Monday, October 12, 2015

Foreign Policy and Other Issues on early October of 2015

One of the most vicious war crimes happened in this decade when U.S. forces bombed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. This comes after almost 20 years of the war on terror. The attack killed at least 23 human beings including 13 staff members and 10 patients (plus 3 children). Over 37 people were wounded. According to M├ędicines sans Frontieres nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs, after waiting out the bombing, Lajos was looking for survivors. Lajos found many survivors and doctors saw their colleagues dying. The President has expressed grief about the shooting in Oregon, but he has refused to classify this action as a brutal crime against humanity and he has refused to repudiate imperialism in general. He wants people to wait for the Defense Department investigation to outline its report. The bombing of Kunduz is a direct result of Western imperialist policies. Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres—MSF) has repudiated the bombings. The President called Doctors Without Borders (whose President is Joanne Liu) to apologize. Doctors Without Borders have called this act as a war crime. They want an international, independent inquiry to get all of the facts.  The White House says that the incident was a “terrible, tragic accident.” The U.S. claims that they mistakenly struck an MSF field hospital in Kunduz. Obama also made a call to Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. According to the White House press readout, Obama’s discussion with Ghani centered on the US plans for continued military and political intervention in Afghanistan. So, the White House wants to continue to aid President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan. So, the West wants Afghanistan to be a neocolonial client regime. There have been many war crimes after 14 years of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. For example, in November of 2001, U.S. and British Special Forces oversaw the protracted massacre of hundreds of Taliban POWs, during an assault on the Qala-i-Janghi prison fort near Mazar-i-Sharif. This incident has been called the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi.  A US AC-130 gunship, carrying out orders from US officers, repeatedly blasted the large hospital compound with heavy weapons over a period of nearly an hour and half. The main hospital facility was left completely burned out by the barrage, with witnesses describing hellish scenes of charred corpses burning atop the few remaining hospital beds. “Our patients burned in their beds, MSF doctors, nurses, and other staff were killed as they worked. Our colleagues had to operate on each other,” MSF President Liu said. “We had eight ICU (intensive care unit) beds with ventilators, this was high-tech medicine. This was not the little bush hospital. You could not miss it,” Liu said. “If we don’t safeguard that medical space for us to do our activities, then it is impossible to work in other contexts like Syria, South Sudan, like Yemen.” We know that the U.S. knew about the MSF hospital for years. MSF personnel contacted U.S. military officials as recently as September 29 to reconfirm the precise location of the hospital. US Army General John Campbell has confirmed that the strikes were carried out under direct orders from US officers, as part of military operations in Kunduz being led by US Special Forces teams. Requests for aerial bombardment against the hospital “had to go a through rigorous, US procedure to enable fires to go on the ground,” Campbell said, during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We had a special operations unit in close vicinity that was talking to the aircraft that delivered those fires,” Campbell said. President of the MSF Liu said that Campbell’s words constitute “an admission of a war crime.” Citing “inconsistencies” between the versions of events put forth by Washington and Kabul, MSF has called for the formation of a Geneva Convention-based independent investigatory committee to examine the details surrounding the attack. The U.S. military-intelligence establishment has executed policies which goes against democratic rights and a truly progressive foreign policy agenda.

