent more military “assistance” to South Vietnam, it was Johnson who became most identified with the war. By 1967, Johnson had become hated amongst anti-war and civil rights activists.
It’s important to note that though FDR and LBJ led through countries into brutal warfare, they both introduced government programs to relieve poverty. Johnson launched the “War on Poverty“. As part of this “Great Society” program Medicare, the health insurance scheme for elderly retirees was introduced. It was under Johnson that both the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were drafted and signed into law. This was always the fatal contradiction of American liberalism. One on hand, liberal Democrats advanced democracy, social justice and equality domestically while they went on imperliast military adventures abroad. Under Johnson, the CIA continued to overthrow democratic soverign governments from Brazil to Indonesia. The CIA even tried to overthrow the Canadian government of Lester Pearson for his efforts to reduce Cold War tensions. This is the fatal flaw and contradiction of American liberalism. One cannot advance social justice and equality at home while pursuing tyranny and inequality abroad. This is the cause of America’s moral, political and economic predicament today.
Clinton, Obama and The New Democrats
“Conservatives believe. Liberals lie.” The trends forecaster Gerald Celente made the preceding statement a couple of weeks ago. Celente calls himself a political atheist which places him in an objective position to give political analysis. “Conservatives believe” in the lies spoon fed to them by Republican politicians and the talking heads on Fox. Conservatives really believe that Muslim terrorists “hate our freedoms”. They really believe that Saddam Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction.” Conservatives believe that the “War on Terror” is to really “bring democracy to the Middle East and Afghanistan.” Conservatives really believe that God is “punishing America for its immorality” of killing millions of unborn fetuses. The more fantastic, the more absurd and more preposterous the propaganda, conservatives will fall for it hook line and sinker.
Liberals on the other hand lie. During a Gary Null radio interview Celente elaborate: “They will never admit that they have been conned by the conman in chief, head of the presidential reality show. Liberals are intellectual enough to know they have been conned but don’t have the moral or spiritual strength to admit so.”
It’s sad to agree with Celente’s comment. Since taking office, President Obama’s foreign and war policy had matched and even exceeded that of George W. Bush. While Bush was in office, liberals protested and complained. However, when Obama has done the same or worse, there is a deafening silence from liberals. Obama’s award for the Nobel Peace Prize is a choice example. Obama received the prize less than a year of taking office and absent of any significant history of bringing peace to the world. When Bush was nominated for the peace prize was there consternation and explosive indignation that a war criminal could even be considered for the prize and rightfully he didn’t win it. Obama’s acceptance speech was his most vulgar public display to date. Obama stated that there would always be war and to think otherwise and to even stop war is to live in fantasy land. Obama stated that he was Commander-In-Chief of a nation at war. The rest of the address was bellicose in extreme. “We must begin by acknowledging a hard truth. We will not eradicate violent conflicts in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations, acting individually or in concert, will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.” In the next breath Obama desecrated the legacies of King and Gandhi by stating that as the President of the United States, he could not act according to their ideals. Had Bush made the same speech, liberals would have stormed the White House and lynched him from a tree across the street in Lafayette Square. However, since it was Obama there wasn’t even a murmur of disapproval by liberals.
American liberals abhor capital punishment. Yet every Democrat presidential candidate since 1992 has supported it. During his tenure as governor of Texas, Bush executed more people than any other politician in American history. Texas competed with Iran and China for the top spot of state executions. Per capita, Bush executed more prisoners than any other chief executive in the world during his terms as governor. Liberals abhorred Bush during the 2000 election for that very reason.
But where was the same moral outrage when Bill Clinton, after the 1992 New Hampshire Primary, flew back to Arkansas to personally oversee the execution of a mentally retarded Black man? Liberals made all sorts of excuses for Clinton. He had to show he was “tough on crime” under George H.W. Bush pulled another Willie Horton as he did against Michael Dukakis in 1988.
How many times will liberals let the Democrats betray them before they do anything about it? Liberals believed that if they swept Republicans out of office during the 2006 Mid Term elections, they could achieve two purposes: Stop the wars and impeach Bush. The Democrats swept the Republicans out. Less than a week after the elections, incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ruled out impeachment proceedings against Bush. Liberals believed that if they couldn’t impeach Bush, Democrats would have the power to investigate Cheney, Rumsfeld and other officials in the Bush administration. The Democrats didn’t open a single probe. The wars could have ended in 2007 simply by cutting off the funding. The Democrats refused out of fear of being viewed as unpatriotic. They justified the continued funding of the wars claiming they were opposed the war but “supporting our troops.”
Not sensing reality, liberals placed all their efforts to electing Obama with his empty slogan of “change and hope you can believe in.” Many gays and lesbians voted for Obama as they were tired of the homophobic demagogy from the Christian far right. Obama, not wasting time to spit on his core base, assigned a right wing homophobic Christian fundamentalist pastor to give the inaugural invocation. Before Obama was sworn in, he assembled the most right wing, reactionary and Zionist members of the Democratic party to fill his cabinet.
