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Archive for the ‘Sanction’ Category

True Cost of Sanctions in Blood

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The true cost caused by the myth of American Exceptionalism

 Chris Floyd’s latest, “The Lies That Bind: American Myth Obscures Murderous Enterprise is an eye-opening commentary on Arthur Silbur’s piece, “We Are Not Special, and There Is No Happy Ending: The Blood-Drenched Darkness of American Exceptionalism

Floyd includes, “Leaving Iraq – The Ruin They’ll Leave Behind – By Patrick Cockburn

What these three writer’s report is the experience this writer easily attests to and affirms. Offer any serious commentary on matters that directly affect everyone and all you get is deathly silence.


Here’s an interesting commentary on American Exceptionalism and Israel.

–Joe

Direct Action That Actually Works

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[Update below]

The Declaration Of Independence starts out by saying:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” [source]

This Declaration was developed and presented to the other nation states by a group of white men as their moral basis and legal justification for rebelling against their rightful government. They assert that “Governments are instituted among men” by those they govern to “secure” certain “rights.” That because these governments are empowered by these same people to govern, the people, should the Government cause the destruction of these, “ it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish” that Government and institute a new Government.” Some people believe that is what happens every four years in America when they can elect a new President. This is NOT what the Declaration Of Independence was about. It was about the very problem existing most noticeably in the past twenty years, even more striking in the last year, everything stays the same regardless the President or Party governing.

When that group of men secured their new government one of the things they did was provide the means for the governed to address their governing representatives, or so everyone believed. They believe in their rights to peaceful protest and demonstration when all other methods fail to promote necessary changes. Changes may come, but they are mostly slow and laborious and not always what serves the people best. Many people justify this method of redress by the works and words of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Martin Luther King. While he did advocate and use non-violence and peaceful resistance he also us non-cooperation considered non-violent activism.

Non-cooperation is extremely effective when properly employed. It requires first, a mindset based upon a strict set of guiding principles and governing rules. This produces and inherent attitude that is self-manifesting of that reality or base way of thinking. When someone says something or advocates a position contrary to your beliefs you immediately resist, object and stop the automatic acceptance of the matter. You simply do not cooperate with their assertions of authority and legitimacy to promote themselves, their opinions, ideas or beliefs. They may have certain rights to those thoughts or beliefs, but they do not have the “unalienable Right” impose them on others. Specially, when they are trying to use those so-called rights to justify getting everyone to go along with their legitimate right to exist.

A good example of this is the Nation of Israel that by force of arms self-ordained its existence declaring the right and legal title to certain lands in Palestine owned and occupied by the Palestinian people. Israels illegal occupation of that land has produced one atrocity after another. Whatever legitimacy they and others may claim the Jew had for occupying that land, their self-same existence decries any of those rights. The only reason Israel is still occupying that land is because of the Palestinians overt and passive cooperation with the Jews. They still think there is a “two-state solution” in the offing. That was joke to start with and used to delay and obfuscate all effort to legitimize the Palestinians. Some Palestinians, however, have figured out that “what goes around always comes around.” In 2005 they started to program for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” of Israel. On Passover Day, March 30, 2010, this BDS movement is calling for a uniting day of action. You can learn more about the movement and action day here, at the BDS Campaign. [http://www.bdsmovement.net/]

For more on this same subject there was a good discussion between Omar Barghouti and Rabbi Arthur Waskow here. [http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/4/bds] Both men were essentially in agreement, just with a different perspective. Ribbi Waskow, the older man, looked at the issue as it was in the past, compared the Omar Barghouti’s present day reality. Personally, it’s been my judgment that the day for reconciling the two peoples with the Jew’s recognizing the Palestinians legitimate right to exist, specially with some sort of worthless two-state solution defined by the Jews and the US for the Palestinians, has long passed.

Another good example of non-cooperation is set out by Johann Hari a columnist for the Independent in London and a contributing writer for Slate. I am always impressed by these rare young people that are inspiring, knowledgeable, articulate and unafraid to speak truth. You can read or watch the complete interview here, “The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World’s Worst Polluters.” [http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/9/the_real_climategate_conservation_groups_align]

Here’s the final part of what Johann said about the direct action that works in England:

AMY GOODMAN: Johann Hari, you quote Jim Hansen, the world-renowned climatologist from the NASA Institute—the Goddard Institute for Space Studies of NASA. You start by referring to Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, David Bookbinder, ridiculing the center’s attempts to make 350 parts per million a legally binding requirement. He said it was a “truly pointless exercise” and headed to “well-deserved bureaucratic oblivion.” And you ask, “Why would the Sierra Club oppose a measure designed to prevent environmental collapse? The Club didn’t respond to my requests for an explanation,” you said. But you went on to say, “Climate scientists are bemused. When asked about this, Hansen said, ‘I find the behavior of most environmental NGOs to be shocking… I [do] not want to listen to their lame excuses for their abominable behavior.’”

