Friday, June 05, 2015

Early June News

The fall of Ramadi to ISIS is part of the new era in the troubled history of Iraq. The situation of ISIS expanding in Iraq, Syria, etc. has been a product of Western imperial policies. The West imposed murderous sanctions against the Iraqi people for decades. The West invaded and occupied Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion (which was based on deception and neo-conservative Utopian visions). During the war, the U.S. used the policy of de-Baathization. That means that the U.S. occupation authority banned members of the Baath Party (which ruled Iraq under the former dictator Saddam Hussein) from holding government posts. The old Iraqi military under Saddam was disbanded. We saw the Iraqi Shia majority ruling the positions of power and the Sunnis suffering oppression based on their ethnicity and their creed. The Baath Party was mostly Sunni. This dissatisfaction caused many from the old Iraqi military to form the backbone of ISIS. The ISIS occupation of Ramadi caused between 25,000 and 40,000 residents fled Ramadi as ISIS took over the city. Many of these people were barred from entering Baghdad days later and other areas that are Shia-dominated. One problem in Iraq is that many Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds are divided on power sharing and what to do with the future of their lands. There is the Abadi Shia led government, which has been supported by America. Abadi wants the Sunni tribes to fight ISIS alongside the Shia militia, but the problem is that many Sunni fighters are angry at the government giving them the weapons that they need. The White House says that they are giving Iraqi military units 2,000 shoulder fired antitank weapons. The neo-cons like Rick Santorum and Senator John McCain want U.S. Special Forces to fight in Iraq. Abadi promises to execute a military offensive against ISIS in the city of Ramadi. Iranian forces are in Iraq as well to fight ISIS. ISIS has conquered the city of Palmyra of Syria including more than half of the Syrian nation. There is the Judicial Watch Group that declassified many documents. One was a reported produced by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency which was dated on August 12, 2012. The heavily redacted seven-page DIA document states that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” while noting that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey” support the opposition; while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.” The document accurately predicts that “If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria… And this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime…” Therefore, we know that the West has supported many radical Islamist groups for years and decades. The West wants regime change in Syria even at all costs. Iran, Russia, and China have been criticized by the West for their support of Syria. So, ISIS is a counterrevolutionary evil group that has killed innocent people and the U.S. military/intelligence complex has murdered many innocent people as well. We need strong political and economic solutions to solve this Middle Eastern crisis.

What the Red Cross did was evil. We know about the massive mismanagement of the money spent in Haiti. Some of the money has been controlled by international corporations and NGOs, who use the money to benefit a select few not the masses of the Haitian people. Historically, Haiti has been a victim of French colonialism and American occupation (as the U.S. military occupied Haiti during the 20th century). France especially should pay straight up reparations to Haiti. Again and again, we see how corporate oligarchs use the guise of “humanitarianism” as a means for them to economically and politically control nations like Haiti. Haiti is still heavily occupied by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). We know that the World Bank is funding luxury hotels in Haiti while thousands of Haitians live in camps. There is a necessity to build up not only Haitian agricultural resources, but to improve its infrastructure, which can help the Haitian people not a select group of corporations. Red Cross is not only culprit. There are others who economically exploit the Haitian people as well. We all commemorate the heroic black Haitian heroes (these heroes defeated the French, the Spanish, and the British) who freed Haiti in 1804 from white terrorists. We reject land grabbing, privatization, and occupation. We want black independence to not only exist in Haiti. We want that independence to exist worldwide for all black people. We have vigor. We have strength. We have soul and we feel. We will continue to fight for our freedom and justice as one people. Exploiters exist in many backgrounds. That's true. Yet, the people who originated the exploitation of Haiti in that level aren't people of color. It is just that the exploiters are more diverse now than centuries ago. Haitians should build their necessary infrastructure (along with reparations sent to them. In other words, European imperial powers committed crimes against the Haitian people for centuries and there has been no justice done. Justice is about accountability and compensation for atrocities; therefore it is morally justified for Haiti to have reparations. There is nothing wrong with self-determination, but the situation in Haiti was caused heavily by European terrorists), but I don't believe in austerity, I don't believe in isolationism, and I do believe that many people internationally are sincere in trying to help the Haitians. It is just that evil people from around the world have an evil, neoliberal agenda too. The world must change via international cooperation at times as history shows. The Maafa ended by international activism. The Shoah ended by international activism. The anti-colonial movement in Africa was developed via international activism. Also, pan-African unity is important. Regardless of our nationality, we are all of black African descent. We are interconnected with each other indirectly or directly. The Afro-Haitian people have a great role in the black liberation struggle in general. They need our solidarity and our support.

