Friday, May 24, 2024

The End of Israel or The End of Apartheid?

"George, I think we need to stop talking about a military solution to this problem (Israel-Palestine). As you pointed out, the conditions aren't there for the cessation of military operations. Hamas cannot physically defeat Israel. Hamas can make Israel's life a living hell, and when partnered with Hizbollah's continued activities on the Lebanese border, the Houthis' continued interdiction of Israeli shipping, and the support of other members of axis resistance, Israel has become a nation where the quality of life is no longer worth living. And this is how Israel will be defeated. Israel will be a nation that de-populates itself. Israel will become a nation that nobody wants to be affiliated with, both in terms of potential foreign partners, and Israelis themselves. People who moved to Israel believing that they were moving into the Land of Milk and Honey, to the easy lifestyle, pleasant beaches on Tel Aviv, now know that forever, as long as the Zionist entity exists, it will be a nation in perpetual conflict. It will never know peace. 

"Israel is the worst possible criminal in the world, who has dressed himself up and gone to the party believing that because he wears good clothes and he hangs around with powerful people, that people will affiliate with Israel. But because of Israel's reaction to the Hamas attack of October 7th, the mask is off, and the world is recognizing Israel for the horrific entity that it is. This genocidal nation, not just genocidal leadership, but a nation whose entire existence is premised on the necessity, indeed from their perspective. . . . it's a positive thing from their [perspective], the genocide of the Palestinian people. And one by one by one the people that surrounded Israel, that Israel thought were their friends and allies, are being stripped away. And today Israel stands virtually alone. And it will continue to stand alone, until it no longer exists. And its demise will not be because Hizbollah, Hamas, Iran, or others physically defeated Israel. Its demise will be because the world recognizes Israel as a state that no longer has legitimacy, a state that can no longer exist. And then the Israeli citizens themselves will seek to flee that state. This will take time, but this is the inevitable outcome of this conflict in the Middle East. Israel will cease to exist and the Palestinian state will emerge in its stead."

 -----Scott Ritter, "the prerogative of violence," Mother of All Talk Shows (with George Galloway), May 24, 2024 

 

"I do think that the Zionist project in Israel and Palestine, as we see today, doesn't have long to live, to exist. I think we are seeing processes, important processes, that are leading to the collapse of the Zionist project. Hopefully, the Palestinian national movement and anyone else involved in Israel and Palestine would be able to replace this apartheid state, this oppressive regime, with a democratic one for everyone who lives between the river and the sea for all the Palestinians who were expelled from there since 1948 until today. I believe that this historical process has begun. Unfortunately, it will take time, and the next year or two are very precarious and are very dangerous. But in the long run, I am really hopeful that there will be a different kind of life for both Jews and Arabs between the river and the sea under a democratic, free Palestine."

-----Ilan Pappe, Democracy Now, May 21, 2024

 

Monday, May 20, 2024

The Kids Are Right - Palestine Must Be Free

The panic signals are out again about our wayward youth linking up with dubious causes out of ignorance, naivete, and alignment with malevolent foreign forces. Whenever young Americans or really any Americans start to publicly notice that U.S. policy contradicts its alleged commitment to freedom and justice for all, they are roundly smeared in the corporate media, which is owned lock, stock, and barrel by massive centers of private wealth with a long history of sidelining the voice of the people or distorting its message beyond recognition. In fact, the forces of organized panic are now so concerned about popular opposition to Israel's mass slaughter in the Gaza Strip that they have attempted to codify and ban "anti-Semitic" speech, causing some embarrassment to Israel's Christian Zionist base, which joyfully awaits the End Times when they anticipate the vast majority of Jews will be justly consigned to the Fires of Hell for all eternity. With all due respect for the extermination campaign in Gaza, such Christians say, it could lead to a ban on the Bible, that is, the Bronze Age real estate guide used to justify Jewish supremacy in Palestine in the first place. Just where would that leave the Religion of Brotherly Love?

Not that more reasonable strategies readily suggest themselves. After all, just what are committed Zionists to do these days? If they aren't allowed to massacre helpless civilians, harass, torture, and jail opponents, and destroy the careers of courageous American students peacefully protesting their grotesquely self-righteous butchery, how exactly are they to rescue their cause? They can't defeat Hamas, still less Hizbollah, and an all-out war with Iran would destroy Israel completely, along with much else. They can't monopolize the explanation of events when everyone's live stream constantly highlights Israel's hypocrisy and delusion. They can't negotiate in good faith (witness Israel rejecting its own proposals vis-a-vis the hostages when Hamas accepts them), as that implies Palestinians aren't savage terrorists deserving only subjugation, expulsion, and murder. In short, their only card is force, and force alone lacks legitimacy. Their plight is aptly summed up in the image of Aaron Bushnell burning to death outside the gate of the Israeli Embassy in Washington in protest of the Gaza slaughter while a clueless Secret Service officer points a gun at him.