Obama signed two executive orders on his first day to close Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to ban the practice of torture. Two years later Gitmo remains open. Torture is still practiced by the US military and intelligence agencies. Obama increased more troops to Afghanistan and expanded the war into Pakistan. Predator drone attacks have increased and killed more civilians than anytime under Bush. Why are the liberals silent? In 2010, Obama signs an executive order given him the exclusive right to assassinate American citizens who he, and only he determines to be a threat to “national security”. Imagine if Bush had signed the same executive order. Most recently, Obama is moving to have preventive and indefinite detention without trial. Habeas Corpus has been executed without a whimper from liberals. 800 years of Anglo-Saxon Common Law tossed in the rubbish sign with nothing more than a yawn from liberals.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the media, the Republican surge in 2010 wasn’t the results of a massive shift to the far right nor was it because Americans believed that the Democrats had governed too far to the left. The tens of millions of people who had voted from Obama in 2008 sat the election out as they no longer believed that the Democrats were any different from the Republicans.
“The Liberal Media”
As Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann explained thoroughly in “Manufacturing Consent”, the myth of “The Liberal Media” was a concoction of conservative ideologues in the 1980s in order to intimidate and force the mainstream media to give more attention and focus to right wing ideas. It’s true that the mainstream media up until the 1990s was less commercial than today. It’s also correct that the media used to do a bit more investigative reporting and report on issues of vital importance. It’s beyond the scope of this essay to give a full examination.
As presented in the second part of this series, the media landscape changed during the mid 1980s. As social inequality widened and the top earners got richer and corporations faced less regulation, the news media shifted with the country. What made the media “liberal” was the new technology of television during the 1950s and 60s. There was far less censorship than today. What made the Civil Rights Movement so effective was the images of peaceful Black protestors being brutalised by police dogs and fire hoses. The anti-war movement became powerful because people all over the world saw the horrors of Vietnam in their living room during dinner time. The TV cameras were present on the streets of Chicago as the police cracked open the skulls of unarmed peace activists during the Democratic National Convention of 1968. The cameras were live as they filmed Mayor Daley shouting “fuckers!” at anti-war protestors on the floor of the convention. Dan Rather was attacked by delegates on the convention floor and got into a scuffle live on TV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrlYRWD_tnA
Today if Martin Luther King had organised marches in Birmingham, none of the TV networks would have aired it. The local TV station would have used creative editing. The story would have been told by Bull Connor and the reporters would have repeated what he said and implied that the unarmed and peaceful protestors had “provoked” the police. Over the past decade there has been police brutality against peaceful protestors outside political conventions and international summits. These have all been ignored by the media or the official police version of events is presented. On February 15, 2003, hundreds of millions of people participated in the largest globally planned protest movement in human history. CNN didn’t mention it.
As Bush and Obama have gutted the constitution and committed crime, there wasn’t a single editorial or protest by the New York Times or the Washington Post. The newspapers and television networks consulted with the White House to edit the stories to present. Each new outrage produced silence, tepid criticism or even worse, support from the media. This has led to the rise of alternative and independent media. The growth of online news has increased by remains a drop in the ocean compared to the established newspapers.
Solutions for Progressives
It’s obvious that most liberals no longer care about issues of social justice. Liberalism is dead. Progressives need to organise and start anew. A new third party must be formed. This is evident yet somehow liberals are unable to break out of the straightjackets of masochism. “We can’t vote for a third party candidate because they can’t win.” Yes they can’t win when everyone says the same thing. Just imagine what would happen if everyone that made that statement actually voted for a third party candidate? What are the solutions?
I will cite one solution offered from Ralph Nader. In a recent interview with Chris Hedges, Nader dared to say what no liberal has the courage nor nerve to state. Nader didn’t mince his words and they are notworthy:
“The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes…The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.
“The left has nowhere to go. Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power. “Corporate power makes demands all the time…It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.
“Obama has the formula now,” Nader said. “You give the Republicans a lot of what they want. Many of them vote for you. You get your Democrat percentage. You weave a hybrid victory. That is what he learned in the lame-duck session. He gets praised as being a statesman and a leader and getting things done. Think of all the rewards he can contemplate while he is in Hawaii compared to what they were saying about him on Nov. 5. All the columnists and pundits say that now he can work with John Boehner. But once you take a broader view, it is the difference in the mph of corporatism. McCain is 50 miles per hour and Obama is 40 miles per hour. The left has disemboweled itself…It doesn’t even have a strategy every four years like a good poker player.”
On the topic of the right wing hegemony of the media, Nader had this to say:
“The so-called liberal media, along with Fox, is touting the tea party and publicizing Palin,” Nader said. “There was an editorial on Dec. 27 in The New York Times on the Repeal Amendment, the right-wing constitutional amendment to allow states to overturn federal law. The editorial writer at the end had the nerve to say there is no progressive champion. The editorial said that the liberals and progressives have faded out to let the tea party make history. And yet, for months, all The New York Times has done is promote Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. They promote Newt Gingrich and the neocons on the Op-Ed pages. The book pages of the newspaper ignore progressive authors and pump all the right-wing authors.
