Category Archives: Genocide

Eternal Impunity of Capitalism’s Crimes

The very idea of War Being a Racket penetrates so deeply into capitalism’s flair for murder by a thousand cuts, a thousand miles in a Corvair, a thousand sips from diet Coke, a thousand sucks from Nestle baby formula, a thousand hours on the video screen, a thousand seconds inside the nuclear core, a thousand nanoparticles chewed, a thousand days living under high tension power lines, a thousand slices of mercury-cured tuna, a thousand puffs of the e-cigarette, a thousand days in law school, a thousand clicks hiked in clear cut, a thousand bombs bursting in air, a thousand doses of any one of millions of drugs or chemicals, a thousand seconds of a presidential debate, a thousand launches from NASA, a thousand bullets into Black bodies, a thousand spent uranium laced shells, a thousand drips of PCBs in our water supply, and, on and on, the drumbeat plays, a thousand cuts.

I just finished watching the documentary, The People versus Agent Orange. Carol Van Strum (here and here) is the American contingent and Nga To Tran the Vietnamese contingent. Like so many other documentaries, this one cuts to the chase – the liberation of humankind and ecologies from the death ray of capitalism is the ONLY way forward.

Veterans, Survivors Unaware of Agent Orange Benefits

The origins of Agent Orange lie in an obscure laboratory at the University of Chicago where, during World War II, the chairman of the school’s biology department, E. J. Kraus, discovered that direct doses of 2,4-D can kill certain broadleaf vegetation by causing the plants to experience sudden, uncontrolled growth not unlike that of cancer cells in the human body. Kraus, thinking his findings might be of use to the Army, informed the War Department, which initiated testing of its own but found no use for the stew of hormones prior to the end of the war. But experiments with 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T continued through the 1950s. — Orion Magazine

Ad nauseum the bantering back and forth with deplorable MAGA and shallow democrats on mainline TV/Cable, is much ado about nothing when we put into perspective every single action the corporation makes to not only rip-off each and every customer, but to delimit free speech, to eviscerate participatory democracy, to use their hit squads of lawyers to obfuscate and obliterate the righteous people up against these Titans of Tyranny – chemical, pharmaceutical, agriculture, fossil fuel, mining, data, prison, space, industrial, food, medical, media, education, criminal justice, banking, insurance, investing thieves and manslaughter experts.

The entire farm has been sold down the river a million times, so when we look at Agent Orange, the USA government, the US Air Force, the Dow corporation, the endless legal deaths by a thousand motions against some sort of reparation for the millions of Vietnamese, Americans and dozens of others in Vietnam during the tyranny of corporations and the French and the USA in fighting in another person’s land. Vietnam!

Carol Van Strum’s story is linked to my neck of the woods – the Central Oregon coast range. She is just a few dozen miles up the road, in Five Rivers. For more than 45 years, she has been both victim of, and battler against, the chemical spraying operators here where timber companies clear cut vast thousands of square miles of forest, and then deploy the markers of Agent Orange and other brews to include Glyphosate and atrazine, among others.

The film is understatement, but thorough and clear – some of us knew early on that the herbicide Agent Orange was more than a Ho Chi Minh Trail defoliant. It was part of a plan by the despotic South Vietnamese president Diệm ’s worldview – supported and supplied by the USA – that the Viet Cong should not have jungle cover and that the rice crops in the North should not only be destroyed but contaminated from the soil up.

Opinion | The Forgotten Victims of Agent Orange - The New York Times

Tran is an amazing voice for Vietnam and the millions of victims of Agent Orange – many dead, by the millions, and many by several million surviving in varying levels of debilitation, and for her and millions of other women, giving birth to deformed, sick and dying babies.

Back in Oregon, the mothers and then the doctors came together to compare notes, and alas, the number of miscarriages/spontaneous abortions experienced by local women always coincided a month after helicopters working for the timber companies unloaded thousands upon thousands of gallons of the toxic brew, a mix of hormone disruptors and growth inhibitors that scour animals, plants and humans to the point of genetic mutations and untold physical ailments as adults.

We see the coughing “chemical guy” in Oregon, who is cell phone filming himself loading up the helicopters with the brew. He hacks up blood at night. He is another victim of better living through chemistry. His story is vital to the telling of the Agent Orange story back home, in Oregon.

Tran’s case seeks accountability for “the deadliest use of chemicals in the history of warfare.” The case is still held up in court.

Why the United States Won't Admit Guilt Over Agent Orange

Tran was told by her heroic mother, captured by the South Vietnamese, in 1953, “If I don’t come back, you will replace me.” Tran ended up writing news for the National Liberation Front. She met her husband in the forest, who was part of the Foreign Relations Commission. “We spent our youth engaged in war.”

In June 1968 their daughter was born, and three days later the infant’s skin  began falling off. She had difficulty breathing, and she had major heart issues. “I always blamed myself thinking I was the reason for her illness and the cause of her death. Even though I have my other two children, it is the face of my first that remains anchored in my soul,” Tran states.

Tran says she carried that guilt for 40 years. “Until I found out what killed my daughter, the poison Agent Orange.”

Her second daughter was born with alpha thalassemia, a major defect of her pancreas. Same with Tran’s third daughter, and a granddaughter. Thanks, Agent Orange and the Boys at Dow!

Back and forth the documentary travels from Carol’s and Oregon’s battle against the chemical companies and the university forestry guy who was in the back pocket of Dow, and with Tran, who has several lawyers working to “put an end to the eternal impunity,” as French barrister William Bourdon calls it.

That was Operation Ranch hand, from 1962 to 71, approved by JFK and his henchmen in the DoD and military. The idea was to take away the forest cover but also to be part of a food-denial program, which under any auspices of international conventions, is an act of genocide, and a war crime.

Dr. James Clary was with the Air Force in Vietnam, which ran the program. He was ordered to dump the computer and erase all memory. Instead, he printed out a stack of documents two feet high – missions, sorties, coordinates, dates, gallons dropped throughout all of Southeast Asia and Laos.

“We had the information coming from Dow that there were real problems for people associated with this chemical. It was all locked up for 35 years.”

Playing down all the negative effects of this chemical was part of the Dow plan. Dioxin was the byproduct in the brew. Dow told the US government they were having difficulty producing the volume of the chemical the US wanted. The government told them to not worry about safety standards and quality control, and that a fast production process which produced more of the dioxin would not matter, since the crops and forest were being sprayed, and if people got in contact with it, the idea coming from both industrialists at Dow and those in government and the military was, “Hey, so what, this is a war . . . these are the effing Vietnamese.”

However, a former military man like Clary never saw it that way. He reiterated that 20 million gallons of it was dumped on Southeast Asia. The Ranch Hand program stopped in 1971, but then the chemicals were enlisted by the US on forest land – clear cuts that were sprayed to denude the razed land of any opportunities weeds and shrubs. The money has to be made, and the stockpiled product has to go! Sell it to the state forestry department and timber outfits.

Dr. Clary tears up on the film, showing a deep regard for the Vietnamese. He cried at the sight of the deformed children. The filmmakers state: “He is not a typical war monger, and never said that. He became a whistle-blower to expose such attitudes. They are the opposite of how he feels.

“They went back and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, we need the quantities. Besides it’s going to be sprayed on the jungle over there. Not gonna be any people there and if they happen to get into it, so what? We’re at war.'”

Oregon Community Rights Organizer Featured in New Documentary 'THE PEOPLE vs. AGENT ORANGE' | CELDF

Carol Van Strum reiterates that the half-life of a dioxin molecule is 2 billion years. Dioxin, the forever chemical and the gift of cancer and birth defects and mutagenic ailments that keep on giving. Tran is now fighting for the fourth generation of people affected by the millions of gallons of this poison sprayed on her homeland. She has breast cancer.

Dr, Clary breaks down emotionally, saying he never thought his government would betray all the veterans who directly were affected and whose offspring were/are still affected. The judge in the Agent Orange case is a pure case of misanthropy that infects all chambers of the judicial and legal class.

Andre Burny, author of Agent Orange: Apocalypse Vietnam, makes it clear that this is a “crime against humanity, an attack on the human genome.”

It’s telling that one of several scientists featured in a clip, Dow’s Dr. Cleve Goring, says, “The attack on the chemical is entirely emotional. 2,4 5-T is about as toxic as Aspirin. We have not done a good job with our PR campaign.”

As benign as Aspirin! You haven’t heard this before, right? Farmed chemical-laced salmon, safe as mother’s milk. Oh, antibiotic-laced meat and poultry are safe for all consumers. You know, it would take a bathtub of the stuff a day for twenty years to cause cancer. Or, lab rats are not humans . . . no comparison. 5-G is like an apple a day. Violent video games are A-Okay. Genetically Engineered crops are better than those old fashioned heritage crap. What’s a little used motor oil dumped into the pond.

Oh, dear reader, you have as many of these “it’s safer than the alarmists yammer about” stories, I am sure. Imagine, the bottom line of Dow is to cover up, drag court cases on and on until the plaintiffs are six feet under. What a little rebranding won’t fix. Or some heavyweight like Brad Pitt or Betty White endorsing the product bringing people all together now.

The documentary, The People versus Agent Orange,” delves into many of the treatment centers for victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam. There are dozens. I have been to two of them, years ago, and they were not even tied to Agent Orange. Like Tran, most of the mothers blamed themselves for children coming out twisted, stunted, without limbs, craniums asymmetrical or ballooned out.

This is how capitalism works – lies, deceit, murder, cover, cover-up, blame the victim, pass on the diseases and poisons and clean up costs to the people. This is the price of capitalism, many Americans will say. This is the price of convenience. This is the price of Low Prices and instant soup, instant turkey, instant husband/wife.

Blame the child for the crimes of consumerism. Blame the fetus for the mother taking the advice of western medicine. Blame the communities for the sprayed hog blood-urine-shit in their backyards.