Creflo Dollar’s propaganda is typical of the false prosperity gospel movement. This movement believes in the lie that wealth determines how much spirituality, wisdom, and ethics someone has. Also, many adherents of this nefarious movement even believe that all people in poverty suffer a curse from God, which is illogical and very disrespectful. We know the complexities of poverty and the poor are readily oppressed by the oligarchy. Dollar can easily buy a plane ticket if he wants to travel internationally. If he wants a new jet, he can be a man and use his own money to buy himself a jet excluding monetary resources from his own congregation. There can be no deification of capitalism and there can be no worship of free markets as we see the structural imperfections of capitalism. Extremists believe that anyone who doesn’t have a job deserves suffering and mistreatment. We believe in altruism and justice for all. Therefore, wealth is not a means for anyone to get salvation. Wealth should be used fairly and equitably as a way for us to establish social justice. Economic justice doesn’t mean that we expand materialism in the pulpits. Economic justice means that a poor family ought to have living wages. It means that we establish more employment for human beings and that we recognize the plight of the suffering (and do something about it as well). The prosperity faux gospel does make people feel safe without getting people out of their confront zone. It is certainly great to have passion in trying to change the world in a positive direction. Promoting integrity and ethics can help people without some loving materialism. There is nothing wrong with having financial wealth in a legitimate fashion. We are blessed, so we can bless others. That is one of the many reasons why we live in this Earth.

The Vietnam War can’t be fully comprehended without knowing about the 1968 United States Presidential campaign. The campaign dealt with many issues from the environment, civil rights, “law and order,” health care, and economic subjects. Yet, one big issue that the campaign dealt with involved the Vietnam War. Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota opposed the Vietnam War. He soon officially announced his bid for President on November 30, 1967. McCarthy was strident in promising to fight President Johnson’s Vietnam policies. He vowed to fight LBJ in primaries in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oregon, and in California. During the 1968 election, President Johnson was very much hated by numerous people in America because of his reactionary views on foreign policy. The Democratic Party split on the war as well. McCarthy was a Senator and his views on Vietnam are complex. He opposed the war later on, but Eugene McCarthy voted for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Also, McCarthy voted for every war appropriation bill. McCarthy said that he wanted to run for President to eliminate the possibility of arrival third party movement (ironically, years later, he would won as an Independent). He wanted to restore hope in American society. He believed in reformism when we need revolutionary change. Eugene McCarthy’s supporters spread across the country from Virginia to California. These people wanted to get people registered to vote for him. The New Hampshire Democratic primary allowed McCarthy to run a close second to LBJ on March 12, 1968. McCarthy had 40 percent of the vote. His rival in his own party was then Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy was responsible for Operation Mongoose, for supporting wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the early 1960's, etc. Robert Kennedy was a staff lawyer for Senator McCarthy’s subcommittee, resigning after about six months. As time went onward, Robert Kennedy became more progressive albeit slowly. Robert Kennedy’s conscience propelled him to oppose LBJ on the war in Vietnam. By the late 1960’s, many in America loved Robert Kennedy as almost a celebrity person. So, Senator Robert Kennedy finally declares his candidacy for President on March 16, 1968. Robert Kennedy gave numerous eloquent speeches. The socialists are right that RFK was not a super liberal as some portray him as. RFK would never vote against any appropriation bills that funded the war. He never advocated an unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. He voted against this, but he wanted peace in Vietnam via a negotiated settlement. RFK opposed economic sanctions on South Africa for its apartheid policies, but he morally opposed apartheid, he opposed busing to integrate schools. Many of his economic views desired tax breaks to corporations to move into poorer communities as a way to end poverty (which is not a super progressive view). This caused California Governor Ronald Reagan back then to joke that Kennedy was sounding more and more like Barry Goldwater. Although, to Robert Kennedy’s credit, he opposed pollution, he disagreed with racial oppression, and he expressed solidarity with Cesar Chavez’ pro-labor movement in Southern California. In 1968, Robert Kennedy overtly talked forcefully in public about the need for racial equality in American society to his credit. His platform was about advancing economic justice, decentralization of power, and social improvement.  In life, we have to look at the complexities of people and history in order to get a fuller picture of events. Robert Kennedy had huge support among black Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics, while he had some trouble in gaining the working class white vote. Eugene McCarthy continued to be in the election. He was angry at Robert Kennedy for jumping into the election later on. Also, McCarthy made the foolish statement in Oregon that Kennedy's supporters were "less intelligent" than his own, which angered African American and Latino community leaders, and strengthened Kennedy's appeal. McCarthy and Kennedy would have a debate on various issues. Young people supported McCarthy too. Eugene McCarthy’s platform include collective bargaining rights for farmers, a guaranteed minimum livable income for all Americans building at least 1 million new housing units each year, and more federal funds to stop pollution. On March 31, 1968, LBJ said that he wasn’t running for President. McCarthy would win many primaries like in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Vice President Hubert Humphrey would run for President on April 27. On April 30, 1968, Nelson Rockefeller would run for President on the GOP side. Nixon declared his candidacy on February 1, 1968.