“If we don’t raise hell, we won’t get any media. If we don’t get any media, the perception will be that the tea party is the big deal.
“On one notorious Sunday, Oct. 10, two of The New York Times’ segments led with a big story about Ann Coulter and how she will change her strategy because she is being outflanked by others,” Nader said. “There was also a huge article on this anti-Semite against Arabs, this Islamaphobe, Pam Geller. Do you know how many pictures they had of Geller? Twenty on this front-page segment. The number of anti-war Op-Eds in The Washington Post over nine months in 2009 was 6-to-1 pro-war. We don’t raise hell. We don’t say Terry Gross is a censor. We don’t say that Charlie Rose is a censor. We have got to blast publicly. We have got to hammer them, because they are the tribune of right-wing fascist forces.
“Three thousand people rallied to protest the invasion and massacre in Gaza two years ago,” Nader said. “It was held four blocks from The Washington Post. It did not get a single paragraph. People should march over to the Post and say ‘Fuck you! What are you doing here? You cover every little blip by the right-wing and you don’t cover us?’
“They are afraid of the right-wing because the right-wing bellows, and they have become right-wing,” Nader said of the commercial press. “They have become fascinated by the bias of Fox. And they publicize what Fox is biased on. The coverage of O’Reilly and Beck and their fights is insane. In the heyday of coverage in the 1960s of what we were doing, it was always less than it should have been, but now it is almost zero. Why do we take this? Why do we accept this? Why isn’t Chris Hedges three times a year in the Op-Ed? Why is it always Paul Wolfowitz and Elliott Abrams and all these homicidal maniacs? Why are they there? Why is John Bolton constantly published in The Washington Post and The New York Times? Where is Andrew Bacevich? Bacevich told me he has had five straight Op-Eds rejected by the Post and the Times in the last two years. And he said he is not inclined to send anymore. How many times do you hear Hoover Institution? American Enterprise Institute? Manhattan Institute. These goddamned newspapers should be picketed.”
“How much more can the oppressed take before they revolt? And can they revolt without organizers? These are the two important questions. You have got to have organizers, and as of now we don’t.”
When will liberals stop being afraid to speak out against police brutality? How come the liberals in San Francisco are silent when Oscar Grant is executed in front of hundreds of witnesses on a subway platform and his killer is acquitted on murder charges? How long will it take for liberals to take a real stand against capital punishment? How is it possible that more people know of the case of Mumia Abul Jamal in London, Paris and Berlin than those in New York, Boston and San Francisco? When will liberals stop being afraid accused of “being soft on crime” or go out of their way to say that they always “support the police”? When will liberals stop being so blatantly selective about the issues they get vocal about? Liberals will march and protest about stolen elections in Iran and the lack of human rights in Tibet while being silent about stolen elections and human rights abuses at home. Have liberals become cowards? Have liberals perverted Dr. King’s policy of non-violence to the extreme that they don’t even bother showing up to protests for fear of being beaten and arrested for their convictions? Do liberals believe non-violence means the absence of fights and struggles? Have liberals confused humility for meekness? Do liberals believe that they can try to talk rationally and intellectually with opponents who want to hurt them? Dr. King was a warrior. He didn’t beg nor plea with power for them to be nice. Dr. King was non-violent yet assertive. Dr. King was peaceful yet forceful. Most importantly, Dr King took responsibility for his inaction for speaking out against war earlier.
The only way to stop war is to acknowledge that one is in a war. Peace is the goal. But being anti-war doesn’t connote denying the reality of a war. The United States is at war at home and abroad. In order to stop the war abroad we must stop the war at home. We must stop the political war we are engaged in. We must stop the civil war that’s happening in every inner city district of the country. Regardless of whether certain liberals want to confront this reality or not, there is a war in the poorer darker pockets of American cities between the residents and the police. It’s a one sided war as the former are vastly out-gunned by the latter. We must stop the “War on Drugs.” The United States is the world’s largest prison with the vast majority of those incarcerated for low level non-violent drug offensives. Middle Class liberals must understand that being caught with a joint by the police is different than being a person caught with the same joint in Harlem or Hunters Point. There is an information war. Liberals must wake up and confront the reality of daily systematic violence afflicting large segments of the population. War is on television. War is in the schools of the nation. War is on the streets of the nation. There’s a global economic war. There is economic warfare in the country.