Capitalism is more than some giant smoke and mirrors game, bigger than some house of cards, bigger than snake oil salesmen/women grifting, bigger than shoveling up billions into the debt (poor) house. It is a system of rackets, and while Gen. Butler may have written War is a Racket about the MIC, we have to transpose that military industrial complex to Banks/Hospitals/Insurance Companies/Courthouses/Police Stations/Law Firms/Colleges/Mining Companies/Drug Manufacturers/Big Ag Outfits/Media Conglomerates/So-Called Liberal Press and the like are the very definition of Rackets, certainly perfect actors for Dante’s Circles of Hell.

We are the fodder for that inferno, and if anyone of any political stripe doesn’t end up being pissed off after watching The People versus Agent Orange, then they are misanthropes, cult followers, colonized zombies. And I can say that about any number of hundreds of righteous documentaries — bear witness and then what? Retreat to stupidity, retreat to the capitalist’s see-speak-hear no evil while the evil eats your soul from the inside-out!

Please note that I was in Vietnam in 1994 and in 1996. I worked first with several biological teams doing a huge transect of the forest near the Laotian border. I met amazing Vietnamese scientists. I revisited places my military father was at as a CW4 cryptographic guy. His stories were my stories.

I was in Vietnam in 1994 the same age my father was there, shot twice. That was age 36.

I made a point of getting into many villages after the science report was done. I drove a motorcycle down Highway One. I met amazing people there, and had two Vietnamese who helped me navigate the language.

I was embraced by men the same age as my father. Men who fought as Viet Cong, and those men, of course, did not do an eight-month and then a 12-month set of tours like my Army father. They spent more than a decade or more fighting the French, fighting the Americans.

I met a woman in Hanoi who was bombed as a child in an orphanage. I met people studying the breast milk of lactating women, in 1996, with 16 times the level of PCB’s (US standards) in their systems.

Vietnam came to me again, as I worked with many veterans, and some Vietnamese back in Texas putting on the 20th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon (April 1975). I had Le Ly Hayslip at the event, and she blessed my daughter who was still in her mother’s womb. Den Yen was the vice mayor of Saigon, and he too showed up. John  McAfee, A Slow Walk in a Sad Rain, was just one of many writers, historians, artists who were in this historical event in 1995.

I worked with then Thomas Daniel, now taking on his mother’s name, Vu, who was both my student and friend and we worked together on art projects. My play, Tiger Cages, was partly written after I ended up in London after watching the bad play, Miss Saigon. My short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam, tells the story of people somehow connected to the Vietnam war.  I have taught college courses for US military, even at the Sergeants Major Academy at Biggs Field. Vietnam, “Never another Vietnam,” the “tragedy of Vietnam War,” and more is in my DNA. I even worked as a social worker helping homeless veterans and their families secure housing and benefits.

This film is powerful in that it tells a simple story of ecocide and American hubris. Several million Vietnamese were killed directly by US bombs. Many more died later from injuries and chemical death. The trauma on a country is also part and parcel of this illegal and unethical war.

Ecocide as a military practice was first coined for the war against the Vietnamese the US conducted. This documentary and Dr. Clary discuss this heinous war crime, of destroying the crops, the food sources, the soil as part of military stratagem.

As a note, my piece here was in my blog, and at first I thought I covered all bases. One of the filmmakers, Alan Adelson, made it clear to me some of my juxtapositions of quotes were wrongly attributed. I was writing this “review” as I watched the documentary, The PEOPLE versus Agent Orange. I let my passions and zeal overtake my editor’s calm and thorough copy-editing.

I appreciate Alan’s email, and I know this sort of review is not mainstream, and probably not usable for the director. I am able to take off one revolutionary cap and put on a more traditional journalist’s cap. I hope the film shows in Portland and if so, that I can have a crack at talking with the filmmaker. I have other gigs, including Street Roots, in Portland. While my column, Finding Fringe, is not textbook newspaper “objective” reporting, it still provides a look into people like Carol and her son, Jordan Merrell — A letter a day for 15 years and 9 months

War is a Racket – Major General Butler, 1935 | Creative by Nature

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. — Smedley Butler, War is a Racket (1935)

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I don’t think so. I think that the – the hook for many of our supporters was the idea that this was an unusual messenger for an important environmental message. You know, people who support environmental issues are constantly trying to find a way to preach beyond the choir, to reach beyond their base of people who are already on board, and I think one of the things that’s very appealing about the film, but primarily Jerry as a messenger, is that you don’t expect this message to come from a career military person.

And through Jerry, you’re – we’ve been able to reach this audience of military folks who maybe wouldn’t be attuned to the environmental message about the effects of toxins on health and things like that. So I think there was a real appeal to many of those organizations from that perspective. — Rachel Libert, co-producer of film, Semper Fi

 

 

The post Eternal Impunity of Capitalism's Crimes first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Imagine Trump or Biden in Church Praying for Yemeni Children Facing Starvation and US Missiles?

Thousands of precious Yemeni children are being starved to death, dying of cholera, or being blown to bits by US made and managed missiles. Can Americans glued to their TV sets, straining to understand what is happening to their country, imagine Trump or Biden in church praying for Yemeni children facing starvation and US missiles?

No, corporate media has reported President Trump as wanting to continue the lucrative sale of billions of dollars of sophisticated US weaponry to the Saudis and continue American military personnel assisting their raining down upon targets in Yemen, the poorest nation in the world. The President vetoed a bipartisan resolution of Congress calling for an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen.

As to Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden, he called for an end to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, but only after the entire Senate Democratic caucus and several Republicans had passed a resolution spearheaded by his opponent candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders calling for the U.S. to pull its backing from the Saudi military campaign in Yemen. In March of 2015, Biden, then Vice-President, backed the initial Saudi led military attack in Yemen when Yemen’s corrupt, Saudi-allied president was overthrown. The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including aerial refueling for the intervention which initially consisted of a bombing campaign on Houthi rebels by fighter jets and or ground forces from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, with the participation of Blackwater mercenaries1 made infamous for their atrocities in Iraq, the genocidal US invasion of which Biden had championed as chairman of the of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee back in 2003.

This 1915 begun crime against humanity in Yemen was officiated by President Barak Obama. As to the possibility of finding Obama in church praying for the dear Yemeni surviving children facing starvation and US missiles, the reader might view the video on Youtube of Obama professing his having Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.

Previously, your author wrote,

When you bombed these brothers and sisters of mine, you bombed me,’ says Jesus in Matthew chapter 25, (paraphrased of course). Obama, as presidents before him, followed the instructions of his promoters, the ruling investors, and disregarding the teaching and warnings of his ‘personal savior,’ gave to the rich at home, bombed abroad to be able to take from the poor everywhere, and lied that this is necessary and good.

The many bloody and thieving wars ordered by President Obama should make people recall how Obama as a candidate for president ran as a peace candidate, and so be cautioned not to be fooled with the present promising of both this years candidates to end America’s forever wars. Recently, President Trump allegedly called the Vietnam War a stupid war. Anyone who went was a sucker.”

With all President Trump’s macabre and bizarre use of US military, including assassination and deadly sanctions, and the corporate media’s consistent war promoting, the world is prone to forget how candidate Trump was the most dramatic American denouncer of US wars in history.

Candidate Trump, with wars promoting media either ridiculing him or making a blatant over the top show of frightened opposition, maintained among other things that the five trillion dollars spent on wars for regime change in the Middle East should have been spent in the US rebuilding its infrastructure; that NATO is obsolete; that the US should seek friendship with China and Russia; that he likes Xi Jinping and Putin, (America’s perennial and sacrosanct mortal enemies!) and would get along fine with them. Trump called the last two-term Republican President, George Bush, a liar for having lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and has voiced suspicion about the 9/11 attack that happened so easily on Bush’s watch. Trump rejected hailing Senator John McCain, 2008 Republican presidential candidate, as a hero for having been shot down in Vietnam, and condemned and ridiculed eighty percent of media’s reporters and commentators as pathetic liars (what is in reality that hundred percent, who are willing to preposterously describe America’s running crimes against humanity as heroic deeds in defense of American freedom). Trump asked, “why must the United States lead the world everywhere on the globe and play the role of the world’s policeman, now for example in Ukraine?” Trump asked, “why does the United States always pursue regime changes – Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and now it wants a regime change in Syria, Damascus, when the result is disaster.” Trump’s wholesale attack on the ‘patriotic’ war establishment was unheard of.

But once Trump was elected, just imagine how powerful war industry deep pockets brought about the reality of their control over him. Trump, once in office, immediately ordered military action in Yemen. Condoleezza Rice, of US genocide in Iraq fame, was among the first to visit the White House.

On Sundays, in how many churches throughout the USA could one find Americans praying for Yemeni children dying in a war American military are actively participating in while US weapons manufacturing corporations make a fortune in profits? The question is rhetorical. Firstly, what one prays is intensely personal. Secondly, Americans are indoctrinated from childhood by the huge CIA overseen giant entertainment/news telecasting and publishing corporations to see their government’s armed forces as above the law, including religious laws, and deviation from this canard seen to be unpatriotic.

In 2019, PBS and most other major newscasters reported on their evening news programs that between 2016 and 2018, as a result the Saudi coalition bombing infrastructure and blockading ports, 85,000 Yemeni children had died.

In March 2019, one headline read: “How To Enjoy Dinner Knowing Fellow Americans Have Caused 85,000 Yemeni Kids to Starve to Death?.” The news that one’s compatriots have brought death to 85,000 darling Yemeni children being hard to stomach, the author wonders how other Americans feel or manage not to feel.

