|This gang and their colleagues not in this photo op, and cannot help us. The forces that created this situation cannot solve it.|
by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein.
The most frustrating thing about the present state of affairs is that despite all the talk of democracy and freedom from warmongers of various stripes from Obama to Putin, Blair to Merkel and even from the so-called socialist Hollande who has just declared war on something, another nebulous formation called ISIS (al Qaeda has outlived its usefulness) I have absolutely no say in the important decisions my government makes that affect millions of people’s lives both at home and abroad. I do know that some country will be bombed somewhere, and more innocent people will die.
The western media doesn’t bring me the close ups of that though. If you want to see the consequences of precision attacks check out the wave of terror the US launched against tiny Panama. We never saw a dead body, hardly any damage at all, right. Well check out the Panama Deception, our old buddy Roberto Duran is featured, it’s narrated by Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched fame.
When I was growing up in England terrorist attacks in Northern Ireland were very news worthy. The attacks described as “terrorism” were always killings by the IRA, the Irish Republicans side. Killings by Protestant paramilitaries were described as terrorism, but the term was never used to describe action taken by the occupying British army, or the official British backed government security forces that were Protestant dominated.
I always assumed the British troops were there to help them. I would never have considered that there was such a thing as state terror. But there is, and the state committing it will never describe its own actions as terrorism. I had to do a little investigation of my own to discover the real role and breadth of British state terror in Ireland, not only in the North, but centuries long brutality in the South as well. The country was only partitioned in 1921.
Francois Hollande, the French president has done a George Bush and stated that France is at war. It is not at war with a nation state. Hollande is joining the US’s War on terror it seems, the cowardly French, whose wines were once poured down US drains and French fries renamed Freedom Fries for their refusal to support the US invasion of Iraq. This is a very handy war as terror is a tactic; it is not a nation state or a people. It has the advantage of being a war without end.
I am as appalled by the killing of innocent people in Paris as I was when I used to hear about young Protestants being killed or young Catholics, shot at bus stops or at the store or on a country road.
Back in those days any Northern Irish Catholic was suspect. I had just come to the US when whole families were wrongly imprisoned after explosions at pubs in Guildford and Wooolwich were set off by the Provisional IRA. Many of you have probably seen the movie In the Name of the Father about the Guildford bombing. Other Irish people served 15 years or more for a bombing they had nothing to do with in Birmingham in 1975. They were known as the Birmingham Six.
In response to acts of this nature, the state whips up fear and calls for revenge are followed with legislation to give the state more power to get the culprits, to get the job done. That anti terrorist laws like detention without trial also apply to ordinary people, to protesting students or striking workers, is forgotten as the desire for justice for such horrific crimes directed at innocent people is so great.
The perpetrators of the Paris massacre are described as “extremists” in the western media. But what could be more extremist than the US’s twenty year bombing and accompanying savagery in Iraq and the region? It has displaced millions of people destabilizing the whole region including tiny Syria. It has killed more than a million. Its assault on Iraq, a country that never threatened or harmed the US in any way has left a whole generation of deformed people, not simply from armaments, but form chemical warfare as the US used depleted uranium and white phosphorous in its assault. Do a little investigation in to the health of the people of Fallujah.
Is this not “terrorism” of the most efficient kind? Is this not American “extremism”? Or is it “Christian extremism”? The so-called “Freedom Caucus” in the US Congress is also a Christian Zionist caucus. It is composed primarily of “Christian Extremists”. But we never hear it called that. If they were Muslims it would be a different story.
Are Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli racist politicians that think like him not “Jewish extremists”? We never hear of the right wing Neo-Nazi Jewish settlers referred to as “Jewish extremists” or terrorists, but that’s what they are. The philosophy of Zionism is Jewish extremism, extreme Jewish nationalism at this point.
