Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

This is what I hope will be the first of numerous posts about the Nakba, the “Catastrophe” in Arabic, which is generally used to describe the forced removal of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948. The anniversary, if that is the proper word is generally recognized on May 15, the day after the foundation of the state of Israel, according the Gregorian calendar, being of course, May 14, 1948. But as this very well written history points out, it didn’t begin in 1948, but some 200 years earlier. This is a very sad tale of long term oppression, of brutal imperialist  governments without a care about the people in their rule, but outside their borders. I would ask EVERYONE to read this, to ask questions, to find out what REALLY happened in 1948,, why those who were forced out of their homes and country are STILL not allowed to return. I promise it will anger you, I truly hope it will open your eyes.


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Well all, it’s mid-term election night back in the good old USSA and it seems like I’m due to be disappointed in “my fellow Americans” one more time. According to CNN’s latest information, while election results are still being counted, (it is now 04:26 GMT +1 here in Stockholm)  it seems that the Tea Party Fascists are only two seats away from claiming control of the Senate for the first time in eight years and are in the process of boosting their control of the House of Representatives. Obama will continue to be frustrated by a congress that blatantly refuses to give him any respect he may or may not deserve. Nothing will be passed through congress which began in the White House and anything passed by the TP controlled congress will most likely be vetoed or fought bitterly before being forced to the President’s desk. This my friends is called a “stalemate”. In other words, the American voters once again fucked things up.  This is not even considering the state and local elections, a concept that I find, frankly to scary to even begin to think about thinking about.

While I’m one of the least likely to give a great deal of creedence or support to Obama, the idea of the Tea Party continuing to gain in  control of the congress scares me even more. Perhaps it’s the lesser of two very evil evils here. There was a wise man who once said, “Hey, WTF are you  doing?” I’m sure this question has arisen more than once in the erratic and oft confusing history of politics, and voting in America is certainly no exception. It saddens me greatly to think that American voters continue to get the proverbial wool pulled over their eyes and ignore what is so obvious to the rest of the world. When oh when will the great American conscience rising happen? Will the sleeping giant that is the American dream wake up before it’s too late? Will America ever get the hands of the GOP OUT of their wallet and OFF of their freedoms? Will the Bill of Rights ever be what they were intended to be? Will the USSA ever be the beacon of peace instead of the bacon of the GOP breakfast? My doubts continue to grow. I want to believe. I want to say I’m proud of my country, but I just can’t. It seems that in this world, in this lifetime, I never will.

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Ahhhh,, Allen G. It’s hard to think of a poet who had a bigger influence on me than you. Ezra, yes, tiger cage or not, Kenneth Rexroth and Kenneth Patchen both have opened my eyes to the beauty of taking on a social cause and of love, as has Neruda.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, “
I was one of those angel headed hipsters, I was one of the frustrated youth, busted without a reason, inclined towards the inevitable decline, ousted with nowhere to go and no way back in, climbing a ladder that I didn’t know didn’t exist, where are the fucking steps? Where am I going? Following a hollow leader, leading nowhere but up and ending up nowhere but down, tearing my clothes in a flagellants rage, whipping my back with all the insipid uninspired rules of the military, the crucifix burnt into my skull, he is risen he is risen, Dylan, no, not Thomas, Bobby, no not Kennedy, a poet for no one but words for all, stuck in my throat, gagging  like a cock at an orgy, a hero running the streets at dawn, now, here in Stockholm luring me into a storm of calmness, denying me my rage until i couldn’t hold it anymore shooting it out into the worlds great gloryhole, with no one on the receiving end,
Well, I digress. Allen was simply one of the great minds of our, or any, generation. It is a pleasure to read and share his work. I’ve been planning on writing something for my 60th birthday a few weeks ago and I still hope to do that soon. It would be massively incomplete if it didn’t include this magnificent fountain, this famously censored HOWL.


Howl by Allen Ginsberg : The Poetry Foundation.

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I found these three wonderful poems written by Zeina Hashem Beck on a page I follow on Facebook. (NO, my friends, not everything on FB paltry pics of someone’s breakfast. )  I was immediately moved to share them with as many readers as possible.