I looked down at the food on my plate, and wished I hadn’t just heard PBS’s News anchor Judy Woodruff report that the war in Yemen had already caused 85,000 children to starve to death. She read the one liner with emphasis on the number, but almost without taking a breath, went on to a local news item, as if the 85,000 dead kids had nothing to do with her American audience. Problem for me is I had already known for years that a murderous, even genocidal bombing by a Saudi Arabian coalition is USA backed, that U.S. military jets refuel those coalition bombers and fighter jets, and US military personnel are involved in running the high tech targeting systems using US missiles and guided bombs sold to the Saudis, who have agreed to buy ever more billions of dollars worth.

I put my fork down, and stared at a framed photo of my four year old great granddaughter on the wall. I thought, most every one of those 85,000 was an adorable child, and had moms and dads, siblings, and other family members and friends who loved them.

A more candid treatment of the subject of child genocide in Yemen quoted prominent Americans:

3rd World must demand justice for her kids! Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s, cry “God bless America? No, no, God damn America for her crimes against humanity!” And American film maker Michael Moore’s “sick and twisted violent people that we’ve been for hundreds of years, it’s something that’s just in our craw, just in our DNA. Americans kill people, because that’s what we do. We invade countries. We send drones in to kill civilians.”

How to stomach the American public’s indifference to the death of millions of precious children caused by their sons and daughters in uniform having criminally invaded someone else’s beloved country. I know there are Americans who feel as bad about this as I do.

So I write articles that might encourage readers to talk about their concern among family, friends and acquaintances, for nothing ever gets done before it becomes a burning topic of conversation. May all independent journalism devote itself to awaking an eventual universal outcry sooner than otherwise. Children are dying as we read this and the destiny of those who will live depends on our seeking justice for those who already have perished for our indifference. Only when those profiting from their deaths are made to pay the billions in compensation, indemnity and reparations will the forever wars and the collateral taking
of children’s lives cease.

  1. Blackwater, an American private military company founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL officer Erik Prince renamed itself Xe Services in 2009 and known as Academi since 2011 after the company was acquired by a group of private investors. “The ‘Academi’ in Yemen: 400 Blackwater persons fighting with Saudi-Led forces,” American Herald Tribune, 1/28/2020.

The post Imagine Trump or Biden in Church Praying for Yemeni Children Facing Starvation and US Missiles? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Pro-Women’s Rights Supreme Court Judge Ruth Ginsburg Utterly Ignored Palestinian Genocide

On the occasion of the death of the remarkable, pro-women’s rights US Supreme Court judge but fervent supporter of genocidally racist Zionism, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), one notes that in her outstanding over 60 year career she was utterly silent about the human rights of Palestinians, and that  women and children are 75% of the 14 million sorely oppressed Palestinians, the 7 million Exiled Palestinians, the 8 million Palestinian refugees, the 5 million Occupied Palestinians with zero human rights in the military-guarded Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) and West Bank ghettoes (3 million), and the 2 million Palestinian Israelis living as Third Class citizens of Apartheid Israel under over 60 race-based laws.

Genocidally racist American and British Zionists played a key role in the Balfour Declaration and the defeat of Germany in WW1 that had the dreadful consequences of Nazi German anti-Jewish anti-Semitism, WW2, the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed through violence or deprivation) and the ongoing  Palestinian Genocide (2.2 million Palestinian  deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the Australia-assisted British invasion of the oil-rich Middle East in 1914).1

Silence is complicity. Kathryn  Shihadah has written about these horrendous historical realities  and has described Judge Ginsburg’s Palestinian Genocide-complicit silence as “Progressive Except Palestine” (PEP) (2017): “Ginsburg [first Jewish woman on the US Supreme Court] has pursued justice wholeheartedly all her life, and has throughout her career advocated for progressive causes. In 1972, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU, and fought more than 300 gender discrimination cases between 1973 and 1974. But these admirable convictions we see in Ginsburg that are common among many Americans – empathy toward the marginalized, advocacy for defenseless – suddenly evaporate in certain situations. Perhaps it’s subconscious, but there lurks another loyalty ready to override the cause of true justice and compassion. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is among the many influential members of the P.E.P. Club: Progressive Except Palestine.  For someone dedicated to liberty and justice for all, she is resoundingly silent on the issue of Palestine. Nowhere in her recently published collection of writings, My Own Works , do the words ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ appear. Even ‘Arab’ is nowhere to be found, although she discusses the Holocaust, Zionism, and Israel.”

Kathryn Shihadah has further commented on the malignant impact of Zionist US Supreme Court judges on WW1, WW2, the Jewish Holocaust and the Zionist invasion of Palestine (2017): “Ruth Bader Ginsburg is [was] a big fan of the Supreme Court’s first Jewish justice, Louis Dembitz Brandeis. Brandeis is revered today as a great judge, but at the time of his appointment – 1916 – he was recognized by some as ‘unscrupulous’ in his methods and at times ‘unethical’ in his behaviour… In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson named Brandeis to the Supreme Court. As required, Brandeis officially resigned from his formal affiliations, including stepping down from his leadership role in Zionism. However, he zealously continued his work on a more informal basis, even from his Supreme Court chambers. Later, he would persuade the next 2 Jewish justices – Cardozo and Frankfurter – to join the ranks of the Zionist Organization of America, assuring a continued, subtle partiality toward the Jewish project… Samuel Landman, secretary of the World Zionist Organization, claimed in a 1936 article in World Jewry, that it was ‘Jewish help that brought USA into the war on the side of the Allies.’ The goal was not victory for the Allies, but real estate in Palestine, so Brandeis and associate Felix Frankfurter reportedly worked to ensure the war would last until Palestine was in the bag. They even reportedly sabotaged a potential opportunity to end the war in May 1917 (18 months early), which would have saved much destruction and many lives, including Brandeis’ fellow Americans. Eventually, of course, Germany was defeated. According to historian Henry Wickham Steed, one of Germany’s top generals considered the Balfour Declaration to be ‘the cleverest thing done by the Allies in the way of propaganda,’ and wished Germany had thought of it first. Landman further stated that Germany was aware of the Jewish connection, and, chillingly, this ‘contributed in no small measure to the prominence which anti-Semitism occupie[d] in the Nazi program’ only a few decades later. This horrific irony can not be overstated.”2

Seen in the light of this appalling history, at a personal level for me another ultimate consequence of malignant racist Zionism was the extermination of all but a dozen of my family in the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Hungary in 1944-1945. It is now too late to tell the famed human rights advocate but shamefully pro-Zionist and Palestinian human rights-ignoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg that silence is complicity.

Below is a 50-item  summary of a century of horrors inflicted upon the Palestinians but utterly ignored by famed, pro-human rights, Jewish American Supreme Court judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

(1). The ongoing Palestinian Genocide  has been associated with 2.2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of the Middle East in WW1.

(2). Eminent International law expert Professor Francis Boyle (University of Illinois) has stated: “The Palestinians have been the victims of genocide as defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, under which a government can be guilty of genocide even if it intends to destroy a mere “part” of the group”.

(3). Of 14 million Palestinians (75% women and children),  7 million are Exiled from Palestine, 5 million are Occupied Palestinians highly abusively confined under military rule to the Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million)  or to West Bank ghettoes (3 million), and nearly 2 million are Palestinian Israelis living as Third Class citizens  under over 60 Nazi-style, race-based laws.

(4). In  1880 there were 25,000 Jews (mostly immigrants) and  500,000 Indigenous Arab Palestinians living in Palestine.

(5). The Palestinian  Genocide commenced with the famine deaths of 100,000 Palestinians associated with  conquest of Palestine  in WW1 by the British and the Australian  and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

(6). Palestine became disposable British ”property” with the 1916 Sykes Picot Agreement that divided the oil-rich Middle East between the UK and France.

(7). The notorious  Balfour Declaration from racist Lord Balfour to Zionist Lord Rothschild (2 November 1917) was sent only 2 days after the Australian cavalry charge victory over the Turks at Beersheba, Palestine  (31 October 1917).

(8). The draft of the Balfour Declaration was strongly opposed by anti-racist Jewish British Government Minister Sir Edwin Montagu (only the second British Jew to enter the British Cabinet) as a grave injustice  to the Indigenous Palestinians, and as “anti-Semitic and in result will prove a rallying ground for Anti-Semites in every country in the world”. Australia’s anti-racist Jewish Governor General Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first Australian-born Governor General,  was also resolutely anti-Zionist.

(9).  Orthodox Jewish rabbis, most notably  the outstanding German rabbi  Samson Raphael Hirsch (after whom my great grandfather was named), were resolutely opposed to Zionism.

(10). Fervently pro-Zionist Jewish British historian  Professor Sir Martin Gilbert in a book on WW1 stated that the Balfour Declaration was offered as an inducement for   Zionist Communists to keep Russia in WW1. Professor Martin Gilbert has documented about 20 suggested locations around the world for a Jewish state,  and indeed genocidal racist Theodor Herzl (the founder of Zionism) suggested Argentina as an alternative  to Palestine.

(11). The violent killing of Indigenous Palestinians commenced with the 10 December 1918 Surafend Massacre by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers in which about 100 Palestinian villagers were massacred.

(12). Genocidally racist American and British Zionists played a key role in the Balfour Declaration and the defeat of Germany in WW1 that had the dreadful consequences of Nazi German anti-Jewish anti-Semitism, the horrors of WW2, the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed through violence or deprivation), the ongoing  Palestinian Genocide and the ongoing, US-imposed Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide.

(13). Zionists  contributed to the WW2 Jewish Holocaust by collaborating with the Nazis before and during WW2,  and opposing Jewish refugees finding sanctuary anywhere except Palestine.

(14). In 2020 there are 13.9 million Israeli subjects, these   comprising 6.6 million Jewish Israelis, 1.9 million Indigenous Palestinian Israelis, 5 million Occupied Palestinians,  and 0.4 million non-Jewish and non-Arab  Israeli subjects. Jewish Israelis are a 47% minority of the subjects of Apartheid Israel, and Indigenous Palestinians are  50% of Apartheid Israeli subjects.

