[the purpose of which is to destroy Iraq and Syria and provide petroleum multinationals, such as the “invisible corporation,” ExxonMobil ready access to Mideast oil]
The Chicago M19 Anti-War coalition and World Can’t Wait Chicago among others organized a peace gathering Tuesday evening as an emergency protest of the barbarity US foreign policy is again bequeathing upon the world. I found it quite interesting in a mousy sort of way that many of the participants insisted on taking their turn at the microphone; but then, isn’t that what a democracy is all about? Everybody having their say, and through the swirl and mix of opinions, some kind of consensus is derived? These were minority opinions to be sure, but then they had facts on their side; contrasted with the passersby who at most were indifferent. It is astonishing, and that’s too good a word, that at least for the 11th consecutive year their government is bombing yet another country and their gait betrays it no more than as if they were exiting a Cubs game. Let me remind my fellow Americans, and especially that majority that was opposed to Bush, finally, subsequent to their giving the Christian-In-Chief a 90% approval rating, that Bush only lusted after the bombing of Syria subsequent to his plan for the beginning of US imperial domination in Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen and the rest of the mad plan of the Project for the New American Century. The Republicans propose – see NAFTA, see the razing of Glass-Steagall, see the “ending of welfare as we know it,” see mass incarceration, see the bestowing of $100 billion in digital frequencies to the already filthy rich telecoms – and the Democrats dispose. Obama is worse than Bush, than Bush, yet he remains popular with black people; even street-people friends of mine who haven’t seen a dentist in decades support Obama. It’s as if we’ve forgotten so soon, not to speak of remembering the words that made him a great man, what MLK said: a man should be judge on the content of his character and not the color of his skin. On that scale, Obama gets straight Fs.
Obama, like his predecessor, has propagandized for war. As if the American people haven’t had it up to here with war. Obama’s mantra, hope and change ostensibly meant a dissuasion from Bush’s wars. But in actuality it meant their continuation. How could Obama voters have been so blind? As if it could get any worse than a Chimpanzee-in-Chief. Yet, Obama has not only extended every one of Bush’s wars, and every one of Bush’s infringemenst on civil liberties but he has codified them. As I said, the Republicans propose and the Democrats dispose. Just when You thought it couldn’t possibly get worse than Bush after it couldn’t possibly get worse than Clinton than Bush before him ad nauseam – than the great Black-skinned one appears. Obama describes ISIS as the worst thing to happen to culture since the bubonic plaque. In order to do so, Obama has to excuse himself from the facts; say, that the US invasion of Iraq is estimated to have slaughtered up to a million Iraqis, the vast majority of them, as in any modern war, civilians. Say that the United States in an unprovoked and senseless act of aggression slaughtered 3 million Indochineses in the war the Vietnamese call the American War; compared with the 9/11 attacks, not of 1973 mind you, but of 2011, which killed 3,000. Which crime is the worse? Obviously, the latter. Yet ISIS, which, separate from the hype, it is reliably reported has no capacity to strike the United States. And suppose it could? Just exactly when is karma to become due? The United States again without provocation, and under the shroud of the most mendacious of lies invaded Iraq and tried to occupy the exact areas ISIS now does and failed miserably. How in a rational world is it okay for the United States and not for ISIS? Similarly, why is it perfectly legitimate that Israel possess two to 400 nuclear weapons but not for Iran to have a single one? Not that there is an iota of proof that Iran evens wants to develop one.
The assembled gathered at the Federal Building in downtown Chicago at Dearborn and Adams at 4:30. It is my understanding that there was some kind of prefatory march beginning at 1:00 and marching to the assembly but I didn’t hear anything about that until 4:30. All told I would estimate the total gathered at 100; absolutely less than the dire political climate calls for. And of course not a hint, nor a sniff of the corporate media. The group initiated the proceedings with peace speeches, congregational singalongs with an accoustic guitar and some lead singing. This occurred in the shadow of the Picasso in Fed Plaza, while the flyer distributors passed out flyers spelling out the reason – as if one were needed – for the protest. We got out about 700 flyers. It read:
No Country Left Un-Invaded: No to U.S. Interference in Other Countries
No country left un-invaded. That is the story of the U.S.– Over 800 military bases abroad; invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and interference in countries all over the world.