Liberals have been complicit in the current state of affairs. George W. Bush has published and book and has appeared on national TV admitting that he engaged in torture and would do it again. The Bush regime know that after 2 years of Democratic rule without criminal investigations opened or charges pressed, they are confident that they can do it again. Obama is breaking both US and International law by refusing to bring the Bush regime to justice. “Looking forward and not looking back” is nothing less than averting one’s eyes. Over the past 25 years, liberals have averted their eyes to injustice or have pretended not to notice. Worse, many liberals simply don’t care. Out of sight, out of mind appears to be the predominate trend for American liberals be it to injustice at home and abroad. From this arise the following questions which American liberals and progressives must answer.
Are we going to give up and hand over all the economic, social and political rights we gained over centuries of struggle? Remember the millions before us that died so that we can live in peace and prosperity. Are you going to give up more than 200 years of Enlightenment with all the advances in philosophy, politics and science to a well-funded and organised band of ignoramuses that want to take us back to feudalism? If you answer no to any of these questions, then you have no other choice but to rise, stand up and fight. If we don’t fight now we will lose our liberal freedoms and social justice for decades if not centuries to come. We have a choice. Time is running out.
December 5th, 2022 January 2011,News,Non-Violence,Regions,USA
To: Palin-lovers, Fox “News,” the “mainstream” media, and the Far Right, et al.
From: William Rivers Pitt
Date: Monday 10 January 2011
Re: The blood on your hands
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn’t much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a “former Republican,” and is today considered a “Blue Dog” Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.
Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party’s recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.
And then all Hell broke loose.
A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords’ skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords’ director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married. U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords’ constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.
At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.
I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.
You false patriots who bring assault rifles to political rallies, you hack politicians and media personalities who lied through your stinking teeth about “death panels” and “Obama is coming for your guns” and “He isn’t a citizen” and “He’s a secret Muslim” and “Sharia Law is coming to America,” you who spread this bastard gospel and you who swallowed it whole, I am talking to you, because this was your doing just as surely as it was the doing of the deranged damned soul who pulled the trigger. The poison you injected into our culture is deeply culpable for this carnage.
You who worship Jesus at the top of your lungs (in defiance of Christ’s own teachings on the matter of worship, by the way) helped put several churchgoers into their graves and into the hospital. You who shriek about the sanctity of marriage helped cut down a man who was about to be married. You who crow with ceaseless abandon about military service and the nobility of our fighting forces helped to critically wound the wife of a Naval aviator who fought for you in a war. You who hold September 11 as your sword and shield helped put a little girl born on that day into the ground.
You helped. Yes, damn you, you helped.
The “mainstream” media is already working overtime playing up the “Disturbed loner” angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner’s transformation into a disturbed individual. But here’s the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox “News” fearmongering…so he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense…the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday. The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.
He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.
I’m talking to you, “mainstream” media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn’t him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display…but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.
“Mainstream” news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity. It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that. I hate to break this to the “mainstream” media know-betters, but words matter. When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The “mainstream” media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it’s good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.
Remember the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent occupation? “WMD everywhere, al Qaeda connections to 9/11, plastic sheeting and duct tape because we’re all gonna die!” was the central theme of the majority of your broadcast schedule for years…until it was all proven to be a lie. You helped the liars, you were the liars, but you knew that. You also got your spectacle, and the corporations that own you got paid a king’s ransom, so everyone was happy, except the dead.
Tell me this is any different, I dare you. For the spectacle, the ratings and the pleasure of your owners, you ran names like “Sarah Palin” across the sky in lights, even after she should have faded into well-deserved obscurity, and helped this blister of right-wing rage fester until it finally burst. This was your show, and in perhaps the most wretched irony of all, I would bet all my worldly possessions that your ratings are through the roof right now. You got what you wanted. I hope you are pleased.
And yes, I’m talking to you, Sarah Palin, you unutterably disgusting fraud. You pulled it off your ridiculous website, but it’s out there: you put cross-hairs – literally, cross-hairs – on Rep. Giffords, you blithered about “reloading” instead of “retreating,” and you made this country more stupid and violent with every breath you took. Well, congratulations, you failure, you quitter, you inciter of mobs. You put the cross-hairs on her, and someone finally pulled the trigger. Run from it all you like, Lady MacBeth, but this blood will never be washed from your hands.
I’m talking to you, Sharron Angle, you walking punch-line, who talked about “Second Amendment remedies” being necessary if you didn’t get your way on health care reform during your failed Senate campaign.
I’m talking to you, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, and to every other right-wing tripe-spewing blowhard blogger and Fox News broadcaster. I hope you are proud of yourselves, because this is the day you get to reap what you have been relentlessly sowing since you were forced to encompass the unmitigated outrage of a Black man winning the office of President of the United States.
That’s right, I said it. Anyone who thinks good old-fashioned American bigotry and racism are not the core motivation for a vast majority of these so-called “revolutionaries” should get their heads examined. You’ve heard of the “elephant in the middle of the room?” Well, this is the burning cross in the middle of the room, and no amount of spin will douse those flames.
I’m talking to you, Koch Brothers. Your money to create and spread this disease was well-spent; you now have one less Democrat in the House to worry about, at least for the foreseeable future. Congratulations, you un-American sacks of filth.