I live in the US that has a base in a small island called Cuba. Close to this base is a superior natural harbor called Guantanamo Bay. It has this base on this island because it won it from Spanish colonialism during the Spanish American War at the end of the 19th century. Britain once owned Cuba but traded it to the Spanish for Florida. Like the indigenous people of Palestine today with the creation of Israel, Cuba’s indigenous population had no say in the matter, nor Florida's.
The US defeated Spain and apart from Cuba, for a handy sum of $20 million gained possession of Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam. Real life Monopoly. Cuba received its independence from the US in 1902 but, “Under Cuba's new constitution, the U.S. retained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs and to supervise its finances and foreign relations. Under the Platt Amendment, the U.S. leased the Guantánamo Bay naval base from Cuba.” (Wikipedia) Now no one is silly enough to claim that that agreement was made without coercion and threats of violence surely. Cuba was never really independent from its giant neighbor until 1959 and it paid dearly for that move.
Britain had a similar relationship with Ireland which was not allowed to trade or deal with the rest of the world independently of British colonialism with similar results, it never developed in to an independent nation in its own right.
As we all know there is a concentration camp in the US’s Guantanamo Bay Naval Base that has housed people we were told were terrorists. They were captured, many of them, by some of the US allies in Afghanistan or Pakistan, Muslim warlords who are quite the opium producers. They are religious extremists and misogynists, the US government accepts that but works with them if it is profitable, so extremism is OK in some situations. After 911, the US asked them to go find some terrorists and they’d get money for them and----- lo and behold-----they found some. (see The Road to Guantanamo.) The “terrorists” were drugged, blindfolded, then taken to the concentration camp in Guantanamo.
There are presently 49 men in Guantanamo who have been there for 14 years and never charged with anything. “Most of these 49 men were taken captive by Pakistani forces, in some cases in exchange for a bounty. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, wrote in his memoir, “We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. Various Pakistani individuals have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars.” (Al Jazeera). Yes, Pakistan is a cradle of Democracy. No “extremism” there.
This is why I cannot get behind all the public display of grief and solidarity with France. Of course it’s terrible, I can only imagine how the relatives of the victims must feel, how it has destroyed their lives, changed them forever, I have personal grief. But such horror occurs every day in the Middle East. And what about Vietnam? The US killed three million people in that terror. That wasn’t extremism? It certainly wasn’t a defensive war. Palestinians, terrorized by Jewish extremism in the form of Zionist occupation deal with horror like this every day and it is supported and funded by the US government. Where is the outpouring of grief?
I am heartened by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers calling out a fan for yelling “Muslims Suck” during a minute of silence for the victims of the Paris terrorist attack. But since 911 millions have been killed by the US war machine most of them innocent people, more innocents are still dying form Obama’s drone warfare.
We are now supposed to respond with national unity and support government decisions------- a government most Americans hate and distrust I might add---------when some of the violence gets a little to close to the bone. When the horror is returned and not contained within the borders of far off lands.
The gang in the graphic is claiming they will work to end terrorism and solve the crisis in Syria and no doubt the Middle East as a whole. The likes of Merkel and Obama or any of these heads of state are incapable of solving these crises, their polices as representatives of global capitalism are the cause of these crises.
Workers have no voice. Hollande is a socialist in name only. Genuine socialists would not support the policies that created this mess. Workers should not support the policies that do, we are blind supporters, we are supporters only in our lack of opposition. We have no say politically, especially here in the US.
Because workers have no say, and are not stepping to the plate to challenge the rule of these murderers, things will continue to deteriorate. More violence in the form of state terror will create more responses like we’ve seen in Paris. We will experience it here. The British army never defeated the IRA. Do we expect people to accept the occupation of their lands, destruction of their culture and lives without retaliation? We wouldn’t.
When you have no planes, no ships, no nation and no sense of a future at all, you’ll find some way to fight back. Strapping explosives to one's chest and taking out your enemies or those who one perceives as enemies due to their silence, is a reflection of the strength of the oppressor, it is not the act of an individual that believes there is a future.
We have no say in the matter the way things stand. We have to change that.
It makes me mad just thinking about it.