Friday, October 13, 2017

Edward Abbey Vs. Liberal Dogma on Immigration

To The New York Review of Books, 12/17/81:

             “John M. Crewdson’s review of Miller’s On the Border and Hansens’s The Border Economy, though lengthy, provides little essential information on the illegal immigration problem, and misinterprets what information it does provide. Those of us who actually live in the U.S.-Mexican border region owe it to other readers of the NYR to correct Mr. Crewdson’s misunderstandings and fill in his lacunae.
            “It is absurd, for example, for Mr. Crewdson to repeat Tom Miller’s facetious ‘calculation’ that it would take two and a half million men, standing shoulder to shoulder, to close the Mexican border to illegal aliens. In fact most of the border runs through flat, wide open, sparsely vegetated desert country. Except for the far-scattered towns and cities, most of the border could be easily patrolled and easily ‘sealed’; a force of twenty thousand, or ten men per mile, properly armed and equipped, would have no difficulty – short of a military attack – in keeping out unwelcome intruders. In and near the few towns and cities a physical barrier is obviously needed, of the type routinely used everywhere else to restrict and control access. People do not cut holes through fences when the fences are watched and guarded.
            “Furthermore, there is widespread popular support for closing our southern border to the Latino invasion. A recent NPR [National Public Radio] broadcast (the All Things Considered program) cited various national polls indicating that 80 to 90 percent of Americans now object strongly to these mass immigrations from Mexico and other Hispanic countries. A poll by Arizona’s Senator DeConcini revealed that 79 percent of his constituents (and this in a state with a large and rapidly growing Hispanic population) want the illegal aliens deported and the immigration laws strictly enforced.
            “No doubt there is an element of ethnic chauvinism in this hostility to Mexicans et al. – and that element will grow violent and much larger if the influx continues – but the sentiment is based on the clear awareness that these aliens do indeed take jobs away from American citizens and that the estimated ten billion dollars remitted annually from Mexican aliens to their relatives still in Mexico is money that should be going into the pockets of American workers.
            “To say, as Mr. Crewdson does, that the presence of these foreign millions ‘creates’ employment for American workers is [in line with] the magical economics of Reagan & Co., that wondrous world wherein food is produced in supermarkets and rabbits are born in hats. If, as Mr. Crewdson seems to believe, the proliferation of human bodies somehow ‘creates’ new wealth for all, then Mexico would be a rich nation without need to push its surplus population northward, and India and China would be the richest nations on earth.
            “The actual reason why our immigration laws are not enforced is simple, obvious and well known, (though seldom mentioned in polite print): there are small but powerful groups on both sides of the border who benefit from this expanding northerly migration.
            Cui bono? Is now as always the appropriate question, and the answer is, first, American employers in all fields, from industrialized agriculture to factory manufacturing, who thrive on this unlimited supply of cheap, docile, non-union labor. One simple way to halt the alien incursion would be to penalize employers, with jail sentences if necessary, who hire illegal aliens. Simple but politically unlikely to be enforced; no doubt it will be easier to militarize the international border.
            “The second group of beneficiaries are the merchants on the American side of the border towns, who do a brisk trade in selling American goods to Mexicans. A third group are the Mexican-American politicians in the Southwestern states, eager to expand their power base. The fourth group are the wealthy and dominant classes in Mexico itself, who require the safety valve of emigration in order to postpone for as long as possible the next, and inevitable, revolution in their desperately overpopulated nation.
            “American ‘interests’ (the term ‘ruling class’ is now taboo, right?), anxious to secure access to Mexico’s oil, must therefore appease Mexican ‘interests’ by overlooking illegal immigration while at the same time offering at least a token response to the popular demand for a halt to it; thus we have the cosmetic but ineffectual proposals of the Carter and Reagan administrations.
            “These are harsh, even cruel propositions, but in fact the American boat is full, if not already overloaded; we cannot allow further mass immigration. The American public is fully aware of this truth even if our ‘leaders’ prefer to attempt to ignore it. We know what they will not acknowledge, that the tendency of large-scale immigration is to degrade and cheapen American life. Anyone who has made a recent visit to Mexico, to East L.A., or even to Miami, Florida, knows what I mean.
            “When the call for compassion is raised (a word now hopelessly corrupted by its use in the mouths of such as Nixon, Carter, and Reagan), we must answer that the most compassionate thing we can do for nations such as Mexico is to encourage them, somehow, to commence the policies of radical internal reform and vigorous population control that are clearly necessary.” 

 -----Edward Abbey

(Quoted in Postcards From Ed - Dispatches and Salvos From an American Iconoclast, pps. 109-11)

When Edward Abbey TKOed Alexander Cockburn

The following letter from the late Edward Abbey (popular author of "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and "Desert Solitaire," among other great works) appears to be the letter  Alexander Cockburn refers to in "The Golden Age Is In Us," which he says he left unanswered because he didn't know how to respond to it. The non-response illustrates a peculiar inability to engage real political dialogue on the part of the American left, particularly surprising in Cockburn himself, who was at least open to listening to right-wing libertarians and populists on occasion. But here not. Note the closing line, more relevant today than ever.