"I don't need a gun," says another man, attempting to extinguish the blaze.

But guns (and bombs) are all Israel has.  


Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Great Replacement Theory Foretold

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”

---Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Sunday, April 28, 2024

If This is 1968 Over Again, More Popular Upheaval Is On The Way

By Michael K. Smith

www.legalienate.blogspot.com

 

Mass graves, the criminalization of dissent, systematic slaughter glorified as self-defense, resisting students making history. Yes, the current nightmare does seem reminiscent of 1968, the year kaleidoscopic change burst forth seemingly everywhere at once.

 

On January 31, the beginning of Tet, eighty-thousand Vietnamese troops issued Washington a formal eviction notice, attacking all the major cities and towns of colonial South Vietnam. Blasting through the walls of the U.S. Embassy compound, they killed two military police and held off a helicopter assault for seven hours. Government employees arrived at work to find corpses twisted over the ornamental shrubbery and pools of blood in the white gravel rocks of the embassy garden.

 

They shelled the U.S. naval base at Camrahn Bay and threw open the jails in Quang Ngai city, setting thousands free. They marched nearly unresisted into the ancient capital of Hue and raised the Vietcong flag from its Citadel. They forced the U.S. to raze half the city to the ground at Ben Tre, which an American officer infamously justified on the grounds that, “We had to destroy the town to save it.”

 

After endless boasts of imminent victory, U.S. troops being home by Christmas, and the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the Vietnamese Tet Offensive proved beyond all doubt that a U.S. military victory in Vietnam was not in the cards.

 

Wall Street turned against the war.

 

In March, LBJ discovered his Vietnam policy had left him no path to a second term. Though elected in a landslide in 1964, four years later his “Great Society” had turned to riot and left him a lonely prisoner of the White House. Wherever he went he was besieged by throngs of outraged students taunting him with “that horrible song” – “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” No matter how many speeches he canceled or how abruptly he changed his travel plans he could not avoid being “chased on all sides by a giant stampede.” The people were firing the president.

 

Support for escalation in Vietnam had evaporated. Worried that fulfilling General Westmoreland’s request for 206,000 more troops would leave Washington insufficiently protected against the threat of insurrection at home, a Council of Wise Men told a shocked Johnson to cut his losses and withdraw from the war before it tore the U.S. apart.

 

By then 150,000 Americans were dead or injured and much of Southeast Asia had been annihilated by a U.S. military machine that could do everything but stop. On March 31 Johnson went on nationwide TV to announce his forced retirement: “I shall not seek, and will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

 

Four days later Dr. King was assassinated for having publicly connected the dots between domestic racism and imperial war. A year to the day before he was shot he was widely condemned for a speech he gave before a crowd of three thousand at Riverside Church in New York City, where he did not mince words about the war:

 

“The peasants watched as we supported a ruthless dictatorship in South Vietnam which aligned itself with extortionist landlords and executed its political opponents. The peasants watched as we poisoned their water, bombed and machine-gunned their huts, annihilated their crops, and sent them wandering into the towns, where thousands of homeless children wandered the streets like animals, begging for food and selling their mothers and sisters to American soldiers. What do the peasants think as we test our weapons on them, as the Germans tested new medicines and tortures in Europe’s concentration camps? . . . .We have destroyed their land and crushed their only non-Communist revolutionary political force – the Unified Buddhist Church. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators!”

 

A year later he was in Memphis to help striking Memphis garbage workers. The night of April 3 an exhausted and dispirited King was already in his pajamas and ready for bed when he received a call from Reverend Ralph Abernathy at Mason Temple, informing him that two thousand people had braved tornado warnings and a driving rain to hear him speak. “I really think you should come down,” pleaded Abernathy. “The people want to hear you, not me. This is your crowd.”

 

Dr. King got dressed and went out into the stormy night.