The U.S. is adventurist and reckless, blind to the catastrophic aftermath of the interventions, such as political, humanitarian, economic and environmental disasters, and expansion of violent, extremist groups.
The U.S. has “Have gun, will travel” policies under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” or “promotion of democracy.” In reality, the aim is to pursue positions of power and natural resources in the world for U.S. corporations at the expense of competitors, and financial and military corporate profits. This has led to U.S. interference in every corner of the world, and expansion of violence and chaos, and massive deaths and destruction. This is all paid by the working people of the United States.
At the same time, the corporations are imposing austerity measures here at home, which are cutting the most necessary funds for education, health, housing, retirement, maintenance and improvement of our decaying infrastructure, food and other services that are basic human rights. The aim of the U.S. corporations everywhere is domination, profits, grabbing raw materials and markets and having loyal puppets of the U.S. corporations and their government.
We must expose and oppose what the U.S. is doing. Here are examples:
In Palestine— Israel’s government, with backing from the U.S. government, has been conducting criminal brutal collective punishment of Palestinians—mass arrests, indefinite detentions, and massive bombing raids in Gaza. This has been an unsuccessful attempt to block development of the recently announced Palestinian unity government bringing Gaza and the West Bank together. And it was also to punish Palestinians for their widespread resistance, in jails and outside, and their fight to Free Palestine. Since the U.S. government backs and funds the Israeli military and police with over $3 billion a year in our taxpayer money, and has defended the bombing raids on civilians and other atrocities, we need to take up the call for No U.S. Aid to Israel, End All Attacks on Palestinians and Collective Punishment Now, End the Israeli Occupation Now, Support the Struggle of the Palestinians For Human Rights.
In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria– The chaos and anarchy, death and destruction, that the U.S. has unleashed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, including by forces first armed and trained by the U.S., must be opposed by all of us. We must demand U.S. reparations for damage done and an end to all continuing threats of bombing or other forms of interference. To contribute to peace and stability, we must demand All U.S. Troops Home Now! Stop All U.S. Interference!
In Ukraine– We have seen the serious results of the bloody regime change fomented in February by the U.S. government with the overthrow of an elected government. Anyone who relies on the corporate media and its dis-information can’t make sense out of the tragedy that has been unfolding in Ukraine.
In brief, intercepted phone calls in February of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland show the U.S. backed-coup, and we know the U.S. has supported the new government and its openly neo-Nazi Svoboda party and the Right Sector collaborators. The U.S. has been providing them with funds and other support, and urging massacres of opponents in eastern Ukraine. The tragedy of the downed Malaysian Airlines plane would never have happened if a war zone had not been created by the U.S. It is still not clear who hit the plane, tho the U.S. has used the occasion to further blame Russia.
We, as Americans, must oppose meddling by the U.S. in Ukraine as well as the dangerous U.S. mobilization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Eastern Europe.
In Venezuela– The U.S. government, representing U.S. corporations, has continued its interference in Venezuela– it is still not recognizing the election victory of President Maduro in April 2013, even though international observers declared the election well run. The U.S. government has continued to send millions to opposition parties, who have used street violence to try to destabilize the government. It has even had the Chicago City Council pass a resolution supporting interference in Venezuela.
These sorts of actions by the corporate U.S. government come in the context of a crisis in the economic system, with the big corporations trying to maximize their profits in any way they can. This means that we the people must do much more than only insist that the U.S. government keep its hands off other countries. We must demand reparations for damages, and that the war criminals be brought to international courts.
Here are some of the other issues we must be sure to deal with: government spying, authorization for the U.S. government to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone (under the National Defense Authorization Act); lack of jobs, livable wages and housing for many people; the increased attack on public education by corporations such as through the national Common Core program; privatization of schools, health care and all key public services; immigrant rights; as well as money for illegal and unjust U.S. interventions and wars and not for people’s needs.
After about 45 minutes the group disassembled in an effort to more widely flood the streets of Chicago, and the teeming throngs leaving work and going home for the day, with our message of peace, not war, although no peace with war, and moved to corners further afield from assembly. We also marched down Jackson to State, where we rallied in front of DePaul University downtown. We marched back to the assembly point and dispersed around 6:00. There was a heavy police presence although whether consequent on the march or just coincident with being near the buildings of state downtown is, by this reporter at least, unknown.