To Alexander Cockburn 5/5/88: 

        “I’m a regular reader of your column in The Nation, always with interest, usually with general agreement. You can easily imagine, then, how deeply you have wounded my feelings by calling me (and my good friend Dave Foreman) “fascist,” “racist,” etc. I am accustomed to such childish name-calling from sectarian fanatics like Murray Bookchin, but I would have assumed that you would adopt a more rational tone.

         “Opposition to mass immigration, legal or illegal, from any source, does not make one a fascist or racist. It merely makes one an opponent of mass immigration, as are the overwhelming majority of American citizens, including most Mexicans, blacks, Indians etc. (If we can believe the polls. And the response of Congress to years of complaint.) Most labor leaders and unions are against more immigration, for good and obvious reasons; almost all conservationists are against immigration, for reasons even more good and obvious. The basic fact is that America is sinking under an overload of political, social, economic and environmental problems; we are in no position to take on those of Latin America, Asia and Africa as well.

          “Of course much of the Third World’s misery is caused by European and American imperialism. Among our many moral obligations is to bring that infernal meddling to an end. E.g., no more loans, no more weapons, no more medical missionaries, no more CIA chicanery. Agreed. But it’s merely a white middleclass liberal guilt neurosis to imagine that our domineering arrogance is the sole or even the central source of mischief. Africans were murdering, eating and enslaving one another long before Vasco de Gama appeared off the Angolan coast. The endless horrors of Mexico go back at least to the Mayan and Aztec empires and their culture of war, massacre, slavery, torture, human sacrifice and cannibalism. To most Mexican Indians, Cortez probably appeared (at first) as a liberator. And Asia: India and its caste system, China, Japan . . . Ah well, you see my point.

  “If you hope for any sort of dialogue and unity with all factions on the vaguely leftist or radical side of politics, you must cease from silly verbal abuse. If you don’t want it, then we go on as we are, fractious and impotent.”

-----Edward Abbey

(Quoted in "Postcards From Ed - Dispatches and Salvos From an American Iconoclast", pps. 239-40)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Putin-Russo-Phobic Source?

"Obsessions are persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety and distress…the content of the obsession is alien, not within the control of the obsessive."

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Guns, Statues, Anthems, Toilets and War

After still another mass murder tragedy even worse than past experience and immediately followed by wafer-depth debates as to whether the usual presidential platitudes after the horror were suitable or whether the false flags of illuminati allegiance were waving behind it all, a still shaken public will find renewed arguments over what is called gun control in a national marketplace that shows signs of sinking more deeply into chaos. While this can be said at any moment, given rising real estate “values” as homelessness increases and renters are under assault, to mention only one economic contradiction, present circumstances give anyone a very difficult time to come up with sane explanations for what passes for democracy in a nation ruled by allegedly free market forces under total control of minority private sources.

When a relative handful of billionaires have more money than the majority of working Americans put together, that defines a political democracy the way economic analysis defines no-dinner-no-movie rape as a profitable form of dating.

So we will have renewed discussion about exercising some controls over particularly shameful behavior at the mall we call our home and putting some limits on who and how many weapons can, should, or will be owned by one or another citizen. Left out of the debate is the national weapons production and war making profits that are the backbone of our political economy. In the land of fast food and slow thinking, guns, bombs, missiles, death rays, drones and other aspects of murder play even greater a role than fossil fuels as both serve in mutual attacks on life’s social and natural environment. But we’ll more likely hear about the menace of silencers on guns, thereby muting any focus on the substance of the problem; our enormous creation of weaponry and a warfare budget and long term debt to support it that dwarfs anything else in our market democracy which is about as free as food, clothing and shelter.

While liberals will support stronger background checks on gun purchasers, conservatives will wave the second amendment false flag with neither argument touching on the background checks we need on the wealthy owner-operators of our government. That state entity serves the interest of a tiny minority and does so at the expense of the great majority who have nothing but a symbol they are trained to salute while ignoring the fact that it has no substance. No landlord will accept a flag as rent or mortgage payment nor will any food mart take statuettes in lieu of plastic or cash. So while in righteous anger we trash, burn or tear down symbols, the reality of violence and poverty increases and thus leads to a more passionate public furor over symbols.

We are dis-organized to obsess over the production of water pistols while creating billion dollar upgrades to our nuclear weapons stockpiles. Actually, we haven’t confronted that terrible threat of wetness, but under peace prizewinner Obama we took steps to assure our nukes could destroy humanity faster and better than anyone else’s. This is America, the essential nation of master race self chosen people, where we are manipulated into actually believing there is more than one race and that we belong to whichever one is able to exercise its privilege to have housing, go to college and survive encounters with police without getting shot, while others live in the street, ghetto or projects and suffer a much lower survival rate when encountering public servants under trying circumstances. Money and class background, of course, have nothing to do with any of this.

The gun lobby will argue, as usual, that the overwhelming majority of gun owners do not commit murders, and they will be correct. But this makes as much sense as pointing out that the overwhelming majority of Americans have never killed any Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Palestinians, or any of the other peoples the USA has slaughtered by the millions. And that’s only covering the period from mid 20th century to the present. If we add the death tolls most of us had no direct role in inflicting in the Second World War, we could all have as many rifles as the Vegas murderer had accumulated but simply never use them to kill anyone and voila; we’d be a pacifist nation?