 

In the blaze of lights at the podium, he appeared nervous. He told his audience that if he were at God’s side on the dawn of creation he would ask to see Moses liberating his people, Plato and Aristotle debating philosophy, Renaissance Europe, Luther tacking his ninety-five theses on the church door, Lincoln emancipating the slaves, and Roosevelt charting a path to the New Deal. But he would not dally in those times or places, he said, preferring to move on and experience just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, when masses around the world rose up to say: “We want to be free.”

 

Dr. King, abandoned by militants, vilified by the press, stalked by death and the FBI, felt deeply grateful to share in the freedom struggles that heaped his life with hardship.

 

With the crowd shouting its approval, he bellowed that he had been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land. Brushing aside prospects of premature death, he said that longevity had its place, but that on that night he was not worried about any thing, not fearing any man.

 

A burning passion in his eyes, his voice rising to a shattering crescendo, he declared his last will and testament: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”  

 

The next day as he was preparing to go out to dinner with friends a bullet exploded into his face, severed his spine, and brought him crashing abruptly down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

 

Reverend Abernathy bolted to his side, crying out to those in the parking lot below: “Oh my God, Martin’s been shot!”

 

Dr. King, a look of terror in his eyes, clutched uselessly at his throat. His head lay in an expanding pool of blood. Abernathy tried to comfort him. “This is Ralph, this is Ralph, don’t be afraid.” Reverend King, still conscious, his magnificent voice silenced forever, couldn’t answer. But Abernathy felt he was communicating through his eyes.

 

In King’s motel room, Reverend Billy Kyle repeatedly banged his head against the wall as he screamed into the phone for an operator. Dashing up sobbing from the parking lot, Andrew Young groped for a pulse, then screamed: “Oh my God, my God, it’s all over!”

 

Everywhere at once riots erupted and cities burned.

 

Three weeks after King’s assassination Columbia exploded in protest. President Grayson Kirk, alarmed at the growing youth rebellion, announced that in disturbing numbers young people rejected all forms of authority, which was just another way of saying that all forms of authority were increasingly recognized to have discredited themselves.

 

Hundreds of students promptly took over the university, hoisting red flags, establishing community government, and barricading themselves inside campus buildings.

 

They purloined documents from Kirk’s office showing that the university was secretly promoting classified war research and working to “clean up” the neighborhood by moving out its Black and Puerto Rican residents. Resurrecting the spirit of the Paris Commune, the students debated meaning and tactics, relaxed to Dylan and the Beatles, and celebrated romance. Two students even got married, escorted to the center of an applauding circle by a candlelight procession of fellow protestors.

 

Eight days into deadlocked negotiations a thousand blue collar police were turned loose on the defecting sons and daughters of the Ivy League. Attacking with clubs and brass knuckles, they rioted for three hours, smashing up furniture and beating everyone in sight while carrying out a bloody mass arrest.

 

One hundred and twenty charges of police brutality were filed against the police department, the most in its history. Echoing the recently assassinated Che Guevara, Tom Hayden called for “one, two, many Columbias” in romantic hopes of bringing the racist imperial state tumbling down.

 

Days after the start of the Columbia revolt, student radicals in Paris surged into the streets chorusing “all power to the imagination,” propelling France to the brink of cultural revolution and setting the mighty franc to trembling.

 

Spontaneously embracing and kissing in the streets, tens of thousands of students and workers marched joyously together through the capital, waving red flags and singing the Internationale. Demanding workers’ power, peasants’ power, and students’ power, they announced the end of cooperation with soulless mechanization and bureaucratic arrogance.

 

On The Night Of The Barricades the fiercest street fighting since Liberation (WWII) shook the Latin Quarter as thousands of students marched in protest, overturning cars and trucks. The police attacked, beating them with clubs and rifle butts, kicking the rebels unconscious and dragging them through tear-gas clotted streets by the hair.  The students fought back with Molotov cocktails, filling them with siphoned gas and pushing vehicles into the middle of the street to serve as barricades. When the police charged, the protesters torched the cars and retreated behind sturdier lines while building residents tossed down water and wet cloths to aid their youthful comrades fighting with cobblestones.

 

A veteran of the clash reported, “I never felt the gas. I was never more alive.”

 

In 1968, even Catholic pacifists were moved to a more aggressive style of protest. On May 17, what became known as the Catonsville Nine entered the Catonsville, Maryland draft board office and doused a pile of draft records with their blood, then set them on fire with soap chips and gasoline, a homemade napalm recipe gleaned from a Green Beret handbook. While waiting to be arrested, they prayed and watched the records burn.