(15). UN General Assembly  Resolution 3246 (29 November 1974) states in part: “7.  Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people”.

(16). 90% of Palestine has now been ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinian  inhabitants in an ongoing war criminal ethnic cleansing that has been repeatedly condemned by the UN and most recently by UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that was unanimously supported except for a remarkable Obama US abstention.

(17). Apartheid Israel has also annexed and ethnically cleansed a small part of Lebanon and a large part of  Syria.

(18). There are 8 million Palestinian refugees, 7 million Exiled Palestinians, 5 million Occupied Palestinians, and 1.9 million Israeli Palestinians, with  all of these 14 million Palestinians variously excluded from all or part of Palestine, a land known as such for about 2,500 years after the Philistine coastal inhabitants of circa 1,000 BCE.

(19). 5 million Occupied Palestinians have zero (0) of the human rights set out in the 30 Articles of the Universal Charter of Human Rights.

(20). Nearly 2 million Palestinian Israelis live as Third Class citizens  under over 60 Nazi-style race-based discriminatory laws and under threat of further genocidal mass expulsion.

(21). Despite massive and deadly imposed deprivation and  repeated episodes of genocidal mass expulsion (800,000 in the 1948 Nakba or catstrophe and 400,000 in the 1967 Naksa or setback), Indigenous Palestinians today  represent 50% of the subjects of Apartheid Israel  (the ruling Jewish Israelis  represent a 47% minority).

(22). 73% of the Indigenous Palestinian subjects of Apartheid Israel cannot vote for the government ruling them i.e. they are subject to egregious Apartheid that has been described by anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish South African anti-Apartheid heroes as worse than Apartheid in South Africa.

(23).  Dr  H. F. Verwoerd (Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination in 1966 and  the “Architect of Apartheid” in South Africa) at the UN (1961): “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude… they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.”

(24). The “GDP per capita” is  US$42,000 for Apartheid Israel but a deadly $3,000 for Occupied Palestinians.

(25). 50% of the egregiously mal-treated  Occupied Palestinians are children and 75%  are women and children.

(26). In the 21st century each year an average of about 550 Occupied Palestinians have been killed violently by Apartheid Israel, and a further average of about 4,200 have died annually from imposed deprivation.

(27). In the 21st century there have been 1,615 non-terrorism Israeli deaths from homicide by Israelis, 164 Israeli deaths from terrorism in Israel (excluding Jerusalem), 1,183 further Israeli deaths from terrorism elsewhere in Zionist-ruled Palestine, 9,505 Occupied Palestinian deaths by Israelis, and 72,000 Occupied Palestinian avoidable deaths from imposed deprivation (2017 estimates).

(28). In the period 1920 – February 2017 there were 3,847 Israeli/Zionist  deaths from Palestinian violence as compared to about 100,000 Palestinians violently killed by Zionists and about 2 million Palestinians dying from imposed deprivation.

(29). In the 21st century each year an average of 70 Zionists are killed by Palestinians versus 550  Palestinians violently killed by Apartheid Israel,  and  through imposed deprivation, each year Apartheid Israel passively  murders about 2,700 under-5 year old Palestinian  infants and passively murders 4,200 Occupied Palestinians in general who die avoidably from deprivation each year. under Israeli Apartheid.

(30). There is a circa 10 year life expectancy gap between Occupied Palestinians and Israelis, this grossly violating Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that demand that an Occupier must provide life-sustaining food and medical services to the Occupied subjects “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”.

(31). UN experts have recently described conditions in the illegally blockaded and regularly shelled and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp as verging on the  “unliveable”.

(32). Apartheid Israel has attacked 13 countries and  occupied 5, whereas Iran that Apartheid  Israel  threatens with nuclear destruction has not invaded another country for 1,300 years (i.e. from the time of the Sassanian Empire).

(33). Arabic has been the main language of Palestine for 1,400 years, and Indigenous Palestinians are 50% of the subjects of Apartheid Israel. However Arabic was relegated to merely a “special language” in the recent Nazi-style Apartheid Israeli “Jewish Nation State Legislation”.

(34). In its genocidal treatment of the Palestinians, US-, UK-, Canada-, France- , EU- and Australia-backed Apartheid Israel ignores numerous UN General Assembly Resolutions and UN Security Council Resolutions, the UN Genocide Convention, the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rights of the Child Convention, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Refugee Convention, the UN Convention on Apartheid,  and many other aspects of International Law.

(35). Apartheid Israel has violently invaded the territory of 13 countries (this including planes and ships, to whit  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Uganda, Tunisia, and the US (the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 that killed 34 and wounded 171), and has occupied the territory of 5 other countries, namely  Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

(36). The 1950-2005  avoidable deaths (excess deaths) from deprivation in 5 countries variously occupied by Apartheid Israeli total 24 million.

(37). Of  5 million Occupied Palestinians  (half of them children), many are routinely blackmailed through imprisonment, torture or denial of life-saving medical care to spy on fellow Palestinians for Apartheid Israel.

(38). 5 million Occupied Palestinians (half of them children) are excluded by armed military check points from Jews-only areas and Jews-only roads.

(39). 50% of Israeli children are physically, psychologically or sexually abused each year,  but 100% of Occupied Palestinian children are subject to traumatizing human rights abuse by the serial war criminal Israel Defence Force (IDF) through actual or threatened deadly violence.

(40). With continuing deadly blockade and after repeated, large-scale  destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, conditions in the Gaza Concentration Camp are appalling. Only about 30 Israelis gave ever been killed by home-made Gaza rockets but the grossly disproportionate Israeli bombing and shelling reprisals have devastated densely populated  Gaza, and killed 4,600 and wounded about 20,000, most disastrously  in 2008-2009 and in 2014.

(41). Since March 2018 the Israelis have  killed about 200 unarmed Palestinians  and wounded about 20,000  more  out of scores  of thousands of unarmed Occupied Palestinians protesting the Occupation weekly in Gaza (in  the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in Apartheid South Africa police killed  69 demonstrators  and wounded 220 more).

(42). Apartheid Israel backed Apartheid South Africa and was variously complicit in the Guatemalan Mayan Genocide, the Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide,  the Myanmar Rohingya Genocide,  the Iraqi Genocide and the US-backed neo-Nazi Ukrainian Revolution.

(43). In repeated recent elections  6.6 million Jewish Israelis have overwhelmingly supported  Apartheid, Occupation and the ongoing Palestinian Genocide.

(44). Apartheid Israel reportedly has up to 400 nuclear weapons, has 6 German-supplied submarine launch platforms, and helped Apartheid South Africa acquire nuclear weapons.

(45). Jewish Israelis overwhelmingly derive from Yemeni, Berber and Khazar converts to Judaism whereas it is actually  the Indigenous Palestinians who are the descendants  of the Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine at the time of that wonderful, Aramaic-speaking,  Palestinian humanitarian, Jesus.

(46). Molecular biological and linguistic studies variously reveal that the Ashkenazim (the minority ruling Apartheid Israel)  derive from Khazar converts to Judaism in the first millennium CE, and that there is a  substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages.

(47). Zionist leaders from genocidal racists Theodor Herzl (Palestinian Genocide) and Winston Churchill (WW2 Bengali Holocaust) to  genocidally racist Israeli prime ministers from David  Ben Gurion to Benjamin Netanyahu have uttered deeply racist and indeed genocidal comments about Palestinians that would be totally unacceptable in the “politically correct Western democracies  that back Apartheid Israel.3

(48). President John  F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy unsuccessfully sought registration of Zionists as agents of a foreign power. Successive  US administrations became beholden to the Zionists after Apartheid Israel acquired nuclear weapons by 1967 with French and US help.

(49). Successive US administrations have committed $6 trillion to Zionist-backed wars in which 32 million Muslims have died from violence (5 million) or deprivation (27 million) in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity that killed 3,000 people.

(50). Over 30 million Americans have died preventably since 9-11 from “lifestyle  choice” and “political choice” reasons. Thus successive US administrations have committed $6 trillion to killing over 30 million Muslims abroad instead of trying to keep 30 million Americans alive at home.

  1. For a detailed and documented analysis of the horrendous death toll in a century of Zionist-promoted wars and attendant holocausts and genocides see Gideon Polya, US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide, 400 pages, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 4 June 2020; and Gideon Polya, “Racist Mainstream ignores US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide,” Countercurrents, 17 July 2020.
  2. See Kathryn  Shihadah, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg: at 84, where does she get her PEP (Progressive Except Palestine)?”, Israel-Palestine News, 20 December  2017.
  3. See “Zionist quotes re racism and Palestinian Genocide,” Palestinian Genocide.

The post Pro-Women’s Rights Supreme Court Judge Ruth Ginsburg Utterly Ignored Palestinian Genocide first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Neverending Holocausts of the Neoliberal Order

Biochemist, writer, humanitarian activist, and artist, Gideon Polya has had a selection of his essays gathered into a compendium titled US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide (Korsgaard Publishing, 2020). The compendium is important because it brings to the forefront, for anyone who cares an iota for peace and social justice, the horrible crimes of the “mendacious and politically dominant neoliberal One Percenters” wreaking holocausts and genocides. Polya draws a distinction between the two in that while both involve a massive number of killings, genocides are carried out with an “intent to destroy.” For me, these two are synonymous and interchangeable because, where it concerns militarism, who ever heard of an unintentional holocaust? When the fatalities become so huge, it must be that the killers are aware of what they are doing; ergo, there is intent in the killings.1

Polya does not write in euphemistic niceties. He speaks straight to the matter and sees it as crucial to honesty, and such honesty is needed to bring to an end the holocausts. Accordingly, he is highly critical of the state and corporate media for lies of commission and lies of omission. The latter he considers more insidious because what is unstated cannot be refuted. Effectively, the state and corporate media is complicit in the history of genocides up to today.