The first  poem, entitled “Inside Out” is a strong poem, showing the terror of war against the backdrop of the World Cup. The images are strong as they should be, but it is so very moving at the same time. The second poem, entitled “Gaza Mothers Soothe Their Kids” is a beautiful work, short and simple it shows the difficulty of trying to explain something as terrible as war to your children in a way that comforts them and hides the horrible acts of men. The third and last poem is also short and to the point, which I love. It is entitled “Maysam” and I’m going to let you read that one without the unnecessary introduction from me. Her work speaks for itself. Do follow the link below. I truly hope you find Ms. Becks” work as beautiful and moving as I do.


Inside out: three poems on Gaza by Zeina Hashem Beck.

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10 Years after the Court ruling against the Wall: Legal experts call for international action | Stop the Wall.

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The world still failing to act despite Rwanda genocide shame | Amnesty International.

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“The flag flying over the courthouse
Means certain things are set in stone
Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.”
Long Walk Home, Bruce Springsteen.


The words in the song above mean a lot to me. I grew up believing in the best that America has to offer. The fifties were over, the illegal and immoral witch-hunts that were known as the McCarthy Trials under the guise of the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee were finally shut down and Kennedy was in the White House. Things were younger, more intelligent and wiser than before, the Oval Office was filled with “The Best and the Brightest” and I felt that I was growing up in a country that I could trust. A country that would look out for me as I grew older, that I would never think of leaving, that would somehow find a way past it’s racist history and divisiveness and we would all grow old together in the soft warmth of freedom and equality and peace. I was a patriot in the truest sense of the word. One that would never wear it on his sleeve, one that didn’t need a flag waving on his porch to prove anything, In fact, I still am that same type of patriot. That’s what has me so very sad. It isn’t that I love my country less, but that I hate what it’s doing even more.

The song, Long Walk Home, isn’t about a guy whose car is broken down. It’s a very moving song about how far America has fallen off the ideals it was founded upon. The lofty ambitious promises we learned to love and almost to recite proverbial word for proverbial word as children. America loves to make big promises. It was based upon them, in a sense. Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry, your oppressed, the old saying went.

People around the world once believed these promises because the government was one they felt they could trust. People flocked to America from every corner of the world to try their fates there, some to escape oppression at home, others not in the hopes of striking it rich quick, but simply searching for a life they could be proud of. A chance to hold their heads high and provide a decent living for their families, some found what they searched for, some did not. But those promises were only for some. Racism still grew unchecked. The lines between rich and poor grew, especially after the beginning of the Iron Age and the spread of the railroads across the continent.

We were promised our individual right to the pursuit of our own versions of happiness. Our rights to free speech and privacy were pre-eminent in those rights. What we did in the privacy of our own homes was all but sacred. Americans would fight to the death for the liberties promised in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution because they thought the government believed in them and practised them as well. But lately something has changed.

Now it spies on its own people both inside its borders and outside, on foreign citizens both in allied lands and hostile, and their leaders as well, almost at whim, in a way that it seems to feel not that we are all citizens of the planet earth together, but that they have the patent of human rights, the lock on the truth, and are the final word on everything that happens both inside and outside its borders. America has become the biggest bully on the playground and if you don’t play by their rules, then they will come after you either economically or if need be, militarily. The torture of prisoners is no longer limited to only dictatorships. Abu Ghraib is not an isolated example, I’m sure.

In the 10 years since 9\11 the US Government has grown less and less concerned with our rights while totally ignoring or circumventing both the Geneva Convention and International Law. They’ve lied their way into an illegal war in Iraq, does ANYONE, still believe that Hussein, albeit a dreadful dictator, had weapons of mass destruction? I didn’t believe it to begin with, so no surprise that none were ever found. In an article from Salon.com there is a timeline based on the findings of the US Senate. The next two paragraphs highlight what I found from the article below, (this is the link  http://www.salon.com/2008/06/18/interrogation/ ).