The problem is the enormous number of weapons and the cult of fear and violence that causes us to live in some kind of psycho-babble induced terror lest the evil government-terrorists-russians-koreans-syrians-whoevers come bursting into our living rooms and attack us while we peacefully drink wine, smoke pot, eat burgers, watch surreality tv or pray to jesus-moses-allah-the big bang. We must be prepared, according to a constitution most of us have never read and few even care to, which guarantees our right to keep and bear arms even if it offers us no right to have food, clothing, shelter or health care when we need it.

 We are a people who can become righteously supportive of favored identity groups – when those groups represent no threat to the rule of our oligarch royalty class and will add to its profits – but forget the ideals of real democracy which involve coming together as a majority in order to make life better in what used to be known as the common good. But who wants to be common? That’s why we can rally to the banner of social justice for some of us as we support the political economics of social injustice for most of us.

We are good to consider the toilet problems of a minority who are defined as trans-gender but rather lame brained if not bad to completely neglect a larger minority who have a toilet problem because they have a greater problem of no home. Which is where most of us use toilets unless we are of the tiny minority that finds them social meeting places like coffee shops, wine bars and food courts. Toilets are hardly as symbolic as flags or statues but our manipulated treatment and awareness of them are sadly signs of our mental and moral condition under the dictatorship of the rich and their media and political servants.

When relatively privileged members of society come forward to support the rights of those less privileged, it speaks to our potential strength as a people. But when that coming forward only looks at those less privileged as the source of our social problems and totally neglects the minority forces that profit from injustice, that strength becomes a terrible weakness. As when college educated folks, many destined for professional class unemployment, look at those even less educated and nowhere near professional status employed or not, and identify them as the problem source of inequality or racism or sexism or whatever branch of the poisoned forest whose tree they have been socialized to focus on, causing all of us continued suffering.  

The blame game that puts responsibility for a crumbling political economic system on the backs of evil leaders and politically incorrect identity groups will only bring individualists any comfort, and not for much longer. These are the types who note what an egoist we currently have in the nation’s CEO position while using the first person singular as often as he does. That’s how we are socialized, shaped and branded. To see ourselves as isolated except when it is safe to identify as a group which can be organized to play a greater role in the consumption of waste system, what the pope calls the “throw away economy”, which is throwing more human beings away every day.

We have a problem and it’s much bigger than you and me and whether each of us is armed or not, and we can only solve it by coming together and truly acting as a democratic people. It isn’t just some violent gun owners but of a homicidal bordering on insane system of warfare that will destroy all of us if we don’t radically change it before a greater than ever imagined tragedy will take it away from all of us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Next: They've Wired Our Pets To Spy On Us! OMG! OMG!

Add to your address book.
The New York Times

September 27, 2017

Russia relied heavily on Twitter to sway the 2016 vote, and the subterfuge continues: Fake accounts even stoked furor over N.F.L. protests

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:36 PM EDT

There is evidence that Twitter may have been used even more extensively than Facebook in the Russian influence campaign last year, according to a study tracking 600 accounts.
And its use has reached far beyond politics, sowing division on social issues, including provoking both sides of last weekend’s debate over football players’ kneeling during the national anthem. A Senate aide said Facebook, Twitter and Google have been invited to testify at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Nov. 1.
Read More »

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

No Word On Whether They Will Be Allowed To Have Accidents

Saudi Arabia said that it would allow women to drive, ending a policy long criticized as a human rights violation

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 3:01 PM EDT

Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, overturning a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Foreign Influence In Our Great Democracy? OMG!

What used to be called liberal in the narrow band American politics which finds two sides of the same coin defined as different currency has become embarrassingly reactionary and seems bordering on insanity. While a substantial minority of citizens are rightfully distressed and angry over the dictatorship of much of our foreign and even domestic affairs by a tiny nation in the Middle East, a near majority has been manipulated into a frenzy over the new slack jawed and drooling depiction of Russia as enemy of democracy in America. Yes, a nation in which more than half the electorate usually stays home and in which there has never in its history been a president elected by an actual majority of the electorate and not simply the usual minority who show up on voting day. That, students of mass psychosis, is what passes for our cherished, sacred, founded by Indian killers, land thieves and slave owners, democracy. But given that millions of us do buy our marketplace political product of a ruling class owned two party system, have we reason for anger at a foreign power exercising so much control over this sincerely sought but not yet found ideal of democracy? You bet, especially when it has played the major role in creating and sustaining our longest war in history; the war against terror which would not exist without our foreign policy that creates terror. That foreign power is, of course, Israel. But our unquestioned-by-official-ruling-power policy allows this domination, at cost of trillions of american dollars and hundreds of thousands of foreign lives, while it howls at the moon and every media professional with a microphone or lap top about the horrors that Putin and Russia have inflicted upon our religious electoral temple where billions are spent putting the proper clergy in office.

Since the election of Trump, a rich pinhead never expected to win over the less rich airhead selected by our rulers, they have been in near panic and thus dis-organized a great mass of people to gather in opposition to him before he totally screws up their imperial operation with his brash, thoughtless and egotistical exercise of a totally american behavior pattern. Part of this attack on what remains of collective intelligence - after we go shopping and consume enough waste and idiocy to put banking and finance at peace with their profit margins - has been the alleged Russian plan to unseat her holiness and inseat her opponent. With much evidence involving the shocking news that people hack online information, as in nearly 150 million americans having all but – maybe - their bedroom and toilet habits pilfered from a market manipulating firm, and lots of implications of allegations of possibly real leaks of possibly unreal alleged factoids bartered by market pimps and other representatives of un-intelligence government services, great suspicion has been raised in the minds of people who don’t just watch but believe the nightly news casts, that our democracy has been sabotaged by this evil outsider force. Golly, Captain Brain-Dead, can you stand the pain?