Robert Kennedy wins the Nebraska primary on May 14, 1968 while McCarthy wins the Oregon primary. The Democratic primary race goes into South Dakota and California. In the beginning of June 1968, both Kennedy and McCarthy vigorously campaigned all over California. They debated each other in televised forums like on in June 1, 1968. Robert Kennedy won the California primary in June. RFK also won the South Dakota primary. On June 5, 1968, Robert Kennedy gave his famous speech about bridging the gap in America and ending the divisions based on class, race, age, or in the debate of the war in Vietnam. After his speech, he was shot in Los Angeles. He died soon afterwards. Robert Kennedy’s evil assassination represented an end to an era. McCarthy continued to talk about hunger, gun control, etc. but Humphrey political machine was too powerful. One political weakness of Eugene McCarthy’s campaign was that he made little effort to broaden his appeal beyond the student youth and sections of the middle class who were radicalized by the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was horrible. About 28,000 Americans died in Vietnam after 1968. Millions of Vietnamese people died in the war via U.S. bombs, napalm, “search and destroy” missions, and mass assassination campaigns like Operation Phoenix. Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination easily. The reactionary George Wallace ran for President in 1968 too. Wallace appealed to the more reactionary elements of American society (under his views of xenophobia, war mongering, and other views) and he contributed to the system of Jim Crow apartheid. During this time period, we see the great social crisis in America. We see the youth and students opposing the Vietnam War. We witness civil rights struggles and the urban rebellions in the ghettos of America. We witness a powerful wage offensive by the industrial working class (there was the January 1966 transit workers’ strike in New York City). We see other social movements of Hispanics, women, Native Americans, etc. standing up for their human rights. So, these movements were resistant to the status quo of American capitalism. Humphrey would win a contentious Democratic primary. Humphrey delayed a change in his views of Vietnam until the end of the Presidential campaign. Richard Nixon would win the Presidential election. The 1968 election caused the increase of the backlash against the reformist liberal New Deal & Great Society political movements. In fact, Eugene McCarthy later on would agree with some conservative views like opposing campaign reform laws, opposing bilingualism in education, and he voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. Yet, he was mostly a mainline liberal person. Ironically, McCarthy would condemn the Democrats for not opposing the theft of the 2000 Presidential election. He passed away on 2005. Also, the 1968 election caused the more rightward trend of the Democratic Party and it was a sign of Reagan’s movement too (which increased economic inequality, harmed communities of color including the poor, and it executed a more reactionary agenda). So, the campaign of 1968 was very historic. Unfortunately, the capitalistic Republican and Democratic parties (the Democratic Party has been used as a shocker absorber for the American ruling elite. In other words, when populism comes about, the Democratic Party is used to control movements which can be used in a more independent, radical way outside of the Democratic Party) on many issues would be more reactionary. The good news is that there are still many people who are still fighting for racial, economic, and social justice.

By Timothy

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