 

At their trial they spoke of United Fruit Company keeping Central American land fallow while the campesinos starved. They told of the CIA overthrowing the elected government of Guatemala and replacing it with a reign of butchers worthy of Hitler. Father Daniel Berrigan told of his visit to Hanoi, of the merciless U.S. bombings, of the weaponry certified improved through tests on Vietnamese flesh and bone. He read a statement explaining how simple humanity required the destruction of the draft files:

 

Our apologies good friends . . . for the fracture of good order . . . the burning of paper instead of children . . . the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house . . . We could not so help us God do otherwise for we are sick at heart . . . our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children.”

 

In early June U.S. support for Israeli savagery caused Sirhan Sirhan to temporarily lose his mind. He had been just three years old when a series of violent episodes near his Jerusalem home scarred him for life. A dynamite bomb hurled by Zionists blew up a line of Arab passengers waiting for a bus at the Damascus Gate; a sudden burst of gunfire caused an army truck to swerve around a barrier and kill his older brother before his eyes; a British soldier blown up almost on his doorstep left behind a severed leg in a church tower and a finger in Sirhan’s back yard.

 

Nineteen years later Sirhan was living in Pasadena when Israel bombed and napalmed Palestinian refugee camps, subjugating what remained of historic Palestine in the Six Day Land Grab (1967), a sequel to the driving out of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948, among them Sirhan and his family.

 

With his people tasting another round of bitter injustice, Sirhan watched Senator Robert Kennedy wearing a yarmulke on television and promising to cut off U.S. aid to Arab states while sending fifty new Phantom jets to Israel. Shocked, angry, horrified, he fled the television set in tears, covering his ears with his hands.

 

He scribbled in his notebook: RFK must die.

 

At his trial for the assassination of Senator Kennedy, Sirhan testified to the assassination of an entire nation:

 

“Well, sir, when you move – when you move a whole country, sir, a whole people, bodily from their own homes, from their own land, from their own businesses, sir, outside their country, and introduce an alien people, sir, into Palestine – the Jews and the Zionists – that is completely wrong, sir, and it is unjust and the Palestinian Arabs didn’t do a thing, sir, to justify the way they were treated by the West.

 

“It affected me, sir, very deeply. I didn’t like it. Where is the justice involved, sir? Where is the love, sir, for fighting for the underdog? Israel is no underdog in the Middle East, sir. It’s those refugees that are underdogs. And because they have no way of fighting back, sir, the Jews, sir, the Zionists, just keep beating away at them. That burned the hell out of me.”

 

Nobody paid him the slightest attention.  In spite of Israel’s constant provocations and attacks, Jews were everywhere portrayed as heroic, avenging victims, Arabs as congenital terrorists, and Israel’s Six Day Land Grab as a glorious warding off of a second Holocaust. Facts were entirely irrelevant.

 

With hopes of a peace candidate now definitively crushed, all eyes turned to Chicago as the Democratic Party prepared to nominate Hubert Humphrey there as its candidate for the presidency. Eighty percent of Democratic voters had chosen to support either RFK or Eugene McCarthy in hopes of negotiating an end to the Vietnam slaughter. Faced with LBJ’s vice-president heading up the ticket, anti-war protesters vowed to lay siege to the city as a prelude to what they somehow imagined might become a revolution.

 

Protest was out of favor in the Windy City. In response to the nationwide riots that followed Dr. King’s assassination, the Chicago Tribune opined that “Here in Chicago we are not dealing with the colored population, but with a minority of criminal scum,” and urged Mayor Richard Daley not to be like the “spineless and indecisive mayors who muffed early riot control” in Newark (1967) and Los Angeles (1965). Daley obliged, ordering his police officers to “shoot to kill.”

 

Loathing “longhairs,” Daley refused to issue permits for protest marches, rallies, or sleeping in the parks. He ordered the city Ampitheatre fenced off with barbed wire, put all twelve thousand Chicago police on 12-hour shifts, and mobilized six thousand National Guard troops. He posted a thousand FBI agents around the city and placed six thousand U.S. Army troops outfitted with flamethrowers, bazookas, and bayonets around the suburbs. With police outnumbering protesters three or four to one, Tom Hayden told members of a New York audience to come to Chicago prepared to shed their blood.

 

As summer waned the Convention convened, and following days of dangerous cat-and-mouse games in the streets between police and protesters, a brownshirt riot ensued.