Our great nation that spends hundreds of billions on warfare and pet care while hundreds of thousands of its people live in the street is having its sacred bought and paid for political marketplace infiltrated by foreign money? Our cherished, fought for and died for by heroic souls misled into murdering foreigners so that “our” economy could prosper enough to ship out decent paying jobs to other countries while bringing low paid immigrants to work here, is in danger of being bought and paid for by outsiders? Jeepers, Captain Sub-moron, can’t we stop this?

While “our” Knesset caucus attempts to move a bill through “our” congress that would make it all but a capital offense to dare support any opposition to doing business with firms which support Israeli domination over occupied territory in Palestine, feverish liberals screech about tampering with this master-race-chosen-people bipartisan attack on the evils of Putin and his vile atrocities committed on our priestly temple of market merchandising that interferes with us getting the best and most honest price for our political pimps in their service to, um, love.

While her holiness editorializes about the various plots, conspiracies and hate campaigns that cost her the throne she so richly deserved and not only approaches but surpasses the ego-that-looks-like-a-person in her ravings, this should cause a public some concern not only for the bozo that’s in but for the bimbo who might have been. This same entity called it a conspiracy to get her husband when he suffered a savage oral attack on his genitalia conducted by a vicious non-feminist who took advantage of a poor defenseless president of the United Sates of America. And rest assured that Bozo and Bimbo are of one voice when it comes to allegiance to a foreign power that all but rules America and isn’t Russia.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Diplomatic Alert: RocketMan vs AssholeMan

This just in from Legalienate’s foreign affairs bureau:

In response to president Trump’s verbal attacks on North Korea and especially his disrespectful labeling of its leader as “Rocket Man”, North Korea will hereafter  refer to the American president as “Asshole Man” until such time as he and his country learn to act as adults and diplomats rather than a self chosen master race of spoiled brats and mass murderers .

Monday, September 11, 2017

Osama Bin Laden - The Real Story

How angry America gets when it attacks people and those people resist!

-----------Osama bin Laden, December 1998

How can they hope to be blessed with security while they are dishing out destruction, devastation, and murder on our people in Palestine and Iraq?

-----------Osama bin Laden, December 16, 2004

He dates his political awakening to 1973, when a U.S. airlift helped Israel turn the tide in the so-called Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria had overrun Israeli defenses and its vaunted Bar-Lev line at the beginning of the war, leading a stunned Tel Aviv to hint that it might resort to nuclear weapons if the U.S. didn't save the day for the Jewish state. When Washington's intervention helped deal the Arabs another bitter defeat, fifteen-year-old Osama stopped watching cowboy shows, refused to wear Western clothes (except at school, where it was required), and "would sit in front of the television and weep over the news from Palestine." [Lawrence Wright, "The Looming Tower - Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11."]

The immediate cause of the war was Israeli "development" of the Northeastern Sinai, which involved the forcible removal of Arab farmers from their lands. U.S. support for Israeli annexation of large parts of the Occupied Territories and its refusal to respond to Anwar Sadat's peace overtures, made war inevitable. For bin Laden, it made sympathetic consideration of Western culture impossible.

It was the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which killed 20,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, that planted in bin Laden the seed of revenge. In a November 2004 video he recalled the carnage, the "blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents . . ." He longed to strike back. "As I looked at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the oppressor in kind by destroying the towers in America, so that it would have a taste of its own medicine and would be prevented from killing our women and children. On that day I became sure that the oppression and intentional murder of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy."

A decade before the release of this video, bin Laden had been stripped of his Saudi citizenship (1994) for his continued harsh criticism of the Saudi royal family. He wrote a letter to the Chief Mufti, the foremost juridical authority in the Kingdom, calling his endorsement of the 1993 Oslo Accords an "astonishing juridical decree," a betrayal of the word of God and the community of the faithful. Like millions of other Arabs, bin Laden was anguished at the contemptuous treatment Palestinian Arabs continually received at the hands of the West, and saw no reason why it should continue.

Bin Laden's letter argued flat out that the Jews that came to Palestine were not indigenous to the region: "The current Jewish enemy is not an enemy settled in his own original country fighting in its defense until he gains a peace agreement, but an attacking enemy." The only proper course of action, therefore, was to wage jihad, both for the sake of God and "so that Palestine may be completely liberated and returned to Islamic sovereignty." The Oslo Agreement, which nullified Palestinian national rights, converting the PLO to a municipal authority, was a patent fraud: ". . . the alleged peace that the rulers and tyrants are falling over themselves to make with the Jews is nothing but a massive betrayal, epitomized by their signing of the documents of capitulation and surrender of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all of Palestine to the Jews, and their acknowledgement of Jewish sovereignty over Palestine for ever."