The genocides are many. Some are arcane and while enormous, many people will never have heard of them; e.g., the Bengali Holocaust where, from 1943 to 1945, 6-7 million Indians perished under the auspices of the racist genocidaire Winston Churchill, and the WWII Chinese holocaust whereby Japanese invaders put 35 million Chinese to death.

Polya examines the genocides in separate chapters from Bengal to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Palestine, India, and of the Rohingya forced out of Myanmar — and many more in the text. A superfluity of the genocides are targeted at Muslims. Genocides are not merely carried out through warring and physical violence. Polya also addresses the opiate holocaust, the air pollution holocaust, and the climate genocide. Polya also finds that the International Criminal Court is complicit as a bystander to genocides, describing it as “a cowardly, racist, degenerate and look-the-other-way organization… a holocaust-ignoring and genocide-ignoring organization…” (p 143)

Polya addresses global avoidable mortality: “The post-1950 excess mortality has been 1.3 billion for the World, 1.2 billion for the non-European World and 0.6 billion for the Muslim World…” (p 10) Polya does not shirk from criticizing his home country of genocide in the millenial homeland of Aborigines (“Australia — a nation that has exterminated all but 50 of 250 Indigenous languages and Aboriginal nations, with the rest at great risk” [p 32]) and abroad, along with much of the West. The author identifies the lead war criminal as “the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims (aka the US War on Terror)…” (p 19)

Readers are informed that the United States, which was born out of a genocide against Indigenous nations, has invaded 70 countries since independence in 1776. The current US-waged genocide against Muslims, argues the professor, is rooted in the US false flag of 9-11. In Iraq, this led to 1.5 million violent deaths and another 0.8 million avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation. Polya calculates 34 million avoidable deaths in 20 countries post-9-11.

Throughout the book, Polya provides and explains statistics and footnotes (unfortunately, there is no index) to the wars, killings, and excess mortality in country after country. The statistics provide a revealing and necessary lens on imperialist insouciance to the lives of Others. At times the presentation of stats is irksome because of over-repetition, as is the excessive iteration of the Genocide Convention. Editing would have helped to eliminate repetitive reading of parts of the book.

By encouraging the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the US has unleashed addiction around the world, even in the US. Polya charged, “Presidents Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been the worst drug pushers in history since Great Britain’s Queen Victoria …” (p 127) Iran, which shares a long border with Afghanistan, has been particularly burdened by the opium trade. Yet it is responsible for 75% of the world’s opium seizures and 25% of the world’s morphine and heroin seizures. (p 126) Nonetheless, the US-imposed opiate holocaust has killed 33,000 Iranians and 5.2 million worldwide. (p 123)

Although the genocides are US-imposed, the Jewish/Celtic Australian author takes a harsh aim at his home country and the Jewish state. He writes of “the ongoing Aboriginal genocide in which some two million Indigenous Australians have died untimely deaths…” (p 233) In 1778, there were 350-759 different Aboriginal tribes whereas only 150 survive today with all except 20 endangered. (p 233)

The author decries “the ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine by a nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel.” (p 340)

Polya notes Jewish-assisted genocide extends beyond killing Palestinians. “Apartheid Israel is intimately involved in Aung San Suu Kyi-led Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide … the Maya Indian Genocide in Guatemala, the Sri-Lankan Tamil Genocide, the South Sudan Civil War, the Syrian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide and the ongoing, endless Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide.” (p 247)

Polya is scathing in his denunciation of Zionism: “Zionism is egregious, genocidal racism and racist Zionists and all their supporters should be sidelined from public life, as have other racists such as neo-Nazis, Nazis, Apartheiders and the Klu Klux Klan.” (p 248)

And, holy genocidal complicity Batman, the US taxpayers have bankrolled Israel to the tune of $40 trillion in today’s dollars! (p 302)

Polya offers solutions, among them enacting BDS, exposing journalists who omit genocides, a 4% annual global wealth tax that would wipe out avoidable deaths globally, mandatory inclusion of externalities in the pricing of goods and services, and replacing neoliberalism with social humanism. Neoliberalism, writes Polya, is a “ruthless ideology … ultimately responsible for the carnage of the ongoing, 21st century Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide …” (p 356)

People genuinely in support of a world of peace and social justice should be informed of the horrendous crimes humans commit against other humans. Read US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide and become informed. Readers may be skeptical of the numbers that Polya presents and the methodology, but the killings are real.

Informed people must speak out about the evil, racist criminality of destroying swaths of humans. Polya exhorts readers: “Silence kills and silence is complicity.”

  1. Thus, while Polya differentiates, I will use either of the terms, holocaust and genocide, interchangeably in this review.

The post The Neverending Holocausts of the Neoliberal Order first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Milwaukee’s Veteran’s Park

There is a statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Milwaukee, in Veteran’s Park next to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center. It is a replica of the one at West Point.

The general stands there arms akimbo, in that memorable pose he assumed next to the diminutive defeated emperor of Japan in the famous photo soon after Japan’s surrender in Aug. 1945. (In it, Hirohito stood in rigid submission, hands at his side, in a formal suit; MacArthur towered above him, in informal dress, hands on his hips.) It was on the front pages of newspapers in Japan Sept 28, a statement of total U.S. domination. That’s the moment captured there.

As you perhaps know, MacArthur was born in Arkansas in 1880 son of Army captain Andrew MacArthur (1845-1912) who had fought in one of the “Indian Wars” against Geronimo before becoming U.S. military governor of the Philippines 1990-1. His career spans the genocidal efforts of the burgeoning U.S. state from the southwest of North America to Luzon and Mindanao.

In other words, Douglas was the son of someone obviously complicit in the slaughter of native people in this country and also in Filipino genocide. But let not the sin of the father be visited on the son! The guy on the pedestal himself embodies enough evil in his own bronze image.

Douglas MacArthur lived after the Indian Wars but was a general during the First World War leading troops in Eupoe in a meaningless fratricidal war. When unpaid U.S. veterans of that inter-imperialist war protested in Washington D.S. against their treatment, and non-payment of pensions, he led the charge against them–literally–in 1932.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor MacArthur was a major general, commander of US Armed Forces in the Far East, in the Philippines. He led the Pacific War effort, through Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Then he headed the U.S. Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) for a time, as it dismantled the fascist state apparatus. But then he moved to crush the Japanese Left after 1947. MacArthur threatened Communist labor leaders with death if they went ahead with planned mass strikes. He urged Christian mission societies in the U.S. to “send Bibles, Bibles and more Bibles” for the Japanese as he contemplated shutting down Shinto once and for all. He told U.S. troops to treat Japanese women as children.

After war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, MacArthur headed the U.S. forces that slaughtered millions of Koreans and Chinese in one of those many American wars based on lies. So bloodthirsty was MacArthur that President Truman (who had ordered the frying of Japanese by nuclear blasts) found impelled to order him home in 1951 due to his urging of a nuclear attack on China. Imbeciles in the Congress lionized him as he gave a speech to them in April, declaring famously: “I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.”

MacArthur should NOT fade away from our consciousness. On the contrary I’d hope everybody passing by that statue thinks about what it represents–a heritage of the Indian Wars, the suppression of the “Philippines Insurrection,” the racism of the Pacific War and Korean War, the legacy of butt-headed anticommunism–and wonders, “Should this be here?”

Was the Korean War–fought by U.S. troops to prevent the reunification of Korea after the Japanese defeat, and preserve the foothold that continues today, when 25,000 U.S. are stationed in the south–something to celebrate? In my opinion (not that we need compare) there’s more on his record to damn him than in Andrew Jackson’s “Trail of Tears.” MacArthur was an arch-imperialist. His statues anywhere are an affront to multiple communities. They too should fall as people in this country confront the past.

Cameroon and Nigeria: the Risk of Breathing

There is a long history of human rights violations by Cameroon’s government against its Anglophone people. Brutalized by war with Boko Haram, the Cameroon military is now engaged in low intensity warfare against militant Anglophone separatists. On May 15, 2019 for instance, Cameroon’s military attacked Anglophone Separatist Bamenda, burning 70 dwellings and stores in retaliation for the killing of two government soldiers.1  Under international pressure the Government is charging three of its military with the atrocity murder of 24 civilians in the Ngarbuh village massacre.2 In the case of popular ‘pidgin’ language broadcaster Samuel Wazizi (Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe), arrested June 5th 2019 and tortured — accused of harboring separatist forces on his farm and advocating for their cause, the military has under pressure admitted that he died in custody August 17th, 2019, ten months ago.3  A recent article 4 notes a history of Cameroon’s reliance on Israel’s military and identifies Israelis as trainers of President Biya’s elite guard accused of atrocities. The U.S. has scaled back its training and arms supply due to reported military atrocities.

In separatist regions the people are at the mercy of separatist militias who refuse cooperation with the Government. Due to the separatist closing of Cameroon’s schools in the western Cameroon, 850,000 children aren’t receiving an education.  In the region of Mamfe spiritualists initiate magic rituals to protect their communities from separatist informants and the violence. On May 10th separatists killed the mayor of Mamfe in southwest Cameroon.5  Shortly after, the Chief of the Bakebe Telecentre was murdered.6  After the mayor’s funeral 5 young people were massacred on the way home.7 The attacks are reportedly accomplished by groups of heavily armed men in civilian clothes. In another area the Government’s chief of police was murdered in the marketplace.8  A pastor and a nurse were found murdered.9  In the northwest health care workers trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus are regularly attacked.10  The victims are civilians considered cooperative with the government, and the police, and the military who attempt to reclaim separatist areas. Moderates are in danger. Among militants it’s unsafe to make peace.

A group of Nobel Laureates among others has called for a ceasefire in Cameroon so the coronavirus pandemic might be countered by the Government. The Separatist movement is composed of groups and factions who don’t always agree with each other. There’s doubt whether they’re able to make peace. And the Separatist cause which is many things at the same time is thriving beyond the borders of Cameroon, particularly in the domain of lawyers.