 

Shouting kill, kill, kill, a squadron of red-faced, blue-helmeted, club-wielding police charged out of a bus at full-speed and attacked a jeering crowd of onlookers outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel, beating, choking, kicking and macing everyone in their path, including medics sporting Red Cross armbands. Like maddened Samurai they mowed their victims down, charging again and again, leaving the battered bodies bleeding in the street. Loading them onto the ambulances, they beat them once more.

 

Eyes bulging with hate, they drove the crowd through the window of the Haymarket Lounge, jumping through the glass shards to upend tables and smash everything inside. They screamed “get the fuck out of here,” and “move your fucking ass,” beating even the startled patrons of the bar. Undeterred by the presence of live TV cameras, they rioted in clouds of tear gas for seventeen long minutes while the surrounding crowd chanted, “The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching.”

 

Across the street in his hotel shower Hubert Humphrey was briefly overcome from the effects of the gas, which he never was from the horrors of Vietnam.

 

When televised images of the bloodshed reached the floor of the Democratic Convention, Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff stepped to the rostrum to denounce the “Gestapo tactics” of the police. In an instant Chicago Mayor Daley was on his feet, waving his arms and screaming in protest: “Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch, you lousy motherfucker go home.”   

 

As the ballots were being cast, footage of the police riot was beamed across the nation. Viewers saw Hubert Humphrey, irrepressible advocate of the politics of joy, nominated for president in a sea of blood.

 

Of course, all this was but child’s play compared to the unrestrained violence being inflicted on the slopes and dinks and zipperheads - otherwise known as the Vietnamese people - by the U.S. war machine in Vietnam. Two years later in Detroit, Vietnam Veterans gave chilling testimony as to the type of crimes being committed:

 

“ . . . they didn’t believe our body counts. So we had to cut off the right ear of everybody we killed to prove our body count.”

 

“ . . . we threw full C-ration cans at kids at the side of the road. Well, just for a joke, these guys would take a full can, and throw it as hard as they could at a kid’s head. I saw several kids’ heads split wide open.”

 

“The philosophy was that anybody running must be a Viet Cong; he must have something to hide or else he would stick around for the Americans, not taking into consideration that he was running from the Americans because they were continually shooting at him. So they shot down anybody who was running.”

 

“This was common policy. Kill anything you want to kill, any time you want to kill it – just don’t get caught.”

 

“ . . . the heads of the bodies were cut off and they were placed on stakes, jammed down on stakes, and were placed in the middle of the trails and a Cav patch was hammered into the top of his head, with Bravo Company’s ‘B’ written right on the patch.”

 

“I saw during my tour 20 deformed infants under the age of one . . . I thought it was congenital or something, from venereal disease, because they had flippers and things . . . it was common knowledge that Agent Orange was sprayed in the area.”

 

“Fugas is a jelly-like substance. It’s flammable . . . they explode the barrel over an area and this flaming, jelly-like substance lands on everything . . . people or animals or whatever.”  

 

“You could take the wires of a jeep battery put it almost any place on their body, and you’re going to shock the hell out of the guy. The basic place you put it was the genitals.”

 

In other words, the conduct of the United States in Southeast Asia during the war years was nothing short of a complete disgrace. Washington dropped eight million tons of bombs and nearly four hundred thousand tons of napalm, leaving behind twenty-one million bomb craters. It killed over two million Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Laotians, wounded over three million more, and scattered fourteen million traumatized refugees throughout Indochina. It rained down eighteen million gallons of Agent Orange and other defoliants, creating forests bereft of trees, animals or birds, and cursing the war’s survivors with extraordinary rates of liver cancer, miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects. It left in its wake eighty-three thousand amputees, forty thousand people blinded or deaf, and hundreds of thousands of orphans, prostitutes, disabled, mentally ill, and drug addicts.

 

The total effect was nearly permanent, as journalist Donovan Webster discovered on a visit to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the mid-1990s.  There he saw a storage room stacked from floor to ceiling on all four sides with deformed fetuses, the final result of the Pentagon’s defoliation program begun three decades before. Some were double bodies fused together on a single torso, others had malformed faces, many had excess heads, fingers, and toes.

 

Donovan walked out of the storage room in shock.

 

In a nursery down the hall, a roomful of genetically-damaged orphans was overjoyed to meet the U.S. reporter come to visit them from overseas.