In a March, 1997 interview with Robert Fisk of the London Independent, bin Laden again made clear that Israel was a primary grievance. Referring to the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia the year before, he said: "The explosion in al-Khobar did not come as a direct reaction to the American occupation, but as a result of American behavior against Muslims, its support of Jews in Palestine and of the massacres of Muslims in Palestine and Lebanon - of Sabra and Chatila and Qana - and of the Sharm el-Sheikh conference." Sabra and Chatila was a 1982 massacre of over a thousand Palestinian refugees by Israel's Phalangist Christian allies in Lebanon; Qana was a U.N. base attacked by Israel in 1996, in which roughly a hundred Lebanese were killed; Sharm el-Sheikh was an "anti-terrorism" conference in which Bill Clinton accused Hamas and Hizbollah of terrorism but said nothing of Israel's far greater violence. Events like these merged Israel and the U.S. in bin Laden's mind. ""For us there is no difference between the American and Israeli governments or between the American and Israeli soldiers."

Four months after the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which Bin Laden disclaimed responsibility for, he returned to the theme of the betrayal of Palestine: "Every time a king meets a president they say they have 'discussed the Palestinian issue,' but over half a century a clear picture has emerged: they have abandoned the mujahidin in Palestine. . . they have given a guilty verdict on those lions whose fathers and brothers have been killed, imprisoned, tortured, and persecuted . . . . I don't know what people are waiting for after this clearest of betrayals, and after the shameful way in which the Arab rulers have acted in the interests of the Jews or America."

An interesting side note on the Nairobi Embassy bombing concerns a young Arab questioned by F.B.I. investigator Stephen Gaudin. Identifying himself as Khaled Saleem bin Rasheed from Yemen, he shouted at Gaudin: "You want to blame this (bombing) on me? It's your fault, your country's fault for supporting Israel!" Livid at the death toll, he asked Gaudin: "Why did these people have to die? They had nothing to do with the United States and Israel and Palestine!"

In a statement faxed to Al Jazeera on September 24, 2001, bin Laden excoriated USrael hypocrisy in waxing moralistic on the issue of human rights while it was engaged in wholesale killing in Iraq and Palestine: "Until this point, a million innocent children have been killed in Iraq . . . As I speak, Israeli tanks and bulldozers are going in and wreaking havoc and sin in Palestine - in Jenin, in Ramallah, in Rafah, in Beit Jala . . . . and we do not hear anyone protesting or even lifting a finger to stop it." He insisted on reciprocal security or none at all: "I swear by God Almighty Who raised the heavens without effort that neither America nor anyone who lives there will enjoy safety until safety becomes a reality for us living in Palestine and before all the infidel armies leave the land of Muhammad." The U.S. response came two weeks later, when the White House announced that it had asked the five major U.S. T.V. networks to censor footage of al-Qaeda. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice "urged all the American network chiefs not to screen videos of Bin Laden."

In a October 21, 2001 interview with Al Jazeera reporter Taysir Alluni in Afghanistan, bin Laden expressed outrage that President Bush and Colin Powell had promised in their first few months in office that "they would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem would be the eternal capital of Israel." Asked about the justification for killing innocent civilians, Bin Laden condemned Washington's selective and self-serving morality: "Whenever we kill their civilians, the whole world yells . . . . and America starts putting pressure on its allies and puppets. . . . What about the people that have been killed in our lands for decades? . . . Who said that our blood isn't blood and that their blood is blood? . . . More than 1,000,000 children died in Iraq, and they are still dying . .. . Everyday in Palestine, children are killed . . . . How is it that these people are moved when civilians die in America, and not when we are being killed everyday?" Near the end of the interview he returned to the constant killing in Palestine: "By what right are our families in Palestine denied safety? The helicopters hunt them while they are in their homes, while they are amongst their women and children; everyday the bodies and wounded are removed."

In an interview published in London's Al Quds on November 12, 2001, bin Laden explained that, "The United States and their allies are killing us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, and Iraq," so "that's why Muslims have the right to carry out revenge attacks on the U.S.." He added that the democratic nature of the U.S. government implicated all Americans in such crimes. "The American people should remember that they pay taxes to their government and that they voted for their president. Their government makes weapons and provides them to Israel, which they use to kill Palestinian Muslims. Given that the American Congress is a committee that represents the people, the fact that it agrees with the actions of the American government proves that America in its entirety is responsible for the atrocities that it is committing against Muslims. . . . The onus is on Americans to prevent Muslims from being killed at the hands of their government."

In a statement recorded for release to Al Jazeera in December 2001, bin Laden reiterated his claim that the 911 attacks were retaliation for the West's injustices against Muslims worldwide. Once again, he drew attention to Palestine: "Our terrorism against America is a praiseworthy terrorism in defense against the oppressor, in order that America will stop supporting Israel, who kills our sons."

In a letter to the American people on October 6, 2002, bin Laden posed the question, "Why are we fighting and opposing you?" He answered succinctly: "Because you attacked us and continue to attack us." He again drew special attention to Palestine. "The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. . . . The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased . . . The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years, years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction, and devastation." He rejected out of hand tortured Zionist justifications for taking control of the land: "It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah." Debate, he noted, is not tolerated, as "anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism." But the Zionist legend claiming justification for Israel "is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in history," since "the people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites." Therefore, "it is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed," so "if the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this."

Living under elected government, he went on, "the American people have chosen, consented to, and affirmed their support for Israel's oppression of the Palestinians, the occupation and usurpation of their land, and its continuous killing, torture, punishment, and expulsion of the Palestinians." Better choices exist. "The American people have the ability and choice to refuse the policies of their government, and even to change it if they want."