The longstanding simmering Anglophone/Francophone conflict escalated sharply in 2016 when Anglophone lawyers struck for better legal rights. With the Francophone Government’s intransigence the movement became a larger strike and Government repression encouraged a portion of the Separatist movement to declare the Independence of Ambazonia in October 2017. Canadian NGOs concerned with human rights and the rights of lawyers have come to the defense of the Anglophone human rights lawyer, Felix Agbor Anyior Nkongo, one of the strike leaders, who advocates for separatist rights both at home and with the Anglophone diaspora abroad. As one of the initial striking barristers Mr. Nkongo was initially imprisoned on charges of treason but released through pressure from U.S. and Canadian NGOs and a professor from one of his old alma maters (Notre Dame). When he was recently fired from his position at the University of Buea – the only English speaking university in Cameroon, a center of Anglophone resistance – Canadian international lawyers, professors and educators wrote a letter to President Biya in English protesting that the firing was by government request.

Cameroon Barrister Charles Taku who has acted as a defense counsel at both the ICC and the African court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and has a penchant for quoting Justice Robert H. Jackson of the Nuremberg Trials (he has as well a Maryland Facebook page address), has called the Government’s treatment of Anglophone areas “a genocide”; although Cameroon hasn’t ratified the ICC, Nigeria has and Cameroon’s deportations of refugees to Nigeria may have made it vulnerable to the Court.11

The New York City Bar’s Committee on African Affairs has sent the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee a letter and “Report by the African Affairs Committee,” supporting a very sound Senate Resolution #29212 which concludes with a request for peace.13 The Bar Committee report offers state of the art (and accurate) documentation in support of the Anglophone cause, and calls for sanctions against the Biya Government for its atrocities, though against non-government groups as well. Sanctions are suggested against foreign officials, “high-ranking military and government officials,” and the report asks they be held accountable not only for the military’s crimes against the Anglophones but against Boko Haram forces invading the north who are known for outrageous brutalities. The NYC Bar Committee also urges a UN fact finding investigation and the reform of Cameroon’s electoral process. This is very high powered expensive attention to a bush war and has been desperately needed in the defense of peoples in the eastern Congo where casualties have reached millions.

Cameroon is directly threatened by Boko Haram organizations and the jihadist Fulani tribesmen to the North. Across European made borders from the separatist claims is a Nigeria where a portion of the population is steadily but slowly being murdered to an extent that requires a genocide warning. The victims are usually Christian. The attacks are from Muslim extremists. Nearly 300,000 refugees from Nigeria currently seek asylum in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

In Cameroon the Muslims and Christians are getting along, but when northern villages are raided by Boko Haram allied groups the targeted villages and victims are Christian. Anglophone human rights organizations consistently ignore the threat Boko Haram and Fulani interests present to Cameroon. So does Senate Resolution #292 and the well funded North American NGOs and Academic programs devoted to the prevention of genocide.

Why would Muslim extremists be killing Christians on one side of a European made border, while the two groups get along nicely on the other? To think tactically, Cameroon’s Anglophone separatists are opposing the same Cameroon military as the Muslim extremists from Nigeria and the north.

In the northeast of Nigeria there are several million internally displaced people. In the southeast of Nigeria there are about 58,000 refugees from Cameroon,14 next to the Separatist declared “Ambazonia.”

So far this year 620 Christians in northern Nigeria have been killed by jihadist Fulani and Boko Haram related militants.15 Throughout Nigeria which is nearly 50% Christian, since June 2015 four to five million Christians are estimated as displaced, 2000 churches have been destroyed.16  The report by the Biafran human rights organization, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, “Nigeria: a Killing Field of Defenseless Christians,”17 finds about 12,000 Christians killed since the current government came to power in July of 2015. The largest percentage of deaths are by jihadist Fulani herdsmen who are permitted by government to carry AK-47s forbidden to citizens who aren’t in the military or security agencies. The country’s president is Fulani, and patron of the Nigerian cattle herders association. Christian casualties are also traced to Boko Haram, its ISIS affiliated Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP), and state security forces.17 Recently Nigeria’s Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Argak Kwashi, addressing the attacks on Christians said “This thing is systemic; it is planned; it is calculated.”18  A genocide warning for Nigeria’s Christians is ongoing.

This slow ethnic cleansing hasn’t reached the proportions of Nigeria’s actions against the mainly Christian Igbo peoples in the region adjacent to Cameroon’s Ambazonia, where the massacre of possibly 50,000 Igbo in 1966 was followed by Biafra’s attempt at Independence from 1967 until 1970. You may remember Biafra. The Igbo country was starved into submission by the Nigerian government with British support. One and a half million children starved to death. After the war the attempt at independence was used as an excuse to impoverish the Igbo people who make up the southern Christian portion of the country. A genocide warning for the Christian peoples of Nigeria should cover an overdue ongoing genocide warning for the Igbo peoples.

While Boko Haram was officially declared stopped in Nigeria about 2015, Boko Haram’s auxiliary, ISWAP has grown stronger with incursions into Cameroon, Tchad, and Niger. Norwegian Refugee Control notes 111,000 refugees from Nigeria who have fled to Cameroon; 490,000 people are displaced in Cameroon’s far north (in addition to the two million displaced across the border in Nigeria). NRC also notes that with the ‘humanitarian crisis’ in the Central African Republic (a civil war between Christian and Muslim, initiated by a Muslim minority takeover of the CAR government), 270,000 refugees have found refuge on Cameroon’s eastern border.14

Due to valid grievances of neglect, dictatorial rule and discriminatory treatment by their government, portions of Cameroon’s Anglophone Separatist movement are committed to armed conflict. The choice of armed conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. It does nothing for the suffering of refugees hosted by Cameroon. It offers no protection to the northern villages under sporadic attack by Boko Haram organizations and herdsmen. To gain identity rights and self respect Separatism has set in motion an ethic where Africans kill Africans for the rights to assert their European language and cultural institutions, at a terrible expense to other Africans. It is so un-African that one looks for the point where the understandable yearning to breathe free was tripped into violence.

Biya government injustices toward the Anglophone community didn’t become unbearable suddenly. The ugliness of the Government response to dissent could be foreseen. It may help to review the little we know of Anglophone Separatist funding. Ambazonia adjacent to Anglophone Nigeria might expect a covert Nigerian supply of arms. Arms are available to the extremists who are murdering Nigeria’s Christians and occupying Igbo villages. Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim President of Nigeria who years ago supported application of Sharia law for all Nigeria, is a thoroughly military man with his training in Africa, England, India, and from 1979 to 1980 at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania where through correspondence for another two years he received a masters degree in Strategic Studies. The War College’s alumni include others such as Paul Kagame and Norman Schwartzkof whose tactics have raised questions of genocide. Muhammadu Buhari’s domestic political base is the country’s predominantly Muslim north.

The Independence of Ambazonia was declared by the Cameroonian Sisiku Tabe, from within Nigeria, while teaching at the American University of Nigeria. Tabe is now in a Cameroon prison. Nigerians are not likely to be caught supplying the Ambazonian militants with arms which are regularly “stolen” from military facilities.

In a previous article19, Marshall Foncha was noted as chair of the Ambazonia Military Council, while he lives in the United States.20 Additionally, armed groups are allegedly funded by Lucas Ayaba Cho in Norway, Ebenezer Akwanga who leads the Southern Cameroons Defence Force from Maryland USA, Chris Anu – a Houston Texas pastor who leads a faction, and his brother who leads “The Red Dragons and Tigers” in-country.21

As the conflict in Cameroons unfolds the familiar mechanism of setting against each other groups with historical differences becomes more extreme and more usable to political interests. The newest African country, South Sudan with its non-African name and oil resources, found “independence” in 2011 with the substantial support of the United States. Now the ethnic conflict generated by destabilization has evolved into unending war. From this perspective, the genocide in Rwanda was the result of purposeful destabilization of groups which were historically at peace – to the service of foreign interests. Rwandan education was in French until U.S. supported Paul Kagame’s invasion from English speaking Uganda. After the genocide teaching was in English and French. Now the education is entirely in English.

With mounting international pressure on Cameroon’s President Biya to accommodate and respect the Anglophone minority, Cameroon Separatist refusal to negotiate peaceful improvements risks losing an entire people to brutal machinery and profiteers -which has become the standard result of destabilization, intervention and corporate acquisition. The genocide warning for Cameroon’s Anglophone population continues.

  1. “Cameroon: Bloodshed Escalates As World Turns Blind Eye,” Rosy Sadou, May 31, 2019, cajnews/AllAfrica.
  2. “Cameroon: Three Soldiers Charged With Murder in Anglophone Village Massacre,” Radio France Internationale, June 11, 2020, AllAfrica.
  3. “Cameroon:  Journalist’s Death in Custody Shines Light On Cameroon’s War On Media and Sparks Protests,” Sumeya Gasa, June 10, 2020, AllAfrica.
  4. “Making a Killing: Israel’s mercenaries in Cameroon,” Emmanuel Freudenthal & Youri Van der Weide, June 23, 2020, African Arguments.
  5. “Cameroon: Human Rights Watch condemns killing of Mamfe Mayor,” May 12, 2020, JournalduCameroun.com.
  6.  “Cameroon: Another personality of SW region murdered by alleged Amba fighters,” May 11, 2020, JournalduCameroun.com.
  7. “Outrage after five youth slaughtered in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region,” June 11, 2020, JournalduCameroun.com.
  8. “Cameroon:Ambazonia fighters kill gendarmerie commander in Njikwa,” June 5, 2020,  JournalduCameroun.com.
  9. “Cameroon: Pastor, nurse killed in fresh wave of violence in restive NW region,” March 27, 2019, JournalduCameroun.com.
  10. “Cameroon: Rights Groups Condemn Attack on Aid Workers,” Moki Edwin Dedekind, June 8, 2020, Voice of America.
  11. “Chief Barrister Charles Taku speaks of the genocide in Southern Cameroons,” July 31, 2018, Cameroon Intelligence Report.
  12. S.Res.292 – 116th Congress (2019-2020), July 30, 2019, U.S. Senate.
  13. “Re. Support for Senate Resolution 292,” Committee on African Affairs, February 27, 2020, New York City Bar.
  14. “5 things you should know about the crises in Cameroon,” Itunu Kuku, June 11, 2020, Norwegian Refugee Council.
  15. “New Report: More Than 600 Nigerian Christians Killed in 2020 ,” May 18, 2020, Catholic News Agency.
  16. Nigeria: a Killing Field of Defenseless Christians, a Special Report by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law Intersociety, dedicated to victims of Islamic jihad in Nigeria,” March 8, 2020.
  17. Ibid.
  18. “Nigeria facing ‘systematic, planned, calculated’ genocide of Christians,” Charles Collins, June 29, 2020, Crux.
  19. Genocide Warnings for Three African States,” J.B.Gerald, September 17, 2019.
  20. “Cameroon’s Separatist Movement Is Going International,” Gareth Browne, May 13, 2019, Foreign Policy.
  21. “The restive region taking teetering steps to statehood,” SCBC News, April 26, 2020, SCBC News The Voice of Ambazonia.