And I’m talking to each and every one of you who listened to these traitors and believed the nonsense they spewed at you for no other reason than to pick your pockets for campaign/organization contributions. I’m talking to you who wore your silly fatigues and carried your badly-spelled fact-deprived signs to protests with pistols on your hips and rifles on your shoulders. You who threw bricks through the windows of politicians you disagreed with. You who shot out the windows of Rep. Giffords’ office not even a year ago.
You worked very hard to create exactly this atmosphere in America, and now it has come to be. We have entered the age of the Wrath of Fools, and we now must again exist in an America where the word “assassination” has become all too relevant.
You helped this happen. You.
You know it. I know it. Have the guts to admit it, even if only to yourselves.
I know many Republicans and conservatives, and consider them to be dear friends. The single most influential person in my life (aside from my mother) was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and there is no person I respected more than him. I do not count these people, and those like them, among those whom I address here. They are as sickened and repulsed by you as I am.
This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve. Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.
Oh, P.S., if anyone reading this is operating under the delusion that the overheated right-wing rhetoric that went a long way towards almost getting Rep. Giffords killed, and had a strong hand in putting six people in the ground, is some sort of new Obama-era phenomenon, well…
“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”
– Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95
“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”
– Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton
“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”
– Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95
“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”
– Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02
“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”
– Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02
“Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.”
– John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
“Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.”
– State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01
I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but you get the gist.
Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt
This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
William Rivers Pitt is a Truthout editor and columnist. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: “War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know” and “The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.” His newest book, “House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America’s Ravaged Reputation,” is now available from PoliPointPress.
December 2nd, 2022 Censorship,Iran,June 2009,News,Non-Violence,Uncategorized
In the name of God, the kind and the merciful
Indeed god demands you to safe keep what people entrust in you, and to rule them with justice. [this a verse of Koran]
Respectable and intelligent people of Iran,
These nights and days, a pivotal moment in our history is taking place. People ask each other: “what should we do?, which way should we go?”. It is my duty to share with you what I believe, and to learn from you, may we never forget our historical task and not give up on the duty we are given by the destiny of times and generations.
30 years ago, in this country a revolution became victorious in the name of Islam, a revolution for freedom, a revolution for reviving the dignity of men, a revolution for truth and justice. In those times, especially when our enlightened Imam [Khomeini] was alive, large amount of lives and matters were invested to legitimize this foundation and many valuable achievements were attained. An unprecedented enlightenment captured our society, and our people reached a new life where they endured the hardest of hardships with a sweet taste. What this people gained was dignity and freedom and a gift of the life of the pure ones [i.e. 12 Imams of Shiites]. I am certain that those who have seen those days will not be satisfied with anything less.
Had we as a people lost certain talents that we were unable to experience that early spirituality? I had come to say that that was not the case. It is not late yet, we are not far from that enlightened space yet. I had come to show that it was possible to live spiritually while living in a modern world. I had come to repeat Imam’s warnings about fundamentalism. I had come to say that evading the law leads to dictatorship; and to remind that paying attention to people’s dignity does not diminish the foundations of the regime, but strengthens it. I had come to say that people wish honesty and integrity from their servants, and that many of our perils have arisen from lies. I had come to say that poverty and backwardness, corruption and injustice were not our destiny. I had come to re-invite to the Islamic revolution, as it had to be, and Islamic republic as it has to be.
In this invitation, I was not charismatic [articulate], but the core message of revolution was so appealing that it surpassed my articulation and excited the young generation who had not seen those days to recreate scenes which we had not seen since the days of revolution and the sacred defense. The people’s movement chose green as its symbol. I confess that in this, I followed them. And a generation that was accused of being removed from religion, has now reached “God is Great”, “Victory’s of God and victory’s near”, “Ya hossein” in their chants to prove that when this tree fruits, they all resemble. No one taught hem these slogans, they reached them by the teachings of instinct. How unfair are those whose petty advantages make them call this a “velvet revolution” staged by foreigners! [refering to state TV and Khameneni, perhaps!]
But as you know, all of us were faced with deception and cheatings when we claimed to revitalize our nation and realize dreams that root in the hearts of young and old. And that which we had predicted will stem from evading law [dictatorship], realized soon in the worst manifestation.
The large voter turnout in recent election was the result of hard work to create hope and confidence in people, to create a deserving response to those whose broad dissatisfaction with the existing management crisis could have targeted the foundations of the regime. If this good will and trust of the poeple is not addressed via protecting their votes, or if they cannot react in a civil manner to claim their rights, the responsibility of the dangerous routs ahead will be on the shoulders of those who do not tolerate civil protests.
If the large volume of cheating and vote rigging, which has set fire to the hays of people’s anger, is expressed as the evidence of fairness, the republican nature of the state will be killed and in practice, the ideology that Islam and Republicanism are incompatible will be proven.