On the matter of violence, he observed that "If Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush," (which Bush declared he was), "then we are also men of peace. America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands."

In a video dated February 14, 2003, bin Laden warned that "The current Zionist-Crusader campaign . . . is the most dangerous and rabid ever . . . He claimed again that al-Qaeda's violence was merely retaliation, since "we strike them (the U.S.) because of their injustice towards us in the Islamic world, especially in Palestine and Iraq, and their occupation of Saudi Arabia. He observed that the 60 states identified by President Bush as prime targets in his "crusade" against terror pretty much defined the Islamic world. "Is the Islamic world not around 60 states? . . . Did they not say that they want to change the region's ideology, which vents hatred against the Americans?"

In a statement broadcast by Al-Jazeera a month after the Madrid train bombings in 2004 bin Laden accused Washington of "persistently ignor[ing] the real problem, which is the occupation of Palestine," and decried the double standard that allowed U.S. leaders to "indulge in lies and deceit about our right to self-defense," which proved "they have no self-respect." "They show contempt for peoples' blood and minds through such deceit, but it only means that your blood will continue to be shed." He was not too blinded by passion to see the injustice being done to ordinary Americans: ". . . an important truth becomes clear, which is that we are both suffering injustice at the hands of your leaders, who send your sons to our countries, despite their objections, to kill and be killed." He identified a common enemy benefitting from all the carnage: "It is all too clear . . . who benefits most from stirring up this war and bloodshed: the merchants of war, the bloodsuckers who direct world policy. . . President Bush . . . the big media . . . the United Nations . . . These and others are groups who are a mortal danger to the entire world, the most dangerous and difficult of these being the Zionist lobby . . ."

Condemning the transparent fraud of Bush's talk of peace, he asked: "Why hasn't he spoken about the one who slit open the bellies of pregnant women in Sabra and Shatila . . . the 'man of peace' [Ariel Sharon]?" He reiterated that al-Qaeda violence was retaliatory: "We only killed Russians after they invaded Afghanistan and Chechnya, we only killed Europeans after they invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and we only killed Americans after they supported the Jews in Palestine and invaded the Arabian peninsula. . . " He offered to make peace with any state that agreed to leave Muslims alone: "So I present to them this peace proposal, which is essentially a commitment to cease operations against any state that pledges not to attack Muslims or intervene in their affairs . . . It will come into effect on the departure of its last soldier from our lands."

Just days before Bush was re-(s)elected in November 2004, bin Laden released a video telling the American people that its security was in its own hands, that it could achieve safety by reigning in its lawless government. "We have been fighting you because we are free men who cannot acquiesce in injustice . . . Just as you violate our security, so we violate yours. Whoever encroaches upon the security of others and imagines that he will himself remain safe is but a foolish criminal. When disasters happen, intelligent people look for the reasons behind them, so they can avoid them in the future."

Bin Laden's determination to rectify the injustice of dismembering Palestine is apparently not going away. On March 20, 2008 a videotape reputed to be his was aired on Al Jazeera, in which he urged holy war on behalf of the Palestinians. "Palestine cannot be retaken by negotiations and dialogue, but with fire and iron."

The Sources:

"Bin laden accuses pope of 'crusade' in new tape," March 20, 2008

Bruce Lawrence, ed., "Messages To The World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden" (Verso, 2005)

Lawrence Wright, "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11," (Knopf, 2006)

Alfred Lilienthal, "The Zionist Connection - What Price Peace?" (Dodd, Mead, 1978)

Anonymous, "Imperial Hubris - Why The West Is Losing The War on Terror," (Brassey's, 2004)

Robert Fisk, "The Great War For Civilisation - The Conquest of the Middle East," (Knopf, 2005)

-----Michael K. Smith is the author of "Portraits of Empire" and "The Madness of King George (illustrations by Matt Wuerker,) from Common Courage Press. He can be reached at

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Help The Dreamers

More Dreamers Who Need Our Help

More than half a million Americans who are living on the street dream of having a roof over their heads.

More than 20% of American children dream of not being poor.

Several million Americans who are unemployed dream of having jobs.

More than ten million Americans  without health care dream of being able to see a doctor when they get sick.

Only a partial listing of people who dream of having better lives.

All of them could use some help.


The New York Times

September 07, 2017

Thousands of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts that were used to influence the 2016 election have something in common: Russian fingerprints

Thursday, September 7, 2017 1:06 PM EDT

The Russian information attack on the election did not stop with the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails or the fire hose of stories that battered Mrs. Clinton on Russian outlets like RT and Sputnik.

They sent photos of their meals !

They sent photos of their pets !

They sent meaningless, infantile, boring comments about their lives and occasional thoughts !

And all of this to interfere with, confuse, and abuse our sacred, world's most powerful and wonderful democracy !