 

 

Sources:

 

On Vietnam and the Tet Offensive:  

 

Godfrey Hodgson, America In Our Time, (Vintage, 1976) pps. 353-4; Frances Fitzgerald, Fire In The Lake – The Vietnamese and The Americans in Vietnam, (Vintage, 1972) pps. 518-34; George McTurnan and John W. Lewis, The United States In Vietnam, (Delta, 1969) pps. 371-3; Douglas Dowd, Blues For America, (Monthly Review, 1997) p. 153; Lawrence Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima to Watergate, (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1978) p. 289; David Harris, Our War (Random House, 1996) p. 89; Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War, (Pantheon, 1985) pps. 308-9; Edward Abbey, Confessions of a Barbarian, (Little, Brown, 1994) p. 214

 

On MLK and his assassination:

 

Steven B. Oates, Let The Trumpet Sound – The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Harper and Row, 1982) p. 435, 483-6; PBS Documentary, 1968 – The Year That Shaped A Generation.

 

On the Columbia protests:

 

Todd Gitlin, The Sixties, (Bantam, 1987) pps. 306-8; Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima To Watergate, (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1978) pps. 304-5; Barbara and John Ehrenreich, Long March, Short Spring, The Student Uprising At Home and Abroad, (Monthly Review, 1969) pps. 125-7, 145; Tom Hayden, Reunion, A Memoir, (Random House, 1978) pps. 276-82

 

On the French student-worker protests:

 

Barbara and John Ehrenreich, Long March, Short Spring, The Student Uprising At Home and Abroad, (Monthly Review, 1969 pps. 73-102 passim; PBS Documentary, 1968: The Year That Shaped A Generation

 

On the Berrigan brothers and The Catonsville Nine:

 

Phillip Berrigan with Fred. A Wilcox, Fighting The Lamb’s War: Skirmishes With The American Empire, (Common Courage, 1996) pps. 80, 93, 96, 101-5; Daniel Berrigan, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Beacon, 1970) p. vii; William M. Kunstler with Sheila Isenberg, My Life As A Radical Lawyer, (Carol Publishing Group, 1994) p. 190.

 

On Sirhan Sirhan and RFK:

 

Alfred M. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection – What Price Peace? (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1978) pps. 242-3

 

Note: A slightly different version of Sirhan’s mental collapse comes from the late Alexander Cockburn, who says Sirhan was driven over the edge from reading an account of the Phantom jets to Israel written by Andrew Kopkind in the Nation. See Jeffrey St. Clair, “Roaming Charges: the Return of Assassination Politics, Counterpunch, August 12, 2016

 

On Sirhan Sirhan directly quoted from his trial:

 

Godfrey Jansen, Why Robert Kennedy Was Killed, (Third Press, 1970) frontispiece.

 

For an honest account of the Six Day War:

 

Norman Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict (Verso, 1995).

 

On Mayor Daley and protest at the 1968 Democratic Convention:

 

Todd Gitlin, The Sixties, (Bantam, 1987) pps. 320-6, Tom Hayden, Reunion: A Memoir, (Random House, 1988) p. 297

 

On the Chicago police riots:

 

Todd Gitlin, The Sixties, pps. 332-4; David Farber, Chicago, (University of Chicago, 1988) pps. 200-1, 249; Daniel Walker, Rights In Conflict, (E. P. Dutton,  1968) pps. 255-65; Mike Royko, Boss, (Signet, 1971) pps. 188-9; Mark L. Levine et al, eds. The Tales of Hoffman (Bantam, 1970); p. 124; Lawrence S. Wittner, Cold War America: From Hiroshima To Watergate, (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1978) p. 297

 

On Vietnam Veterans’ testimony about war atrocities:

 

Vietnam Veterans Against The War, The Winter Soldier Investigation (Beacon, 1972) pps. 5-114 passim

 

On statistics of the overall damage done by the Vietnam War:

 

Michael Parenti, The Sword and the Dollar – Imperialism, Revolution and the Arms Race, (St. Martin’s 1989) p. 44; Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, After the Cataclysm – Postwar Indochina & The Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology (South End, 1979), pps. 7-9

 

On the long-lasting effects of the defoliation campaign in Vietnam:

 

Donovan Webster, Aftermath – The Remnants of War (Pantheon, 1996) pps. 214-17

 

 



 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Death of a Prophet

April 3, 1968 - Memphis

 

In town to help striking Memphis garbage workers, an exhausted and downcast Dr. King is already in his pajamas when the call comes in from Reverend Abernathy at Mason Temple, informing him that two thousand people have braved tornado warnings and a driving rain to hear him speak. "I really think you should come down," Abernathy pleads. "The people want to hear you, not me. This is your crowd." 

 

Dr. King gets dressed and goes out into the stormy night. 