This outcome will make two groups happy: One, those who since the beginning of revolution stood against Imam and called the Islamic state a dictatorship of the elite who want to take people to heaven by force; and the other, those who in defending the human rights, consider religion and Islam against republicanism. Imam’s fantastic art was to neutralize these dichotomies. I had come to focus on Imam’s approach to neutralize the burgeoning magic of these. Now, by confirming the results of election, by limiting the extent of investigation in a manner that the outcome will not be changed, even though in more than 170 branches the number of cast votes was more than 100% of eligible voters of the riding, the heads of the state have accepted the responsibility of what has happened during the election.
In these conditions, we are asked to follow our complaints via the Guardian council, while this council has proven its bias, not only before and during, but also after the election. The first principle of judgment is to be impartial.
I, continue to strongly believe that the request for annulling the vote and repeating the election is a definite right that has to be considered by impartial and nationally trusted delegation. Not to dismiss the results of this investigation a priori, or to prevent people from demonstration by threatening them to bloodshed. Nor to unleash the Intelligence ministry’s plain clothes forces on people’s lives to disperse crowds by intimidation and inflammation, instead of responding to people’s legitimate questions, and then blaming the bloodshed on others.
As I am looking at the scene, I see it set for advancing a new political agenda that spreads beyond the objective of installing an unwanted government. As a companion who has seen the beauties of your green wave, I will never allow any one’s life endangered because of my actions. At the same time, I remain undeterred on my demand for annulling the election and demanding people’s rights. Despite my limited abilities, I believe that your motivation and creativity can pursue your legitimate demands in new civil manners. Be sure that I will always stand with you. What this brother of yours recommends, especially to the dear youth, in terms of finding new solutions is to not allow liars and cheater steal your flag of defense of Islamic state, and foreigners rip the treasures of the Islamic republic which are your inheritance of the blood of your decent fathers. By trust in God, and hope for the future, and leaning on the strength of social movements, claim your rights in the frameworks of the existing constitution, based on principle of non-violence.
In this, we are not confronting the Basij. Basiji is our brother. In this we are not confronting the revolutionary guard. The guard is the keeper of our revolution. We are not confronting the army, the army is the keeper of our borders. These organs are the keepers of our independence, freedom and our Islamic republic. We are confronting deception and lies, we want to reform them, a reform by return to the pure principles of revolution.
We advise the authorities, to calm down the streets. Based on article 27 of the constitution, not only provide space for peaceful protest, but also encourage such gatherings. The state TV should stop badmouthing and taking sides. Before voices turn into shouting, let them be heard in reasonable debates. Let the press criticize, and write the news as they happen. In one word, create a free space for people to express their agreements and disagreements. Let those who want, say “takbeer” and don’t consider it opposition. It is clear that in this case, there won’t be a need for security forces on the streets, and we won’t have to face pictures and hear news that break the heart of anyone who loves the country and the revolution.
December 2nd, 2022 Iran,Israel,July 2009,News,Non-Violence,Uncategorized,USA,Video
As you know, prior to election in Iran, I wrote in our blog that I did not believe that anything good will come as a result of the current election. Looking at the Guardian Council’s decision of selecting Ahmadinejad for president, I would have preferred a one candidate election. Why put all these old revolutionaries who have profited from the Islamic regime on the stand to run for president, when at the end of the day the average Iranian has no say in the election? Unfortunately, absolute power corrupts absolutely under any regime. This is evident in today’s Iran more than ever. As the election debates took shape the week before the election, the profiteering of Muslim ex-revolutionaries became obvious. In the debates Mr. Ahmadenijad accused the reformers of systematic theft and looting of nations wealth by reform candidates and its supporters. I was surprised that why a sitting president that had this information for 4 years while being in office did nothing about it until election night. Why Aytolah Khamenai would give these men the right to run for election if they or the immediate family had done some of these looting. For the average Iranian it has been obvious for years that Rafsanjani and Karubi had enriched themselves with public wealth. Still for many this was an awakening to see beyond the mask of religion and billions that these folks have taken from the Iranian nation’s wealth. It is clear that ideologies are served for the masses while mass looting of country’s wealth has taken place over the past 30 years under these old guards.
For folks that are not familiar with the Iranian factions, let’s be clear that all these old men do not represent anything new. The two main characters in this battle are not Mousavi and Ahmadenajad, but Rafsanjani and Khomeini who are old guards of the revolution. Since they are old, they are no longer fighting for power for themselves. They are guarding the nepotistic ideals so that the sons and daughters of these revolutionaries can benefit from continued control over the government and its resources and maintain the nepotistic lines of governance.
Iran’s hope for theological democracy under Islam was put to rest under the previous leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khatami, the president of Iran prior to Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately because of the divisions within the reform movement at the time the reform movement was put to rest at the voter level. After the first four-year term of president Khatami, the same revolutionary guards insured that the reform in Iran politics does not happen. How did this happen? They simply banned sitting member of the parliament from running in subsequent terms. They became disenfranchised. These parliamentary elected officials no longer met the needs of the Islamic Republic ruling dictators Rafsanjani and Khomeini. They got forced out of politics.