Monday, September 4, 2017

Deranged Nazi Shouting "Jews Will Not Replace Us" Buried Alive By Israeli Bulldozer

Legalienation News Bureau

A Nazi viciously shouting "Jews will not replace us" was buried alive today in his home by an Israeli army bulldozer. Sharif Fadi, a Palestinian Arab, had a long history of anti-Semitism, as evidenced by repeated efforts to interfere with Israeli home demolitions in areas slated for Jewish settlement construction in Arab East Jerusalem. Several years of prior counseling designed to wean him from his Jew hatred failed in the face of his obstinate belief that "redeeming" Arab land by stealing it and turning it over to Jewish fanatics was shameless abuse. "No one could shake him from this irrational belief," said his counselor Linda Khalidi.

A spokesman for the Israeli Army regretted Fadi's "mental problems," which he blamed for his death, stating that Fadi was "accidentally decapitated" when he dove in front of the bulldozer's advancing blade. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned family funeral arrangements on the basis that Fadi "is already buried." 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Buy Cheap, Sell Dear, and Drop Dead.

An organic political economic system desperately in need of change from its roots is still being operated as though snipping some damaged petals and watering it with more distilled liquid will make a difference while disregarding the deadly poisoned plot from which it emanates. The growing evidence that producing everything humanity needs for survival and growth purely on the basis of that production creating private profit at a market, which will then, according to the dogma, produce social good, is still operative and bringing humanity closer to a point at which physical salvation could become impossible.

Now operating for several hundred years and most recently dominated by the USA, the global system of capitalism shows more signs of disintegration than even its leading 19th century critic forecast, with political, economic and ecological systems showing signs of breakdown all desperately denied by the minority of humanity which still remains on the profit side of the ledger, though it grows smaller in number every day even as its profits grow greater. Where once there were hundreds of thousands of millionaires now there are thousands of billionaires, holding staggering personal wealth to make feudal lords and pharaohs of the past seem paupers by comparison. And most of this occurs in places almost laughingly if not tragically calling themselves democracies, even with vast numbers  of their populations living in poverty and most who are still called a middle class carrying enormous debt in order to survive.

The system was never just, for most humans, and always represented a long-term threat, for all humans, but its social democratic regimes' ability to spread productive gains over greater populations has long masked its longer range potential for disaster. As that unmistakable pattern becomes clear to all but the willfully blind and profitably ignorant, more people among the majority rally for the radical changes necessary and resistance to that grows among the minority still reaping benefits from the capitalist practices that have brought so much wealth to so many, even while spreading poverty, misery, deprivation and total devastation to greater numbers of people than any historical stumbling and bumbling of humanity’s past.

It took us millennia to move from the seas to the trees to the caves and from nomadic to settled populations in what we eventually called civil societies, as decidedly uncivil as many of them have been and still are. The next move should be towards actual civility among billions of us or it could lead to oblivion for all of us. The ecosystem signs of danger have been obvious to a minority of social critics for almost two hundred years but the evidence has grown so overwhelming that it is now possible for majorities without specialized skills to see, feel and understand the dangers of treating the natural environment  as simply another tool to be used as private profit creator in a market environment of humans reduced to consumers of  mostly wanton waste.

Whether it is definably material elements like air, land and water, or seemingly less definable immaterial elements like spirit, psyche, and myth, all are under great stress that affects both the definable and still unknown aspects of humanity’s quality and meaning of life. If the food we eat, the air we breathe, the land we till and the societies we build are all simultaneously in danger of contamination, the outcome should be clear and our actions should be equally so in order to save our race and its future. While moves in the direction of the radical change necessary for salvation are encouraging, the power of private capital in control of almost all governments in the world will spell doom if it continues to rule. The growing but still slow move toward real democracy needs to take up far more speed in removing negative minority regimes and replacing them with positive majority forces of democracy which work for the greater good of all and not just the greater profit of a few.Whether what we create is labeled socialism, safe sex, a sharing economy, pattacake ,santaland, trani-town or some other meaningless blather such as we've become accustomed to in the marketplace, its substance needs to be democratic and its outcome the betterment of all humanity. Labels, as always, matter much less than the content of what they label.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nationalists,Racists, Neo-Fascists and Capitalism

While neo-liberals fight neo-conservatives in a war between roommates, the landlord and bank keep collecting rent and mortgage payments and are hardly noticed by most of the battling tenants. The lesser evil political system we call a democracy in which only a minority actually votes for winning Demublicans simply perpetuates its political economic foundation, which is crumbling not only in the USA and Europe but all over the world. Or the planet, to use the brand name popular among many wishing to bring about change but too often manipulated into finding it in the sex, skin tone, religion or sales pitch of the individual alleged changer. The present episode of Trump as villain president is a typical case - if more serious than any in recent history - as millions are programmed into opposition to him, while remaining unaware of the anti-social capitalist roots of the problem which bring the austerity, inequality, wars and environmental destruction which have been going on since the 19th century but at a much faster pace since the 1970s.

What is both positively and negatively labeled Nationalism is often human reaction to capital forcefully transforming people and earth to promote private profit with no regard for communities in process of being destroyed by that economic system. What would identity group labelers call Indians, Palestinians, and others whose lives became commodities for colonial capital and who rebelled against them? Xenophobes? Nationalists? Racists? That’s what they might look like from the high rise, the hilltop or the ivory tower, but at street-level things are very different from the theoretical-academic vantage point of that economic high ground where many, if a dwindling number, are privileged to reside.