The Untold History of Mount Rushmore: A KKK Sympathizer Built Monument on Sacred Lakota Land

As tribal governments call on President Trump to cancel his Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration, we look at why Native Americans have long pushed for the removal of the monument carved into the sacred Black Hills and designed by a sculptor with ties to the Ku Klux Klan. “This place is very, very sacred to our people,” says Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of the NDN Collective. “Stealing our land and then carving the faces of four white men who were colonizers, who committed genocide against Indigenous people, is an egregious act of violence.”

Palestine Bleeds: Execution of Autistic Man is Not an Exception but the Norm

A 32-year-old man with the mental age of an 8-year-old child was executed by Israeli soldiers on May 30, while crouching behind his teacher near his special needs school in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The cold-blooded murder of Iyad al-Hallaq might not have received much attention if it were not for the fact that it took place five days following the similarly heartbreaking murder of a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, at the hands of American police.

The two crimes converge, not only in their repugnancy and the moral decadence of their perpetrators, but also because countless American police officers have been trained in Israel, by the very Israeli ‘security forces’ that killed al-Hallaq. The practice of killing civilians, with efficiency and callousness, is now a burgeoning market. Israel is the biggest contributor to this market; the US is the world’s largest client.

When thousands of people rushed to the streets in Palestine, including hundreds of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish activists in Jerusalem, chanting “Justice for Iyad, justice for George”, their cry for justice was a spontaneous and heartfelt reaction to injustice so great, so blatant.

Al-Hallaq’s story might appear particularly unique, as the ‘suspected terrorist’ was killed while merely walking in King Faisal Street in Jerusalem, on his way to take out the trash. He was afraid of soldiers and terrified of blood.

“He was also afraid of the armed police officers who stood along the route to the special needs center he went to, where he participated in a vocational training program,” the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported.

Al-Hallaq’s many fears, which may have appeared exaggerated by his family, turned out to be true. Even an autistic person in Palestine is not safe from the vengeance of soldiers.

But Iyad al-Hallaq did not need to die for Israel to maintain its pathological sense of ‘security’. The fact that he was already shot and wounded, and found bleeding in a roofless garbage room in Jerusalem’s Old City, was not enough to spare him that horrific fate. The fact that the man screamed in agony while hiding behind his caregiver, who pleaded with the soldiers, begging them to stop puncturing his already bleeding body with more bullets, was also not enough.

Still, the soldiers stepped forward, and from a very close range, fired three bullets into al-Hallaq’s midsection as he lay wounded on his back. Instantly, the young man, the ‘apple of the eyes of his parents’, ceased breathing.

“He was our mother’s love, her entire life,” Iyad’s sister, Diana said in an interview with +972 magazine. “She would hold his hand like he was a baby, and he would walk with her to the market, or the mosque or the clothing store. He was like her shadow. She worried about him and whether other kids would bother or hurt him.”

Caught off guard by the grisly nature of the murder and the mental state of the victim, Israel’s spin doctors moved quickly to contain the damage, initially spreading lies that al-Hallaq was carrying a toy gun at the time of the shooting, then backing off, promising an investigation.

But what is there to investigate? In recent years, the Israeli army has upgraded its code of conduct, adopting a shoot-to-kill policy of any Palestinian they suspect of attempting to harm Israeli occupation soldiers, even when the alleged Palestinian ‘attacker’ is no longer posing a threat.

In the case of Gaza, where protesters are separated from Israeli snipers by barbed wire and nearly a mile-long empty space, the Israeli military issued orders, as of June 2019, to shoot and kill ‘key instigators’ of the mass protests even while ‘at rest’. Hundreds of people have been killed in Gaza’s Great March of Return in this way, and the ‘key instigators’ included medics, journalists, young boys and girls.

Indeed, the killing of Palestinian civilians is a regular occurrence. It is the devastating routine with which Palestinians have been forced to co-exist for many years and for which Israel was never ever held accountable.

Only one day before al-Hallaq was murdered, Fadi Samara Qaad, 37, was killed by Israeli occupation soldiers while driving his car near the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, west of Ramallah.

The Israeli military immediately claimed that Qaad “tried to ram his car into a group of soldiers” before they opened fire, killing him on the spot.

This is the go-to Israeli military pretense that is often offered when a Palestinian driver is shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. Otherwise, the Palestinian victim, whether a man, a woman, or a child, is often accused of carrying a ‘sharp object’.

Al-Hallaq’s mental disability might have spared him, in the eyes of some, from being that archetypical ‘terrorist’, although the Israeli army immediately raided his house, looking for ‘evidence’ that would implicate him and be useful in their sinister propaganda.

In the case of Qaad, a Palestinian worker, on his way to join his wife in a nearby town to celebrate the Muslim Eid holiday, the Israeli army statement suffices, no questions asked.

This is the same stifling logic that has prevailed in Palestine for so many years, and counting. Children are killed for throwing stones at men with guns, who have invaded their homes and villages; pregnant women are gunned down at Israeli army checkpoints; men with amputated legs in wheelchairs shot by snipers while protesting and demanding their freedom.

All of this is taking place in the complete absence of any promising political horizon. Even the protracted and ultimately useless ‘peace process’ has been halted in favor of greater American backing of Israel and of the Israeli government’s mad rush to expand illegal Jewish settlements.

To secure his colonial accomplishments — read: land theft — Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is about to reveal the crown jewel of his legacy, as he prepares for the expansion of Israel’s borders through the annexation of yet more Palestinian land.

Inspired by the common struggle that ties them with their African-American brethren, Palestinians are now left only with their cries for justice: Palestinian lives matter, hoping, for once, the world may hear and echo their screams and, perhaps, do something.

Poetry: Rhyming not necessary but some assembly required

This sense of viral isolation, dread and global make-over (for good and worse) gets the proverbial juices flowing of our local and national bards. It’s not a stretch to say there are many people on our coast and farther east who consider themselves to be “poets.”

With a liberal dose of simile, any number of cultural and natural events hearken the phrase, “Blank is like poetry in action.”

Ever see a dolphin in the wild under water? Ever see Carl Lewis compete in the long jump? Ever see a skateboarder compete in an extreme sports competition? Ever see a peregrine falcon dive at over 220 miles an hour?

“Poetry in action.”

April is deemed National Poetry Month. Through the work of the Academy of American Poets who saw the success of other celebrations such as Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), writers, poets and teachers helped found Poetry Month.

The aim is simple:

• highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
• encourage the reading of poems,
• assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
• increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
• encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books; and,
• encourage support for poets and poetry

Where I now live, the Oregon Coast celebrates writers – poets – through conferences, workshops, organizations and, of course, readings. For now, like the summer Olympics, the live lyrical works and in-your-face performances by poets have been cancelled.

However, there are on-line options. Our own count librarians are putting up more resources and are encouraging poets (and other writers) to record their performances. AAP’s web site has plethora of live filmed readings and activities for young and old.

I asked the Toledo, Oregon, head librarian her take on the written word’s value in a time of crisis. Deborah Trusty stated: “So, the value of literature is great, as it has always been because it speaks to the universal human experiences. ‘Now,’ whenever now is for anyone, is always a good time for literature and an opportunity to contemplate the deeper feelings and experiences of what it means to be a human BEING.”

Yes, poetry can be dreaded, only because it has been poorly taught and presented.

Portland poet Marianne Klekacz states clearly, “ I think many people are intimidated by poetry, a reaction that probably dates back to middle or high school. Elementary school students seem to get it immediately, because, I suspect, they haven’t had the imagination trained out of them yet.”

She told me she once hosted the annual William Stafford birthday party in January and the April Poetry Month readings at the Newport Library. “My book [“When Words Fail”] was published in 2009. It can be found in the library, but since that is now quarantined, if you’ll send me a mailing address, I’d be happy to send you a copy.”

William Stafford is one of the country’s preeminent poets, one whose work is relevant in this time of Covid-19. His son Kim (also a Willamette University faculty member) was poet laureate of Oregon until last year.

Here are some definitions of poetry:

Mary Oliver — “Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.”

Salvatore Quasimodo — “Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.”

Rita Dove ¬– “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”

James K. Baxter ¬¬– “The poem is a plank laid over the lion’s den.”

When I requested writers in our area to tell me what they believe the value of poetry is, many failed to respond. A sign of poetic solitude? A dystopian look at the world from one of the country’s most beautiful places from which to create words, music, art, dance and more?

Marianne was profuse in her responses, as was the Toledo head librarian.
Marianne recommends Peter Sears’ work – he was Oregon’s poet Laureate a few years ago.