I have noticed that the Justice or Else rally included diverse black activists from the progressive to the conservative members of the black community. I also saw Native Americans, Hispanic people, and Palestinian Americans giving speeches. I saw much of the rally on C-Span. There were many Brothers and Sisters there. From the most conservative to the most progressive of our people, we all agree that things must change, that we need more self-determination in our lives (or Kuijchaguila), we are against police brutality, we are against imperialism, we love our Blackness, and we want to build more of our institutions (that we control and own). Some people believe that solutions will be a specific action or one magical procedure. Yet, history has taught us that this will not be so. In the final analysis, we have to execute a diverse amount of actions. The development of grassroots, bottom up, and democratic organizations are key instruments of change. We should be more organized in our communities and ally with independent political and economic organizations. We believe in education via great schools and political educational classes that teaches the communities about our real history. I have no problem with African centered schools to help black children as well. Liberation always deals with Land (as Malcolm X has outlined accurately. Imperialists stole the lands of the Americas via conquest, theft, and rape. That is why the Christoper Columbus Day should be banned worldwide as Columbus was a terrorist). I do believe that we should use the land to develop more community programs and other actions to help our people. Our safety is very important. That is why I do advocate self-defense, CPR classes, first aid promotion, etc. in our communities. Boycotts should be strategic and target organizations especially who have a long history of discriminating against us as black people. Also, another point is to be made. The socialists are right that we have to think in an international context. Black people live internationally. We should have social, political, and economic collaboration with our Brothers and our Sisters globally. Political independence (and not following bourgeois parties and slick politicians) is the way to go too. So, this is a racial struggle for justice and this is a class struggle too. In other words, we have to create independent policies to fight poverty and other socioeconomic issues in our communities. A class consciousness is very important to maintain. It is not right in America for the top 1 percent to receive so much wealth at the expense of the poor and working class. One Harvard study found that 95 percent of all income gains went to the wealthiest 1 percent of the country between 2009 and 2012. We have massive economic inequality. Capitalist exploitation has been brutal and evil in the lives of the masses of the people. So, there should be the political independence of the working class and a radical redistribution of political and economic power (as Dr. King has said). I have no issues with a living wage and with the elimination of the unfair loopholes and allowances that huge multinational corporations have. Women should never be called out of their names too, so we must eliminate racism, misogyny, classism, lookism, the system of white supremacy, patriarchy, ageism, and other evils from the face of the Earth. We also have to understand about our unsung, revolutionary heroes like Robert F. Williams, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, Septima Clark, and Marion Stamps. We know that we have a long way to go, but we should discuss about these issues, form strategies, and implement them. We all want the same goal. We want black liberation. We want justice.

Atlanta in 1966 changed. The Black Power movement rose up in the high level in 1966. This movement was a rejection of using nonviolence alone in solving problems. It was a revolutionary evolution in the black freedom movement. It appealed to the youth heavily since the youth viewed the reforms as going too slow in America back then and they wanted more radical change. The movement came in the midst of the rebellions from 1964 to 1968. Black Power was diverse with more progressive elements (that focused on not only black solidarity, but on anti-imperialism especially being anti-Vietnam War, and opposing capitalism. This is exemplified in the Black Panther Party movement) and the more conservative elements (which has been called black capitalism or cultural nationalism by some. This faction wanted to focus on African culture and history while minimizing involvement in political activism. This faction also dealt with the growth of black businesses and wanting a "piece of the pie"). Some Black Power activists courageously stood up for freedom. Some members of this movement was co-opted like some became Republicans and the Ford Foundation funded many people to promote electoral politics. During the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, radical increases of black people were elected in Congress, local and state governmental offices, even among some former grassroots activists. The SCLC during this time worked in inner city neighborhoods of Atlanta and throughout America. SNCC evolved and became more involved in the Black Power movement. Later, many whites left SNCC. SNCC promoted the Atlanta Project. The Atlanta Project wanted black people to have community control and promote economic opportunities including electoral power in the hands of the people of Atlanta. Community organizer Ella Mae Brayboy fought to help empower women in Atlanta too. There is the Voter Education Project and the Citizenship Education Program which dealt with voting rights, activism, and black history programs. Rebellions happened in Dixie Hills and the Summerhill communities. Black youth were frustrated at the slow pace of the movement in their perspective. The Atlanta Project has a Pan-African view. This project wanted all people of African descent worldwide to come together can make a positive change. SCLC wanted economic justice, etc. and they were in favor of integration.  Numerous SNCC members soon distanced themselves from mainstream integration while they didn’t want segregation either. By the 1960’s, SNCC leaders wanted black people to run the freedom movement while desiring whites to come into their communities to educate whites on racial justice.