 

In the blaze of lights at the podium he appears nervous. He tells his audience that if he were at God's side on the dawn of creation he would ask to see Moses liberating his people, Plato and Aristotle debating philosophy, Renaissance Europe, Luther tacking his 95 theses on the church door, Lincoln emancipating the slaves, and Roosevelt navigating his way to the New Deal. But he would not dally in any of these times or places, preferring to move on and experience just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, when masses around the world rose up to say: We want to be free. 

 

Dr. King, abandoned by militants, vilified by the press, stalked by death and the FBI, is deeply grateful to share in the freedom struggles that heap his life with hardship. 

 

With the crowd shouting its approval, he bellows that he has been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land. Brushing aside prospects of premature death, he declares that longevity has its place, but that on this night he is not worried about any thing, not fearing any man.

 

A burning passion in his eyes, his voice rising to a shattering crescendo, he declares his last will and testament.

 

"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!" 

 

April 4, 1968  

 

The bullet explodes into his face, severs his spine, and brings Dr. King crashing down, down, down, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. 

 

Reverend Abernathy bolts to his side, calling out to those in the parking lot below. 

 

"Oh my God, Martin's been shot!"

 

Dr. King, a look of terror in his eyes, clutches uselessly at his throat. His head lies in an expanding pool of blood. Abernathy tries to comfort him. 

 

"This is Ralph, this is Ralph, don't be afraid."

 

Reverend King, still conscious, his magnificent voice silenced forever, cannot answer. His mouth quivers once and then Abernathy feels he is communicating through his eyes. 

 

In King's motel room, the Reverend Billy Kyle bangs his head against the wall again and again, screaming into the telephone for an operator. 

 

Dashing up sobbing from the parking lot, Andrew Young gropes for a pulse.

 

He screams: "Oh, my God, my God. it's all over."

 

American cities begin to burn.

 

Excerpt From The Speech That Got Dr. King Killed: 

 

"The peasants watched as we supported a ruthless dictatorship in South Vietnam which aligned itself with extortionist landlords and executed its political opponents. The peasants watched as we poisoned their water, bombed and machine-gunned their huts, annihilated their crops, and sent them wandering into the towns, where thousands of homeless children roamed the streets like animals, begging for food and selling their mothers and sisters to American soldiers. What do the peasants think as we test our latest weapons on them, as the Germans tested new medicines and tortures in Europe's concentration camps?

 

" . . . we have destroyed their land and crushed their only non-Communist revolutionary political force - the Unified Buddhist Church. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators!"

 

-----Dr. Martin Luther King, New York City, April 4, 1967


Source for above material:

--------Michael K. Smith, Portraits of Empire pps. 129, 132



Monday, March 18, 2024

Private Profits vs. Social Prophets

Private Profits vs. Social Prophets

 

By Frank Scott

 

 

“…What we see at work is not an expression of the sentiments of the American people; rather it reflects the will of a powerful minority which uses its economic power to control the organs of political life.”

 

Albert Einstein

 

We entered the massive marketplace labeled “our democracy” as always long before any election and at this date hundreds of millions have already been spent both officially and off the books to insure that ruling power maintains control over American capitalism no matter who or what may be elected sheriff, mayor, animal control officer or president of the united states. Given that, the spending and consciousness brutality have already exceeded past experience and, as befitting a system verging on complete collapse and involving much more of humanity than American voters, the time for global as well as national focus on the status of an American empire making more people rich than ever before while making multitudes far more poor and continuing mass murders in other subject nations is not only at hand but at all parts of the international political economic organism.

 

As the fading rulers of western capitalism act more like a crazed rat on a sinking ship but instead of leaping into the deeps it promotes the entire world into more warfare, mass murder, incredible profits for those who feed on bloodshed and a mental condition that might make homicidal maniacs seem critically thinking human beings, the natural and especially political environmental reality approaches the worst fantasy of religious fanatics: eternal damnation in the fires of hell. This joyful futuristic vision was born of a brilliant past that might make the present seem docile since none of the modern weapons existed in biblical times when spears, lances and demented religious leaders operated as ruling wealth as opposed to the lethally armed with weapons of mass murder political and media servants of rulers do today.

 

The continuing since 1917 American imperial attacks on Russia have reached a disastrous point in the current war using Ukrainians to kill Russians while they die by the thousands with no hope of winning and American and foreign munitions makers make billions. Various of the NATO lapdog leaders sound even more crazed than Americans and urge broadening of the war to stop the eternal threat of Russia which exists in their fevered minds said fever having been planted by America since the end of the second world war.

