Too many people are accepting an expansion of the U.S. war machine on the basis that "something has to be done about ISIS." People living in the United States do have a responsibility -- to send a loud message to the rest of the world that we are completely against the killing, theft of resources, subjugation of women and denial of peoples' rights by Western leaders.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a response to U.S. occupations, bombs, economic exploitation, and support of every reactionary regime in the Middle East. Wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have only strengthened the basis on which ISIS operates. But no party in the fight, not Islamic militias or the new Iraqi government paid for by the United States, has "right" on its side. ISIS offers a disastrous future for the people, and is no damn good.
Thursday April 23, 7-9 pm
Fromm Hall, Maier Room #110
2497 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco
Pretense of "humanitarian aid" fails to disguise the true nature of U.S. imperialism. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 destroyed education, legal, medical, water, sewage, security and electrical systems. When Iraqis rebelled, Bush's "surge" in 2007 handed out arms to Sunni and Shia, supporting death squads on both sides. U.S. intervention left what had been a relatively secular country split along sectarian lines, with a weak puppet government, and a huge opening for Islamic fundamentalists to push for religious rule.
Meanwhile, shifting international alliances have brought civil war to one of the poorest countries in the world. The human cost of U.S. hegemony in the Middle East is now being measured in Yemeni bodies. Washington's support for dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh and Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign helped create the current crisis.Under Obama's proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force the Pentagon will be free to wage endless, expanding wars all over the world without geographic limits. All of this imperial military doctrine is absolutely illegal, whether Congress approves it or not. Nothing good can come from U.S. bombing, and we need to say so immediately and widely.
After the protests of last year, after promises were made and investigations were launched, after hundreds of protesters were arrested... the police are still getting away with killing people, especially Black and Latino people.
The upsurge of conscience and resistance that was born in Ferguson last summer, and rocked this country into the winter, has to be renewed and sustained. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network sponsored a National Day of Resistance Tuesday to the criminal in-justice system that gives a green light to wanton shooting of unarmed suspects, mostly people of color, mentally ill, or both.
The impunity afforded cops who kill (officers are seldom if ever held to account for their actions) enables the abuse of power inherent in a legal framework of male dominance and racial inequality.
The lesson taught in the days of plantation slavery and later in the murders of Black Panthers was really quite simple: the rich have the right to kill, the poor have the right to obey notes Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zack De La Rocha.
Make no mistake, police shoot to kill. Former police chief Chuck Drago (City Of Oviedo, Florida) says that contrary to what you see in film, police aren't trained to shoot to disarm. "Officers are trained to shoot for center mass," Drago said. "They don't try to shoot the gun or knife out of his hand because ... he's probably not going to hit it, and those few seconds are lost." Police commonly shoot suspects multiple times to guarantee silence.
Shooting people with little reason has grown to epidemic proportions. Criminal Justice Reporter for ThinkProgress, Carimah Townes writes that police killed 111 people last month, more than twice the number (52) killed in the entire United Kingdom since 1900.
Cops become ever more blatant with public accommodation of their crimes. Courageous resistance in the face of repression has never been more important. The real power behind stories of stolen lives rests on how we react.
We refuse to live in a terror state.
Saturday April 11
Oakland Federal Building
1301 Clay Street (near Downtown Oakland BART)
The MOVE organization with International Concerned Friends and Family stopped his execution in 1995 and 1999, and got him off death row. Now Pennsylvania prison officials are deliberately trying to kill him with medical neglect and intentional torture. The situation is urgent and couldn't be more serious.
Flood Mahoney Prison Superintendent John Kerestes with calls ( 570-773-2158 Ext. 8102).
Shifting international alliances have brought civil war to one of the poorest countries in the world. The human cost of U.S. hegemony in the Middle East is now being measured in Yemini bodies. Civilian suffering is the common denominator in all of Obama's wars, from Afghanistan to Libya.
"While the details can be confusing, one thing is simple. American imperialism and the war of terror unleashed on that region are ultimately at fault and continue to destroy nation after nation."
-- Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report
Interior Department confirms 75 percent spill risk.
"For a leader who has made fighting climate change a priority, President Barack Obama's decision to approve Royal Dutch Shell's return to oil and gas exploration off Alaska was seen by many environmentalists as a contradiction."