She said, “I got involved with poetry late in life, pretty much by accident, and have wallowed in it ever since. I probably have more books of poetry (as opposed to books about poetry) than the Newport Library.”

Poet Leanne Grabel too recommends Sears. “Peter was a friend. I used this in classes often to teach metaphor. Taught in lock-down residential treatment. Kids loved this.” Here is the Sears poem Leanne adores:

My Emptiness Rides in the Back Seat, Propped UP

Don’t look now but that’s my emptiness smiling at us
from the back seat of the car with the hat on that’s too small.
I give him hats that fit and he chucks them out the window.
Then flops over, face down,
probably laughing his eyeballs out. I prop him up.
Maybe I should get him like a baby chair.
Or tape him to the back seat.
Yesterday he caught me looking at him
in the rearview mirror.
That smile, I can’t take it.
I threw fresh mints back over my shoulder at him
as hard as I could.
I threw the towel at him that I use to wipe the windshield
and almost piled into a Dodge 4×4.
That’s it. I stop the car, take him out, sit him
on a wooden bench in the park, and walk back to the car.
Yeah, just leave him there.
He’s my emptiness, I can do what I want with him.
He’s such a baby. Maybe he should have to do it on his own.
Well, I barely get around the block
when I whip the car around and head back for the little whuss.
I mean, how long can he last on his own?
So I am getting out of my car
when I happen to glance at the back seat.
There he is, my emptiness, with one of those dumb hats on,
waving my car keys.

Over at Dissent Magazine, there is a great interview of Carolyn Forché.

[“Witnessing War, with Carolyn Forché” — The author of What You Have Heard Is True talks about her political education in El Salvador, by Patrick Iber]

I cut my teeth on Forché. She ended in El Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s. After, she toured the US — 49 states in a sort of Blitzkrieg of truth telling about the despotic regime in Salvador propped up and trained by USA. Americans doubted her experiences, denying the realities of the death squad imperium of the School of the Americas murder college.

I spoke with her at the University of Arizona where she appeared at the Poetry Center, and I met her years later at a reading at the University of Texas — El Paso. Heck, here is an old Dissident Voice piece I did, This Land is Their Land, and We Are the Illegal Aliens

I ended up working with Salvadoran refugees in El Paso, and that story was written several times, including the El Paso Herald Post which then sent it out to their sister newspapers.

Here, a recent update of that experience with Casa Annunciation, Shifting Baselines in a Time of Climate Change, Systems Stagnation, Life and Death in a Time of Amnesia

Time of Amnesia

Here, some art therapy from some of the children at the refugee center.

Time of Amnesia

Again, there is this huge tension between MFA/masters of fine arts creative writing “poets” living off of tenure track jobs, and those of us who are revolutionary. This poem, by Forché, is powerful now, and then, 1978:

The Colonel

WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man’s legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.
— May 1978

Shut Down Canada Until it Solves its War, Oil, and Genocide Problem

Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which is of course the key to success.

This is a demonstration of nothing less than a superior alternative to war, not just because the war weapons of the militarized Canadian police may be defeated by the resistance of the people who have never been conquered or surrendered, but also because the Canadian government could accomplish its aims in the wider world better by following a similar path, by abandoning the use of war for supposedly humanitarian ends and making use of humanitarian means instead. Nonviolence is simply more likely to succeed in domestic and international relations than violence. War is not a tool for preventing but for facilitating its identical twin, genocide.

Of course, the indigenous people in “British Columbia,” as around the world, are demonstrating something else as well, for those who care to see it: a way of living sustainably on earth, an alternative to earth-violence, to the raping and murdering of the planet — an activity closely linked to the use of violence against human beings.

The Canadian government, like its southern neighbor, has an unacknowledged addiction to the war-oil-genocide problem. When Donald Trump says he needs troops in Syria to steal oil, or John Bolton says Venezuela needs a coup to steal oil, it’s simply an acknowledgement of the global continuation of the never-ended operation of stealing North America.

Look at the gas-fracking invasion of unspoiled lands in Canada, or the wall on the Mexican border, or the occupation of Palestine, or the destruction of Yemen, or the “longest ever” war on Afghanistan (which is only the longest ever because the primary victims of North American militarism are still not considered real people with real nations whose destruction counts as real wars) , and what do you see? You see the same weapons, the same tools, the same senseless destruction and cruelty, and the same massive profits flowing into the same pockets of the same profiteers from blood and suffering — the corporations that will be shamelessly marketing their products at the CANSEC weapons show in Ottawa in May.

Much of the profits these days comes from distant wars fought in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, but those wars drive the technology and the contracts and the experience of war veterans that militarize the police in places like North America. The same wars (always fought for “freedom,” of course) also influence the culture toward greater acceptance of the violation of basic rights in the name of “national security” and other meaningless phrases. This process is exacerbated by the blurring of the line between war and police, as wars become endless occupations, missiles become tools of random isolated murder, and activists — antiwar activists, antipipeline activists, antigenocide activists — become categorized with terrorists and enemies.

Not only is war over 100 times more likely where there is oil or gas (and in no way more likely where there is terrorism or human rights violations or resource scarcity or any of the things people like to tell themselves cause wars) but war and war preparations are leading consumers of oil and gas. Not only is violence needed to steal the gas from indigenous lands, but that gas is highly likely to be put to use in the commission of wider violence, while in addition helping to render the earth’s climate unfit for human life. While peace and environmentalism are generally treated as separable, and militarism is left out of environmental treaties and environmental conversations, war is in fact a leading environmental destroyer. Guess who just pushed a bill through the U.S. Congress to allow both weapons and pipelines into Cyprus? Exxon-Mobil.

Solidarity of the longest victims of western imperialism with the newest ones is a source of great potential for justice in the world.

But I mentioned the war-oil-genocide problem. What does any of this have to do with genocide? Well, genocide is an act “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” Such an act can involve murder or kidnapping or both or neither. Such an act can “physically” harm no one. It can be any one, or more than one, of these five things:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Numerous top Canadian officials over the years have stated clearly that the intention of Canada’s child-removal program was to eliminated Indigenous cultures, to utterly remove “the Indian problem.” Proving the crime of genocide does not require the statement of intent, but in this case, as in Nazi Germany, as in today’s Palestine, and as in most if not all cases, there is no shortage of expressions of genocidal intent. Still, what matters legally is genocidal results, and that is what one can expect from stealing people’s land to frack it, to poison it, to render it uninhabitable.

When the treaty to ban genocide was being drafted in 1947, at the same time that Nazis were still being put on trial, and while U.S. government scientists were experimenting on Guatemalans with syphilis, Canadian government “educators” were performing “nutritional experiments” on Indigenous children — that is to say: starving them to death. The original draft of the new law included the crime of cultural genocide. While this was stripped out at the urging of Canada and the United States, it remained in the form of item “e” above. Canada ratified the treaty nonetheless, and despite having threatened to add reservations to its ratification, did no such thing. But Canada enacted into its domestic law only items “a” and “c” — simply omitting “b,” “d,” and “e” in the list above, despite the legal obligation to include them. Even the United States has included what Canada omitted.

Canada should be shut down (as should the United States) until it recognizes that it has a problem and begins to mend its ways. And even if Canada didn’t need to be shut down, CANSEC would need to be shut down.

CANSEC is one of the largest annual weapons shows in North America. Here’s how it describes itself, a list of exhibitors, and a list of the members of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries which hosts CANSEC.

CANSEC facilitates Canada’s role as a major weapons dealer to the world, and the second biggest weapons exporter to the Middle East. So does ignorance. In the late 1980s opposition to a forerunner of CANSEC called ARMX created a great deal of media coverage. The result was a new public awareness, which led to a ban on weapons shows on city property in Ottawa, which lasted 20 years.

The gap left by media silence on Canadian weapons dealing is filled with misleading claims about Canada’s supposed role as a peacekeeper and participant in supposedly humanitarian wars, as well as the non-legal justification for wars known as “the responsibility to protect.”

In reality, Canada is a major marketer and seller of weapons and components of weapons, with two of its top customers being the United States and Saudi Arabia. The United States is the world’s leading marketer and seller of weapons, some of which weapons contain Canadian parts. CANSEC’s exhibitors include weapons companies from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

There is little overlap between the wealthy weapons-dealing nations and the nations where wars are waged. U.S. weapons are often found on both sides of a war, rendering ridiculous any pro-war moral argument for those weapons sales.

CANSEC 2020’s website boasts that 44 local, national, and international media outlets will be attending a massive promotion of weapons of war. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Canada has been a party since 1976, states that “Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.”

The weapons exhibited at CANSEC are routinely used in violation of laws against war, such as the UN Charter and the Kellogg-Briand Pact — most frequently by Canada’s southern neighbor. CANSEC may also violate the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court by promoting acts of aggression. Here’s a report on Canadian exports to the United States of weapons used in the 2003-begun criminal war on Iraq. Here’s a report on Canada’s own use of weapons in that war.

The weapons exhibited at CANSEC are used not only in violation of laws against war but also in violation of numerous so-called laws of war, that is to say in the commission of particularly egregious atrocities, and in violation of the human rights of the victims of oppressive governments. Canada sells weapons to the brutal governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Canada may be in violation of the Rome Statute as a result of supplying weapons that are used in violation of that Statute. It is certainly in violation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. Canadian weapons are being used in the Saudi-U.S. genocide in Yemen.

In 2015, Pope Francis remarked before a joint session of the United States Congress, “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

An international coalition of individuals and organizations will be converging on Ottawa in May to say No to CANSEC with a seris of events called NoWar2020.

This month two nations, Iraq and the Philippines, have told the United States military to get out. This happens more often than you might think. These actions are part of the same movement that tells the Canadian militarized police to get out of lands they have no rights in. All actions in this movement can inspire and inform all others.