 

Meanwhile, the center of global anti-Semitism, Israel, has exploded as never before with such bloody horror that many of the innocent and previously comatose have awakened and expressed anger and hostility about a situation that has prevailed since 1948 when Palestine was engulfed and devoured by the new nation said to have been a haven for those suffering horror during the second world war. This would be like Japan getting even for the American atrocities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by invading Mexico, throwing the natives out when possible and making all others second class citizens once they took over, changed the language and culture to Japanese and proceeded to treat Mexicans worse than Americans ever had.

 

In only one of thousands of contradictions of logic, language and morality, the European Jews who stole the land continue calling themselves Semites and screaming anti-Semitism whenever real Semites commit an act of aggression in retaliation and millions in the western world have their brains sunk deeper into an ocean of mental sewage. Like everything else in a radically changing world in which previous western dominance is nearing an end and hopefully global freedom is nearer than ever, the radical changes underway that can spell revolution for the human future can be made to seem more dismal than ever under the consciousness control of purveyors of the imperial lies now fantastically more powerful than any past relatively tin-pot dictatorial regime of later made to seem glorious royals and other past murderers.

 

While it seems that the horrible choice offered voters by capital’s two parties back in 2020 will be the same in 2024 the only difference is that the divisions among Americans have grown even worse than before. But as the frustration and anger at both parties increase alternate choices, usually written off as foreign plots or national disorders, may finally have space to speak to radical change favoring democracy in substance rather than the bogus brain disease foisted on innocent people who are told it is freedom and democracy. Of course, and rape is simply an economic form of dating and hundreds of thousands of Americans living in the street are merely getting close to nature.

 

While political madness depicts Putin as a menace to humanity for reacting to an American owned and operated insurrection in Ukraine and fill voters heads with alleged crimes committed by Trump which are the everyday reality of political pimps and hustlers who own and operate “our” democracy, especially congress and the white house, Palestinians will continue to be murdered by Israelis financed by American taxpayers proving that our peace loving democracy is just what the world needs to bring on a nuclear destruction of humanity which is in the planning stages of our Mass Murder Inc. at the pentagon. This will come to pass if Americans do not rise up and create real democracy before it is too late. Among other things that will mean voting against the supposed lesser evil of the two party combo of economic cancer and political polio to bring about the end of capitalism and the beginning of a future for the human race that does not involve growing poverty for hundreds of millions while a relative handful become billionaires.

 

The opening quote is from someone long admired for something called the theory of relativity, a term not even vaguely understood by billions of humans, but far more relevant, easily understandable and important is the fact that he was an anti-capitalist, a socialist and an anti-war pacifist, easily understandable by those same billions and hardly known by most. That and many other hidden facts about people, nations and political economics should become clearer while we adjust and work to transform a dreadful social reality into a hopeful future by ending warfare capitalism and bringing about a democratic world such as our pre-historic beginnings in social and communistic cooperation. And after we clear up some reality about Einstein, we’d all do well by checking out Marx in his own words and not those of his simplistic and far too often murderous detractors. He can help us learn more about what we need to understand about why our reality is crumbling and what we need to do to rebuild it.

 

 

 

*

Einstein on peace pg. 343

 


Sunday, March 17, 2024

Satan of Moscow Calls Out U.S. Hypocrisy

"One anti-Soviet, anti-Russian law is being submitted for another . . . They can't seem to do without it! . . . They talk about human rights in Russian prisons and places of detention. That's all well and good, but they have plenty of problems of that kind themselves. [Look at] Abu Ghraib - or Guantanamo, where people are kept jailed for years without being charged. Not only [that], the prisoners walk around shackled, like in the Middle Ages. They have [even] legalized torture. Can you imagine if we had done anything like that? They would have eaten us alive . . . It would have been a global scandal. 

 

"But in their country, everyone keeps quiet about it.  . . . Those so-called secret CIA prisons: who has been punished for that? . . . They are up to the ears in shitty stuff, they're drowning in it, and they still insist on criticizing us.

 

 ". . . . I am probably a bad Christian, because as a Christian you are supposed to turn the other cheek. I am not yet morally ready for that. If they slap our face, we have to retaliate. Otherwise they'll go on slapping us forever."

 

                  -------Vladimir Putin, 2012

 

Source: Philip Short, Putin, (Henry Holt, 2022) pps. 561-2