Derogatory labeling of people as neo-fascists is often the practice of those who do quite well in that liberal democratic state in which great majorities never vote for the neo-lib-con professional class who strengthen capitalism with essays and term papers about change read by their peers while rarely if ever being activated if what they propose is radical. These treat majority workers in missionary fashion as under educated and even lesser human material - unless they are of politically correct chosen people of the moment -only speaking of and about them and rarely if ever to them. Whether fundamentalist worshippers at the church of market forces or more sophisticated language manipulators of  control techniques useful in maintaining class privileges, the same divisive social forces at work now were those that helped the downfall of the Russian revolution and the triumph of fascism in Germany. 

Sometimes sincere advocates of change who were at best unable or at worst unwilling to communicate with the great mass of the population which, in the first place attempted a revolution eventually destroyed by forces within and outside the nation - including invaders from the USA -, and second, allowing an arch-reactionary force to make more sense to those suffering the failings of capitalism. Whether consciously or not, too many still work to help division with  politics that reduce all others to enemies and perpetuate the minority wealth that reduces people to consumers of material and intellectual waste, when they are left with enough means to consume anything at all in a credit based economy which could burst at any moment when a majority cannot pay its bills or worse, nature forecloses on a society and culture not just breaking but savaging its laws.

Those incapable of stopping the slaughter of Muslims in their homelands rise in anger against those who fear Muslim retaliation and support barring their entry into the USA. But the crisis that destroys nations, murders people and reduces so many to refugee status is the primary problem, not those reacting in fear that sometimes leads to hateful ignorance. End the first injustice and there will be no possibility of the second. Instead, the willful or helpless perpetuators of murder label the reactors who pay for it as neo-fascists, racists and worse.

Those whose jobs are lost to cheaper immigrant labor and who absorb the social costs that bring greater profit to capital – the backbone of this economy since immigrants came here in the 15th century – are labeled derogatorily in the same fashion and in the same reactionary spirit. But if instead of lower economic end Spanish speaking immigrants from the south we had millions of English speaking upper end professionals entering the country from Canada, the reaction would likely be the same though coming from different economic strata. If we could get lawyers for 25 dollars an hour, teachers for 12.50 and doctors for 30, many Americans would be delighted while those of formerly upper middle incomes would be reduced to screaming about job, property and status loss – with good reason - and a few at the extremes might soon be parading about with shaved heads and swastika tattoos. The economic system that sets people apart by bringing great benefits to some only at great cost to others goes unquestioned. Only the divisiveness and labeling is highlighted.

Armed to the teeth under “fascist” Trump? We spent 600 billion on warfare under alleged peacenik Obama and started a multi billion-dollar program to upgrade nuclear weapons and further arm Israel in its democratic humanitarian suppression of Palestinians. Of course, the Palestinians are all nationalist-identitarian-xenophobe-racist-neofasicsts. Trump is a big individual problem, as is any CEO of this imperial corporation but the political economy of war capitalism is the much bigger problem, and its supporters, servants and willful or innocent constituents are not simply found on the right.

Fascist-populist-hate labeling brings comfort to some who can afford the high end marketplace community but can be demeaning to those carrying the social burdens at the lower end neighborhood of that same mall, though both play a role in maintaining the profits of private capital in divided groups which should be working together to make the entire community better for all its people. In this way, economic class barriers grow larger, more divisive and less visible, playing right into the identity group conflicts which are more easily seen and used by our rulers to keep democracy a word without meaning.

The political economy that lavishes billions of dollars on warfare and pet care while millions of its people live in poverty and lack health care and even housing is liberal and conservative, not either one or the other. It’s people who are of color, no color, some color, straight, gay or bent. It isn’t simply a good or bad person, however good some us think ourselves and however bad some of us are. We are part of a system that needs to be changed, radically, not simply part of a fake democracy which shuffles representatives of minority wealth every couple of years. Labels, including hate speech simplifiers, are used to manipulate us into continued buying of a stale and rotten product. It’s time we learn to understand the substance of our society and not just the words we are programmed to use, and abuse, in belief in its individualist myths and in opposition to one another.

Nationalism, like resistance to gentrification or immigration, is often the reaction of communities being radically changed by outside forces with no input from the people of those communities or nations. Are those who resent development that changes their high crime-low income community to a higher income-lower crime community all nimby ”not-in-my-backyard” types? Or do they express political economic protest, even if limited to only their own immediate surroundings, over having their survival further threatened? 

Are protesters against immigration which takes jobs from their communities and transforms those places in language and culture, with absolutely no voice in that transformation, all guilty of hate? Or are they just like anti-gentrification folk, with economic and other protests against change in their lives and communities over which they have no control?

Labeling protesters against immigration changing communities over which they no longer feel at home as evil nationalists or racists - as though immigrants were another race - makes perverted sense only if supporters of gentrification and immigration were labeled capitalist, globalization supporting colonialists for their anti-human policies that bring profit to those outside those communities and loss to those within. Ignorance and hate are not the best ways to stand against ignorance and hate.

Ultimately, we need to see the community we all inhabit – that rebranded “planet” – and all its inhabitants as dwellers on and in a common space, in a common time of great stress in which humanity must, and finally can, come to democratic practice in running the political economy by changing it from the destructive path the current form is on to a new, more positive and hopeful road that will assure a future for all, and not just a privileged few. If conditioned product-commodity label identification is imprinted in our heads, it’s long past time to change that label from an identity group minority “them” to the majority group humanity “us”.