“According to an investigation conducted by the US Senate Armed Services Committee, there was a series of memos and documents in which the Bush Administration detailed plans for teaching special troops to “withstand torture”, more likely they were taught how to induce torture. They wanted us to believe that CIA enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding did not add up to torture. But the documents show that it is increasingly clear that the administration sought from early on to implement techniques whose basis was torture. Soon after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Pentagon and the CIA began an orchestrated effort to tap expertise from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School for use in the interrogation of terrorist suspects.

The US Military’s SERE training is designed to inoculate soldiers, sailors and airmen to torture in the event of capture by an enemy that would violate the Geneva Conventions. The Bush administration wanted to use the training as a method of teaching how to deal out torture instead.  As the plan rolled forward, military and law enforcement officials repeatedly sent up red flags that this wasn’t just wrong, but probably illegal. The Bush administration ignored their protests and questioned their loyalty and patriotism, sometimes publicly. The use of torture continued for two years until it was leaked to the news in April 2004. “

Supposedly the torture of prisoners has stopped, but the detaining of foreign nationals for years without due process still continues. This alone is illegal.

I bring this up not to demean the Bush administration, that’s far to easy to do, but to show an example of why it’s necessary to blow the whistle when the government is doing something so blatantly illegal. This is NOT the America I grew up to love. This is not the America from a Norman Rockwell painting. This is not Bruce Jenner waving the flag at the Olympics. This is the America that hated the then Cassius Clay when he adopted the Muslim faith, changed his name to Muhammad Ali and refused to serve in the armed forces. This is the America that ruined hundreds of lives in the 1950s during the McCarthy witch-hunts. This is the America that still allows Ku Klux Klan meetings in “secret”. This is the America that now holds international law under water without air. As a Turkish professor put it in a conversation with the newspaper The Financial Times the other day, “Obama talks like the head of the American Civil Liberties Union but he acts like Dick Cheney”. A very sad comparison since I supported him when he was first elected, but I have to admit it is blood-chillingly accurate. For a current example, consider the dreadful relentless way they are treating one of their own, former NSA agent Edward Snowden, speaking of whistle blowing He made what I’m sure was an extremely painful decision to make public the NSA illegally wiretapping millions of emails and mobile phone calls of Americans within the US and abroad without judicial process. He also made public the inexcusable surveillance of the offices and officials of the EU by the American Government. From what I’ve read I’ll admit he’s far from perfect. But I also have to admire him greatly. This is a man who, like me, and many other Americans, loves his country dearly. He wants to believe in the ideals he was raised with. He makes me think of my youth growing up in the shadow of the 1950s. I want to believe that as Superman once again fills the movie screens around the world, that he is still representing, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” as the announcer of the 1960s television Superman series said. And the American way is supposed to be something WORTH standing up for. I know I’m going to anger a number of people, least of all some members of my family back home with this. They believe, I’m sure, that America has the right to tap my phone, read my email, check my banking transactions, photograph me when I’m not aware, and if they’re not satisfied then they can always arrest me without a warrant, deport me, hold me in a small unlit cell without water, toilet or sufficient room to stand or move, beat me, threaten to harm my wife, take my belongings, and never ever give me anything remotely resembling due process of law. THIS is what Mr. Snowden is bravely standing up against. THIS is NOT America and if you believe that it is, then I suggest you read up on the true meaning of freedom, beginning with the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States and leave the Ron Paul trash in the dustbin where it belongs.

I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July, Thank you for reading this. God Bless America, it needs it.

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So,, Obama, the proponent of change, the man who so strongly opposed the policies of the Bush administration during his first run for the white house, the man who spoke so eloquently in favor of diplomacy and peace, the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize is now, once again, promoting John Brennan for head of the CIA. This after an earlier attempt failed because of Brennans (apparent) involvment in and open support of the revised torture laws of the Bush Cheney administration. These revisions allowed for certain forms of torture as declared illegal by international law, laws which the Presidents of the United States have pledged to uphold. Many of my friends from my (former) twitter account warned me that Obama was merely continued Bush, but I didn’t want to believe them. Now I have to admit the evidence is growning by the day. It seems they were right.

Does It Matter if John Brennan Was Complicit in Illegal Torture? – The Atlantic.