Now, could it be that groups don’t have to receive this money, it’s just kind of insider Washington mentality, even if it’s in the rest of the world, like with the health insurance debate, that they accept the premises of the opposition and they don’t want to go outside of a very small range of what they can ask for, they just don’t believe they can get things done?

JOHANN HARI: I think you’re absolutely right. That is part of it. It’s part of a political culture. Jim Hansen, great man, is not alone. Virtually everyone who doesn’t work for these corporate environmental groups, and a lot of people who do, can’t understand this behavior, except as a result of the combination of corruption and exactly what you say, a kind of dysfunctional political culture.

But again, I don’t want to leave your viewers with a downer, because it’s really important they understand, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here in Britain, we’ve had a really good example of how you work very differently on environmental change, and it works. Instead of trying to work within a corrupt system, instead of constantly praising the pathetic efforts of our governments, a huge coalition of people here in Britain took direct action. An organization called Climate Camp, a very loose, democratic organization, began to physically blockade new airports and coal power stations. They said, “We will not let this pass.” They stood in front of coal trains. And when they were arrested, they said they were acting in their own self-defense, and a jury of their peers acquitted them, saying they were right, this is an emergency, we have got to act. (Emphasis mine.)

And it’s had an amazing effect. All new coal power stations in Britain are under very serious political trouble. They probably won’t happen. And airport expansion, that was seen as absolutely dead cert, supported by all the main political parties, is now dead in the water.

The model of compromise compromise, praise the Democrats, say how wonderful they are, even when they’re kicking you in the face, doesn’t work. The model of really directly taking to the streets, the way that change has always happened in America and in all of the world—Martin Luther King did not praise every peripatetic morsel that came from the Democratic Party. He called people to the streets, and they fought for it. And it took a long time.

The Wrong Kind of Green by Johann Hari printed in The Nation magazine. [ http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100322/hari ]

Then there are the local folks training and gearing up:

Klamath: Direct Action!

Tribal members train with Earth First! in Six Rivers National Forest showdown

You can read the complete story as detailed in the North Coast Journal here. The following is an excerpt:

Tree climbs were only one part of the three-day KJC (Klamath Justice Coalition) training camp. There were discussions of the history and effectiveness of non-violent civil disobedience and demonstrations as well as diagrams of many ways to block a log road or a timber sale. One handout was ambitiously titled “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action” and it ranged from 1) Public Speeches to 30) Rude gestures to 173) Nonviolent obstruction. This was a monkey wrench grad school.

The training was attended by members of Hupa, Karuk and Yurok tribes as well as many non-natives from neighboring communities.

As an old logger that worked for years with local Indian loggers and someone that had first-hand dealings with how the Bureau of Indian Affairs worked with local timber companies to divest local tribes of their old growth Redwood timber lands, I have mixed feelings about what they are doing. Personally, it is the young people that continue to impress me with their ingenuity, resourcefulness and courage. Something their predecessors did not show. Nor did mine.

Non-cooperation works! It all starts with yourself and your neighbor.


[ADDENDUM :: Tuesday, March 9, 2010]

This is a lesson NOT learned in British Columbia,  The water war – Okanagan logging blockade.

“Instead of trying to work within a corrupt system, instead of constantly praising the pathetic efforts of our governments — The model of compromise compromise, praise the Democrats, say how wonderful they are, even when they’re kicking you in the face, doesn’t work.” -Johann Heri

Notice what Mike Geoghegan is a political commentator for Vancouverite News Service says: “Tolko (a timber company) is not the enemy in this situation, government mismanagement and indifference is. The only thing that will change that is if the politicians in Ottawa and Victoria see that there are actually enough people who care about the issue of safe drinking water to make them resolve this conflict.”

He hasn’t come to terms yet with the fact you can’t do business with a corrupt system.

[Picture source]

–Joe

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