-- Timothy Gardner, Reuters
Shell has spent about $6 billion exploring the Arctic and is already moving oil rigs to Alaska.
..it doesn't matter if you're in the right, it doesn't matter if a cop is in the wrong, it doesn't matter if you're being treated with less than the respect you deserve. If you want to emerge from a police encounter with your life and body intact, then you'd better comply, submit, obey orders, respect authority and generally do whatever a cop tells you to do.
San Francisco ICE Offices, Wednesday April 1 photo by Oscar Salinas
By David Swansonhttp://warisacrime.org/content/television-commercial-california-asks-drone-pilots-stop-killing
This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a U.S. state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born.
A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that's aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look:
The ad was produced by KnowDrones.com, and is cosponsored by Veterans for Peace/Sacramento, and Veterans Democratic Club of Sacramento. It is airing on CNN, FoxNews and other networks startingin the Sacramento/Yuba City area, near Beale Air Force Base.
Producers and promoters of the ad campaign have planned a press briefing at 8:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, March 31, at the main gate to Beale Air Force Base. The ad's appeal for pilots to "Refuse to Fly," they say, "is aimed at drone pilots, sensor operators, support personnel and their families as well as the general public."
While killing people with drones by the thousands has become so routine that elite lawyers argue for making "wartime" permanent, and the United States is selling armed drones to nations around the world without apparently the slightest consideration that any undesired consequences are possible, the reality of what is happening is rarely seen in U.S. media. Comcast cable has decided that the advertisement above cannot be shown before 10:00 p.m. because it shows a glimpse of what "targeted drones strikes" do.
Comcast is allowing the version below to air at all hours as it more closely resembles the rest of U.S. television content in hiding reality. It does state "U.S. drones have murdered thousands, including women and children." "Murder," by the way, is the U.S. government's own terminology, and strictly accurate.
Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.com, suggested that activists have focused on appealing directly to drone pilots because appealing to the U.S. government has become so hopeless. "The President and the Congress," he said, "refuse to respect law and morality and stop U.S. drone attacks, so we are asking the people who bear the burden of doing the actual killing to put a stop to it."
In fact, drone pilots are suffering post traumatic stress and moral injury in significant numbers, and dropping out in significant numbers. Information on all the factors involved in creating the current, and much desired, shortage of drone pilots is, of course, incomplete. For a discussion of the issue, listen to this week'sTalk Nation Radio with guest Brian Terrell. Efforts are also alive and well to get armed drones banned or to at least stop the U.S. government from arming the world with them.
Reports indicate that a first wave of bombings overnight which resulted in a number of civilian deaths--including entire families trapped in flattened houses--have spurred widespread anger in Sanaa and other targeted cities, even among members of the population opposed to the Houthi rebels who have now wrested control of much of the country from President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose whereabouts remain hard to establish.
The White House, reports Reuters, has said it is actively supporting the operation and President Obama has authorized U.S. "logistical and intelligence support" for the bombing campaign.
see Sorrow and Rage
"U.S. involvement has taken Afghanistan to the brink of utter devastation. We have ruined Afghanistan so that we can claim to save it from ruin." -- Sonali Kolhatkar, Afghan Women's Mission
Authorization for a "blank check" on the Use of Military Force is stumbling, as it should... activists fight to repudiate the illegal infrastructure for 13 years of war crimes.
"..when my country wipes out wedding parties in other lands or organizes torture regimes and offshore prison systems where anything goes, or tries to jail yet another whistleblower, when it acts cruelly, arbitrarily, or barbarically, I feel shock and wonder why more Americans don't have the same reaction."
-- Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch.com
Photo: bodies of nine men killed in a U.S. drone strike on December 12, 2013 near the town of Radda, Yemen. Nasser Al-Sane / Reprieve
Metro police arrested Father Louis Vitale and 32 others early Friday for trespassing at Creech Air Force Base where 140 peace activists had gathered to protest U.S. drone operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan that are controlled remotely at the base, 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
The protesters blame operators of remotely piloted Predator and Reaper aircraft for killing innocent civilians with laser-guided Hellfire missiles and smart bombs.
"Shut down Creech!" the throng chanted after Las Vegas police gave a five-minute warning for the crowd to disperse as base personnel arrived...
more photos here