Kwame Ture and Atlantan Willie Ricks wanted Black Power as they said it during their 1966 March Against Fear from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took a nuisance view of Black power. He acknowledged the positives of Black Power like self-determination, love of Blackness, and standing up for economic including political power. Yet, Dr. King rejected separatism. In essence, the Atlanta Project wanted the community to control their resources and power. When the Atlanta Project was perceived as too separatist, national director Kwame Ture fired or suspended the Atlanta Project staff. Ironically, Kwame would be a strong pro-Pan-Africanist from the 1960’s to the day of his death. In 1965, 11 Africa Americans won the election to the Georgia legislature. In 1965, the first African American being elected to Atlanta Board of Alderman was the businessman Q. V. Williamson. So, political power in Atlanta grew for black people. Yet, there was a tragedy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who was born in Atlanta, Georgia) was assassinated in April 4, 1968. Afterwards, there were questions on how to go forward. Black people continued to fight for political, social, and economic justice. In 1968, Sister Coretta Scott King started the Center for Nonviolence Social Change. This was created to continue with the movement and advance nonviolence as a legitimate action of social change in the world. Many people like Abernathy lead the SCLC including other veterans of the movement. SCLC continued with Rev. Joseph Lowery and Rev. C.T. Vivian. The SCLC would continue to promote human rights. There were other changes too. There was the Governor of Lester Maddox of Governor, who was Governor from 1967 to 1971. He was a known segregationist and white supremacists supported him. Maddox was a right wing conservative. The new Governor Jimmy Carter existed as Governor from 1971 to 1975. This was historic since he was a more moderate/liberal man. He wanted to improve racial relations in the state of Governor. Ironically, Jimmy Carter would act more progressive after his Presidency.  So, this time period was a transitional period of Atlanta’s history.

Atlanta is a Southern city. Also, it is influenced by immigrants and other multicultural influences too. It is a very cosmopolitan city. It has a great amount of culture. There is the arts district in Midtown. There are strong neighborhoods in the city’s eastside. There are multi ethnic enclaves along Buford Highway. Black people build a huge amount of culture in Atlanta culturally, economically, musically, socially, etc. The King Center in Auburn Avenue has exhibits, teachings, and other areas where human beings can know about the power of nonviolence. More than 600,000 people from all over the world have visited the King Center as well. The Center for Civil and Human Rights celebrates the actions of the Freedom Riders and the sit in movement with videos and other interactive services. It has the Freedom Riders Wall, the Wall of Martyrs, and the Voice of the Voiceless which remembers the civil rights heroes who sacrificed so much for us. The Ebenezer Baptist Church is another historical landmark of Atlanta, Georgia. It was the church where Dr. King and his father preached from. It has luncheons, banquets, business meetings, conferences, receptions, and more. The Herndon home is a National Historic Landmark that celebrates the contributions of the African American Herndon family to the city of Atlanta. There is the Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Ballet, and other locations which attract many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibits. Many people already know about the Fox Theatre. This is a historic landmark in landmark that is among the highest grossing theaters of its size. It is found in 660 Peachtree Street NE. It can house almost 5,000 people. It was opened in 1929. Broadway performances and other venues are displayed in the Fox Theater. Its architecture has Egyptian, Islamic, and other influences. It has the four manual 42 rank pipe organ which is nicknamed the “Mighty Mo.” Underground Atlanta is found in downtown. It is a cultural hub. It was opened in 1969. It has 12 acres, 3 levels, and 225,000 square feet of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. It offers cultural services, entertainment, community, and family programming. Atlanta’s BeltLine is Atlanta’s newest outdoor space. It is made up of 22 miles of unused railroad tracks circling the core of the city’s in town neighborhoods. It has trails and walkways to open green space and parks. It has connected human beings all over the city. Here is massive public art on the Beltline too including restaurants.

By Timothy

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