In his second term, president Khatami used his executive power to open news papers and magazines, and soon hundreds of news papers flourished in Iran. With the selection of Ahmadinejad as president, these magazines and voices again became disenfranchised and were quickly shut down. Many reformers got barred from journalism. As I have stated in my book, the supreme leader and the clergy system in Iran controls who is allowed to run based on a selection of old revolutionaries and mullahs out of Qom. This is effectively a one party system.
As I was watching the election, I thought what must have been shocking to the viewers from the West was the absence of a forum for a challenger to regroup and be able to mobilize its base. Mr. Mousavi and his supporters could only go to the streets to voice their opposition towards the election in illegal rallies. No political party in the parliament was visible to voice a challenge, or unite and plan for the next election. By the design the government has placed an executive judicial and parliamentary system that is full of yes men, and that follows the orders of the regime. No other voice can be heard in Iran, and even if it could, it would be dealt with brute force.
This video shows how the current leaders 20 years ago supported each other and to the opposition of senior clergy at the time sidelined Aytollah Montazeri. Grand Aytollah Montazeri in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war was always expected in the 80’s to replace Aytollah Khamanei. Montazeri spent 5 years in jail himself. He was sidelined because he did not believe in Islamic republic that did not represent democratic ideals of the masses. He also protested against the wave of execution that the Islamic republic committed against the voice of opposition views in Iran.
Now as the same Guardian Council and mullahs have reclaimed power at the expense of the current generation of youth in Iran, the question is- Where does Iran reform movement go from this point?
The options are clear. First, the nepotistic revolutionary leaders will not give up the wealth that their families have made. They will not surrender the thrown or loose respect for the crimes of looting that their daddies did in the country. They will continue to fight each other as the losing party may end up hung or expelled from the country. The last real leader Iran had after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini was Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. In the 80s when I attended the Friday prayers with my parents and I remember the laud orchestrated chants that Ayatollah Montazeri was the hope of Iran. He had lost three kids as martyrs to establishing the regime and was the Ayatollah Khomeini’s exiled partner. He was quickly sidelined by Rafsanjani and Khamenei at the time, and after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, he was no longer a figure in the Iranian government and was put under house arrest and silenced. Even though he was a great revolutionary responsible for carrying the torch since he believed in open government with each Iranian having a voice, he was sidelined for the strict conservatives to rule.
This was fine for the neoconservatives in the White House at the time since they wanted a fundamental religious government in Iran. Remember that it was during the Reagan years that the Iran-Contra scandal broke out and the CIA funded sales of guns to Iran by importing cocaine into the U.S. The Reagan’s neoconservatives even negotiated with the Islamic regime to keep the hostages for 444 days so that it would kill President Carter’s chance of reelection and they got conveniently released when Reagan took office.
The fact is that the neoconservatives and the religious conservative government in Iran are not after ideologies. They use ideologies for the masses only to mold the public opinion. As the end goal is power, no amount of power is sufficient for these folks. They are happy to change ideologies and viewpoints in order to reach the end goal. For the conservatives in the white house at the time the end goal is dominance over nation wealth.
Before the election the neoconservatives hoped that Iran would select Ahmadenijad. Why? Because it would create the next war for them to be engaged in and control a population rich in culture and resources to create more military bases and to have the next war to fund the military industrial complex that relies on its base of support. The neoconservatives like senator McCain do not have the interests of the people of Iran in mind. They are encouraging actions that would help Ahmadenijad. They are OK with the concept of Iranians killing Iranians indefinitely, just like they have been OK with funding both sides of the Iran-Iraq war. Additionally, it gives a reason to the hawks in Israel to buy more guns with the U.S. tax payer’s dollars and use them in Iran. That will draw the U.S. into a fight with Iran and send my fellow Iranians back to the dark ages, very similar to what happened in Iraq. Remember that in Iraq, after the first war, the same neoconservatives told the Shiite majority that they would support the uprising and at the end they sat by the sidelines while Iraq military crushed the Shiite majority in the south in the most brutal way possible. Besides the next war and a permanent military base in Iran they have no other agenda. With that base established, they can run heroin out of the golden triangle all the way to Afghanistan, Iran and Kurdistan to fund the next dictator for another war. Therefore the cycle of violence between nations continues and they all profit from it.
Iranian government has used this to its full advantage to clamp down on its own people. You see for the Iranian revolutionaries it is better if the Israel does attack the nuclear development infrastructure. The conservative government can again consolidate power by reminding of the great evils outside of Iran’s borders. By having Israil attack they can continue to use the military to suppress all opposition.