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Seeking peace in times of war

Rush, pause, begin again

Cycles of endlessness


Seeking wisdom in times of lies

Open close and open again

Old books mislead the foolish


Spark of genius is hushed away

Mind opened then closed then never opened again

Walls built of stone, fear and intolerance


We showed these lines to our mother

She smiled, wept and smiled again

The earth lay in silence awaiting her death


We showed them to a minister

He prayed, cursed us, his faith, life, marriage then prayed again

His death is but a certainty and he is afraid


We showed them to the President







Read the first three stanzas and begin again

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Well well, today is the 4th of July and unless you live on another planet, I’m sure you all know, it’s the day Americans celebrate their independence. Truly a worthwhile thing to celebrate, But I want to look a little deeper at this, let’s scrape away the red white and blue varnish shall we?

Let’s get rid of the tired GOP rhetoric and get down to the business of where are my 40 acres and my mule? What happened at Wounded Knee?  The 504 who died in just four hours at My Lai, the 4 protestors killed at Kent State, the more than 200 years of violent oppression based upon race, creed, sexual preference, marital status, gender, place of national origin, religion, education, economic status, class,  and so many other forms all supposedly illegal, finally, under the US Constitution, (If you doubt this, I’ll be more than happy, dear reader, to enlighten you), the secret military actions against governments that are not on the weekly revised BFF list,  How many legitimately elected governments has the CIA illegally overthrown only seeking economic or political favour or colonial domination in a geopolitical arena?  Do you realize that Al Queda and the Taliban were armed, trained and funded by the American Government? They grew out of the Mujahedin, which was armed and funded by the CIA and Reagan in response to the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan. That short sightedness lead directly to where we are now, in a war in Afghanistan, where everyone in the military knew the Soviets had no chance, what made them think the US would fare better?  Arrogant fools!

How about a cigar?  Not if your name is Fidel Castro and the person handing it to you works for the CIA!!  We all know about the CIA attempts to assassinate Castro with exploding cigars, but how many other leaders have they tried to kill that we don’t know about? Costa Rican President Jose Figueres twice!! Che Guevara? Michael Manley of Jamaica? Ahmed Dlimi? Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran? Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala? Sukarno of Indonesia? Patrice Lumumba of the Congo? General Abdel Karim Qasim of Iraq? The CIA helped establish Saddam Hussein’s bloody regime. It backed his Ba’ath party’s overthrow of General Abdel Karim Qasim’s military government, though it tried to kill Qasim first. He had overthrown the monarchy, exposed CIA ties to the royals and became friendly with communists. When the Ba’ath party initially failed to assassinate Qasim in a gunfight, the CIA’s so-called Health Alteration Committee mailed a monogrammed, poisoned handkerchief to Qasim, as detailed in a 1975 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Qasim apparently didn’t need to blow his nose, so it took a bloody coup to unseat and kill him.Salvador Allende of Chile? Sadam Hussein? The list continues almost ad infinitum. For a greatest hits list, have a look at this website, which I cannot vouch for the accuracy, but i do believe most of them to be correct.   http://www.trutv.com/conspiracy/assassinations/cia-hits-misses/gallery.all.html

It’s a bloody history that we celebrate today, dear reader, a sad desolate evil arrogant self-righteous demeaning violent racist sexist ruthless way of life, and the worst is that now it has turned on it’s own citizenry in the form of Homeland Security.

Benjamin Franklin wrote that if a people willingly surrender their freedom in the name of security then they deserve neither. Sadly this is what Americans have done. While most of Black America has never been allowed inside the hallowed halls of the American equality, neither have Native Americans, women, gays, transgender, Jews, Islamists, Muslims or almost any other group you might chose to mention if one were inclined to, (and I for one am not, we are either all free or none of us are is my belief)

Having said that, it’s time to bring this rant to a close as I am rapidly approaching the midnight deadline. I suppose what I want to say is that you MUST be aware, it is the price of freedom, you MUST question your leaders, or they will continue to lie and operate behind closed doors and continue to break the laws, you MUST be involved, demand your voice, it IS the birthright of every person on earth.

I will not celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, but will say a silent prayer for the freedom of us all. I would love to see it in my lifetime.

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