Civil disobedience is the path to Iran’s future:
In Iran the concept of civil disobedience to this regime must take hold. You cannot bring a change in government with setting buildings on fire or throwing rocks. At the end, this level of violence only hurts the Iranians. In this regard I refer to the Iranians in the Basij, the revolutionary guard and the student protesters who are all mostly under 30 years of age. These young men and women represent the next generation of great Iranian minds that will be lost in such protests. The sons of the elite that rule with an ironed fist will not be impacted as they have taken the wealth of the nation to offshore bank accounts. We will only lose the poor, the middle class and other valuable Iranians to street protest.
The leaders who can possibly lead the country out of this mess such as Khatami or Mousavi are sidelined and it erodes the base of support for them if this violence continues. Continuation of violence is not what these leaders are asking for. What course of action should the average Iranian take?
The one course is the logical path for the resistance to any oppressor and that is nonviolent civil disobedience and resistance. For this we should only look at how the French are able to shut down the government by taking on peaceful strikes. Recently the union of Iranian bus drivers went on strike. This form of disobedience is the best form of resistance against tyranny. If doctors, city employees, nurses, lawyers called national strikes it would bring the ruling regime to its knees. National strikes combined with the shouts of Allah Akbar on rooftops will force this government to change without the need for another stone being thrown or innocent protester being shot in a violent act. This form of unrest is the course for all Iranians.
The demand for these protests needs to be clear: to establish political parties in Iran, open access to media, and stop filtering of election candidates by the religious theocracy. Non of this can happen without having fair elections held in the country. If the Iranian Majles (parliament) members that are still have some alegince to the reform movement need to make the above issues and the fair elections its daily priority. See the latest video from the Iranian parliament.
In regards to the U.S. politics towards the region, I hope that President Obama continues with the current stand offish approach, as any sign of threat by the West will only be used to again consolidate power by the Islamic regime, commit mass genocide by purging the anti revolutionaries, and create the next wave of exile of war refugees in Iran. Of course this is the course that Israel would love to see since they would then be able to receive the green light to attack Iran. See the next video:
As I watched the Shell and Chevron clean energy commercials in between broadcasts of CNN and Fox on Iran, I wondered how the media will portray things in Iran over the next few months. I have been going through the latest videos on YouTube each night looking for new materials that I could post on our site. To my amazement hundreds of new videos appear each night on YouTube. When I look at these gruesome images, my heart melts and I am deeply saddened to see them. The fact is that many new posts are not new but recycled from previous days and cut over with music and revolutionary slogans in order to increase the passion of the youth of Iran to continue the street fights and protests. The LA Iranians that left as part of the old regime all want to portray the current government as more violent than the Shah so they can put Mr. Pahlavi to rule once again and repaint him as a less violent king than the religious conservatives.
The U.S. news coverage has been amazing in regards to this election with no coverage of Haiti or the Moroccan election that took place. They keep recirculation of Iran videos as new footage. Is this because the oil companies are now buying more advertisements on these media outlets since they would be the first to benefit from the next war? Are the advertisement sales department and the editor’s desk in cahoots to serve content that they can get large corporate sponsors for? I am sure that is the case. This is similar to the case of the war generals and analysts working for the media who remained on the U.S. government payroll. The media did not only look the other way but acted to pass the war propaganda to the masses on behalf of the government. Are they now getting extra advertisement dollars from the oil companies when they keep running the same footage of carnage again and again on TV? Or is it because of the heavy hand of the AIPAC Zionists and the religious conservatives with the help of the U.S. tax payers’ money that is funding these continues reruns of the violence in Iran. So I would expect that over the next few months as the public opinion is shaped by these broadcasters on how evil Iran is they hope to force President Obama to change course and give Israel permission to attack Iran.
In the above scenario, the Ahmadinejads are victorious since they can once again claim power and say- I told you so, this reform movement is from the expatriates and Israel so let’s all rally around the flag, country and god and defend the nation. Finally, millions of Iranian lives will be lost defending the country but to the benefit of the neoconservatives and the nepotistic kings and princes of the region.
While Iranians die to drum beats of another war, the military industrial complex benefits from selling guns, and the oil companies from looting the Iranian wealth. The sons of these current leaders will than take residence in friendly countries with the wealth that they looted from Iran.
December 2nd, 2022 Israel,May 2010,Non-Violence,Palestine,Video
The blood of innocent peace activist that died in this tragic war crime is on the hand of the countries and governments that support this ethnic and religious nepotism by the Zionist regime. When will the leaders responsible for the largest open air prison in the world be held accountable for years of genocide and apartheid in the occupied territories?
Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal has been released by Israeli authorities following Monday’s deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara aid ship that was destined for Gaza.
Al Jazeera producer, who reported from the ship as Israel launched the raid, was on the top deck when the ship was attacked.
Here, he tells his account of what happened.
Considering an American was killed in open seas. US government provides military support for Israel and spend our tax dollars in protecting this terrorist regimes interest in the Middle East . Clearly this puts Israeli leaders in the same category as Bin Laden and the IDF in the same category as Al Qaeda.